From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Generation —A word of several meanings employed to render two different words in OT and four in NT. All are, however, related in thought, and all have a close connexion with the Gospels and Jewish thought in the time of Christ.

1. In OT ‘generation’ is used to render (1) the Heb. דּוֹר or דּרדּר, connected with Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] dârú , ‘to endure,’ means primarily a period of time . This meaning has survived in OT chiefly in poetry, and in the phrases דּרוָרר Ps 45:18;  Psalms 61:7, לִדרדּר  Exodus 3:15, דּררּרִים  Isaiah 51:9,  Psalms 72:5, and such like, to indicate time stretching away into the past ( Isaiah 51:9), or (more generally) into the future ( Psalms 33:11;  Psalms 49:12). It may refer both to past and future ( Psalms 145:13), and is thus parallel to עולָם (see Eternity).

Originally רד must have meant the period defined by the life of a man or of a family ( Job 42:16). Hence by a loose usage it comes to mean the living in that period ( Genesis 7:1,  Exodus 1:6,  Deuteronomy 2:14,  Ecclesiastes 1:4,  Isaiah 53:8 etc. etc.; cf. the modern use of the word ‘age’). So also it may be used of a of men living contemporaneously and possessing certain characteristics ( Deuteronomy 32:5,  Proverbs 30:11-14).

(2) The other word in OT (rendered always plural ‘generations’) is תּוֹלְרוֹת. Here the root-idea is ‘birth,’ ‘descent,’ ‘offspring,’ from ילר ‘to bring forth.’ Hence it is used of genealogies ( Genesis 5:1;  Genesis 6:9;  Genesis 10:1;  Genesis 11:10;  Genesis 11:27,  Ruth 4:18 etc.), of divisions by families, etc. ( Numbers 1:20;  Numbers 1:22;  Numbers 1:24 etc.). It is even used of the creation of the world ( Genesis 2:4 lit. ‘the begettings of the heaven and the earth’).

2. Of the four words rendered ‘generation’ in NT two are unimportant so far as the Gospels are concerned. (1) In  1 Peter 2:9 ‘a chosen generation,’ γένος ἐκλεκτόν, should be rendered as in RV, ‘an elect race.’ (2) In  Matthew 1:1 the rendering should be ‘the book of the origin of Jesus Christ,’ using the word γένεσις in its widest sense. The meaning in  Matthew 1:8,  Luke 1:14 is slightly different, and is best expressed by ‘birth’ (EV). (3) The most important word used in the Gospels is γενεά, meaning ( a ) ‘race,’ ‘offspring,’ ‘descent’; ( b ) the people of any given period; ( e ) a period loosely defined by the life of a man or of a family; ( d ) in such phrases as εἰς γενεὰς γενεῶν ( Luke 1:50) it is used, apparently as the equivalent of דֹּרדּרִים, to express indefinite time, generally in the future. Cf. the expression in  Ephesians 3:21 εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς τοῦ αἱῶνος τῶν αἰώνων, which, however, is considered by Dalman ( Words of Jesus , p. 165, Eng. tr.) as referring to all the generations of ‘the current age’ of ‘the world period.’ But the phrase seems rather to be the strongest possible way of expressing ‘for ever.’ That γενεά (rendered ‘generation’) does express ‘the current age’ of ‘the world period’ is obvious in the Gospels ( Luke 16:8,  Matthew 24:34, and less clearly  Matthew 23:36); also the people of that age ( Matthew 12:39;  Matthew 16:4,  Mark 8:12,  Luke 11:29). In the sense of ( c ) it is found only in  Matthew 1:17 and apparently never in its original sense ( a ). (4) This last is expressed by quite a different word, viz. γέννημα. In  Matthew 3:7;  Matthew 12:34;  Matthew 23:33,  Luke 3:7, AV has the phrase ‘generation of vipers.’ The Greek is γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, which RV renders ‘offspring of vipers.’ The rendering of AV is due to Tindale (see Hastings’ DB ii. 142b). Elsewhere the word occurs as γένημα ( Matthew 26:29,  Luke 22:18,  2 Corinthians 9:10), rendered ‘fruit.’

G. Gordon Stott.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [2]

This word derived from the same root is much the same as the preceding word genealogy. As it relates to the common act of man in the circumstances of descent from father to son, I should not have though it needful to have detained the reader with a single observation; but in relation to the Son of God, as God, it becomes of infinite importance as an article of faith, that we should have the clearest apprehension which the subject will admit. Here, therefore, I beg the reader's close attention to it.

