The Lost World
The Blood of Righteous Abel
In the great protevangelic prophecy, God had spoken of a coming conflict between
the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.
Adam and Eve were soon to experience the reality of this conflict in the tragic history
of their two sons.
The story of Cain and Abel, while in every way to be understood as actual history,
is also a parable of the age-long conflict of the two seeds.
Cain typifies the "seed of the serpent," while Abel is a type of Christ,
the "seed of the woman."
In a secondary sense, Abel represents also those who, by faith, are "in Christ,"
and who therefore also are in a spiritual sense "seed of the woman."
It seems reasonable to infer that, after the expulsion from Eden,
God had made gracious provision to continue to commune with man,
even though now "at a distance," on the basis of His promise of the coming Redeemer,
whose shed blood would be the price of redemption.
God had shown Adam and Eve that and "atonement" required the shedding of blood
to provide a "covering" for the guilty.
Probably at an appointed time and place, men were able to meet God,
first being careful to approach Him by means of a proper offering, especially marked
by the principle of substitution -- the innocent for the guilty.
Those who "worship" (that is literally, "bowed down" to God's will) in this way
thus acknowledged their own guilt and helplessness, as well as their trusting God
alone for complete salvation and provision.
There was nothing in such a process that would appeal to the physical or aesthetic
or mental appetites of man (as contrasted with Satan's appeal to Eve in Genesis 3:6;
hence it would require the complete subjugation of human pride to the will of God.
Genesis 4:1, 2: "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,
and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
And she again bare his brother Abel.
And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."
A person's attitude of heart toward this matter of approaching and knowing God
actually determines his destiny in eternity.
If he willingly accepts God's Word, approaching Him solely on the basis of faith
in God's provision, through the shed blood of the Redeemer, God's Lamb,
then he is spiritually of the heaven-born "seed of the woman" and he is restored
to God's presence and fellowship.
But if he continues to distort and reject God's word, relying on his own personal merits
to earn salvation, he is then in effect interposing his own will in place of God.
He is presuming to be "as gods, knowing good and evil," and consequently
becomes of the serpent's seed.
This is great twofold division of humanity is perfectly illustrated
in the first two sons of Adam.
When the first was born, Eve exclaimed: "I have gotten a man from the Lord"
(literally "with the Lord").
This is a testimony of praise in itself sufficient proof that Eve was a believer
in the Lord and in the truthfulness of God's promise.
Though she had now experienced the suffering associated with childbirth,
she had also seen God's faithfulness in giving her a son.
This is also the first use of the familiar Biblical euphemism for sexual intercourse;
"Adam knew his wife."
Such an expression uniquely emphasizes both the full harmony and understanding
of man and wife (one flesh) and also an ideal awareness of God's primeval purpose
as implemented through the human capacity for sexual love and reproduction.
The name Cain means "gotten" and is obviously derived from Eve's explanation
of joyful acquisition.
The practice of giving names to children associated with some specific event
is frequently found in Genesis (4:25; 5:29; 17: 5; 41:51; etc.)
as well as other parts of the Old Testament.
It is significant that this phenomenon is found in all the three main supposed
documentary "sources" (J,E,P) of the Pentateuch, the fact which itself is strong evidence
that all these so-called sources in reality constitute a consistent,
unified document reporting real events.
Eve not only was thankful for a child, but also that the Lord had
enabled her to beget a man.
This seems to be a further expression of faith that her babe would grow to manhood.
It is possible that she hoped this might be the promised Deliverer, even though
he was not in a specific biological sense a "seed of the woman."
As a matter of fact, he "was of that wicked one" (1 John 3:12),
and thus was the first in the long line of the Serpent's seed.
Cain's younger brother, Abel, was truly in the household of faith, however.
He is the very first mentioned in the long line of men of faith recorded in Hebrews 11
(see verse 4).
He is called "righteous" and a prophet. (Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51)
Such testimonials from none other than the Lord Jesus can only mean that Abel
was a man who believed and obeyed God's Word, with righteousness
thus imputed to him.
As a prophet, he must also have received God's Word by divine revelation
and preached it by divine enablement.
But Cain refused it and disobeyed.
Abel was Eve's second son, born sometime after Cain.
Some have called the absence of a separate record of his conception implies
that Abel was conceived at the same time as Cain.
This is quite unlikely, however; for the record should have said so
if that were the case.
The name of Abel means "vapor" or "vanity," and suggests that, by the time
of Abel's birth, Eve had become thoroughly impressed with the impact
of God's curse on the world.
God had indeed made the creation "subject to vanity." (Romans 8:20)
As the boys grew, Cain became a farmer and Abel became a shepherd.
Both were honorable occupations.
Cain's fruits providing food and Abel's sheep providing clothing for the family.
In addition, it is probable that the sheep were to be used for sacrifice.
The lesson which God had called Adam and Eve was not to be forgotten.
Atonement ("covering") required the shedding of blood.
Man was not authorized until after the Flood to use animals for food
(Genesis 1:29; 2:16; 3:19; 9:3).
As the population grew, Abel's sheep would no doubt have been available by trade
or purchase to anyone who wished to use one for sacrifice or for clothing.
Genesis 4:3-5: "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought
of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.
And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect.
And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
There seems to have been a regular time and place at which men were allowed to meet God.
Possibly the place was at the door of the entrance to the garden where the cherubim
guarded the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
Adam and Eve had been driven out of the garden, away from the presence of God.
By God's grace, however, and in view of His promised Redeemer, He still allowed men
to approach Him under certain conditions, that to hear His Word and to receive His guidance.
It seems probable that Adam and Eve had shown love to both their sons
and had instructed them alike; so it is difficult to understand what caused Cain and Abel
to assume different attitudes and characters.
However, gradually these innate differences began to manifest themselves.
Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters as we see in Genesis 5:4;
so it may be that Cain and Abel had had brothers and sisters for many years prior
to the events described in this chapter.
They were both grown men, and their parents had been given divine instruction
to multiply, so that this indeed seems more likely than not.
