By my fallible calculations this chapter covers the events of the first 1556 years of human history. There are some interesting trivia facts that can be gleaned from this genealogy, but isn't there anything more significant here? Don't get me wrong, it's interesting to discover that (for example) Seth died a mere 14 years before Noah was born. And, it's even more curious that these patriarchs were having children after they (by our standards) were very old. If Noah could have triplets at the age of 500, and if Methuselah could live (literally) 969 years, then obviously the strength of the human race back then and the environmental norms that affected their virility and longevity were quite a bit different than what we are familiar with today.
But, tucked quietly in the middle of this somewhat redundant section of Scripture is a strange and wonderful historical anomaly. Enoch! Each of the 10 men listed here had something in common... they lived, and they died. Enoch was different. In fact, he was different in two ways. After the birth of Enoch's son Methuselah, the repetition is suddenly broken. Rather than the expected Enoch "lived" and "died," Moses says that Enoch "walked with God" and "he was not, for God took him."
This great prophet (see Jude 1:14) didn't just "live" like his predecessors; he "walked with God!" Indeed, the way he lived his life affected how his earthly journey ended. God took him! What a wonderful demonstration and harbinger of God's death defying grace. God's program was explained to Adam (Genesis 2:17) and is reiterated much later in Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed unto men once to die," yet mercifully, God made an exception for Enoch.
Might God make another exception in the future? Might you and I be included in this grace? Might we too escape physical death? Well, I Thessalonians 4:17 makes it pretty clear, we could be taken alive just like Enoch was!
Look for our blessed hope, the rapture of Christ's church (Titus 2:13)!