Reason number 5
There is evidence in the Bible that the names of people were sometimes directly related to significant events or tragedies that occurred around the time of a baby’s birth. For example, the name Joshua means, “the Lord is Salvation.” I Samuel 4 records the events surrounding one woman’s tremendous loss. Eli was a judge in Israel for forty years. On one day his daughter-in-law, Phineas’ wife, lost her husband during a Battle with the Philistines, the Ark of the Covenant, and her father-in-law. Upon hearing the bad news, she herself went into labor and delivered a baby boy and died. The woman that delivered her baby named the baby “Ichabod” because, “The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.”[1 Samuel 4:21]
It is with this information that one of the most fascinating passages of scripture comes to light. Most people skim over genealogical passages in the bible because they can be long, tedious and boring to read. The genealogy in Genesis 5, however, may be the first time a presentation of the Gospel may be observed.
Arthur Tappan Pierson was a Biblical Scholar in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He talked about a Jewish Rabbi that claimed that the names from the genealogy in Genesis 5, which included the ten pre-flood patriarchs, formed a special, redemptive sentence when one read the names together. Chuck Missler and the Institute for Creation Research both have written about this topic.
The names and their meanings follow:
Adam – “Man”
Seth – “Appointed”
Enosh – “Mortal, mortality”
Kenan (Cainan) –“Wailing, sorrow, wrath”
Mahalalel – “Praise of God, The Blessed God”
Jared – “Shall Come Down, descend”
Enoch – “to Teach, Train up”
Methuselah – “His death shall bring”
Lamech –“The weary, despairing”
Noah – “Comfort, Rest”
If the definition of each name were put together into a sentence it would read
“Man [is] Appointed Mortal (mortality) wailing and sorrow. [But] The Blessed God Shall Come Down, Descend, To Teach [and] Train Up. His Death Shall Bring The Despairing [and] Weary, Comfort [and] Rest.
When I first heard this about twenty years ago I was skeptically amazed. I am here to report to you however, that I have done painstaking research on the meaning of each name. There are couple of the names that have different meanings depending on how they are being used. Adam for instance, means “red’ like red earth, or “Man” like “mankind.” Methuselah means “man of the dart,’ but he also died the year of the flood and some sources define his name “Upon his death,” or “His death shall bring.”
Here is what I believe is the most important thing about this. This certainly shows the design of things. There is not one man that could make up a story like the gospel and carry it out throughout history. There is no way that it could be a conspiracy because it involved too many people and occurred over ten generations of men with very high longevity. Ephesians 1:4 says the He has chosen us before the foundation of the world. This brings continuity to the message of the Old and New Testament. It’s the same story!
It’s passages like this that highlight the reason we should be studying Scripture. The Bible is full of really cool things like this that are there for the person who commits his or her time to study. Please don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself; you too can be assured that the Bible is a unique book that explains the beauty of God’s redemptive plan that was formed BEFORE the foundation of the world.