The Scriptures in many places have said so much in defining the person of the Father and of the Son, as distinctions in the Godhead that there can be nothing rendered more certain and as an article of faith to the believer, and none is more important. But while this is held forth to us in this view as a point most fully to be believed, God the Holy Ghost hath in no one passage, as far as I can recollect, pointed out to the church the mode of existence, or explained how the Son of God is the Son, and the Father is the Father, in the eternity of their essence and nature. Perhaps it is impossible to explain the vast subject to creatures of our capacities. Perhaps nothing finite can comprehend what is infinite. The doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son of God is therefore proposed as an article demanding our implicit faith and obedience; and here the subject rests.

But while this doctrine of the eternity of the Son of God in common with the Father, is held faith to us in the Scripture as a most certain truth, though unexplained, because our faculties are not competent to the explanation of it, the Holy Ghost hath been very explicit in teaching the church how to understand the phrases in his sacred word, where the Son of God, when standing up as the Mediator and Head of his church before all worlds, is called the "first begotten Son, and the only begotten of the Father," full of grace and truth. All these and the like phrases wholly refer to the Son of God, in his humbling himself as our Redeemer and Mediator, the God-man in one person, Christ Jesus; then begotten to this great design; the first in all JEHOVAH'S purposes for salvation. Here we cannot be at a loss to have the clearest apprehension; because they refer to his office-character. Hence all those titles are very plain. "He is the head of his body the church." ( Ephesians 1:22) The Head of Christ is God. ( 1 Corinthians 11:3) He is JEHOVAH'S servant. ( Isaiah 42:1) and his Father is greater than he. ( John 14:28) And God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ( Ephesians 1:17) All these and numberless expressions of the like nature, wholly refer to the Son of God as Christ; and have no respect to his eternal nature and GODHEAD abstracted from his office-character as Mediator.

See Begotten.

And I cannot in this place help expressing my wish that the writers of commentaries on the word of God had kept this proper distinction, when speaking of the Lord Jesus, between his eternal nature and essence, as Son of God, which is every where asserted, but no where explained, and his office-character as God-man Mediator, the Christ of God, which is fully revealed. The Scriptures have done it. And it would have been a proof of divine teaching, if all writers upon the Scriptures had done the same. Our almighty Saviour, in a single verse, hath shewn it, when he saith, ( Matthew 11:27) "No man knoweth the Son but the Father;" that is, knoweth him as Son of God, knoweth him in his Sonship as God, one with the Father, and impossible to be so known but by God himself. And it is in this sense also, that it is said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which lay in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him;" ( John 1:18) that is, no man hath seen God, as God, in his threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But when he who lay in the bosom of the Father came forth in our nature, and revealed him as the Father and himself as the Son, equal in the eternity of their nature as God; then the glorious truth was explained. Then was it understood, that the Father, as Father, and the Son, as Son, were from all eternity the same; their existence the same, their nature the same; the Father not being Father but in the same instant as the Son the Son; for the very name of the one in the relationship implies the other, and the eternity of the one including the eternity of the other also. So that both, in union with the Holy Ghost, form the one eternal undivided Jehovah which was, and is, and is to come.

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

toledoth Toledoth   Genesis 2:4 Genesis 5:1 Genesis 6:9 Genesis 10:1 10:32 Genesis 11:10 11:27 Genesis 25:12-13 25:19 Genesis 36:1 36:9 Genesis 37:2 toledoth   Exodus 6:1 Numbers 1 1 Chronicles 1-9

The Hebrew term dor is related to the word for circle and refers to the life circle of an individual, either from birth to death or from birth to the birth of the first child. It can have extended uses in metaphorical language. Dor occurs over 160 times in the Old Testament. A generation was a general term for those persons living at a particular time. A generation did not necessarily have a specific number of years.   Genesis 15:13-16 apparently equates 400 years with four generations, thus 100 years per generation.   Numbers 32:11-13 may reckon a generation as 60 years, it including people twenty and above and giving them forty more years to die. Or one may interpret this to mean a generation is the forty years of adulthood between ages 20,60. God promised Jehu his sons would rule to the fourth generation, apparently meaning four sons (  2 Kings 10:30;  2 Kings 15:12 ). Jehu began ruling about 841 B.C., his first son Jehoahaz about 814 B.C. and the fourth generation Zechariah died about 752 B.C. The five generations ruled less than 90 years, while the four sons' generations ruled about 60 years. This is reducing a generation to a quite small number. After his tragedies Job lived 140 years and saw four generations ( Job 42:16 ). This would make a generation about 35 years. Basically, generation is not a specific number of years but a more or less specific period of time. (Compare  Job 8:8;  Isaiah 51:9 .) The literal Hebrew expression “generation and generation” thus means through all generations or forever ( Psalm 49:11 ). Similarly, “to your (his, their) generations” means forever ( Numbers 10:8 ).

