Appendix 3 - Facing Old Age And Death: Ecclesiastes 12
1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high,
and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12) (1)
1 Solomon says to remember that you are not your own, but God's property; for He has created you. (2) In this verse Solomon contrasts youth with the evil days. In early manhood a person is physically at maximum vigour. At this time the vital forces of life should be devoted to God and used to His glory. Old age brings infirmities and disabilities. Its days are evil in the sense of being burdened with misery and vexation. When the desires, incentives, and hopes of abounding youth have gone, there is then little of enthusiasm in a man's life. (3)
2 The fading luminaries of heaven are used to illustrate the approach of old age. The clouds are figurative of advancing age with its dulling of the natural faculties. (3)
3 Verses 3 to 5 describe the physical evidences of old age. The body of man is here compared to a house. The keepers or hands and arms which protect the body, as guards do a palace, often become paralytic in old age. (2) (4) Once strong men bow themselves when the body becomes stooped, and the feeble legs are unable to support the weight of the body. The grinders or teeth are decayed and mostly lost. The few remaining are incapable of masticating hard substances. Those that look out the window or the eyes, lose their power of vision. (4)
4 The lips are the doors by which the mouth is closed. The streets or mouth is the vehicle through which the food travels before it is fitted by mastication or chewing to go down the aesophagus into the stomach. In old age the lips are closely shut together as doors to prevent food from dropping out. The teeth which prevented that before, are now lost. (4) The teeth being almost gone and the lips shut in eating, the sound of grinding or mastication is scarcely heard. (2) (4) The old do not sleep as soundly as they used to, now slumbering rather than sleeping. The least noise such as the chirping of a sparrow is sufficient to awaken them. (4) The daughters of music brought low refer to the declining quality of the organs that produce and enjoy music, the voice and ear. (2) (3) (4)
5 An elderly person must often watch each step most carefully. The aged also often fear a public highway. Their bones are brittle, are consequently easily broken by a fall or any other accident, and heal slowly if at all. Also shortness of breath and stiffness of body make climbing any elevation a strenuous exertion. The white head of old age is compared to the white blossoms of an almond tree. Elderly people often feel very trivial things to be great burdens. (3) Some commentators paint the picture of the old man as a caricature of the grasshopper. The dry, shrivelled old man with his backbone sticking out, his knees projecting forwards, his arms backwards, and head down almost looks like a grasshopper about to fly. Like a grasshopper he has become a burden to himself. (2) As the teeth are no longer able to masticate the food, or have all dropped out; the stomach no longer able to digest any thing; and as the body is no longer capable of receiving nourishment, appetite and relish necessarily fail. Also his desire for sensual pleasures and life itself fail. When man completes the duration of human life, when life is no longer desired, nutrition ceases and life terminates. At death he goes to his long home while the mourners go about the streets. (4)
6 This verse describes what happens within the body to produce death. Various Bible commentators are of the view that the silver cord refers to the spinal marrow of the backbone which is attached to the brain from which all the nerves proceed. The cord is described as silver because of its preciousness and silver grey colour. The cord is loosed, as the nervous system becomes relaxed and dysfunctional. At death, the cord is wholly debilitated. The bowl refers to the brain contained in the skull, and enveloped with the membranes. It's described as golden because of its colour and exceeding preciousness. It is broken when rendered unfit to perform its functions, neither supplying nor distributing any nervous energy. (4) The pitcher refers to the veins, which channel blood back to the right ventricle of the heart. The heart is described as a fountain. The cistern refers to the left ventricle of the heart which pumps blood into the great aorta, to be distributed to the different parts of the system. By contraction and expansion the heart sends out, and afterwards receives back the blood. (2) (4) In ancient times rope was wound round a wheel to enable the pitcher to be let down to draw water from the fountain. Constant use or climatic conditions finally cause the wheel to disintegrate and collapse. (3) (4) When the pitcher and wheel are broken, water can no more be drawn, so life ceases when the vital energies are gone. (2) Through the loosening of the silver cord or total relaxation of the nervous system the pitcher and wheel are broken or rendered useless. The heart becomes incapable of dilatation and contraction, so that the blood, on its return to the right ventricle of the heart, becomes stagnant. The lungs cease to respire; the blood is no longer oxidised, all motion, voluntary and involuntary, ceases and the man dies. At death the dust-formed body returns to the earth and the spirit or breath of life returns to God. (4)
7 The physical part of man decays and returns to the elements from which it came. The spirit that returns to God is the life principle imparted by God to both man and beast. (3)
8 This affecting and minute description of old age and death is concluded by the author with the same exclamation by which he began this book: O vanity of vanities, all is vanity. (4)
9 Solomon, the preacher, taught the people who had assembled before him to hear his inspired wisdom. (2) (4)
10 The preacher endeavoured to give the treatise that literary polish that would recommend it to those for whom it was particularly written - those who consider themselves wise in the things of this world. His endeavour to achieve a pleasing literary form had not, however, led him to compromise truth. (3)
11 The preacher refers to the counsel he has given as a goad for prodding men to follow a wise course of action, and as nails firmly driven, that the counsel not be forgotten. The masters of assemblies are inspired by the Chief Shepherd. (2) (3)
12 Study entered into for its own sake, as an end in itself is futile. Only when study becomes a means to an end greater than itself can it avoid becoming a weariness of the flesh. When the author of all truth is recognised as the beginning of wisdom, and study becomes a means of seeking to think His thoughts after Him, in order that our lives may conform to the divine purpose that gives us being, then study becomes a thrilling pleasure. (3)
13 It is man's duty, his destiny, to obey God, and in so doing he will find supreme happiness. Whatever his lot may be, whether cast in adversity or prosperity, it remains his duty to yield loving obedience to his maker. (3)
14 Words as well as deeds will be judged. But God requires even more - even in his very thoughts man is to be obedient. God reads the secret motives of our hearts; He knows how much of the light of truth has penetrated the darkness of our hearts, and for every ray He will hold us accountable. In the great day of final reckoning it is those who have done the will of God who enter the kingdom. (3)
References and Notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871) ECCLESIASTES; OR THE PREACHER. Commentary by A. R. FAUSSETT - http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/JamiesonFaussetBrown/jfb.cgi?book=ec&chapter=012
3. Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary - Vol. 3 pgs 1102-1105
4. Adam Clarke's Commentaries - Ecclesiastes 12 - http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarke.htm
5. Christian Resource Centre (Bermuda) Ecclesiastes Horn, Siegfried H - http://www.nisbett.com/summary/sum-o-18.htm
6. The Biblical Studies Foundation - The Poetic Books - http://www.bible.org/docs/ot/survey/ot-05.htm
Appendix 2 - Age and Your Fertility
For years it was assumed that men's fertility remains the same from puberty until they die (Editor's note:not assumed in the bible I hasten to add!). However, it seems that, like women, men have a biological clock ticking away their reproductive years. Although men in their 70s or even 80s can, and do, father children, a man this age is more likely to take years rather than months to get his partner pregnant.
