|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years,.... Not lunar years, as Varro (d), but solar years, which consisted of three hundred and sixty five days and odd hours, and such were in use among the Egyptians in the times of Moses; and of these must be the age of Adam, and of his posterity in this chapter, and of other patriarchs in this book; or otherwise, some must be said to beget children at an age unfit for it, particularly Enoch, who must beget a son in the sixth year of his age; and the lives of some of them must be very short, even shorter than ours, as Abraham and others; and the time between the creation and the deluge could not be two hundred years: but this long life of the antediluvians, according to the Scripture account, is confirmed by the testimony of many Heathen writers, who affirm that the ancients lived a thousand years, as many of them did, pretty near, though not quite, they using a round number to express their longevity by; for the proof of this Josephus (e) appeals to the testimonies of Manetho the Egyptian, and Berosus the Chaldean, and Mochus and Hestiaeus; besides Jerom the Egyptian, and the Phoenician writers; also Hesiod, Hecataeus, Hellanicus, Acusilaus, Ephorus and Nicolaus. And though the length of time they lived may in some measure be accounted for by natural things as means, such as their healthful constitution, simple diet, the goodness of the fruits of the earth, the temperate air and climate they lived in, their sobriety, temperance, labour and exercise; yet no doubt it was so ordered in Providence for the multiplication of mankind, for the cultivation of arts and sciences, and for the spread of true religion in the world, and the easier handing down to posterity such things as were useful, both for the good of the souls and bodies of men. Maimonides (f) is of opinion, that only those individual persons mentioned in Scripture lived so long, not men in common; and which was owing to their diet and temperance, and exact manner of living, or to a miracle; but there is no reason to believe that they were the only temperate persons, or that any miracle should be wrought particularly on their account for prolonging their lives, and not others. But though they lived so long, it is said of them all, as here of the first man:
and he died, according to the sentence of the law in Genesis 2:17 and though he died not immediately upon his transgression of the law, yet he was from thence forward under the sentence of death, and liable to it; yea, death seized upon him, and was working in him, till it brought him to the dust of it; his life, though so long protracted, was a dying life, and at last he submitted to the stroke of death, as all his posterity ever since have, one or two excepted, and all must; for "it is appointed unto men once to die". Hebrews 9:27. The Arabic (g) writers relate, that Adam when he was near death called to him Seth, Enos, Kainan, and Mahalaleel, and ordered them by his will, when he was dead, to embalm his body with myrrh, frankincense, and cassia, and lay it in the hidden cave, the cave of Machpelah, where the Jews (h) say he was buried, and where Abraham, Sarah, &c. were buried; and that if they should remove from the neighbourhood of paradise, and from the mountain where they dwelt, they should take his body with them, and bury it in the middle or the earth. They are very particular as to the time of his death. They say (i) it was on a Friday, the fourteenth of Nisan, which answers to part of March and part of April, A. M. nine hundred and thirty, in the ninth hour of that day. The Jews are divided about the funeral of him; some say Seth buried him; others, Enoch; and others, God himself (k): the primitive Christian fathers will have it that he was buried at Golgotha, on Mount Calvary, where Christ suffered.
(d) Apud Lactant. Institut. l. 2. c. 13. (e) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 3. sect. 9. (f) More Nevochim, par. 2. p. 47. (g) Patricides, p. 5. Elmacinus, p. 6. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 216, 217. (h) Pirke Eliezer, c. 20. Juchasin, fol. 5. 1.((i) Patricides & Elamacinus, apud Hottinger. ib. (k) Juchasin, ut supra. (fol. 5. 1.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. all the days … Adam lived—The most striking feature in this catalogue is the longevity of Adam and his immediate descendants. Ten are enumerated (Ge 5:5-32) in direct succession whose lives far exceed the ordinary limits with which we are familiar—the shortest being three hundred sixty-five, [Ge 5:23] and the longest nine hundred sixty-nine years [Ge 5:27]. It is useless to inquire whether and what secondary causes may have contributed to this protracted longevity—vigorous constitutions, the nature of their diet, the temperature and salubrity of the climate; or, finally—as this list comprises only the true worshippers of God—whether their great age might be owing to the better government of their passions and the quiet, even tenor of their lives. Since we cannot obtain satisfactory evidence on these points, it is wise to resolve the fact into the sovereign will of God. We can, however, trace some of the important uses to which, in the early economy of Providence, it was subservient. It was the chief means of reserving a knowledge of God, of the great truths of religion, as well as the influence of genuine piety. So that, as their knowledge was obtained by tradition, they would be in a condition to preserve it in the greatest purity.
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