What Does 3 Scores And 10 Mean In The Bible

What Does 3 Scores And 10 Mean In The Bible?

The phrase ‘three scores and ten’ is used in the Bible to describe the life expectancy of a human being. This phrase was first mentioned in the Old Testament book of Psalms, chapter 90 verse 10, which reads as follows: “The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

This verse suggests that, for most people, their strength and labour are only able to carry them through three-score and ten years, or seventy years, before they fly away. However, if a person’s strength is great, they may be able to reach four-score years, or eighty years.

While seventy is commonly accepted in society as the life expectancy of a human being, this is not a rule set in stone – some individuals may live for longer, or shorter, and even Biblical figures are known to have lived for longer than this. For example, Methuselah, a figure in the Book of Genesis, is said to have lived for nine-hundred and sixty-nine years.

This phrase has been interpreted in various ways by scholars. Some suggest that the number seven is symbolic of perfection, while others point out that the number seventy can be broken down into ten and seven, with ten representing the Ten Commandments of the Law of God, and seven representing the seven days of creation.

It is also suggested by some scholars that the number seventy reflects periods of seven years in the ancient world. Ancient Israel underwent a period of ‘covenant renewal’ every seven years, in which individuals made a covenant with God and offered sacrifices in return for their renewed covenant. This type of period of covenant-renewal may have been suggested by the phrase ‘three-scores and ten’.

Another interpretation of the phrase is that it reflects a ‘cycle of life’, in which life is comprised of seven stages of ten years each – a ‘score’ being referring to ten years. In this interpretation, the phrase is seen as a sign of acceptance that each stage of life can be difficult, with labour and exhaustion obvious in each.

Traditional Judaism also supports the idea of a three-score and ten-year lifespan, offering the perspective that each individual should recognise the blessings of life and appreciate them daily. This is seen as particularly pertinent in light of the uncertainly of life expectancy, which could be cut short or extended during any stage.

3 Scores and 10 and the Digital Age

In the Digital Age, the phrase ‘three scores and ten’ has become an even more relevant reminder of human mortality. New technologies have made it possible to live longer and healthier lives, with many diseases now treatable and with life-saving surgeries commonplace. However, it is also sometimes seen as offering cause for greater concern over mortality, with humans having to face the fact that this extra time may not always be filled with good health, wealth and happiness.

The phrase ‘three scores and ten’ is also used to refer to today’s youth, many of whom have not known life before the dawn of the Digital Age. This generation has benefitted from the Digital Age, but they have also been faced with new challenges in navigating an ever-changing world with ever-changing technologies, from unknown humanitarian challenges to a changing job market.

Though technology has allowed us greater access to knowledge, it also allows us to be increasingly discontent with our lives, as we become more aware of our mortality and our finite amount of time on the planet. It is a reminder of our need to understand, appreciate and make the most of our lives in the limited amount of time we have.

3 Scores and 10 in Philosophy and World Religions

The idea of a life expectancy of three scores and ten is found in not only the Bible, but in a range of world religions, cultures and philosophical systems. Buddhism, for example, believes that there is an impermanence to life, and this idea has been seen in other religions such as Hinduism and Jainism. Similarly, in Ancient Greek philosophy, the idea of mortality is often expressed in terms of the fragility and transience of the human condition.

These philosophies propose that each human life is a series of three score and ten years, before the cycle must be repeated, and that death is inevitable for all who live in the material world. Though understanding our mortality can be difficult to acknowledge, it can be seen as part of the beauty of life, and can often be a cause for celebration.

Through understanding this concept of mortality, we can understand why it is important to appreciate every second of life, and to make the most of our three score and ten years on the earth. ‘Three scores and ten’ is a reminder from the past that mortality is an inevitability, and should be understood and appreciated by all.

The Commemoration of the Dead and 3 Scores and 10

The commemoration of those who have gone before us, whether through death or transition, is an important part of many cultures, societies and religions. The phrase ‘three scores and ten’ is often used to commemorate the dead, as a reminder that life is finite, and each stage of life should be honoured and respected.

In traditional Judaism, the phrase ‘three scores and ten’ can be seen in the Mourning Prayer, in which a person reflects on their mortality. Reflection on death and our own mortality has been noted as an important part of Judaism, as it allows a person to appreciate what they have in life, and encourages gratitude and reflection.

The concept of ‘three scores and ten’ is also found in some burial rituals, where the phrase is used to give blessings to a deceased person’s memory. This type of ceremony is often seen as a way to express gratitude for the life that was lived, and to honour the legacy that has been left behind.

3 Scores and 10 and Modern-Day Culture

In some of today’s popular culture, the phrase ‘three scores and ten’ is often used as an idea of mortality, and this often appears in literature, music and film. Musicians, poets and authors often use this phrase as a way to discuss mortality and to reflect on the inevitability of death.

In popular culture, the phrase ‘three scores and ten’ has been transformed into a metaphor for life, with artists often using it to explore themes of mortality and the cycle of life. Popular films often use this phrase as a way to pay homage to those that have gone before us, and to remind us of the finality of life, and of the importance of making the most of our time here.


The phrase ‘three scores and ten’ is often used in the Bible and in other world religions, philosophies, and popular cultures. This phrase is traditionally used to refer to the life expectancy of a human being, and though life expectancy has changed it is still a pertinent reminder of our mortality.

The phrase reflects an attitude of gratitude and reverence for life, and is seen as an acknowledgement of our finite amount of time and can be used to offer a reminder of the importance of making the most of our three-score and ten years in life.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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