Beauty And The Shadow

Genesis 5
Jessica Winblad
January 2007

I was reading Genesis chapter five today, and I know some of you groan "not another genealogy" but I kind of get all excited, because there's a lot of interesting under the surface meanings that you discover if you actually study them rather than just read them; like for one thing, in Hebrew culture, names are more than "just a name", its supposed to represent the essence of the being, which as you may remember is why it was such a big deal that Abram, Sarai, even Saul were given new names in the bible. There's some interesting names in those lists of who begot who.

Many of you have probably heard Genesis is the "book of beginnings", at The Rock that was the sermon title on the very first sermon they did in their Genesis series. But do you know who the first person named in the bible for having two wives was?

His name was Lamech, which means "powerful" in Hebrew (says Strongs). He was a descendant of Cain (yeah, that same guy who killed Abel, you remember your bible history right), one of the seventh generation of mankind. He was also the first person in the bible to kill under the guise of self-defense (but that verse could be a whole other sermon in itself).

His two wives names? Adah and Zillah. Adah means Ornament or Beauty. Zillah means Shade or Shadow.

Beauty and the Shadow. Lovely. Gives quite a mental image of what the dynamic is when you step outside "God's design" of a man and his wife. Someone gets left in the shadow. Isn't that always the way its been since the beginning of time? Having two women never quite worked out for everyone involved, did it? Wouldn't you just really love to be Zillah, living in the shadow of the more beautiful wife of your husband? What does this tell you about God's design for marriage? Its an interesting thought to ponder

If you want some bonus nuggets, or bible study idea, cities and the bible, who built them, why, what kind of character did the people starting cities have, were those people godly, what was God's reaction to the city, were they in obedience to God...lot of questions you can ask yourself. For some starter nuggets: Cain built the very first city. Nimrod built the first kingdom including the city of Babel--and we all have a pretty good idea how God felt about them building the city of Babel, rather than dispersing to fill the earth like God had commanded. It kind of seems like a little bit of a trend. What a contrast to the cities in Revelation, the cities of God versus the cities of Man in Genesis.