by Brad Scott
As it turns out, the name of Methuselah's son is rather spurious. The root meaning of his name does not appear in Scripture: only his name appears in the text. Lamech is the Hebrew word lamak (למך). The meaning of this word, according to some linguists, may be wrapped up in the circumstances surrounding its first appearance in the generations of Cain.
Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 4:23-24And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged seven fold, truly Lamech seventy and seven fold.
Some see the meaning of Lamech as leading or having power and others see it as desperate or despairing and trace in English word to lament from this Hebrew word. Personally, I see the association of desperation in the fact that Lamech was the first to have more than one wife. All right, I admit, that is not very scholarly. As a side note, I find it interesting that the Lamech of Cain's descendance was to be avenged seventy and seven fold, and the Lamech of Seth's descendance lived seven hundred seventy and seven years. Hmmmmm.
The next word is Noah.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