Genesis chapter 5 is our study tonight. This is a significant experience for us tonight because I’m going to cover 32 verses. This is a very important chapter. I might remind you that both the Old Testament and the New Testament begin with a genealogy. In the Old Testament, it appears in chapters 4 and 5 of Genesis. In the New Testament, it appears in the very first chapter of the first book, Matthew.
As you study through the Bible, you begin to understand why genealogies are critical. Ultimately, they lead us directly to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. And we have already learned something about the genealogy of Cain at the end of chapter 4. As we come into chapter 5, we have the genealogy of Seth, the genealogy of the promised seed, the family line of the Messiah, the deliverer, the seed promised in chapter 3 and verse 15.
Genesis 4 and 5 is important because it provides the Messianic genealogy, the line of blessing. But it is also important because Genesis chapter 4 and chapter 5 is the only authentic history of the time from the creation to the next monumental event, the flood. From the creation to the flood, we know nothing except what is in these two chapters. There is no record of this period of time anywhere else because the flood was a universal flood that changed the face of the earth completely as we shall learn when we get into that study.
The period of time from the creation of Adam (the first man) to the flood is sixteen hundred and fifty-six years. This can be calculated by figuring how far down the line of Seth Adam lived, and he lived until Lamech, and was then eight hundred and seventy-four years old. And you add to that the remainder of Methuselah’s years, and you have the flood at the year 1656. Methuselah died in the year of the flood.
Any calculation of the numbers (and there are numbers mentioned all through this fifth chapter) leads us to the conclusion of sixteen hundred and fifty-six years from the creation of Adam to the flood, which drowned the entire human race with the exception of Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives.
So chapters 4 and 5 are the only authentic history of that time in existence. When we come to chapter 5, we come, as I said, to the line of Seth, and we go from Adam, through that line, to Noah. Now, before we look at that, let me tell you why I believe the Lord puts this here. First of all, because it tells us the time that elapses from creation to the flood, as I just mentioned, sixteen hundred and fifty-six years. That clearly reveals the age of the universe and the age of the earth and the age of man. We already know that the entire universe and the earth and man were all created in the same week. And so we learn exactly and precisely the timetable, which precludes any evolution at all.
Secondly, we are given this genealogy to show us the increase of the population - how man multiplied to fill the earth. I told you last time that any conservative calculation could put us in excess of seven billion people on the earth by the time of the flood - more than currently inhabit the earth.
There is amazing virility indicated in this genealogy. You have Enoch having a son at age 65, and you have Noah having three sons at the age of 500. That’s a tremendous span of time in which to produce children and accounts for the vast increase in world population. We also learn from this genealogy that people lived to be nearly a thousand years old, and so there wasn’t a lot of death, which meant that the population increased at an amazingly rapid rate.
This genealogy is also here not only to show us the time involved, to show us the expansion of population, but it is here to show us the reign of death. Eight times in this chapter, you will read, “and he died,” “and he died,” “and he died,” “and he died.” This is the reign of death. This is the judgment of sin. But this genealogy is also given to us to provide for us the hope that we can escape death for there is a man in this genealogy, as we shall see, who didn’t die, who was delivered from death and escaped divine judgment.
Those are major lessons that flow out of this chapter, along with the other key element, and that is the genealogy itself that is part of the line of Messiah. So that later on, when Jesus is declared to be the Messiah, you can trace His lineage right straight back through these people in this genealogy to Adam. It also gives a clear line to Noah. God chose the line of Seth down to Noah so that when the flood came, the one man who was in the line that God had chosen for Messiah survived, along with his sons, and one of them (Shem) was chosen to continue that line. This is the line of the promised seed - back in chapter 3, verse 15 - the seed who would come to bruise the serpent’s head.
Now, let me say this to you. There is no reason to approach this genealogy any differently than you would approach any part of the Bible. There is no reason to assume it’s not literal. It is literal. It is literal simply because the numbers are so specific. If God was talking in generalities here, there wouldn’t be these exact numbers that flow all the way through, identifying the age of these people.
People try to tell us, “Well, we know that it wasn’t only sixteen hundred and fifty years from the creation of the universe to the flood. There were millions of years and eons and eons, and there was evolution, and there was all kinds of mutation, and there was all kinds of natural selection going on, and lots of things happened.” And you come to Genesis chapter 5, and what you’ve got is numbers that specifically indicate it was sixteen hundred and fifty-six years and that the people between Adam and Noah are the people named here. They are the ones in the line. They are the first born all the way through. There were other children born, as we will see, to these individuals, but they are the first born to carry on the line.