Therefore, it is probable that the offerings described in these verses were not
the first ones offered by these two brothers.
Rather, it must have become a regular practice, at certain definite periods of time,
possibly on the Sabbath.
The words in the Hebrews -- literally, "at the end of the days" -- seemed to suggest this.
Since this was the first occasion on which Cain received a rebuke, it would be inferred
that his previous offerings have been acceptable to God.
The Bible does not actually say specifically whether such sacrifices had been commanded
by God, or whether the practice arose merely as a spontaneous expression
of Thanksgiving and worship.
If it was the latter, however, it is difficult to understand why God would not have been as pleased with an offering of Cain's fruits as with an offering of Abel's slain lamb.
It seems more likely that God did give instructions, and Cain had disobeyed.
The entire occurrence can only be really understood in the context
of an original revelation by God regarding the necessity of substitutionary sacrifice
as a prerequisite to the approaching God.
Such revelation was most likely given at the time God provided coats of skins
for Adam and Eve, and then banish them from His presents, providing, however,
a specific means by which they could still commune with Him at certain times,
on the basis of a similar sacrifice.
Adam and Eve had no doubt duly instructed their children in this provision
and, for a long time, they heeded and followed it.
Cain himself had probably purchased from Abel a sheep for his own sacrifice each time
they came to the appointed place.
However, there came a time when Cain began to resent this situation a
nd finally decided to rebel against it.
That seemed no good reason to him why he should be indebted
to his young brother each time.
His own fruits were every bit as valuable -- and at least as attractive
and useful to man -- as were Abel's animals.
So Cain, in presumption and rebellion, finally it would no longer accept one
of his brother's sheep, but instead brought the fruit with his own efforts had coerced
from the earth God had cursed.
He offered these fruits possibly in a spirit of careless unconcern for the will of God,
possibly even in a spirit of pride in what he had been able to produce
despite God's curse on the ground, or possibly in a spirit of rebellion against
the implication that his nakedness before God required at covering
which could only be provided by the shedding of blood.
At any rate, his heart was not right before the Lord, and his offering was not in faith
as was his brother's.
Therefore, God rejected his gift.
"By Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained
witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it,
he being dead yet speaketh." (Hebrews 11:4)
Abel even offered, with the "firstlings of his flock," the "fat pieces thereof,"
a practice that would long afterward be incorporated into the actual Mosaic law
of the peace offering: "all the fat is the Lord's." (Leviticus 3:16)
Cain's "glance" (a better rendering than "countenance") had been haltingly,
but that it "fell" and he became bitterly angry.
Though perhaps up to this point in life, he may have seen outwardly pious
and obedient toward God, this incident finally revealed the inward pride and resentment
that must have been festering in his heart for some time.
The resentment was directed not only at God, but also at his brother Abel.
Abel was an outward symbol of the fact that the works of Cain were not adequate
to get him into God's presence (since he must obtain Abel's sheep for this purpose).
But Abel in addition, was a prophet, and thus quite possibly had discerned
this weakness in his older brother and had been warning him about it.
This situation had finally become quite intolerable for such a proud individual as Cain.
Genesis 4:6-8: "And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth?
And why is thy countenance fallen?
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire,
and thou shalt rule over him.
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field,
that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
In spite of Cain's bitter anger, God graciously promised that he would yet be accepted
if he would only "do well," which undoubtedly meant to "obey His word."
If he continued in rebellion, however, "sin" (and this is the first use of the word in Scripture)
was "crouching at his door."
He would truly become a seed of the Serpent using "sin" as his obedient servant
(compare this similar terminology in Genesis 3:16b and 4:7)
to oppose the revealed will of God.
Cain rejected God's warning and elected to continue in his own way.
As God's first "prophet" (see Luke 11:49-51) Abel surely counseled his brother urgently
against this decision, as "Cain talked with Abel his brother."
But the seeds of pride and envy and hatred bore their bitter fruit.
The enmity of the old Serpent completely poisoned Cain's soul when God would not receive
his gift, and it would not rest until Abel’s blood was spilled.
As they talked together out in the field, with Abel no doubt urging repentance
while Cain accused God of petty favoritism and his brother of self-righteous presumption,
the argument finally became so bitter "that Cain rose up against
Abel his brother and slew him."
"And wherefore slew he him?
Because his own works were evil, and his brothers righteous." (1 John 3:12)
It is apparent that the first slight entrance of sin into the world through
the mere eating of a forbidden fruit had quickly resulted in much more bitter fruit
-- namely, the crime of fratricide.
The secret of the Serpent was quickly striking at the Seed of the woman,
corrupting her first son and slaying her second, thus trying to prevent the fulfillment
of the protevangelic promise right at the beginning of human history.
Genesis 4:9-12: "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?
And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood
crieth unto me from the ground.
And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive
thy brother's blood from thy hand.
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength;
a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."
No sooner had the awful deed been perpetrated, then God called Cain to account.
This time Cain had not gone to the place of sacrifice to seek God;
rather, God had gone out into the field seeking him.
God's first question was pedagogic, designed to elicit from Cain a confession;
the Lord certainly was not merely seeking information about Abel’s whereabouts.
Instead of reacting in humility and fear of God, however, Cain boldly questioned
God's right to ask such a question!
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
"I don't know where he is!"
That was a blatant lie, of course, although it was indeed true in one sense
that Cain did not know where Abel was.
Like all others who died in faith, not having received the promises,
Abel was the first human inhabitant of Sheol, that place in the heart of the earth
where the spirits resided waiting the coming of the Savior.
When God had sought out at him after his sin, Adam had responded to confession
and repentance, but not Cain.
He compounded his wickedness by blatantly lying to God and challenging His right
even to question him.
Long-cherished sin hardens a man's heart and perverts his senses.
Therefore, God can no longer speak to Cain in mercy, but only in judgment.
Cain had been able to still the hated prophesying voice of his brother,
but he could not still the voice of his blood!
"The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."
For the first time, "blood" is actually mentioned in the Bible in this verse,
although its significance had been intimated several times previously.
