As Old As Methuselah  
Genesis Five


            The book of Genesis is a book of many firsts. Genesis chapter five contains the first genealogy in the Bible. The genealogies are important because they show how God maintained that godly line through which the Messiah would come. This genealogy is traced through Seth. Genesis five begins by telling us what it contains, "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him." (Genesis 5:1) The first verses of Genesis chapter five contain a brief summary of the events of the creation. We read, "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." (Genesis 5:2) The genealogy skipped Cain and moved directly to Seth. We learn that Adam and Eve were parents of both sons and daughters. We do not know how many children they had, but over Adam’s life span of 930 years there could have been many children. The length of Eve's life is not given. But suppose she and Adam were husband and wife for 900 or more years. In our world today many cannot even make it for a few short months or a few years of marriage. In Genesis five the Devil is proven to be the liar that he is. He told Eve, "Ye shall not surely die," but in this chapter we read over and over the statement, "And he died." These early Bible characters lived hundreds of years before they died. "Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." "Seth lived nine hundred and twelve years: and he died." "Enos lived nine hundred and five years: and he died." "Cainan lived nine hundred and ten years: and he died." "Mahalaleel lived eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died." "Jared lived nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died." "All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years." "Methuselah lived nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died." "Lamech lived seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died." If you carefully count the years from Adam to the flood you find it to be 1,656 years. You also find by counting the years that Methuselah died in the same year as the flood. Did he die in the flood? We do not know! 


            The Genealogy of Adam -- Genesis 5:1-5: The genealogy of Genesis chapter five allows us a look into the early lineage of a godly people who would be the ancestors of the Messiah. This section is titled, "the book of the generations of Adam." This is the story of the descendants of Adam through Seth. This is the "godly line" through which God kept His promise to send the Lord Jesus Christ. The genealogy recorded by Luke traces back to this same point of Seth and Adam. (Luke 3:23-38) After the birth of Seth "men began to call upon the name of the LORD." (Genesis 4:26) God created man in His own image and they were created male and female. God called their name "Adam" or person or mankind. At the age of 130 Adam became the father of Seth. Even though Adam and Eve had other children only the genealogy of Seth is given because from his lineage Jesus was born.  Adam was nine hundred and thirty years old at his death.


            The Genealogy of Seth -- Genesis 5:6-20: The necessary genealogy of Seth is provided in a straightforward way. We learn that Seth begat sons and daughters. The son through whom the godly lineage was traced was Enos. He was born when Seth was one hundred and five years old. Seth was nine hundred and twelve years old when he died. The Bible gives the names of the patriarchs with the actual year of their birth and death. When Enos was ninety he had a son named Cainan. Enos died at the age of nine hundred five years. The lineage continued through Mahalaleel who was born when Cainan was seventy. Cainan died at the age of nine hundred ten. At the age of sixty-five Mahalaleel had a son named Jared. Mahalaleel died at the age of eight hundred ninety-five. The godly line continued through Jared. At the age of one hundred sixty-two Jared had a son named Enoch. Jared died at the age of nine hundred sixty-two. The godly line through which the Messiah would come continued through Enoch. Because the years of the lives of the patriarchs are given so clearly and can easily be counted we learn that it was 1656 years from creation to the flood in the days of Noah.


            The translation of Enoch -- Genesis 5:21-24: Eight times it said of the patriarchs "And he died." It was said of Enoch, "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." The writer of the book of Hebrews gave this description of what happened with Enoch. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5) God transported Enoch from the earth to the heavenly side because he pleased God or walked with God. These patriarchs in Genesis five came one after the other. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 1:14-15) Observe, Enoch was “the seventh from Adam.” You can easily count the years. Enoch warned people about God's judgment against sin. The judgment that was coming was the flood and later the judgment would be the final judgment at the end of the world. The entire world should prepare to stand before God and give an account to Him.


            The Genealogy of Methuselah, Lamech and Noah -- Genesis 5:25-32:         Enoch had a son named Methuselah. Methuselah was the father of Lamech and grandfather of Noah. Methuselah is the oldest man whose age is recorded in the Bible. He lived nine hundred sixty nine years, "And he died." Lamech trained Noah to be a righteous man. The Bible says, Lamech "begat other sons and daughters." It is very possible that one of Lamech's sons, Noah and his family was saved in the ark while other sons and daughters might have died in the flood. Not all of Seth's decedents honored God and served Him faithfully. There is no doubt that many of Lamech's family perished in the flood. However, not all who died in the flood were wicked. I am sure there were many innocent children who died in the flood. Even Methuselah, Noah's grandfather died in the same year as the flood. I hope he did not die in the flood. Genesis five closes with the birth of Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. It was Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives who were saved in the ark. 


            It is very, very likely the case that none of us will ever live to be as old as Methuselah. However, we can learn a great lesson from the statement that is repeated at least 8 times in Genesis 5, "And he died." One day we will die so let us quickly make preparation for that day. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Life on earth is always better when we have Jesus as Savior and the hereafter with Jesus will be very far better!