FROM THE BOOK
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
(First published in 1982)
The Antiquity of the Human Race
Having presented the evidence for understanding the six creative days of Genesis 1 as distinct stages in the unfolding work of creation, [ YES THE “AGES” IDEA FOR DAYS - Keith Hunt] we now proceed to the question of the antiquity of Adam and the commencement of the human race. This matter has been discussed at some length in my Survey of Old Testament Introduction (pp. 195-99). The great age assigned by palean-thropologists to the skeletons of various anthropoid species is a matter of considerable dispute. L.S.B. Leakey used potassium-argon analysis to arrive at the estimate of 1,750,000 years for the age of what he identified as the "Zinjanthropus" of Tanganykia ("Exploring 1,750,000 Years into Man's Past," National Geographic [October 1961]). Other specimens from the Olduvai Gorge area have been assigned even greater age than this.
The Neanderthal cave man is thought to have lived from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago, and he seems to have mastered such skills as the fashioning of stone arrowheads and axe-heads. The Neanderthal man also seems to have used fire for his cooking in the preparation of food. He may even have had some involvement in art as well, though the remarkable cave paintings in the caves of Altamira and elsewhere may well have been the product of the later race of Cro-Magnons.
[AS SHOCKING AS IT WILL BE TO SOME CHRISTIANS TODAY IN 2018, THE TIME OF ADAM AND EVE MAY GO BACK TO 30-50 THOUSAND YEARS. AND MANY THINGS HARDLY MENTIONED IN THE BILE, SHOW AN AGE BACK THEN WAY WAY BEYOND IN SCIENCE AND MANUFACTURING, THAT WOULD BLOW THE MIND OF THOSE WHO THINK ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED RELATIVELY NOT SO MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS BACK. IT IS WRONG BECAUSE THE BIBLE RECORD JUST HITS A FEW HIGH SPOTS; AND WE NOW KNOW THAT JEWISH CHRONOLOGY OR BETTER SAID, ISRAELITE CHRONOLOGY OFTEN IN COMMON PRACTICE, LEFT SOME GENERATION NAMES OUT, SO “SO AND SO BEGAT SO AND SO” AND COULD WELL HAVE BEEN A GENERATION IN BETWEEN THAT WAS NOT TOLD US, HENCE THIS PERSON WAS BORN TO THIS PERSON BUT ONE OR MORE GENERATIONS DOWN THE LINE LATER. THE ONE GENEALOGY OF CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS HAS IT 14, 14, 14 BACK TO ADAM. YET CHRONICLES SHOWS SOME GENERATIONS WERE LET OUT, TO BRING A NICE NEAT 14, 14. 14. WHY? NO BODY KNOWS FOR SURE, MAYBE JUST WANTED 14 AS THE NUMBER FOR SALVATION. THE NUMBER 3 IS FOR RESURRECTION; HANCE DO THIS 3 X “14” TIMES SHOW A WAY OF PROVING JESUS WAS THE GOD SENT TO BE A HUMAN AND GOD IN THE FLESH. PAUL TOLD TIMOTHY TO LEAVE GENEALOGY ALONE. THERE ARE TWO FULL BOOKS UNDER “MISCELLANEOUS” CALLED “SECRETS OF LOST RACES” AND “TREASURES OF LOST RACES” THAT WILL INDEED BLOW YOUR MIND; THINGS COVERED UP BY THE WORLD FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO PUT THEM IN THE HISTORY OF MAN, THEY ARE OUT OF SINK WITH “EVOLUTION” OF MAN BY EVOLUTIONISTS - Keith Hunt]
At this point something should be said about some startling new geological discoveries that render the longdate estimates of conventional geological science nearly impossible to hold any longer. An extensive analysis of the evidence supplied by an exposed stratum on the bed of the Paluxy River, at Glen Rose, Texas, has been published by Cecil Dougherty of Temple, Texas, under the title Valley of the Giants (Minneapolis: Bible-Science Association, n.d.), which is now going into its sixth edition. In the Bible-Science Newsletter for April 1979 (p. 4), there is a report by Fred Beierle of Lyons, Kansas, concerning a 1978 field trip to this remarkable site. It exhibits on the very same stratum a good set of three-toed dinosaur tracks and then further upstream the characteristic tracks of Tyrannosaurus Rex and also of Brontosaurus. The low level of water during the summer drought made it especially easy to uncover and view areas where clear footprints of some early human species actually cross the tracks of those dinosaurs!
[COULD WELL BE THAT SOME WILD BEASTS CREATED WITH MAN WERE DINOSAUR TYPE CREATURES…..LIKE MANY OTHER SPECIES FOR DIFFERENT REASONS OVER TIME, THEY WERE EXTERMINATED. THE STORY OF JOB SHOW CREATURES OF HIS TIME THAT ARE NOT LIKE ANY ON EARTH TODAY - Keith Hunt]
Furthermore, in an adjacent level on the same Cretaceous layer as these tracks, there was a long black streak that proved to be a fallen tree branch that had been reduced to charcoal by fire and was subsequently engulfed in the limey surface. It was about two inches in diameter and seven feet in length and was located about two hundred meters downstream from the human and dinosaur tracks. A section of this branch was removed and sent to R. Berger, a geophysicist at UCLA, for carbon-14 analysis. He later sent back his finding: the branch was 12,800 years old, ± 200 years. If this verdict is confirmed by other laboratories, it seems to indicate that the whole science of geochronology as practiced by traditional geologists is due for a complete overhaul. Here we have a late Mesozoic stratum containing evidence of early hominids contemporaneous with the most highly developed of the dinosaurs and dateable by the tree branch as being no more than 13,000 years ago!
[SOME SCIENTISTS HAVE TERRIBLE TIMES IF ANYTHING GOES BACK FURTHER THAN 404 B.C. THE TIME BISHOP USHER TRIED TO FIGURE FROM THE BIBLE THE DATE OF ADAMS CREATURE—-ON GENEALOGIES
FROM THE BIBLE, HE PINNED IT AT 404 B. C. PAUL TOLD IS TO STAY AWAY FROM GENEALOGIES. AS EXPLAINED BEFORE, JEWISH GENEALOGIES ARE NOT EASY TO FOLLOW. THE SCATTERING OF THE PEOPLE FROM BAAL, TOOK PLACE AFTER MAN BECAME AS ONE IN LANGUAGE; GOD MAKE IT PLAIN NOTHING WOULD SOON BE RESTRAINED FROM THEM; THE HUB OF THAT WORLD WAS SHATTERED, AND LANGUAGE BECAME SCATTERED. THE TWO BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “MISCELLANEOUS” ARE CALLED “SECRETS OF LOST RACES” AND “TREASURES OF LOST RACES”——THEY WILL BLOW YOU AWAY! PUT THOSE BOOKS WITH WHAT THEY SHOW BETWEEN NOAH AND BAAL, AND THERE COULD HAVE BEEN A LARGE EXPANSE OF MAYBE THOUSANDS OF YEARS; SO BRINGING PERHAPS 30 TO 40 THOUSAND YEARS - Keith Hunt]
An editorial on p.2 of this same issue of Bible-Science Newsletter furnishes an important clue as to the source of such gross error in the conventional geo-chronological methods of time computation. The careful analysis of fissionable minerals (such as the breakdown of uranium to lead or of argon 40 to argon 36) has operated on the simplistic assumption that all such deposits were originally composed of pure parent elements. Then after the magma cooled off, the parent element supposedly began to break down with the gradual loss of electrons and became the daughter element with a lower atomic count. But samples taken from the core of fairly recent volcanoes, one thousand years old or less, have specimens evidencing ages of many millions or even billions of years— judging by the proportion of daughter elements to the parent elements in the same sample. This inevitably yields the result that even in the initial stage of deposition, such fissionable formations already contained a high proportion of daughter elements. Therefore, they are almost valueless, or completely misleading, for the dating of the levels in which they are found. It will be interesting to see how conventional geology theorists will cope with this discovery. It cannot remain permanently ignored or suppressed from the public, no matter how defensive the long-date theorists may feel about the matter.
But however untrustworthy the dating methods may be that have led to such high estimates of the antiquity of these anthropoids, the fact remains that they can hardly be dated later than the creation of the Adam and Eve referred to in Genesis 1-3. However the statistics of Genesis 5 may be handled, they can hardly end up with a date for Adam much before 10,000 B.C. If these figures in Genesis are at all to be trusted, even granting the occurrence of occasional gaps in the genealogical chain, we are-compelled to regard all these early anthropoids as pre-Adamic. In other words, all these species, from the Cro-Magnon back to tbe Zin-janthropus, must have been advanced apes or anthropoids possessed of considerable intelligence and resourcefulness—but who completely died off before Adam and Eve were created.
[YES BECAUSE THERE WAS AN AGE BEFORE ADAM WAS CREATED—— THE WORLD OF THE DINOSAURS, AND YES SOME TYPE DINOSAURS WITH THE CREATION OF MAN , WHO HAVE NOW BECOME EXTINT. EVEN TODAY SOME CREATURES ARE ON THE ON-GOING LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES - Keith Hunt]
If we examine the biblical record carefully, we must recognize that when God created Adam and Eve in His own image (Gen. 1:27), He breathed something of His own Spirit into them (Gen. 2:7) in a way that He had not done to any previous order of creation. Did that divine image consist of some material form, some special kind of skeleton or anatomic structure? Certainly not, for God is spirit, not flesh (John 4:24). Therefore what made Adam of central importance was his inward makeup of soul and spirit (ruah), as well as his physical frame and bodily nature, with its animal passions and drives. From that first true human being, as a responsible moral agent, as a spirit-possessing person standing in covenant relationship with God, all the rest of the human race is descended (Rom. 5:12-21).
[MANKIND IS MADE OF THE MATERIAL THINGS (AS WE LOOK AND FEEL “MATERIAL”), THE BLOOD AND THE BREATH OF AIR. WE NEED ALL THREE TO EXIST. BUT THE BIBLE DOES TEACH THERE IS “A SPIRIT IN MAN” - NOT AN IMMORTAL SOUL, BUT SOMETHING “SPIRIT” WE CAN NOT SEE, SMELL, OR TOUCH. IT IS UNITED WITH OUR BRAIN, TO MAKE US UNLIKE ANY OTHER PHYSICAL CREATURE. I HAVE A FULL STUDY ON THIS TRUTH CALLED “THE SPIRIT IN MAN” ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
There may have been advanced and intelligent hominids who lived and died before Adam, but they were not created in the image of God. This is the line of distinction to which God's word commits us, and it is here that we must reject any interpretation of paleanthropological data that supposes that a skeletal resemblance establishes that pre-Adamic anthropoids were true human beings in the biblical sense of the term. Though these early cave dwellers may have developed certain skills in their pursuit of nourishment and engaged in war with one another—as other animals do—nevertheless there is no archaeological evidence of a true human soul as having animated their bodies.
[THIS TEACHING OF PRE-ADAM “PEOPLE” OF SOME SORT IS HOCUS-POCUS PLANET PLUTO IDEAS. WHY SOME LIKE THESE AUTHORS GO IN THIS DIRECTION IS BECAUSE THEY STILL BY AND LARGE GO WITH BISHOP USHER’S CHRONOLOGY, ABOUT 404 B.C. FOR ADAM CREATION. BUT THEY ALSO KNOW THERE WAS SOME TYPE OF “HUMANS” WAY WAY BACK BEFORE 404 B.C. WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRUTH THAT MANKIND OR ADAM AND EVE COULD GO BACK 30, 40, 50, THOUSANDS YEARS AGO, THEN ALL FALLS INTO PLACE VERY NICELY. AND WITH THIS YOU ALSO HAVE TO HAVE THE TRUTH THAT NOAH’S FLOOD WAS LOCAL AND NOT GLOBAL. SEE THAT TRUTH EXPOUNDED FOR YOU ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “MISCELLANEOUS” - Keith Hunt]
Recent studies of the chimpanzee and the gorilla unquestionably show that subhuman species of ape are capable of tool making ("Chimpanzees use more objects as tools and for more purposes than any creatures except ourselves" [Jane Goodall, "Life and Death at Gombe," National Geographic (May 1979): 598]), holding hands, patting one another, embracing and kissing. They are also capable of heartless cruelty to one another, even to cannibalism of their own young. Gorillas can even talk in sign language with humans and tell lies to them, and they have actually learned how to use a camera (Francine Patterson, "Conversation With a Gorilla," National Geographic [October 1978]: 458-59). Therefore, evidences of similar intelligence in prehistoric "man" are no decisive proof of humanity in the Adamic sense, nor of moral and spiritual capacity. Hence no strain is put on biblical credibility by these non-Adamic, pre-Adamic races, whatever their antiquity.
[SUCH STUFF BY GORILLA CREATURES JUST SHOWS THEY CAN LEARN TO ADAPT IN THEIR LIFE. THE “CROW” HAS BEEN SHOWN TO HAVE REMARKABLE BRAIN POWER—— THEY HAVE DONE AN EXPERIMENT WHERE THE CROW IS ALLOWED TO WATCH WHILE A MAN BUILDS A SIX OR SO SPECIFIC MOVES THAT MUST BE DONE IN ORDER TO FINALLY GET THE “FOOD” AT THE OTHER END. IT IS ASTONISHING HOW THE BIRD FIGUES IT OUT FROM WHAT IT SAW AS TO HOW THE MAN BUILD IT ALL, AND LIKE IT WAS DOING IT FROM BIRTH, THE BIRD WENT THROUGH EACH SPET UNDOING THIS OR THAT TO GET TO THE NEXT STEP, AND SO FORTH, TO FINALLY GET THE FOOD AT THE END OF IT ALL. THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY TO GET THE FOOD BUT DO EACH STEP IN TURN…. A 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 STEP. YOU CAN PROBABLY FIND THIS VIDEO ON YOUTUBE. A DOLPHIN WAS CAUGHT IN NETTING DOWN AT ABOUT 30 OR 40 FEET. AN AIR-TANK DIVER CAME ALONG AND STARTED TO UN-CUT THE TANGLE; THE DOLPHIN WAS FREED FROM THE OVERALL NET, BUT STILL HAD SOME NETTING THAT NEEDED TO BE CUT AWAY FOR FULL SURVIVAL. THE DOLPHIN NEEDED AIR, IT WENT UP FOR AIR, BUT RETURNED TO THE MAN WHO THEN CONTINUED TO CUT AWAY THE REST OF THE NETTING. THAT DOLPHIN KNEW THE MAN WAS HIS LIFE SAVER, AND RETURNED. SO THIS SHOWS DEGREES OF “INTELLIGENCE” EXIST IN VARIOUS SPECIES. THE IDEA THAT THERE WAS SOME KIND OF OTHER TYPE OF “HUMAN” BEFORE ADAM AND EVE IS GRASPING AT STRAWS SENT FROM PLANET PLUTO, TO KEEP ADAM AND EVE AT ABOUT 404 B.C. WHILE HUMAN TYPE “CAVE DWELLERS” LIVED MAYBE 10, 20 THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE ADAM. ALL NONSENSE WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND ADAM AND EVE COULD HAVE BEEN CREATED 30, 40, 50 THOUSAND YEARS AGO AND NOT AS BISHOP USHER PUT IT 404 B.C. - Keith Hunt]
In the Hebrew original, is the word "earth" used in Genesis 1:1 the same as "earth" in Genesis 1:10?
Yes, the word is 'eres in both cases. Whether it refers to earth in general or to a more restricted area is something to be determined from context—as is true with many of our English words. For example, John 3:16 uses "world" (Gr. kosmos) in the sense of all the human race, as objects of God's concern and redeeming love; but in 1 John 2:15 ("Love not the world") "world" is used in the sense of the organized system of rebellion, self-seeking and enmity toward God, which characterizes the human race in opposition to God.
