Genesis 5


THE GENEALOGY

OF

EARLY MAN

 

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Gen. 5:1-32

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.

And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.

Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.

Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died.

Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died.

Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died.

Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.

Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, 'This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.' After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.

And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

In dealing with this amazing chapter, let me begin by making a few comments and speak to a few of the major personalities found here. Then, we will look at the central importance of this chapter in relation to the true age of the earth and our universe.

     First, note that this is an interlocking genealogy.

That is, each person in this genealogy is interlocked, or woven together, with the son that was born to him. That son, in turn, becomes the next principal name in the genealogy. So, in each case, the parent is named first. Then, the number of years is given to the birth of his son. Then, the number of years is given which the parent lived after the birth of his son. In conclusion, the two numbers are added together, giving the total number of years that the parent lived. Doubtless, this very precise method of interlocking was used by God to eliminate any possibility of copyist errors and/or of corrupting the text in order to change the actual number of years that were recorded here. As a result, we have a highly reliable and accurate document for the actual dating of the Creation. It effectively excludes speculations about missing links and possible overlooked generations. And, it cuts off debate from those who would seek to distort the times and historicity of the record.

     Second, be aware that there are three New Testament passages that support and verify the reliability of the sequence and people named in this genealogy. They are as follows:

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints... Jude 14

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly... II Peter 2:4-5 (KJV)

Which was the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:36-38 (Mary's genealogy)

I cited the King James Version of II Peter 2:4-5, because I believe it more correctly translates the phrase, the eighth person, referring back to the genealogy of Genesis 5, versus the translation, one of eight people. The original Greek simply says, but eighth Noah, ἀλλὰ ὄγδοον Νῶε (alla ogdoon Noe).

Because of the rock-solid nature of the interlocking genealogies of Genesis, we are able to date the creation of the Earth. It is an encouraging and thrilling thing to me.  I make no apology for holding to the young age of Earth that Genesis so clearly proclaims. And, I would caution the reader not to be too quick to dismiss it merely because it is not politically correct. Literally, hundreds of scientists today agree with a young Earth hypothesis and are able to defend it with solid scientific argumentation and evidences. You can find a sampling of these evidences compiled by the Institute on Creation Research in the on-line version of First Work at: http://www.biblebookofgenesis.com/AppendixA.htm. Also, I have posted a list of scientists there who hold to Creation rather than Evolution in Appendix B. These professionals, PhD's, college and graduate school professors, are doing an outstanding job of compiling a case for Creation and a young Earth based on the science from their many different disciplines. I might add, it is well worth one's time to follow The Institute of Creation Research. Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International are other good sources of excellent articles and materials on a wide variety of scientific subjects relating to our young earth and universe as revealed in the Bible.

Now, I would like to take you through the process of how one determines the date for Creation from the Bible. We will begin with a key scripture found in First Kings 6:1. There we read,

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

This well established date in history was verified by the biblical scholar, Thiele, in his classic work, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. This date, when Solomon began to build his temple, has become the starting point for Old Testament chronology, including the dating of Creation. Thiele demonstrated that Solomon began to build the temple in 967 BC. First Kings 6:1, also tells us that Solomon began to build the temple in the 480th year after Israel came out of the land of Egypt. So, adding 480 years to 967 gives us 1447 BC for the date of the Exodus. From here, we go to Exodus 12:40,

Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.

Adding 430 years to 1447 gives us 1877 BC for the date of Israel's entry into Egypt. Now we go to Genesis 47:28,

And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the length of Jacob's life was one hundred and forty-seven years.

Deducting the 17 years that Jacob was in Egypt from his total lifespan of 147 years, we see that he was 130 years old when he entered Egypt. Adding 130 years to 1877 gives us 2007 BC for the birth of Jacob. Now we go to Genesis 25:26,

Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

Adding 60 years to 2007 gives us 2067 BC for the birth of Isaac. Now we go to Genesis 21:5,

Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Adding 100 years to 2067 gives us 2167 BC for the birth of Abraham.

