Genesis 4-5 Chapter Study

INTRO

The first three chapters of Genesis are crucial as they lay out -

First  - The Creation

Second – The Creation of Man and Woman

& Third – The Fall

Chs. 4-11 round out the Introduction of the Bible and tend to be a bit more summary in their record so we’ll be able to cover larger sections of the text on Wednesday evenings from now on.

Tonight we’ll be covering chs. 4 & 5.

CHAPTER 4

1Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”

Because of the holidays, it’s been three weeks since we studied ch. 3 so the context of what’s taken place needs to be refreshed.

We’ve just read about the Fall and God’s curse on man, woman, and the creation.

But to the curse God added a promise of redemption.

In 3:15 God said the seed of the woman would come who would crush Satan’s head.

As we saw in our study, this was a prophecy and promise of the virgin birth of the Messiah who would come and restore man’s lost dominion by breaking the devil’s deceit-gained authority.

This verse tells us of the birth of the first son to Adam and Eve.

They named him “Cain” which means “I’ve got him” or “Here he is.”

It seems they anticipated he was the fulfillment of God’s promise; boy, were they in for a disappointment!

Note how v. 1 portrays the first mention of sex in the Bible.

And don’t forget the Rule of First Use, which says that the way a word or idea is first stated in the Bible sets the pace for that thing through the rest of Scripture.

“Adam knew his wife.”

This euphemism for sexual intercourse is used often in scripture. (Gen. 4:17, 25; 38:26; Judges 11:39; 1 Samuel 1:19).

Think back now to the study we did a few Sundays ago on Genesis 2 and the marriage relationship.

We saw that the goal of marriage is to become “one-flesh,” or another way to say it, to be intimate, which means to know and be known.

So what better way to describe the act of sexual union, when two become one flesh, literally, than to refer to it as “knowing” each other.

This is a sacred way of speaking about sex.

It shows the deeply personal and high view of sex God has.

The world uses coarse and demeaning terms for the act of sex.

Most of them reflect the twisted and selfish idea the world has about this precious gift God has given to a husband and wife.

Just because this is the first mention of sex, and it comes after the Fall, is no reason to believe Adam and Even didn’t have sex before this.

On the contrary, because God announced at their marriage union, over which He Himself presided that they were to become “one-flesh,” we can safely conclude that they engaged in this act of marriage from the beginning.

In fact, in the Jewish way of thinking about life and marriage, which is drawn from scripture, the marriage of a man & woman was really only consummated or finalized on their wedding night in their marriage bed.

2Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.

The commentary on scripture of a teacher such as myself is hopefully helpful as it elaborates and explains the text – but let’s be honest – sometimes it may obscure the text; as is the case here.

By reading v. 1, making several comments and then reading the next verse, we can easily miss the obvious sarcasm here.

1Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” • 2Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.

The wit, the humor here is in the lack of follow-up to the birth of Cain and their expectation of great things for & from him.

Instead, before you know it – oops, here’s another one of the little buggers!

And buggers is exactly what they turn out to be.

This time they name him Abel – a word which means “Vanity.”

It seems they’ve already become disappointed with Cain and see Abel as just one more person they will have to bear with.

But as is typical with history and the expectations of humanity, things turn out the opposite of what they expect.

Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.

Cain was a farmer, tending to crops. Abel was a shepherd, a keeper of flocks.

There is nothing inherently superior in either of these occupations; both a valid and valued professions.

The text says that “in the process of time it came to pass” both Cain & Abel brought an offering to the Lord.

This means that offerings to God were already an established part of life.

This was something they understood they were to do, and now both Cain and Abel move to bring their own offerings to God.

Where they took them is not stated, but some students of scripture suggest they brought them to the gate to the Garden of Eden from which man had been banished.

If the Garden of Eden represented the sacred place where man and God walked together prior to the Fall, then it’s likely that’s where they would go to meet with Him again.

What did God station at the gate to the Garden when He banished man?

Cherubim!

And in the rest of scripture, where do we always find the cherubim?

Surrounding God’s throne!

So the Gate of the Garden becomes the new meeting place of God and man.

Cain went with an offering of the field.