As men age, their testes become smaller and softer and the volume, morphology (shape) and motility (ability to move) of their sperm declines. This makes it more difficult for the sperm to fertilise an egg. A study published in 2000 found that, in couples who successfully go on to have a baby, the probability that the couple will take longer than a year to conceive is about eight per cent when the man is under 25, but almost doubles to 15 per cent when the man is over 35. What's more, a woman whose partner is at least five years older than her has less chance of conceiving within a year than a woman whose partner is the same age as her, irrespective of her age. It's thought that the odds on conceiving within a year of trying decrease by three per cent for every year that the man is over the age of 24.
These changes aren't as sudden or noticeable as the female menopause, but happen gradually over time. The quality of one man's sperm can deteriorate more slowly over time than another's. Older men can also develop medical conditions, such as diabetes, that interfere with their libido or ability to get an erection. Don't throw in the towel just yet, though, as not all men will have these problems, particularly if they maintain their health and fitness.
Primarily due to a drop in testosterone, men will experience changes in their sexual function as they age. These changes include:
• Fewer sperm are produced
• Erections take longer to occur
• Erections may not be as hard
• The ‘recovery time' (time between erections) increases to 12 to 24 hours
• The force of ejaculation decreases
• Sexual desire decreases are due to emotional reasons or health problems
As a man ages, his testosterone levels decrease. Typically this decrease in testosterone stabilizes around age 60. Testosterone decrease is the primary reason for many of the conditions listed above. Testosterone replacement therapy is becoming popular for addressing concerns of aging men. This type of hormone treatment is controversial and should be approached with caution. Increasing muscle mass through exercise and proper nutrition can help maintain a healthy testosterone level.
Appendix 1 - What Causes Menopause?
A woman is born with a finite number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. The ovaries also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which regulate menstruation and ovulation. Menopause occurs when the ovaries are totally depleted of eggs and no amount of stimulation from the regulating hormones can force them to work.
Menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries run out of functioning eggs. At the time of birth, most females have about 1-3 million eggs, which are gradually lost throughout a woman's life. By the time of a girl's first menstrual period, she has an average of about 400,000 eggs. By the time of menopause, a woman may have fewer than 10,000. A small percentage of these eggs is lost through normal ovulation (the monthly cycle). Most die off through a process called atresia, which is not well understood.
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered "natural" and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention, such as hysterectomy, or damage to the ovaries, such as from chemotherapy. Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called premature menopause.
Normally, ovulation is triggered by a hormone called FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone. As you approach menopause, your remaining eggs become more resistant to FSH, and your ovaries dramatically reduce their production of a hormone called oestrogen. Oestrogen has effects on a variety of body organs, including the blood vessels, heart, bone, breasts, uterus, urinary system, skin, and brain. Loss of oestrogen is believed to be the cause of many of the symptoms associated with menopause. At the time of menopause, the ovaries also may decrease their production of testosterone - a hormone involved in your libido, or sexual drive.
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Non-Adamic Creation to Adamic Fall
1. Adam was created as an ever-lasting non-Adamic human being who sinned and was made Adamic causing him to age and eventually die aged nearly 1,000 years old. Adam passed his Adamic genes on to his progeny; today we get ill, age and die with a maximum life span of 120 years.
2. Abraham and Sarah were blessed by God with replacement younger non-Adamic versions of their original Adamic bodies to enable them to procreate and have Isaac. Isaac was born non-Adamic as a result of having both parents non-Adamic at his conception.
3. There are other such cases of biblical spouses both being made younger and/or non-Adamic and consequently giving birth to non-Adamic offspring: The unnamed Shummanite woman and her husband; Isaac and Rebekah; the triumvirate of Jacob, Leah and Rachel; Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth.
4. Samson and his father, Manoah, were Adamic whereas his mother was non-Adamic on bearing him. Conversely Jesus was non-Adamic whereas, arguably, both his human parents were Adamic, Jesus being the direct son of God.
5. The children of Israel, who came out of Egypt, were all non-Adamic. Those aged over twenty, who lost their faith in God shortly after the Passover, were returned to their Adamic state and died in the wilderness. Children born in the wilderness were either Adamic or non-Adamic depending on whether they had an Adamic parent or both non-Adamic parents respectively. Upon reaching Canaan inter-marriage between the Adamic and non-Adamic folk returned the Israelite people to an Adamic state over a few generations.
6. The greater meaning of Joshua chapter 5 relates the Israelites' wanderings in the wilderness to the Kingdom of God, the exit from both these estates of mankind being the literal and the greater Promised Lands.
7. Caleb and Joshua were specific examples of Israelites that retained their non-Adamic bodies beyond the wilderness years, despite their being older than twenty years of age at the first Passover.
8. Moses, with the possible exception of Caleb, may have been the only human ever blessed with a non-aging non-Adamic body since Adam's creation.
