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Author Topic: Genesis; The Road To The Top
Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Hello; and welcome to a home-spun journey thru the very first book of the Bible.

This is not just a read-thru; we're doing a daily bread style commentary, practically verse by verse from the creation of the cosmos to Joseph's burial in Egypt.

Barring emergencies, accidents, vacations, unforeseen circumstances, and/or insurmountable distractions, database errors, router malfunctions, difficulties, computer crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon, the dog ate my homework, Executive Orders, visiting relatives, brute force, ISIS, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, gasoline prices, medical issues, and/or hard luck et al; I'm making an effort to keep up a running commentary every day including Sundays and holidays.

All the really cool stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, the origin of human life, Adam and Eve, the origin of marriage, the Devil, the first lie, the first transgression, the origin of human death, the origin of clothing, the first baby, Cain and Abel, the first murder, the Flood, the tower of Babel, and the origin of Yhvh's people.

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

Sorry, but Moses vs. Pharaoh and the parting of the Red Sea are in Exodus; Samson and Delilah are in Judges, David and Goliath are in 1Samuel; and Ruth and Esther are in books of the Bible named after them

Buen Camino

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Gen 1:1

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

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

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

That would explain why the book begins with an in-your-face theological account of the origin of the cosmos, rather than waste words with an apologetic argument to convince agnostics that a supreme being exists. I mean: if the complexity of the cosmos-- its extent, its objects, and all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --isn't enough to convince the agnostic; then the agnostic is pretty much beyond reach.

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

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

†. Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

The word for "God" is from the Hebrew 'elohiym (el-o-heem'). It's a plural word and means, ordinarily: gods. 'Elohiym isn't really the creator's personal moniker, rather, a nondescript designation that pertains to all sorts of gods, along with, and including, the supreme one.

The "beginning" is mentioned again at 1John 1:1 which I believe safe to assume compliments John 1:1-2

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

The word for "heaven" is from the Hebrew word shamayim (shaw-mah'-yim) and means: to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the plural (heavens) perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).

So the word "heaven" is ambiguous and can mean the breathable air in our planet's atmosphere as well as the stratosphere and the vast celestial regions of space.

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

Anyway; Genesis 1:1 merely reveals the origin of the cosmos without going into detail. It's a "Once upon a time" sort of statement with a story to follow.

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Gen 1:2-4a

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

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

Curiously, scientists have not yet been able to figure out what gives particles their mass. In point of fact, the multi-billion-dollar Large Hadron Collider was constructed for the specific purpose of finding a special particle called the Higgs Boson (a.k.a. the God particle) because it's believed that the Higgs particle "creates" a field that somehow grants other particles their mass.

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

This particular "deep" I believe can be safely assumed to be the void; viz: the seemingly infinite space housing the known universe.

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

The "waters" at this point in the earth's history probably weren't the liquid commonly known as H2O. It's just a "place-holder" name; viz: a convenient label for the colossal soup of freshly created particles that would eventually be utilized to construct the universe's physical properties.

The Spirit's job, therefore, was as a sort of cattle wrangler circling the herd and keeping all the various particles together so they didn't drift away and get lost because as yet there were no forces at work keeping things together.

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

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

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

The same laws that make it possible for matter to generate electromagnetic radiation also make other conditions possible too; e.g. fire, wind, water, ice, soil, rain, life, centrifugal force, thermodynamics, fusion, dark energy, gravity, atoms, organic molecules, magnetism, color, radiation, refraction, reflection, high energy X-rays and gamma rays, temperature, pressure, force, inertia, sound, friction, and electricity; et al. So the creation of light was a pretty big deal; yet Genesis scarcely gives its origin passing mention.

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

BTW: You know it's curious to me that most people have no trouble readily conceding that everything else in the first chapter of Genesis is natural, e.g. the cosmos, the earth, water, sky, dry land, the Sun, the Moon, the stars, aqua life, winged life, terra life, flora life, and human life.

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

NOTE: The interesting thing about the laws of nature is that they're not absolute laws. No; they are created laws-- created as a companion to the created cosmos to regulate how the cosmos, with all of its forms of life, matter, and energy, behaves. Seeing as how God designed and created those laws, then He knows the secrets to manipulating them in order to make things in our world behave quite contrary to common sense.

Take for example the floating axe head in 2Kgs 6:5-6. Solid chunks of iron don't float. That's unnatural. Another example is the fire-proof bush of Ex 3:2. A bush that's impervious to fire is unnatural. It should have flared up and Moses knew it too but it didn't because God can easily modify the behavior of everything He ever created.

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

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

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Gen 1:4b-5

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

Day and Night simply label two distinct physical conditions-- the absence of light, and/or the absence of darkness. Labeling those physical conditions may seem like a superfluous detail, but when analyzing crucifixion week in the New Testament, it's essential to keep those physical conditions separate in regards to Christ's burial and resurrection if one is to have any hope of deducing the correct chronology of Easter week.

Anyplace there's light, there is no true darkness because light always dispels darkness. However, darkness is powerless to dispel light. In other words; science and industry have given the world a flashlight; but they have yet to give the world a flashdark. Man can produce artificial lighting, but he can't produce artificial darkness. Anyway, point being; light is the superior of the two and rules the dark; for example:

"And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:5)

The koiné Greek word for "comprehend" is katalambano (kat-al-am-ban'-o) which basically means to take, seize, or possess eagerly. At 1Thess 5:4 it's translated overtake (as a thief, in a sudden and/or unexpected way). At Mark 9:18 it's translated seizure (as in demon possession).

The idea is: darkness is powerless to stop light from dominating it. Even a little kid with a candle can conquer darkness; because light, even the light from a candle, is impervious to darkness, and darkness has no way to fight it off and/or beat it back. However, where there is no light, then darkness definitely has the advantage.

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

In accordance with a normal, strict chronological sequence; evening and morning would indicate overnight; viz: a day of creation would take place entirely in the dark; which fails to comply with the definitions of Day given at Gen 1:4-5a and Gen 1:14-18

Seeing as how it says evening "and" morning instead of evening to morning, then we're not really looking at a chronological sequence but merely the Am/Pm portions of daytime because evening and morning is all the same as morning and evening.

In other words: morning represents the hours of daylight between sunup and high noon, while evening represents the hours of daylight between high noon and sunset; viz: afternoon.

Just exactly how long were the days of creation? Well; according to Gen 1:24-31, God created humans and all land animals on the sixth day; which has to include dinosaurs because on no other day did God create land animals but the sixth.

However; the fossil record. in combination with scientific dating methods, has thus far easily proven that dinosaurs preceded human life by several million years. So then, in my estimation, the days of creation should be taken to represent epochs of indeterminable length rather than 24-hour calendar days. That's not an unreasonable estimation; e.g.

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

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

So then, why can't some people accept an epochal explanation? Why are they so insistent upon on 24-hour calendar days? Because they're hung up on the expression "evening and morning".

The interesting thing is: there were no physical evenings and mornings till the fourth day when the sun was created and brought on line. So I suggest that the expression "evening and morning" is simply a convenient way to indicate the simultaneous wrap of one epoch and the beginning of another.

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

NOTE: Galileo believed that science and religion are allies rather than enemies-- two different languages telling the same story. In other words: science and religion compliment each other-- science answers questions that religion doesn't answer, and religion answers questions that science cannot answer; viz: science and religion are not really enemies; no, to the contrary, science and religion assist each other in their respective quests to get to the bottom of some of the cosmos' greatest mysteries.

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Gen 1:6-10

†. Gen 1:6a . . God said: Let there be an expanse

The word for "expanse" is from raqiya' (raw-kee'-ah) and means: a great extent of something spread out, a firmament, the visible arch of the sky.

Raqiya' is distinct from shamyim in that it indicates the earth's atmosphere; which is sort of sandwiched between the surface and the vacuum of space.

†. Gen 1:6b-8 . . in the midst of the water, that it may separate water from water. God made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. And God named the expanse Sky.

