3) Gen 4:18–19: Moses provided descriptive information for only three of the six generations produced from Cain’s line. He mentioned the others only as early descendants of Adam who assisted in populating the earth.[1]

As in other Ancient Near Eastern traditions, Hebrew genealogies can represent actual father to son records. However, they may condense the ancestral record by omitting some generations or by listing grandsons as sons (compare Gen 35:25 with Gen 46:18).

This also occurs in the new Testament.

For example, Matt 1:8 asserts “Jehoram fathered Uzziah,” although he appeared to be Uzziah’s great-great-grandfather (2 Chron 22:1, 8–12; 2 Chron 24:1, 24, 27; 2 Chron 26:1).[2]

As a result, we cannot ascertain whether more direct descendants in the Adam to Lamech line existed than Moses cited.

This family line tragically depicts how sin distorts the image of God, leaving destruction in its wake.[3]

Lamech’s violent temperament reflects that of his ancestor Cain, which is likely why the text focuses upon him (Gen 4:23–24).[4]

Cain and his descendants exhibited increasing depravity. However, they also practiced and expanded the cultural mandate of Gen 1:28. They domesticated and bred animals, developed musical arts, and fashioned metal crafts (Gen 4:20–22).[5]

Moses reported, “And Lamech took to himself two wives.”

This directly contradicted his previous editorial comment regarding the Lord’s design for marriage, an arrangement which Jesus also validated (Gen 2:24; Mark 10:2–12).[6]

In ancient Israel, harmony and intimacy characterized the ideal marriage (Gen 2:21–23).[7]

Scripture does not report God rebuking Lamech or the patriarchs who practiced polygamy for their multiple wives. Nevertheless, Genesis freely records the devastating impact of bigamy upon family life (Gen 16:1–6; Gen 21:9–10; Gen 30:1–15).[8]

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

a) Read Gen 4:18–19. Why would Lamech’s decision have made the harmony and intimacy which God intended for marriage impossible?

 

 

 

Go to Advancements in Civilization

 

[Related posts include Lamech’s Ode to Himself (Gen 4:23–24); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28);

An Equal and Adequate Partner (Gen 2:21–23); A Transfer of Loyalty (Gen 2:24); Advancements in Civilization (Gen 4:20–22); Ancient Near Eastern Genealogies (Gen 5:1); Marital Separation (1 Cor 7:10–11); Concerning Mixed Marriages (1 Cor 7:12–13); Contagious Holiness (1 Cor 7:14); and Dissolution of Marriage (1 Cor 7:15–16)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 2: The Descent of Humanity (Genesis 4:17–24); or to Women and Marriage Throughout Redemptive History]

 

[1]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 238.

[2]Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 440.

[3]Waltke and Fredricks,  Genesis: A Commentary, 100.

[4]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 112.

[5]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 100.

[6]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 238.

[7] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 69.

[8]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 238.