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On Genesis, Part 7: The Book of the Race of Adam
In our last presentation, The Blooming of Trees, we had seen and discussed the descendants of Cain and some of their characteristics and attitudes, and commented upon how the enemies of Christ had exhibited those same traits, according to Christ Himself in John chapter 8 and elsewhere. However the similarity in characteristics should indeed be expected, as Christ Himself had also informed His adversaries that they were descended from Cain, in Matthew chapter 23 and in Luke chapter 11, and that is something which the historical narrative presented in Scripture and in certain classical histories clearly substantiates. Christ had also attested that the tree is known by its fruit, and therefore we may ascertain that His adversaries were inherently evil due to the nature of their origin. That is the reason which Christ Himself had given for their wickedness, explaining to them that they had naturally behaved in the same manner as their father. This certainly also evokes the old adage, that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
That in turn had also led us to a discussion of the sin of the fallen angels as it is remembered in the Book of Enoch, from the edition of 1 Enoch which was translated from the Ethiopic manuscripts by R. H. Charles. Part of the motivation for that is the fact that in a very short time, Cain’s descendants had taken up some of the same occupations which were ascribed to the sin of the fallen angels, that they had taught men the use of metals and the creation of implements of war. Additionally, it is evident in the context of Genesis chapter 4 that Cain must have obtained a wife from outside, and the only evident source for such a wife would be those same fallen angels. But there I had also explained that we should not accept 1 Enoch itself as canon, because it seems to contain many interpolations and embellishments which have been interspersed with whatever may have been the original text, and even entire books of dubious value were inserted among its chapters. However 1 Enoch does reflect many of the things which are described in the fragments of Enoch literature which were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and by that we may have insight into the state of the wider world in which Adam had been created. As Paul of Tarsus had said in his first epistle to the Corinthians, “now we see through a mirror in riddles”, or as it is in the King James Version, “now we see through a glass darkly”. But even that is not an excuse to close our eyes and act blindly.
So where at the end of Genesis chapter 4 we began to read of the descendants of Adam and met with the statement that in the time of Enos, “he began to call on the name of the Lord God”, or that he hoped to call on the name of Yahweh, as it is in some Septuagint manuscripts, we conjectured that perhaps it was due to the conduct of the Nephilim that Enos had done this. Although it may be difficult to substantiate that conjecture, there must have been a reason for the statement, and we shall indeed see in Genesis chapter 6 that it was the Nephilim who ultimately led the children of Adam into sin once again, for which nearly the entire race was destroyed in a flood. Speaking of the Nephilim, those same passages of 1 Enoch which we had cited, in chapter 9 inform us that “8… they have gone to the daughters of men upon the earth, and have slept with the 9 women, and have defiled themselves, and revealed to them all kinds of sins. And the women have 10 borne giants, and the whole earth has thereby been filled with blood and unrighteousness.” So by that we know that the events which it is describing had indeed precipitated the flood of Noah.
Later on in Genesis we shall encounter the descendants of Cain together with descendants of the Nephilim where they are mentioned again in Genesis chapter 15. But now it must be asserted, that this fifth chapter of Genesis, which begins with the words “this is the book of the race of Adam”, once again proves that Cain is not the son of Adam, since he and his descendants were not included in this book. If Cain was a son of Adam, then one may assert that the passage describing his descendants should have been included here, however it is not. They must have been purposely described in Genesis chapter 4, and purposely omitted here, whereby we may indeed ascertain that Cain is not a descendant of Adam, even though he was a son of Eve.
Thus we begin Genesis chapter 5, and in this first verse we also have a partial recapitulation of the creation of Adam in Genesis chapter 1 which continues in verse 2:
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
The word for generations is a plural form of תולדה or towledah, which Brown, Driver and Briggs in their lexicon define as “generations, especially in genealogies” and further as an “account of a man and his descendants”. In the Septuagint it was translated to a singular form of the word γένεσις, from which we have our English word genesis. According to the Hexapla of Origen, one early translator had represented this plural form of towledah with a plural form of the word γέννημα, a word related to γένεσις which is more appropriately offspring but which was also translated as generation in the King James Version of the Bible.
