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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Theology / A Daily Genesis Welcome Guest
    A Daily Genesis
          A systematic commentary on the whole book of Genesis

    Tue, Jun 30th - 7:50AM



    Genesis 7:1-9

     

    †. Gen 7:1 . .The Lord then said to Noah: Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.

    Noah is sometimes criticized for not utilizing more of the ark's cargo space to take human life aboard instead of animals. But it wasn't for Noah to say. Passage aboard the ark was by invitation only; and to qualify for an invitation, the passengers had to be righteous. Well; only Noah was righteous, so he alone was invited to go aboard with his family.

    The antediluvians weren't left on their own to figure out what's righteous and what's not righteous. According to 2Pet 2:5, Noah was a preacher; and he wasn't the only one at it. Prior to him, Enoch pounded a pulpit. (Jude 1:1)

    So then, the people who died in the Flood had no one to blame for missing the boat but themselves. Had they listened to the available preaching and changed their ways; the Flood wouldn't have been necessary to begin with.

    †. Gen 7:2-3 . . Of every clean animal you shall take seven pairs, males and their mates, and of every animal that is not clean, two, a male and its mate; of the birds of the sky also, seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive upon all the earth.

    Official specifications for identifying clean, and unclean animals, are located at Lev 11:1-46, and Deut 14:3-20. Those specs were written many, many centuries after Noah; so precisely which animals he regarded as clean in his day, and which not clean is impossible to tell. But I think we can safely assume that "clean" animals were those suitable for ceremonies, and for human consumption, because up ahead Noah will be given the green light to begin eating meat.

    The specific species that Noah took aboard were limited to the ones that God said in 6:20 "shall come to you". Any, and all, species that failed to come to Noah, went extinct in the Flood. He didn't go out and hunt them down, nor take them by force against their will. No; they had to show up on their own, or be left behind; and I have a sneaking suspicion that many were.

    †. Gen 7:4 . . For in seven days' time I will make it rain upon the earth, forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out from the earth all existence that I created.

    The expression "all existence" is from yequwm (yek-oom') which means: standing (extant) i.e. a living thing. Yequwm appears in only three verses of the entire Old Testament. Two of them are here in chapter 7, and the other one is in Deut 11:6.

    God's prediction didn't include vegetation; because when the Flood ended, at least one olive tree was still standing. So "all existence" only meant creatures; in particular those that live on land and need air to survive; like birds, bugs, and beasts; whether subterranean or on the surface. (Gen 7:21-23)

    The seven-day deadline hung over the world's head like a sword of Damocles; and the Flood was now imminent. But a final warning was issued probably just in case somebody might change their mind about going along with Noah. Compare this moment of silence to the one at Rev 8:1 just prior to sounding the seven trumpets.

    †. Gen 7:5 . . And Noah did just as the Lord commanded him.

    Not many people can say, with all honesty and a good conscience, that they do "just as" the Lord commands. It is a very unusual person who is careful to comply with God's will to the letter. (cf. John 8:29)

    †. Gen 7:6a . . Noah was six hundred years old

    Years of life in Noah's age were expressed in what's known as prophetic years; which consist of twelve equal months of thirty days each. So in Gregorian time; 600 years of Noah's age was but 591.4

    Noah died at 950 prophetic years. According to the US Department of Health, an average American born in 2013 could expect to live to about 78 Gregorian years. Using that as a point of reference: one year of America's average age was about equivalent to 12.004 years of Noah's age. So in American years; Noah would have been as youthful as a 50 year-old when the Flood began.

    †. Gen 7:6b . . when the Flood came, waters upon the earth.

    The word for Flood is from mabbuwl (mab-bool') which means: a deluge. There's another word for "flood" in the Old Testament, but the Hebrew is different. Mabbuwl appears twelve times in Genesis regarding Noah's worldwide cataclysm. The only other place in the entire Old Testament where that word is shows up again is Ps 29:10; and even there it relates to Noah.

    †. Gen 7:7-9 . . Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood. Of the clean animals, of the animals that are not clean, of the birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two of each, male and female, came to Noah into the ark, as God had commanded Noah.

    Here again it's mentioned that the animals came to Noah rather than he and his sons going on safari to round them up.

    It was right about there that I would have become very nervous had I lived next door to the Noahs. Up till then, he probably seemed like an ordinary crack pot-- a nice enough guy, but kind of kooky. I mean: who builds a great big barge on dry land? But when all those birds and animals showed up out at his place, and started boarding Noah's Folly all by themselves, in neither chaos nor confusion, and without Noah and his boys having to herd them in-- that was definitely cause for alarm.

    It's true that wildlife at that time was not yet afraid of humans; and it was probably a very common sight to see them mingling with people all over the place-- maybe even assisting Noah to construct the ark --but not on such a scale as this. People had to wonder why all those bugs, and beasties, and birdies were migrating out there to Noah's spread. What's that all about? Did they maybe think to themselves that old fool might know something after all?

    Well; maybe they did; but according to Jesus they didn't really take Noah seriously but went about the business of their daily lives as usual. (Matt 24:38-39)

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    Mon, Jun 29th - 8:40AM



    Genesis 6:21-22

     

    †. Gen 6:21-22 . . For your part, take of everything that is eaten and store it away, to serve as food for you and for them. Noah did so; just as God commanded him, so he did.

    Noah was every supervisor's dream. He did just what he was told and all with nary an argument; nor a single protest.

    God didn't specify precisely how much food to load aboard. He only instructed Noah to store things that are edible; but not their quantity. Nobody can be sure whether or not Noah knew just how long the Flood was going to last. If he didn't, then of course he would have no idea how much food he needed to bring along.

    So what about the carnivorous animals that came aboard with Noah-- the lions and tigers and hawks and eagles and meerkats and alligators and crocodiles? Well; those kinds of animals can live on vegetation when they have to. According to Isa 11:6-9 and Isa 65:25, there's a day coming when the diet of carnivores will be changed to that of herbivores.

    Some have proposed that the animals hibernated so they wouldn't have to be fed very often nor require much room for exercise nor would they generate much manure to clean up. That's actually a very plausible explanation. For example: arctic ground squirrels can lower their body temperature below freezing and avoid serious head injuries while hibernating for as long seven months. Why the little guys don't freeze to death is a mystery.

    Others have proposed that Noah didn't actually load an entire year's supply of food aboard the ark. Just a minimum amount that God then miraculously sustained. That too is a very plausible explanation.

    For example: there are incidents in the Bible where small amounts of food stuffs were miraculously extended. One example is 1Kgs 17:8-16 where a tiny bit of flour and oil nourished Elijah and a widow woman, and her son, for a good many days during a time of prolonged drought.

    Another incident is at 2Kgs 4:1-7 where a certain widow's husband died and left her deeply in debt. God extended her last pot of oil sufficiently to sell off enough to retire her debts, thereby saving her two sons from slavery.

    At 1Kgs 19:5-9, when Elijah was running away from that horrible Jezebel, he was fatigued and napping under a bush when a messenger of God woke him up to eat a single biscuit and drink some water. Elijah survived on the nourishment of that measly little snack for the next forty days.

    I'm not insisting that God sustained everyone aboard the ark via hibernation and/or like He did Elijah and the widows. But in the light of nature's examples, and the Bible's examples, it isn't unreasonable to believe that's exactly what happened. Many details remain a mystery and apparently God didn't feel it was important for everybody to know how He and Noah did it. Well; that's His decision and I respect it; but I still wish Genesis told us more.

    Another logistics problem was feeding everybody when the Flood was over. What would they eat then? Well, that was no problem. The olive leaf that a dove had in her beak at Gen 8:10-11 indicates that earth's flora was spared mass extinction by the Flood. The Hebrew word for "plucked-off" is from taraph (taw-rawf') which means: recently torn off; in other words: the dove didn't pick up an old dead leaf lying around on the ground; no, it was fresh cut and green right off the tree.

    NOTE: It's not unreasonable to believe vegetation survived the Flood. The prairie grasses that once flourished in America's corn belt was some really hardy stuff. Prior to the White Man, prairie grass roots grew as deep as four feet, and sometimes eleven, so that no matter how much or how often the grass was burned off, it bounced right back.

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    Sun, Jun 28th - 9:09AM



    Genesis 6:18-20

     

    †. Gen 6:18 . . But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark, with your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives.

    Biblical covenants are legally-binding contracts; and may include stipulations for all parties involved; and then again may stipulate responsibilities for only one of them with the other simply being along for the benefit; sort of like an irrevocable trust. Covenants may, or may not, include penalties for breach of contract; and sometimes those penalties are very severe; e.g. Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69.

    †. Gen 6:19-20 . . And of all that lives, of all flesh, you shall take two of each into the ark to keep alive with you; they shall be male and female. From birds of every kind, cattle of every kind, every kind of creeping thing on earth, two of each shall come to you to stay alive.

    Apparently one pair of each kind was a minimum; I mean; Noah took four pairs of humans aboard; and he was later given updated instructions to take seven pairs of some species.

    Fortunately Noah didn't have to go on safari to round up his passengers. The Bible says two of each "shall come to you." which implies of course that species who failed to come got left behind and died in the Flood.

    There was plenty of time for them to make it because Noah was 120 years building the ark and getting it ready. Since the animals selected were cooperative and docile, then the smaller beasties could hitch rides on the larger ones and thus save themselves some steps.

    A man named Dave Kunst walked across today's world in just a little over 4 years from June 1970 to October 1974. Kunst walked a total of 14,450 miles, crossing four continents and thirteen countries, wearing out 21 pair of shoes, and walking more than 20 million steps. That was an odd thing to do, but does prove it can be done in a relatively short time; so 120 years was plenty enough for all the critters to make it on over to Noah's place in time for the Folly's maiden voyage.

    If the ark were to launch in 2020, critters would have been on the move towards it since 1900-- three years before the Wright Brothers historical flight, and twelve years before the Titanic foundered --and probably reproduced many times along the way since there are not all that many species that live to see 120 years of age.

    But how did they cross oceans? In the past that was doubtless a thorny theological problem. But with today's knowledge of the geological science of plate tectonics, the answer is as simple as two plus two. Scientists now know that continental land masses can be shifted, and in point of fact the dry parts brought so close together as to form one single super continent.

    Scientists also know about magma hot spots and pressure points that can raise and lower the earth's crust like a service elevator. Subduction no doubt played a role by pushing sea beds up above sea level and made to form land bridges; thus expediting migration.

    This idea is by no means novel. For example: in 2014, a 9,000 year-old stone structure used to capture caribou was discovered 120 feet below the surface of Lake Huron; and is the most complex structure of its kind in the Great Lakes region.

    The structure consists of two parallel lanes of stones leading to a cul-de-sac. Within the lanes are three circular hunting blinds where prehistoric hunters hid while taking aim at caribou. The structure's size and design suggest that hunting was probably a group effort, with one group driving caribou down the lanes towards the blinds while another group waited to attack.

    The site-- discovered by using sonar technology on the Alpena-Amberley Ridge, 35 miles southeast of Alpena Michigan --was once a dry land corridor connecting northeastern Michigan to southern Ontario.

    Ten miles off the coast of Alabama in 60 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, are the remains of a Bald Cypress grove that's estimated to be eight to fourteen thousand years old; testifying that the earth's topography was quite a bit different in the ancient past.

    Actually the Earth's mantle is one continuous (albeit fractured) mass anyway, although its profile is so irregular that dry land sticks up above sea level at various high spots; which is a good thing because if the mantle were smooth, the world would be quite flooded all the time. In point of fact, if the Earth's mantle were perfectly smooth, like a billiard ball, there's enough water present even today to cover the land to a depth of 9,000 feet of water. That would be equivalent to a global ocean approximately 1.7 miles deep.

    Normal geological processes take thousands of years to accomplish, but when you factor in the creator's participation in the Flood event, it's no problem at all for the supreme being who has absolute power over not just the earth's geological processes; but all the rest of nature's processes too.

    What about dinosaurs? Did they go aboard with Noah too? No; too late. Paleontologists are pretty sure the Jurassic era was over and gone by means of a mysterious mass extinction event several millennia before the entrance of human life on the earth; which, in my layman's opinion, is pretty good proof that the six "days" of creation were quite a bit greater in length than 24 hours apiece.

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    Sat, Jun 27th - 8:19AM



    Genesis 6:16b-17

     

    †. Gen 6:16b . . Put the entrance to the ark in its side; make it with bottom, second, and third decks.

    A hatch in the hull was practical. Its cover could be let down as a boarding ramp.

    The very bottom of a ship is normally not counted as a deck. The lowest deck is usually somewhat above the bottom and separated from it by a void called the double bottom. That way if the actual bottom is pierced, the ship won't sink because the void is sealed.

    Whether or not Noah's craft had a double bottom is unknown; but likely it had at least a bilge because the lowest deck needs to be above the bottom a bit so the passengers and crew don't have to slosh around down there in the lower parts of the ship where fetid water and other unsavory liquids typically collect.

    The spaces between decks were fairly tall. If we divide 45 by 3 we get roughly 15 feet apiece not counting a bilge, nor the thickness of the deck planks and their beams. Fifteen feet can accommodate pretty tall animals; and provide enough room for the birds to exercise now and then too.

    An ark 450 feet by 75 feet, with three decks would have provided 101,250 square feet of living space. If Noah were resourceful, he might have installed shelves and cabinets on the hull and the bulkheads, plus more on the overheads, and the underside of the ark's roof for even more storage/living space. thus he would have taken advantage of not just the ark's square feet; but also its cubic feet.

    Critics insist there wasn't enough space aboard for all the various creatures in Noah's day, but they fail to take into account a few facts. For one, nobody really knows how long the cubit of Noah's day was and, most importantly, nobody really knows how many species of life existed in his day.

    By the time h.sapiens appeared on this old earth of ours, some colossal mass extinctions had already taken place; and on top of that, the species that exist on earth in our day, may not have existed in Noah's day, but instead what we are seeing in our day is the result of millennia of somatic mutations and adaptations.

    Larger creatures could have shared their spaces with smaller creatures, even permitting the ones smaller than themselves to climb up and rest on their backs. Life finds a way.

    They say there are seven wonders of the ancient world, but that is not quite accurate. There's actually eight if we include Noah's ark. Sure, building a giant floating barn like Noah's would be child's play for a modern shipyard like Northrop Grumman Newport News; but in his day, it had to be quite a feat.

    †. Gen 6:17 . . For My part, I am about to bring the Flood-- waters upon the earth-- to destroy all flesh under the sky in which there is breath of life; everything on earth shall perish.

    Some think the Flood was merely a local event rather than a global deluge. But that is not the way Genesis describes it. The author quotes God saying; to destroy "all flesh under the sky" and: "everything on earth" shall perish.

    If the Flood were to be local, then it would only be necessary for Noah and his family and the animals to simply migrate to a different region rather than go to all the trouble of building an ark. No. The idea of localized flooding is totally unacceptable because "the sky" is everywhere.

    Ironically, and perhaps even humorously, many of the people arguing for a localized Flood are convinced it's a myth anyway so I have no clue where they see the point of arguing its extent.

    The word for "waters" is from mayim (mah'-yim) which is a plural noun that can be used either in a plural sense as here in Gen 6:17, or in a singular sense as in Gen 21:14.

    Were the waters of the Flood fresh or salt? It doesn't matter, since the one who created the physical requirements of all life is easily able to adapt it to suit His purposes. But the sea's saltiness isn't static; it's increasing all the time, and always has. Which means that if you were to go back in time, the sea was a lot less salty in Noah's day than it is today; ergo: aquatic life's adjustment to dilution back in his day wouldn't have been as extreme as aquatic life's adjustment would be in our day.

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    Fri, Jun 26th - 7:35AM



    Genesis 6:15-16a

     

    †. Gen 6:15a . .This is how you shall make it:

    What if Noah had some ideas of his own? Would that have been alright? No; when God says "you shall" and/or "you shall not" then that's the law.

    Some object that since paper and writing were not yet invented in Noah's day, then God couldn't possible have provided him with plans for the ark. But any pictograph, even one on a clay tablet or a rock face, qualifies as a drawing. That objection infers that God was illiterate until Man learned to read. (chuckle) I guess it just never occurs to them that holy men like Noah were far more advanced than your average cave-dwelling hominid.

    Other skeptics object that a wooden vessel the size of Noah's ark couldn't be built because the timbers required for its structural strength would have been so massive that Noah would never have managed to assemble its pieces and parts.

    But ancient craftsmen were far more ingenious than most people living today realize. For example, nobody yet has really figured out how the Egyptians built the pyramids nor how the people of Easter Island cut, carved, and moved all those big stone heads around. And the Egyptians aren't the only ones to mystify us. There are ancient stone structures around the world that seem impossible to be erected by human hands prior to the age of heavy industrial machinery; but nevertheless, there they are.

    And not to forget that Noah's God was in the project. Since that's the case, it's not unreasonable to assume God also provided Noah the tools necessary to complete the task He assigned; and very, very possibly chipped in to help out with the construction too. When people fail to factor in God, they invariably end up mystified. To this day scientists are baffled about the origin of the cosmos, with all of its life, matter, and energy, because they refuse to factor God into their thinking.

    How did Noah cut the logs that went into constructing the ark? Well; according to the Bible, Cain's people were proficient with metals. If nothing else; it's probably pretty certain that Noah had at least a metal hammer and an axe; maybe several metal hammers and axes; and quite possibly saws too.

    "And Zillah she too bore Tubal-cain, who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron" (Gen 4:2 courtesy of Chabad.org)

    How did Noah join the logs and other wooden pieces that went into constructing the ark? Well; you know, a good cabinet maker can assemble a very nice armoire without using nuts and bolts by the strategic use of dowels and clever joinery like grooves, rabbets, dovetails, mortises, and tenons.

    Others object that a wooden vessel the size of the ark would never hold up on the open sea without steel reinforcement; especially when the super storm of Gen 8:1 began blowing to mop up the water. But again; those skeptics typically fail to factor God's involvement in the Flood. You really think He left the only surviving humans and the only surviving beasts on the whole planet to the mercy of the elements?

    The Flood was a miraculous event, which by its very nature circumvented the laws of physics.

    With God's involvement, even a house of cards would have survived the Flood had He wished it to because the strength of natural materials isn't fixed; they can be greatly enhanced, e.g. Samson (Judg 13:2-16:31). He was just an ordinary man of flesh and bone; but God made Samson strong enough to do things that no one man alone could possibly attempt unassisted.

    †. Gen 6:15b . . the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

    There was a cubit among the Babylonians, and one in Egypt too. But there seems to have existed double standards in both countries. Because of that, there exists no undisputed example of the cubit that remains to the present time; so the length of the cubit has been variously estimated.

    One of the ancient cubits was the length of a man's forearm, from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, as is implied from the derivation of the word in Hebrew and from the Latin cubitum. It seems to be referred to also in Deut 3:11 as "after the cubit of a man." But that's too vague, and unsuitable for a scientific standard because not all men's arms are exactly alike.

    The Babylonians employed two different cubits: the so-called royal cubit and the common cubit. From the remains of buildings in Assyria and Babylonia, the royal cubit is made out to be about 20.6 inches. A cubit of similar length was used in Egypt. This was probably the cubit mentioned by Ezk 40:5 and possibly that of Solomon's temple as "cubits after the first measure" (2 Chr 3:3)

    The commercial cubit was shorter, and has been variously estimated at between 16 and 18 inches or more, but the evidence of the Siloam inscription and of the tombs in Palestine seems to indicate 17.6 inches as the average length. This was the cubit of six palms, while the longer one was of seven (Ezk 40:5). The cubit mentioned in Judges 3:16 is from a different word, the Hebrew gomedh, and was probably shorter.

    The cubit of Noah's day remains a total mystery. We have no way of knowing exactly how long it was. Maybe Noah and his boys passed on their antediluvian knowledge of weights and measures to the post-flood world and it stayed pretty close to the original standards over the years; but it's impossible to know for sure.

    If we use an 18-inch cubit as a close approximation, then the ark would have been in the neighborhood of 450' long x 75' wide x 45' high. The ark's beam was 30 feet wider than its height, so should have proved very stable, and difficult to capsize even in rough seas-- especially since it had a flat bottom, which was good too for the purpose intended.

    Nothing fancy. Since the ark didn't have to navigate; then it didn't require a means of propulsion nor was there any practical use for a bow, or a stern, or a wheel house, a rudder, sails, engine room, anchor, windlasses, or masts-- not even a handrail around the main deck. Since the ark didn't have to cut through the water like a schooner, then it didn't need tapered undersides. All the ark really had to do was float. It was really nothing in the world but a barge: and a very crude barge at that. Really little more than a very large watertight crate.

    Compared to modern ships, 450 feet is not all that big. Oil tankers are around 1,500, and the Nimitz aircraft carrier is about 1,092 feet. The distance from home plate to the center field fence in major league baseball, averages 400 feet or better. So the ark would just about fit into Yankee stadium. The main playing area of a football field is 300 feet. Add 26 more for the end zones, and the total is 326; which is still 124 feet short of the ark's length but at least gives some idea of its scale.

    †. Gen 6:16a . . Make an opening for daylight in the ark, and terminate it within a cubit of the top.

    The ark was probably capped with a steeply sloped roof so the immense volumes of water falling from the sky during the rain stage of the Flood wouldn't impinge it perpendicularly; but rather strike a glancing blow; and the eves were likely quite considerable so water running off the roof wouldn't find its way to the window. Whether or not the window was shuttered isn't stated, but was very likely a practical consideration. The first forty days of the Flood were extremely inclement; and later on down at the end of the voyage there was a howling wind to reckon with.

    The dimensions of the window aren't stated, and it's design is a bit of a mystery because later we'll see that Noah was apparently unable to look out and see for himself whether the ground was dry. It could have been as wide as six feet and extended the full length and width of the ark-- all the way around it; who really knows. The only requirement was that it be adequate for light; but undoubtedly served for ventilation too. With all that respiration going on in there, Noah's air supply would become foul in very short order.

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    Thu, Jun 25th - 9:02AM



    Genesis 6:11-14

     

    †. Gen 6:11a . .The earth became corrupt before God;

    The word for "earth" is 'erets (eh'-rets) which technically refers to the planet (Gen 1:1).

    I think we're going to see that the planet wasn't corrupt due to itself going bad, rather, the activities of its human inhabitants.

    The word for "corrupt" is shachath (shaw-khath') which means: to decay, decompose, and/or disintegrate; viz: to become decadent.

    The perspective "before God" indicates the Almighty's own personal estimation. No doubt the antediluvians disagreed with His evaluation of their spiritual condition just like people today disagree. And again, this disparity of evaluations has its roots all the way back in the garden when humans became their own gods; discerning right and wrong from within a natural system of values instead of their creator's.

    †. Gen 6:11b . . the earth was filled with lawlessness.

    Crime is pretty much inevitable in a world of sinful beings sans cops and courts. Nobody was accountable for a single thing in those days. The only rules that may have existed were those among clans or in towns. But those rules wouldn't be universal. Rules like that would be different from clan to clan and from town to town. And primitive clans are known to war with each other on a regular basis like the Native Americans did here in America's early years.

    I just hope I don't live to see the day when some sort of nationwide disaster, like a nuclear holocaust, occurs in America. Nobody will be safe. Electrical power will be out, the banks won't be open, ATM machines won't work, and everyone will be so desperate to survive.

    Roving gangs of thugs will prowl the rubble looking to scavenge and to steal anything not nailed down or protected by guards. Law enforcement and medical services will be so overwhelmed that dialing 911 will be no more productive than writing a letter to Santa Claus; that is, if telephones even work. If hurricanes Katrina and Sandy taught us anything in New Orleans and Manhattan, it's that large-scale disasters produce large-scale anarchy and chaos.

    The criminal element has neither honor nor sympathy for its victims. After the September 29, 2009 tsunami subsided in Samoa, residents returned to neighborhoods only to find that their homes had been looted.

    According to the 2016 World Almanac, in the year 2013, there were a total of 1,163,146 violent crimes committed in the USA . The number of property crimes totaled 8,632,512. Those totals exclude crimes like arson, perjury, forgery, insider trading, contempt of court, bail jumping, internet hacking, traffic violations, J-walking, trespassing, animal abuse, feeding parking meters, cheating on taxes; et al.

    And to think the USA and its territories are a society of law abiding citizens. Just think what it must have been like in Noah's day with no law enforcement whatsoever to control crime. All I can say is; if something really bad should ever happen here in the USA, you'd better own deadly weapons like swords and guns plus lots of pepper and/or bear spray because neither your life nor your possessions will be safe after dark.

    †. Gen 6:12-13a . . God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah: I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.

    Some people would probably like to translate some of that verse like this: "for the earth is filled with violence through God." But Genesis doesn't say it was filled with violence through God; no, God said it was filled with violence through them.

    †. Gen 6:13b . . I am about to destroy them with the earth.

    Here is set a precedent of God forewarning His own when He is about to execute a calamitous event. The Passover was another such example. God forewarned Moses, and Moses' people, of the imminent annihilation of all the firstborn of Man and Beast in Egypt; which would also impact Moses and his people if they didn't do exactly as God said and paint the blood of a lamb on their door jambs (Ex 11:1-13).

    And our man Noah, super-duper righteous man that he was, would have drowned right along with the rest of the antediluvians had he neglected to construct an ark. When God gives a warning, it is best to respond accordingly.

    "A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." (Prov 22:3)

    †. Gen 6:14a . . Make yourself an ark

    The Hebrew word for ark is tebah (tay-baw') and just simply indicates, not a ship, but a nondescript box. The only other place tebah is used again in the Old Testament is of the little watertight container Moses' mom constructed to hide her little boy from Pharaoh's assassins. (Ex 2:1-10)

    †. Gen 6:14b . . of gopher wood;

    Nobody really knows for sure exactly what kind of tree Noah used to make the ark. The word for "gopher" has nothing to do with little subterranean rodents. It's a transliteration of the Hebrew word gopher (go'-fer) which only suggests a kind of tree suitable for building structures out of wood. Some think it was cypress because the wood of those trees is so resinous that it resists rotting even after prolonged submersion in water. Others think it may have been cedar or spruce; which are good too.

    Noah would've needed some massive structural members so in my estimation; Redwood— a.k.a. Sequoia —would've been an excellent choice seeing as how the wood is not only resistant to rot, but the trees themselves are typically very large and yield huge quantities of lumber.

    Unfortunately, this is the one and only occurrence of gopher in the entire Old Testament so there's no other passages that might help identify a specific kind of tree.

    †. Gen 6:14c . . make it an ark with compartments,

    The word for "compartments" is from qen (kane) which means: a nest (as fixed), sometimes including the nestlings; figuratively, a chamber or dwelling. The construction of nests (and stalls) indicates the animals weren't just herded or jammed together like the crowds attending an outdoor rock concert. They were neatly stowed aboard in their own areas and apparently made to feel quite comfortable.

    †. Gen 6:14d . . and cover it inside and out with pitch.

    The word for "pitch" is kopher (ko'-fer) which means: a cover. It can also mean a village (as covered in); and also bitumen (as used for coating) and the henna plant (as used for dye).

    Kopher is a common word in the Old testament for "atonement" which is like pitch as a coating, or a covering, which not only serves the purpose of a sealing compound like the stuff people apply to weatherproof their patio decks, but also a concealment coating like paint and/or tar and feathers.

    NOTE: Old Testament atonements, while gaining offenders a pardon, do nothing to exonerate them; viz: atonements don't expunge their history, i.e. their offenses stay on the books like a rap sheet, and available to God as a means of evaluating peoples' character. This is pretty serious because according to Rev 20:11-15, those books are going to be opened for examination to determine whether people qualify for a pass to heaven. (God has figured out a way to expunge people's records so that they can be legally adjudged innocent, but a discussion of it is not within the scope of a study in Genesis.)

    Anyway; coating the ark with bitumen not only served to waterproof it; but also preserved the wood for future uses after the Flood subsided and Noah no longer had need of a titanic water craft.

    NOTE: Bitumen is a naturally-occurring kind of asphalt formed from the remains of ancient, microscopic algae (diatoms) and other once-living things. In order for bitumen to be available in Noah's day, the organisms from whence it was formed had to have existed on the earth several thousands of years before him. In point of fact, I read somewhere that the biomass that gave us fossil fuels existed even before the dinosaurs. That's really going back a ways.

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    Comment (0)

    Wed, Jun 24th - 9:11AM



    Genesis 6:8-10

     

    †. Gen 6:8 . . But Noah found favor with The Lord.

    The word for "favor" is from chen (khane) and means: graciousness. Translators sometimes render chen as grace. But the important thing is that The Lord didn't find chen with Noah. No, just the opposite-- Noah found chen with The Lord.

    Webster's defines graciousness as: kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

    Those are all good qualities, and the very things you would expect to see in someone you loved and trusted-- like your spouse or a very close friend.

    †. Gen 6:9a . .This is the line of Noah.-- Noah was a righteous man;

    The Hebrew word for "righteous" is tsaddiyq (tsad-deek') which means: just.

    Webster's provides several definitions of "just", but perhaps the ones best suited for our purpose are: conscientious, honest, honorable, right, scrupulous, true, dependable, reliable, tried, trustworthy, dispassionate, equal, equitable, impartial, nondiscriminatory, objective, unbiased, uncolored, and unprejudiced. So then, Noah was not only religious to his fingertips; but he was a pretty decent guy to boot.

    The kind of righteousness spoken of in Gen 6:9a is a personal kind of righteousness. There's also a spiritual righteousness, but I don't think that's in view here. The emphasis is upon Noah as a man rather than a believer; though according to Heb 11:7 he was that too.

    †. Gen 6:9b . . he was blameless in his era; Noah walked with God.

    Blameless in the Bible means something altogether different than what you'd expect. In this case, "blameless" means that God had nothing negative to say about Noah; i.e. on the books, Noah performance was spotless. How is that possible? Well; if God chooses not to record your badness, then the only thing remaining to record is your goodness.

    This is a very important aspect of not just Old Testament piety, but New Testament too.

    "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them" (2Cor 5:19)

    The Greek word translated "counting" is logizomai (log-id'-zom-ahee) which means to take an inventory; i.e. an indictment. 2Cor 5:19 is quite an advantage because when there is nothing bad on the books, then there is nothing that can in any way be used to prove that somebody has ever been anything less than 100% innocent; i.e. blameless. This may seem like cooking the books, but God has a way to do it on the up and up.

    NOTE: Too often Supreme Court judges-- the State level and the US level --are unjust; viz; they're biased and they're prejudiced; and that's because seldom, if ever, are they nominated on the basis of their objectivity; rather, they're typically nominated solely on the basis of their political leanings.

    God highly recommended Noah, but it's doubtful Noah would ever be considered for a federal judgeship let alone America's supreme.

