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Methuselah comes from the line of godly men who descended from Adam’s son Seth. These men honored God and were the only ones through whom God could carry on His plan to save mankind. Let’s review Methuselah’s family line:
The book of Genesis records, “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:21-23).
Enoch was part of the rightouss men that lived among a wicked generation and worshiped God loyally during the first 65 years of his life. But when he had a son, he understood as never before the depth of a father’s love and the simple trust of a child. And this understanding drew him closer to His heavenly Father.
Therefore, he looked forward to the coming of the Messiah and earnestly warned the wicked of God’s judgment. The New Testament tells us, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 14, 15).
Enoch’s experience with God qualified him for translation to heaven. So, he was translated “that he should not see death” (Hebrews 11:5). So far as we know, Enoch was the only antediluvian righteous man not to see death. For his righteous life, Enoch, “the seventh from Adam,” stands in clear contrast to the seventh generation of the Cainite line, Lamech, who added the sin of murder to the evil of polygamy (Jude 14; Genesis 4:16–19).
The translation of Enoch to heaven was designed by God, not only to reward the righteous man of God, but to show the surety of God’s promised ultimate freedom from death. This incident is recorded in the Jewish tradition (Ecclesiasticus 44:16), in the Christian record (Hebrew 11:5; Jude 14), and even in heathen legends.
The Apocryphal Book of Enoch records the godly man as teaching his son and all his peers, and warning them of coming judgment. The Jewish Book of Jubilee records that Enoch was taken to Paradise, where he wrote down the judgment of all men. And Arabic legends have made him the inventor of writing and arithmetic. His translation must have made an outstanding impression upon his peers, if we are to judge by the degree to which the narrative of Enoch has been passed down to subsequent generations.
Enoch’s model life with its honorable climax witness to our day of the possibility of living in an evil time without being part of the world. Enoch’s short earthly life of only 365 years (compared to his contemporaries) was followed by that of his son Methuselah.
The book of Genesis records, “Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died” (Genesis 5:25-28).
Methuselah lived for 969 years which makes him the oldest person on record in human history. He lived to the year of the Flood. The meaning of his name is uncertain. Bible scholars have explained it in different ways as “man of military weapons,” “man of sending forth,” or “man of growth.”
Lamech and Noah
The book of Genesis records, “Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died. And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Genesis 5:28-32).
The meaning of the name of Methuselah’s son Lamech is not clear. Lamech begat a son whom he named Noah, in the hope that his first-born might be the promised seed, the redeemer for who’s coming the believers patiently waited. Lamech called him Noah, which means “rest,” saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed” (Genesis 5:29). Lamech was a godly man who followed in the footsteps of his exemplary grandfather Enoch and his pious, long-lived father Methuselah.
In His service,
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