今日经文分成两部分：第一部分是【亚当和夏娃的前三个儿子-First Three Sons of Adam and Eve】创世记4章1节至4章26节[Gen. 4:1-4:26]；第二部分是【从亚当到挪亚的后代-Descendants from Adam to Noah】创世记5章1节至5章32节[Gen. 5:1-5:32]。
亚当和夏娃的前三个儿子-First Three Sons of Adam and Eve
In a continuing succession of beginnings, the Genesis account records the beginning of the first family. Adam and Eve give birth to two sons, named Cain and Abel, and later to a third, named Seth. The text will subsequently indicate that over a period of many years the family will include numerous sons and daughters. As there is no indication of other created human beings, it is altogether likely that these first brothers and sisters enter into marriages with each other, despite the sense of inappropriateness which would be felt should that occur in following generations.
Still another “first” is the Genesis record of mankind’s earliest formal worship of God. Both Cain and Abel offer sacrifices to God by devoting the fruits of their individual labors. As a farmer, Cain brings a portion of his crops, while Abel, a herdsman, offers up some of the best of his flock to God. Although the text is silent as to what prompts God’s response, it is evident that God is not pleased with Cain’s offering. Whether this is because God has specifically commanded the brothers to offer animal sacrifices, or whether perhaps Cain’s character is already known by God to be evil, is unclear. In any event Cain’s pride is dashed and his anger toward Abel is so great that in an act of premeditated murder Cain kills Abel. The murder is then compounded when Cain lies to God concerning Abel’s whereabouts.
Although God punishes Cain for his wrongdoing, the text gives some interesting insight into the character of God by indicating that, despite Cain’s great sin, God nevertheless shows mercy to him. This is not to be a unique act of grace. God’s mercy will be seen time and again. Unfortunately, Cain apparently does not respond favorably to God’s mercy, at least if his descendants are any reflection of Cain’s continued character. In contrast, when Seth is born it appears that Seth takes on the righteous character of Abel and instills a respect for God in his children as well.
从亚当到挪亚的后代-Descendants from Adam to Noah
What follows is a simple chronology of ten generations from Adam through Seth to Noah. Yet this brief family record is full of surprises. For one thing, the men who are named each live for hundreds of years and have children when they are from 65 to 500 years old! Much speculation has been generated as to the cause of this longevity. Some have even rejected the historical accuracy of the account, saying that the “years” are merely representative periods of time, perhaps shorter than modern years. However, the original language allows no such interpretation. In support of the historic credibility of the account, others have explained the unusual longevity on a variety of bases, including the effect of the fruit of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; the original immortality of man feeling only the slightest consequences of sin at this early stage in man’s development; or the superiority of the food, atmosphere, and other living conditions during this period. One can only speculate, but acknowledging a creative Being powerful enough to bring the universe into existence certainly allows the option for such a Creator to permit unusually lengthy lives for whatever purpose might suit his comprehensive plan for mankind.
A number of possible purposes immediately present themselves, including the need to quickly populate the earth and the need to promulgate basic moral principles throughout the beginnings of mankind. Promulgating morality throughout the early generations is made easier due to the fact that Adam and Seth continue to live as contemporaries with their offspring several generations removed. By living 930 years, for example, Adam is still alive during the days of Lamech, father of Noah, toward the end of the first millennium from creation. One can almost see Adam gathering the early patriarchs together and telling them over and over how God created the world, how he directed mankind to live, and how he showed both punishment and mercy when Adam and Eve, and even Cain, had been disobedient.
Still another surprise is that one of Adam’s descendants, Enoch, does not die—ever! After 365 years of what is apparently an exceptionally righteous life, Enoch is taken from the world in some manner other than death. The accounts of the other patriarchs each record the year in which they die, but the account of Enoch indicates that “he was no more.” What is even more noteworthy than one’s being translated out of this life without experiencing death is the exciting suggestion that mankind is immortal—that there is actually life beyond death!
It is altogether possible that this genealogical listing and others to follow may not list every successive generation, and therefore may omit hundreds of years of mankind’s history. Such would be the case, for example, if “son” were used in reference to a grandson or an even more remote descendant, as is sometimes seen in later historical records. Should that be the case, there would be great difficulty in assigning specific dates to such major events as the creation of the first man and woman, or the great flood which will come in the days of Noah. Because there is no indication to the contrary, this narrative proceeds on the assumption that the genealogies list father-to-son progressions without omission of intervening generations, but leaves the matter as an open question.
Early dating will be shown as A.C., After Creation (of mankind), as calculated from the information supplied in the Genesis record, until such time as more positive dating in the B.C. era can be utilized. Even then, the dates indicated are usually only approximate and should not be considered unquestionable. Dates are supplied where reasonably believed to be accurate in order to aid the reader’s understanding of the historical context.
Smith, F. LaGard. The Daily Bible® - In Chronological Order (NIV®) . Harvest House Publishers. Kindle 版本.