    The most incredible thing about Noah was his degree of piety in a world gone mad with evil. He was actually a nobody in his day; eclipsed by the nephiyl types. They got all the press, the publicity, and the notoriety while God's man went marginalized and largely ignored. Yet he persisted; and continued pounding a pulpit right up to the end.

    †. Gen 6:10 . . Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

    Were those the only kids Noah had? And no daughters? I seriously doubt it. Noah was six hundred when the flood began. It is unlikely that a healthy, hard working, robust man would live that long without engendering a much larger family than three; especially in those days without birth control. But these three boys are the only ones that count now because they're going on the ark with their dad.

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    Tue, Jun 23rd - 8:00AM



    Genesis 6:5-7

     

    †. Gen 6:5 . . And the Lord saw that the evil of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of his heart was only evil all the time.

    Man's descent into depravity didn't catch his creator by surprise. After all; not only can God see the future but He can also manipulate it; so He was well aware even before Gen 1:1 that the people He was about to create were destined from day-one for a global deluge.

    Also, when God inspected His handiwork at Gen 1:31, He evaluated it not just good, but "very" good. So as far as He was concerned; everything was going smoothly and according to plan-- nothing was broken, no parts were missing, and nothing was maladjusted.

    †. Gen 6:6 . . And the Lord regretted that He had made man upon the earth, and He became grieved in His heart.

    I seriously doubt that the regret and grief that God felt was somehow related to His thinking that creating human life was a big mistake. It's difficult to discern from the language and grammar of the text; but it's far more likely that the regret God felt in Gen 6:6 was directly related to what He was about to do next: the destruction of a major portion of the life that He himself put on earth.

    In other words; the destruction of life is not something God enjoys as if He were an outdoor guy who kills fish and wildlife for sport with no more sensitivity than a kid blasting aliens in a video game. Man's creator knew the day was coming when He would have to do what He was about to do next, and clearly wasn't looking forward to it.

    But to be quite forthright; it seems insane to me that God would go forward with plans to create life on earth knowing in advance that He would one day be destroying so much of it. Where's the logic in that? I just don't get it; but then, no surprise there.

    The human mind is produced by a three-pound lump of flabby organic tissue, and not even all three of those pounds are utilized for cognitive processes; 60% of the human brain's mass is fat. All considered: the human mind is practically that of an insect in comparison to the mind of the inventor who created human life.

    †. Gen 6:7 . . And the Lord said: I will blot out man, whom I created, from upon the face of the earth, from man to cattle to creeping thing, to the fowl of the heavens, for I regret that I made them.

    The destruction of earth's birds and beasts was unavoidable; they became collateral damage in God's contention with the evil antediluvians.

    The Hebrew word for "blot" is from machah (maw-khaw') which means: to stroke or rub; by implication, to erase; also to smooth (as if with oil), i.e. grease or make fat; also to touch, i.e. reach to.

    God intended to not only remove the antediluvians from the face of the earth, but also to scrub off all of their works too so that when He was done, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to even be able to tell the antediluvians were ever here at all.

    It's always been a mystery to me why paleo-anthropologists have managed to find so few fossilized remains of pre-historic human beings.

    In 1992, Tim White of the University of California at Berkeley, discovered the fossilized skeletons of human-like creatures in Ethiopia's Afar Rift who lived 4.4 million years ago but those are not the remains of h.sapiens; but rather, of beasts that resemble h.sapiens. To my knowledge; no truly human remains have been found from that era.

    While mysterious; that lack of remains isn't exclusive. Take for instance the Passenger Pigeon. That bird at one time numbered an estimated four to five billion individuals; which is a number equal in quantity to the current year-round population of all North American birds combined. Yet an archeological search for the pigeon's bones left behind by people who ate the bird for food, through all pre-Columbian times, has thus far yielded very few remains; at only two sites.

    But my point is: where are the remains of the antediluvians? They're gone; lock, stock, and barrel-- no metal implements from Tubal-Cain's blacksmith shop, no musical instruments from Jubal's work shop, no dwellings, no footprints, no bones, no pottery, no no pictographs, no petroglyphs, not even any geological evidence of a world-wide deluge: nothing. It's like they were never here.

    God moved against the antediluvians like a relentless newspaper editor deleting superfluous words and sentences so skillfully that the reader cannot even tell those superfluous words and sentences ever existed in the original copy.

    Why would God do that? I would hazard to guess that His purpose in doing so was to prevent people from believing too easily that the Flood actually happened.

    The funny thing about the Bible is that portions of it are just as effective at driving people away from God as they are at attracting them. No doubt it is God's wishes that everybody believe the Bible; but at the same time it seems He's thwarted His own wishes by taking steps to ensure that a substantial number of people don't. For example:

    "Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: You have seen all that The Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. Yet to this day The Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear." (Deut 29:2-4)

    "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matt 11:27)

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    Mon, Jun 22nd - 8:06AM



    Genesis 6:3-4

     

    †. Gen 6:3a . . And the Lord said: My Spirit shall not strive with man forever

    Some translations have "abide" instead of strive. But the Hebrew word is diyn (deen) which means: to rule; by implication: to judge (as umpire); also to strive (as at law). It can also mean to plead the cause of; or to contend in argument.

    So. How did "My Spirit" accomplish this striving with man? In person Himself? No; just like He always has: via a holy man.

    "Noah, a preacher of righteousness" (2Pet 2:5)

    NOTE: According to 1Pet 3:18-20, the Spirit of Christ and My Spirit are one and the same spirit. In point of fact; according to 1Pet 1:10-11, all the Old Testament preachers (a..k.a. prophets) were motivated by the Spirit of Christ. (cf. Rom 8:9 and 1Cor 6:19 where the Spirit of Christ and The Spirit are seen as one and the same spirit)

    †. Gen 6:3b . . for they are only mortal flesh.

    A problem with flesh is it's brevity. The human body eventually loses its vigor, so God has a limited amount of time to work with people before they pass on. Were humans immortal, He would have plenty of time to turn people around; but alas, without access to the tree of life, such is not the case; which is why I sometimes advise certain folk to use what time they have remaining to begin preparing themselves for the worst when they pass on.

    †. Gen 6:3c . . yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.

    Some feel that God set the limits of human longevity in that verse. But people still continued to live long lives for a great number of years afterwards. Even Abraham, who lived many, many years after the Flood, didn't die till he was 175 years old.

    It's far more reasonable to conclude that God was announcing a deadline; viz: they had 120 years left to get ready to meet their maker. But you think that alarmed anybody? Heck no. They went right on; business as usual.

    "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-27)

    The time of God's patience is sometimes long; but never unlimited; viz: reprieves are not pardons-- though God bear a great while, He never bears forever.

    †. Gen 6:4 . .There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

    The Hebrew word for "giants" in that passage is nephiyl (nef-eel') or nephil (nef-eel') and I have no clue why the KJV's scholars translated it giants because it doesn't mean that at all. For one thing; it's an ambiguous word with more than one meaning. It can indicate someone who cuts, knocks, or brings things down, or a killer; and/or bullies and tyrants.

    Now; granted that some bullies are big guys; but not all tyrants are big guys. Take for example Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, He isn't especially imposing but Mr. Kim sure knows how to exercise power excessively and brutally.

    In other words: nephiyl doesn't necessarily indicate a special race of people; but simply people whose ambition is to dominate others; even if they have to completely destroy their culture and kill them all off to do it; viz: nephiyl personalities are not good followers nor are they very good team players. It can be accurately said of nephiyl personalities that they would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. In other words: if they can't conquer God, then they would just as soon have nothing to do with Him.

    Historical examples of nephiyl types would be men like Genghis Khan of Mongolia, and Alexander the Great of Greece; Napoleon of France, Peter Alekseyevich Romanov of Russia, Chandragupta Maurya of India, shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo of Japan, conquistador Hernando Cortes of Spain, Timur: founder of the Timurid dynasty, and Zahir-ud din Muhammad Babur: founder of the Mughal dynasty that ruled the Indian subcontinent for over three centuries.

    FAQ: If all the nephiyl types drowned in the Flood; then how did their characteristics manage to resurface down the road?

    A: Well; from whence did nephiyl types originate in the first place? Same place every other personality type originated: from Adam's genes; viz: since Noah and his wife, and his sons and their wives, were Adam's biological descendants, then nephiyl characteristics survived the Flood by riding it out in the DNA of the people aboard the ark.

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    Comment (0)

    Sun, Jun 21st - 8:39AM



    Genesis 6:1-2

     

    †. Gen 6:1-2 . . Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were good; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

    The Hebrew word for "good" in that passage is towb (tobe) which is one of those ambiguous Hebrew words that can be utilized in a wide variety of applications. It can indicate morality, a tasty meal, a job well done, a nice man, a pretty dress, a shapely woman and/or a handsome man, and an expert musician and/or a really groovy song. But in this case; I think it's pretty safe to assume towb refers to a woman's looks.

    NOTE: Ambiguous Hebrew words like towb serve to illustrate why it's virtually impossible to translate Hebrew into English with 100% verbatim precision. No linguist in his right mind would dare to say that English versions of the Hebrew Old Testament are perfect word-for-word renditions of the original manuscripts-- no; they can't even be certified perfect word-for-word renditions of the available manuscripts let alone the originals.

    The characteristics of the "sons of God" has been debated. Some say they were members of the aristocracy of that day who married attractive women from among the commoners. Others say they were renegade spirit creatures who donned fully functioning human avatars-- replete with synthetic male genomes --so they could cohabit with women; thus producing a hybrid strain of hominid freaks. Others say they were believing men who threw caution to the wind and built themselves harems of humanistic women who believed in existential philosophies.

    Intermarriage between men of faith and infidel women is as old a practice as adultery; and a proven tactic for watering down, compromising, and even extinguishing Bible beliefs and practices (e.g. Num 31:7-16). The people of God are strictly, unequivocally, and clearly forbidden to marry outside their faith. (Deut 7:1-4, 2Cor 6:14-18)

    In a mixed relationship-- one a believer and the other an infidel --the believer will be forced to compromise their convictions in order to keep the relationship going. Compromise in the area of spiritual values is not a good thing for God's people. It's not only bad for the conscience, but will quickly ruin a believer's relationship with their Lord. (1John 1:6)

    Most people want love, romance, companionship, and a family of their own. According to Gen 1:27-28, and Gen 2:21-24, those things are Divine blessings, they're perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of; nor is there anything intrinsically naughty or sinful about them. But a believer has to be self controlled, and not permit their base nature to make them lose their heads and ruin their chances for happiness.

    Adult dating is where it starts. And adult dating isn't harmless. It leads to other things, and it leads into commitments and promises that are not easily reneged. The end result of adult dating is ultimately marriage and children (quite possibly illegitimate children). Whose spiritual philosophy will prevail in the marriage? Whose spiritual philosophy will be taught to the children? The believer's or the infidel's? And ultimately, who will get the children's souls-- God, or the Serpent?

    Some couples try to accommodate each other's beliefs by teaching their children the concepts of both religions. For example, a marriage between a Buddhist and a Christian. The children are given a choice between the Bible and the Four Noble Truths; and between Christ and Siddhartha Gautama, and between resurrection and reincarnation. That may seem like a good idea, but it only creates confusion in the minds of the children. Why are mom and dad not in agreement? Whose religion is right? Can both be right? Does it mean that one religion is just as good as the next; or does it even matter?

    Wives can be very effective in influencing an otherwise pious man to compromise his convictions (e.g. Gen 3:6). All too often, in a mixed marriage, the mother's religion will be taught to her children because husbands, as a rule, put a higher priority on peace in the home than religion, so they won't risk alienating mama by forcing the issue.

    The sons of God in Noah's day-- whose wives were chosen based solely upon sensual appeal sans any spiritual prudence whatsoever --all perished in the Flood right along with their infidel wives and children. Not a one of them had the good sense to go aboard the ark with Noah.

    It's never wise for believers to marry outside their faith. A good example is Solomon. He got off to a good start but down the road accumulated a harem of foreign women who led him into idolatry; which subsequently caused The Lord to engineer rebellion in the kingdom. (1Kgs 11 & 12)

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    Sat, Jun 20th - 8:38AM



    Genesis 5:28-32

     

    †. Gen 5:28-29 . .When Lamech had lived 182 years, he begot a son. And he named him Noah, saying: This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the Lord placed under a curse.

    The word for "Noah" is from nuwach (noo'-akh) and means: rest or quiet. But not the kind of quiet one might find in a sound-proof room. More like the tranquility a person would experience by getting away from anxiety, fear, conflict, and toil.

    Lamech speaks as one fatigued with the business of living, and as one grudging that so much energy, which otherwise might have been much better employed in leisure, entertainment, or self improvement, was unavoidably spent in toil and labor necessary simply to survive back in that day.

    Lamech undoubtedly saw that Noah was a very special boy; the next patriarch after himself. Perhaps he hoped Noah was the promised seed of the woman; the one who would crush the Serpent's head, remove the curse, and restore the Earth to its former prosperity and glory; thus making for Man a much more enjoyable experience than the one he is subjected to for now.

    "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Rom 8:18-21)

    "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

    According to Acts 3:19-21, men have been pounding pulpits since the very beginning, and all of the prophets, ever since Abel, have looked ahead in anxious anticipation to Messiah's intervention in world affairs and bringing into existence a much better world than the one that is now.

    †. Gen 5:30-32 . . After the birth of Noah, Lamech lived 595 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Lamech came to 777 years; then he died. When Noah had lived 500 years, Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

    Lamech escaped the Flood by a mere 5 years. It came when Noah was 600 (Gen 7:6).

    Shem was the next patriarch after his dad Noah. But the names of all three boys are given probably because of the role they will play in re-populating the Earth after the Flood. The Bible doesn't say that Shem, Ham, and Japheth were especially good men. They survived the Flood in spite of their character only because they got aboard the ark with their dad when it was time for the rain to begin. If they had mocked, and remained on land with the rest of the world, then they would have certainly drowned right along with everyone else in spite of their ancestry.

    So; were Mr and Mrs Noah childless until Noah was 500 years old? Probably not. The other kids, if there were any, didn't count as far as God was concerned, and, if there were any, they perished in the deluge.

    NOTE: Being related to holy men like rabbis, pastors, deacons and/or missionaries etc doesn't guarantee a ticket to safety. Everyone has to make their own personal decisions in that regard (e.g. Gen 19:12-14). God commands all people everywhere to repent. The alternative is the sum of all fears no matter how important, nor well connected, your relatives might be.

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    Fri, Jun 19th - 7:18AM



    Genesis 5:10-27

     

    †. Gen 5:10 . . After the birth of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and begot sons and daughters.

    You know, some of these guys really didn't accomplish very much. All they seemed to do was reproduce. But the important thing is: they made a line to Messiah and, as is the duty of patriarchs, preserved whatever sacred teachings were handed down from their fathers.

    †. Gen 5:11 . . All the days of Enosh came to 905 years; then he died.

    (yawn) Over and over again. Just about everybody reproduces in chapter five. And just about everybody dies too.

    †. Gen 5:12-20 . .When Kenan had lived 70 years, he begot Mahalalel. After the birth of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Kenan came to 910 years; then he died. When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he begot Jared. After the birth of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Mahalalel came to 895 years; then he died.

    . . .When Jared had lived 162 years, he begot Enoch. After the birth of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Jared came to 962 years; then he died.

    Four of those men-- Enoch, Jared, Mahalalel, and Kenan (Cainan) --are listed in Christ's genealogy at Luke 3:37-38.

