Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Methuselah
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Methuselah

This article is about the Biblical character. See Methuselah (disambiguation) for other uses.

In the Bible, Methuselah or Metushélach (מתושלח "Man of the dart", Standard Hebrew Mətušélaḥ / Mətušálaḥ, Tiberian Hebrew Məṯűšélaḥ / Məṯűšālaḥ) was the oldest person whose age is mentioned. He reportedly reached the age of 969 years. According to Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. (ASV)

He is mentioned in Genesis as the son of Enoch and the father of Lamech (father of Noah), whom he fathered at the age of 195. His name has become a general synonym for any living creature of great age. A close reading of the dates in the Old Testament reveals that Methuselah is said to have died the year of the Great Flood.

Robert Heinlein wrote a science fiction series about rejuvenation and a project called the 'Howard family' that was working to extend the human lifespan beyond 150 years - the first volume was called Methuselah's Children.

Our current knowledge on cellular lifespan puts the natural limit on human longevity well below 150 years. Guinness Records of longevity oscillate from year to year in the range 110-125 due to miserable birth certification record from the late 19th century. Guinness Record statistics are soon likely to reveal the approximate true natural human lifespan limit.