4Abel also brought -- of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

Why God respected Abel’s and not Cain’s offering isn’t spelled out here.

Some suggest that Abel’s offering was accepted because it was a sacrifice of blood while Cain’s represented his own efforts.

They look back to how God took Adam and Eve’s fig leaf garments from them and covered them instead with skins.

And this may indeed be why Abel was accepted & Cain wasn’t.

But later in the Law – God does call for offerings of grain and the fruit of the field.

These become the fellowship and communion offerings. [Lev. 2]

What is more crucial than what they offered is how they offered it.

Heb 11:4 says -

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Above and beyond what was brought, Abel came with a heart in tune with God; he came in genuine and sincere faith.

Cain came out of duty and obligation; it was time to make an offering, but his heart wasn’t in it.

If his heart had been sincere, maybe he would’ve realized that produce wasn’t the right offering to bring.

How God demonstrated His respect for Abel and his offering also isn’t spelled out, but in other OT passages God demonstrated His acceptance of an offering by sending fire from heaven to consume what was laid on the altar. [Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:1]

V. 2 tells us that Abel was a keeper of sheep while v. 4 tells us he offered of a firstborn; a lamb.

There’s an interesting progression or lamb sacrifices we can follow as we track through scripture.

Here, it’s one lamb for one man.

In Exodus at the Passover, it’s one lamb for one family.

In the Law of Moses for the Day of Atonement, it’s one lamb for the nation.

And finally in the NT, it’s one Lamb for the whole world. [John 1:29]

The end of v. 5 says that when Cain saw Abel’s offering was accepted and his wasn’t, he grew furious and it showed in his facial expression.

6So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

A couple Sundays ago we took a closer look at this passage to see how God confronted Cain’s sin and anger and saw how it parallels the way the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and how we ought to respond when we are convicted.

God comes to Cain with questions.  He’s seeking to engage him in reasoned conversation that will bring Cain to the place of realizing his error.

But Cain shows us how sin so often slays reason in its attempt to justify itself.

God knew the answers to the questions He asked of Cain, but He wanted Cain to diagnose and then halt what was happening inside himself.

It’s so crucial we grasp this!  God is showing Cain he has the power to say no to sin!

He has a real moral choice.

In order to encourage Cain to make the right choice God warns him about the destructive power of sin.

Cain can resist sin and be blessed or he can give in and be destroyed by it.

The picture God paints of sin in v. 7 is that of a predator.

There is safety in the house, but as soon as you walk out the door it can pounce on an overcome you.

The house is obedience to God; there’s safety in obedience.

Outside the house of obedience is the wild jungle of a world of disobedience.

The choice has been clearly put now before Cain – where will he stand; in the safety of obedience or the danger of rebellion?

8Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

This is the first case of murder in scripture but Cain had seen how animals could be slain for sacrifice so he knew how to take a life.

The text makes it clear that Cain’s murder of his brother wasn’t merely a crime of passion; it was premeditated and planned.

In fact, it’s all the more heinous for the simple reason God Himself had already stepped in and intervened, trying to thwart Cain’s motives and actions.

What this passage reveals for us is just how quickly the downward course of sin has progressed since the Fall in Ch. 3.

Adam and Eve most certainly were crushed beyond belief!

The shock of realization on what their original act of rebellion had set in motion was overwhelming.

Every parent here knows how devastating it would be to lose a son or daughter to murder; how much worse, when the other child becomes their murderer?!?!?

9Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Even in the midst of outright & heinous sin God comes to Cain with questions aimed at helping him reason his way to truth and repentance.

In Isa 1:18 we read of God pleading with the rebellious people of Israel -

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

By asking questions, God is offering Cain the chance to confess his sin and to start doing what’s right – even after doing wrong.

One of the deceits sin tells us is that once we’ve fallen, since we’ve fallen, what’s the use in then being obedient?

How often we think, “Well, I’ve gone and done this or that, I might as well do the other as well since I’ve already blown it.”

If I can tell a personal testimony of this that I’m terribly ashamed of . . .

I made a vow in my youth to never do drugs or drink.

I’d watched my father turn into an alcoholic so I developed a fierce hatred for booze.

