GENESIS CHAPTER 5
The manner of man’s creation repeated, Genesis 5:1-2. The genealogy, age, and death of the fathers from Adam to Noah, in the line of Seth. Seth begotten of Adam after his image, Genesis 5:3. The piety and translation of Enoch, Genesis 5:24. Lamech’s prophecy of his son Noah, Genesis 5:29. Sons born to Noah, Genesis 5:32.
This is the book, i.e. the list or catalogue, as this word is taken, Nehemiah 7:5 Matthew 1:1, as it is also put for any short writing, as for a bill of divorce, as Deuteronomy 24:1-2.
The generations of Adam, i.e. his posterity begotten by him; the word being passively used. But he doth not here give a complete list of all Adam’s children, but only of his godly seed, which preserved true religion and the worship of God from Adam to the Flood, and from whose loins Christ came, Luke 3:1-38.
God created man. This is here repeated to note the different way of the production of Adam, and of his posterity; his was by creation from God, theirs by generation from their parents. See Genesis 1:26.
See Genesis 1:26 Matthew 19:4 Mark 10:6. He
blessed them with power to propagate their kind, and with other blessings. See Genesis 1:28.
Called their name Adam; which name is given both to every man, as Genesis 9:6 Psalms 49:20, and to the first man, as Genesis 2:23, and to the whole kind, both the man and the woman, who are called by one name, to show their intimate union and communion in all things.
Adam lived an hundred and thirty years after he was created, in which time he begat other sons and daughters, as appears from what was said before.
After his image; either,
1. In regard of the natural frame of his body and soul; but this was so evident of itself, that the mention of it had been frivolous. Nor is there any reason why that should be said of Seth, rather than of Cain or Abel. Or,
2. In regard of his corruption, q.d. a weak, sinful, mortal man, like himself; for Adam’s image is here plainly opposed to the likeness of God, wherein Adam is said to be created, Genesis 5:1. And this is fitly said of Seth to signify, that although he was a worthy and good man, and, Adam excepted, the most eminent person of the whole church of God; yet he, no less than wicked Cain, was begotten and born in sin; and that all the difference which was between him, and consequently between other good men, and the wicked progeny of Cain, was not from the nature which they received from Adam, but from the grace infused into them by God.
Whose names and numbers are here passed over in silence, as not belonging to the genealogy of Christ, nor to the following history.
The long lives of men in ancient times, here noted, are also mentioned by heathen authors; and it was wisely so ordered by God, both for the more plentiful increase of mankind in the first age of the world, and for the more effectual propagation of true religion and other useful knowledge to the world. And many natural reasons might be given why their lives were then longer than afterwards.
Whose name is thought by some learned men to contain a prophecy of the flood, which was to come a thousand years after; for it signifies: He dies, and the dart or arrow of God’s vengeance comes; or, He dies, and the sending forth of the waters comes.
i.e. He lived as one whose eye was continually upon God; whose care and constant course and business it was to please God, and to imitate him, and to maintain acquaintance and communion with him; as one devoted to God’s service, and wholly governed by his will. He walked not with the men of that wicked age, or as they walked, but being a prophet and preacher, as may be gathered from Jude 1:14-15, with great zeal and courage he protested and preached against their evil practices, and boldly owned God and his ways in the midst of them. Compare Genesis 6:6 Jeremiah 12:3 Micah 6:8.
Begat sons and daughter’s; hence it is undeniably evident that the state and use of matrimony doth very well agree with the severest course of holiness, and with the office of a prophet or preacher.
i.e. He appeared not any longer upon earth, or amongst mortal men. The same phrase is in Genesis 42:36 Jeremiah 31:15.
For God took him out of this sinful and miserable world unto himself, and to his heavenly habitation: see Luke 23:43. And he took either his soul, of which alone this phrase is used, Ezekiel 24:16; or rather both soul and body, as he took Elias, 2 Kings 2:11, because he so took him that he did not see death, Hebrews 11:5.
This was the longest time that any man lived. But it is observable that neither his nor any of the patriarch’s lives reached to a thousand years, which number hath some shadow of perfection.
He died but a little before the flood came, being taken away from the evil to come.
Not that wicked Lamech mentioned Genesis 4:18-24, for he was of the family of Cain, but this was descended from Seth.
And he called his name Noah, which signifies rest,
saying, by the Spirit of prophecy:
This same shall comfort us, concerning the hard labour and manifold troubles to which we are sentenced, Genesis 3:19.
And this he did either,
1. By the invention of instruments of husbandry, whereby tillage was made more easy. Or,
2. By removing in some part the curse inflicted upon the earth, and reconciling God unto mankind. Possibly he might suppose that this was the Messias, or promised Seed, and the Saviour of the undone world; as it was frequent with the ancient fathers, through their earnest desire of the Messias, to expect him long before he came, and to mistake other persons for him. Or,
3. By preserving a remnant of mankind from that deluge which he by the Spirit foresaw would come, and repeopling the emptied earth with a new generation of men, and by restoring and improving the art of husbandry: see Genesis 9:20.
i.e. He began to beget; God in mercy denying him children till that time, that he might not beget them to the destroyer, that he might have no more than should be saved in the ark; or, having before that time begotten others who were now dead, and having the approaching flood in his view, he began again to beget a seminary for the world.
Of these three sons here following, the eldest seems to be
Japheth, Genesis 10:21. The second was
Shem, as appears because he was but an hundred years old two years after the flood, Genesis 11:11. The youngest
Ham, Genesis 9:24. But Shem is first named in order of dignity, as being the progenitor of the church, and of Jesus Christ; and because he and his progeny is the principal subject of this whole history.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26