120 The God Who Restrains Catastrophes Gen. 5
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
In Genesis 5 are the genealogies of Adam and Cain. Be amazed with us with the many nuggets of insight we discover hidden in what is usually a very boring chapter. Methuselah lived longer than anyone else has ever lived with an age of 969 years. His name means "When he dies it will happen". Sure enough the year he died the flood came. The fact that he lived so incredibly long suggests that God was restraining the catastrophic flood from happening as long as he could, hoping that more than just Noah and his family could be saved.
Genesis 5 The God who Restrains Catastrophes
This is the written account of the descendants of Adam (earthling). When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself.
How are we made in the image of God?
We are not in the physical image of God for three reasons. Many primates look similar to humans. Secondly, God is Spirit according to Jesus (John 4:21) and thus not material. Thirdly, male and female are in his image and these gender images are very different. The likeness must lie elsewhere rather than in physicality. Isaiah 49:16 Names are written on God’s palms. Psalm 18:8—Smoke out of God’s nostrils and fire out of his mouth.
Another suggestion is that our image bearing lies in Procreativity,
the ability to give life, but this ability is shared by the animals and so is not unique to humans being in God’s image.
We now discern the qualities which demonstrate our likeness to God.
God is love.
This does not mean God loves some part of his creation. It means the essence of God is love. This love is perceived by creatures in God’s unconditional service to them (Matthew 5:43-47). Jesus came to serve not to be served (Matthew 20:28). When we love others and pour ourselves into them with no thought of return, we are in God’s image.
Freedom of choice means we are able to make ethical decisions.
This is made possible by the moral integrity that is inborn in humans. This moral integrity implies we know there is a wrong way and a right way. This ability does not determine what is right and what is wrong of itself.
What we think is right is determined by our family of origin, our early schooling, the church and social interactions. Cannibals, for instance, have a different sense of what is right and wrong and yet they can still choose to be kind cannibals. They can still know there are some people who are not to be eaten.
Animals have the ability to enjoy each other’s company, swans even mate for life but this is not godly love. Godly love is premised on the basis of choice. We chose the wellbeing of the other at the expense of our own comfort. Animal love is instinctual and not a matter of choice.
The cross is the best evidence we have that God has moral choice. God could have left Lucifer out of his creation. In Gethsemane God/Jesus chose to die or to benefit us at infinite cost to himself since his cry of dereliction, “My God why have you forsaken me?” is evidence that He thought he was going to die forever.
A further facet of being made in God’s image is that of our communication skills. The ability to sophisticatedly transfer cognitive information and emotional feelings on this planet is unique to human beings. This ability allows us to inspire and empower others. This is why Jesus is referred to as the Word. It is why God spoke a word and created our world. Our words are creative because we are made in God’s image. We initiate and confirm relationships with words. This power is referred to in Romans 10:9: “if you confess with your mouth . . . “ With our words we confirm our saving relationship with Jesus Christ, our LORD. We bear witness to the reality of our relationship with God with words (Revelation 12:17).
2 He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.” Created male and female for relationship. We need companionship to develop as individuals. Children who are not cared for emotionally become dysfunctional. To illustrate our need for the companionship with our Creator which is hard to grasp because of the difference between creator and creature.
To be able to cross the ontological divide between creature and Creature we needed an illustration that would be it credible.
We are able to cross the gender/ontological divide between the genders.
3 When Adam was 130 years old, he became the father of a son who was just like him—in his very image.He named his son Seth (Seth is a traditionally masculine name with roots in Egyptian, Hebrew, and the Bible. It can mean "put," "anointed," "compensation," or "appointed.) Cain was in Adam’s physical image but not in his spiritual image. This is why Seth is mentioned and not Cain. The same point is made by God saying that Isaac was his son, not Ishmael. Notice that Seth becomes Adam’s “firstborn” the most important son as far as this genealogy goes.