The generations come and go ( Ecclesiastes 1:4 ). This should establish wisdom on which a present generation can draw ( Deuteronomy 32:7 ). A generation also represents those who can gather for worship, so that the gathered worship community forms a generation ( Psalm 14:5;  Psalm 24:6;  Psalm 73:15 ). The generations of people change, but God has given His name Yahweh to be remembered through all generations ( Exodus 3:15 ). He is the refuge for all generations ( Psalm 90:1 ). The danger is that a generation will arise that does not know Yahweh ( Judges 2:10; compare  Psalm 12:1 ). Thus one generation must tell God's acts and write them down for the next generation ( Psalm 22:30-31;  Psalm 102:18 NRSV; compare   Psalm 79:13 ).

God's people must be taught faithfulness. God is faithful to a thousand generations by His very nature ( Deuteronomy 7:9 ). His salvation is available through the generations; that is forever ( Isaiah 51:8 ).

In the New Testament “generation” refers to a specific contemporary audience. Jesus often used the term to describe the evil nature of the people He addressed ( Matthew 11:16;  Matthew 12:39;  Luke 17:25 ). The message of the New Testament can be summarized: “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” ( Ephesians 3:21 NRSV).

Trent C. Butler

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

Hebrew Dowr , "revolution," period of time; 100 years in the patriarchal age ( Genesis 15:13;  Genesis 15:16;  Exodus 12:40), afterward 30 or 40 years ( Job 42:16;  Luke 1:50). On the plural GENERATIONS, Hebrew Toledowt , (See Genealogy . Mankind is ethnologically ranged under three heads in  Genesis 10:3;  Genesis 10:6;  Genesis 10:22, "the sons of Japhet, Ham, Shem." Modern science by independent research arrives at a similar three fold division into Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian (Allophylian). Genesis, in accordance with modern ethnology, classifies together the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes (Madai), and the Ionians or Greeks (Javan); thus anticipating the Indo-European theory, which makes the European races (represented by the Celts and the Ionians) akin to the Aryans (represented by the Asiatic Madai or Medes).

Also Scripture, in agreement with ethnology, groups together as "children of Shem" (i.e. Semitics) Asshur (Assyrians), Aram (Syrians), Eber (Hebrew), and Joktan (the Joktanian Arabs). Also it rightly classifies under the "sons of Ham" Cash (Ethiopians), Mizraim (Egyptians), Sheba and Dedan (certain southern Arabs), and Nimrod (i.e. the oldest Babylonians). (See Babel ) Sir H. Rawlinson truly terms "the generations (genealogy) of the sons of Noah" "the most authentic record we possess for the affiliation of nations" (Journal of the Asiatic Society, 15:230). Generation means also the men of an age: as  Isaiah 53:8, "who shall declare His generation?" i.e. their wickedness, in parallelism to their oppressive "judgment." In  Jeremiah 7:29, "generation of His wrath," i.e. with whom He is angry. Also generation is used with reference to the characteristic disposition of the age, "adulterous," "unbelieving," "untoward" ( Matthew 11:16;  Matthew 12:39;  Matthew 17:17;  Acts 2:40).

In  Luke 16:8, "the children of this world are in respect to their own (so the Greek) generation (i.e. in relation to men of their own kind, men of this world) wiser than the children of light," are in respect to their generation (men of their kind, godly, men of the world to come). In  Matthew 3:7 generation means "brood of vipers." In  Matthew 24:34 "this generation shall not pass (namely, the Jewish race, of which the generation in Christ's days was a sample in character; compare Christ's address to the generation,  Matthew 23:35-36, in proof that generation means at times the whole Jewish race) until all these things be fulfilled," a prophecy that the Jews shall be a distinct people still when He shall come again.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [5]

Dôr ( דֹּר , Strong'S #1755), “generation.” This noun belongs to a common Semitic root, which signifies “duration” in East Semitic and “generation” in West Semitic. The Akkadian words daru —(“long duration”) and duru (“circle”) seem by form to be related to the root for the Hebrew word dôr.

