1. Ge 4:18-24, a descendant of Cain, in the fifth generation, and ancestor of numerous posterity distinguished for a skill in agriculture, music, and several mechanic arts. He is the first polygamist on record. His address to his two wives is the oldest specimen of poetry extant, and is a good illustration of Hebrew parallelism.
Adah and Zillah,
Hear my voice;
Ye wives of Lamech,
Hearken unto my speech.
I have slain a man
To my wounding,
And [or even] a young man
To my hurt.
If Cain shall be avenged
Seventy and seven fold."
Many explanations of this abrupt fragment have been suggested. The most satisfactory, perhaps, is that Lamech had accidentally or in self-defense killed a man, and was exposed to the vengeance of "the avenger of blood;" but quiets the fears of his wives by saying of Cain under heavy penalties, Ge 4:15, much more would he guard the life of Lamech who was comparatively innocent.
2. The son of Methuselah, and father of Noah; he lived seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and died only five years before the flood, Ge 5:25-31.
the strikerdown; the wild man. (1.) The fifth in descent from Cain. He was the first to violate the primeval ordinance of marriage (Ge 4:18-24). His address to his two wives, Adah and Zillah (Ge 4:23-24), is the only extant example of antediluvian poetry. It has been called "Lamech's sword-song." He was "rude and ruffianly," fearing neither God nor man. With him the curtain falls on the race of Cain. We know nothing of his descendants.
(2.) The seventh in descent from Seth, being the only son of Methuselah. Noah was the oldest of his several sons (Ge 5:25-31; Lu 3:36).
1. Son of Methusael, of Cain's line; the first polygamist; by Adah begat Jabal and JUBAL, by Zillah Tubal-cain and Naamah. (See JABAL.) The three, Adah, Zillah, and Naamah, are the only antediluvian women named. See Ge 4:23-24, "a man I slay (I am determined to slay), for my wound, a young man for my hurt; for (if) Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Lamech (will be avenged) seventy and seven fold": whoever inflicts wound or blow (stripe) on me, man or youth, I will surely slay; if God will avenge Cain's cause, when assailed, sevenfold, I have power in my hands (by the bronze and steel of Tubal-cain's discovery) to avenge myself ten times more. (Speaker's Commentary, Keri, and Delitzsch). In the common version Lamech calculates on impunity after homicide, because of his ancestor Cain's impunity; but it gives no explanation of why he should be avenged on any assailant ten times more than Cain. Possibly his reasoning is: I slew a youth for a wound and bruise he inflicted on me; as I did it under provocation, not as Cain without provocation and in cold blood, since Cain was protected by God's threat of sevenfold vengeance, I am sure of seventy and sevenfold vengeance on any assailant.
This is the earliest example of Hebrew poetry, the principle of versification being parallelism, with rhythm, assonance, strophe, and poetic diction. Its enigmatical character shows its remote antiquity. Enoch's prophecy in Jg 1:14 was about the same age, and is also in parallelism. Delitzsch notices "that titanic arrogance which makes its own power its god (Hab 1:11), and carries its god, i.e. its sword, in its hand," translated Job 12:6 "who make a god of their own hand." Lamech boasts thus, to assure his wives of security amidst the violence of the times especially among the Cainites, which precipitated God's judgment of the flood (Ge 6:4,11,13). Poetry, God's gift to man, has been awfully desecrated, so that its earliest extant fragment comes not from paradise but the house of Lamech, a man of violence and lust.
2. Noah's father; son of Methuselah, in Seth's line (Ge 5:28-29). A contrast to the Cainite Lamech and his profane and presumptuous boasting. In pious, believing hope, resting on the promise to Eve of a Redeemer, he by the Spirit foresaw in Noah ("rest or comfort") the second founder of the race, the head of a regenerated world; "this same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed." Feeling the weary toil of cultivating a ground yielding weeds sooner than fruits, Lamech looked for the ground's redemption from the curse in connection with Noah. It shall be so at the glorious coming of Noah's Antitype (Ro 8:19-23; Mt 19:28; Re 21:1; 2Pe 3:13).
The name apparently of two people in the antediluvian period, the one belonging to the Cainite and the other to the Sethite genealogy. 1. The fifth descendant from Cain (Ge 4:18-24). He seems to have been a man of importance in the early legend, as the names of his two wives (Adah and Zillah), his three sons (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain), and his daughter (Naamah) are all mentioned. Special interest is attached to him on account of his song
1. Descendant of Cain. He was the first to take two wives (sign of corruption); his sons were noted for making musical instruments, and working in brass and iron. Ge 4:18-24. Lamech acknowledged his vengeance (sign of violence), for some injury he had received, but intimated his belief that God would watch over him as He had over the life of Cain. His address to his wives is poetical. See POETRY.
(powerful), properly Lemech.
1. The fifth lineal descendant from Cain.
He is the only one except Enoch, of the posterity of Cain, whose history is related with some detail. His two wives, Adah and Zillah, and his daughter Naamah, are, with Eve, the only antediluvian women whose names are mentioned by Moses. His three sons, Jabal, Jubal and Tubal-cain, are celebrated in Scripture as authors of useful inventions. The remarkable poem which Lamech uttered may perhaps be regarded as Lamech's son of exultation on the invention of the sword by his son Tubal-cain, in the possession of which he foresaw a great advantage to himself and his family over any enemies.
2. The father of Noah.
LAMECH, a descendant of Cain, the son of Mathusael, and father of Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, and Naamah, Ge 4:18-20, &c. He stands branded as the father of polygamy, the first who dared to violate the sacred command, Ge 2:24; giving way to his unbridled passion, and thus overleaping the divine mound raised by the wisdom of our great Creator; which restraint is enforced by the laws of nature herself, who peoples the earth with an equal number of males and females, and thereby teaches foolish man that polygamy is incompatible with her wise regulations. He married Adah and Zillah: the former was the mother of Jabal and Jubal, and the latter of Tubal-Cain and Naamah, his sister.
2. LAMECH, the son of Methuselah, and father of Noah. He lived a hundred fourscore and two years before the birth of Noah, Ge 5:25,31; after which he lived five hundred and ninety-five years longer: thus the whole term of his life was seven hundred and seventy-seven years.