Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping Pastors International Genesis
A. God has placed genealogies in the Bible for a specific purpose. Genesis 5 is no exception, for it records the promised seed line of 3:15 toward Messiah.
B. Many people skip over genealogies, but this is a mistake, for they are very fruitful, suggestive and interesting.
II. THE GENEALOGIES
A. “This is the book of the generations of Adam” (5:1). This phrase “book of generations occurs only one other time in scripture (Matt. 1:1) and it refers to Jesus Christ. We see here two federal headships. Under Adam, there is the human race fallen. Under Christ, there is the spiritual race saved. Here there is the first Adam and the last Adam, the first man and the second man, NOTE: The phrase does not just describe ancestry but characteristics as they develop into a race.
B. “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” (5:3). Adam was originally made in the likeness of God; will, intellect and emotion (5:1). But because of sin, man’s likeness to God was marred, and he became a fallen child. Seth’s likeness to Adam was that of a fallen man. Here is the teaching of universal depravity. NOTE. In his inner nature and outer nature, Seth was like Adam: a fallen man. This is true of every human being who has ever lived.
C. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years” (5:5). It is obvious that pre-Flood saints lived much longer than post-flood saints. Most of these men lived about 900 years. Yet, post-flood saints lived much shorter lives (cf. Gen. 11): Abraham lived 175 years (25:7), Jacob 147 years (47:28) and Moses 120 years (Deut. 34:7). How is it that men lived so much longer? Some scholars, attempting to explain the longevity of the patriarchs, say that these are not individuals but clans or family groupings. The difficulty is that these are obvious references to individuals. Other scholars explain it by taking the years as lunar months, i.e. each year would approximate our modern month. This would work well for the eldest patriarchs, making Methuselah about 85 or 90 years old when he died. However this system breaks down in the lower ages. It would mean that Seth became the father of Enoch when he was five years old, which is absurd. ANSWER: It is best to accept that the patriarchs lived these long ages because: (1) even under the curse of sin, man’s constitution displayed such vitality that it did not at first submit to the ravages of time until after many centuries had passed; (2) there is ample evidence from the Bible and science that the climate was much different in the antediluvian days; and (3) these godly Sethites were a race of men who lived temperately and sanely. NOTE. Archeology has found in the ancient Sumerian king lists the incredible lengths of reigns for rulers in the earliest traces of recorded human history. Some of these purportedly ruled from 18,600 years up to 43,200 years. The Biblical account is very reserved in comparison with these claims, which could, though exaggerated, reflect a pure earlier belief in longevity.
D. “And he died” (5:5) Eight times in this chapter there is the monotonous repetition of the phrase “and he died.” Like the tolling of a great bell, this phrase resounds throughout the passage. This is one of the saddest chapters in the Bible. It is like walking through a cemetery and reading the names on the tombstones. This is recorded history that God’s word holds true for he told Adam and Eve, “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” and contradicts the lie of Satan to Eve, “If you eat of this fruit you will not die.” NOTE. This record also shows us how God promised to give life in place of death in keeping with His promise of the Messiah who would come.
E. “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: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” There was one man who did not die physically before the Flood and that was Enoch (Heb. 11:5-6). Here is one of only two men in all history who never died. Enoch was one and Elijah is the other. NOTE. Some have felt that Enoch’s translation contradicts the teaching that Christ is the first fruits (1 Cor. 15:20,23). Christ was the first fruits in resurrection but not in glorification, for both Enoch and Elijah were translated before the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. It is repeated twice that Enoch walked with God, for he was God’s man in the midst of a brilliant and godless generation. What does it mean to walk with God? It means to exercise faith and trust (Heb. 11:5), to please God (Heb. 11:6), and to grow in grace and to be a witness for God (Jude 14).
a. More specifically to walk with God means to go in the same direction God is going. God is forever moving in human history, and the man who walks with God is the man who knows which way God is going and goes the same way. God moves always in unswerving hostility toward sin. He is opposed to all that destroys and wrecks human life. He is also moving in history to glorify Himself. The man who walks with God hates sin and seeks to bring glory to God in his life,
b. To walk means to keep in step. To get out of step is to bump into something. Also walking is being on the verge of falling. Walking is being off balance, bringing up the other leg and catching oneself. The man or woman who walks with God is the man or woman who lives on the verge of a fall. If God is not there to strengthen and support the Christian, he goes down. The Christian counts on and depends upon God to keep him steady.
c. To walk means that a person is moving. The Christian life is one of always stepping out and venturing out into new areas where God is probing for us. It is taking one step at a time for God, but the Christian is moving.
d. To walk with God is to be in agreement with Him, having no controversy with the Creator. The Christian must see things as God sees them (Amos 3:3). That involves bending our wills to new truths as God reveals them to us.
2. Notice that Enoch did not always walk with the Lord. Apparently, the first 65 years of his life were quite different. Perhaps he was as godless as those about him. It was after the birth of Methuselah, his son, that he began to walk with God. Surely this is more than just the soberness and seriousness of purpose a man feels after he gets his first child. Apparently God gave a revelation to Enoch at the birth of his son. Methuselah means “His death shall bring it,” or, loosely translated, “When he dies it will come.” What will come? The Flood! Enoch was given a revelation that judgment was coming upon this cultured, technologically advanced and materialistic antediluvian world. There was to be judgment on the evil of that day, and Enoch clearly understood it (Jude 14). NOTE: If you figure out the chronology of this from the life of Noah who was 600 years old when the flood came, you will find that the very year that Methuselah died, the flood came. Notice the grace of God, for Methuselah lived longer than any other man, for God in grace held back judgment. God dislikes bringing judgment but does so when men are evil and fail to repent and turn to God. NOTE: Apparently none of the godly seed perished in the Flood. The godly seed were on the Ark or died before or on the day of the Flood.
F. “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” The godly seed was preserved through Noah and his sons, and these were preserved from the judgment of the Flood.
A. The different names of the patriarchs give insight into the grace of God. While there may be differences of opinion as to what they mean because of the root meanings, it has been suggested that: Seth means “Appointed;” Enosh means “mortal;” Kenan means “Sorrow;” Mahalalel means “The blessed God;” Jared means “Came down;” and Enoch means “teaching.” Methuselah means “His death shall bring;” Lamech means “strength” and Noah, “Comfort.” POINT: If this is all put together it says, “God has appointed that Mortal men shalt Sorrow; but The Blessed God, Came Down, Teaching, that His Death Shall Bring Strength and Comfort.”
B. These names give an interesting possibility concerning the Messiah who would come.