In the Old Testament, the word dôr occurs about 166 times; as many as 74 of these are in the repetition " dôr plus dôr, " meaning “always.” The first occurrence of the word is in Gen. 6:9: “These are the generations of Noah [the account of Noah]: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

First the concrete meaning of “generation” is the “period during which people live”: “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation” (Gen. 7:1). A “generation” may be described as “stubborn” (Deut. 32:5—KJV, “perverse”) or “righteous” (Ps. 14:5). Close to this meaning is the temporal element of dôr  : A dôr is roughly the period of time from one’s birth to one’s maturity, which in the Old Testament corresponds to a period of about 40 years (Num. 14:33). Abraham received the promise that four “generations” of his descendants were to be in Egypt before the Promised Land would be inherited. Israel was warned to be faithful to the Lord, as the punishment for disobedience would extend to the fourth “generation” (Exod. 20:5); but the Lord’s love extends to a thousand “generations” of those who love Him (Deut. 7:9).

The lasting element of God’s covenantal faithfulness is variously expressed with the word dôr: “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Ps. 119:90)

The use of dôr in Isa. 51 teaches the twofold perspective of“generation,” with reference to the future as well as to the past. Isaiah spoke about the Lord’s lasting righteousness and said that His deliverance is everlasting (literally, “generation of generations”—v. 8); but in view of Israel’s situation, Isaiah petitioned the Lord to manifest His loving strength on behalf of Israel as in the past (literally, “generations forever”—v. 9). Thus, depending on the context, dôr may refer to the past, the present, or the future. The psalmist recognized the obligation of one “generation” to the “generations” to come: “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (Ps. 145:4). Even the grey-haired man has the opportunity to instruct the youth (Ps. 71:17-18). In the Septuagint, dôr is nearly always translated by genea —(“generation”). The KJV translates it by “generation; age.”

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

GENERATION . ‘Generation’ is used in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] to tr. [Note: translate or translation.] 1 . Heb. dôr , which is used ( a ) generally for a period , especially in the phrases dôr wâdhôr , etc., of limitless duration; past,   Isaiah 51:8; future,   Psalms 10:6; past and future,   Psalms 102:24; ( b ) of all men living at any given time (  Genesis 6:9 ); ( c ) of a class of men with some special characteristic,   Proverbs 30:11-14 of four generations of bad men; ( d ) in   Isaiah 38:12 and   Psalms 49:19 dôr is sometimes taken as ‘dwelling-place.’ 2. Heb. tôlÄ•dhôth (from yâladh , ‘beget’ or ‘bear children’), which is used in the sense of ( a ) genealogies   Genesis 5:1 , figuratively of the account of creation,   Genesis 2:4; also ( b ) divisions of a tribe , as based on genealogy; tôlÄ•dhôth occurs only in the Priestly Code, in   Ruth 4:18 , and in   1 Chronicles 3:1-24 . Gr. genea in same sense as 1 ( a ),   Colossians 1:26; as 1 ( b ),   Matthew 24:34 .   Matthew 24:4 . =  Genesis 2:1-25 ( a ),   Matthew 1:1 , an imitation of LXX [Note: Septuagint.] use of genesis for tôlÄ•dhôth . 5. Gennçma , ‘offspring’ = 1 ( c ): so   Matthew 3:7 || (‘generation, i.e. offspring, of vipers’). 6. genos , ‘race’ = 1 ( c ): so   1 Peter 2:9 (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘chosen generation,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘elect race’).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [7]

1: Γενεά (Strong'S #1074 — Noun Feminine — genea — ghen-eh-ah' )

see Age , No. 2.

2: Γένεσις (Strong'S #1078 — Noun Feminine — genesis — ghen'-es-is )

denotes "an origin, a lineage, or birth," translated "generation" in  Matthew 1:1 . See Natural , Nature.

