Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Cite Print
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebook twitter

googleplus pinterest

reddit tumblr linkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Don Stewart :: What Did the Lord Mean, My Spirit Will Not Strive with Humanity Forever?

Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
Don Stewart
Before the Flood the Lord made the following statement concerning the people on the earth.

Then the LORD said, My spirit shall not abide in humanity forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years (Genesis 6:3).

This is the first recorded speech of God since Genesis 5:2 when the text says He called them Adam after creating them male and female. Chapter five focused on individuals. Now God speaks to humankind as a whole. What did the Lord mean that His Spirit will not strive with humanity forever?

Holy Spirit?

The spirit referred to here is sometimes understood to mean the Holy Spirit. God is saying that the Holy Spirit will not always strive with humanity. Therefore the passage is taken to mean that the Lord's patience was worn out with the people on the earth. This is much the same idea that we find in the prophetical books where the Lord expressed His impatience with the disobedient nation Israel.

Translation Problem

The problem with understanding the passage this way is centered around the translation of the Hebrew verb doon. This word, usually translated strive is found nowhere else in Scripture and its meaning is uncertain.

The Septuagint, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Latin Vulgate translate this word to dwell in. This would make the spirit refer to the life principle that man received at his creation rather than the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore the passage would mean that God would destroy His creation to whom He gave life.

Shield

Others translate this verb as shield. This would make God's statement to read that the Holy Spirit would not always shield man from judgment. Even though the judgment would be swift there would be a 120 year reprieve where Noah preached of the coming cataclysm.

He Also Is Flesh

The Lord then goes on to say that humanity also is flesh. This seems to refer to our sinful nature-our actions have become similar to that of animals.

Mortals cannot abide in their pomp; they are like the animals that perish honor (Psalm 49:12).

Though created in God's image, humanity became like the animals.

Limit

Whatever the exact interpretation of this phrase, Scripture records the Lord then saying that man's days would now be limited to 120 years. This has been variously interpreted.

It could mean that humanity's life span would now be shortened from the long periods previously lived to 120 years. These long years had been emphasized in Genesis 5. Because of their gross sin, God decided to shorten the amount of time that they would live. The inference is that they lived so long because God's spirit was dwelling with these individuals to give them their long lives. The long lives belong to a lost age. They are the exceptions rather than the rule. The author will continue to show that the life-span of humankind will continue to decrease (see chapter 11).

Indeed, Moses, the writer of the first five books of the Bible, lived to that outer limit of 120 years.

Reprieve

Others see the 120 years as referring to the period of reprieve before the Flood. After another 120 years God will judge the earth. This probably served as the basis of the message of Noah. Scripture calls Noah, a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5 ). His message would have been that the judgment of the Flood was coming at a determined time. Luther translated it I want to give them a reprieve of 120 years. This helps solve the problem of chapter 11 where men lived longer than 120 years.

Summary

The idea that God would not always strive with humanity has led to various interpretations. It is possibly referring to the Holy Spirit and His work with humankind. It may refer to the human spirit that God breathed into Adam. Either way the emphasis in the passage is that God lost His patience with sinful humanity. The 120 years is either a reference to the shortened limit of humankind's outer life span or the number of years between Noah's preaching and the Flood.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login to your account

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

 

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

[ Cancel ]← Login to Your Account

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or UsernameUsername or Email Address

 

← Return to Login

Close LoginCLOSE
Tap to Close