But in my junior year of high school, I made a new friend who had what we will call a less than wholesome influence on me.

He’s since become a solid and precious brother in Christ, but back then he was pretty wild.

At the end of wrestling season my junior year we had a party at his house and I decided to drink one cup of beer – it was supposed to be 1 cup!

It turned into many cups, and then some tequila, and then some marijuana.

That night began a 2 year period of complete “blurdom” as I gave myself to drugs and drink.

Now, I tend to have a pretty poor memory, but I do remember that first night of moral suicide and one of the thoughts I had that encouraged my sin – that since I had already blown it with the beer, why not try the tequila?

Then, since I had already blown it with the hard liquor, why not go ahead and try the pot?

Don’t let sin lie to you - It is never too late to do what is right and say “No” to sin!

How does Cain respond to God’s gracious invitation to repentance?

With deceit and angry evasion!

This is ever the way it is with the wayward and rebellious heart.

When it’s convicted by the Spirit, it grows angry & hostile; it throws up a wall of evasion and excuse.

The tender heart, the heart that’s true to God responds with immediate and heart-felt repentance.

In Jude 11, Jude writes of the false teachers who have “gone in the way of Cain.”

The way of Cain, as this chapter shows us, is the way of false religion which grows jealous of true worship.

This jealousy, if not checked, grows into persecution and eventually into murderous anger.

Our world today is filled with obvious examples of this very thing.

Hindus and Muslims alike are persecuting and killing Christians by the thousands.

Even some sects of supposedly Christian groups are opposing genuine believers.

How sad when God’s blessing provokes jealousy and anger in the heart of another!

10And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

Because Cain has not taken advantage of the opportunity God gave him to repent, all that’s left is to pronounce judgment.

God tells Cain that though he’s stilled his brother’s voice, his blood still speaks and it cries out to God for justice.

In Revelation we read of the blood of the martyrs crying out to God for vengeance on those who killed them.

In the Mosaic Law, God said that innocent blood had to be atoned for. [Num. 35:29-34]

In Proverbs, God says He hates the hands that shed innocent blood.

As you track through scripture on the topic of the shedding of innocent blood in murder, you realize that God finds this to be an especially heinous crime that raises His ire.

An entire land can become polluted and end up desolate when enough innocent blood is shed without the evildoers responsible being punished.

Something to think about as it relates to abortion on demand.

The curse God pronounced on Cain was a deepening of the original curse God had laid on Adam.

If farming had been difficult for Adam, it would even more so for Cain.

And just as Adam had been driven from Eden, so Cain is now driven from his home.

His life will be that of a nomad, always looking for some new patch of soil from which he might be able to eek out an existence.

I find it provocative that Cain’s offering was of the fruit of the field, and that ends up the very thing that’s the focus of God’s curse in Cain’s life.

Cain’s profession and identity was as a farmer, a tiller of the ground.

Because of his rejection of God, God gives him no satisfaction in his profession; no fulfillment in his self-secured identity.

What a perfect picture of man without God!

He spends his life trying to be somebody and searches the world for models and candidates of who or what he wants to be.

Then he makes his choice and says; “I’m an engineer, a salesman, a manager, scientist, construction worker, entrepreneur, millionaire, artist, musician, pastor, technician, doctor, lawyer, judge, whatever.”

No matter what identity he/she chooses, it’ll never satisfy because God didn’t make anyone to find their fulfillment in a profession.

God made us FOR HIMSELF – and fulfillment comes only by an intimate relationship with Him.

Then, flowing FROM that relationship and as an expression OF it, God calls us into a vocation, career, or profession.

The never ending and back-stabbing ambition that marks most of the world is nothing but a manifestation of people’s quest in search of satisfaction.

But they can’t get no satisfaction because they’re looking in the wrong place.

As Cain came to experience – if they make their profession and self-adopted identity the focus of their quest, they’ll end up loathing it for the source of disappointment it will become.

They will feel terribly betrayed for having invest 25, 50, 50 years into it only to have it cheat them in the end.

13And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

15And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

Even now, Cain doesn’t repent.  He just complains about his judgment! How typical of the sinner whose heart is in rebellion against God.