 Matthew 3:7 12:34 23:33 Luke 3:7Offspring.  1—Peter 2:9Kind.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

Besides the common acceptation of this word, as signifying race, descent, lineage, it is used for the history and genealogy of a person, as in  Genesis 5:1 , "the book of the generations of Adam," that is, the history of Adam's creation and of his posterity. So in  Genesis 2:4 , "The generations of the heavens and of the earth," that is, their genealogy, so to speak, the history of the creation of heaven and earth; also in  Matthew 1:1 , "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ," that is, the genealogy of Jesus Christ," that is, the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the history of his descent and life. "The present generation" comprises all those who are now alive; "This generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled," some now living shall witness the even foretold,  Matthew 24:34 . "Save yourselves from this untoward generation," form the punishment which awaits these perverse men,  Acts 2:40 .

The Hebrews, like other ancient nations, sometimes computed loosely by the fourth generation thy descendants shall come hither again." The duration of a generation is of course very uncertain; indeed, it is impossible to establish any precise limits. It is, however, generally admitted that a generation in the earliest periods is to be reckoned longer than one in later times. The Greeks regarded a generation as one-third of a century. It is now currently reckoned as thirty years.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [9]

Beside the common acceptation of this word, as signifying descent, it is used for the history and genealogy of any individual, as "The book of the generations of Adam,"  Genesis 5:1 , the history of Adam's creation, and of his posterity. "The generations of the heavens and of the earth,"  Genesis 2:4 , is a recital of the creation of heaven and earth. "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David,"  Matthew 1:1 , is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and the history of his life. The ancients sometimes computed by generations: "In the fourth generation thy descendants shall come hither again,"  Genesis 15:16 . "Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation,"  Genesis 50:23 . "A bastard shall not be admitted into the congregation, till the tenth generation,"  Deuteronomy 23:2 . Among the ancients, when the duration of generations was not exactly described by the age of four men succeeding one another from father to son, it was fixed by some at a hundred years, by others at a hundred and ten, by others at thirty-three, thirty, twenty-five, and even at twenty years; being neither uniform nor settled: only, it is remarked, that a generation is longer as it is more ancient.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]

This is used in various senses in scripture.

1. As from a father to his son, or from a king to his successor, γενεά, as in the three series of 'fourteen generations' in   Matthew 1:17 , though the same term is applied where names have been omitted. See Genealogy Of The Lord Jesus

2. In a much wider sense, as when the Lord said of the unbelieving Jews, "This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled."   Matthew 24:34;  Luke 21:32 : cf.  Deuteronomy 32:5,20 . The unbelieving Jews still exist and will until the events take place.

3. As offspring, γέννημα, where there was a moral likeness, as "generation of vipers."   Matthew 3:7 , etc.

4. As class, family, etc., γένος. Ye are 'a chosen generation.'   1 Peter 2:9 .

5. As signifying perpetuity: God's dominion is 'from generation to generation.'   Daniel 4:3,34 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Genesis 2:4 Psalm 49:19 Psalm 73:15 Isaiah 53:8

In  Matthew 1:17 , the word means a succession or series of persons from the same stock.  Matthew 3:7 , "Generation of vipers" = brood of vipers 24:34, "This generation" = the persons then living contemporary with Christ.  1 Peter 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:  Genesis 15:16 , "In the fourth generation" = in four hundred years (Compare verse 13 and  Exodus 12:40 ). In  Deuteronomy 1:35,2:14 a generation is a period of thirty-eight years.

King James Dictionary [12]

GENERA'TION, n. The act of begetting procreation, as of animals.

1. Production formation as the generation of sounds or of curves or equations. 2. A single succession in natural descent, as the children of the same parents hence, an age. Thus we say, the third, the fourth, or the tenth generation.  Genesis 15:16 . 3. The people of the same period, or living at the same time.

O faithless and perverse generation.  Luke 9 .

4. Genealogy a series of children or descendants from the same stock.

This is the book of the generations of Adam.  Genesis 5

5. A family a race. 6. Progeny offspring.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [13]

Generation, or Generations, "has three secondary meanings in the A. V.:1. A genealogical register, as  Genesis 5:1. 2. A family history,  Genesis 6:9;  Genesis 25:1 ff., since early history among the orientals is drawn so much from genealogical registers. 3. A history of the origin of things as well as persons— E.G., of the earth."— Smith.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

