Bible texts, History, Humanity, Jeshua the Messiah, People or Characters from Scripture

Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #5 From Hanock or Enoch to Noah and the first recorded birth after the Flood

In the written account of Adam’s line we find Methuselah or the “man of the Javelin”, who lived one hundred and eighty-seven years when he became the father of Lamech or Lámek (Lemech), meaning “strong youth” or “strong man”. Methuselah 969 years old, whilst his son Lamech got  777 years old.

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noach, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which YY hath cursed. And Lamech lived after he begat Noach five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
(Gen 5:25-31 IAV)

This Lamech should not be confused with the descendant of Cain who got himself two wives, Adah and Zillah. By Adah he produced Jabal, the first tent dweller and Jubal who invented the harp and pipe, indicative of leisure time. By Zillah, Lamech begat Tubal-Cain, the first artificer in metals, and a daughter, Naamah.

And Kayin went out from the presence of YY , and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Kayin knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Hanokh: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Hanokh. And unto Hanokh was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare TubalKayin, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of TubalKayin was Naamah. And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Kayin shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Shet: For Elohim, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Kayin slew. And to Shet, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of YY .
(Gen 4:16-26 IAV)

Lamech, the poor or made low, the descendant of Seth and the son of Methusaleh, who became the father of Noah and grandfather of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
This Lamech was tired of the unproductive toil spent on the unfruitful land. He expected the birth of his son (Noah) to remove the curse of Adam. “This same shall comfort us”, or “This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands”, which denotes not only the desire and expectation which parents generally have concerning their children (that, when they grow up, they will be comforts to them and helpers in their business, though they often prove otherwise), but an apprehension and prospect of something more. Having up to the time of Noah, those people had to work on the land without tools for plowing.

Lamech might have had the hope that it be God’s will that this one was going to straighten what was twisted before. Lamech understood the curse that Adam must eat by toil “all the days of your life” (3:17), literally: “all the days of your life, always having to face the earth which would bring forth thorns and thistles even when they planted wheat, on account of the curse which was given in the Garden of Eden (in Bereshith 3:18).

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I Commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Tshofars also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
(Gen 3:17-18 IAV)

Very probably there were some prophecies that went before of him, as a person that should be wonderfully serviceable to his generation, which they so understood as to conclude that he was the promised seed, the Messiah that should come.

Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, HHanokh, Methuselah, Lamech, Noach, Shem, Ham, and Yefet.
(1Ch 1:1-4 IAV)

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I Commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Tshofars also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Havah; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did YY Elohim make coats of skins, and clothed them. And YY Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore YY Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
(Gen 3:17-23 IAV)

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noach, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which YY hath cursed. And Lamech lived after he begat Noach five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
(Gen 5:25-31 IAV)

As the son of Methusaleh, Lamech was in the godly line of Seth. The Qumran Genesis Apocryphon also points this out. Since the number ten represented completion or conclusion to the Semite, Lamech hoped that the tenth generation from Adam would bring fulfilment of the Edenic promise. He had lived 182 years when Noah was born and died at the age of 777.
According to some critics, the Cainite Lamech of Genesis 4 and the Sethite Lamech of Genesis 5 were originally identical, with the two genealogies coming from one common legend or source. The J document (ch. 4) preserved one variant list, and the P document (ch. 5) preserved another. However, the differences of spelling and order of names is as striking as the similarities. A discussion of the objections to this theory is found in J. P. Lange, Genesis, tr. by Taylor Lewis (1882), pp. 261- 273.
The genealogy of Christ (Luke 3:36) traces his ancestry back to Adam through the Lamech of the line of Seth.

Ibn Izra teaches

Either Lamech had learned from Adam or Enoch (who were prophets) that the earth would come back to life through the efforts of this newborn, or he figured it out astrologically. (Enoch wrote a number of books that we still have.) Indeed, that is exactly what happened. The world continued to exist only on Noah’s account. And of course he was someone who worked the land, a “tiller of the soil” (9:20). It is also possible that he acquired this meaningful name only later, when he succeeded in working the land, as Gideon acquired the name Jerubbaal.WW Both Noah’s name (based on the letters נח, meaning “rest”) and this word “relief” (based on נחם, meaning “comfort”) are essentially the opposite of the “toil” mentioned in the verse. Rest is a relief to the toil of the body as comfort is a relief to the toil of the heart. You must always remember that the Hebrew of the Bible focuses on meanings and is not concerned to use precisely the same words every time. Remember that Jerubbaal himself is called Jerubbesheth in 2 Sam. 11:21.

And Noach began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
(Gen 9:20 IAV)

Throughout this genealogy the Torah bothers to tell us how long those people lived. It is part of the chronological framework of the Bible, tracking history from the creation forward. The Torah enumerates the life spans of all the generations up to Noah; then from Noah to Abraham; then those of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kohath, Amram, and Moses. The rest of the Bible continues by enumerating the life spans of Joshua, the judges, and the kings; the 70 years of exile in Babylon; and, in Daniel, the years of the Second Temple.

The whole purpose of those lists was so that we, the inheritors of God’s Torah in future generations, would know about the creation of the world and be able to figure out when it took place and why all things went like they have overcome this world.

For the last person in this part of the account of the first men and women, we find that Noah’s seed came only very late into being. Reason can be that Japheth, his oldest son, would not yet be subject to punishment when the Flood came. For in the future “he who dies at a hundred years shall be reckoned a youth” (Isaiah 65:20), and it was this way before the giving of the Torah as well.

Noah, seeing that his generation was evil, was afraid his offspring would be too. So he waited until the age of 500 to get involved with a woman and have children. Perhaps he was told by a prophecy to do so at that time. Then he had three good sons — though Ham was not quite up to the level of the other two — but no daughters. Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The Sages reckon as follows: Japheth (God will make wide and enlarge) must have been the eldest. The Flood occurred when Noah was 600. Since he begot his eldest at 500, that son must have been 99 when the Flood came and 100 after it. But “Shem was 100 years old when he begot Arpachshad, two years after the Flood” (11:10). So (they conclude) Japheth must have been the eldest. But if that is so, why would the text here and everywhere else list them as “Shem, Ham, and Japheth”? In fact, Shem begot Arpachshad two years after the beginning of the Flood. When the Flood began, he was 99. When it was over, he was 100, and he was still 100 early in the second year after the beginning of the Flood, when he begot Arpachshad, presenting the first recorded birth after the Flood.

And Noach was five hundred years old: and Noach begat Shem, Ham, and Yefet.
(Gen 5:32 IAV)

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Preceding

Bereshith 4:17-24 The offspring of Kayin

Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #1 The accounting

Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #2 From Adam made in the likeness of God

Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #3 From Seth to Kenan

Bereshith 5: Adam’s Descendants to Noah #5 From to Noah,

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Additional reading

  1. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  2. Biblical characters given as example
  3. Men who believed and had faith in a Higher Power they could not see
  4. Savouring pictorial entertainement
  5. Today’s thought “A Damaged and Wicked World” (January 03)
  6. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  7. For fun: the greatest financier in the Bible

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