I’ve been taking an interest in the second half Genesis 4, verses 16-24, through to Chapter 5, the third generation of man. In this initial article the focus is on the family of line of Cain.
This is not a well known part of the early history of man kind after the creation of man and man's fall (sin), but it does reveal a great deal about the development of human kind in this early period.
As a believer in the Bible who takes the text as being not only instructive for wholesome living, also it reveals insights to understand the history of man. I recognise that when the text provides one verse to describe the entire life and contribution of a person, there is obviously a whole lot more about that person's life than that one item.
Australian history can sometimes recount similar recognition. We might read of someone such as the famous swimmer Dawn Fraser who won Olympic Gold in the same 100 metre event on three consecutive Olympics. However that is not the sum total of Dawn Fraser's life or anything like it. Dawn Fraser's life takes in her parents, her temperament, her school experiences, her swimming coach and her funny side. After her swimming career she married and eventually became a single mum and many years later became a politician.
Yet in many instances, all we might hear of Dawn Fraser is that she won three Gold Medals in consecutive Olympics.
So too in the Genesis account in the second half of chapter 4 we read of people and what they specifically engaged in. However only one single aspect of their life is highlighted. I am exploring in 10 articles, initially the line of Cain: Lamech, Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-cain and a daughter, Naamah.
To provide some background to the first of these, Lamech. Lamech's father was Methusael, who was the fourth generation from Cain. In other words from Cain we read that he had a son named Enoch. Enoch's son was named Irad. Irad's son was named Mehujael and his son was Methusadel who was Lamech's father.
I'll refer to this as the first Enoch's family lineage as there is a different Enoch in Chapter 5. We're given this information in one verse (v18). Now we know from the following chapter, (Ch. 5) that the family line of Enoch had cousins from the family line of Seth and in Chapter 5 verse 18 we're told about another Enoch (the second Enoch), several generations along.
First Enoch, second Enoch
The first Enoch is the son of Cain from Chapter 4. The second Enoch is in Chapter 5 and comes from the line of Seth, a brother of Cain. In other words in this early part of Genesis we're being given a presentation of the family of man. There are a whole bunch of cousins from the family of the first Enoch, and the other family line is from Seth.
This is a story of cousins. We'll look at the first lot of cousins in the first five articles and we'll look at the second lot of cousins (from Seth's line) in the second five articles.
By the end of the tenth article we read in Genesis 6 there was a multitude of people upon the face of the earth. People lived very long lives. They gave birth to sons and daughters. There was a lot of multiplying. Quite a number of mathematicians over the centuries have calculated the population growth of this period to have been phenomenal.
The Bible gives us a glimpse of this yet focuses in on two family lines that of Cain's and that of Seth's. Television dramas today still follow this same pattern, focusing in on one particular family while recognising there are many relatives and friends.
The Genesis story therefore in this capsule of time, has a specific purpose, and we'll look at these in the coming nine articles.
The Genesis Record by Henry Morris published by Baker Book House first published in 1976, on page 154 provides a statistical list of:
1. Year of Birth of each Patriarch
2. Age at Birth of Next Patriarch
3. Year of Death.
Morris says of this: "There is no reason to think there are any "gaps" in this record, or that the years are anything other than normal years. The record is perfectly natural and straightforward."
He says further: "... Adam lived until Lamech (the father of Noah) and Noah was born only fourteen years after the death of Seth. Most likely, the oldest of the living Patriarchs maintained the primary responsibility for preserving and promulgating God's Word to his contemporaries.
Morris goes on: "Since both Enoch and Lamech were outlived by their fathers, there were only seven men in the line before Noah who had this responsibility. This probably explains why, in II Peter chapter 2 verse 5, Noah is called "eighth preacher of righteousness."
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html