So also 'eres may be used in the sense of the entire planet Earth in contrast to the heavens (Gen. 1:1). Or it may be the dry land in contrast to the oceans and seas (v. 10). Or it may mean one particular country or geographical-political division, such as "the land of Israel" (2 Kings 5:2) or "the land of Egypt" (Exod. 20:2). In Genesis 2:5-9, 'eres refers to the area of Eden, where God prepared a perfect setting for Adam and Eve to dwell. In almost every case the context will lead us to the correct sense in which the word is meant by the author.
While it is reasonable to assume that God's creation referred to in Genesis 1:1 was "perfect," this fact is not actually so stated until after v. 10. After the separation of water from dry land, it is mentioned that this work of creation was "good" (Heb. is not the Hebrew word for "perfect," tamim, which does not occur until Gen. 6:9, where it refers to the "blamelessness" of Noah). The "goodness" of God's creative work is mentioned again in Genesis 1:12, 18, 21, 25, and 31 (the last of which states, "And God saw all that he had made, and, behold, it was very good," NASB). In the light of these citations, it would be difficult to maintain that God's creative work in Genesis 1:2 and thereafter was not really "good"; on the other hand, nowhere is it actually affirmed that it was "perfect"— though the term may well have implied perfection.
As for the reference to the earth's being "waste and void" in Genesis 1:2, it is not altogether clear whether this was a subsequent and resultant condition after a primeval catastrophe, as some scholars understand it (interpreting the verb as "became" rather than "was"). It may simply have been that Genesis 1:1 serves as an introduction to the six-stage work of creation that is about to be described in the rest of chapter 1. In that case there is no intervening catastrophe to be accounted for; and the six creative days are to be understood as setting forth the orderly progressive stages in which God first completed his work of creating the planet Earth as we know it today.
Those who construe ("was") as "became" (a meaning more usually associated with this verb when it is followed by the preposition occurring before the thing or condition into which the subject is turned) understand this to indicate a primeval catastrophe possibly associated with the rebellion of Satan against God, as suggested by Isaiah 14:10-14. That passage seems to imply that behind the arrogant defiance of the king of Babylon against the Lord there stands as his inspiration and support the prince of hell himself, who once said in his heart, "I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will make myself like the Most High" (Isa. 14:14); this language would hardly have proceeded from the lips of any mortal king).
In 2 Peter 2:4 we read that "God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment." Those who espouse this interpretation suggest that a major disaster overtook the created heavens and earth mentioned in Genesis 1:1, as a result of which the earth needed to be restored—perhaps even recreated—in the six creative days detailed in the rest of Genesis 1.
It must be understood, however, that there is no explicit statement anywhere in Scripture that the primeval fall of Satan was accompanied by a total ruin of earth itself; it is simply an inference or conjecture, which may seem persuasive to some Bible students but be somewhat unconvincing to others. This, in brief, is the basis for the catastrophe theory.
[WHEN WE PUT ALL VERSES IN THE BIBLE TOGETHER WE DO HAVE CLEARLY A WORLD CREATED IN BEAUTY, THE COVERING CHERUB OVER GOD’S THRONE WAS GIVEN DOMAIN OVER THE EARTH. HE WANTED TO ASCEND AND OBTAIN THE THRONE OF GOD. ONE THIRD OF THE ANGELS WENT ALONG WITH HIS PLAN. THEY BECAME THE DEVIL AND DEMONS. YES THE EARTH OF THE DINOSAUR AGE CAME CRASHING TO A VIOLENT GLOBAL END, AND WATER COVERED THE EARTH. HOW LONG THIS WAS SO WE ARE NOT TOLD. WE COME ON THE SCENE IN GENESIS 1:2 WHERE THE SPIRIT OF GOD STARTS TO DO ITS WORK, AND THE EARTH WAS RE-FORMED IN 6 LITERAL DAYS - GOD SAW WHAT HE DID AS “GOOD.” THIS THEN SHOWS THE EARTH IS MUCH MUCH OLDER THAN ABOUT 6 THOUSAND YEARS, AS BISHOP USHER GAVE 404 B.C. FOR THE CREATION OF ADAM. ALL THIS IS EXPOUNDED IN DETAIL IN OTHER STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
Do the names for God in Genesis 1 and 2 show a difference in the authorship of the two chapters?
It is true that throughout the thirty-one verses of Genesis 1 the only name for God used is Elohim, and that the personal name for God, i.e., Yahweh, becomes prominent in chapter 2. Nevertheless this distinction of usage in the two chapters furnishes no solid evidence of difference in authorship. This theory was first brought into prominence by the French physician Jean Astruc back in 1753. He felt that Genesis 1 must have been taken from some earlier literary source produced by an author who knew of God only by the name Elohim, whereas Genesis 2 came from a different source that knew of God as Yahweh (or "Jehovah"). J. G. Eichhorn of Leipzig extended this Yahwist-Elohist source division to the rest of the chapters of Genesis all the way to Exodus 6:3, which was interpreted by him to mean that according to that "source" the name Yahweh was unknown until Moses' time. This implied that all the references to Yahweh occurring in Genesis must have come from a different source that supposed that He was known by that name before Moses' time.
Exodus 6:3 says, "And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My name Yahweh I did not make Myself known to them." This might seem to imply that the name itself was unknown before Moses' time, but such an interpretation goes against actual Hebrew usage. There is a very special significance to the phrase "to know the name of Yahweh" or "to know that I am Yahweh." This expression occurs at least twenty-six times in the Old Testament; and in every instance it signifies to learn by actual experience that God is Yahweh, the covenant-keeping God who chastens, cares for, and delivers His covenant people from their foes. Thus we read in Exodus 6:7, "You shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." Even the Egyptians were to learn this from bitter experience, according to Exodus 14:4: "And the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh"—as a result of the ten plagues that were to fall on them.
Obviously Pharaoh knew that the name of the God of Moses was Yahweh, for he so referred to Him in Exodus 5:2: "Who is Yahweh that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?" Therefore we are to understand Exodus 6:3 as meaning "I showed Myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the all-powerful Ruler of creation and Sovereign over all the forces of nature [i.e., as El Shaddai, God Almighty], but I did not show Myself to them as a covenant-keeping God in the miraculous, redemptive way that I am about to display in the deliverance of the entire nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage."
"Yahweh" connotes God's faithfulness and personal care of His covenant people—though this pertains to His dealings with individual believers as well. Thus in His relationships with Abraham and his family all through the Genesis account, God is referred to as Yahweh. But it was reserved for the generation of Moses to behold the wonder-working power of God on their behalf on an epoch-making scale. The Exodus record is marked by one redemptive miracle after another, with chastening judgments visited on Israel as well, in their times of rebellion and apostasy, until finally they were brought safely into the land of Canaan under Joshua, there to establish a new commonwealth under the guidance of the law of Moses. This, then, is the way we are to understand the true intent of Exodus 6:3, rather than in the simplistic way that Eichhorn and his followers of the Documentary (JEDP) school have construed it.
Going back, then, to the explanation for the difference in the name-usage followed in Genesis 2 as opposed to Genesis 1, the reason for this distinction is perfectly evident in the light of the previous discussion. "Elohim" was the only name of God appropriate in a narrative of God's work of creation as Ruler over all nature and the universe. But in chapter 2 He comes into a personal covenant with Adam and Eve; and therefore to them God (Elohim) displayed Himself as "Yahweh," the God of grace and covenant. There- fore, throughout the chapter, in all eleven occurrences, Yahweh occurs in combination with Elohim, never alone. This clearly implies that the same God who made the universe in six creative stages is the very same Lord who loved and cared for Adam as His son, created after His own image. The same is true throughout chapter 3: "Yahweh" is never used alone but only in combination with "Elohim." Not until we come to Eve's comment in Genesis 4:1 do we encounter the first occurrence of "Yahweh" (or Lord) alone, without Elohim.
In view of this consistent combination of the two names throughout chapters 2 and 3, it is difficult to imagine how Astruc, Eichhorn, or any other scholar could have come up with the theory that there ever was a prior source that knew of God only by the name Yahweh. In view of the constant joining of the two names together, one would have to suppose that some later redactor chose to glue together by dint of scissors and paste a snippet of "J" ending with "Yahweh" with a snippet of "E" or "P" that began with "Elohim." Such an artificial and bizarre process of combination extending through two entire chapters has never been discovered in the literature of any other nation or time. It calls for an extraordinary degree of naive credulity to suppose that it could have been so in the case of Genesis 2 and 3.
Before closing this discussion, it ought to be pointed out that, on the basis of comparative literature of the Ancient Near East, all of Israel's neighbors followed the practice of referring to their high gods by at least two different names—or even three or four. In Egypt Osiris (the lord of the netherworld and the judge of the dead) was also referred to as Wennefer (He who is Good), Khent-amentiu (Foremost of the Westerners), and Neb-abdu (Lord of Abydos); and all four titles occur in the Ikhernofer Stela in the Berlin Museum. In Babylonia the god Bel was also known by his Sumerian title of Enlil and by Nunamnir as well (cf. the Prologue of the Lipit-Ishtar Law Code). Similarly the Moon god was both Sin and Nanna, and the great goddess Ishtar was also known as Inanna or Telitum. In the pre-Mosaic Canaanite culture of Ugarit in North Syria, Baal was frequently called Aliyan (and that too in successive stichoi of parallelistic poetry, just as in the Hebrew Psalter), whereas the king-god El was also known as Latpan, and the artificer god Kothar-wa-Khasis was also called Hayyin (cf. Pritchard, ANET, p. 151, in connection with Aqhat).
In Greece the same practice held true: Zeus was also Kronion and Olympius; Athena was Pallas; Apollo was Phoebus and Pythius as well—all of which appear in parallelistic verses of Homer's epics. To insist that this same phenomenon in Hebrew literature must point to diverse prior sources is to ignore completely this abundant analogy from the literature of all of Israel's neighbors. It is difficult to see how source division on the basis of divine names can be accepted as intellectually respectable in the light of the known facts of comparative literature.
Doesn't Genesis 2 present a different creation order than Genesis 1?
Genesis 2 does not present a creation account at all but presupposes the completion of God's work of creation as set forth in chapter 1. The first three verses of Genesis 2 simply carry the narrative of chapter 1 to its final and logical conclusion, using the same vocabulary and style as employed in the previous chapter. It sets forth the completion of the whole primal work of creation and the special sanctity conferred on the seventh day as a symbol and memorial of God's creative work. Verse 4 then sums up the whole sequence that has just been surveyed by saying, "These are the generations of heaven and earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made heaven and earth."
Having finished the overall survey of the subject, the author then develops in detail one important feature that has already been mentioned: the creation of man. Kenneth Kitchen says, Genesis 1 mentions the creation of man as the last of a series, and without any details, whereas in Genesis 2 man is the center of interest and more specific details are given about him and his setting. Failure to recognize the complementary nature of the subject-distinction between a skeleton outline of all creation on the one hand, and the concentration in detail on man and his immediate environment on the other, borders on obscurantism (Ancient Orient, p. 117).
Kitchen then draws on the analogy of Egyptian inscriptions like the Karnak Poetical Stela of Thutmose III, the Gebel Barkal Stela, and those royal inscriptions from Urartu that ascribe the defeat of the nation's foes to their patron god, Haldi, and then repeat the same victories in detail as achieved by the reigning king of Urartu. Kitchen then adds:
What is absurd when applied to monumental Near Eastern texts that had no prehistory of hands and redactors should not be imposed on Genesis 1 and 2, as is done by uncritical perpetuation of a nineteenth-century systematization of speculations by eighteenth-century dilettantes lacking, as they did, all knowledge of the forms and usages of Ancient Oriental literature (ibid.).
As we examine the remainder of Genesis 2, we find that it concerns itself with a description of the ideal setting that God prepared for Adam and Eve to begin their life in, walking in loving fellowship with Him as responsive and obedient children. Verses 5-6 describe the original condition of the "earth," or "land," in the general region of the Garden of Eden before it had sprouted verdure under the special watering system the Lord used for its development. Verse 7 introduces Adam as a newly fashioned occupant for whom Eden was prepared. Verse 8 records how he was placed there to observe and enjoy the beauty and richness of his surroundings. Verses 9-14 describe the various kinds of trees and the lush vegetation sustained by the abundant waters of the rivers that flowed out of Eden to the lower regions beyond its borders. Verse 15 indicates the absorbing activity that Adam had assigned to him as keeper and warden of this great natural preserve.
From the survey of the first fifteen verses of chapter 2, it becomes quite apparent that this was never intended to be a general creation narrative. Search all the cosmogonies of the ancient civilizations of the Near East, and you will never find among them a single creation account that omits all mention of the formation of sun, moon, and stars or ocean or seas— none of which are referred to in Genesis 2. It is therefore quite obvious that Genesis 1 is the only creation account to be found in the Hebrew Scripture and that it is already presupposed as the background of Genesis 2. Even the animals are not referred to until Adam is assigned the task of examining them carefully, one by one, in order to decide on an appropriate name for each species or bird and beast that was brought before him (vv. 18-20). But before this phase of Adam's experience begins, he is brought into covenant relationship with God, who grants him permission to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden except one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (vv. 16-17). Verse 18 then shows how Yahweh proceeded to fill Adam's foreseen need of companionship)—first by the fellowship with the animals and birds (vv. 19-20), then, after that proves to be unsatisfying, by the companionship of a wife, who is fashioned from the bone that was closest to Adam's heart (vv.21-22). The chapter closes with a vivid portrayal of Adam's joyous acceptance of his new helpmate and his unreserved commitment to her in love. The structure of Genesis 2 stands in clear contrast to every creation account known to comparative literature. It was never intended to be a creation account at all, except insofar as it related the circumstances of man's creation as a child of God, fashioned in His image, infused with His breath of life, and brought into an intimate personal relationship with the Lord Himself. Quite clearly, then, chapter 2 is built on the foundation of chapter 1 and represents no different tradition than the first chapter or discrepant account of the order of creation.
Can the Garden of Eden be located on a map?
Genesis 2:10-14 furnishes some clues to the general location of Eden, but it presupposes geological conditions that no longer hold. Hence it is hazardous to conjecture any site more precise than the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the highlands of Armenia (i.e., the eastern border of modern Turkey).
The large river flowing from Eden subdivided into the Tigris and the Euphrates, as well as into two other long rivers (the Pishon, leading down to Havilah, along the southern coast of Arabia, and the Gihon, which went over to Cush—which may have been some Asiatic region lying to the east rather than the African Cush that was Ethiopia).
This indicates that the site was a high plateau or mountainous region (insuring a cool and comfortable temperature for Eden during the summer season), having copious headwaters to supply the four major river systems this passage describes. The Havilah, through which the Pishon flowed, was rich in gold, spices, and deposits of precious stones—which were found in abundance along the southern or southwestern coasts of Arabia. For the Cush, no such helpful clues are given; the name has been connected by some scholars with Kish in Sumeria or with the Kassites (who are thought to have originated in the Zagros mountain region).
The most plausible explanation for the later complete disappearance of the Pishon and Gihon rivers is the theory that mountain-building activity accompanying continental drift (for Arabia was originally connected with the Somalian and Ethiopian coast during prehistoric times) may have terminated those two river systems in the antediluvian period. This would be analogous to the uplift of the Mount Seir Range in Edom, which prevented the Jordan River from flowing all the way down to the Gulf of Aqaba, as it originally did.
Weren't the Israelites under the old covenant saved through obedience to God rather than because they looked forward in faith to a coming Savior? What passages indicate that such faith was necessary for their salvation?
