I first learned about this when taking a Bible hermeneutics class several years ago. Since then I have shared it a few different times. Today I was reminded about this when I came across this from both, “reasons for hope” and Kirk Cameron’s website. I thought it would be good for to re-share with those of you as well.
Below taken from “reasons for hope.”
By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus
We answered the question, “Is there a hidden message in Revelation 7? by explaining a remez found in the list of the 12 tribes in that chapter of Revelation. So, what’s a remez? In Jewish hermeneutics (interpretation of Scripture), a remez is a hidden message, or a deeper meaning. It’s a message that is found below the surface or behind the words. You can read about the Revelation 7 remez here.
There’s another remez found in the names recoded in the genealogy recorded in Genesis 5. The names in Genesis 5 are not as clearly defined as those in Revelation 7, but by using a Hebrew dictionary we can find the meaning of each name.
What’s in a Name?
In ancient times, the names given to children had significant meaning. Genesis 5 records the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Let’s look at the meanings of the 10 names listed in that genealogy.
Adam (Genesis 5:3-5)
Seth (Genesis 5:3, 6-8)
Enosh (Genesis 5:6, 9-11)
Cainan (Genesis 5:9, 12-14)
Mahalalel (Genesis 5:12, 15-18)
Jared (Genesis 5:15, 18-20)
Enoch (Genesis 5:18, 21-24)
Methuselah (Genesis 5:21, 25-27)
Lamech (Genesis 5: 25, 28-31)
Noah (Genesis 5:28-29)
Using the Strong’s Dictionary, and of course the Bible, to define the names, we are able to gather the following information:
Adam means “Man”
120. ‘adam, aw-dawm’; from H119; ruddy, i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.):–X another, + hypocrite, + common sort, X low, man (mean, of low degree), person.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.
Seth means “put” or “appointed”
8352. Sheth, shayth; from H7896; put, i.e. substituted; Sheth, third son of Adam:–Seth, Sheth.
Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Enosh mean a mortal man
from the root: 582’enowsh, en-oshe’; from H605; prop. a mortal (and thus differing from the more dignified H120); hence a man in gen. (singly or collect.):–another, X [blood-] thirsty, certain, chap [-man], divers, fellow, X in the flower of their age, husband, (certain, mortal) man, people, person, servant, some (X of them), + stranger, those, + their trade. It is often unexpressed in the Engl. version, especially when used in apposition with another word. Comp. H376.
Genesis 4:26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 5:6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh.
Cainan means dwelling place
from the root: 7064. qen, kane; contr. from H7077; a nest (as fixed), sometimes includ. the nestlings; fig. a chamber or dwelling:–nest, room.
Genesis 5:9 Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan.
Mahalalel means praise God or God be praised
from mahalal which means “praise” and “el” which means God
4110. mahalal, mah-hal-awl’; from H1984; fame:–praise
Genesis 5:12 Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel.
Jared means descend
from the root: 3381. yarad, yaw-rad’; a prim. root; to descend
Genesis 5:15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared.
Enoch means to discipline and train up
from the root: 2596. chanak, khaw-nak’; a prim. root; prop. to narrow [comp. H2614]; fig. to initiate or discipline:–dedicate, train up.
Genesis 5:18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.
Methuselah is an important man who lived longer than anyone else. He life was sustained by God for 969 years (Genesis 5:25-5:26) and his name comes from the Hebrew word “muth” and “shalach.
muwth, mooth; a prim. root; to die (lit. or fig.); causat. to kill:– X at all, X crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer], X must needs, slay, X surely, X very suddenly, X in [no] wise.
shalach, shaw-lakh’; a prim. root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications):– X any wise, appoint, bring (on the way), cast (away, out), conduct, X earnestly, forsake, give (up), grow long, lay, leave, let depart (down, go, loose), push away, put (away, forth, in, out), reach forth, send (away, forth, out), set, shoot (forth, out), sow, spread, stretch forth (out).
A meaning derived from Methuselah’s name is: [his] death will send away, cast out.
Genesis 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.
Lamech: This name is difficult to discern its meaning. Strong’s Dictionary defines it as “an unused root of uncertain meaning.” Some have said the name means depressed or despairing because the Hebrew verb “muk” (4134) means to be low, depressed or grow poor or impoverished.
Genesis 5:25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech.
Let’s review the names from Adam to Lamech, along with the meaning of each name:
Enosh: A mortal man
Cainan: dwelling place
Mahalalel: Praise God
Enoch: to discipline and train-up
Methuselah: death will send away, cast out
Lamech: the depressed, despairing
This brings us to the tenth and final name in the Genesis 5 genealogy: Noah. Lamech named his son Noah, “saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands…” (Genesis 5:29). The Bible also tells us that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8).
Noah’s name means comfort or rest. True comfort and real rest is only found when we receive God’s grace. Jesus is “[the] One who will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands.”
Now let’s string together the meanings of all ten names [bracketed words added for understanding]:
Man [is] appointed a mortal man [in his] dwelling place. Praise God, [He] descended to discipline and train-up.
[His] death will send away, cast out, the depressed, the despairing. The One [Jesus] will comfort us and give us rest.
Wow! What an amazing message. Tucked into Genesis 5, hidden in the meaning of the names in the genealogy, is a beautiful presentation of the gospel of saving grace. This is just one more proof that the Bible is divinely written and the “fingerprint” of the Holy Spirit is found on every page!