Genesis 5:1-5:32 Adam’s Family

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…an essential part of the image of god … is our ability to create other humans in our own likeness (requiring both the male and female parts of that image). Adam and Eve apparently took that injunction to heart … Help us to manifest the imago dei within us by working to bring your likeness to the world around us, that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea…

Gen 5:1-5:32

This [is] the book of the generations of Adam

Generations (towl@dah) seems to imply ‘what comes out of’, since the same term is used of the heavens in Gen 2:4. In fact, we’re treated to a little recap of the first couple chapters:

In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Here it reaffirms that both male and female are created in the likeness (d@muwth) of God. They are together created (bara‘), blessed (barak), and called (qara‘) by the name adam (shemadam). They both had the honor of being of the ground (‘adamah). And together, they carry on God’s creative work:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

The linkage of male, female, and the likeness of God seems more than coincidental. I get the strong impression that an essential part of the image (tselem) of god — the imago dei within us — is our ability to create other humans in our own likeness (requiring both the male and female parts of that image). Adam and Eve apparently took that injunction to heart, and passed it along to their descendants, as the rest of the chapter is full of begetting (yalad). One gets the impression that this book (cepher) was written for family; who else would find all these relatives interesting?

Anyway, we eventually beget our way down to Lamech, who begat a rather famous son:

And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

Apparently the Adamses has passed down more than a propensity for begetting. They also passed down the story of the curse (‘arar). And Lamech at least was looking for a way out — comfort from work and toil (nacham ma`aseh `itstsabown). Somehow he believed Noah (Noach, or rest) was his ticket out. Why? Was it just that Lamech could finally pass down the family business and retire to a life of luxury? Or was he prophesying that Noah would be an agent of salvation, and thus a type of Christ*

Prayer

God, I thank you for the image of God we all bear within us. Thank you that you have chosen us, as a race and as individuals, to carry on your creative work. Help us to manifest the imago dei within us by working to bring your likeness to the world around us, that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Help us to reverse the curse that binds our communities, and grant them comfort from — or is it amidst? — their work and toil. May I know your comfort this day, and find rest from my work and toil. Amen.

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