New European Commentary


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5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam- A Hebraism for "an account of the story of...". This phrase is found throughout Genesis, introducing the various sections: Gen. 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12, 19; 36:1; 37:2. The focus of the material reduces each time; from the heavens and earth, to Adam, to the faithful line through Seth, to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob, to Joseph.

In the day that God created man, He made him in God’s likeness- This is to be connected with how Adam had a son "in his own likeness" (:3), as if to imply that the Divine likeness is passed on through procreation. This "likeness" therefore refers to something physical rather than spiritual or mental; for His ways are far above ours, and we are to take on His mind through wilfully being open to His Spirit. The word is used of how Ahab had an image made in the likeness of a god in Damascus. The word definitely has 'physical' suggestions. These reflections are hard evidence that God is not totally immaterial, but exists as an actual entity. Admittedly all terms such as corporeal, physical, material etc. leave us beneath "the tyranny of words"; but all the same God is real and actual, creating a man after His likeness, in the same way as that man then procreated according to his likeness, which was God's.  

The common view of the times was that only the ruling classes were created in the image of God. The Ancient Near East was full of images to rulers which were called "images of God". The Caesar cult continued this. Only the supreme ruler was the image of God. But Genesis deconstructs this, and states that each and every man is in the image of God. The prophets lament how Israel worshipped images which had no breath / spirit in them (Hab. 2:19; Jer. 10:14; 51:17). Rather than perceive that they were each living images of God, filled with His Spirit, Israel preferred to avoid such personal responsibility by instead creating and worshipping another image of God. Perceiving we ourselves are in the image of God inspires responsibility. And we would rather avoid that and try to claim that God's image is not in me, but in something else. The Ancient Near East considered priests to be men in the image of God who had His Spirit in them. Genesis is saying that every man has this; we are all priests. It was God's intention that Israel should be a nation of priests, as the new Israel are to be a "royal priesthood". But both natural and spiritual Israel have largely shrunk from this responsibility, and preferred to see the image and spirit of God in others or elsewhere, anywhere, apart from in themselves.

Egyptian inscriptions show that the Pharaohs were considered to be made in the image of God, unlike the mass of society who were supposedly not in God's image and could therefore be abused as animals through heavy taxation etc.. For humanity were seen as born into slavery. The name of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen means the “Living image of Amun”.  Later, the Assyrian king Esarhaddon was described as "the very image of Bel" the god of Assyria. The theology of Yahweh directly challenges this. All men are in His image, and there is no two or multi tier view of society, whereby just the ruling caste was in God's image. And this has meaning for today, where effectively a hyper wealthy class has emerged sitting on the backs of a vast majority of minimum wage labour. And indeed there is developing a servile, standardised mass mentality. Man is becoming dehumanized, personality is becoming bleached to conformity, strong characters are fewer, as society drowns in depression and nihilism. All because we resist the call of our own bodies and natures, to understand that we are in God's image and can rise above to something infinitely more noble and worthy.

We see the Ancient Near Eastern view of these things challenged again when the Torah declares that all land belongs to Yahweh and shall be the eternal possession of His people. Not some propertied class. There are many Egyptian references to the Pharaohs being begotten in the image of the gods; the Biblical record states that we are created in His image and likeness. I suggest the "likeness" is an invitation to see that we have the potential to "be like Him" in a mental and spiritual way; a dimension quite missing in the Egyptian theology which Moses is here deconstructing. "We shall be like Him / Oh how rich the promise". Creation has indeed been made subject to vanity, but for the believer, it has been "subjected in hope" (Rom. 8:19-21).

Another aspect of the Egyptian / pagan idea which is deconstructed is the idea that gods only beget gods in their image. Thus the Enuma Elish 1:16,  “Anu begot Nudimmud in his likeness".  But in reality, God begets children in His image who are all of humanity; for Gen. 5 is a genealogy of men. And they are in the image of man as well as in God's image. We see here the value and dignity attached to the human person, reflected in our respect for all persons, including our enemies. To treat others as made in the image of God is so difficult when they are the brutal, cruel, foolish, dogmatic, judgmental, unkind... but they are still in the image of God, no matter how marred and distorted, and we are to treat them accordingly.