9. There are numerous physical signs and symptoms of old age in humans; the bible describes many of them.
10. The bible demands that respect be given to one's elders.
11. In the current system of things young human spirits are best put into young bodies whereas old human spirits are best kept in old bodies. All fully adult human bodies in the kingdom of God will be youthful.
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Resurrection of the Flesh
Respect for the Aged
As we saw in the previous section, the bible is clear on the point that old age should be respected albeit with some caution should dementia have set in. One of God's laws to the Israelites was that old age, as recognised by grey hair, should be honoured. Whilst this certainly feels appropriate, Leviticus does not attempt to explain why this should be required although logic dictates that the young should respect the experience of their older counterparts:
32 `At the presence of grey hairs thou dost rise up, and thou hast honoured the presence of an old (man), and hast been afraid of thy God; I [am] Jehovah. (Leviticus 19)
Whilst fathers should be honoured by their children, grandfathers are clearly expected to be happy old men. Notwithstanding this principle however, I would have to admit to not being too upset that none of my three daughters have yet to produce any progeny. It seems to me (and them) that bringing up children in this evil world does not seem to be much of a blessing right now:
6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. (Proverbs 17)
Respect for elders is again stated this time explicitly relating it to those of both sexes:
1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. (1Timothy 5)
In the same vein, younger members of the congregation should take example from the elder ones:
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1Peter 5)
Although to earn that reverence there are requirements on the behaviour of the older folk in the Christian congregation:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (Titus 2)
Mankind's Decreasing Abilities with Increasing Age
Apart from the inability to have children in our old age, scripture confirms (as if we really needed it!) that with increasing age comes frailty and failure of most body parts. Failing eyesight appears to be one such natural result of old age:
1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. (Genesis 27)
15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. (1Samuel 4)
Unless you happen to be Moses:
7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Deuteronomy 34)
Now this is more than a little interesting in that it would appear that Moses ‘died' with all his faculties still fully operational. This is not exactly what we would expect of a man who had reached the maximum human lifespan of his day. This could be interpreted as Moses' not only enjoying the benefits of an aging non-Adamic body but also that he was potentially given an indefinite lifespan, i.e. a perfect non-aging non-Adamic body. Now how have I reached such a conclusion given that we are told, expressly in scripture, that Moses did, in fact, die? Well let us examine the preceding three verses in Deuteronomy:
4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. (Deuteronomy 34)
The above is a very unusual scene. Here we have an old man, who should have been very close to a natural death in his generation but who is, nonetheless, apparently very alert and healthy. His death is, however, under circumstances which God appears to be orchestrating with no human witness and with no visible signs after the event. The conclusion I have reached is that Moses was raptured directly by Jehovah God so as to become an angel in heaven and consequently became dead to this world albeit without actually suffering the first death. If this assessment is correct then Moses really did have a very special place in God's heart; he was not only provided with a non-Adamic body but was also given an indefinite lifespan (presumably at the Passover), something that no ‘regular' human being has been given since Adam's creation as far as I am aware.
Now whilst grey hair would not necessarily be described as a frailty it is clear that in scripture, as well as in our daily lives, that old age and grey hair belong together:
2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. (1Samuel 12)
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. (Psalms 71)
4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. (Isaiah 46)
Barzillai is described as a ‘very aged man' who's questions in verse 35 below appear to suggest that not only are his physical senses of taste and hearing now impaired at the age of eighty but also that his moral judgement may no longer be able to function:
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.
33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? (2Samuel 19)
It is normal experience that the physical senses can become impaired with increasing age. Certainly my hearing is not what it used to be although I am not sure that I have experienced a loss of sensitivity of my taste buds. For one's moral judgement to become impaired with increasing age this can only really indicate a loss in brain function caused by late-onset dementia.
Even Solomon appears to have had such dementia in his old age. This appears to be the bible's version of the saying ‘there is no fool like an old fool' particularly given that we are referring to Solomon, the wisest king of Israel in his former years:
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. (1Kings 11)
So the message here, in conjunction with 2Samuel 19 above, is that one can lose one's sense of moral judgement in one's latter years. However, running counter to this, King Rehoboam sought old men's wisdom regarding how best to rule his people:
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? (1Kings 12)
Rehoboam, however, ignored the advice that the old men gave and the effect was disastrous and led directly to the separation of Israel from Judah thereby proving that old men's wise counsel is best not ignored! So it would appear that good mental health should help increase one's wisdom in later years but it comes with the risk that late-onset dementia can clearly have the opposite effect. This would seem to fit perfectly with one's experience of every day life today and does mean that young folk need to treat us old folk with both respect but also with a degree of caution! I think the following passage from Job sums this up perfectly in that it clearly states that the old can either be wise or lacking in judgement but that the young should give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise:
6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.
7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. (Job 32)
Ecclesiastes provides further confirmation that wisdom does not come automatically with advancing years. The expression ‘silly old fool' comes to mind here:
13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. (Ecclesiastes 4)
Now the following verse from Job is interesting. It is taken from the context of God's removing key attributes or assets from different estates of mankind:
20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged. (Job 12)
In this sense it would appear that the natural talent for aged mankind is the discernment of their minds gained by their extended experience of life and time for thinking about that experience. As we know, God introduced the aging process to mankind upon Adam's fall and thereby the possibility of losing one's understanding of life with increased age instead of the other way around. Also, though, there is the possibility that God sees a kindness in the dulling of the human brain in old age to ease mankind into the first death although I would have to say it does not make life any easier for the aged ones' relatives.
Continuing on this theme further on in Job we find Eliphaz the Temanite asking Job if his knowledge and understanding is somewhat greater than his grayheaded elders thereby adding further to the expectation that the aged should be not only older but also wiser as common experience dictates:
9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father. (Job 15)
It also appears that old ones cannot maintain their body heat, presumably due to deteriorating circulatory problems:
1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. (1Kings 1)
Clearly David's servants thought that this needed the blood in his veins to be pumped around rather more vigorously by his heart:
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. (1Kings 1)
Maybe I should mention this symptom of my age to my good lady wife although I expect that would end up with the same result as for David!
