Generation in the Bible refers to a group of people who are born at approximately the same time and share certain characteristics or experiences. In the Old Testament, generations often refer to the people who lived during a certain period of time. For example, Moses called his descendants “the generation of those who knew [God] in the wilderness.” (Psalm 78:5) In another example, God said that he would destroy Israel’s enemies “in one generation.” (Deuteronomy 7:9) In the New Testament, generations also often refer to people living at a certain time, but they also sometimes refer to an extended family line. For example, Jesus said that his followers would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). He also referred to himself as the root and offspring of David (Revelation 22:16).
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Generations Of The Bible
Bible Verses About Generations
The Bible is filled with references to generations, so this guide will help you understand what these verses mean and how they can apply to your life.
- Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided between the light from darkness.And behold! The first generation of lights were a success!
- Genesis 5:1-3 (NIV) This is an account of Adam’s family line. When God created man, he made him in his image; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them… So many generations later…and then some more generations after that..And then another few hundred years pass..Then comes along this guy named Abraham who starts making things happen…But hey wait! Mary gets pregnant by the Holy Spirit because Joseph had passed away before Jesus was born so this was only possible because we’re talking about Jesus here.”
Deuteronomy 29:18-20 ESV
Deuteronomy 29:18-20 ESV
19 “And you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through it no more. 20 “There shall not be cut off from you a man before me, or a woman before me; they shall surely live; they shall not die by the sword, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
So make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, ‘I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.’ This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The Lord will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven.
A generation is a group of people born about the same time, or an extended period of time during which something happens. The Bible often uses the term “generation,” but is not always clear about its meaning. Sometimes it refers to a short period of time, and other times it refers to an extended period of time. According to the Bible, God has blessed some generations and cursed others.
Exodus 20:6 ESV
As a Christian, you have to believe that God is just and fair. It’s impossible for us to understand how God can be all of those things at once. The Bible says that God is merciful and forgiving, but it also says that he will punish the wicked. How do we reconcile these two things?
We’re told in 1 John 4:8-9 ESV / 4 helpful votes”God is love.” Love is his nature; he cannot act against it if he wants to remain true to himself. And so when you sin against him, or when someone else sins against you—and I’m speaking now on an individual level—he still loves them like crazy because his affection isn’t conditional on whether or not they’ve done anything wrong! It’s unconditional love: no matter what happens in your life or in mine (unless we turn away from him), nothing will ever change how much God loves us—because he’s a God of grace
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
God is faithful to his promises, and he will fulfill them in his time. He is also faithful to his people and has promised them the best things in life: health, prosperity and success. You might be wondering how he can do this for you when there are many people around you who seem to be doing better than you are. God’s blessings will come your way because of His faithfulness; it may just take some time for them to manifest themselves.
God’s covenant with Abraham was not only about land or becoming a great nation, but also about showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:6). The Hebrew word for “thousand” here means “a large number, innumerable.” This should give us hope because God’s promise is that we will receive His blessings if we love Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:21).
Matthew 10:15 ESV
Matthew 10:14-15 ESV
“And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”
Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
The word “judgment” appears in the Bible more than 100 times. While there are many kinds of judgments (e.g., the judgment seat of Christ, the Great White Throne), we can also talk about God’s judgment in general and its effects on people, both good and bad.
One such story is found in Matthew 10:15-16:
” Truly I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”
This is a reference to Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed by fire from heaven because their inhabitants were so wicked (Genesis 19). The prophet Ezekiel used this same language when talking about how Jerusalem would be judged by God’s wrath (Ezekiel 16:48). These examples show how severe God’s punishments can be when His people stray from Him or live immorally—and this is not only true for individuals but also entire nations!
Genesis 2:24 ESV
This passage from Genesis is significant because it’s the first time that we see a command to have children. God tells the man and woman that they should leave their parents and be together, become one flesh and have children.
This passage is important because it shows us that God wanted humans to have families and follow His example of love by staying together no matter what circumstances they encountered.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
God’s plan for marriage is a lifelong commitment and union of one man and one woman. This union produces children, who in turn become the foundation for building a family. A family unit provides emotional and financial support to each other, as well as developing a sense of belonging that cannot be achieved any other way.
Marriage should not be entered into lightly; instead it should be considered an important step in life. When you make this commitment, it means that your spouse will come first above all things—even above yourself! This can be difficult at times but ultimately brings great rewards because it is part of God’s plan for our lives.
The generation can be blessed by God
“The generation can be blessed by God.” The author of Mark 4:30-32 makes a very clear statement about what God has in mind for His chosen people. It is the same for all Christians, but it is especially true for those who are in Christ. He will bless them with many things—including eternal life!
How long is a generation in the Bible?