Instead of rejoicing in the mercy God showed by not slaying him right there, as would have been just, he protests that his punishment is too harsh! How typical!

Donald Grey Barnhouse makes an apt observation –

“One of the consequences of sin is that it makes the sinner pity himself instead of causing him to turn to God. One of the first signs of new life is that the individual takes sides with God against himself.”

After the Flood, God will give the command that murder is to be punished by execution.

Prior to the flood, it appears capital punishment was not the rule as we see God not taking that measure with Cain here.

Rather, he sets a protective mark on Cain to warn any lest they seek to execute him.

What that mark was, we have no idea, and the suggestion made by some that it was a different color skin is absurd.

What this passage suggests is that the world population was now growing, which is reinforced by the next verses.

16Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch.

The region of Cain’s wandering was Nod, on the eastern side of where Eden was.

Now – here we go with the question that’s supposed to stop Bible-believing Christians dead in their tracks and shut them up forever: Where did Cain get his wife?

[The proverbial query]

The implication is that the Bible’s record can’t be true because if Adam and Eve were the FIRST & ONLY parents, then Cain would have had to have married a close relative; a sister or niece, and that constitutes incest.

And besides, if Adam & Eve were the FIRST & ONLY progenitors of the human race, then the union of their descendants would have produced a race of severely handicapped and disabled children.

How do we answer this “slam-dunk” question that’s supposed to make the Bible nothing more than a piece of archaic fiction?    SIMPLE!

Gen. 5:4 says that Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters.

Adam lived to be 930 years old and so likely had dozens of children.

These children inter-married, as would have been necessary.

But this wasn’t incest yet for a very simple reason – God hadn’t declared it a sin and wouldn’t until the giving of the law in the Exodus [Lev. 18 & 20, Deu. 27:22]

The reason why incest wasn’t an issue yet is because of the purity of the human gene pool at this time.

Think of it, in Adam and Eve was the genetic makeup for the entire human race; you and I were in Adam, literally - our genetic material was there in him.

That first man and woman possessed a diversity of genetic material that was staggering!

For the first many generations of human history, because the effects and downward pull of the curse of sin is progressive& cumulative, there were few flaws in the genetic makeup of men and women.

So there was no danger whatsoever in the union of a brother and sister.

It would only be much later, after the division of the languages at Babel when the population of earth was split up & isolated into regions, and the genetic material had been sorted out dramatically and experienced the progressive decay of the curse that there would be a danger of close interbreeding.

When it became a danger, that’s when God forbade it – but not until then.

Don’t forget - even Abraham married his half-sister Sarah. [Gen. 20:12]

When Cain arrived in Nod, he built a city and named it after his son.

Now, this is interesting, because the development of a city gives a strong impression of the beginnings of a civilization.

Contrary to the impression handed us from evolutionary thought that civilization was a very later development in human history, Genesis speaks of it early.

We already have Cain farming and growing cultivated crops and Abel practicing the life of animal husbandry and now we have city-building.

All this speaks of a level of sophistication far beyond the hunter-gatherer stage of human evolution that was supposed to have lasted for hundreds of thousands of years.

18To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.

Here’s Cain’s family line.

19Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. 20And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. 22And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

Now we see society dividing into different groups with some leaving the city to adopt a nomadic lifestyle.

Others give themselves to the arts and still others to industry.

23Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. 24     If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

The last half of ch. 4 gives us the descendants of Cain and charts the downward pull of sin while ch. 5 gives us the descendants of Seth, Adam & Eve’s 3rd son and the one who comes in to be the line through which the promise of God to bring the Messiah will be realized.

Lamech is the 7th son from Cain and stands as the consummate expression of Cain’s line while Enoch is the 7th son from Seth and stands as the opposite to Lamech’s brutal example.

V. 19 says that Lamech “took for himself two wives.”

This is the first instance of plural marriage and is a bold defiance of God’s plan for marriage being the union of a man and woman in a one-flesh relationship.

It’s bold because it says Lamech “took for himself two wives.”

It’s a picture of force and a defiant attitude of breaking social convention and morality.

The names of his wives and daughter are given here because they reveal where Lamech’s priorities were – totally in the flesh!