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not. (1Kings 1)
So it would appear that one's physical response to the opposite sex is somewhat impaired in old age; no surprise there I think...although the prospects of a young virgin!!!!
There appears to have been problems with Asa's feet in his old age. This I am sympathetic to in that I have just had to change my fitness regime due to the probable start of arthritis in my right foot. Now whilst this verse is helpful in identifying another frailty of old age, I have to confess that, as is often the case, this is a strange verse. It starts by referring to King Asa's great works in his prime and then ends up talking about his diseased feet in his old age, unless this is God's way of telling us how the mighty are fallen and are designed to be that way....
23 The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. (1Kings 15)
Strength fails in old age. There is no surprise in this I think; I have just started a new weight training regime myself given my recent frailties:
9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. (Psalms 71)
Loss of strength and the gaining of gray hair are again described as the hallmarks of old age in Proverbs:
29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. (Proverbs 20)
It also seems that old men need their sleep rather more than young men. Not even the Holy Spirit can rouse the old guys from their slumber it would seem. So they will be allowed to dream in their sleep whereas the (presumably) conscious young men will see visions whilst awake. Clearly the poor old chaps need more sleep than their younger counterparts, although I am not sure this really fits with experience. I do not think that I need any more sleep today than I needed four decades ago, but then we are all quite individual in our sleep patterns. This is clearly a generalisation from God:
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: (Joel 2)
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2)
Unsurprisingly it looks like the poor old folk need walking sticks to aid their failing lower limbs, witness my arthritic foot:
4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. (Zechariah 8)
So to complete this section it might be useful to list all the frailties of mankind that can come with old age as far as the scriptures are concerned:
• Impotence and/or sterility; inability to procreate.
• Failing eyesight.
• Greying hair
• Loss of moral judgement due to dementia.
• Loss of sense of taste.
• Loss of hearing.
• Circulatory problems.
• Diseased feet and/or inability to walk unaided.
• Loss of physical strength.
• Tendency to need more sleep or tire more easily.
This list looks like a fairly comprehensive statement from scripture of what we have to look forward to in our dotage. It is a grim prospect for all of us and certainly demonstrates the severity with which our God treated our common ancestor Adam, and all his progeny in the last six thousand years, for his deliberate disobedience to one simple instruction.
However, as bad as this curse seems in this system of things, this just causes me to focus further on the perfect non-aging non-Adamic bodies we will be given to possess in the Kingdom to come. I touch on this in the following section. The current section of this paper on old age in the bible would be incomplete without the definitive dissertation of the aging of mankind as written by Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12. There is much symbolism of old age contained in this chapter which has been well analysed by previous commentators on the subject. There is therefore little point in this writer regurgitating further commentary on this same scriptural material. I would therefore point you to an excellent analysis of this section of scripture to be found on the Bible in Song web-site. I reproduce this web page's content unedited in Appendix 3 below.
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The Children of Israel Marching in the Wilderness.
The Israelites in the Wilderness
Now I know not why (although clearly the Holy Spirit does) but for some reason, during this research project, I found myself pondering this verse from the prophet Nehemiah. Ah, such is the nature of research:
21 and forty years Thou hast nourished them in a wilderness; they have not lacked; their garments have not worn out, and their feet have not swelled. (Nehemiah 9)
And this parallel verse in Deuteronomy:
4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. (Deuteronomy 8)
So it would appear that the children of Israel did not suffer from swollen feet or worn out garments (bodies) during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. So this caused me to ask from what other ailments did they not suffer? Well Deuteronomy 7 provides the answer that God promised that they would not suffer from any ailments:
15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. (Deuteronomy 7)
Could this mean that all the children of Israel became non-Adamic at the original Passover? If so this would be mirroring the greater Passover to come! Furthermore, given the hypothesis in the above sections, this would also presumably refer to those that were born in the wilderness during their forty year travels not just those that partook of the original Passover (I cover this a little more subtly later in this section). Again this would mirror the greater Passover to come in that once we are in the Kingdom of God, with our non-Adamic bodies, all the resurrected ones and the children born in the Kingdom will also be conceived with non-Adamic bodies. As indicated above, the phrase ‘their garments have not worn out', in the verse from Nehemiah, could perhaps also indicate the Israelites' non-Adamic bodies in the greater meaning. Whilst, in contrast to our prospective Kingdom bodies, the Israelites would still have aged to all outward appearances but they would not have suffered from any ailments or illnesses up until the time of their deaths.
Hang on a minute! If we carry on this line of thought we are saying that the forty year wandering in the wilderness prefigures the Kingdom of God. Since Canaan, the Promised Land, followed after the wandering, it is beginning to look as if the greater promised land will follow on AFTER the Kingdom. Since the Kingdom will be the regaining of a paradisiacal state for mankind, during which all of mankind will (perhaps) be reconciled with God, it will therefore only be after the millennium that we will reach our true destiny. What wonders await! I think Joshua chapter 5 has something to say on the matter:
4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.)
5 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
7 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. (Joshua 5)
In attempting to decode this account in the manner previously formulated we could have the following possible greater meanings:
1. People that came out of Egypt = Those that are raptured directly into the Kingdom.
2. People born in the wilderness = Those resurrected into the Kingdom + those physically born in the Kingdom
3. Regarding verse 6, the Hebrew word for ‘consumed' is ‘tamam' which can also mean ‘completed' or ‘finished'. This could apply to those who will live through the whole of the Kingdom in that they are made ready for the next phase of mankind's development that will follow on from the Kingdom. Ironically these are the ones in the literal meaning that did NOT make it to the next stage. Not unusually the greater meaning seems to turn the literal meaning on its head if this interpretation is correct.
