Has anyone wondered about the meaning of the names in the genealogy of Adam in Genesis chapter 5? Most of us skim quickly through this chapter and miss out on some vital lessons and meanings. It is interesting to note that there are ten people in Adam’s generation commencing from Adam to Noah. When we look at the Hebrew names there is a meaning behind it and we can find a gospel message in this chapter.
The first name is Adam, which is simple and means ‘Man’.
Seth was Adam and Eve’s appointed one after Abel was brutally killed by Cain, so the name Seth means ‘appointed’.
Enosh is the next one whose name means ‘mortal or weak’.
Cainan, or Kenan means ‘sorrow.
Mahalalel means ‘the Blessed God’. Any name with the letter ‘el’ at the end means something in relation to God. For example, Bethel means ‘house of God’.
Jared is the next son, meaning ‘shall come down’.
Enoch is the seventh person in the list and his name means ‘to teach’. He was likely the first prophet in the Old Testament and taught the people in his days about the Lord’s judgement – we read this in Jude 14-15. He was talking about the judgement of the flood. Enoch was marked by his walk with God and he was the only one in this genealogy of Adam that did not die, for God took him up before the flood.
Enoch’s son, Methuselah, lived the longest on the earth, 969 years. His name means ‘when he dies it will come to pass’, pointing out to the flood. If you do your maths, the year in which Methuselah died, the flood came on the earth. God was patient for a very long time for people to turn to Him.
Lamech is the next one, which means ‘lamenting, or despairing’.
Noah means ‘comfort or rest’.
If we put these meanings together, we get a sentence like this: “Man is appointed weak, mortal and sorrowful; but the Blessed God shall come down teaching that His (the Lord Jesus) death shall bring the despairing rest. What a message for those who despair and are lost!