And there are a number of reasons why we believe this is a tight genealogy. We believe it is a literal genealogy. Look at the genealogy for just a moment, and I’m going to scan it with you. You see the name, Adam, in verse 4, and he became the father of Seth. You see Seth in verse 6, and became the father of Enosh. You see down in verse 10 that Enosh became the father of Kenan. You see down in verse 12 that Kenan became the father of Mahalalel. And Mahalalel became the father of Jared, in verse 16. And Jared became the father of Enoch, in verse 18.
And Enoch became the father of Methuselah, in verse 22. And Methuselah became the father of Lamech, in verse 25. And Lamech became the father of Noah, verse 29. And Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, verse 32. Ten names from Adam to Noah. Specific names, specifically identified, in sequence, and even the age at which they died is indicated.
To show you the precision of this, turn to 1 Chronicles in the Old Testament. First Chronicles chapter 1, we have a repeat of this genealogy. In fact, the book of Chronicles opens with these words: “Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” There is no variation; there is no deviation.
Now turn to Luke chapter 3 for a moment, and Luke chapter 3 will indicate this very same genealogy, only we’ll work it backwards because it ends really where it began. If you will notice verse 38 of Luke 3, this is the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah. And if you go to the end, verse 38, it says he was the son of God, and then it says he’s the son of Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan (the same name), Mahalalel, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem. There is no variation in the Chronicles genealogy; there is no variation in the New Testament account in Luke.
Turn to one other passage. Jude - a little epistle next to the book of Revelation - verse 14. You don’t have to turn to it, I’ll just mention it. It says, “Enoch was in the seventh generation from Adam.” Enoch was in the seventh generation from Adam, and when you go back to Genesis chapter 5 or when you go back to 1 Chronicles chapter 1, or when you back to Luke chapter 3, indeed, Enoch is the seventh name after Adam.
So you have the testimony of the writer of Chronicles, you have the testimony of the gospel account by Luke, you have the testimony of the epistle of Jude that there is no gap here, that there are no breaks in this genealogy. This is, in fact, a precise genealogy.
Now back to Genesis chapter 5 for a moment. When you work with the numbers a little bit, it becomes very fascinating. We learned that Adam overlapped Methuselah for two hundred years. All the way down to Methuselah, and Adam is still alive, two hundred years into his life. So Methuselah could have met Adam. Methuselah actually overlapped Noah for six hundred years. So one man bridges Adam to Noah. You say, “Why is that important?” It’s very important. There was no written revelation.
Have you ever had that little sort of scheme worked out where you try to pass information around a group of people and it gets confused after so many times being passed? That’s why God made sure that these people stretched across that whole span of time, so that Methuselah knew firsthand about Adam and could pass it on to Noah.
Noah overlapped Shem for four hundred years. And are you ready for this? Abraham died before Shem. Shem could have told Abraham firsthand about the flood. It is very likely that Shem was still alive during the lifetime of not Abraham only, not Isaac only, but Jacob. All the way down into the life of the nation Israel, all the way down to Jacob. You really only need four people to span Adam to Abraham, to span creation to Abraham. You just need Adam, Methuselah, Shem, and Abraham, you can go all the way to Jacob. Really important because God was passing down this divine truth.
For Abraham, then, the account of the creation would be like referring to accounts by his great-grandfather. Accurate truth was handed down. If you look at it carefully, creation appears to have occurred about 4000 BC. And here we are two thousand years after Christ. That’s why we say we believe in creation six thousand years ago. So the genealogy provides for us these kinds of insights into the actual timing and the possibility of passing down truth until the time in which it could be written.
Now I call you to verse 1. Eventually, it was written, because here is the book of the generations of Adam. Now, we know the author of Genesis. Who is it? Moses. But it could well have been that Noah wrote down a genealogy. Could well have been, we don’t know for certain, but somebody did. This is the book. This is the sepher. Not a book as we look at a book, this is the document. They may have used scrolls or some other thing to write on pre-flood. We don’t know. Nothing exists that was written, of course, because the destruction was so complete. But the term here means, “something written, a document.”
This is the document. At some point, it was actually written down, and this is that genealogy that was written down. So the accuracy at this point doesn’t depend on oral tradition, even though oral tradition could be trusted because there was such an overlapping of people’s lives. They knew exactly who was who. As I said, you’re talking about only ten generations, and ten very overlapping generations. They really knew who followed who in terms of the line of firstborn sons. So this self-contained unit fits into the scheme of Genesis.