( תּוֹלְדֶה , Γένεσις , the act; Γέννημα , the Result: דּוֹר , Γενεα , a Period ). Considerable obscurity attends the use of this word in the English version, which arises from the translators having merged the various meanings of the same original word, and even of several different words, in one common term, "generation." The remark, too, is just, that in the literal translations of the Scriptures, the word "generation" generally occurs wherever the Latin has generatio, and the Greek Γενεά or Γένεσις (Rees's Encyclopedia, article Generation). The following instances seem to require the original words to be understood in some one of their Derivative senses:  Genesis 2:4," These are the generations" ( תּוֹלְדוֹת ; Sept. Βίβλος Γενέσεως ; Vulg: generationes), rather "origin," "history," etc. The same Greek words,  Matthew 1:1, are rendered "a genealogy," etc., by recent translators: Campbell has "lineage."  Genesis 5:1, "The book of the generations" ( סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדרֹ ; Sept. as before; Vulg. Liber Generationis) is properly A Family Register, a history of Adam. The same words,  Genesis 37:2, mean a history of Jacob and his descendants; so also  Genesis 6:9;  Genesis 10:1, and elsewhere.  Genesis 7:1, "In this generation" ( בִּרּור הַזֶּה ; Sept. Ἐν Τῇ Γενεᾶ '/ Τάυτῃ , Vulg. In Generatione Hac) is evidently "in this age."  Genesis 15:6, "In the fourth generation" ( רּוֹר ; Sept. Γενεά , Vulg. Generatio) is an instance of the word in the sense of a Certain Assigned Period.  Psalms 49:19, "The generation of his fathers" ( עִראּרּוֹר אֲבוֹתָיו , Sept. Γενιᾶς Πατέρων Αύτοῦ ) Gesenius renders "the Dwelling of his fathers," i.e. the grave, and adduces  Isaiah 38:12.:  Psalms 73:15, "The generation of thy children" ( רּוֹר בָּנֶיךָ , Sept. Γενεὰ Τῶν Υἱῶν Σοῦ ) is "class," "order," "description;" as in  Proverbs 30:11-14.  Isaiah 53:8, "Who shall declare his generation?" ( רּוֹרוֹ ; Sept. Τὴν Γενεὰν Αὐτοῦ Τίς Διηγήσεται , Vulug. Generatio)

Lowth renders "manner of life," in translation and note, but adduces no precedent. Some consider it equivalent to זֶרִע ,  Isaiah 53:10 : Γενεά (Sept.) answers to זֶרִע ,  Esther 9:28. Josephus uses Πολλήν Γενεάν , Ant. 1:10, 3 (Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament, volume 1, Washington, 1836-9; Pauli, Analect. Hebraic. page 162, Oxford, 1839). Michaelis renders it, "Where was the providence that cared for his life?" Gesenius and Rosenmuller, "Who of his contemporaries reflected?" Seiler, "Who can describe his length of life?" In the New Testament ( Matthew 1:17), Γενεαί is a series of persons, a succession from the same stock; so used by Josephus (Ant. 1:7, 2); Philo (Vit. Mos. 1:603);  Matthew 3:7, Γεννήματα Ἐχιδνῶν , is well rendered by Doddridge and others "brood of vipers."  Matthew 24:34, Γενεὰ Αὕτη means the generation or persons Then living Contemporary With Christ (see Macknight's Harmony for an illustration of this sense).  Luke 16:8, Εἰς Τὴν Γενεὰν Τἡν Ἑαυτῶν , "in their generation," etc., wiser in regard to their dealings with the Men of their generation; Rosenmuller gives, Inter Se.  1 Peter 2:8, Γένος Ἐκλεκτόν , is a "chosen people," quoted from Sept. Vers. of  Isaiah 43:20. The ancient Greeks, and, if we may credit Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, the Egyptians also, assigned a certain period to a generation. The Greeks reckoned three generations for every hundred years, i.e., 331 years to each; Herod. 2:142, Γενεαὶ Τρεῖς Ἀνδρῶν Ἑκατὸν Ἔτεά Ἐστι , "Three generations of men make one hundred years." This is nearly the present computation. To the same effect Clem. Alexandrinus speaks (Strom. 1:2); so also Phavorinus, who, citing the age of Nestor from Homer (Il. 1:250), Τῷ Δ Ἤδη Δύο Μὲν Γενεαί , "two generations," says it means that Ὑπερἑβη Τὰ Ἑξήκοντα Ἔτη , "he was above sixty years old." The Greeks, however, assigned different periods to a Γενεά at different times (Perizonius, Orig. Egypt. page 175 sq.; Jensius, Fercul. Literar. page 6). The ancient Hebrews also reckoned by the generation, and assigned different spaces of time to it at different periods of their history. In the time of Abraham it was one hundred years (comp.  Genesis 15:16, "In the fourth generation they shall come hither"). This is explained in  Genesis 15:13, and in  Exodus 12:40, to be four hundred years. Caleb was fourth in descent from Judah, and Moses and Aaron were fourth from Levi. In  Deuteronomy 1:35;  Deuteronomy 2:14, Moses uses the term for thirty- eight years. In later times (Baruch 6, in the Epistle of Jeremiah, ver. 2) Γενεά clearly means ten years. In  Matthew 1:17, Γενεά means a single descent from father to son. Homer uses the word in the same sense (II. 1:250); also Herodotus (1:3). (See Gesenius's and Robinson's Lexicons, under the above Heb. and Gr. words.) Kitto, s.v. (See Genealogy).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

