The Written Account of the Generations of Adam

5:1 to 6:8

Moshe edited and compiled twelve familydocuments in the book of Genesis. The major structural word for Genesis is toldot, which means the written account of, or this is what became of these men and their descendants. The noun is often translated generations, histories or descendants. After the section on the written account of the heavens and the earth from 2:4 to 4:26, we have the third toldot, the written account of the generations of Adam. So what this third family document tells us, is what became of Adam. And what became of Adam was that God created man out of nothing (bara) in His likeness. Therefore, this third family document is concerned with the passing down of this image through the succeeding generations.

The new family document begins here, with the dual purpose of linking the history of the downward slide from Adam to Noah. We move from the blessing in 5:1 to the curse of 6:1-8. Like leaven in bread, sin slowly worked its way through the human family. And this family document answers a problem raised by the previous one. If, in spite of sin, there is supposed progress in civilization, what happened to the curse? The answer is this - the result of sin is death. Therefore, you can smell the stench of death all the way through this section.

 

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