Concerning Methuselah observe, 1. The signification of his name, which some think was prophetical, his father Enoch being a prophet. Methuselah signifies, he dies, or there is a dart, or, a sending forth, namely, of the deluge, which came the very year that Methuselah died. If indeed his name was so intended and so explained, it was fair warning to a careless world, a long time before the judgment came. However, this is observable, that the longest liver that ever was carried death in his name, that he might be reminded of its coming surely, though it came slowly. 2. His age: he lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, the longest we read of that ever any man lived on earth; and yet he died. The longest liver must die at last. Neither youth nor age will discharge from that war, for that is the end of all men: none can challenge life by long prescription, nor make that a plea against the arrests of death. It is commonly supposed that Methuselah died a little before the flood; the Jewish writers say, “seven days before,” referring to Gen. 7:10; and that he was taken away from the evil to come, which goes upon this presumption, which is generally received, that all the patriarchs mentioned in this chapter were holy good men. I am loth to offer any surmise to the contrary; and yet I see not that this can be any more inferred from their enrollment here among the ancestors of Christ than that all those kings of Judah were so whose names are recorded in his genealogy, many of whom, we are sure, were much otherwise: and, if this be questioned, it may be suggested as probable that Methuselah was himself drowned with the rest of the world; for it is certain that he died that year.
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