    †. Gen 5:21 . .When Enoch had lived 65 years, he begot Methuselah.

    Methuselah's name is Methuwshelach (meth-oo-sheh'-lakh) which is a compound word made up of math (math) which means an adult (as of full length or full size), and shelach (sheh'-lakh) which means a missile of attack, i.e. a spear, sling stone, or perhaps an arrow. Methuselah was a man-size weapon rather than one that might be employed by little children.

    Today our preferred missile of attack from a hand held weapon is the bullet. A Methuselah bullet would probably be known today as a magnum. Magnums cost more than normal ammo but hit harder, go further, and cause more damage (they're louder too). A modern name that might correspond to Methuselah is Long Tom-- a nickname often given to very large canons. Maybe they meant to call him Big Guy because he was such a heavy newborn.

    †. Gen 5:22-23 . . After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years; and he begot sons and daughters. All the days of Enoch came to 365 years.

    Enoch was a fiery preacher, speaking the words recorded in Jude 1:14-15; warning people prior to the Flood that Almighty God intends to hold people's feet to the fire some day.

    †. Gen 5:24a . . Enoch walked with God;

    Enoch was the exact opposite of Cain: he walked with God rather than away from God.

    This is the very first man on record who is actually said to have walked with God; though no doubt Abel did too.

    Those who are outwardly religious, but don't actually walk with God, might be wise to give this next little saying some thought.

    Ye call me Lord and respect me not.
    Ye call me Master and obey me not.
    Ye call me Light and see me not.
    Ye call me Way and walk me not.
    Ye call me Life and choose me not.
    Ye call me Wise and heed me not.
    Ye call me Kind and love me not.
    Ye call me Just and fear me not.
    If I condemn thee, blame me not.

    On the page of Scripture, Enoch isn't said to walk with God until after his little boy Methuselah was born; suggesting perhaps that parenthood gave him cause to ponder his manner of life thus far.

    †. Gen 5:24b . . then he was no more, because God took him away.

    The Hebrew word for "no more" is 'ayin (ah'-yin) which is primarily a negative indicating that one minute Enoch was on earth, and the next he wasn't.

    It's difficult to ascertain from so little information in the book of Genesis whether Enoch died of natural causes or the hand of God; but according to Heb 11:5, he didn't undergo death at all but was instantaneously transferred from this life to the next; apparently leaving behind no remains for his family to bury.

    It's assumed by many that Enoch was taken to heaven; but according to Christ; no man had been to heaven prior to himself. (John 3:13)

    †. Gen 5:25-27 . .When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he begot Lamech. After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days of Methuselah came to 969 years; then he died.

    Ol' Methuselah holds the record for longevity. He outlived his son Lamech, dying five years after him in the very year the Flood came; when Methuselah's grandson Noah was 600.

    Whether or not Methuselah died in the Flood or by natural causes is not said. However, he may indeed have perished in it right along with all of the rest of Noah's relatives. Just because men are listed in Messiah's genealogy doesn't necessarily mean they were righteous. In point of fact, some of the Davidic kings in Jesus' line were totally incorrigible men beyond remedy. (e.g. Jer 22:24-30)

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    Thu, Jun 18th - 9:02AM



    Genesis 5:1-9

     

    †. Gen 5:1a . .This is the record of Adam's line.

    I suspect that Adam's genealogy would be better defined as "a" record rather than "the" record because the Bible's version isn't exhaustive.

    Adam's genealogy doesn't include every natural-born human being who ever lived and/or will live; rather, it's primarily concerned with the branch leading to Jesus of Nazareth: the Bible's central figure.

    †. Gen 5:1b-2 . .When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; male and female He created them. And when they were created, He blessed them and called them Man.

    As a preamble to Seth's line, Genesis reminds the reader that Man's origin was by intelligent design and special creation, and that he was made in the likeness of his creator, and that he's been an h.sapiens right from the get go. Man didn't begin his existence as some sort of pre-human hominid named Ardi who lived in Ethiopia's Afar Rift some 4.4 million years ago.

    Some people take issue with Genesis because it seems to them so unscientific and contrary to the (known) fossil record. But they need to be cautious because science doesn't have perfect understanding of everything yet, nor has it discovered everything there is to discover, and it often has to be revised to reflect new discoveries, and to correct outdated theories and opinions.

    But to be fair, Bible students don't know everything yet either so I would advise watching the sciences for new discoveries that help fill in some of the Bible's blanks.

    †. Gen 5:3a . .When Adam had lived 130 years, he begot a son

    Bible genealogies often have very large gaps in them, omitting insignificant male siblings; and typically all of the girls. In one instance (1Chrn 1:1) the record skips Abel and jumps right to Seth.

    Taking advantage of this rather strange Bible practice; critics are quick to point out generational gaps in Christ's genealogy with the intent of invalidating the entire New Testament. But gaps are to be expected or otherwise the list would be cumbersome and require a book all its own. For example; a sizeable quantity of time passed between Noah's ark and the arrival of Abraham on the scene; and probably a couple of ice ages too. We're talking about a lot of generations there, and naming them all to a man would be just as useless as it would be impractical.

    †. Gen 5:3b . . in his likeness after his image, and he named him Seth.

    NOTE: When human life was first created, it was in the image and likeness of God; viz: human life was immortal. Well; when Adam tasted the forbidden fruit, he lost immortality and became mortal, so any and all human life that passed on from himself was mortal life, i.e. Seth wasn't born immune to death. He was born with his dad's mortality, viz: Seth came from the womb as a dead man walking because he was born in the image and likeness of Adam rather than the image and likeness of God.

    Seth's image and likeness of his father Adam testifies that he was not made in the image and likeness of another species of human being. No; he was made of Adam's organic human tissue just as his mother Eve was. Thus Seth was an extension of Adam.

    That may seem a trivial matter, but it's very important because it reflects upon the kind of human being that Christ was born as. His human body wasn't a celestial human body nor the body type of another species of human being: no, his human body was an extension of Adam through and through just as Seth's and just as Eve's.

    Adam's image and likeness of God was obtained via the process of creation; while Seth's image and likeness of Adam was by means of procreation; defined by Webster's as reproduction; viz: biological progeny.

    †. Gen 5:4-5 . . After the birth of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and begot sons and daughters. All the days that Adam lived came to 930 years; then he died.

    Well, there goes grandpa Adam, just as God predicted at Gen 3:19. But hey? Where's the listing of the rest of his kids? Didn't God bless him with the words "be fruitful, increase in number, and fill the earth". Well, I seriously doubt that he and Eve stopped after just three kids. But the rest of his progeny-- for reasons I can only guess --didn't make the cut.

    But when did Eve die? Did she outlive Adam? Who died first, Adam or Eve? Nobody really knows. But supposing Eve died quite a while before Adam? Did he remarry? And if he remarried, who did he marry? One of his own grandchildren?

    Well . . in Adam's case, what's so bad about that? I mean, after all, his first wife was constructed from the organic tissues of his own body; so that in reality, Eve was his first child which means that by today's social standards; Adam practiced the worst kind of incest. At least his grandkids would have been several times removed.

    †. Gen 5:6-7 . .When Seth had lived 105 years, he begot Enosh. After the birth of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and begot sons and daughters.

    No doubt some people envy the longevity of the antediluvians; but I don't. Their life was hard, and for the most part, pretty boring too. Would you want to live for 912 years in pre historic conditions without a single modern convenience? Not me.

    Was Enosh the first of Seth's children? Maybe, but probably not. However, he is the only child that counts because it's through him that we're moving towards Noah; and ultimately Abraham, David, and Christ.

    †. Gen 5:8 . . All the days of Seth came to 912 years; then he died.

    (sigh) The story of our futile lives. So and So was born, he got married and reproduced; he lived X number of years after that, and then died-- same O, same O. The weary circle of life.

    "Meaningless! Futile! complains the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever." (Ecc 1:2-4)

    The earth is dumber than a brick; yet easily outlives its human potentate; whose IQ is infinitely greater.

    †. Gen 5:9 . .When Enosh had lived 90 years, he begot Kenan.

    Kenan's name in the Hebrew is Qeynan (kay-nawn') which means fixed or permanent; sort of like birds' nests, homes; and drifters finally ending their nomadic life and putting down some roots. Fixed can also mean that someone's life has a noble purpose and that their mind is focused upon that purpose rather than looking two ways at once. Or it can also mean somebody's life is a dead end; for example "this is as good as it's ever going to get". Kind of pessimistic; but had I lived back then, I would have agreed; heartily.

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    Wed, Jun 17th - 8:40AM



    Genesis 4:23-26

     

    †. Gen 4:23-24 . . And Lamech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice! O wives of Lamech, give ear to my speech! I have slain a man for wounding me, and a lad for bruising me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.

    Brag, Brag, Brag-- boy, I tell you some men sure love to show off and glorify themselves in front of women; no doubt about it.

    Apparently ol' Lamech figured the homicide he committed wasn't nearly as severe as Cain's because he killed in retribution; whereas Cain killed in a rage. Also, Cain killed his kid brother, whereas Lamech killed his relative a little more distant. So to Lamech's way of thinking, Cain's killing was a much more serious crime; and if a dirty rotten scoundrel like gramps was under divine protections, then, in Lamech's mind, he certainly deserved to be under them even more so.

    It almost appears that Lamech killed two people, but really it was only one; and in fact a person younger than himself. Two words describe Lamech's opponent. The first word is from 'enowsh (en-oshe') and simply means a mortal; viz: a human being (of either gender), in general (singly or collectively); viz: someone and/or somebody. The second word reveals the person's age. The word for "lad" is yeled (yeh'-led) and means something born, i.e. a lad or offspring-- boy, child, fruit, son, young one and/or young man.

    Apparently Lamech got in a disagreement with somebody and they settled their differences in a fight. The injury Lamech received in the ensuing scuffle could have been something as simple as the man biting his ear or kicking him in the groin. It's my guess Lamech over-reacted and stabbed the man to death with a spiffy hunting knife that his son Tubal-cain made for him over in the blacksmith shop.

    Lamech's sense of right and wrong reflects the humanistic conscience of a man void of God's mentoring. In his earthly mind, revenge was an okay thing; which is a common attitude in many primitive cultures.

    But his opponent only wounded him. In return, Lamech took his life. The scales of justice don't balance in a situation like that-- they tip. Pure law says eye for eye, tooth for tooth, burning for burning, stripe for stripe, life for life, and no more. If the lad's intent was obviously upon great bodily harm; Lamech would probably be justified to kill in self defense since his opponent was a younger man and had the advantage in age. However, according to Lamech's own testimony, he killed the man in revenge; not self defense.

    Cain's side of the Adams family is characterized by technology, invention, boasting, achievement, commerce, and violence. But not one word is recorded concerning its association with, nor its interest in, their maker. Cain's entire community was impious and went on to be completely destroyed right down to the last man, woman, and child in Noah's flood. No one survives him today.

    The Bible doesn't record even one single incident of a Cainite blessing God for His goodness; nor for His mercy, nor for His providence. There is no record that any of them ever said even one single prayer-- not even a simple lay-me-down-to-sleep kind of prayer. Every one of the little kids in Enochville went to bed each night without the slightest assurance that humanity's creator cared at all for the well being of their little souls.

    How many homes right here today in modern America reflect that very same Cainish culture? The parents and the children are unthankful, unholy, and irreligious; caring little or nothing for things of eternal value: moving towards an inevitable head-on rendezvous with death and the hereafter, and totally unprepared to meet their maker.

    †. Gen 4:25 . . And Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel; for Cain killed him."

    Seth's name in Hebrew basically means a substitute, defined by Webster's as a person or thing that takes the place or function of another; e.g. substitute teachers, generic medications, pinch hitters, and/or after-market car parts.

    Apparently Eve was still expecting that she herself would be the woman to give birth to the man promised by God to defeat the Serpent's wiles. (Gen 3:15)

    †. Gen 4:26a . . And to Seth, in turn, a son was born, and he named him Enosh.

    Sometimes the record shows the mother naming a child, and sometimes the father; which suggests that in all cases there was very likely mutual consultation between husband and wife on this important decision. But it's always important for the father to take a hand in naming the children because the act testifies that he's legally, and officially, accepted them as his own (e.g. Gen 16:15, Gen 21:3, Luke 1:13, Luke 1:63).

    NOTE: God instructed Joseph and his wife to give her baby the name Jesus (Matt 1:21, Luke 1:31) and claimed the boy as His own son. (Luke 1:32, Matt 17:5)

    God also selected Ishmael's name (Gen 16:11) Isaac's (Gen 17:19) and Solomon's too (1Chron 22:9) changed Abraham's name (Gen 17:5) changed Sarah's name (Gen 17:15) and changed Jacob's name (Gen 32:28).

    Christ changed Peter's name (Mark 3:16). Way out in the future, Christ will be changing quite a few names. (Rev 2:17)

    "Enosh" is from 'enowsh (en-oshe') and means: a mortal; hence a man in general, singly or collectively-- thus differing from the more dignified 'adam (aw-dawm') which is the proper name of the human race (Gen 5:2). There's really nothing special about an 'enowsh-- just a feller. Sometimes boys are named Guy, or Buddy, so 'enowsh would be a common enough name.

    †. Gen 4:26b . .Then men began to call on the name of The Lord.

    The Hebrew word for "Lord" in this case is Jehovah (a.k.a. Yahweh); which always, and without exception, refers to the one true god.

    Apparently up to this point in time, people addressed God in a sort of general way instead of a personal way.

    According to a note in the Stone Tanach, the four letters of this name are those of the Hebrew words "He always was, He always is, and He always will be" signifying that Yhvh is timeless, perpetual, and infinite; ergo: self existent.

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    Tue, Jun 16th - 8:59AM



    Genesis 4:20-22

     

    †. Gen 4:20 . . Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and amidst herds.

    This is the Bible's very first mention of man-made portable shelters. Tents, teepees, wigwams, etc; make it possible to roam long distances in relative comfort while searching for foods and pastures.

    Abraham and Sarah were housed in portable shelters the whole time they lived in Canaan. With portable shelters, Enochville could be a mobile community, staying in one place only long enough to deplete its natural resources before moving on to better diggings to invade, plunder, exploit, pollute, and depredate.

    Jabal wasn't the father of animal husbandry as the passage seems to suggest. Abel was already tending flocks before Jabal was born (Gen 4:2). Dwelling "amidst" herds describes the lifestyle of North America's early plains Indians; whose livelihood depended a great deal upon wild buffalo. Though they followed the herds, the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Crow, Blackfoot, Comanche, and Shoshone, et el; didn't actually raise any of their own buffalo like on a ranch.

    Dwelling amidst herds is a nomadic way of life rather than one that's domesticated; hence the need for portable shelters; and the herds (e.g. deer, elk, wild goats, antelope, wildebeests, et al) would provide fabric for not only the tents, but also for shoes and clothing; which would need replacement quite often.

    One of Lewis' and Clark's complaints, when they were passing through the Oregon territory, was that moccasins rotted off their feet in the Northwest's climate. Even without rot, the soles of moccasins are not all that resistant to wear. Buckskins, manufactured from Elk hide and/or deerskin, fared little better.

    †. Gen 4:21 . . And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all who play the lyre and the pipe.

    The word for "ancestor" is from 'ab (awb); a primitive word which means father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application. In this particular case, 'ab wouldn't mean literal kin, but likely analogous to an inventor who is the first to introduce a new concept which then later becomes widely adopted.

    The word for "lyre" is from kinnowr (kin-nore') and means: to twang. So the actual instrument itself is difficult to identify. It could have been a harp. But then again, it may have even been something as simple as a string stretched between a washtub and a broom stick.