The Bible uses the term generation in some different ways. Normally, the word generation refers to all the people living at the same time—i.e., the word in the Bible has the same definition that we are used to in modern usage when we speak of Generation X or the Millennial Generation. Normally, a generation is about thirty years; one generation raises the next. However, in some biblical contexts, a “generation” can refer to a longer age or a group of people spanning a longer period of time.
In Genesis 2:4, “generations of the heavens and the earth” (ESV) seems to include all of human history—the era begun by the creation of the universe. In Exodus 1:6 the “generation” who dies refers to everyone who had been alive during the time that Joseph and his brothers lived. In Numbers 32:13, the “generation” is limited to Israelites—the group of them, twenty years old and older, at the time of their refusal to enter the Promised Land. That one generation was doomed to wander in the wilderness until they all died, except for Joshua and Caleb. When the plural word generations occurs in the Bible, as in Isaiah 51:9 and Acts 14:16, it refers to an indefinite period of time—many successive generations.
The original languages of the Bible used at least three different words that are translated “generation” in English. The Hebrew dor can refer to a normal, physical generation, as in Exodus 1:6. But it can also be used metaphorically to identify people of a distinguishable type. For example, Psalm 78:8 says, “They should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God” (ESV). Here the word dor is used twice to refer to a group of people through a long period of time who were characterized by rebellion and sin. The “generation” in Psalm 78:8 is not limited to a normal thirty-year period but stretches back through the history of Israel to include all who were stubborn against God.
The other Hebrew word we translate as “generation” is toledot. This doesn’t refer to the character of a group or an age but to how that age was generated. So the “generations of the heavens and the earth” in Genesis 2:4 refers to the time periods that started with creation and continued organically from that point. The “generations of Adam” in Genesis 5:1 means the civilization of people that began with him. The next “generation” is that of Noah, to include the flood and the civilizations that came after. Shem’s influence is marked as a “generation” as he was the father of the Semites (Genesis 11:10). And Terah’s, because he left Ur with his son Abram (Genesis 11:27). Later, Ishmael (Genesis 25:12) and Isaac (Genesis 25:19) were the source of new generations. In each case, the men either experienced or caused a significant event that changed the course of their family line. They generated a culture-altering event.
In the New Testament, the Greek genea is the source of generation. It is similar to both Hebrew words. Literally, it means “fathered, birthed, nativity,” referring to a genetic line. But it can be used as both the time frame characterized by a specific cultural attitude and the people in that culture. In Matthew 1:17, the generations are marked off by significant events and people—Abraham, David, Babylonian captivity—like the Hebrew toledot. But when Jesus calls the Pharisees and scribes a “wicked and perverse generation,” He is referring to the culture that they lived in and encouraged (Matthew 12:39; see also Matthew 17:17 and Acts 2:40).
So, when we read “generation” in the Bible, we have to consider the context. Usually, a generation in the Bible is roughly thirty years long or the people living during that time, the same as what we understand a generation to be in everyday talk. But there are times when generation is used poetically to refer to a class of people demarked by something other than age.
Bible Verses about Generations
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.
Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
“O generation, heed the word of the Lord.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
Or a land of thick darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam;
We will no longer come to You’?
‘Cut off your hair and cast it away,
And take up a lamentation on the bare heights;
For the Lord has rejected and forsaken
The generation of His wrath.’
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children,
“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?
“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.read more.
And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
You, O Lord, rule forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.
Let them fear You while the sun endures,
And as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
“How great are His signs
And how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
And His dominion is from generation to generation.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;
And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.
You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’
Every male among the sons of Aaron may eat it; it is a permanent ordinance throughout your generations, from the offerings by fire to the Lord. Whoever touches them will become consecrated.’”
You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
“Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.
‘These things shall be for a statutory ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
“Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say,
rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the Lord before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’
He has remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
It will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will be desolate;
None will pass through it forever and ever.
“Therefore the desert creatures will live there along with the jackals;
The ostriches also will live in it,
And it will never again be inhabited
Or dwelt in from generation to generation.
And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
“Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of all generations.
Ask your father, and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.
“Please inquire of past generations,
And consider the things searched out by their fathers.
“Who has performed and accomplished it,
Calling forth the generations from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
A Maskil of Asaph.
Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture
Will give thanks to You forever;
To all generations we will tell of Your praise.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’
Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord. No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord,
2 Kings 10:30
The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”
2 Kings 15:12
This is the word of the Lord which He spoke to Jehu, saying, “Your sons to the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” And so it was.
1 Chronicles 16:15
Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.
So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord was destroyed.
“Then the Lord heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the Lord fully.’
Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.
“They have acted corruptly toward Him,
They are not His children, because of their defect;
But are a perverse and crooked generation.
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,
And saw My works for forty years.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
“When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.read more.
As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.read more.
“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.
Sighing deeply in His spirit, He *said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
And He *answered them and *said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!”
And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.read more.
Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute,read more.
And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.