Abel, the time of the seed of the woman, was righteous before God,
and yet died violently at the hand of the first of the Serpent's seed.
So, Abel’s blood crying from the ground is the prototype of all the suffering inflicted
on the righteous through the ages by the children of the wicked one.
It's climax and fulfillment are seen in the conflict of Satan and Christ on Calvary.
This conflict had reached a tragic crescendo when those religious leaders whom
Christ had said were "of your father the devil" (John 8:44; Matthew 23:15)
cried out for His crucifixion, hissing: "His blood be on us, and on our children."
Like Cain, they would see would see innocent blood shed rather than obey God's Word.
But the blood of Christ "speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24).
The blood of animals could never really take away the sin, though it might enable
their skins to be used for a temporary covering.
But "the blood of Jesus Christ, God's, cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)
This conflict between the two spiritual seeds continues today and is rapidly heading
toward its final climax.The present time seemingly is one of imminent victory for Satan,
but Satan's final defeat is only awaiting be approaching glorious return of Christ.
Even now, we His promise of spiritual victory in our current battle with the evil one:
"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (Romans 16:20)
God's punishment of Cain is also a type of the ultimate crushing of the head of the Serpent,
when he will be separated forever from God in the lake of fire.
Cain was forever "driven out from the presence of the Lord"; likewise will all those
who obey not the gospel of Christ "be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
Furthermore, Cain could no longer produce the fruits by which he had sought
to approach God.
The earth would no longer yield in increase for him,
and he must become a "wanderer" in the earth.
In like manner, those who attempt to earn salvation by their good works
find only that, of themselves, they can produce only "thorns and thistles."
Though God allowed Cain live for a time in the earth, just as today He allows
the "tares and the wheat," the good seed and the bad seed, to grow together
until the time of harvest (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43), yet Cain's ultimate fate,
as one who had "known the way of righteousness" but had turned
"from the holy commandment delivered unto them [him]" (2 Peter 2:21),
The curse on Cain, so far as he personally was concerned, did not specifically
preclude him from future repentance.
However, in his future wanderings, ever moving around and trying to find
some portion of ground from which he could coax a meager livelihood,
he would become a byword to the antediluvians, most of whom would surely encounter him
at one time or another, and thus would be a perpetual reminder to them
of the sure punishment awaiting the sinner, especially the murderer.
God considers human life to be very sacred, and will eventually require the blood
of all those who unjustly shed blood (note Genesis 9:5; Job 16:18; Psalm 19:12;
Ezekiel 3:18; etc.), unless true repentance is quickly forthcoming.
Genesis 4:13-15: "And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Behold, thou has driven me out this day from the face of the earth;
and from thy face shall I be hid; I shall be fugitive and a vagabond in the earth;
and it shall come to pass, that everyone that findeth me shall slay me.
And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance
shall be taken on him sevenfold.
And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
When Cain's punishment was pronounced, it did, indeed, seem to elicit at least
a measure of sorrow for his sin, though hardly any real repentance.
Actually, the word for "punishment" (Hebrew avon) is usually translated simply "iniquity,"
and so Cain's use of the it does show at least that he recognized the enormity
of his iniquity and the natural relation of its penalty to it.
Accordingly, this may have been a sign of at least some change of heart.
No longer did he blatantly question or rebuke the Lord, nor did he suggest
that his punishment was undeserved; rather, he merely cried out
that it was too much for him to bear.
Of course, God did spare Cain's life, not exacting the penalty of capital punishment
that would later be required. (Genesis 9)
Perhaps the very reason for this mercy was God's recognition that there was at least
some hope of Cain's eventual repentance.
His former imprudence had become a cry of fear.
Specifically, he feared that, in his wretched condition, as well as in retaliation
for Abel's murder, he would be in constant danger of his own life.
It is true that "the way of the transgressor is hard."
Therefore, God (partly in mercy, partly to assure that Cain would be a continuing testimony
to his generation of God's warnings against sin), promised Cain that He would protect him
against execution, on penalty of a sevenfold vengeance.
Whatever this sign may have been, it did not give Cain the real peace that he needed.
In fact, it may well have been by his constant fear of other people that he was impelled
to continually move about, a fugitive and a wanderer, as God had said.
God's promise to Cain, however, was widely known (see Genesis 4:24);
and it did actually serve to protect him, so that he survived to found a city
and become the ancestor of a large number of descendants.
The Way of Cain
The remaining portion of Genesis 4 gives a most intriguing, even tantalizing, picture of life
in the antediluvian world.
This is almost the only information we have about that first human civilization,
which was later so completely destroyed by the great Flood that practically nothing
remained to tell us about it.
Archaeological excavations deal almost entirely with post-Flood deposits,
so that it is only in semi-legendary recollections of the world's first "Golden age,"
together with a very few artifacts found deep in the fossils of the earth's crust,
that we can now find any other clues to the nature of life in that first world.
So, that first mighty civilization, which once thrived over much of the earth,
has been almost forgotten by the world of modern scholarship.
In recent years, a number of amazing artifacts have been brought to light by writers
advocating the strange notion of ancient interplanetary astronauts.
Actually, these artifacts give, instead, in insight into the remarkable technological skills
of early man, some of whom may actually have been antediluvians.
This brief Biblical record is still the only fully reliable account we have of that first age.
It leaves us in no doubt that the antediluvian world was substantially different
from the one in which we now live.
As previously discussed, much of the earths waters were stored "above the firmament"
in the form of a vast blanket of invisible water vapor, which produced
a marvelous "greenhouse effect" over the earths entire surface.
This produced a uniformly mild, warm climate everywhere all year long,
with no wind and rain storms.
There were extensive land surfaces, covered with lush vegetation
and an abundant animal life, all over the world.
The congenial climate, possibly augmented by hyperbaric pressures
(a condition of much higher atmospheric pressure than we now have on the earth,
occasioned by the weight of the vapor canopy) and the radiation-filtering effect
of the canopy enabled the people of that age -- and probably the animals as well --
to live to much greater ages that is now possible.
