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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

    Sun, May 31st - 8:53AM



    Genesis 2:23b-25

     

    †. Gen 3:1a . . Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

    Probably no other creature in the Bible provokes so much skepticism as the Serpent. It just smacks of mythology.

    But this particular serpent was no ordinary reptile. It was indeed a remarkable creature. Not only was it capable of language, and able to communicate on a very sophisticated level with human beings, but it had an exceptional IQ too. It grasped the significance of a supreme being, and totally understood the workings of human nature and the human mind. No mere animal is capable of that degree of insight, cognition, and communication.

    The final book in the New Testament confirms the Serpent's true identity, and it is none other than the dark spirit being well known to everyone as the Devil and Satan. (Rev 20:1-3).

    According to Christ, Mr. Serpent was in the world from the very beginning; and his stock in trade was murder and deception right from the get go. (John 8:44)

    Since Rev 20:1-3 has not yet come to pass, then the Serpent remains at large and very active in today's modern world. It is highly skilled at mental suggestions: secretly guiding mankind along a road to self destruction. It is the source of much of the world's political tensions, and certainly the impetus behind all large scale anti-Semitic agendas.

    I have never seen the Serpent myself; nor would I care to. But I know from Matt 4:1-11 that Christ saw it, and spoke with it. From that passage it's obvious that the Serpent is capable of human speech, understands human needs and weaknesses, believes in the existence of God, understands the concept of worship, a master of sophistry, understands the Bible, and understands the advantages of manipulating human minds, and world power.

    The Serpent certainly wasn't squeamish about tempting the Son of God to sin; so it should come as no surprise that it wouldn't hesitate to entice a little nobody like Eve. But Eve was extremely strategic; she was the high ground in the battle for men's minds, because Eve was destined to be the mother of all subsequent human beings. If the Serpent could get to the root of humanity, it would surely gain control over the entire human race; and it did. (Eph 2:1-3)

    The Serpent seems possessed with a strange, criminal mentality: beyond comprehension. But then, so are pedophiles, serial killers, unabombers, ISIS extremists, terrorists, and men like Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka, Ted Kaczynski, and Jack the Ripper. Those kinds of criminals are prisoners of dark minds clouded with anti-social inclinations. The Serpent, though surely an incredible genius; is nonetheless an evil genius; not unlike the nefarious masterminds in action comics.

    Psychopaths are a cunning breed of predators who lack empathy, remorse, and impulse control; readily violating social rules and exploiting others to get what they want. Curiously, psychopaths are often so charming and manipulative that they are well-concealed behind a mask of normalcy sometimes for years and even their entire lives.

    But the origin of the Serpent's twisted mind is really puzzling. How did it get that way? Was it a birth defect? Did it bump its head?

    I don't know; but one thing is for sure though: the Serpent's fondness for deceit is living proof that angels are not mindless robots created to obey the will of God without thought or question. No; they too have a mind of their own, and the freedom of choice between good and evil-- the very same choices that Man is at liberty to exercise. Satan chose poorly, and his human counterparts oftentimes do too.

    The event recorded in this third chapter is a bit of an enigma. The reason being that not only can God see the future as if watching a video recording, but He's also fully capable of manipulating it. In other words; the event in this chapter wasn't unexpected; and God could have, had He wished, easily prevented it.

    People get upset with humanity's creator for not stepping in and preventing the so-called fall of man. But they need to remember that humanity holds the rank of a king on this earth and has the God-given authority to conduct its own affairs as a divine sovereign (Gen 1:26, Gen 1:28, and Ps 82:6). Besides; does anybody really want to live in a micro-managed Big Brother society? I don't think so. But that's the logic behind just about every product liability lawsuit.

    Rather than taking the bull by the horns and doing something to cure humanity's propensity to destroy itself, product liability lawsuits go after suppliers who provide the means for humanity to destroy itself.

    God gave humanity the liberty to destroy itself; and actually, that's the way many of us prefer it because we want to make our own choices rather than have I-know-what's-best-for-you fanatics limit the choices available to us.

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    Sat, May 30th - 8:41AM



    Genesis 2:23b-25

     

    †. Gen 2:23b . .This one shall be called Woman, for from Man was she taken.

    The Hebrew word for "woman" is from 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which is the feminine form of 'iysh (eesh) which means a human being as an individual or as a male person. So 'ishshah doesn't indicate another species of human life (e.g. Lilith) it just simply indicates the opposite side of the same coin.

    The word "taken" is accurate enough but in my estimation, "extracted" would be better because the woman was in Adam all along; same goes for all the rest of us too. We weren't created the day we were conceived; rather, we were created the day that Adam was brought into existence. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

    †. Gen 2:24a . . Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife,

    Clinging implies need. Most people don't care much for needy spouses because they're so high maintenance; but I don't think Genesis is talking about that kind of clinging. It seems to me more like reliance and dependence; and if a man can't rely and/or depend upon his wife; who can he rely and/or depend upon?

    You know, people who indulge in starter marriages have got the wrong idea about what it means to hook up with somebody.

    There are no specific Hebrew words for "wife". The word for wife in that verse comes from the very same word as woman-- 'ishshah. What makes an ishshah somebody's wife? The possessive pronoun "his" So Eve became Adam's woman; and Adam of course became Eve's man.

    You don't own me
    I'm not just one of your many toys
    You don't own me
    Don't say I can't go with other boys.

    The lyrics of that song-- originally recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963 --depict a defiant girl standing up to a possessive boyfriend. Well; those lyrics may be true for temporary lovers; but are very contrary to God's thinking when it comes to marriage.

    Anyway; there comes a time in every youth's life when it's time for him to grow up, sever the apron strings, leave home, become his own man, and take up residence with his own woman.

    Sometimes it's difficult for a young man to accept that his mother is another man's woman. When my son was around 29 years old and home for Christmas one year, his mother and I were having a disagreement and he stuck up for her. I had to take my son aside and school him that it is a serious breach of male etiquette to come between a man and his wife. I let him get by with it that time; but in another man's home his meddling just might cost him a broken nose. He never did it again.

    †. Gen 2:24b . . so that they become one flesh.

    The term "one" indicates unification. According to Matt 19:6 and Rom 7:1-3, this particular unification is permanent till death, which, according to 1Cor 6:15-16 isn't limited to marriage; it takes effect even when people sleep around; ergo: when a man sleeps with a woman, any woman, he becomes bonded to her for life, and she with him. Whether they agree to it or not makes no difference because God's decree trumps His creatures' feelings about it.

    †. Gen 2:25 . .The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame

    They were naked at first, but there's really no reason to believe that they would've remained that way. I mean, after all, human skin is not all that tough. They would need to protect themselves from dirt and grime, and from sunburn, cuts, bruises, and abrasions. The thing to note is that at this point of their existence, they lacked a sense of propriety.

    Webster's defines shame as: 1) guilt, or disgrace, 2) a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, and 3) inhibition.

    I think we could probably add self consciousness to that list; defined as uncomfortably aware of one's self as an object of the observation of others.

    In other words, there was absolutely nothing in early Man's psyche restraining him from parading around in full frontal exposure; and actually, neither was there anything in his psyche encouraging him to. Adam was a product of nature; hence he was comfortable au naturel. They weren't exhibitionists by any stretch of the imagination because in their innocence, Adam and his wife simply were neither proud of, nor humiliated by, their appearance in the buff.

    Adam and his wife felt neither naughty nor perverted by frontal exposure at first, nor were they self conscious in the slightest respect because as yet they knew no cultural boundaries, nor were they infected yet with a guilt complex about sex and the human body; and concepts like vanity and narcissism had no point of reference in their thinking whatsoever. They had absolutely no natural sense of propriety, nor were they even aware of any because their creator hadn't taught them any proprieties yet at this point.

    That was an interesting time in early human development. They had neither intuition nor conscience as yet to moderate their dress code. Had somebody criticized the first couple's appearance, they would no doubt have stared at their critic like a man taken leave of his senses.

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    Fri, May 29th - 8:55AM



    Genesis 2:18-23a

     

    Gen 2:18 . .The Lord God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary; I will make a fitting helper for him.

    That is a curious statement considering that God had given His creation an evaluation of "very good" back in Gen 1:31. Well; that evaluation was stated when the job was all done. In this section, we're discovering what went on during the sixth day before the job was all done.

    Adam's construction came out exactly as God wished; which means that Adam's creator deliberately made the man reliant upon a suitable companion right from the very get-go; i.e. Eve wasn't a "fix" to address an unforeseen problem like the many that plagued NASA during the Apollo program.

    "fitting helper" is from two Hebrew words. "Fitting" is from neged (neh'-ghed) which means: a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate. The word for "helper" is from 'ezer (ay'-zer) which means: aid.

    Note that aid isn't spelled with an "e" as in aide; so that Eve wasn't meant to be the man's Girl Friday, rather; someone to strengthen him. In other words: woman's true role is a supporting role rather than a leading role; i.e. domineering women are out of sync with humanity's creator. The same goes for masculine women-- viz: so-called strong women.

    I suspect that Adam didn't really have it all that easy in his world, and that Eve's companionship made his life a lot more tolerable and worth the living. The helper that God made for Adam would be both his counterpart, and his crutch. In other words: wives are really at their best when they strengthen their men to go out that door and face the big, bad, mean world.

    In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that human beings were not intended to live a celibate life. If male human life was packaged in a box of software, one of its system requirements would be Female Companion.

    Woman's potential for companionship is the primary reason that God made her-- not for her sensual appeal nor for her reproductive value; no, for a man's companionship; which is commonly expressed by cordiality, friendliness, friendship, goodwill, kindness, civility, concord, harmony, rapport, charity, generosity, compassion, empathy, sympathy, chumminess, intimacy, affection, devotion, loyalty, fondness, and love.

