How Old Was Methuselah When He Died? Meaning and Significance (2024)

Methuselah is the oldest man to have ever lived, according to the Bible (Genesis 5:27). While Methuselah is not spoken of to a great extent in the Bible, he is talked about a lot within Christian circles because of his age.

Not only is he spoken of within Christian circles, but he is also spoken of through a secular lens because of his old age. All of these things matter, as Methuselah's age has meaning and significance that can easily be overlooked.

The Life of Methuselah

"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 he died" (Genesis 5:25-27).

Within this passage of Genesis, we are told that Methuselah was 969 years old when he died. A man living 969 years old in the present day is unheard of!

It is understandable why many individuals find it hard to believe that Methuselah was indeed 969 years old when he passed away because it is such an amazing idea.

Methuselah was listed in the early parts of Genesis, which means he was closer to the line of Adam than we are in the present day. There have been about 6,000 to 10,000 years between Adam and us; however, Methuselah wasn't that far away from Adam's original genetics.

As we see from the Old Testament lineages, the people would have lived a lot longer than we do now. In fact, Adam is said to have been 930 years old when he died (Genesis 5). Since we see Adam lived this long, it is not unreasonable to believe that Methuselah also lived well into his 900s.

In our modern day, it is amazing if someone lives to be 100 years old–much less 900 hundred years old.

This is because we are so far removed from Adam's original design and genetic makeup. When God created Adam and Eve, He created them perfectly, and they could have lived forever with a given choice.

Since they were supposed to live forever, this genetic makeup still continued; however, because of the Fall of Mankind, they were no longer going to live eternally on the earth. Instead, they were going to have to die just as we all have to die now.

In other words, it is conceivable that Methuselah was able to live so long because of his closeness to the original makeup and genetics of Adam. If we look back to the people of Genesis, we can see they lived much longer than we do now.

Once again, this is because of God's original design for mankind to live forever, and after the Fall, this was no longer in effect as everyone has to die because of sin. Therefore, as the generations passed on, people started living for shorter lifespans.

Nobody in the present day can live to be 969 years as Methuselah did, yet this is out of God's mercy. Think about it, what would it be like if we did have to live to be almost a thousand years old?

We probably would have to live the majority of our lives being old and suffering all sorts of health problems. The significance and meaning behind Methuselah's age show us God's mercy in the sense that we don't have to live that long anymore.

While none of us were alive when these individuals were alive, such as Methuselah or Adam, we can imagine that it would be a challenge to live that long of a life.

Many people might view it as a good thing; however, you would have over a hundred times the years of what people live today, and with that, illness, sickness, and pain. When we look at it from this perspective, we can see how merciful God is that we don't live this long anymore.

To live hundreds of years longer would mean many more years not being in the presence of the Lord, many more years not being in heaven, and many more years living in sin.

Meaning and Significance in Our Lives

We might think Methuselah and his age don't affect us, but it does. As mentioned, it has the meaning and significance of God's mercy to us now. No longer do we have to live hundreds of years until we are with God in heaven.

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The Lord is merciful in this way because we don't have to endure pain, sin, and suffering for as long as Methuselah had to. Instead, we are given a set number of years, and we are to do the most with them.

In fact, since we live shorter lives than people did in early biblical times, it inspires us all the more to serve God with what time we have. It can encourage us and push us in the right direction to live our lives for the glory of God.

No longer are we controlled by wants and desires, but rather, we seek to serve God in everything we do? While it is true we don't live as long as Methuselah did, we are still capable of serving God with the time that we have been given.

The meaning and significance behind Methuselah's age are also seen within secular conversations. Many people who oppose the Bible believe it is solid proof against the Bible when it says that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old.

They believe that since mankind doesn't live that long today, there is no possible way mankind lived that long ago in the past. This is not a valid argument because creationists have found evidence that attests to the truth that these years are literal years.

When the Bible says Methuselah lived 969 years, it means he lived 969 years. Many secular individuals who oppose the Bible might see this as a valid argument; however, Methuselah living 969 years, challenges them to question their own theory of evolution.

If Methuselah did indeed live for 969 years, it directly goes against evolution. Evolution teaches that mankind evolved over the course of billions of years. If Methuselah lived as long as the Bible says he did, he is one of the many arguments that go against evolution.

If a secular scientist or individual starts questioning their beliefs in evolution, it could help point them to creationism, which would point them to Christ. In all of these ways, we can see why Methuselah's age matters as well as its meaning and significance.

The age of Methuselah was not given for no reason. Rather, it was recorded in the Bible for us to keep for all eternity. God wanted us to see the meaning and significance behind his age as well as how it affects us today.

God also wants to help all people come to know Him, including secular scientists who oppose the truth of the Bible. A great way this can be done is by challenging evolution through the argument of Methuselah's age as well as other patriarchs in the Bible.

Once evolutionists start looking more into these things, they will quickly be able to see how evolution is just a theory, but creationism is the truth.

Methuselah lived 969 years and its meaning and significance still affects us today in the form of it showing us God's mercy, the length of people's lives in the early days after the Fall, and how it is a valid argument against evolution.

For further reading:

Who Was Methuselah in the Bible?

Why Is it Important to View Adam and Eve as Real People?

Did Evil Exist Before Adam and Eve Sinned?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ChamilleWhite


How Old Was Methuselah When He Died? Meaning and Significance (2)Vivian Brickerloves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

How Old Was Methuselah When He Died? Meaning and Significance (2024)
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