What’s In A Name?

Having recently completed the sacred privilege of naming our son, I have a new appreciation of names. This brings to mind the large tracts of genealogies in the Bible. Have you ever wondered why God bothered to include them in the Bible?

Sure, there is the importance of tracking lineage and this is especially sacred in tracing the Messianic line but have you ever skipped over it wondering as you did, why all this effort to record it?

Well, coming from “The Bible is bigger than you can imagine” files check out the following.
It comes from Dr Chuck Missler’s teaching of the Genesis 5’s geneology, a part of the bible I used to think was just a listing of the early members of the human race. It is of course much more and just what you would expect of something as wonderful as the Word of God. Very profound and certainly not something that would have been made up by early Rabbi’s to confirm the message of Christ!


“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.

Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.

Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died.

Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died.

Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died.

Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.

Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” 30 After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.

And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

Genesis 5:1-29

Therefore the sequence of names is Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methusaleh, Lamech, and Noah.

List of names and their meanings:

  • Adam (adomah) “man”
  • Seth (Genesis 4:25) “appointed”
  • Enosh (from the root anash, “to be incurable”), “mortal”, “frail”, “miserable”
  • Kenan “sorrow”, “dirge”, “elegy”‘
  • Mahalalel (mahalal – “blessed”, El “the name of God”) “the Blessed God”
  • Jared (from the verb yaradh) “shall come down”
  • Enoch “commencement” or “teaching”
  • Mathesaleh (muth – a root that means “death”, shalach – “bring” or send forth”)
  • Lamech (where we get “lament” or “lamentation”) “despairing”
  • Noah (derived from nacham, Genesis 5:29) “comfort” or “rest”.

The sequence of meanings:
“Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow; [but] the blessed God shall come down teaching [the His] death shall bring [the] despairing rest.”

Genesis 5 is the message of salvation in Adam’s family history.


Image©Kevin Tam (1455 Latin Vulgate Gutenberg Bible Macro)

2 Responses to “ What’s In A Name? ”

  1. Michael Chong

    That’s powerful! Thanks for sharing. Maybe should do a study on the names of the different judges to see what message lies 🙂

    • You’re welcomed. You’re shooting the request to the wrong person though, I was just quoting the work of someone else in this insightful study 🙂 It’s a great one.

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