From Genesis to Revelation the Bible makes it clear that no one was ever saved by his own good works but only by faith in the promises of God. Only in Eden was salvation put on the basis of obedience, with the accompanying warning of death for transgression of God's command: "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:17, NASB). In Genesis 3 this one command was broken by both Eve and Adam in response to Satan's temptation and deceit; and God confirmed their sentence of death by saying, "For you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen. 3:19). From that time on, no human being has ever been saved by obedience— except the race of the redeemed, who are saved by faith in the atonement of Christ, whose deed of obedience paid the price of their salvation.
It is true that in both Testaments great emphasis is laid on obedience. In Exodus 19:5 (NASB) God promised Israel, "Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples." But this by no means suggests an alternative way to heaven apart from faith; on the contrary, this promise was given to a company of believers who had already repented of sin and surrendered their hearts to the Lord in faith. Obedience was to be a necessary evidence or fruit of faith. It is not the apple that makes its parent tree an apple tree; it is the apple tree that makes its fruit an apple. Jesus said, "By their fruit you shall know them" (Matt. 7:16); in other words, grapes come only from vines, not thorn bushes, and figs only from fig trees, not thistles. Obedience is a necessary and natural consequence of faith, but it is never described as a substitute for faith anywhere in Scripture.
It should be noted that from the very beginning Adam and Eve taught their sons the necessity of sacrifice to the Lord for the sins they may have committed; thus Abel presented the acceptable blood sacrifice on his altar—as an act of faith that typically presented in advance the Atonement later to be offered on Calvary. Hebrews 11:4 makes this clear, "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain.... And through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks." Genesis 15:6 records that when Abraham believed God, God reckoned it to him for righteousness. Romans 4:13 tells us that "the promise to Abraham and his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."
As for the generation of Moses, to whom the promise of Exodus 19:5 was given, there could have been no misunderstanding whatever concerning the principle of salvation through faith alone. From the same chapter that contains the Ten Commandments comes the first of several references to sacrificial worship: "You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen" (Exod. 20:24, NASB). The underlying principle of each sacrifice was that the life of the innocent animal victim was substituted for the guilty, forfeited life of the believer. He received the forgiveness of God only through repentance and faith, not through obedience.
Hebrews 10:4, referring to the Old Testament dispensation, declares, "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (NASB). Earlier, in 9:11-12, the Scripture states: "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands,... and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (NASB).
How, then, is the benefit of this blood-bought atonement brought to sinners? It comes only through faith, not through deeds of obedience as works of merit—whether before the Cross or after. Scripture declares, "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8, NASB). But what kind of faith? The counterfeit faith that betrays itself by disobedience to the revealed will of God and by bondage to self and to sin? Certainly not! Salvation comes only through a true and living faith that takes seriously the absolute lordship of Christ and produces the fruit of a godly life—a life of true obedience, based on a genuine surrender of heart, mind, and body (Rom. 12:1).
It is from this perspective that we are to understand the earnest calls to obedience from the Old Testament prophets: "If you consent and obey, you will eat the best from the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured with the sword" (Isa. 1:19-20). Similar is the requirement laid down by Jesus Himself: "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46, NASB). The apostles concur: "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.... But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness" (Rom. 6:11-12,17-18, NASB).
[I HAVE A STUDY ON THIS WEBSITE THAT SHOWS FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS THE WAY OF SALVATION; JUST THE SAME AS IT IS TAUGHT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. AND FOR A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY OF BEING SAVED BY GRACE, SEE MY STUDY CALLED “SAVED BY GRACE” UNDER THE “SALVATION” SECTION - Keith Hunt]
Did Adam really die when he ate of the forbidden fruit?
In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam, "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die" (NASB). Later, in 3:4, Satan's serpent assured Eve, "Surely you will not die!" When Adam and Eve yielded to temptation and partook of the forbidden fruit, they certainly did not drop dead on that fateful day; but they lived on to face the rebuke of God (3:8-19). Was Satan right? Did God fail to carry out His promise? Certainly not! But the death that overtook the guilty pair that day was spiritual only; physical death did not come until centuries later (Gen. 5:5).
Scripture distinguishes three types of death. First, there is physical death, which involves separation of the soul from the body. The separated body undergoes chemical dissolution and reverts to the "dust of the ground" (i.e., the elements of which it was composed). The soul of subhuman creatures apparently ceases to exist (cf. Eccl. 3:21: "Who knows that the breath [ruah, used here in the sense of the breath of life, metonymic of the non-material personality of the human or subhuman animal] of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?"). On the day Adam was disobedient, the sentence of physical death was imposed; but by God's grace the execution of that sentence was delayed.
The Old Testament people of God were fully aware that physical death did not entail the annihilation of the person who indwelt the body. Genesis 25:8 states that Abraham after his decease "was gathered to his people"—which implies a continuing consciousness of personal relationship with those who had preceded him in death.
[UTTER NONSENSE IT DOES NOT TEACH WE HAVE AN IMMORTAL SOUL - SEE THE STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE “DEATH…THEN WHAT?” - Keith Hunt]
Job 19:25-26 quotes the suffering patriarch as saying: "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is flayed [lit., 'stripped off], yet in (lit., from) my flesh I shall see God" (cf. 2 Sam. 12:23; Pss. 49:15; 73:24; 84:7; Isa. 25:8; 26:19; Hos. 13:14). Already in Daniel 12:2 we find a reference to the bodily nature of deceased persons as "sleeping" in the dust of the earth, from whence they shall be raised up.
[YES THE BIBLE TEACHES A RESURRECTION TO LIFE AGAIN, NOT SOME IMMORTAL PERSON IN HEAVEN GIVEN SOME BODY AT THE RESURRECTION; THE RESURRECTION IS NEEDED TO GIVE LIFE FROM THE SLEEP OF DEATH. I WENT IN FOR A MINOR SURGERY WHEN I WAS ABOUT 45. I WAS TAKING TO THE GUY WHO WOULD “PUT ME OUT” - I WENT OUT LIKE A LIGHT WAS TURNED OFF. THERE WAS NO DREAMING….THERE WAS NOTHING; I WAS REALLY AS GOOD AS DEAD. I WAS NOT OFF IN ANOTHER LAND, I WAS NOT VISITING DEPARTED SOULS IN HEAVEN, OR LOOKING DOWN ON HELL FIRE. I WAS BLANK—NOTHING, AS WHEN IN A DEEP SLEEP WITH NO DREAMING. IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG AND THE NURSE COULD NOT WAKE ME UP AS SHE DID, I WAS BLANKNESS, I WAS REALLY NOT ALIVE, EVEN IF MY HEART WAS STILL BEATING. MY MIND WAS DEAD SO TOP SPEAK. SO IS DEATH….UNTIL A RESURRECTION - Keith Hunt]
In the New Testament this same resurrection of both the evil and the good is taken up by Christ Himself in John 5:28-29: "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds, to a resurrection of life, those who committed evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (NASB). The implication is that all humans after death remain in a state of sleep or suspended animation so far as their bodily nature is concerned. In the New Testament specific references to this state of sleep pertain to believers, at least so far as Paul's Epistles are concerned (1 Cor. 11:30; 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:14; 5:10). But their soul and spirit, which prior to the resurrection of Christ waited in that portion of hades referred to by Christ as "Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22), go to be with Christ immediately upon death (Phil. 1:23).
[THIS IS ALL MUMBO-JUMBO THEOLOGY, YOU KNOW WHAT PLANET IT COMES FROM. FOR TYHE TRUTH ON DEATH AND RESURRECTIONS SEE THE IN-DEPTH STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt][
The second type of death taught in Scripture is spiritual death. It is this aspect of death that overtook our first parents immediately upon their act of sin. Alienation toward God was shown by their vain attempt to hide from Him when He came to have fellowship with them in the cool of the evening (Gen. 3:8). It was apparent from their attitude of guilty fear toward Him (3:10), in the curse of expulsion from the Garden of Eden (where they had enjoyed intimate and cordial fellowship with Him), in the curse of toil and pain both in the eking out of a living from the soil and in the process of childbirth, and in the eventual death of the body and its reversion to the soil from which it was made (3:16-19,23-24). From that moment on, Adam and Eve fell into a state of spiritual death, separated from the living God through their violation of His covenant. As Ephesians 2:1-3 expresses it, they became "dead in trespasses and sins," walking according to the course of Satan and this present evil world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, as children of disobedience and wrath.
[YES THEY SINNED AND SO CAME UNDER “DEATH” SENTENCE, AS ALL ARE WHO HAVE SINNED, AND WE ALL HAVE SINNED BUT JESUS. UNTIL WE ARE CALLED BY GOD TO BE OFFERED SALVATION WE ARE ALL UNDER THE DEATH SENTENCE. ONLY A RELATIVELY FEW ARE CALLED BY GOD YESTERDAY AND TODAY FOR SALVATION. UPON REPENTANCE AND ACCEPTING JESUS AS PERSONAL SAVOIR WE CAN HAVE OUR SINS WASHED AWAY AND BE ON THE PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE; ALL FULLY EXPLAINED IN DETAIL ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
Not only did Adam and Eve become guilty before God and thereby fall into a state of unrighteousness, but they also incurred that defilement and pollution that characterize the unholy life of the fallen ("fleshly nature") that is basically alienated toward God and in a state of enmity toward Him (Rom. 8:5-8). Hence the mind-set is death (v.6), and those who abide in this state are incapable of pleasing God (v.8). Hence they are alienated from the life of God, being completely helpless to save themselves or to earn any merit or favor in the eyes of God. They are utterly lost from the time they first begin their earthly life (Ps. 51:5), for they are born as "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3).
Such was the condition of Adam and Eve as soon as they committed their first transgression. They were plunged immediately into a state of spiritual death, from which they had no prospect of recovery, despite the most strenuous efforts to lead a better life. Yet the biblical account goes on to tell of God's forgiveness and remedial grace. To that guilty pair He gave the promise (Gen. 3:15) that one of Eve's descendants would someday crush the head of the satanic serpent, at the cost of personal suffering (suggestive of His death on the Cross).
Instead of immediately inflicting the penalty of physical death on them, God gave Adam and Eve a set of guidelines for their life subsequent to their expulsion from Eden—which surely implied that their execution was to be delayed for some gracious purpose, even though they had forfeited the communion they had formerly enjoyed with God. God also provided them with animal pelts to cover up their nakedness and to protect them from the cold and the rigors of the outside world. But to furnish them with such pelts, it was necessary to take the lives of the animals whose fur they were to wear. It may have been in this connection that God taught Adam and Eve about blood sacrifice on the altar, as a means of their laying hold in advance of the atoning merit of the Cross—that vicarious, substitutionary death that the messianic "seed of the woman" was someday to offer up on the hill of Golgotha. As they responded in repentance and faith (bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit), they were rescued from their state of death and brought into a state of grace. This faith is deduced from the sacrificial practice of their son Abel, who presented the firstlings of his flock as a blood sacrifice on his altar in his worship of God. Blood sacrifice presupposes a concept of substitution, whereby the innocent dies in place of the guilty.
The third type of death referred to in Scripture is eternal death, that final, complete, and irremediable state of eternal separation from God, who is the only true source of life and joy. This death is referred to in Revelation 20:14 as the "second death." This is characterized by unending and unrelieved pangs of conscience and anguish of soul, corresponding to the ever-ascending smoke of the torment of the damned (Rev. 14:11).
[SO WE HAVE THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT TEACHING OF SUFFERING IN HELL-FIRE FOR ETERNITY—— PANGS OF CONSCIENCE AND ANGUISH OF SOUL; ALL THEOLOGICAL INEPTNESS - AGAIN SEE THE STUDIES UNDER “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
This is said to be the final state of Satan, the Beast (or the self-deifying world dictator of the last days), and his religious collaborator, the False Prophet (Rev. 20:10). All three are to be cast into the "lake of fire and brimstone," there to be tormented "day and night forever and ever." Revelation 21:8 reveals that every type of unrepentant, unforgiven sinner (the cowardly, the unbelieving or untrustworthy, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers and idolaters, and all liars) will likewise be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death. This, then, is the ultimate destiny of those who willfully abide in a state of spiritual death until they experience their physical death. "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18, NASB). "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey [or believe] the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).
[I SHAKE MY HEAD THAT BIBLE TEACHERS STILL TEACH THIS EVER BURNING HELL-FIRE, OF DYING BUT NOT DYING, OF BEING TORMENTED IN SOME FORM FOR ALL ETERNITY; NO WONDER ATHEISTS LAUGH AT THE BIBLE AND POPULAR CHRISTIANITY. WELL THESE AUTHORS WROTE THIS IN 1982, I WONDER IF SOME THEOLOGY TEACHERS HAVE COME TO SEE THE LIGHT OF TRUTH SINCE THEN, ON THIS SUBJECT OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION. I THINK MANY, MOST TODAY, JUST IGNORE THE SUBJECT PERIOD - Keith Hunt]
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent told Eve that if she and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, they would be "as gods" (Gen. 3:5 KJV). Then in Genesis 3:22 God says, "Behold, the man has become like one of us" (NASB). Does "gods" and "us" imply the existence of more than one God?
Not at all. The usual Hebrew term for "God" is Elohlm, which is the plural of 'eloah. It is occasionally used as a true plural, referring to the imaginary gods of the heathen. But usually it refers to the one true God, and the plural ending is known to Hebrew grammarians as the "plural of majesty." Like 'adonim ("lords" or "Lord") and (plural of ba'al, "lord," "master," "owner," "husband"), Elohim also may be used to give a heightened impressiveness of majesty to God. As such, this plural is modified by adjectives in the singular and takes a singular verb.
[VERY IMPRESSIVE PEOPLE MAY THINK, BUT GOD DID NOT TELL PEOPLE TO GET A DEGREE IN HEBREW OR GREEK TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE. THE SIMPLE ANSWER BY READING ALL THE BIBLE IS A YES! GOD IS SPEAKING TO US AND TELLING US THAT THE GODHEAD IS AN “US” AND ELOHLM AS PLURAL MEANS JUST THAT….. GOD IS PLURAL—— THE GODHEAD IS PLURAL, ONE GOD BUT MORE THAN ONE PERSON. AS YOU READ THE GOSPELS IT SHOULD BE PLAIN THAT JESUS WAS GOD, AND WAS WITH GOD— HENCE TWO BEINGS IN THE GODHEAD. THE FATHER IS GOD AND JESUS THE SON IS GOD; BOTH ARE GOD BUT THE FATHER IS THE SUPREME GOD, THE ONE WHO SENT THE GOD WHO BECAME JESUS THE CHRIST. THIS WAS EASY FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND READING THE GOSPELS AND GENESIS FROM THE AGE OF 9 AND ONWARDS. SO YES THERE IS “ONE” GOD, AS THERE IS “ONE” BODY OF CHRIST, BUT MORE THAN ONE PERSON. OF COURSE THIS GETS SOME “TRINITY” TEACHERS (MOST OF CHRISTENDOM) TIED INTO KNOTS AND DOING ALL KINDS OF TURNING INSIDE OUT AND OUTSIDE IN, TRYING TO EXPAIN “GOD” WHICH IN THE END THEY SAY CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD. WELL YES “GOD” CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AS HE HAS EXPLAINED THE GODHEAD TO US, IF WE TAKE AWAY ALL THE “EXPERT” THEOLOGY GUYS, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN IN READING THE BIBLE. BUT SADLY MOST CHRISTIANS DO NOT READ THE BIBLE - Keith Hunt]
In the case of the serpent, serving as Satan's mouthpiece, his previous uses of 'elohim (3:1,5a) are unquestionably intended as a designation of the one true God; hence, it is altogether likely that it should be so used here. Therefore, the proper rendering of 3:5b should be (as AVS, NASB, NIV, and even the Luther Bible): "You will be like God, knowing good and evil." The last phrase acts as a qualifier; that is, "you will be like God in that you will have personal knowledge of the moral law, with the distinction that it draws between good and evil." No longer would they remain in a state of innocency, but they would have a (guilty) personal experience of evil and would be to that extent closer to God and His angels in the matter of full moral awareness.
