זֶה סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדֹת אָדָם בְּיוֹם בְּרֹא אֱלֹהִים אָדָם בִּדְמוּת אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה אֹתוֹ 5:1
Gene. 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day God created the human, He made him in the likeness of God.
Chapters 4 and 5 bear a similarity in form to chapters 1 and 2, respectively. In chapter 4, we learned of the generation following Adam and Eve. Here in chapter 5 we are given a different perspective and an extension of the genealogy.
In addition, this first verse of Genesis 5 implies something different than what appears in Gene. 1:26. As I mentioned there, it seems to support the interpretation that God was speaking of Himself when He said “… in Our likeness.” That would make it appear that God was not “speaking,” but was “thinking” to Himself and not “talking” to another.
זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בְּרָאָם וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָם אָדָם בְּיוֹם הִבָּרְאָם 5:2
Gene. 5:2 Male and female He created them, and blessed them and called their name Human in the day of creating them.
וַיְחִי אָדָם שְׁלֹשִׁים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בִּדְמוּתוֹ כְּצַלְמוֹ וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שֵׁת 5:3
Gene. 5:3 And Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years when he begot in his likeness and after his image, and he called his name Seth.
The name Seth means compensation. Notice that with the births of Cain and Abel in Gene. 4:1 and 4:2, we aren’t told who named them. But in Gene. 4:25 Eve appears to have named Seth. Yet here Adam does the naming. Notice also that Cain and Abel are not mentioned here. As mentioned with respect to Gene. 4:25, this recording of the genealogy pursues another branch of the family.
Now what can it mean here that Seth was begot in Adam’s likeness and after his image? I imagine Seth resembled Adam. Is this what it means to be made in another’s image? Then do we physically resemble God (see Gene. 1:26 and v. 5:1)? That would make the likeness of God sort of human. Hard to believe! There are numerous places in the bible that try to depict the glory and appearance of God. And none of them describes a human likeness or anything close to it.
וַיִּהְיוּ יְמֵי־אָדָם אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־שֵׁת שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:4
Gene. 5:4 And the days of Adam after his begetting Seth were eight hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters.
These later offspring are not mentioned again, and were apparently not an important part of the lineage of the bible.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי אָדָם אֲשֶׁר־חַי תְּשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:5
Gene. 5:5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years when he died.
As I assumed in regard to the garden of Eden, I’m also inclined to see these long-lived individuals as prophetic as well as historic. Whether early humans lived as long as recorded here, these may easily be imagined as symbolic of future humanity, when people are expected to live as long as 1000 years or more.
וַיְחִי־שֵׁת חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־אֱנוֹשׁ 5:6
Gene. 5:6 And Seth lived a hundred and five years and begot Enos.
וַיְחִי־שֵׁת אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־אֱנוֹשׁ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:7
Gene. 5:7 And after his begetting Enos, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי־שֵׁת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:8
Gene. 5:8 So all the time of Seth was nine hundred and twelve years when he died.
וַיְחִי אֱנוֹשׁ תִּשְׁעִים שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־קֵינָן 5:9
Gene. 5:9 And Enos lived ninety years when he begot Kenan.
וַיְחִי אֱנוֹשׁ אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־־קֵינָן חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:10
Gene. 5:10 And after his begetting Kenan, Enos lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי אֱנוֹשׁ חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:11
Gene. 5:11 So all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years when he died.
וַיְחִי קֵינָן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־מַהֲלַלְאֵל 5:12
Gene. 5:12 And Kenan lived seventy years when he begot Mahalalel.
וַיְחִי קֵינָן אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־מַהֲלַלְאֵל אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:13
Gene. 5:13 And after his begetting Mahalalel, Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years, and begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי קֵינָן עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:14
Gene. 5:14 So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years when he died.
וַיְחִי מַהֲלַלְאֵל חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־יָרֶד 5:15
Gene. 5:15 And Mahalalel lived sixty and five years when he begot Jared.
וַיְחִי מַהֲלַלְאֵל אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־יֶרֶד שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:16
Gene. 5:16 And after his begetting Jared, Mehalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and he begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי מַהֲלַלְאֵל חָמֵשׁ וְתִשְׁעִים שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:17
Gene. 5:17 So all the days of Mehalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years when he died.
וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ 5:18
Gene. 5:18 And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years when he begot Enoch.
This is not the same Enoch who is mentioned in chapter 4. That Enoch is a descendent of Cain. This Enoch is a descendent of Seth.
וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:19
Gene. 5:19 And after his begetting Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי־יֶרֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:20
Gene. 5:20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years when he died.
וַיְחִי חֲנוֹךְ חָמֵשׁ וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־מְתוּשָׁלַח 5:21
Gene. 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty-five years when he begot Methuselah.
וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ חֲנוֹךְ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־מְתוּשֶׁלַח שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים 5:22
Gene. 5:22 Now after his begetting Methuselah, Enoch walked about with God three hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters.
A peculiarity in this verse is the appearance of the prefix heh before the word for God, this being the first of many occurrences later in various parts of the bible. The heh usually is translated as the. Is the correct translation the God? I think not. Another possibility is that with the heh the word should now be translated as He Who is God. Still another possibility is that the translation should be the gods. In some contexts it can also be translated as the judges. But I’m inclined to imagine that here the heh is a mannerism of the scribe, or a means of inserting an extra heh into a verse for some long-lost reason. From now on I will use the translation He Who is God wherever appropriate.
