What does Genesis 5:32 mean?
ESV: After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
NIV: After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
NASB: Now after Noah was five hundred years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
CSB: Noah was 500 years old, and he fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
NLT: After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
KJV: And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Verse Commentary:
This chapter of genealogy ends with the birth of three more sons. The quick, detail-free nature of this chapter is on full display here, as we are only given the rough age when Noah fathered these particular sons. We are not told specifically how old Noah was when each of his sons were born, only that they were all born after he was 500 years old. This is not meant to imply that they were triplets, or that Noah's wife had all three within a twelve-month span. For the purposes of the story, all that matters is knowing that, around that age, Noah had the three offspring who would accompany him on the ark.

Interestingly, Noah is the first patriarch who is not explicitly described as having other sons and daughters. Technically, the Bible does not say that Noah did not have other children. And yet, all the other men listed were said to have had multiple other offspring. This might have been an act of mercy by God, along with the death of Noah's father, Lamech, prior to the flood. It would have been merciful, indeed, to spare Noah the pain of seeing any of his children killed in God's judgment.

Noah's birth will serve as introduction to the next chapter. There, God will respond to the pervasive, depraved evil of mankind (Genesis 6:5; Genesis 6:11).
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.
Accessed 4/22/2024 9:54:47 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.