At this point in time, I think we can safely assume that "water" is no longer a place-card name for the colossal soup of particles God created in Gen 1:2 but the molecular combination commonly known as H20.

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

Our planet is really big; a whole lot bigger than people sometimes realize. It's surface area, in square miles, is 7,868,514,463. To give an idea of just how many square miles that is: if somebody were to wrap a belt around the equator made of one-mile squares; it would only take 24,900 squares to complete the distance; which is a mere .000312% of the earth's total surface area.

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

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

To put that in perspective: if we were to construct a tower 326.6 million miles high, it would exceed the Sun's distance better than 3½ times.

†. Gen 1:8b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

†. Gen 1:9 . . God said : Let the waters below the sky be gathered into one area, that dry ground may appear. And it was so.

Shaping the earth's mantle in order to form low spots for the seas and high spots for dry ground was a colossal feat of magma convection and volcanism combined with the titanic forces of tectonic plate subduction; all of which require beaucoup centuries to accomplish.

At the ocean's deepest surveyed point-- the Challenger Deep; located in the Mariana Islands group, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench --the water's depth is over 11,000 meters; which is about 6.8 statute miles (36,000 feet). That depth corresponds to the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747. At that altitude, probably about all you're going to see of the airliner without straining your eyes is its contrail.

Africa's Mt Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain on earth at 19,341 feet above its land base. If Kilimanjaro were placed in the Challenger Deep, it would have about 16,659 feet of water over its peak. Were the tallest point of the Himalayan range-- Mt Everest --to be submerged in the Challenger Deep, it would have about 7,000 feet of water over its head.

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

"He established the Earth on its foundations, so that it shall never totter. You made the deep cover it as a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. They fled at your blast, rushed away at the sound of your thunder-- mountains rising, valleys sinking to the place you established for them. You set bounds they must not pass so that they never again cover the Earth." (Ps 104:5-9)

Psalm 104 is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. It says that the land masses we know today as mountains were at one time submerged; and it isn't talking about Noah's flood. The speech of "mountains rising, and valleys sinking" isn't Flood-speak, no, it's geology-speak. I seriously doubt that the Psalmist knew about the science of tectonic plates, magma pressure, and the forces of subduction, but he was clearly somehow aware that the Earth's crust is malleable. And that's true. With just the right combination of temperature and pressure, solid rock can be made to bend; even forced to hairpin back upon itself like taffy.

†. Gen 1:10 . . God called the dry ground Land, and the gathering of waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good.

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

NOTE: There are Hebrew words in the Bible for marshes, impoundments, rivers, and streams; but I've yet to encounter one for natural lakes and ponds. In other words "seas" suffices not only for oceans; but also for all the smaller accumulations of naturally occurring water.

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Gen 1:11-13

†. Gen 1:11a . . And God said: Let the earth sprout vegetation

Before God could set out plantings; He first had to create soil for them to grow in; which is only barely alluded to in Genesis' reference to dry land making its appearance.

This is where young-earth theories run into trouble because it takes a long time for nature to manufacture soil-- upwards of three hundred years to a millennium to produce just one inch; which indicates that it took an enormous number of years after the formation of dry land for the earth's crust to weather and break down on its own to make soil enough for plantings.

Aged-earth theories essentially postulate that God got vegetation up and going with a starter kit of fertile dirt; which can't be argued with since there's really no telling exactly how God proceeded with the manufacture of soil.

But since the earth was designed with the capability to make soil on its own, I rather think it plausible that God was in no hurry and was pleased to let nature take its course; as He designed it to take.

The soil requirements of different species vary widely, and no generalizations can be made concerning an ideal soil for the growth of all plants; e.g. avocado trees; which thrive just fine in the relatively dry, sunny climate and alkaline soil of San Diego; do poorly in the acidic soil and much wetter, not-so-sunny climate of Oregon's Willamette valley. There are upwards of 30,000 different soils in the USA alone.

