Methushael

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"Methushael", the name of the sixth Cainite, has tenaciously resisted any convincing attempt of interpretation according to Semitic languages (Layton 1990: 66-72; OíConnor 2004: 460) and mainly because after recognizing a common ending in -el with "Mehujael" (his fatherís name), scholars have generally agreed that the second element of both names would be ʾēl, that is "god" (Cassuto1 232-233). This analysis, however, goes against the grain of the whole narrative that insists on the distance between the Cainites and the will of God, maybe even taking advantage of what is said later about Enosh, a member of the other branch of Adamís descent: "At that time men began to call upon the name of the Lord ([YHWH]) (Gn 5:26)". These theophoric names among the Cainites would hint at some sort of theological distinction? "The ascription of the names of Genesis 1-11 to a West Semitic context in the early 2nd millennium B.C." (Hess 1994: 350 n. 28) faces another important objection, in my modest opinion: the Cainites belong to that part of humanity that will be swept away by the flood and the effort to find for their names a Semitic etymology relies on the assumption that the Hebrew language or an idiom belonging to the same group was the first one according to Genesis. On the contrary, it seems that this book wanted to imbue the conviction that the names, the language used by Adam for his first designations on animals is a relic that may survive on the stelas of an ancient past. We know from Herodotus which kind of puzzle the Luwian inscriptions may have stirred in the imagination of his times (5th century B.C.). He thought they belonged to the Egyptian pharaoh Sesostris and were raised during his mythical campaigns (Malaise 1966; Kimball Armayor 1980; West 1992; Ivantchik 1999; Ladynin 2010; Liotsakis 2014).