Who was Methuselah in the Bible?

Methuselah was the son of Enoch and his story can be found in Genesis 5. Enoch was notable for being a righteous man who walked with God. He did not die but was taken directly into heaven by God: "And [in reverent fear and obedience] Enoch walked with God; and he was not [found among men], because God took him [away to be home with Him]" (Genesis 5:24, AMP). When Enoch was 65, his son Methuselah was born. Methuselah is primarily known for being the longest living person in recorded human history—Genesis 5:27 records that he lived 969 years.

Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah, the builder of the ark; his son Lamech was Noah's father (Genesis 5:26–29). Both Lamech and Methuselah were still alive while Noah was building the ark, and they may even have helped to build it, but neither of them were still alive on earth when the flood actually came. Based on Genesis 5:30, Lamech died about five years prior to the flood. Based on Genesis 5:25, 28, and 7:6, Methuselah apparently died within no more than a year of the flood. We can't know with certainty precisely when Methuselah died, but some have proposed the idea that he died a week before the flood came. They base this on the fact that God had Noah and his family board the ark one week before the rain started (Genesis 7:1, 10). Some speculate that seven days was a common period of mourning, so it is possible that these seven days Noah and his family had on the ark before the flood came were spent mourning the death of Methuselah.

Noah was a righteous man and he found favor in God's sight. The Bible seems to state there were no other righteous people left on the earth, aside from Noah and his family, at the time of the flood (Genesis 6:8–9, 12; 7:1). Noah's great-grandfather Enoch was righteous and it seems his legacy of following God was passed to his son Methuselah, grandson Lamech, and great-grandson Noah. Their ancestor was Seth, the son of Adam and Eve who seems to be the progenitor of a line of righteousness. God rescued Noah from His judgment during the time of the flood and re-populated the earth through Noah and his family. God ultimately brought salvation to the world, through Jesus, who was born from this same godly lineage that started all the way back with Adam and Eve's son Seth. As the longest living person, Methuselah was an integral member of this righteous heritage.

Related Truth:

Why are such long lives recorded in Genesis?

Who are the biblical patriarchs?

What was the reason for the flood in the time of Noah?

Is there any way to guarantee ourselves a long life on earth?

Why is knowing about the various characters in the Bible important?

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