Adah means “Beautiful Ornament.” Zillah means “Shade” and many scholars think this may refer to her luxurious hair which in the ancient world was a sign of beauty.

Lamech named his daughter Naamah, “Loveliness.”

In light of all this, where is Lamech’s value system based? In physical and outward beauty.

Lamech has become a sophisticated man of the world – and with that comes a boastful arrogance that relies on one thing – force, power, might!

So when he encountered someone one day who opposed him and stood as an obstacle to his self-seeking ways, he fought with him and killed him!

Instead of remorse at taking another’s life, he grows even more boastful and composes a little ditty about his strength and prowess.

He says, “If God promised a 7-fold punishment on anyone who slew Cain, then I have the right to take 10 times that revenge on anyone who attempts to slay me!”

The pride and arrogance that is multiplying among Cain’s descendants has reached an appalling level.

This isn’t evolution, this is devolution!

You know what these verses speak of? This is all a picture of humanism.[1]

This is life without God, where man is the measure of all things; his might, his pleasure, his judgment.

But this is the end of Cain’s record – we hear nothing more of him and his descendants.

Instead, the record turns to Seth . . .

25And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

 

V. 4 of ch. 5 tells us Adam & Eve had many children who are not named, but Seth is mentioned because he will be the line through which Noah and the rest of the race will follow.

Most importantly, he is the one through whom the Promised Redeemer will come.

A hint of this is given in that with the birth of Seth’s son is mentioned that it was in that time that people began to worship God in some measure of spirit and truth.

Note that the word “LORD” at the end of v. 26 is in all capitals letters, signifying this is the sacred name of God, given to Moses at the burning bush – Yahweh!

In Exodus 6:3, God told Moses He was not known by this name to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so it seems the covenant Name of God was lost to the descendants of Seth.

God renewed His promise to bring the Messiah through Seth’s line when He restored the use of His sacred name in the worship of Israel.

CHAPTER 5

1This is the book of the genealogy of Adam.

This marks the end of one section of Genesis and the beginning of another.

This phrase is found repeatedly in Genesis and identifies a new emphasis or direction of the record. [2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:27, 25:12, 25:19, 36:1]

Some Bible scholars believe that while Moses wrote Genesis, he actually compiled these early chapters from records that were passed to him from the original sources.

The phrase that opens this chapter is the key that this begins a new record.

Ch. 5 is concerned with the descendants of Adam through his son Seth.

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 3And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. 5So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.

A couple Sunday’s back we took an in depth look at these verses and how they contrast the fact that while Adam was created in the image & likeness of God, after the fall, Adam’s descendants are all born in his fallen image.

As we read on we see a list or genealogy of Adam’s descendants through Seth.

If you arrange the genealogy in a sequence and calculate the time of Adam’s creation, it comes to about 4000 BC.

One important thing to bear in mind is that Bible genealogies aren’t always complete; they will sometimes skip a name or two in order to make the number of generations given in the genealogy symmetrical.

But there’s doesn’t appear to be any reason to omit names in this particular record.

On the contrary, what we have in this chapter is the genealogy and record of Seth’s descendants so we ought to take it as complete.

Of course, this timetable puts the Bible at odds with conventional wisdom regarding the age of the earth and man’s evolution and development.

As we saw in an earlier study, it’s reasonable to conclude God created the Earth with the appearance of age.

And it turns out many of the vast ages given by radiometric dating are based on assumptions that simply cannot be verified.

There’s a growing number of scientists who hold to a young age for the Earth.

Another problem we’re confronted with in this chapter is extremely long life spans.

Several live to well over 800 years of age and one man lives to be 969! How is this possible?

Some have suggested the years of this chapter ought to be understood as months.

But that doesn’t work because you’d have men giving birth to children when they are only 5 or 6 years old!

What’s far more likely is that the purity of the genetic pool we talked about earlier meant far greater health and longer lives.

Also, when we find the dramatic decrease in age is immediately after the flood.

Earth conditions before and after the flood were significantly different, most notably, the vapor canopy which surrounded the earth and provide protection from harmful cosmic and solar radiation was removed.

Because of the long life spans of the pre-flood world, and the increased time given to each family to bear children, it’s easy to see how the world could be quickly populated in a short period of time.

