The third offspring of Adam and Eve is the oft overlooked Seth. Of Seth Eve says, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” So essentially Seth is Abel’s replacement in the legend. Preston Harold says
If one elects to tell the story of evolution in terms of the Genesis legend, he cannot overlook Seth, meaning compensation, replacement seed, third son of Adam-Eve, his life paralleling Cain’s in the wilderness. From Seth come the beings the legend calls truly human for “to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos (meaning mortal); then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.”
From an evolutionary viewpoint, what would Seth have been like?
Seth, in Adam’s own image and likeness, must have inherited nakedness, must have been an unspecialized omnivore, who needed tool and weapon; but to triumph in the evolutionary play, he must have a superior brain, or cortex, and a superior power such as speech is.
Current thoughts on who along the chain of man’s evolution Seth represents are not totally agreed upon and more time will be required to come to terms accepted by the majority of anthropologists. But Genesis does tell us a bit more about him. Our author continues…
Although the Genesis legend indicates that man is Seth’s child, it does indicate also that there was a crossing of Cain’s progeny and Seth’s: the type called by the name Lamech, meaning wild man, is in the line of both Cain and Seth. Enoch, teacher, appears both as son of Cain and son of Jared, descendant of Seth.
It is here that we run into the first “end of creation,” as Lamech begets Noah. Genesis tells us that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” apparently steering clear of Nephilim, or “giant” genetics, which resulted in “great wickedness” and “hearts and thoughts set on evil continually in the earth.”
Noah, meaning rest, may be seen to represent Cro-Magnon man, for his progeny take over the earth. The legend indicates that in the Noah type or Cro-Magnon man there was awareness of mortal error in shedding human blood, in eating human flesh, and that this type man developed into a great hunter of the beasts so beautifully depicted by some ancient Nimrod on the walls of the Cave of Lascaux.
So how do we get from Seth to Jesus? Harold ruminates
According to the legend, Seth’s progeny, adulterated by Cain-type genes, came to rest in the Noah type. Man’s brain and chin were there, in evolution’s play compensating him for lack of a coat, and for lack of a true killer instinct which mankind at large does not unanimously possess. Man, however, has not come through the years uninvolved in Cain’s crime of brother-murder. The legend says men bear Cain’s trace – Cainan, meaning acquisition, appears on the family tree but on it there is no trace of Abel – purely carnivorous? – whose name means transitoriness. The legend says that all races evolved from an ancestral type in whose genes lay the specialness man exhibits, making all humankind brothers, equals in being. This truth Jesus sought to establish. In His words, one confronts man’s original endowment: the kingdom of God within him. The Eden legend may be trying to say that the garden man must tend is within himself – was so from the beginning.
Until next time, peace…