Genesis 9:28 – 10:1a
Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood. All the days of Noah were nine hundred fifty years, then he died.
Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noah and of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
This completes the section of Genesis believed to have been passed down to Moses by way of the children of Noah. They recorded the fact that Noah actually lived another 350 years after the flood! A person’s lifespan was about to change as we will see in genealogies that are recorded after the flood. It does seem likely that something changed in the the atmosphere of the earth that caused men to live shorter lives after the flood. Notice, however, that God didn’t limit mankind to 120 years. Noah lived to a ripe old age of 950.
There are many possible reason why people no longer live as long as they used to. We know that the effects of sin caused death and corruption. It is likely that as the genetic mutations and errors effected mankind over time that it became reflected in the average life-span. If you take into account that the genes of the plants and animals have also been deteriorating, it makes sense that the food sources of humans has lost quality over the years too.
It is also possible that as people became more and more independent of God they stopped listening to the advice of those who lived wise lives such as Noah and his sons. We know today that there are ways of living that increase longevity. There are also myths that can actually harm longevity. Since Noah walked with God, he probably knew many good things about how to live well. He also may have learned from His grandparents and even great-great grandparents who lived at the same time he did. Consider how much you could learn in 950 years. It really puts a four year college degree in perspective doesn’t it?