jen - ẽr - ā´shun (Latin generatio , from genero , "beget"):

(1) The translation ( a ) of דּור , dōr , "circle," "generation," hence, "age," "period," "cycle": "many generations" (  Deuteronomy 32:7 ); ( b ) The people of any particular period or those born about the same time: "Righteous before me in this generation" ( Genesis 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 ( Deuteronomy 32:5;  Proverbs 30:11 ); the righteous ( Psalm 14:5;  Psalm 112:2 ).

(2) תּולדות , tōledhōth , "births," hence ( a ) an account of a man and his descendants: "The book of the generations of Adam" (  Genesis 5:1 ); ( b ) successive families: "The families of the sons of Noah, after their generations" ( Genesis 10:32 ); ( c ) genealogical divisions: "The children of Reuben ... their generations, by their families" ( Numbers 1:20 ); ( d ) figurative , of the origin and early history of created things: "The generations of the heavens and of the earth" ( Genesis 2:4 ).

(3) γενεά , geneá , "a begetting," "birth," "nativity," therefore ( a ) The successive members of a genealogy: "All the generations from Abraham unto David" (  Matthew 1:17 ); ( b ) a race, or class, distinguished by common characteristics, always (in the New Testament) bad: "Faithless and perverse generation" ( Matthew 17:17 ); ( c ) The people of a period: "This generation shall not pass away" ( Luke 21:32 ); ( d ) an age (the average lifetime, 33 years): "Hid for (Greek "from the") ages and (from the) generations" ( Colossians 1:26 ). The term is also by a figurative transference of thought applied to duration in eternity: "Unto all generations for ever and ever" (  Ephesians 3:21 ) (Greek "all the generations of the age of the ages").

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

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

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

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

Considerable obscurity attends the use of this word in the English Version, which arises from the translators having merged the various meanings of the same original word, and even of several different words, in one common term 'generation.' The following instances seem to require the original words to be understood in some or other of their derivative senses—, 'These are the generations,' rather 'origin,' 'history,' etc. The same Greek words, , are rendered 'genealogy,' etc., by recent translators: Campbell has 'lineage.' , 'The book of the generations' is properly a family register, a history of Adam. The same words, , mean a history of Jacob and his descendants; so also , and elsewhere. , 'In this generation' is evidently 'in this age.' , 'In the fourth generation' is an instance of the word in the sense of a certain assigned period. , 'The generation of his fathers' Gesenius renders 'the dwelling of his fathers,' i.e. the grave, and adduces . , 'The generation of thy children' is 'class,' 'order,' 'description;' as in . , 'Who shall declare his generation?' Lowth renders 'manner of life.' Michaelis renders it 'Where was the providence that cared for his life?' Gesenius and Rosenmüller, 'Who of his contemporaries reflected?' Seiler, 'Who can describe his length of life?' In the New Testament, , it is a series of persons, a succession from the same stock. , is well rendered by Doddridge and others 'brood of vipers.' , means the generation or persons then living contemporary with Christ. , 'in their generations,' etc. wiser in regard to their dealings with the men of their generation. , is 'a chosen people.' The ancient Greeks, and, if we may credit Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, the Egyptians also, assigned a certain period to a generation. The Greeks reckoned three generations for every hundred years, i.e.33¼ years to each. This is nearly the present computation. The ancient Hebrews also reckoned by the generation, and assigned different spaces of time to it at different periods of their history. In the time of Abraham it was one hundred years (comp. , 'in the fourth generation they shall come hither'). This is explained in , and in , to be four hundred years. Caleb was fourth in descent from Judah, and Moses and Aaron were fourth from Levi. In , Moses uses the term for thirty-eight years. In later times it clearly means ten years. In , it means a single descent from father to son [].