In recent years, it has been demonstrated in biomedical research that both the existence
of such high pressures and the absence of mutation-producing radiations in the environment
do contribute significantly to longevity.
In addition the pristine purity of the human genetic system and its bloodstream,
with so few accumulated mutant genes, together with the primeval absence
of disease-producing organisms (which only gradually develop, through the
outworking of the curse) from the originally created beneficent microorganisms,
served also to maintain life to great age-spans.
Of course we have no exact figures, but it is possible to make a reasonable guess
as to how rapidly the total human population developed.
Since, according to the record in Genesis 5, each named patriarch lived many hundreds
of years and "begat sons and daughters," it is reasonable and very conservative
to assume that each family had, on the average at least six children
-- three sons and three daughters.
If it is further assumed that, on the average, these children grew to maturity, married,
and began to have children of their own by the time their parents were 80 years old,
and that the parents live through an average of five such "generations," or 400 years,
then it can be easily calculated that the Earth had acquired within its first 800 years
(presumably approximately the lifetime of Cain, as a minimum)
a population of at least 120,000.
It is probable that the figure was much more than this, since people live to greater ages
than assumed and probably add many more children than assumed.
In order to get this process of multiplication started, of course, at least one
of the Adam's sons had to marry one of Adams daughters.
Probably, in that first generation, all marriages were brother-sister marriages.
In an early time, there were no mutant genes in the genetic systems of any of these children, s
o that no genetic harm could have resulted from close marriages.
Many, many generations later, during the time of Moses, such mutations had accumulated
to the point where such unions were genetically dangerous, so that incest was thenceforth
prohibited in the Mosaic laws.
The ancient arguments about "Cain's wife" is thus seen to be quite trivial.
Long before Cain died, there was a large population in the earth.
By the time of the Deluge, 1,656 years after Creation by the Ussher chronology,
even using the above conservative assumptions, the world population
would have been at least 7 billion people.
Not only did the population increase, but the technological and cultural level,
at least of the Cainitic civilization, seems to have been very high.
Metal tools and implements of all kinds were available to produce creature comforts,
as well as musical instruments to stimulate the emotional and esthetic senses.
Although these and other facets of civilization can be used for good purposes, they can easily become an end in themselves and can even be used as a means of further rebellion against God.
The latter seems to have been their effect, and perhaps even their purpose,
among the descendants of Cain.
Genesis 4:16, 17: "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord,
and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the East of Eden.
And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city,
and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch."
As Cain "when out from the presence of the Lord," presumably from somewhere
near the Garden of Eden where he and Abel had brought their sacrifices,
he left Eden altogether, journeying eastward to "the land of Nod."
Since the word "Nod" means "wandering," it is possible that this was not an actual
geographical region but merely a figure of speech for Cain's perpetual manner of life
from that time on.
Since the next verse mentions a city that Cain built, however, it does seem more likely
that he actually dwelled for a while in a land called Nod, where his wife
(presumably a sister as we mentioned above) bore him his firstborn son, Enoch.
The name probably means "dedication" or "commencement," probably signifying to Cain
that he was here starting a different live altogether from the one he had known
with his parents back in Eden.
The reference to the city which Cain built possibly suggests that he was trying
to defy God's prophecy that he would be a wanderer in the earth.
Whatever his intent, the Hebrew verb is indefinite -- "was building" -- probably suggesting
that, though he may have started it, he did not finish it.
He moved on after a little while, perhaps leaving his son Enoch, after whom the city
was named, to complete the job and begin the true Cainite civilization.
It is interesting that one of the identifying marks, which evolutionary anthropologists use
to denote the emergence of a "stone age" culture into a civilized society is the development
According to the Bible, the first such "city" (no doubt small and simple to begin with)
is a city built by Cain, in the very first generation after Adam.
There was no long, million-year development here!
Genesis 4:18-22, "And unto Enoch were born Irad and beget Mehujael:
and Mehujael beget Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name
of the other Zillah.
And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father as such as dwell in tents,
and of such as have cattle.
And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, and in the structure of every artificer in brass and iron:
and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah."
So above are listed the main descendants of Cain.
Apparently Irad, Mehujael and Methusael are listed primarily because of their membership
in the line leading to Lamech, the most illustrious of Cain's descendents,
and possibly also because two of the names end with el, the name of God,
a fact which perhaps indicates that even those in the line of Cain continued
to believe in God, though they were disobedient to Him.
Authorities believe Irad means "townsmen," Mehujael means "God gives life,"
and Methusael "God's man."
However these are doubtful, however Lamech may mean "conqueror."
Lamech apparently was the man who led the Canaanites into open rebellion against God.
He began by defying God's ordained principle of monogamy (Genesis 2:23, 24),
taking two wives,
Adah and Zillah.
This was in the seventh generation from Adam, the same as that of godly Enoch
in the Sethitic line.
These were presumably attractive women (Adah means "ornament" and Zillah means "shade")
and it is probable that physical lust was a prime factor in Lamech's action.
There is nothing in Scripture to indicate by what means marriages were arranged
or legalized in this period.
Lamech was evidently a powerful and prosperous man and it is likely that both wives
entered voluntarily into this union.
A further motive may have been in anticipation of the greater number of sons
a bigamist arrangement could provide.
There seems to have been no organized government in those days,
with society functioning on a patriarchal basis.
The larger the individual clan, therefore, the more wealth and power
would probably accrue to it.
In any case, bigamy was certainly contrary to God's will.
Nevertheless a number of sons were born, three of whom were especially notable
in the development of antediluvian civilization.
Jubal ("wanderer") invented the tent, thus enabling him to carry his home with him
and develop a nomadic lifestyle.
He also developed formal systems of domesticating and commercially producing
other animals besides Abel's sheep.
The term "capital" here includes camels and asses (Exodus 9:3) as well as kine, goats,
and perhaps others.
Possibly this suggests that his contemporaries were acquiring the habit of eating meat
as well as fruits and herbs, and thus had disobeyed still another
of God's primal commandants (Genesis 1:29).
