Church icon of Seth
Seth (Hebrew: שֵׁת, Standard Šet, Tiberian Šēṯ; Arabic: شيث Shith or Shiyth; "Placed; appointed"), in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is the third listed son of Adam and Eve and brother of Cain and Abel, who are the only other of their children mentioned by name. According to Genesis 4:25, Seth was born after the slaying of Abel by Cain, and Eve believed God had appointed him as a replacement for Abel.
In the Hebrew BibleEdit
According to Genesis, Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old "a son in his likeness and image." The genealogy is repeated at 1 Chronicles 1:1-3. Genesis 5:4-5 states that Adam fathered "sons and daughters" before his death, aged 930 years. In Genesis 4:25, there is a folk etymology for Seth's name, which derives it from the Hebrew word for "plant" as in "plant a seed" (syt). Eve says, "God has planted another seed, under/replacing Abel's". Seth lived to the age of 912.
Book of JubileesEdit
The Book of Jubilees also dates his birth to 130 AM. According to the Book of Jubilees, in 231 AM Seth married his sister, Azura, who was 4 years younger than he was. In the year 235 AM, Azura gave birth to Enos.
In Jewish traditionEdit
In gnosticism, Seth is seen as a replacement given by God for Abel, whom Cain had slain. It is said that late in life, Adam gave Seth secret teachings that would become the kabbalah. The Zohar refers to Seth as "ancestor of all the generations of the tzaddikim" (Hebrew: righteous ones).
Islamic tradition reveres Seth as the gift bestowed upon Adam after the death of Abel. Although not one of the prophets mentioned in the Qur'an, Muslims see Seth as a prophet like his father, and the one who continued teaching mankind after the death of Adam. Islamic lore gives Seth an exalted position among the Antediluvian Patriarchs of the Generations of Adam, and some sources even cite Seth as the receiver of a scripture. Islamic literature holds that Seth was born when Adam was past 100 and that, by the time Adam died, Adam had already made Seth the heir to him in guiding the "Children of Adam". Muslims hold that Seth was taught of the hours of day and night as well as of the Great Flood to come and was further taught to pray to God during the hours of the night. Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, traces the genealogy of mankind back to Seth, since Abel did not leave any heirs and Cain's heirs, according to tradition, were destroyed by the Great Flood.
In the Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus refers to Seth as virtuous and of excellent character, and reports that his descendants invented the wisdom of the heavenly bodies, and built the "pillars of the sons of Seth", two pillars inscribed with many scientific discoveries and inventions, notably in astronomy. They were built by Seth's descendants based on Adam's prediction that the world would be destroyed at one time by fire and another time by global flood, in order to protect the discoveries and be remembered after the destruction. One was composed of brick, and the other of stone, so that if the pillar of brick should be destroyed, the pillar of stone would remain, both reporting the ancient discoveries, and informing men that a pillar of brick was also erected. Josephus reports that the pillar of stone remained in the land of Siriad in his day.
William Whiston, a 17/18th century translator of the Antiquities, stated in a footnote that he believed Josephus mistook Seth for Sesostris, king of Egypt, the erector of the referenced pillar in Siriad (being a contemporary name for the territories in which Sirius was venerated (i.e., Egypt). He stated that there was no way for any pillars of Seth to survive the deluge, because the deluge buried all such pillars and edifices far underground in the sediment of its waters.
In Christian traditionEdit
The 2nd century BC Book of Jubilees, regarded as non-canonical except by Coptic Christianity, says that in 231 AM Seth married his sister, Azura, who was 4 years younger than he was. In the year 235 AM, Azura gave birth to Enos.
Seth is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church, along with Adam, Abel, and others, with a feast day on July 26. He is also included in the Genealogy of Jesus, according to Luke 3:23–28.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Genesis 5:3
- ↑ Genesis 5:8
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913. Book of Jubilees 4:7-13. ISBN 978-0974762371.
- ↑ Zohar 1:36b
- ↑ Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Story of Adam and Seth
- ↑ Encyclopedia of Islam, Shith, Online Web.
- ↑ Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, Vol. I: Creation to the Flood
- ↑ Luke 3:23–38
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