Genesis 5: The Long Line of Long Lives

Genesis 5 was the first of what will inevitably be MANY lists I study. Luckily it wasn’t that long. Bring it, Numbers! And since it isn’t a narrative like the ones I have studied so far, I had to approach it a little differently. This was a chance to flex my left-brain muscles.

We have a list of 10 generations: From Adam to Noah. We are told how old each man was when they had their first(?) son, how much longer they lived, that they had other sons and daughters, the total amount of years they lived, and that they died*.

*Notable exception for Enoch

I was told once that when you study a list in the Bible, you need to pay attention to what things people record. It shows what they value and what is worth remembering. So I guess they value lineage and accurate records of how long people lived. Speaking of which . . .

Hey! Old Guys!

If you can name the movie that one is from you will get a dollar.

So every single one of these men (and many after them) are said to have lived a really long time. Every one lives at least 750 years*.

*Notable exception for Enoch (He lives 365 years. A year of years?)

So my question is, if the people who wrote this down knew that regular people didn’t live that long, why are the ages so specific? Why aren’t we just told that Methuselah live a long life? Why do we have to know that he was 969 years old? I don’t know. Another thing that makes me think they just wrote what they heard and didn’t feel the liberty to gloss over what they didn’t understand or what they thought was weird.

Nerd Alert!

I had this crazy thought that I could make a chart that kept track of how old everyone was when everyone else was born. How many generations were alive at the same time? Well, here is my chart. I spent a long time on this so I hope all the math is right.

Genesis 5: In chart form for all you SJs out there.

Fun Facts:

  • At the peak, there are 9 generations alive at the same time. I am pretty sure only rabbits are capable of that.
  • Adam is the first to go. Enoch follows him but doesn’t actually die. That is weird.
  • Methuselah out lives his son by the slim margin of five years.
  • Two names: Enosh and Lamech, we have seen before in Genesis 4.

You Call That Relief?

Noah is the only character to have a prophecy said about him. And it is a strange one. His father, Lamech (the same name of the guy who spoke in the last chapter. Hmmm), says he will give everyone relief from their toil.

Now, I know that sounds good on paper. But I have this funny feeling that in the next few days I will see just how ironic that prophecy was.

Ok, no real deep insights today. Though if you want you can check out my further thoughts on Cain and God from yesterday at my other blog.


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