ALIVE: Chapter Five - God's Regret

Seth was unhappy that some of his daughters and even a son went to live in Enoch. He didn't know his brother Cain, but from what he heard Seth was glad that they never met. Seth didn't want to worry that he too would be killed by a jealous and violent brother.

Nevertheless it was no coincidence that Cain named his son Enoch and his brother, Seth, named his son Enosh. When their mother, Eve, told her children bedtime stories, his favorite story was about twin boys named Enoch and Enosh. It always made her children laugh to hear her say those names together. Enosh and Enoch of legend had adventures; they battled animals, and got lost on expeditions through olive-tree strewn fields, and played hide-and-seek in the crevices of rocky mountains. In Seth's favorite story Enosh and Enoch made friends with a dragon who let them both climb on him. Enosh and and Enoch flew through the plains faster than the hyenas and faster than the tigers. When they reached the seaside, undeterred, the dragon simply swam to the other shore. The only thing the dragon could not do was fly, although he tried. When Seth grew up and married one of his sisters because no other women existed, they had a child whom they both joyfully named Enosh.

Seth was proud of his first-born son, Enosh, for his strength and diligence. From the time he was a young child Enosh worked by Seth's side helping him to till the fields, shepherd the sheep, and milk the goats. Enosh was a reliable son.

Adam and Eve had many children who married each other, until there was a generation who could marry their cousins, until there was a generation who could marry from a pool of very distant relations, and until the earth started to fill with humans made in God's image. Humankind happily and lustfully obeyed God's directive that they be fruitful and multiply.

For the first ten generations since humankind was created, a man's lifespan was nearly a millennium! First-children were born to men as young as 65 years old, and as old as 570. Methuselah lived to be 960. After around 900 years bodies gave out and they were planted in the ground.

Here is the fascinating rundown:

Adam - at 130 yrs old had Seth. Adam lived to 930. Seth was 800 when his father, Adam, died.
Seth - at 105 years had Enosh. Seth lived to 912.
Enosh - at 90 yrs old had Kenan. Enosh lived to 905.
Kenan - at 70 years had Mahalel. Kenan lived to 910.
Mahalel - at 65 years had Jared. Mahalel lived to 895.
Jared - at 162 years had Enoch. Jared lived to 962.
Enoch - at 65 years had Methusalah, then walked with God at 365 years and was no more.
Methusalah - at 187 years had Lamech. Methusalah lived to 969.but
Lamech - at 182 years had Noah. Lamech lived to 777.
Noah - 1056 - (1656 year of the flood, his father and grandfather were both deceased) - 2006

Adam 0-930
Seth 130 - 1042 Adam died when Seth was 800.
Enosh - 235 -1140 Seth died when Enosh was 807.
Kenan - 325 - 1230 Enosh died when Kenan was 815.
Mahalel - 395 - 1290 Kenan died when Mahelel was 835
Jared - 460 - 1422 Mahelel died when Kenan was 830
Enoch - 622 - 987 Jared was still alive when Enoch disappeared.
Methusalah - 687 - 1656 Methusalah was 300 when his father Enoch disappeared, he was 735 when his grandfather Jared died. Methusalah outlived his son by 5 years.
Lamech - 874 - 1651
Noah - 1056 - (1662 year of the flood, his father and grandfather were both deceased) - 2012

In the seventh of the first ten generations the second Enoch was born to Jared. He was named after Cain's son Enoch, the first grandchild to exist on the face of the earth. On the seventh day of creation God rested from all his works. In this seventh generation the second Enoch gave God relief from troublesome humankind.

Since the beginning of time children have been worrying their parents, and that's a fact. Nothing can be done about it because willful humans are made in the image of a bold creative intelligent Father. Creativity and intelligence expressed by unique individual wills have a million zillion expressions like a cacophony of sound, an orchestra tuning up. When the symphony starts, one is almost amazed that all those different sounds could ever blend. That's why we needed a conductor like Jesus, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Back to the seventh generation Enoch. For the first time ever, a man existed who was in tune with God. In fact, God liked the spirit of Enoch so much that He brought Enoch up to heaven to be with Him, to be His friend. Enoch's body suddenly disappeared one day when he was only 365 years old. He didn't die and he didn't go to Hades. No one could find Enoch anywhere and they looked for a long time. They didn't believe it when Enoch's son Methusalah told them that with his very eyes Methusalah saw his dad disappear while he was praying. In the whole entire history of mankind, such an ascension only happened one other time, with the prophet Elijah. (Jesus had died first, and so did His Mother Mary, although their bodies did not stay on the Earth but ascended to heaven as well.) This shows that it is possible to be spared a physical death, but highly unlikely.

