Chronicles, like Kings and Samuel, was originally one book, only divided into two books when the Septuagint was written. It is thought by most to have been written by Ezra, but there is no credit given within the book itself.
If you've ever read the books of First and Second Kings and First and Second Chronicles back-to-back, you certainly have noticed many parallel passages and repetition of historical stories. Both document the period of time between the reign of David and the Babylonian Captivity, but unlike Kings, which covered the reigns of the kings of both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, Chronicles focuses in on the kings of Judah, spending most of its time on King David and King Solomon.
Before getting to David, however, the author spends the first nine chapters in the genealogies which lead from the beginning of man leading up to King David.
Adam was of course the first created human being. God named him "Adam," which means, "Man."
Adam and his wife Eve were supposed to live foverver, but they introduced sin to the human race through their disobedience in the Garden of Eden. They, along with the earth, were cursed. The Lord said,
Gen. 3:17-19 ..."Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden. As Genesis 4 begins, we read,
Gen. 4:1-2 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD." Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel...
Cain's conflict with Abel has become legendary, as the first pair of siblings had the first sibling rivalry. Abel made an acceptable offering to the Lord, but Cain's was not accepted. This caused Cain to be filled with hatred and bitterness towards his brother. Ultimately, Cain murdered his brother Abel.
Cain was cursed by God, and was driven out into the world as a wanderer, finally settling in the land of Nod. As Genesis 4 continues, we see that Cain's descendants were no more godly than he, and murder was not uncommon among them.
Since we are well-familiar with the fact that Adam's two sons were Cain and Abel, we might be surprised to read here in 1Chronicles that neither Cain nor Abel are listed in the genealogy.
In fact, there were more children of Adam and Even than just these two. The child of Adam's that proves to be most important to mankind is actually Seth, who was born after Cain had killed Abel, when Adam was 130 years old (Gen. 5:3). Adam named him "Seth," which means "Appointed." No doubt Adam felt that Seth was the true son appointed to keep the lineage and heritage of men devoted to God.
Seth's son was named Enosh. Genesis 4:26 says in Enosh's day,
Gen. 4:26 ...Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.
There are three ways to read that sentence. The first is that people began to call upon the Lord, the way the Psalmist said,
Psa. 18:3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised...
The second is that people began to call themselves by the name of the Lord. This would distinguish the Sethites from Cain's ungodly line.
The third possibility is that it was at this time that people began to use the Lord's name to call out. In other words, to profane the name of the Lord and enter into idolatry. If this is true, then Seth would certainly tie this into what he knew of his dad's life: Sin brings death. Man, who should have lived forever, was sentenced to death for his sin. And that would explain why Seth named his son "Enosh," which means "Mortal."
Enosh's son was Kenan. Nothing of Kenan's life beyond his age is given to us in the Scriptures, insinuating that he didn't do much that was noteworthy. That might explain why his father named him "Kenan," meaning, "Sorrow."
If men were profaning the Lord at this point, it would also account for Kenan's strange name.
Kenan fathered a son whom he named "Mahalalel," which means, "The Blessed God." I beleive that this was Kenan's attempt to draw people back into a close relationship with God.
Mahalalel called his son "Jared," which is based on the root word meaning "descent." His name literally means, "Shall Come Down." It seems that while Mahalalel was named for the Blessed God, he saw throughout the earth that mankind was going deeper and deeper into sin and rebellion from God.
Jared's son was Enoch, a name which means, "Teaching." As it turns out, Enoch did teach about the Lord. The book of Jude tells us that he was a prophet, prophesying,
Jude 1:14-15 ..."Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
Enoch would not live to see this judgment hit the earth, for the Scriptures tell us,
Gen. 5:24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
It seems that Enoch was the first human being to experience being raptured. The writer of Hebrews says,
Heb. 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
Enoch was a godly man, who was raptured before judgment. But which judgment? He had prophesied regarding the Day of the Lord, when God would return with all His angels, but he had also spoken of a different judgment, a sooner one. This judgment would also be worldwide, yet would be much closer in fulfillment than the final return of God to earth.
His prophecy said that this near judgment would happen when his own son died.
Enoch's son was Methuselah. Enoch named him this strange phrase, "His death shall bring." With Methuselah's name, Enoch was prophesying that the judgment would come when Methuselah died.
Since he was aware of his father's prophecy, I don't believe Methuselah expected his own son to see many years. That is probably why he named him "Lamech," which means, "The Despairing."
We don't have to guess why Lamech named his son "Noah," meaning "Rest." Genesis 5 says,
Gen. 5:28-29 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed."
What did Lamech know? The same thing that his father Methuselah knew: that God had cursed the earth and judgment was quickly coming upon the earth.
Sure enough, Genesis 6 relates the events.
Gen. 6:5-8 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
The Lord told Noah that He was about to destroy all flesh on the earth, but that God wanted to preserve a remnant of them. Noah was instructed to build an ark to preserve some animals and eight human beings through the upcoming destruction. The judgment would be in the form of a worldwide flood of water.
The Bible tells us that...
Gen. 7:6 ...Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth.
Methuselah had been 187 years old when Lamech was born. That means he was 369 years old when Noah was born. And that means he was 969 years old when the flood came upon the earth. How long did Methuselah ultimately live?
Gen. 5:27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
When he died, the flood came. Enoch's prophecy came true: "His death shall bring."
Interestingly, Methuselah's lifetime is the longest recorded in the Bible, making him a wonderful picture of God's mercy, for He...
2Pet. 3:9 ...is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Every meaning of every name was for a reason. Each one carried a message. God had it all planned out.
But what you may not yet have seen is that each individual message of those generations formed a continuous line, and a single message. From Adam to Noah, God was forming and crafting a statement.
Sin and death was introduced to mankind. But God knew that one day He would send His only begotten Son to the earth to die in mankind's place, so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.
Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. "Man appointed mortal sorrow. The blessed God shall come down teaching His death shall bring the despairing rest."