That also reflects what the word generation had meant to the King James Version translators, as the original meaning of the English word in regard to race has been diluted or even forgotten in modern times. We shall discuss the terms at greater length where the importance of their meanings is even more significant in relation to Genesis chapter 6. Here it may suffice to say that if a generation is an “account of a man and his descendants”, then another man’s descendants are not properly a part of the same generation, and therefore the descendants of Cain are a different generation than those of Adam, in spite of the fact that they had lived at the same time. Today we use the term generation in a manner that has lost that original and more significant portion of its meaning.
For that reason also, if we were to translate this word into modern English today, we would write “this is the book of the race of Adam”, because successive generations of a homogeneous people with a common origin are indeed what we would now call a race, and that is a more accurate depiction of what the original translators of the King James Version had thought of the word generation. The ancient Greeks had used the root words γενεά and γένος in that same manner, to describe a race of descendants from a particular man. It is these same words, γενεά and γένος, from which we have words such as generation and genealogy or genetics in English.
This is the book of the race of Adam: this book is not a book describing any other race but that of Adam. People of other races are mentioned in Scripture, but only when they come into contact with the children of Adam and for that reason, they become the subjects of some of the events described in this book. Yet that does not make them recipients of the promises which had been given explicitly to particular people in this book. After the flood, in Genesis chapter 10, the descendants of Noah are listed, and at that point the historically verifiable portion of Scripture begins, as the nations of those descendants may indeed be identified in history and in archaeology as the early state of the White, or properly, the Adamic race which, in the time of Moses, had inhabited southern Europe, parts of western and central Asia including the Middle and near East, and portions of northern Africa.
Since all of the nations which descended from Adam are recorded in Scripture down to the time of Moses, and since those which can still be identified in history and archaeology are all White, or what may have been called Caucasian or Aryan or by other names in former times, and since they are also the ancient ancestors of the modern White nations, then it is fully evident that the Book of the Race of Adam is a book about the origin of the White race. Therefore if other races of people seek to include themselves in the Biblical narrative or in any of the promises which Yahweh God had made solely to the Adamic people, they are merely attempting to appropriate White identity for themselves. Today that process is called “cultural appropriation”, but usually it is called that only when it is done by wayward White people. When other races appropriate White culture, it is typically ignored.
However Whites cannot be held responsible for the history of the non-White races. They must have had their own creation myths and legends, and they must look to those for their identity and clues about their origins. Whites also cannot be blamed if other races do not share in the promises of God, as Yahweh God did not even distribute His promises equally among the children of Adam. From Genesis chapter 12, the promises of God are narrowed to the descendants of a particular man, Abraham, and then as Genesis continues, for various reasons they are narrowed even further, to Jacob alone.
But neither are other races of men found among the beasts of the Genesis creation accounts, as some commentators have insisted. Throughout Scripture, the words describing those beasts created in Genesis are the same words which are used for common animals, whether they be beasts of burden, the savage beasts, the furry critters or the reptiles. On occasion, some terms describing beasts are employed as pejoratives for men, but that does not mean that other races of men were among the creation of the beasts. Other races of men are not subjects of the creation account, and are mentioned in Scripture only where they come into contact with the sons of Adam, or especially the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who from Genesis chapter 12 forward are the exclusive subjects of Scripture.
As for the other races, those with which the children of Adam, and later, the children of Israel, had not come into contact, they are simply not mentioned. That does not mean that they may be included since they obviously do not belong to the Book of the Race of Adam. However in Genesis chapter 6 we have the Nephilim, or so-called giants, which seem to represent a fallen society which had preceded Adam. That society is what had been described in the opening chapters of Genesis as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which Adam had been forbidden. Then later, in Genesis chapters 14 and 15, there are several other tribes or races mentioned in addition to the Nephilim, which evidently also did not descend from Adam. Regardless of their precise origin, all of these races were accounted as being accursed in Scripture, and the children of Israel were commanded to eliminate them all. Because the children of Israel had failed, many of their descendants are still living in this world today. But that does not mean that the curse is removed, or that their destiny may change, as Yahshua Christ Himself has promised that in the end, they certainly shall all be destroyed. It behooves the modern White Christian to study this issue and to bring his own associations into compliance with the words of Christ.