In fact, if you want to get a good view of Genesis, the first section of Genesis is the generations of the heavens and the earth. You see that in Genesis 2:4, “This is the generation of the heavens and the earth.” The toledoth of the heavens and the earth. Then you come to chapter 5, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Go to chapter 6, verse 9. “This is the record of the generations of Noah.” You go to chapter 10, and you have the generations of the sons of Noah. You go to chapter 11, verse 10, the generations of Shem.
Chapter 11, verse 27, and you have the generations of Terah. Chapter 25, verse 12, the generations of Ishmael; chapter 25, verse 19, the generations of Isaac; chapter 36, the generations of Esau; chapter 37, the generations of Jacob. So you can follow the flow of this original history through those generations - literally, the record of these generations.
And so - verse 1 - we’re looking at the toledoth, the writing, the document that records for us the generations of Adam. “In the day when God created man,” we’re now taken back in a review, “He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them man.” Actually, in the Hebrew, adam, but here used in a generic sense to refer to humanity. “In the day when they were created.” In the day. What day was that? What day? Sixth day of creation, back in chapter 1, verse 27.
On the sixth day, God brought forth the living creatures and the beasts of the earth, everything that creeps on the ground, and in verse 26, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Verse 27, “He created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created him. Male and female, He created them, blessed them, said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth,” and so forth - so on.
On that sixth day, God created man. And he was different than anything else that God created, as you remember when we studied that. He made him in His own likeness. Man did not evolve. He was made in the likeness of God. He was made distinct from animals because he bore the image of God. He was created in such a unique way, in such an exalted way as to have immediate and instant communion with God. He was created on a divine pattern. He had spiritual being, he had eternal being in that he had an eternal soul.
He had transcendent faculties like God. Things like self-consciousness, reason, abstract thinking, love of beauty, emotion. He was morally conscious, and he had the ability to personally relate to other people and to God. He also had the ability to exercise domination and control over every other part of the created order.
God created man, verse 2 says, “male and female,” and chapter 2, you remember, describes how God said, “Adam is alone, and it’s not good, I’ll make him a helper.” And you remember that God took material out of the side of Adam, verse 21 of chapter 2, closed up his flesh, and God fashioned that material into a woman and gave that woman to Adam.
He named them adam - man - in the day when they were created. Do you understand what it’s saying here? There is no evolution here. The day they were created, they were man. The day they were created, they were created in the image of God. It also says in verse 2 that He blessed them, and He blessed them not only with His presence, but He blessed them with the paradise of Eden. And you remember that, in chapter 2, we were introduced to Eden, this wonderful place where God put man. “A garden,” verse 8 says, “toward the east, in Eden.”
This was a place where everything grew. It was pleasing and good for food, and “there was a river that flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and it divided and became four rivers.” And you remember there was gold there and bdellium and onyx stones, and it was a marvelous place. The beauty of Eden was the paradise of man.
So, he says here, “He named them man,” and I think for a reason. Because this isn’t just the story of one man, this isn’t just the story of one man and his wife. This isn’t the story of Mr. and Mrs. Adam or Adam and Eve, this is the story of all of us. We were all bound up, as it were, in the loins of Adam and Eve, and wherever Adam went, he took us all. And it’s sad to say he went the wrong place. He went directly to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and took the whole human race with him. Adam really was man, he was duly constituted man, and he acted in behalf of all humanity. Because out of his loins would come all humanity. And when he fell, the race fell with him.
And so does Moses record for us a review of that first creation, and that’s where the genealogy begins. Then, starting in verse 3 and running down to the end of the chapter, we have the genealogical record from Adam. Let’s pick it up in verse 3. “When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.” Now, Seth has already been introduced to us. Go back to chapter 4, verse 25. “Adam had relations with his wife again. She gave birth to a son named Seth, for she said, ‘God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel.’”
You remember what happened to Abel, don’t you? He was a righteous son, killed by his unrighteous brother, Cain. And Cain was an unacceptable son for the chosen line because Cain was a reprobate. Back to chapter 4, verse 16, “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod” - the land of wandering - “east of Eden.” And out of his loins came an amazing culture. We talked about Cain and the secular culture. It was his family that built cities. It was his family that carried on agriculture and highly developed it. It was his family that developed animal husbandry.
