THE first child ever born of human parents was a murderer, and slew his brother. It was two hundred and thirty-five years after creation, be-fore men began (socially) to call on the name of the Lord. No mention is made of fire before the flood, nor of a knife. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was born A. M. 622, and about sixty-five years afterward, (as it seems,) delivered his prophecy of the last and general judgment. As Adam lived two hundred and forty-three years after Enoch walked with God, it is highly probable that the first man heard of the last judgment.
No direct promise is made of the Messiah unto men, in the whole antediluvian history; but the conquering seed of the woman, is revealed in the denunciation of the Lord God to the serpent. Noah, the tenth from Adam, was born A. M. 1056. He was a preacher of righteousness, and the builder of the ark, into which he entered when he was six hundred years old, and the Lord shut him in. And here ends the history of the antediluvians. Peleg, the fifth in descent from Noah, was born one hundred and two years after Noah went into the ark. In the days of Peleg the earth was divided.
Some think that, before the days of Peleg, Europe and Asia joined with Africa, but, by some tremendous shock, the chasm of the Mediterranean sea was formed in his days, which divided Africa from Europe and Asia. Others conclude that Peleg was the fist surveyor, who divided the earth by lines.
Perhaps there was a great agreement among the families descending from Noah, about their territorial claims and boundaries, in which Peleg acted a distinguished part. Or, it may be, the inhabitants of the earth got so divided, that they committed great hostilities upon each other; the hunting, wars and arrogance of Nimrod, and his associates, being at this time.
Ten generations from Noah, and twenty from Adam, Abraham was born, A. M. 1946. Fourteen generations after Abraham, David was born; and after fourteen generations of royal government, (exclusive of Saul and Ishbodheth,) the Babylonish captivity commenced. And fourteen generations afterwards, which made the sixty-second from Adam, the Saviour, Jesus Christ, was born. From this, we learn that the generations, in average, from Adam to Jesus Christ, were not far from sixty-five years.
How many generations have been since the Christian era began, I know not. Indeed, the genealogy in the Old Testament was only in one line from Adam to Jesus. Whether they were longer or shorter in other branches of the same families, I cannot tell.* It is probable enough, that the Jews are very particular in their genealogical tables, of the house of David at least, as they are looking for their Messiah yet to come; but, of this I have no assurance.
* From David to Jesus Christ, in the branch of Solomon, were only twenty-eight generations. See Matt i., 17. But in the branch of Nathan, the son of David, to Christ, were forty-two generations. Luke, iii., 23-32. For a solution of this seeming contradiction of genealogies, see Budget of Scraps – article, Genealogy of Christ.
Miscellaneous Essays, In Prose and Verse.
Elder John Leland
Published sometime since 1810 (precise year unknown)
The Writings Of The Late Elder John Leland
Pages 434 – 435