|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:25-32 Methuselah signifies, 'he dies, there is a dart,' 'a sending forth,' namely, of the deluge, which came the year that Methuselah died. He lived 969 years, the longest that any man ever lived on earth; but the longest liver must die at last. Noah signifies rest; his parents gave him that name, with a prospect of his being a great blessing to his generation. Observe his father's complaint of the calamitous state of human life, by the entrance of sin, and the curse of sin. Our whole life is spent in labour, and our time filled up with continual toil. God having cursed the ground, it is as much as some can do, with the utmost care and pains, to get a hard livelihood out comfort us. It signifies not only that desire and expectation which parents generally have about their children, that they will be comforts to them and helpers, though they often prove otherwise; but it signifies also a prospect of something more. Is Christ ours? Is heaven ours? We need better comforters under our toil and sorrow, than the dearest relations and the most promising offspring; may we seek and find comforts in Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty nine years, and he died,.... This was the oldest man that ever lived, no man ever lived to a thousand years: the Jews give this as a reason for it, because a thousand years is God's day, according to Psalm 90:4 and no man is suffered to arrive to that. His name carried in it a prediction of the time of the flood, which was to be quickly after his death, as has been observed; see Gill on Genesis 5:21. Some say he died in the year of the flood; others, fourteen years after, and was in the garden of Eden with his father, in the days of the flood, and then returned to the world (a); but the eastern writers are unanimous that he died before the flood: the Arabic writers (b) are very particular as to the time in which he died; they say he died in the six hundredth year of Noah, on a Friday, about noon, on the twenty first day of Elul, which is Thout; and Noah and Shem buried him, embalmed in spices, in the double cave, and mourned for him forty days: and some of the Jewish writers say he died but seven days before the flood came, which they gather from Genesis 7:10 "after seven days"; that is, as they interpret it, after seven days of mourning for Methuselah (c): he died A. M. 1656, the same year the flood came, according to Bishop Usher.
(a) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 74. 2.((b) Apud Hottinger, p. 244. (c) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 32. fol. 27. 3. Juchasin, fol. 6. 1. Baal Habturim in Genesis 7.10.
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