Genesis
1-2 Beginning of Adam’s Genealogy 3-5 Adam 6-20 And He Died 21-24 Enoch Taken by God 25-27 The Oldest Man 28-32 Noah
Beginning of Adam’s Genealogy

1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

After the bankruptcy of the human race via the line of Cain it is as if God starts history with man again. Cain and his descendants represent people who do not want to have anything to do with God. They build their own world where God is consciously excluded.

“The book of the generations of Adam” gives an account of all who were born of him through the line of Seth. The description goes from Adam to Noah, which are ten generations. First we are reminded of man’s origin: he was not begotten by anyone else (no evolution), but created directly by God (Gen 1:2727God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.). Reference is also made to his high descent: he is made “in the likeness of God”. That means knowledge of and dominion over creation and being free from evil.

God created man in a male and female form. He thus establishes marriage as the only form of society to produce offspring. He blesses them with all the good things of creation, including having offspring. That He gives them the name “Man” is to remind them that God made them out of the dust of the earth. This is from their creation their name. Man is in Hebrew adam and means ‘of earth’. Paul points at this when he says that man is “from the earth, earthly” (1Cor 15:4747The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.).


Adam

3When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of [a son] in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 5So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

The genealogy of Adam that God gives here does not run through Cain, but through Seth, who has replaced Abel (Gen 4:2525Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, [she said,] “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.”). It is a completely different genealogy from that of Cain (Gen 4:17-2417Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.18Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech.19Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.20Adah gave birth to 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 lyre and pipe.22As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.23Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech,
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me;
24If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
). It mentions people who have lived in faith. No special efforts of them are mentioned, as with the descendants of Cain. It does not seem that they were greatly respected in the world.

But despite the characteristics of faith, we also notice the consequences of sin in this genealogy. Adam can only become the father of a son “in his own likeness”. The consequence of that cannot but be that he gives his son his own sinful nature. The proof of sin and also its reward is death (Rom 6:2323For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.) which has passed on to all men (Rom 5:1212Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—). The remainder of this chapter and the entire history of mankind show this. Adam can grow as old as he is, even nine hundred and thirty years, he cannot escape the judgment of God: “In the day that you eat from it, you will surely die” (Gen 2:1717but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”).


And He Died

6Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 8So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. 9Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 11So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. 12Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 14So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. 15Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had [other] 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 became the father of Enoch. 19Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 20So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.

Not only about Adam, but about all those mentioned in this genealogy, we hear the death bell ring when, as in a chorus, we hear the words “and he died”.

An important side-effect is that through the high ages the truth of God could be passed on by as few intermediaries as possible. Thus, between Adam and Moses, that is, over a period of about twenty-five hundred years, there were no more than seven intermediaries.


Enoch Taken by God

21Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Enoch begot Methuselah and sons and daughters, was three hundred and sixty-five years old, and he did not die, “for God took him”. Enoch is thus a wonderful exception to the law of nature “and he died” which sounded in the previous verses and which applies to all men throughout the ages. The only other descendant of Adam who went to heaven without dying is Elijah (2Kgs 2:1111As they were going along and talking, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.). The only person who could have gone to heaven without dying is the Lord Jesus. But He voluntarily died the death of the sinner in order to save him.

Enoch has “obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God” (Heb 11:55By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.). The reason is that he walks with Him. Enoch walks with God because he agrees with God (Amos 3:33Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?
). God wanted to walk with Adam in the garden (Gen 3:88They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.), but sin made that impossible. Enoch believes in God, takes into account Him in everything.

He warns his contemporaries of the judgment to come: “[It was] also about these men [that] Enoch, [in] the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him”” (Jude 1:14-1514[It was] also about these men [that] Enoch, [in] the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,15to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”). God has told Enoch about this, because He always makes His thoughts known to those who walk with Him and please Him.

The fact that Enoch really walked with God is shown by the fact that He did not keep God’s communication to himself, but passed it on to the people around Him. “Enoch” means ‘taught’. We have also been taught by God about what He is going to do with the world. Does that also bring us to a walk with God and a preaching of judgment to those around us to warn them?

Enoch is also a picture of the members of the church who live on earth and who, at the coming of the Lord Jesus, will be caught up by Him without dying (1Thes 4:15-1815For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.18Therefore comfort one another with these words.). Enoch is taken away before the judgment of the Flood comes upon the world. In the same way, the church will be caught up before God’s judgments come upon the world as an introduction to the Lord Jesus’ return to earth.


The Oldest Man

25Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 27So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.

Methuselah begot Lamech – not to be confused with the descendant of Cain (Gen 4:19-2419Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.20Adah gave birth to 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 lyre and pipe.22As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.23Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech,
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me;
24If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
) – and sons and daughters, was nine hundred sixty-nine years old, “and he died”. He is the oldest man in the world so far. In the millennial kingdom of peace, people will still grow older (Isa 65:20,2220“No longer will there be in it an infant [who lives but a few] days,
Or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred
And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred
Will be [thought] accursed.
22“They will not build and another inhabit,
They will not plant and another eat;
For as the lifetime of a tree, [so will be] the days of My people,
And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.
).


Noah

28Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29Now he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands [arising] from the ground which the LORD has cursed.” 30Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had [other] sons and daughters. 31So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. 32Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Lamech begot Noah, and sons and daughters, and was seven hundred and seventy-seven years old, “and he died”. As with Enoch, the repeated course of events of birth, life, having children and dying is interrupted with Lamech. This is done here to communicate the motive of his son’s naming. Lamech lives in a world where violence and corruption are increasing (Gen 6:12-1312God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.13Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.). He notices that. He realizes and acknowledges that the earth is cursed. In the midst of this situation, he seeks peace. In the faith he calls the son who is born “Noah”, which means ‘rest’.

The comfort that Lamech speaks about when giving this name is also connected with this peace. This indicates a link between rest and comfort. It is not to be seen in Dutch, but there is a play on words between the name Noah (‘rest’) and the Hebrew word for ‘comfort’. His longing for that rest is the longing of a God-fearing soul. But that rest can only come after the judgment. Nor can Noah give that rest, and Lamech is mistaken when he says that “this one” will comfort him and others. It is the mistake that Eve also made, when she gets Cain (Gen 4:11Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with [the help of] the LORD.”) and sees in him the promised offspring (Gen 3:1515And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
).

While Enoch is taken away before judgment (verse 2424Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.), Noah is kept through judgment, save in the ark. Noah is a picture of the faithful remnant of Israel that is kept by God during the great tribulation that will come upon the whole earth.

By naming the sons of Noah, the genealogy of faith ends. There is no mention here of how old Noah eventually became. Noah’s three sons are mentioned, and not just one by whom the genealogy is continued, as in all previous cases. This also points forward to the further course that will make it clear that a new beginning is being made by these three sons.

Shem is mentioned first. Through him the lineage continues to Abraham, the ancestor of God’s earthly people Israel. God is called “the God of Shem” (Gen 9:2626He also said,
“Blessed be the LORD,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
). Through him, finally, the Christ will be born (Lk 3:23,3623When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,).

Naam

Year of

birth

1st child

begotten

Adam

0

130

Seth

130

105

Enosh

235

90

Kenan

325

70

Mahalalel

395

65

Jared

460

162

Enoch

622

65

Methusalah

687

187

Lamech

874

182

Noah

1056

500

The flood came over the earth in the six hundredth year of Noah (Gen 7:66Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth.) that is, in 1056 + 600 = 1656 years after the creation of Adam.


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