Seven, Ten Generations
By Arlen L. Chitwood
During the Tenth Generation
Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son.
And he called his name Noah, saying, ďThis one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.Ē. . .
was five hundred years old,
and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
In the genealogy in Genesis chapter five, it was at the end of the seventh generation and again during the tenth generation ó with both numbers showing completion, a terminal time ó that God stepped into the affairs of the human race. During the days of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, God removed a man from the earth, alive; and during the days of Noah, the tenth from Adam, God preserved and protected a man and his family as they passed through a time of worldwide destruction, a worldwide flood.
Then, following this time of destruction, following the Flood, a new beginning is seen as Noah and his family emerged from their place of safety and found themselves in a world quite different than the one in which they had left.
But, relative to this new beginning, only the skeletal outline is given. Commentary on this new beginning in Scripture awaited another ten generations ó again showing completion, a terminal time ó when God would step into manís affairs in this respect a second time. It waited for that time when God would call Abraham, the tenth from Noah, out of Ur of the Chaldees to go into another land, a land that He would show Abraham. And within this land, all the blessings and promises that God had made to Abraham and his seed would ultimately be realized.
Abraham being removed from Ur of the Chaldees to dwell in another land foreshadows the seed of Abraham (the Jewish people) being removed from the nations of the earth following the Tribulation (typified by the Flood during Noahís day) to dwell in this same land ó a land that God had previously given to Abraham and his seed through an everlasting covenant (Genesis 15:5-21; 26:3, 4; 28:12-14).
Thus, revelation in these chapters progresses toward events occurring at the end of complete periods of time; and the same revealed goal is in view throughout, with the latter (Abraham and his experiences) shedding additional light on the former (Noah and his experiences). Then, large sections of subsequent Scripture form additional commentary, providing further light on that which God revealed in these opening chapters of Genesis.
God has an affinity for numbers; and, in keeping with this fact, one way in which He has structured His Word is in a numeric manner, as seen in the chapters beginning with the genealogy of Adam (chapter 5) and continuing into the time of Abraham, twenty generations later (chapters 11ff). This is the way Scripture began preceding this section (1:1-2:3), and this is something that can be seen in different places throughout Scripture following this section.
In this respect, from an overall perspective, this is something that can easily be seen in different places in foundational material throughout the entire first eleven chapters of Genesis (covering the first 2,000 years of human history). And, as well, this is something that can easily be seen in different places in subsequent revelation, when allowing this subsequent revelation to build upon that which God previously established in these opening chapters.
This numeric structure would have to appear in later revelation, for one simple reason: This is the manner in which God established matters in the beginning, and later revelation could only be structured in complete accord with the former.
The Structure of Scripture
As previously noted, God opens His revelation to man in a numeric manner (1:1-2:3). And within this numeric manner, using events occurring throughout seven days ó six days of work, followed by a day of rest ó God established, at the beginning, a septenary structure surrounding His activity in relation to man and the earth. And this is something that can be seen pervading all subsequent Scripture.
This section begins with the creation of the heavens and the earth (1:1). Immediately following, reference is made to a ruin of the previously revealed creation (1:2a). Then, following an unrevealed period of time in which the earth lay in its ruined state, detail is provided concerning how God restored this ruined creation over six days of time (1:2b-25). And following Godís creation of man, after the completion of all His restorative work on the sixth day, God rested on the seventh day (1:26-2:3).
And this septenary account at the very beginning of Scripture provides a foundational framework upon which all subsequent Scripture rests, with all subsequent Scripture also established in this same septenary manner. In this respect, the six and seven days in Genesis 1:1-2:3 foreshadow a subsequent septenary arrangement of days, with each of the days in the latter arrangement being 1,000 years in length rather than twenty-four hours.
And all of the days in the latter arrangement of days have to do with the same thing as in the former ó restoration, followed by rest. In the former, a ruined material creation, restoration, and rest is seen; in the latter, ruined man, restoration, and rest is seen.
(For additional information on this septenary structure of Scripture, refer to Chapter 2 in the authorís book, The Study of Scripture.)
Thus, this opening section of Scripture provides a skeletal outline at the very beginning, with all Scripture that follows simply forming commentary, providing all the information that God deemed necessary to properly fill in all the blanks and spaces within the previously established skeletal outline.
