Genesis Chapter 5
In chapter 5, we begin with the genealogy of the patriarchs. In the last lesson, we were looking at the evil ancestors of Adam’s family. Now with Seth, we are looking at the Godly line through which the Savior would come.
In the third chapter of Luke, you can follow right back to Adam through his son Seth. Luke 3:38 “Which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of God.”
Verses 1-2: “Called their name Adam”: This is the generic use of “Adam”, which contrasts with Adam as a proper name in this same context (verse 3)
Genesis 5:1 “This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;”
“The likeness of God” (see notes on 1:26).
Genesis 5:2 “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
“Called their name Adam”: In naming man, God declared His own dominion over all creation (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6).
We are taken back to creation day in the verses above. This line would be carried on until the blessed Savior would become the end to this beginning. We are reminded here that mankind was made in the image of God. In verse 2, it explicitly said that this was not just man, but man and woman.
Adam is a plural name and is here denoted as meaning both Adam and Eve. We touched on this Scripture in a previous lesson.
Verses 5:3-20: “Adam … begat a son in his own likeness”: Man, too, reproduces after his kind (1:11-12, 21, 24-25). This likeness is now sinful, in contrast to 1:26. It is helpful to note that Cain and Abel are not included. Therefore, the list does not include all descendants.
There are 10 patriarchs mentioned in this chapter. The last one, Noah, has three sons listed. This symmetry is the same in chapter 11. In Matthew 1, there are three sets with 14 names to a set, plus obvious omissions. Certainly, no strict chronology can be determined from any of the lists.
“Nine hundred and thirty years”: Seven patriarchs lived more than nine hundred years; contrast this fact with the much shorter life span in 11:10-32, an average span of about two hundred years. The purpose of this chapter, and the source of its historical importance, is its testimony to the development of the human race from Adam to Noah, citing the godly line.
It appears to be God’s answer to Satan’s blasphemous lie: “Ye shall not surely die” (3:4). Death reigned, and God’s word was fully vindicated.
Genesis 5:3 “And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:”
“In his own likeness, after his image”: The human image and likeness in which God created mankind was procreatively passed to the second generation and to all generations which follow.
We must take note that this was not Adam’s first son. Adam had Cain and Abel before Seth, but the lineage that would be followed throughout the Bible would be Seth.
Genesis 5:4 “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:”
You see, in none of these Scriptures did Moses go into detail about how many sons and daughters. My own opinion of the longevity of life for this early humanity was so they could populate the earth.
Genesis 5:5 “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”
“Nine hundred and thirty years”: These are literal years marking unusual length of life which are accounted for by the pre-Flood environment provided by the earth being under a canopy of water, filtering out the ultraviolet rays of the sun and producing a much more moderate and healthful condition (see notes on 1:7; 2:6).
“And he died”: God told Adam that if he ate of the tree he would surely die (2:17). It included spiritual death immediately and then physical death later.
Genesis 5:6 “And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enos:”
And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enos. Not that this was his firstborn, no doubt but he had other children before this time; but this is only mentioned, because it carried the lineage and descent directly from Adam to Noah, the father of the new world, and from whom the Messiah was to spring; whose genealogy to give is a principal view of this book, or account of generations from Adam to Noah.
He proves Adam’s generation by those who came from Seth, to show the true Church, and also what care God had over the same from the beginning, in that he continued his graces toward it by a continual succession.
Genesis 5:7-8 “And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.”
And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died”, as did his father Adam before him. Seth, according to Josephus, was a very good man, and brought up his children well, who trod in his steps, and who studied the nature of the heavenly bodies; so that the knowledge of these things they had acquired might not be lost.
Remembering a prophecy of Adam, that the world should be destroyed both by fire and by water, they erected two pillars, called Seth’s pillars; the one was made of brick, and the other of stone, on which they inscribed their observations, that so if that of brick was destroyed by a flood, that the one of stone might remain; and which the writer says continued in his time in the land of Siriad.
Genesis 5:9-11″And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:” “And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.”
We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. There is nothing observable concerning any of those particularly, though we have reason to think they were men of eminency, both for prudence and piety:
But in general, observe how largely and expressly their generations are recorded. We are told how long they lived, that lived in God’s fear, and when they died, that died in his favor; but as for others it is no matter. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.
Genesis 5:12-14 “And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:” “And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.”
Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. That which is especially observable, is, that they all lived very long; not one of them died ’till he had seen almost eight hundred years. And some much longer; a great while for an immortal soul to be imprisoned in a house of clay.
The present life surely was not to them such a burden as commonly it is now, else they would have been weary of it; nor was the future life so clearly revealed then, as it is now under the gospel, else they would have been impatient to remove it.
Some natural causes may be assigned for their long life in those first ages. It is very probable that the earth was more fruitful, the products of it more strengthening, the air more healthful, and the influences of the heavenly bodies more benign before the flood than they were after.
Genesis 5:15-17 “And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:” “And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.”