    From all that, I think we can safely conclude that a woman who tears her man down instead of building him up is a broken woman; i.e. maladjusted.

    Now; before God introduced the man to a woman, He first gave the man an opportunity to seek appropriate companionship from among the creatures of the animal kingdom. The results were unsatisfactory; and no surprise there seeing as how critters aren't equipped to relate with humans on a high enough level.

    Gen 2:19-20a . . And the Lord God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts;

    Adam's task would have been overwhelming if as many varieties existed in his day as ours; which I honestly don't think did because, for one thing, prior to the existence of humans the earth underwent some mass extinction events.

    I'm sure Adam loved animals; I mean look: he gave them all names; which is something that people who make their living in animal husbandry try to avoid because the practice can lead to attachments; thus making the situation very difficult when it's time for sale and/or slaughter.

    My wife's kindergarten class visits a working dairy farm every year where all the cows and the calves have number tags stapled in their ears. On the books, those numbers are the bovines' names; but in a matter of minutes, my wife's kinders give the little calves real names because it's just in human nature to do that. (I named one White Shoulder because it had an epaulette of pale hair on its right shoulder)

    But as cute and cuddly as some critters are, they just don't have what it takes to be the kind of companion that a man really needs

    Gen 2:20b . . but for Adam no fitting helper was found.

    That's telling me that people who prefer a pet's companionship to a human's are out of kilter because pets, even as soothing as they are in some situations, are unbefitting-- they're a lower form of conscious life than people; and God didn't create them to be people's personal companions anyway, no, according to Gen 1:26-28 He created them to be people's servants.

    I think that even to this day, were most normal people given a choice between human companionship and that of a pet; they would opt for the human because people relate to each other much better than they relate to critters; either wild or domesticated.

    Gen 2:21a-22a . . So the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman;

    The Hebrew word for "rib" is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-22 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side" which is really how tsela' should be translated because according to Gen 2:23, the material taken from Adam included some of his flesh; and seeing as how the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11) then I think it's safe to assume that the flesh God took from Adam's body to construct the woman contained some of his blood too.

    The most important thing to note in that passage is that the woman wasn't created directly from the soil as the man was, viz: she wasn't a discreet creation, i.e. the woman wasn't her own unique specie.

    Being as the woman was created from the man's flesh, blood, and bones, then the flesh, blood, and bones of her body were reproductions of the man's flesh, blood, and bones. Therefore any and all progeny produced by the woman's body, whether virgin conceived or normally conceived, would consist of the man's body, i.e. they would be the man's progeny just as much as hers if her own ovum was in any way at all involved in the conception.

    This section makes it appear that the woman was brought into existence after the completion of the sixth day. But according to Gen 1:27, the male and the female were both created at the very same time on the very same day.

    FAQ: So; where was the woman prior to her actual appearance on the scene?

    A: She was in Adam's body.

    That's not a strange new idea. For example: Heb 7:9-10 says that Levi was in Abraham's body; and that was literally centuries before Levi was born.

    Gen 2:22b . . and He introduced her to the man.

    Why wasn't Eve given an opportunity to fit in with the animal kingdom before introducing her to Adam? Well, I think it's because men can make do with a hound dog and/or a soccer ball named Wilson if they have to; but normal women, as a rule, can't.

    Men and Women share a lot of similarities; but the resolve to go it solo, to be a rugged individual, is not one of them. There are exceptions, of course; but as a rule, women do not care to live alone and unloved in the world. It's curious, but when we think of hermits; our minds typically think of them as male because female hermits just seem so contrary to nature.

    Upon seeing Eve for the very first time, Adam didn't exclaim: Hot diggity dog! Now I can get lucky! No he didn't say that at all.

    Gen 2:23a . .Then the man said: This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

    In other words: finally somebody Adam could really relate to; and the expression became a colloquialism. (e.g. Gen 29:13-14)

    Eve's primary purpose in life was to be her man's best friend; and that is precisely why God made women: to be their husband's buddy. Therefore wives who aren't their husband's buddy are seriously maladjusted; and can only be accepted as cheap goods rather than top-of-the-line quality. Married men shackled to a maladjusted woman aren't really in a marriage; they're in a cold war.

    The one who designed a man said it is not good for a man to live alone. And if it's not good for a man to live alone, then it goes without saying that it's not good for a woman either. If men are supposed to be happier with a woman, then women should be happier with a man. In other words: mankind's designer didn't intend men and women to function independently of each other. They were created to be together; as couples.

    So Adam saw in Eve his true counterpart-- a blood relative who was just as human as himself; and one who could truly relate to him, be sensitive to his feelings, and understand his thoughts; something no other creature ever yet has been able to do.

    It's said that dogs are Man's best friend. No they aren't; dogs are domesticated beasts. They might bring a man his slippers, guard his property, and lick his face; but a dog lacks the capacity to be concerned that a man isn't eating right and getting enough rest and/or sympathize with a man when his job is outsourced to cheap labor in India. How many dogs shared their master's alarm when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and Wall Street fell off a cliff resulting in thousands of people all over the globe to suddenly find themselves unemployed and losing their homes? Had one done so, that would've been a very unusual dog.

    No; a man's true BFF is a loyal woman that looks out for him.

    Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
    Giving all your love to just one man
    You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
    Doin' things that you don't understand

    But if you love him, you'll forgive him
    Even though he's hard to understand
    And if you love him, oh be proud of him
    'Cause after all he's just a man.

    Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to
    And something warm to come to
    When nights are cold and lonely.
    Stand by your man, and show the world you love him
    Keep giving all the love you can.

    Stand By Your Man
    Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill
    Epic Records, 1968

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    Thu, May 28th - 7:45AM



    Genesis 2:15-17

     

    Gen 2:15-17 . .The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for in the day you eat of it, you shall die.

    FAQ: Why on earth would God plant a hazardous tree in an otherwise perfect environment? Was that really necessary? What real purpose does a tree serve that has the potential to kill people and alter human consciousness? Why even create such a tree in the first place?

    A: Although the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unfit for human consumption; it wasn't necessarily a bad tree. When God finished creating, He looked over His work on the 6th day and pronounced it all not just good, but "very" good.

    Take for example light. God pronounced it good; but in practice light has the potential to burn your skin and/or cause permanent eye damage.

    I don't know what that tree's purpose in the garden might have been but I'm confident it was no more intrinsically evil than toad stools, poison ivy, lightening, rattlesnakes, scorpions, avalanches, gravity, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, cactus needles, tsunamis, the solar wind, earthquakes, electricity, fire, lava, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and hemlock are evil in and of themselves. Those things are hazardous, yes, but they all fit into the natural scheme of things.

    Gen 2:15-17 is a favorite among critics because Adam didn't drop dead the instant he tasted the forbidden fruit. In point of fact, he continued to live outside the garden of Eden for another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth (Gen 5:4). So; is there a reasonable explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

    The first thing to point out is that in order for the warning to resonate in Adam's thinking; it had to be related to death as he understood death in his own day rather than death as modern Sunday school classes construe it in their day. In other words: Adam's concept of death was primitive, i.e. normal and natural rather spiritual.

    As far as can be known from scripture, Man is the only specie that God created with immortality. The animal kingdom was given nothing like it. That being the case, then I think it's safe to assume that death was common all around Adam by means of plants, birds, bugs, and beasts so that it wasn't a strange new word in his vocabulary; i.e. God didn't have to take a moment and define death for Adam seeing as how it was doubtless a common occurrence in his everyday life.

    Adam saw things born, he saw things grow to maturity, he saw things gradually wither, he saw their life ebb away, and he saw them decay and dissolve into nothing. So I think we can be reasonably confident that Adam was up to speed on at least the natural aspects of death; viz: he was familiar with mortality and he was familiar with immortality.

    Death includes not only mortality but also disintegration.

    "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (1Cor 15:53-54)

    In other words; had Adam not eaten of the forbidden tree, he would've stayed forever 21, but the very day that he tasted its fruit, his body became infected with mortality-- he lost perpetual youth and began to age.

    Mortality is a walking death, and it's slow, but very relentless. It's like Arnold Swarzenegger's movie character; the Terminator-- it feels neither pain nor pity, nor remorse nor fear; it cannot be reasoned with nor can it be bargained with, and it absolutely will not stop-- ever --until you are gone.

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    Wed, May 27th - 8:35AM



    Genesis 2:10-14

     

    Gen 2:10a . . A river issues from Eden to water the garden,

    The verb "issues" is in grammatically present tense; indicating whoever wrote Gen 2:10, did so while the land of Eden yet existed. The authorship of Genesis has yet to be positively established. A verse like 2:10 strongly suggests that the data used to compile Genesis, was progressively accumulated in hand-me-down journals or in oral rote, generated by people who lived prior to the final compiler's input.

    The Hebrew word for "river" is nahar (naw-hawr') which is another of those ambiguous Bible words. It can indicate a stream or a sea and/or metaphorically: prosperity. It was stated previously in Gen 2:6 that the face of the whole ground was watered by fog; which suggests that the Eden river was either an aquifer or something similar to the slow-moving water of the Florida everglades.

    Gen 2:10b-11 . . and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah where there is gold,

    The Pishon river has yet to be positively identified.

    The Hebrew word for "Havilah" is Chaviylah (khav-ee-law'); which means circular. It's not only a place-name but also a person-name (e.g. Gen 10:7, Gen 10:29) which may indicate that the land of Havilah was named after an antediluvian individual who settled in that area.

    Gen 2:12 . . (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.)

    Again, the author used a present tense verb. The gold "is" good, not was good-- strongly suggesting the author actually lived in the period he wrote about.

