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Genesis 5

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Descendants of Adam The Family of Adam The Generations From Adam to Noah The Descendants of Adam The Patriarchs Before the Flood
5:1-2 5:1-5 5:1-2 5:1-5 5:1-2
5:3-5   5:3-5   5:3-5
5:6-8 5:6-8 5:6-8 5:6-8 5:6-8
5:9-11 5:9-11 5:9-11 5:9-11 5:9-11
5:12-14 5:12-14 5:12-14 5:12-14 5:12-14
5:15-17 5:15-17 5:15-17 5:15-17 5:15-17
5:18-20 5:18-20 5:18-20 5:18-20 5:18-20
5:21-24 5:21-24 5:21-24 5:21-24 5:21-24
5:25-27 5:25-27 5:25-27 5:25-27 5:25-27
5:28-31 5:28-31 5:28-31 5:28-31 5:28-31
5:32 5:32 5:32 5:32 5:32

READING CYCLE THREE (see p. vii)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

 This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:1-2
  1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

5:1 "the generations of" This term (BDB 410) is repeated ten times in Genesis (cf. 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10,27; 25:12,19; 36:1; 37:2). This seems to imply a written document (probably clay tablets or leather scroll). In ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets a term or phrase was used to link several clay tablets together as a literary whole (i.e. colophon). I believe that Moses used (1) oral traditions, (2) written sources from the Patriarchs, as well as (3) direct revelation to write the Pentateuch.

This phrase is repeated many times in Genesis. It always closes a context. It functions as a closing literary marker.

▣ "In the day when God created man" This may start another separate cuneiform stone tablet because it summarizes Genesis 1-2.

5:2 "named them Man" Notice that this is the generic use of adam, as v. 3 is the specific use. This generic use is another affirmation of equality, as is 1:26-27.

▣ "in the day" This is the use of "day," not as a twenty-four hour period of time, but an age or period of time. This same usage can be seen in Gen. 2:4; Ps. 90:4. See Special Topic at 1:5.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:3-5
  3
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

5:3 "Adam . . . became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image" There are two possible interpretations of this phrase: (1) like other earthly animals, Adam produced offspring after his own kind (cf. 1:11) or (2) this shows that God's image (cf. 1:26-27) is still in mankind even after the fall.

5:5 "all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years" There has been much discussion about the length of human life before and immediately after the great flood (i.e. the antediluvian period). Some have asserted that (1) it is figurative; (2) they calculated years differently; (3) sin had simply not pervaded the earth as it has today; or (4) the large numbers were used to show honor for previous leaders as in the Sumerian lists of ten ancient kings. In that list, the kings before the flood lived much longer than the kings after the flood, much as in the genealogies of the Bible.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:6-8
  6Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enoch. 7Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 8So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.

This is referred to earlier in 4:26.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:9-11
  9Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10Then Enoch lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 11So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.

5:10 "Kenan" This can mean: (1) "possessor"; (2) "child"; (3) "created thing"; (4) "young man"; or (5) "spear-man" (BDB 884). It is obvious with this many options (as is so often the case) that we simply do not know its meaning.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:12-14
12Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 14So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died.

It is obvious that these are paralleled or standardized literary statements.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:15-17
  15Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 17So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.

5:15 "Mahalalel" This means "praise of God" (BDB 239).

▣ "Jared" This means "descent" (BDB 434).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:18-20
  18Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. 19Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 20So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.

5:18 "Enoch" This can mean (1) "beginner"; (2) "dedicated"; or (3) "initiator" (BDB 335). See note at 4:17b for similarity in the names between Cain's line (i.e. chapter 4) and Seth's line (i.e. chapter 5).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:21-24
  21Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

5:21 "Methuselah" This means either (1) "man of the javelin" or (2) "man of weapons" (BDB 607). He is said to have lived longer than any other person in the Bible but no reason or emphasis is attached to this fact. The rabbis say that the flood came on the day that Methuselah died.

5:22 "Enoch walked with God" This Hebrew term (BDB 229, KB 246) is the Hithpael stem denoting intimate fellowship almost to the point of "to live with." As with all these ancient Hebrew names, we are simply not sure of their exact meaning (BDB 335). Hebrews 11:5 describes Enoch's walk of faith. The only other person this phrase is used for is Noah in 6:9.

5:24 "for God took him" These same words (BDB 542, KB 534, Qal PERFECT) are used to describe Elijah in II Kgs. 2:3,5,9,10. This implies translation into God's presence without facing physical death. Enoch's relationship with God resulted in intimate personal fellowship. In a chapter replete with the phrase "and he died" this is a refreshing example of hope (1) of the love of God and (2) for all who trust in Him.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:25-27
  25Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 27So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.

5:26 "Lamech" This name possibly means" (1) "strong" (2) "youth"; (3) "warrior"; or (4) "conqueror" (BDB 541). KB mentions an Arabic root meaning "very powerful man." This name is also found in Cain's line (cf. 4:18ff). This implies (1) the name was common or (2) there is some connection between the two genealogies.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:28-31
  28Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed." 30Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 31So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.

5:28 What a contrast are the two Lamechs. One is boastful of violent revenge (Cain's line); the other is hopeful of the mercy of God (Seth's line)!

5:29 "Noah. . .rest" This is a popular, not a philological, etymology of the term "rest" (BDB 629). This seems to express Lamech's faith, that through Noah, a significant reversal of the curse of Gen. 3:17 would take place. This is Lamech's statement of faith.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 5:32
  32
Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

5:32 "Shem" This term may mean "renown" or "name" (BDB 1028).

▣ "Ham" This term may mean "to be hot" or "to be dark" (BDB 325).

▣ "Japheth" This term may mean "beauty" or "spreading" (BDB 834).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. What is the theological relationship between Genesis 4 and 5?

2. Why is the genealogy of Cain developed and then totally dropped from Scripture?

3. Why are the names of the Cainites and the Sethites so similar?

4. What happened to Enoch?

 

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