Read 6.) Genesis 5:1 thru 32. A lot of people don’t like to read the Bible because of all the ‘begats’. Adam begat Seth, and so on. Why are all these in there? They serve as least 2 very important purposes. The first of which, is that with each generation, we have the number of years that went by, in order to learn of the age of the earth, and how many generations have passed. But, a second, and by far, a more important reason is that with Genesis 3:15, God made His first promise that He would send a Messiah; a Savior to redeem man from his sin and its curse, death, by means of the woman. And, so, the Bible traces out the line from woman down to Messiah, because, as we will soon learn, Messiah will descend from one man in particular, beginning with Genesis 12.
Here, in Genesis 5, we read of the first 10 generations, and how the record says they spanned a period of some 1,560 years, from Adam, down to Noah. This was a godly line from Adam, down thru Seth, whereas we just read of an ungodly line that descended from Cain, Adam’s firstborn in the previous chapter. A contrast is being set up for what follows in chapter 6. A matter worthy of pointing out is that since everyone on earth today is a descendant of Noah, for any genealogy buff, these are the first 10 generations of your own family line! Since 4:26 says that Seth and Enosh started this thing where men ‘began to call on the name of the Lord’, it stands to reason that Adam explained to them what life was like in the Garden before the fall, and how that God used to come and commune with them there. It made sense to them that since God had to be so powerful and all-knowing, that He could hear them, if they called out to Him, even in their sin-blighted and expelled state. The line that follows thru chapter 5 then, is the genealogical list of those who called upon the Lord, and no doubt, continued to do so, because He heard them and frequently answered. One, who made it his life’s passion, Enoch, established a ‘walk with God’, and so enamored himself with God, that God did not let him see death, but took him away to be with Himself! And, so, we, too, ought to seek to establish a walk with God, so as to know Him better, and to grow in grace, becoming more like Him! Go ahead. Call upon His Name, and see if He won’t also answer you! We also read of the oldest man who ever lived, Methuselah by name. It was said that he lived 969 years! These all lived to be very old, why is that? We are not told, but perhaps the effects of sin were slow to take hold, or, as has been hypothesized, there was a vapor canopy over all the earth, that so reduced the sun’s more harmful rays, that their lives were prolonged. The point is: They lived that long then, and after the Flood and loss of this possible canopy, their lifespans began to shorten dramatically. It’s all about getting to God’s promise of Messiah, as, that’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell