Methuselah or Metushélach (Hebrew: מְתוּשֶׁלַח / מְתוּשָׁלַח, Modern Mətušélaḥ / Mətušálaḥ Tiberian Məṯûšélaḥ / Məṯûšālaḥ ; "Man of the dart/spear", or alternatively "when he dies/died, it shall be sent/has been sent") is the oldest person whose age is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, given as 969 years. Extra-biblical tradition records that he died on the 11th of Cheshvan of the year 1656 (Anno Mundi, after Creation), 7 days before the beginning of the Great Flood. According to Rashi on Gen. 7:4, The Holy One delayed the Flood specially because of the 7 days of mourning for the righteous Methuselah in his honour. Methuselah was son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah.
The name Methuselah has become a general synonym for any living creature of great age.
Methuselah is mentioned in one passage in the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 5:21-27, as part of the genealogy linking Adam to Noah. The genealogy is repeated, without the chronology, at 1 Chronicles 1:3, and also appears at Luke 3:37.
(21) And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: (22) And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and Methuselah begat sons and daughters: (23) And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: (24) And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him. (25) And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: (26) And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: (27) And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
The verses are available in three manuscript traditions, the Masoretic, the Septuagint and the Samaritan Torah. The three traditions do not agree with each other. The differences can be summarized as follows:
|Text||Age at son's birth||Remainder of life Methuselah||Age at death||Comment|
|Masoretic||187||782||969||Methuselah dies in 1656 AM, the year of the Flood|
|Septuagint (Alexandrinus)||187||782||969||Methuselah dies in 2256 AM, six years before the Flood (2262 AM)|
|Septuagint (Vaticanus)||167||802||969||Methuselah dies in 2256 AM, fourteen years after the Flood (2242 AM)|
|Samaritan||67||653||720||Methuselah dies in the year of the Flood (1307 AM)|
There have been numerous attempts to account for these differences - the most obvious being accidental corruption by copyists and translators. Some errors may be the result of mistaken attempts to correct previous errors. Gerhard Larsson has suggested that the rabbis who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew to Greek in Alexandria around the 3rd century BC, aware that the Egyptian historian Manetho makes no mention of a Deluge, lengthened the patriarchs' ages to push back the time of the flood to before the first Egyptian dynasty.
Methuselah appears in two important Jewish works from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. In the Book of Enoch, where Enoch (as the narrator) tells Methuselah of the coming worldwide flood and of the future Messianic kingdom. The Book of Jubilees names Methuselah's mother and his wife - both are named Edna - and his daughter-in-law, Betenos, Lamech's wife.
The 17th century midrashic Sefer haYashar ("Book of Jasher"), describes Methuselah with his grandson Noah attempting to persuade the people of the earth to return to godliness. All other very long-lived people died, and Methuselah was the only one of this class left.  God planned to bring the flood after all the men who walked in the ways of the LORD had died (besides Noah's nuclear family).  Methuselah lived until the ark was built, but died before the flood, since God had promised he would not be killed with the unrighteous.  The Sefer haYashar gives Methuselah's age at death as 960 and does not synchronize his death with the flood.
The meaning of Methuselah's age has engendered considerable speculation, but no widely accepted conclusions. These speculations can be discussed under four categories and their combinations: literal, mistranslation, symbolic, and fictional interpretations.
Literal interpretations take Methuselah's 969 years to be exactly 969 solar years. This conflicts with evidence that a lifespan of centuries is not currently possible. Some literalists suggest allegedly naturalistic explanations: the patriarchs had a better diet, or a water vapor canopy protected the earth from radiation prior to the Flood. Others introduce theological causes: man was originally to have everlasting life, but sin was introduced into the world by Adam and Eve, its influence became greater with each generation, and God progressively shortened man's life.
Some believe that Methuselah's extreme age is the result of an ancient mistranslation that converted "months" to "years", producing a more credible 969 lunar months, or 78½ years, but the same calculation applied to Enoch would have him fathering Methuselah at the age of 5.
Symbolic interpretations begin with the observation that the Biblical chronology routinely uses numbers for their symbolic value: for example, 10 symbolizes completion, 8 symbolizes the mundane world, and 7 the divine. So Methuselah's father Enoch, who does not die but is taken by God, is the seventh patriarch, and Methuselah, the eighth, dies in the year of the Flood, which ends the ten-generational sequence from Adam to Noah, in whose time the world is destroyed.
Among those who believe that all the numbers of Genesis 5, including Methuselah's age, have no meaning at all, Kenneth Kitchen calls them "pure myth", Yigal Levin believes they are intended simply to speed the reader from Adam to Noah, and Claus Westermann believes they are intended to create the impression of a distant past.
(There is currently no text in this page)
Meaning: man of the dart
The son of Enoch, father of Lamech, and grandfather of Noah. Methuselah was 187 years old when Lamech, his firstborn son was born (Gen 5:25). He was the oldest man of whom we have any record, dying at the age of 969 years, in the year of the Flood (Gen 5:21ff; 1Chr 1:3).
what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)
|Birth||<year not a number> in "Mesopotamia"|
|Death:||<year not a number> in "Mesopotamia"|
|Father:||Enoch (son of Jared)|
Lived 969 years. His name means "when he dies it will come" (i.e. The Flood)
|Offspring of ' and Unknown parent|
|Lamech (son of Methuselah)||in Mesopotamia||in Mesopotamia|
Book of Genesis