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 5:25-27)
It used to be that anyone who lived to a very old age was as “old as Methuselah.” People would say that because, according to the Biblical record, no one lived to be older in the history of mankind. Have you ever wondered why?
Most don’t realize that Methuselah lived right up until the year of the flood. Jewish tradition teaches that he died seven days before the flood which is interesting when you consider that God told Noah:
“For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” (Gen 7:4)
The implication is that Methuselah’s death was indicated to Noah that the flood was about to begin. Couple this belief with the fact that the name Methuselah means, “his death initiates (launches)” and the tradition seems to be more likely. So then, why did God allow this man to live longer than any other? Because it is a demonstration of God’s heart in that He is “long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
He gave the generation of the flood ample opportunity to repent of their wickedness because He is not a God who wishes to destroy; He is a God is for life and restoration. He is and has always been — and will always be — slow to anger but quick to forgive. Let us, therefore, be thankful for His mercy and willing to humble ourselves before Him.
Blessings and Shalom,