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

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

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