Chapter 5 is pretty boring. As the first verse says: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” We’re just given a list of Adam’s descendants (through Seth), with the ages of each individual when they had a particular son and when they died. We’re also told with each that they had “other sons and daughters” who are not named or numbered.
- Adam: 130 when Seth is born, 930 at death.
- Seth: 105 when Enosh is born, 912 at death.
- Enosh: 90 when Kenan is born, 905 at death.
- Kenan: 70 when Mahalaleel is born, 910 at death.
- Mahalalel: 65 when Jared is born, 895 at death.
- Jared: 162 when Enoch is born, 962 at death.
- Enoch: 65 when Methuselah is born, 365 when taken.
- Methuselah: 187 when Lamech is born, 969 at death.
- Lamech: 182 when Noah is born, 777 at death.
- Noah: After reaching 500, he has three sons – Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The only real variation in this chapter is that Enoch doesn’t die, but rather “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). I take this to mean that he was swooped off by God rather than dying a more earthly form of death.
One thing that struck me as I was reading this is the similarity in many of the names to Cain’s descendants. Even the order is intact (although some individuals are missing). This leads me to wonder if the two genealogies didn’t begin as a single line that was split into two variations and then harmonised at some point by sticking one to Cain and the other to Seth.
My study bible notes that the “Babylonian tradition also reckons ten heroes before the flood.”