Genesis 4:26

Genesis 4:26

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son
When he was an hundred and five years old, ( Genesis 5:6 ) and this is mentioned as a further proof and instance of God's goodness to Adam's family in this line, that there was a succession in it, where the true worship of God was kept, and from whence the Messiah was to arise, and as a pledge and confirmation of it:

and he called his name Enos;
which is generally interpreted a weak, feeble, frail, mortal, miserable man; which Seth being sensible of, and observing the sorrows of human life, and especially an increase of them among good men through the growing corruptions of the age, gave this name to his son; though it may be observed, that the derivation of this name may be from the Arabic word "anas" F15, to be sociable and familiar; man being a sociable creature, not only in civil but in religious things, and so a reason of the name may be taken from what follows;

then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;
not but that Adam and Abel, and all good men, had called upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worshipped him before this time personally, and in their families; but now the families of good men being larger, and more numerous, they joined together in social and public worship: or since it may be thought there were public assemblies for religious worship before this time, though it may be they had been neglected, and now were revived with more zeal and vigour; seeing the Cainites incorporating themselves, and joining families together, and building cities, and carrying on their civil and religious affairs among themselves, they also formed themselves into distinct bodies; and not only separated from them, but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to call themselves", or "to be called by the name of the Lord" F16; the sons of God, as distinct from the sons of men; which distinction may be observed in ( Genesis 6:2 ) and has been retained more or less ever since: some choose to translate the words, "then began men to call in the name of the Lord" F17; that is, to call upon God in the name of the Messiah, the Mediator between God and man; having now, since the birth of Seth, and especially of Enos, clearer notions of the promised seed, and of the use of him, and his name, in their addresses to God; see ( John 14:13 ) ( John 14:14 ) ( John 16:23 John 16:24 ) . The Jews give a very different sense of these words; the Targum of Onkelos is,

``then in his days the children of men ceased from praying in the name of the Lord;''

and the Targum of Jonathan is,

``this was the age, in the days of which they began to err, and they made themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord;''

with which agrees the note of Jarchi,

``then they began to call the names of men, and the names of herbs, by the name of the blessed God, to make idols of them:''

and some of them say, particularly Maimonides F18, that Enos himself erred, and fell into idolatry, and was the first inventor of images, by the mediation of which men prayed to God: but all this seems to be without foundation, and injurious to the character of this antediluvian patriarch; nor does it appear that idolatry obtained in the posterity of Seth, or among the people of God so early; nor is such an account agreeable to the history which Moses is giving of the family of Seth, in opposition to that of Cain; wherefore one or other of the former senses is best.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 "Consuevit, assuevit, et familiaris evasit", Golius, col. 169.
F16 (hwhy Mvb arql) "vocari de nomine Jehovae", Piscator.
F17 "Ad invocandum in nomine Domini", Montanus, "vel vocare in nomine Domini", Cartwright.
F18 Hilchot Obede Cochabim, c. 1. sect. 1. R, Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 74. 2. Juchasin, fol. 134. 2.