This chapter is so far from scientifically possible, so bizarre and implausible, that it is almost not worth commenting upon. It is also–and this is becoming a common theme even though I’m only five chapters in–extremely contradictory of everything that preceded it. The whole chapter is basically just names and lifespans of some men:
Adam: Lived 930 years, had Seth when he was 130.
Seth: Lived 807 years, had Enos when he was 105.
Enos: 905 years, had Cainan when he was 90
Cainan: 910 years, had Mahalaleel when he was 70.
Mahalaleel: 895 years, had Jared when he was 65.
Jared: Lost 300 pounds eating Subway. Lived to the ripe age of 962 years, had Enoch when he was 162.
Enoch: 365 years, had Methuselah when he was 65.
Methusaleh: 969 years, had Lamech when he was 187.
Lamech: 777 years, had Noah when he was 182.
That covers a span of 1,056 years for nine generations. The children in this lineage were born when their fathers were an average of 117 years old. Since the custom, as far as I’m aware, is to name the oldest son in the lineage, that means that these men either abstained from sex for 117 years before starting to have children or fired blanks for over a century before magically getting their women preggers. Also, it seems somewhat strange that this extremely hard life that God cursed men with, with infertile soil and whatnot, would sustain individual human lives for nearly 1,000 years.
Now, let’s tackle another issue. Here’s our Chapter 5 family tree:
Adam >Seth > Enos > Cainan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch> Methuselah > Lamech> Noah
and here’s our Chapter 4 family tree:
Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael > Lamech THEN Adam > Seth >Enos
According to Chapter 5, Lamech is a direct lineal descendant of Adam and Seth, and he should be 874 years younger than Adam, and 744 years younger than Seth. However, according to Chapter 4, Lamech is born before Adam gets back down to business and makes Seth, making him some unknown number of years older than Seth, who is supposed to be his great-great-great-great grandfather (or something like that). Clearly, aside from the crazy shit about people living to 800 and 1000 years and all that, the family tree is dramatically inconsistent and contradictory. It really makes no sense, even inside the Bible universe. If this is most cohesive story they could cobble together at the Council of Nicaea, I’d like to see that material that didn’t make the cut.
1 This [is] an account of the births of Adam: In the day of God’s preparing man, in the likeness of God He hath made him;
2 a male and a female He hath prepared them, and He blesseth them, and calleth their name Man, in the day of their being prepared.
3 And Adam liveth an hundred and thirty years, and begetteth [a son] in his likeness, according to his image, and calleth his name Seth.
4 And the days of Adam after his begetting Seth are eight hundred years, and he begetteth sons and daughters.
5 And all the days of Adam which he lived are nine hundred and thirty years, and he dieth.
6 And Seth liveth an hundred and five years, and begetteth Enos.
7 And Seth liveth after his begetting Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
8 And all the days of Seth are nine hundred and twelve years, and he dieth.
9 And Enos liveth ninety years, and begetteth Cainan.
10 And Enos liveth after his begetting Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
11 And all the days of Enos are nine hundred and five years, and he dieth.
12 And Cainan liveth seventy years, and begetteth Mahalaleel.
13 And Cainan liveth after his begetting Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
14 And all the days of Cainan are nine hundred and ten years, and he dieth.
15 And Mahalaleel liveth five and sixty years, and begetteth Jared.
16 And Mahalaleel liveth after his begetting Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
17 And all the days of Mahalaleel are eight hundred and ninety and five years, and he dieth.
18 And Jared liveth an hundred and sixty and two years, and begetteth Enoch.
19 And Jared liveth after his begetting Enoch eight hundred years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
20 And all the days of Jared are nine hundred and sixty and two years, and he dieth.
21 And Enoch liveth five and sixty years, and begetteth Methuselah.
22 And Enoch walketh habitually with God after his begetting Methuselah three hundred years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
23 And all the days of Enoch are three hundred and sixty and five years.
24 And Enoch walketh habitually with God, and he is not, for God hath taken him.
25 And Methuselah liveth an hundred and eighty and seven years, and begetteth Lamech.
26 And Methuselah liveth after his begetting Lamech seven hundred and eighty and two years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
27 And all the days of Methuselah are nine hundred and sixty and nine years, and he dieth.
28 And Lamech liveth an hundred and eighty and two years, and begetteth a son,
29 and calleth his name Noah, saying, `This [one] doth comfort us concerning our work, and concerning the labour of our hands, because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed.’
30 And Lamech liveth after his begetting Noah five hundred and ninety and five years, and begetteth sons and daughters.
31 And all the days of Lamech are seven hundred and seventy and seven years, and he dieth.
32 And Noah is a son of five hundred years, and Noah begetteth Shem, Ham, and Japheth.