Furthermore I suspect that those that come into the Kingdom subsequent to its earthly (as opposed to heavenly) start, not being physically alive at its beginning, will need to put their time in to complete the full millennium before they can qualify for entry to the greater Canaan. So either the Kingdom itself will last for longer than a millennium to cater for those that entered it some time after its commencement or, perhaps more likely, it will last for the full millennium as previously expected but that people will need to spend a lesser minimum amount of time in the Kingdom to qualify for the following system. This would require some temporal overlap between the Kingdom and the system to follow. This is probably a correct view since the Lords' Witnesses have worked out that the Kingdom actually started in 2008 in Understanding  Technical Notes on the time of the end showing that we are already in the Kingdom of God. As I write this paper in 2011 we are still living in the old Adamic system under an extension of Satan's lease, so we still have a temporal overlap between this world and the Kingdom which has started invisibly in the heavens to our physical senses:
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: (Luke 17)
So perhaps 40 years in the wilderness becomes four hundred years in the Kingdom for each of us; is this not time enough to fully learn the lessons of sustainable morality in a perfectly governed world?
4. The concept of circumcision in the greater meaning is that of the spiritual heart not of the literal fleshly foreskin:
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Romans 2)
All those raptured into the Kingdom will gain entry through their circumcised hearts. Those ones gaining entry part way into the Kingdom through resurrection, having previously reached their 20th birthday, will also have circumcised hearts at their resurrection. Those physically born into the Kingdom or resurrected prior to their 20th birthday in the Kingdom will no doubt be judged in this regard upon their 20th birthdays and, presumably, will either have their hearts circumcised by the Holy Spirit at that time or be sent down to Gehenna for some hard lessons?
Now if my overall notion of the general non-Adamic nature of the Israelites at the Passover is correct then we can see that, after a short time in the wilderness, those aged twenty or over were then cursed by Jehovah God and were ‘downgraded' to become Adamic once again. These ones would perish during the forty year wanderings as they would have consequently got ill and died from their illnesses or old age by the time the wilderness period had come to an end. This would be a harsh lesson since not only would they die in the wilderness but they will also be resurrected into Gehenna on Judgement Day according to the Lords' Witnesses' current understandings. Those aged less than twenty years of age retained their non-Adamic status and lived to see the Promised Land with their ‘garments not worn out' nor their ‘feet swollen':
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, (Numbers 14)
11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: (Numbers 32)
21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. (Deuteronomy 28)
So at this juncture we now have a mix of Adamic and non-Adamic Israelites in the wilderness. We must expect that they would have procreated during their wanderings. Where non-Adamics procreated with non-Adamics they would have produced non-Adamic off-spring but where Adamics procreated with other Adamics or non-Adamics then their progeny would have been Adamic. This verse from Deuteronomy effectively supports my hypothesis that an Adamic will give rise to Adamic progeny even when mated with a non-Adamic:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, (Deuteronomy 5)
These verses from the book of Numbers also confirm that even their Adamic offspring will make it to the Promised Land subject to deadly illnesses:
31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. (Numbers 14)
So by the time the wanderings were over, after the forty years, we would still therefore have had a mix of Adamic and non-Adamic Israelites about to enter the Promised Land. Now if this were the case, their progeny overall have clearly not remained non-Adamic through the generations down to this day as far as we can tell. So when did the nation of Israel become fully Adamic again? I think that the inter-marriage between Adamics and non-Adamics continued so that the Israelite nation would likely have been brought back to being fully Adamic within a few generations. While I did toy with the idea that perhaps Jehovah made them all Adamic again upon entering the Promised Land, I can find no obvious scriptures that clearly signify this latter hypothesis. Furthermore, since one significant aspect of a man having a non-Adamic body is that he also has an associated angel reserved specifically for him in heaven, it would seem unjust of our God to summarily remove both from the non-Adamic children of Israel without a judicial cause.
In looking at the overall hypothesis covered in this section, I find myself asking what God's purpose was in all this for the Israelites. My thinking is that this was God's way of ensuring that the Israelites that survived through the wilderness years had not blotted their copy books by showing a lack of faith in their God. This would help ensure that the nation of Israel got the best possible start under God's tutelage upon entry into the promise land. Unfortunately we all know what happened over the generations that followed!
Let us now examine a couple of specific examples of aging non-Adamic Israelites in the wilderness to see if they support or contradict my hypothesis. What of Caleb:
10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. (Joshua 14)
This one appears to have non-Adamic non-aging qualities of strength into his old age. So was Caleb not only non-Adamic, like his Israelite brethren, but also given a younger body at the Passover to ensure that he would live through the forty year trek in the wilderness and come out at the other end with increased strength for his earthly years? This would certainly be an element of God's blessing to him. Or was he given a non-aging non-Adamic body, such as our proposition for Moses in the section below? The following verses re-emphasise Caleb's different treatment from God compared to his Israelite brethren:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Numbers 14)
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. (Numbers 14)
From this last verse 30 above it would seem that Joshua also enjoyed the same treatment from God as Caleb. This is further confirmed in Chapters 26 and 32 where Caleb and Joshua are pointedly given a longer life than all the rest of the Israelites registered in the wilderness:
Although Joshua's age is not as certain as that of Caleb at this time we have this description of Joshua's age prior to Caleb's above conversation with him:
1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. (Joshua 13)
So it is almost certain that Joshua gained the same blessing of a more youthful albeit aging non-Adamic body from God as that enjoyed by Caleb. It is interesting that Joshua lived to a decent old age but I can find no scripture describing the death of Caleb; perhaps he truly was a non-ageing non-Adamic human:
29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. (Joshua 24)
By the same token the spies, that lied about the land the Israelites were to occupy, were struck down by God before their time with further confirmation that both Joshua and Caleb were separated from their fellow spies by their blessings from God:
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. (Numbers 14)
How did God give these aging non-Adamic spies the plague? Well perhaps their bodies were replaced with duplicate but diseased Adamic clones since I can think of no obvious reason why God would not carry out a physical curse on mankind using any different mechanism as he would a blessing.
