There is no biblical reference to Methuselah outside of three genealogical records. Yet he is well-known as the world’s longest living person, having survived, according to the Bible, for nearly a millennium.
The writer of Genesis recorded two family lines that descended from Adam and Eve. One was the family of Cain, the world’s first murderer.
The other was the family of Seth, to which Methuselah belonged. The two groups could not have been more different. Cain’s family was industrious—playing musical instruments and working with metal—but it was also violent. Lamech, one of Cain’s descendants, openly bragged about slaying two young men.
After chronicling Cain’s descendants, the writer of Genesis notes that “at that time men began to call on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).
With that, he launched into the account of the other family line—that of Seth. The most obvious characteristic of Seth’s descendants was their propensity for long life spans. Five individuals mentioned, including Methuselah, exceeded nine hundred years.
More important, however, this was the family that called upon God. Methuselah’s father, Enoch, was the first man said to have “walked with God” (see Genesis 5:24). Methuselah’s son, Lamech (no connection to the descendant of Cain), recognized God’s role in their lives. And Methuselah’s grandson, Noah, was found to be “blameless among the people of his time” (Genesis 6:9).
Perhaps even more remarkable than his age was the family to which Methuselah belonged—and their willingness to “call on the name of the LORD.”
Though Methuselah was history’s longest living person, the Bible records that he died the same year as the great flood of Noah’s day.
The Bible doesn’t record if God graciously allowed him to die before the flood or if he was one of the wicked people who perished in the flood. No matter the final outcome of his life, Luke 3 records that Methuselah was one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ.