Genealogy of the Patriarchs.
1. book of the generations—(See Ge 11:4).
Adam—used here either as the name of
the first man, or of the human race generally.
5. all the days … Adam lived—The
most striking feature in this catalogue is the longevity of Adam and
his immediate descendants. Ten are enumerated (Ge 5:5-32) in direct succession whose lives far
exceed the ordinary limits with which we are familiar—the
shortest being three hundred sixty-five, [Ge 5:23] and the longest nine hundred sixty-nine
5:27]. It is useless to
inquire whether and what secondary causes may have contributed to this
protracted longevity—vigorous constitutions, the nature of their
diet, the temperature and salubrity of the climate; or,
finally—as this list comprises only the true worshippers of
God—whether their great age might be owing to the better
government of their passions and the quiet, even tenor of their lives.
Since we cannot obtain satisfactory evidence on these points, it is
wise to resolve the fact into the sovereign will of God. We can,
however, trace some of the important uses to which, in the early
economy of Providence, it was subservient. It was the chief means of
reserving a knowledge of God, of the great truths of religion, as well
as the influence of genuine piety. So that, as their knowledge was
obtained by tradition, they would be in a condition to preserve it in
the greatest purity.
21. Enoch … begat Methuselah—This
name signifies, "He dieth, and the sending forth," so that Enoch gave
it as prophetical of the flood. It is computed that Methuselah died in
the year of that catastrophe.
24. And Enoch walked with God—a common
phrase in Eastern countries denoting constant and familiar
was not; for God took him—In Heb 11:5, we are informed that he was
translated to heaven—a mighty miracle, designed to effect what
ordinary means of instruction had failed to accomplish, gave a palpable
proof to an age of almost universal unbelief that the doctrines which
he had taught (Jude 14, 15) were true and that his devotedness to
the cause of God and righteousness in the midst of opposition was
highly pleasing to the mind of God.
26. Lamech—a different person from the
one mentioned in the preceding chapter [Ge 4:18]. Like his namesake, however, he also
spoke in numbers on occasion of the birth of Noah—that is, "rest"
or "comfort" [Ge 5:29,
Margin]. "The allusion is, undoubtedly, to the penal
consequences of the fall in earthly toils and sufferings, and to the
hope of a Deliverer, excited by the promise made to Eve. That this
expectation was founded on a divine communication we infer from the
importance attached to it and the confidence of its expression" [Peter Smith].
32. Noah was five hundred years old: and …
begat—That he and the other patriarchs were advanced in life
before children were born to them is a difficulty accounted for
probably from the circumstance that Moses does not here record their
first-born sons, but only the succession from Adam through Seth to