‘Adam…begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth’. Gen 5:3
Curiously we see two sets of geneology as the creation account in the preceding chapters, of Holy Spirit focusing God and Man on the other. The two geneologies are similarly of two groups: of godly and worldly family.
In Hebrew tradition name of a person is the essence of his being. It is not without reason Abram was renamed as Abraham.(Gen17:5) He was to be the father of many nations just as God had promised. Eve named her firstborn Cain meaning ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord (Gen 4:1).
Let me digress here a little. Cain’s destiny was too much bound up with the sin of disobedience of his parents that he was not adequately protected from it. Since we do not read what sort of home life young Cain had it is a matter of conjuncture to think his parents neglected him. Did they train him in godly ways? Perhaps tilling the ground and eking out a life from the ground took too much out of Adam. We do not read of Eve stepping in to prepare the boy to walk with God as Enoch later would do (Gen5:22). We read however that God in His mercy set a sign on Cain so he might survive in the world. What was that mark? Was it something that would make him succeed in life? Did he cultivate those social skills that we see in celebrities of the present day? As the expression is ‘if you cannot win them, join them’. Cain settled down outside the Garden where God had initially intended. Outside God’s will Cain certainly prospered because of the mark. He didn’t build any mega church or gathered people around him but he built a city and named it after the name of his son Enoch (Gen 4:17).
From internal evidence I suppose Cain’s descendents at some point married into one from Adam’s descendents. Thus we have two sets of genealogies.
It is the second geneology that I want to focus on.
Seth came into the world to take the place of Abel whom Cain slew. His name meaning ‘appointed’ by God was very apt. Through him was His Will to be perfected. Merely because man failed the intent of God didn’t mean that God had scaled down His Will or His Holiness. ‘The foundation of God standeth sure…’ (2 Ti-2:19)
God had let Adam begin anew: In him lay the foundation of His church. Sin of disobedience must have removed His explicit seal that His image signified. Consequentially Adam begat a son in his own likeness. He still was the living soul since spirit of God had breathed into him. Here I am talking about the image or one of its attributes or likeness. Even so his geneology would measure up to the Holiness and perfection He had intended for Adam. Cain and his progeny stand for those who prosper without God. In them dynamics of their prosperity and visible trappings of success owe to the spirit of the world. They march to a different drummer than God. Their beliefs or gods are not to be compared with the manner Holy Spirit has chosen to highlight the destiny of Seth and his descendants. In him we may trace our kinship to Adam. The geneology of Jesus where Adam was the son of God ties up Old Testament and our destinies together. (Lk 3:38)This account was given in the gospel in order to show our antecedents.