What does Genesis 5:29 mean?
ESV: 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."
NIV: 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."
NASB: And he named him Noah, saying, 'This one will give us comfort from our work and from the hard labor of our hands caused by the ground which the Lord has cursed.'
CSB: And he named him Noah, saying, "This one will bring us relief from the agonizing labor of our hands, caused by the ground the Lord has cursed."
NLT: Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, 'May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the Lord has cursed.'
KJV: 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.
NKJV: And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.”
Verse Commentary:
This verse introduces the second major patriarch in the book of Genesis: Noah. Lamech's comments in this verse show a strong contrast between the lineage of Seth, and that of Cain. One of Cain's descendants was also named "Lamech," but he is recorded as bragging about his sin (Genesis 4:23–24). The Lamech described here, a descendant of Seth, is mourning the struggles humanity has faced since the fall. This results in him giving his son the name Noah, which sounds very much like the Hebrew word for "rest or comfort."

In addition, Lamech speaks a prophecy about his son: Out of the cursed ground, Noah would bring relief from the painful work and toil of his people's hands. Perhaps Lamech just meant that Noah would bring relief from God's curse on men by sharing in the painful work of getting crops from the ground. We don't know what Lamech had in mind. What God had in mind for Noah's lifetime, though, would bring a very specific kind of relief to the world in the form of a devastating flood that would wipe out the effects of so much human sin.
Verse Context:
Genesis 5:1-32 is a bridge of genealogy connecting the time of Adam and his son Seth to the time of Noah. This brings the Bible's historical record to the era of the flood. It provides a small, but helpful set of details: early humans lived a long time, had many children, and all died as a result of ubiquitous human sin. Enoch is the exception that proves the rule, commended for walking with God and seemingly taken away before his physical death. Despite the presence of early God-worshippers such as Adam and Seth, man will quickly descend into extraordinary wickedness, as seen in chapter 6. The coming of Noah at the end of this chapter prepares us for God's response to the sins of humankind.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 5 uses a simple genealogy of Adam's descendants through Seth to link the earliest humans with the time of Noah and the flood. In the generations after the garden, human beings live extraordinarily long lives, have great numbers of children, and continue to be in relationship with God though separated from Him physically and spiritually. The description of Enoch being ''taken'' by God is the exception that proves the rule: No matter how long a person lives, sin always leads to death.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 4 ends with the birth of Seth's son Enosh, and a statement that people had begun to call on the Lord's name. Chapter 5 details the generations from Adam through Seth to Noah, connecting the time of Adam and Seth with the time of Noah and his sons as described in chapter 6. This sets the stage for God's judgment of mankind's pervasive sin in the flood.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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