5:2  He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created- The record intentionally confuses the singular "Adam" with the married couple. This may explain why Rom. 5:12 speaks of sin entering the world by one man, Adam- when Eve was equally part of the transgression. We also see a reflection of the unity God perceives between married couples whom He joins together. Here and in :1, we are reading of the events of "the day when they were created". The fall of Adam and Eve and the issues with Cain and Abel are overlooked; because this account is focusing upon the development of the more spiritual line which emerged through Seth, culminating in Noah; whereas chapter 4 has given us the line of evildoers through Cain, and this will climax in the way that the sons of God [the righteous] intermarried with the daughters of men [the line of Cain] until only Noah was left righteous.

5:3  Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth- As noted on :1, this begettal of a son after his own image and likeness is to be connected with how he had been created in God's image and likeness; which surely refers to the physical rather than the moral. Much is therefore implied here about the nature of God Himself. This is why Israel were not to make any physical form or image of God; because it would take them away from appreciating that they themselves as persons were the image of God. God has a form, for we are made in His form and likeness; but Israel didn't see that form and were not to make any image of it (Dt. 4:12,15).  And as the Lord reasons, what has God's image on it must be given to God. We are His, wholly and totally, by reason of the image we bear. As noted on Gen. 4:25, here we see yet another hope for a Messiah, a Saviour figure who would be appointed [= "Seth"] by God as the seed of the woman. All these hopes didn't come to anything; perhaps they potentially could have done, and were only ruined by human dysfunction. The whole experience was used to deepen an understanding and desire for the Lord Jesus. "Appointed" can also mean "substituted", which is the more exact meaning of "Seth". He was hoped to be a substitute for Abel, a kind of resurrected form of Abel; but in the end, death is death, and there can be no substitute; only a representative sacrifice which we identify with in faith.

We naturally enquire of the connection between the statements that God created man after His own image and likeness, and that then man begat children after his own image and likeness. There is a correspondence between father and son, clearly seen between Adam and Seth. And we are being told that this reflects the correspondence between Adam [and every man] and God. Adam was in this the sense "the son of God" as Luke 3 states. This is why God describes Himself as our "kinsman redeemer" (Ps. 9:11-13; 2 Chron. 24:22). Man is therefore God's nearest kin, because the avenger of blood was the nearest kin to the man slain. In the context of Genesis, God has just now shown in Gen. 4 that He is the avenger of Abel's blood. Genesis 1 repeatedly states that everything in creation was created "according to its kind", its own distinctive type or class. But when we come to the account of man's creation, we read that he was made in God's image and likeness. After His, Divine, kind. This gives yet more dimension to the simple invitation to view God as our Heavenly Father.

We could read :1 as implying that Adam was created after God's image and likeness in the day that he was created [otherwise that phrase is somewhat redundant], but that image was marred as a result of the fall. And over the generations, that image becomes progressively less as men beget their children after their image and likeness. Or we can take this :3 as explaining to us in what sense we are created after God's image and likeness. We are to Him as a child is to its human father. We have the father's image, but somewhat uniquely refracted in a way that means we are not the splitting image of our fathers, but yet our image and likeness is related to them in a distorted, diluted sense. It is emphasized twice in :1,2 that God made man in His image "in the day that God created him". This phrase would appear redundant, especially as it is stated twice, unless we understand it to mean that before he sinned, Adam [which was the name for 'Adam and Eve'] was in God's image. But man is still in that image, although not completely. This is why the genealogy of Genesis 5 starts with God. "The book of the generations of Adam" begins not with Adam, but with God begetting Adam. In this sense Adam was the son of God (Lk. 3:38). He is the Father, and we are a family begotten in His likeness. But that family is all humanity. "We are indeed His offspring" (Acts 17:28). And so all men are to be respected; James says we should not curse men because they are made in God's image. This likely interprets Gen. 9:6 "Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in His own image".

