|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:25-32 Methuselah signifies, 'he dies, there is a dart,' 'a sending forth,' namely, of the deluge, which came the year that Methuselah died. He lived 969 years, the longest that any man ever lived on earth; but the longest liver must die at last. Noah signifies rest; his parents gave him that name, with a prospect of his being a great blessing to his generation. Observe his father's complaint of the calamitous state of human life, by the entrance of sin, and the curse of sin. Our whole life is spent in labour, and our time filled up with continual toil. God having cursed the ground, it is as much as some can do, with the utmost care and pains, to get a hard livelihood out comfort us. It signifies not only that desire and expectation which parents generally have about their children, that they will be comforts to them and helpers, though they often prove otherwise; but it signifies also a prospect of something more. Is Christ ours? Is heaven ours? We need better comforters under our toil and sorrow, than the dearest relations and the most promising offspring; may we seek and find comforts in Christ.
Verses 25-32. - The shortest life was followed by the longest, Methuselah begetting, at the advanced age of 187, Lamech, - strong or young man (Gesenius); overthrower, wild man (Furst); man of, prayer (Murphy), - continuing after his son s birth 782 years, and at last succumbing to the stroke of death in the 969th year of his age, the year of the Flood. Lamech, by whom the line was carried forward, was similarly far advanced when he begat a son, at the age of 182, and called his name Noah, - "rest," from nuach, to rest (cf. Genesis 8:4), - not "The Sailor," from the Latin no, and the Greek ναῦς (Bohlen), but at the same time explaining it by saying, This same shall comfort - na-cham, to pant, groan, Piel to comfort. "Nuach and nacham are stems not immediately connected, but they both point back to a common root, nch, signifying to sigh, breathe, rest, lie down" (Murphy) - us concerning our work and toil of our hands. To say that Lamech anticipated nothing more than that the youthful Noah would assist him in the cultivation of the soil (Murphy) is to put too little into, and to allege that" this prophecy his father uttered of him, as he that should be a figure of Christ in his building of the ark, and offering of sacrifice, whereby God smelled a sweet savor of rest, and said he would not curse the ground any more for man's sake, Genesis 8:21" (Ainsworth), is to extract too much from his language. Possibly he had nothing but a dim, vague expectation of some good thing - the destruction of sinners in the Flood (Chrysostom), the use of the plough (R. Solomon), the grant of animal food (Kalisch), the invention of the arts and implements of husbandry (Sherlock, Bush) - that God was about to bestow upon his weary heritage; or at most a hope that the promise would be fulfilled in his son s day (Bonar), if not in his son himself (Calovius). The fulfillment of that promise he connects with a recall of the penal curse which Jehovah had pronounced upon the soil. Because of the ground which the Lord - Jehovah, by whom the curse had Been pronounced (Genesis 3:17) - hath cursed. The clause is not a Jehovistic interpolation (Bleek, Davidson, Colenso), but a proof "that the Elohistic theory is unfounded" ('Speaker's Commentary').
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Methuselah lived an hundred and eighty and seven years, and beget Lamech. The Septuagint version is an hundred and sixty seven; the Samaritan only sixty seven; the same names were given to some of the posterity of Seth as were to those of Cain, as Lamech here, and Enoch before.
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