Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Genesis 5: Adam to Noah

Genesis 5 outlines the line from Adam to Noah. (Note: I realize that there is more genealogical information in Genesis 4 which we haven't covered yet, but we'll go back there soon.)

Adam lived 130 years, then had Seth. Adam lived 800 more years, and died at age 930. Adam continued to have more offspring, both sons and daughters.

When Seth was 105, he fathered Enosh, lived 803 more years, had more offspring. He died at the age of 912.

Enosh became a dad at the age of 90, to son Kenan. Enosh lived 815 more years and had more children. Enosh lived until age 905.

Kenan became the father of Mahalalel at the age of 70. Kenan lived 840 more years, having more children, and died at the age of 910.

Mahalalel had Jared at the age of 65, then lived 830 more years, having more children. Therefore, he died at the age of 895.

Jared was 162 when he had his son, Enoch. After Enoch's birth, Jared lived 800 more years and fathered more descendants. Jared died at 962.

Enoch had Methuselah at the age of 65, and the Bible notes that Enoch not only lived 300 more years, but was noted as having 'walked with God' for that period and having other children. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years, but then this happens: instead of dying, 'he was no more, because God took him away." (Genesis 5:24 NIV) Lest we think this is just a creative way of saying that he died, the writer of Hebrews 11:5 later notes: "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God." (It may also be noted that Hebrews 11 contains quite a list of people who had lived by faith, following God and believing His promises.)

Methuselah lived 187 years and became the father of Lamech. After that he lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years -- the longest lifespan recorded in the Bible. (Hence the expression 'as old as Methuselah'.) Want to hear something else that is interesting? I have read that Methuselah's name means 'after he dies it will come'. Methuselah's father Enoch was a prophet, and I suppose God revealed to him the information that after M. died, judgment would come. And, of course, it did. You can add the figures yourself from Genesis 5:25, 5:28 and 7:6, and you will see that Methuselah died in the year the flood came. I had to make myself a little chart to keep all the figures in mind. It looked something lke this:

(Note: The 0-969 timeline below refers to Methuselah's lifespan, and the events are listed as they occur during the years of Methuselah's life.)


187 - Methuselah's son Lamech is born.
369 - Lamech's son Noah is born.
869 - After Noah is 500 years old, Shem, Japheth and Ham are born.
964- Lamech dies before his father Methuselah does.
969 - Methuselah dies. Flood comes.

Lamech, at the age of 182 years, had Noah, then lived 595 more years and had other children. Lamech lived to be 777 years old, which meant that he died about 5 years before his father's death, and the arrival of the flood.

After Noah was 500 years old, he had Shem, Ham and Japheth. Noah, Mrs. Noah, their three sons and their wives were the only humans on the ark. For God said, "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, ...everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark -- you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you."
(Genesis 6:17 NIV)

I think I will end this post here, because it is the end of this part of the genealogy. However, I have to point something out. It always seemed a shame that so many people perished in the flood. Was God somehow unfair for bringing such judgment upon them? Aside from the fact that we all sin, and are deserving of judgment (including Noah and his family), there is the fact that Enoch had preached about the upcoming judgment upon evildoers. See Jude chapter 1 (actually the whole book is only one chapter) to get an idea of how conditions were upon the earth in those days. Although verse 14 seems to speak more about the final coming of the Lord in judgment, Enoch preached a message against the sinfulness of the people of those days. He repeats the word 'ungodly' four times in that one verse. Sometimes prophets received a message from God and parts of it were for the present time and parts could refer to incidents which would occur centuries this case, the judgment at the flood, the judgment against godless and immoral ones who crept into the early church years later, and the judgment against the ungodly at the time of the final coming of Christ. God's character doesn't change. Although Enoch may not have understood the full implications of his prophecy, the theme of punishment against ungodliness is clear. Genesis 6:5 speaks of how "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Noah also apparently preached as he fashioned the ark (see 2 Peter 2:5), so the people of that day had ample opportunity to repent. Sadly, no one apart from his own family seems to have listened.

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