At this point, we need to look at four scriptures beginning with Genesis 11:26,

Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran. Genesis 11:32

So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Genesis 12:4

The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, 'Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you. Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. Acts 7:2b-4

So, Terah's total age of 205 years, minus Abraham's age when he left Haran at age 75, tells us that Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born. Adding 130 years to 2167 gives us 2297 BC for the birth of Terah.

At this point, all we will need to do is simply back up through the genealogy that is found in Genesis 11. Notice that, like the genealogy in Genesis 5, it also is an interlocking genealogy. It reads as follows:

Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah. Genesis 11:24

Adding 29 years to 2297 gives us 2326 BC for the birth of Nahor.  

Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor. Genesis 11:22

Adding 30 years to 2326 gives us 2356 BC for the birth of Serug.

Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug. Genesis 11:20

Adding 32 years to 2356 gives us 2388 BC for the birth of Reu.

Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu. Genesis 11:18

Adding 30 years to 2388 gives us 2418 BC for the birth of Peleg.

Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg. Genesis 11:16

Adding 34 years to 2418 gives us 2452 BC for the birth of Eber.

Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber. Genesis 11:14

Adding 30 years to 2452 gives us 2482 BC for the birth of Salah.

Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah. Genesis 11:12

Adding 35 years to 2482 gives us 2517 BC for the birth of Arphaxad.

This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood. Genesis 11:10

Adding 100 years to 2517 gives us 2617 BC for the birth of Shem. In addition, this scripture also yields the date of the Flood. Adding 2 years to 2617 tells us the Flood ended in 2619 BC.

From here we go to Genesis 7:6 where we read,

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.

Adding 1 year to 2619 (for the duration of the Flood), tells us the Flood began in 2620 BC. And, adding 600 years to 2620 gives us 3220 BC for the birth of Noah.

From here, we move to Genesis 5:28-29 and simply back up through that genealogy as well. There we read,

Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, 'This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.'

Adding 182 years to 3220 gives us 3402 BC for the birth of Lamech.

Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. Genesis 5:25

Adding 187 years to 3402 gives us 3589 BC for the birth of Methuselah.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. Genesis 5:21

Adding 65 years to 3589 gives us 3654 BC for the birth of Enoch.

Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. Genesis 5:18

Adding 162 years to 3654 gives us 3816 BC for the birth of Jared.

Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. Genesis 5:15

Adding 65 years to 3816 gives us 3881 BC for the birth of Mahalalel.

Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. Genesis 5:12

Adding 70 years to 3881 gives us 3951 BC for the birth of Cainan.

Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. Genesis 5:9

Adding 90 years to 3951 gives us 4041 BC for the birth of Enosh.

Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. Genesis 5:6

Adding 105 years to 4041 gives us 4146 BC for the birth of Seth.

And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 5:3

Adding 130 years to 4146 gives us, approximately, 4276 BC for the creation of Adam.

I say, approximately, because we need to take into consideration the variables, which were not given to us, as to the exact day or month of the year for the birth of each of the individuals in the biblical genealogies. There would also be some other minor variables such as leap years, days in the Jewish calendar, etc. However, it would be a good estimate to say that the Creation occurred somewhere within the general parameters of 4200 to 4300 BC.

I make no apology for these dates. To me, this is very exciting. And, I am extremely grateful that the Lord has seen fit to give it to us. Imagine ... we can actually know the age of our universe and our world! We have the Word of God on it. Scientifically, are there problems? Yes. But a great deal of work is being done in many areas of the sciences that reconcile the current scientific data with these straight forward statements of the Bible. Meanwhile, keep in mind that Creation and the young Earth hypothesis are far more scientifically defensible, and with far fewer problems, in my opinion and the opinions of many others, than Evolution or Theistic Evolution and their attending requirements for incredible periods of time to justify their theories.

