Significance of ages in Seth's Genealogy


Genesis 5 is very specific in stating the ages of each person in the lineage between Seth and Noah. Does anyone know what this is about?

While we’re on the subject, Enoch is different from the others in that he “walked with God” and then, instead of it saying he died, it says “God took him.” Why was it put in these terms? And why was he so young compared to the others when he went?


Some interpret the ages literally (I fall into this camp) and others view them “directionally” (the Church has not expressed a formal view on this). As to Enoch, I believe it refers to the fact that he was snatched up to heaven (or Abraham’s bosom) before death - in a similar fashion, Elijah was snatched up to heaven (or Abraham’s bosom) in a whirlwind -without facing earthly death.

As to the age of Enoch when he was taken - I’m not sure there is any significance to that - rather the significance being that he was taken.




Thanks for the reply! :slight_smile: It does make it sound like Enoch was assumed into Heaven. Now I’m wondering if he was a great prophet or something. Regarding the ages, after I posted this question, I found out that Babylonian tradition has 10 kings reigning before the flood happens, and they all supposedly had veeeeery long lifespans as well. So whether the ages in the Genesis 5 genealogy are meant literally or not, I think there’s a definite parallel being drawn between the line of Seth and the kings of Babylon. :slight_smile:


What is significant is not that they lived a long time or how long they lived but that they were even dying in the first place.

The wages of sin is death. Adam and Eve would have lived forever if they had not sinned.



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit