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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Genesis 5

 

 

Verse 1

Genesis 5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Ver. 1. This is the book of the generations.] Sepher, (a) a ciphering of their names, acts, and accidents; that we might know, first, who were Christ’s progenitors; secondly, by whom the Church was continued; thirdly, how long the old world lasted, viz., one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years. (b) Whence some have grounded a conjecture, that the year of Christ one thousand six hundred and fifty-six will bring forth some strange alteration in the world. Others think the world will be then at an end, and they base this on this chronogram, MunDi ConfLagratIo.

In the likeness of God made he him.] This is much inculcated, that it may be much observed, and we much humbled, that have parted with so fair a patrimony; striving as much as may be to recover it in Christ, who being “the express image of his Father’s person,” (c) is both apt and able to renew that lost image of God in us, by his merit and Spirit, by his value and virtue.


Verse 2

Genesis 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Ver. 2. Male and female created he them.] The Jews at this day have base conceits of women: as that they have not so divine a soul as men; that they are of a lower creation, made only for the propagation and pleasure of man, &c. (a) And therefore they suffer them not to enter the synagogue, but appoint them a gallery without. Thus “they err, not knowing the Scriptures.” [Matthew 22:29] {See Trapp on "Genesis 2:22"}


Verse 3

Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Ver. 3. Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begat.] This was a great trial to his faith, to wait so long for a better issue, when the Cainites spread abroad, erected cities, and perhaps meditated monarchies.

After his own image.] Corruptus corruptum . For "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" says Job. [Job 14:4] "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," [John 3:6] saith our Saviour, and we can say no better of it. This is hard to persuade men to; for each one is apt to think his own penny as good silver: and a dead woman will have four to carry her forth, as the proverb has it. The Pharisee, bad enough though he be, yet is very braggardly of his good estate to Godward: And Novatus cries out, Non habeo, Domine, quod mihi ignoscas . How much better St Augustine, Ego admisi, Domine, unde tu damnare potes me; sed non amisisti, unde tu salvare potes me . One has destroyed me, but from you is my help - my safety here, and salvation hereafter. Lord I am hell, but you are heaven, as that martyr (a) once said, &c. “One depth called upon another”; [Psalms 42:7] the depth of my misery, the depth of thy mercy. Heaven denies me; earth groans under me; hell gapes for me: help, Lord, or your servant perishes. "Wash me throughly from my iniquity, and purge me from my sin"; [Psalms 51:2] whether that imputed to me, inherent in me, or issuing from me.


Verse 4

Genesis 5:4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 4. He begat sons and daughters.] Philo and Epiphanius give him twelve sons; Beda thirty sons, and as many daughters.


Verse 5

Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Ver. 5. Nine hundred and thirty years.] Till the fifty-sixth year of the patriarch Lamech. In all which time he doubtless instructed his good nephews in all those great things which himself had learned from God’s mouth, and “proved” in his own experience "what that good, and holy, and acceptable will of God was". [Romans 12:2] Moreover, out of his mouth, as out of a fountain, flowed whatsoever profitable doctrine, discipline, skill, and wisdom is in the world.

And he died.] This is not in vain so often iterated in this chapter; for there is in us by nature a secret conceit of immortality, and we can harldy be beaten out of it. That all must die, every man will yield; but that he may live yet, a day longer at least, there is none but hopes. We can see death in other men’s brows, but not in our own bosoms. It must make forcible entry, and break in violently. God must “cut” men “in twain,” {διχοτομησει, Matthew 24:51} and tear their souls from their bodies, ere they will yield to die. The best are too backward, and would not “be unclothed, but clothed upon,” [2 Corinthians 5:4] if they might have their will. Moses himself prays, “Lord, teach us so to number our days, that we may apply,” or, as the Hebrew hath it, that we may cause “our hearts” to come “to wisdom.” [Psalms 90:12] Cause them to come, whether they will or not; for naturally they hang off, and would not come to any such bargain. How needful is it therefore to be told us, that Adam died, that Seth, Enos, and Cainan died, &c.; that this may be as a handwriting on the wall, to tell us that we must also die, and come to judgment.


Verse 6

Genesis 5:6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

Ver. 6. And begat Enos,] that is, Sorry-man, which was appellatio a dolore. Nomen cure re convenit. Homo enim est animal aerumnis plenum, imo ipsa aerumna, et calamitas, ut est apud Herodotum {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:9"}.


Verse 7

Genesis 5:7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 7. Eight hundred and seven years.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:20"}


Verse 8

Genesis 5:8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

Ver. 8. And he died.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:5"} Omnes una manet nox: Et calcanda semel via lethi (a) Death is the way of all flesh, saith David: of all the world, says Joshua. [Joshua 23:14] On this condition came I into the world, said Socrates, (b) that I might go out again, when called for.


