How long is a generation in the Bible?

0 votes
asked May 22, 2011 by daniel (2,960 points)

The scriptures often refer to lengths of time as a generation.

1 Chronicles 16:15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

How many years is a generation?

8 Answers

+1 vote
answered May 27, 2011 by mnbookman (160 points)
There is no point in converting generations to years. Scripture would have used years if it intended us to think about these things in terms of years. In fact, Scripture uses years in many places, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelations.

The use of generations has always been, in my understanding, an attempt to convey the principle of generational blessing and curses. Which makes sense, since two out of three verses directly speak to that. Some would argue that Matthew 24:34 vaguely speaks to that as well.

Further, every generation might have a different span to it, but whether it is 14 years or 38 years, a generation is a generation.
0 votes
answered Jun 20, 2011 by anonymous
The words spoken by Jesus prior to Matthew 24:34 were the generation. The words He spoke are the generation that will not fail. The events are sure to be accomplished, they will not pass until those things have be fulfilled. A generation has a beginning point then builds until completion.  So to do the event in Matthew 24. All events will occur, when the last event occurs, then the generation will be complete.
0 votes
answered Jun 23, 2011 by anonymous
edited Jun 24, 2011 by daniel

I like to think in line of the "generations" that they talk about in Matthew being somehow mathimatically imprinted in the DNA of Adam. Something like a proof of that there were creations before this one and Adam is the offspring of it all. I wish I could back up this statement but I believe it. Who is going to stop me?

I found something to put into the equation on YouTube... This guy is funny--I like him. I hope you will agree. - The Genealogy of Jesus Christ (According to Eusebius)

0 votes
answered Feb 9, 2012 by anonymous
edited Feb 11, 2012 by daniel


Actually there is a number in the Bible of what a generation is which is about a hundred. You have to do outside Bible research but since the Abrahamic days the human race is about 100 years or two jubilees (49yrs plus 49 yrs). So it is for our time as predicted by a Christian in 1898. The generation that saw Israel become a nation and everyone after that was 1948 and Jerusalem becoming a city in 1967. Just to throw it out there that was two jubilees right there. So I'm not saying the day and hour because there are two days on the earth at all time that is why we won't know but by the signs.

God bless,


0 votes
answered Aug 5, 2013 by junglejim2009 (140 points)
70 to 80 yrs. is 1 generation
0 votes
answered Dec 22, 2015 by daniel (2,960 points)
Matthew 1:17 All the generations, therefore, from Abraham unto David are fourteen generations, and from David unto the Babylonian removal fourteen generations, and from the Babylonian removal unto the Christ, fourteen generations.

The time from the call of Abraham until the death and resurrection of Christ is approximately 2,058 years. Thus, 2,058/42 = 49. Thus, a generation is approximately 49 years.
0 votes
answered Jul 19, 2016 by Sheldon (140 points)
Biblical references to a generation is not an indication of a particular number of years. In Matthew 1 where we find the genealogy of Jesus, we read that from Abraham to David was 14 generations, from David until the Babylonian captivity was 14 generations and from the Babylonian captivity to Jesus was 14 generations. But if we add up the years between each of these they are far from equal. The time span covered by each generation is not the emphasis, but rather the fact of the passing of the number of successive generations.

Lifespans are considered by some to be generations, but mankind's lifespan constantly changed down through the years. In Adams day people lived an average of 900 years. The average generation from Abraham to David was about 64 years. In the other 2 references in Matthew chapter one, the average generation was about 38 years.

The Mathew 24:34 reference is indicative of the era in which Jesus' previous prophecies are fulfilled.
0 votes
answered Sep 22 by (140 points)
Let the scriptures tell you.

Psalms 90:10  We live for 70 years, or 80 years if we're healthy, yet even in the prime years there are troubles and sorrow. They pass by quickly and we fly away.
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