Methuselah – New World Encyclopedia

Christ Main the Patriarchs to Paradise: Methuselah, Adam and Eve, and Solomon lead the procession of the righteous behind Jesus.

Methuselah or Metushélach (מְתוּשָׁלַח – “Man of the dart,” or alternatively “when he dies, it is going to be despatched”) was the longest-lived particular person in historical past, in line with the Hebrew Bible. His family tree within the E-book of Genesis information him because the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah by Lamech. Though he and his progeny are specifically singled out as worthy of point out within the ten generations from Adam to Noah, nearly nothing is claimed about him aside from his marvelous lifespan of 969 years.

Within the apocryphal E-book of Enoch, Methuselah turns into a channel by which Enoch, already dwelling within the heavenly realm, communicates to the folks on earth, revealing varied cosmic secrets and techniques and predicting the approaching of Noah’s flood.

Varied theories have been offered regarding Methuselah’s reported lengthy life, some contemplating him to be a determine of delusion reasonably than historical past, and others explaining his longevity both as regards to varied scientific theories or just as a matter of religion. The identify Methuselah has turn out to be a common synonym for any dwelling creature of nice age. If the biblical story is correct, then Methuselah and his unnamed spouse are the ancestors, by Noah and his spouse, of each dwelling human being.

Biblical information

Methuselah is talked about in Genesis because the son of Enoch and the daddy of Lamech, whom he supposedly fathered on the age of 187. He’s thus additionally the grandfather of Lamech’s son Noah. A detailed studying of the dates within the Outdated Testomony reveals that Methuselah is claimed to have died within the yr of the Nice Flood, however the Bible doesn’t say whether or not he was amongst these killed within the flood or whether or not he died of pure causes.

The Loss of life of Adam by Piero della Francesca. Methuselah had already been born right now in line with Genesis.

The Bible signifies that Methuselah reached the age of 969 years (Genesis 5:27). In keeping with this family tree, Adam was nonetheless alive when Methuselah was born. This makes Methuselah the human hyperlink between Adam and Noah, the one particular person to have been alive within the time of each of them.

Utilizing Bishop James Ussher’s Bible chronology from the creation to Nebuchadnezzar II, the next dates are proposed regarding Methuselah:[1]

  • 4004 B.C.E.—Creation
  • 3317 B.C.E.—Beginning of Methuselah
  • 3130 B.C.E.—Lamech born when Methuselah was 187
  • 2948 B.C.E.—Noah born when Lamech was 182
  • 2446 B.C.E.—Shem born when Noah was 502
  • 2348 B.C.E.—Loss of life of Methuselah and Noah’s flood when Noah was 600

It have to be famous, nonetheless, that many don’t take these dates actually, and a few low cost the biblical account of this era as mythological reasonably than historic.

Aside from the very fact of his longevity and his distinguished lineage because the grandfather of Noah, Methuselah doesn’t determine prominently in the remainder of the biblical narrative. He engages in no dialog or motion, and is talked about exterior of Genesis solely in genealogical lists.

Methuselah within the E-book of Enoch

Methuselah is talked about prominently, nonetheless, within the apocryphal E-book of Enoch, by which he’s offered because the particular person chosen to convey Enoch’s heavenly information to those that will survive the Nice Flood. Right here new particulars are offered about Methuselah’s household, together with his mom, named Edna, and his brothers. Enoch, who has seen God and lives among the many angels, reveals to Methuselah a number of desires and visions describing many secrets and techniques of the universe, together with the approaching Deluge and the longer term Messianic kingdom (Chapters 83-85).

Enoch additionally instructions Methuselah to assemble his brothers to listen to Enoch’s phrases of recommendation and blessing:

Love uprightness and stroll therein.
And draw not nigh to uprightness with a double coronary heart, and affiliate not with these of a double coronary heart. However stroll in righteousness, my sons; and it shall information you on good paths. And righteousness shall be your companion (Ch. 91).

The E-book of Enoch additionally relates how, on the beginning of the nonetheless unnamed Noah, his father Lamech turns into frightened on the sight of the boy’s unnaturally white physique and his uncanny skill to converse with God. Lamech flees to his father Methuselah and informs him that his grandson resembles an angel greater than a toddler. Lamech additional informs Methuselah that he has foreseen {that a} horrible accident will befall the earth through the lifetime of this little one. He begs Methuselah to seek the advice of Enoch, who was already among the many angels, and who consequently would know what was to occur. Methuselah accordingly goes to the ends of the earth to consult with Enoch. He learns {that a} flood will certainly destroy the world, and that solely the new-born little one and his future sons, three in quantity, would survive. Enoch additionally tells Methuselah to call the kid “Noah,” inasmuch as he would console the earth for its destruction (Enoch 106-107).

