How reliable are the Genesis 5 & 11 genealogies? How does the rest of Scripture view the Genesis genealogies?
The Genesis 5 & 11 chronogenealogies are treated as reliable historical data throughout Scripture. For most of the father-son relationships recorded in Genesis 5 & 11, additional other Scriptures confirm that they are truly immediate-descendant father-son pairs with no gaps.
Here is a look at how Scripture testifies to direct father-son pairs from Adam to Noah in the Genesis 5 genealogy. Most examples are Scripture passages other than from the Genesis 5 & 11 genealogies. The next post will do the same thing for Noah to Abraham.
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” (Genesis 4:25)
Eve bore a son by Adam, and named him Seth, and identified him as replacing the murdered Abel. Therefore Seth must be Adam’s immediate son. Seth cannot be a far-distant descendant.
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. (Genesis 4:26)
The word “also” in the phrase “to him also a son was born” indicates a parallel with the Adam-Seth father-son pair in the immediately preceding verse. Seth named Enosh, confirming the understanding that Seth was the immediate father of Enosh.
Adam through Enoch:
Jude 1:14 identifies Enoch as “in the seventh generation from Adam.” Writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Jude thus confirms there are no genealogical gaps in Genesis 5 for the seven generations from Adam through Enoch.
Lamech named his son “Noah.” At a birth, the son born is named, not an unborn descendant generations removed. So Lamech was Noah’s real birth father, not just an ancestor. (Genesis 5:28-31)
Enoch through Noah:
Enoch was a prophet of judgment (Jude 1:14-15), and the name of his son Methuselah (Lamech’s father) means “when he dies, it (judgment) shall be sent.” According to the Genesis 5 chronogenealogy, all Methuselah’s forefathers died before the Flood, and Methuselah died the year the Flood occurred. This information connects Enoch to Noah through Methuselah and Lamech and helps confirm the no-gap understanding of Genesis 5.
I have already shown in previous posts that in the Genesis 5 & 11 chronogenealogies, “begat” indicates “immediate descendant.” The Scripture passages in this article provide additional confirmation that the ten generations from Adam to Noah comprise nine direct father-son pairs with no gaps and no missing generations.
The next post will cover Scriptural confirmations for the genealogical records from Noah to Abraham.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 14th in a series of blog posts on the Age of the Earth. I began with the Biblical testimony that the earth is 6,000 years old, because the evidence from nature should be interpreted and understood in the light of clear Biblical truth. The prequels considered the issue’s importance and what Jesus thought. Current posts are analyzing the Genesis genealogies. Future articles will survey the historic teaching of the church and discuss scientific evidence on the age of the earth, explaining fallacies of radiometric dating methods and giving examples of scientific methods which yield short ages.
Read the prequels:
1. How Old Is the Earth?
2. Why Is the Age of the Earth Important?
3. Earth: Young or Old?
4. Age of the Earth—Jesus’ View
5. Age of the Earth—Jesus Interpreted OT Literally
6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?
7. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus’ Contemporaries Think?
8. Age of the Earth—Genealogies
9. Age of the Earth—What Does Begat Mean?
10. Age of the Earth—Interlocking Genealogies
11. Age of the Earth—Any Gaps in Genealogies?
12. Age of the Earth—No Gaps in Genealogies
13. Age of the Earth—Any Missing Generations?
Read the sequel:
15. Age of the Earth—Scriptural Confirmation (Noah to Abraham)
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Thursday July 24, 2008 A.D.
And Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24 NASB)