Judgement or Grace, the prophecy hidden in Enoch’s heirs.

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flood2This post is part of a series, see Jesus’ life in his ancestors and The glory descends.

In these last two posts we looked at standard meanings for the names of Jesus’ ancestors and discovered that they formed short prophetic statements. We had come to Enoch and had various options such as:

Multi-part God the builder is appointed mortal born in sorrow. The glory of God descends to dedicate a teacher.

Both the phrase “to dedicate” and “a teacher” came from the name Enoch. Enoch is an important character in Jewish legend because he didn’t die but ascended like Elijah after him, Genesis 5:24. And he was considered the first Prophet in the Bible, by virtue of the fact that he gave his son a name that prophesied the end of the world as he knew it. In fact Enoch stands in Jewish thinking as the arch-type of power teachers, the style of ministry adopted by Jesus.

Methusaleh

You see, Enoch’s son’s name, Methusaleh means “his death shall bring (it)”, and the year Methusaleh died the flood came. So people have always know the possibility of names being prophetic… but here at Jesus Centred we will look a little further and see that Enoch was not so just prophesying death and judgement but grace beyond too.

Methusaleh doesn’t arrive out of the blue, the “his” in “his death shall bring” can be related back to the dedicated teacher  we saw in his Father Enoch. And Methusaleh had a son too, and he called his son Lamech and Lamech was the father of Noah.

Lamech

Now there are two characters called Lamech in Genesis, one was Cain’s descendant and a thoroughly depraved man; the other is this one, Seth’s ancestor and part of a righteous family. Interestingly there Lamech is not a straight forward name to translate, so Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates it as “Powerful” drawing on an Arabic word meaning a “robust young man” whereas NOBSE Study Bible Name List gives “Wild man”, reflecting Hitchcock’s Bible Names which reads “poor” or “made low”.

These translations have simple assumed the name is a compound word in Hebrew. Lamech/למך is L:mch. The “L” indicating that something is “going towards” and מך  is from either mkch/מכך or much/מוך, the first meaning “bought low” or “humiliated” (see Ps 106:43), and the latter meaning “become poor” (see Lev 25:47).

In this sense “Lamech” could be either “Depraved” (as in bought low in sin like Cain’s great-great-grandson), or  “Humbled” as in penitence perhaps like the son of the Methusaleh who’s name prophesied coming judgement  so he might well give his son a name that expressed regret.

Interestingly Lamech died before Methusaleh at 777 years of age… but that is another thread!

Noah

Finally we come to the name Noah/נח which means “rest“/נוח although there is a minority view that highlights the name’s connection to “guide”/נחה .

So putting everything together we get:

Multi-part God the builder is appointed mortal born in sorrow. The glory of God descends to dedicate a teacher, his death shall bring the depraved/humble rest”.

We started with the incarnation and early life of Jesus, we saw his ministry years and finally we see the meaning of his death! And we are still only 10 generations into Jesus’ family tree. As we progress down the generations we will see even more detail. So watch out for the post on Shem to Peleg – coming soon!

 

Christen Forster

Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

© 2000 - 2018 Christen Forster
Christen Forster
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