Who, then, constitutes the "us" referred to in v.22? Conceivably the three persons of the Trinity might be involved here (as in Gen. 1:26), but more likely "us" refers to the angels surrounding God's throne in heaven (cf. 1 Kings 22:19; Isa. 6:1-3, etc.).
[IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANGELS; THE “US” IS THE GODHEAD, NO NEED TO THINK DIFFERENTLY AT ALL; THE GODHEAD IS ONE GOD BUT MORE THAT ONE PERSON; AND THAT IS NOT A “TRINITY” AS POPULAR CHRISTIANITY SAYS. IT IS GOD WHO WAS WITH GOD AS WE ARE TOLD IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN FIRST CHAPTER. SIMPLE AS SIMPLE CAN BE. THE GODHEAD IS GOD THE FATHER WHO IS HEAD OF CHRIST AS PAUL CLEARLY SAID IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11, AND AS JESUS HIMSELF SAID, “MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN ME” - LOOK THAT ONE UP. JESUS WE ARE TOLD CLEARLY SITS AT THE THRONE OF THE FATHER ON HIS RIGHT HAND, NOT ON TOP OF HIM, OR INSIDE HIM, BUT ON HIS RIGHT HAND. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT A SEPARATE BODILY PERSON SITTING IN A DIFFERENT PLACE SOMEWHERE IN THE HEAVENLY THRONE ROOM AWAY FROM THE FATHER AND SON; NOTHING LIKE THAT IS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE, NOT EVEN CLOSE. ALL OF THE TRUTH OF GOD IS EXPOUNDED FOR YOU UNDER, “GOD, CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SIRIT” SECTION ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
There are a few passages in the Old Testament where the angels are referred to as 'elohim ("sons of God," e.g., Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:6; cf. bene 'elim—a shortened form of 'elohim, Pss. 29:1; 89:6). In some cases, just as bene Yisrd'el ("sons of Israel") is shortened to Yisrd'el alone (referring to the nation of Israel rather than to Jacob), so also bene 'elohim ("sons of God" in the sense of angels) is shortened to 'elohim, as in Psalm 97:7.
It was certainly true of the angels of heaven that they too had acquired a knowledge of good and evil. Before the dawn of human history, there was apparently a revolt against God under the leadership of Satan or "Lucifer" (see Isa. 14:12-15, where Satan is addressed as the patron of the king of Babylon). This is probably alluded to in 2 Peter 2:4: "God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment." Therefore, those angels who remained true to the Lord were members of His heavenly court, having passed the tests of faithfulness and obedience in the face of temptation.
[THE HEBREW WORD “ELOHIM” CAN AND IS USED FOR “JUDGES” - IT IS USED DIFFERENT WAYS IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS. BUT THE FACT IT IS USED FOR GOD, AND IT IS PLURAL; THAT THEN CORRESPONDS TO “US” - MORE THAN ONE PERSON IN “GOD” WHO IS ONE GOD BUT MORE THAN ONE PERSON = THE GODHEAD - Keith Hunt]
If it was not until after Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and were hiding their nakedness in the garden that God knew they had disobeyed Him, how is this compatible with the belief that God is everywhere and knows what is in man's heart and what man will do?
The inference that God did not foreknow that Adam and Eve would yield to temptation and fall into sin is not supported by Scripture. If John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the "Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world" (cf. Rev. 13:8), then God certainly foreknew that our first parents would sin and fall before they were even created. Even so, Jesus foreknew—and foretold—Peter's triple denial of Him in the courtyard of the high priest, even though Peter asserted his willingness to die for his Master if need be (Matt. 26:33-35). It was after Peter had denied knowing Jesus for the third time that Jesus turned His gaze in Peter's direction and their eyes met (Luke 22:60-61).
When the Lord called out to Adam in the garden (Gen. 3:9), He knew perfectly well where Adam was hiding (cf. Ps. 139:2-3), what he had been thinking, and what he had done (cf. Prov. 15:3). But there was no other way He could deal with Adam and Eve concerning their sin than to question them about it: "Have you eaten from the tree? ... What is this that you have done?" (Gen. 3:11,13). Parents normally use this approach when they apprehend their children in wrongdoing, even though they are well aware of their guilt. The use of a question leads to the necessary first step of confession: "Yes, Father, I broke it—by accident, of course."
Obviously, God was already aware of what Adam and Eve had done, and He had already decided how to deal with them in the light of their transgression (Gen. 3:14-19). This is simply an example of the general principle set forth in Acts 15:18: "Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world." See also Isaiah 41:26; 42:9,23; 43:9,12; 44:7-8—all of which lay the strongest stress on God's foreknowledge of the future and His ability to predict exactly what is going to happen, even to revealing these matters to His prophets centuries in advance of their occurrence.
Were Adam and Eve saved? When God clothed them with animal skins after the Fall, did He also teach them about blood sacrifice and the atonement? Was Adam a high priest for his family?
The first people to be forgiven of their sin were undoubtedly Adam and Eve. Their repentance and forgiveness are presupposed in Genesis 3:9-21, even though it is not explicitly spelled out. To be sure, the recorded remarks of both Adam and Eve included some evasion of personal responsibility for eating the forbidden fruit—Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent— but both admitted by implication that they had actually committed the very offense that they had promised never to do.
Even though no genuine, full admission of guilt and repentance for sin is recorded in this chapter, the disciplinary measures meted out by God—Eve is to have painful childbirth and be subordinate to her husband; Adam is to eke out a hard living from the soil, with the prospect of eventual death to his body—are governed by considerations of forgiveness and grace. God did not reject them and leave them to the punishment they deserved, but He put them under a chastening discipline out of motives of love. He showed His purpose to be a salutary reminder of their past unfaithfulness and of their need to put Him first in their lives.
[DEAD WRONG ON “CHILDBEARING WITH PAIN” - NOT TAUGHT BY THE BIBLE AS SOME PUNISHMENT; THE TRUTH OF THIS IS GIVEN TO YOU IN STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE; UNDER “MISCELLANEOUS” - Keith Hunt]
Since Genesis 3:15 contains the first announcement of the coming of the Savior—"He [the Seed of the woman] shall bruise you on the head, and you [the satanic serpent] shall bruise him on the heel"—it seems logical to conclude that at the time God clothed the nakedness of Adam and Eve, He also instructed them in the significance of the atoning blood of the substitute sacrifice. Adam then doubtless passed on to his sons his understanding of the blood-sacrifice atonement; for it is clear that Abel, Adam's second son, was a true believer and was well instructed about substitutionary atonement, symbolized by his sacrifice of an innocent lamb on the altar (Gen. 4:4).
Cain and Abel seem to have approached their own altars directly, thus being personally responsible for their offerings, since there is no mention of Adam's serving them in a priestly capacity. Cain's vegetable offering would never have secured his father's approval, because Cain tried to approach God without atoning blood; and Adam would never have approved what God condemned (Gen. 4:5).
[NOPE WRONG AGAIN. THERE WERE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SACRIFICES TO GOD UNDER MOSES’ LAW, AND NOT ALL WERE BLOOD OFFERINGS. GOD SAID TO CAIN “IF YOU DO WELL SHALL NOT YOUR BE ACCEPTED ALSO.” IT WAS NOT WHAT WAS OFFERED BUT THE ATTITUDE OF OFFERING; CAIN WAS NOT IN ANY CORRECT M IND TOWARDS GOD, IN FACT HE WAS SO LOUT OF MIND, HE WENT AND KILLED HIS BROTHER WHO WAS IN THE RIGHT MIND; PEOPLE READ INTO THINGS JUST NOT THERE; AND WHAT IS NOT THERE IS THE COMMAND TO ONLY BRING A BLOOD OFFERING TO GOD— IT’S JUST NOT THERE - Keith Hunt]
We conclude, therefore, that Adam and Eve were the first humans to conceive of saving faith in the grace of God, though Abel was the first person to die in a state of salvation, having predeceased his father by more than eight hundred years (Gen. 5:3-5).
One final comment about drawing conclusions from silence needs to be made. The Gospels never speak of Jesus ever kissing His mother. But would it be safe to conclude that He never did? Even so it is unjustified to infer from the absence of Adam's words of self-condemnation and sorrow for sin that he never, in the 930 years of his earthly life, expressed his heartfelt repentance to the Lord.
[ADAM AND EVE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE CHANCE OF THE TREE OF LIFE, THEY WERE PUT OUT OF THE GARDEN AND IT WAS GUARDED; THEY COULD NOT ENTER; THIS TELLS US THEY WERE NOT CALLED TO A CHANCE OF SALVATION IN THEIR PHYSICAL LIFE. MOST ARE NOT, THE MASS MAJORITY ARE NOT EVEN TODAY. THEY WILL GET A FULL AND OPENLY CLEAR CHANCE IN THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT AGE—— GOT A STUDY EXPLAINING ALL THAT ALSO - Keith Hunt]
What was there about Cain's offering that made it unacceptable to God? Was it the offering itself, or was it Cain's attitude?
It would appear that Cain was at fault, both in his attitude and in the offering he presented to the Lord. Cain's sacrifice consisted of crops he had raised in his garden (Gen. 4:3), rather than a blood sacrifice, as his younger brother Abel had set before the Lord.
[THE SACRIFICES IN ANCIENT ISRAEL WERE MORE THAN JUST ANIMALS AND BIRDS. THERE IS NOTHING IN GOD’S WORDS TO CAIN THAT HE SHOULD HAVE OFFERED AND ANIMAL IN SACRIFICE - Keith Hunt]
That Abel presented a blood sacrifice and did so in faith (cf. Heb. 11:4) strongly suggests that he was claiming a divine promise of grace as he laid his lamb on the altar—a promise he had learned from his parents. God therefore was pleased with Abel's offering (Gen. 4:4) and responded to him with approval, in contradistinction to His rejection of Cain's offering. It would seem that Cain had followed his own judgment in choosing a bloodless sacrifice, disregarding the importance of blood as explained by God to Adam and Eve, and disregarding the principle of substitutionary atonement that later found its complete fulfillment in the crucifixion of Christ.
[THERE IS NOT ONE WORD FROM GOD TO ADAM AND EVE ABOUT “BLOOD” SACRIFICES; THAT IS READ INTO IT BY A MIND-SET OF MAN AND ANIMAL BLOOD. WHEN GOD CHOSE ISRAEL AND BROUGHT THEM OUT OF SLAVERY IN EGYPT, GOD SAID HE TAUGHT THEM NOTHING ABOUT SACRIFICES (SEE JER. 7) - THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM WAS NOT A PLAN OF GOD FOR ISRAEL AT THE BEGINNING; THEY CONTINUED TO BE SO CARNAL GOD BROUGHT IN THE SACRIFICE SYTEM TO TEACH THEM A HUGE LESSON THEY OTHERWISE JUST COULD NOT GRASPE IN THEIR CARNAL ATTITUDE - Keith Hunt]
Cain's willful substitution of the work of his own hands in place of atoning grace was followed by a savage jealousy and burning resentment toward his younger brother (Gen. 4:5). This eventuated in his murder of Abel out in the field, where Cain supposed no one could see him. His proud self-will led him to commit homicide, and his descendants carried on something of his man-centered, God-denying attitude for many generations to come (see Gen. 4:18-24; cf. "the daughters of men" in Gen. 6:2).
[WHAT DO WE FIND GOD SAYING TO CAIN? “IF YOU DO WELL, SHALL IT NOT BE ACCEPTED? IF YOU DO NOT WELL SIN LIES AT THE DOOR….” (SEPTUAGINT LXX GREEK VERSION). CAIN’S OFFERING WAS NOT BROUGHT TO GOD IN A RIGHT ATTITUDE OF MIND. AND THIS WAS FURTHER SHOWN BY CAIN KILLING HIS BROTHER ABEL. THROUGH THE PROPHETS GOD TOLD HIS PEOPLE THAT THEIR SACRIFICES WERE AN ABOMINATION TO GOD, FOR THEIR ATTITUDE WAS TOTALLY WRONG, HENCE THEY WERE TAKEN INTO CAPTIVITY - Keith Hunt]
Two of the sons of Adam and Eve had wives. Where did their wives come from?
Genesis 5:4 tells us that during Adam's long lifetime of 930 years (800 after the birth of Seth), he had other sons and daughters. Since he and Eve had been ordered to produce a large family in order to populate the earth (Gen. 1:28), it is reasonable to assume that they continued to have children for a long period of time, under the then ideal conditions for longevity.
Without question it was necessary for the generation following Adam to pair off brothers and sisters to serve as parents for the ensuing generation; otherwise the human race would have died off. It was not until the course of subsequent generations that it became possible for cousins and more distant relations to choose each other as marriage partners. There seems to be no definite word about the incestuous character of brother-sister marriage until the time of Abraham, who emphasized to the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister (cf. Gen. 20:12), thus implying to the Egyptians that if she was his sister, she could not be his wife (Gen. 12:13).
In Leviticus 20:17 the actual sanction against brother-sister marriage is spelled out. But as for Cain and Seth and all the other sons of Adam who married, they must have chosen their sisters as wives.
[OF COURSE AT THE BEGINNING FOR QUITE SOME TIME BROTHERS MARRIED SISTERS. EVENTUALLY BY THE MOVEMENT OF DNA WHICH IS MOVEABLE, THE TIME CAME WHEN BROTHERS AND SISTER SHOULD NOT MARRY EACH OTHER, AS THERE WOULD BE MOVEMENT IN THE DNA THAT WOULD NOT BE GOOD FOR MANKIND - EVEN MARRY FIRST COUSINS WAS NOT TO BE DONE, AGAIN AS WE KNOW TODAY, DNA WOULD BE POLLUTED AND PHYSICAL TROUBLES WOULD EMERGE - Keith Hunt]
Why do people not live as long now as they did in early times (cf. Gen. 5:5; Ps. 90:10)? Was time calculated differently then?
At the time Adam and Eve were created, they were in an ideal environment for the preservation of human life. The Garden of Eden was ideally suited to maintaining their health and vigor unimpaired. Even after they were expelled from Eden, it would seem that conditions for longevity were still far more favorable than they later became after the Flood; and there may well have been a virtual absence of disease. When these conditions gradually changed for the worse, particularly after the terrible judgment of the Flood, the life expectancy of man became progressively shorter. By Moses' time a lifetime of seventy years was considered normal, and those who lived on to eighty or beyond were generally beset with discomforts and weaknesses of various sorts, until they finally passed off the scene (see Ps. 90:10, dating back to the time of Moses, around 1400 B.C.). It seems that there was a gradual working out of the cursed effects of sin on the physical well-being and stamina of the human race, even long after the Fall had taken place.
As for the suggestion that time may have been computed differently during the earlier history of mankind, this could only have been the case if the planet Earth revolved more rapidly around the sun then than it does now. By definition a year is reckoned as the time necessary for the earth to revolve around the sun. According to Genesis 1:14, this revolution, as well as the daily rotation of the earth, was pretty well set and standardized right from the beginning. It is rather unlikely (though not absolutely impossible) that these planetary movements would have greatly altered since the creation of man.
