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;
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(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 primæval 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. 2Corinthians 4:7.)

Genesis 5:1. The book of the generations of Adam — That is, a list or catalogue of his posterity, not of all, but only of the holy seed, from whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came; of the names, ages, and deaths of those that were the successors of the first Adam in preserving the promise, and the ancestors of the second, at whose coming the promise was accomplished.

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. - Section V - The Line to Noah

- The Line of Sheth

1. ספר sepher "writing, a writing, a book."

9. קינן qēynān, Qenan, "possessor, or spearsman."

12. <מהללאל mahelal'ēl, Mahalalel, "praise of 'El."

15. ירד yerĕd, Jered, "going down."

21. מתוּשׁלה metûshālach, Methushelach, "man of the missile."

29. נה noach, Noach, "rest," נחם nācham "sigh; repent; pity; comfort oneself; be revenged."

32. שׁם shēm, Shem, "name, fame; related: be high." חם chām Cham, "hot." יפת yāpet, Japheth, "spreading; related: spread out."

We now enter upon the third of the larger documents contained in Genesis. The first is a diary, the second is a history, the third a genealogy. The first employs the name אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym exclusively; the second uses אלהים יהוה yehovâh'ĕlohı̂ym in the second and third chapters, and יהוה yehovâh usually in the fourth; the third has אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym in the first part, and יהוה yehovâh in the second part. The name אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym is employed in the beginning of the chapter with a manifest reference to the first document, which is here quoted and abridged.

This chapter contains the line from Adam to Noah, in which are stated some common particulars concerning all, and certain special details concerning three of them. The genealogy is traced to the tenth in descent from Adam, and terminates with the flood. The scope of the chapter is to mark out the line of faith and hope and holiness from Adam, the first head of the human race, to Noah, who became eventually the second natural head of it.

Genesis 5:1-2

These verses are a recapitulation of the creation of man. The first sentence is the superscription of the new piece of composition now before us. The heading of the second document was more comprehensive. It embraced the generations, evolutions, or outworkings of the skies and the land, as soon as they were called into existence, and was accordingly dated from the third day. The present document confines itself to the generations of man, and commences, therefore, with the sixth day. The generations here are literal for the most part, though a few particulars of the individuals mentioned are recorded. But taken in a large sense this superscription will cover the whole of the history in the Old and New Testaments. It is only in the prophetic parts of these books that we reach again in the end of things to the wider compass of the heavens and the earth Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1. Then only does the sphere of history enlarge itself to the pristine dimensions in the proper and blessed sense, when the second Adam appears on earth, and re-connects heaven and earth in a new, holy, and everlasting covenant.

The present superscription differs from the former one in the introduction of the word ספר sepher, "book". There is here some ground in the text for supposing the insertion by Moses of an authentic document, handed down from the olden time, in the great work which he was directed to compose. The chapter before us could not have been completed, indeed, until after the birth of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. But if we except the last verse, there is no impossibility or improbability in its being composed before the deluge.



Ge 5:1-32. Genealogy of the Patriarchs.

1. book of the generations—(See Ge 11:4).

Adam—used here either as the name of the first man, or of the human race generally.4004

The manner of man’s creation repeated, Genesis 5:1-2. The genealogy, age, and death of the fathers from Adam to Noah, in the line of Seth. Seth begotten of Adam after his image, Genesis 5:3. The piety and translation of Enoch, Genesis 5:24. Lamech’s prophecy of his son Noah, Genesis 5:29. Sons born to Noah, Genesis 5:32.

This is the book, i.e. the list or catalogue, as this word is taken, Nehemiah 7:5 Matthew 1:1, as it is also put for any short writing, as for a bill of divorce, as Deu 24:1-2.

The generations of Adam, i.e. his posterity begotten by him; the word being passively used. But he doth not here give a complete list of all Adam’s children, but only of his godly seed, which preserved true religion and the worship of God from Adam to the Flood, and from whose loins Christ came, Luke 3:1-38.

God created man. This is here repeated to note the different way of the production of Adam, and of his posterity; his was by creation from God, theirs by generation from their parents. See Genesis 1:26.

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.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the {a} likeness of God made he him;

(a) Read Ge 1:26.

1. This is the book, &c.] The word rendered “book” (Heb. sêpher) is used of any written document. Our word “book” gives rather too much the meaning of a piece of literature. The word is often used in a much more general sense, e.g. Isaiah 50:1, “where is the bill (Heb. sêpher) of your mother’s divorcement?” Jeremiah 32:10, “and I subscribed the deed (Heb. sêpher), and sealed it”; 2 Samuel 11:14, “David wrote a letter (Heb. sêpher) to Joab.” Here it is equivalent to “a written list.”

the generations] See note on Genesis 2:4, “The generations of Adam,” i.e. the genealogy from Adam to Noah. LXX γενέσεως, Vulg. “generationis,” regarded the Hebrew word as singular.

Adam] The proper name, Adam, not ha-adam = “the man” or “mankind.”

God created man] The words “God” (Elohim), “created” (bara), “in the likeness,” reproduce the distinctive language of Genesis 1:26-28.

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. Genesis 5:1The heading in Genesis 5:1 runs thus: "This is the book (sepher) of the generations (tholedoth) of Adam." On tholedoth, see Genesis 2:4. Sepher is a writing complete in itself, whether it consist of one sheet or several, as for instance the "bill of divorcement" in Deuteronomy 24:1, Deuteronomy 24:3. The addition of the clause, "in the day that God created man," etc., is analogous to Genesis 2:4; the creation being mentioned again as the starting point, because all the development and history of humanity was rooted there.
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