Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/292

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Of the six ages of this world, and of the seventh and eighth when we shall rest in heaven, we have already spoken elsewhere, whilst describing the narrative of the first week in which the world was created, and now again, in treating of the life of a single man, which by the Greek philosophers is termed microcosmos, or the little world, we shall discuss the same subject rather more diffusely.

The first age of this world, from Adam to Noah, containing 1656 years according to the Hebrew verity, but, as the Septuagint has it, 2242, is divided, according to both these texts, into ten generations. This age was destroyed by the deluge, and in the same way are the first years of every man's life buried in oblivion, for who is there that can remember his own infancy?

The second age, from Noah to Abraham, contains, according to the Hebrew text, ten generations, and 292 years; but the Septuagint reads 1072 years, and eleven generations. This may be considered as the childhood of God's people, and in it therefore language was invented, i. e. the Hebrew language. For in childhood we first begin to speak, and this comes after infancy, which is so called from infantia, which means in Latin, not speaking.[1]

The third age, from Abraham to David, contains, according to both texts, fourteen generations, 1442 years. This is, as it were, the adolescence of God's people, from
  1. "Infantia, quæ hinc appellata est, qnod fari non potest."