Sunday, October 24, 2010

Genesis Chapter 5 - Geneaology

I knew this kind of Chapter was coming, I just didn't know it would come so soon. It is "So and so was this many years old when he begot a son named such and such. So and so lived this many more years; then he died." Over and over from Adam to Noah. There are only three somewhat interesting things. First, the Chapter begins with a short paragraph restating that God made "man in the likeness of God; he created them male and female." This harkens back to Chapter One where humans are made male and female simultaneously, and both are in the "likeness of God." Second, some of the people in the genealogy share the names of those mentioned in Chapter Four in the lineage from Cain to Lamech. There's an Enoch in both and a Lamech. It is hard to know if they are the same people in different traditions or just have the same name. The genealogies both end soon after Lamech - if that means anything. Chapter Four ends with Jabal, Jubal, and Tubalcain - the sons of Lamech. Chapter Five ends with Lamech's son Noah and Noah's sons Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, all the men listed in Chapter Five end their lives with "then he died" except one. Enoch, Methuselah's father, does not die, apparently. Instead, it is said that "Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him." Gen 5, 24. Some interpret this to mean Enoch, like Elijah later in the Bible, was taken up bodily into Heaven. In fact, some modern New Testament scholars point out that the idea that being taken from Earth into Heaven was not a unique characteristic of Jesus, and something for an important prophet, as opposed necessarily for a messiah.

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