In this sense, God's creation of Adam was a begettal of a son. And thereby we are empowered to understand the new creation of a spiritual man within us as being also a kind of begettal by the Spirit. In this sense, the virgin birth of God's Son the Lord Jesus doesn't unduly set Him apart from the rest of us who have been begotten by the Spirit, as John's writings make clear. So whilst we are physically in God's image and likeness, the degree of likeness is at times obscure, and at best diluted, distorted and only a refraction of the original light. But in the Lord Jesus at the time of His death, in the mind and character He had there, we see "the form of God"; and we are invited to let that mind be in us which was in Him there (Phil. 2). He there was the supreme manifestation or image and likeness of God, in human flesh. He was a man amongst men, man as God intended man to be, and as we shall finally be. And that mind, image and likeness is to be allowed in us ["let this mind be in you..."]. Just as Adam was in God's image 'in the day that he was created', so we can return to that image and even fuller, through the Lord Jesus who is the image of God, and His exact likeness (Col. 1:15). As Alan Hayward put it, He was "the man with the face of God". The Lord Jesus in His time of dying reached the exact image and likeness of God, although He was in the form / image of a servant as well as being in the form / image of God. The Father's side was refracted through His humanity, being "found in fashion as a man". And through the work of the Spirit, we are being conformed and transformed into that same image (2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:9,10 "Do not lie to each other, seeing you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator"). For "He shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). And we are not to turn away from that face, but to let it transform us through allowing the work of His Spirit in the new creation of men and women after His image and likeness, which is that of God: "Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there the heart is free. But we each, with an unveiled face and reflecting the glory of the Lord [Jesus], are all transformed into his likeness from glory to glory by the Lord the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17,18).

We don't fully get there in this life, but the joy of resurrection is that we will: "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:49). Paul there alludes to Gen. 5:3 LXX , where Adam produces a son who bears his image, just as God made Adam in His image. Paul sees this as coming true at resurrection, but of course right now the Lord is a "life giving spirit" in our new creation and new birth of water and spirit. We are now being progressively changed into His image, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). We as believers were predestined to be conformed to the image of God's Son (Rom. 8:29); a process that starts now and comes to final conclusion at the day of judgment. Then, God's desire to have children in His image and likeness shall be finally fulfilled.

And so by following this theme through the Bible, we come to understand ourselves, who we are. We are shown what it is, to be human; how high we are rather than how low we are, and what great potential there is in being human. Every man being in the image of God, there are no 'mere mortals', no 'ordinary people', 'standard blokes', produced by some random evolutionary process. Recall how in the account of creation, everything was brought into being by the statement "Let there be...", but man is different: "Let us make man after our likeness". God will finally make a man more precious than fine gold, even the gold of Ophir (Is. 13:12). The Lord had totally our nature, and showed us what was possible. We see that we were born for great things, we see how high is our potential, and so we are inspired to rise above our human side. For we are made in the image and likeness of God, but also in human image and likeness. The teaching of Gen. 5:1,3 can perhaps be seen as a balancing out of the dimension presented in Gen. 3 and Gen. 4- that we are indeed fallen and sinful. But that does not consign us to inevitable failure. And if we are in Christ and open to His transforming Spirit, we shall progressively be changed [back, or more fully] into the Divine image as it is in Him; and then be physically and totally changed into it at His return, although the Father's image and likeness will be refracted through us each in a unique way, just as Adam's image and likeness was in his children. Man was born to respond to God; He is not far from any one of us, because we are made in His image and there is something intuitive about relationship with Him. Altheism is therefore an unnatural denial of our own Father- usually because of false images of Him. As made in God's image, we are half way there as it were.

But so many don't want it, or pull out of the formation process, declining the new creation. Ps. 82:6,7 implies Israel were given that option, but instead they allowed the side of being in their father's image and likeness to dominate: "I had taken you for divine beings [I said 'You are gods']... but you shall die as humans / men".  And their father was "the devil", the flesh, the Lord commented. This is why He quoted these words to them when they wrongly accused Him of pretending to be God. The Lord's quotation was therefore saying that yes, He was indeed in His Father's image and likeness- but that was possible for them also. But they were allowing the side of "their father the devil" to dominate. Perceiving these things provides the pastoral answer to our complaints about our sins. People tell us they are having an affair, are secretly addicted to alcohol, or whatever. And we point out to ourselves our own failures. And what are we to say, to ourselves and to others? "You can do better than that. You were born to better things". For we are in the image of God, and can be transformed into it far more. And so it can help at times to reposition our understanding of sin, in terms of failure and immaturity in rising up to reflecting the glory of God as we have seen it in the face of Jesus Christ.

