Methuselah Biography

Methuselah
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Quick Facts

Born: 3317 BC

Age: -1296 Years

Born Country: Iraq

Born in: Ancient Near East

Family:

father: Enoch

mother: Edna

children: Lamech, Rakel

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Who is Methuselah?

Methuselah is a biblical character who is believed to be the oldest-living figure ever mentioned in the Bible. Methuselah is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, 1 Chronicles 1:1-4, and Luke 3:37. Methuselah was Enoch’s son, Lamech’s father, and Noah’s grandfather. He remained alive till Noah built the ark to escape the Flood. Methuselah was said to be 969 years old when he died (according to Genesis 5:27). Apart from the Bible, he is also mentioned in various other religious texts, such as the Book of Enoch and Slavonic Enoch. Methuselah also finds a prominent place in Islamic and Jewish religious writings. Over the years, Methuselah has become synonymous with longevity. A tree in eastern California that is over 4,800 years old is known as the “Methuselah Tree.” Similarly, the phrase “as old as Methuselah" is used to refer to very old people.

His Story

Methuselah, also known as Methushelach, is a biblical character who is believed to have been the oldest-living of all the figures mentioned in the Bible. His name means "Death of Sword,” “Man of the Dart,” or “Man of the Javelin" in Hebrew.

The Book of Genesis mentions him as Enoch’s son, Lamech’s father, and Noah’s grandfather. Methuselah also finds mention in 1 Chronicles 1:1-4 and Luke 3:37. Apart from Christianity, he is a key figure in Judaism and Islam, too.

Methuselah was born when Enoch was 65 years old. Genesis 5 states that Enoch was devoted to God and then “God took him away.”

One of Methuselah’s sons, Lamech, was Noah’s father. When Noah was born, Methuselah was 369 years old (Genesis 5:25-29).According to Genesis 9:28-29, Methuselah died in the year of the Flood, at a time when Noah was 600 years old.

According to Genesis 5:27, Methuselah lived for 969 years. Genesis 5 also mentions him as one of Adam’s descendants. It is said Methuselah and Adam possibly knew each other (though there are doubts regarding this, as they were born years apart).

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Variations of the Tale

There are detailed descriptions of Methuselah in other religious texts. The apocryphal Book of Enoch has Enoch telling Methuselah about two visions he has had. The first vision narrates the Genesis flood story, while the second tells the history of the world, starting with Adam and ending with the Last Judgment.

In the Book of Enoch, after his father's death, Methuselah is made a priest by God. Methuselah's grandson (and Noah's brother) Nir is made his successor.

In Slavonic Enoch, Methuselah is shown asking his father to bless him. His father tells him to live righteously. After Enoch departs to heaven, Methuselah and his brothers build an altar.

According to Rabbinic literature, by the time Noah was 480 years old, all the righteous men, except Methuselah and Noah himself, were dead. They were both descendants of God’s son. They thus announced that men would be granted 120 years for repentance, and if they were unable to mend their ways by then, the world would end.

However, nobody paid heed to their words. When Noah was building the ark, a few men even taunted him, saying even if the Flood came, they would be saved, as they were tall.

The Midrashic text named Sefer haYashar ("Book of Jasher"), dating back to the 17th century, describes Methuselah and his grandson Noah trying to make the people of the Earth follow the path of godliness.

It is believed that God decided to bring the Flood to Earth after all godly people had died (except Noah and his family). Methuselah lived till the ark was built. However, he died before the Flood came, as God had promised he would not kill Methuselah along with the unrighteous. The Sefer haYashar also mentions that Methuselah had died at the age of 960.

In Islam, Methuselah appears as Mattūshalakh (Arabic). He is mentioned as an ancestor of Noah in the stories told by various pre-Islamic prophets. Moreover, some Islamic historians such as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham mentioned Methuselah in the genealogy of Muhammad.

The Mormon text titled The Book of Moses states that after Enoch and the City of Zion went to heaven, Methuselah remained behind. This was done to keep God's promises to Enoch, which had mentioned that he would always have his descendants on Earth and that Noah would be his descendant.

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According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Methuselah was a prophet.

The Sumerian King List names someone called Ubara-Tutu, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Methuselah. Ubara-Tutu is mentioned as the son of En-men-dur-ana, a Sumerian mythological character who is often likened to Enoch, as he had gone to heaven without dying. Ubara-Tutu was Sumer’s ruler until a flood destroyed his land. Although the times of Methuselah and Ubara-Tutu are different, both of them died in a Great Flood.

Some historians liken Bible's depiction to Methuselah to the Mesopotamian legends mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The epic mentioned how Gilgamesh had reigned over Uruk for 126 years and how his ancestors had reigned for a few hundred years each.

Criticism and Interpretations

Some critics believe the Book of Genesis mentions Methuselah having lived till such as old age because Methuselah's age had probably been miscalculated. Their theory states the ancient translators had probably mentioned “months” as “years.” Another theory states that his age was used to show that part of Genesis had taken place in a distant past.

Some scholars have tried and justified his age. They have stated that early humans ate better and healthier food and were protected from radiation by a water-vapor canopy, which meant they could live longer.

Others believe humans were originally supposed to enjoy everlasting life, but Adam and Eve introduced sin. As a result, the sins multiplied with each generation, and God gradually shortened human life, especially after the Flood

Art & Culture

A bristlecone pine tree that is over 4,800 years old and is located in the White Mountains of Inyo County, eastern California, is known as the “Methuselah Tree.” This is because Methuselah has become synonymous with longevity.

Similarly, elderly people are often referred to as being "as old as Methuselah." The word "Methuselarity," coined by Aubrey de Grey, is a combination of “Methuselah” and “singularity.” It was used by Aubrey to refer to a future point in time when all the medical ailments that cause death would be gone, and death would only be caused by accidents or murders.

The character Flint in the episode of Star Trek: The Original Series named Requiem for Methuselah was almost immortal and born in ancient Mesopotamia.

The 2014 movie Noah had Anthony Hopkins playing Methuselah.

The TV series Altered Carbon, adapted from Richard K. Morgan's 2002 novel bearing the same name, mentioned a group of people who could live forever by transferring their consciousness to clones. Such people were called "Meths" or "Methuselahs."

In 2016, reports stated that David Heyman would produce a biblical epic with Tom Cruise as Methuselah.

The star named HD 140283 is supposed to be the oldest star to have been discovered and is often called "The Methuselah Star."

How To Cite

Article Title
- Methuselah Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/methuselah-37449.php

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