Who Was Seth in the Bible?

Learn what the Scripture says about Adam and Eve's third son.

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Photo (c) by stock.xchng user johnnyberg.

As the first people recorded in the Bible, Adam and Eve are understandably famous. On the one hand, they were the pinnacle of God's creation and enjoyed an intimate, unbroken fellowship with Him. On the other hand, their sin corrupted not only their own bodies and their relationship with God, but also the world He had created for them (see Genesis 3). For these reasons and more, people have been talking about Adam and Eve for literally thousands of years.

The first two children born to Adam and Eve are also famous. The event of Cain murdering Abel, his brother, is a sobering reminder of sin's power in the human heart (see Genesis 4). But there's another member of the "first family" that often gets overlooked. This was Adam and Eve's third son, Seth, who definitely deserves his share of the spotlight. 

What the Scriptures Say About Seth

Abel was the first son born to Adam and Eve. His birth occurred after they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, so he never experienced paradise as his parents did. Next, Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain. Therefore, when Cain murdered Abel and was exiled away from his family, Adam and Eve were essentially childless once again.

But not for long:

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.
Genesis 4:25-26

These verses tell us that Seth was the third recorded child of Adam and Eve. This idea is then confirmed in the official family record (also called a toledoth) of Genesis 5:

This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.
Genesis 5:1-8

Seth is mentioned in just two other places throughout the Bible. The first is a genealogy in 1 Chronicles 1. The second comes in another genealogy from the Gospel of Luke -- specifically in Luke 3:38.

That second genealogy is important because it identifies Seth as an ancestor of Jesus.