Mahalalel, son of Cainan, was the patriarch of the fourth generation from Adam. He was the father of Jared and grandfather of Enoch. He was born when his father was 70 years old, and was himself 65 when his wife gave birth to Jared. He would live to be 895 years old, seeing his great grandson Noah grow to be 234 years old. Based on the age at generation of sons up to that time, he probably saw his grandson's grandchildren.
Mahalalel, whose name means "Act of Praise for God," was born near the end of the third century after creation. Adam's grandson Enosh was 160 years old at the time. This was a time when the godly line was "calling upon the name of the Lord." As seen from his son's name, Cainan was most likely known for his godliness in spite of the similarity of his name own to their apostate cousin's people.
When he was 227, his grandson would be named "Enoch," perhaps indicating that the age of the separation of the sons of Adam had ended. The first city had been built by Cain, and named "Enoch" after Adam's grandson. The two Enoch's may even have met if Cain's children shared the longevity of Seth's. Whatever the case, beginning of the "end" may have begun. Enoch would name his son "Methuselah," which may have meant "When he dies, it will come." Enoch would turn out to be the most godly man of the age before the Great Flood, being taken alive into the presence of God at the age of 365.
The "golden age" had long passed when Mahalalel finally died at age 895. His contemporary cousin, if lifespans were comparable, was Mehujael, whose name means "Smitten by God," a good indication that the curse on Cain had spread in the early days of the city of Enoch. By the death of these cousins, civilization was most likely ruled by the "men of renown" known as the "giants."
It can perhaps be supposed that Mahalalel had some influence in bringing up his grandson, the godly Enoch. But to history, he is only known as a link in a chain back to Adam and forward to Jesus Christ by way of Noah and his son Shem. His historicity is confirmed by Luke the Evangelist as he links Jesus Christ back to Adam, the "son of God."