By Jacob Isaacs
Published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society
Adam had a third son Seth, who was to become the father of all future generations of man.
Adam died at the age of nine hundred and thirty years. His death was mourned by all human beings. He and his wife were buried in the Cave of Machpelah, near Hebron (in the land of Israel).
During the life of Seth’s son Enosh, people began to make images and statues to remind them of G-d. Later, however, the people began to worship the idols they had made. And so, they turned away from G-d, and neglected the laws of right conduct which G-d had given to Adam. G-d saw the evil doings of the new generation and punished it time and again by sending great floods which destroyed a third of all the people living, and by causing other disasters such as famines and epidemics. But, none of these warnings brought the people to their senses.
Only in the time of Enoch (Chanoch), who was the seventh generation removed from Adam, did men improve their conduct. Enoch devoted all his life and work to the service of G-d. He lived for many years a life of isolation and prayer. When he returned to live among the people, they soon recognized his great wisdom and justice, and elected him their leader. Under his rule there was peace all over the world. He restored faith and law among the people, so that no one stole from his neighbor, or robbed the traveler.
This order lasted till the year 930, when Adam died. Then Enoch again withdrew into seclusion, appearing only occasionally to give advice to the people and to answer the questions that had arisen during the period of his absence. Enoch did not die like any other human beings. He was one of the few who G-d took away alive.
During the life on Enoch’s son, Methuselah (who lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, longer than any other human being), the people again revolted against G-d, and there prevailed a state of lawlessness, cruelty, and corruption that brought doom and destruction upon the world.