God lists Adam's descendants--Seth, Enosh, Keenan, etc.-- and notes their lifespan (930 years, 912 years, 905 years, 840 years, etc.). This information seems a bit random. What is the reason that he does this, and how is this information useful?
Genesis 5:1 - 32
KJV - 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him. 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
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The following is my understanding on Genesis 5. God gaves us long and indetail Genealogy with specific lifespans 1) To Reveal What kind of Book the Bible is a) The Bible is the book of actual history Bible is not a myth but actual historical facts, events, lives. Earth was young [6000-10,000 yr] based on this genealogy if the year Adam was born is year 1, then Noah was born in year 1056. b) The Bible is book of Mystery; [Deut 29:29] some part of the Bible might be hard to understand; we should be humble before God. 2) To Reveal Who God is a) God is God of History. God is working in the real life of men; in human history. b) God is God of Judgment. God's judgment upon Adam [death] was fulfilled. c) God is God of Grace. God showed His grace to Noah while God judged wickedness of men 3) To Reveal Who Adam was Adam was a historical man, not a myth or human imagination. God made it clear that Adam was a historical figure. Adam was an important figure since he was a pattern of the one to come; Jesus. [Rom 5:14, 1Cor 15:47] 4) To Reveal Who Israel are [Descendants of Adam, Noah, Abraham] God gave this book to Israel first so that they understood who their origin was It is important for them to understand their ancesters. so that their faith is based on historical facts, not imaginations 5) To Reveal the gospel message in the meaning of their names a) Each Hebrew Nams has meaning and if we connect all of them then, we can find the gospel message. b) "God-Man is appointed. A mortal man of sorrow is born. The Glory of God shall come down instructing that His death shall bring those in despiar comfort and rest." c) Although this is hard for us to understand it unless we know the Hebrew very well. Still it is possible God hide the gospel message in the name of Adam's descendants. God-the God 1. Adam-Man 2. Seth-is appointed 3. Enosh-a mortal man of 4. Kenan- Sorrow is born 5. Hahalalel- the glory of God 6. Jared-shall come down 7. Enoch-instructing that 8. Methuselah-His death shall bring 9. Lamech-those in despair 10. Noah-comfort and rest
In addition to the purposes already mentioned in other answers, I would say that God also provided this information to illustrate and emphasize the progressively destructive effects of sin, through the general ongoing shortening of the human lifespan after Adam's fall until Moses' mention of the years of our life being "threescore and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore" (Psalm 90:10), which basically remains the same (with infrequent exceptions) even to the present day (although Moses himself lived to be 120 (Deuteronomy 34:7)).
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