As humankind multiplied on the face of the earth conflict set the tone. Evil and violence disturbed the tranquility of nature. Sure, there were animals who killed each other, but they weren't angry, they were just hungry. Human hunger was for power and dominance. The Earth became corrupt and filled with violence. God blamed the sons and daughters of men (the more animal-like Neanderthals) who married the sons of God for corrupting His precious humankind who were made in His image and likeness. Humankind then became more like animals than God ever intended.

So, in disgust God said, "My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever - people shall only live to 120 years old." Nine hundred years was much too long to watch in sorrow how people treated each other. God hoped that by shortening the life span, a more frequent series of starts and finishes might create a pool of good inventors, altruists, architects, and engineers, scientists, and philosophers; something He thought His planet was very much in need of, to supplement the farmers, shepherds, and home makers. But instead of arbitrarily shortening a lifespan by 85 percent, God needed to do something dramatic.

One fine day in November, when the sun was shining brightly in the sky and the birds were chirping with glee, Enoch's grandson, Lamech, and his wife gave birth to a very special child. Perhaps this baby inherited his spirit from his great-granddaddy, Enoch whom God had scooped up to keep as a friend. Lamech took one look at this infant and said to his wife, "Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands." That work and toil was the curse on Adam for obeying Eve who disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was Lamech's way of prophesying that his special child would rise above the curse on humankind. Lamech and his lady Laureli named this child Noah. God liked Noah, maybe for the same reason He liked Enoch. Good chemistry.

Back in Cain's country of Enoch, not far from Nod, another line of people existed to trouble Father God with evil and violence. What is peculiar is that Cain's great grandson was named Methushael who was the father of a boy named Lamech, just as in Seth's line Methusalah was the father of a boy also named Lamech. Methushael and Methusalah, like Enosh and Enoch, didn't know each other. Except for in their names, Methushael and Methusalah were as different from each other as potatoes and starlight, and so were their sons the two Lamechs.

Cain's Lamech, like his great grandfather before him killed a young man who struck him, but decided on his own, without a peep from God, that God would protect him even more than He had protected Cain with the special mark that prevented him from being killed-back. There was no hereditary reason for Lamech's claim. It was simply fear-induced egotistical optimism. Lamech said out loud for his two wives, Adah and Zillah and all the angels and demons to hear, "I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-seven fold." What a puffed up rooster of a man!

Cain's Lamech killed a man and Seth's Lamech gave birth to God's charmed Noah. From the tree of Adam both good and evil grew. The all-intelligent Creator regretted making humankind. He wanted to undo, He wanted to backspace-delete. God learned that He could not make a being in His image, and expect it to stay like Him.

Human beings are not animals. We are different. Every kind of dog has a general disposition that is common to that kind, but willful intelligent humans are a wildcard.

Before reducing man's lifespan God decided to start with a clean slate. He decided to erase with water all but seven pairs of each animal, and one family (four pairs) of humans. Only the fish of the sea and the birds of the air would survive this holy terrible baptism of the Earth.

It was no coincidence that Enoch had been transported to heaven alive when God was deliberating His Clean-Slate plan. Enoch lobbied for his great grandson Noah to be the chosen one. He begged God saying, "Lord, please let one family live so you don't have to re-create humankind again. You did well, this time start with a better man than Adam. Let my grandson Noah build a house that will float on the water so he can survive the annihilation of mankind. Noah loves You, and he will trust you. He will make a good new world full of humans. No longer will you have to fret over murderous Cain's family tree." So together God and Enoch planned the great flood that was meant to purge the earth of evil, and shorten the human lifespan.

The flood had not been an impulsive decision. In fact, God has sent for Enoch 975 years before specifically to help him carefully plan it. It was Enoch who suggested that both Methusalah and Lamech should die before the flood so Noah would not be forced to leave his father or grandfather behind. That would have been cruel. When the time was right, the rains of baptism came pouring down on earth.

Rain was new. Until that day water had never fallen from the skies. Morning dew irrigated the trees and plants, and the seas had more than enough water for all other purposes. So the first big shocker for the evil Lamech and all the other haters and fighters was rain. It brought a deluge of surprises for all the egotistical power seekers, most of whom who didn't even know that a God existed.

So it was that in the tenth generation since the birth of Adam, one thousand six hundred and sixty two years after God created humankind, he obliterated them all except for the family of Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives, eight human beings...and their zoo.