Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Adam (man) is here treated as a proper name; in Genesis 5:1-5 it is an appellative.
The Chaldeans also had a tradition of ten antediluvian patriarchs or kings, beginning with Alorus and ending with Xisuthrus (Hasis-Adra), the hero of the Flood. They made the duration of this first period of human history 432,000 years. Remembering that Abraham, the Hebrew, was from “Ur (Uru, the city) of the Chaldees,” we can hardly suppose the two accounts to be independent of each other. The comparative simplicity and, above all, the decided monotheism of the Hebrew relation, give a high probability to the assumption that it represents a more original form of the tradition.
Sheth, Enosh.—Those who have imagined the present list to be a mere duplicate of that given in Genesis 4:17 sqq., and who explain the whole by the fatally easy process of resolving all these different names into a capricious repetition of one original solar figure, are obliged to admit a difficulty in connection with the names of Sheth and Enosh, which are acknowledged “not to belong to mythology at all” (Prof. Goldziher). Considering that most Hebrew names have a distinct and intentional significance, it is obviously a mere exercise of ingenuity to invest them with a mythological character. Meanwhile, such speculations cannot possibly be verified.1 Chronicles 1:1. Adam, Sheth, Enosh — Adam was the father of Sheth, and Sheth the father of Enosh, and so on to the sons of Noah. For brevity’s sake he only mentions the names, the rest being easily understood out of the former books. No mention is made of the posterity of Cain or Abel, nor of the other sons of Adam, because the sacred writer was only engaged to give a detail of the patriarchs, in a line from Adam to Noah. The history of the Bible was not designed as a history of the world, but as a history of the church, and of the deduction of the sacred promise of the seed of the woman. This was the peculiar glory of the Jewish nation, that they alone were able to trace their pedigree from the first man that God created, which no other nation pretended to, but abused themselves and their posterity with fabulous accounts of their originals; the people of Thessaly fancying that they sprang from stones, the Athenians, that they grew out of the earth.
1Ch 1:1-23. Adam's Line to Noah.
1. Adam, &c.—"Begat" must be understood. Only that one member of the family is mentioned, who came in the direct order of succession.Adam's line to Noah, 1Ch 1:1-4. Noah's posterity, by Japheth, 1Ch 1:5-7; by Ham, 1Ch 1:8-16; by Shem to Abraham, 1Ch 1:17-27. His posterity, by Ishmael, 1Ch 1:28-31; by Keturah, and Isaac, 1Ch 1:32-34. His posterity by Esau: the kings and dukes of Edom, 1Ch 1:35-54.
The Argument - The laws comprehend both these books in one, which the Grecians because of the length, divide into two: and they are called Chronicles, because they note briefly the history from Adam to the return from their captivity in Babylon. But these are not the books of Chronicles which are mentioned in the books of the kings of Judah and Israel, which set forth the story of both kingdoms, and later perished in the captivity, but an abridgement of the same, and were gathered by Ezra, as the Jews write after their return from Babylon. This first book contains a brief rehearsal of the children of Adam to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve patriarchs, chiefly of Judah, and the reign of David, because Christ came from him according to the flesh. Therefore it sets forth more amply his acts both concerning civil government, and also the administration and care of things concerning religion, for the good success of which he rejoices and gives thanks to the Lord.
(a) Meaning, that Seth was Adam's son, and Enoch was Seth's son.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. Sheth, Enosh] “Seth, Enos,” the spellings given in Gen. (A.V.) are less correct. Generally speaking the forms of names in Genesis (A.V.) are derived from the Latin Vulgate, which in turn took them from the LXX., which again (owing to the shortcomings of the Greek alphabet as compared with the Hebrew) did not reproduce the Hebrew forms accurately.
Ch. 1. The Genealogies of the Peoples
1–4. A Genealogy from Adam to the Sons of Noah
The history proper does not begin till the death of Saul, but the historian acts in accordance with Eastern custom in connecting his history with the remote past by means of genealogies.
This first genealogy is taken from Genesis 5:3-32. The extremely concise form in which it is given is instructive as shewing how far the Chronicler could go in abbreviating his authorities.Verses 1-4. - A. LIST OF GENERATIONS FROM ADAM TO NOAH. These verses contain a line of genealogical descents, ten in number, from Adam to Noah, adding mention of the three sons of the latter. The stride from Adam to Seth, and the genealogy's entire obliviousness of Cain and Abel, are full of suggestion. All of these thirteen names in the Hebrew and in the Septuagint Version, though not those in the Authorized Version, are facsimiles of those which occur in Genesis 5. They are not accompanied, however, here, as they are there, by any chronological attempt. Probably the main reason of this is that any references of the kind were quite beside the objects which the compiler of this work had in view. It is, however, possible that other reasons for this chronological silence may have existed. The uncertainities attaching to the chronology found in Genesis, as regards this table, may have been suspected or evident - uncertainties which afterwards proclaim themselves so loudly in the differences observable between the Hebrew, Samaritan, and Septuagint versions. Thus the Hebrew text exhibits the total aggregate of years from Adam to the birth of Noah, as amounting to one thousand and fifty-six; the Samaritan version to seven hundred and seven only; and the Septuagint to as many as sixteen hundred and sixty-two; nevertheless, all three agree in adding five hundred years onward to the birth of Shem, and another hundred years to the coming of the Flood. It must be remarked of this first genealogical table, whether occurring here or in Genesis, that, notwithstanding its finished appearance, notwithstanding the impression it undoubtedly first makes on the reader, that it purports to give all the intervening generations from the first to Shem, it may not be so; nor be intended to convey that impression. It is held by some that names are omitted, and with them of course the years which belonged to them. There can be no doubt that this theory would go far to remove several great difficulties, and that some analogies might be invoked in support of it, from the important genealogies of the New Testament. The altogether abrupt opening of this book - a succession of proper names without any verb or predication - cannot be considered as even partially compensated by the first sentence of ch. 9, "So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah." This verse applies directly to the genealogies of Israel and the tribes, beginning ch. 2:1, while under any circumstances, we must look on the first portion of this book as a series of tables, here and there slightly annotated, and suddenly suspended before the eyes. Jeremiah 41:1., when Gedaliah had received them hospitably and had invited them to eat with him. Ishmael was instigated to commit this murder by the Ammonitish king Baalis, and Gedaliah had previously been made acquainted with the intended crime and put upon his guard by Johanan, but had put no faith in the information (Jeremiah 40:13-16).
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