Methuselah (Help with Hebrew Name and Meaning)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jordan Kurecki, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki
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    I was listening to Dr. J Vernon McGee on Thu the Bible today, he says that the name "Methuselah" means "when he dies it shall come", Ussher's Chonology tells us that in the year Methuselah died that the Genesis flood occurred.

    However when I tried to independently confirm that particular meaning of the name Methuselah I was confused. the most common definition I have found is "Man of Dart" which I don't understand how that could mean "When he dies it shall come". Can someone help me understand this?

    It certainly would be interesting if his name really has prophetic signification pointing toward the Genesis flood, especially considering that he is the longest person ever to live recorded for in the Bible... that surely would be an amazing picture of the mercy and grace of God.
     
  2. Internet Theologian

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    and that Enoch had a son, whose name was Methuselah, is affirmed by Eupolemus {r}, an Heathen writer; and Enoch being a prophet gave him this name under a spirit of prophecy, foretelling by it when the flood should be; for his name, according to Bochart {s}, signifies, "when he dies there shall be an emission," or sending forth of waters upon the earth, to destroy it. . . . [Notes by Gill: {r} Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 17. p. 419. {s} Thaleg. l. 2. c. 13. col. 88. so Ainsworth.]2 - John Gill


    also: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/genealogy/when-did-methuselah-die/
     
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  3. TCassidy

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    מתוּשׁלח, methūshelaḥ, “man of the javelin” - "Man of a dart" (Gesenius), "man of military arms" (Furst), "man of the missile" (Murphy). The closest we can come to McGee's idea is that the name in Hebrew is a construct of two words, one (and I will transliterate these so you won't have to spend 3 or 4 years learning to read Hebrew) "muth" meaning "death" and "shalack" meaning "bringer of" so Methuselah means "bringer of death" and thus the military understanding of his name. The "bringer of death" to a military man of that time was thought to be a javelin, a dart, or a thrown spear.

    Could it be a prophecy of the coming flood? Maybe. But there is no textual or contextual reason to understand his name to be such a prophecy.
     
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  4. robycop3

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    i often wonder if some Hebrew writers gave Hebrew names or handles to people of other nations, or to some who'd lived before Hebrew was formed? Obviously Methuselah lived before the Hebrew language came about.

    (BTW, I believe Hebrew writers have hebrew handles to Goliath and Lahmi. That seems evident by the 2 Samuel 21:19 controversy where the KJV adds "the brother of", as the Hebrew simply reads "Goliath", and we all know David whacked the original Goliath....and both "Goliath" & "Lahmi" are Hebrew words.)

    Evidently, not all hebrew writers called everyone by Hebrew names, as we see the Assyrian names of several Assyrian kings & officials, as well as the Chaldean names of Nebuchadnezzar & other Babylonian kings & officials in Scripture.

    Just wondering what you folks more-familiar with Hebrew history & writings than I am think about that. Seems that Hebrew names are applied to those who were the ancestors of the Israelis.
     
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  5. TCassidy

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    A change of name indicated a change of authority over the person.

    When Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were taken from Israel and placed under the authority of the King of Babylon their names were changed to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego indicating a new authority in their lives.

    And there is no controversy about 2 Samuel 21:19 if you read it in Hebrew. גָּלְ יָת can properly be translated "he who belonged to Goliath" indicating a filial relationship, probably a brother, nephew, or even a cousin.

    We see the same thing carried over into the New Testament when the disciples came under a new Authority (Jesus) their names were changed. Simon to Peter. Levi to Matthew. Etc.

    As the named Kings of foreign lands never came under the authority of the Jews their names remained the same.
     
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  6. Van

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    “When he is dead, it shall be sent” (“it” refers to the Deluge) (Cornwall and Smith, Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names)."

    Bottom line, we do not know with sufficient certainty what message if any Methuselah's name was supposed to convey to us. But so long as we leave it as a possibility, we can certainly cite Methuselah's name as a prophecy of the Flood.
     
  7. rsr

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    Only if you hedge it with the appropriate language that it's little more than speculation. Doesn't seem worth the bother.
     
    #7 rsr, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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  8. Yohanon

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    Methuselah= His death shall bring. This is part of the message that YHWH gives to us through the names of the line from Adam to Noah. They translate thus:Adam(Man), Seth(Appointed), Enosh(Mortal), Kenan(Sorrow), Mahalalel(The Blessed El), Jared(Shall Come Down), Enoch(Teaching), Methuselah(His Death Shall Bring), Lamech(The Despairing), Noah(Comfort,Rest). This, in a nutshell, is Elohims message to those who love him. The Message prophesying the coming of our Beloved Yashua Ha Mashiah.
     
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  9. The Biblicist

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    The name given to Mehthuselah and his birth coincides with the precise time Enoch began to "walk" with the Lord. I guess having a child can do that. However, Jude says Enoch was a prophet and he prophesied of the coming of the Lord. He also lived in a day of great apostasy. The bible says that God reveals to his prophets what any great events on earth. Something in relationship to Methuselah changed Enoch so that he began to walk with God at the time of his birth. Coming judgement on the earth can well have such an effect. The fact that this coming judgment occurred in the very year Methuselah died seems more than coincidence.
     
  10. robycop3

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    Methuselah might've been a great warrior, very good at casting a spear. Scripture, however, is quite silent about his life.
     

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