    As a money; gold has intrinsic value, whereas fiat currency as a money is worth little more than the good faith and dependability of the country that issues it. In other words: the US Government could, if it wished, simply outlaw the currency you have on hand and in an instant your paper money would be totally worthless. But gold has never been totally worthless.

    Gold is valuable no matter where it comes from but some gold is easier to mine than others and some is a whole lot more plentiful. Placer gold for example is usually in the form of dust and requires dredging, sluicing, and washing. Hard rock gold is better; but requires boring tunnels, rock crushing, and refinement in smelters. I'd say the really good gold is that in the form of nuggets.

    However, rather than the quality of Havilah's gold, the author's use of the word "good" might just be saying that its gold is bountiful; as opposed to scarce. Gold can be found just about everywhere, but concentrations of it exist in only a relatively few places.

    Bdellium is a gum resin similar to myrrh; obtained from various trees. The author could have been referring to amber; a hard yellowish to brownish translucent fossil resin that takes a fine polish and is used chiefly in making ornamental objects like beads and such. Bdellium was the comparison Moses used to describe the color of manna in Num 11:7.

    In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used in ancient Mesopotamia by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians for seals and jewelry. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300–3100 BC), and powdered lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra. In ancient Mesopotamia, lapis artifacts can be found in great abundance, with many notable examples having been excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (2600-2500 BC).

    Gen 2:13 . .The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush.

    Cush of the post-Flood world is associated in Scripture with both a region of Arabia and the present-day land of Ethiopia. But the exact geographic site of the Cush of antediluvian days is impossible to know. If it's the same, then we can be pretty sure that the Earth underwent some dramatic geological events in the distant past because it is now impossible for any river in Ethiopia to connect in any way at all with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today's world.

    Gen 2:14a . .The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur.

    According to Assyrian monuments, the Tigris was known to the post Flood ancients as the Chiddekel, or the Hiddekel. Asshur was located in modern-day Iraq south of Mosul on the western bank of the Tigris river in between the Great Zab and the Little Zab rivers.

    Gen 2:14b . . And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

    The Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today headwater not too far from Elazig Turkey; flowing roughly (very roughly) parallel to each other from out of Turkey, past Syria and Mesopotamia, and down into modern-day Iraq before joining together and emptying into the Persian Gulf.

    The general picture in Genesis 2 is that of a major watercourse (the Eden River) feeding an immense aqua system supplying water to a very large geographic area comprising parts of Turkey, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nubia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Iraq.

    It would appear that the Eden River itself head-watered possibly in what the world today knows as Russia; but it is impossible to tell exactly where it came from because that region no longer generates a south flowing monster river system such as the one from Eden described in Genesis 2.

    The third and fourth rivers no longer connect to a larger river that elsewhere branches off and flows to Ethiopia. It's pretty obvious from the author's geographical descriptions that the world's current topography didn't exist prior to the Flood. The antediluvian world was shaped quite different than the one we live in now. The Tigris and Euphrates of today are but remnants of an ancient irrigation system that at one time made the entire Middle East a very beautiful and fertile region; but to look at it today; you'd never guess it.

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    Tue, May 26th - 8:24AM



    Genesis 2:8-9

     

    Gen 2:8a . .The Lord God planted a garden in Eden,

    The Hebrew word for "garden" is from gan (gan) which means a garden as fenced; in other words; walled-- I assume to protect it from foraging animals; which makes sense seeing as how the garden would be Adam's primary food source. I'm guessing it was very likely a full-blown farm complete with grains, vegetables, and orchards; and meant for husbandry.

    Gen 2:8b . . in the east

    "east" in that verse was an east that the author(s) of Genesis understood. Out west here in Oregon, we consider east to be New York and Chicago; while the world considers the Orient to be east. For the purposes of modern navigation, everything towards sunrise from the meridian of Greenwich England around the world to Samoa is East longitude, and everything towards sunset around the world to Samoa is West longitude.

    So if you were standing in Mexico, then Greenwich would be to the east; but if you were standing in Iran, then Greenwich would be to the west. It's all a matter of perspective.

    Just exactly where "the east" was in Adam's day is hard to tell. But the garden itself is not to be confused with Eden. The garden was located "in" Eden; an ancient pre-Flood unspecified geographic region. Some people think Eden was somewhere in Africa but that's just a shot in the dark.

    The word "Eden" is from 'eden (ay'-den) and/or 'ednah (ed-naw') and means: pleasure, and delight. So Adam's farm was in a very nice location and we could, if we had a mind to, name his spread Happy Valley or Pleasant Acres.

    Gen 2:8c-9a . . and placed there the man whom He had formed. And from the ground Yhvh God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food,

    The exact site where God did the work of creating Man is unknown but there's no reason to doubt he wasn't created right there in his intended home. And I think we can safely assume the garden was already viable and productive when Man arrived. God didn't just throw him in the water to sink or swim. He gave the man a suitable habitat right from the get go. Adam wasn't a hunter-gatherer like some sort of rootless nomad; no, he had a place to settle down and call home.

    Man came into being by the designs of a Superior Intelligence who looked out for the unique little creature made in His own image right from the first, and got him off to a good start; which was fortunate because at that point in time, humans were an endangered species seeing as how there was only one breeding pair in existence.

    Gen 2:9b . . with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,

    The tree of life doesn't give life; but rather, according to Gen 3:22 has something in it that sustains immortality. It's also a good source for natural remedies (Rev 22:2). Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop the human body from getting old and falling apart is currently unknown.

    A very active field of modern scientific research in our own time is gerontology-- the study of the phenomena of the aging process. As yet, gerontologists have no significant understanding of the aging process, and therefore no clue as to what treatments, or nutrients might be employed to stop it.

    Gen 2:9c . . and the tree of knowledge of good and bad.

    The Hebrew word for "good" in 2:9 is from towb (tobe). It's an ambiguous word and isn't restricted to morals, ethics, or scruples. Even a tasty meal or an entertaining movie can be towb.

    The word for "bad" is from ra' (rah) It's another ambiguous word; and includes anything that's bad for us like poison ivy, playing with matches, E.coli 0157-H7, toxic chemicals, salmonella, eating without washing your hands, bungi jumping, investing in penny stocks, walking on train tracks, pimples, a sore throat, and going to bed without brushing your teeth.

    From the gist of upcoming verses, it's readily apparent that the knowledge of good and bad implies an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Though Man was created intelligent; he was basically uneducated. A sense of right and wrong wasn't programmed into his intuition. He was supposed to learn right and wrong via Divine tutelage; not by trial and error nor by self initiative-- and certainly not by doing something patently foolish like eating from a tree known to be unsuitable for human consumption.

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    Mon, May 25th - 8:45AM



    Genesis 2:6-7

     

    Gen 2:6 . . a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

    The Hebrew word for "mist" is 'ed (ade). It's a very rare word and appears only one more time in the whole Bible at at Job 36:27 where it's apparently speaking of the process of evaporation; which typically produces water in the form of fog, dew, and humidity; which are very gentle ways to irrigate young plants and/or bare ground.

    Had God brought rain prior to flourishing ground cover, the land would have eroded something awful and millions of cubic yards of perfectly good dirt would have washed into creeks, and streams, and rivers to be carried out to sea where it would be lost in perpetuity. Water in the form of dew, fog, and/or humidity is a whole lot more gentle on bare ground than falling water. (California's coastal redwoods obtain a large percentage of their moisture from fog.)

    Gen 2:7a . . And the Lord God formed a man's body

     Mankind's creator didn't give birth to man like women give birth to children or like baby chicks hatch from eggs; no, humans aren't God's biological progeny-- humans are God's handiwork like the glass products manufactured by craftsmen in Murano; where they make things from scratch using mostly sand for their base material.

    Gen 2:7b . . from the dust of the ground

     The Hebrew word for "dust" is a bit ambiguous. It essentially refers to powder, but can also be translated clay, earth, mud, mortar, ashes, and/or rubbish; viz: the human body wasn't spoken into existence ex nihilo; God constructed it from already-existing physical matter.

    NOTE: Sooner or later most people eventually run afoul of the passage below so I think it best if we include in our discussion of the creation story.

    "I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being incomplete; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Ps 139:14-16)

    The Hebrew word for "substance" is `otsem (o'-tsem). It appears in only three places in the entire Old Testament: Ps 139:15, Deut 8:17, and Job 30:21.

    There lacks a consensus on the word's precise meaning. Based upon what I found in the Strong's Concordance, `otsem apparently refers to the constitution of something.

    The Hebrew word for "curiously wrought" is raqam (raw-kam') which has to do with skilled needlework, i.e. embroidering, knitting, etc, which produce multicolored handmade articles rather than made by machines; suggesting that the human body-- all of its intricacies --was crafted by the hand of God.

    The Hebrew words for "lowest parts of the earth" always, and without exception, refer to the netherworld; viz: underground. (e.g. Ps 63:9, Isa 44:23, Ezek 26:20, Ezek 31:14, Ezek 31:16, Ezek 31:18, Ezek 32:18, and Ezek 32:24)

    Some folk prefer to apply Ps 139:15 to a woman's womb; but I think it best, and far more sensible, to interpret it as relating to the author's creation rather than his conception. If so, then we probably should review Adam's beginning in the book of Genesis because everyone, from first to last, is his biological progeny; Eve too because she was made from human material taken from Adam's body.

    "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen 2:7)

    The Hebrew word for "ground" is 'adamah (ad-aw-maw') which refers to soil.

    Well then, from whence came soil?

    Some of soil's minerals are derived from the disintegration of meteors that burn up in the atmosphere-- commonly referred to as star dust. But that only accounts for a small percentage. The bulk of soil's parent materials come from the disintegration of the Earth's own rocks.

