Genealogies

Oct 4, 2015

וַיֵּדַע קַיִן אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ וַיְהִי בֹּנֶה עִיר וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הָעִיר כְּשֵׁם בְּנוֹ חֲנוֹךְ׃

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Chanoch. And he then founded a city, and named the city after his son Chanoch.

Genesis 4:17

וְנֹחַ מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃

But Noach found favor with Hashem.

Genesis 6:8

Following the story of Cain and Abel, the Torah recounts the genealogies of Adam and Eve’s children, starting with Cain’s descendants and their accomplishments. The Torah relates a brief, strange story of one descendant, by the name of Lemech, who has two wives. One day he calls his wives together to tell them he has killed a man, but as God protected Cain, He would protect Lemech sevenfold.

 

From there, the Torah relates that Adam and Eve had another son to replace Abel. This son, named Seth, is born in Adam’s own image, we are told. The Israel Bible brings the explanation of Rabbi Judah Halevi in his Book of the Khazars, that Cain killed Abel because he thought Abel would inherit the Land of Israel from their father. Seth’s similarity to his father made him the worthy heir. The entire incident illustrates how special the Land of Israel is and the lengths some would go to in order to stake a claim.

 

The Torah goes on to list the names of Seth’s descendants and how long they each lived. The prize for longevity goes to Methuselah, who lived 969 years, while Enoch, whom we are told “walked with God”, was removed from this Earth after a mere 365 years.

 

Noah rounds out the list, ten generations after Adam. We are told that man has proliferated upon the Earth, but not all his actions are acceptable in the eye of God. He decides to wipe out all life on Earth. Noah, though, has found favor in God’s eyes.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

This is only the first of many genealogical passages in the Bible. Why do you think these are important?

 

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