This idea of God replacing a perfectly good non-Adamic human body with a diseased Adamic clone has its very roots in God's treatment of mankind from the outset. The writer now finds himself asking how God meted out Adam's punishment of an aging body? Well we have just worked it out; Adam's non-aging non-Adamic body was replaced with a duplicate aging Adamic body, simple! The greater meaning of the long garments of Genesis 3 relates to the new aging bodies that God prepared for Adam and his progeny. This is fully expanded upon on the True Bible Code web-site at Introduction15: 120, 240, 480, 960 and indefinite lifespan humans!
21 And Jehovah God proceeded to make long garments of skin for Adam and for his wife and to clothe them (Genesis 3).
I should point out that this whole notion of the whole nation of Israel being non-Adamic and then becoming partially Adamic through the wilderness period moves some considerable way from the official Lords' Witnesses' understandings of non-Adamic humans. However, as the interested reader will know by now, this has never stopped me in the past if I believe I am on to some insight provided by the Holy Spirit into the meaning of the Great Book. This topic will almost certainly become the matter of some serious discussions with the Church President which will either result in some significant changes to the True Bible Code web-site or to this paper or may result in no changes to either by way of a peaceful stand-off!
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The non-Adamic Isaac Embracing the Adamic Rebeka
Given my own increasing years and my current issue of having to review my personal fitness programme to take account of my encroaching physical feebleness, the whole aging process has become a matter of some personal interest to me. So, as always, I thought that I would take a look at our Lords' book to find out what pearls of wisdom I could find in there on the subject. As always I am not too certain where this search may end up but I am sure that the journey will be worth it. Ah well, check out the alternative title to the very first section below; this turned out to be not only a massive diversion, before I had really got going on the old age theme, but basically ended up taking over the bulk of this web-page. Surprise, surprise!
Old Age in The Scriptures
Jewish Lords' Witness
Old Bodies for Old Spirits?
Now this parable is interesting. There seem to be several layers of meanings to this one - looks like another small research project. However the meaning that I am interested in for the purpose of the current paper is the contemplation of putting a young human spirit in an old human body and vice versa. In the former case a young spirit will prove far too energetic for an old body and will surely do it much damage as he tries to find out its capabilities. In the latter case, of putting an old spirit in a young body, it would be like getting out of an old family car and then getting immediately behind the wheel of a Ferrari; not a good idea without some practice sessions I would think.So it seems appropriate enough that a young spirit should be placed into a brand new body while an old spirit mellows in its old body such as is the experience we have of life:
36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. (Luke 5)
I must say that my favourite verse is 39! I think this is really saying that there is no substitute for experience and I must say that I prefer me today than when I was a young ignorant tearaway many years ago!
Ah, if only I could have my experienced spirit in my young body of old; what a combination that would be...sounds like I need my Kingdom body pronto! What a wonder that will be; our experienced spirits in these perfect youthful human bodies! Hmmm, that's going to take some controlling as we no doubt try to find out just how far we can abuse those bodies! I suspect that we will be given non-Adamic bodies to match our age when we left our Adamic bodies behind. These will enable our compatriots from the old system to recognise us readily but I expect these bodies to gradually gain youthful vigour and looks in a gracious time to enable us to ‘grow' sedately into them over a respectable time period. Also, to help in this, I expect we will be living in a sensibly ruled environment where self-abusive behaviour would not be encouraged or deemed to be 'cool'.
The following scriptures would seem to be following this theme by referring to one's old earthly bodies in this system that will be replaced with perfect indefinitely living non-Adamic and/or angelic bodies in the Kingdom. By use of the word ‘old' in these cases, the scriptures are not talking about age so much as bodies from the current (shortly to become ‘old') system that will be replaced by perfect non-aging Kingdom bodies:
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. (Luke 12)
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Corinthians 5)
It seems that ‘old wives' had their ‘tales' in the first century just as they do today, however the real message in the following scripture is an interesting one to me personally. Whilst I follow a serious fitness regime to keep the effects of my increasing age at bay I do, nonetheless, recognise that this is far less important to my future than my daily consideration of how I should live to emulate our dear Lord as best I can. Exercise of the spirit is therefore far more important than exercise of our physical bodies in readying us for the Kingdom. This particularly since we will enter the Kingdom with our existing spirits intact but our old (exercised) bodies will be destroyed and replaced with our new and perfect Kingdom bodies:
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (1Timothy 4)
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A Son Listening to His Father's Advice
Mankind's Decreasing Lifespan or Who Mentioned Non-Adamics?
The first thing to be clear on is what actually constitutes old age as far as the scriptures are concerned. In the early days of Adamic mankind on earth, men started out with a much longer life expectancy than we enjoy today. For more information on mankind's reducing lifespan please see the True Bible Code web-site at Introduction  120, 240, 480, 960 and indefinite lifespan humans! One example of extreme longevity, compared with today's expectation, is shown in Adam's ability to start a family at the ripe old age of 130 and then go on to live a further 800 years:
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: (Genesis 5)
God promised Abraham a long and happy life so God clearly believed a happy old age to be a major blessing upon His chosen ones:
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. (Genesis 15)
8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. (Genesis 25)
This despite His original curse of death and dying upon Adam and his progeny:
17 and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.(Genesis 2)
As we know today, one of the signs of aging is that our ability to have children reduces with increasing age so, when God told Abraham that he would have a child with Sarah when they were both getting on in years, this was a matter of some mirth to him:
16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (Genesis 17)
Even more so, being a woman, this was a matter of great amusement to Sarah who was clearly menopausal at this time:
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (Genesis 18)
The New Testament confirms our understanding that it was both Abraham and Sarah who were beyond their abilities to have children:
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: (Romans 4)
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (Hebrews 11)
Now clearly our Lord can enable childbirth in those whose Adamic bodies have aged normally beyond that capability:
13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (Genesis 18)
1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. (Genesis 21)
For what it is worth, Abram was 86 years at Ishmael's birth. So it was in the 13 years following Ishmael's conception that Abram became sterile:
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. (Genesis 16)
The reader may find the information, in Appendix 1 below on the causes of menopause and Appendix 2 on fertility, of some interest in this regard.