1) Events Leading into the Ruin
Later revelation though deals with a few things outside this septenary structure, both before and following the 7,000 years. And it is evident that this has been done in order to allow man to not only properly understand the ďwhyĒ of events at the beginning of the 7,000 years, but to also understand where events during all of the 7,000 years will lead.
In this respect, Scripture subsequently reveals that following the creation in Genesis 1:1, preceding Manís Day, God placed the angel later known as ďSatanĒ in a regal position over the earth. He, at this time, was positioned as the earthís ruler, and a great host of other angels were appointed to subordinate positions of power with him (cf. Ezekiel 28:14; Luke 4:5, 6; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:9).
The day came though when Satan sought to ďexaltĒ his throne and become ďlike the Most HighĒ (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan sought to expand his territorial rule and become like God Himself. He, without being appointed by God to occupy such a position, sought additional power. And from what is stated in Isaiah 14:13, he apparently sought to expand his rule to include all the provinces in Godís kingdom, i.e., not just his appointed position over the earth but an non-appointed rule extending throughout the universe.
And this would explain why a ruined earth, later revealed to still have a ruling angel, is seen in Genesis 1:2a, following the creation in Genesis 1:1. At the time Satan sought to exalt his throne, his kingdom was reduced to a ruin, though he was allowed to continue holding the scepter, for a time.
(A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler, even though disqualified, will continue to hold the scepter until his God-appointed successor is not only on the scene but ready to take the scepter and rule in his stead.
In the preceding respect, note the account of Saul and David in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. Saul, through his failure to carry out that which the Lord had commanded concerning Amalek, found himself disqualified to continue as king over Israel [1 Samuel 15:1-26].
But, Saul, though disqualified, remained on the throne. And he continued to hold this position until the one whom God had chosen to replace him, David, was not only present but ready to take the scepter [1 Samuel 16:12, 13; 2 Samuel 1:1-10].
Only then did God remove one ruler from the throne and position another ruler on the throne ó a right that God reserves for Himself [cf. Daniel 4:17, 25; Matthew 20:21, 23].)
2) The Earthís Restoration, Manís Creation
The ruined kingdom over which Satan continued ruling was not restored over six days of time to allow him to continue on the throne. Rather, the kingdom was restored for man (Genesis 1:26-28). And man, in Godís time, was to take the scepter ó which Satan held ó and rule the earth.
Nothing surrounding manís creation was done in a corner, in secret. Rather, it was done out in the open, and Satan could only have known why his kingdom had been restored and why man had subsequently been created. He could only have known that the usurper was on the scene, for God had clearly stated the purpose for manís existence at the time He created man.
Thus, in order to retain his position on the throne, Satan knew that the usurper must be disqualified. For this reason, Satan set about to thwart Godís plans and purposes surrounding man by bringing about manís disobedience, with disobedience on manís part leaving man in the same position that Satan occupied ó disqualified to rule.
In Satanís case, since he held the scepter, manís disqualification would allow him to continue his rule, for a time; in manís case, since he had not yet held the scepter, his disqualification would prevent him from ruling the earth, at this time.
Thus Satan, by and through the woman, succeeded in his attempt to bring about manís disobedience. He accomplished this by deceiving the woman into partaking of the forbidden fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This act, as Satan well knew, would leave Adam with no choice other than to also partake of the forbidden fruit. And once Adam had done this, the fall and manís resulting disqualification to take the scepter would occur.
(The things revealed about the man and the woman in Genesis chapter two show that Eve, formed from a rib taken from Adamís side, was part of Adamís very being; and together they were ďone fleshĒ [vv. 21-24]. Adam, separate from Eve, was an incomplete being. In this respect, Eve, after being formed from a rib removed from Adamís side and presented back to Adam as a helpmate, completed Adam.
And Adam and Eve were to rule together, he as king, and she as consort queen. Together, they would form one person on the throne, with Adam being unable to rule apart from Eve, for he could only rule as a complete being ó something possible only with Eve at his side.
Satan could only have known this, which explains why he approached the woman to bring about manís fall. He could only have known that if he could bring about Eveís disobedience that Adam would no longer be qualified to take the scepter, for Eve would no longer be qualified to rule with him.