[THE SUN AND MOON WERE TO GIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT, AND SEASONS. FROM THE DAYS OF NOAH WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE MONTHS WERE 30 DAYS, AND 12 MONTHS TO THE YEAR. THIS HAS BEEN CARRIED DOWN BY MOST NATIONS FROM THE HUB OF THE WORLD. BUT SLIGHT CHANGES HAVE COME OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS FOR WHATEVER REASON, TO MAKE THE CALENDARS INVENTED BY MAN MORE COMPLICATED THAN BEING ABLE TO HAVE 12 MONTHS WITH 30 DAYS TO THE MONTH. TO KEEP A 19 YEAR TIME SYCLE FOR THE SUN AND PLANET, THE CALENDAR THE WESTERN WORLD USES WORKS FINE; BUT ALSO THE “JEWISH” CALENDAR WORKS JUST AS FINE. GOD TOLD NOAH THAT, “WHILE THE EARTH REMAINS, SEEDTIME AND HARVEST, AND COLD AND HEAT, AND SUMMER AND WINTER; AND DAY AND NIGHT SHALL NOT CEASE” (GEN. 8:22). SO THOUGH THERE ARE DIFFERENT CALENDARS TO KEEP THE 19 YEAR CYCLE IN HARMONY IT IS STILL BUILD UPON THE BASIC PLAN OF GOD AS THE PROMISE GIVEN TO NOAH. SO THERE HAS BEEN AND STILL IS DIFFERENT WAYS TO BUILD A CALENDAR AND HAVE IT HARMONIZE WITH GOD’S PROMISE. GOD DID ALLOW ISRAEL TO BUILD A CALENDAR; THE FEAST OF SAY “PENTECOST” ON SUCH AND SUCH A DAY WILL BE SUCH AND SUCH A DAY ON THE JEWISH CALENDAR, AND SUCH AND SUCH A DAY ON THE ROMAN CALENDAR - Keith Hunt]
Why is so much emphasis put on the antediluvian genealogy in the Bible? If the whole world was destroyed with the Flood, wouldn't everybody be of the same bloodline through Noah and his family? In other words, aren't we all related?
Yes, we are indeed all descendants of Noah, for all other families in the antediluvian human race were destroyed by the Flood (so Gen. 7:21: "And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts ... and all mankind"). The reason for the genealogical listing in Genesis 5 was to give the family line of Noah himself, since his descent from Adam through the covenant line of true believers was a matter of prime importance. Likewise in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ, as given in Luke's gospel, these same antediluvian ancestors are listed (see Luke 3:36-38) to show that the Second Adam was descended from the first Adam. Furthermore, the godly walk of leaders like Seth, the son of Adam (Gen. 4:26), and his son Enoch was a matter of great importance; so too was the close fellowship Enoch had with God before the Lord took him at the age of three hundred years to dwell with Him in heaven's glory.
[WRONG BECAUSE THE FLOOD AT THE TIME OF NOAH WAS NOT GLOBAL BUT REGIONAL. ALL THIS PROVED IN THE STUDIES ON NOAH’S FLOOD, UNDER “MISCELLANEOUS” ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
Are there passages in the Old Testament indicating that the men and women of ancient Israel entertained a heavenly hope?
It is a mistake to suppose that God's people had no heavenly hope in Old Testament times. Genesis 5:24 records that, after a godly life, Enoch was taken away by God—with the clear implication that from that time on he was in God's presence. (Hebrews 11:5 confirms this: "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up" [NASB]. Enoch therefore never died but went directly to God's presence.)
[COMPLETELY WRONG! TO SEE WHY AND ALSO THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER, STUDY THE STUDIES “DEATH….THEN WHAT?” ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
Despite his moods of deep discouragement, the patriarch Job still showed confidence when he said, "After my skin has been destroyed, yet in [from the vantage point of] my flesh I will see God [just previously referred to as Job's Redeerner (goel) in Job 19:25]" (Job 19:26). (The rendering "without my flesh I shall see" runs counter to the usage of the preposition min ["from"] wherever else in the OT it is used with the verb "see," whether hazda vantage point from which the looking is done.)
[SEE THE MARGIN OF THE KJV. EITHER WAY IS CORRECT; WE SHALL SEE JESUS IN GLORY FORM AS WE ARE MADE GLORY (1 JOHN 3:1-3); AND WE SHALL SEE JESUS IN FLESH AND BONE, AS THE DISCIPLES COULD AFTER JESUS WAS RESURRECTED; WE SHALL ALL WHEN IMMORTAL BE IN SPIRIT FORM, AND WHEN WE DESIRE ALSO FLESH AND BONE. SO EITHER WAY WE SHALL SEE OUR REDEEMER - Keith Hunt]
In the Psalms, David and his successors offer many intimations of future life with God. Even the assertion in Psalm 1:5 that ungodly men and sinners will "not stand in the congregation of the righteous" implies a final judgment either to condemnation or to acquittal and acceptance—terms that would be meaningless if moldering skeletons were all that remained after this earthly life is over. Psalm 16:10 mentions the hope of the bodily resurrection (clearly applied to the resurrection of Christ in Acts 2:27,31), and is followed by a strong affirmation: "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever" (Ps. 16:11). "Forever" here is nesah, a term that can hardly be shown elsewhere to mean simply 'the rest of my earthly life' but that clearly suggests permanence beyond the grave. Again, Psalm 49:15 reads: "God will redeem me from the power of the grave, for He will receive me [laqah, or 'take me away']." This sounds like an assurance that God will not simply keep the psalmist from dying prematurely but rather that he will ever live on with God—in contrast to the spiritually foolish and wicked, whose ultimate home will be Sheol (vv. 10-14). A similar confidence is expressed in Psalm 73:24: "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward ['ahar] receive [laqah] me to [or "with"] glory."
[THIS IS ALL THE ISSUE AND TOPIC OF DEATH AND THEN WHAT? ALL ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT TEACHING ON THIS IS IN ERROR; BIG TIME ERROR! THE TRUTH OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION IS CONTAINED IN THE IN-DEPTH STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
Turning to the Prophets, we find that Isaiah has a remarkable passage on this theme in 25:8: "He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord Yahweh will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for Yahweh has spoken." And again, Isaiah 26:19: "Your dead ones will live, My dead bodies will arise; those who dwell in the dust have awakened and they shout for joy ... and the earth will give birth to the shades [of the deceased]." Compare this with Daniel 12:2: "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt" (NASB) (quoted by Jesus in Matt. 25:46, in a beyond-the-grave context). Daniel 12:13 contains this blessed promise to Daniel personally: "You will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."
There can be no question, in the light of the above, that the Old Testament contained very definite teaching concerning the life of the believer beyond the grave in the care of—even in the presence of—the Lord God Himself.
[NOPE THE BIBLE TEACHES “RESURRECTION” NOT LIVING ON IN HEAVEN (IF A GOOD CHRISTIAN) OR HELL-FIRE (IF NOT A GOOD CHRISTIAN); ALL THESE ARGUMENTS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO USE TO SAY WE CONTINUE TO LIVE ON AFTER DEATH EITHER IN HEAVEN OR HELL-FIRE, ARE ANSWERED FULLY AND IN-DEPTH UNDER THE STUDIES “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
Therefore the New Testament is abundantly justified in Christ's affirmation that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ's coming to earth (John 8:56), and that he looked for a heavenly city "whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10). But it should be added that apart from a few exceptions, like Enoch, Moses, and Elijah, it may well have been that the general congregation of redeemed believers were not exalted to the full glory of God's presence until the price of their redemption had been actually paid at Calvary (see Matt. 27:52; Eph. 4:8; Heb. 11:39-40). It was therefore appropriate for the more detailed and glowing descriptions of the saved rejoicing in heaven's glory to be reserved for the pages of the New Testament.
[WHAT UTTER THEOLOGICAL GOOK-EM-POOK; SEE ALL THE STUDIES UNDER “DEATH AND RESURRECTION” - Keith Hunt]
Does "sons of God" in Genesis 6:2 refer to angels?
Genesis 6:1-2 reads: "When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose" (NIV). The term "sons of God" (bene Elohlm) is used in the Old Testament of either angels or men who are true believers, committed to the service of God. Passages that refer to angels as bene 'elohim include Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalms 29:1; 89:6 (89:7 MT). The Masoretic text (MT) does not contain this phrase in Deuteronomy 32:43, but a fragment of a Hebrew text found in Qumran Cave Four reads: "Shout joyously, O heavens, with Him, and worship Him, O sons of God [bene 'eldhim], and ascribe to Him might, all you sons of the mighty [bene 'elim]. Shout joyously, O nations, concerning His people, and accord strength to Him, all you angels of God [kol-mal'ake 'el]." This is considerably more expanded than the received Hebrew text (MT) of this verse, but it may possibly be the original wording. It was probably the passage quoted in Hebrews 1:6— though Psalm 97:7 may also be the source for that verse.
But the occurrences of bene 'elohim referring to men standing in covenant relationship to God are fully as numerous in the Old Testament as those referring to angels (cf. Deut. 14:1; 32:5; Ps. 73:15; Hos. 1:10 [MT: 2:1]—and, we believe, Gen. 6:2 as well). The reasons for understanding Genesis 6:2 as referring to members of the covenant family, descendants of the line of Seth, are quite compelling. Scripture clearly teaches that angels are spirits, "ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation" (Heb. 1:14, niv). While they may on occasion appear in bodily form in the semblance of men, they have no physical bodies, and are therefore utterly incapable of carnal relations with women. The rabbinic speculation that angels are referred to in Genesis 6:2 is a curious intrusion of pagan superstition that has no basis at all in the rest of Scripture. The fact that some children of gigantic stature (nephlim, v.4) resulted from these marriages offers no evidence whatever of angelic paternity. No one claims that the sons of Anak, Goliath, and his brothers had any angelic forbears because of their great stature; nor is there any reason to suppose that the antediluvian giants had supernatural forbears.
What Genesis 6:1-2,4 records is the first occurrence of mixed marriage between believers and unbelievers, with the characteristic result of such unions: complete loss of testimony for the Lord and a total surrender of moral standards. In other words, the "sons of God" in this passage were descendants of the godly line of Seth. Instead of remaining true to God and loyal to their spiritual heritage, they allowed themselves to be enticed by the beauty of ungodly women who were "daughters of men"—that is, of the tradition and example of Cain. The natural result of such marriages was a debasement of nature on the part of the younger generations, until the entire antediluvian civilization sank to the lowest depths of depravity. "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time" (v.5, NIV). The inevitable result was judgment, the terrible destruction of the Great Flood.
Perhaps one last comment regarding angels would be in order here. If we were to concede that spirits could somehow enter into sexual relations with human beings—which they cannot—then they could not even so be fitted in with this passage here. If they were minions of Satan, that is, fallen angels, then they could not have been referred to as "sons of God." Demons of hell would never be so designated in Scripture. Nor could they have been angels of God, since God's angels always live in total obedience to Him and have no other yearning or desire but to do God's will and glorify His name. A sordid involvement with godless young women would therefore be completely out of character for angels as "sons of God." the only viable explanation, therefore, is the one offered in the previous paragraph.
[JESUS MADE IT CLEAR IN THE GOSPELS THAT ANGELS TO NOT MARRY; THEY ARE SEXLESS. FURTHER IF DEMONS COULD HAVE SEX WITH EARTHLY WOMEN, THINK OF THE MENTALLY HORRIBLE STATE A WOMAN’S MIND WOULD BE IN, NOT KNOWING IF A MAN WAS A MAN OR A DEMON - Keith Hunt]
Genesis 6:7 records God as saying, "I will destroy... both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." This seems inconsistent with the generally accepted view of God, that He would repent about anything—or need to—since He could see in advance what the outcome of His creation would be. The word "them" seems to include the animals as well as men; what could the animals possibly have done to merit God's disgust?
While it is perfectly true that God in His sovereign omniscience knows all things in advance, and that nothing that happens can ever come to Him as a surprise, yet it is a mistake to infer from this that He is incapable of emotion or reaction to the willful depravity of His creatures. The Scriptures never present Him as an impassive Being, incapable of sorrow or wrath, but quite the contrary. This is because He is a God who cares, a God who loves and has a deep concern even for those ungrateful children of Adam who have mocked His gracious promises and have trifled with His mercy.
The depth of corruption to which the human race had plunged by Noah's time was utterly revolting to the God of holiness and justice, and He responded to these disgusting excesses as His righteousness and purity demanded. He was sorry He had created such an abominable generation of moral perverts as the antediluvian race had become. "And He repented" (Heb. wayyinnahem, the niphal of naham) is somewhat anthropomorphic (or anthropopathic) to be sure, for it serves to convey God's response to sin after a human analogy (just as the Bible speaks of God's having hands or eyes or a mouth, as if He had a body with physical parts and organs).
Of course the element of surprise by the unexpected or unlooked for is impossible for one who is omniscient, but His response to humanity was a necessary adjustment to the change in humanity's feeling about Him. Because they had stubbornly rejected and flouted Him, it was necessary for Him to reject them. The shift in their attitude required a corresponding shift in His attitude toward them, and it is this shift that is expressed by the Hebrew niham ("repent," "be sorry about," "change one's mind about").
[THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS IT MEANS WHAT IT SAYS; GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO LIMIT HIMSELF IF HE SO DESIRES; HERE IS AN EXAMPLE— HE HAD DECIDED TO LIMIT HIMSELF IN KNOWING HOW BAD THE HUMAN HEART COULD BECOME. I GIVE ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN THE STUDY I DID NOT THIS SUBJECT. YES GOD HAS THE RIGHT AND THE POWER TO LIMIT HIS KNOWLEDGE IF HE SO DESIRES. WHO ARE WE TO TELL GOD WHAT HE CAN OR CANNOT DO. SO TRULY GOD WAS SORRY IN A GENUINE WAY THAT HE HAD MADE MANKIND - Keith Hunt]
Similarly, in the time of Jonah, God is said to have repented (niham) of the judgment He had threatened to bring down on the city of Nineveh, because He observed the Ninevites' sincere and earnest repentance after Jonah had preached to them. Their change in attitude toward God made appropriate a change in His attitude toward them. Therefore, much to Jonah's disgust, God allowed the forty days to elapse and withheld the blow of destruction He had threatened to bring on them. This shows that God may change His response from severity to leniency and mercy when people come to Him in repentance and with supplication.
Yet when it comes to His announced covenant purposes toward His covenant people. God is indeed incapable of repentance—as Balaam points out in Numbers 23:19: "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (NASB). The context here pertains to God's steadfast purpose to bless Israel, despite all the machinations of King Balak of Moab, who tried to bribe the prophet of Yahweh to bring down a curse on the Hebrew nation. In such a situation God is indeed incapable of repentance.
So far as the birds and the beasts were concerned, the context of Genesis 6:7 says nothing about their displeasing or angering God; so it is not really justified to interpret the purpose of judgment as directed at them equally with the depraved race of men. It was simply an inevitable consequence of the coming Flood, that it should destroy not only mankind but also all brute creation living in man's environment. The intended antecedent of "them" was really the preceding "man" (Heb. ha’adam)—in the sense of the human race—rather than the various orders of bird and beast that are listed with man. Actually, God's solicitude for the survival of all these various species of animal and bird found expression in His command to Noah to preserve at least one pair of parents in order to propagate each species.
How can Genesis 6:19 be reconciled with Genesis 7:2?
Genesis 6:19 relates God's command to Noah: "You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you" (NIV). Genesis 7:2-3 records God's additional instruction: "Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth." Some have suggested that these diverse numbers, two and seven, involve some sort of contradiction and indicate conflicting traditions later combined by some redactor who didn't notice the difference between the two.
It seems strange that this point should ever have been raised, since the reason for having seven of the clean species is perfectly evident: they were to be used for sacrificial worship after the Flood had receded (as indeed they were, according to Gen. 8:20: "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it"). Obviously if there had not been more than two of each of these clean species, they would have been rendered extinct by their being sacrificed on the altar. But in the case of the unclean animals and birds, a single pair would suffice, since they would not be needed for blood sacrifice.
Is a universal Flood consistent with geologic evidence?
