Scripture Passage: Genesis 5:3-32, Proverbs 10:7
Observations on the Context:
For the vast majority of the names in our passage, nothing is known beside their names. We do see the incredible length of the first human’s lifespans, which if one turns this ancestry into a chart, you will find it interesting how many lifetimes overlap with Adam, the first man.
We know of Adam that he fathered Seth, after his own likeness. Seth is a special man for he was given by the Lord to replace righteous Abel whom Cain had murdered. We then see multiple names of men whom we know nothing of beside the fact that they are in the family line.
Some notable names that we see that cause us to praise to God are in verse 24 and 29: Enoch and Noah. Enoch walked with God—what a simple and profound statement of this man’s life. Enoch’s lifetime was short for God took him, raptured him without death to Heaven (see Hebrews 11:5). We also see Noah come on the scene and prophecy is given at Noah’s birth that God would bring relief or rest from the toil of mankind’s curse upon the ground. Noah’s name means rest. We also will find out later more about Noah’s three sons (who appear to be triplets) in verse 32: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
One other notable figure is Methuselah, who was the oldest man ever in the Bible, living longer than Adam by 39 years for a total lifespan of 969 years. Sadly, while Methuselah lived long, he did not appear to follow the Lord for only Noah found grace in the Lord’s eyes—Scripture does not say that Noah’s sons or wife followed the Lord (2 Peter 2:5). Additionally, it is interesting to note that Methuselah died the same year of the Flood, perhaps even in the Flood. Lamech, who prophesied of his son Noah’s birth appears to have died five years before the Flood. While we do not know much of Methuselah or Lamech, we have a clear picture of Noah.
Why do we not know more of these other names? Perhaps it is because they were not godly people. This seems likely, for Enoch and Noah have positive statements attached to their brief time in the family listing. In addition, only Noah is found favor in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:8). Adam is mentioned, but sadly we never hear a positive word about Adam after the Fall. Did he ever turn back to the Lord? It does not seem so since man did not turn back to calling upon the Lord’s name after Abel’s death until Enosh (Genesis 4:26). A proverb came to mind as I worked through today’s passage:
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7 ESV
Father in Heaven, thank You for preserving the godly through many trials throughout the ages. Lord, may You make me into one who it will be said when I am gone that I walked with God. No other accomplishment, fame, nor epitaph do I need. But may even my death bring glory to Christ if He should tarry that I walked with God in my generation.