And Adamís subsequent act ó also partaking of the fruit of the tree ó was the only course of action open to him if man was to ultimately realize the purpose for his creation. The woman must be redeemed, else man could not rule. And Adam, cleaving to his wife [Genesis 2:24] ó a command that Adam would have violated had he not partaken of the forbidden fruit [which would have resulted in disobedience itself] ó sinned after the same fashion that Eve had sinned, with a view to redemption and man ultimately realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning.
All of this is clearly seen by comparing the type with the antitype. The first man, the first Adam, found his wife in a fallen state and partook of sin [Genesis 3:6], with a view to redemption and to man ultimately fulfilling the purpose for his creation. The second Man, the last Adam, found His bride in a fallen state and was made sin [2 Corinthians 5:21], with a view to redemption and to man ultimately fulfilling the purpose for his creation.)
Thus, in order that man might ultimately realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning, God, immediately following the fall, set about to restore man. And Godís restoration of man ó a ruined creation ó would, of necessity, have to occur in exact accord with the pattern that He had previously laid down concerning how He goes about restoring a ruined creation.
(Once God had established a matter of the nature seen here, no change could ever occur. And the reason for that is very simple. An omnipotent and omniscient God could only have established the matter perfectly in the beginning, voiding any thought of possible change at a later point in time.)
3) Manís Restoration, for a Purpose
There was an initial restorative work pertaining to the ruined material creation on the first day that would correspond to Godís subsequent initial restorative work pertaining to ruined man.
Relative to the material creation, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, light came into existence, and God divided between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:2b-5).
Relative to man, exactly the same sequence of events can be seen. As in Godís initial work, the first act must be the movement of the Spirit of God. The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, on the basis of Christís finished work at Calvary (cf. Genesis 2:7). Everything occurs in exact accord with Godís revealed Word; and the instant that the Spirit moves and man passes ďfrom death to life,Ē light comes into existence, though the previously existing darkness remains. And, at this point, God makes a sharp division between that which is connected with the light (the spiritual) and that which is connected with the darkness (the soulical, the natural [cf. Hebrews 4:12]).
Then five more days of work are seen in the foundational type, pointing to spiritual things involved in Godís continued restorative work. These things have to do with present aspects of salvation as they relate to the man who has realized that foreshadowed by events on day one.
These subsequent events are with a view to salvation as it relates to the soul, for man cannot one day rule within the fullness of that which is seen in Genesis 1:26-28 unless salvation extends not only to his spirit (present), but also to his soul, and body (future).
The six days of restorative work in relation to the material creation in Genesis 1:2b-25 foreshadows 6,000 years of restorative work in relation to a subsequent ruined creation, in relation to man. And the day of rest following the six days of restorative work in Genesis 2:1-3 foreshadows a future 1,000-year day of rest, a seventh millennium, a Sabbath, awaiting the people of God (Hebrews 4:1-9).
Thus, all Scripture following this opening section of Genesis simply forms commentary for that which is revealed in skeletal form in these opening thirty-four verses. There is a creation, a ruin of the creation, a restoration of the ruined creation and a rest that follows ó a sequence relating of the complete story of Scripture.
For example, Scripture that immediately follows this opening section, beginning in Genesis 2:4 and continuing through chapter four, provides basic, foundational information concerning the beginning point of Godís restorative work (having to do with salvation by grace, seen in Godís work on day one). Then, parts of the remainder of Scripture provide more details.
Then, as in the introductory section (1:1-2:3), so it is in the section immediately following (chapters 2b-4). Revelation in this following section is not limited to that which is foreshadowed by Godís restorative work on day one in chapter one. Rather, revelation in this section, although centering on that which is foreshadowed by Godís restorative work on day one, moves beyond this point into that which is foreshadowed by Godís restorative work on days two through six. That is to say, revelation in this section, although centering on salvation by grace, moves beyond salvation by grace into teachings pertaining to the salvation of the soul. And this is all with a view to that which is seen at the end of Godís restorative work ó a seventh day of rest.
In this respect, this section of Genesis, which immediately follows Godís revealed work and rest in chapter one and the first part of chapter two, provides details that reflect upon all of that seen throughout Godís previous work and rest. This section provides details surrounding redemption, with the propose for redemption seen and the time made known when this purpose would be realized.
The purpose for redemption has to do with man ruling the earth, and this purpose is to be realized on the seventh day (which subsequent Scripture reveals to be a seventh millennium of rest following six millennia of work). This, in turn, sets the stage for that which is seen in chapters five through nine.