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
We would assert that the recapitulation which is found in these first two verses forms an example of a Hebrew parallelism. As we had also explained earlier in this commentary, it is evident that the Genesis chapter 1 creation account was originally a separate scroll from that of Genesis chapter 2, which actually begins in verse 4 of chapter 2 and runs through the end of chapter 4. Now this is also a separate book, or scroll, from those which had preceded. First, a general account of the creation of Yahweh God was outlined in chapter 1, through verse 3 of chapter 2. Then a portion of that account was recapitulated in chapter 2, from verse 4, and the creation of Adam and Eve was explained in greater detail, as well as their subsequent fall from grace. Now in this third creation account, it is made evident how the plurality of the race was created, through the act of procreation on the part of the first couple. In Genesis 1:26 there is a plural verb referring to man where it says “let them have dominion”, and then at the end of Genesis 1:27 we read “male and female he created them”, where the Hebrew pronoun for them is also plural and therefore the text certainly suggests a plurality of both men and women. But that plurality does not exist until the fulfillment of the expressed desire that they “be fruitful and multiply” which is found in Genesis 1:28.
In Genesis chapter 1 we see that the collective Adam was created to have dominion over the earth and everything in it, and in chapter 2 we see that the single Adam was created, and then the woman was created as both a helper and as a viable mate for the man. In their first act of sin, we should also see that the plurality of men and women already implied in chapter 1 would come into actual existence through the act of procreation on the part of that first couple. So finally, this account is also a subsequent creation account and Genesis chapter 1 is invoked so that we may see how that plurality of men and women were created. Genesis chapter 1 expresses the desire of Yahweh God for man to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [or fill] the earth, and subdue it”, and Genesis chapter 5 portrays the beginning of the fulfillment of that desire.
Yet when these three creation accounts are all read together, they also become parallelisms. These are certainly not three separate creations. A recapitulation is merely a summary of something which was already stated. But a Hebrew parallelism is the telling of something a second time and in a somewhat different way, which provides consecutive descriptions of the same event or phenomenon with different language or from different perspectives, so that what is being transmitted may be better understood by the reader or listener.
Genesis chapter 1 presents a limited description of the Adamic man, and states the purpose for which he was created. Genesis chapter 2 recapitulates some of what had been described in chapter 1, but in some important aspects it has a more detailed description of his creation, which includes the creation of the woman and a statement of her purpose, before chapter 3 recounts the fall of man in their sin. Then their sin and their subsequent punishment also explains the circumstances of man as he is found in chapters 5 and 6. So Genesis chapter 5 also recapitulates some of what had already been described in each of the first two accounts, before it proceeds to make an account of the subsequent generations, which is its stated purpose in the opening verse of the chapter. By this we must know that all three accounts are describing aspects of the same creation event, while each of the later two add more detailed information which serves to prepare the reader with an understanding of what was to come, which is the subsequent history of the race in the dire predicament of its fallen state of being.
The first man Adam had been placed in the garden among the Nephilim, and immediately fell into their same trap, but Adam is distinct from the others since he was made in the likeness and image of God, which is His eternal spirit, and therefore he has been given a promise to be saved out of that trap. For that we read in chapter 2 of the Wisdom of Solomon: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.”
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
As the first two verses of this chapter recapitulate the creation of man in Genesis chapter 1, this verse has recapitulated the birth of Seth which was described at the end of Genesis chapter 4. By this we know that the account here references one and the same creation as that in Genesis chapter 1, and also that in Genesis chapters 2 through 4. These are not three separate creations, but one creation, different aspects of which are described three times. By this we have a full assurance, that the man created in Genesis chapter 1 is the same man described as being fruitful and multiplying here in Genesis chapter 5. The Hebrew word אדם or adam, in all of the grammatical forms in which it appears in these five chapters, appears in those same grammatical forms throughout Scripture to describe various members of the race of his descendants, but it does not describe any of the other races.
