The name Methuselah is generally thought to mean “the man of the spear”. However, it can also mean “When he dies, it shall be sent.”1
It seems more likely to me that the latter definition is correct. I say this because his father, Enoch, was a prophet and walked with God (Genesis 5:24 and Jude 14-15). And, while Methuselah lived longer than any other human (969 years), he died in the year of the year of the Flood of Noah’s time.
Was his name prophecy? I think it likely. But, it’s a side-issue, so I’ll leave it for your thoughts.
Since we’re on the subject of the Flood, let’s add up the ages. We have:
- Adam lived 130 years to the birth of
- Seth, who lived 105 years to the birth of
- Enosh, who lived 90 years to the birth of
- Kenan, who lived 70 years to the birth of
- Mahalalel, who lived 65 years to the birth of
- Jared, who lived 162 years to the birth of
- Enoch, who lived 65 years to the birth of
- Methuselah, who lived 187 years to the birth of
- Lamech, who lived 182 years to the birth of Noah
If we add those up, we can see that there were 1056 years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Noah. We’ll see in chapter six that it was another six hundred years until the Flood, making a grand total of 1656 years from creation to the Flood. Since there are eight generations listed, the total rounding error could have been plus or minus eight years.
You may have a burning question at this point: When was the Flood using today’s calendar? I’ll put more detail into this answer later, but for now my calculations say it was in 2349 BC, plus or minus about thirty years.