    So: from whence came the Earth's rocks?

    All the Earth's rocks are formed underground and end up on or near the surface via natural processes like volcanism, continental plate subduction, mighty earthquakes, and erosion, etc.

    In a nutshell: The author of Ps 139:14-16 believed that God saw his bodily constituents while they were not yet even soil but were still underground, deep in the Earth where they were being formed into rock which would later be broken down to make soil.

    So then, from whence came the physical matter to make rock? Well; that information is located in the very first two verses of the Bible; which says to me that in the very beginning God saw every human being that was ever to exist before even one began to walk the Earth.

    God could've-- had He wanted --created h.sapiens from nothing more than rock dust (cf. Luke 19:37-40 and Matt 3:9) but instead waited till the Earth's rock dust was amended with organic material.

    After rock, and after vegetation, God then created all forms of life that lives ashore which would of course include not just birds, bugs, and beasts, but also all forms of life living underground, e.g. night crawlers, grubs, microbes, and nematodes, etc. When life ashore passes away, its remains are not lost to oblivion, no, they're valuable for further amending rock dust with even more organic material.

    Gen 2:7c . . and breathed into it the breath of life,

    The transition from soil to soul is made possible by the mysterious force called the breath of life. If that spoke of atmospheric gases, then it would be possible to revive a corpse with artificial respiration; so we have to conclude that the breath of life is an energy vastly more powerful than anything found in nature.

    The word "life" is commonly employed to speak of living things. But what is it that makes living things alive, alert, and sentient? How is it that all humans are constructed basically the very same way yet each has a sense of individuality?

    There is no real individuality in products manufactured on an assembly line. They're all cookie-cutter duplicates and they can all be operated and maintained by the very same set of instructions.

    But people are not like that. We're not cookie-cutter duplicates manufactured on an assembly line. We're all custom-made specimens with a mind of our own and a will of our own. In other words: human life isn't mechanical, rather, it's intelligent, thoughtful, and introspective. And each one is best reckoned with on an individual basis rather than the oneness of a Borg hive collective. All this, and more, from the breath of life.

    The breath of life isn't unique to humans. Every creature aboard the ark with Noah was alive due to the breath of life, and every creature that drowned in the Flood was alive due to the breath of life. (Gen 7:12-23)

    Gen 2:7d . . and man became a living soul.

    The Hebrew word for "soul" is nephesh (neh'-fesh) which isn't unique to human beings. Its first appearance is at Gen 1:20-21 in reference to aqua creatures and winged creatures; again at Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and wild beasts; and again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature; and yet again at Gen 9:10 to classify every living thing aboard Noah's ark.

    Soul is somewhat ambiguous. It can be said that creatures are souls and also that they have souls. But here in the beginning, nephesh simply refers to consciousness, individuality, and self awareness.

    NOTE: According to Matt 10:28, the body and the soul are perishable. However; though the body is perishable by any means, the soul is perishable only by divine means; i.e. the deaths of body and soul aren't necessarily simultaneous, viz: the soul lives on until such a time as God decides to give it either a thumb up or a thumb down.

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    Sun, May 24th - 9:28AM



    Genesis 2:1-5

     

    Gen 2:1-2 . .The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the seventh day God finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.

    The seventh day is unique. The other six days were bounded by an evening and a morning. The seventh day is not bounded; which means it has not yet ended; viz: God has been on a creation sabbatical ever since, and has created nothing new for the current cosmos since the end of day six; i.e. the Earth that I live on today is the very same planet that God created in the beginning.

    Granted the Earth's topography has been altered quite a bit since Noah's day, for example there is no longer any river systems connecting the Tigris and Euphrates with Ethiopia. However, I consider those alterations as little more than remodeling; so to speak. In other words; though a home undergoes remodeling; it's the same home though it may have a different look.

    Though it's stated in that passage that the creator finished His work and ceased creating things for the current cosmos; yet people are still under the impression that He creates new souls every time a baby is conceived in its mommy's womb. But the seventh day isn't bounded by an evening and a morning; ergo: it has not yet ended; which means God hasn't gone back to creating things for the current cosmos.

    Adam's progeny-- you and I and all the others --are not direct creations; no; we're reproductions; viz: there's no need for mankind's creator to take a hand in producing baby souls, or any other kinds of souls for that matter because He created all life on earth as sustainable, transferable kinds of life. The blessing of fertility is a remarkable blessing because it enables living things to reproduce themselves sans divine micro management.

    In the future; after the current cosmos is utterly obliterated, God will once again roll up His sleeves, and go back to work creating things.

    "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." (Isa 65:17)

    "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up . . . we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2Pet 3:10-13)

    "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." (Rev 21:1)

    Gen 2:3 . . And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.

    The phrase "declared it holy" is from the word qadash (kaw-dash') which means: to be clean, or to make, pronounce, or observe as clean; viz: sanitize. Pronouncing something clean, or observing something as clean and/or conferring upon something the status of clean and sanitized, doesn't mean it's intrinsically clean. It's just regarded as fully dedicated to God's purposes; which is exactly what the word "sanctified" implies. The Hebrew word for "sanctify" is also qadash: the very same word as for "declared it holy".

    Gen 2:4 . .These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.

    The Hebrew word for "day" in that verse is yowm (yome) which is the very same word for each of the six days of God's creation labors. Since yowm here refers to a period of time obviously much longer than a 24-hour calendar day; it justifies categorizing each of the six days of creation as epochs of indeterminate length.

    Gen 2:4 is the very first time in Scripture where the name Yhvh appears. The correct pronunciation is currently unknown. Sometimes it's pronounced Yehovah, sometimes Jehovah, and sometimes Yahweh.

    The appellation is so sacred among pious Jews that they make every effort to avoid speaking it except under very special circumstances. In some of their writings, in order to avoid using the four sacred letters comprising the tetragrammaton, they write instead "The Name" and/or sometimes "Hashem". So Ex 20:3 could be written: "I, The Name, am your god" or "I, Hashem, am your god."

    BTW: According to Phil 2:9-11, God bestowed upon Jesus Christ the name that is above every other name that can be named; viz: Jesus Christ has the God-given right to be known as Yhvh. God also promoted His son to the highest of all positions; viz: Jesus Christ now shares the very throne of God where he's known as God, rules as God, and speaks as God; which has been pretty much his ultimate destiny all along (Ps 2:1-12, Ps 45:1-7, Ps 110:1). That's all I dare say about that for now lest I derail our journey thru Genesis.

    NOTE: Yhvh is commonly referred to with masculine pronouns because He's a king; and kings are always males rather than females; e.g. Isa 44:6.

    Gen 2:5 . . and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

    Bible students have to exercise caution when reading that section in order to avoid making the mistake of concluding that human life was created prior to vegetation; when we know for a fact from the day-by-day account in the first chapter that humans were the very last to be put on earth. Gen 2:4-7 is only saying that when God created vegetation on day three, it wasn't permitted to flourish right away.

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    Sat, May 23rd - 8:47AM



    Genesis 1:29-31

     

    Gen 1:29-30 . . God said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the winged creatures of the sky, and to everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the breath of life, I give all the green plants for food. And it was so.

    Prior to the Flood; humans, beasts, creepy crawlies, and winged creatures too-- even the lions and tigers and hawks and eagles and pythons, vultures and crocodiles --subsisted on vegetation. Precisely what kind of diet God intended for aqua life isn't stated.

    That raises an interesting question: why do carnivores have teeth so uniquely suited for killing other creatures and ripping their flesh? Well, I think it's clear they didn't use their teeth like that at first.

    For example; buck-toothed beavers have incisors that could take your hand off but they don't use them for that purpose. Male musk deer have saber-like upper canine teeth and their diet is moss and grass and sometimes twigs and lichen. And everybody knows about Wally the walrus' big ol' tusks; which he doesn't use to kill his food, but rather, to plow up the sea bottom in search of his favorite mollusks.

    Though the fossilized remains of a therapsid, named Tiarajudens eccentricus, exhibits saber tusks, it is believed to have efficiently chewed leaves and stems with interlocking incisors and cow-like molars.

    In the future kingdom of God, carnivores won't be carnivorous any more, and nothing in the animal kingdom will any longer pose a danger to either Man or to each other. (Isa 11:6-9)

    Gen 1:31 . . And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    Some feel that the cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --was created incomplete, not quite up to snuff: that it was to Man that God entrusted the task of putting on the finishing touches. But that is very doubtful. Why ever would God, after an overall inspection, conclude His work by pronouncing it all good-- and not just good, but "very" good. Why would He say the creation was very good if in truth it was incomplete?

    In reality, humans haven't improved the planet at all. They've actually ravaged Earth and left it with terrible damage-- leveled mountains, dried up rivers, emptied lakes, drained marshes, indiscriminately obliterated habitat, wiped out animals to extinction, scraped away perfectly good cropland and replaced it with warehouses and factories and malls and residential communities.

    A prime example of this kind of destruction is INTEL's massive Ronler Acres Campus located on what was once agricultural land in Hillsboro Oregon. Thousands of cubic yards of perfectly good topsoil was scraped away during construction of the facility. What did they do with it? Was it transferred elsewhere in order to use it for farming? No, instead INTEL used it to build a massive privacy berm all around the facility where the soil will never again grow food. NIKE did the very same thing with the topsoil scraped away during construction of its facility in Beaverton.

    Denuded watersheds have caused unnecessary erosion and stream sedimentation. Man dams rivers, thus disrupting ancient fish migrations. He's over-exploited natural resources, filled the atmosphere with toxins and greenhouse gas emissions, poisoned aquifers, contaminated soil and waterways with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides; littered the oceans with billions of pounds of plastic, made possible super germs, and seriously upset the balance of nature.

