The Book of Genesis hosts all of the oldest figures in the Bible as they are all part of a patrilineal line from Adam to Noah. The 10 oldest persons in the Bible are known as the Antediluvian Patriarchs and they all existed before the Great Flood in the Old Testament. Let’s go over some details about these men now.
The 10 Oldest Persons in the Bible
All of the men on this list are descendants of Adam who is the fourth oldest person in the Bible. Noah, who achieved the third oldest age, is last in the genealogical lineup.
Before the Great Flood, the Bible reflects that humans lived for almost a millennium. After the flood, a few centuries had been knocked off human life expectancy.
At only 175 years old, Abraham died. Moses passed away at 120 and King David’s contemporaries lived to be no older than 80 years old. The Bible does not offer a straightforward explanation for this though the idea is that as sin increased, lifespans shortened.
Today’s life expectancy roughly follows the Biblical standard in large swaths of the world. On average, people live between 70 and 80 years though they sometimes reach ages as old as 120.
The following are the 10 oldest men in the Bible:
- Methuselah: 969 Years Old
- Jared: 962 Years Old
- Noah: 950 Years Old
- Adam: 930 Years Old
- Seth: 912 Years Old
- Kenan: 910 Yeas Old
- Enos: 905 Years Old
- Mahalalel: 895 Years Old
- Lamech: 777 Years Old
- Enoch: 365 Years Old
10. Enoch: 365 Years Old
Enoch is Methuselah’s dad. It’s not clear if Enoch passed away as he was taken by god and he didn’t directly die anywhere in the bible. This seems to be attributed to the fact that he faithfully followed god.
It is clear that Enoch was 65 years old when Methuselah was born and that he lived another 300 years after that. During the latter 300 years, he had other sons and daughters. However, the specifics surrounding these other offspring are not well specified.
9. Lamech: 777 Years Old
Lamech is one of the 10 oldest persons in the bible. 5 years before the Great Flood, Lamech died at 777 years old. He was Methuselah’s son and Noah’s father. Adam was alive for another 56 years after Lamech’s birth.
8. Mahalalel: 895 Years Old
Mahalalel died at age 895 when Noah was 234 years old. His name may mean “the shining one of god.”
He had a lot of brothers and sisters. His niece was his son’s wife. It’s not uncommon for mythological and ancient human families to practice inbreeding.
7. Enos: 905 Years Old
At 105 years old, Seth welcomed his son Enos into the world. Enos is the third patriarch in the original lineup. He made it to 905 years old before he died.
6. Kenan: 910 Years Old
Kenan is Mahalalel’s dad who he had at 70 years old. He is also Seth’s grandson. At 910 years old, he finally died.
5. Seth: 912 Years Old
Seth is the son of Adam and Eve and his brothers were Cain and Abel. He is the child through which all descendants connect to Adam. Adam and Eve may have had other sons, but only Cain, Abel, and Seth were specifically identified.
Seth was born after Cain was murdered by Abel. Eve believed this was because Seth was going to replace Abel. When he died at 912 years old, he was 14 years shy of living to see Noah’s birth.
4. Adam: 930 Years Old
Adam is one of the 10 oldest persons in the bible living to be 930 years old. He is the first man to ever exist in the Bible. His wife Eve is the first woman and they lived together in the Garden of Eden until they were both expelled.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because they ate fruit, sometimes portrayed as an apple, from the tree of life. God had specifically forbidden the consumption of this fruit so he punished the couple when they disobeyed. Adam was supposed to experience eternal life but he only lasted 930 years after eating the forbidden fruit.
3. Noah: 950 Years Old
Noah survived another 350 years after the Great Flood ended. The Great Flood lasted 150 days and it covered everything on earth including all mountains.
Noah is responsible for building an ark that saved a select few animals and people from the worldwide disaster. What wasn’t on Noah’s Ark perished.
Flood stories appear in other religious and cultural texts and they reference a similar event that occurs around the same time. Some kind of natural disaster likely caused a flood in ancient history though the details of this event are unsubstantiated by science.
2. Jared: 962 Years Old
Jared is Enoch’s dad and he became a father at 162 years old. He is only 7 years younger at his death than the oldest person in the Bible.
1. Methuselah: 969 Years Old
Methuselah is a man in the Old Testament that lived to be 969 years old. He’s Enoch’s son and he fathered Lamech. He is Noah’s grandfather.
He’s a recognized figure in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity along with most of the other figures on this list. Some speculate that Methuselah’s age is meant to vaguely reference a long period passing while others think the word “year” was mistranslated from “month.”
Interestingly, contemporaneous to the timeline of the bible, Mesopotamians believed that any being over a thousand years old was a deity of some kind. It is postulated that the authors of the original texts mentioning Methuselah wanted an age that theoretically linked Adam to Noah in one lifetime. They also wanted Methuselah’s lifespan to not exceed the limits that would grant him godhood in the eyes of future believers.
The word Methuselah roughly means “the man sending forth,” or “as he goes, it will come.” Considering he died the year that the Great Flood happened, he is sometimes interpreted as God’s warning to believers of his impending judgment. Noah was 600 years old when Methuselah died.
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