Noah's Genealogy

Genesis 5 in the Bible is an account of the genealogy of Adam up to Noah, thus accounting Noah's ancestors. When read through, there seems to be little importance to the actual chapter since all it talks about is how old 10 people lived and who their sons were.

However, what one must realize is that the names of the people in the Biblical times had some Hebrew derivation. For instance, let us look at Methuselah's name.

Methuselah's name comes from two roots in Hebrew, muth and shalach. Together, these two make the English phrase, "His death shall bring". Now in consideration to the Flood's occurrence, Noah was 600 years old when the Flood occurred. Noah's father, Lamech, gave birth to Noah when he was 182. Lamech's father, Methuselah, gave birth to Lamech at the age of 187. These three ages, when added together, sum to 969 which was the age of Methuselah's age when he died. Methuselah's death signals the Flood.

All ten names similarly have Hebrew roots that mean certain things. Now, ten people are named in Genesis 5, in this order:

  • Adam
  • Seth
  • Enosh
  • Kenan
  • Mahalalel
  • Jared
  • Enoch
  • Methuselah
  • Lamech
  • Noah

Adam's name comes from adomah meaning "man".

Seth's name comes from a Hebrew root meaning "appointed". In fact, when one reads Genesis 4:25, the hint of this root is laid out:

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed."


Enosh's name comes from anash meaning "mortal, frail, miserable".

Kenan's name (shown as Cainan in the NKJV, but is more appropriate as this spelling) means "sorrow, dirge".

Mahalalel has two Hebrew roots: mahal and el. Mahal means "blessed, or praised", and el represents "God". Thus, his whole name collectively means "the Blessed God".

Jared's name comes from yaradh, meaning "shall come down".

Enoch's name happens to be from an educational root meaning "commencement, or teaching".

As we have established, Methuselah's name from muth and shalach makes "his death shall bring".

Lamech's name actually looks like some modern words like "lament". The name itself describes the idea of lament, better translated as "despairing".

Noah's name, from nacham, means "to bring relief, comfort". Genesis 5:29 highlights this meaning through Lamech's quote.

So now we have all these name meanings, but what happens when they are put together?

Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech Despairing
Noah Comfort

"Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort."

Here is a one sentence prophecy of the Gospel, embedded within the names of the people in Genesis 5. Here we see how God ever since the beginning planned salvation so that we may know life.


Chuck Missler's Learn the Bible in 24 Hours (2005)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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