What does Genesis 5:31 mean?
ESV: Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.
NIV: Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.
NASB: So all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.
CSB: So Lamech's life lasted 777 years; then he died.
NLT: Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.
KJV: And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
At 777 years old, Lamech's lifespan is more than one hundred years shorter than any of his fathers, dating back to Adam. The only exception is his grandfather, Enoch, who did not die. Was this a gift of mercy to Noah? We don't know, since the details of this passage are few and far between. However, looking at the ages given in this passage, Lamech lived 595 years after fathering Noah. The floodwaters came on the earth when Noah was 600 years old (Genesis 7:11). And so, Noah would have had the comfort of knowing that his father would not be killed in the flood that would take so many other lives.
The passing of Lamech and his father, Methuselah, also marks a sad occasion for the human race. With their deaths come the end, in a general sense, of those who walked the earth at the same time as Adam and Seth. At least among the names of this chapter, Lamech is the last to be born prior to death of Seth. Noah, on the other hand, was born just after these men departed. In a very literal sense, humanity after the flood would have to live, for the first time, without any direct memories of our earliest ancestors.
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 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.
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.
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.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:08:30 PM
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