Before the flood, the earth was watered by a mist coming up from the ground (Genesis 2:6). Also note that the 120 years bit came from Genesis 6:3--And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. I've heard some people say that God was giving man 120 more years to repent before the Flood. In fact, when the ark was complete, God allowed an extra seven days--a last call, if you will. And there were no takers.
These people did NOT live so long. During the time of the Old Testament it was traditional to lie about important people?s age after their deaths. Typically, kings and princes were assigned very long life spans as a sign of respect. It was a gross exaggeration which was socially acceptable and expected by the people.
Before the flood man lived to be hundreds of years old. Some think that it is because there was a "firmament" or atmosphere that surrounded the earth and consisted of water and there are even ancient writings of seeing fish in the sky.
One of the reasons that people did not believe Noah about the impending flood was that it had never rained on the earth...everything was watered until then by a heavy mist that rose up at night. When the flood started....this firmament was opened up and all the water in it fell to the earth causing the flood. Supposedly, this firmament protected humans against the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun that cause aging.
Originally posted by LadyV
I do believe this had been discussed here before......