How many years is a Biblical generation?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by LadyEagle, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    And why? Is a Biblical generation 40 years, 50 years, or 100 years? And why? What Scriptures point the way to the answer?
     
  2. BrianT

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    Why assume it is a specific span of time?
     
  3. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    "Forty years" is mentioned in the Bible forty times. The number "forty" is mentioned in the Bible one hundred and forty-six times.
    AND THE LORD’S ANGER WAS KINDLED AGAINST ISRAEL, AND HE MADE THEM WANDER IN THE WILDERNESS FORTY YEARS, UNTIL ALL THE GENERATION THAT HAD DONE EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, WAS CONSUMED-Num 32:13. It may be noted that "forty years" and "the generation" is mentioned. FORTY YEARS LONG WAS I GRIEVED WITH THIS GENERATION-Ps 95:10. Again, it may be noted, "forty years" and "this generation." HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, AS IN THE PROVOCATION, IN THE DAY OF TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS: WHEN YOUR FATHERS TEMPTED ME, PROVED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS. WHEREFORE I WAS GRIEVED WITH THAT GENERATION-Heb 3:8-10. Again, it can be noted, "forty years" and "that generation."
    FOR DAVID, AFTER HE HAD SERVED HIS OWN GENERATION (note the word "generation") BY THE WILL OF GOD, FELL ON SLEEP-Acts 13:36. How long did David serve? It is written, THUS DAVID THE SON OF JESSE REIGNED OVER ALL ISRAEL. AND THE TIME THAT HE (David) REIGNED OVER ISRAEL WAS FORTY YEARS; SEVEN YEARS REIGNED HE IN HEBRON, AND THIRTY AND THREE YEARS REIGNED HE IN JERUSALEM-1 Chr 29:26,27. AND THE DAYS THAT DAVID REIGNED OVER ISRAEL WERE FORTY YEARS: SEVEN YEARS REIGNED HE IN HEBRON, AND THIRTY AND THREE YEARS REIGNED HE IN JERUSALEM-1 Ki 2:11. Many times we are seeing the term "generation" being associated with "forty years."
    AFTER THIS LIVED JOB AN HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS, AND SAW HIS SONS, AND HIS SONS’ SONS, EVEN FOUR GENERATIONS-Job 42:16. This verse would figure out to thirty-five years. We might consider that a generation is forty years, yet may be as little as thirty-five years.
    VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, ALL THESE THINGS SHALL COME UPON THIS GENERATION. BEHOLD, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE-Mt 23:36,38.
    AND JESUS WENT OUT, AND DEPARTED FROM THE TEMPLE: AND HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM FOR TO SHOW HIM THE BUILDINGS OF THE TEMPLE. AND JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, SEE YE NOT ALL THESE THINGS? VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THERE SHALL NOT BE LEFT HERE ONE STONE UPON ANOTHER, THAT SHALL NOT BE THROWN DOWN-Mt 24:1,2. The words "this generation," as appear in Mt 23:36, are the same words that appear in "this generation," in Mt 24:34; Mk 13:30; and Lk 21:32. It is written, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED. Jesus had said, "THESE THINGS SHALL COME UPON THIS GENERATION." One of the things was the temple would be destroyed. The question arises, was the temple destroyed within forty years? The answer is yes. The temple was thrown down approximately 70 A.D. Jesus was crucified approximately forty years earlier.
    Clearly, we can see that a "Bible generation" is forty years.

    A generation, as outlined in the Scriptures, was from the age of twenty years old and upward. Add forty years, and we come to sixty years old. From the age of twenty to sixty was considered as a generation.
    YOUR CARCASSES SHALL FALL IN THIS WILDERNESS; AND ALL THAT WERE NUMBERED OF YOU, ACCORDING TO YOUR WHOLE NUMBER, FROM TWENTY YEARS OLD AND UPWARD-Num 14:29. EVERY ONE THAT PASSETH AMONG THEM THAT ARE NUMBERED, FROM TWENTY YEARS OLD AND ABOVE, SHALL GIVE AN OFFERING UNTO THE LORD-Ex 30:14. FROM TWENTY YEARS OLD AND UPWARD, ALL THAT ARE ABLE TO GO FORTH TO WAR IN ISRAEL-Num 1:3.
    SURELY NONE OF THE MEN THAT CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT, FROM TWENTY YEARS OLD AND UPWARD, SHALL SEE THE LAND WHICH I SWEAR UNTO ABRAHAM, UNTO ISAAC, AND UNTO JACOB; BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT WHOLLY FOLLOWED ME-Num 32:11.
    A biblical generation has been shown to be forty years. It can (in some cases) also be from the age of twenty years to sixty years. It is written AND THY ESTIMATION SHALL BE OF THE MALE FROM TWENTY YEARS OLD EVEN UNTO SIXTY YEARS OLD-Lev 27:3.