So, as a digression, this phenomenon of recapitulation exposes the faults of some men of the past, especially men who were supposed Christian Identity teachers or pastors, who have insisted that the man of Genesis chapter 1 is somehow a different race of man from that of Genesis chapter 2. If that is the case, then here in Genesis chapter 5 we must have the creation of a third race of man, and all of them are called adam, by which it seems that Yahweh God cannot do it right the first time. Then here, this Seth must also be a different Seth than the Seth mentioned in chapter 4, and it is becoming apparent that God may be an utter failure, as those certain men interpret His Word. However if these are indeed recapitulations, then we must acknowledge that God is true, and that He does not fail, but all those who preach a so-called “eighth day creation” they are indeed failures. As we read in Exodus chapter 20: “11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Nowhere is there any mention of an eighth day, and in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4, Paul of Tarsus explained that Yahweh God continues in the period of His rest, into which He has invited His children.
Where we have already encountered Seth in the closing verses of Genesis chapter 4, we explained that his name means set, placed, or appointed, as he would have then been placed into the position of the firstborn son of Adam “instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: 5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
There are many commentators, especially in recent times, who insist that the patriarchs really did not live so long as the texts state that they had lived, and they assert that these patriarchs actually represent so-called “patriarchal ages”. But the first man Adam is described in the narrative, and later by the apostles of Christ, as a single living man, and not as some collection of successive individuals sharing the same name, in spite of the fact that the entire race as a collective takes its name from Adam. Then Seth is also described as a single living man, especially in Genesis chapter 4 where Eve had declared that he was a replacement for Abel, and later, Enos, Enoch, and especially Noah are all described or addressed as single living men. So in spite of the long lifespans, all of these patriarchs are individuals, and not collections which span many otherwise unmentioned generations. The modern interpretations which repeat such claims are all mere sophistry.
In several ancient Sumerian inscriptions there are legends dating to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, which are known as The Sumerian Kings’ List and The Sargon Chronicle. The latter is not a reference to the Assyrian king Sargon II who lived in the 8th century BC and who is mentioned in Scripture, but rather to a much earlier Sumerian king called Sargon of Akkad, who apparently ruled in the 24th and 23rd centuries BC . The list of Sumerian kings includes several early kings who lived for an extraordinarily long time even by Biblical standards. According to the inscriptions, the first eight kings on the list were said to have ruled over five cities in Mesopotamia for a total of 241,000 years, at the end of which period there was said to have been a great flood. After the flood, Sumerian kings lived much shorter lifespans, and the durations of their rule are recorded as having become shorter as time had progressed, from as long as 1,200 years down to as few as 140 years . So the trend which is evident in the records of ancient Sumer seems to have followed the same pattern which is attested in Scripture, even if the spans themselves were recorded as having been far greater, by which the fantastic lifespans here in Genesis almost seem reasonable.
But the truth is that even in modern times, we are ignorant of how our bodies can function under various environmental conditions, because our experience is limited, so we cannot justly doubt that men may have lived much longer lifespans in the antediluvian world, which began to shorten after the flood and as time progressed. As we read in Genesis chapter 2, “5… for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth… 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Then we first read of rain in Genesis chapter 7, where it may be apparent that the region underwent ecological changes precipitated by the flood of Noah, and under the new conditions the lifespans of men had gradually shortened. This may also be perceived as conjecture, but it is in some degree supported in those passages.
[1 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Related to the Old Testament 3rd edition, hereinafter ANET, James Pritchard, editor, 1969, Harvard University Press, p. 265.]
However there is also another issue regarding lifespans in this and later chapters of Genesis, which is quite important in regard to our perception of both secular and Biblical history, and our ability to reconcile Scripture with history. The lifespans of the Adamic patriarchs as they appear in the Masoretic Text, and especially the portions of their lives which had been lived before they had their first sons, are much shorter than those which appear in the Septuagint, and the shorter spans cause the calculation of the date of the flood of Noah to differ by about 900 years, and an overall difference up to the time of Abraham of nearly 1,400 years. The difference in the date of the flood causes many contradictions and much confusion when comparing secular and Biblical history. But here, in both the text of the Septuagint and in Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Judaeans, Book 1 [1:67], Adam lived for 930 years but he begot Seth when he was 230, and not 130 years old. The differences in Hebrew manuscripts are already apparent by the 3rd century, as they are also attested in the Hexapla of Origin in diverse places in the text of this chapter.
