Methuselah was the man who lived the longest in the Bible. He was the son of Enoch and grandfather of Noah. Methuselah lived 969 years!
The life of Methuselah
The Bible speaks little of Methuselah’s life. His father was Enoch, the man who walked with God and was taken away. At 187, Methuselah had a son named Lamech, who would be Noah’s father. Methuselah also had other sons and daughters and died at the age of 969 ( Genesis 5: 25-27 ). The Bible does not speak of any person who has lived as many years as Methuselah!
Methuselah lived in the time before the flood, when the evil of men was growing out of control ( Genesis 6: 5 ). Before he died, he probably saw Noah build the ark and heard his grandson tell what God was going to do to humanity. However, the Bible does not say whether Methuselah believed or not, nor whether he was God-fearing or not. Although he lived so many years, Methuselah’s life is unknown.
See also: who was Enoch?
How did Methuselah live so long?
The Bible does not explain how Methuselah and the other people of his time lived so many years. Before the flood, people whose ages are recorded in the Bible lived much longer than is normal today. Methuselah was not the only one to live hundreds of years.
There are three main theories about the extremely long life of Methuselah and his contemporaries:
Life expectancy was different
In the early days of humanity, God may have let people live longer, in order to develop civilization, or for some other reason. The first reference to an age limit for men only appears in Genesis 6: 3 , just before the flood. After the flood people started and lived a lot less time.
The year count was different
Perhaps people used to count years differently, following a much shorter calendar than the solar one. After the flood, they may have changed their calendar. However, this theory is difficult to support because it would mean that people in Methuselah’s family would have had children while they were still children.
Find out here: according to the Bible, how old is humanity?
Ages are symbolic
Ages can represent dynasties started by these men, or historical times marked by their contribution. Thus, the “children” would be descendants, not real children. In various parts of the Bible, the most distant descendants of some people were called their children.
As the Bible does not explain, all of these theories are just that – theories. The Bible only says that Methuselah and his relatives lived many years and does not go into detail on the subject, because it is not relevant to history.
Did Methuselah die in the flood?
The Bible does not say whether Methuselah died in the flood or died earlier. Doing the math, Methuselah must have died in the year of the flood or the year before. The age at which Methuselah died coincides with the age of Noah when he entered the ark.
See Noah’s story here .
If Methuselah died in the flood, then he would have died out of his own unbelief, because Noah had warned that God would destroy mankind. On the other hand, he may have died with dignity just before the flood, thus avoiding the punishment of the wicked. Since the Bible does not tell us about the character of Methuselah, we cannot know for certain how he died.