The question in my mind regarding Abraham and Sarah's fertility in old age, as always, relates to how it was achieved. From previous papers we know that God can provide men (and women) with aging non-Adamic bodies, but we need to consider how He provided a partially non-aging element in Sarah's and Abraham's Adamic bodies. Perhaps our earlier work on healing and the maximum life-spans of man can provide the answer (reference Jesus Christ Superdoc and Lords' Witnesses Understanding [89c] How did Jesus cure people instantly?).
Since, in those papers, we considered the provision of replacement cloned bodies, this would be a similar case in point in that we are looking to effectively heal a normal defective (pro-creatively speaking) aging Adamic body. In the case of Abraham and Sarah, this could have been via the provision of cloned younger, albeit aging, non-Adamic bodies. This would have enabled them to have a child naturally and then continue living their lives in the newer versions of their original Adamic bodies. This would also have provided them with slightly longer lives than would have been afforded by their original Adamic bodies as well as good health for the remainder of their lives. This newness of body would likely be as minimal as possible to enable procreation but without the raising of too much curiosity related to their younger looks from other members of the household. So we are probably looking at bodies no younger than the 13 years we determined earlier in Abraham's case. Whilst we do not have such information pertaining to Sarah, I think it safe to assume a similar reduction in aging thereby, once again, preventing unnecessary attention being paid to God's miraculous modus operandi in making her fertile again. All this is in slight contrast to the healed ones of my earlier paper Jesus Christ Superdoc in that they would have been cloned with Adamic bodies of exactly the same age as their ailing Adamic bodies at the point of being healed and, therefore, with no life extension beyond that of their original souls.
Now at Isaac's birth, Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 years old. Abraham lived to be 175 and Sarah 127:
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. (Genesis 25)
1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. (Genesis 23)
Now Abraham lived in the generations when the maximum human lifespan was 240 years of age (Introduction  - 120, 240, 480, 960 and indefinite lifespan humans!). So God's promise to Abraham of a ‘good old age' at first sight does not appear to have been kept. This we know cannot be the case since God does not lie. Isaac died at the age of 180 years. This was five years older than his father Abraham when he died. Isaac was not given the promise of longevity by God and, given the reducing lifespan in his generation, Isaac should have lived fewer years than Abraham:
28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (Genesis 35)
So we must be missing something here! It might be useful to look at the more accurate literal Young's translation of the relevant verses:
8 and Abraham expireth, and dieth in a good old age (Heb. Seybah towb) aged and satisfied, and is gathered unto his people. (Genesis 25)
29 and Isaac expireth, and dieth, and is gathered unto his people, aged and satisfied with days; and bury him do Esau and Jacob his sons. (Genesis 35)
I think the issue is that almost all biblical translators/commentators (including me until this moment!) consider that the 'good old age' of Abraham was long in years and yet the relevant scriptures do not actually say this when one looks at the literal translations. When one analyses the Hebrew (bearing in mind that, once again, I make no claims to being an expert on biblical Hebrew) the adjective ‘good' seems more to be referring to the quality of Abraham's old age rather than its longevity. Consequently my current interpretation of this saga of Abraham's old age is that God effectively promised him a non-Adamic body into his old age with up to thirteen fewer years on the clock. Abraham would therefore have had a healthy old age in his newer non-Adamic body and therefore a good (in quality) old age.
This is evidenced by his ability to sire six more children with Keturah even after he had produced Isaac with Sarah. Whilst scripture does not precisely confirm how old Abraham was at this time he was clearly even further into his old age by then. Since Abraham married Keturah some time after Sarah's death we can calculate that he was at least 137 when he married Keturah. So he was able to sire his youngest with Keturah when he was at least 143 years old assuming that he had no twins (or sextuplets!). This assumes he was able to successfully impregnate Keturah on a regular annual basis, otherwise he would have been even older when he fathered Shuah (presumably Keturah's youngest). Abraham sounds like a highly virile, potent and therefore non-Adamic old man to me:
1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25)
So it would seem that this interpretation of God's old age promise to Abraham has provided further confirmation of the notion of younger cloned non-Adamic body replacement.
Interestingly Gideon is described as dying in ‘good old age' as was Abraham:
32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age (Heb. Seybah towb), and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Judges 8)
Might this mean that Gideon was also non-Adamic? And what of King David:
28 And he died in a good old age (Heb. Seybah towb), full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead. (1Chronicles 29)
Having carried out a full search through the scriptures, it would appear that Gideon and David were the only other biblical heroes that shared a ‘good old age' with Abraham. Both could therefore have shared his blessing of a healthy but aging non-Adamic body although I confess that I have not found any other scriptural evidence for these two being non-Adamic at any stage in their lives. A little further analysis is required here I think!
Now the product of Abraham and Sarah's miraculous conception was the birth of Isaac. Isaac is acknowledged by the Lords' Witnesses to have been non-Adamic at birth as a result of God's intervention in his birth (Introduction  - Jesus was non adamic and created by in vivo fertilisation and genetic enhancement). From Introduction 18, however, it is clear that the Lords' Witnesses do not currently have the view, developed in this paper, of the non-Adamic status of Isaac's parents at his conception. The mechanism under this new scheme of mine is clearly that a child of two aging non-Adamic parents would be genetically an aging non-Adamic. Again this principle is not currently within the Lords' Witnesses current understandings. In looking at the various accounts that follow in this paper, the Lords' Witnesses' Introduction  - Pre-adamic man states, and I quote: ‘All of these similar accounts are saying something about sons of God coming from barren women. They are telling us that angels and pre-Adamics and all those born again with associated angels in the kingdom have children by the grace of God, not by their own reproductive powers. It is only the sons of Adam who have them by sexual reproduction.' However, since the official Lords' Witnesses' understanding here is that the non-Adamic Isaac was able to have children without asking God's permission, I think the official thinking may be a little flawed in this respect. So it looks like I need to have a discussion with our church president on the matter! Anyway, undeterred for the time being, let us look into the other such cases of births from barren women.
