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Who was the oldest man in the Bible?

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Genesis chapter 5 lists nine men who had very long lives. How and why they lived such long lives is not specifically said. Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5). Seth lived 912 years (Genesis 5:8). Enosh lived 905 years (Genesis 5:11). Kenan lived 910 years (Genesis 5:14). Mahalalel lived 895 years (Genesis 5:17). Jared lived 962 years (Genesis 5:20). Enoch lived 365 years before God took him (Genesis 5:22–24). Lamech lived 777 years (Genesis 5:31). Genesis 9:29 records that Noah lived 950 years.

But the oldest man in the Bible, outliving all the rest, is a man named Methuselah, who lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27). There may have been someone in the antediluvian days who outlived Methuselah, but the Bible has no record of anyone older. Very little is said about Methuselah other than he was the grandfather of Noah. There are two possible meanings of Methuselah’s name: “man of the spear” and “his death shall bring.” There is a tradition outside of the Bible that Enoch, Methuselah’s father, was given a revelation from God that the Flood would not come until his son died. If this is true, Methuselah’s name would essentially mean “his death shall bring the Flood.”

The biblical math backs this up, as Methuselah died the same year the Flood occurred. Methuselah fathered Lamech when he was 187 years old (Genesis 5:25). Lamech fathered Noah when he was 182 years old (Genesis 5:28). The Flood occurred when Noah was 600 years old (Genesis 7:6). 187 + 182 + 600 = 969, which is the age Methuselah was when he died. So it appears there may be an interesting story behind the oldest man in the Bible, Methuselah, and why he lived 969 years.

In the 2014 movie Noah, Methuselah is portrayed as sort of an eccentric witch doctor. While the Bible says nothing about Methuselah to confirm or deny this portrayal, it seems highly unlikely, considering the family line from Adam to Noah recorded in Genesis 5 is the “righteous” line who obeyed the Lord God.

There is very little we can know for sure about Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible. He lived 969 years and apparently died the same year the Flood occurred. He was the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Adam and the grandfather of Noah. He was likely a godly man to have been blessed by God with such a long lifespan.

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This page last updated: January 4, 2022