    It seems that most everything 'adam touches, he ruins; and as if the Earth isn't enough, he's moved out into space where in the years since Russia launched its first Sputnik into low Earth orbit on Oct 04, 1957, humans have littered the sky around their planet with 13,000 catalogued pieces of space junk, which is only a fraction of the more than 600,000 objects circling the globe larger than one centimeter (a centimeter is a little over 3/8ths of an inch). Humans have even discarded 374,782 pounds of litter on the Moon, including the golf balls that astronaut Alan Shepherd left behind.

    So; when God looked over His work and "found" that it was very good, does that mean He was surprised it came out like it did? (chuckle) No. It would be a strange craftsman indeed who couldn't look over their work with satisfaction in a job well done.

    I believe the universe's architect knew precisely what He was doing, and where He was going with His work; and was highly pleased that it came out exactly as planned. I seriously doubt that God was feeling His way along like experimenters in medicine and chemistry. Nobody could build a fully functioning cosmos and all of its forms of life, matter, and energy unless they knew what they were doing from beginning to end.

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    Fri, May 22nd - 11:12AM



    Genesis 1:27-28

     

    Gen 1:27a . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;

    If humans were paternal sons of the Most High-- viz: if people were His biological offspring --they'd be eternal beings like Himself because God is an eternal being; i.e. like begets like. But humans for now are not even immortal let alone eternal.

    So then we are safe to conclude that humanity's image and likeness of God wasn't the same as Seth's image and likeness of Adam, viz: humanity's divine sonship isn't biological. God didn't reproduce in order to bring humans into existence, rather, He created them into existence from dust rather than from Himself.

    Gen 1:27b . . male and female He created them.

    It's okay to pity people who refuse to be identified by their gender and prefer to be known as non binary, i.e. as neither male nor female. But there is no just no way on God's green earth that Bible believing Christians should ever be supportive of the non binary movement because the image and likeness of God finds its completeness in distinct male and female gender identities.

    There's a term for people who believe themselves to be someone and/or something other than what and/or who they really are. I think it might be called Dissociative Disorder. There was a time when society confined people with those kinds of conditions to psychiatric facilities for observation and therapy, but nowadays political correctness requires that they be "included". But God-honoring Christian churches dare not accept into their membership someone known to identify themselves as non binary.

    "See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Heb 12:15)

    A bitter root is one belonging to a species unfit for human consumption. When you find noxious vegetation sprouting in your garden, you've got to get out there with a hoe and dig that stuff up before it spreads out of control.

    NOTE: The pronoun "them" in Gen 1:27 is a bit ambiguous. It can refer to the first couple; but it can just as easily refer to the human specie in total. In other words: Gen 1:26-27 speaks of all of us; and by extension, so does Gen 2:16-17 because according to Acts 17:26, that's how it worked out.

    Some women would be offended by association with a male pronoun but it's a biblical designation nonetheless. Regardless of one's natural gender, all human beings are of the 'adam species and can be legitimately referred to as a him or as a he because all of us, regardless of gender, are extensions of a solo specimen; including Eve because she was made from a human tissue sample taken from a man's body. Bible students really have to watch for that because when they run across the word "man" and/or "men" in the Bible, it doesn't always indicate males.

    Gen 1:28a . . God blessed them and God said to them: Be fruitful and increase,

    Some interpret that verse to be an edict requiring married people to have children; and that they have no business getting married for any other reason. But the wording is so obviously a blessing rather than a law.

    It's always best to regard blessings as benefits, approvals, and/or empowerments unless clearly indicated otherwise. Some blessings have to be merited (e.g. Deut 28:1-13) but not this one. It was neither requested nor was it earned-- it was freely given without any strings attached and nothing asked in return.

    NOTE: According to Gen 2:18-24, marriage is primarily for the purpose of companionship rather than procreation.

    Without the empowerment of fertility, Man would be just as sterile as a soup spoon. So it was a very essential blessing. And a very interesting blessing it is because the blessing of fertility empowers living things to pass their own kind of life on to a next generation. God quit creating after six days. So unless creatures were enabled to reproduce, all would soon die out and become quite extinct in a very short time.

    Libido therefore, is an essential element of the blessing of fertility. God intended for His creatures to reproduce; and to ensure that they did, He wired them all with libido rather than instilling within them a sense of duty. It isn't necessary to cajole creatures to mate; no, they will do so on their own, propelled by built-in sensual proclivities and predilections.

    Gen 1:28b . . fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.

    The Hebrew word for "master" is from kabash (kaw-bash') which emphasizes coercion and force; and means: to disregard; to conquer, and to violate.

    The word for "rule" is from radah (raw-daw') and means: to tread down; to subjugate.

    kabash and radah are very strong language. Those two words combined leave no room for doubt regarding Man's supremacy in the sphere of things. God blessed humanity with the authority to dominate and to violate planet Earth at will, and exploit it to his own advantage. Man answers to no plant nor animal on this entire globe. The whole Earth is within the scope of humanity's purview. If aliens ever come here unannounced, they can be arrested for trespassing, and/or charged for parking because this earth is 'adam's domain.

    But the interesting thing is; the 'adam specie is also the monarch of the whole cosmos; not just the dinky little third rock from the Sun where he hangs his hat.

    "For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him." (Heb 2:6-8)

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    Thu, May 21st - 7:52AM



    Genesis 1:26

     

    †. Gen 1:26a . . And God said: Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness.

    The introduction of the plural personal pronouns "us" and "our" into the narrative at this point has given rise to some interesting speculation regarding the identities of the antecedents.

    The Hebrew word translated "Man" is 'adam (aw-dawm') which, in this case, simply refers to human life; i.e. humanity. It's actually a specie name rather than a proper name.

    Because of the terms "image and likeness" there are some who insist that humanity's creator is some sort of hominid; or at least resembles one. But the terms "image and likeness" aren't synonyms for facsimile, i.e. doppelgänger; so let's let's not make that mistake because according to Christ, humanity's creator isn't physical.

    "God is spirit" (John 4:24)

    Spirits don't have solid bodies. (Luke 24:36-39)

    God instructed Moses' people to avoid making any kind of mannequin, figurine, totem pole, or statue representing God since no one has any true concept of what creation's God actually looks like in person. (Ex 4:10-19, John 1:18, John 5:37)

    There exists absolutely nothing in nature physically resembling its creator; except maybe the air in front of our face-- neither Man, nor beast, nor plant, nor bird, nor bug, nor reptile nor anything out in the void (Rom 1:21-23). Pagan concepts that portray creation's God as a human being are purely fantasy. (Rom 1:25)

    The apostle Paul once said to the men of Athens, relative to the creator: "We are His offspring." (Acts 17:28-29)

    The Greek word translated "offspring" means kin; which Webster's defines as a group of persons of common ancestry. In other words: humans were created to be their creator's relatives; not biologically of course, but legally, i.e. adoption.

    As God's kin, humans have a status far and away above the status of every other form of life on Earth.

    †. Gen 1:26b . . let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

    Humanity's sovereignty, power, and control over nature is primarily where we find the exercise of its image and likeness of God; in other words: Man does not answer to nature-- just the opposite --nature answers to Man. (Ps 8:4-8)

    The word for "rule" is from radah (raw-daw') and means: to tread down, i.e. subjugate; specifically: to crumble off.

    I saw a pretty interesting bumper sticker some time ago that went like this:

    We Are Not Above The Earth;
    We Are of the Earth.

    Well . . I respect Native America's cultural sentiment underlying that statement; and must admit that I agree with it to a certain extent. But the creator decreed that though Man is of the earth; he is very definitely above it too, and has the God-given authority to subjugate every living thing on the planet including its forests, its grasses, its rivers, its seas, its soil, its rocks, its air, its minerals, its mountains, its valleys, and even its tectonic plates and the earth's very atmosphere itself. According to Heb 2:8, humanity is on track to take control of even more.

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    Wed, May 20th - 8:05AM



    Genesis 1:24-25

     

    Gen 1:24-25 . .Then God said: Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind-- cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind, And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

    We've come now to the sixth day when all terra life was created; including humans.

    This grouping of creatures (except for Man) isn't specifically given the blessing of fertility; but if God would bless aqua creatures and those with wings, why ever would He not bless the terra species too who are just as important? But since they've been reproducing all this time, then I'd have to say there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support the assumption that they too were empowered to reproduce.

    The Hebrew word for "living" is chay (khah'-ee) which basically indicates existing as life as opposed to existing as non life. For example, the structural elements of Noah's ark existed as non life; while it's passengers existed as life.

    (Some people insist that all things are alive. I recommend leaving that belief at the door when crossing the Bible's threshold because scripture doesn't accommodate it; and that kind of thinking only fosters confusion in the minds of those who entertain it.)

    Chay makes it first appearance at Gen 1:20 in reference to aqua creatures and winged creatures; and many times in the Old Testament thereafter; including fifteen times in reference to the Creator; e.g. Jer 10:10, indicating that the creator is a living being as opposed to a totem pole or a mythical fantasy. There is a very large number of instances recorded in the Old Testament where the Creator speaks of Himself as "I am".

    Terra critters weren't created ex nihilo; rather, from the very land upon which they live; i.e. God used earthly materials and ingredients already at hand to construct them. Neat-O. Not only are the various plants and animals indigenous to planet Earth; but they are part of it too and blend right back in when they die and decompose.

    Beasts of the earth, in this instance, simply refers to wild life as opposed to domesticated life. Dinosaurs would've been in the wild classification.

