The History of Redemption Series Book One –
The Genesis Genealogies
“In a day when so many modern theologians cast doubt on the historicity of Adam, for example, it is refreshing to see a firm affirmation of historicity.”
~ Dr. Frank A. James III, President of Biblical Theological Seminary
Adam, the very first figure of the Bible, lived 930 years. He lived contemporaneously with his 7th generation descendant, Enoch, for 308 years, and Enoch was transfigured without seeing death 57 years after Adam’s death (Gen 5:21‐24). Adam lived contemporaneously with his 9th generation descendant, Lamech, for 56 years, passing on his faith. Lamech’s son, Noah, eventually became the central figure of the judgment by flood, revealing that Adam’s penitent faith had reached all the way to Noah (Gen 5:28‐29). And Noah who lived for 350 years after the flood (Gen 9:28), lived contemporaneously with his 11th generation descendant, Abraham, for 58 years. This allowed faith to be transmitted to Abraham who emerged as the new starting point of redemptive history.
Why read it?
It is important to remember the “days of old”
– Immediately before the Israelites entered into Canaan, Moses reminded them in his farewell sermon, “Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations!” The “days of old” and “years of all generations” are not merely old fairy tales or legends. They are a recording of the providence of God, who poured out His fervent love by intervening into the history of mankind since the fall of Adam. It is a story of the fathers of faith who unshakably preserved the path of godliness according to God’s providence. As the Israelites had to remember the days of old in the wilderness when they were preparing to enter into Canaan, we Christians must also remember the days of old as we prepare to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
To rediscover the genealogies
– The genealogies in the book of Genesis that seemed so tedious with repetitions of names and births were actually the treasury of what we need to remember about the “days of old” and the “years of all generations.” They clearly portray God’s administration for the redemption of mankind and the entire universe. The genealogies in Genesis are only a few verses. Yet, they contain the redemptive providence over a long period of about 2,300 years. Thus, each verse and name in these genealogies is saturated with historical and redemptive significances. This book helps the readers rediscover the spiritual meaning contained within each of the 20 generations from Adam to Abraham.
To learn from our forefathers of faith
– The History of Redemption is the History of Separation. The book of Genesis records the genealogies of all generations, including those who have strayed away from the godly lineage, such as Cain, Ham, Ishmael, and Esau. They are examples that reflect our own sinfulness and unfaithfulness. This division between the godly lineage and the ungodly lineage continues to run together with the history of redemption. The people of God had to learn to separate themselves from the path of sin and live a consecrated life. One great example of such a life is the life of Abraham, who is probably the most prominent character in this book.
BOOK EXCERPT 1
First Generation: Adam man, mankind, human
The name Adam comes from the Assyrian root adamu, meaning “to make” or “to create.” Man can never be the creator; he is only the creation and the creature. Adam was formed from the dust (Gen 2:7; 3:19, 23). The term dust is in Hebrew, meaning “dust” or “ashes,” not “mud” or “dirt.” Without the breath of God, the essence of man is only dust (Gen 18:27; Job 4:19; 33:6; Ps 103:14; Eccl 3:20; Isa 64:8; 1 Cor 15:47).
Adam lived until Lamech, the ninth generation, was 56 years old.
*Organized and presented for the first time in history*:
After the fall, Adam and Eve probably testified about their blessed lives before the fall, their fellowship with God, and the conditions in Eden. All the generations from Seth (second generation) to Lamech (ninth generation) probably received a full account from Adam about the eternal world before the fall, their spiritual experiences, Satan’s deception, the consequences of disobedience, and the promise of salvation.
Adam received the assured gospel regarding the woman’s seed (Gen 3:15) and no doubt preached this gospel to his descendants with tireless diligence because it was the only ray of hope for him and for all mankind. More than anyone else, Adam believed that the woman’s seed would come according to the promise that he received. This is evident in the name he gave to his wife after they had received the promise in Genesis 3:15: Eve (“life” [Gen 3:20]). Through this name, Adam declared that Eve would become the mother of all the living. This was the first confession of faith in the promise of the seed and the expression of hope of that day when life conquers death. His conviction most likely strengthened each time he called out her name.
The garments of skin with which God had clothed Adam and Eve before banishing them from Eden (Gen 3:21) were the assurance of His covenant in Genesis 3:15, which for Adam was more precious than life itself. The garments made of skin imply that sacrifice is the basic principle of salvation. It also reveals how the redemption of mankind would be accomplished. This is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, for the sacrifice of life is required to make garments of skin. Throughout his life, Adam cherished the garments of skin because they were his confirmation of the covenant. He firmly believed that the day would come when the promised seed.
would bruise the head of the serpent. This presumably is the faith that he taught and passed down to his
BOOK EXCERPT 2
Did Noah really take 120 years to build the ark?
God commanded Noah to build the ark after his three sons had been born (Gen 6:10~).
Genesis 5:32 testifies that Noah had three sons after he turned 500, Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
Genesis 11:10 states, “These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood.”
Genesis 7:6 tells us the flood took place when Noah was 600 years old. Hence Shem turned 100 in the year Noah turned 602. Therefore, Shem was born when Noah was 502 years old which was 98 years before the flood. Just knowing Shem’s year of birth shows us that the duration of building the ark was less than 100 years.
The point in time when God revealed His plans about the flood to Noah (Gen 6:13) and when He gave the command to build the ark along with the precise plans for the ark are very important. Genesis 6:10 tells us that God commanded Noah to build the ark after he had already given birth to his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Since Shem was born when Noah was 502 years old, it would’ve taken Noah at least 2 more years to give birth to both Ham and Japheth (since they were’t twins) and 4 or more years if they were birthed 2 or more years apart.
Therefore, since the flood took place when Noah was 600 years old, the time it took to build the ark must’ve been fewer than 96 years.