Question: Ann said “People used to live for a long time all those years ago didn’t they?”
Answer: Not all people but a certain line of people chosen by God lived long - ten generations from Adam to Noah lived the longest. This genetic line was chosen to represent God because eventually, 76 generations later, Christ was born from the same line.
Ancient writings, as well as the Bible, inform us about a certain group of people who lived long. People have always been fascinated by the long-living line. Pharaoh wanted to know the age of Jacob when he was presented to the Egyptian ruler. Jacob said he’d lived for 130 years but told Pharaoh that his age (big though it was) was not as old as his predecessors. Pharaohs didn’t have the longest of lives so this was of special interest to Pharaoh.
There are probably a number of reasons why God chose to give long lives to Adam and his posterity. Every stage of their lives appears to have been extended by ten squared. Childhood, adolescent, adulthood etc. Hence the average 200 years or so from their birth to their first child. The people with normal life spans, like us, would look on with wonder. The long living people reflected the everlasting aspect of God, although the long-livers would eventually die the appearance to the surrounding people would be that God’s enduring qualities would be seen through them.
However, we read that “The LORD regretted that he had made man (Adam’s line) on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” So after Noah, the years of Adam’s line were reduced dramatically.
Jesus, the Son of God continues the line of long livers. They should have been a good example of God’s likeness to the world but most of them failed to do so “but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently” (Heb 7:24 NASB).