    Cattle refers to mute beasts (a.k.a. dumb animals) --the herd species from which came those that can be domesticated for Man's uses. They can pull plows and wagons, provide tallow for candles and soap, and hide and wool for clothes, meat and dairy for table, carry loads, and transport people from place to place on their backs. (Probably one of the better things that Spain did for Native Americans was make it possible for them to have horses.)

    NOTE: Looking a steed on the cheap? Well; according to the May 2017 issue of Smithsonian magazine; there are something like 70,000 wild horses and burros running free on Federal lands causing an unacceptable amount of environmental damage. No doubt the BLM would appreciate your help in reducing those numbers.

    Not all herd animals can be tamed. Zebras, for instance, and male elephants are not particularly suited to domestication.

    It's no accident that some of the animals are so useful to Man. God made them for the express purpose of serving people. Although they're nephesh, same as Man, that doesn't make them equals with Man. However, although beasts are below the rank of the image and likeness of God, people have no right to be cruel to animals. But Man does have the right, by the creator's fiat, to take advantage of them; and to induct them into slavery for Man's benefit.

    No doubt some of us would be happy if a few of the creeping species had not been created, e.g. scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, tarantulas, fleas, ticks, ants; et al.

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    Tue, May 19th - 10:13AM



    Genesis 1:20-23

     

    Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.

    How can water alone be used to create living things? Well, it can't be any more difficult than creating the entire cosmos ex nihilo; i.e. from and/or out of nothing.

    However, one of the essential elements for the construction of organic life is carbon. Well; seawater contains that element, along with several others too; and there's plenty enough seawater that's for sure.

    The word for "creature" is from nephesh (neh'-fesh) which refers to consciousness, individuality, and self awareness. It never applies to vegetation. For example: though saguaro cacti are alive, they aren't nephesh because vegetation lacks a sense of individuality and is neither conscious nor self aware, i.e. nephesh refers to all critter life great and small; but never to non critter life.

    Nephesh shows up first in Gen 1:20-21 as sea creatures and winged creatures.

    Next it shows up in Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and wild beasts.

    It shows up again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature.

    It shows up again in Gen 2:19-20 as the creatures to whom Adam gave names.

    It shows up again in Gen 9:8-16 as all conscious life aboard the ark, including Noah and his family.

    Some say that animals are people too. Well . . they're certainly not human, but according to the Bible, they are very definitely just as much a nephesh as a human being. So I guess we could consent, at least to some degree, that critters are people too; in their own way.

    The Hebrew word for "fowl" is 'owph (ofe) which just simply means covered with wings as opposed to covered with feathers. It's a rather unusual word because it includes not only creatures with feathers, but according to Lev 11:13-23, 'owph also pertains to bats and flying insects. The English word "fowl" was obviously an arbitrary translation since owph is ambiguous.

    What did those early flyers look like? Well; I suggest that at least some of them had to be Pterosaurs because on no other day but the fifth did God bring about critters with wings. Precisely when and/or how God phased out those early skin-winged creatures is one of science's thorniest mysteries. It's reasonable to assume that whatever exterminated the Pterosaurs should have exterminated everything else with wings too; but somehow birds, bats, and flying bugs are still with us.

    It's important to note that winged creatures were just as distinct a creation as aqua creatures. So winged creatures didn't evolve from creatures who once lived in the sea. Winged creatures are a separate genre of life in their own right, and absolutely did not evolve from some other order of life.

    "great whales" is from tanniyn (tan-neen') and/or tanniym (tan-neem') which mean: a marine or land monster. Tanniyn is sometimes translated "dragon" as in Isa 27:1

    It wasn't a tanniyn, however, that swallowed Jonah. That creature was either a dagah (daw-gaw') a dag (dawg) or a da'g (dawg). All three words mean a fish.

    NOTE: The reason I quoted the three Hebrew words for "fish" is because the fact is: translators are not always confident how best to represent a Hebrew word with the English alphabet. In point of fact, there are ancient Hebrew words that nobody really knows what they mean so translators are forced to take educated guesses here and there in order to fill in the text.

    "every living creature that moveth" would include not only critters that swim but also critters that creep, e.g. starfish, lobsters, crayfish, newts, clams, and crabs et al.

    But what about aquatic dinosaurs? Well; according to Discovery's web site "Walking With Dinosaurs" paleontologists believe there were some amphibious reptiles such as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, but those creatures didn't have the gills necessary to be truly aquatic like Nemo and his dad Marlin.

    Gen 1:21b . . And God saw that this was good.

    In other words: He was satisfied.

    The Hebrew word for "good" in this instance is towb (tobe) which is horribly ambiguous. It's meanings range from morally good, to good looking, to a job well done, to something that's good to the taste; and to a whole lot of other things in between; e.g. a good show, good food, as good as it gets, satisfactory, pleasing; etc, etc.

    Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and increase,

    This is the very first place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for "bless" shows up. It's somewhat ambiguous, but in this case I think it's pretty safe to assume that it means to furnish freely or naturally with some power, quality, or attribute; i.e. provide, endow, and/or empower. In other words: the blessing of fertility was a providential act; and no doubt included microscopic creatures as well as those visible to the naked eye.

    Providence is common in the Bible; especially in Genesis.

    Gen 1:22b . . fill the waters in the seas, and let the winged creatures increase on the earth.

    Winged creatures have the advantage of flight; which, in my estimation, makes them more fortunate than creatures confined to water. The wingers get a much better world view from above than those below. Flying broadens one's horizons, so to speak, and gives us a bigger picture. Amphibious flyers, e.g. cormorants and grebes, have the best of both environs; they see things from above as well as from below.

    Aqua creatures exist in the most unlikely places. When the crew of the bathyscaphe Trieste descended into the 35,761 feet Challenger Deep located in the deepest part of the Mariana Trench in 1960, they didn't really expect to find anything living down there; but to their surprise, they saw a flat fish similar to sole and flounder.

    The video camera on board the Kaiko probe spotted a sea cucumber, a scale worm and a shrimp at the bottom.

    The Nereus probe spotted a polychaete worm (a multi-legged predator) about an inch long.

    Gen 1:23 . . And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

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    Mon, May 18th - 3:44PM



    Genesis 1:14c-19

     

    Gen 1:14c . . they shall serve as signs for the set times-- the days and the years;

    The word for "signs" is from 'owth (oth) and means a signal; viz: indicators. For example: the mark that God put on Cain was an 'owth. (Gen 4:15)

    The Sun's movement across the sky is very useful for keeping time. It probably didn't take long for early men to realize they could divide a day into convenient elements by utilizing shadow.

    "seasons" is translated from either mowed' (mo-ade') or moed` (mo-ade'). Those words are translated "congregation" numerous times in the Old Testament relative to special dates on the calendar.

    While the Sun is useful for keeping track of solar increments, the Moon is useful for marking off lunar increments. For example: were you to tell somebody your intention to visit them in five Moons, they would have a pretty good idea when to get ready for your arrival; so long as you both used a common definition of "moon". To some, a moon is New Moon, while for others a moon indicates Full Moon.

    If the Sun and the Moon were the hands of a clock; the Sun would be the minute hand and the Moon would be the hour hand; so to speak.

    Years in the Old Testament are sometimes based upon a 30-day month; and they're not always marked by the Sun's position in space relative to the stars. More about this later when we get to Noah.

    Gen 1:15-18a . . and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the Earth. And it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the Earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to distinguish light from darkness.

    Gen 1:3-5 defines day as a condition of light, and defines night as a condition of darkness. Gen 1:14-18 defines day on Earth as when the Sun is up and night on Earth is defined as when the Sun is down; and that's how it was when Christ was here.

    "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world." (John 11:9)

    The "light of this world" is the Sun.

    At this point in biblical history, "stars" no doubt indicates all luminous objects in the heavens seeing as how it would be a very long time before humanity began categorizing some of the stars as planets.

    I think it's important to emphasize that in the beginning God "set" the stars in the sky just as he set the Sun and the Moon in the sky, i.e. celestial objects didn't arrange themselves all by themselves sans any intelligent supervision whatsoever; no, they were placed; and not only were they set in place, but also set in motion-- nothing in the entire cosmos is standing still, though many things appear to be.

    According to Gen 1:15, stars illuminated the Earth on the "day" that God made them.

    Well; the only stars whose shine is of any practical use as illumination are those of the Milky Way; which is estimated 100,000 to 180,000 light years in diameter. Obviously then; if left entirely up to nature, light from stars nearest our location in the galaxy would begin dousing the earth with illumination long before those at the far side.

    For example, light from Alpha Centauri takes only about 4½ years to reach Earth while light from Alpha Orionis (a.k.a. Betelgeuse) takes about 640. There are quite a few stars whose illumination reaches Earth in less than 50 years. But whether 4½ years, 50 years, 640 years, or 180,000 years; the time involved is insignificant if we but allow that the days of creation were epochs rather than 24-hour events.

    But what's the point of putting all those objects out there in space? Well, for one thing, they're not only brain teasers; but they're actually quite pretty. Celestial objects decorate the night sky like the ornamentation people put up during holidays. The night sky would sure be a bore if it was totally black. Decorated with stars; the night sky is like a beautiful tapestry, or a celestial Sistine Chapel.

    "The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky proclaims His handiwork." (Ps 19:2)

    Stars makes better sense that way than to try and find some other meaning for them. The universe is simply a magnificent work of art-- just as intriguing, if not more so, than the works of Picasso, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Monet, Vermeer, and da Vinci --testifying to the genius of an engineer-artist without peer.

    Sadly, a number of very intelligent people like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson look to the sky for the wrong reasons. Why not just look to the sky for inspiration instead of only exploration and discovery? What's so bad about visiting the sky as a Guggenheim or a Louvre displaying your maker's many-faceted talents?

