Genesis 5:1-5… This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
Genesis 5 is a genealogy. Though mundane to look at, it is filled with many treasures that must be gleaned. First, there are ten names given, and they are the records of the lives in the line of the promised “seed.” Second, the genealogy shows that man did indeed carry out the divinely ordained plan to “fill the earth and multiply.” Third, in keeping with the theme of the chapter, namely death, it shows that God’s promise to Adam did actually come about because each patriarch listed died with the lone exception of Enoch (vv. 21-24).
Notice in verse one that this is the “book” of the generations of Adam. This shows that this record of people was not just an oral tradition, but it was written down, most likely by Adam himself (along with chapters 2-4), revealing that Adam worked with an existing alphabet. The “generation” of Adam is one of ten sections in Genesis called a toledot, or “origins.” Genesis 1-2 is the creation account, and it is followed by ten subsections of people and what become of them.
The latter part of verse one refers back to man’s creation in God’s image in Genesis 1:26-28. The writer does this so as to tie this section in with the previous section of creation. Adam’s generation has come to an end, and now the writer attempts to show how it relates to the next generation beginning with Noah. There are no gaps in this genealogy. Each generation ties in with the previous generation, and God has delivered His message through each of them. The message is that in Adam we all die, but the godly line that God Himself has preserved through the patriarchs, namely, Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Moses, and David leads to Jesus Christ, the son of these men but also the Son of God. In Jesus Christ alone is salvation, the redeemer of mankind from the curse of God, who releases us from the curse that Adam brought the world into. Whereas man was originally created in God’s image in verse 2, blessed by God, and named by God, he fell by his own free will by rebelling against the command of God.
Verse 3 reveals that when Adam was 130 years old he became the father of Seth. This doesn’t mean that Seth was the third son after Cain and Abel, but he is the noteworthy son. Whereas Adam was created by God in God’s image, Seth is said to have been created “after Adam’s likeness” – born into the sin of Adam. Verses 4 and 5 tell us that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters and that Adam lived a total of 930 years, then he died. His days were reminiscent of what the environment was like in the beginning when man could actually live that long, but God’s promise that he would die did come to pass, and this is the theme of Genesis 5.
Food for Thought
One commentator says, “While Genesis 5:1 contains the first mention of ‘book’ in the Old Testament, the first mention of ‘book’ in the New Testament is in Matthew 1:1, ‘the book of the generations of Jesus Christ.’ Thus, the first book tells of the origins of the first Adam; the second book speaks of the origins of the last Adam, who is ‘the Lord of heaven’ (1 Cor. 15:47).”
Remember today that we are all born in the likeness of Adam, that is, we are all born sinful and in need of a Savior. That Savior’s name, according to the Bible, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Christ alone we can be “born again” so as to live eternally with Him.
Genesis 5:6-20… And Seth lived one hundred and five years… 7 then lived 807 years after he became the father of Enosh, and had other children; 8 all of Seth’s days were 912, and he died. 9 And Enosh lived 90 years then fathered Kenan… 10 then he lived 815 years after that and had other children; 11 all his days were 905 years, and he died. 12 And Kenan lived 70 years, and fathered Mahalalel... 13 then he lived 840 years after that and had other children; 14 so all his days were 910 years, and he died. 15 And Mahalalel lived 65 years, and fathered Jared… 16 then he lived 830 years after that and had other children; 17 so all his days 895 years, and he died. 18 And Jared lived 162 years, and fathered Enoch… 19 then he lived 800 years after that and had other children; 20 so all his days were 962 years, and he died.
The names of the men above are antediluvian patriarchs – men who lived prior to the Great Flood of Noah’s day. God’s preservation of these names, names of those included in the divine Seed, takes all of God’s chosen people back to the godly line of Seth, Adam’s son. Their names are given, their age at the birth of their son, information regarding the fact they had other children too, and their age at the time of their death. There are a total of ten names given in Genesis 5 from Adam to Noah. Since there is little reason to believe that there are gaps in this genealogy, the total time period from Adam to the Flood is 1,656 years (that’s more than three-quarters of the time span from the time of Christ to the present day). It is interesting to note that Adam lived during Lamech’s lifetime, the father of Noah. Noah himself was born only 14 years after the death of Seth, and only two men were outlived by their fathers (Enoch & Lamech).
It is likely that the oldest man living had the primary responsibility of preaching God’s words to the society around him, for as Genesis 4:26 states, it was during the days of Seth’s son Enosh that men began to proclaim (preach) the name of the Lord. Each son thereafter most likely carried out the responsibilities of preaching and teaching.