The biblical record in Genesis 7-8 describes no local inundation confined to the Mesopotamian Valley (as some scholars have suggested) but a water level that surpassed the summits of the highest mountains. Genesis 7:19 states: "And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens [lit., 'which were under all the heavens' or 'under the whole sky'] were covered" (NASB, italics mine). Verse 20 then indicates that the water level rose even fifteen cubits higher than that (fifteen cubits being about thirty feet).
[YA AND THE WHOLE WORLD CAME TO BE TAXED - LUKE 2:1; TO THINK THAT MOUNT EVEREST WAS COVERED WITH WATER IS LUDICROUS, BUT THEY PROBABLE HAVE SOME REASONING THAT EVEREST AND THEW CANADIAN ROCKIES AND THE MOUNTAIN IN ALASKA DID NOT EXIST AT NOAH’S TIME - Keith Hunt]
Now the most elementary knowledge of physical law leads to the observation that water seeks its own level. A great tidal wave may temporarily reach a greater altitude than the general sea level, but the episode here described lasted for about a year; and there is therefore far more involved here than a temporary surge. If the water level rose thirty thousand feet so as to submerge the peak of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, it must have reached that level everywhere else on earth. Even the overtopping of Mount Ararat, the resting place of Noah's ark, required a level well in excess of seventeen thousand feet. Water rising to such an altitude would certainly engulf the entire surface of the planet, except for the highest peaks of the Andes and Himalayas, plus a few in North America and Africa. Therefore we must conclude that the Flood was indeed universal, or else that the biblical record was grievously in error. While it is doubtless true that mountain uplift is still going on, in North America, at any rate, even the reduction of a few thousand feet in the altitude of ranges so lofty as the Andes and Himalayas would not have substantially changed the necessity of worldwide distribution of the Flood waters.
[UNREAL TO THINK GOD HAD TO PUT THE DEPTH OF WATER TO COVER MOUNT EVEREST. WHY WOULD THE PEOPLE IN SOUTH AMERICA HAVE TO BE KILLED? WERE THEY SO EVIL? MANY INDIAN TRIBES IN NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA WERE PEACEFUL TRIBES AND DID NOT PARTAKE IN WAR. THEN AGAIN IF THE ARGUMENT IS THAT IN NOAH’S DAYS THERE WERE NO PEOPLE ON THE AMERICAN CONTINENT, OR AUSTRALIA, OR NEW ZEALAND, OR HAWAII, OR ALSAKA, SOUTH AMERICA; THEN WHY DID GOD HAVE TO DESTROY ALL THE ANIMALS THERE? THE ARGUMENT COULD GO THAT NO ANIMALS LIVED IN THOSE REGIONS; SO DID THE KANGAROO AND PLATYPUS LIVE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFTER THE TIME OF NOAH SOMEHOW GET TO AUSTRALIA? I GUESS SOME WOULD ARGUE YES—— ANYTHING TO HAVE NOAH’S FLOOD ALL OVER THE EARTH - Keith Hunt]
The question of geological evidence is very much debated by geologists, according to the position they take toward the validity of the biblical record. Some Christian geologists feel that some of the major seismic disturbances indicated in various parts of the globe at the Cenozoic levels are best explained as triggered by the Flood (cf. Gen. 7:11: "On the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open"). Some of the strata containing large boulders in the midst of coarse gravel are plausibly attributed to violent tidal movements and water agitation beyond anything known at the present time. But perhaps the most striking evidences of the violence of the Deluge throughout the earth are to be found in the amazing profusion of Pleistocene or Recent animals whose bones have been discovered in a violently separated state in several ossiferous fissures that have been excavated in various locations in Europe and North America.
[SOME OF THAT COULD BE TO DO WITH VIOLENT FLOODS IN LOCAL AREAS THAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY. THEN A LOT OF THIS WAS FROM THE WORLD, OR GLOBAL FLOOD OF GENESIS 2; AFTER THE WAR IN HEAVEN, AS JESUS SAID, “I SAW SATAN FALL FROM HEAVEN”—— THE VIOLENCE OF A WORLD WIDE FLOOD IS SO MASSIVE AND HUMUNGOUS THAT THE HUMAN MIND CAN HARDLY COMPREHEND THE TIDAL WAVES AND VIOLENCE THAT WOULKD HAVE MADE THE AROMIC BOMBS DROPPED ON JAPAN AT THE END OF WW2, LOOK LIKE A SUNDAY AFTERNOON PICNIC IN SOME QUIET PLACE - Keith Hunt]
Rehwinkel (The Flood) indicates that these fissures occur even in hills of considerable height, and they extend to a depth of anywhere from 140 feet to 300 feet. Since no skeleton is complete, it is safe to conclude that none of these animals (mammoths, bears, wolves, oxen, hyenas, rhinoceros, aurochs, deer, and many smaller mammals) fell into these fissures alive, nor were they rolled there by streams. Yet because of the calcite cementing of these heterogeneous bones together, they must necessarily have been deposited under water. Such fissures have been discovered in Odessa by the Black Sea, in the island of Kythera off the Peloponnesus, in the island of Malta, in the Rock of Gibraltar, and even at Agate Springs, Nebraska (which was excavated in 1876 over a ten-acre area).
[YES OF COURSE THE GLOBAL FLOOD OF GENESIS 1:2 WAS DESTRUCTION ON A SCALE UNIMAGINABLE BY THE HUMAN MIND - Keith Hunt]
Such geologic evidence is of decisive importance, even though it is seldom mentioned by scientists who reject the accuracy of Scripture. This is just exactly the kind of evidence that a brief but violent episode of this sort would be expected to show within the short span of one year. Of course there would be little sedimentary precipitation possible for such a short period of time. There are some negative evidences, to be sure, such as the cones of loose scoria and ashes from volcanoes in the region of Auvergne, France, which are alleged to be thousands of years older than the supposed date of the Flood. But until it is decisively proven that these volcanoes were antediluvian (the actual date of the Flood has not been precisely determined yet), and until it is demonstrated by a year's submergence under brackish water that such volcanic formations would show striking changes in appearance perceptible to the modern investigator, it seems premature to affirm that this type of evidence is even more compelling than that of the above-mentioned ossiferous fissures, which so definitely testify to the type of Deluge described in Genesis 7.
[AGAIN THERE WAS NO NEED FOR A GLOBAL FLOOD IN NOAH’S DAY, THE AREA OF THE WORLD WHERE THE CONCENTRATION OF PEOPLE WAS THE HUB OF THE WORLD, AND IT, THAT HUB HAD BECAME EXCESSIVELY WICKED AND EVIL AND NEEDED TO BE DESTROYED - Keith Hunt]
One notable feature of the biblical account sets it off from all other Flood narratives discoverable among other nations. Flood sagas have been preserved among the most diverse tribes and nations all over the world: the Babylonians (who called their Noah by the name of Utnapishtim), the Sumerians with their Ziusidru, the Greeks with their Deucalion, the Hindus with their Manu, the Chinese with their Fah-he, the Hawaiians with their Nu-u, the Mexican Indians with their Tezpi, the Algonquins with their Manabozho. All these relate how this lone survivor (with perhaps his wife, children, and a friend or two) was saved from the destruction of a universal flood and was then faced with the task of repopulating a devastated earth after the flood waters had receded. But of all these accounts, only the Genesis record indicates with the exactitude of a diary or ship's log the date of the inception of the Deluge (when Noah was exactly 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of that same year), the length of the actual downpour (40 days), the length of time that the water-depth remained at its maximum (150 days), the date at which the tops of the mountains became visible once more (on the first day of the tenth month), the length of time until the first evidence of new plant growth was brought to Noah in the beak of his dove (47 days, according to Gen. 8:6-9), and the precise day of Noah's emerging from the ark on Mount Ararat (his 601st year, the first day of the first month). Here we have a personal record that apparently goes back to Noah himself.
[OF COURSE SUCH A MASSIVE FLOOD AND WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A “STRANGE GUY WITH HIS WIFE AND HIS SONS AND THEIR WIVES, ON A WOODEN SHIP, WOULD BECOME FAMOUS AROUND THAT HUB OF THE WORLD AND OF COURSE THE DESCENDANT OF NOAH’S SON’S CHILDREN WOULD HAVE CARRIED ON REPEATING THE STORY; HENCE AS PEOPLE MOVED AWAY THE STORY WENT WITH THEM. THE STORIES DO NOT SAY THE GLOBE WAS COVERED. THE STORIES OF THE ATOM BOMBS ON JAPAN AT THE END OF WW2, ARE KNOWN BY JUST ABOUT ALL NATIONS ON EARTH TODAY - Keith Hunt]
The Babylonian account contains vivid details of how Utnapishtim built his ark, but there is no suggestion of a specific date. Like most legends handed down orally across the centuries or millennia, the Gilgamesh Epic (Tablet 11) fails to say anything at all about the year, even though the friendly sun-god, Shamash, had warned of the precise day when the prospective survivors would have to board their ark. It would seem that this Babylonian account is substantially closer to the Genesis record than any of the other Flood stories. Thus a friendly god warns the hero in advance and orders him to build an ark, to save not only his own family but also representative animals. That ark finally grounds on a mountain named Nisir (in the Zagros Range, northeast of Babylon); and Utnapishtim sends out a dove, a swallow, and a raven to bring back a report of conditions outside. Then finally he emerged with his family to offer sacrifice to the now-famished gods (who had been without altar-food for the weeks while the Flood was covering the earth).
[AGAIN SUCH A MASSIVE HAPPENING WOULD BE SPREAD FROM NATION TO NATION, OR CARRIED WITH A NATION AS IT MIRGRATED TO OTHER AREAS OF THE WORLD. FOR THIS TO HAPPEN IT DID NOT HAVE TO BE A GLOBAL FLOOD - Keith Hunt]
Some comparative religionists have suggested that the Babylonian myth was earlier than the Hebrew, and that the compilers of Genesis 7 and 8 borrowed from it. But this is rendered most unlikely in view of the significant contrasts between the two. Thus, the ark built by Utnapishtim was completely cubic, equipped with six decks for all the animals to be quartered in. A more impractical and unseaworthy craft could hardly be imagined. But Noah's ark was three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits deep)—an ideal set of measurements for an ocean liner. If the cubit measured twenty-four inches in that earlier period (as it may well have done in an age when men were bigger than they were after the Flood—cf. Gen. 6:4), then the ark of Noah would have been six hundred feet long, by one hundred feet wide, and sixty feet deep. If it was fairly boxlike in shape (as would be probable in view of its special purpose), it would have had a capacity of 3.6 million cubic feet. This is the capacity of about two thousand cattle cars, each of which can carry 18 to 20 cattle, 60 to 80 hogs, or 80 to 100 sheep.
[THE LENGTH OF THE CUBIT FOR NOAH’S TIME IS UNKNOWN. THE LENGTH OF THE CUBIT VARIED FROM AGE TO AGE, AS WE PROVE IN OUR STUDY OF NOAH’S FLOOD IN OUR “MISCELLANEOUS” SECTION - Keith Hunt]
At the present time, there are only 290 main species of land animals larger in size than sheep. There are 757 more species ranging in size from sheep to rats, and there are 1,358 species smaller than rats. Two individuals of each of these species would fit very comfortably into two thousand cattle cars, with plenty of room for fodder. But it is more than doubtful whether the same could be said of Utnapishtim's unwieldy craft, subject to frequent capsizing in heavy seas, in view of its cubic shape. Moreover, the stark contrast between the quarrelsome and greedy gods of the Babylonian pantheon and the majestic holiness of Yahweh, the absolute Sovereign over the universe, furnishes the strongest basis for classifying the Gilgamesh account as a garbled, polytheistic derivative from the same original episode as that contained in Genesis 7-8. The Hebrew account is couched in terms of sober history and accurate recording that reflect a source derived from the persons who were actually involved in this adventure. The Gilgamesh Epic is far more mythical and vague.
[I SHOW IN OUR STUDY OF NOAH’S FLOOD HOW MUCH TWO HORSES WOULD EAT IN ONE YEAR, IT IS ASTOUNDING, AND NOTHING IN THE GENESIS ACCOUNT SAYS GOD PUT THEM TO SLEEP FOR A YEAR, OR PUT THEM EVEN IN SEMI-HIBERNATION….. PEOPLE GRASPE AT STRAWS TO HOLD A GLOBAL FLOOD FOR NOAH. THEY WILL TWIST AND TURN AND DO ALL KINDS OF CART-WHEELS AND HAND-STANDS AND JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS, TO CLING TO A GLOBAL FLOOD IN THE DAYS OF NOAH. THERE WAS INDEED A GLOBAL FLOOD BUT NOT IN THE AGE OF NOAH - Keith Hunt]
For readers who wish to do more extensive reading on the worldwide spread of the Flood saga, see James Frazer, Folklore in the Old Testament, vol. 1 (London: Macmillan & Co., 1918) or Richard Andree's more compendious work, Die Flutsagen ethnographisch be-trachtet (Brunswick, 1891). For the Babylonian Flood epic, see Alexander Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, 2d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1949).
[NOTICE THE DATES OF THESE WORKS MENTIONED. TODAY MOST WILL AGREE THE BEST REASONING IN THEOLOGY TERMS IS FOR A LOCAL FLOOD AT THE HUB OF THE WORLD; NOAH’S WORLD, THAT HAD BECOME SO WICKED GOD CHOSE TO DESTROY IT BY WATER—— I MEAN HE COULD HAVE USED MANY OTHER WAYS TO DESTROY IT, HE JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE CHOSEN WATER.
[THIS WHOLE THEOLOGICAL TRUTH OF NOAH’S FLOOD IS GONE INTO IN SOME DETAIL ON THIS WEBSITE; IT’S UNDER THE SECTION “MISCELLANEOUS” - Keith Hunt]
Are Christians still forbidden to eat blood?
After the Flood, the Lord renewed His covenant with Noah and gave him certain basic guidelines for the ordering of postdiluvian society (Gen. 9:1-16). Verse 4 has this important prohibition: "You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood" (NASB). The special sanctity of the blood leads to a command for the capital punishment of any and all who commit murder. Later, in Leviticus 17:10-11, the reason for avoiding blood as food is spelled out more clearly: "Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement" (NASB). The following verses go on to specify that even wild game must be completely bled before it may be eaten.
The question confronting believers in this New Testament era is whether this prohibition pertains to us today. The revelation granted to Peter in Acts 10:10-15 taught him that the ancient restrictions of the Mosaic Law concerning forbidden items of food were no longer to be observed.
[ABSOLUTELY FRAGRANTLY WRONG—— A MISREADING OF THE CONTEXT, OR NO READING OF THE CONTEXT, LEADS PEOPLE TO BE A “DUNCE” IN BIBLE READING. WHAT WAS REVEALED TO PETER WAS ANY BUT A FOOD LAW - EXPLAINED FULLY AND CORRECTLY IN A STUDY ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “HEALTH AND DIET” - Keith Hunt]
All the quadra peds, crawling creatures, and birds were to be considered clean and fit for human consumption. The important factor here was the application of this principle by analogy to all the races of mankind, both Jew and Gentile—all of them were rendered suitable for salvation and grace through the shed blood of Jesus. The question remains, however, whether this removal of the categories of unclean food set forth in such detail in Leviticus 11:1 -45 and Deuteronomy 14:3-21 actually lifts the restriction against the consumption of blood. Now that Christ has shed His sacred blood, does this remove all sanctity from blood as such? Or is it still to be honored as precious because of its symbolism of Calvary? In other words, does permission to eat all animals and birds without discrimination involve a license to eat the blood of these animals? Or should they first be properly bled by the butcher before being cooked and prepared for human consumption?
