Jared (biblical figure)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
His father Mahalalel, great-grandson of Seth, son of Adam, was stated to be 65 years of age when Jared was born. In the apocryphal Book of Jubilees, his mother's name is Dinah. His primary history is recounted in Genesis 5:18-20.
Jubilees adds that Jared married Beraka, and the Bible speaks of Jared having become father to many sons and daughters. Of those children, only Enoch is named specifically, born when Jared was 162 years old (Genesis 5:18, 5:22a, 5:24, Hebrews 11:5b, Jude 14-15). Enoch went on to marry Edna, according to Jubilees, and the sole named grandchild of Jared is Enoch's son Methuselah, the longest-living human mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 5:18, 5:21, 5:27).
Additionally, Jared was a forefather of Noah and his three sons. Jared's age was given as 962 years old when he died, making him the second-oldest person mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint. In the Samaritan Pentateuch, his age was 62 at fatherhood and only 847 at death, making Noah the oldest and Jared the seventh-oldest.
In English translations of the Bible, such as the King James Version of the Bible, the classical Biblical pronunciation of the English name Jared is //; generally though it is //. The spelling of the identical name in 1 Chronicles is Jered. The original Hebrew pronunciation of the name, ירד, found in the Hebrew Bible, was similar but with an initial y sound: [ˈjɛrɛð].
According to the Book of Enoch, Mahalalel named [his son] Jared "descent or to descend" because during his lifetime the angels of the Lord who were called Watchers descended to earth upon the mount of Hermon. Hermon also means "to swear" as the Watchers "swore" to take wives of human women (this was forbidden by God) due to a strong desire for their beauty. In their lust and subsequent procreation, the Watchers had sons by human women called "The Nephelim" or "fallen ones"...(also referred to as the Giants). The Watchers taught their wives and sons forbidden and secret knowledge that corrupted the hearts and minds of mankind which eventually led to the destruction of the first world through the flood of Noah....
In recent history, the oldest person documented beyond reasonable doubt, Jeanne Calment, died in 1997, aged 122; demographic study of modern human longevity gives odds of trillions to one against humans today reaching 130. The application of modern demographic data to ancient eras is unclear. The extreme ages of the Hebrew Bible exhibit a decrease over time, and the Biblical upper limit of longevity has been categorized by Witness Lee as having four successive plateaus of 1,000, 500, 200, and finally 120 years.
Accordingly, these very long lifespans have been a source of much speculation, with special emphasis on Methuselah and Jared as record-holders. Biblical apologists hold that sin, loss of the water-canopy firmament, and DNA breakdown all contribute to decreased lifespans. Form critics hold variously that the yearly and monthly cycle were confused, simplifying some dates; that numbers were converted incorrectly; or that other reinterpretation is necessary. If "year" is interpreted consistently as "month", numbers like Jared's age become reasonable (962 lunar months or 78 years), but other numbers become more unreasonable (fathering children at age 5).