The connection between :1 and :3 further shows that we have the image of God and also the image of our earthly father. Adam's son was both the image of God and of Adam. We are mixed, mongrels between flesh and Spirit. Which is why all bad men have some good in them, something of the Divine; and all good men are never completely good but have the human image and likeness as well in some points. But we are offered the opportunity to be reborn, reformed, recreated, after God's image and likeness which was seen perfectly in the Lord; to become the image of the Heavenly just as surely as we bore the image of the earthly.

 Time and again, the Torah told Israel to live justly in things great and small, because "I am Yahweh your God". We are made in His image, and should live like Him in respect of all men who are all also in His image.  To be like Him becomes our passion; to be holy "because I am holy". As the old hymn says,

"Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art".

Who He is, His image, "That Thou art", is to be all for me, our vision and our heart's sole desire. To be like Him.

"Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art.

Thou my best thought, by day or by night

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.


Riches I need not, nor vain empty praise;

Thou mine inheritance, now and always.

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

Great God of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.


Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word.

I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord.

Heart of my own heart, whatever befalls.

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all


Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight,

Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.

Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower

Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.


Thou my great Fatherand I Thy true son,

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.


5:4  The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters- We can assume that he had many. But the faithful line was through only one of them, Seth; and that too had all but spiritually died out by the time of Noah. It must've been hard for Adam and Eve to see their scores of children and thousands of grandchildren, great grandchildren etc. all fall away from the faith; for there were none righteous by the time of Noah. We can assume that they themselves kept the faith; for Eve's later hatred of the serpent and struggle with it until she killed it became programmatic for the true "seed of the woman" subsequently. The line of Seth alone were the only "seed of the woman" whilst Cain's line, and presumably the rest of the children, were the seed of the serpent.

5:5  All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, then he died- The genealogies emphasize "death", a reminder that indeed death passed upon all men (Rom. 5:12). The longer lifespans could be explained by the different environment and climate before the flood; there had been no rain before the flood, and the canopy of water came down to earth at the deluge. This canopy may have shielded people from harmful radiation.

5:6  Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh- There is an Enoch around the same time in the line of Cain, as listed in Gen. 4. And there are several similar names at the same points in the genealogies through both Seth and Cain. I have suggested above that these two lines are effectively the seeds of the serpent and the woman developing, although by chapter 6 they have intermarried until Noah alone is left faithful. Why the similarities, and at the same time? Perhaps we are to conclude that the seed of the serpent appears similar to the seed of the woman and even imitates her, externally. Just as the Assyrians offered life in their kingdom to Judah in the language of the Kingdom of God on earth- sitting under their own vine and fig tree etc. Likewise the antiChrist is a fake Christ, an imitation of the true.

5:7  Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters- The ages recorded here differ markedly between the Masoretic [i.e. Hebrew] text, the various versions of the LXX, and Josephus. The New Testament, under inspiration, repeatedly quotes the LXX in preference over the MT [Hebrew text]. Luke's genealogy of Christ only makes sense when compared against the LXX rather than the MT. It is worth noting that if the LXX genealogies and ages are followed, and the manner of New Testament quotation encourages us to follow them, then the Lord was not born at 4000 years after Adam, and so 2000 AD was not 6000 years after creation. This has drastic implications for the "6000 year plan" theory, with the Millennium anticipated as the seventh day "sabbath of rest". 

5:8  All the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, then he died- "He died" runs as a refrain here (Gen. 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27,31). The reality of the curse upon Adam, of paradise lost, is being brought home.

5:9  Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan- The longer lifespans would imply a far stronger race than we now experience. Each woman may well have had a few hundred children. Coupled with the long lifespans and healthy environment, there would have been a few million people alive by the time of the flood. And out of all of them, only Noah was found righteous. This mass population explosion is another connection between our last days and "the days of Noah".

5:10  Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred and fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters- Perhaps this was from whom the faithful Heber the Kenite was descended (Jud. 4:11,17; Jud. 5:24).

5:11  All the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, then he died- "Enosh" is translated "mortal man" in Job 4:17, and is used in the sense of man in his humanity and weakness. And so man dies.

5:12  Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel- "Praise of God". It's questionable how much significance we should attach to the meaning of names; but this meaning would encourage us to again see some spirituality in the line of Seth.