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

All vegetation was created on the third day. Every plant since then, and all plants that will ever be, pre-existed in the cell structures, and in the DNA, of the original flora because God created nothing else after the sixth day. How do I know that? Because the seventh day wasn't bounded by an evening and a morning. In other words: God is still resting from His creation labors and won't fire them up again till the 21st chapter of Revelation. (cf. Isa 65:18, Isa 66:22)

NOTE: According to Gen 2:4-5, the sprouting spoken of in Gen 11a was limited until such a time as the Earth's climatic conditions were up and running.

God created some species of life with the remarkable ability to adapt and mutate. For example Escherichia coli. It's spin-off, the deadly little pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, didn't exist in nature till the 20th century. It's the progeny of regular E-coli adapting and mutating itself to overcome the antibiotics used to control disease in large-scale, overcrowded, unsanitary feed lots where animals are rapidly fattened up on a brief diet of genetically modified grain prior to slaughtering them for food.

Although the creator made O157:H7 possible; I doubt if anybody would have any luck suing Him for product liability since it's humanity's own greed and stupidity that forced E-coli O157:H7 into the food distribution system. Its mommy was just trying to give her lethal little offspring the tools necessary to survive. It's like chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm said in Jurassic Park; "Life finds a way"

"The prosperity of fools shall destroy them." (Prv 1:32)

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

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

The ranges now in existence; e.g. the Andes, the Himalayas, the Rockies, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Cascades, the Brooks Range, the Alps, etc; and the various minor inland and coastal ranges didn't always exist. Those were shoved up over time by the forces of tectonic subduction, volcanism, and magma pressure. Even Yosemite's massive granite monoliths haven't always been there. They were formed deep underground and then somehow shoved up to where they are now. Anyway, point being; those ranges have a very great deal to do with the earth's current weather systems.

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

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Gen 1:14

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

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

Many types of plants and animals need sunlight if they're to be strong and healthy. At this point in the creation, planet Earth was very dark and freezing cold. For example: the dark side of the Moon gets down to like 279º below zero; so it was time to turn the earth into a greenhouse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the first day; God defined Day as a condition of light; and defined Night as a condition of darkness. Here, it's further defined that Day, as pertains to life on Earth, is when the Sun is up; and Night is when the Sun is down.

These definitions occur so early in the Bible that they easily escape the memories of Bible students as they slip into the reflexive habit of always thinking of Days as periods of one earth rotation of 24 hours. That's okay for calendars but can lead to gross misunderstandings when interpreting biblical schedules, predictions, and/or chronologies.

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

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

The Sun and the Moon are very useful time keepers. The Sun of course marks off days and years; and if you were to tell somebody your intention to visit them in five Moons, they would have a pretty good idea when to get ready for your arrival; so long as you both used a common definition of "moon". To some, a moon is new moon, while for others a moon indicates full moon.

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Gen 1:15-19

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

. . . And God set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to distinguish light from darkness.

For the third time now in Genesis, "day" is defined as when the sun is up, and "night" is defined as when the sun is down; and yet people still don't think God means it.

Stars require some special consideration because of their apparent distances and the apparent time it takes for their light to reach the Earth.

For example: this past decade, Hubble telescope detected a galaxy at a distance of 12.8 billion light years; which was subsequently given the label A1689-zD1. Chronologically; the cosmos' creator began constructing the Earth before He began constructing the stars; which indicates that as a physical structure, the Earth should be older than A1689-zD1.

But geologists have pretty good reasons to believe the Earth to be only something like 4.5 billion years old; while A1689-zD1 appears to be a minimum 12.8 billion years old. So then, it seems reasonable to conclude that A1689-zD1 is Earth's senior by at least 8.3 billion years; but there's a rub. Light's journey through space is complicated by some yet-unsolved mysteries.

1• The available data suggests that the universe is expanding in all directions. In other words: it's stretching out-- every galaxy in the cosmos appears to be moving away from every other galaxy (with the exception apparently of the Milky Way and Andromeda, which astronomers-- according to an article in the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of Science Illustrated --predict will collide in 4 billion years).

