Kenan’s son Mahalalel is the subject of Genesis 5:15-17: “When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus, all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.” The Wikipedia article on him says, “In the Bible, Mahalalel is an ancestor of Noah, and thus, of all humanity. He appears in the Book of Genesis 5:12-17, and according to the book, he lived 895 years, placing him eighth in the records for the unusually long lifespans for the antediluvian patriarchs. Mahalalel was a son of Kenan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam in the Old Testament of the  Bible. He was also the father of Jared. Later references to Mahalalel include 1 Chronicles 1:2, Jubilees 4:14–15, and Gospel of Luke 3:37. Enoch’s first dream vision in 1 Enoch 83 recounts the dream that Enoch had in the house of Mahalalel his grandfather, and which Mahalalel explains to him. Additionally, Mahalalel is also mentioned in Islam in the various collections of tales of the pre-Islamic prophets, which mentions him in an identical manner.”[1]

If you break his name down, you get “halel” in the middle which is “praise.” We sing hallelujah when means to praise Jahweh, the personal name of God. With “el” at the end, we get “praise God” or “praise Elohim.” Utley says his name means, “praise of God.”[2] Kidner agrees with him.[3] I Enoch is a Pseudepigraphal (false writing) book. Even though it might be quoted by Jude 14-15, it was never accepted as a legitimate Old Testament book. Whoever the author was, I think he felt the same thing I did when I read the list of names is Genesis 5 and have no detail about their lives. It attempts to fill in the gaps for us.

In 1 Enoch, Mahalalel interpreted Enoch’s dream. In the dream, Enoch saw a vision of the complete destruction of the earth. In the vision Enoch heard himself say “The earth is destroyed.” That’s when his grandfather, Mahalalel, woke him up and said, “Why dost thou cry so, my son, and why dost thou make such lamentation?” Enoch then related the vision to him and Mahalalel interpreted it, “A terrible thing hast thou seen, my son, and of grave moment is thy dream-vision as to the secrets of all the sin of the earth: it must sink into the abyss and be destroyed with a great destruction. And now, my son, arise and make petition to the Lord of glory, since thou art a believer, that a remnant may remain on the earth, and that He may not destroy the whole earth.” Mahalalel instructed Enoch to pray that God would relent from the destruction of the earth with a great flood, but then Mahalalel tells his grandson, “My son, from heaven all this will come upon the earth, and upon the earth there will be great destruction.”[4]


[2] Utley, Robert James. 2001. How It All Began: Genesis 1–11. Vol. Vol. 1A. Study Guide Commentary Series. Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[3] Kidner, Derek. 1967. Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 1. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[4] Charles, Robert Henry, ed. 1913. Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. Vol. 2. Oxford: Clarendon Press.