5:13  Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred and forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters- We may enquire as to why one son is chosen for mention, when that son may not have been the firstborn, and then this point is made a measuring point in the life of the person. Perhaps the idea is that the birth and raising of the faithful seed who would continue the line of the seed of the woman was the most significant point in their long lives. And so in many ways it is with believing parents and family lines today.

5:14  And all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, then he died- "All the days" is a metaphor meaning "the length of the life". Our lives are counted in days by God; for each day ought to be significant.

5:15  Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared- The rubric in the genealogies is clear- how long a person lived before they had a significant child, how long they lived afterwards, and then a note that they died and their final age on death. This is exactly the style of the king lists found  amongst the Egyptians and Sumerians. We must ever remember that the Pentateuch was originally produced for the Israelites in Egypt. The idea would have been that this line of the seed of the woman were actually kings; such rubric was only used for the kings. That might have been literally true, but I suggest the idea is that ordinary faithful people within the seed of the woman were kings in God's eyes. Indeed all the faithful shall be king-priests (Rev. 5:10).

5:16  Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters- The mention of other sons and daughters may be to highlight the significance of the one who was faithful and through whom the line of the seed of the woman continued. In some genealogies, being the father of a person may simply mean that you were their ancestor. Generations were skipped. But giving the ages of the person when they had a child was perhaps to flag that this is not the style here. The genealogy of Cain in chapter 4 isn't recorded in this way; no time periods are mentioned.

5:17  All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, then he died- There appears to be an intended contrast with the line of Cain, the seed of the serpent, recorded in Gen. 4. Cain's children have a note made of their secular achievements; nothing like that is mentioned in the line of Seth, the seed of the woman. Worldly advantage and achievement mean nothing for those whose focus is upon being the seed of the woman. Worldly achievement and contribution to society is of absolutely no moment in the eternal record.

5:18  Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch- Jared had this child somewhat later in life. Perhaps this reflects a lengthy search for a Godly wife; or perhaps his earlier children were spiritual failures and weren't therefore the ones through whom the seed was to be preserved.

5:19  Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters- The genealogy will conclude with Noah being the only faithful believer even in the line of Seth. This means that his contemporaries had rejected the faith; the reality is that the vast majority of the children of these faithful men didn't remain in the faith. It would have been a most depressing and disappointing environment for those who were spiritually minded.

5:20  All the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, then he died- The genealogy through Cain in chapter 4 doesn't mention this repeated note that "he died" which we have here in the genealogy of the faithful. Perhaps we are to conclude that for the seed of the serpent and those "in the way of Cain", death is something they can't cope with and act as if it doesn't happen to them- although it does. The seed of the woman fully accept death, it is part of their necessary path towards eternal salvation.

5:21  Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah- Adam Clarke and others see "Methuselah" as meaning something to the effect of "When he dies, it [or judgment] shall come". And he died in the year the flood came. Jude 14 mentions that Enoch prophesied of judgment to come upon the world of his day. This would suggest that there had been a revelation about the flood before Noah received the command to build the ark. He would've obeyed, encouraged by Methuselah. The threat of judgment was therefore hanging over the earth for many centuries before the flood came; they were a society without excuse, and the gradual falling away of the faithful until only Noah was left would've been an awful period to live through. And the days of Noah are as our last days.

5:22  Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah for three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters- Walking with God in a Genesis context reminds us of how God walked in the Garden of Eden, and fellowshipped with Adam and Eve before their sin. This may be another hint in early Genesis that the effects of the "fall" could in essence and principle be overcome in the lives of the Godly; just as John's gospel records the Lord offering "eternal life" right now, presenting Himself as the tree of life. The Kingdom is both now and not yet.

5:23  All the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years- This presents Enoch as ending his mortal life much earlier than the others mentioned in this genealogy.