It was his family that invented and developed music. It was his family that developed metallurgy. It was his family that developed polygamy as well. And it was his family that developed poetry - Lamech, the first poet. But Cain’s line couldn’t be the chosen line because Cain was an unbeliever, an apostate, who sought to live outside the presence of God.
So Eve knew, “Cain isn’t going to be the promised seed. I thought it might have been Abel, he was the righteous one who offered God the proper sacrifice, but he’s dead. I thought maybe it could be Cain once when God gave him as my firstborn, but Cain is a reprobate, and who’s going to be the promised seed? Who’s going to strike a fatal blow to the serpent who catapulted us into this terrible, terrible kind of existence?” It’s one thing to be a sinner, folks, it’s one thing to have to live as a sinner for nine hundred years - would be a wearying thing.
And as I said to you, Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years. He lived long into these generations, long into the generation of Cain and the secular culture, long enough to see the accumulated impact of sin. In fact, Adam only dies one generation before the flood so he would have seen the wickedness of the populated world having reached nearly its apex.
And you wonder about the hope that the deliverer would come. And through whom would the deliverer come? It couldn’t be Abel, certainly wouldn’t be Cain, and so God gave them another son, and she says in chapter 4, verse 25, “‘God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel.’” Maybe this is the one, she believed, that could take Abel’s place and be the seed, the promised one that would bruise the serpent’s head, or at least the one from whom the seed would come.
And then he had a son, a grandchild for Cain and Abel. His name was Enosh, and he must have been a godly son because at that time, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. It’s in the line of Seth that you begin to be introduced to worship. The line of Cain is apostate, the line of Seth is worshiping, and they then become the chosen line. And it is going to be out of the line of Seth that the promised seed will come, that the conqueror will come, the one who will destroy Satan and bring paradise back.
Now, the pattern in these genealogies is very consistent. You have ten names from Adam to Noah, with the same pattern. The age of the father at the birth of the firstborn, the name of the firstborn, thirdly, the duration of life of the father after the firstborn, reference to other children, and then death. That pattern is consistent all the way through, as we see in verse 3. “When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image.”
Now, that is a sad note. He was created in the image of God. Unfortunately, Seth was made in the image of man. While still bearing the imago Dei residually, still having something of the image of God in him, he is most dominated and marked by the image of man, which is the image of fallenness and sin. So he becomes, does Adam, the father of a son who bears his image. How sad.
Then it tells us the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth, as it always does in the genealogy, were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. And then it tells us all the days of Adam were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. Notice in verse 4, he had other sons and daughters. And by the way, he passed the same sinful energy on to them, the same sinful principle on to them, the same power of sin, dominant in human flesh. I would just encourage you that righteousness does not run in the blood but corruption does. A sinner can have a sinner, but a saint can’t have a saint.
Adam and Eve had many children. They were to be fruitful and multiply, chapter 1, verse 28, and then childbirth was increased, according to chapter 3, verse 16. Her childbirth would be multiplied. So they had many, many children who lived for many, many years and had many, many children. And with very few people dying, the earth was rapidly populated, as we pointed out last time.
God had told Adam that he would die, but it took nine hundred and thirty years for that to happen. Wouldn’t you say God is gracious? Adam’s obituary can’t be written until nine hundred and thirty years have passed. And it says in verse 5 that Adam died. That is the first recorded natural death in the Bible - the first recorded natural death in the Bible. There’s only one other death, it’s the death of whom? Abel, and he was murdered.
An immense grace. God said, “You eat of that fruit, you’ll die,” but he lives nine hundred and thirty years, and that is reflective again of the nature of God, who is a saving God, who withholds what the sinner deserves.
So our great progenitor, Adam, having reached the fifty-sixth year of Lamech’s life - Lamech being the Lamech of the Seth line and the father of Noah - Adam sees into Lamech’s generation, the very father of Noah. As I said, he dies just one generation before Noah and the flood. He sees the world into its ninth generation. Boy. He left the world at the age of nine hundred and thirty, having had a very graphic experience of what his sin had brought down on humanity.
All the men in this genealogy were born before Adam died. He saw it all. He saw the righteous line. He saw the wickedness prevail. Ultimately, he saw even those in the line of Seth go bad so that, by the time the flood came, God could only save eight. He must have had a lot of grief in his life. Just a few children can bring you sufficient grief, and just a few grandchildren can bring you sufficient grief. But to father children for centuries and to have them have children for centuries until billions of people are in the world and to see all of the grief and all of the personal struggle.
