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(read Adonai) said, “My Spirit

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shall not govern

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man forever, for indeed he is flesh,

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yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty.”

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Then THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD said, “I will not indefinitely exert the effort and investment of myself that is necessary to govern men, for indeed they have proven that they want to be governed by their flesh; yet I will have mercy for a short time; they will have one hundred and twenty years before I judge them.”



Notice that here the name for God is YHVH, not Elohim. When you see this type of change remember that that name YHVH was even greater, higher, and more awe-inspiring than Elohim. While the name Elohim seems to mean “ruler,” the name YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb of being “to be,” and emphasizes a God who has always, and will always exist; He was not created, He just is. Although this was their highest name for God, it was also more personal, more intimate than Elohim. This God who exists outside of time has chosen to enter our lives in search of a close relationship with us.

2: “My Spirit"

This is another way of saying “I”.


The most basic meaning of the word used here is “to judge, to act as judge, to execute judgment, to govern (to rule), to contend with or strive with or against” but it also encompasses the other side of that issue, meaning, “to plead the cause of, to vindicate.” I have chosen to render this word as “govern’ because it includes judging, and punishing the wicked, as well as pleading the cause of the just and vindicating the just. The usage of this word in this verse seems strange and awkward, but it makes more sense when we realize that the meaning of “govern” seems to be implied in the second part of this verse where man is “governed” by his flesh, rather than being willing to be “governed” by God. It is thus a play on the word “govern,” which is a common literary tool employed in Hebrew. Here it is a play on words even though the second time it is only inferred, not used specifically.

4: “he is flesh”

At first it may seem that God is saying that man is only flesh, however, the context seems to call for a deeper meaning than that, for punishment is coming. It seems the better part of wisdom to understand it as meaning that man has given himself over entirely to the flesh in contrast to following the Spirit of God. Man is “governed” by his flesh rather than allowing God to govern him. Because of this God said, “Enough!”

5: “hundred and twenty"

“hundred and twenty