PATRIARCHAL CHRONOLOGY. 51
representatives of the Sethite line acceded to the kingship for 912 years, when the family of Enos assumed the government, and so on.
These positions are argued with much, ability. That the first clause expresses the whole life of Adam is maintained on the following grounds : 1. The Hebrew never employs the verb lived with definite numbers to indicate the age of a man at the birth of a son; but it invariably says such a one was a son of so many years when his son was born, or some other event took place. Many passages are cited, of which see Gen. xxi, 5 ; xvi, i6; xvii, 24 ; xxi, 4; Lev. ix, 3 ; Josh. xiv, 7 ; I. Kings xiv, 21 ; xx, 42. On the contrary, the verb lived denotes the whole term of a man's life. See Gen. i, 22 ; xxiii, I ; xxv, 7 ; xlvii, 28 ; v, 5 ; Xi, I I ; ix, 28; II. Kings xiv, r7; Job xliii, 16. 2. Antediluvian life is substantially asserted to have been one hundred and twenty years, on an average. (See Gen. vi, 3.) 3. There is nowhere in the Old Testament any allusion to such enormous ages as eight hundred and nine hundred years. On the contrary, Abraham, who was promised a " good old age," died.at one hundred and seventy-five years. (Gen. xv, 15 ; xxv, 7, 8.) So Isaac, at one hundred and eighty years, was "old and full of days," (Gen. xxxv. 28, 29.) Other reasoning I have not the space to cite. A paraphrase of the paragraph concerning Adam would, therefore, read somewhat as follows:
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years. And at the close of his life he appointed his son to be his spiritual heir and successor and designated him Seth, "The appointed." And the duration of the house of. Adam after the appointment of Seth was eight hundred years, represented by male and female descendants. And the whole duration of the house of Adam was nine hundred and thirty years, and it ceased to exist.
The paragraphs touching the other antediluvian patriarchs are to be similarly understood. It will thus appear that the average duration of life was then one hundred and twenty years. A similar interpretation of the eleventh chapter gives the average duration of life after the flood at one hundred and twenty-eight. After Abraham, the ages, as stated in the sacred text, range from one hundred and ten to one hundred and eighty years, with an