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Who was Methuselah?

The Torah tells us not much about him. What does the Talmud and the Rabbis say about Methuselah?

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  • you are asking for a biography? – ray Feb 14 '16 at 21:15
  • @ray That would be great – Aigle Feb 15 '16 at 8:51
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According to Sukkah 52b, one of the seven shepherds mentioned in Micah 5:4 is Methuselah who, along with Adam and Seth, is to the right of David.

According to Sanhedrin 108b (commenting on Genesis 7:10), the Deluge was delayed seven days for the mourning over the death of the righteous Methuselah.

See also Wikipedia entry:

Methuselah appears in two important Jewish works from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. In the Book of Enoch,[6] Enoch (as the narrator) tells Methuselah of the coming worldwide flood and of the future Messianic kingdom. He is known having a great sword (Sword of Methuselah) that conquers evils and ghosts. The Book of Jubilees names Methuselah's mother and his wife – both are named Edna – and his daughter-in-law, Betenos, Lamech's wife.

The 17th century midrashic Sefer haYashar ("Book of Jasher")[7] describes Methuselah with his grandson Noah attempting to persuade the people of the earth to return to godliness.[8] All other very long-lived people died, and Methuselah was the only one of this class left.[9] God planned to bring the flood after all the men who walked in the ways of the Lord had died (besides Noah and his family).[10] Methuselah lived until the ark was built, but died before the flood, since God had promised he would not be killed with the unrighteous.[9] The Sefer haYashar gives Methuselah's age at death as 960[11] and does not synchronize his death with the flood.

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  • @Lowian I have read some of The book of Enoch,theres a lot of stuff about Methuselah there,but I don´t know if that book Is true,if It´s true It`s a very good book. – Aigle Feb 17 '16 at 14:44
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In addition to @Loewian's great answer, some further sources are as follows:

  1. Bava Basra 121b

There were seven men whose lives spanned the history of man. Mesushelach (Methuselah) saw Adam, Shem saw Mesushelach, Yaakov saw Shem, Amram saw Yaakov, Achiya the Shilonite saw Amram, Eliyahu saw Achiya, Eliyahu is still alive.

  1. In relation to the above, the Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishis 42 and Seder Olam Rabbah 1 note:

ומתושלח שמש [את] אדם הראשון רמ"ג שנה - And Mesushelach attended to Adam for 243 years.

  1. The Midrash notes that he was a great sage and scholar. He advised and guided Noach's father not to call him by this name publicly as it might allow the wicked people of the generation to use it to kill him through sorcery. The Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishis 42 continues that he advised the father of Noach to call Noach by the name Menachem when calling him in public.

  2. It has already been noted that the Mabul (the Flood) was delayed following Mesushelach's passing in Gemara Sanhedrin 108b and this is also brought in Avos DeRabbi Nosson 32:1. However, the Yalkut Shimoni 42 provides more of the narrative. Upon his passing, there was a great tumult in heaven as the malachim (the angels) were eulogising him. Seeing this along with the world below also eulogising him, Hashem delayed the flood by seven days in reward for his eulogisation. Indeed, it was during these seven days that Hashem gave an abundant light as a reward for their eulogising Mesushelach (Bereishis Rabbah 3:6).

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