Or perhaps it means simply that he was producing them commercially for other purposes:
beasts of burden, milk, scans for clothing, and so forth.
Jubal ("sound") was a markedly different than from his brother Jabal.
He had an ear for music and favored the esthetic rather than the commercial.
Nevertheless he was an inventive genius, originating both stringed
and when musical instruments.
These quickly appealed to the sensual Cainites, and Jubal know doubt also profited
financially from his inventions.
Their half-brother Tubal-cain was evidently the inventor of metallurgy,
both in bronze and iron.
The meaning of his name is uncertain, but does seem etymologically to be the progenitor
of the name of the Roman god Vulcan.
He is said to have been "a deviser of all kind of objects of bronze and iron,"
so that his was a remarkable inventive genius.
The "standard of living" of the antediluvian is, especially the Cainitic branch,
was elevated tremendously by these talented sons of Lamech.
Tubal-cain also had a notable sister, Naaman ("pleasant").
Once again, it is significant to note that the elements which modern evolutionary
archaeologists and anthropologists identify as the attributes of the emergence
of evolving men from the stone age into true civilization -- namely, urbanization,
agriculture, animal domestication, and metallurgy -- all were accomplished quickly
by the early descendants of Adam and did not take hundreds of thousands of years.
Musical instruments, another important aspect of modern culture,
were also an early development.
All of these things, in addition, confirm the necessary coexistence of a written language
for formal communications.
This is further intimated by use of the word "book" and Genesis 5:1.
More and more modern archaeological discoveries today are verifying the high degree
of technology possessed by the earliest men, thus indirectly validating
this Biblical testimony.
Genesis 4: 23, 24: "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zilah, hear my voice;
ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding,
and a young man to my hurt.
If Cain shall be revenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."
Civilizations attempt to thwart the effects of God's curse is illustrated
by the Cainitic economy as follows:
(1) urban life was preferred by many, instead of "tilling the ground";
(2) nomadic life was preferred by others, instead of the settled dwelling place
required for agriculture;
(3) cattle raising was inaugurated, because man had become meat eaters
instead of being content with food grown from the earth;
(4) metal working and tools were developed to ease the "toil" of the curse;
(5) musical instruments were devised to mitigate the "sorrow";
(6) polygamy was introduced, instead of adhering to the monogamous form of marriage;
(7) metallic weapons were invented, giving those who possess them and were skilled
in their use of great advantage upon other men;
(8) poetic boasting, as noted here in Lamech's song and as often characteristic
of human poetry and writing, asserted man's self-sufficiency and independence of God.
Cities, with their community of interrelated activities and interests, technology,
animal husbandry, music, poetry, and so forth -- most of these things can legitimately
be regarded as a proper response to God's primeval command to subdue the earth
and exercise dominion over it, provided they are regarded in this lot,
with man as God steward of them for the benefit of his fellow man
and for the glory of God.
Unfortunately, man's history indicates, rather, that he has cultivated them primarily
in rebellion against God; and this was especially true of the antediluvian civilization.
Lamech, in particular, representing the seventh generation of mankind on the Cainitic side
(as in Enoch did on the Sethitic side), tragically reflects the developing spirit of his age.
His character is revealed by this preserve fragment of a song he had compose
(the first recorded poem in history, and sung to his two wives Adah and Zillah,
boasting of his prowess in combat and his determination to visit mortal retribution
on anyone presuming to oppose him (there is an ancient Jewish legend that Lamech
actually slew his ancestor Cain, but this is only a legend with probably no factual basis).
Now that Lamech had the advantage of possessing the metal weapons forced
by his clever son, he felt safe in such boasting, though it is interesting
that his audience consisted merely of his two wives!
Whether he was actually so fearsome in confrontation with other men
is left to speculation.
The most noteworthy aspect of Lamech's poem is its blasphemous outburst against God.
In punishing his ancestor Cain, God had nevertheless issued a warning against killing Cain,
stating that sevenfold punishment would overtake anyone doing so.
So Lamech says in effect: "Well, it God promises a sevenfold vengeance on anyone killing Cain,
I myself guarantee a seventy-sevenfold retribution on anyone who even hurts me!"
There is an interesting reference to this in the New Testament, in the contrasting attitude
enjoined on us by Christ, who told Peter that he should forgive his brother
not just seven times, or even seventy-seven times, but seventy times seven!
During this period from the Fall to the Flood, there seems to have been no organized system
of laws or government for controlling human conduct.
Although Adam undoubtedly instructed his children concerning the curse,
as well as God's promise of a coming Redeemer and the intermediate provision
for approaching Him through blood sacrifice, there was no human agency ordained
to enforce standards of behavior or worship.
There were undoubtedly some, especially in the direct line patriarchs from Adam to Noah,
who heeded Adam's counsel and thus believed and obeyed God's Word.
Most people, however, were content to go "in the way of Cain" (Jude 11);
and with the creature comforts and advantages accruing from the rapidly developing science
and technology of the day, it was not long before "the wickedness of man
was great in the earth" (Genesis 6:5).
Each man and each clan did what ever they wanted to do, to the extent that their strength
and skills permitted.
There was nothing to restrain them except, in some cases, the superior strength
and skill of others.
So, it was demonstrated long ago that man cannot simply be left to their own devices;
laws and governments are absolutely necessary.
Consequently, after the Flood, God formally instituted systems of human government
among men (Genesis 9:6).
There is also possible suggestion in Lamech's poem that there were other men
around trying to seduce Lamech's wives, or even trying to take them from him by force,
and that Adah and Zillah were not too adverse to such developments.
This would explain why Lamech's threats were directed especially
to the hearing of his wives.
In any case, this suggestion of a growing sexual laxity among the Cainites is confirmed
by the condition of general lust and promiscuity implied in Genesis 6:1-4
and Matthew 24:38.
Genesis 4:25, 26: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son,
and called his name Seth: For God, said she, half appointed me another seed
instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
And to Seth, to him also was born a son; and he called his name Enos:
then began man to call upon the name of the Lord."