    A stringed instrument is a pretty advanced musical tool and certainly not something you would expect to find among so primitive a people as the antediluvians. The interesting thing about a twanging instrument is its string. How did the Cainites make them? Of what material?

    String can be made from plant fibers. For example the ancient Kumeyaay (Koom'-yi) people of southern California made surprisingly strong, sturdy twine for bows and baskets from agave leaves.

    The word for "pipe" is from 'uwgab (oo-gawb') and means: a reed-instrument of music.

    A modern reed instrument is typically a woodwind that produces sound by vibrating a thin strip of wood against the mouthpiece; like clarinets and saxophones (hence the classification: woodwinds). But in that culture, it could very well have been something as simple as a tube whistle made from a single hollow section of plant stem; or several of those bundled together like a Pan flute.

    †. Gen 4:22a . . As for Zillah, she bore Tubal-cain, who forged all implements of copper and iron.

    Copper, in its natural form, is too soft and pliable for practical purposes; but it's a classification of metals called work-hardening. In other words, by pounding or rolling cold copper, its mechanical properties can be greatly improved. It probably didn't take Mr. Tubal-cain long to figure that out.

    Adding a little tin to copper produces bronze, which is much stronger and tougher than pure copper.

    Copper's advantage in cooking is its natural heat conduction, which is very fast as compared to iron and/or steel. It's also an excellent conductor of electricity, but unless they were bottling lightening in those days, copper's electrical properties would have to wait for future exploitation.

    Iron, though stronger and harder than copper, is relatively soft and pliable in its natural condition too; but with the addition of small amounts of carbon, it becomes steel, which is quite a bit tougher than natural iron. Whether Tubal-cain figured that out is difficult to know for sure.

    †. Gen 4:22b . . And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

    Her name is from Na'amah (nah-am-aw') which means pleasant, amiable, or agreeable. A girl named Joy would probably fit that category. Na'amah suggests that the people of Enochville were content with their way of life.

    So all in all, Enochville, though unproductive in agriculture, prospered through manufacturing and commerce instead; trading the goods and services of their industrial base for much needed produce; the same way that most urbanites still do even today. People in towns and cities typically don't support themselves directly from nature. They earn a medium of exchange in some sort of skill or profession, then trade it with merchants to buy the things they need to survive.

    The technological, and cultural, level of early Man was very high. It's interesting that the identifying marks which evolutionary anthropologists use to denote the emergence of a stone age culture into a civilized society were extant prior to the Flood-- animal husbandry, agriculture, trades, urbanization, music, and metallurgy. All these civilizational technologies emerged very early: within just a few generations of Adam; rather than thousands upon thousands of years of human development.

    I'm not saying there were never any "stone-age" peoples. Obviously there were. But though Cain's community may have started out as cave men, by Noah's day they were past primitive conditions and actually pretty advanced.

    It's too bad the Flood wiped early Man off the map. Who can tell what he might have accomplished had his progress not been interrupted (cf. Gen 11:6).

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    Mon, Jun 15th - 8:12AM



    Genesis 4:17-19

     

    †. Gen 4:17a . . Cain knew his wife,

    According to Gen 3:20 and Acts 17:26, all human beings-- regardless of race, color and/or ethnic identity --are Adam's and Eve's biological progeny. Ergo: Cain married his kin; whether a sister or a niece is difficult to know for sure.

    NOTE: Scientists have identified 100,000 pieces of retrovirus DNA in human genes, making up eight percent of the genome. As to whether those retroviruses have contributed to the shortening of the human life span, I don't know; but I'd bet that those bugs were not in the human genome at first. I think it safe to say that the current human genome is a malfunctioning genome, and has been for quite a number of years; possibly several millennia.

    Now, as to the "sin" of incest; according to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17, divine laws enacted ex post facto are too late; viz: they aren't enforced until after they're codified. Well, incest wasn't prohibited until the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

    †. Gen 4:17b . . and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he then founded a city, and named the city after his son Enoch.

    The "city" probably wasn't the kind of city we're used to thinking. The word for it is from 'iyr (eer) and simply means a community, in the widest sense; even of a mere encampment or post.

    Whether Cain actually lived in a permanent settlement is doubtful since he was stuck with vagrancy and wandering. Cain's city was very likely nothing more than a migratory village.

    †. Gen 4:18-19 . .To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methusael, and Methusael begot Lamech. Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah.

    Adah is from 'Adah (aw-daw') and means: ornament. It's not unusual for people to name their little girls after precious stones like Jewel, Pearl, Ruby, Jade, Sapphire, and Amber.

    Zillah is from tsillah (tsil-law') which is derived from tsel (tsale) and means: shade (or shadow), whether literal or figurative. Shade is a good thing in sunny locales so Zillah's name may have been associated with shelter, protection, peace, serenity, and rest-- as in Song 2:3.

    Lamech's marriages are the very first incidence of polygamy in the Bible, and I have yet to see a passage in the Old Testament where God either approved or disapproved of it other than the restrictions imposed upon Jewish monarchs (Deut 17:17)

    Aside from the obvious sensual benefits men derive from harems; polygamy does have its practical side. The gestation period for human beings is nine months. At that rate, it would take a man many years to build up his clan to a respectable size. But with multiple wives, he could speed things up considerably. In primitive cultures, large families are very influential, and their numbers crucial to survival and self preservation.

    "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are sons born to a man in his youth. Happy is the man who fills his quiver with them; they shall not be put to shame when they contend with the enemy in the gate." (Ps 127:4-5)

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    Sun, Jun 14th - 9:27AM



    Genesis 4:13-16

     

    †. Gen 4:13 . . Cain said to the Lord: My punishment is too great to bear!

    His punishment was actually very lenient. In point of fact, it wasn't punishment at all, it was discipline. It's true that Cain would struggle to survive; but at least he was allowed to live. His kid brother was dead. How is that fair?

    FAQ: How did Cain get off with only a slap on the wrist? Why wasn't he executed for murder since God himself mandates capital punishment for murderers as per Gen 9:5-6, Ex 21:12-14, Lev 24:17, Lev 24:21, and Num 35:31-34? Does God practice a double standard?

    A: Murder is intrinsically evil, yes; however; according to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17, laws of God enacted ex post facto are too late, i.e. they're not retroactive.

    This wasn't an oversight on God's part. The incident with Cain served to introduce very early in the Bible one of Christianity's foundational principles, which is: "Where there is no law, there is no transgression." and "Sin is not imputed when there is no law."

    †. Gen 4:14a . . Since You have banished me this day from the soil, and I must avoid Your presence and become a restless wanderer on earth--

    Who said he must avoid God's presence? Somebody can be a ceaseless wanderer without losing touch with God; I mean, after all: He's everywhere at once. (Ps 139:7-12)

    Estrangement was Cain's decision, just as it was Judas' decision to break with Jesus. Both men could've turned it around if they wanted; but didn't. Cain walked out on God of his own volition. Now he would face life very insecure.

    †. Gen 4:14b . . anyone who meets me may kill me!

    I'm curious as to who Cain feared might slay him. The Adams family were the only people on earth at that time. It appears to me that Cain did not believe his father Adam was the only man ever created directly from soil by the hand of God.

    †. Gen 4:15a . .The Lord said to him: I promise, if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken on him.

    Humanistic senses of right and wrong demand that Cain pay for murdering his kid brother. But up to that point in God's association with humanity, He had not yet announced any edicts related to criminal justice. So then, were somebody to go after Cain and execute him for the crime of murder, they would be nothing less than a lynch mob taking the law into their own hands; which is clearly a very serious thing to do.

    †. Gen 4:15b . . And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest anyone who met him should kill him.

    The nature of Cain's mark is totally unknown. However, the "mark" wasn't so people would hoot at Cain wherever he went. It was a "No Hunting" sign so future generations of the Adams' family would know the real Cain from imposters who might be inclined to give themselves a sort of diplomatic immunity by impersonating Abel's brother.

    God allows ignorance as an excuse; to a point. However, information creates responsibility. When a person knows an act is wrong, and goes ahead and does it anyway, they are in much deeper trouble than one who did not know that a particular act was wrong.

    No one had been forbidden to kill Abel, nor forbidden to kill any other man for that matter. But soon it would become widespread public knowledge that God strictly forbade killing Cain. Therefore, anyone who ignored God would pay dearly for knowingly, and willfully, ignoring His wishes; just as Adam died for tasting the forbidden fruit because the tasting was willful, and done in full understanding of both the ban and the consequence. (cf. Num 15:30-31, Matt 11:20-24, Luke 12:47-48, Heb 10:26-27)

    †. Gen 4:16a . . Cain left the presence of The Lord

    Cain's departure from the presence of the Lord wasn't a forced eviction as had been the Adams' departure from the garden. And even though the Adams were driven from the garden, they weren't driven from God. The family kept that connection and brought up their boys to keep it too.

    Cain's self-imposed exile has the aura of a dreadful finality. He renounced God, and his native religion, and was content to forego its privileges so that he might not be under its control. He forsook not only his kin but also their worship, and cast off all pretenses to the fear of God-- apparently putting out of his mind God's statement: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?"

    Gen 4:16a is a terrible epitaph upon the tombstone of Cain's life, and you can almost feel the concussion of a dreadful thud as the mighty doors of perdition close solidly behind him; sealing his passage into permanent darkness.

    Why didn't God plead with Cain to stay in touch? Well, that would be like throwing good money after bad. God had already tried at Gen 4:7; and like Einstein once remarked: Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing the same way over and over again and expecting a different result. Well; God's not insane; He knows when to say when. Sadly, there are people for whom it can be said: That was the last straw.

    Of all the things that Cain had done up to this point, walking out on God was his worst mistake. Yes, he would have to scrounge for food; but that was just a bump in the road; not the end of the road. People need to think that over. No matter how harsh your circumstances are, and no matter what life has thrown in your face, loss of contact with your maker is much worse. It is wise to stay in touch with God even if your life is a train wreck and God seems oblivious to your circumstances.

    "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. He will not contend forever, or nurse His anger for all time . . As a father has compassion for his children, so The Lord has compassion for those who fear Him. For He knows how we are formed; He is mindful that we are dust." (Ps 103:8-14)

    That Psalm's encouragement is restricted to "those who fear Him". The Cains of this world are of course eo ipso excluded.

    †. Gen 4:16b . . and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

    The Hebrew word for "Nod" is from nowd (node) and means: wandering, vagrancy or exile. Precisely how Nod got its name, or where it was located is unknown; and this is the only place in the entire Old Testament where nowd is found so we can't compare it with other uses.

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    Sat, Jun 13th - 7:51AM



    Genesis 4:9-12

     

    †. Gen 4:9 . . Jehovah said to Cain: Where is your brother Abel? And he said: I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?

    The Hebrew word for "keeper" indicates, in this case, a guardian; viz: responsibility for someone or something put in one's care; for example: Abel was a keeper of the sheep: a shepherd. (Gen 4:2)

    This religious man's reaction to the object of his worship is just as unexpected as the murder he'd just committed. Cain worshipped the true God, and his rituals were correct and timely; yet Cain was insolent and responded to his maker's inquiry with a lie and a sarcastic rejoinder.

    It's not too difficult to appreciate God's refusal of this man's recent offering. Over time Cain had become an insensitive jerk. It would be interesting to know what changed him.

    †. Gen 4:10 . .Then He said: What have you done? Hark, your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground!

    The Hebrew word for "cries out" is from tsa'aq (tsaw-ak') and means: to shriek; which can be defined as a wild, involuntary scream.

    Whether or not human blood actually has an audible voice isn't nearly important as to what it might be saying. And in this case, it certainly couldn't be good.

    In civil law, it's handy to produce the corpus delicti in a homicide case because it's very useful for proving the reality of a death, and for establishing the cause, and the time, of its occurrence. It's interesting that God didn't produce Abel's body for evidence. He could have, but instead relied upon the voice of his body's blood. So a murder victim's blood can be introduced as a witness in the courts of Heaven. That is very interesting.

    Abel's blood accuses. In contrast, Christ's blood defends (e.g. Rom 5:6-11, Heb 12:24, and 1Pet 1:18-19). Christ's blood is a whole lot more to people's advantage.

    †. Gen 4:11 . .Therefore, you shall be more cursed than the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

    The original curse upon the soil reduced its agrarian productivity. But the curse upon Cain brought his agrarian productivity to a complete and irrevocable end.

    †. Gen 4:12 . . If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth.

    Ceaseless wandering was an inevitable consequence of the inability to raise an adequate amount of your own food in that day and age. Nobody was eating meat yet, so the soil was pretty much it as far as nourishment went.

    Cain went on to become a very hungry, very overworked man. Wherever he tried to farm, the ground would respond in such a way as to act infertile. The curse was leveled right at his diet and the source of his food. Up till now, Cain had been a successful, independent farmer. But no amount of agricultural wisdom would ever restore his independence, nor his once green thumb no matter how hard he tried to overcome it. Cain had crossed over a line and there was no going back.

    Since Cain could no longer sustain himself by farming, it would be difficult to settle down and build himself a home; so he was forced to become migratory and forage for seasonal foods.

    Though the Bible doesn't say; it would seem to me a reasonable assumption that the curse upon Cain extended to his posterity (cf. Num 14:18). Up ahead we'll see that they became renowned as a commercial/industrial society rather than agrarian. As time went by, and the Adams family multiplied and spread out; Cain's community no doubt traded with them using income from the sale of manufactured goods to barter for the foods that they themselves were unable to grow. Dependence upon imported food may not be ideal; but it's certainly better than going hungry.

    NOTE: The punishments inflicted upon Cain weren't according to the letter of a legislated code. They were judgments under the table, so to speak, that took Cain's personality into consideration along with his conduct rather than his conduct alone. God is able to proceed that way in situations where no law has been broken.

    Another element in this case pertains to the relationship between God and Cain. In other words; Cain's punishment was personal, slammed on him directly from the hand of God. Compare Gen 3:16 where the physical and emotional unpleasantries associated with bearing children were slammed on Eve in a personal way too.

    But though God sometimes gets personal-- and even passionate --when He lowers the boom on people, I think we can be confident that even when angry, God remains fair rather than prejudiced.

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    Fri, Jun 12th - 7:25AM



    Genesis 4:7b-8

     

    †. Gen 4:7b . . But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;

    This is the very first instance in the Bible of the word "sin". The Hebrew word is chatta'ah (khat-taw-aw') and/or chatta'th (khat-tawth') which are ambiguous words that technically mean an offense; as in repeat offender. In other words; not just an occasional slip-up, but a life style.

    †. Gen 4:7c . . it desires to have you, but you must master it.

    This is the first mention of self control in the Bible. In other words: God created humanity with the capability to choose bad ways for itself; but that's only half the story. God also created humanity with the capability to choose good ways for itself; so He wasn't requiring something impossible from Cain like touching his right elbow with the thumb of his right hand.

    Many years ago when I and my siblings were teen-agers attending an evening service at our church, the minister asked us all to stand and promise God that we would live a good life. Well, my brother stood, but he didn't promise. Later at home, I asked him why he didn't make the promise. He said: "There's some things I want to do".

    Unbeknownst to us at the time; the minister, in his own words, had called the congregation to heed Gen 4:7 just as God had called Cain all those many years ago. My sister and I, though not the best examples of self control, at least began making an effort. But my brother; none at all. He preferred the land of Nod, so to speak, where he could do as he pleased away from God's interference.