Methuselah’s lifespan

Do you know?

Methuselah is legendary for having lived 969 years, in line with the Bible, a lifespan a lot past present human longevity and thus the topic of a lot hypothesis

Fashionable science places the pure restrict on present human longevity beneath 130 years. The oldest particular person documented past affordable doubt, Jeanne Calment, died at 122. This being the case, Methuselah’s lifespan has been a supply of a lot hypothesis.

Months, not years?

If one assumes that the age of 969 signifies months as an alternative of years, indicating an early mistranslation or an inaccurate transmission within the oral custom that preceded the written model of Genesis, Methuselah’s age is calculated as 80.75 years, which is a extra reasonable lifespan. One other principle means that lunar cycles had been mistaken for the photo voltaic “years.” If so, every lifespan from Genesis can be shortened by an element of 12.37 and provides ages for Methuselah and his contemporaries that resemble these of contemporary people. Nevertheless, objections to such life-shortening calculations have been raised on the grounds that, if reductions by these components are carried out persistently, a number of historic biblical fathers would have had youngsters after they themselves had been roughly 5 years previous.

One resolution involving translation error is proposed by Robert Finest, who suggests that wrong conversion between varied historic Sumerian numerical programs produced the ages of Methuselah, Noah, and their kin out of archaic Sumerian numerals. Finest calculates that Methuselah’s precise age would have been 85, and that he would have had his first son at age 17 (as an alternative of age 187).[2]

The literalist view

Biblical literalists, however, have proposed a number of causes which may clarify a drastic lower within the human lifespan after the Flood. The best of those is the truth that Gen. 6:Three says, “And the Lord stated, ‘My spirit shall not try with man endlessly, for he’s certainly flesh; but his days shall be 100 and twenty years.'” That is interpreted by some as a prophecy that humankind’s lifespan can be step by step shortened over time. Thus, the patriarch Abraham and the prophet Moses each lived to be effectively over 100, whereas within the instances of King David and his successors the ages of the kings typically had been within the vary of 40-70 years previous.

Some Creationists have speculated on the potential scientific causes for the dramatic lower in lifespans following the Nice Flood of Noah’s time.[3] The Institute for Creation Analysis has posited {that a} “vapor cover” surrounded the earth earlier than the Flood, and that this was the supply of the floodwaters. On this principle, such a cover would even have protected humankind from the supposed getting older results of the solar’s ultraviolet rays. After the dissipation of the cover through the Flood, lifespans dropped quickly to what they’re at this time. Mainstream scientists have rejected the vapor cover principle, asserting that it doesn’t stand as much as any scientific evaluation.[4]

Younger Earth creationist Carl Wieland alternatively speculates that the decline in lifespan was as a result of of the drastic discount in inhabitants as a result of Flood, inflicting a genetic bottleneck by which the genes that had been “coded for longevity” had been misplaced.[5]

One other clarification for the speedy shortening of human life after the time of Noah is the introduction of meat into the human food regimen talked about in Genesis 9:3. On this passage God says to Noah: “Every little thing that lives and strikes can be meals for you. Simply as I gave you the inexperienced vegetation, I now provide you with every part.” To Adam, God gave dominion over the animals, however apparently specified a vegetarian food regimen: “I provide you with each seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and each tree that has fruit with seed in it. They are going to be yours for meals” (Gen 1:29).


  1. Solutions in Genesis, Ussher chronology. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  2. Robert MacAndrew Finest, Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Flood Fable (Fort Myers, FL: Enlil Press, 1999, ISBN 9780966784015).
  3. James A. Borland, “Did Individuals Reside to be A whole bunch of Years Outdated Earlier than the Flood? Sure,” in Youngblood (1986).
  4. Frank Steiger, Vapor Cover. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  5. Carl Wieland, for 900 years, Solutions in Genesis. Retrieved September 29, 2008.


  • Finest, Robert MacAndrew. Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Flood Fable. Fort Myers, FL: Enlil Press, 1999. ISBN 9780966784015.
  • Georgakas, Dan. The Methuselah Elements: Methods for a Lengthy and Vigorous Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980. ISBN 9780671240646.
  • Youngblood, Ronald F. The Genesis Debate: Persistent Questions About Creation and the Flood. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1986. ISBN 9780840775177.

Exterior hyperlinks

All hyperlinks retrieved September 19, 2018.


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