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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5716 middle age
5716 middle age

5716 middle age

The period between youth and old age. Middle age is marked by physical strength and experience and should bring maturity and stability. Many of God’s servants began ministry in middle age, often after having been prepared in their youth. Middle age may also bring complacency and the temptation to leave the devotion and commitments of youth.

Middle age defined

Adulthood reckoned from age 20 Nu 1:2-3 See also Ex 30:14; Ex 38:26; Nu 26:2-4
1Ch 23:24 See also 2Ch 31:17; Ezr 3:8

Full maturity reckoned from age 30 Lk 3:23 See also Nu 4:30,43

Characteristics of middle age

Physical strength Lev 27:3-7 Strength is greatest between 20 and 60. See also Nu 1:45 Men served in the army from age 20; Jos 14:10 Caleb, in his prime at 40, is still strong at 85.

Growth in wisdom and experience Ecc 1:16 See also 1Sa 17:33; 2Sa 17:8; 2Ch 17:13
1Ch 22:5 See also 1Ch 29:1; Pr 7:7

Maturity and stability Eph 4:13-14 See also 1Co 2:6; Heb 5:11-14; Jas 1:4

The responsibilities of middle age

The need to be prepared for these responsibilities Pr 22:6 See also Pr 4:1-4 Solomon passes on wisdom learned from his father. Lk 1:80 See also 1Sa 2:26; Lk 2:40

The need to train for service Nu 8:24 The period from 25 to 30 (see Nu 4:3) may have been a period of apprenticeship. See also 1Ch 23:27 In later years the apprenticeship may have started at 20; Nu 11:28

The start of service in middle age Nu 4:3 See also Ac 7:23 Moses showed concern for his fellow Israelites at age 40; Jos 14:7 Caleb was 40 when he explored Canaan; 1Sa 7:3-4 Samuel became judge over Israel in his thirties; Lk 3:3 John the Baptist began his public ministry at about 30; Jn 8:57 Jesus Christ had not achieved the status of wisdom and authority associated with old age in Israel; 1Ti 3:1-13 The mention of families in the instructions to elders and deacons suggests that these leaders were of middle age.

Rulers coming to office in middle age Ge 41:46 Joseph; 1Sa 13:1 Saul; 2Sa 5:4 David; 2Sa 2:10 Ish-Bosheth; 2Ch 12:13 pp 1Ki 14:21 Rehoboam; 2Ch 20:31 Jehoshaphat

Temptations of middle age

Complacency 2Sa 11:1; Isa 32:9-11; Am 6:1

Worldly distractions 2Sa 11:4; 1Ki 11:3-4; Ecc 2:1-8; Lk 12:18-19

Turning from the commitment of youth Pr 2:16-17; Mal 2:14

See also

4971seasons of life
5853experience of life
5956strength, human
8344servanthood in believers

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