Welcome back to our study of the book of Genesis, we ended chapter 4 with an emphasis on the beginning of the generation of Seth and what it is known for- calling upon the name of the Lord. We contrasted it to the line of Cain that was more concerned about making a name for themselves. Building on what we’ve studied so far about Seth, we’ll look more closely at Adam’s lineage through Seth and their propensity to hold fast to the Lord and live in accordance with His Word—walking with God.
Verses 1-2: The Origin Of Man Reiterated
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man[a] when they were created.
This chapter begins by introducing the subject matter: the generations of Adam, his descendants, his offspring, and those who descended from him. The verse is also telling us something very specific that was already mentioned in Chapter 2. The word man doesn’t necessarily refer to the male gender but means mankind, especially in this context.
We are informed that not only was mankind made by God but also to reflect the character of God ( the image of God), thus showing us the high value God has put on mankind above all other creatures or created things. Nothing else in creation was made in the image of God but mankind. The Scripture also tells us about the distinction in the genders. God created mankind in two distinct genders- male and female. And God bestowed on them a blessing- that they might have dominion of all that was created on planet earth and subdue it. They were supposed to be the image bearers of God to His created order , an extension of His person. The Bible says thy kingdom come in the Lord ‘s prayer, and the mandate is for humans to be an extension of His kingdom, His rule on planet earth. That is the greatest blessing Adam and Eve were endowed with.
Verse 3: Beginning Of A Godly Line
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth
The birth of Seth as we saw in chapter 4 was very significant and we’ll learn a great a deal about him in chapter 5 as well. From chapter 4 we know that Seth produced Enosh and at the time Enosh was born, people began to call upon the name of the Lord. The significance of Seth was that he was born as EVE mentioned as a replacement of Abel who had been murdered by his own brother Cain. The key here is to recognize the spiritual make up of Seth. Based on chapter 4, we know that Abel lived by faith and pleased God and Seth was of the same make up as Abel. But we also learn something very important in this chapter. Seth was made in the likeness of Adam. Or in other words Adam fathered a son in his own likeness. This is so important. We know that Adam had other sons and daughters but not one of them was after his likeness or they would have been mentioned. What does this inform us of? Adam still loved God , that’s for sure and out of all his generations the only one that was like him ( as far as his devotion to God was concerned was Seth ) since Abel had been murdered. This is like king Asah whom the scripture says He was like his father David.
11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done.
But the only difference is that Seth was not a great grandson but a son, son of his father Adam. This also tells us that Adam’s other children were probably not much given to the seeking of God.
Even though Adam was no longer in the Garden of Eden, he was still a distance away from it. Access into the direct presence of God was prevented by the Cherubim but there was still a relatively significant level of closeness between God and Adam. And we see that in chapter 4 when both Abel and Cain were still able to communicate with God and even present him their offerings. At the time of his transgression, though sin entered the world and Adam was now corrupted , it hadn’t reached an all time high. I’m essentially trying to say that Adam knew that he was eventually going to be redeemed and his relationship with God wasn’t totally lost. How do I know that ? Only the serpent was cursed , Adam and Eve weren’t cursed , so they still enjoy some form of fellowship with God but it wasn’t as great as it had once been the garden of Eden. This is critical in understanding how Seth was in the likeness of Adam. As I mentioned earlier , Adam and Eve had many children and I’m sure some of them had the love of God in them. But in none of them was the love of God as significant as it was in Seth , this is why the scripture tells us that he was in the likeness of Adam, only a distance away from God. In other words Seth loved God the same way Adam did. His other brothers and sisters didn’t have the same devotion to God as he did hence why they aren’t mentioned in Scriptures.
Verses 4-5: God’s Word Will Never Fail
4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
The passage tells us about the other sons and daughters that were born to Adam and Eve. I’m sure there were many as he lived altogether 930 years, 800 years post Seth birth. Many children were probably born during that period of time. And talking about that time, critics have scoffed at the idea of a humans living 930 years. Was the author of Genesis using a different number system to compute these years. Let’s exercise a bit of logic as we look at this passage. First , we know from genesis 2 that Adam and Eve were not initially born to die. And the anti -aging process was made possible by the access to the tree of life, which probably extended their lifespan. Hence cutting their access to this tree surely meant they would eventually die, but in how many years ?
If the Bible says that Adam lived a total of 930 years, I take it literally. Is there any reason why they were able to live this long ? We can only speculate on this. One reason that I can think of is- because they had access to the tree life prior to the transgression, they ate enough out of it to keep them living for such a lengthy period of time. Another reason could’ve been the grace of God, HE allowed them to live long enough to populate the earth. Or it could also be that the effect of sin hadn’t yet reached its full capacity to the point where it caused the rapid degradation of human cells to speed up the aging process. Again I’m only speculating here, none of there reasons should be taken as truths. They are just inferences.
Verse 5 confirms the word of God to Adam and Eve. He told them that the day they would eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil , they will surely die and they did. So God’s word is Truth and can be trusted, Adam died.
Verses 6-11: God Always Has A Remnant
6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.
9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.
