The Gospel in Genesis
Update > Bible Study > Bible Codes
by Chuck Missler
We frequently use the familiar term, gospel, or good news. Where
is the first place it appears in the Bible? The answer may surprise you.
An Integrated Message
The great discovery is that the Bible is a message system: it's
not simply 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, the Bible is
an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every
The Jewish rabbis have a quaint way of expressing this very
idea: they say that they will not understand the Scriptures until the Messiah
comes. But when He comes, He will not only interpret each of the passages for
us, He will interpret the very words; He will even interpret the very letters
themselves; in fact, He will even interpret the spaces between the letters!
When I first heard this, I simply dismissed this as a colorful
exaggeration. Until I reread Matthew 5:17 and 18:
"Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah and the
prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one
jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be
(A jot and tittle are the Hebrew equivalent of our dotting an
i and the crossing of a t.)
A remarkable example of this can be glimpsed in Genesis Chapter
5, where we have the genealogy of Adam through Noah. This is one of those
chapters which we often tend to skim over quickly as we pass through Genesis
it's simply a genealogy from Adam to Noah.
But God always rewards the diligent student. Let's examine this
chapter more closely.
In our Bible, we read the Hebrew names. What do these names mean
A Study of Original Roots
The meaning of proper names can be a difficult pursuit since a
direct translation is often not readily available. Even a conventional Hebrew
lexicon can prove disappointing. A study of the original roots, however, can
yield some fascinating insights.
(A caveat: many study aids, such as a conventional lexicon, can
prove rather superficial when dealing with proper nouns. Furthermore, views
concerning the meanings of original roots are not free of controversy and
Let s take an example.
The Flood Judgment
Methuselah comes from muth, a root that means
and from shalach, which means to bring, or to send forth. The name
Methuselah means, "his death shall bring".2
Methuselah's father was given a prophecy of the coming Great
Flood, and was apparently told that as long as his son was alive, the judgment
of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be
brought or sent forth.
(Can you imagine raising a kid like that? Every time the boy
caught a cold, the entire neighborhood must have panicked!)
And, indeed, the year that Methuselah died, the flood
It is interesting that Methuselah's life, in effect, was a
symbol of God's mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood.
Therefore, it is fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the
Bible, speaking of the extensiveness of God's mercy.
The Other Names
If there is such significance in Methuselah's name, let's
examine the other names to see what may lie behind them.
Adam's name means man. As the first man, that
seems straight forward enough.
Adam's son was named Seth, which means
appointed. Eve said, "For God hath appointed me another seed
instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."4
Seth's son was called Enosh, which means mortal, frail,
or miserable. It is from the root anash, to be incurable, used
of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness.
It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of
the Living God.5
Enosh's son was named Kenan, which can mean sorrow,
dirge, or elegy. (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some
study aids unfortunately presume that Kenan is synonymous with Cainan.)
Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, uses a pun upon
the name of the Kenites when he prophesies their destruction.6
We have no real idea as to why these names were chosen for their
children. Often they may have referred to circumstances at birth, and so
Kenan's son was Mahalalel, from Mahalal which means blessed
or praise; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means the
Blessed God. Often Hebrew names include El, the name of God, as
Dan-i-el, "God is my Judge", etc.
Mahalalel's son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh,
meaning shall come down.7
Jared's son was named Enoch, which means teaching, or
commencement. He was the first of four generations of preachers. In
fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough deals
with the Second Coming of Christ (although it is quoted in the Book of Jude in
the New Testament):
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
"Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are
ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed,
and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken
Jude 14, 15
Enoch was the father of Methuselah, who we have already
mentioned. Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah.8
Apparently, Enoch received the prophecy of the Great Flood, and was told that as
long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld. The year
that Methuselah died, the flood came.
Enoch, of course, never died: he was translated 9
(or, if you'll excuse the expression, raptured ). That's how Methuselah can be
the oldest man in the Bible, yet he died before his father!
Methuselah's son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in
our own English word, lament or lamentation. Lamech suggests
(This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain's line who
inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident.10)
Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from
nacham, to bring relief or comfort, as Lamech himself
explains in Genesis 5:29.
The Composite List
Now let's put it all together:
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The Despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort.
That's rather remarkable:
Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the
Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the)
Here's the Gospel hidden within a genealogy in Genesis!
(You will never convince me that a group of Jewish rabbis
conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right here in a genealogy within their
Evidence of Design
The implications of this discovery are more wide spread than is
evident at first glance.
It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of
Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of
mankind. It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross which was
erected in Judea almost 2,000 years ago.
The Bible is an integrated message system, the product of
supernatural engineering. Every number, every place name, every detail every jot
and tittle is there for our learning, our discovery, and our amazement. Truly,
our God is an awesome God.
It is astonishing to discover how many Biblical controversies
seem to evaporate if one simply recognized the unity the integrity of these 66
books, penned by 40 authors over thousands of years.
It is remarkable how many subtle discoveries lie behind the
little details of the text. Some of these become immediately obvious with a
little study; some are more technical and require special helps.
Many of these discoveries are described in our Audio Book, Beyond
Coincidence. Several are also highlighted in our Audio Book, The
Creator Beyond Time and Space.
Look behind every detail: there's a discovery to be made! God
always rewards the diligent student. What other messages lay hidden behind the
names in the Bible? Check it out.
- Muth, death, occurs 125 times in the Old Testament.
- See Pink, Jones, and Stedman in the bibliography.
- Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more. Lamech
had Noah when he was 182 (Genesis 5:25-28). The Flood came in Noah's 600th
year (Genesis 7:6, 11). 600 182 = 782nd year of Lamech, the year Methuselah
- Genesis 4:25.
- Genesis 4:26 is often mistranslated. Targum of Onkelos: ...desisted from
praying in the name ; Targum of Jonathan: surnamed their idols in the name...
; Kimchi, Rashi, and other ancient Jewish commentators agree. Jerome indicated
that this was the opinion of many Jews of his day. Maimonides, Commentary on
the Mishna (a constituent part of the Talmud), a.d. 1168, ascribes the origin
of idolatry to the days of Enosh.
- Numbers 24:21, 23.
- Some authorities suggest that this might be an allusion to the Sons of God
who came down to corrupt the daughters of men, resulting in the Nephilim
(Fallen Ones) of Genesis 6. These were discussed in our article last month
(January 1996), and are also reviewed in our audio book, The Flood of
- Genesis 5:21, 24.
- Genesis 5:24.
- Genesis 4:19-25; rabbinical sources, re: Kaplan, et al.
- Eastman, Mark, and Missler, Chuck, The
Creator Beyond Time and Space, The Word for Today, Costa Mesa CA,
- Jones, Alfred, Dictionary of Old Testament Proper
Names, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1990.
- Kaplan, Rabbi Aryeh, The Living Torah, Maznaim
Publishing Corporation, Jerusalem, 1981.
- Pink, Arthur W., Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Bible
Institute, Chicago IL, 1922.
- Missler, Chuck, Beyond
Coincidence (audio book with notes), Koinonia House, Coeur d Alene
ID, 83816, 1994.
- Rosenbaum, M., and Silbermann, A., Pentateuch with
Onkelos's Translation (into Aramaic) and Rashi s Commentary, Silbermann
Family Publishers, Jerusalem, 1973.
- Stedman, Ray C., The Beginnings, Word Books, Waco
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Messages from the Edge of Eternity
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