Longevity of Life: Isaiah 65:20

In Bible/Theology, Blogs by David M. Levy6 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!

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David M. Levy

David M. Levy is the media resource specialist and a Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

Comments 6

  1. David, This is what my grandmother believed, She was in “The Church of Jesus Christ (not morman) I have been searching for her beliefs in churches but I did not find any. What are your beliefs as far as the other earthly and heavenly dwellers under Jesus Christ.

  2. There is no need IN THE CITY, THE NEW JERUSALEM for the light of the sun and moon, not that there will no sun and moon worldwide. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
    Revelation 21:23
    “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
    Isaiah 66:22-23
    They will use the new moon to know when to come to the LORD to worship him. So there is a visible moon for the world to see, just not in the New Jerusalem city.

  3. People who die in the millennial kingdom are put to death for egregious and frequent sin as disciple. In other millennial passages, Isaiah wrote of this. “And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
    And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
    Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
    4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
    And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
    And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
    And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:3, 4 “For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished,
    Indeed all who [a]are intent on doing evil will be cut off;
    21 Who cause a person to be indicted by a word,
    And ensnare him who adjudicates at the gate,
    And defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.” Isaiah 29:20, 21 Believers won’t be dieng. Even though their sin nature is intact, as believers they aren’t the wicked.

  4. There will be no sinners born to saved individuals during the Millennium reign of Christ. In fact after the tribulation in Christ’s second coming and the marriage feast of the lamb Christ with his saints, Christ will return with his saints on horses from the clouds to destroy all evil, wickedness, and the unrepented. The amount of dead carcasses will be so great that wild animals will have to eat them as savangers. Satan and his demons will be held captive in Tertarus the bottomless pit. Then Jesus will come to set up the Millenial kingdom for 1000 yrs. where he and his saints shall reign. Then at the end of the 1000 years, Jesus will allow Satan and his wicked followers and the unsaved to resurrect. They will set up a short lived rebellion but be quickly casted down with their finally judgement into to the burning Lake of Fire to be annihilated eternally.

  5. You mention the hermeneutical rules for engaging the text, which on the surface sounds adequate enough. As I watch you apply them to this question regarding Isaiah’s meaning, you do not emphasize the actual historical context in life with which this text must be discerned. That I’m aware of, no 2nd Temple Jew would have read that passages in question as you’ve ‘literally’ read them. The rule that insists all scripture be subject to a literal reading, at first reading, is badly misread here. Would you apply that to all narratives, poetry (Psalms), wisdom literature and apocalyptic? Is so you wouldn’t be respecting either the historical biblical context in which they’re written, or the historical context of the time and situation in life which these texts address. Reading Apocalyptic books or passages as though they were meant to be read literal is the beginning of the problems you have interpreting texts accurately or in any helpful way. I just happened on to you comments through following a thread and am amazed at what you are publicly asserted to folks that seem to already agree with you. You might rather consider offering people a fair and balanced picture of both Jewish and non-scholarship alternative views on this matter. If it’s true it can be challenged and bear scrutiny! Weak and flimsy arguments are made when not considering fairly the best in scholarship on a passage or topic. This is more an appeal for fairness, and taking a look at our own biases before plunging the other guy’s or girl’s position into the abyss. I wholeheartedly, and except for a few minor details find your position lacking and biased by a relatively recent interpretation that has not always been the predominant position held by Christians.

  6. Just receive Jesus Christ as you personal savior and believe in him. If you don’t know the facts, he will lead you to what you need to know. So don’t worry if you are confused about certain things in the scriptures, so am I. But I am a believer and I know Jesus will show me the way. If you have received Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you have no worries. Blessed be the name of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for all of our sins and rose on the 3rd day! Trust in the Lord. And that is pretty simple to me and nothing will ever change it for me, not even Satan.!

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