This is the list of the descendants of Adam. (when God created human beings, he made them like himself. He created them male and female, blessed them, and named them “Humanity” Genesis 5 v 1-2)
Genesis chapter 5 is the first of several geneologies in the Bible and lists the descendants of Adam through to Noah. As we noted in the last study, there were many many more descendants from Adam’s children and we know from Cain’s actions that many of them would have wandered away from God during this time. A pattern is followed with each person listed;
After he had lived … years he became the father of … After he became the father of .. he lived …. years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, …. lived … years and then he died.
All of them except Enoch; who we will talk about later.
So we have;
- Adam lived 930 years
- Seth lived 912 years
- Enosh lived 905 years
- Kenan lived 840 years
- Mahalalel lived 895 years
- Jared lived 962 years
- Enoch lived 365 years and then God took him
- Methuselah lived 965 years
- Lamech lived 777 years
Some time ago I did a little exercise tracking the timescales of each person as recorded here in chapter 5. It’s interesting to note the overlap of the generations recorded here in that it becomes clear that apart from Noah, they would have all known Adam and were alive at the time of Adam’s death. Lamech, the 9th generation would have been around 50 at the time of Adam’s death It is very likely then that they would have heard first hand accounts from Adam of what had happened in those early days and of his walk with God in the garden. There is not opportunity here for the story to be distorted down the generations as Adam was still alive and able to say “I was there – this is how it was!”
Enoch was the first to go after Adam. The Bible says that “he walked with God” The Good News Bible translated this as “He spent his life in fellowship with God”. There is a crucial difference here in that of all the others the Bible says “He lived” but of Enoch it says “He walked with God” – in other words – he REALLY lived.
We are living now, but are we walking with God. That is the great challenge to us. Enoch it seems was the only one who was living anywhere near to the life that God intended for his children and walked closely in fellowship with him. I’m imagining him perhaps sitting on the knees of his Great x4 Grandfather and hearing the stories of how Adam walked with God in the Garden and his young heart yearning to have that closeness with God. His reward was that he did not have to suffer the penalty of death.
If we look further at the timescales, at the time of Noah’s birth, only Adam and Seth had died and then Enosh died when Noah was around 90 years old.
Some people question the accuracy of the number of years lifespan recorded here, but then we have to remember that Adam was created perfect. There were no sicknesses and diseases which would have taken them at that time. It is not until David writes in the Psalm 90 v 10 a reference to our lifespan being 70 years.
There is possibly some significance drawn by the numbers in that Enoch was 365 years old when God took him, the number of days in a year, perhaps indicating a full life.
Lamech’s 777 years could perhaps be compared with the Lamech of Genesis 4, the descendant of Cain. 7 is regarded as the number of completion and 777 is hinted at being the number representing God in Revelations. This compares with the 70 times 7 which Cain’s Lamech boastfully proclaims in Genesis 4.
We then come to Noah – who we will look at a bit more closely in the next study
All quotes from The Good News Bible