Genesis 5: From Adam to Noah

feet Two-People-WalkingHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Eleven generations are listed from Adam to Noah’s sons. Enoch, the seventh generation, walked with Yahweh (called Elohim).

II. Photo

Enoch walks with Yahweh: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God took him.” (v. 24)

III. Select Verses

1-2: This is the record of Adam’s line. — When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; male and female He created them. And when they were created, He blessed them and called them Man.

21-24: When Enoch had lived 65 years, he begot Methuselah.

After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years; and he begot sons and daughters. All the days of Enoch came to 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God took him.

27: All the days of Methuselah came to 969 years; then he died.

28-29: When Lamech had lived 182 years, he begot a son. And he named him Noah, saying, “This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the LORD placed under a curse.”

32: When Noah had lived 500 years, Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

IV. Outline

1a. Introduction: the book of Adam’s descendants

1b-2. Summary: Yahweh’s (called Elohim) creation of man

3-5. Adam’s life and death

6-8. Seth’s life and death

9-11. Enosh’s life and death

12-14. Kenan’s life and death

15-17. Mahalalel’s life and death

18-20. Jared’s life and death

21-24. Enoch’s life and his walking with Yahweh (called Elohim)

25-27. Methuselah’s life and death

28-31. Lamech’s life and death; Noah’s birth and name

32. Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth

V. Comment

Many commentators point out that the “Sethite” genealogy of Genesis 5 is similar in a number of ways to the “Cainite” genealogy of Genesis 4. This is best seen in the following chart from Robert R. Wilson’s Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (New Haven: Yale, 1977), 161:

Genealogies of Genesis 4 and 5 - Robert R. Wilson

As Wilson writes, “When Gen. 5 is compared with the genealogical material found in Gen. 4:1-2, 17-26, some remarkable examples of genealogical fluidity appear.” (161) Wilson notes four types of fluidity: (1) the modification of names, e.g., Cain and Kenan; (2) the order, e.g., Jared is Enoch’s father but Enoch is Irad’s father; (3) the omission of certain names, e.g., Abel and Lamech’s three sons; and (4) a change in status, e.g., Seth is either the firstborn or third-born son of Adam. (162-163)

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

Robert R. Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (New Haven: Yale, 1977).

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