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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Generation

Dictionaries :: Generation

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


Gen 2:4, "These are the generations," means the "history." Gen 5:1, "The book of the generations," means a family register, or history of Adam. Gen 37:2, "The generations of Jacob" = the history of Jacob and his descendants. Gen 7:1, "In this generation" = in this age. Psa 49:19, "The generation of his fathers" = the dwelling of his fathers, i.e., the grave. Psa 73:15, "The generation of thy children" = the contemporary race. Isa 53:8, "Who shall declare his generation?" = His manner of life who shall declare? or rather = His race, posterity, shall be so numerous that no one shall be able to declare it.

In Mat 1:17, the word means a succession or series of persons from the same stock. Mat 3:7, "Generation of vipers" = brood of vipers. Mat 24:34, "This generation" = the persons then living contemporary with Christ. 1Pe 2:9, "A chosen generation" = a chosen people.

The Hebrews seem to have reckoned time by the generation. In the time of Abraham a generation was an hundred years, thus: Gen 15:16, "In the fourth generation" = in four hundred years (13 and Exd 12:40). In Deu 1:35 and Deu 2:14 a generation is a period of thirty-eight years.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


jen-er-a'-shun (Latin generatio, from genero, "beget"):

(1) The translation

(a) of dor, "circle," "generation," hence, "age," "period," "cycle": "many generations" (De 32:7);

(b) the people of any particular period or those born about the same time: "Righteous before me in this generation" (Ge 7:1); "four generations" (Job 42:16);

(c) the people of a particular class or sort, with some implied reference to hereditary quality; the wicked (De 32:5; Pr 30:11); the righteous (Ps 14:5; 112:2).

(2) toledhoth, "births," hence

(a) an account of a man and his descendants: "The book of the generations of Adam" (Ge 5:1);

(b) successive families: "The families of the sons of Noah, after their generations" (Ge 10:32);

(c) genealogical divisions: "The children of Reuben.... their generations, by their families" (Nu 1:20); (d) figurative, of the origin and early history of created things: "The generations of the heavens and of the earth" (Ge 2:4).

(3) genea, "a begetting," "birth," "nativity," therefore

(a) the successive members of a genealogy: "All the generations from Abraham unto David" (Mt 1:17);

(b) a race, or class, distinguished by common characteristics, always (in the New Testament) bad: "Faithless and perverse generation" (Mt 17:17);

(c) the people of a period: "This generation shall not pass away" (Lu 21:32);

(d) an age (the average lifetime, 33 years): "Hid for (Greek "from the") ages and (from the) generations" (Col 1:26). The term is also by a figurative transference of thought applied to duration in eternity: "Unto all generations for ever and ever" (Eph 3:21) (Greek "all the generations of the age of the ages").

(4) genesis, "source," "origin": "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ" (Mt 1:1; the American Revised Version, margin "The genealogy of Jesus Christ").

(5) gennema, "offspring," "progeny"; figurative: "O generation of vipers" (Lu 3:7 the King James Version).

(6) genos, "stock," "race," in this case spiritual: "But ye are a chosen generation" (1Pe 2:9; the American Standard Revised Version "an elect race").

Written by Philip Wendell Crannell

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g1074 Greek: genea


See AGE, No. 2.

2 Strong's Number: g1078 Greek: genesis


denotes "an origin, a lineage, or birth," translated "generation" in Mat 1:1.


(1) For gennema, translated "generation" in the AV of Mat 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; Luk 3:7, see OFFSPRING.

(2) For genos, translated "generation" in 1Pe 2:9, AV, see KIND.

Smith's Bible Dictionary


In the long‐lived patriarchal age a generation seems to have been computed at 100 years (Genesis 15:16 compare Genesis 15:13 and Exodus 12:40). But subsequently the reckoning was the same which has been adopted by modern civilized nations, viz. from thirty to forty years (Job 42:16). (Generation is also used to signify the men of an age or time, as contemporaries (Genesis 6:9; Isaiah 53:8) posterity, especially in legal formulae (Leviticus 3:17 etc.); fathers, or ancestors (Psalm 49:19).


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