In conclusion, if there are other scientific facts that are bothering you in relation to this, I suggest that you would do well to reserve judgment until all the facts and studies are in. Historically, whenever a child of God has taken the position, I'll just wait and see, the Word of God has invariably won out. Colossians 2:8 warns,

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Now, let's take a closer look at a couple of individuals who stand out in this chapter.

First, there is this man, Enoch. Twice here, we are told that Enoch walked with God. Verse 24, states that Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. My, what an epitaph, aye? No greater thing can be said of a man or woman than this ... that they walked with God. For over 300 years, Enoch enjoyed unbroken fellowship with the true and living God. Then one day, as he and God were walking together, the Lord probably just said to him, Enoch it's getting late and it's a long way back to your house. So, I've decided to just take you on home to my house! And, Enoch simply disappeared from the face of the earth. He is one of only two people recorded in the Scripture who did not suffer death. Elijah is the other. You will remember that Elijah was taken up to Heaven in a flaming chariot (II Kings 2).

May we step aside here for a moment and may I ask you a personal question? Are you walking with God during the days of your sojourn down here on planet Earth? That's God's desire for each of his children, you know. It's an amazing thing that he desires our fellowship. And, the importance of our response to that desire cannot be overstated. John 15, comes to mind in this regard. Here are a few words of Jesus that are found in that chapter on this subject:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. As the Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love. John 15:7-9

Again, let me say, it is an amazing thing that our Lord so hotly pursues fellowship with his people. His haunting call to his back-slidden, blind and cold Laodicean saints in the book of Revelation is a real eye opener in this regard. He pleads with them there saying,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Ever hear Jesus knocking on your door? He does, you know. And, it's so easy, in our activity crammed lives, to leave him standing outside. Must be very very important though or he wouldn't be knocking, would he?

Then, we have this fellow, Methuselah. Methuselah is the oldest man that ever lived ... hence the saying, as old as Methuselah. He lived 969 years. The longevity that existed in the pre-Flood world, by the way, was probably due to several circumstances:

     First, is the fact that these people were living so close to the Creation. Their bodies had been designed to last forever and they were no doubt far more durable and sturdy than our bodies are today.

     Second, we need to keep in mind that there are many factors that cause the deterioration of the human body. Things like gamma radiation, for instance, which was probably far less in that first early world than it is today. Many scientists believe that Earth's vulnerability to radiation was radically increased after the Flood.

     Third, and most importantly, it was simply God's will that men would live a long time in that age. Two factors that come to mind here are: that God wanted his new earth populated; and, he wanted to demonstrate man's total depravity by allowing men to live nearly a thousand years to get right with him. But instead, they simply used all that time to become more and more sophisticated in their wickedness and sinning.

Today, man's lifespan has been reduced to seventy years, give or take.

The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10

And, may I say, that is more than ample time for men to get right with God. But once again, consistent with the total depravity of man, they do not take advantage of the years they have been allotted.

There is another very interesting thing here about Methuselah, by the way. His name literally means when he dies it will come. If you look at these dates more closely, you will discover that the lives of these ancient men overlapped a great deal. So, they often lived concurrently with their fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and even their great great grandfathers. Methuselah was Noah's grandfather. And when Methuselah died ... as his name indicates ... the Flood came.

Finally, let's take a look at this genealogy as compared to Mary's genealogy in Luke 3:34-38. Mary's genealogy traces Jesus' lineage all the way back to Adam. There is only one difference between the names recorded there and the names found here in Genesis 5. It is found at verse 36, where the name Cainan is inserted between Salah and Arphaxad. I believe this was because of an accidental repetition by a copyist of the correctly placed Cainan between Mahalalel and Enosh in verse 37. This is also substantiated by the fact that this error is not found in the best Greek manuscripts of the gospel of Luke.

So, we have both the Old Testament and the New Testament confirmation of the names and dates of the ancient peoples that lived prior to the great Flood. Our God is a people person. He loves people and he never forgets a single one. Some day, I look forward to meet many of the folks whose names are recorded here in this unique and amazing genealogy of the Bible.


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



 

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