Lamech Segment: Genesis 4
Explanation of Symbols
/ Line of descent
|Lamech Segment Analysis|
© 1998 Alice C. Linsley
Lamech is a variant of the royal la-melech found on hundreds of Egyptian seals. La-melech means "of the king." The marriage and ascendancy pattern revealed in this diagram is identical to that of Abraham and his two wives, and Moses' father and his two wives, and to Samuel's father and his two wives.
Analysis of the Lamech story reveals that this Nilo-Saharan ruler had two wives, following the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's Horite ancestors. Lamech probably maintained his two wives in separate households on an east-west axis, as did Abraham with Sarah in Hebron and Keturah in Beersheba. Abraham's father Terah maintained wives in Ur and Haran, to the north. The location of the wives is significant because their positions marked the southern and northern boundaries of the chief’s territory. The Creator’s territory was marked by the Sun’s rising in the east and setting in the west.
Lamech’s two wives lived in settlements on a east-west axis. As the Hebrew scholar Theodor Gaster noted their names Adah and Zillah indicate dawn and dust. This rounds out the picture of Lamech's arrogance, for besides killing a man without impunity, he set himself as an equal to God.
The key to understanding the marriage and ascendancy pattern in Genesis 4 and 5 and throughout the whole of Horite history, is the person of Naamah, Lamech's daughter. Naamah, married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah (Gen. 5:26) and named their first-born son Lamech, after her father. This cousin bride's naming prerogative makes it possible to trace the ancestry of Jesus Christ back to Cain and Seth, whose line intermarried.
In Genesis 4 only sons are listed as they became the rulers. However, this doesn't mean that Cain had not daughters. One of Cain's unnamed daughters married her cousin Enosh (listed in Genesis 5)and named their first-born son Kenan after her father. Kain and Kenan are linguistically equivalent names. Likewise Irad's unnamed daughter married her cousin Mahalalel and named their first-born son Jared, after her father. Irad and Jared are linguistically equivalent. Methushael's daughter married her cousin Enoch and named their first-born son Methuselah, again linguistic equivalents.
Factoring the daughters into the geneological picture of Genesis 4 and 5 clarifies the kinship pattern of Abraham's Horite ancestors. Our clue to look to the daughters is the person of Naamah, daughter of Lamech. The consistency of the pattern throughout Genesis 4 and 5 indicates that these lists represent very old and authentic king lists.
It is difficult to establish a time framework for the rulers listed in Genesis 4 and 5, but it is safe to say that these lines of descent, with the daughters marrying their patrilineal parallel cousins, represent a very old pattern for the Horite rulers, going back to at least 4000 B.C.
Related reading: Lamech's Story and Horite Kingship; Methuselah's Wife; The Horite Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern; The Life Spans of Methuselah and Lamech; St. John Chrysostom on Lamech's Speech; The Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ; The Seventh Seal and Silence in Heaven