ESV - 9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
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I would say that the general meaning of a "generation" would apply only after the time of the patriarchs. (That is, it would apply to the lifespan noted by Moses in Psalm 90:10, rather than the hundreds of years that individuals commonly lived in the early history of the world, according to Genesis.) Using David as a starting point, the Bible says that David reigned forty years, and was seventy years old when he died. Historians place his death in 970 BC. Using the genealogies provided for Jesus by Matthew and Luke, Matthew (who traces the royal lineage from David through Solomon to Jesus' earthly father Joseph) records twenty-eight generations between David and the birth of Jesus. Luke, whose genealogy is commonly interpreted as tracing Jesus' descent from David through Mary (since Jesus would have had to have been descended from David through His mother as well) records forty-two generations from David to Jesus through David's son Nathan. Taking the average of these two numbers (which would be thirty-five) over a period of 1,040 years (from David's birth) works out to just under thirty years for the length of a generation.
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