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There are two Lamechs mentioned in Genesis — one good and one bad. This article looks at the first one – the bad one – the “Seed of the Serpent.” It is interesting that throughout history there have always been two “parallel systems” of worship — one based on truth and godly principles, and the other deceivingly similar, yet diametrically opposed to all for which God stands.

Lamech’s arrogance

The wicked Lamech declares, “I have slain a man to my wounding and a young man to my hurt” (Gen. 4:23). The sense of this somewhat cryptic phrase is that Lamech would take vengeance for himself on anyone who would cross him. “I will slay a man for hurting me!” is Lamech’s boast. “Touch me and die!” in the modern vernacular.

It’s as if Lamech is saying, “I don’t need God’s protection (like Cain did) — I can look after myself, thanks!” He thus demonstrates that he is the epitome of an “anti-God” system — not just in the sense of opposing God, but of replacing Him! In fact, this Lamech (a seventh generation descendant from Adam) figures he can do better than God, as his “last words” attest: “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold” (4:24).

Lamech would supersede God in vengefulness. His wrath would have no bounds — infinite spite, malice and revenge would be heaped upon any who would dare challenge him! This boast has been echoed down through the ages by the seed of the serpent!

The opposite of godliness

Contrast this with the attitude a brother or sister in Christ is to have. We are to submit to God, suffering ourselves to be defrauded, and let God dole out the vengeance: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). Enoch was also the seventh generation from Adam, as the “seed of the woman.” His words (in stark contrast to Lamech’s) are noted in Jude 14-15: “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment…”

Ironically, Jesus himself echoes Lamech’s famous last words, but with a surprising twist. When asked by Peter if seven was a sufficient number of times to forgive a repentant brother, Jesus responds, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22) — the exact words of Genesis 4:24 as recorded in LXX (the Septuagint Old Testament). We are not to espouse infinite vengeance, but infinite mercy.

For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

Let go and let God is the lesson from wicked Lamech’s “Famous Last Words”.

Chris Sales

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