If during Adam’s & Eve’s lifetime, they gave birth to only half the children they could have, and if only half of those got married, and if only half of those who got married had children, then even at those rates, Adam would have lived to see more than a million of his own descendants.

By the time of the flood, there could have been as many as 7 billion people on the earth!

Patriarch

Year of Birth

Year of Death

Adam

1

930

Seth

130

1042

Enosh

235

1140

Cainan

325

1235

Mahalalel

395

1290

Zared

460

1422

Enoch

622

987

Methuselah

687

1656

Lamech

874

1651

Noah

1056

2006

 

Note that Adam lived all the way to Noah’s father’s time!

And Seth died when Noah was 14 years old.

6Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. 7After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. 8So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.

9Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. 10After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. 11So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died.

12Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. [1st Hawaiian] 13After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. 14So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died.

15Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. 16After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. 17So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died.

18Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. 19After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 20So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.

What phrase has ended the story of each of these descendants of Adam through Seth?

“And he died.”

21Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Enoch presents a different story.  The formula for everyone else is . . .

·        Harvey lived for X number of years and begot a Fred.

·        After Harvey begot Fred, Harvey lived Y number of years and had more Freds and Wilmas.

·        So all the days of Harvey were X + Y

·        And he died.

Enoch’s story is different.  It starts out the same –

·        Enoch lived 65 years and begot Methuselah.

·        After Enoch begot Methuselah, Enoch didn’t live for 300 years, he “walked with God” during that time, and had sons and daughters.

·        So all the days of Enoch were 365 years.

·        But, Enoch didn’t die; he walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

I’ll leave further comment about Enoch until Sunday as he will be the focus of our study then.

25Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. 27So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.

Take a careful note of what v. 22 says - It seems Enoch began to walk with God in a special way after the birth of Methuselah.

The name Methuselah means “Dying, he shall send,” or “When he dies, it comes.”

It turns out that Methuselah died in the same year as the flood!

Names were usually given in the ancient world to reflect a hope or observation of the parent for that child.

Sometimes the name was picked as a kind of memorial to some significant event that took place just before the birth of the child.

Jude 14 tells us that Enoch was a prophet, and with the birth of Methuselah, he was given a warning from God that judgment was coming and would fall after Methuselah’s death.  

This revelation may have been the crucial factor in moving Enoch to a life of faith in God.

That Methuselah ends up living 969 years, the longest of any of those mentioned here, is no accident.

It’s a measure of and testimony to the mercy and grace of God as He forbore the wickedness of humanity.

When Methuselah died, the flood came.

But God kept him alive longer than anybody to give people as long as possible to repent.

28Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” 30After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. 31So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.

Lamech, the father of Noah, sums up the expectations of the godly line of Seth that through them would come the redemption and liberation from the curse.

But he mistakenly thought it would come through his son Noah.

Noah would only be a part of seeing an end of the terrible weight of sin that had grown in the Earth due to the unrestrained evil and violence of mankind prior to the flood.

At this point, the record changes and we read . . .

32And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

This doesn’t necessarily mean he was 500 WHEN he begot these 3.

This isn’t even the right birth order for them; it’s backwards. [10:21]

The reason the age of 500 years old is given for Noah here is because this is when we enter Noah’s story; this is the age that God spoke to him with directions about building the ark, which is taken up in the next chapter.

CONCLUSION

One last thing tonight –

Jon Courson did some digging into the names of the genealogy here in Ch. 5 and he discovered that based on the root words these names are drawn from there’s something very interesting here.

·        Adam – Man

·        Seth – Appointed

·        Enosh – Subject to Death

·        Cainan – Sorrowful

·        Mahalalel – From the Presence of God

·        Jared – One Comes Down

·        Enoch – Dedicated

·        Methuselah – Dying, he shall send

·        Lamech – Poor & Lowly

·        Noah – Rest / Comfort

 

Man Appointed, Subject to Death – Sorrowful.

From the Presence of God One Comes Down, Dedicated!

Dying, he shall send (to the) Poor & Lowly, Rest (&) Comfort.



[1] Guzik, David, Online Commentary - Genesis