[THE RESTRICTION ON EATING ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, INSECTS, HAS NEVER BEEN RESCINDED; THEY APPLY TODAY AS THEY DID FROM THE BEGINNING. GOD MADE THE DIET APPARATUS IN ALL LIVING THINGS TO EAT A CERTAIN WAY AS PERTAINING TO FOOD FOR THAT PIECES. IT’S IN THE DNA AND GENES. A HORSE AND A COW EAR NON-MEAT FLESH, THEY ARE VEGETARIANS—— IT IS AMAZING HOW STRONG THE HORSE IS BY LIVING ON JUST VEGETATION; ALL IS IN THE DNA OF HOW IT ALL WORKS IN THEIR SYSTEM. SOME “CLEVER” (DUMB REALLY) PEOPLE THOUGHT IF THEY FEED COWS A DIET WITH MEAT IN IT, THEY WOULD FATTEN UP QUICKER…. AND YEP THEY DID, UNTIL THEY CAME DOWN WITH THE SO-CALLED “MAD-COW-DISEASE” — THAT SHOOK UP THE WORLD LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB BLEW AWAY THE CATTLE/RANCHING BUSINESS. HUMANS ARE MADE WITH DNA/GENES THAT DO NOT HARMONIZE WITH A HEALTHY HUMAN BODY THAT EATS UN-CLEAN FOOD. EATING FOODS CALLED UN-CLEAN BY GOD, WILL EVENTUALLY BRING ILL-HEALTH IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, JUST AS OUR “PESTICIDES” ON FOODS BRING ON TROUBLES IN OUR HEALTH. PUT THE TWO OF THEM TOGETHER, WITH NOT EXERCISING ENOUGH, NOT ENOUGH SLEEP, A STRESSED OUT MIND, JUNK-FOODS, DUNK-DRINKS, AND WE HAVE THE HEALTH PROBLEMS WE HAVE—— TWO PLUS TWO STILL EQUAL 4 - Keith Hunt]
The anwer to that last question seems to be yes. Some years after Peter had received God's special instruction through his dream, the Jerusalem Council was held in order to consider whether the Gentile converts should be required to adopt the ceremonial requirements of Judaism in order to become Christians. As president of the council, James stated: "Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain  from things contaminated by idols and  from fornication and  from what is strangled and from blood" (Acts 15:19-20, NASB). This found general approval by the rest of the assembly. So they decided on the following answer to the Gentile converts in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden that these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well" (Acts 15:28-29, NASB).
From the above passage we gather (1) that this admonition to avoid eating blood came subsequent to Peter's vision and therefore was not in any way modified or abrogated by the earlier revelation in Acts 10; (2) that this was coupled with a prohibition against fornication—which can never be regarded as an obsolete restriction but rather as an abiding principle binding on the conscience of all Christians; (3) that this insistence on the continuing sanctity of blood was decreed not only by men but by the authority of the Holy Spirit Himself. To be sure, some have inferred from Paul's later discussion in 1 Corinthians 8 concerning meat offered to idols that the prohibition contained in the letter of the Jerusalem Council was not really binding for all time to come. But actually Paul's objection centered not so much on the inherent sinfulness of eating such food but rather on the stumbling block such an example might furnish to newly converted pagans who had formerly sacrificed to idols.
[EATING BLOOD IS MEANT NOT DRAINING THE BLOOD FROM THE ANIMAL CORRECTLY AND FULLY. AND YES IT WOULD BE WRONG TO EAT “BLOOD SAUSAGE” AS MANY DID WHEN I WAS GROWING UP IN BRITAIN. EATING LIVER EVEN FROM A CLEAN ANIMAL WOULD ALSO BE WRONG. IT IS A HEALTH LAW, NOT A SPIRITUAL LAW (UNLESS YOU DELIBERATELY DO IT TO THUMB YOUR NOSE AT GOD, THEN IT BECOMES SPIRITUAL. THIS LAW IS NOT THE SAME AS HAVING A BLOOD TRANSFUSION TO SAVE A LIFE; A BLOOD TRANSFUSION IS NOT “EATING BLOOD” PER SE. AND THEY MATCH UP THE BLOOD TO CORRESPOND TO THE BLOOD OF THE ONE GETTING A TRANSFUSION - Keith Hunt]
In 1 Corinthians 10:27-28 Paul enlarges on this matter, saying: "If one of the unbelievers invites you, and you wish to go, eat anything that is set before you, without asking questions for conscience' sake. But if anyone should say to you, 'This is meat sacrificed to idols,' do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake." This implies that whether or not a believer might partake in private of meat that had previously been offered on an idolatrous altar, his use of it before others would lead to his causing them to stumble. Therefore it was still forbidden to the New Testament believer on the ground of the spiritual harm that it might do to recent Gentile converts. The implication seems very clear that we are still to respect the sanctity of the blood, since God has appointed it to be a symbol of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore it is not to be consumed by any believer who wishes to be obedient to Scripture.
Christ's solemn statement in John 6:53-58 concerning believers' partaking of His flesh and blood by faith quite obviously refers only to the spiritual response of true believers in regard to the atoning sacrifice of Christ on Golgotha. We appropriate His body and blood by faith, together with all His saving benefits, as we trust wholly in His sinless life and in His offering of His innocent body as a vicarious atonement for our sins. But this has no bearing whatever on the question of whether we may disregard God's earnest admonition not to partake of physical blood as an item of food.
In Genesis 9:24-28, why did Noah curse his youngest son and say that Canaan should be a slave? Was this the beginning of slavery? Was slavery all right in the sight of God?
The reason Noah cursed his son Ham was that he had derided and dishonored his father after he found him naked, sleeping off a drunken stupor. Ham should have treated him respectfully, even though his father (who had apparently never tasted liquor before) had made a fool of himself. But it should be carefully noted that only one of the sons of Ham, namely Canaan, was singled out for suffering the effects of Ham's curse. Genesis 9:25 quotes Noah as saying, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants [or 'slave of slaves'—Heb. 'ebed - badim] he shall be to his brothers" (NASB).
Ham had three sons besides Canaan, namely Cush, Mizraim, and Put (Gen. 10:6); but the penalty was announced only for Canaan, the ancestor of the Canaanites of Palestine, rather than for Cush and Put, who were probably the ancestors of the Ethiopians and the black peoples of Africa. The fulfillment of this curse came about in Joshua's conquest (ca. 1400 B.C.), and also in the conquest of Phoenicia and other Canaanites by the Persian Empire, since the Persians were descended, in all probability, from Japheth through Madai. This does seem to be the earliest occurrence of 'ebed in the sense of "slave" that can be found in Scripture.
As to the moral status of slavery in ancient times, it must be recognized that it was practiced by every ancient people of which we have any historical record: Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edom-ites, Greeks, Romans, and all the rest. Slavery was as integral a part of ancient culture as commerce, taxation, or temple service. Not until the more exalted concept of man and his innate-dignity as a person created in the image of God had permeated the world as a product of Bible teaching did a strong sentiment arise in Christendom in criticism of slavery and a questioning of its right to exist. No equivalent movement toward abolition is discernible in any non-Christian civilization of which we have any knowledge.
In Genesis 9:25, 'ebed is used in the sense of being politically in subjection to a foreign power. Hebrew slaves were required under the Mosaic law to be set free after six years of service; they could not be made to serve out their entire lives as slaves unless they willingly chose to remain so, out of love for their masters (Exod. 21:2-7). In some cases slaves were held in great honor; that is to say, the nobles were generally called "servants" ('badim) of their king—a title of honor, something like Paul's reference to himself as a “bondslave” of Jesus Christ."
In New Testament times slaves who became Christians were regarded as true brothers of the Christian free men and fellow heirs of the kingdom of God. They were bidden to serve their masters faithfully, respectfully, and with a right good will, as if they were serving the Lord Himself (Eph. 6:5-8)—even though they should seek to earn or purchase their freedom whenever possible (1 Cor. 7:21).
Yet there was inherent in the biblical concept of man as a person fashioned in the image of God and a candidate for heaven (on condition of repentance, faith, and commitment to the Lord) a dynamic principle that undermined slavery. This principle found expression first in the Christian world and then in other religions and cultures, which were shamed by the Christian example into abolishing slavery within their own domains. Thus God's ultimate purpose was brought to fruition.
[SLAVERY AS PRACTICED BY THE WESTERN WORLD IN TIMES PAST WAS DISGUSTING, HORRIBLE, REPUGNANT, AND WICKED. THOSE WHO TRIED TO SAY THE BIBLE SANCTIONED IT, WERE WAY WAY OFF BEAM AND IN THEIR PRACTICE (THE MAJORITY) WERE ANYTHING BUT GOLDY OR CHRISTIAN - Keith Hunt]
What was meant by Noah's prophecy that Japheth would dwell in the tents of Shem (Gen, 9:27)?
The full statement by Noah was as follows: "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant" (Gen. 9:27, NASB). This follows right on the heels of v.26, which indicates that the descendants of Canaan will serve as bondservants of both the Semites and the Indo-Europeans. This was fulfilled, in all probability, when in the 330s B.C. Alexander the Great subdued the entire territory of the Persian Empire and added it to his extensive European domains. As conqueror of the Phoenicians, Samaritans, Assyrians, and Babylonians, Alexander took over the reins of government through his special deputies and settled his veteran troops in various camps throughout the conquered territory. The empire he established endured for well over three centuries. In that sense, then, Japheth (ancestor of Javan or the Greeks) did "dwell in the tents of Shem."
[IT WAS PROBABLY FOR THEIR GENERATION AND MAYBE A FEW FOLLOWING GENERATIONS ONLY, AND HAD NO APPLICATION FOR CENTURIES DOWN THE LINE OF HISTORY - Keith Hunt]
Prior to Alexander's conquest, of course, Canaan had been invaded and taken over by the armies of Joshua around 1400 B.C. In that sense, then, Canaan became the servant of Shem as well as of Japheth (in the time of the Alexandrian conquest). But if the antecedent of the ambiguous pronoun "his" in "And let Canaan be his servant" is "Japheth"—as seems more likely—then this points forward particularly to the subjugation of the entire area of Canaan, or Palestine, by the Greeks and Macedonians of Alexander's army. Thus Canaan became the "servant" of Japheth.
[NOPE DOUBT THAT IS THE ANSWER; IT WAS FOR THE TIME WHEN THOSE THREE MEN LIVED AND MAYBE A FEW GENERATIONS AFTER. THE DESCENDANTS OF THEM WENT THEIR OWN WAYS OUT INTO THE LANDS OF THE EARTH. SEE THE BOOK BY CRAIG WHITE “IN SEARCH OF THE ORIGIN OF NATIONS” ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “HISTORY” Keith Hunt]
Genesis 10: 5, 20, 31 seem to indicate that mankind spoke many tongues. But Genesis 11:1 affirms that "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."
How are these two statements to be reconciled?
Genesis 10 describes the development of racial differentiation and dispersion that went on after the Flood and Noah's descendants began to re-populate the earth. This includes the entire process up to and including the third millennium B.C., just prior to the time of Abraham.
After this general survey, the author of Genesis reverts to a pivotal episode that occurred early in this postdiluvial era, the confusion of tongues that followed the vain attempt to build the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). This must have been within a very few centuries after the Flood.
The various tribes that descended from Ham, Shem, and Japheth all spoke the same language (presumably that of Noah himself) but preserved their tribal distinction quite carefully. When God put an end to their arrogant humanism and their "one-world" policy (adopted in a rebellious attempt to get along without any need for God), He confused their speech so that one tribe could not understand another any longer; and it became impossible for them to continue with their collective project.
We have no way of knowing whether the pre-Babel worldwide language was preserved in any of the subsequent tongues that sprang up after that debacle. (Some have suggested that Hebrew may have been that original language and that we have the actual words of Adam, Eve, Cain, and so on, preserved in Gen. 3-4. But since Hebrew is demonstrably a later dialect of Northwest Semitic, or of the Canaanite language group within that division, it seems unlikely that biblical Hebrew could have been the most primitive or original of all human languages.)
We can only conjecture that within the various subtribes and clans the new language distribution or differentiation was not so utterly complete as to keep even blood relatives from understanding one another. The fact that they continued to maintain their integrity according to their lineage strongly suggests that each of these smaller subdivisions was allowed a language mutually comprehensible to those within the clan, even after the confusion of tongues at Babel.
If Genesis 11:28 places the origin of Abraham's family in Ur of the Chaldees, why does Abraham in Genesis 24:4 locate his country and kinfolk in Haran?
Abraham's family originated in Ur but later migrated to Haran, which was located on the Belikh River, sixty miles from the Euphrates River, at the extreme north of the "Fertile Crescent." The entire clan joined in the migration, including Abram, Nahor, and Lot (the son of the deceased Nahor). Therefore they settled as a group in Padan Aram, of which Haran was the capital. There they all lived together for several decades, giving birth to children and rearing them in this Syrian setting. It is quite to be expected that Abraham would look back to the long sojourn in Haran as a second homeland from which he had migrated at the age of 75 (Gen. 12:4). It was also natural for him to refer to the children of his two older brothers as his "family" (moledet)—even though there may have been more distant relatives still living back in Ur (cf. 12:1).
Some have suggested that the Ur referred to as the ancestral home of Abraham's family may actually have been located much closer to Haran, up in the area of Padan Aram. There are references to "Uru" in the Eblaite tablets, according to G. Pettinato ("BAR Interviews Giovanni Pettinato," Biblical Archaeology Review 6, no. 5 [September-October 1980]: 51), located in northern Mesopotamia. But "Uru" was simply a Sumerian or Akkadian term for "the city," and as such it might be expected to occur in more than one region of Mesopotamia. Genesis 11:28 says very explicitly, however, that the Ur from which Abraham came was "Ur of the Chaldeans." This Ur was located very near the shoreline of the Persian Gulf back in ancient times, almost one hundred miles northwest of the present coast. As such it was very susceptible to raids by the Chaldean corsairs from the nearby region of what is now called Kuwait.
Just as the east coast of England finally became known as Danelaw, because of the increasing infiltration by Danish Vikings, so Ur became known as Ur Kasdim (by Moses' time, at least, when Genesis was written), because of the establishment of a sphere of influence there on the part of the Chaldeans. But there is no way that any Uru up in the vicinity of Haran would have become subject to a Chaldean hegemony, for the Chaldeans never penetrated to that part of the Near East. (The suggestion that this might have reflected the Kassites of the Kassite dynasty in Babylon 1500-1200 B.C. has little to commend it. There was never any third radical d attached to the name Kassi.)
How could God allow Abraham to enrich himself through lying?
On two occasions (Gen. 12:10-20; 20:1-18), Abraham passed off his wife Sarah as his sister in order to save himself from getting killed. The first time he did so was when famine afflicted Canaan so severely that he felt he had to move to Egypt to survive (Gen. 12:10). But as he approached that corrupt pagan land, he realized he would be at the mercy of a society that would not stop at murder to seize his beautiful wife for the king's harem. Abraham felt sure they would kill him if they knew the truth about his marital status.
He therefore persuaded Sarah herself to join with him in the lie, feeling that this was the only way his life could be spared. It was understandable enough that she complied with his request under those circumstances. Yet it was a sin on the part of both of them, and it robbed them of all possibility of witnessing to the truth of God before the idolatrous society of Egypt.