To have your second son murdered by your first son. To see your first son become an apostate and develop the universal secular culture that essentially became the system of Satan - so bad that it had to be completely obliterated so that the entire earth was dramatically changed - boy, he really knew firsthand the impact of sin.
If you just live sixty years or seventy years, you know how powerful sin is. Imagine if you knew for nine hundred and thirty years that you yourself had brought it upon the whole human race. He could not have failed with each successive year of his life to develop a deeper and more appalling realization of the enormity of his sin, nor would he have ever questioned the justice of his sentence, nor would he have questioned the amazing nature of God’s grace. Because Adam and Eve were believers. We saw that at the end of chapter 3. But he died.
And then, verse 6. And Seth lived a hundred and five years and became the father of Enosh. Same pattern. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. And Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.
And Kenan lived seventy years and became the father of Mahalalel. Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, became the father of Jared. Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. There’s a real rhythm to this, and they all die.
And Jared, verse 18, lived a hundred and sixty-two years and became the father of Enoch. Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died. Everybody dies. Seth, and then comes Enosh, which I told you last time is a Hebrew word for “man.” Then Kenan, which may be related to “Cain” as a word. Mahalalel, which in Hebrew means “praise.” Jared, which is probably connected to a root that means “descending.”
And then you come down to Enoch. This is the line of Adam through Seth. Cain has no place in the chosen line. There are no people who descended from Cain alive in the world. They were all drowned in the flood. Only Noah and his family, and Noah was from Seth. There are no Cainites. They had no ongoing place in the human race.
When we look at this list, we’re amazed by several things. It is an honorable list because it is the list of those who were righteous. We don’t know in each specific case, but it is evident that Adam was a righteous man, it is evident that Seth was a righteous man, it is evident that Enoch was a righteous man. It is apparent that Lamech, the father of Noah, was a righteous man, and Noah was a righteous man. And that cannot be said of anybody in the line of Cain.
We also are amazed by the extraordinary length of life. I know you’re amazed by that. And the question always comes up when you study this, “Why did God let people live so long?” Well, for one, it allowed for rapid, extensive population growth. It allowed for the passing on of truth from one generation to another without having to go through too many intermediaries so that that truth was lost. As I said, there’s so much overlap, I said some would take Shem right into the time of Jacob.
And I think there are other reasons why they lived so long. The advancement of that race - and believe me, they would have been very advanced, very intelligent. They hadn’t experienced all the thousands of years of corruption that we have experienced. Very intelligent, very skilled. If you do something for 900 years, you get pretty good at it, I would expect. They would have absorbed a massive amount of information. They tell us we use one-tenth of one percent of our brains. Well, if you lived 900 years, you might fill up some of that space.
And because there was no experience from the past to hand down - you know, we are the beneficiaries today of inventions that have been made from centuries past. Well, there was no past, and so God allowed them to live a long time so that they could accumulate the necessary knowledge to advance the civilization and refine the civilization. They couldn’t learn from anything past because there wasn’t anything. Each person was permitted to live during a much longer space of time. Having no past experience to build on, they owed their knowledge to their experience, and they needed a long experience to reach the heights.
I think also they were able to discover the great foundations of knowledge and to apply them and to test them. But at the same time, they also had to endure the immense impact of sin. While they were advancing and while they were applying their tremendous longevity, their tremendous experience, their tremendous intellect and accumulated information to an advancing culture - at the same time as men were devising greater and greater means to enjoy life, they were devising greater and greater means to express their sin, so that they became so wicked that God drowned them all.
So it allowed for them to develop intellectually; at the same time, it allowed for them to become morally corrupt, at a level of corruption more flagrant than perhaps we can imagine. You know what it is to battle temptation - don’t you? - for 60 years, 70 years, How would you do if you had to battle it for 900 years? There are some people who would like to die before they dishonor the Lord. That’s a fair wish. But if you were 60 and wondering if you could make it before 70 without dishonoring the Lord, how would you like to have to think about having to live another 800 years?
So there was the potential for development. God always gives man that. To draw out of His planet and out of His creation the riches, and to give Him thanks and honor Him for it. But at the same time, fallen man will invariably invent ways to express his corruption.
But in the middle of it all, we are introduced to a man in verse 21. His name is Enoch. It means, as we learned earlier, “dedication.” There is an Enoch in chapter 4, verse 17. That’s a different Enoch, in the line of Cain. There’s also a Lamech in chapter 4, verse 18, and that is a different Lamech. Same name, but different person in a different line. But this Enoch, whose name also means “dedicated,” was devoted to God. Look at verse 21. “And Enoch lived sixty-five years and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.