It seems that these genealogies go on and on. We see that these men were men of God and lived long lives. In verse 18 below, we will see the righteous Enoch, not the son of Cain, but rather the seventh from Adam through the line of Seth. Keep in mind “seven” means spiritually complete.
Genesis 5:18-20 “And Jared lived a hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:” “And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.”
We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared.
Though man was driven out of paradise, yet the earth itself was then paradisiacal; a garden in comparison with its present state: and some think, that their knowledge of the creatures and their usefulness both, for their food and medicine, together with their sobriety and temperance, contributed much to it.
Yet we do not find that those who were intemperate, as many were (Luke 17:27), as short – lived as temperate men generally are now.
Verses 21-24: “Enoch walked with God”: The verb employed signifies “to walk about” or “to live,” and the preposition denotes intimacy, fellowship (Jude 14-15 reveal his ministry and evidently powerful preaching).
Genesis 5:21-23 “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:” “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:”
Enoch was the seventh from Adam. Godliness is walking with God: which shows reconciliation to God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). It includes all the parts of a godly, righteous, and sober life. To walk with God, is to set God always before us, to act as always under his eye.
It is constantly to care, in all things to please God, and in nothing to offend him. It is to be followers of him as dear children. The Holy Spirit, instead of saying, Enoch lived, says, Enoch walked with God. This was his constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. It was the joy of his life. Enoch was removed to a better world.
As he did not live like the rest of mankind, so he did not leave the world by death as they did. He was not found, because God had translated him (Heb. 11:5). He had lived but 365 years, which, as men’s ages were then, was but the midst of a man’s days. God often takes those soonest whom he loves best; the time they lose on earth, is gained in heaven, to their unspeakable advantage.
Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.”
“Walked with God … was not; for God took him”: Enoch is the only break in the chapter from the incessant comment, “and he died” (4:17-18; 1 Chron. 1:3; Luke 3:37; Heb. 11:5; Jude 14). Only one other man is said to have enjoyed this intimacy of relationship in walking with God, Noah (6:9).
Enoch experienced being taken to heaven alive by God, as did Elijah later (2 Kings 2:1-12).
Enoch’s translation stands about half way between Adam and the flood, in the 987th year after the creation of Adam. Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared were still alive. His son, Methuselah and his grandson Lamech were also living; the latter being 113 years old. Noah was not yet born, and Adam was dead.
His translation, in consequence of his walking with God, was “an example of repentance to all generations,”
Hebrew 11:5: The same Hebrew word is used for the “translation” of Elijah in (2 Kings 2:3-5). He went to heaven without dying. His bodily translation during the long antediluvian time before the Flood (sway of the curse), was a sign that, ultimately, reconciliation with God includes victory over death.
See how Enoch’s removal is expressed: “he was not, for God took him”. He was not any longer in this world; he was changed, as the saints shall be, who are alive at Christ’s second coming. Those who begin to walk with God when young may expect to walk with him long, comfortably, and usefully.
The true Christian’s steady walk in holiness, through many a year, till God takes him, will best recommend that religion which many oppose and many abuse. And walking with God well agrees with the cares, comforts, and duties of life.
In (Jude verse 14), the Scripture says that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied. You see, we find in these Scriptures that God not only walked and communed with Enoch, but he showed him into the future.
Verses 14-15-16 of Jude look right into the future to the end times.
Jude 1:14-16 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,” “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
Hebrews tells us how we can be translated to be with God. Enoch was the recipient of this gift.
Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
I like the story that says, one day when Enoch was walking with God, that God invited Enoch to go home with him, and he did. (This exact statement is not in the Bible, but in all essence, was what really happened).
Do not confuse this Enoch with Enoch who was the son of Cain. They were total opposites.
I won’t write it down here, but you may read in Luke the 3rd chapter, beginning with verse 37, the genealogy of Seth to Enoch.
We could go on and on about this being firstfruits of the rapture of the church.
Verse 23 of Genesis says all the days of Enoch were 365. That is an interesting statement. For Enoch is still alive. It means his time on earth was 365 years. Even the number of his years is a peculiarity for there are 365 days in a year.
What a beautiful picture of the rapture of the church. When the trumpet blows in the sky, there will be a large number of people who will walk with God.
Verses 25-27: “Methuselah”: The man who lived the longest life on record. He died the year of the flood judgment (7:6).
Genesis 5:25-27 “And Methuselah lived a hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: ” “And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”
The shortest life was followed by the longest, Methuselah begetting, at the advanced age of 187, Lamech, “strong or young man or the powerful”, continuing after his son’s birth 782 years.
And at last succumbing to the stroke of death in the 969th year of his age, the year of the Flood.
Methuselah signifies, ‘he dies, there is a dart,’ ‘a sending forth,’ namely, of the deluge, which came the year that Methuselah died. He lived 969 years, the longest that any man ever lived on earth; but even the longest living person must die at last.
