Genesis 5:1 MEANING

Genesis 5:1


(1) This is the book of the generations of Adam.--See on Genesis 2:4, and Excursus on the Books of Generations.

In the likeness of God.--Man is now a fallen being, but these words are repeated to show that the Divine likeness was not therefore lost, nor the primaeval blessing bestowed at his creation revoked. As man's likeness to God does not mainly consist in moral innocence (see on Genesis 1:26), it was not affected by the entrance into the world of sin, except so far as sin corrupted the vessel in which this great gift was deposited. (Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:7.)

Verses 1, 2. - This is the book. Sepher, a register, a complete writing of any kind, a book, whether consisting of a pair of leaves or of only a single leaf (Deuteronomy 24:1, 3; "a bill of divorcement;" LXX., βίβλος; cf. Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:36, 38). The expression presupposes the invention of the art of writing. If, therefore, we may conjecture that the original compiler of this ancient document was Noah, than whom no one would be more likely or better qualified than he to preserve some memorial of the lost race of which he and his family were the sole survivors, it affords an additional corroboration of the intelligence and culture of the antediluvian men. It is too frequently taken for granted that the people who could build cities, invent musical instruments, and make songs were unacquainted with the art of writing; and though certainly we cannot affirm that the transmission of such a family register as is here recorded was beyond the capabilities of oral tradition, it is obvious that its preservation would be much more readily secured by some kind of documentary notation. Of the generations - i.e. evolutions (tol'doth; cf. Genesis 2:4) - of Adam. In the preceding section the tol'doth of the heavens and the earth were exhibited, and accordingly the narrative commenced with the creative labors of the third day. Here the historian designs to trace the fortunes of the holy seed, and finds the point of his departure in the day that God (Elohim) created man (Adam), i.e. the sixth of the creative days. More particularly he calls attention to the great truths which had been previously included in his teaching concerning man; viz., the dignity of his nature, implied in the fact that in the likeness of Elohim made he him; his sexual distinction - male and female created he them; their Divine benediction - and blessed them (cf. Genesis 1:27, 28); at the same time adding a fourth circumstance, which in the first document was not narrated, that their Maker gave to them a suitable and specific appellation - and called their name Adam (vide Genesis 1:26), in the day when they were created.

5:1-5 Adam was made in the image of God; but when fallen he begat a son in his own image, sinful and defiled, frail, wretched, and mortal, like himself. Not only a man like himself, consisting of body and soul, but a sinner like himself. This was the reverse of that Divine likeness in which Adam was made; having lost it, he could not convey it to his seed. Adam lived, in all, 930 years; and then died, according to the sentence passed upon him, To dust thou shalt return. Though he did not die in the day he ate forbidden fruit, yet in that very day he became mortal. Then he began to die; his whole life after was but a reprieve, a forfeited, condemned life; it was a wasting, dying life. Man's life is but dying by degrees.This is the book of the generations of Adam,.... An account of persons born of him, or who descended from him by generation in the line of Seth, down to Noah, consisting of ten generations; for a genealogy of all his descendants is not here given, not of those in the line of Cain, nor of the collateral branches in the line of Seth, only of those that descended one from another in a direct line to Noah:

in the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; this is repeated from Genesis 1:27 to put in mind that man is a creature of God; that God made him, and not he himself; that the first man was not begotten or produced in like manner as his sons are, but was immediately created; that his creation was in time, when there were days, and it was not on the first of these, but on the sixth; and that he was made in the likeness of God, which chiefly lay in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and in dominion over the creatures.

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