DIG: Who were the four generations of godly men to preach to four wicked generations before the Flood? What is the play on words with Noah’s name? What does that point to? How did Lamech make the same mistake Eve made? What happened to all of Noah’s brothers and sisters? Why isn’t Mrs. Noah mentioned?
REFLECT: Is there a godly line in your family? Or do you hope to start one? How do you think this generation compares to the one that Noah preached to? What are the similarities? What are the differences?
Lamech is the ninth generation and means conqueror. Methuselah’s son Lamech, like his grandfather Enoch, was a prophet of God (prophesying at least concerning his own son). Lamech named his son Noah. He said: [Noah] will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed. Lamech was aware that the ground was under a curse from the LORD. Unlike Enoch, however, boasted of murder (4:23). A descendent of Seth, nevertheless, his flagrant lawlessness was characteristic of the civilization in which he lived.
There was a whole succession of preachers and godly men to before the Flood. We know that Enoch (dedication)was a preacher (Jude 14-15), and I believe that Methuselah (when he dies, then it shall be sent)was a preacher as stated previously; Lamech (conqueror)prophesied concerning his son Noah (comfort or rest), and the Bible teaches us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness (Second Peter 2:5). Enoch and Methuselah were godly men, but when Lamech grew up, things started to change. He and his generation got only worse. During Noah’s lifetime, the LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5). Lamech characterized that generation. So God determined to drown the whole world.
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah,which means comfort or rest. There is a play on words here because Noah’s name means comfort (or rest from nuach), and Lamech said: He will comfort (nachem) us. Again, this points to the fact that Hebrew was the first language because the word play makes no sense except in Hebrew. He said of his son Noah: He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORDhas cursed. What happens here is that Lamech made the same mistake that Eve made. When Cain was born, Eve thought he was the Messiah. When Noah was born, Lamech recognized that God had a special plan for his son’s life. The rabbis teach that the reason Lamech knew that Noah would be special was because he was born already circumcised. But he misinterpreted that role, thinking that his son would be the Messiah and remove the curse from the ground.
However, a change did indeed take place during the lifetime of Noah. By judgment of the Flood the corrupt race was all but exterminated, and Noah, who was preserved because of his blameless walk with God, secured the restoration of the human race in the ark with his family. The effects of the curse were not removed. But when ADONAI made the covenant with Noah after the Flood (9:8-17), there was hope of the eventual removal of that curse.
After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. These are Noah’s brothers and sisters and it seems that they all died in the Flood. Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.