Genesis 5 - Outline of Genesis (Book Notes menu page)
5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam.
In the day that God created man
{HB= 'adam}, in the likeness of God made he him;
5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them,
{Gen 1:27,28}
and called their name Adam
{ie., man, mankind}, in the day when they were created.
5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years,
and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
5:4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years:
and he begat sons and daughters:
5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
The Godly Line (mentioned briefly in 4:25,26) is the focus of the next several chapters.
Note again, the principle of recapitulation in interpretation of Scripture. Having previously touched upon the lines of both Cain and Seth (in ch.4), the Author now returns to expand the theme which is of primary importance. Although Cain's line continues to expand in the earth, it will not be mentioned again, except incidentally, where it interacts with the godly line.
     This principle also applies to the remainder of Adam's line, for in 5:4, we read that Adam had many other sons and daughters. However, the names of most of them are not even mentioned. Much greater attention is given to those who are in the line of the promise.
Seth, who was the first in the line to the promised Seed (3:15) -
  1. was born in Adam's fallen image & likeness. cp. v.3; cf. v.1; cp. 1Cor 15:45-50
    The image of God is still visible in fallen mankind, but it is tainted and distorted. Human fathers pass their own fallen nature, to their offspring.
  2. divided Adam's years into 'before & after Seth' (v.3,4).
    Why should Adam's life hinge around Seth, rather than Cain or some later son?
    Because Seth's arrival was a milepost enroute to the awaited Seed.
    This formula of years before & after a son in the line of promise continues through ch.5.
    Today, time is divided by the last Son in this line (into B.C. and A.D.).
Adam lived a total of 930 years - the average age of men listed in ch.5 is 912 years.
Critics may laugh at the reported longevity of men prior to the Flood. However, some models suggest that atmospheric pressure may have been double the present level, due to a heavy canopy of water vapor above the earth. If so, blood oxygen levels would have been much higher than at present. Perhaps in the conditions that then existed, the human body was able to defend itself more effectively against infection and other deterioration. This scenario is consistent with the rapid decrease in average lifespan after the Flood.
'and he died' (v.5) - This is the key phrase of this chapter, echoing as a sad refrain and as
a continual reminder of its cause. 2:16,17; cp. Rom 5:12-14; 1Cor 15:21,22
Death is part of the heritage of those that are in Adam.
Long life does not soften the finality of a man's death.
Long life is a poor substitute for eternal life.
This is ''the book of the generations of'' Adam (v.1) - Note the unusual wording
(the usual formula, in Genesis, is ''these are the generations of...'' eg., 6:9).
This phrase occurs in only one other place in the Bible: Mat 1:1
The legacy of death, received from the first Adam, is broken for the heirs of the second Adam.
In the following verses, observe the Reign of Death -
5:6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
5:7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years:
and he died.
5:9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
5:10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years:
and he died.
5:12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:
5:13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years:
and he died.
5:15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
5:16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years:
and he died.
5:18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
5:19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years:
and he died.
5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.
The refrain ''...and he died'' is interrupted at Enoch.
The only other man, taken without death, was Elijah (as recorded in 2Kings 2).
Enoch is a type of the Christian,
who although having inherited death from Adam, has entered into life because of Christ,
and who although presently living on earth, has his citizenship in heaven (Php 3:20,21).
What set Enoch apart from the others? -
  1. he walked with God - (v.22a)
    • ''Walk'' refers to his way of life. cp. Psa 86:11; Mic 6:8
    • Enoch ''pleased God,'' because his life was centered, by faith, in Him. Heb 11:5,6
      No doubt, since he was an offspring of Adam, this had not always been true of him, but at some point his life was transformed by faith toward God. cp. Eph 2:1,2,8-10
      Thereafter, he lived in fellowship with God (cp. Col 1:9,10), and in practical holiness before God, though the world around him was corrupt (cp. Eph 5:15-17).
  2. he witnessed for God - v.22b; cp. Col 4:5,6
    • He warned his contemporaries of coming judgment. Judgment would come in the form of Noah's Flood. His message was encapsulated in the name he gave his son:
      Methuselah {from HB=muth, death; and HB=shalak, to send} means:
      'When he dies, it shall be sent.'
    • A longer version of Enoch's message is recorded in Jude 1:14,15.
      These words look beyond the Flood, to our time and to judgment yet to come.
    • (Note that when Jude calls Enoch 'the seventh from Adam,' he is not counting all of Adam's offspring, rather he refers to the seventh generation in the line of the promised Seed.)
  3. he was not; for God took him.-
    • Heb 11:5 says, Enoch was ''translated that he should not see death.''
      To 'translate' is to change or transfer from one realm to another without loss. In language translation, a concept is transferred from one language to another while retaining its meaning. In order for Enoch to be transferred out of this world and into God's presence, he had to be ready for God's presence. You cannot take sin and make it holy by restating it. The man, who can be taken to heaven without loss in the translation, is already the expression of holiness in an earthly setting.
    • Enoch's translation is a type of the Rapture of the Church. cp. 1The 4:14-17; 1Cor 15:51,52
      - - Enoch was taken to heaven prior to the outpouring of judgment upon the earth. Noah, another man who ''walked with God'' (Gen 6:9), was sustained through that judgment, and emerged on the other side to enter a purged earth. In that sense, Noah is a type of the believing remnant of Israel, which will be preserved through the judgments poured out, during the future Tribulation period.
      - - The hope of the Church is Christ's coming 'from heaven' to take His own away prior to the pouring out of God's wrath, in that future time (cp. 1The 1:10). With reference to His coming to translate His Church into His presence before that day, He refers to Himself as the 'morning star' (cp. Rev 2:28; 22:16). The morning star is seen, by those who are watching, prior to the breaking of day. Meanwhile, Israel awaits another day, at the conclusion of the Tribulation, when He will come as 'the sun of righteousness' to establish His Kingdom upon the earth (cp. Mal 4:1,2).
5:25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:
5:26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years:
and he died.
Methuselah lived 969 years-
  • His lifespan bridges the gap from Adam to Noah.-
    From the information given in ch.5, Methuselah was born in Adam's 687th year, and Noah was born in Methuselah's 369th year. Methuselah could have told Noah the story of the Creation and man's Fall, as he had heard it from Adam himself!
  • His name means 'When he dies, it shall be sent.' (see note at v.21-24) -
    The record shows that Methuselah died in the year that Noah's Flood came:
    years Methuselah lived after Lamech's birth (v.26)782
    age of Lamech at Noah's birth (v.28,29)- 182
    age of Noah when the Flood came (7:6) 600
  • His great age illustrates the Grace of God.-
    God warned of judgment, but withheld it until the death of the longest lived man in history.
    1Pet 3:20; 2Pet 3:9,10
5:28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
5:29 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.
5:30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years,
and begat sons and daughters:
5:31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years:
and he died.
(5 years before the Flood, which came in Noah's 600th year)
5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Noah - HB= noach, ''rest''
Exactly how Lamech thought Noah would comfort his people is uncertain. Apparently, Lamech saw, by faith, that through Noah, the promised Seed would come to undo the curse. cp. Gal 3:13
In Christ, today, there is rest for all who come to Him by faith. cp. Isa 53:5; Mat 11:28
Through faith in Christ, during the tempest of the future Tribulation, national Israel will find her promised peace and rest. cp. Isa 54:5-14
Noah was five hundred years old...- This statement sets the stage for ch.6.

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