This is a very interesting Scripture, as well. This Methuselah (descendent of Seth), lived longer than anyone else upon the earth.
Some writers believe that Methuselah died the day before the flood. This is pure conjecture taken from some writings other than the Bible. It could easily have happened, but as far as I know, the Bible does not substantiate this statement. We do know that it is a popular saying about someone who is very old, that they are as old as Methuselah.
It is commonly supposed, that Methuselah died a little before the flood; the Jewish writers say, seven days before, referring to (Gen. 7:10), and that he was taken away from the evil to come.
Genesis 5:28-29 “And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:” “And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.”
The oracle of the birth of the son of Lamech involves a wordplay, passing over the obvious etymology (origin of words and their meaning), of the name Noah, meaning “Rest.” There is a somewhat similar verb, “nacham”, meaning “comfort.” The allusion (to 3:17), may be a sign that he treasured the promise (of 3:15).
That the patriarchs of the old world felt the ills of this earthly life in all their severity, was attested by Lamech (Genesis 5:28-29), when he gave his son, who was born 69 years after Enoch’s translation, the name of Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.”
Noah, meaning “rest” or “to bring rest”, or “to comfort”, in the sense of helpful and remedial consolation. Lamech, by whom the line was carried forward, was similarly far advanced when he begat a son, at the age of 182, (777 years total) and called his name Noah.
“This same shall comfort us”: Comfort and rest would come through the godly life of Noah, who is an “heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7).
“Lamech” means the powerful. It seems as if Lamech looked around him and saw a world with people not following God, but rather living for the here and now. The people around him had so discouraged him that he felt all was lost. Then God gave him this son Noah. Lamech realized that Noah was going to break the chain of endless toil and sin here on the earth. At last, there was hope.
Genesis 5:30-31 “And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:” “And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.”
In Enoch, the seventh from Adam through Seth, godliness attained its highest point; whilst ungodliness culminated in Lamech, the seventh from Adam through Cain, who made his sword his god.
Lamech not only felt the burden of his work upon the ground which God had cursed, but looked forward with a prophetic foreboding to the time when the existing misery and corruption would terminate, and a change for the better, a redemption from the curse, would come.
This foreboding assumed the form of hope when his son was born; he therefore gave expression to it in his name. But his hope was not realized, at least not in the way that he desired. A change did indeed take place in the lifetime of Noah.
By the judgment of the flood the corrupt race was exterminated, and in Noah, who was preserved because of his blameless walk with God, the restoration of the human race was secured.
But the effects of the curse, though mitigated, were not removed, whilst a covenant sign guaranteed the preservation of the human race, and therewith, by implication, his hope of the eventual removal of the curse (Genesis 9:8-17).
You know looking at these two verses really saddens me. Noah had sisters and brothers who did not believe and did not board the ark. Probably Noah’s father, Lamech, had died, but what about Noah’s sisters and brothers? If I truly understand the Scripture above, then they must have gone the way of the wicked world and been lost with all the others in the flood.
Genesis 5:32 “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
“Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth”: Japheth was the oldest (10:21), Ham the youngest (9:24). Shem is mentioned first because it was through him that God’s Messiah would come. This chapter serves at least three purposes in the scheme of Genesis:
(1) It bears witness to man’s value to God; by naming individuals and stages in this early human phase, each is known and remembered.
(2) It shows how the line of Seth, “the Appointed,” led to Noah, “the Deliverer.” And;
(3) It demonstrates both the reign of death by the refrain “and he died,” and the standing pledge of death’s defeat by the “taking” of Enoch.
This Scripture above does not tell us whether these boys were triplets, or whether it meant around the time Noah was 500 years old, or whether it means shortly after he was 500. It really doesn’t matter for our study here.
“Noah” means rest. Certainly, there is a Sabbath of rest for those who enter the ark of safety through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Shem” means shame. “Ham” means hot (from a tropical habitat). “Japheth” means expansion. From these three young men, will spring the three types of people in the world, the Caucasian, the Oriental and the Negroid.
Genesis Chapter 5 Questions
. Chapter 5 is a genealogy of whom?
2. Did Jesus come from Seth’s line or Cain’s line?
3. In the day Adam and Eve were created, what did God call them?
4. When Adam was 130, what son was born to him?
5. How long did Adam live?
6. Enoch was seventh from whom?
7. Which of Enoch’s sons was born when he was 65?
8. How old was Enoch when he went home with God?
9. Who lived the longest on the earth?
10. How long did he live?
11. What testimony did Enoch have?
12. What is a popular statement about someone who is old?
13. What does “Lamech” mean?
14. What probably happened to Noah’s sisters and brothers?
15. What age was Noah when it is mentioned that he begat three sons?
16. Name the three sons.
17. What does “Noah” mean?
18. What does “Shem” mean?
19. What does “Ham” mean?
20. What does “Japheth” Mean?
21. Name three types of people that came from these three sons.