‘Methuselah lived…and begat Lamech…. And Lamech lived 182 years, and begot a son. And he called his name “Noah” — saying, “This one shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands!”…. And Lamech lived, after begetting Noah, 595 years — and he begot sons and daughters. And all the days of Lamech were 777 years. And he died.’ Genesis 5:25-31.
Lamech called his son’s name ‘ Noah .’ Commented Calvin: “In the Hebrew language…, nooach signifies ‘to give rest’…; naacham , to comfort. The name ‘ Noah ‘ is derived from the former verb….
“Lamech says: ‘ This same [Noah] shall comfort us, concerning our work ‘…. There is no doubt that he promises to himself an alleviation or solace of his labours…. Whence he had conceived such hope from a son, whose disposition he could not yet have discerned.”
Prophetically, Lamech already gave the answer to the question. He named the son born to him, ‘ Noah .’ For by that name, Lamech indicated that this one would console us in our work and the toil of our hands.
Calvin continued: “The Jews do not judge erroneously, in declaring Lamech’s expression to be a prophecy…. In the expression ‘ the toil of our hands’ …, under one kind of toil he (Lamech) comprises the whole miserable state into which mankind had fallen…. No mitigation of the penalty could be hoped for, unless the Lord should bring unexpected succour….
“The name was not rashly given to Noah…. Lamech hoped for something rare and unwonted from his son…. Something great was promised, concerning his son.”
Lamech had already reached the ripe old age of 182, when Noah arrived. Yet Lamech did not die as soon as this promised son Noah was born to him. For Lamech still lived another 595 years after he begot Noah, . And he begot other sons and daughters.
It’s a great thing to have many sons and daughters — even if all conceived in one’s old age! ‘ And all the days of Lamech, were 777. ‘Then he died.’
Think of it, though! The godly Lamech had a long life. He lived not just seven years. Nor seventy years. Nor seventy-seven years. Nor seven hundred years. Nor seven hundred and seventy years. But fully seven hundred and seventy-seven years.
That’s as much as the perfect number seven (Genesis 2:2-4). Multiplied tenfold, to seventy. Then again multiplied tenfoldly, to seven hundred. Then to have another seventy added to that, making seven hundred and seventy years. And finally, to have yet a further seven years added to that — making fully seven hundred and seventy-seven years!
Thus the 777-year life of Noah’s father. May we too, in our old age, gladly count our years!