There is a marked change of emphasis in the record of the descendants
of Adam through Seth.
No more do we read of human accomplishments and boasting, but, rather,
of men "calling upon the name of the Lord."
If the Cainites revealed the flowering of the Serpent's seed in the life of mankind,
God was still maintaining the integrity of the promise Seed of the woman.
First, He appointed to Eve "another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
The name Seth means "appointed" or "substituted," and indicates that Eve had faith
that it was through this son that God's promises would eventually be fulfilled.
It interesting to note that in some cases (4:25) the mother selected the name,
while in others (4:26) the father did so.
This probably suggests that, in all cases, there was mutual consultation between
husband and wife on this important decision.
Then, in the days of Enos (meaning "mortal frailty," and interested testimony
to Seth's awareness of man's deep spiritual meaning), son of Seth, it is recorded
that "men began to call upon the name of Jehovah."
This phrase almost certainly signifies the beginning of regular public worship of the Lord,
probably replacing the previous practice of individually meeting with Him
as Cain and Abel did.
Perhaps it also refers to the beginning of the practice of prayer, implying
that God's immediate presence was no longer accessible.
In any case, it surely denotes an act of faith on the part of those
who "call upon his name."
In later times, and probably even at this time, it was accompanied by the building
of an altar and the offering of a sacrificed (see Genesis 12:8; 13:4; 26:25;
1 Kings 18:23, 24; etc.).
The name of Jehovah, representing all that He is and does, promising and providing
salvation to all who trust His Word, was regarded later as unutterably sacred
(Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:16).
Before Calvary, when God Himself provided one great sacrifice for sins forever,
it was needful for men, as they called His name, again and again to all for their sacrifices,
shedding the blood on the altar as atonement for their souls (Leviticus 17:11).
But since Calvary, men need only to call in faith on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord,
for eternal salvation.
For "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved"
(Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13).
Jesus is not only the Christ, but He is Himself the Lord, Jehovah, the eternal "I Am."
He is the Lord Jesus Christ!
"God… hath given him a name which is above every name…
Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:9-11).
It is certain that the patriarchs knew the Lord in terms of the character implied
by the name Jehovah (self-existing, eternal, unchangeable, revealer of Himself to men),
whether or not the actual name they employed, in whatever language they spoke,
was the specific name Jehovah; and they could and did call on His name as so revealed.
The Line of the Promised Seed
Although the authority of God continued to be recognized among the Sethities,
they were members of a fallen race no less than the Cainities.
In the first verse of chapter 5, the writer recalls again that God created man
"in the likeness of God."
But then, in verse 3, he says that Adam "begat a son in his own likeness,
after his image, and called his name Seth."
Between Adam and Seth intervened the Fall.Though Adam was created in God's image,
Seth was begotten in Adam's image; he therefore partook of the fallen nature
of his father (note Romans 5:12-14).
Three facts seem to be emphasized in the record of the ten antediluvian patriarchs
in Genesis 5:
(1) God was preserving and recording the divinely ordained line of the promised Seed,
with the appropriate genealogical and chronological data.
(2) God's command to "be fruitful and multiply" was being carried out,
since the record recites that each one in the line "begat sons and daughters".
(3) God's curse was also in effect, since in spite of the fact that each man lived
many hundreds of years, eventually "he died."
This list of names and ages of the antediluvians, which may seem dull and monotonous
at first, becomes meaningful and exciting on closer inspection.
It is from this section, telling us that men once were able to live almost a thousand years,
that we deduce something of the marvelous nature of the world's primeval environment.
It also indicates that men were able to father children during most of their long lives.
For instance, Enoch had a son at age 65.
And Noah had a child at age 500.
There is no reason to think, of course, that the men whose names are listed
were the first born sons of their fathers.
Seth, the first in the list, was the third son of Adam; and Shem was possibly
the second or third son of Noah (Genesis 10:21).
The recorded names are those sons who turned out to be in the line of the promised Seed.
Genesis 5:1, 2: "This is the book of the generations of Adam.
In the day that God created man, and the likeness of God made he him;
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam,
in the day when they were created."
The first verse of Genesis 5 marks one of the major divisions of Genesis.
It is significant that it says: "This is the book of the generations of Adam."
The records thus was written, not just transmitted orally.
Quite possibly, Adam himself wrote this section (chapters 2, 3, 4) which concludes
with this statement and signature of Adam.
Similarly Noah (note Genesis 6:9) was the probable original author
of Genesis 5:1b -- 6:9a).
It is interesting to note that the record of Cain's descendants stops with the deeds
of Lamech, who was in the seventh generation from Adam.
From the chronologies of Genesis 5, it is evident that Adam died during the lifetime
of Enoch, who was also in the seventh generation from Adam.
This suggests that Adam still kept up with Cain and his descendants as long as he lived,
even though Cain had so severely alienated himself from his family.
Likewise, there was apparently still some belief in his father's God, as noted before,
in Cain's own line, until about this same time.
It is also interesting to note that, while Genesis 5:1 contains the first mention of "book"
(or, one might say "Bible") in the Old Testament, the first mention of "book"
in the New Testament is in Matthew 1:1, "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ."
So, the first book tells of the origins of the first Adam.
The second book speaks of the origins of the last Adam, who is "the Lord from heaven"
(1 Corinthians 15:47)
We need to mention again that "Adam" and "man" both translate the same Hebrew word.
Whether it is being used generically, of humanity as a whole, or of the single individual
Adam himself, must be determined from the context.
So, verse 2 should probably read: "Male and female created he them;
and blessed them, and called their name man [rather than "Adam"], in the day
when they were created."
These verses obviously refer to Genesis 1:26-28.
The reason for this is clearly to tie this new section back to the first record.
The first was the toledoth of "the heavens and the earth" (2:4),
the "book of the toledoth of Adam" (5:1) has just been completed, and now,
much later, "the toledoth of Noah" (6:9) is beginning to be inscribed.
