Genesis 4:17 – 5:32

I sometimes get a fish tank full of clear water at a camp and put it up in front of the campers.  I take a little ink and drop it into the clear water.  The campers can then see how the ink spreads and fills all the water.  This is what we read about the spread of sin in these passages.  Although people may live long, their lives still end in death.  Although people may create all kinds of technological marvels, they still kill and are consumed with envy and rage.  Do you see in your life both forces for good and for evil?  How can you escape the pattern of sin and death as Enoch did?

Genesis 4

17 Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

 19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of <SUP class=footnote value='[a]’>[a] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

 23 Lamech said to his wives,
       “Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
       wives of Lamech, hear my words.
       I have killed <SUP class=footnote value='[b]’>[b] a man for wounding me,
       a young man for injuring me.

 24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
       then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

 25 Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, <SUP class=footnote value='[c]’>[c] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.
      At that time men began to call on <SUP class=footnote value='[d]’>[d] the name of the LORD.

Genesis 5

From Adam to Noah

 1 This is the written account of Adam’s line.
      When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man. <SUP class=footnote value='[e]’>[e] ”

 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

 6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father <SUP class=footnote value='[f]’>[f] of Enosh. 7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

 9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.

 12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.

 15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.

 18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.

 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

 25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah <SUP class=footnote value='[g]’>[g] and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.

 32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Questions:

  1. Which two sons of Adam are the focus here?
  2. What terrible act does the seventh descendent of Enoch commit?
  3. How does the seventh descendent of Seth live?
  4. What is the repeated line describing the fate of mankind?
  5. How do you reconcile the good and the evil in the world?

Going Deeper

Observation

  • What did Cain name after his son?
  • What two things did Jabal and Jubal create?
  • What did people begin to do when Enosh was born?
  • Why was Enoch no more?
  • How many years did Lamech live?

Interpretation

  • Where were the world’s first cities located according to archaeologists?
  • Although archaeology finds examples of herding and music as far back as the fouth millenium B.C. why mightn’t that help us with the text?
  • How did people ‘call on the LORD’?  What does that mean?
  • Where did Enoch go?
  • Are the numbers in the genealogies literural or figurative?

Application

  • Are you a better Christian if you believe the numbers to be literal or figurative?  Why do Christians judge each other over these things?
  • How do you use archaeology to help you understand the Bible?  Do you know historical context?  Could you?
  • How can people call on the LORD and still descend in depravity to the point where God is grieved he created them?  Have we grown closer or further from God in the west in the last 100 years?
  • Are you ‘walking with God’?
  • How could you walk through this day ‘with God’?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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