The elderly were revered in the Near East for their accumulated wisdom (Job 12: 12) rather than resented as a burden on society (cf. Isa. 3: 5). Length of years was a sign of God's reward for keeping his laws (Deut. 30: 19 f.), though the OT is realistic about the ills of the aged (1 Kgs. 1: 1 ff.; Gen. 27: 1). One of the Ten Commandments required respect for parents (Exod. 20: 12), and this is more likely to be addressed to those with elderly parents than to children.