Longevity of Life: Isaiah 65:20

In Bible/Theology, Blog by David Levy2 Comments

Exponential Technology is advancing the theory that longevity of life will soon be expanded far beyond the imagination of man.  Many are predicting there may be no need in going to an assisted living home as one ages, because most people will not die from a major disease.  What they will die from is an accident.

Because of advances in medical technology, it is predicted that people will live 100-120 years of age or even longer. This remains to be seen, but the Bible does predict longevity of life in the future. Isaiah wrote:

No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed (Isa. 65:20).  

Notice, if a person dies at 100 years old he or she is considered a child.  

When will Isaiah 65:20 be fulfilled? It will take place when God creates “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17). Is this in the near future through exponential technology, during the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus the Messiah rules on Earth, or in the eternal state?

First, longevity of life in Isaiah 65 is not referring to life, as we know it today, through exponential technology. It must be at a time when God literally creates “a new earth” (Isa. 65:17). That leaves only two possibilities, the Millennial Kingdom on Earth at the return of Jesus Messiah or the eternal state.

Second, the passage cannot be referring to the eternal state. True, the apostle John did say, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1). But this cannot be the same new heaven and new earth referred to by Isaiah.  People living on the “new earth” in Isaiah 65:20 will still experience: sin, death, God’s curse on unbelievers, worship in a temple, and see the sun and moon in their orbit.  However, the new earth mentioned in Revelation 21 has no: sin, curse, death, temple, sun, moon, or night. In other words, the Isaiah passage refers to many new changes in the world, but it is not a totally new creation of heaven and earth as in the eternal state.

Third, the details mentioned in Isaiah 65:17–25 must be referring to the Millennial Kingdom. The word Millennium comes from a Latin word meaning “thousand years”—1,000-year reign of the Messiah on Earth. During this time there is no more poverty, sickness, famine, plagues, or war, but a time when peace, prosperity, and plenty will prevail worldwide. During the Millennium, Jesus the Messiah will be reigning with an authoritarian rod of iron throughout the earth (Rev. 12:5; 19:15).  He has total sovereign control over the religious, political, and cultural events of life.

To have a proper understanding of Scripture, one must first interpret the text literally before providing spiritual application.
Some people, called amillennialists (i.e. no Millennium), teach that Jesus does return to Earth a second time, but He will not establish a literal 1,000-year kingdom.  At His return the world comes to an abrupt end, followed by all people being resurrected from the dead, and then judged to determine their eternal destiny.

Amillennialists spiritualize or allegorize Scriptures that refer to a literal, physical, reign of Jesus on Earth, and teach that such Scriptures are referring to God’s spiritual Kingdom, not His physical Kingdom on the Earth. According to this position, Isaiah 65:17–25 should not be interpreted literally, but symbolically and spiritually in reference to people living in Isaiah’s day and applied to all believers down through history.

The amillennialist position applies a faulty hermeneutic (Bible principles of interpretation), interpreting biblical texts spiritually or symbolically, and not literally when speaking about God’s Millennial Kingdom. Thus, their teaching lacks credibility on the subject. To have a proper understanding of Scripture, one must first interpret the text literally before providing spiritual application. By literal is meant, “to study the text in its grammatical, historical, and cultural setting within the context of the passage in order to understand what it is teaching.”

A number of things must be considered in getting a correct interpretation of Isaiah 65:20:

  1. Who are those referred to in the Millennial Kingdom?  They are Jews and Gentiles who came to salvation during the Great Tribulation. After the judgment of the nations by Jesus on Earth, these believers are identified as “sheep people” that inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:31–34). They enter the Kingdom in their natural bodies (still possessing a sin nature), to procreate and repopulate the earth. Their offspring will need to receive Jesus as Savior; many will but others will not. This passage does not apply to Old Testament believers and believers in the church who have already died and been restored to life, evidenced by having received their glorified body. Being in their glorified body they will no longer possess a sin nature (1 Corinthians 15:51–54).

  2. Infant mortality as we know it today will be abolished. “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days” (Isa. 65:20).  Infants will not die at birth, nor will they die in their youth, but live to maturity.

  3. Adults will not be prematurely taken in death. “Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days” (Isa. 65:20).  People will live into old age, most likely throughout the Millennial Kingdom, and not become ill or die. The elderly will be considered young. During the Antediluvian Age (pre-Flood period), longevity of life was experienced and man lived for hundreds of years. For example: Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5); Noah lived 950 years (Gen. 9:29), and Methuselah lived 969 years (Gen. 5:27). There is no biblical evidence that these years should not be interpreted literally.

  4. There will be death in the Millennial Kingdom. “For the child shall die one hundred years old” (Isa. 65:20).  The one dying at 100 years old is identified as a child, not an old person, because of longevity in Millennium.

  5. Sinners in the Kingdom are cursed. “But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isa. 65:20). The sinner is the offspring of redeemed godly parents in the Millennium, but he/she him/herself is not a believer in Jesus Christ. Thus, he/she is “accursed” or living under the curse of sin. Therefore, some in this state are taken in death at 100 years old, and the rest will die before the eternal state begins. Sin’s curse and death will not be removed until after the Millennium ends (1 Cor. 15:24–26; Rev. 22:3).

Thus, Isaiah is writing about the earthly Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah that is the fulfillment of God’s predicted program. Upon the completion of Jesus’ Millennial reign upon the earth, God will merge it into a new heaven and new earth where the redeemed of all ages will experience eternal bliss.

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People want to live long on Earth, and hope to live in eternal bliss after death—we all do. But unless you prepare now by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, any future life after this one is just wishful thinking that will never happen. In fact, you will experience damnation, not eternal bliss. Scary isn’t it! To me it is! The good news is that you do not have to! Let’s talk about it!

About the Author
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David Levy

David M. Levy is the Director of Worldwide Ministry Development, Education, and Ministry Relations, as well as being an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel.

Comments

  1. Thank you for your insights into this David. I preached on this recently and found your article helpful in my preparation. Shalom.

  2. I’m glad you cleared this up for me. I’ve always believed in the Millennial Kingdom but had trouble with some Old Testament passages. Thank you.

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