“So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” All of a sudden, the pattern is broken. We get into this seventh generation, as Jude says, “the seventh from Adam.” We meet Enoch. It does tell us how old he was when he fathered the firstborn. It does tell us how long he lived after he fathered the firstborn and gives us the same pattern. But all of a sudden it injects twice - once in verse 22, once in verse 24 - that Enoch walked with God.
And as I said, it may be that these others were righteous, we don’t know that. No such comment is made. But in the case of Enoch, it is made. He walked with God. That is a critical statement to make about a man. It breaks the pattern of the previous names.
Let me just tell you a little bit about Enoch. Turn to Jude, let’s go back to Jude for a minute. It will only take a moment to grasp what Jude says in verses 14 and 15. Jude is writing about false teachers here who’ve gone in the way of Cain, verse 11, who’ve rushed into the error of Balaam and perished in the rebellion of Korah, and he names some apostates, some false prophets. They are hidden reefs in your love feasts, clouds without water, doubly dead, uprooted, wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam, wandering stars for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
So false teachers, they’ve always abounded. They were in the way of Cain. They were in the family of Cain, the culture of Cain. And verse 14 - interesting. “And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied” - oh, this is interesting. This man, Enoch (the seventh generation from Adam through the line of Seth) prophesied against the false prophets. There were already false prophets in the world, there were already those who were lying, those who were in the way of Cain, apostate. And that’s really hard to imagine. I mean, I have to tell you, that is hard to imagine. You say, “Why?” Because they knew Adam.
And Adam could have told them who the true God was because he walked and talked with Him in the cool of the day. And Adam could have told them what the creation was like and what paradise was like, and what Eden was like, and why the world was the way it was, and all about the fall, and all about sin, and all about the curse. And it wasn’t passed down, it was firsthand information. And still they apostatized, they rejected, they rebelled against the truth that Adam knew firsthand and certainly declared.
There was an explosion of false teachers in the world. And Enoch prophesied about them. What did he say about them? He said, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds, which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Wow. What do you have?
Already, pre-flood, in the sixteen hundred and fifty-six years, you have the development of a cultural line, an apostatizing society across the face of the earth following the way of Cain, filled with lies. They are against God. They are described here as “ungodly, doing ungodly deeds in an ungodly way.” They are called “ungodly sinners who speak against the true God.”
And Enoch prophesied. And what did he prophesy? “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all.” Here was a preacher who stood up and said, “God is going to judge you.”
And right here, folks, in the fifth chapter of Genesis, we’re introduced to the first preacher who ever confronted liars and deceivers and false teachers. This is an old, old problem, isn’t it? An old, old problem. And Enoch, who walked with God, spoke for God. And he uses “came” in the past, it’s kind of a - it’s kind of a way in which the language speaks in the past to refer to something in the future that is so certain, it’s as if it’s already happened. You’re going to be judged, all you ungodly, all your ungodly deeds, and all your ungodly speeches against God are going to be judged when the Lord comes with many thousands of His holy ones.
You know what he’s looking at? I mean he’s looking right down, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, right down through history until the coming of Jesus Christ. Because, you see, the coming of Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Genesis 3:15 promise, that a seed would come and bruise the serpent’s - what? - head. “All you ungodly people, with your ungodly words and your ungodly deeds are going to be judged.”
And he was talking to the people in his generation, but he was talking all the way down through history. It isn’t recorded in Genesis, but it is recorded in Jude. How interesting that the Holy Spirit waits to give us the message of Enoch until the next-to-the-last book in the Bible. You shouldn’t be surprised by that. The apostle Paul named the Egyptian magicians - do you remember? He identifies them as Jannes and Jambres, and they aren’t called that in Exodus. Peter said, “Noah was a preacher of righteousness,” and you’re not going to find that in Genesis, either.
The New Testament inspired writers were given this information by God. And here was Jude, writing this epistle, told exactly what Enoch said. And Enoch warned people. “The Lord is coming. The Lord is coming with His holy angels. The Lord is coming to execute judgment against all those who have spoken against him.” There was Enoch, who rose up in his generation on behalf of the truth and confronted the false teachers.