5:24  Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God snatched him away- This may well imply a snatching away from  persecution. The Hebrew is used for taking away from something to something else, but not necessarily death, in Gen. 2:15; Dt. 30:4; 2 Kings 2:1-18;  Ez. 3:14; Ps. 49:16; 73:24. Although he was snatched away from some form of persecution, he still died. Both Enoch and Noah are described as "walking with God" and both were saved from destruction / judgment upon the wicked; but they both still died eventually. The seed of the serpent and that of the woman have always been in conflict, and so it would be no surprise if Enoch was persecuted by the line of Cain recorded in Gen. 4. But the standard rubric here in chapter 5 concludes each account with "and he died". That is notably absent here. But immortality was first granted to the Lord Jesus, who thus became the firstfruits of the redeemed. Enoch all the same had sinned and surely had to taste of death. The Bible knows nothing of immortal souls living in heaven after death; and even that approach fails to make sense of the pointed omission of the standard note that "he died". For immortal soulism claims that on death the supposed immortal soul goes to heaven. So the problem of his death being unrecorded remains. Heb. 11:5 says that Enoch "was not found", he was not grabbed as others intended, because God "removed" him (Gk.) so that he should not see death- i.e. the death that others intended, at that point. And yet he surely died, for Hebrews 11 says that all those mentioned in that chapter, including Enoch, "died", in sure hope of reward at the last day (Heb. 11:39,40). He died, because God removed him from the death others intended; rather like Moses was effectively taken away to death by an Angel. Paul likewise seems to suggest that he was given the opportunity to die, but he chose to remain (Phil. 1:23,24). I suggest the "and he died..." was omitted in order to continue the idea that for the seed of the woman, even if they remain within the physical parameters of the curse, they are in another sense free from it. God in grace gradually reduced some aspects of the curse in the lives of His children, the seed of the woman. We see this likewise in how the Law of Moses, which was likewise "added because of transgression" (Gal. 3:19), was amended and ameliorated as time went on. I have demonstrated elsewhere that Gentiles were initially forbidden to eat of the Passover, but this was amended later. Sinners were to have their children punished for some generations (Ex. 34:7), but by the time of Ezekiel 18 this had been ameliorated.

5:25  Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech- The righteous seed was not born to Methuselah early in his life. Perhaps he had to search long to find a Godly wife; or maybe his other children slid away into the mass apostacy of that period.

5:26  Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters-  We wonder why Lamech was not saved in the ark, and why he died relatively young. We can assume that he fell away from the faith, whilst his father and son [Noah] remained faithful. To hold to the faith amidst such mass apostacy, including amongst your immediate family, is notable indeed. Or it could simply be that he died younger than the others because of persecution or natural causes.

5:27  All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, then he died- Methuselah lived longer than any other recorded man, dying in the year the flood came; see on Gen. 5:21. Perhaps his longevity was a reflection of God's blessing upon him. A more negative reading would be that Methuselah fell away from the faith and perished in the flood.

5:28  Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son- As noted on :26, we are left to assume that Lamech fell away from the faith, or died relatively young. His faithful father Methuselah outlived him. Lamech was the sixth from Adam in this list, just as there was a Lamech the sixth from Adam in the line of Cain (Gen. 4:16-24). This highlights how the two lines were parallel, with the seed of the serpent being but a mimic of that of the woman; just as the antiChrist is a fake, imitation Christ, and this world, the kingdom of men with its offers and claims, is but a fake Kingdom of God.

 5:29  And he named him Noah, saying, This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed-

