Genesis 5:6 introduces us to Enosh, Seth’s first son. It says, “When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters.” From Seth to Noah, the rest of the generations tell us how old the man was when the next one was born and how long he lived after the son was born. I realize that the Septuagint (Greek Translation of the Old Testament) and the Samaritan Pentateuch present us with different years for Enosh and the following descendants. I’m trusting the Original Hebrew as reflected in the Masoretic Text, as did most of our English translators. For a thorough discussion on this subject, see Larsson’s article.[1] The Lexham Research Commentary summarizes his conclusion for us. It says, “Larsson argues that numbers in the Masoretic Text are original. He shows how the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch altered these original numbers.”[2]

Trusting the Hebrew Masoretic Text to be the original and inspired text, Butler makes some interesting observations. He writes, “Adam died at 930 years. Seth at 912, Enos at 905, Cainan at 910, Mahalaleel at 895 (the first in the list to die under 900), Jared at 962, Enoch did not die but lived only 365 years on the earth before his supernatural departure, Methuselah died at 969 years (which is the longest any human lived), Lamech died at 777 (the youngest in age at death in this obituary). The years of their death indicate that Noah was born 126 years after Adam’s death. Lamech died five years before his father, Methuselah. Methuselah was 243 years old when Adam died. Enoch was translated just 57 years after Adam died and before any of the rest of the men on the list died. All of the nine men listed in the obituary were born before Adam died.” Then he adds, “The obituary goes from Adam to Noah, and significantly Noah spoke with Lamech, his father, who could have spoken with Adam (for Lamech was 56 when Adam died). Furthermore, Noah could have spoken to Abraham (for Abraham was 58 when Noah died). Any tradition, information, etc., that needed to be passed down only required four people in all the years from Adam to Abraham. God protects His revelation!”[3]

As Calvin points out, “Through six successive generations when the family of Seth had grown into a great people, the voice of Adam daily resounded to remind them about the creation, the Fall, man’s punishment, and the hope of salvation.”[4]

[1] Larsson, Gerhard. 1983. “The Chronology of the Pentateuch: A Comparison of the Mt and LXX.” Journal of Biblical Literature 102: 401.

[2] Mangum, Douglas, Miles Custis, and Wendy Widder. 2012. Genesis 1–11. Lexham Research Commentaries. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Butler, John G. 2008. Analytical Bible Expositor: Genesis. Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.

[4] Calvin, John. 2001. Genesis. Crossway Classic Commentaries. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.