Let’s go back to Genesis 5 for just a few comments to wrap it up. It tells us that, verse 21, Enoch lived sixty-five years, became the father of Methuselah. Now, Methuselah has a very interesting name. You’ve got to grab this one. The Hebrew means, “man of the shoot” or “man of the shot out” or “man of the sending forth.” One commentator called him “Missile Man.” I suppose you could call him “Bullet Man.” Man identified with something that is sent out, something that is shot out, so his name signifies that he will not die until judgment is shot out, judgment has come.
Almost every commentary you read on that clearly indicates that Methuselah dies in the year of the flood. He is the man who will live until the shooting out of the judgment of God. And certainly the initial fulfillment of Enoch’s prophecy was the flood. He looked at the flood. But the warning is picked up by Jude because it really was a message for those who live today, that there’s another judgment when the Lord comes again to judge - not with water but with fire. The world will not perish until the judgment was sent forth.
It’s an interesting note here. “Enoch lived sixty-five years, became the father of Methuselah.” He names his son Methuselah. I think the Lord probably told him to name him “man of the shooting forth,” and he must have known that this son was going to signify the judgment because it says in verse 22, “Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah.” Maybe when the Lord told him to name him, he really knew what he was naming him. He was naming him and connecting him with the coming judgment, and it may have shaken up Enoch enough that he began to really walk with God, and that’s when he became the preacher and the prophet who warned people of judgment.
When Methuselah dies, down in verse 27, after nine hundred and sixty-nine years, the flood shoots forth to drown the world. Judgment wouldn’t come until he died. And guess what - he lived longer than anybody else in this entire genealogy. Isn’t that the grace of God? A son was born - maybe his father, Enoch, got the message, “I better get my life together because when this son dies, there’s going to be judgment” - and from that time on, he walked with God, and he began to preach and prophesy of the coming judgment and tell people that the judgment of God was going to fall upon them.
And he preached that judgment, and God graciously allowed that man to live nine hundred and sixty-nine years - longer than anybody else. God is gracious, even in the fact of judgment. In the year of his death, the flood came.
It is twice said here that Enoch walked with God. That’s a faithful man. Can you imagine walking with God for three hundred years? What prayer life you would have, huh? “Well, I’ve been praying for three hundred years. I’ve communed with God for three hundred years. I’ve walked in fellowship with Him for three hundred years.” You talk about a spiritual father - wow. Talk about a faithful saint. We always say when somebody dies at eighty and they’ve been faithful, “Ah, faithful for eighty years.” This man was faithful for three hundred years.
Three hundred years of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Three hundred years in a primeval environment, very advanced culturally and very wretched and wicked, so that everybody but eight people had to be drowned. You say, “What about Enoch? Why wasn’t he drowned?” Well, he left the year the flood came. I’ll explain that in a minute. He left the year the flood came. But he was, for three hundred years, the intimate, daily companion of God.
What does it mean to walk with God? It means to be reconciled to God through faith. It means to have come to God and asked forgiveness for your sin so that a relationship between you and God can be established. It means to be agreed with God, it means to be in fellowship with God, to be obedient to God, to love God. This describes the relationship. And some people look at the Old Testament and say, “Oh, it was all laws and rules and ritual and ceremonies.” No, it wasn’t. Go all the way back here to the fifth chapter of Genesis, all the way back to the beginning, and it was always and will always be a spiritual relationship of intimacy. He walked with God - he walked with God.
So did Noah, chapter 6, verse 9. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time.” I love this. “Noah walked with God.” That’s a metaphoric way of saying he was in perfect reconciliation. He had been reconciled to God as a penitent sinner who called out for mercy and grace and forgiveness on the basis of God’s willingness to forgive his sin and to provide a proper sacrifice. So it wasn’t just Enoch who walked with God; Noah also walked with God.
Chapter 17, it tells us that even Abraham walked with God. Chapter 24, we read again about walking with God, the servant of Abraham. Again, in chapter 48. Walking with God is simply covenant fellowship. Salvation fellowship, reconciliation. It’s to live face-to-face with God. This is not some legal thing. This is not just some matter of ceremonies or rituals, as we often think the Old Testament would indicate. This is intimacy. This is relationship. He loved God, he walked with God.
And I love this, in verse 24, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” You know what happened? He took a walk with God one day and never came back. He just walked right into heaven. The gates of hell did not prevail on that believer. He just walked right into heaven. One day, in his 365th year, after 300 years of walking with God, he walked right into heaven. He was not. It just says he wasn’t around. He was gone. There was no funeral. And what it doesn’t say is “and he died.” Doesn’t say that.
