Genesis 2:4 , "These are the generations," means the "history." 5:1 , "The book of the generations," means a family register, or history of Adam 37:2 , "The generations of Jacob" = the history of Jacob and his descendants 7:1 , "In this generation" = in this age. Psalms 49:19 , "The generation of his fathers" = the dwelling of his fathers, i.e., the grave. Psalms 73:15 , "The generation of thy children" = the contemporary race. Isaiah 53:8 , "Who shall declare his generation?" = His manner of life who shall declare? or rather = His race, posterity, shall be so numerous that no one shall be able to declare it.
In Matthew 1:17 , the word means a succession or series of persons from the same stock. Matthew 3:7 , "Generation of vipers" = brood of vipers 24:34 , "This generation" = the persons then living contemporary with Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 , "A chosen generation" = a chosen people.
The Hebrews seem to have reckoned time by the generation. In the time of Abraham a generation was an hundred years, thus: Genesis 15:16 , "In the fourth generation" = in four hundred years (Compare verse 13 and Exodus 12:40 ). In Deuteronomy 1:35 and 2:14 a generation is a period of thirty-eight years.
In the long-lived patriarchal age a generation seems to have been computed at 100 years, ( Genesis 15:16 ) comp. Genesis15:13 and Eccl 12:40 but subsequently the reckoning was the same which has been adopted by modern civilized nations, viz. from thirty to forty years ( Job 42:16 ) (Generation is also used to signify the men of an age or time, as contemporaries, ( Genesis 6:9 ; Isaiah 53:8 ) posterity , especially in legal formulae, ( Leviticus 3:17 ) etc.; fathers, or ancestors. ( Psalms 49:19 ) [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
[J] indicates this entry was also found in Jack Van Impe's Prophecy Dictionary
jen-er-a'-shun (Latin generatio, from genero, "beget"):
(1) The translation
(a) of dor, "circle," "generation," hence, "age," "period," "cycle":
"many generations" (Deuteronomy 32:7);
(b) the people of any particular period or those born about the same time:
(2) toledhoth, "births," hence
(a) an account of a man and his descendants:
"The book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1);
(b) successive families:
"The families of the sons of Noah, after their generations" (Genesis 10:32);
(c) genealogical divisions:
"The children of Reuben .... their generations, by their families" (Numbers 1:20); (d) figurative, of the origin and early history of created things: "The generations of the heavens and of the earth" (Genesis 2:4).
(3) genea, "a begetting," "birth," "nativity," therefore
(a) the successive members of a genealogy:
"All the generations from Abraham unto David" (Matthew 1:17);
(b) a race, or class, distinguished by common characteristics, always (in the New Testament) bad:
"Faithless and perverse generation" (Matthew 17:17);
(c) the people of a period:
"This generation shall not pass away" (Luke 21:32);
(d) an age (the average lifetime, 33 years):
"Hid for (Greek "from the") ages and (from the) generations" (Colossians 1:26). The term is also by a figurative transference of thought applied to duration in eternity: "Unto all generations for ever and ever" (Ephesians 3:21) (Greek "all the generations of the age of the ages").
(4) genesis, "source," "origin":
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1; the American Revised Version, margin "The genealogy of Jesus Christ").
(5) gennema, "offspring," "progeny"; figurative:
"O generation of vipers" (Luke 3:7 the King James Version).
(6) genos, "stock," "race," in this case spiritual:
"But ye are a chosen generation" (1 Peter 2:9; the American Standard Revised Version "an elect race").
Philip Wendell Crannell
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