Posts Tagged ‘Genesis’

How Old Was Methusaleh?

Most people who have read the book of Genesis know the answer to the question in the title of this post. Methusaleh holds the record for living the most number of years in the history of man, according to the Bible. Yep, this man even outlived Adam, which is amazing considering Adam was 930 years old when he died. Methusaleh “weighed in” at a whopping 969 years to his life. End of story, right?

That’s what I thought until yesterday. WIFE was wondering if Adam was alive at the time of Noah, so we did some quick math on the ages. Here’s how it plays out:

Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born (Adam: 130 years old);
Seth was 105 when Enosh was born (Adam: 245 years old);
Enosh was 90 when Kenan was born (Adam: 335 years old);
Kenan was 70 when Mehalalel was born (Adam: 405 years old);
Mahalalel was 65 when Jared was born (Adam: 470 years old);
Jared was 162 when Enoch was born (Adam: 632 years old);
Enoch was 65 when Methusaleh was born (Adam: 697 years old);
Methusaleh was 187 when Lamech was born (Adam: 884 years old);
Lamech was 182 when Noah was born (Adam: dies when Lamech is 46).

So he almost made it. Amazing that I had never thought of the possibility that Adam and Noah could have been walking the earth at the same time. Unfortunately it was not to be, but then back-tracking led me to another conclusion.

Lamech died when he was 777, but had Noah at 182. That means that Noah was 595 years old when his dad died. Genesis 7:6 says that Noah was 600 years old at the time of the Flood, meaning Lamech died only five years before the Flood. But that’s not where it ends.

Genesis 5:26 says that after Lamech was born Methusaleh lived 782 more years. We know Lamech was 182 years old when Noah was born, leaving 600 years of Methusaleh’s life. How old was Noah when the Flood happened? 600! It’s quite possible that Methusaleh died in the Flood!

Two questions then arise. First, how old could Methusaleh have been if he were to have died of natural causes (which is still possible; the Bible doesn’t state how he died)? Could he have made it to 1,000? Second, was Methusaleh part of the wickedness that God felt He needed to destroy by sending the floodwaters? Could the son of Enoch, who “walked with God” and was one of two men in the Bible to never experience death, have been so evil that God decided He needed to be wiped out?

The Bible isn’t clear on either account. But the fact that Methusaleh died the same year of the Flood is not mere coincidence. I don’t know if this is a question I will ever get answered in heaven (or need to get answered for that matter). What it demonstrates to me, however, is the truth found all throughout the Bible — that God does as He pleases, and who is able to thwart His plan? Amen!

Jesus — Of Judah

I had a weird mental pathway today to my topic. I was thinking about looking for a commentary on Judges to see if anyone else had some interesting takes on the man Jephthah was, which led me back to my blog yesterday. I remembered Rahab and wondered if any other women would be worth mentioning in this group. Certainly some might say Ruth or Esther could be included, perhaps Hannah or Sarah or even Bathsheba. However, one crossed my mind that little is known about: Tamar. Would Tamar be worthy of such an honor? We know she was Judah’s niece and tricked him into sleeping with her to conceive a child that would be his heir, since her husband and husband’s brother were both killed by the Lord.

That put another question in my mind. Judah slept with his niece, who was masquerading as a prostitute. And yet it is this man from whom Jesus chose to be a descendant. Looking at the tribes of Israel and the men from which they came, one would suspect that Jesus would come from the line of Joseph, or perhaps Levi, since He is described in Hebrews as “High Priest,” and the Levites were the priests. But no, Jesus is the “lion of the tribe of Judah.” Why did He choose (and it most definitely was a choice; I have no desire to debate the sovereignty of God in this post) the lineage of Judah?

It got me thinking about what we really know about Judah. For starters, his name lends more to the future Messiah as one of his descendants. The name Judah is derived from the Hebrew word for praise. Joseph comes from the Hebrew for may he add, while Levi comes from the Hebrew for attached.