    †. Gen 4:8a . . Now Cain talked with Abel his brother;

    Cain probably complained to his brother that Yhvh was unfair. But the poor man couldn't have picked a worse sounding board because Abel was a prophet (Luke 11:50-51). In Cain's dispute with the Lord, Abel no doubt took Yhvh's side in it. That was too much. There's no way a man like Cain was going to take a lecture from his own kid brother. Abel's popularity with God was bad enough, but preaching only made it worse and added insult to injury.

    No doubt Cain was very envious of his kid brother's on-going popularity with God. Poor Abel lost his life just because he was a pious man.

    "Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you." (1John 3:12-13)

    One of the boys involved in the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School shooting incident shot and killed a girl in the cafeteria just because she believed in God. Isn't that amazing? That boy was nothing in the world but a twentieth century Cain with a gun.

    †. Gen 4:8b . . and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him.

    Whether or not Cain premeditated his brother's death that day is difficult to tell. The word for "killed" is from harag (haw-rag') and means: to smite with deadly intent. So the attack on his kid brother, whether premeditated or not, was definitely meant to end Abel's life rather than to just rough him up and teach him a lesson.

    How Cain planned to explain Abel's death to his parents isn't stated. He couldn't very well blame it on a carnivorous predator since man and beast were on friendly terms prior to the Flood. It's my guess he set up the crime scene to make it look like an accident but then too, in light of verse 10, Cain may have buried Able; that way he'd be reported as a missing person instead of possibly murdered.

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    Thu, Jun 11th - 8:18AM



    Genesis 4:3-7a

     

    †. Gen 4:3-4a . . It came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to The Lord of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.

    It's evident from Heb 11:4 that what's taking place here was a legitimate part of a God-given religion.

    It's commonly assumed that Abel's offering was slain; but there isn't enough evidence in this section to support it. Noah's offerings were obviously slain because they're listed as burnt on an altar (Gen 8:20). But Abel's offering is not said to end up the same way.

    FAQ: How did Abel get the fat out of his animal without killing it?

    A: The Hebrew word for "fat" is somewhat ambiguous. It can mean fleshy material, and it can also refer to prosperity, abundance, and/or the best of the best; for example:

    "Take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you shall eat the fat of the land." (Gen 45:18)

    This all tells me that Abel not only offered an animal from among his blue ribbon stock, but he picked out the choicest one of them all.

    There's no indication in this scene suggesting their oblations were sacrifices for sin. The Hebrew word for their offerings is from minchah (min-khaw') and means: to apportion, i.e. bestow; a donation; euphemistically, tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary).

    Since the offerings were minchah type offerings-- essentially gifts and/or tributes rather than atonements --it would be unwise to insist Abel slew his firstling and/or burned it to ashes. In point of fact, holocaust offerings go by the name of 'olah (o-law') instead of minchah; for example Gen 22:2.

    Ancient rabbis understood the brothers' offerings to be a "first fruits" kind of oblation.

    T. And it was at the end of days, on the fourteenth of Nisan, that Kain brought of the produce of the earth, the seed of cotton (or line), an oblation of first things before the Lord; and Habel brought of the firstlings of the flock. (Targum Jonathan)

    Seeing as how Cain was a farmer, then in his case, an amount of produce was the appropriate first fruits offering, and seeing as how Abel was an animal husbandman, then in his case a head of livestock was the appropriate first fruits offering.

    I think it's safe to assume the brothers were no longer boys, but rather, responsible men in this particular scene because God is going to treat them that way.

    This incident is not said to be the very first time they brought gifts to God. The brothers (and very likely their parents too), probably had been bringing gifts for many years; ever since they were kids. And up to this point, apparently both men were doing everything right and God was just as much pleased with Cain and his gifts as He was with Abel and his gifts.

    †. Gen 4:4b-5a . .The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.

    Now, assuming for the moment that Cain's offering was correct; then why didn't God accept it? Well; before God snubbed Cain's offering, He first snubbed Cain. The reason given for Cain's rejection is an elephant in the middle of the room that quite a few Bible students seem content to ignore.

    †. Gen 4:5b . . Cain was much distressed and his face fell.

    Cain was a whole lot worse than distressed. He was blazing mad. The word for "distressed" is from charah (khaw-raw') and means: to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy. Cain is actually in a passionate rage over this and certainly in no mood for a lecture.

    †. Gen 4:6 . . And The Lord said to Cain: Why are you distressed, and why is your face fallen?

    God made an honest effort to talk things over with Cain and resolve their differences; but Cain didn't respond; he was too busy sulking in a black pout.

    †. Gen 4:7a . . If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

    Cain believed in the existence of a supreme being; that was good, and his ritual was correct; that was good too. But Cain's piety was flawed, i.e. his personal conduct didn't meet God's standards, viz: Cain wasn't devout, thus his impious ways tainted the offering and made it unacceptable. (cf. 1Pet 1:18-19 where it's implied that Christ's blood is an acceptable offering because the man's ways were acceptable.)

    FAQ: How could Cain possibly know God's standards without a written code to inform him?

    A: Luke 11:49-51 says that Cain's kid brother Abel was a prophet; so Cain at least had a verbal source, which is adequate enough. For example Gen 18:17-19 where God predicted that Abraham would pass his spiritual knowledge on to his posterity. Seeing as there's no biblical evidence that Abraham's knowledge was in written form, then I propose that we can safely assume it was all in his head, i.e. verbal.

    But to the point: Cain's association with God was thwarted by his conduct. That principle is a universal axiom; it governs everybody: Christians included; they are not exempt. When Christians do what's right, they get along with God just fine; but when they don't do what's right, they get the cold shoulder just the same as if they were heathens.

    "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1John 1:5-6)

    That is an irrevocable principle, and comes out very early in the Bible because it is so foundational to humanity's association with its creator. Well; Abel did do right and that's why his gift is said to be offered in faith.

    Cain's situation is well illustrated at Isa 1:11-20. Moses' people were offering all the covenanted sacrifices, they were praying up a storm, and observing all the God-given feasts and holy days. He rejected all of it, even though He himself required it, because the people's personal conduct was unbecoming.

    "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah." (Prv 15:8)

    Perhaps the classic example is the one below.

    "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings." (Ps 51:16)

    When David wrote that; he had only just committed the capital crimes of adultery and premeditated murder. There was just no way that God was going to accept his sacrifices and offerings on top of that; and David knew it too.

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    Wed, Jun 10th - 8:16AM



    Genesis 4:2

     

    †. Gen 4:2a . . She then bore his brother Abel.

    Abel's name is from hebel (heh'bel) which means: emptiness, futility, and/or lacking permanent satisfaction. (cf. Ecc 1:2)

    Poor Eve; she's only had two kids and already motherhood has lost its appeal. But you know; in her day, women didn't have access to all the baby supplies, clothing, conveyances, and conveniences that modern women in industrial nations have today. Eve's situation and its conditions, were primitive, viz: pretty much third world.

    Cain and Abel are very interesting and share a lot in common. In fact, they share so much in common that their individual personalities must be an enigma to behavioral scientists.

    Neither man came from a large gene pool because there were no grandparents. Their genealogy stopped abruptly right in their own home with mom and dad and went back no farther. They both had the same parents, lived in the same home in the same neighborhood, grew up with the same customs, ate the same food, associated with the same people, breathed the same air, survived in the same environment, went to the same church, and worshipped the same God.

    Yet those men were noticeably very different from each other. Abel was an inspired man (Luke 11:50-51) but Cain, though religious; was not. And he was violent too. (1John 3:11-12)

    Both men were living souls as per Gen 2:7, and both men existed by means of the breath of life as per the same verse. But souls are not the result of cookie-cutter manufacturing processes. Souls are sentient individuals with a mind of their own.

    Individuality is one of the unsolved mysteries of life. How does the human brain's three-pound lump of flabby organic tissue produce self awareness and a sense of being unique? I don't know; it's very curious.

    †. Gen 4:2b . . Abel became a keeper of sheep, and Cain became a tiller of the soil.

    The Hebrew word translated "sheep" is either tso'n (tsone) and/or tse'own (tseh one') which mean: a flock; defined by Webster's as a group of birds or mammals assembled or herded together. Abel could just as easily have been a cowboy wrangling bovine and/or tending goats rather than sheep. In point of fact, the Hebrew word for Abraham's "lamb" in the 22nd chapter of Genesis is ambiguous too. It too can mean either sheep or goats. Sometimes translators have to make arbitrary decisions which, at times, can be misleading. But we won't argue the point. Sheep will do.

    Both men worked at honorable professions and their skills were essential to the Adams' survival. Man at this time was a vegetarian so Cain farmed and raised the family's food; while Abel kept them clothed and shod by tending flocks for leather; and possibly fleece too.

    NOTE: The Hebrew language didn't exist in Adam's day; nor would it exist till some time after the Flood and the tower of Babel. Ancient names given in Hebrew aren't the native-tongue names of people prior to Babel; but rather: Hebrew equivalents of those names.

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    Tue, Jun 9th - 8:16AM



    Genesis 4:1

     

    †. Gen 4:1a . . Now the man knew his wife Eve,

    There is more to knowledge than just information. Some kinds of knowledge can't be learned from a book or a lecture; they can only be learned by personal experience. Carnal knowledge is one of those kinds of knowing. It's one thing for a young man to learn things about girls from looking at their pictures and reading about them in biology books and/or in magazines like Cosmopolitan, and Maxim; but it's quite another learning experience to actually cuddle with a girl and sleep with her skin to skin. Throughout the Old Testament, "knew his wife" is a common colloquialism for people sleeping together.

    Genesis records no human intimacy in the garden prior to Man's eviction; but that doesn't prove none occurred; it just proves that none is mentioned till the fourth chapter.

    †. Gen 4:1b . . and she conceived and bore Cain, saying: I have gained a male child with the help of the Lord.

    God wrapped creation on the seventh day (Gen 2:2) and rested after that. Not because He was tired, but because He was all done. At that time, the human race was all done too. Everyone since then has just been a reproduction of Adam.

    "It was you who created my consciousness; you fashioned me in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am awesomely, wondrously made; your work is wonderful; I know it very well. My frame was not concealed from you when I was shaped in a hidden place, knit together in the recesses of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed limbs; they were all recorded in your book; in due time they were formed, to the very last one of them." (Ps 139:13-16)

    The writer of that Psalm believed that God saw him way before he was ever conceived in his mother's womb. In fact; saw his substance in the recesses of the earth before his mom even conceived: which attests that everyone pre-exists in Adam because he alone was actually created directly from "the recesses of the earth". Everyone else stems from Adam's organic tissues and it's just a matter of time before the right combination of genes brings them out.

    "Just as you do not know how the spirit of life passes into the limbs within the womb of the pregnant woman, so you cannot foresee the actions of God, who causes all things to happen." (Ecc 11:5)

    Acts of creation don't take place when babies are conceived. No, everybody's creation took place back when Adam was created. Babies are merely reproductions of Adam via the blessing of fertility.

    Adam received life from God on the sixth day of creation. When God formed the woman, He didn't breathe the breath of life into her nostrils like He did Adam. God simply used Adam's already-existing life to energize Eve. And ever since then, parents have been passing their life onto their children. In other words: human life-- like bird life, fish life, bug life, reptile life, and beast life --is a transferable kind of life; passing from one generation on to the next. It's not a miraculous process; no, it's a perfectly natural process; and it's a pretty amazing process too.

    According to ancient Jewish thought, Eve thought Cain to be a very special boy.

    T. And Adam knew Hava his wife, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Kain; and she said: I have acquired a man, the Angel of The Lord. (Targum Jonathan)

    Apparently Eve expected her firstborn son to be "the God-sent one" who was supposed to fulfill the promise of Gen 3:15 and crush the Serpent's head. But alas, Cain was just an ordinary kid.

    NOTE: The Hebrew word for "angel" is mal'ak (mal-awk') which doesn't especially indicate a celestial being. The word is a bit ambiguous and essentially means a dispatched deputy or a messenger; viz: someone who speaks for, and/or represents, another; i.e. an ambassador and/or someone selected by God for a special purpose. The New Testament equivalent is aggelos (ang'-el-os) and means pretty much the same thing

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    Mon, Jun 8th - 9:33AM



    Genesis 3:21-24

     

    †. Gen 3:21 . . And the Lord God made garments of skins for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

    Precisely what species of animal God slaughtered in order to make the Adams their first suit of real clothing is unknown.

    That day, humans learned something about the advantages of leather goods. Most of it is produced from cattle hides: calfskin, goatskin, kidskin, sheepskin, and lambskin. Other hides and skins used include those of the horse, pig, kangaroo, deer, crocodile, alligator, seal, walrus, and of late; python. Humans have used animal skins for a variety of practical purposes since ancient times, and to this good day leather is still a useful material all around the world.

    The exact cut and design of their garments isn't specified; the Hebrew words kethoneth (keth-o'-neth) and/or kuttoneth (koot-to'-neth) just indicate a shirt, or covering; as hanging from the shoulder.

    A garment hanging from the shoulder indicates that Eve's topless days were over; although that wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility that she may have become the Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel of her day and created some interesting necklines.

    The garments actually facilitated the people's association with God. They were unbearably uncomfortable around their maker in the buff, even in the semi-buff, and that was principally the reason they hid from the Lord when He came calling. However, fig leaves aren't very durable; they're merely an expedient. God showed them a much better way-- actually a way they would never have thought of all by themselves because who would have guessed that animals could be killed and stripped of their hides for clothing until God showed them?

    The point to note is that the clothing that humanity's maker crafted for the Adams didn't cost them one red cent nor did they have to contribute even the slightest bit of labor to its construction. God slaughtered the animals, treated the hides, and fabricated the garments Himself; and gave the clothing to them totally free of charge and no strings attached. However, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the couple watched how God went about the whole business so they'd know how to take care of themselves.

    NOTE: They'd eventually have to know how to make fire; no doubt God showed them how to do that too.

    I believe God went to all that trouble for a couple of reasons.

    First; because He wasn't indifferent to their situation; rather, God felt compassion for the Adams-- defined as sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. And secondly; He didn't want anything hampering His association with the humans. In other words, Adam's felt-shame and embarrassment over undress was a barrier between himself and his maker, so God showed him a really good way to overcome it: a way that not only improved the quality of Adam's association with God; but also greatly enhanced his limited survival skills.

    †. Gen 3:22a . . And the Lord God said: Now that Man has become as one of us

    Humanity was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27). But that image and likeness stopped short of "one of us". In other words: humanity didn't come from the hand of God as an equal; i.e. though humanity was given the status of divine beings; humans are imitations rather than actual deities-- real gods are impervious to death; humans die like flies. (Ps 82:6-7)

    Seeing as how humanity wasn't created "as one of us" then we're safe to conclude that humanity made itself "one of us"; i.e. made itself an autonomous deity setting its own standards of right and wrong.

    Unfortunately humanity, as an autonomous deity, isn't God's associate, rather, His competitor; i.e. a rival sheik so to speak.

    From the limited amount of information we're given, it's readily seen that it's fairly easy to make one's self an autonomous deity; it's only necessary to rebel against constituted authority; viz: go your own way instead of complying with the laws, rules, and dictates of a higher power; viz: anarchy. (cf. Judg 17:6 and Isa 53:6)

    †. Gen 3:22b . . discerning good and evil,

    Discerning good and evil isn't a bad thing per se; that is; if it's an instructed discernment rather than a natural, intuitive discernment. (Rom 12:2 and Heb 5:13-14)

    †. Gen 3:22c . . what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!

