The following is a neat devotional study based on the names of those in the line of Christ from Genesis five. This idea is not unique to me, but this study is what I have put together, from various resources I had on hand (plus, wisdom from God).
What The Genealogy In Genesis Five Pictures
Genesis 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in 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 Names In This Chapter
There are eleven names in this chapter in the line of Christ, from Adam unto Shem. Here are their names and basic definitions/explanations, then I will attempt to sum up what they picture:
1. Adam - Man/Mankind (meaning earth or red earth, signifying man being created from the dust of the earth)
2. Seth - Appointed or Substituted (Adam's "son in his own likeness" - verse 3)
3. Enos - Mortal (ie. "destined to die," from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
4. Cainan - Possessor or Purchaser (may also include the idea of Redeemer, one who purchases back)
5. Mahalaleel - Praise God or God Be Praised
6. Jared - He Descends or Coming Down
7. Enoch - Dedication ("the seventh from Adam" who "walked with God" - verses 22 and 24 - and "he had this testimony, that he pleased God" by faith - see Jude 1:14; Hebrews 11:5; Amos 3:3)
8. Methuselah - When He Dies, Then Comes Judgment or He Dieth And Judgment Sent Forth (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown: "This name signifies, 'He dieth, and the sending forth.'")
- The literal fulfillment of his name was in Methuselah's death just prior to or at the time of the sending forth of the flood - he died and the judgment of God came.
9. Lamech - Conqueror
10. Noah - Rest
Genesis 5:29 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.
"The allusion is, undoubtedly, to the penal consequences of the fall in earthly toils and sufferings, and to the hope of a Deliverer, excited by the promise made to Eve. That this expectation was founded on a divine communication we infer from the importance attached to it and the confidence of its expression." - from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown.
Matthew Henry observes, "All the patriarchs here, except Noah, were born before Adam died..." - yet Noah did not come until after the death of Adam... This too was part of the picture that God was presenting here.
11. Shem - Name
What These Names Picture
From the meaning of the names and the order they are given, I offer this following interpretation of what they picture:
A. To Man (ie. mankind) it is Appointed To Die.
Or - As it is appointed unto men... to die - as Hebrews 9:27 states.
- but there is a Substitute, made in the likeness of man, who was destined to die... (See Romans 8:3)
B. The Possessor (or Purchaser), Praise God, is Coming Down. God Be Praised, The Redeemer Descends (to earth).
Webster's 1828 Dictionary gives the following definitions (in part):
Redeem: "In commerce, to purchase or pay the value in specie, of any promissory note, bill or other evidence of debt, given by the state, by a company or corporation, or by an individual... In theology, to rescue and deliver from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law, by obedience and suffering in the place of the sinner, or by doing and suffering that which is accepted in lieu of the sinner's obedience."
Redemption: "In theology, the purchase of God's favor by the death and sufferings of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law by the atonement of Christ."
Jesus, the Creator and Possessor of Heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19), came down to earth to be our Redeemer. He become one of us, made in the likeness of man (but without sin - Hebrews 4:15), in order that He may be our Sinless Subsitute.
C. He lived a life of Dedication - He walked with God and was well-pleasing to Him.
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Jesus, the Son of God - God manifest in the flesh - the Son of Man - the Perfect Man ("the seventh from Adam" - seven in the Bible indicates perfection, completion) completely fulfilled the requirements of the law (which sinful man could never do), thereby pleasing His Heavenly Father. It is only when we are in Christ (through faith in His finished work of Redemption and receiving of this Saviour), and walking in faith with Him that the Lord is well-pleased with us.
D. When He Dies, Then Comes Judgment.
- As Hebrews 9:27 states, And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
He Dieth And Judgment Sent Forth.
- The fulfillment of what this pictured is seen in Jesus' death on the cross for our sins; He bore our judgment - the judgment of God that we deserved - and literally shed His blood and died in our place as our Substitute. While He was dying (dieth - present tense) on the cross, He bore man's judgment.
E. The Conqueror brings Rest, through His Name.
Through Jesus' death, burial, and literal physical resurrection after three days and three nights in the grave, He became the Conqueror over death and Hell (see Revelation 1:18). He brings Rest through His Name.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The Rest to Man could not come until after the Appointed Death of the Redeemer (Purchaser), the Son of Man. Praise God, Jesus Christ Descended to earth and was made in Man's likeness, becoming Mortal so that He could die for Man, Dying in his place as his Substitute, bearing the Judgment (and curse) of God for Man's sins. He was the perfect Sacrifice because of His sinless life and complete Dedication to fulfilling the will and law of God. As the only Conqueror over Death and Hell, He offers Rest to all those who will believe on His Name - the name of Jesus (ie. Saviour). This is spiritual Rest, Rest from the curse of our sins and from the dead works of our hands - through faith in the Saviour's finished work at Calvary. Praise Be to God, "It is Finished!" What a Comfort! What a Rest! What A Saviour!
For more studies in Genesis (with Genesis as the springboard):