Genealogies Continues…Seth’s Family: Genesis 4.25-26

Adam and Eve now reappear in the story as Eve gives birth to Seth. Eve saw the grace of God in this birth as a replacement for the son she lost to violence. Seth’s son was Enosh, which means to be frail. Around the time of his birth, humankind began to invoke the name of God (Yahweh), the covenant keeping God. Prayer is developed apart from sacrifice as a part of worship to God. It may be that man’s consciousness of human frailty, which was symbolized by the name, Enosh, heightened his awareness of his total dependence on God, which led them to begin to communicate with God. We may note that we are again faced with monotheism over against polytheism as the belief that Israel should adopt.

From Adam to Noah (5.1-32) The genealogy written in this chapter shows a descendancy from Adam to Noah through Seth. In the previous Cainite list (4.17), there are seven generations from Cain to Jabal. The present genealogy has ten generations from Adam to Noah. Both of the lists end with three sons coming from the last name on the list: Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain from Lamech; Shem, Ham, and Japheth from Noah. In each list only one man speaks. In the Cainite list it is Lamech who mocks the previous curse of God on Cain. In the Sethite list Lamech moaned under the curse and looked for comfort.

In both the biblical record and the Sumerian King list (mentioned above) there are men of great longevity. One such individual in the latter list lived some 43,200 years. The long lifespan of the Sethites may be a reflection of God’s blessing upon them. Longevity in Old Testament thought is a sign of divine blessing upon the godly (see Deut. 4. 25; 5: 33; 30: 20).

In this passage, Enoch is well- known. It should not be overlooked that he is the seventh (the perfect position) in this genealogy. Everyone else in the list dies, but Enoch is “taken away.” It may point out that long life may not be as great a blessing as one thinks it might be, while being elevated into the presence of God is far better. Both Enoch (Gen. 5.22) and Noah (Gen. 6.9) are reported to have “walked with God.” God chose to use each in a different way.

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