My mother and I were discussing history a while back, and she found my theory of counting history by lifetimes intriguing. Now, just discussing history with her is rare, since she hates the subject (I know, right???), but since what I said interested her, I thought it might interest you, too.
I adhere to the young earth theory, and that will give us about 6,000 years of BC history, and of course about 2000 of AD history, rounding off a bit. That’s about 8,000 years. Given an average lifespan of 75 years, that’s just 106 lifetimes. Now I know that the lifespan has not always been 75 years, and so do you. But Biblical life spans were much longer, and that helps to balance the much shorter life spans during the middle ages.
My point with that is this: 8000 years ago can be hard to grapple with, mentally. 106 lifetimes is much easier to get a handle on, and shows that the course of human history is not as long as we sometimes think. And consider this: Adam had lived almost two of those lifetimes before his third child, Seth, was born. Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old.
When Adam was 687 and Seth was 557, Methuselah was born. Methuselah was the son of Enoch, who “walked with God and was no more, for God took him.” When Methuselah was 369 years old, his grand-son Noah was born. Methuselah died at 969 years of age, just before the flood. So we can do some simple math and find that the flood occurred approximately 1656 years after creation.
In lifetimes: about 22. To put a little perspective on the length of patriarchal life spans, only 10 generations were recorded, inclusive of Adam and Noah from creation to flood, and Adam was still living when Noah’s father was born. Adam lived 930 years, almost an eon, almost 12.5 lifetimes. Noah died at 950 years old, about the same time Abraham was born, about 2006 years after the world was created, 350 years after the flood, almost 27 lifetimes into the history of mankind: a quarter of the way into recorded history!