Genesis 4:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 4:18, NIV: "To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech."

Genesis 4:18, ESV: "To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech."

Genesis 4:18, KJV: "And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech."

Genesis 4:18, NASB: "Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech."

Genesis 4:18, NLT: "Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech."

Genesis 4:18, CSB: "Irad was born to Enoch, Irad fathered Mehujael, Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech."

What does Genesis 4:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse contains the first of what will be many genealogies in Genesis and in the Bible. Genealogies serve a valuable role in anchoring the text in a historical context and helping to approximate the passing of years and generations. The stories in Genesis are about real men and women who were born, lived, and died in real time. Genealogies help us to remember and recognize that.

At the same time, a key point to remember in these genealogies is that they are not particularly detailed. There are many names not mentioned—brothers and sisters and others not specifically named. Also, times are given in typical ancient style: in vague terms. The point of the genealogies is to show the flow of bloodline from one person to the next, not tgive exhaustive details on the entire family line.

In this case, the lineage being given is that of Cain, and his more notable descendants. The family line of Seth, who was born after the murder of Abel (Genesis 4:25), is given a separate explanation in the next chapter.

Some of the names used in this verse are similar or identical to names of different characters seen later in Genesis. Just as with modern families, given names in these stories are not always original. Cain's son Enoch—not the more famous one seen in the next chapter—has a son called Irad. Irad has a son called Mehujael. He has a son named Methushael, and he fathered Lamech. Again, this is not the same as the father of Noah mentioned in the next chapter. The following verses will slow the history down to tell us more about the life of proud and violent Lamech.