Perhaps they hoped that this would be the seed of the woman who would bring the curse on the ground to an end. Clearly this hope for a Messiah figure would have been significant in the thinking of the faithful. Or did Noah's parents expect Noah to be the child who would do all the hard menial work for them, so that they would suffer less from the curse placed upon the ground in Eden? This might explain why Noah had children when he was 500, far older than others of his time (Gen. 5:32- Noah's father had had his first children at 182, Gen. 5:28; Seth had his first child at 105, Gen. 5:6; Enos at 95, Gen. 5:9; Cainan at 70, Gen. 5:12; Mahalalel at 65, Gen. 5:15; Jared at 162, Gen. 5:18; Enoch at 65, Gen. 5:21; Methuselah at 187, Gen. 5:25); Gen. 6:18 implies that Noah only had three sons, whereas for people with such long life spans we'd have expected him to have had far more than that. He only had three children- for he prepared the ark to save "his house" (Heb. 11:7) and Gen. 7:1 is quite clear: ""Go into the ark, you and all your household"- his whole household was his wife, three sons and their wives. Period . Perhaps we get the picture of a man who was the underdog, the farm worker, the sidekick of the family, whose own family life was delayed and limited by this background. Perhaps he turned to alcohol for comfort (hence Gen. 9:21). But it was he whom God chose to save, he alone who was righteous in that generation which perished. It was the quiet, broken man who was saved. The Hebrew word for "Comfort" [a play on 'Noah'] occurs later, when we read how God "repented" that He had made man (Gen. 6:6,7). Lamech's desire for 'comfort' was fulfilled but not as he imagined; not through his son being his personal slave, but rather in God changing His mind about humanity and making a new start. We get what we desire, in essence; and so we need to desire the right things. Another alternative is that we are to understand 'comfort' in 5:29 as only one possible translation; the idea could be that Lamech hoped that his son Noah would be the one who would bring about repentance / changing in God regarding the curse upon the earth. In this case, we see Lamech hoping that this son of his would be the promised "seed of the woman" of Gen. 3:15, a Messiah figure. However, the Lamech of 5:28 may well be the Lamech of Gen. 4:18-22; both Lamechs are described as having Methuselah as their father. As often in early Genesis, this would be a case of one history being recorded in one chapter and then another one in the next- as with the two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. In this case, if Lamech is the same Lamech, then Noah had very gifted and high flying siblings. His brother Jabal was the leader of the cattle owners (4:20); his brother Jubal was the leading musician of the age (4:21); Tubalcain his other brother was the leader of all the metalworkers. Lamech was the first polygamist, who killed a young man for a slight insult and boasted about it; and whose wife Adah means 'decorated / adorned'. These were people of the world. And Noah was the sidekick brother who was to do all the menial farm work so the rest of them could pursue their careers and social lives. Against this of course it can be argued that there are differences in the genealogies of chapters 4 and 5. However, in the context, Gen. 6:1-4 describes how the lines of Seth and Cain intermarried [the sons of God married the daughters of men] and it could be argued that the genealogies we have aren't complete, generations are skipped, and 'having a son' could be understood in a wider sense than referring to a son directly fathered by the person concerned. 'Lamech' in Hebrew is comprised of the three central letters of the Hebrew alphabet and it could be argued that this reflects his 'joining' function [as it does in other Semitic literature], in joining the Sethite and Cainite lines together. The resemblances between the six names in Gen. 4:17,18 with six in chapter 5 is striking, and they both culminate in Lamech, as if he was the one in whom the lines mixed. Interestingly, Lamech in Gen. 4:24 speaks of 77 fold vengeance coming upon him; and the Lamech of Gen. 5:30 [the same Lamech?] dies at 777 years old. It also needs to be carried in mind that Semitic 'genealogies' aren't always chronological; they are constructed in order to make various points or develop themes, as in the genealogies of the Lord in Matthew and Luke.

The same root word for "Noah" is found in 2 Chron. 6:41, where the ark of God 'rested' or 'Noah-ed' in the tabernacle. When the ark 'rested' on Ararat ['holy hill'] the same word is used (Gen. 8:4). A case can be made that Ararat was in fact Mount Zion, where the ark was later to 'rest' in the temple. The 'resting' of the ark was therefore the fulfilment of God's intention in Noah- God's salvation is described as a "promised rest" (Heb. 4:10,11), and it was prefigured in the final resting of the ark. Thus the final salvation of God is to be understood in terms of God 'resting' with us, in us, within His ark. He labours and struggles too... for us. And those struggles will only be at rest when we are saved in the last day; a Father's eternal struggle for His children. The 'rest' spoken of in Noah's name was thus a rest for God. Noah's going out of the ark into a cleansed, pristine world was therefore symbolic of our going forth into the Kingdom at Christ's return.