    "For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made." (Rom 1:19-20)

    Gen 1:18b-19 . . And God saw that this was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

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    Sun, May 17th - 9:47AM



    Genesis 1:8-14b

     

    Gen 1:11a . . Then God said: Let the land produce vegetation

    The Hebrew word for "produce" appears in only two places in the entire Old Testament; here and Joel 2:22. It basically means to sprout. Here and in Joel, it refers to species of plants where none of their kind previously existed.

    The variety of Earth's vegetation is boggling. It's estimated between 250,000 to 315,000 species-- that's the plants we know of but doesn't include the ones that may have existed in the past prior to catastrophic weather conditions and extinction events.

    Gen 1:11b-12 . . seed-bearing plants, fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that this was good.

    According to Gen 2:4-5, the land's vegetation was dormant in the beginning; it didn't actually flourish until the atmosphere began producing moisture.

    NOTE: It's believed by science that there was an era in Earth's youth called the Carboniferous period when it was blanketed by dense jungles and forests. As those plants and trees died, and were buried beneath layers of sediment; their unique chemical structure caused them to be "cooked" into solid coal; and there is really a lot of it.

    Why isn't the Earth currently blanketed by dense jungles and forests? Well; the earth's conditions today cannot produce enough humidity, nor enough rain, nor enough global warming to sustain the kinds of heavy vegetation that once existed in the Carboniferous era. In other words: the Earth, over time, has managed to give itself a remarkable make-over; and at least one element of its make-over are the mountains.

    The ranges now in existence; e.g. the Andes, the Himalayas, the Rockies, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Cascades, the Brooks Range, the Alps, etc; and the various minor inland and coastal ranges weren't always in place where they are now. Those were shoved up over time by the forces of tectonic subduction, volcanism, and magma pressure. Even Yosemite's massive granite monoliths haven't always been there. They were formed deep underground and then somehow shoved up to where they are now.

    Anyway, point being; those ranges have a very great deal to do with the Earth's current weather systems.

    Gen 1:13 . . And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

    Gen 1:14a . . God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky

    On the fourth day, God spent time up in celestial regions. It might seem odd that He began work on the surface of the Earth, and then before finishing, stopped short and moved off into space. Why not finish building down here on the planet first?

    Well; at this point in the process of creation, planet Earth was very dark and freezing cold. For example: the dark side of the Moon gets down to minus 279º F (-172.8° C) so it was time to turn man's home into a greenhouse if anything meaningful was to live down here.

    A major player in the Earth's water cycle is evaporation, which is driven by the Sun. By means of evaporation, the earth's atmosphere gets enough water vapor to form the clouds that produce precipitation.

    The Sun also plays a role in temperature variations that make conditions like humidity and fog possible. Temperature variations also play a role in the process of erosion; which assists in soil formation.

    Many varieties of vegetation depend upon the annual cycle of the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; seasons which would not be possible without the Sun.

    Oxygen is a must gas for sustaining life on Earth and a very large percentage of it is produced by photosynthesis which is a chemical process that works best in sunlight. No doubt the original atmosphere contained oxygen enough, but would eventually be absorbed by oxidation and other kinds of chemical activity. Plant life plays a major role in both filtration and replenishment; hence the need to get a Sun shining as soon as possible.

    The atmosphere contains on average 19.5 to 23.5 percent oxygen; even with all the fossil fuel burned around the world, along with the destruction of savannas, prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and rain forests, coupled with volcanic activity; the percentage remain fairly stable.

    Today's science is aware that the Moon doesn't generate its own light; but prior to that discovery, people no doubt regarded the Moon as a second Sun; especially seeing as how from the perspective of Earth, the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size in diameter, and both appear to circle the Earth.

    Gen 1:14b . . to distinguish Day from Night;

    On the first day of the creative process; God defined Day as a condition of light; and defined Night as a condition of darkness. Here, it's further defined that Day, as pertains to life on Earth, is distinctly separate from Night rather than a 24-hour amalgam of light and dark.

    The properties of Day and Night come out so early in the Bible that they easily escape the memories of Bible students as they slip into the reflexive habit of always thinking of Days as periods of one Earth rotation of 24 hours. That's okay for calendars but can lead to gross misunderstandings when interpreting biblical schedules, predictions, and/or chronologies, e.g. Matt 12:40.

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    Sat, May 16th - 8:53AM



    Genesis 1:6-10

     

    Gen 1:6-8a . . And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.

    In this case the word for "heaven" is singular probably because we're only looking at the Earth's atmosphere.

    We can easily guess what is meant by water that's below the sky. But is there really water that's above it? Yes, and it's a lot! According to an article in the Sept 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine, Earth's atmosphere holds roughly 3,095 cubic miles of water in the form of vapor. That may seem like a preposterous number of cubic miles of water; but not really when it's considered that Lake Superior's volume alone is estimated at nearly 3,000.

    Our home planet is really big; a whole lot bigger than sometimes realized. It's surface area, in square miles, is 196,940,000. To give an idea of just how many square miles that is: if somebody were to wrap a belt around the equator made of one-mile squares; it would only take 24,902 squares to complete the distance; which is a mere .012644% of the surface area.

    Some of the more familiar global warming gases are carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons, methane, and ozone. But as popular as those gases are with the media, they're bit players in comparison to the role that ordinary water vapor plays in global warming. By some estimates; atmospheric water vapor accounts for more than 90% of global warming; which is not a bad thing because without atmospheric water vapor, the earth would be so cold that the only life that could exist here would be extremophiles.

    How much water is below the firmament? Well; according to the same National Geographic article; the amount contained in swamp water, lakes and rivers, ground water, and oceans, seas, and bays adds up to something like 326.6 million cubic miles; and that's not counting the 5.85 million cubic miles tied up in living organisms, soil moisture, ground ice and permafrost, ice sheets, glaciers, and permanent snow.

    To put that in perspective: a tower 326.6 million miles high would exceed the Sun's distance better than 3½ times. It would've exceeded the distance between Mars and Earth on July 27, 2018 by 5 times.

    Gen 1:8b . . And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    At this point, there was no sun to cause physical evenings and mornings; so we can safely assume that the terms are merely place-cards indicating the completion of one of creation's six-step processes and the beginning of another.

    Gen 1:9 . . And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

    At this point, dry land as yet had no soil because at first it would've been bare rock.

    "He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth." (Ps 104:5-9)

    Psalm 104 is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. Mountains rising, and valleys sinking speaks of magma pressure and tectonic plate subduction-- on-going titanic forces that keep the Earth's surface in a perpetual state of alteration.

    Now, it's right about here that young-earth theorists have a problem because it's obvious from physical evidence that much of the Earth's higher elevations were inundated for a very, very long time before they were pushed up to where they are now.

    Take for example Mount Everest. Today its tippy top is something like 29,029 feet above sea level. The discovery of fossilized sea lilies near its summit proves that the Himalayan land mass has not always been mountainous; but at one time was the floor of an ancient sea bed. This is confirmed by the "yellow band" below Everest's summit consisting of limestone: a type of rock made from calcite sediments containing the skeletal remains of countless trillions of organisms who lived, not on dry land, but in an ocean.

    Anyway; soil formation is a very slow process, sometimes taking as long as a millennium to make just one inch; which at first would consist of little more than powdered rock. In order for soil to become really productive, it needs organic material mixed with it. So it's my guess that the very first vegetation that God created were species that thrive on stone, and little by little their remains would amend the powder to increase its fertility.

    Some of the lyrics of one of AC/DC's songs says: "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n roll". Well, it was an even longer ways to the soil from which human life was eventually brought into viable existence.

    Gen 1:10 . . And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good.

    "good" meaning not that the dry ground and seas are morally acceptable, but rather, perfectly suitable for the purposes that God had in mind for them.

    NOTE: There are Hebrew words in the Bible for marshes, rivers, and streams; but I've yet to encounter one for lakes and ponds. In other words "seas" suffices not only for oceans; but also for smaller accumulations. (A rather curious sea is located at 1Kings 7:23-26)

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    Fri, May 15th - 7:47AM



    Genesis 1:4b-5

     

    Gen 1:4b-5a . . and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

    Defining the properties of day and night may seem like a superfluous detail, but comes in very handy for organizing the three days and nights related to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection per Matt 12:40.

    Gen 1:5b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a first Day.

    When you think about it; a strict chronology of evening and morning doesn't define day, it defines overnight; viz: darkness. In order to obtain a full 24-hour day, you'd have to define creation's first Day as a day and a night rather than an evening and a morning.

    Well; thus far Genesis defines Day as a time of light rather than a 24-hour amalgam of light and dark; plus there was no Sun to cause physical evenings and mornings till creation's fourth Day so we have to come at this issue from another angle apart from physical properties.

    According to Gen 1:24-31, God created humans and all terra critters on the sixth Day; which has to include dinosaurs because on no other Day did God create beasts but the sixth.

    However; the sciences of geology and paleontology, in combination with radiometric dating, strongly suggest that dinosaurs preceded humans by several million years. So then, in my estimation, the Days of creation should be taken to represent epochs rather than 24-hour events. That's not an unreasonable estimation; for example:

    "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven." (Gen 2:4)

    The Hebrew word for "day" in that verse is yowm (yome) which is the very same word for each of the six Days of God's creation labors. Since yowm in Gen 2:4 refers to a period of time obviously much longer than a 24-hour calendar day; it justifies suggesting that each of the six Days of creation were longer than 24 hours apiece too. In other words: yowm is ambiguous and not all that easy to interpret sometimes.