    The Old Testament Hebrew word translated "forever" doesn't always indicate infinity. Normally it just means perpetual as "in perpetuity" viz: indefinitely; which Webster's defines as: having no exact limits.

    Adam contracted mortality from the other tree. Had God allowed him access to the tree of life, it's fruit would've healed the mortality infecting his body and restored it to immortality.

    The thing is: God predicted Adam's demise; so in order to ensure that the prediction came to pass; God had to cut off his access to the tree of life; which is a pretty interesting tree seeing as how it's not only an elixir, but also a remedy for whatever ails you. (Rev 22:2)

    NOTE: The Old Testament Hebrew word translated "forever" doesn't always indicate infinity. Normally it just means perpetual as "in perpetuity" viz: indefinitely; which Webster's defines as: having no exact limits.

    †. Gen 3:23-24 . . So the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he was taken. He drove the man out, and stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

    This is the Bible's first mention of cherubim. They show up now and again in the Old Testament upwards of 90 times. Their description as per Ezek 1:1-28 and Ezek 10:1-22 suggests that they may be symbolic visions rather than realities.

    Another classification of celestial beings are the seraphim (e.g. Isa 6:2).

    The cherubim and its sword blocked not only Adam's access to the tree of life, but everybody else's access too; and I believe for a very practical reason.

    One of the societal problems associated with STDs is the development of treatments for those kinds of diseases. The treatments are not bad per se; the problem is that knowing that there's treatments emboldens people to indulge in immorality.

    In other words: had God allowed humanity continued access to the garden, no doubt they would have included the forbidden fruit in their diets on a regular basis because there would be little to fear from its effects due to the ready availability of fruit from the tree of life. They would, as it's said, have their cake and eat it too.

    So, everyone was doomed to an eventual expiration no matter whether rich or poor, young or old, male or female, righteous or unrighteous, holy or unholy, pious or impious, vegetarian or meat eater. Even Jesus would have eventually died of natural causes had he not been crucified. If the human body-- as God created it --is to remain strong and healthy indefinitely, it has got to have that tree in its diet; but not to happen because God wants everyone to die at least once. (Heb 9:27)

    NOTE: I think it's safe to assume that the garden, and the cherubim with its flaming sword, were in existence up till the time of the Flood; so people could go and see for themselves rather than take a preacher's word for it. But for some reason, there's no record of anybody making pilgrimages to that area. Well; were that cherubim and its fiery sword anywhere on Earth in our day, I should think it would draw more people to it than even Mecca because it would definitely be a wonder to behold, but I suspect that back then people were afraid of it.

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    Sun, Jun 7th - 8:20AM



    Genesis 3:17-20

     

    †. Gen 3:17a . .To Adam He said: Because you did as your wife said, and ate of the tree about which I commanded you; "You shall not eat of it"

    A portion of God's gripe with Adam was that he put a subordinate creature's wishes over and above the wishes of the creature's superior; thus forcing God to compete for Adam's loyalty; i.e. a rival. Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing between pleasing women or pleasing God; men all too often sell their souls to the women. (cf. Luke 14:26)

    †. Gen 3:17b . . Cursed be the ground because of you

    That was unexpected; it isn't specifically listed in Gen 2:17 as a consequence for tasting the forbidden fruit. It's likely discipline relative to Adam's throwing God over for his wife.

    Not only would Man himself be effected by a curse upon the ground, but every living thing that depends upon the ground for its survival would be effected too; from lowly nematodes and earthworms right on up to the top of the food chain. The whole animal world, and all the seed-bearing plant life too, would suffer collateral damages for Adam's mistake.

    God somehow manipulated the soil's fertility so that it now no longer produces as well as it did in the beginning. The abundant swarms of life that God created in the beginning would, at that point, begin to thin out as the competition for available natural food stuffs would begin to intensify.

    †. Gen 3:17c . . By toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life

    Adam was no stranger to work because God already had him tending the garden. But matters worsened with a new ingredient. The word for "toil" is from 'itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone') and means the very same thing as it did in Gen 3:16.

    The element of 'itstsabown took some of the pleasure out of Adam's existence. Where before his daily routine was relatively care-free, now he'd begin to worry and fret over things that are especially pertinent to farmers e.g. weather, insects, and plant diseases; which, among farmers, are common causes of anxiety and feelings of insecurity.

    †. Gen 3:18a . . thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you.

    God finished the entire cosmos in six days; and no more creating took place after that because He's been on sabbatical ever since day 7: so thorns and thistles already existed prior to the events of chapter 3.

    But in the beginning, noxious plants doubtless weren't so dominant. Today they're a nuisance because if ground is left fallow, it will soon be covered with dock, mustard, dandelion, chaparral, wild flowers, brambles, reed canary grass, and stuff like that. Those kinds of plants may be okay for wildlife, but humanity needs something quite a bit more nutritious.

    †. Gen 3:18b . . and your food shall be the grasses of the field;

    Apparently Adam was a fruitarian at first, and then his diet later expanded to include other kinds of vegetation. However, I don't think Man is supposed to graze on pasture like buffalo or deer and elk. Many of the grasses God intended for him to eat fall into the food group we call cereals; which are raised primarily for their grain; e.g. corn, wheat, oats, and rice; et al. In their natural form-- whole grain --cereals are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. After refinement grains are pretty much good for nothing but carbs.

    †. Gen 3:19a . . By the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat,

    Adam was given a farm complete with orchards already in place and producing before he came along; all he had to do was take care of it. But now, if he wanted a farm, he was going to have to make one of his own, on his own; from scratch. Plus he'll be faced with stubborn soil that needs plowing, sowing, and weeding. Very few natural grains exist abundantly in nature. These days; if he wants them in any sizable amount, Man has to farm.

    Those of us who live in 9 to 5 leisure-intensive America really don't appreciate just how laborious and time consuming the work is to grow your own food. Early humanity's days were hard. They're still hard in many developing countries. Adam had to get out there with a hoe and a plow to provide for his family. Today, only about 2% in the USA work the soil for a living.

    †. Gen 3:19b . . until you return to the ground-- for from it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.

    Did God have to smite Adam in order for him to stop living? No; it was only necessary to deny Adam access to the tree of life and let nature and hard work take their toll. In other words: since he was no longer immortal, it would be only a matter of time before Adam simply gave out and passed away from wear and tear and old age.

    NOTE: Adam was likely spared disease seeing as how all animals great and small would remain on friendly terms with Man until the Flood subsided. (Gen 9:2)

    But what happened to Adam when his body returned to dust? Did he return to dust too? No; and that's because Adam wasn't entirely organic. His body came from the soil; but according to Gen 2:7, his consciousness came from God. The afterlife disposition of human consciousness is one of life's greatest mysteries. Heck, even the origin of human consciousness is mystery enough for some, let alone where it goes when people pass away.

    †. Gen 3:20 . .The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

    Though Eve became the mother of all the living she isn't the source of life for all the living: Adam is.

    There's an important parallel to this in the New Testament where Christ is depicted as the source of eternal life for all the living in him; just as Adam is the source of human life for all the living in him. (Rom 5:12-21)

    There is one "living" that Eve did not produce and that's her own self. She was constructed from organic human material taken from Adam's body; ergo: Eve got her human life from Adam; hence any and all human life traceable to Eve is traceable to Adam.

    NOTE: Most everybody on both sides of the aisle agrees that Gen 3:15's prediction refers to Christ; so we are on safe ground to believe that he obtained his human life from Adam too just the same as Eve and all the rest of us. (Luke 3:23-38)

    The word for "mother" is from 'em (ame) which can mean a mother in an immediate family, or the matriarch of a blood line, or the mother (as the rootstock) of an entire nation.

    The word for "Eve" is from Chavvah (khav-vaw') and means: life-giver.

    Genesis says Adam named his wife Eve because she was the life-giver of all the living, not just a portion of the living. Some people have a problem with that. They just can't believe she's everybody's mother.

    According to the Bible, humanity wasn't created in groups nor in swarms like the other nephesh. The human race was created in its entirety a singular, solo, male specimen. Every human being since, including the first woman, came from the constitutional elements of that one lone male.

    "He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth." (Acts 17:26-28)

    NOTE: The Phylogenetic Tree Of Life is an interesting scientific diagram that traces all forms of life back to a singular genetic heritage regardless of species. In other words; if you started with a raccoon, and followed its branch down the tree far enough, you'd eventually intersect with another branch that you could then trace to mushrooms. The tree is sort of the equivalent of a Big Bang of living things.

    The branch on that tree that interests me the most is the one that traces human life. According to the diagram; any two people you might select-- no matter what their age, race, or gender --if traced back far enough, can eventually be linked to a common ancestor; which of course is no surprise to Bible students.

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    Comment (0)

    Sat, Jun 6th - 8:42AM



    Genesis 3:15-16

     

    †. Gen 3:15a . . I will put enmity between you and the woman,

    The Hebrew word for enmity indicates hostility; i.e. ill will. Never again would the Serpent be allowed to get chummy with Eve nor would she ever again trust him like she once did. From now on, the woman would eye the Serpent with suspicion; so he would have to figure out ways to deceive the humans indirectly rather than one-on-one face to face.

    †. Gen 3:15b . . And between your offspring and her offspring.

    The word for "offspring" is from zera' (zeh'-rah) which is an ambiguous Hebrew word that technically means seed; but not always the biological kind. It can also mean a product and/or a result (e.g. Isa 53:10) and also fruit, plant, sowing-time, and/or progeny and posterity.

    The offspring predicted here is just as much Adam's as Eve's seeing as how she was constructed with flesh and bone taken from Adam's body.

    It's pretty much agreed by upon by Christians that Eve's predicted offspring found its fulfillment in Christ.

    "When the time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman" (Gal 4:4)

    †. Gen 3:15c . . Hers will pound your head,

    "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil" (Heb 2:14)

    †. Gen 3:15d . . and yours will bite his heel.

    Who were the "yours"? Well, as much as is known; the Devil doesn't reproduce. So his progeny shouldn't be thought of as biological. Judas Iscariot is certainly a likely candidate; but in my opinion, he's a red herring.

    Romans carried out the dirty business of crucifying Christ, but his own countrymen are responsible for getting him executed. (Matt 26:3-5, Act 7:52)

    Jesus told his Jewish enemies face to face that they were the Serpent's offspring. (John 8:44)

    NOTE: I suggest keeping all of the above under your hat lest by blabbing about it you get yourself unnecessarily accused of anti-Semitism.

    †. Gen 3:16a . . And to the woman He said: I will make most severe your pangs in childbearing;

    The Hebrew word for "pangs" is 'itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone') and means: worrisome-ness. Webster's defines worrisome-ness as: causing distress or worry or inclined to worry or fret; viz: anxiety, insecurity, and perhaps melancholy.

    For many women, the preggers stage of motherhood is often characterized by bloating, illness, nausea, depression, anxiety, insecurity, and irritability. For them, pregnancy is more like a curse than the intended blessing of Gen 1:28.

    †. Gen 3:16b . . in pain shall you bear children.

    It's difficult to imagine bearing children without pain because that's the way it's always been right from the beginning, even with Eve's very first child. Apparently before Man's fall, having a baby would've caused no more discomfort than doing one's business in the ladies room-- and just as lacking in danger to mom and infant.

    The thing to note is: this particular punishment was unexpected; viz: it isn't specifically listed in Gen 2:17 as a consequence for tasting the forbidden fruit.

    Something else that's notable is that neither the Serpent nor the tree's chemistry, played a role in Eve's new circumstances. God said "I will make". In other words; the physical and emotional unpleasantries associated with bearing children came about via the hand of God.

    There's more.

    †. Gen 3:16c . .Your desire shall be for your husband,

    The Hebrew of that passage is very difficult; not even the great rabbis Rashi and Ramban were in agreement how best to interpret it. But it appears to me simply the very first prohibition against adultery and pre-marital intimacy.

    Precisely why God waited till this moment to lay down some moral law is a mystery; but suggests to me that even had they not eaten the forbidden fruit, He would've gotten around to it; after all, in the beginning, Adam and his wife knew nothing of right and wrong.

    I believe it's reasonable to assume that their association with God would've eventually included some form of catechism because left to themselves, it would've been natural for the first couple, in their innocence, to assume it was okay to sleep with everybody and anybody that opportunity afforded.

    And then there's this:

    †. Gen 3:16d . . and he shall rule over you.

    That is probably one of the most hated verses in the book of Genesis. Eve's daughters do not like to be subjugated to, and/or dominated by, men. It really goes against their grain; and if the women's suffrage movement that took place in America's early 1900's were to be thoroughly analyzed, it would not surprise me that women's right to vote wasn't really a political issue: it was rebellion against male supervision; which of course is to be expected in a world gone mad with evil.

    The current "strong woman" attitude is no doubt another aspect of that same kind of rebellion; which in reality is not only a standing up to men, but also a standing up to God seeing as how Gen 3:16d is a divine requirement rather than human.

    Gen 3:16d isn't restricted to marriage. It regulates women's place in church too-- all churches.

    "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says." (1Cor 14:34)

    "If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church." (1Cor 14:35)

    "Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." (1Tim 2:11-14)

    My guess is that the purpose of Gen 3:16d is mostly to discourage wives from making life-changing decisions on their own, independent of their husband's feelings about it. I mean; if Eve had first consulted with her husband to see what he thought of the Serpent's discussion before tasting the fruit, things may have turned out quite differently.

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    Fri, Jun 5th - 10:13AM



    Genesis 3:12-14

     

    †. Gen 3:12 . .The man said: The woman You put at my side-- she gave me of the tree, and I ate.

    Adam attempted to get himself off the hook by accusing God of entrapment.

    Like: "This wouldn't have happened if you hadn't imposed that female upon me. Did I ask for a wife? NO! And what kind of person is this woman you gave me anyway? She has managed to ruin my life in very short order. Is this your concept of the perfect companion for a man?"

    †. Gen 3:13 . . And Yhvh God said to the woman: What is this you have done? The woman replied: The serpent duped me, and I ate.

    That's a very popular excuse even still today; like when it turned out that Iraq didn't have any weapons of mass destruction to justify an invasion; President Bush said he was given some bad information.

    The first couple exhibited early-on a very common aspect of human nature of which all of us are so familiar-- blaming others for the way we act. I once worked in a boatyard with a very hot tempered man. Previous to his employment with us, we had another with just about the same temperament who quit right before the second one signed on. Some time later, the new guy got irate about something or other and said: Now I know why that other guy was difficult. You made him that way. (chuckle) Wasn't that a perfectly natural excuse?

    I dated a girl like that once. When I pointed out one day that she was behaving peevishly; she retorted: "I'm only responding to you". (chuckle) Ms. Peevish employed the age-old excuse of blaming someone else for the way she acted when really the blame was just simply her own lack of self-control; which can be roughly defined as inadequate restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, and/or desires.

    †. Gen 3:14a . .Then the Lord God said to the serpent:

    A marked departure in procedure is very evident here. God gave the humans an opportunity to defend themselves; but not so with Mr. Serpent. On the page of scripture, the trial phase was skipped and proceedings went straight to the sentencing stage just like Osama Bin Laden's assassination. It's almost as if the Serpent had already discussed with God how it planned to turn the humans against Him; like when it later moved against Job.

    One thing for sure about the Serpent; it is an utterly condemned individual. Repentance is out of the question and definitely NOT an option. Its destiny was determined long, long ago.

    "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels" (Matt 25:41)

    The apostle John saw the Serpent's fate; like a video clip from the future.