(And redemption surrounds the entire matter, with a view to a new beginning following the time of trouble/destruction at the end of Manís Day.
Note that the thought of redemption pervades that which is seen throughout chapters three and four. In chapter three, Adam, ďnot deceivedĒ [1 Timothy 2:14], partook of sin. And this could only have been with a view to redemption, something clearly seen in the antitype. The second Man, the last Adam, was made sin, which was with a view to redemption [2 Corinthians 5:21].
And the remainder of Christís work at Calvary is seen in that which God did following Adamís sin. God clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skin, which necessitated death and shed blood, providing a biblical foundational truth about salvation at the very beginning, which never changes.
That which God requires relative to manís salvation has forever been set forth in this opening section of Genesis. God requires death and shed blood; and apart from that which God requires, there is no salvation ó not in Genesis chapter three or elsewhere in Scripture.
Then chapter four provides more details in this same realm, showing that the sacrifice in the antitype of that which is seen in the previous chapter, where death and shed blood are required, must be the man Himself. Cain slaying Abel foreshadows Israel slaying Christ. Cain rose up against Abel, slaying his brother; and Israel, 4,000 years later, rose up against Christ, slaying the nationís Brother. It was fratricide in both instances, with the blood of Abel crying out ďfrom the ground,Ē and the blood of Christ speaking ďbetter things than that of AbelĒ [cf. Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24].
Thus, basics surrounding salvation by grace are set forth in chapters three and four, reflecting upon and forming commentary for Godís initial work in restoring the ruined creation on day one back in chapter one [vv. 2b-5]. In chapter three a man acts, but in the type the man can do no more. Thus, God then steps in, and there is death and shed blood, with all these things foreshadowing the work of Christ in both realms ó the work of God manifested in the flesh, a completed work at Calvary. Then chapter four provides additional details.
But, as previously seen, salvation by grace is not the only subject dealt with in revelation immediately following Genesis 1:1-2:3. Note other facets of Godís redemptive work introduced at this early point in Genesis, which reflects upon and forms commentary for that which is previously set forth.
For example, in chapter two, reflecting on Godís work beyond day one in the previous chapter, the manner in which the bride for the first man, the first Adam, was brought into existence is given. And this can only foreshadow the manner in which the bride for the second Man, the last Adam would later be brought into existence. There is a removal from the body in the type, which must carry over into the antitype as well.
Thus, the existence of the Church and the work of the Spirit as He calls out a bride for Godís Son during the present dispensation is introduced in this second chapter, 4,000 years before this work began in the antitype. And this is a work carried out solely among the saved, among those forming Christís body, among those who have already experienced that which is foreshadowed by events on day one in the previous chapter.
Then, within the dispensational framework of continuing events in chapters five through nine, the end of the matter is seen. It was set forth at the very beginning of Manís Day, with these events foreshadowing events that would occur 6,000 years later, at the end of Manís Day.
The Church, previously introduced by and through events in chapter two, is seen being removed at the end of a complete period of time ó at the end of the present dispensation ó foreshadowed by Enochís removal. And Israel, previously introduced by and through events in chapter four, is seen passing through a time of trouble/destruction at the close of another complete period of time ó the last seven years of the previous dispensation ó foreshadowed by Noah and his family passing safely through the Flood.)
Israel is about to pass through the antitype of that which is seen in the experiences of Noah and his family passing through the Flood. And, exactly as in the type, this will occur at a terminal time, following a previous terminal time.
The previous terminal time has to do with the Church being removed into the heavens at the end of the present dispensation, before the Tribulation, as Enoch was removed into the heavens before the Flood. And the subsequent terminal time has to do with Israel passing safely through the Tribulation, as Noah and his family passed safely through the Flood.
The worldwide destruction produced by the Flood in the type foreshadows exactly the same thing as that which is seen in the complete destruction of the image in Daniel chapter two ó the end of Gentile world power. Then that which follows the Flood in the type foreshadows the same thing which is seen following the destruction of the image in Daniel ó the kingdom of Christ ushered in, with Godís firstborn Sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church [following the adoption]) exercising regality, realizing the reason for manís existence.
Scripture begins with regality in view, it continues with regality in view, and it ends with regality in view. It is one continuous and progressive revelation about redemption, with a view to a change in the earthís government. And the entire matter has been made known at the beginning, in the opening chapters of Genesis.