Lesson 14Chronology and Ancestry

In the previous lesson we concluded our study of Genesis Chapter 4, including the murder of Able by his brother Cain. In the closing verses of Chapter 4 we read that Adam and Eve had another son whom they named Seth. Furthermore, Seth had a son named Enosh, and Chapter 4 closes with the assertion that, "at that time people began to call on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 4:25-26)


Seth and His Descendants

In this lesson we will study Seth and his descendants, as they lead first to Enosh, then eventually to Methuselah, and finally to Noah and his three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Genesis 5:25:26)

As we begin this lesson, I need to point out that a common mistake that many of us make when reading the early chapters of Genesis is believing that Adam and Eve only had three sons—Cain, Able, and Seth—when in fact they had many children, both boys, and girls, who grew up to be adults. These offspring, in turn, multiplied and continued to spread throughout Eden and Nod.

Read the following scriptures and respond to the associated questions:

  1. Read Genesis 3:20 and Genesis 5:4 and note what each of these verses tells us about Adam and Eve’s offspring.
  2. In fact, Adam and Eve had many children; and all of those children would also go on to have many children as well. The following references all indicate this reality. Can you identify how we know this from the following verses? Please reference Genesis 5:4,7,10,13,16,19,22,26, 30; and Genesis 11:11,13,15,17,19,21,23, and 25.
  3. In Genesis 5:1-3, what three things does this text indicate to us about the humans God created?

The three things referenced above are significant in that they indicate right from the beginning of creation that the theory of evolution is wrong, period. We were created as humans on Day One, we were male and female humans, and we are collectively called mankind. There is not one scintilla of evidence or indication from these three verses that evolution had any role at all in creation. We need to hold on to that fact, as embodied in Genesis 1:1 ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.") and in Genesis 5:1 ("…God created mankind.").

Again, in Genesis 5:3-20, we see that Seth had a son, Enosh; then Enosh had a son, Kenan; then Kenan had Mahalalel; then Mahalalel had Jared; and then Jared had Enoch. As mentioned earlier, in each reference these fathers all also had "other sons and daughters," in addition to the son being cited in the verse. Note that our interest in this study is not their ages, nor the age of the earth, but rather the descendants that God is pointing out to us from Adam to Jesus. So far, these descendants lead to Enoch (in verse 20).

Enoch is an interesting person because something unique happened to him. Read Genesis 5:21-24 and note the following.

  1. What are two unique things that are revealed regarding Enoch?

From Enoch we encounter Methuselah, who had Lamech, who had Noah. Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather.

Read Genesis 5:25-31 and the other passages referenced below and respond to the following.

  1. How old was Methuselah when Noah was born? (see Genesis 5:25-28)
  2. Who was Methuselah’s father? (see Genesis 5:21)
  3. What does the Bible tell us about Noah in Genesis 6:9?
  4. How old was Methuselah when he died? (see Genesis 5:27)
  5. How old was Noah when the flood came? (see Genesis 7:6)
  6. How old was Methuselah when the flood came? (see Genesis 5:25-31, 7:6)
  7. How old was Lamech when he died? (see Genesis 5:30-31)

All of this would mean that during the one hundred and twenty years prior to the flood, when Noah was "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5) to the lost world that judgment was coming, Methuselah and his descendants would have been alive during this time to hear Noah’s message, and yet the Bible tells us that only "eight souls were saved" (1 Peter 3:20). We do not know Methuselah’s or Lamech’s relationship to God—the Bible is silent—however, we can believe that Lamech was still walking with God in his father Enoch’s steps, as Lamech prophesied about his son Noah in Genesis 5:29: "He named him Noah and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.’" [NIV]

Genesis Chapter 5 concludes with the statement that after Noah turned 500 years old, he fathered three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We are not told if Noah had other children; the focus of the passage is on Noah and these three sons. They and their wives will become the beginning of the new post–flood world.

As we conclude this study of Seth’s lineage through to Noah, consider and respond to the following question.

  1. Of Noah’s three sons mentioned in scripture—Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 5:32)—who was the oldest, and who was the youngest? (See Genesis, 9:24 and Chapter 10 (referred to as the Table of Nations); note in particular Genesis 10:21.)

The next lesson in this study is entitled "The Beginning of the End of the Beginning," as mankind slides so far into sin and away from God that God thinks about destroying everything that He has created. Despite this, we are introduced to Noah, who Genesis 6:7-8 tells us "…found favor in the eyes of the Lord."

Have a blessed week.

In Christ,



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