As you may know from scripture or possibly by word of mouth, there is a character in the Bible called Methuselah found in Genesis 5. Methuselah was and is the oldest man to ever live on this planet. According to scripture, he lived up until the ripe old age of 969. What a life!
But perhaps what’s even more significant is how God used Methuselah and his life to give an indication as to the coming judgement that was to befall the people of the time. Lets get some of the basic facts and numbers straight.
The genealogy in Genesis 5 presents Enoch as Methuselah’s father. Enoch was sixty-five when he gave birth to Methuselah. Then Enoch lived another 300 years before God whisked him away. That section of scripture plus Hebrews 11:5 indicates that Enoch did not taste death but was transported directly into heaven due to the fact that he walked so closely with God. Following on, we have Methuselah who was 187 when he gave birth to Lamech who was Noah’s father. Lamech was 182 when he gave birth to Noah, and Noah was 600 years old when the Floodwaters came.
So what was the significance?
Well we will need to translate Methuselahs name into its Hebraic meaning. It was tradition back in those days for a child’s name to mean something of value, weather negative or positive depending on certain factors around the time of the child’s birth. If you convert Methuselah to its original Hebraic meaning, it translates to, “his death shall bring Judgement.”
So what was the enormous worldwide event that took place around this time that the Bible records? The flood of Noah of course! Note that Methuselah was 187 years old when he gave birth to Lamech and Lamech was 182 when he gave birth to Noah. Add 187 with 182 and that would make Methuselah 396. Exactly at this age, Noah was born and then exactly 600 years later, Noah was 600 and the Flood came about. Add 600 to 369 and you get 969, the exact year of the flood and Methuselahs death. Remember Methuselahs name’s Hebraic meaning, “His death shall bring Judgement”? Well that’s exactly what happened, just as God intended. God used Methuselah as a reference point in counting down the days until the first worldwide Judgement upon the evil of the world. When the appointed time was up, God released the floodwaters and only Noah and his family who were obedient to God and accepted his grace were saved. God truly does work in mysterious ways doesn’t He!