4 After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
5 Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
6 When Seth was 105 years old, he became the father of Enos (or Enosh ; "mortal man"). 7 After the birth of Enosh, Seth lived another 807 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
8 Seth lived 912 years, and then he died. 9 When Enosh was 90 years old, he became the father of Kenan (Pronounced KEE-nan, this baby name means “acquire.” From the ancestors of Mother Mary to the son of Enosh, Kenan is associated with brave men in the Old and New Testament). 10 After the birth of Kenan, Enosh lived another 815 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
11 Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died. 12 When Kenan was 70 years old, he became the father of Mahalalel (Hebrew:transliteration of mahalal and el )—meaning: praise of God. also known as: Maleleel.).
13 After the birth of Mahalalel, Kenan lived another 840 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
14 Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died. 15 When Mahalalel was 65 years old, he became the father of Jared His etymology derives from the root YRD, meaning “descend,” which is in keeping with the days of the angels descending to earth.
16 After the birth of Jared, Mahalalel lived another 830 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
17 Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died. 18 When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch (Meaning: Dedicated, trained, disciplined). 19 After the birth of Enoch, Jared lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
20 Jared lived 962 years, and then he died. 21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death” ; and from shalach,which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.” Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.” 22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
23 Enoch lived 365 years,
24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. 25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he became the father of Lamech Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, “lament” or“lamentation.” Lamech suggests “despairing.”
10 November 2022
26 After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived another 782 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
27 Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died. It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming flood. God held back the flood as long as possible (compare Revelation 7:1-4). 28 When Lamech was 182 years old, he became the father of a son.
29 Lamech named his son Noah (Noah, which is derived from nacham , “to bring relief” or “comfort”), for he said, “May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed.” 30 After the birth of Noah, Lamech lived another 595 years, and he had other sons and daughters.
31 Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died. 32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
There are thus ten generations from Adam to Noah (Genesis 5). There are ten generations from Noah to Abraham (Genesis 11:10-26). We have ten fingers and ten toes. This might have some implications for the use of ten in the Hebrew culture.
There are ten plagues (Exodus 7-10), ten commandments (Exodus 20), and ten horns on the beasts out of the sea (Daniel 7; Revelation 13). The sun moved back ten steps (2 Kings 20:10; Isaiah 38:8). Daniel asks for ten days to prove their diet was superior. They were ten times better (Daniel 1) than the carnivores. There were ten lepers (Luke 17:12). Ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1). There were ten towns in Decapolis (Mark 5:20). Israel, as opposed to Judah, consisted of ten tribes. There were ten water carts in the temple (1 Kings 7:27), ten tables, ten lampstands and ten small basins (2 Chron 4:6-7). Tabernacle made from ten curtains (Exodus 26:1). Ten days later on the tenth day is the day of Atonement (Number 29:7). Haman’s ten sons were impaled (Esther 9:14). Rachel had to stay ten days (Genesis 24:55). Laban changed Jacob’s wages ten times (Genesis 31:7). Ten spies brought a bad report (Num 14:36). Ammonites and Moabites and illegitimate people were excluded for ten generations (Dt 23:2-3).David took ten loaves of bread and ten cuts of cheese to his brothers (1 Sam 17:17-18). David left ten concubines to care for the palace (2 Sam 15:16). The church of Smyrna suffered for ten days (Revelation 2:11).
9. In the pdf there is a chart here. Adam Seth Enos Cainan Mahalaleel Jared Enoch Methuselah Lamech Noah Shem 1. Adam and Abraham are connected by two people. Adam (died 43 years after Methuselah was born)
Methuselah (died 100 years after Shem was born)
Shem (died 207 years after Abraham was born)
Abraham (lived 175 years). 2. Noah (950 years) lived 20 years longer than Adam (930 years).
3. Lamech in the line of Cain threatens to punish anyone who harms him 77 times as opposed to God’s promise to punish anyone 7 times who harms Cain. Lamech in the line of Seth lived for 777 years. 4. Shem (1556—2156) outlived Abraham (1949—2124) by 32 years. 5. Shem (d 2156) outlived all his descendants up to Abraham except Eber. 6. Jude is of the opinion there are seven generation between Adam and Enoch. There are six in our way of calculating. Jesus says he will be dead 3 days. We would say 2 days. This illustrates the inclusive way of counting the Hebrews used.
Ian Hartley, November 2022.