Verse 9

Genesis 5:9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

Ver. 9. Enos begat Cainan.] Enos, that is, Sorry-man, begat Cainan, that is, A man of sorrows. Thus the fathers, though long-lived, were not unmindful of their mortality and misery.


Verse 10

Genesis 5:10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 10. And begat sons and daughters.] Epiphanius in his Leptogenesis, as he calls it, will tell you how many: but you are not bound to believe him.


Verse 11

Genesis 5:11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

Ver. 11. And he died.] This final account is given in of them all, though never so dear to God. And it puts me in mind of a speech of Theodosius the good emperor; - It (a) is no news that a man dies: but that a man, dead in trespasses and sins, rises again by repentance to a life well pleasing to God, this is a marvellous matter, a just wonder. {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:5"} {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:8"}


Verse 12

Genesis 5:12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:

Ver. 12. And begat Mahalaleel,] i.e., Praised be God; a good name; imminding him of a good duty. God is to be incessantly praised for his excellency, thanked for his benefits. “Thou art good, and doest good.”


Verse 13

Genesis 5:13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 13. And begat sons and daughters.] Everything is generative of itself, says the philosopher. (a) And, that man is unworthy to be born, of whom another is not born, says the orator.


Verse 14

Genesis 5:14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

Ver. 14. Nine hundred and ten years.] A long while to live: sed nemo propter canos et annos, diu vixit .


Verse 15

Genesis 5:15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

Ver. 15. And begat Jared,] i.e., One that is going down, sc., to the dust of death: for, to live, is but to lie a-dying: every day we yield somewhat to death, and a man’s cradle stands in his grave.


Verse 16

Genesis 5:16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 16. And begat.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:13}


Verse 17

Genesis 5:17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

Ver. 17. And he died.] Mors, omnibus finis, multis remedium, quibusdam votum . It was so doubtless to these holy patriarchs, more willing to die, than ever they had been to dine.


Verse 18

Genesis 5:18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

Ver. 18. And he begat Enoch,] i.e., Dedicated, and catechised. Consecrated he was to God, and accordingly brought up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” [Ephesians 6:8] What wonder then that he became eminent and outstanding in holiness!


Verse 19

Genesis 5:19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 19. And Jared lived after he begat Enoch.] He lived the longer, likely, for the great content he took in so good a son. Towardly and hopeful children do help to lengthen their parents’ days. God therefore lengtheneth theirs, according to that “first commandment with promise.” [Ephesians 6:2] Or, if he take from them this long lease, he gives them, as he did Enoch, a freehold of a better value.


Verse 20

Genesis 5:20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

Ver. 20. Nine hundred sixty and two years.] Rabbi Livi citing Genebrardus, the longevity of the patriachs was the work of providence, not the result of nature. Rabbi Levi, citante Genebrardo, longevitatem patriarcharum opus providentiae, non natarae appellat (a) Their children also, that they waited so long for, were not more the issue of their bodies, than of their faith.


Verse 21

Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

Ver. 21. And begat Methuselah,] that is, Death’s dart, or piercing death (death is a skilful archer, that never misseth the mark it shoots at); or, He once dead, in comes the dart, i.e., the deluge: and so it did, even in the very year of his death: though the Septuagint miscounts, and make him to live fourteen years after the flood.


Verse 22

Genesis 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 22. And Enoch walked with God,] i.e., he walked in the fear of the Lord, as the Chaldee here paraphraseth: and this he did without intermission, not for a time or two, but continually, constantly: he walked with God by a humble familiarity, and a holy conformity; as a man doth with his friend. To walk with God, before God, and after God, are much at one. {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:24"}


Verse 23

Genesis 5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

Ver. 23. All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years.] So many years only lived Enoch as there be days in the year. But what he wanted in the shortening of his time, was made up in his son Methuselah, the longest living man. Besides that, God took him to a better place, transplanted [Song of Solomon 6:2] (a) him, as it were out of the kitchen garden into his heavenly paradise; which was not more to his own benefit, than to the comfort of the other patriarchs that survived him, before the fear of death, and the crosses of life. Seth in Enoch (whatever discouragement they had in Abel’s death) they had a hidden demonstration that "there is a reward for the righteous," and that it is not altogether in vain to walk with God.