    "And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Rev 20:10)

    It is only too obvious that the Serpent crossed over a line somewhere in the past and now there is no going back. Humanity is redeemable; but the Serpent is beyond hope. The scary part is: the Serpent is not only doomed, but busy making every effort to take as many people down with it as possible-- like a disgruntled postal worker coming in one day and cutting loose on everybody with a shotgun.

    †. Gen 3:14b . . Because you did this, more cursed shall you be than all cattle and all the wild beasts:

    The Hebrew word for "curse" is from 'arar (aw-rar') which means: to execrate. Webster's defines execrate as: to declare to be evil or detestable; viz: denounce. Synonyms listed for execrate are: hate, abhor, abominate, detest, and loathe. When the Bible's God has those kinds of feelings for someone; they are really in trouble.

    But what really caught my attention is that God implied cattle and beasts would be cursed too. Up ahead we'll see that even the soil would be cursed. In other words: Adam's progeny would never live on the planet as it was when their ancient grandparents were created. We today exist on a cursed world.

    In point of fact, an article in the January 15 edition of Scientific American magazine said: "Earth is past its prime and the biosphere is nearing its end. All things considered, our planet is only marginally habitable."

    The third chapter began by stating that the Serpent was more cunning than any of the beasts of the field, a creature that began with a level of dignity way over and beyond the land animals; but fell to a position of esteem far below them because of what it did to the Adams family. In other words, the Serpent is now lower than the lowest thing on the face of the earth.

    †. Gen 3:14c . . On your belly shall you crawl and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.

    Ancient Jews thought maybe the Serpent was originally equipped with feet.

    T. Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and thy feet shall be cut off, and thy skin thou shalt cast away once in seven years; and the poison of death shall be in thy mouth, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. (Targum Jonathan)

    It's probably best to interpret Gen 3:14c as poetic language because I have never seen, nor yet heard of, a species of snake that eats soil for its food. True, snakes crawl on their bellies; but they probably always did; because that's the way they're designed. Some snakes live in trees and others live in water. Those kinds don't spend a whole lot of time on the ground so not all snakes are alike. I really don't think snakes crawl because they were condemned to crawl. Nor was every species of snake condemned; just the one snake in verse 14.

    A person who crawls and eats dirt is typically someone held in very low regard; in other words: a worm. And "all the days of your life" is saying that God's low opinion of the Serpent will never be rescinded.

    Serpents will eat dirt in the kingdom of God; possibly as a perpetual reminder of Man's first great mistake.

    "The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent's food shall be earth." (Isa 65:25)

    Today, snakes don't eat earth, they eat prey. How serpents will survive on dirt is unclear, unless their digestive system will be changed to that of a night crawler.

    Serpents are never portrayed in the Bible as beneficial to Man. They are always of the poisonous variety and a serious threat to Man's health and well being. That will all be different in the kingdom of God. 

    "A babe shall play over a viper's hole, and an infant pass his hand over an adder's den. In all of My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done; for the land shall be filled with devotion to the Lord as water covers the sea. In that day, the stock of Jesse that has remained standing shall become a standard to peoples-- nations shall seek his counsel and his abode shall be honored." (Isa 11:8-10)

    NOTE: Targums aren't translations; rather, very old Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew bible. They were authoritative, and spoken aloud in the synagogues along with the Hebrew of the Torah and Haftarah readings.

    Public readings of the scriptures in ancient synagogues were accompanied by commentary in Aramaic because that was the spoken language of most Jews in Israel and Babylonia during the Talmudic era. The normal practice was that after each verse was read from the sacred Torah scroll, an official commentator known as the Turgeman, or Meturgeman, would then recite orally an Aramaic explanation; usually from memory.

    Targums were utilized in the synagogues before, during, and after the times of Christ-- being necessary because many of the Jewish people of that day could not understand Hebrew.

    The major Targums are those that originated in Palestine and those that were revised in Babylon. Recently a complete manuscript of the Palestinian Targum has come to light-- Neofiti 1 of the Vatican Library. The best known Babylonian Targums are those of Onkelos and Jonathan.

    Targums are important as evidence for a history of thought among the Jewish communities in Israel and abroad during Christ's day.

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    Thu, Jun 4th - 8:15AM



    Genesis 3:8-11

     

    †. Gen 3:8a . . They heard the voice of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day;

    The Hebrew word for "voice" is somewhat ambiguous. It can not only indicate a vocal sound, but lots of other kinds of noises too; e.g. horns, crackling, snapping, cackling, bleating, tweeting, roaring, whooshing, swishing, hissing, barking, thudding, whistling, and booming, et al.

    †. Gen 3:8b-9 . . and the man and his wife hid from Yhvh God among the trees of the garden. Yhvh God called out to the man and said to him: Where are you?

    Since God is omniscient, "where are you" can be taken to mean: Adam; come out, come out, wherever you are!

    †. Gen 3:10 . . He replied: I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.

    Adam wasn't totally disrobed; just partially. But even that degree of undress lacked adequate propriety to his newly acquired sense of right and wrong. But the thing to note is Adam's unease in the presence of God while lacking what he thought in his own mind to be appropriate clothing.

    This incident tells me that even the most seasoned exotic dancer, normally comfortable disrobed in a room of leering men, would probably want to put something on should God come thru the door and take a seat around the dance floor. (cf. John 21:7)

    †. Gen 3:11 . .Then He asked: Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?

    In other words: who said undress is indecent? Where'd you get that idea?

    Well; nobody had said undress is indecent, nor even suggested that it's indecent-- the concept of a dress code was unheard of at that time. No; they just "felt" it's indecent. In other words; it was their new perception of right and wrong telling them that undress is indecent. Unfortunately, their newly acquired moral compass was unreliable; the reason being they didn't get it from God.

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    Wed, Jun 3rd - 9:25AM



    Genesis 3:7

     

    †. Gen 3:7 . .Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.

    Adam was warned that he would lose immortality by tasting the forbidden fruit, but it appears he wasn't warned about this new perception of themselves; at least not on record. If we can safely read between the lines, then we may assume that he and God discussed this issue during one of their daily meetings. And again, the prophets didn't record everything they knew. For example; prophecy predicted that Jesus would be called a Nazarene (Matt 2:19-23) but good luck finding that in the Old Testament because it isn't there.

    It's believed by a pretty large percentage of Christians that the couple's new perception of themselves is inherited from one's parents; specifically one's biological father. But Eve was born before Adam tasted the fruit; so he could not, nor did he, pass it on to her biologically by means of procreation or by means of his body parts that God used to put Eve together.

    In the past, I was sure that the chemistry of the forbidden fruit had something to do with their new state of mind; but now I seriously doubt it because Eve was the first to eat it, and when she did, nothing happened. She remained shameless and went about in the buff as usual. It wasn't till Adam tasted the fruit that something altered Eve's conscience; so I'm pretty sure that the underlying cause is far more serious than the chemistry of that fruit.

    We're left with two alternatives: either God did it to them or the Serpent did it. My money is on the Serpent, a.k.a. the Devil (Rev 20:2)

    He has the power of death (Heb 2:14) and is able to tamper with the human body and the human mind, e.g. Luke 13:16, Mark 5:1-5, and Eph 2:2.

    The Serpent was apparently all set and ready to wield his power of death the moment that Adam crossed the line and ate that fruit. It amazes me how quickly it worked on Adam and Eve. As soon as he tasted the fruit, they immediately set to work with the fig leaves.

    FAQ: Why wasn't Eve effected by the power of death when she tasted the forbidden fruit?

    A: It was apparently God's wishes that death come into the world via a man's actions just as righteousness would later be offered to the world via a man's actions. (Rom 5:12-21)

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    Tue, Jun 2nd - 8:01AM



    Genesis 3:6

     

    †. Gen 3:6a . . When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating

    By watching what birds and animals eat, people can often tell what's safe for human consumption. That's not always true of course, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb. So the woman could safely assume the tree wasn't poisonous if there wasn't a growing pile of sick and/or dead critters at the base of the tree.

    †. Gen 3:6b . . and a delight to the eyes,

    Most fruits and vegetables are appealing-- just look at bananas and pears and apples and oranges and watermelon and cantaloupe and grapes and carrots, and radishes, and plums and mangoes and strawberries and whatever. God doubtless made them that way so Man could not only nourish himself, but also enjoy his food; viz: not only eat because he has to, but also because he'd like to.

    †. Gen 3:6c . . and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom,

    The Hebrew word for "wisdom" is sakal (saw-kal') which essentially means circumspect, i.e. sensible; which Webster's defines as careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, viz: prudence.

    People with a high degree of circumspection make fewer mistakes in life while those of us with a low degree oftentimes fail to do, say, or decide what's best.

    Sakal shows up no less than thirteen times in the book of Proverbs alone, and is always depicted as desirable; so it's not like Eve was wanting something that was eo ipso bad for her.

    Anyway, Eve probably figured that a fruit as attractive to the eye, and appealing to one's mind, as that of the forbidden tree couldn't possibly be as bad as God led them to believe. I mean, if it at least had some sharp needles like cactus pears, or maybe a prickly surface like a pineapple, then it would at least have been a bit intimidating; but the forbidden fruit was nothing like that; no, it looked very benevolent.

    NOTE: Ironically, Eve's first step towards obtaining wisdom was to do something really stupid.

    †. Gen 3:6d . . she took of its fruit and ate.

    The important thing to note at this point, is that Eve was unaffected by the fruit: she experienced no ill side effects and went right on naked as usual; feeling no shame about it whatsoever.

    †. Gen 3:6e . . She also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

    Did Eve first deftly dice the fruit and camouflage it in a tasty parfait so her husband wouldn't know what he was eating? No; according to 1Tim 2:14 Adam went into it with eyes wide open.

    I have to wonder why the husband followed his wife's lead and did something he knew full well to be breaking God's edict and putting himself at risk of death. Genesis doesn't reveal why Adam chose to eat the fruit. I suppose he had his reasons, but apparently God didn't think they were sufficient to excuse the man's defiance.

    But I think Adam was cautious at first, and kept a wary eye on Eve for some time waiting to see if she would get sick; and when she didn't, he surely had to wonder if maybe he misunderstood God.

    I think most husbands would sympathize with Adam. I mean: he was told by a supposedly competent source that the forbidden tree was unfit for human consumption. But here's your wife sitting right beside you happily munching away and she's still healthy, lucid, and exhibiting no ill side effects. How is a reasonable man supposed to argue with empirical evidence as good as that?

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    Mon, Jun 1st - 8:44AM



    Genesis 3:1b-5

     

    †. Gen 3:1b . . He said to the woman,

    A characteristic of Eden's world was not only a lack of human death, but also a lack of fear. Man feared neither himself, nor the other creatures, nor the dark, nor the boogie man.

    The woman displayed no recorded astonishment whatsoever when the Serpent spoke to her; which suggests it had associated with the Adams on other occasions before this incident; and possibly had become a close family friend. Before making its move to wreck their life, the Serpent more than likely spent some time in advance nurturing a rapport with the Adams so the woman would have no cause for alarm when it approached; and would. therefore not suspect its intentions.

    That's actually a pretty effective sales approach. Many years ago I sold vacuum cleaners for a little while. I was trained to engage potential customers in chit-chat, a.k.a. small talk, to break the ice and get them to let their guards down. In other words; to build some trust before I got down to the predatory business of talking them into buying something expensive that they could easily get by without.

    Being an innocent who had never been exposed to evil, the woman would certainly never suspect one of God's creatures to be anything but honest and truthful. Up to this point, Eve wasn't even aware that something called dishonesty existed. And actually, she didn't even know what honesty was either because nobody had taught her anything about it yet.

    †. Gen 3:1c . . Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?

    Why didn't the Serpent attempt to trick the male before turning to Eve? Well, Adam was a tougher nut to crack because he got his intel straight from the horse's mouth. But the woman quite possibly was instructed second hand, in conversations with her husband; who was, in effect, her personal rabbi. So it would be fairly easy to convince Eve that maybe she didn't hear her husband correctly; or worse; that he didn't know what he was talking about. I mean: isn't there more than one way to interpret the Bible? How do you know your way is the right way?

    Of course it was ridiculous to suggest the humans were forbidden to eat of "any" tree. But the Serpent was slowly sneaking up on the woman with subtle suggestions. Probing for weak points, the Serpent tested her understanding of God's instructions by asking a question that she should have been able to answer with relative ease. In response; the woman bounced right back and quoted God like a pro (or so she thought).

    †. Gen 3:2-3 . . The woman replied to the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.

    Is that really what God said? No, that's not what God said. He forbad their eating the fruit, yes; but said nothing about touching it. (Gen 2:16-17)

    Eve failed to repeat what God said, rather, she interpreted what He said. Apparently, in her mind's eye, the ban on eating the fruit implied not touching it. Consequently; Eve's humanistic reasoning put a spin on God's instructions so that instead of following them to the letter, the woman revised them to mean something that God didn't actually say.

    Eve fell prey to a very human weakness-- not only of revising God, but of a tendency to make the laws of God more cumbersome and more strict than they really are.

    Revisions in the form of interpretations change the meanings of God's sayings and inevitably leads people into error. While often containing a kernel of truth, revisions are nevertheless not pure truth, rather, amalgams of truth and human error that falsify God's teachings and direct people off in the wrong direction; leading them to believe, and to repeat, things that aren't true.

    Revisions are also very useful for manipulating people to favor the Serpent's wishes rather than their creator's. Thus, without their knowing it, they fall in line and become the Serpent's sheep instead of Christ's.

    †. Gen 3:4 . . And the serpent said to the woman: You are not going to die,

    Having already tested the woman's understanding of God's instructions, and found it in error, the Serpent was encouraged to push on and attempt to influence her thinking a bit more.

    Hence, we have the beginnings of what's known as deceptive ambiguity. In other words; the Serpent's statement can be understood in more ways than one. Without an explanation, Eve was left to her own imagination as to what he meant. But it likely never occurred to her to ask for clarification.

    The Serpent was somehow aware that Eve wouldn't drop dead to the floor from eating the forbidden fruit. So that much of his statement was true. However, what he didn't tell Eve was that the fruit would cause her to lose immortality, i.e. she would become mortal, which is a walking death rather than a sudden death.

    †. Gen 3:5 . . God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

    If someone presented you with an opportunity to bring your mind up to the level of God's intelligence, and you didn't know any better, wouldn't you take it? I think so.

    The thing to note is that the Serpent's prediction wasn't altogether untrue. In time their eyes were opened and they became conscious of good and evil (Gen 3:7 and Gen 3:22) but as upcoming events will reveal, his prediction was a half-truth; viz: their consciousness of good and evil was natural, i.e. human rather than divine.

    Anyway: the Serpent insinuated that their creator was withholding the tree, not because it was poisonous or anything like that; but to keep the humans in check: much in the way that some of the world's despots utilize illiteracy, control of radio and television programming, restricted contact with foreigners, and limited internet access to keep their citizens subdued.

    In effect, the Serpent was saying that God got His wisdom from that very same tree and that's why He didn't want to share the fruit with them; because then they might become savvy enough to go out on their own without depending so much upon their maker.

    In her defense; the woman was inexperienced, and certainly no match for the Serpent's cunning nor his powers of persuasion. But her defeat wasn't inevitable. She could have easily resisted the Serpent by simply sticking to her guns and parroting God's instructions over and over again until the Serpent got disgusted and gave up. She also could've talked the matter over with her husband before deciding what to do. But no, she dropped God's instructions early on and left her husband out of it; thus laying the groundwork for the utter ruin of her own posterity.

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