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Genesis Framework Part 50


Genesis Framework Pt 50



Genesis Framework


GF 50 Genesis 5
August 21, 2016
Part 50


NKJ Genesis 5:1-32

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived 130 years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were 800 years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were 930 years; and he died. Seth lived 105 years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived 807 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were 912 years; and he died. Enosh lived 90 years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived 815 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were 905 years; and he died. Cainan lived 70 years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived 840 years, and had sons and daughters.
So all the days of Cainan were 910 years; and he died. Mahalalel lived 65 years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years; and he died. Jared lived 162 years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived 800 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were 962 years; and he died.
Enoch lived 65 years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were 365 years.And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Methuselah lived 187 years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were 969 years; and he died. Lamech lived 182 years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying,"This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed." After he begot Noah, Lamech lived 595 years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were 777 years; and he died. And Noah was 500 years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

For most of Genesis chapter 4, we read of sin and its escalation in the apostate line of Cain that develops throughout the entire pre-Flood age. At the very end of Chapter 4 we discover a transition into chapter 5 that is descriptive of the line of Seth, an entirely different kind of people than from the likes of Cain… the line of his brother Seth. It is a comparison of sharp contrast.

Whereas the genealogy of Cain is a dynamic list of royal tyrants; the genealogy of Seth features a series of priestly patriarchs in the continuing community of God’s covenant people.

NKJ Genesis 4:26
And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.

The immediate implication of the statement that “men began to call out, upon the name of Yahweh,” is that those people were building altars which served as focal points of gathering in order to participate in worship, prayer and supplication, witness, and fellowship.

The implicitly expressed altar-focus of the Sethites would have contributed to the identification of them with the name of Yahweh, a practice which would have been carried through, the same practice we found to exist in our earlier reading of chapter 4.

Genesis 4:3
And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD.

Genesis 4:4
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering,

The altar-focus only becomes an explicit expression in Scriptures again in the life of Noah, at the end of the line of Seth.

For example…

Genesis 8:20
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

So, the construction of an altar of the Lord and renewal of the cult of the Lord was Noah’s immediate concern after the flood had subsided, when he and his family had disembarked the ark.

By including the genealogy of Shem (Gen. 11.10) in our investigation, we are safe in concluding that with the commencement of the post-Flood community throughout the line of Shem, an altar-centric continuity was a prominent identifying feature, which extended through the
pre-Flood covenant communities in the line of Seth.

The point I am trying to make is that, the idea of calling on the name of the Lord is quite relevant to the idea of altars and the installation of them; and this is a relationship we see repeated throughout pre-Israel portions of the Old Testament, including the Book of Job.

Genesis 21:33

Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God (on the name of Yahweh El Olam). It is also relevant that the sites selected by the Lord for His altars are referred to as the places where He puts His
name or makes His name to dwell, or as the place He designates for the memorializing of His name.

So, I think we are safe in concluding that Genesis 4.26 properly characterizes the Sethites as the bearers of the name of Yahweh, and it may be understood that the indication of the altar of the Lord took a prominent place among them as a community.

We could also safely say that altars among the Sethites attested to them as a special community, constituting them as a priestly fellowship, a cultic congregation, so that participation in the altar was at once identifiable with the idea of membership in the covenant family.

In saying this, I do not mean to imply that only the Sethites were included in the covenant family, rather to say that in the covenant line of Seth the covenant family flourished among them.

Or perhaps put in another way, the pre-Flood altar-communities of Genesis 5 resembled the church of the new covenant (which is organized without having an earthly altar) more than they resembled theocratic Israel organized around a visible altar.

There is nothing to suggest that at this time the Lord made a special covenant with any specific nation comparable to the Mosaic Covenant with Israel, where God defined and claimed a particular domain as His holy kingdom.

In addition, the altars raised up among God’s covenant people were countered everywhere by idol-altars erected by other groups.

In instances whenever such a group was a common-grace political state, its altar was dedicated to its national god, effectively making it a counterfeit theocracy.

Neither do we have any reason to suppose that the church-of-the-altar was given a great commission to send it outward to the ends of the earth.

So, there was no dynamic missionary element to it.

All their cultural activity of good works would have been done as a common-grace service rendered as unto God, and dedicated to the glory of God.

The worship of the true God would also have been preserved here and there even within some of the non-Sethite branch lines of Cain.

But by the time of the last stages of pre-Flood times, the covenant family tree was reduced to this line that led from Seth to Noah.

Keep in mind that the presence of the altar in a given pre-Flood nation would not have imparted a theocratic identity to it, as did the altar in Israel, and neither would its presence have laid claim to a specific temporal domain in a theocratic sense.

Now we enter into another section; namely, Genesis 5.1-6.8, basically covering the whole era from creation to the great Flood, but from the viewpoint of the covenant line tracing from Adam’s son Seth down to Noah.

It is essentially a recap of the period of the old world from the perspective of genealogy, down to Noah and the generation of the Flood.

Then at the beginning of chapter 6, just before narrating the judgment of the old world, the author reverts to the climatic development in the city of man that provoked the wrath of God and brought down the devastating Flood.

