Today we start looking at the text of the First book of Moses its fifth chapter: Bereshith 5: The Hebrew word does not mean “book” here, but “count” or “accounting.” This is the account of the generations of Adam. (Again, there are many midrashim based on this phrase.)
In this book we get the genealogy of Adam. By this list, we can start a study of the history of mankind by getting to know the family of the first human beings, especially through studying historical documents to discover the relationships between the particular people who were into a special relationship with their Creator.
The first human being “A·dham“, the common noun in Hebrew for “human (-kind)” only in Genesis 1–5 (when used without the article) and 1 Chronicles 1:1 is it the proper name for the first man. That first human being, or first Adam, got created and blessed by Jehovah and got called Adam,
“the one coming from the “ruddy” or “red earth” or clay”.
Moses brings in the first book of the Pentateuch, a universal history of beginnings. It afforded the author the opportunity to state his belief that there is only one, supreme God and that He created the world with all its inhabitants. For Moses, it was clear all came forth from that first human being, someone taken from the earth having breathed the “Breath of God” in his nostrils so that life also came into that being.
The following persons are registered in the family tree in consecutive order:
Adam (= the first Adam), Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared (Jered), Hanokh or Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Up to Noah we learn also that those men all became very old, even going up to in the nine hundred. This can be explained by the fact that the human race was not yet so polluted or contaminated by the consequences of the first mistake. But as time went by, more people did things wrong, and they also contracted diseases, or any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of their human structure and condition, that weakened them and made them live less long.
Next: Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #2 From Adam made in the likeness of God.