Human life was expected to end after seventy years, and anyone living for eighty years must have unusual strength (Ps. 90: 10). The days of Methuselah (969 years, Gen. 5: 27) are typical of the Hebrew belief that in the past people enjoyed an immense longevity. More realistically, the elderly are known to lack vigour (Job 30: 2), though their accumulated wisdom was proverbial (Job 12: 12) and accounted for the use of ‘elders’ as an official title (Exod. 3: 16).

‘Age’ is also used to translate the Greek aeon, denoting a period of time—past, present, or future (1 Cor. 10: 11; Matt. 12: 32): thus, there are cares in the present age (Matt. 13: 22) and riches in the ages to come (Eph. 2: 7). It has sometimes been maintained that in the NT, especially in Luke–Acts, time since the creation is regarded as divided into three ages—up to the coming of Jesus, the life and death of Jesus, and the continuing epoch of the Church.