According to the Septuagint chronology, which is much more reconcilable with secular history, we shall refer to the year in which Seth was born as year 230 of the race of Adam.
6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: 7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
How long Seth or the other antediluvian patriarchs had lived is immaterial to a measure of chronology, but the ages at which they had their sons are important to its determination. In the Septuagint, as in Josephus’ Antiquities [1:83], Seth was 205 years old when he begot Enos, and afterwards he had lived for 707 years. Here in Antiquities, which was written around the end of the 1st century AD, Josephus also makes an expression which is supported by the apostle Peter where in his second epistle he had referred to Noah as the “eighth preacher of righteousness”. Josephus states that when Enos “had lived nine hundred and twelve years, [he] delivered the government to Cainan his son”, and this supports our assertions concerning what Peter had meant by “preacher of righteousness” as being the office of the eldest first-born male, which was held until it passed on to his son upon his death. This language persists throughout the portion of Antiquities which discusses this chapter.
Where we had first encountered Enos in Genesis chapter 4, we had already explained the meaning of Enos as it is the Hebrew word enosh, which describes a mortal man without any connotation of race. The word adam describes only one race, which are the descendants of Adam who remain unmixed with other races. We shall see a proof of that assertion in Genesis chapter 6.
According to the Septuagint chronology, we shall refer to the year in which Enos was born as year 435 of the race of Adam.
9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan: 10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: 11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
The Hebrew word for Cainan, קינן or qenan, is related to the same word which gives us the name Cain, and it means possession, as Eve when she had Cain had declared that she had “gotten a man”, relating it to this word even if its primary meaning is smith.
In the Septuagint, as in Josephus’ Antiquities [1:84], Enos was 190 years old when his son Cainan was born. Adding that to the 435 years, Cainan was born 625 years from the creation of Adam.
12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel: 13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters: 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
The Hebrew name מהללאל or Mahalaleel is said to mean praise of God. In the Septuagint, as in Josephus’ Antiquities [1:84], Cainan was 170 years old when his son Mahalaleel was born. Adding that to the 625 years, Mahalaleel was born 795 years from the creation of Adam.
15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared: 16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters: 17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
The Hebrew name ירד or Jared means descent, as in going downward (Strong’s #’s 3381, 3382). Gesenius explains that this term was also used to describe rivers, hence the name Jordan for the river in Palestine .
In the Septuagint, as in Josephus’ Antiquities [1:84], Mahalaleel was 165 years old when his son Jared was born. Adding that to the 795 years, Jared was born 960 years from the creation of Adam. At this point, there is already a discrepancy between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Texts of exactly 500 years, and the Septuagint version is supported by Flavius Josephus. The relevant passages in this chapter are wanting in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However we have already discussed the fact that Josephus, the Hexapla, and other sources including the Dead Sea Scrolls all betray the fact that there were differences among the Hebrew manuscripts extant as early as the 1st century AD.
Here the differences themselves are rather systematic. In each of the lives of the patriarchs, any years which were subtracted from the age when the first son was born were added to the length of time that was lived after the birth of the son, so that the total number of years lived remained the same. Therefore, for example, where Mahalaleel was 65 years old when Jared was born, and lived for another 830 years after that, in the Septuagint and in Josephus he was 165 years old when Jared was born, and lived for 730 years after, so the total years lived is the same. These systematic differences in the ages discounts any possibility of innocent scribal error, and reveals a purposeful act of deceit among the early rabbis which was most likely perpetrated some time after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. By the time when Jerome began to translate the Latin Vulgate in Alexandria in the late 4th century AD [circa 390 to 405 AD], the texts which he employed were already in agreement with what we see here from the Masoretic Text.
