As in the Days of Noah (Part 2)


“When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch.” Gen. 5:18

The two families of mankind had probably started to interact before the birth of Jared’s son Enoch. Based on Jared’s name meaning “Descent” it can be imagined that his godly father Mahalaleel (“Place of Praise to God'') had spoken prophetically to the culture. If Jared had followed the trend of the day, it is likely that he may have moved to the city of Enoch. Nothing in the text requires his even marrying within his tribe, or that the mother of Enoch was his first wife. Whatever the case, it was 162 years before the child was born.

Adah (Lamech’s first wife) bore Jabal [and] Jubal . . .” Gen. 4:20-21

In those same days, assuming the genealogies are concurrent, the greatest leader of the Cainites (likely in the city of Enoch as well) was born to Methusael (“Man from El”) who might have been the high priest of the pagan religion, The boy’s name was Lamech, which means “Powerful”. His children, born of two mothers, may very well have spanned two centuries in which civilization saw its pre-flood zenith.  It can be supposed that the wickedness found in Lamech had not spread to the levels reached in Noah’s day, nearly a thousand years later.

“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah” Gen. 5:21

With the name Enoch, borrowed from history, Jared’s young son may have followed the careers of his contemporaries Jabal (“Yabal”) and Jubal (“Yubal”) who became masters of industry along the river flowing through the metropolis they called home. This is based wholly upon their names, which, along with their younger brother Tubal-Cain, are based upon the connotation of forms of the verb “Yabal” (to bear along, as a river would goods for trade). Jabal was a master in the herding of cattle and sheep (and likely other livestock), some of which were used as sacrifices in the “family business” if Methusael was indeed a priest of their religion. Jubal became known for his music, also important in the evolving pagan worship. 

Meanwhile, Jared quite possibly moved back to his own tribe, where Enoch came to know the true God. He found a godly wife and fathered a son he prophetically named “Methuselah” which means “Man of the dart” (from “Mat” {man} and “Selach” {weapon, missile, shoot}). Some have suggested that the name might have been a very specific prophecy -- “When he dies (Methu) it shall be sent (salah)”. Either way, the relatively young and inexperienced prophet predicted disaster.  

“Zillah (Lamech’s second wife) also bore Tubal-Cain. . . . [His] sister was Naamah” Gen 4:22

Again, we must assume concurrent family trees with Zillah coming along at least a generation (70 years or so) after Adah, but an interesting scenario presents itself if we do. The name Tubal-Cain is from “River” and “Spear” (from Qeyn, see Cain). This was descriptive of his mastery of metalworking which would have enhanced agriculture, architecture, and sadly, weaponry. When Methuselah was a young man, Enoch perhaps left the relative safety of family life to become a street preacher and prophet. As his father grew closer to God, the first years of 

his very long adult life may have been restless. About that time, it is not hard to speculate that he moved to his father’s home town and made friends with Tubal-Cain and his sister Namaah (“Loveliness”). A marriage to Lamech’s daughter could explain the naming of  Methuselah’s son after the notorious tyrant and murderer.

“When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech” Gen. 5:25

The first Lamech’s wives and daughter are an interesting addition to an otherwise mundane genealogy. What was the point of leading to the seventh from Adam in such a way to set him alongside the second Enoch. The above scenario makes sense to me, though it is quite speculative. If Methuselah had a “wild youth”, or even helped “convert” the lovely Naamah, then after a century or so it might have been appropriate to honor her elderly, and perhaps late, father by continuing his name. The connotation of Lamech as “Powerful” might even have been hopeful of change to come. After all, a lot could happen in 187 years! As things were going, not much of it had been good.

“When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son, and called his son Noah . . .” Gen. 5:28-29a

There is quite a  significance in the name Lamech would give his own son after another 182 years. The fact that Enoch’s father had been 162 at his birth, and his grandson was born when he was 252 years old probably indicates a very violent world in which many young men died without passing on the family line. This is not to say all the tentatively eligible heirs had died in the increasing violence, but it is significant when an old man cried out naming his son “Noah” (“Noach”, from Nuach, to rest): “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and the painful toil of our hands.” (Gen. 5:29).

When Noah was born about 1060 years after creation, Adam had died, Enoch had disappeared and the godly Seth was almost 900 years old. There was not much hope left. Lamech remembered Father Adam (probably just “Abba” to the multitude of descendants), but the preaching of Enoch had not been pleasant. Disaster seemed to be looming, Seth was the oldest living person, and not many people respected him or his ways. Lamech put his trust in the Creator to send relief.

As it turned out, Lamech would die at 777 years old before relief came and his father Methuselah would live on as the oldest living person. Lamech lived to see his grandsons grow to strong men helping their father Noah as he approached 600 years old, going strong. The sons were named Shem (“Reputable”), Ham (“Warm”) and Japheth (“Open”). Their names indicate that Noah was able to work well with them in his old age. The leadership that Lamech might have given to the struggling building project (the ark!) had probably gone to wise, but frail, Methuselah who would die shortly before the flood came (if not choosing to die in it). 

Check out Part 1 / / Here / /


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