Generation [S]

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.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[J] indicates this entry was also found in Jack Van Impe's Prophecy Dictionary
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Generation". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .
Generation. [E]

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

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Generation'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.


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:

"Righteous before me in this generation" (Genesis 7:1); "four generations" (Job 42:16);

(c) the people of a particular class or sort, with some implied reference to hereditary quality; the wicked (Deuteronomy 32:5; Proverbs 30:11); the righteous (Psalms 14:5; 112:2).

(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

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'GENERATION'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.