The Flood Judgment
Methuselah comes from muth, a root that means “death”; and from shalach, which means to bring, or to send forth. The name Methuselah means, “his death shall bring”
Methuselah’s father (Enoch) was given a prophecy of the coming Great Flood, and was apparently told that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be brought or sent forth.
(Can you imagine raising a kid like that? Every time the boy caught a cold, the entire neighborhood must have panicked!)
And, indeed, the year that Methuselah died, the flood came.
It is interesting that Methuselah’s life, in effect, was a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood.
When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether , Methuselah lived a total of 969 years and then died.
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed. After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then died.
Therefore, it is fitting that Methuselah’s lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, speaking of the extensiveness of God’s mercy. He gave the people as much time as possible in hopes that they might repent and turn from their ways.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance
2 Peter 3:9
The Names of The First Ten Generations of Creation
Adam’s name means man. As the first man, that seems straight forward enough.
Adam’s son was named Seth, which means appointed. Eve said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”
Seth’s son was called Enosh, which means mortal, frail, or miserable. It is from the root anash, to be incurable, used of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness.
It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of the Living God.
Enosh’s son was named Kenan, which can mean sorrow, dirge, or elegy. (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some study aids unfortunately presume that Kenan is synonymous with Cainan.)
Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, uses a pun upon the name of the Kenites when he prophesies their destruction.
We have no real idea as to why these names were chosen for their children. Often they may have referred to circumstances at birth, and so on.
Kenan’s son was Mahalalel, from Mahalal which means blessed or praise; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means the Blessed God. Often Hebrew names include El, the name of God, as Dan-i-el, “God is my Judge”, etc.
Mahalalel’s son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh, meaning shall come down.
Jared’s son was named Enoch, which means teaching, or commencement. He was the first of four generations of preachers. In fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough foretold of the coming flood disaster and is also a foreshadow to the Second Coming of Christ as we know that God’s justice, although seemingly delayed for hope that all might repent and be saved, is also certain. (quoted in the Book of Jude in the New Testament):
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying: Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his Holy Ones to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him”
Enoch was the father of Methuselah, who we have already mentioned. Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah. Apparently, Enoch received the prophecy of the Great Flood, and was told that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld. The year that Methuselah died, the flood came.
Enoch, of course, never died: he was translated (or, if you’ll excuse the expression, raptured ). That’s how Methuselah can be the oldest man in the Bible, yet he died before his father!
Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, lament or lamentation. Lamech suggests despairing. (This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain’s line who inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident)
Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from nacham, to bring relief or comfort, as Lamech himself explains in Genesis 5:29.
The Composite List
Now let’s put it all together:
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The Despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort.
Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.
Evidence of Design
The implications of this discovery are more wide spread than is evident at first glance.
It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross which was erected in Judea roughly 2,000 years ago.
The Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering. Every number, every place name, every detail every jot and tittle is there for our learning, our discovery, and our amazement. Truly, our God is an awesome God.
It is astonishing to discover how many Biblical controversies seem to evaporate if one simply recognized the unity the integrity of these 66 books, penned by 40 authors over thousands of years.
The Torah, The Pentateuch, the Old Testament first five books of Moses, they all teach the same thing:
Jesus Christ is Lord!
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.