The Book of the Generations of Adam - Page 2 of 3 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
In verse 8 we read what happened to Seth. He died. He had a son by the name of Enos, and what happened to him? In verse 11 we are told he died. But he had a son, and Cainan was his son. And what happened to old Cainan? In verse 14 we find that he died too. He had a son Mahalaleel, and what happened to him? In verse 17 it says he died. But he had a son, and his name was Jared, and, well, he died too (v. 20).
Seth is a very important person in this genealogy. He was 105 years (literal years) old when Enosh was born (v. 6). Enosh means “man” and comes from a Hebrew word that means “frail, weak.” It’s the word for man that emphasizes how fragile and weak we really are in ourselves.
A remarkable thing is recorded in connection with the birth of this boy; at that time people began to gather together to worship God, proclaim His name, and pray. There was a revival of public worship and believing in prayer as the descendants of Seth met together in the name of the Lord. While the worldly Cainites were boasting of their strength and valor (Gen. 4.23, 24), the godly Sethites were giving glory to the name of the Lord.
People like Kenan, Mahalalel, and Jared may not seem important to God’s great story of salvation, but they are important; for they were living links in the great generational chain that reached from Seth to the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s promise in Genesis 3.15 could never have been fulfilled were it not for the faithfulness of many undistinguished people who to us are only strange names in an ancient genealogy.
They all lived a very long time; not one of them died until he had seen almost eight hundred years, and some of them lived much longer. Daily life was not for them the burden that it commonly is now, or else they would have grown weary of it. Nor was the future life so clearly revealed then, as it is now under the gospel, or else they would have urgently desired to be removed from this life and go on to the next. All the patriarchs that lived before the flood, except Noah, were born before Adam died. From him they might have received a full account of the creation, the fall, the promise, and the divine precepts about religious worship and a religious life. Thus God kept up in His church the knowledge of His will.
The most striking feature in this catalog is the longevity of Adam and his immediate descendants—the shortest span being 365 years and the longest is 930 years. It is useless to speculate about what causes may have contributed to these men living to such a ripe old age—whether it was a vigorous constitution, the nature of their diet, better control of their passions, or the quiet, even tenor of their lives. Perhaps the most popular theory around today states that the pre-flood environment, provided by the earth being under a canopy of water, filtered out the ultraviolet rays of the sun and produced a much more moderate and healthful condition. Since we cannot obtain satisfactory evidence on any of these points, it is wise to assign the cause to the sovereign will of God to accomplish His purposes—it was the chief means of insuring the continuation of the knowledge of God, of the great truths of religion, as well as the influence of genuine piety. Since their knowledge of God came from experience and revelation it could be preserved in the greatest purity.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Before he died Jered had a son by the name of Enoch. “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah.” And then did Enoch die? No! He did not die. This is a dark chapter, but here is the bright spot in it. This is one of the most remarkable things, that in the midst of death, one man is removed from this earth. It is said about Enoch that he “walked with God.” This is quite remarkable, by the way. Only two men are said to have walked with God. In the next chapter, we also find that Noah walked with God. Only two men are said to have walked with God. These were two antediluvians (before the flood), and they walked with God. There are actually only two men in the Old Testament who did not die. One of them is Enoch, and the other, of course, is Elijah.
Enoch is one of the few before the flood of whom we have any record at all. We are told that he did not die but that the Lord took him—he was translated. What do we mean by translation? Translation is taking a word
in one language and putting it into another language without changing its meaning. Enoch was removed from the earth; he was translated. He had to get rid of the old body which he had. He had to be a different individual—yet he had to be the same individual, just as the translated word must be the same. Enoch was taken to heaven.
We read that Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begat Methuselah, and after that he walked with God. I don’t know what the first 65 years of his life were like. I assume he was like the rest of the crowd—this is a very careless period, as it moves closer to the days of Noah. But when that little boy Methuselah was born, Enoch’s walk was changed. It is my opinion that that baby turned him to God. My friend, sometimes God puts a baby in a family just for that purpose, and if that baby will not bring you to God, nothing else will. For three hundred years after that Enoch walked with God, and he begat other children, sons and daughters. “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years”—that is how long he was on this earth, but he did not die. It does not say, “And Enoch died,” but it says, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” The best way I know to explain what happened to Enoch is to tell you a story I read about a little girl and how she explained it to her mother when she got home from Sunday school. She said, “Teacher told us about Enoch and how he walked with God.” Her mother said, “Well, what about Enoch?” And the little girl put it something like this: “It seems that every day God would come by and say to Enoch, ‘Enoch would you like to walk with me?’ And Enoch would come out of his house and down to the gate, and he’d go walking with God. He got to the place that he enjoyed it so much that he’d be waiting at the gate of his house every day. And God would come along and say, ‘Enoch, let’s take a walk.’ Then one day God came by and said, ‘Enoch, let’s take a long walk, I have so much to tell you.’ So they were walking, and walking, and finally Enoch said, ‘My, it’s getting late in the afternoon. I’d better get back home!’ And God said to him, ‘Enoch, you’re closer to My home than you are to your home; so you come on home with Me.’ And so Enoch went home with God.” I don’t know how you can put it any better than that. That is exactly the story that is hers.
Enoch was the seventh from Adam. Godliness is walking with God; which shows reconciliation with God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3.3). It includes all the parts of a godly, righteous, and sober life. To walk with God, is to set God always before us, to act always as if we were under His eye. It is to constantly try to please God in all things, and to never offend Him. It is to be followers of Him as His dear children. The Holy Spirit, instead of saying, Enoch lived, says Enoch walked with God. This is what he did all the time, 24-7; while others did whatever they wanted to do, he lived for God. It was the joy of his life. Enoch was removed to a better world. Since he did not live like the rest of the world, he didn’t leave the world by death, as they did. He was not found because God had translated him (Heb. 11.5). He had lived 365 years, which as men’s ages were then, were only the middle-age of man’s days. God often takes those the soonest that He loves best; the time they lose on earth is gained in heaven, to their unspeakable advantage. Notice how Enoch’s removal is expressed: he was not, for God took him. He was not any longer in this world; he was changed, as the saints shall be, who are alive at Christ’s Second Coming. Those who begin to walk with God when they are young, may expect to walk with Him for a long time, comfortably, and usefully. The true Christian’s steady walk in holiness, for many years, until God takes him, will do a great deal to commend that religion, which many oppose and many abuse. And walking with God agrees well with the cares, comforts, and duties of life.
“Walked with God” is a common phrase in Eastern countries referring to constant and intimate relationship. We are informed in Hebrews 11.5 that Enoch was translated to heaven—a mighty miracle, designed to achieve 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.