Image from pngegg.com
Genesis chapters 5 & 11 show a genealogical account from Adam to Abraham. These chapters may appear to be mundane with what seemed to be of little point citing the ages of how long people lived for and at what ages they had children. However, everything in the Bible exists for very good reason(s). Here are the hidden gems that were revealed to me.
Genesis 5 (all)
From Adam to Noah
Adam - 930 years old
@ 130 years – begot Seth
Seth – 912 years old
@ 105 years – begot Enosh
Enosh – 905 years old
@ 90 years – begot Kenan
Kenan – 910 years old
@ 70 years – begot Mahalalel
Mahalalel – 895 years old
@ 65 years – begot Jared
Jared – 962 years old
@ 162 years – begot Enoch
Enoch – 365 years old (God took him)
@ 65 years – begot Methuselah
Methuselah – 969 years old
@ 187 years – begot Lamech
Lamech – 777 years old
@ 182 years – begot Noah
Noah – 950 years old (Gen 9:29)
After 500 years – begot Shem, Ham, Japeth (Gen 5:32)
Points to Note
When Adam died,
Seth was 800 years old
Enosh was 695 years old
Kenan was 605 years old
Mahalalel was 535 years old
Jared was 470 years old
Enoch was 308 years old
Methuselah was 243 years old
Lamech was 56 years old (Noah not born yet)
Everyone above would have received at best a first-hand account from Adam of the Creation story and the Fall of man (the events in the Garden of Eden).
When Noah was born, everyone above was still alive except for Adam, Seth & Enoch.
Noah would have received at best a second-hand account of the Creation story / Fall of man from any of the above people (except Adam, Seth, Enoch).
When Shem, Ham and Japeth were born,
Lamech was at least 682 years old
Methuselah was at least 869 years old
Like Noah - Shem, Ham and Japeth would have received at best a second-hand account of the Creation story and the Fall of man from either Lamech or Methuselah (before the flood).
Genesis 11 (verses 10-26)
From Shem to Abraham
Shem – 600 years old
@ 100 years – begot Arphaxad
Arphaxad – 438 years old
@ 35 years – begot Shelah
Shelah – 433 years old
@ 30 years – begot Eber
Eber – 464 years old
@ 34 years – begot Peleg
Peleg – 239 years old
@ 30 years – begot Reu
Reu – 239 years old
@ 32 years – begot Serug
Serug – 230 years old
@ 30 years – begot Nahor
Nahor – 148 years old
@ 29 years – begot Terah
Terah – 205 years old
@ 70 years – begot Abram, Nahor, Haran
Abram (Abraham) – 175 years (Gen 25:7)
@ 100 years – begot Isaac (Gen 21:5)
Isaac – 180 years old (Gen 35:28)
@ 60 years – begot Esau & Jacob (Gen 25:26)
Jacob - 147 years old (Gen 47:28)
Points to Note
When Lamech died,
Noah was 595 years old
Shem was 93 years old (Arphaxad not born yet)
Methuselah was 964 years old (the only one to outlive Lamech)
Shem would have received at best a second-hand account of the Creation story / Fall of man from either Lamech or Methuselah (as mentioned previously) OR third-hand account from Noah.
When Noah was 600 years old (the flood water came):
Methuselah was 969 years old (his last year alive)
This means Methuselah died in the year of the flood!
The name "Methuselah" means "His death shall bring". Methuselah was God's stopwatch for the wicked. Whilst Methuselah was still alive, the wicked still had time to repent, but once he died, that time ran out - and the flood came.
God was nevertheless patient with the wicked since Methuselah was the longest person alive in the Bible. God gave them all 969 years in which to repent.
God laid to rest all the righteous men first before the flood (except Noah). He did not want to destroy the righteous with the wicked together.
When Noah died,
Shem was 448 years old
Arphaxad was 348 years old
Shelah was 313 years old
Eber was 283 years old
Peleg already dead for 10 years
Reu was 219 years old
Serug was 187 years old
Nahor already dead for 9 years
Terah was 128 years old
Abraham was 58 years old (Isaac not born yet)
Abraham would have received at best:
First-hand account of the flood from Noah or Shem.
Third-hand account of the Creation story / Fall of man from either Noah or Shem.
When Abraham died,
Isaac was 75 years old
Jacob was 15 years old
Shem was still alive at 565 years old!
So, like Abraham - both Isaac & Jacob would have received at best:
First-hand account of the flood from Shem.
Third-hand account of the Creation story / Fall of man from Shem.
Further Points to Note
Adam lived through 8 generations after him; Noah lived through 10 generations after him; Shem lived through 11 (possibly 12) generations after him.
God always ensured that there were reliable and accurate witnesses to represent Him. In spite of the many generations that existed, and in spite also of the great flood, the handing down of accounts was as accurate as can be (first, second or third hand).
After the flood, the age of men decreased gradually.
Before the flood, the age of childbirth (not necessarily first born) was generally old(er) (65+). After the flood this was reduced - young(er) (29+) -- for the exception of Abraham (which we know is a special story); and of Shem (he was already 98 at the time of the flood).
The age at which Noah begot his sons (after 500 years old) is significantly different (much older) compared to the other generations (both before and after the flood). I believe this is because:
God had to time the flood perfectly, in that therefore:
God needed to put all the righteous people to rest before the flood came upon the earth (except for Noah because he was chosen to continue the lineage); Methuselah being the last one to be put to rest (since he died in the year of the flood). God did not want to destroy the righteous with the wicked.
And hence God may not have wanted further righteous persons to be born before the flood (other than those already in the plan for salvation (i.e. to be in the ark)) - for reason discussed immediately below.
God needed to be efficient, yet sufficient in the number of people He saved for the ark:
If Noah were to have children at a younger age (less than 500 years old), then there would likely to have been grandchildren. We see this with Arphaxad being born only 2 years after the flood.
If any grandchildren had existed, God would either have had to cater for more room for them in the ark, or He would have had to delay the flood (if they were righteous). It appears that neither of these were acceptable to God. For one, delaying the flood would have meant tolerating the wicked for longer.
God wanted to make sure that the generations after the flood were fit and healthy (hence why Shem, Ham and Japeth came late in Noah's life, so that they had every chance to increase and multiply after the flood).
I wonder what went through Noah's mind all the time he did not have any children (during those 500 years)? Could he have ever thought he had fertility problems? Genesis 6:9 states that Noah walked with God, so he must have trusted God. In any case, the gem here is that - in the bleakest, most hopeless outlook for Noah lay the most incredible plan - the plan that God had reserved him especially for saving (replenishing) the existence of mankind.
Are you in that time of waiting on God? Could God be reserving you for some greater purpose in His incredible plan?
For me, I am in that place of waiting, and I know God has an incredible plan for me - whatever it is (whether I like it or not), I am certain it will be nothing less than incredible.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.