Paralleling Abraham and Sarah, there is a second case in scripture of an old couple having a child after their time of life. On this occasion it was presided over by the prophet Elisha:
14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. (2Kings 4)
Presumably this unnamed Shummanite woman and her husband were also made younger and non-Adamic, this time by Elisha, aka Michael (Lords' Witnesses ‘Understanding  - The 5/6 earthly identities of Michael, Gabriel and Melchizedek'). Interestingly, the child appears to have been born solely to die and then be resurrected by Elisha later in life. So, at the point of birth, the whole family were non-Adamic, as were Abraham, Sarah and Isaac since, according to my hypothesis, two aging non-Adamic parents would produce aging non-Adamic progeny. Although the scripture does not make it explicitly clear why Elisha carried out this healing act, one can only presume that it was God's will to strengthen the faith of the Shummanite family and those with whom they would come into contact through the (no doubt) frequent retelling of this account related to the birth and latterly the resurrection of this child. Or perhaps, and just as likely, this was the Archangel Michael's first opportunity at healing and resurrecting a human before His greater role of healing as Jesus Christ. Yes, perhaps even our Lord needed a practice session of raising the dead before His main event in the new testament scriptures:
18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
19 And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. (2Kings 4)
32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.
33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. (2Kings 4)
Except how can a non-Adamic child have a head problem and die? Well looking at the boy's symptoms, it is possible that he died from a congenital cerebral aneurism the main outward sign prior to death being a severe headache, which he had in the field when he went out to see his father. So one explanation might be that one or both of his parents, when provided with a cloned non-Adamic body, may have been provided with a weakness in one of the cerebral arteries. This weakness would then have been inherited by the son. Remember that we have already surmised that this child was expressly born to die and then be resurrected by Elisha. The ‘lucky' chap was then provided with a second non-Adamic body at his resurrection. This time, I expect, a perfectly healthy one was provided which, hopefully, saw him have a ‘good long life' for his trouble.
Now let us progress on to Isaac's marriage to Rebekah. It would appear that the Lord also opened up Rebekah's womb:
21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (Genesis 25)
So, presumably, Rebekah became non-Adamic and, with both parents' being non-Adamic (bearing in mind that Isaac was already non-Adamic - (Lords' Witnesses ‘Understanding  - The 5/6 earthly identities of Michael, Gabriel and Melchizedek'), Jacob and Esau were both born non-Adamic:
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. (Genesis 25)
It looks like we also have a similar situation with Jacob's two wives for whom God needed to open their wombs to enable both of them to bear children:
31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. (Genesis 29)
22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. (Genesis 30)
Now Leah bore six of Jacob's sons and Rachel bore two, the remaining four coming from the maidservants Bilhah and Zilpah:
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram. (Genesis 35)
So we seem to have a situation whereby eight of Jacob's sons were non-Adamic and four were presumably Adamic, since I would expect that one Adamic parent would render any off-spring consummated with a non-Adamic partner to be Adamic by taking the ‘weaker' gene variants between the father and the mother. I must confess that I am not sure what this means right now - the next piece of the jigsaw methinks!
It would appear that Esau had no such blessing for his progeny by taking several Adamic 'shiksas' to wife and having numerous children none of whom were therefore non-Adamic.
As an interesting aside the following verse from Genesis indicates that Jacob knew of the reducing lifespan of mankind throughout the generations in those days:
9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. (Genesis 47)
Then we have the case of Manoah's wife, the woman who was barren but who gave birth to Samson:
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. (Judges 13)
Whilst, in the current proposal, we find that Manoah's wife became non-Adamic upon her womb being opened, there is no evidence that her husband Manoah was anything other than Adamic. This is then effectively demonstrated by the scripture that states that Samson was named by his mother and therefore, a little surprisingly perhaps, Samson was not a son of God and therefore must have been Adamic through his father's genes:
24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. (Judges 13)
Ah oh! Here we go again, this time with Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth:
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. (Luke 1)
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (Luke 1)
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. (Luke 1)
In this case, however, it looks like poor old Zacharias really went through the mill on this one. Two cloned non-Adamic bodies: one with and one without the ability to speak! That will teach him to talk back to Gabriel! Notwithstanding that relatively mild punishment, Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth produced the non-Adamic John the Baptist. Again this is compatible with Lords' Witness 'Understanding  John the Baptist was Gabriel'.
Notwithstanding all the above examples of non-Adamic procreation we must nonetheless consider Jesus' birth as a special case of non-Adamic creation given there was no need for any 'input' from Joseph. I think it is uncertain whether Mary was made non-Adamic and I can think of no reason why Joseph would have needed to be. Jesus was non-Adamic from birth because he was a direct son of God not a son of Joseph:
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1)
I find it interesting, however, that Joseph gave Jesus his name. Arguably this was because God named the original spirit, to inhabit the body of Jesus, Emmanuel. Jesus was really only the name of the physical body in that it was later in His life that Michael inhabited Jesus' body.
Of course God can ‘shut up wombs' as well as open them:
18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife. (Genesis 20)
Whether this was accomplished by the reverse process which I am proposing for opening Sarah's womb, i.e. the provision of an older cloned body or, more probably, the introduction of an Adamic cloned body with the ability to bear children removed from the genetic make-up, we cannot say with any certainty, but I cannot see why God would not use a similar mechanism for his curses as He would use for His blessings.