Genesis Chapter Five

Adam's Family Tree

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In our study of Genesis chapter five, we look at the good fruit that was from Adam's family tree. We will see a list of ten of his descendants and we are reminded that the number ten is associated with the earthly completion of the divine order (God's plan). We will see God's plan for man unfold in the names of Adam's family line.

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Genesis 5:1 & 2

Here is the genealogy of Adam. On the day that God created man he made him in the likeness of God; he created them male and female; he blessed them and called them Adam on the day they were created.

The name Adam means "man" or "humankind" and we see that his family tree begins with the fact that he was created in God's image. We also see that God blessed them but what does that actually mean? The word translated as blessed is "baruch" and it speaks of being set apart or holy, walking with God, and being shown the favor of God. In this case, they were set apart by God as they were made in his image and were shown favor in being made in the image of God unlike any other creature. In this passage, we see a pattern that will flow throughout this chapter in that we will be introduced to a man who creates (fathers) a child. That child will be set apart from the rest of the children that the man produced and they will be given a name with significance.

Genesis 5:3-5

After Adam lived 130 years he fathered a son like himself and named him Shet. After Shet was born, Adam lived another 800 years and had both sons and daughters. In all, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

Here, we see the pattern repeated as Adam fathers a son named Shet (Seth) which means "chosen" and in chapter 4, we saw that he was appointed to replace Abel the son that God blessed (showed favor) and was murdered by his brother. As we see here, Shet (Seth) was created in the image of his dad. This image had been tainted by sin and so, through Adam, all men would be born with sin and its effects.

Genesis 5:6-8

Shet lived 105 years and fathered Enosh. After Enosh was born, Shet lived another 807 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Shet lived 912 years; then he died.

Seth had a son named Enosh and his name comes from the Hebrew root word of anash which means "mortal". We are reminded that God had told Adam that he would die if he ate of the fruit ( Genesis 2:16). At this point in the life of Shet (Seth), with his dad getting old and near the end of his life, the words of God must have echoed in their minds as they see the inevitable truth that death is coming to Adam and was passed on throughout mankind.

Genesis 5:9-11

Enosh lived ninety years and fathered Kenan. After Kenan was born, Enosh lived another 815 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Enosh lived 905 years; then he died.

The pattern continues as Kenan whose name means "lamenter" and speaks of the composition of a sad poem that is sung was the next in the family tree. We see that the number of years that each generation lives is going down. The sad song being composed is the effect of sin in the world.

Genesis 5:12-14

Kenan lived seventy years and fathered Mahalal'el. After Mahalal'el was born, Kenan lived another 840 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Kenan lived 910 years; then he died.

The name Mahalalel comes from two root words. Mahalal means "blessed" or "praise" while el is a name for God. We see a change in the pattern that was established up to this time as Kenan lived 5 more years than his father (Enosh) had lived. Throughout the Bible, the number five is associated with grace and anytime that we see a change in the pattern it is for the revelation (unveiling) of a new concept. Here, we see the concept of grace (unmerited favor) unveiled as we are not told of any special reason why Kenan lived more years than his father. God, in his grace, gave Kenan an extra five years so that those who would come after could understand the concept grace.

Genesis 5:15-17

Mahalal'el lived sixty-five years and fathered Yered. After Yered was born, Mahalal'el lived another 830 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Mahalal'el lived 895 years; then he died.

The name Yered (Jared) comes from the root word yaradh which means "descend from a place of prominence". This would be an odd name for a child unless it was inspired by God.

Genesis 5:18-20

Yered lived 162 years and fathered Hanokh. After Hanokh was born, Yered lived 800 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Yered lived 962 years; then he died.

Once again, we see a change in the pattern as Yered (Jared) lived 67 years longer than his father. The name Enoch means "trained" or "dedicated" and he was the first of what was to be four generations of preachers sharing the Word of God.

Genesis 5:21-24

Hanokh lived sixty-five years and fathered Metushelach. After Metushelach was born, Hanokh walked with God 300 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Hanokh lived 365 years. Hanokh walked with God, and then he wasn't there, because God took him.

The name Methuselah is from the words muth meaning "death" and shalach meaning "to bring" or "to send forth". We see, here, that Enoch did not just live and die as the others were described but that he "walked with God" and then was taken by God to be with Him. So what does walked with God actually mean? We are reminded of the Garden of Eden when Adan and Havah (Eve) walked with God which was before their disobedience and exile from the presence of God. Therefore, walking with God could be associated with obedience to his commands. We see another break in the pattern as we are not told that Hanokh (Enoch) died but are instead told that "God took him". He was immediately translated (changed) to his heavenly body and this is a picture of the coming rapture of the church (see 1 Thess. 4:17). He taught us, by his example, that we do not have to just accept the effects of sin and death but we can "walk with God" and be blessed (shown favor) by being in his presence forever.

Genesis 5:25-27

Metushelach lived 187 years and fathered Lemekh. After Lemekh was born, Metushelach lived 782 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Metushelach lived 969 years; then he died.

Although the word lemekh does not occur in Hebrew, it can be reasonablly constructed from the particle "le" which means "to" and the verb "muk" which means to be low or depressed which speaks of humility. In this setting, it is speaking of lowering yourself from the position of making judgements and accepting the fact that God is the only right and true judge. This is the same choice that Adam and Havah (Eve) had in the garden where they made the wrong choice and elevated themselves to be the judge. It is worth noting here that Adam was still alive at the time of the birth of Lemekh so he would have been able to see eight toledot (generations) and, throughout the Bible, the number eight signifies a new beginning. We are reminded that our new beginning begins with the same humility of accepting the fact that God is the only right and true judge (repentance).

Genesis 5:28-31

Lemekh lived 182 years and fathered a son, whom he called Noach; for he said, "This one will comfort us in our labor, in the hard work we do with our hands from the ground that ADONAI cursed." After Noach was born, Lemekh lived 595 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Lemekh lived 777 years; then he died.

The name "Noah" comes from the root "nacham" which means "to bring relief" or "comfort". This passage speaks of relief from the curse that was pronounced in chapter 3 which was the result of sin. Lamech did not understand that the comfort that Noah would bring was not relief from working the soil but a cleansing of the earth and redemption from sin through a Jewish Messiah. We also see that Lemekh lived a total of 777 years and the number seven is associated with completeness and three is associated with the earthly display of God's will for man. That will is brought out in the completion of this chapter.

Genesis 5:32

Noach was 500 years old; and Noach fathered Shem, Ham and Yefet.

Through these sons, the world would again be populated and God would have a chosen people. When all of the meanings of the names are put into order, we get a message from God that goes something like this: Man has chosen mortality composing a sad song of sin. Praise God the decline trained man for repentance bringing relief to His people. This reminds us of the fact that God had a plan for our restoration and it has always been the same. That plan is repentance from sin and accepting the relief that is provided through Jesus Christ.

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