Reading Genesis 5 is not the most exciting part of the Bible. It literally reads through the birth and death of the 10 generations from Adam to Noah. Although there’s not a ton of excitement in this chapter, there is still a lot we can learn. First some observations.
- Adam was still alive when Noah’s father was born. That was 9 generations. In fact Lamech would have been around 55 years old by the time Adam died.
- Even though “other sons and daughters” is regularly mentioned in all generations, there is no mention of “other sons and daughters” prior to Seth. This account completely ignores the existence of Cain and Abel.
- Enoch is not said to have died. “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (v 24) Some translations say he was not found or he disappeared.
- For the first 80 years of Noah’s life, there were 7 generations before him still alive.
- Noah’s father died about 5 years before the flood but his grandfather, Methuselah, died the year of the flood. (some of this info comes from future chapters)
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into a few more things. Adam had obviously had other children, we have by this time learned about Cain and Abel. We also know from earlier chapters that by the time Cain killed Abel, there were others meaning that Adam and Eve had had many other children after them, long before Seth was born. However, we come to this verse, “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” (v 3). Not until Seth, was there considered a son of “his own likeness, after his image.” Now we all know how DNA works, so it’s doubtful that this is the first son that physically resembled him. So “in his own likeness, after his image” must refer to something much deeper than a physical image.
Seth was considered in the image and likeness of Adam based on his character. Not that he was an exact duplicate of Adam, but he was at least “in his image”. This would mean he would have similar desires, aspirations, goals, etc. It would not mean the exact same, but would certainly mean similar. This is important because this was the only line from Adam that would survive the flood.
You see, Adam was made in the image and likeness of God, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen 1:26) That image and likeness was carried through the line of Seth, down to Noah, and was the only line of Adam to survive the flood. The amount of darkness and corruption that had filled the earth by the time of the flood (future chapters) would have been the result of the other lines of Adam, but not a result of the line of Seth. The image and likeness of Adam (who is the image and likeness of God) had to survive the flood to eventually produce Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus.
Then, whether through an actual blood line or through adoption, you are now part of that line as well. You are in the image and likeness of God. Your image and likeness reflects His image to the world. Through effort, work, faith and prayer… we must continue to improve the mirror with which we reflect that image. We must never forget who we are to reflect.
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