What does “a child will die at 100 years old” mean in the Bible?

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“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:20 NKJV).

Isaiah is using poetic language here, therefore, a literal meaning can’t be derived from his passage. Here is another translation from the “Message Bible” that gives a clearer understanding to his passage: “No more babies dying in the cradle, or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime; One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal – anything less will seem like a cheat.”

From the context, we learn that Isaiah is describing the new heavens and the new earth (v. 17) in terms of how these conditions would have been brought about by the obedience of the nation of Israel. Isaiah was hoping that the resurrection and state of immortality would have been preceded by a period in which following the laws of God would have destroyed sickness and premature death among the people.

During this idealistic condition in Israel, there would be no infant deaths. And there would be no premature deaths. Old men would not die until they had lived out their allotted span. The young people, too, would not die until they had lived out the full span. The span is here placed at 100 years.

These promises were made to OT Israel on the condition that they would obey and were given at the Exodus when the Lord promised to take away all sickness (Deut. 7:15). Sadly, when the nation of Israel failed to follow God and crucified Jesus, these promises could not be fulfilled to them and were transferred to the NT believers today.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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