It's significant that the various Mesopotamian legends about a flood all speak of there being conflict between the divinities before the decision to flood the earth was taken; and then quarrels and recriminations between them after it. The Biblical record has none of this- the one true God brought the flood upon the earth by His sovereign will, and He lifted the flood. In the legends, the hero of the flood [cp. Noah] is exalted to Divine status, whereas in the Biblical record Noah not only remains human, but is described as going off and getting drunk. Throughout pagan legends, the Divine-human boundary is often blurred- gods get cast down to earth and become men, whilst men get exalted to 'Heaven' and godhood. This gave rise to the idea of 'angels that sinned' and were cast down to earth. But in the Biblical record, the Divine-human boundary is set very clearly- the one God of Israel is so far exalted above humanity, His ways are not ours etc. (Is. 55:8), that there can be no possibility of this happening. The exception of course was in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ- but even He was born as a genuine human upon earth, and [contrary to Trinitarian theology] He was no Divine comet who landed upon earth for 33 years. The whole idea of the Divinity and personal pre-existence of Jesus Christ is simply not Biblical. The Mesopotamian legends speak of the flood being sent to stop man destroying Enlil's "rest" by his noise. The Mesopotamian gods sought for a "ceasing from toil", "rest from labour"- identical ideas to the Hebrew concept of shabbat. This was why, it was claimed, the gods first created man and put him to work in their garden- so that they could "rest". This background is alluded to in the way that Genesis speaks of man being cast out of tending the garden of Eden as a punishment- scarcely something the gods would wish if man was there to save them working there. God speaks of Him giving man a shabbat as a rest for man from his labour. And the flood, although it was Divine judgment, ultimately worked out as a blessing of 'rest' for man in that the 'world' was cleansed from sin. Thus 'Noah' was given that name, meaning 'rest', "because this child will bring us relief from all our hard work" (Gen. 5:29 G.N.B.). Adam's work in Eden wasn't onerous; his work when cast out of the garden was hard. The wrong ideas are clearly alluded to and often reversed- in order to show that a loving God created the world for humanity, for our benefit and blessing- and not to toil for the gods in order to save them the effort. The 'rest' so sought by the Mesopotamian gods was actually intended by the one true God as His gift to humanity.

5:30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred and ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters- He died relatively young compared to his contemporaries, five years before the flood. We can assume he was supportive of Noah's life work until he died. But I suggested on :29 above another possible take on Lamech.

5:31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, then he died- I suggested on :29 that his death at 777 would connect him with the Lamech in the line of Cain, who pronounced a multiple seven curse upon others.

5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth- see on Gen. 5:29. The flood came when Noah was 600 (Gen. 7:11), yet he spent 120 years preparing it (Gen. 6:3). So it's possible that he wasn't married when the call came to build the ark; he'd have explained his life mission to his wife, and she'd have been his first convert. Alternatively, if he were already married at 480, they had many years of barrenness in their marriage. Given the long lifespans in those days, this would've been very hard to take. Yet he didn't take another wife. He was "moved with fear", 'reverently apprehensive' at what God told him, and prepared the ark in order to save his family (Heb. 11:7). Yet he began doing this before he had any children, and perhaps before he was married. He had faith that he would one day have a family, in accordance with God's invitation to make an ark in which to save his family. The mention of three sons being born in one year might mean they were triplets. Perhaps there was a far higher incidence of multiple births in those days, just as lifespans were far longer. This would mean that there would have been a veritable population explosion going on in the lead up to the flood- another connection with our last days, which are "as the days of Noah".

Ez. 14:20 could imply that Noah's sons and daughters in law were saved by his faith and intercession, rather than their own righteousness: "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they would save neither son nor daughter; they would save only their own lives by their righteousness". He presumably had other children, and his three sons and their wives presumably had children and grandchildren. But none of these were saved. They would've been destroyed amongst the wicked. We can imagine the deep division within the family as a result of Noah's commitment to the ark project, his belief in judgment to come and God's word. Or maybe the rest of the family were killed due to the conflict with the line of Cain. Or it could be that for some reason, the family was afflicted with barrenness, as were many other faithful in the Biblical record. I suggest this because Noah is described as preparing the ark for the saving of his household, and his three sons and their wives and Noah's wife are described as "all of your household" (Gen. 7:1). But it could be that he was commanded to prepare an ark for the saving of his household (Heb. 11:7), but many of his family refused the salvation made potentially available to them.

We note that there are recorded here 10 generations from Adam to Noah, and there are also 10 generations recorded from Noah to Abraham (Gen. 11). Each of the final generations in each list is recorded as producing three siblings. The lifespans are nearly always divisible by five... the seventh in the list is highly significant, etc. These and many other such features lead us to question whether we are to read these genealogies as strictly literal. The genealogies in Mt. 1 and Lk. 3 are clearly structured to make a point, and this indeed was how genealogies were used in ancient literature. On the other hand, it could be argued that just as there is pattern in nature, reflective of the Divine higher hand, so there is in the lives and development of God's people over history.