Methuselah (Genesis 5)
Source document: Religio. 1994, vol. 2, iss. 1, pp. -76
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
The patriarch's name Methuselah is a composite one. It is analyzed as mtw-š-šlḥ where šlḥ is the theomorphic part of the name. The word šlḥ can be found in the Ugarit Keret cycle KTU 1.14.I.19b + 21a in clear parallel with the name of the water god Yam. It is strongly probable that šlḥ is the name of the River of the Underworld - the River of Judgement. -- This meaning of the semitic root šlḥ corresponds with the subterranean stream of Jerusalem-Shiloah. The subterranean water works of Jerusalem were, according to the latest geological survey, an adaptation of a karst system. David (2Sam. 5.8ff) storming Jebus through the subterranean water system commanded his men to strike through the throat ṣnwr (it is another imaginary of the underworld - meaning the throat of Mot). -- Methuselah's name could be translated as "a Man of Šelchu" - "a Man of the Underworld River of Judgement". Methuselah is probably the Semitic analogy of the Greek Charon. He dies at the very same time, when another ferryman - Noah ferries all creatures across the high flood of judgement in his Ark.