Genesis 5:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 5:21, NIV: "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah."

Genesis 5:21, ESV: "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah."

Genesis 5:21, KJV: "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:"

Genesis 5:21, NASB: "Now Enoch lived sixty-five years, and fathered Methuselah."

Genesis 5:21, NLT: "When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah."

Genesis 5:21, CSB: "Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered Methuselah."

What does Genesis 5:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Aside from Adam, Seth, and Noah, two of the most famous names in this chapter of genealogy are Enoch and Methuselah. Enoch fathered Methuselah at the age of just 65, a relatively young age for this passage. Methuselah's name has a dual meaning: it can be interpreted as "man of the dart," or as "his death brings judgment." According to this chapter, Methuselah will die in the same year as the flood.

Both men represent an interesting extreme within this chapter.

Enoch's lifespan is the shortest recorded for these patriarchs. At "only" 365 years, he was on earth less than half as long as others in his family. However, Enoch's is the only story which does not end with the repeated phrase, "and he died." Rather, verse 24 simply says that God "took" Enoch. While we're not entirely sure what it means, the contrast to every other man listed in this genealogy is striking. Most likely, this was an event similar to what happens to Elijah at the end of his ministry: taken bodily by God prior to a natural death (2 Kings 2:9–12).

Methuselah, on the other hand, is credited with the longest lifespan of any person in the Bible: 969 years! Methuselah will also be the first of the patriarchs listed here to live until the year of the great flood.

Each generation continues to pass on to the following one the image of God, as well as their own human likeness, as Adam did with Seth and his other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:3). In addition, this line of Seth seems to be passing on a commitment to walking with and worshiping God. This is important in the context of the upcoming flood. The only people saved from that catastrophe were those of this very line.