Pharaoh's agents did as Abraham had foreseen; they took Sarah to Pharaoh as a lovely addition to his harem (she was still beautiful after sixty-five!). But to Abraham's embarrassment the king bestowed lavish gifts on him and greatly increased his wealth—in servants, livestock, silver, and gold (Gen. 12:16; 13:2). Even after Pharaoh was stricken with a sudden illness, as soon as Sarah entered his palace, and he was constrained to inquire of his soothsayers the reason for his affliction, he was restrained from exacting vengeance on Abraham for his deception. Perhaps Pharaoh understood the constraint that his visitor was under because of the likelihood of his being murdered for the sake of his wife. Pharaoh was also very uncomfortable about being involved in the sin of adultery—which was sternly forbidden even by the Egyptian religion (cf. Book of the Dead, chap. 125, sec. B19, in Pritchard, ANET, p. 35, where the deceased has to aver that he has never committed adultery). Pharaoh was awed by the power of Abraham's God, who could smite him so quickly that he could not take Sarah to his bed before he fell deathly sick. For these reasons he allowed Abraham to leave Egypt with all the handsome dowry he had bestowed on him as Sarah's guardian.
It seems quite clear that this account of Abraham's failure is an honest inclusion of his lack of faith as manifested by this entire episode. If he had not believed that Yahweh was able to protect him with honor and integrity if he went down to Egypt, then he should never have gone there at all. As it was, he brought dishonor on himself and the cause he stood for, discrediting himself before the moral standards of Egypt itself. As for his enrichment through Pharaoh's generosity, there was a very definite sense in which the king was under obligation to pay amends for the wicked constraint that his corrupt society put on strangers who visited his land. When he found out the truth, he had to admit that Abraham had acted logically when he lied himself out of peril. Therefore it hardly follows that God was responsible for Abraham's increase in wealth; it was Pharaoh's own doing, and he did not feel justified in demanding it back, even after he found out the truth. Abraham retained his added possessions as he returned to Canaan, the land God had promised to him. But it may well be that the subsequent years of agonizing delay (twenty or more until he was one hundred years old) were due in part to his failure and lack of faith in God's protecting power, both in Egypt and (later on) in Gerar.
Genesis 20 tells us how readily Abraham fell into the same subterfuge in Gerar, when he once again feared for his safety on account of his wife. As he later explained to Abimelech of Gerar, "I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place; and they will kill me because of my wife" (v. 11, NASB). He then went on to explain that in point of fact Sarah was his half sister (v. 12), even though she lived with him as his wife. But here again Abraham showed a lack of confidence in God's power to preserve him from mortal danger and failed to uphold God's honor before the eyes of the unbelieving world. Even though he was given a thousand shekels by way of atonement for Abimelech's having taken Sarah into his palace, Abraham had to leave under a cloud of dishonor. Again we should observe that this account no more exonerates Abraham from his sin than did the similar adventure in Egypt. He came away from both failures with dishonor and shame, and his influence on the Philistines was as nullified as it had been in the case of the Egyptians.
Can Abraham's defeat of the Mesopotamian kings in Genesis 14 be historically trustworthy?
While it is true that direct archaeological confirmation of this exciting episode in Abraham's career has not yet come to light, there are no valid scientific grounds for rejecting the account in Genesis 14 as unhistorical. Apart from the documents from twentieth-century B.C. Ur, there is no extensive source of information regarding this period apart from Genesis itself—at least so far as Mesopotamia is concerned. The name of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, contains familiar Elamite components: kudur meant "servant," and Lagamar was a high goddess in the Elamite pantheon. Kitchen (Ancient Orient, p. 44) generally prefers the vocalization Kutir instead of Kudur and gives the references for at least three Elamite royal names of this type. He equates Tid'al with a Hittite name, Tudkhaliya, attested from the nineteenth century B.C. As for Arioch, one king of Larsa ("El-lasar") from this era was Eri-aku ("Servant of the Moon-god"), whose name in Akkadian was Arad-Sin (with the same meaning). The Mari Tablets refer to persons by the name of Ariyuk. The cuneiform original of Amraphel, formerly equated with Hammurabi of Babylon, is not demonstrable for the twentieth century (Hammurabi himself dates from the eighteenth century), but there may possibly be a connection with Amorite names like Amud-pa-ila, according to H.B. Huff-mon (see Kitchen's footnote on p. 44 for documentation).
All the above information has come to light since the heyday of the Documentary Hypothesis, when learned scholars contemptuously dismissed this whole account as late and totally fictional. But even such notable experts as H. Gunkel and W.F. Albright in our own century have concluded that Genesis 14 rests on authentic backgrounds in the history of the early second millennium B.C. In H.C. Alleman and E.E. Flack's Old Testament Commentary (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1954), p. 14, W.F. Albright remarked: "In spite of our failure hitherto to fix the historical horizon of this chapter, we may be certain that its contents are very ancient. There are several words and expressions found nowhere else in the Bible and now known to belong to the second millennium. The names of the towns in Transjordania are also known to be very ancient." It should be added that according to G. Pettinato, the leading epigraphist of the Ebla documents dating from 2400-2250 B.C., mention is made in the Ebla tablets of Sodom (spelled Si-da-mu), Gomorrah (spelled in Sumerian cuneiform I-ma-ar), and Zoar (Za-e-ar). He feels that quite possibly these may be the same cities mentioned in the Abrahamic narrative (cf. "BAR Interviews Pettinato," p. 48).
The authenticity of the background is established with a high degree of probability by the evidence just cited, even from the standpoint of objective scholarship—even apart from the absolute trustworthiness of Scripture, to which all true believers are committed as a matter of faith. But as to the credibility of the episode itself, it must be acknowledged that it was a most exceptional feat of daring on the part of a peaceful nomad like Abraham, to attempt to rout a large invading force of professional soldiers like those of the Mesopotamian invaders. After their brilliant victory over the allied forces of the Sodomite confederacy (14:8-10), the booty-laden conquerors should have made short work of Abraham's 318 henchmen and his meager force of Amorite allies, who could hardly have exceeded 1000 men in all.
In normal daylight conditions, it would have been suicidal for Abraham's forces to attack the Mesopotamian soldiers on any battlefield. But Abraham caught up to them by forced marches and fell on them by night, when they were totally unprepared for combat. Dividing his forces up into several groups (Gen. 14:15), he apparently used a strategy somewhat similar to that of Gideon—who routed an even greater army of Midianites by the strategic use of only 300 men (Judg. 7:19-22). The secret of success, humanly speaking, was the inducement of panic among the heterogenous, polyglott forces of the invaders, who had no way of knowing how many attackers they had to face, and hardly knew which way to flee. But, of course, the real cause of victory was the miraculous power of God, who was pleased to give Abraham complete victory on this occasion—not only that he might rescue his nephew Lot, but also as a token of the ultimate triumph that Abraham's descendants would achieve under the leadership of Joshua 570 years later.
[ALL SUCH HISTORICAL EPISODES ARE TRUE AS THEY ARE IN THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD; THE BIBLE IS SO ESTABLISHED UPON DIVINE INSPIRATION; SO ALL THINGS WRITTEN THEREIN ARE TRUE AND ACCURATE - Keith Hunt]
Was Melchizedek a historical person or a mythical figure?
The account in Genesis 14:18-20 sounds like a straightforward historical episode, just as truly as the rest of the chapter. It tells us that there was a priest-king of Salem (that is, Jerusalem, in all probability) named Melchizedek, who felt led to greet Abraham on his way back from the slaughter of the Mesopotamian invaders between Dan and Hobah (v. 15) and to furnish him with provisions for his battle-weary fighting men. He also congratulated Abraham warmly for his heroic victory and bestowed a blessing on him in the name of "God Most High" ('El 'Elyon)—a title never applied in Scripture to anyone else but Yahweh Himself. Obviously Melchizedek was a true believer, who had remained faithful to the worship of the one true God (just like Job and his four advisors in North Arabia; Jethro, Moses' Midianite father-in-law; and Balaam, the prophet of Yahweh from Pethor in the Euphrates Valley). The testimony of Noah and his sons had evidently been maintained in other parts of the Middle East besides Ur and Haran.
There was, however, one striking feature about the way Melchizedek was brought into this narrative: his parents are not mentioned, and there is no statement about his birth or death. The reason for this lack of information is made clear in Hebrews 7:3: "Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he abides a priest perpetually" (NASB). The context makes it clear that Melchizedek was brought on to the scene as a type of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. In order to bring out this typical character of Melchizedek, the biblical record purposely omits all mention of his birth, parentage, or ancestors. This is not to say that he had no father (for even the Antitype, Jesus of Nazareth, had the Holy Spirit as His Father—and certainly His mother, Mary, is mentioned in the Gospels) or that he had never been born (for even Jesus was in His human nature born on Christmas Eve).
[WHAT! THE HOLY SPIRIT THE FATHER OF JESUS! THEN JESUS PRAYED TO THE WRONG FATHER IN PRAYING TO GOD THE FATHER; BUT SUCH IS THE TWISTED SILLY THEOLOGY OF CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS, AND THEIR STRANGE “TRINITY” IDEAS. AND JESUS BORN ON CHRISTMAS EVE; MY OH MY HAVE THEY EVER GOT THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND ON THAT ONE. MOST “SCHOLARS” OF ANY WORTH KNOW JESUS WAS NOT BORN ON DECEMBER 25 OR THE EVE OF IT….I SHAKE MY HEAD - Keith Hunt]
It was simply that his dramatic and sudden appearance was more clearly brought out by presenting him as God's spokesman to Abraham, serving as a type of the future Christ, bestowing the divine blessing on the people of God.
Melchizedek presented himself as a forerunner or type of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, who would fulfill a priestly office far higher and more efficacious than that of Aaron and the Levites. This was taught back in David’s time by Psalm 110:4, addressed to the future Deliverer of Israel: "The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, 'Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek'" (nab). Hebrews 7:1-2 points out the significant features in Melchizedek as a type of Christ:
1. Melchi-sedeq actually means "King of Righteousness."
2. He was king of salem, which comes from the same root as salom, "peace."
3. He is presented without mention of birth, parentage, or genealogy, as befitted a type of the Son of God, the eternal God, without beginning and without end, who became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth.
4. As a Priest forever after the "order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), Christ would carry on a priesthood that would completely supersede the priesthood of Aaron, established under the law of Moses, and which would endure forever because of the imperishable life of the High Priest Himself (Heb. 7:22-24).
Despite the fanciful traditions maintained by some of the rabbis (appearing even as early as the Qumran sect—cf. the Melchizedek Fragment from Cave 11) to the effect that Melchizedek was some kind of angel or supernatural being, the data of Scripture itself points clearly to the historicity of this man as a king of Jerusalem back in the days of Abraham. The description of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:3 as apator, ametor, agenealogetos ("without father, without mother, without genealogy") cannot be intended to mean that Melchizedek never had any parents or any ancestral line, for Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ, of whom none of the three adjectives was literally true. Rather, this verse simply means that none of those items of information was included in the Genesis 14 account and that they were purposely omitted in order to lay the stress on the divine nature and imperishability of the Messiah, the Antitype.
[WELLLL….. I GIVE A “MAYBE” BUT THE WORDS ARE PRETTY PLAIN, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO GIVE A FANCY INTERPRETATION, IT SIMPLY WAS THE GOD WHO BECAME THE CHRIST - Keith Hunt]
Why does the Bible use unscientific terms like "the going down of the sun" and "the four corners of the earth"?
Evidences of prescientific inaccuracy have been found by some critics of biblical authority in such expressions as Genesis 15:17: "When the sun went down," and Genesis 19:23: "The sun was risen upon the earth." If that charge is just, then it equally applies to our century, for we still—even the scientists among us—employ the words "sunrise" and "sunset" in our daily speech, even though we are well aware that it is really the earth that rotates rather than the sun that revolves. This is a perfectly acceptable type of phenomenal terminology, employed by all languages at all periods of their history. In fact the words for "east" and "west" in most of the Semitic languages are literally "place of rising" and "place of setting." This type of argument is really quite puerile and betrays an amazing naivete on the part of the critic who raises it.
The same is true of the modern myth that the Bible teaches that the earth is a rectangle rather than a globe because it employs the expression "four corners of the earth" (e.g., Isa. 11:12). The word for "corners" is, which means "wings," i.e., wing-tips, such as one uses on compasses (even today!) to indicate the four directions: north, south, east, west. But as for the shape of the earth, Job 22:14, Proverbs 8:27, and Isaiah 40:22 all speak of the earth as a hug ("circle," "disk," or possibly even "sphere"). No one yet has come up with literal corners on a circle, not an ancient Hebrew—or a modern scientist!
[OF COURSE THE BIBLE USED FIGURE OF SPEECH. BULLINGER WROTE A 1,000 PAGE BOOK ON FIGURES OF SPEECH IN THE BIBLE. STILL AVAILABLE. THE BIBLE WRITTEN BY DOZENS OF PEOPLE, GOD ALLOWING INDIVIDUAL FLARES OF SPEECH BY VARIOUS OF THE AUTHORS, HENCE NOT UNLIKE MANY MODERN AUTHORS ALSO DO IN THEIR WRITINGS - Keith Hunt]
Why did God command circumcision in Genesis 17?
Genesis 17 does not furnish any clear rationale for the establishment of this rite as mandatory for the family and descendants of Abraham. God simply says, "You shall be circumcised ... and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you" (v.l 1). Any of Abraham's people who refuse or willfully neglect circumcision are to be cut off from the covenant of grace altogether (v. 14). Consequently circumcision mattered a great deal to Yahweh, so far as the Hebrew nation was concerned. Romans 4:9-10 explains that salvation was not dependent on circumcision but rather on the grace of God mediated to the guilty sinner through his acceptance and faith in the promises of God. God's righteousness was reckoned to Abraham before he was circumcised (cf. Gen. 15:6; 17:23-24). But then the apostle goes on to explain the purposes of circumcision in Romans 4:11: "He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them" (NASB).
The rite of circumcision (i.e., the surgical removal of the prepuce) was intended as a sign and a seal of the covenant relationship between God and the believer. Even as a wedding ring is a sign and seal of the total and exclusive commitment of the bride and the groom to each other so long as they both shall live, so the sacramental removal of this portion of the male organ was a blood-sealed testimonial that the believer had turned his life over to the Lord, with the commitment to live for Him and in dependence on His grace for the rest of his earthly life. As a seal the act of circumcision amounted to a stamp of ownership on the Old Testament; it testified that he belonged not to the world, Satan, or self, but to the Lord Yahweh who had provided for his redemption.
Further explanation of the function of circumcision is found in Colossians 2:11-13: "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions" (NASB). Three important insights concerning circumcision are included in these verses.
1. Circumcision involved the symbolic removal of "the body of the flesh" as an instrument of unholiness; apart from circumcision, the body of the sinner remained in a state of "uncircumcision of his flesh."
2. Circumcision entailed a commitment to holiness. Moses urged his congregation in Deuteronomy 10:16 (NIV): "Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer." This indicates that circumcision involved a commitment of heart to be holy unto the Lord and obedient to His word. (The opposite idea was stiffneckedness or stubborn willfulness on the part of the professing believer.) Leviticus 26:41 speaks of a future generation of Israelites taken off into captivity and promises them forgiveness and restoration to their land "if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity" (NASB). Shortly before the Babylonian captivity, the prophet Jeremiah (4:4) exhorted his countrymen—all of whom had doubtless been circumcised physically as infants—"Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my wrath go out like fire ... because of the evil of your deeds. (NASB). Circumcision, then, involved a commitment to a holy life, a life of faith in God and of obedience to His commands.
3. Circumcision represented to the Old Testament believer what baptism represents to the New Testament believer: an acceptance or adoption into the family of the redeemed. The benefits of Christ's future atonement on Calvary were by God's grace imparted to the circumcised believer prior to the Cross, even as the merit of Christ's atonement and the saving benefits of His resurrection victory are applied to the New Testament believer. In both dispensations the sacramental sign and seal was imposed on the believer (and also on the infant children of believers for whom the covenant promises were claimed by faith). The same God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ commanded circumcision for the Old Testament believer and water baptism for the believer under the new covenant—which baptism constitutes spiritual circumcision, according to v. 11.
TO BE CONTINUED