The central theme of chapter 5 is the history of the covenant line descending from Seth. Seth as you recall, was the divine replacement for the martyred Abel.

Both this genealogy of Seth in Genesis 5, and that of Shem in chapter 11, must be understood as a selective listing of the more significant (we presume) names, which allows for lengthy gaps here and there between the individuals listed.

Such a practice of summary-genealogy was not unusual within the idiom of the genealogical genre.

Another factor often overlooked, that signals a clue that within this idiom there was also a signature method, is the use of symmetrical form and patterning of numbers.

In these two instances of genealogical listing, of Seth and Shem, 10 names each appear, with 3 sons from the last individual in each case.

Genesis 5, from Adam                        Genesis 11, from Noah
Genealogy of Seth:                              Genealogy of Shem:

1 Seth                                                       1 Shem

2 Enosh                                                    2 Arphaxad

3 Cainan                                                  3 Salah

4 Mahalalel                                              4 Eber

5 Jared                                                    5 Peleg

6 Enoch                                                    6 Reu

7 Methuselah                                           7 Serug

8 Lamech                                                 8 Nahor

9 Noah                                                       9 Terah

10 Shem, Ham, and Japheth               10 Abram Nahor Haran

Once again, let’s look briefly at the notion of parental naming of children, because I think the message from last week may have roused some unanswered questions in our minds.

NKJ Genesis 4:18
To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.

NKJ Genesis 5:25
Methuselah lived 187 years, and begot Lamech.

NKJ Genesis 4:25
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed."

NKJ Genesis 5:29
And he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground
which the LORD has cursed."

What I think is important for us to remember with regard to the covenant family of God is that unless God directly charges the parent to give a child a particular name; generally, name assignments to children are interpreted by the parents in terms of their understanding of the covenantal relationship with its promises and hopes.

Parents of children in a common grace relationship with God likewise generally interpret name assignments based on some element of hope, even if that hope is a vain one or simply prompted by a desire to be unique and outstanding, or at least different from most others.

Are the names parents give their children inspired or uninspired?

Who can say?

What we can say is that, the name assignments among the Sethites are certainly indicative of an outlook of faith that characterized the godly Sethites in contrast to the rebellious bent of the Cainites.

What did you think the first time, when you came upon the name Lamech again while reading off the line of Seth?

Be honest.

You either think you remembered it wrong… …or there’s been a mistake.

What appears to be happening in truth is that, the text is actually inviting the reader to make a comparison of the two Lamechs by associating both of them with the number 7.

How is that?

Cainite Lamech boasts of vengeance 70-fold, while Sethite Lamech’s life-span is 777 years.

Since the Sethite line was responsible to continue the covenant tradition with whatever oracles of God may have embedded in them, in the naming episodes we should not be surprised if we were to find names corresponding to a familiarity to those oracles; call it oral tradition if you like.

As yet, not having investigated the meaning of these Sethite names I am ill prepared to say more at this time; but maybe I will look into it.

What I can say is this:

There were only two in the Sethite line who definitely performed a prophetic office; Enoch and Noah. Both, according to the New Testament, engaged in a prophetic mission of witness and warning.

In the Book of Jude, Enoch is reported to have prophesied of the coming judgment of God against blasphemous sinners.

NKJ Jude 1:14-15
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly away, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

NKJ Hebrews 11:5
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Noah, according to Peter’s second epistle, was a herald of righteousness to his rebellious and doomed generation.

NKJ 2 Peter 2:5
and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

NKJ Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

NKJ 1 Peter 3:20
who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

The covenant people of God even today are always to be concerned about witness and warning of the judgment to come upon those who habitually reject the gracious offer of the Lord for eternal salvation in Christ!

Many will be surprised on the Day of Judgment when they discover that it was just as the Word of God says; only the righteousness of Christ is able to save you.All men are sinners and no one can save himself. God is just, so He must punish sin; but He is also merciful, moreover gracious, and offers His Son as the perfect sacrifice in order to purchase a place for you in heaven, which He offers to you as the free gift of eternal life. As we continue to examine man’s earliest duties with regard to the covenant of works, although they can be categorically divided into two distinct types of classes; one in relationship with God, and the other in relationship with fellow man, all covenant stipulations are expressions of the will of the Lord. The law of the covenant is the law of man’s image-sonship.

Jesus is God Incarnate

In order to pay the debt of our sins, He came from Heaven, having been sent by the Father, where He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father even unto the shameful death upon the cross in order to pay the debt of your sins.This gift must be received by faith, believing that Jesus’ perfect life and Cross Work was His complete and necessary Atonement for your sins, in your behalf.Faith is a gift that comes by the Power of God the Holy Spirit working in a person’s innermost being. The Holy Spirit has the authority and power to quicken your dead spirit, to make it come to life. If you have not done so before this moment, ask Jesus to forgive you your sins, tell Him you’ve stop trying to be your own savior, and ask Him to come into your life right now, and to give you eternal life. Then, in faith believing, thank Him for the gift that He is giving you, the one He paid for in full in your place, in Jesus’ name,AMEN


Copyright August, 2016
Rev. Jim Craig
All Rights Reserved

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