“Child Shall Die One Hundred Years Old”
“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).
Isaiah is using poetic language, 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 this 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.”
The Context of Isaiah 65
From Isaiah 65, we learn that the prophet is describing the new heavens and the new earth. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17). The heavenly reward will come because of 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 hundred years.
God’s Conditional Promise of Health
God’s promises of blessings were made to Israel on the condition that they would obey His laws. Moses said, “if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
And God’s curses were to be given for disobedience. “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15).
One of God’s blessings was physical healing: “And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you” (Deuteronomy 7:15).
Unfortunately, the Nation of Israel was disobedient to God. In fact, their rebellion climaxed when they crucified the Son of God. Had Israel walked in accordance to the God’s principles, misfortune, defeat and sickness would have been unknown among them.
God’s Promises Didn’t Fail
While Israel failed, God’s promises didn’t fail. God’s covenant promises were transferred from the literal nation of Israel to “spiritual Israel” (Jews or gentiles) or the New Testament Church. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29).
Every one regardless of race can receive God’s promises through faith in Christ. Peter wrote, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4 also John 1:12, 13; 3:3). God’s promises make believers “sons of God” (1 John 3:1), and so “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and receivers of all the family privileges (Galatians 4:6, 7).
In His service,