It was necessary for noise record to be identified with both of the others,
as a continuation of the "official" history of the human race and especially
of the line the promise.
Furthermore, this brief summary then makes this section a complete record
of the antediluvian patriarchs, from the date of Creation down to the birth
of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Therefore, it provides the chronological framework of history from creation to the Flood.
Genesis 5:3-5: "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son
in his own likeness, after his image and called his name Seth:
And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years
and he begat sons and daughters:
And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
Genesis 5:5 gives Adam's obituary announcement, fulfilling the physical aspect
of the death sentence pronounced on him in Genesis 3:19 and assuring all of humanity
that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
Before he died, however, he live to the great age of nine hundred and thirty years,
and "begat sons and daughters," probably many of each.
These latter were, it is intimated, born after Seth; and Seth was born when Adam
was already 130 years old.
It does seem strange that such a long period of Adam's life had elapsed before
he began to bear other children than Cain and Abel.
It may be that God deliberately withheld the "fruit of the womb" from Eve
for such a long time in order to enable them to overcome their grief over the tragedy
of Abel and to strengthen their life of prayer and faith
(as He later did in the case of Abraham and Sarah).
It is also possible that they did have other children before Seth, but he was the one
whom God revealed would be the true substitute for Abel, the son who seed would
inherit the promises.
This possibility would make the previous story of Cain's exile, his wife,
and his city a bit more understandable in terms of the chronology involved.
(6) "And Seth lived 105 years, and begat Enos:
(7) And Seth lived after he begat Enos 807 years, and begat sons and daughters:
(8) And all the days of Seth were 912 years: and he died.
(9) And Enos lived 90 years, and begat Cainan:
(10) And Enos lived after he begat Canin 815 years, and begat sons and daughters:
(11) And all the days of Enos was 905 years: and he died.
(12) And Cainan lived 70 years and begat Mahalaleel:
(13) And Caninan lived after he begat Mahalaleel 840 years,
and begat sons and daughters:
(14) And all the days of Caninan were 910 years: and he died.
(15)And Mahalaleel lived 60 and five years, and begat Jared:
(16) And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared 830 years, and begat sons and daughters:
(17) And all the days of Mahalaleel were 890 and five years: and he died.
(18) And Jered lived 160 and two years, and he begat Enoch:
(19) And Jered lived after he begat Enoch 800 years, and begat sons and daughters:
(20) and all the days of Jared were 960 and two years: and he died."
This begins the long cyclic recital of the antediluvian patriarchs.
It lists their names, their ages at the birth of those sons who were in the line of promise,
and the fact that they each had sons and daughters, and finally their ages at death.
In all, there were 10 of these patriarchs in the lineage, from Adam to Noah.
This is the only reliable chronological framework we have for the antediluvian period of history.
Assuming no gaps in these genealogies, there was a total of 1656 years
from the Creation to the Flood.
Taking the recorded ages at face value, it is interesting to note that Adam lived
until Lamech, the father of Noah, was 56 years old, and Noah was born only 14 years
after the death of Seth.
Most likely, the oldest of the living patriarchs maintained the primary responsibility
for preserving and promulgating God's Word to his contemporaries.
Since both Enoch and Lamech were outlived by their fathers, there were only seven men
in the line before Noah who had this responsibility.
This probably explains why, in 2 Peter 2:5, Noah is called "eighth preacher
of righteousness" in the "old world."
The meaning of the names is somewhat obscure, but may be roughly as follows:
Seth… "Appointed one"
Enos… "Mortal frailty"
Mahalaleel… "God be praised"
Methuselah… "When he dies, judgment"
All in all, there is no reason whatever not take this list in Genesis 5
as true history in every way.
The names are, of course, repeated and 1 Corinthians 1:1-4 and Luke 3:36-38.
This confirms that they were accepted as historical by the later biblical writers,
of both Old and New Testaments.
The Amazing Case of Enoch
Just as the record of Genesis 4 gives a most striking insight into the evil character of Lamech,
so the record of Genesis 5 gives a brief, but most illuminating, inside into the godly
character of his contemporary, Enoch.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam in Seth's line, had the same name as Cain' son.
Lamech, the seventh from Adam and Cain's line, had the same name as Noah’s father.
But their characters were utterly different.
Enoch "walked with God" and was a prophet of God.
As such, he preached against the godlessness of his generation in fearsome,
thundering words: "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints
[or "is holy myriads"] to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed,
and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him"
(Jude 14, 15).
It almost seems as though, when he spoke these words,
Enoch had Lamech particularly in mind.This fragment probably also represents,
of course, the essential content of all his prophetic burden against the blasphemous
wickedness of the men of his generation.
It is remarkable that Enoch would prophesy of what we now recognize
as the second coming of Christ even before the Flood,
but this is clearly the meaning placed on it by Jude.
Actually, it may be considered as an amplification and exposition of the great prophecy
of Genesis 3:15, the promise of the eventual crushing of the serpent,
Satan, and his seed.
God "left not himself without witness," even in the days of the antediluvians.
The promised "coming" in judgment had a preliminary and precursory fulfillment
in the great Flood, but it's final fulfillment awaits the glorious return and triumph
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The quotation in Jude seems to have been taken from one of three apocryphal books
purportedly written by Enoch, but actually dating from about
the first century before Christ.
These books contain much interesting material and, although most of it is surely fictional,
it is probable that some actual traditions of Enoch's prophecies may have been
handed down in the same manner as other records which eventually
reached Moses and others.
At least Jude, by divine inspiration, incorporated this particular fragment
as a true Enochian authorship.
Genesis 5:21-24: "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years,
and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
Enoch's "walk" with God was probably not literally in the sense in which Adam had walked
with Him in the garden before the Fall.
Enoch shared the fallen nature of all men and thus could not physically even
"look upon God and live," unless God chose to veil His glory in theophanic revelation,
as He later did on occasion to Abraham and Moses.