    Anyway; this "day" thing has been a stone in the shoe for just about everybody who takes Genesis seriously. It's typically assumed that the Days of creation consisted of twenty-four hours apiece; so Bible students end up stumped when trying to figure out how to cope with the 4.5 billion-year age of the earth, and factor in the various eras, e.g. Triassic, Jurassic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Cretaceous, etc, plus the ice ages and the mass extinction events.

    BTW: The epoch theory is only a second opinion, so to speak. There are other theories out there to choose from; people aren't stuck with this one as if it's the only possible explanation.

    NOTE: Galileo believed that science and religion are allies rather than enemies-- two different languages telling the same story. He believed that science and religion complement each other-- science answers questions that religion doesn't bother to answer, and religion answers questions that science cannot answer.

    For example: theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking understood pretty well how the universe works; but could never scientifically explain why it should exist at all. Well; in my estimation, the only possible answer to the "why" is found in intelligent design; which is a religious explanation rather than scientific. Religion's "why" is satisfactory for most folks. No doubt scientists would prefer something a bit more empirical.

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    Thu, May 14th - 9:30AM



    Genesis 1:2-4a

     

    Gen 1:2a . . the earth being unformed and void

    That statement reveals the earth's condition prior to the creation of an energy that would make it possible for its matter to coalesce into something coherent.

    Gen 1:2b . . and darkness was over the surface of the deep

    This deep is a curiosity because 2Pet 3:5 says the earth was formed out of water and by water. So I think it's safe to conclude that every atomic element that God needed to construct the Earth was in suspension in this deep; viz: it was more than just H2O; it was a colossal chemical soup, and apparently God created enough of it to put together everything else in the cosmos too.

    Gen 1:2c . . and Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

    The Hebrew word here for "waters" is another plural noun like 'elohiym; which means it can be translated either water or waters. Plural nouns are pretty much at the discretion of translators whether to make them one or more than one in a particular context.

    The Hebrew word for "moving" is located in only three places in the entire Bible. One is here, and the others are at Deut 32:11 and Jer 23:9. The meaning is ambiguous. It can refer to brooding; i.e. a mother hen using her wings to keep her chicks together, and it can refer to incubation and/or quaking, shaking, and fluttering. Take your pick. I'd guess that the Spirit's movement was sort of like the hen keeping the colossal chemical soup from running rampant and spreading itself all over the place before God began putting it to use because up to this point, gravity didn't exist yet.

    Gen 1:3 . . Then God said "Let there be light" and there was light.

    The creation of light was a very, very intricate process. First God had to create particulate matter, and along with those particles their specific properties, including mass; if any. Then He had to invent the laws of nature to govern how matter behaves in combination with and/or in the presence of, other kinds of matter in order to generate electromagnetic radiation.

    Light's properties are curious. It propagates as waves in a variety of lengths and frequencies, and also as quantum bits called photons. And though light has no mass; it's influenced by gravity. Light is also quite invisible to the naked eye. For example: you can see the Sun when you look at it, and you can see the Moon when sunlight reflects from its surface. But none of the Sun's light is visible to you in the void between them and that's because light isn't matter; it's energy; and there is really a lot of it.

    Space was at one time thought to contain absolutely nothing until radio astronomers discovered something called cosmic microwave background. In a nutshell: CMB fills the universe with light that apparently radiates from no detectable source. The popular notion is that CMB is energy left over from the Big Bang.

    The same laws that make it possible for matter to generate electromagnetic radiation also make other conditions possible too; e.g. fire, wind, water, ice, soil, rain, life, centrifugal force, thermodynamics, fusion, dark energy, gravity, atoms, organic molecules, magnetism, color, radiation, refraction, reflection, high energy X-rays and gamma rays, temperature, pressure, force, inertia, sound, friction, and electricity; et al. So the creation of light was a pretty big deal; yet Genesis scarcely gives it passing mention. That's no doubt because Genesis is mostly about origins rather than mechanics.

    2Cor 4:6 verifies that light wasn't introduced into the cosmos from outside in order to dispel the darkness and brighten things up a bit; but rather, it radiated out of the cosmos from inside-- from itself --indicating that the cosmos was created to be self-illuminating by means of the various interactions of the matter that God made for it; including, but not limited to, the Higgs Boson.

    Gen 1:4a . . And God saw the light, that it was good

    God didn't see the light until He said let there be light; meaning of course that natural light didn't exist until God made it.

    God declared that light is good; but He didn't declare that darkness is good. In point of fact, darkness typically represents bad things in the Bible; while light typically represents good things. It's been a rule of thumb from the very beginning.

    NOTE: It's curious to me that most Bible students have no trouble readily conceding that everything else in the first chapter of Genesis is natural, e.g. the cosmos, the earth, the atmosphere, water, dry land, the Sun, the Moon, the stars, aqua life, winged life, terra life, flora life, and human life.

    But when it comes to light they choke; finding it impossible within themselves to believe that Genesis just might be consistent in its description of the creative process. I mean, if all those other things are natural, why wouldn't the light be natural too? In point of fact, without natural light, planet Earth would become a cold dead world right quick.

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    Wed, May 13th - 2:14PM



    Genesis 1:1

     

    The author of Genesis is currently unknown; but commonly attributed to Moses. Seeing as he penned Exodus (Mark 12:26) it's conceivable that Moses also penned Genesis; but in reality, nobody really knows for sure.

    Scholars have estimated the date of its writing at around 1450-1410 BC; a mere 3,400± years ago, which is pretty recent in the grand scheme of Earth's geological history.

    Genesis may in fact be the result of several contributors beginning as far back as Adam himself; who would certainly know more about the creation than anybody, and who entertained no doubts whatsoever about the existence of an intelligent designer since he knew the creator Himself like a next door neighbor.

    As time went by, others like Seth and Noah would add their own experiences to the record, and then Abraham his, Isaac his, Jacob his, and finally Judah or one of his descendants completing the record with Joseph's burial.

    Genesis is quoted more than sixty times in the New Testament; and Christ authenticated its Divine inspiration by referring to it in his own teachings. (e.g. Matt 19:4-6, Matt 24:37-39, Mk 10:4-9, Luke 11:49-51, Luke 17:26-29 & 32, John 7:21-23, John 8:44 and John 8:56)

    Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

    The first chapter of the first book of the Bible doesn't waste words with an argument to convince scientific minds that a supreme being exists; rather, it starts off by candidly alleging that the existence of the cosmos is due to intelligent design. I mean: if the complexity of the cosmos-- its extent, its objects, and all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --isn't enough to convince the skeptics; then they're pretty much beyond reach.

    The creation story wasn't written for the scientific community anyway, nor was it written for people who indulge in debating and perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything, nor for people who regard this book as just another chapter of Pride And Prejudice to dissect in a Jane Austen book club; rather, the creation story was written for the religious community.

    "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Heb 11:3)

    There's quite a bit of disagreement related to origins; viz: the origin of species, the origin of the universe, and the origin of life; but not much debate about the origin of matter; defined by Webster's as 1) the substance of which a physical object is composed and 2) material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy.

    Without matter there could be no Big Bang, there could be no universe, there could be no life, and there could be no evolution. The origin of matter then is where we have to begin.

    The Hebrew word for "God" is 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which isn't the creator's personal moniker, rather, a nondescript label that pertains to all sorts of deities both the true and the false and/or the real and the imagined. The noun is grammatically plural but doesn't necessarily indicate more than one. Sheep, fish, and deer are plural too but don't always indicate more than one of each. There are other gods in the Bible, such as Baal and Dagon, to whom the word 'elohiym is applied and those gods aren't composite entities; e.g. 1Kgs 18:25-29 and Jgs 16:23.

    Gen 1:1b . . created the heaven and earth--

    The word for "heavens" is from the Hebrew word shamayim (shaw-mah'-yim) and means: to be lofty; i.e. the sky; perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher void where the celestial bodies reside, i.e. interstellar space. Even in English, the sky is commonly referred to in the plural; i.e. heavens instead of heaven; which is biblically correct since according to 2Cor 12:2 there's at least three.

    The Hebrew word for "earth" is 'erets (eh'-rets) which is yet another of the Bible's many ambiguous words. It can indicate dry land, a country, and/or even the whole planet.

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    Wed, May 13th - 1:40PM

    Introduction



    Back around 2000 or 2001; I got the daring idea to begin composing a daily, bite-size commentary on the book of Genesis. It was a clumsy effort at first but I stuck with it and as time went by, it got pretty good. On some forums where I've survived opposition long enough to complete the whole fifty chapters, Genesis has attracted several thousand views.

    As of today's date, I'm almost 76 years old; and an on-going student of the Bible since 1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio Bible programs, and various authors of a number of Bible-related books. Fifty-two years of Bible under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but they've at least made me competent enough to tackle Genesis.

    Barring emergencies, accidents, vacations, unforeseen circumstances, and/or insurmountable distractions, database errors, computer crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon, thread hijackers, tangents, excessive quarrelling and debating, the dog ate my homework, visiting relatives, ISIS, car repairs, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, student walk-outs, Carrington events, gasoline prices, medical issues, and/or hard luck and the forces of nature; I'm making an effort to post something every day including Sundays and holidays.

    Some really good stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the Flood, tower of Babel, and the origin of the Jews.

    Big-name celebrities like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Ishmael, Rebecca, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph are here.

    Not here are Moses vs. Pharaoh and the parting of the Red Sea. That story is in Exodus; Samson and Delilah are in Judges, David and Goliath are in 1Samuel; and Ruth and Esther are in books of the Bible named after them.

    Buen Camino
    _



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    About Me

    Name: Clifford Weber
    ChristiansUnite ID: weberhome
    Member Since: 2015-05-11
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon, United States
    Denomination: Conservative Baptist
    About Me: Retired DoD welder

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