    [ January 11, 2003, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Matthew 16:24 ]
     
  4. mountainrun

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    Matthew 1:17. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

    I don't have time to look up the dates for all these events, but the Babylonian captivity occurred in 586 B.C.
    Divided by 14 generations, this gives us a shade under 42 years.

    MR
     
  5. Michael Estes

    Michael Estes
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    Generally a generation, in terms of time in the bible, is forty years. But pay close attention to the context of whatever verses you are reading about this, because the word for "generation" in the Bible can also mean "race."
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Forty years is the "generic" term. But even the "wandering in the Wilderness" was only 38.5 years.

    While they were 40 years from Egypt to Canaan, they only "wandered" for part of that time. Some was getting TO Sinai, then AT Sinai, then OVER to the border of Canaan.

    THEN they sinned in disbelief and were to be judged and have that generation die and a new one take their places. So the "40" is an approximate rule, NOT an absolute.
     
  7. LadyEagle

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    Thanks for your answers. I always thought it was 40-50 years or so. But the other day, read this: LOOK! This is a stumper! :eek:

    Genesis 15:

    13] And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

    [14] And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

    [15] And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

    [16] But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

    OH NO! :eek: It looks like a generation means 100 years in this passage. :eek:

    What's your take on it?
     
  8. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    The fourth generation here is referring to Abram's descendents, not the Amorites.

    MR
     
  9. David A Bayliss

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    Other than 'everyone does' why would we assume that 'a generation' is a length of time that is consistent throughout the entire bible (that spans several thousand years).

    Abram is told in Genesis 15 that he is going to die in 'good old age'. Had he died that young back in Gen 6 people would have almost ranked it as infant mortality.

    From the flood onwards we see lifespans decreasing for a good number of chapters. Even Moses (at the end of the 400 years) was being sent on new missions at 80 and leading a huge congregation in harsh conditions well after his 100th birthday.

    Genesis 15 was stated to Abram, I think that needs to be taken into account when the passage is read. Abram may have had good reason to think of 'a generation' as being 100 years [​IMG]

    DAB
     
  10. romanbear

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    Hi She Eagle; [​IMG]
    I've heard a lot of answers to this question.I think the answer depends on why you want to know .If for instance in

    Mar 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

    Generations live along side one another like me then my children and grandchildren.There can be up to 5 generations living at the same time so in relation to this verse above the answer to your question would be how long does man live.The Bible says 120 years is given to man.Some believe that Israel becoming a nation again signals the coming of Christ before the end of the generations living at the time.This would mean that Christ will come between 1948 and 2068 in which 2068 would be the end of the generations living at this time .This is just an example and not necessarily the answer to your question.But a new generation comes along every time someone has a child.and each year there is a new generation.An older generation also passes away each year.

    Romanbear [​IMG]
    Peace
     
  11. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Hi, romanbear! I'm laughing because you hit the nail on the head of why I wanted to know. [​IMG] The 100 years verses threw me off what I always believed & thus this thread for some input on the generations thing. Thanks to you & to everyone who participated! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. romanbear

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    Hi SheEagle; [​IMG]
    Glad I was able to help [​IMG]
    May God Bless
    Romanbear [​IMG]
    Peace
     
  13. postrib

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    In the parable of the fig tree, I believe Jesus was saying that the generation that began at the re-establishment of the nation of physical Israel (the rebudding of the fig tree) would not "pass" until they saw the tribulation and 2nd coming (Matthew 24:32-34). The nation of physical Israel was re-established by U.N. resolution in 1947, and I believe that generation won't "pass" (Matthew 24:24) until 70 years later, for Psalm 90:10 refers to people usually passing away after 70 years.

    http://www.geocities.com/postrib
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Israel actually became a nation in 1948, just a couple months after I was born. That makes 2018 which is the year Jack Van Impe, famous evangelist and date-setter, has logged for the rapture!

    I'm thinking that can't POSSIBLY be correct, since the Bible says "no man knows the day or hour" and he is saying he does! :eek:
     

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