How Old Was Noah When He Died?

by | Sep 30, 2023 | History | 0 comments

Noah is considered the very last  Antediluvian patriarch. He is remembered by the flood which is arguably the most significant event in the Bible. Before the flood, God asked him to build an ark which took him several decades to complete. Noah then went in the ark with his family and the flood waters wiped away all life on earth. Many questions arise from the account of Noah’s life but one of the most intriguing is that of his age.

Age of Noah When He Died

The age at which Noah died is given in Genesis 9:28-29. The scripture records, “After the flood Noah lived 350 years. All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.” From this scripture, it is clear that Noah died when he was 950 years old. 

By today’s standards, it is almost hyperbolic to imagine that someone could live for as long as 950 years. But Noah was not even the person who lived longest. Methuselah lived for 969 years. In fact, the lifespan of people before the flood was significantly long. Here are some of the patriarchs that lived before Noah and how long they lived. 

  • Adam – 930 years
  • Seth – 912 years
  • Enosh – 905 years
  • Jared – 962 years
  • Methuselah – 969 years
  • Noah – 950 years

It would appear that 900 was the average lifespan for the early patriarchs. After the flood, the lifespan reduced drastically. Here are some examples of patriarchs who lived after the flood and their lifespan.

  • Shem – 600
  • Eber – 464
  • Abraham – 175
  • Moses – 120
  • David – 70

The flood was God’s judgment on sinful man and this is what He said, “And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3). We can therefore infer from this scripture that it was normal for people to live long before the flood but afterward, their lifespan was significantly shortened. 

Noah’s Age When Building the Ark

Noah’s age when building the ark as well as how long it took him to finish the job can have a significant impact on the timeline. It is often believed that Noah took 120 years to construct the ark. However, this is not accurate as it is based on a misinterpretation of scripture. In Genesis 7:6, we know that Noah was 600 years old when the flood started. 

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. Genesis 7:6

The Bible does not however explicitly state the age of Noah at the time he was commissioned to build the ark. The Bible only mentions that God was fed up with man’s sins and it also mentions that Noah had sons. If we assume that these events are chronological, we can safely infer that the plan to wipe out humanity happened after Noah had already turned 500 years old. 

The details of how Noah was to enter the ark are also significant. God starts by telling Noah that his spirit will not continue contending with mankind and that he will send a flood to wipe them out. He then gives Noah the instructions to follow in building the ark. But the following line is what we need to consider – “enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives” (Genesis 6:18). This is important because it shows that by the time God is speaking to Noah about the ark, he not only had three sons but the three sons were not only fully grown but they had wives too. It is not clear what age Noah’s sons were but lots of scholars estimate that they were in their mid-twenties. This would place Noah’s age at approximately 520 years

Noah’s Timeline

Noah was the son of Lamech and the grandson of Methuselah. Lamech got Noah when he was 128 years old which is not as old as it sounds considering that Lamech died when he was 777 years old. The name Noah means “relief” and even though it is not clear what relief the parents had in mind, God was preparing Noah to be the “relief” for mankind.  Since we know that Lamech got Noah when he was 128 years old and died when he was 777, we can infer that Noah was 595 years old by then. 

The Bible also says that Noah got three sons after he was 500 years old. 

After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 5:32

Ham is believed to be the youngest son and if Genesis 10:21 is anything to go by, Japheth was the oldest of the three. It is worth noting that Shem was 98 years of age when the flood started and he also got his first son when he was 100 years old (Genesis 11:11). This means that Noah must have been 502 when Shem was born which would mean Japhether was the oldest.

Another important date is the number of years Noah lived after the flood. According to Genesis 9:28, Noah lived for a total of 350 years after the flood and he died at 950 years (Genesis 9:28-29). This would mean that Noah lived long enough to see how the earth was restored after the flood. He also lived long enough to see his three sons establish their own families and continue with their scriptural mandate to “multiply and fill the earth.”

Conclusion

We can conclude that Noah was 950 years old at the time of his death. Not only is this explicitly stated in the Bible (Genesis 9:29) but the events around Noah’s life confirm this hypothesis. While it seems like hyperbole that one would leave for so long, it was normal for people to live for 900+ years before the flood. Other noteworthy examples include Adam (930 years), Seth (912 years), Enosh (905 years), Jared (962 years) and Methuselah (969 years).

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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