Genesis 5 gives us the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Lately I learned something that has fascinated me in regards to each of the names in this chapter. It's not a doctrine, and whether it is perfectly correct may be debated, but I hope you'll find it as interesting as I did.
We know that names have meanings going right back to Biblical times when children were often named according to the circumstances at the time of their birth. Let's check out the meanings of these 10 names from Adam to Noah in Genesis 5.
Here is where it all began and Adam's name means Man or Mankind.
After Cain killed Abel, Adam's third son came along. Genesis 4:25 tells us that "[Eve] called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." Seth means Appointed.
105 years later, Enosh was born. His name means Mortal or Frail. Genesis 4:26 says "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." There are 2 contrasting thoughts over what this "calling upon the name of the LORD" means. It could mean that at this time people began to worship the Lord, or to call themselves by the Lord's name, distinguishing themselves from the wicked people around them. However, it may be that the total opposite is true: that people began to defile the name of the Lord or began to profanely call upon the name of the Lord. In other words, this may have been the beginning of idolatry - at only 256 years after the creation of Adam!
Kenan came next. The circumstances surrounding his birth must have been sad as his name means Sorrow.
70 years passed before Mahalalel entered the scene. The ending of his name contains El, which is the word for God. Malhalal means blessed or praised. So, Mahalal-el means The Blessed God. Just for more interest, other Bible names include El such as Dani-el (God is my Judge) and Nathani-el (Gift of God). We can also see our word Hallelujah (praise) in this name.
Stay with me... we're half way through!
Finally ... a name we recognize! Jared means Shall Come Down.
Now we reach Enoch, the seventh from Adam. His name means Teaching. Enoch did not die for Genesis 5:24 tells us that "he was not; for God took him". Jude 1:14-15 gives us more astounding information about Enoch and the message he taught. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." It may be hard to believe but it seems Enoch's preaching actually foretold of the second coming of Christ! No wonder Genesis 5:24 tells us "Enoch walked with God" and that Hebrews 11:5 says "...[Enoch] had this testimony, that he pleased God". I wonder ... what other truths did God reveal to this man? Did he know about God's soon coming judgement on all mankind? This might be a possibility when you consider what he named his son...
What name did Enoch choose? Methuselah, meaning His death shall bring. Methuselah lived to be the oldest man in the Bible at 969 years of age. And what did his death bring? If you do the calculations, Methuselah died in the same year that God destroyed the world with the Flood. Amazing!
Genesis 6:5 tells us that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." No wonder Methuselah named his son Lamech meaning The Despairing One. Lamech is similar to our word lament, or lamentation. Haven't all of us, at some point, looked around at the depravity of our world today and felt despair, similar to what Methuselah must have felt in his day? Perhaps he felt such hopelessness even more keenly when you consider another fascinating fact. At this point in the genealogy when Lamech was born, Adam was still alive! In fact, Adam lived after Lamech's birth for another 56 years! It could very well be that Lamech conversed with Adam and heard first-hand the account of the perfect Garden of Eden and how God Himself had walked and talked with Adam and Eve!
Finally ... 1, 056 years after Adam (who had now passed away), Noah was born. "And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands..." Genesis 5:28-29. Noah's name means Comfort or Rest. Just what comfort did Lamech anticipate that his son would bring? As Enoch continued prophesying and the world continued in its wickedness, Lamech must have longed for rest from all the evil around him.
Well, there we have it - all 10 names from Adam to Noah. But now let's see why we've looked at all of this. If you read all the meanings of the names in order from Adam to Noah, this is what you read...
Man appointed mortal sorrow (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring the despairing comfort (or rest).
Did you get that? Do you see the hidden message in the meanings of the names? Isn't that amazing?! The gospel may actually have been hidden away back in Genesis 5!
O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name;