Monday, November 25, 2013

Did Noah's father die in the flood?

Genesis 5 lists the generations from Adam to Noah. It’s not a long list; there are exactly ten men. In reading through it, I began to wonder how many of these men were alive at the same time because their life spans were terrifically long. Then I wondered if Noah’s father died in the flood. I decided to make a simple Excel spreadsheet to find out. Here are some interesting facts I discovered:

»     The first man to die was not Adam as one might suppose. Adam outlived his son Seth by 122 years. (Remember, Seth is not the first man ever to die on the earth; he’s just the first to die of these men. The first ever to die was Able, who was murdered by his brother Cain. See Genesis 4 for that story.)

»    The highest number of these men to be alive at one time is eight and they are consecutive as follows: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalelel, Jared, Enoch, and Methusalah. Methusalah was 120 years old when Seth died at the age of 912 and his son, Lamech, was born a mere 67 years after Seth died.

»    When Adam died, all the other men were still alive with the exception of Seth and Noah who was not yet born.

»    Methusalah is Noah’s grandfather. He is the longest living man known to history, having a life span of 969 years.

»    Enoch never died but has the shortest life span of 365 years. He is remembered as the man who “walked with God” and because of this, God spared him a human death and simply “took him away”. (Gen. 5:24)

»    And finally no, Noah’s father did not die in the flood, but his grandfather did! Imagine my surprise as I plotted out these men’s years and the year of the flood, and found that Methusalah’s column ended at the exact same time as the year of the flood! I wonder how much longer Methusalah would have lived if not for the flood.

It was because of the evil in the world that God destroyed all humanity except for eight people. One has to wonder; how bad did it get? Worse than today? God promised never to do it again, so maybe the level of evil in the world today has risen far above the condition of that time. Maybe in those days it was much, much worse than today. And I wonder: Did God take Enoch away to save him from the evil of the world?

And Noah: What was he like? Genesis 5:9 says “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” It’s hard to get a clear view of him from these words when held up in the light of today’s values. Genesis 7:5 gives us a glimpse toward a clearer picture as it says, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” His strength of character must have been monumental if he could build an outrageous boat, knowing his acquaintances had ever seen a boat before and they lived thousands of miles from any large body of water. I wonder what his blog entries would be like.

Life spans of the men of Genesis 5: Adam: 930, Seth: 912, Enosh: 905, Kenan: 910, Mahalalel: 895,  Jared: 962, Enoch: 365, Methusalah: 969, Lamech: 777, Noah: 950


Wayne W. Bos said...

Graeme Crouch in my Genesis class taught that the name "Methuselah" could mean "When he dies it will be sent." The long life of Methuselah is considered a picture of the longsuffering of God not willing to bring the flood but finally doing so. This could mesh with your calculations that the flood took Methuselah. However he died the message is the same--"when he dies it will be sent."

Sheri Hathaway said...

Thank you for that, Wayne. That's very interesting. It makes me wonder if perhaps he didn't die in the flood, but just before it came.

Janis Cox said...

Very interesting account. Thank you for letting me see the chronological order of these lives.

Sheri Hathaway said...

Good to hear from you, Janis! Have a wonderful week.


Bobbi Junior said...

You're a woman after my own heart, Sheri. If the question had come to mind, I would have done the same as you did. Fascinating exercise! Thanks for sharing your results. I'll be forwarding your link to my pastor. He likes this sort of thing too.


Sheri Hathaway said...

So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Bobbi! Thank you.


Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...


I enjoyed your posting. What fun to ponder out this topic about Noah, his father and the whole flood business. So interesting.

I also appreciated Wayne's comment about what Methuselah name actually means. Now that is interesting!

Thanks so much.