The book of Genesis records a line of successive descendants from Creation. Each descendant named is the Chosen Descendant through whom the purposes of God for all Creation will be accomplished - from Adam to Noah (Genesis chapter five); and from Noah to Abraham (Genesis chapter eleven). Abraham, Isaac and Israel are the Chosen Patriarchs through whom the Chosen Nation, Israel, is destined to bless the nations. Thus, God will accomplish redemption and glorify His Name, through His Chosen Nation, Israel.

The record states: "This is the book of generations of Adam." (Genesis 5:1). The record reveals certain details which are repeated with every generation, from Adam to Noah. Namely, the name of the Descendant; the age of the father when his son was born; the number of years the father lived after the son was born; and that the father died and the total number of years the father lived.

These same details appear again, in Genesis chapter eleven, when the Descendants from Noah to Abraham are named.

Another detail which is repeated with each generation is that the father had additional sons and daughters born to him. However, these sons and daughters are not named. No other detail is recorded. The omission is important.

The conclusion is that amid these other sons and daughters, the named son is the Chosen Descendant of that generation.

Remarkably, each Chosen Descendant also lived very long lives - Adam lived 930 years, and his son, Seth, lived a total of 912 years. Some assume that all who lived at that time also lived for many years. But that may not necessarily be the case. The brothers and sisters of the named Descendant may well have had shorter life-spans, perhaps similar to our own. Moreover, the named Descendants having longer lifespans would have further emphasized that they were the Chosen of that generation.

While it is true that every person has a purpose in Creation, yet, there are those whom God has chosen to be special envoys, messengers. This truth is apparent in the people of Israel, as the Chosen Nation. God has appointed the Nation of Israel to be His witnesses among the nations. Israel's longevity resonates with the long lifespan of the Chosen Descendants named in the Genesis account. Israel lives today, in spite of the history of mistreatment and tragedy at the hands of the nations. As the messengers of the Kingdom of God on earth, the Nation of Israel has a special role in the purposes of God.

Israel's longevity is firmly embedded in God's faithfulness as clearly reiterated throughout Scripture. The new covenant which was promised to the Nation, through the prophet Jeremiah, is just one instance.

"Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea and its waves roar (The LORD of Hosts is His Name): If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever." (Jeremiah 31:35-36)

Interestingly, the Genesis account distinguishes a new generation by the birth of the new son, the Chosen Descendant. The number of years for each generation differs because it was determined by the birth of the Chosen Descendant.

Adam was 130 years when Seth was born. Seth was 105 years when Enosh was born. Enosh was 90 years when Cainan was born. (see Genesis 5:1-9) The years for each generation differed - 130, 105 and 90 years, respectively.

Interestingly, ‘this distinguishing of a new generation' with the new Chosen Descendant also appears in the Brit Hadesha, the New Covenant, more commonly known as the New Testament.

In the book of Matthew, a list of Chosen Descendants is named from Abraham until Yeshua the Messiah. After recording the names of each Descendant from Abraham, the Jewish author writes,

"So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Messiah are fourteen generations." (Matthew 1:17)

The author identifies a generation for each new Chosen Descendant. The number of generations being equal to the number of Chosen Descendants.

The generation of the Messiah being fourteen from the captivity in Babylon, twenty-eight from King David and forty-two from Abraham. Thus, each generation is distinguished from the previous by the birth of the new Chosen Descendant - the same as recorded in the book of Genesis.

In the same way that the previous generation was identified with the Chosen Descendant, so too, with the arrival of the Messiah, the emergence of His generation - the generation of the Messiah:

 " ... and who shall declare his generation? ..." (Isaiah 53:8)

With this in view, the following statements are noteworthy:

"But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.'" (Matthew 11:16-17)

"The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Yonah; and indeed a greater than Yonah is here." (Matthew 12:41)

"The queen of the South will rise up in the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here." (Matthew 12:42)

"Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation." (Matthew 23:36)

"Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34)

" ... this generation ..." points to the generation of the Messiah.

In every generation, since the beginning, God has faithfully revealed light to the hearts of men. He has delivered His servant, Israel and has brought forth the Messiah, as He as has promised.

May our days be filled with many who believe in Him.

Mark Warren