18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: 19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
Here as well as in the Septuagint and Josephus’ Antiquities [1:85], Jared was 162 years old when his son Enoch was born. Adding that to the 960 years, Enoch is born 1,122 years from the creation of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text remains at 500 years.
So the age of Jared when he had his son Enoch is the same in all three of our sources. But this also helps to betray the fact that the ages were purposefully changed in the Masoretic Text wherever they differ from the Septuagint and Josephus. That is because according to the Masoretic Text, Adam had his son Seth at age 130, Seth had his first son at 105, Enos at 90, Cainan at 70, Mahalaleel at 65, and Jared’s son Enoch also had his first son at the rather young age of 65, but Jared himself did not have a son until he was 162 year old, even older than Adam! But neither was the age of Methusaleh changed, and others of the remaining antediluvian patriarchs have somewhat smaller differences.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
In the Septuagint, as in Josephus’ Antiquities [1:84], Enoch was 165 years old when his son Methusaleh was born. Adding that to the 1,122 years, Methusaleh was born 1,287 years from the creation of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text is now 600 years.
The name חנוך or Chanowk commonly spelled as Enoch means initiated, according to both Strong’s (# 2585) and Gesenius. In his one brief epistle, the apostle Jude described Enoch as having been “seventh from Adam”, where we read: “14 And Enoch, seventh from Adam, prophesied to these saying ‘Behold, the Prince has come with ten thousands of His saints 15 to execute judgment against all and to convict every soul for all of their impious deeds which they committed impiously and for all of the harsh things which the impious sinners have spoken against Him!’” Jude proceeded by explaining that those impious sinners were among the Christians of his own time where he wrote: “16 These are grumbling murmurers going in accordance with their own lusts, and their mouths speak excesses, admiring appearances for the sake of advantage. 17 But you, beloved, must be mindful of the words spoken beforehand by the ambassadors of our Prince Yahshua Christ, 18 that they said to you that at the end of time there shall be scoffers going in accordance with their own lusts for impious things. 19 These are those making divisions, animals, not having the Spirit.” There the word translated as animals was also used as a pejorative.
But we also should examine how Jude referred to Enoch as “seventh from Adam”, since if we enumerate his line of descent, he is only the sixth firstborn son from Adam. Where he wrote “from Adam”, we do not count Adam himself, but Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared and then Enoch, which is six. So in order to make Enoch seventh, we must include either Cain, who is supposed to have been firstborn of Adam, or Abel, for whom Seth was a replacement and who was the actual firstborn son of Adam. Cain is excluded from the “book of the generations of Adam” even though he was still living when Seth was born, and Eve had declared that Seth was a replacement for Abel, not for the excluded Cain. So Jude must have been counting Abel in the line of firstborn sons as well as Seth his replacement, and Seth having taken the place of Abel, only in that manner can Enoch correctly be called the “seventh from Adam” so that is what Jude must have meant. This once again demonstrates the fact that Cain was never counted in the line of Adam.
As we have also explained, where in 2 Peter chapter 2 the apostle had described Noah as the “eighth preacher of righteous”, Noah was the tenth patriarch including Adam, but not Abel because Abel was never the eldest living of the firstborn, not having survived Adam his father. But neither did Enoch survive his father, having been taken by Yahweh before the passing of Jared. Likewise, Methusaleh had outlived his son Lamech. So Noah was the “eighth preacher of righteous” because he was the eighth man including Adam who had been the eldest living in the line of the firstborn.
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
The manner in which Enoch had “walked with God” is described by Paul of Tarsus in Hebrews chapter 11 where he wrote: “5 By faith Enoch was translated, not to see death, and was not found because Yahweh translated him; for before the translation he was accredited to be well pleasing to Yahweh. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please. Indeed it is necessary for one approaching Yahweh to believe that He is, and for those seeking Him, He becomes a rewarder.”
The word μετατίθημι, translate here, is primarily to place with or place differently, according to Liddell & Scott, and therefore here we may see that Enoch was placed with God. It is also transpose, transfer or change the place of, among other things in various different contexts. Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint has verse 22 to read “And Enoch was well-pleasing to God after his begetting Mathusala, two hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters.” The same word μετατίθημι was used in the Septuagint to translate the phrase in verse 24 where it says “God took him” here in the King James Version.
