Hints of Redemption
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, God pronounced the dreadful curse on all of His creation, from mankind to the animal and plant kingdoms and even the earth itself (Genesis 3:14-19). From that point on, everything began to die, but at the same time God predicted the coming Redeemer who would set things right.
There are several hints of the coming Redeemer in these early chapters of Genesis. Dr. A. T. Pierson, a Bible scholar of the late 1800s and early 1900s, mentioned an unnamed Hebrew scholar, a Jewish rabbi, who held that the names of the 10 pre-Flood patriarchs (Adam to Noah) formed a redemptive sentence when read together. Keep in mind that certain meanings of some of these names are lost in antiquity, but the exercise is interesting, if not definitive. According to the rabbi, Adam means mankind; Seth is appointed; Enos, mortality; Cainan, wailing for the dead; Mahalaleel, God be praised; Jared, He shall descend; Enoch, a mortal man; Methuselah, dismissing death; Lamech, the weary; Noah, rest. Stringing the translations together yields the following sentence: “Mankind is appointed [to] mortality, wailing for the dead. God be praised. He shall descend, a mortal man, dismissing death, [bringing to] the weary rest.”
Modern scholars prefer Enoch as dedicated man, Methuselah as when he dies, judgment, Lamech (uncertainly) as conqueror, and Cainan (very uncertainly) as humiliation. Our sentence now reads, “Mankind is appointed [to] mortality, [bringing] humiliation. God be praised. He shall descend, a dedicated man. When He dies [as] judgment, [He will] conquer, [bringing] rest.” JDM