Verse 24

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

Ver. 24. And Enoch walked with God.] And so “condemned the world”: [Hebrews 11:7] first, by his life; secondly, at his death. By his life, in that he kept a constant counter-motion to the corrupt courses of the times; not only not swimming down the stream with the wicked, but pronouncing God’s severe judgment against them, even to the extreme curse of Anathema Maranatha, as St Jude tells us [ 1:14] Secondly, by his death he condemned them: in that so strange a testimony of God’s grace and glory, in his wonderful translation, did not affect and move them to amend their evil manners. The heathens had heard somewhat afar off, concerning this candidate of immortality, as the ancients call him, (a) and thence grounded their apotheoses. Eupolemon saith that their Atlas was Enoch, as their Janus was Noah. And how fitly are the Papists called heathens (b) by St John. [Revelation 11:2] Since, besides their Atlas of Rome, on whose shoulders the whole Church, that new heaven, must rest, there was at Ruremund, in Gilderland, a play acted by the Jesuits, anno 1622, under the title of the “Apotheosis of St Ignatius.” (c)


Verse 25

Genesis 5:25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:

Ver. 25. And begat Lamech,] i.e., Poverty: but yet he was endued with the gift of prophecy. [Genesis 5:29] He might be

Nudus opum, sed cui coelum terraeque paterent .”

We used to call them poor souls, whom we pity: but a man may have a rich soul, in a poor condition. [Revelation 2:9]


Verse 26

Genesis 5:26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 26. And Methuselah lived.] But had the less joy of his longest life, because he lived in the very rust of that iron age; and so felt ultima senescentis mundi deliria , the utmost dotages of that decrepit old world.


Verse 27

Genesis 5:27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Ver. 27. And all the days of Methuselah.] He lived longest of any, yet wanted thirty-one years of a thousand. Oecolampadius thinks there was a mystery in this, that they all died short of a thousand, which is a type of perfection; (a) to teach us, says he, that live we never so long here, and grow we never so fast in grace, we cannot possibly be perfect, till we get to heaven. Enoch lived long in a little time; and foreseeing the flood, named his son Methuselah; that is to say, he dies, and the dart (or flood) comes. And so it happened; for no sooner was his head laid, but in came the flood. “The righteous are taken away from the evil to come.” [Isaiah 57:1] And their death is a sad presage of an imminent calamity. Hippo could not be taken while Augustine lived, nor Heidelberg while Paraeus. Semen sanctum statumen terrae (b) [Isaiah 6:13] The holy seed upholdeth the state. Absque stationibus non staret mundus (c) “The innocent shall deliver the island, and it is delivered by the pureness of thy hands,” [Job 22:30] whereas, “one sinner destroyeth much good.” [Ecclesiastes 9:18] Ambrose is said to have been “the walls of Italy.” (d) Stilico the earl said, that his death did threaten destruction to that country.

Hic patria est, murique urbis stant pectore in uno .”{ e}


Verse 28

Genesis 5:28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:

Ver. 28. And Lamech.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:25"}


Verse 29

Genesis 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

Ver. 29. This same shall comfort us.] Herein a figure of Christ. And Peter Martyr thinks that Lamech was in hope that this son of his would have been the Christ. A pardonable error, proceeding from an earnest desire of seeing his day, whom their souls loved, and longed for: “Greeting (a) the promise afar off,” [Hebrews 11:13] and “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” [Luke 2:25]


Verse 30

Genesis 5:30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:

Ver. 30. Five hundred, &c.] And yet if one had asked old Lamech, as he in Gerson did an old Frenchman, Quot annos habes ? How many years old are you? he might have answered as there, Annos non habeo , I reckon not upon any years: but death has avoided me these five hundred and odd years.


Verse 31

Genesis 5:31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

Ver. 31. And he died.] Death is that mistress of the world that will not be courted, nor yet cast off, by any. Hesiod may tell of Nectar and Ambrosia, the sweet wines of the gods, that will make men immortal. Pliny may prattle of the herb Moly, which hath virtue to make an old man young. Historians may write of certain fortunate islands where men live to an incredible age. But where lives that man that sees not death at length? {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:5"} {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:8"} {See Trapp on "Genesis 5:17"}


Verse 32

Genesis 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Ver. 32. And Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.] Twenty years had he heard from God, that the world should be destroyed, before he had any child. Here was “the faith and patience of this saint.” [Revelation 13:10] At length he hath Japheth first; though Shem be first named, because he was in dignity preferred before his brother, to be grandfather to the Messiah. Now any relation to Christ ennobleth either place or person. If it were an honour to Mark to have been Barnabas’s sister’s son, what is it then to be related to the Son of God? Bethlehem, where he was born, though it were least, says Micah; yet it was not the least, says Matthew, among all the cities of Judah, because out of it should come Christ the Governor. [Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:6]

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/genesis-5.html. 1865-1868.

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Sunday, July 5th, 2020
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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