Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to Genesis 5. Many readers of the Bible have found this chapter to be so dry that they have passed over it in their reading, perhaps, at most, paying attention only to the last twelve verses. Nevertheless, we must recognize that Genesis 5 is a most important portion of the Holy Word. Although many names and years are mentioned in this chapter, it is not an account of history. The whole Bible is a book of life, and this chapter, with all of its names and years, shows us the way of life.
As we saw in the last message, at the end of Genesis 4 we have the wonderful matter of calling on the name of the Lord (4:26). Genesis 5 speaks of walking with God (v. 22). To call on the Lord is one thing, and to walk with God is another. We all must call on the Lord and, following this, walk with God. We should not walk according to the age, but with God. Walking with God must follow our calling on the Lord. Thus, we must progress from Genesis 4 to Genesis 5. Let us now consider the contents of this chapter.
Firstly, Genesis 5 tells us the origin of man. What was man's origin? The answer is found in the first two verses of this chapter, which are very important and wonderful. "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." According to these verses, man's origin was not only God, but also the likeness, the image, of God. God's image was the practical origin of Adam, for Adam was made in the image of God. Thus, our origin is not a certain race or nationality; it is God with His image. All of us have been created by God in His image. It does not matter whether we are male or female because both male and female, both husband and wife, were called Adam. God has ordained this as a divine principle, and this principle still operates today. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor both have the name Taylor. Mr. Taylor is husband Taylor, and Mrs. Taylor is wife Taylor. Thus, both the husband and the wife are Taylor. In like manner, both Adam and Eve were called Adam. Once God has established a principle, it remains. No one can alter it.
Genesis 5 is a wonderful chapter. I have never read a record like it in any other book. I have not read elsewhere that a man lived for a certain number of years and begat a son, that after this begetting he lived another period of time, begat children, and then died, and that his son lived for certain years and begat a child and continued to live and to beget children and then died. This is the record of Genesis 5, a record which seems very repetitious. Genesis 5 is filled with names that are difficult to pronounce, with the number of years that the people lived, and with the words "lived," "begat," and "died." These three words are repeated again and again throughout the chapter. Furthermore, have you ever noticed that the word "lived" is used twice for each person? For instance, we are told that Adam lived a hundred thirty years and begat Seth (5:3) and that all the days Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years (5:5). Following Adam, Seth lived a hundred five years and begat Enosh and then lived another eight hundred seven years (5:6-7). This cycle of lived, begat, lived, begat, and died is repeated eight times in this chapter. Although ten generations are mentioned in Genesis 5, we must deduct Enoch who was an exceptional case and Noah whose death is not recorded in this chapter. Thus, we have eight generations that lived, begat, lived, begat, and died.
There is a great difference between the records of Genesis 4 and 5. Genesis 4 tells us that certain people lived, but it does not tell us how many years they lived. In a sense, the people named in Genesis 4 had no living in the eyes of God. Their lives were vanity. However, Genesis 4 tells us of many of the things that they inventedreligion, city planning, city building, farming, music, and weapons. That chapter also speaks of the evil things that the people did. How strange that Genesis 5 tells us nothing of the deeds and activities of the people. Those men lived for such a long time, in most cases for more than nine hundred years. What did they do? Although I have spent considerable time studying this chapter, all I could learn was that the people lived, begat, lived, begat, and died. Other than this, there is not the slightest hint revealed as to what they did. All they did was live and beget.
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