Genealogical Gaps and the Ages of the Patriarchs

I recently read @jongarvey’s “The Generations of Heaven and Earth”, and he brought up a question about genealogies that I had never thought of: Do too many gaps make them useless? I had always assumed I could just stick gaps in willy nilly, but I have now realized this just isn’t the case. Dr. Garvey uses the example “Ealdorman Æthelfrith of Mercia begat Casper W. Weinberger” to demonstrate just how ridiculous inserting thousands of years between people would be. However, I think this comparison is slightly unfair as family lines in the ancient world were much more identifiable, as groups tended to stick together; we did not have marriages between people on opposite ends of the earth to muddle such connections, and our horizons were not far beyond the neighboring countries. I still think it is a very fair point. Are we to pick an arbitrary number as the max amount of people to be missing from a gap?

I think this question also ties into whether or not the Patriarchs might have lived longer lives than we do. If they lived longer, fewer generations need to be inserted in the gaps to make up for the time missing, and there would have been less of a disconnect between people. I know it is quite a ridiculous idea that I might believe the patriarchs lived longer, but no one has properly addressed how Genesis 47:9 would fit into the opposite interpretation. I feel as if Adam belongs 10,000+ years in the past, but I don’t know if this would fit with regular ages for the patriarchs. If anyone has any thoughts or comments that would be great!


I asked @jongarvey a similar question on this here (Sons of God and the Daughters of Men: Approval or Disapproval?), and this is what he said:

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I find this objection to be quite useless, as people would not breakdown at the same rate if they were living several hundred years, so a 600-year-old might appear as a modern day 70-year-old.