וַיְהִי כָּל־יְמֵי חֲנוֹךְ חָמֵשׁ וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה 5:23
Gene. 5:23 So all the time of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years.
וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ חֲנוֹךְ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים וְאֵינֶנּוּ כִּי־לָקַח אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים 5:24
Gene. 5:24 And Enoch walked about with He Who is God; then he was no more, for God took him.
Enoch was obviously, yet strangely, someone special. He was the shortest lived of all the early descendants of Adam and Eve. He was also the youngest father (along with Mahalalel) among these. And he didn’t die, in the sense that his forefathers had, apparently because he had walked about with God. What does “walked about with God” mean? The name Enoch means dedicated. Perhaps “dedicated to God” is equivalent to “walking with God.” In chapter 6, we learn that Noah also walked about with God. [Return to Gene. 6:9]
Interestingly, Enoch is the sixth generation from Adam and Eve. Six, again! The “days” of creation! In addition, all of his forefathers were still alive during most of his life. He outlived only Adam, who died when Enoch was 108 years old, and Enos, who died when Enoch was 220. All his other forefathers survived past his death.
וַיְחִי מְתוּשֶׁלַח שֶׁבַע וּשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־לָמֶךְ 5:25
Gene. 5:25 And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty-seven years when he begot Lamech.
This is not the same Lamech who is mentioned in chapter 4. That Lamech was a descendent of Cain. This Lamech is a descendent of Seth.
וַיְחִי מְתוּשֶׁלַח אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־לֶמֶךְ שְׁתַּיִם וּשְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וּשְׁבַע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים 5:26
Gene. 5:26 And after his begetting Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years and begot sons and daughters.
וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי מְתוּשֶׁלַח תֵּשַׁע וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:27
Gene. 5:27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years when he died.
Here we have another strange “coincidence.” Methuselah, the longest lived individual in the bible, is the seventh generation after Adam and Eve. So listen to this: Enoch, the shortest lived so far, is of the sixth generation, Methuselah, Enoch’s son, the longest lived, is of the seventh generation. I suspect this is significant and constitutes an important prophesy. Could this mean that the week will cease to exist in the end time and only the Sabbath will remain, and it will last “forever?” A weird thought, isn’t it?
וַיְחִי־־לֶמֶךְ שְׁתַּיִם וּשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בֵּן 5:28
Gene. 5:28 And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two years and he begot a son.
In all previous verses, the name of the son was given in the same verse that announced his birth. For the first time, this son, Noah, is not named until the next verse. It’s possible this was the scribe’s way of lending more drama to Noah’s appearance in the story. Remember, however, that the separation of verses is more or less arbitrary.
וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמֹו נֹחַ לֵאמֹר זֶה יְנַחֲמֵנוּ מִמַּעֲשֵׂנוּ וּמֵעִצְּבֹון יָדֵינוּ מִן־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר אֵרְרָהּ יְהוָה 5:29
Gene. 5:29 And he called his name Noah saying, “This same shall bring us rest from our work, and from the pain of our hands from the ground that the Lord has cursed.”
The name Noah means rest or restful. But what is the meaning of this apparent prophecy? Was it wishful thinking on Lamech’s part? Or was it a hint at what kind of rest it would be, the rest of death? Another word meaning rest is ameh. And that word also means end or completion. Is the name Noah meant to be reflective of the end of humanity in the flood? [Return to Numb. 26:33]
וַיְחִי־לֶמֶךְ אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־־נֹחַ חָמֵשׁ וְתִשְׁעִים שָׁנָה וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת 5:30
Gene. 5:30 And after his begetting Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years and begot sons and daughters. [Return to Gene. 7:6]
וַיְהִי כָּל־־יְמֵי־לֶמֶךְ שֶׁבַע וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וּשְׁבַע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת 5:31
Gene. 5:31 So all the time of Lamech was seven hundred and seventy-seven years when he died.
It may not mean anything, but so far we’ve seen the number seven mentioned once (with respect to Cain), then twice (with respect to the Lamech in chapter 4), and here we have seven three times, relating to this Lamech.
וַיְהִי־נֹחַ בֶּן־חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ אֶת־שֵׁם אֶת־חָם וְאֶת־יָפֶת 5:32
Gene. 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years of age, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
On the surface it would appear from the Hebrew that the three sons were triplets. More will be said about this later.
In addition, notice that Noah was rather late in begetting his first sons. Almost all his forefathers had their first son at much younger ages: Adam at 130 (though not his first), Seth at 105, Enos at 90, Kenan at 70, Mahalalel at 65, Jared at 162, Enoch at 65, Methuselah (the only exception), at 187, and Lamech at 182. The total of these years helps to inform us of the time from the creation of Adam until the flood. So far we have a total of 1056 years. Adding Noah’s years before his sons were born, we have 1556 years. Then adding Noah’s sons’ age just before the flood, we have a grand total of 1656 years. See Gene. 7:6.
It seems reasonable to conclude that the birth of Noah’s sons was delayed so that they would be no more than 100 years old when the flood began, and all of Noah’s forefathers had passed on. The last of them, Methuselah, died in the year of the flood. Of course, there is no way to tell if he died in the flood or in the months preceding the deluge. [Return to Gene.10:1]
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