It can’t go unnoticed that these men lived markedly longer than that which is common today. There are many explanations given by various commentators, but the fact that life spans make a dramatic turn downward in the years after the Flood shows that these ages were most likely tied to the environment in the beginning. If in fact the earth was originally formed with the “waters above” (a vapor canopy) as Genesis 1:7 states, then it is clear that man and beast would have had the capability of living 900+ years before dying. The canopy would protected against the harmful radiation from the sun, and human health would have been greatly prolonged with the great hyperbaric pressures combating disease and helping to maintain impeccable health. It is supposed that when God flooded the earth the canopy fell, and that environment ceased.
Food for Thought
Though each man in the above genealogy lived many years and likely preached God’s words to the society around them, they all eventually died. There are no guarantees in this life – only the guarantee of death. However, for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, John 3:16 grants great comfort: “Whosoever believes in [Christ] will not perish but have eternal life.”
Genesis 5:21-32… And Enoch lived 65 years, and fathered Methuselah… 22 then Enoch walked with God 300 years after that and had other children; 23 so all his days were 365 years... 24 and he walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived 187 years, and fathered Lamech… 26 then he lived 782 years after that and had other children; 27 so all his days were 969 years, and he died. 28 And Lamech lived 182 years, and fathered Noah... 29 saying, “This one shall give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.” 30 Then Lamech lived 595 years after that and had other children; 31 so all his days were 777 years, and he died. 32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
There are four prominent men here. In verses 22-23 Enoch is said to have “walked with God,” and his life is unique because he never died – “he was not, for God took him.” “Walking with God” is an expression in the Bible used to denote people who had fellowship with God through obedience to Him This type of relationship with God is promoted heavily in the NT. Hebrews 11:5 explains what happened: “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.” Enoch didn’t die because he pleased God. He is only one of two men (Elijah) in the Bible who never actually died but was taken by God. Jude 14-15 records Enoch’s preaching: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Enoch’s preaching against sin, coupled by his close walk with God, pleased God.
The second man spoken of is Methuselah. He is the oldest person who age is recorded in the Bible. He died at the age of 969 years, and it appears that he was a righteous man – so righteous that God would not put him to death during the Flood, but just prior to it. He was 369 years old when Noah had his three sons at age 500, and that would make Methuselah 869 years of age. We know that the floodwaters came upon the earth when Noah was 600 years old (Gen. 7:9), so if we add that 100 years to Methuselah’s age, it brings it to 969. Therefore, we can conclude that Methuselah died just prior to the Flood that was to judge the unrighteous.
The third man mentioned above is Lamech. Though Lamech in Cain’s line was evil, the godly line produced a Lamech that hoped in God. He named his son Noah, which means “rest.” Clearly Lamech was looking for the “rest” in relief of the Curse, and he believed that his son Noah would provide it. Noah, however, provided a new start for the human race through his walk with God. The Curse was still in place, but Noah showed how man can still please God through walking in obedience to Him in spite of the heartache around him.
Food for Thought
Walking with God must be the quest of every believer who calls on the name of the Lord for salvation. Walking with God is a daily occurrence. Many assume they walk with God when they go to church, but if going to church is a substitute for a daily walk with God, then you are in trouble. If going to a Bible-teaching, Christ-honoring church is a supplement to one’s walk with Christ, then attending church will be all that it should be for you. Don’t try to make the pastor’s sermon a substitute for your responsibility to walk with God. Allow his sermon to supplement your walk. Walking with God means allowing God to infiltrate every thought and action we do. It means that He is suggested and considered in all that we think and do. Pray for that today.
Man’s Purpose is to REPRESENT God and ENJOY His Blessing (1-5)
- God blessed us in His creation of us
- Death takes over the blessing b/c of sin
- Even in the Curse man is still in the image of God
- God was not lying in 2:17, for they did die.
- Now we have the responsibility to conform to the image of Christ
Man Has a RESPONSIBILITY to Walk with God (vv. 21-24)
- When we hold all of our life open to God’s inspection (Iraq?)
- We walk w/God when He is in our thoughts
- He is naturally suggested to us in all that we see
- Persons, plans, and ideas become important to us when they are connected to God
- When we change things in our lives we attempt to understand it in how it will affect our relationship w/God – will we be able to live on the same friendly terms?
- When we sin we cannot rest until we get right w/God
- Are we frustrated and empty feeling b/c our lives are not in conformity w/God?
- Do you suppress thoughts that you know displease Him?
- Enoch’s walk lasted 300 years! (see also Jude 14)
Micah 4:2… And many nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Galatians 2:20… "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
Ephesians 4:1… I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Ephesians 5:1-2… Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Philippians 1:27… Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Colossians 3:17… And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
1 John 2:6… the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Man’s HOPE is Relief from the Curse (28-31)
- Noah’s name doesn’t mean “rest” but the word play suggests such
- Lamech had hope for relief in his son
- We can victory through obedience while living in the cursed world (Phil. 4:13)
- We look forward to our translation to glory & relief from the curse (Rom 8:22; Heb 4)