Bresheit 5:27 records the death of Methuselah as 969 years. His is the longest lifespan recorded in the Torah. Is there any meaning for his death at such an age, or is there significance to the gematria of this number to explain why he died at this age?

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    Interestingly, while the Masoretic Text, the Peshitta, and the Vulgate have Methuselah's years as 187+782=969, the Septuagint has his years as 167+802=969 (same total but different distribution) and the Samaritan Pentateuch has his years as 67+653=720 (which makes his lifespan not the longest).
    – Alex
    Aug 9, 2018 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


Rashi Explains in Bereishis 7,4 that Mesushelach was a Righteous person and Hashem waited for him to die naturally so that Noach could mourn his grandfather properly for 7 days, just before the flood started. So Mesushelach's death was very significant as it coincided with the beginning of the flood and he was not puished with the wicked of that generation.

"כי לימים עוד שבעה" - (סנהדרין קח) אלו ז' ימי אבלו של מתושלח הצדיק שחס הקב"ה על כבודו ועכב את הפורענות צא וחשוב שנותיו של מתושלח ותמצא שהם כלים בשנת ת"ר שנה לחיי נח

  • @alex it is important to say his age that he died a natural death before the flood so that we don't mistakenly include him with the sinners of the flood who drowned. so yes there is much sigificance of his age
    – user15464
    Aug 12, 2018 at 12:40
  • But again, are you saying that there is no significance to the specific number 969 because that's just the age of his natural death? You should explicitly address the number (whether to provide significance or reject significance) because that seems to be a major part of the question.
    – Alex
    Aug 12, 2018 at 13:49

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