In any case, "by faith" (Hebrews 11:5), and prior and by obedience to His Work,
Enoch maintained close fellowship and communion with God, a privilege
equally possible to us today (Colossians 2:6; Galatians 5:25; 2 Corinthians 5:7).
It is important to note that his walk with God was not such a mystical, pietistic experience
as to preclude an effective family life or a strong and vocal opposition to the unbelief
and wickedness of his day.
The climax of Enoch's testimony was an event unique in history.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found,
because God had translated him" (Hebrews 11:5)
This is the inspired interpretation of the phrase here in Genesis:
"he was not, for God took him."
Somehow, in actual physical flesh Enoch was supernaturally carried up into heaven,
where presumably he still is today.
Nearly twenty-five centuries later, another prophet, Elijah, was similarly taken into heaven
without dying (2 Kings 2:11).
It is significant that Enoch prophesied about midway between Adam and Abraham,
and Elijah about midway between Abraham and Christ,
both ministered in times of deep apostasy.
The translation of these two saints is perhaps the type of the promised translation
of those who are alive and trusting in Christ when He returns in the time
of the end (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
However, the two events are not strictly parallel, since the "rapture" of the saints
is to be simultaneous with resurrection and glorification; and such an experience
was impossible prior to the resurrection and glorification of Christ
(1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, 51-53).
It is not said of Enoch, as it was said of all these other patriarchs, that "he died."
Twice it is mentioned that he "walked with God," the repetition being for the purpose
of explaining God's unique way of dealing with Enoch.
God "took him," not in death, but in life, showing clearly even to the antediluvians
that life continues beyond this present existence.
Genesis 5:25-27: "And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty and seven years,
and begat Lamech:
And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years,
and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died."
An intriguing aspect of Enoch's prophetic ministry is suggested by the name
of his son Methuselah, born when Enoch was 65 years old (that the long ages
of the patriarchs were measured in two years and not in months, as some have suggested,
is obvious from the implication that such an interpretation would have made Enoch
nearly 5 years old when his son was born!).
The meaning of this name is doubtful, though many scholars have said it means
"man of the spear."
Such a name as this, however, would hardly have been in character for Enoch
to select as a name for his favorite son.
Many ancient and modern commentators have interpreted the name of Methuselah
as meaning "When he dies, it shall be sent."
If this suggestion is correct (and there is at least a possible basis for it),
then a justifiable inference is that Enoch, the prophet of coming judgment,
had received -- at the time of the birth of this son -- a special revelation concerning
the coming judgment of the great Flood.
However, God promised him that it would not come as long as Methuselah lived;
and Enoch gave him a name to commemorate that prophetic warning and promise.
This may possibly be the significance of the fact that Methuselah lived longer (969 years)
than any other man in history whose age was recorded.
"God is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).As He is long-suffering toward
godless men today, so He was long ago, "when once the long-suffering of God waited
in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing" (1 Peter 3:20).
Genesis 5:28-32: "And Lamech lived eight hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work
and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.
And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years,
and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth."
Methuselah's son Lamech, like his grandfather Enoch, was a prophet of God
(prophesying at least concerning his own son Noah).
These are the only two antediluvian's patriarchs from whom portions
of their actual prophecies have been recorded in Scripture.It is also interesting
that these are the only two antediluvian patriarchs who were outlived by their own fathers
(Enoch was translated 430 years before Jared's death,
and Methuselah outlived Lamech by five years).
Also, for some reason, Enoch and Lamech are the only two whose names had already
been given to certain of their distant relatives in the ungodly line of Cain.
It is probable that the Canite Enoch and Lamech were both living
when the Sethite Enoch and Lamech were born.
The antediluvian line culminates in Noah (whose name means "rest")
and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
At Noah's birth, his father Lamech prophesied of a coming time when the curse
would be removed, indicating that the memory of Creation and the Fall was still fresh
in the minds of at least those who had received and believed the records
transmitted to them from Adam.
This is strong evidence that there cannot be any large "gaps" in the genealogies
of Genesis 5.
It is impossible to harmonize this record with the evolutionary speculations
placing man's origin at several million years ago.
Lamech (as well as Adam, Abel, and Enoch) was undoubtedly one of these in Peter's mind
when he spoke of "the kinds of restitution [or 'restoration'] of all things,
which God had spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began"
Noah, as the one who would by his ark preserve life as the cursed Earth
was being "cleansed" by the waters of the Flood, was only a precursory fulfillment
of Lamech's prophecy, of course.
The promised Seed was still future, but in Him and His promised coming
were true "rest" and "comfort."
Lamech, like all the other patriarchs, "begat sons and daughters" in addition to Noah.
It seems probable that these brothers and sisters of Noah must have perished in the Flood.
Also there must have been many others in the Sethite line that also perished,
since he could hardly have been only the Cainites who had begun
"to multiply on the earth" (Genesis 6:1).
So the wickedness and corruption which had become rampant had afflicted
both branches of the human family by this time, except probably for the godly remnant
in the direct line from Enoch to Noah.
It may even have had affected Noah's family, though of this we cannot be sure.
We are told only of his three sons who survived the Flood; but it seems likely
that he also, like the others, "begat sons and daughters," particularly since
the five hundred year age at which Shem, Ham, and Japheth began to be born is more
than 300 years older than the age at which any of the other named members
of the patriarchal line were born.
The reason for mentioning three sons by name (rather than only Shem,
the next in the prophetic lineage) is that these were the ones in the family who elected
to go with him into the Ark and who would, therefore, becomes the progenitors
of the post-Flood nations.
Noah was 500 years old before these three sons were born.
That five hundred year period, plus the one hundred year period from that time
on to the Flood, must have been a time of trauma and grief for godly Noah.
The world is rapidly becoming unimaginably wicked and violent, and evidently
his faithful preaching and witnessing seemed futile.
Whether or not he saw some of his own children engulfed in this morass of evil,
there is little doubt that he saw it overwhelm his brothers and sisters
and other loved ones.
He must often have longed and prayed that the God with whom he, like Enoch,
"walked" would intervene before the entire world succumbed.
This is he end of chapter 5.