25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
Like Jared, the age of Methusaleh when he had his firstborn son was not changed, and the Masoretic Text agrees here with both the Septuagint and Josephus’ Antiquities [1:86]. If the Masoretic Text were correct, Methusaleh may have been the oldest man of the line of Adam to ever sire a son (in the Septuagint, Lamech sired Noah at 188 years of age). However we have argued that this is also an anomaly, and helps serve to prove that the ages of the patriarchs as they sired their sons certainly were changed in the Masoretic Text. Adding the 187 years of the age of Methusaleh to his own birth in the 1,287th year of Adam, Lamech is born 1,474 years from the creation of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text remains at 600 years.
The name מתושלח, Methushalech or Methusaleh, is said by both Strong’s (# 4968) and Gesenius to mean man of a dart, although the word מת or math interpreted as man in the name is never used in the singular to describe a man in the Hebrew Scriptures, as Gesenius admits . Rather, Strong’s defines math (# 4962) as an adult, so we would consider man of the dart to be a colloquial translation rather than a precise translation. The Greek word μάθησις or learning seems to be related to this Hebrew word, as an adult may be expected to be learned.
Here we must conjecture once again, that if his father Enoch was commended for having kept the testimony of Yahweh God, and Methusaleh was called a man of the dart, it seems that perhaps he took up the cause of maintaining the testimony of God by that means. In any event, he was rewarded a long life, and even outlived his own son Lamech.
27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
Here it is explained that Methusaleh had lived for 782 years after Lamech was born, which is also the number given in our other sources. But in verse 31 we find that Lamech himself had lived for only 777 years, where it is evident that Methusaleh had outlived his own son by five years, and therefore like Enoch, neither could Lamech have been reckoned among the enumeration of the preachers of righteousness by Peter in chapter 2 of his second epistle. But according to the Septuagint, Lamech had only lived 753 years, so Methusaleh would have outlived him by twenty-nine years rather than by five. In any event, Noah was tenth of the eldest firstborn in the line of Adam, but he was the eighth preacher of righteousness according to the apostle, and according to the records of the ages of the patriarchs here in Genesis chapter 5, because he was the 8th of the line who had served as the eldest living in the line of firstborn males.
28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.
In the Septuagint Lamech was 188 years old when his son Methusaleh was born, and not 182. But here there is a complication, as Josephus’ Antiquities agrees with the 182 years of the Masoretic Text [1:87]. Here our reckoning is following the Septuagint, and adding 188 to the 1,474 years, Noah was born 1,662 years from the creation of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text is now 606 years.
The name Lamech is from the Hebrew word למך or lamek, which, as we had explained where it also belonged to one of Cain’s descendants in Genesis chapter 4, is ambiguous in meaning and cannot be properly defined. So in our commentary for Genesis 4:18 we wrote in part: “the name Lamech is said by Strong to be ‘of uncertain meaning’, and we must agree since the definition offered by Gesenius turns to Arabic in order to deduce a meaning, and his offering, in our opinion, is barely acceptable, where he claims that the unused root word means to taste, and asserts that it therefore designates a ‘strong young man’. ” Newer editions of Strong’s Concordance claim that the word means powerful, while offering no substantiation for the definition. The entry for the word in the Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew lexicon supplied with Bibleworks software says in part only that it is “conjectured as to meaning” and does not offer a definition.
Yahweh had cursed the ground where He told Adam, as it is recorded in Genesis chapter 3, that “17 … 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; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 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.”
Here Lamech seems to hope only for comfort “concerning our work and toil of our hands”, and not for relief from the work itself, which once again seems to indicate that the true meaning of the curse is deeper than the plain surface meaning of the words, and perhaps it relates to the inevitable struggle with the adversaries of God which are evident in the words which Yahweh had spoken to the serpent a little earlier in Genesis where He said “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed”. Later in Scripture, in the books of Numbers (33:55), Joshua (23:13) and Judges (2:3), the mixed races of Canaan are described as thorns and pricks, and the enemies of Christ are described as thorns and thistles in the Gospel, so perhaps that reveals as underlying, allegorical meaning of this curse.
