Lamech vs. Christ on Seventy-Sevenfold Relationships

In the Old Testament, the Bible’s first polygamist, Lamech, calls down a protective curse of vengeance:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
For I have killed a man for wounding me,
Even a young man for hurting me.
If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold” (Gen 4:19-24).

This pattern is corrected and reversed by Christ who said:

“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Mt 18:21-22).

The Old Testament’s other Lamech is also a man of sevens. According to Genesis 5:25-31 he was 182 years old at the birth of Noah, and lived for another 595 years, making him 777 years old when he died.

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