Genesis 5 - Seth's Line

September 11, 2019

 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

12 And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:

13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.

26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:

27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:

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.

30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:

31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Events:

1. God creates Adam in His image.

2. God provides Adam another son in his image, whom he names Seth.

3. Seth’s line develops through Noah.

What does this passage teach us?

Verses 1–3. This passage reminds us again that Adam did not have an earthly father, nor did he descend from an ape as the evolutionists want to believe. God created man in His own image. The text goes on to say that Adam produced a child in his image. When we look at our children, we can see the imprint of the father in the son. We speak of a little boy having his father’s eyes, his father’s sense of humor, or his father’s sinful nature. This is not to say that the child has removed his father’s eyes and put them into his own head. What is intended by such language is merely to point out that a son’s eyes are a close copy of his father’s. There are features in a son that remind us of his father. In a similar sense, as you look at a man, there should be something about him that reminds you of his Creator.

Verses 4–32. The remainder of the chapter lays out the genealogy of Seth’s line. No further mention is made of Cain or any of the other children of Adam. According to verse four, Adam had many other children. After the flood (Genesis 6-8), deleterious environmental conditions greatly affected the human genetic make-up and the immune system, so it was very possible that men and women were enjoying an extraordinarily robust health before the flood. This robustness would have produced longer and more prolific child-bearing years. If you take the ratio of the average lifespan in the pre-diluvian age over the average lifespan today, and multiply it by the average birth rate today (2.43), you get a pre-flood average birth rate of 29 children and 420 grandchildren per family. Life was very different before the flood. It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like to keep track of all of those grandchildren and their birthdays! Moreover, Adam would have still been alive when Noah was born, ten generations later, making for billions of relatives! But why does this primeval revelation focus in upon the line of Seth and ignore the rest of Adam’s children? Over one thousand years of world history is summarized in this chapter in the form of a single genealogy. Consider that God’s revelation is all that is necessary to equip His people (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), and He did not want to include unnecessary, irrelevant, or spurious information. Why then does this revelation boil 1500 years down to a list of names?

Well, it is no ordinary list of names. This is the line of the children of God, beginning with Seth, continuing with Enoch, and ending with Noah. God keeps track of His own people. Others died out, and God killed most of them in the flood. In fact, of all the people born before the flood (assuming a birth rate of 29 children per father and mother), 99.94% of them would have died in the flood waters: a total of 33 billion people.

The major difference between the city of God and the city of man becomes obvious when you compare the lines of Cain and Seth. Cain was building cities, establishing power bases, and developing polygamy and power-oriented, family fiefdoms. Meanwhile, Seth was calling upon the name of Yahweh God, and his great, great grandson Enoch was walking with God in relationship. It was clear from the outset that the city of God was more about relationships than building power bases. Interestingly, both Enoch and Lamech were the seventh generation from Adam. At the same time that Lamech was usurping God’s prerogatives in defiance of God, Enoch was enjoying a loving, submissive relationship with God.

This genealogy is important because it is the first record of the church, a group of people who, to this day, in the pattern of Seth, “call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26; Rom. 10:13; 1 Cor. 1:2). Genealogies like this one are simply lists of the names of fathers who represent households that are considered part of the church of God. We find similar lists later, in the book of Numbers. In the book of Revelation, the Lamb maintains a Book of Life containing those who call upon the name of the Lord.

Noah’s father, Lamech, was a man of faith—evidenced in the naming of his son, and in his prophetic declaration:

“This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.”

The name “Noah” literally means “to give rest.” In his prophetic statement, Lamech referred to the curse that Yahweh placed upon the ground. By faith, he believed that God would one day bring rest to the world through Noah’s seed. The salvation that God brings to this world includes more than the human soul. Lamech called for God’s mercy on His creation, “which groans and travails together until now” (Rom. 8:21). While much of the world had gone the way of Cain, Lamech still had hope in the promised seed that would crush the Serpent and break the curse God had placed upon the earth after the fall. Lamech’s faith was well-founded. As it turned out, Noah was that seed, as the progenitor of the Lord Jesus Christ!

How does this passage teach us to walk with God in faith and obedience?

1. The two lines of Cain and Seth continue to this day. Some people highly prioritize the projects of the city of man, and others highly prioritize the projects of the city of God. Either we will put our relationship with God first, and place high priority on our family and church relationships, or we will put our pursuit of power and money and the construction of the city of man first. Life will feed us tests every day concerning our ultimate commitments. When we receive these tests, we will either structure our lives by God’s priorities or by the priorities of sinful “mammon.”

2. The Old Testament saints looked forward to God’s future plans to save His people from the curse of the fall. Today, we are even more privileged in that we can look back and see clearly what God has done to redeem the world by His Son. They looked forward, but we look backwards. The hopes of these old saints were fulfilled in Christ. Now, we should rejoice in the completed work of God’s redemption in Christ. In a world of sin, misery, and death, Jesus came to give life and blessing. He destroys the power of sin over us, and restores all things in this life and in that which is to come.

Questions:

1. What are the themes of Chapters 1 through 5?

2. What does it mean for a son to be born “in the image of his father?”

3. How was Seth’s Line different from Cain’s Line?

4. Who were the pre-diluvian men that had some faith in God and in His salvation (according to this scriptural revelation)?

5. Who was the seventh descendant from Adam on Cain’s side? What sort of man was he, and what kind of life did he live?

6. Who was the seventh descendant from Adam on Seth’s side? What sort of man was he, and what kind of life did he live?

7. What does the name “Noah” mean? How did Lamech manifest faith when he named his son?

Family Discussion Questions: 

1. What is the focus of our family? What priorities drive the decisions we make in our lives? Do we put our energies into building relationships and building the city of God, or into breaking relationships and building the city of man?

2. Does our family walk with God as Enoch did? What does walking with God look like? Do we call upon the name of the Lord, as Seth did? What does this mean