What is the biblical age of accountability?

Exodus 30:14, From twenty years old and above. This passage gives us the first indication that the Torah viewed the age of accountability to be 20 years old (see also Num 1:3, 18, 20; 26:2). That is to say, those who died prior to age 20 were not held eternally accountable for their sins, and presumably might be given a second chance to live out their lives at some latter date, although there is no clear scriptural reference to confirm this notion.

The idea that YHVH held one accountable for their sins after the age of twenty is supported by the fact that all Israelites over age of 20 (with the notable exceptions of Caleb and Joshua) died in the wilderness prior to entering the Promised Land because of sins they had committed during their wilderness journey, while those under age 20 were allowed into the land, presumably because YHVH considered them to be guilt free (Num 14:29; 32:11).

If 20 is the age of accountability, then this begs the obvious question: what will happen to those who died before age 20? It is generally accepted by many in the church that babies or young children who have died before having had a chance to “accept Yeshua” will be given a second chance to do so. But what about those who died “unsaved” prior to age 20? Some have speculated that they may be resurrected at some time in the future and be allowed to live out their lives during the Millennium (see Isa 65:17–20).

Perhaps the reason Satan will be released at the end of the Millennium from the pit where he was held captive will be to give all those living on the earth at that time (including those who died under the age of accountability) a chance to accept or reject Yeshua. YHVH will use the devil to test the loyalties of this new crop potential saints (Rev 20:7–10). Those who remain faithful will inherit eternal life, while those whom Satan seduces into rebellion will have their part in the second death (Rev 20:11–15).

O, the merciful grace of Elohim!


2 thoughts on “What is the biblical age of accountability?

  1. My understanding out of what the Bible says, is that those who dies without having the gift of The holy Spirit in their heart, wich is the gift of the Yeshua Covenant, to give the Believers ability and desire to follow the Torah the Yeshua way, will be resurrected at the end of the Millenium and the “scrolls” (Bible) will be taught them the way it should, for the first time, and of course they will se their Redeemer for the first time. These are the ones called “the other dead” in Rev 20, the ones that are not in the first ressurrection. I believe Ezekiel 37 is about these.

  2. This is a very interesting article Natan..I wasn’t going to type anything re share your thoughts but then decided I would…My youngest son Elliot turned 20 years of age on 2nd March…so was thinking from mid teens the years go by quickly
    reflecting on this Elliot spent time with some friends around his age that he knew from the Sunday Church we used to attend.
    He has only told us that early hrs of Tuesday 14 March he had a dream…he is pretty sure it is to do with end times…. he wasn’t scared but the dream was somewhat ..a bit disturbing.
    …in the dream he knew he was in Melbourne …then he saw a Huge dark black wave come in over the city & buildings & debris were in the wave…as well as people tossed by the wave being sucked into the wave which formed a whirlpool…he was thinking where is mum & dad ..thinking we were @ work & he was waiting for us then he thought they are in the country…he termed what he saw as Calamity striking ..he thinks our city…? as things grow darker..etc..it is also interesting that we are praying & seeking if we should move further out of suburbia into the country…further hr or so from where we are now,,
    so on seeing this re accountability age 20 ..I thought boy!….He had the dream 12 days after his 20th birthday. .

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