on Genesis 5 :3
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, etc. - The Scripture chronology especially in the ages of some of the antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs, has exceedingly puzzled chronologists, critics, and divines. The printed Hebrew text, the Samaritan, the Septuagint, and Josephus, are all different, and have their respective vouchers and defenders. The following tables of the genealogies of the patriarchs before and after the flood, according to the Hebrew, Samaritan, and Septuagint, will at once exhibit the discordances. For much satisfactory information on this subject I must refer to A New Analysis of Chronology, by the Rev. William Hales, D.D., 3 vols. 4th., London, 1809.
And begat a son in his own likeness, after his image - Words nearly the same with those Genesis 1:26 : Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. What this image and likeness of God were, we have already seen, and we may rest assured that the same image and likeness are not meant here. The body of Adam was created provisionally immortal, i.e. while he continued obedient he could not die; but his obedience was voluntary, and his state a probationary one. The soul of Adam was created in the moral image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. He had now sinned, and consequently had lost his moral resemblance to his Maker; he had also become mortal through his breach of the law. His image and likeness were therefore widely different at this time from what they were before; and his begetting children in this image and likeness plainly implies that they were imperfect like himself, mortal like himself, sinful and corrupt like himself. For it is impossible that he, being impure, fallen from the Divine image, could beget a pure and holy offspring, unless we could suppose it possible that a bitter fountain could send forth sweet waters, or that a cause could produce effects totally dissimilar from itself. What is said here of Seth might have been said of all the other children of Adam, as they were all begotten after his fall; but the sacred writer has thought proper to mark it only in this instance.
on Genesis 5 :3
In the compass of Genesis 5:3-5 the course of Adam's life is completed. And after the same model the lines of all his lineal descendants in this chapter are drawn up. The certain particulars stated are the years he lived before the birth of a certain son, the number of years he afterward lived during which sons and daughters were born to him, and his death. Two sons, and most probably several daughters, were born to Adam before the birth of Sheth. But these sons have been already noticed, and the line of Noah is here given. It is obvious, therefore, that the following individuals in the genealogy may, or may not, have been first-born sons. The stated formula, "and he died," at the close of each life except that of Henok, is a standing demonstration of the effect of disobedience.
The writer, according to custom, completes the life of one patriarch before he commences that of the next; and so the first event of the following biography is long antecedent to the last event of the preceding one. This simply and clearly illustrates the law of Hebrew narrative.
The only peculiarity in the life of Adam is the statement that his son was "in his likeness, after his image." This is no doubt intended to include that depravity which had become the characteristic of fallen man. It is contrasted with the preceding notice that Adam was originally created in the image of God. If it had been intended merely to indicate that the offspring was of the same species with the parent, the phrase, "after his kind" (למינהוּ lemı̂ynâh, would have been employed, as in the first chapter. This is one of the mysteries of the race, when the head of it is a moral being, and has fallen. His moral depravity, affecting the essential difference of his nature, descends to his offspring.
As this document alludes to the first in the words, "in the day of God's creating man, in the likeness of God made he him," quotes its very words in the sentence, "male and female created he them, refers to the second in the words, and called their name man" Genesis 2:7, and also needs this second for the explication of the statement that the offspring of man bore his likeness, it presupposes the existence and knowledge of these documents at the time when it was written. If it had been intended for an independent work, it would have been more full and explanatory on these important topics.
on Genesis 5 :3