Wayne's Worldview is a place to share my unique perspective of the world as formed from my interpretation of the scriptures and my experience as a Christian. As a pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about current issues, life dilemmas, personal problems, politics, biblical interpretation...etc.I offer these "How I see it" thoughts in effort to challenge people to think about their worldview, and to stimulate good conversations that will help us become more whole.
Welcome to the conversation.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Every Word Matters

Someone asked me an interesting and fun question recently that I thought I might share the answer with you. The Question? Did Methuselah die in the flood? In Genesis chapter 5, Moses recorded the genealogy of Adam, and we learn that Methuselah, lived 969 years- longer than anyone else recorded. Here is where you can get a pencil and paper out: If you take the age of Methuselah when Lamech was born (187), add to that Lamech's age when he begot Noah (182) and the age of Noah when the floodwaters came (600), you discover that Methuselah was 969 years old the year the Flood occurred [187+182+600=969].
Since Genesis 5:27 indicates this was the age at which Methuselah died, it is logical to conclude that he died the year of the Flood. However, the Bible does not indicate that he died as a result of the Flood, so it is important not to assume that he did. Not much is known of his character, but we do know about his family. He was the son of Godly Enoch, and his son Lamech prophesied with spiritual insight at the birth of Noah in Genesis 5:29.
We also have to consider the meaning of his name. When Methuselah was born, his godly father must have prophetically known of things to come, because Methuselah means “When he dies, Judgment”. It is not mere coincidence then, that the same year he died, God judged the sinful world with the great Flood of Noah's day.
We have one more very significant clue that might go un-noticed. Genesis 7:10 says: “And after the seven days the flood waters came on the earth.” Note, that it does not say after seven days, but after the seven days. So, why was it necessary for seven days to pass? According to the Jewish commentaries on this text, it was likely a sitting Shiva, a custom in which family members of the deceased sit and mourn for the loved one for a period of 7 days. The Rabbis explain that the person who died was Methuselah, and Noah and his family sat Shiva for him for 7 days.
While it cannot be concluded for certain, the scriptures indicate that the death of Methuselah, was the sign from God to Noah, that God’s judgment was eminent. It is my opinion that Methuselah died a week before the flood, not in it. It also shows us that God himself delayed the coming of the flood based on the merit of this great man for 7 days. This study reinforces the significance of the meaning of every single word in the scriptures. The meaning of the names and even the word “the”.

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