If you are like many Bible readers, when you get to Genesis chapter 5, you likely read through the first eight verses and then realize that things are starting to repeat themselves. So-and-so, begat so-and-so, and had kids, and… next thing you know, you’ve skipped through most of the chapter reading nothing else but the last verse to see if anything different appears. And sure enough, there is Noah and his three sons and the start of the Flood story.
If I asked you to put a title on chapter 5, you would probably say, genealogy, or family tree, or the descendants of Adam. And you wouldn’t be wrong. The only thing is, that you would be selling yourself short. In this post I will introduce you to a study called: Hidden Message Genesis 5.
Death is everywhere
As you read through Genesis 5, you can’t help but feel a little somber. When the author finishes with Adam, he states… “and he died”. When the author finishes with Seth, he states… “and he died”. When the author finishes with Cainan, he states… “and he died”. I think you get the picture, there is a lot of death in this chapter.
Starting with Adam and ending at Noah gives you a list of 10 names. And eight times in the chapter, you will read, “and he died”. We don’t read of Noah dying, because his story is just beginning. And we don’t read of Enoch dying, because “he was not, for God took him”. Every other man, mentioned from Adam to Noah, died. Some have called Genesis 5 the cemetery of the patriarchs.
Is it a surprise to read of so much death? Not really. Even though these men lived an extremely long life, they all died. The eight who are recorded, as having died, in this chapter, lived an average of 907 years. Not much different from today (except for our shorter life spans), where day after day we can read the obituaries of those who have passed on from this life. Every life with the same concluding statement: “and he died”.
Though death is not a very pleasant topic for many, it is part of our reality. I will briefly make a comment here and address this topic in more detail in a future post. The Scriptures make three clear statements about death, and the cause of death.
- Genesis 2:17 “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (ESV)
- Ezekiel 18:4 “the soul who sins shall die” (ESV)
- Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death” (ESV)
As Genesis 5 testifies, death is real, and as the Scriptures declare, the cause of death is sin.
A well-known story – Noah
Not everything is doom and gloom in Genesis 5. The chapter actually ends on a high note. Noah means comfort, relief, consolation or rest. The significance is that of a deep sigh. Imagine what it feels like to fall back on your bed after a hard days work. In Genesis 5: we read “and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands”.” (ESV)
There was lots going on in Noah’s day, but we will leave that for another post.
A long time coming – Methuselah
As is the Creators custom, he always gives a warning before handing down judgment. In Amos 3:7 we can read “For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (ESV) Sometimes he speaks in a loud voice, and with a clear message. Sometimes he speaks in a soft voice, and with a hidden message.
So it was when Methuselah was born. A hidden message whispered through his name, a message for his generation, and for the ones to come. One of the interesting Bible facts is found in the life of Methuselah. He is the oldest person recorded in the Scripture. He lived to the ripe old age of 969 years. But, aside from that particular Bible fact, there is something else to be discovered through this man.
When you look up the definition of his name, you will come across something like “his death will bring”. The significance is that of a dart hitting its target. In modern times, think of what happens when a missile hits its target… BOOM. That is the idea behind the name Mathusaleh. At the moment of his death (the missile hitting its target), something was going to happen (the missile goes BOOM).
And it wasn’t just anything that happened. I encourage you to download this chart of the chronology from Adam to Noah. You will notice something peculiar as you match up the year of Methuselah’s death with the year 600 of Noah’s life, which corresponds to the year the flood came. That’s right, you have just discovered that in the year Mathusaleh died, the flood came. How’s that for fulfillment of his name? “when he dies, it shall come”.
Now think about this for a moment. Through Methuselah, God warned that judgment was coming. Methuselah lived 969 years. So God warned mankind for 969 years about coming judgment. What does that tell us about the patience of God? It is sad to read in Genesis 7, that only eight people were saved from the flood judgment, only eight heeded the warning.
Just wait until you read the next chapter in the story of Methuselah’s name in a future post.
Get to the point – Enoch
Another interesting hidden message is found in Enoch’s name. The interesting thing with him, is that he did not die, he just disappeared. One day he was there, and the next day he was not. Jude makes a comment concerning Enoch prophesying about wandering stars, and of the Lord coming in judgment with thousands of his angels. Though there exists some controversy around the text, it is believed by some that it could be the Book of Enoch to which Jude may have been referring to.
What does Enoch mean? The definition of his name has to do with initiate or teacher. The significance has to do with getting to the point. You have likely had a teacher who spends all class talking around in circles and never gets to the point. Enoch was not that kind of teacher, he got to the point. If you read the Book of Enoch, you might get an idea of what that means. He speaks very directly of things that other authors only touch on briefly or in obscure terms.
Enoch leaves things very clear, there is judgment coming, and it is nothing to scoff at. If you think the flood was something, what is to come is far worse.
Even thought Enoch disappeared, his name holds yet more meaning which will need to be covered in a subsequent post.
Developing story – more to come
When looking at Genesis chapter 5 from this perspective, it is easy to see that there is more than meets the eye, and you will not catch any of it with just a cursory reading. I encourage you to always read the Scriptures with an open mind and a willing heart and a strong desire to hear what the Creator wants you to hear.
Even though you might be fascinated with what was discovered in just these three names in Genesis 5, there is still much more to be discovered in this chapter. Are you satisfied with what you got, or do you want more?
Action Point: don’t stop now
- Download the Genesis chapter 5 PDF reading sheet if you have not read the chapter
- Download the chronology from Adam to Noah to match Mathusaleh’s death and the coming of the flood.
- See if you can catch the other surprise connection in the graph (I will cover it in a subsequent post).
- Check out this post to delve even deeper into the Old Testament Hidden Gospel Message in Genesis 5
- Click if you are ready to be challenged!!!
- Share your thoughts in the comment section on what you discovered in this post.