DIG: How had Adam died in the garden of Eden? What shift in gears are we told about in this genealogy? Did Seth have other brothers and sisters? What aren’t we told about them? What was special about the line of Seth?
These verses give us the structure that is used throughout the remainder of the chapter (with two exceptions). First comes the age of the father at the birth of his firstborn son (130 years), then the name of the son (Seth). Second, the son’s birth, and succeeding children are then described. The third part of the structure is the mention of how many years the father lived after the birth of his son (800 years). Fourth, is the reference to the fathering of other sons and daughters. Last, is the recording of the father’s age at his death (930 years).
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image, and he named him Seth. The reference to Adam comes quite naturally at the head of the line of Seth. He was born when Adam was already 130 years old. It seems odd that so much time would have elapsed before Eve began to have children after Abel’s murder. And it may have been that ADONAI closed her womb for a time to strengthen her faith as He did with Hannah and Sarah. But it is more likely that Adam and Eve had other children before Seth, but he was the one whom Elohim revealed would be the true substitute for Abel. He would be the son who would inherit the promises.
Adam’s son was in his own likeness, in his own image. There is a shift of gears here. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, but Adam’s children were created in the image and likeness of Adam. He had a sin nature after the Fall. If you duplicate an original it stays sharp, clear and unblemished. However, if you continue to make copies from copies, they get corrupted. We are witnessing the beginning of that process here.
After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. The writer here is interested in a particular line, the line of the promised Seed (3:15), and in that sense, ignores Seth’s other brothers and sisters, although we are told that he did have them. Then the first generation of the line ended. The Bible records: Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. God had said in the garden of Eden: You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden: but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die (2:16-17). He had a perfect sinless body and if he had been obedient to the LORD he would have lived forever. But when he sinned, sin entered his body and started the aging process that would eventually lead to his death. Adam had died spiritually earlier (3:7-8), but here he finally died physically.