After Judah’s birth, we don’t hear about him again until his incident with Tamar. Genesis 38 tells this story, but at the end, it is noteworthy that Judah keeps the promise he made to Tamar in attempting to bring her a goat and honoring the cord and seal he gave to her as his sign, even though he says, “She is more righteous than I.”

However, Judah’s greatest contribution to the book of Genesis comes in chapters 43-44. Due to the famine, Jacob sends his sons (minus Benjamin) to Egypt to buy grain, and when they come to their brother Joseph (not recognizing him), they are sent back with orders to bring Benjamin with them, and Simeon is imprisoned until they come back. Judah at this point emerges as the leader and asks that Benjamin be entrusted to his care. You would think this would be the request of the firstborn, but no, Judah was 4th in line. Judah takes on the responsibility of caring for the young and inexperienced Benjamin.

As the story continues, when the brothers return Joseph secretly plants a silver cup in Benjamin’s grain sack to force Benjamin to stay in Egypt. Judah then does something that up to this point has not been done in the book of Genesis: he sacrifices himself for the good of his younger, inexperienced brother. He pleads with Joseph to let him be the one imprisoned, since Benjamin is entrusted to his care. Joseph can no longer contain himself, reveals himself to his brothers, and they lived happily ever after (er, mostly; those living in the time of Moses might disagree with the move to Egypt).

So what qualities does Judah show in his short time in Genesis? (1) He honors a covenant that he made, (2) he emerges as leader of his “people,” (3) he takes responsibility for the weak and inexperienced, and (4) he offers himself as a sacrifice for the weak, so that the weak won’t be separated from his father forever.

Anybody see the parallels between Judah and Jesus? While Judah was not perfect, he was the best example of what Jesus came to fulfill. Simeon was chosen to be imprisoned first, but he and Levi both stained their father’s name by attacking the town of the man who raped their sister. Reuben, when Joseph was sold by his brothers, merely protested but did not step in himself. No, Judah was the man who showed the character that was later made even more perfect by Jesus Christ. It is only fitting that God chose to personify Himself in the lineage of such a man who, not blameless by any stretch of the imagination, did what needed to be done to protect and bring honor to his own.

Hate To Say It, Guys, But It’s the Man’s Fault

I was doing my study yesterday morning when I came across something that both discouraged and encouraged me. For reference sake, I am currently reading through “Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart” by Stu Weber, and I’m really enjoying it without even having gotten to the first pillar. I’m sure I’m being set up for some rewarding and convicting stuff, if the first few introductory chapters are any indication.

In his third chapter, titled “The Four Pillars in Eden,” he outlines that God gave commands to Adam before He even created Eve, and that these commands could be construed as part of each of the pillars in the book. These pillars are: 1) Servant-King, 2) Tender Warrior, 3) Wise Mentor and 4) Faithful Friend. The book further illustrates that though Eve may have committed the first sin, the responsibility for this fell on Adam, for when Adam and Eve were hiding to due to their shame, the Bible says “God said to the man (emphasis mine), ‘Where are you?'” This can easily be thought of as God saying “Where were you?”

Adam was either not around or not strong enough to step between Eve and the serpent, failing as Tender Warrior, he did not give her enough counsel on God’s command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus failing as Wise Mentor, and was aloof enough to not stop Eve from eating of the tree, thus failing as Faithful Friend. These were the responsibilities of Adam as the man in the relationship, and this failure is why in both the Old and New Testaments, the authors of the Bible refer to sin entering the world as “the sin of Adam,” for he was charged with these commands and failed to live up to the task.

For all male readers, pretty convicting stuff, no? Isn’t it wild to think that the sins of your spouse, girlfriend, etc. can be attributed to you as well, because it is your responsibility to care for her? This is why it says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, (exactly) as Christ loved the church,” because if we wholly devote ourselves to loving and caring for the women in our lives, we can help to fulfill and uphold God’s commands for us and our families.

Whew! I’m excited to learn more, and as I do, I’ll post it on here for any readers, so hopefully you can glean something from this too.