We need to understand the significance of Enosh in Adam’s line. First his name means man and comes from a Hebrew word that means frail and weak. It is a word for man that emphasizes how fragile and weak we are in ourselves. This is so significant because the birth of Enosh also coincides with a very important statement that is made in connection with him- people began to call upon the name of the Lord. Cain’s line was characterized with people like Lamech who boasted about his strength and valor while Seth’s line beginning with Enosh was characterized with people giving glory to the name of the Lord. We can also learn from this that God always has a remnant regardless on how dark things look on the outside.
Verses 12-24: Keeping A Godly Spiritual Legacy
12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel.13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.
15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared.16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.
18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch.19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.22 Enoch walked with God[b] after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not,[c] for God took him.
He has this testimony, that he pleased God because he lived by faith and consequently he did not taste physical death.
From Methuselah To Noah
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech.26 Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.
28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief[d] from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” 30 Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
In chapter 7 we’ll see that God brought the flood that destroyed all humanity when Noah turned 600 years old. If you pay attention to Methuselah’s age, he died exactly when Noah turned 600 years old. Lamech died before his own father at the age of 777. Why is this so interesting? Earlier we mentioned that Enoch started to walk with God when Methuselah was born. Could it be that God had revealed to Enoch what was going to take place, then allowed Methuselah to live long enough to see the ark of God being built up to the year in which the flood was going to come to confirm His word to Enoch. Who knows? I just find it very interesting.
Noah’s birth and name were also very significant. Names were just not given to people just for the sake of it. Noah’s name tells us that the descendants of Adam through Seth were aware of the curse that the ground had been submitted to. They were still looking for relief, and I’m sure when Noah was born , there was a prophetic word that had been given to His father Lamech, or he wouldn’t have called his name Noah. The genealogy isn’t given by accident.When Seth came in the picture , people had started calling on the name of the Lord and I’m sure their prayer requests included God delivering them from the cursed ground. And God heard their prayer and brought forth Noah; they were hopeful and trusted the word of God. One thing we can glean from this passage is that the direct descendants of Adam through Seth did not set aside the word of God, they knew the account of Adam because he had probably warned them about the consequences of not obeying God. It had been more than a 1000 years after Adam but Lamech still knew that the ground was cursed. That shows you how the line of Seth took the word of God seriously and God honored them as we’ll see in later chapters.
We aren’t told why Noah was reluctant to have children until he turned 500. He eventually fathered only three sons, setting the stage for what was to come next.
Additional Interesting Observations From Genesis 5
Enoch lived for 113 years after Lamech, his grand son was born prior to being taken away by God. The scripture also tells us that Enoch walked with God. And in the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 5, we read the following,
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God
God took Enoch because he was pleasing to God because he walked with God. I hope you realize the weightiness of this statement. Abraham is called a friend of God and it is also told about Moses in Numbers 12:8,
8 With him ( Moses)I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
Both Moses and Abraham had a close relationship with God but when it comes to Lamech, the scripture tells us that he walked with God, in other words, everything he did was done by faith. As Jesus said, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. God said about Jesus, this is my beloved Son with whom I’m well PLEASED. There is a reason why I’m bringing this up. I don’t think besides Jesus, there is anyone in scripture at least that I’m aware of that receives this kind of affirmation from God save Enoch. That shows you how close he was to God. Enoch was more than a friend of GOD, he is the closest thing to JESUS as far as humans are concerned.
Lamech was present when God actually took his grandfather Enoch, thus rather than just hearing about it from others, he actually saw it happen. Enoch also gave him insight into what it meant to walk with God. I firmly believe that Noah’s name was not chosen at random. Because he walked with God, Enoch probably told Lamech about future events. The fact that Lamech lived for 777 years is also intriguing. How come? The number seven is associated with “rest” and “holiness” in Jewish categories. The best example of this is the many places that the number seven is used in regard to the Shabbat (the Sabbath day).
It is obvious that Adam’s line through Seth did not ignore teaching the following generation what it meant to live a Godly life and that’s the first application for you and I.
What does it mean to walk with God?
There is no middle ground, you are either walking with God or walking away from God. You’re either a CAIN or a Seth. There are prerequisites to walking with God. First, you must be a child of God, born of the Spirit of God. Next, you must be acquainted with the Word of God in order to walk with God. God is faithful to His word, so to walk with God is to walk according to His ordinances as Psalm 1 says,
1 Blessed is the man[a]
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Walking with God doesn’t just mean being acquainted with His word ( which is a collection of data) but it also means correctly dividing and applying it in every aspect of our lives. It is to live under the scrutiny and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Jesus said man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In his priestly prayer in the gospel of John, Jesus asked God to sanctify us by God’s word for God’s worth is truth. To be sanctified is to be set apart by God for holy purposes. In sum, to walk with God is to obey His word, simple yet impossible to achieve without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Why is walking with God so important?
We’re living in very critical and terrible times and like Enoch and Lamech, we need to prepare our children and descendants for what is to come. Enoch took God’s word seriously and informed his children about the coming of the wrath of God, so must we? It isn’t enough to just read the word of God and go to church, we must model the life of obedience that bible preaches and teachers before our children. Why? Because they will be the Noahs of their contemporaries.
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My name is Tayib Salami and I started Tayibs.com for the sole purpose of exploring difficult questions about the Christian faith that most of us shy away from. In 2017, I entered a very dark time in my life and it’s only by the grace of the Living God that I’m still alive today. It led me to really go deeper in my faith and consider a myriad of questions that I never thought about asking myself or others before. Welcome and enjoy the ride with me.