Who else had that same experience? Elijah, 2 Kings chapter 2, verses 9 to 11. Here was a contemporary of Adam. Here is the father of Methuselah for three hundred years. Here is a man who knew Seth and Enosh and Kenan and Mahalalel and Jared and fifty-seven years or so after Adam dies, sixty-nine years before Noah is born, in the year of the world 987, he’s going to heaven. Maybe visibly. And why? Why does God do this? Because the Lord is showing us that there is victory over death.
Listen to Hebrews 11:5, “By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death.” Just left. “And he was not found because God took him up.” Why? “He obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God.” What’s the point? He is an illustration that if you walk with God, if you please God, you’ll escape death. You’ll conquer death.
We have that hope, don’t we? It’s called the rapture of the church, isn’t it? First Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. We’re not all going to die. Some of us are going to be taken up. But even the believers who die conquer death.
The Hebrew here is used of a sudden, inexplicable disappearance. “He was not,” that’s a sudden, inexplicable disappearance. You find it used that way in Isaiah 17:14, Proverbs 3:16, 1 Kings 20:30, and 1 Kings 43:13 and 36, if you want to remember those. It’s just a word means a disappearance. He just was gone. And God was saying to that generation, “If you walk with me, you’ll conquer death. If you walk with me, you’ll just walk right into heaven.”
Enoch represents all the elect, all who believe. Because we walk with God, too. We walk with God by faith. We’ve been reconciled to God, we’re agreed with Him, we love Him, we commune with Him. We walk in sanctification and holy obedience. Doesn’t say that he had thoughts about God, doesn’t say he philosophized about God, doesn’t say he believed in God, doesn’t say he talked about God, doesn’t say he read about God - says he walked with God. And he walked with God right into heaven.
Well, verse 25 then says the son of Enoch, Methuselah, lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, became the father of Lamech, and we’re back into the same pattern. Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. They’re having more children, but this is just the line of the first born, through which the Messianic promise passes. All the days of Methuselah, nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
Lamech, his son, lived a hundred and eighty-two years, became the father of a son. Now, he called his name Noah, saying - and here again, the pattern is broken, this one shall give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands, arising from the ground, which the Lord has cursed. Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah. He had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.
Now, what about this prophecy here or this naming in verse 29? He names his son Noah. He names his son Noah, which means rest or comfort. It comes from a Hebrew word which means to breathe again or to catch your breath. You know how you’re working and you’re going and you’re doing whatever you’re doing, and you rest in order to catch your breath? Noah brought a breath of fresh air in a world of multiplied wickedness, where the line of Cain had already apostatized and the line of Seth was going corrupt.
Noah, because of chapter 6, verse 9, he was a righteous man, he was a blameless man, he was a man who walked with God. Verse 8, he was a man who found favor in the eyes of the Lord, and because of that, he brought into the world a breath of fresh air. Second Peter 2:5 says he was a preacher of righteousness. In chapter 8, verses 20 and 21, we find him acting not only as a preacher but as a priest. He builds an altar to the Lord. And he actually was a king because he was the ruler of a new humanity after the flood, it was just he and his family.
But God brought Noah along as a breath of fresh air, a righteous man in an unrighteous world. He allowed humanity to catch its breath, even if it was only a small gasp of air. But it was a breath we can be glad for because if there hadn’t been one righteous man, all of humanity would have been permanently destroyed. But there was one man who allowed the human race to catch its breath and survive the wretchedness of that era - one man and his children.
And verse 32 says, “Noah was five hundred years old, and he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Shem is mentioned first because he was the line of Messiah. Shem means “a name,” and out of him came a name that is above every name. When the sons were born, Noah was five hundred; flood came when he was six hundred. Apparently, his sons got married. We know that because their wives were saved. They, too, were righteous. But there were no children, no grandchildren. God spared only eight.
But the righteousness of Noah was passed on to his wife and his children and their spouses. He was, for the human race, a breath. He allowed humanity to catch a breath, to stay alive. To survive the judgment of God.
Three men, then, mark this genealogy in a very special way. Adam, he shows us the reign of sin and death. And Enoch, he shows us the hope of conquering death. And Noah, he tells us of a new day and a new creation that will come after the judgment. And that, folks, is the history of redemption. The fall, salvation, and the new creation - all pictured in that genealogy. Let’s bow together.
Father, we thank you for letting us complete this tonight. We’ve taken a little extra time, but how critical to see the big picture. Bless you for your truth. Send us on our way with understanding in our hearts and joy and hope in Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
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