30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: 31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
As we have already stated, Lamech was outlived by his father Methusaleh by five years, if we follow the Masoretic Text, or by twenty-nine years, if we follow the Septuagint because in that text he only lived to be 753 years old rather than 777. But as we explained, the ages of the patriarchs when they had their firstborn sons is more relevant to the calculation of chronology than the total number of years which they each had lived.
32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Septuagint agrees with the Masoretic Text, that Noah was 500 years old when he began to have sons. In Josephus’ Antiquities [1:109], he counts Shem as “the third son of Noah”, rather than the first which is indicated in the text here. But it is evident that Shem was not the first, and that Josephus is correct, where in Genesis chapter 10 (10:21) Shem is referred to as “the brother of Japheth the elder”. So the order of Noah’s sons in Genesis chapter 10 is very likely also the order of their birth, although Shem is favored here. Most likely, Shem is listed first here because the chosen line from Abraham through Jacob Israel would later come from him.
The name Noah is from the Hebrew word נח or nach, which means rest, and expresses the desire for comfort which Lamech had sought when he named him. The fact that the apostles of Christ transliterated the name into Greek as Νῶε, with a soft ending and in the same manner as the Septuagint translators, in my opinion indicates scribal confusion between the hard ח or ‘ch’ character and the soft ה or ‘h’ character, and while this is a simple example it is not the only such example.
According to the Septuagint, Lamech would live until the 565th year of the life of Noah, so he would have died when Japheth was 65 years old, and Methusaleh would have lived 29 years beyond that, to the time when Noah was 595, and Japheth 94 years old. Adding these 500 years to the 1,662nd year of Adam in which Noah was born, Japheth was born 2,162 years from the creation of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text remains at 606 years. It is not certain if Ham and Shem were also born at the same time, which is unlikely, or if Noah had sired them within reasonable proximity of his firstborn son, which is much more certain.
As we shall see in Genesis chapter 6, the flood was at least 120 years from the time when Yahweh God is depicted as having grieved over the sins of men, and some time after that, Noah was called to build the ark. According to Genesis chapter 9 (9:28-29), Noah lived for 350 years after the flood, and for a total of 950 years, so the flood must have come in the 600th year of his life. Therefore the 120 years of Genesis 6:3 are partly concurrent with the portion of the life of Noah before Japheth and his other sons were born, and they were all relatively young, no older than 100 years, when the flood had come.
It is ascertained in Genesis chapter 11 that Japheth, Ham and Shem were all born in close proximity to one another, where we read “10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood.” So Shem was born approximately two years after Japheth, who was born 100 years before the flood. With that the Septuagint agrees, and according to our chronology, adding 102 years to the 2,162nd year of Adam in which Japheth was born, Arphaxad was born in the 2264th year of Adam, and the discrepancy with the Masoretic Text still remains at 606 years. We shall resume this chronology when we reach that point in our commentary, Yahweh willing, in the weeks and months to come.
But the end of Genesis chapter 5 is not the end of the Book of the Race Adam, and unlike the first two divisions which we had identified in Genesis, at chapter 2 verse 4 and chapter 5 verse 1, the end of the Book of the Race of Adam is not so certain. Perhaps Moses, when he wrote the original copies, began a new scroll at the end of what we now know as chapter 10, or perhaps he intended a continuous narrative through the end of chapter 50. It truly does not matter, since the foundation of the plan of Yahweh God for the Adamic man is already laid here, and anything which men may add to it is only a lie, and shall not stand in the end. Man is not going to force his own will upon God, and right up through the Revelation, Adam is distinguished from all other races, which are only branches on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and they are all destined for the Lake of Fire.
When we resume with Genesis chapter 6, it shall become evident that while the name Noah is from a word which means rest, the patriarch could not have had much rest for himself.
For charts illustrating the differences in the Masoretic and Septuagint chronologies, see Clifton Emahiser’s article Patriarchal Chronology.
[2 Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, translated by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Baker Books, 1979, p. 365; 3 ibid., p. 521.]