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Summary: The genealogy of Adam and Seth

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Genesis 5:1-32

John Shearhart

September 26, 2010

I heard a story about a minister who was preaching through the book of Genesis, and when he got to the genealogy in chapter five he said, “Adam begat Seth, Seth begat Enosh, Enosh begat Kenan, and they kept on begetting one another all the way down this page and halfway into the next.”

Those of you who read ahead this week might have wondered if we’d skip chapter five and move straight into chapter six. After all, the genealogies are usually boring and don’t offer much practical insight.

But let me remind you that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).

Because of that we’re going to study and make observations this week that I think you’ll find truly are profitable.

To make the text a little easier to read, I want you to take a pen and circle the names of the ten men listed here:

Adam (:3), Seth (:6), Enosh (:9), Kenan (:12), Mahalalel (:15), Jared (:18), Enoch (:21), Methuselah (:25), Lamech (:28), and Noah (:32).

Six of these men’s lives are recorded in an identical format:

So-and-so lived so many years, and became the father of such-and-such. Then so-and-so lived so many years after he became the father of such-and-such, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of so-and-so were so many years, and he died.

We’re going to sort of lump these men together and read them all at once. As for the other four, Adam’s record is similar but not identical, and Enoch, Lamech, and Noah all have additional commentary.

Let’s begin at verse one with Adam:

This 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.

So this is a sort of reminder that God created man in His own image and what we’re about to read isn’t God’s doing. What we’ll see is that God’s promise of death for rebellion comes true not only for Adam and Eve but for all their offspring as well.

3When 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.

Now here we have the first recorded death resulting from old-age. Up to this point the only death we know of is Abel’s, and he was murdered. You see, there were no funeral homes then, no caskets, or graveyards because men just kept on living.

It’s been said that the reason they lived so long is because the plague of sin hadn’t taken its full effect, but regardless, with Adam’s death in old age there must have been some sort of realization that God was serious. The wages of sin for Adam was death, and he paid the full price.

But Adam has several children before he dies (I suppose he could have had literally hundreds if he lived to be 930), and the line we’ll follow is that of the eldest (after Cain and Abel of course).


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