And not only is the cosmos expanding; but the velocity of its expansion isn't steady, nor is it slowing down as might be expected; but rather, contrary to common sense and Newton's laws of gravity; the velocity of the cosmos' expansion is accelerating due to a mysterious force which, for convenience sake, has been labeled dark energy. Plus, the expansion isn't uniform. Galaxies farthest from the earth appear to be moving away faster than those closer in.

Ergo: the stars that God created on the fourth day are now quite a bit farther away from Earth than when He first made them. How much farther away I don't know; but if the age of the Earth is really and truly 4.5 billion years then it's my guess the difference is significant.

2• Photons have no detectable mass, yet are effected by gravity; so that light's path through the cosmos is not always the shortest distance between two points.

3• Although the speed of light is constant in a vacuum, the void is a bit more complicated due to the fact that it's state isn't steady. There are forces in space influencing not only light's path, but also its velocity.

4• Light doesn't decay. In other words: there is no detectable difference in age between the cosmos' first light, and the light emitted by a modern television screen.

All the above suggests to me that A1689-zD1's apparent distance has no bearing upon its age; viz: the estimated age of the cosmos is only loosely theoretical rather than actual. In other words: current dating methods are subject to revision, and it's very possibly true that the Earth really did precede the stars just as the Bible says.

The final say of course is the Bible's. According to Gen 1:15, stars illuminated the earth on the day that God made them, which was prior to His creation of humanity. In other words: it's not unreasonable to believe that God didn't wait till starlight reached the earth on its own, but punched it straight through in order to begin illuminating the earth immediately.

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

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

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

Sadly, a number of very intelligent people like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson look to the sky for the wrong reasons. Personally, I think it's futile to look to the sky for SETI reasons. Why not just look to the sky for inspiration instead of intelligent extraterrestrial life? What's so bad about visiting the sky as a Metropolitan Museum of your maker's many-faceted talents?

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

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

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Gen 1:20-21

†. Gen 1:20 . . God said: Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and birds that fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.

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

What did those early winged creatures look like? My money is on the Pterosaurs (pterodactyls). Precisely when God phased out those early skin-winged creatures and replaced them with feather-winged creatures isn't stated; but since no winged creatures are reported created on the sixth day, then we have to give the birdies a share of the fifth; so I think we're talking about a pritt-tee long fifth day. What I mean is; I don't think it prudent to rule out the possibility that those early skin-winged creatures were the ancestors of later-to-come feather-winged creatures.

How can water be used to create both winged creatures and sea creatures? Well, it can't be any harder than creating terra creatures from the dust of the earth seeing as how the very same elements are dissolved in earth's waters; and in point of biological fact, land creatures are composed of not only dust, but also water. Dehydrate an air-breathing land creature, and it will die.

"bring forth swarms" is derived from sharats (shaw-rats') and means: to wriggle, i.e. (by implication) swarm or abound. Sharats, strictly speaking, simply indicates large numbers; like in Ex 1:7 where Yhhv's people multiplied like rabbits, and in Ex 8:3 where ka-zillions of frogs infested the land of Egypt.

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

The word for "creature" is from nephesh (neh'-fesh) which distinguishes conscious life from non-conscious life. For example: though saguaro cacti are alive, they aren't nephesh because saguaro cacti aren't sentient beings; i.e. they aren't self aware.

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

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

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

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

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

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

†. Gen 1:21a . . God created the great sea monsters, and all the living creatures of every kind that creep, which the waters brought forth in swarms,

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

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

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

"of every kind that creep" in this case regards only aquatic creatures that creep e.g. starfish, lobsters, crayfish, newts, clams, and crabs et al. The terra creepers are coming up in a little bit.

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

†. Gen 1:21b . . and all the winged creatures of every kind.

"kind" is from miyn (meen) and means: to portion out: to sort; viz: species.

In other words: God created a variety of winged species all at once, rather than just one specie like He did with man.

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth" (Acts 17:25-26)

Man is a one-of-a-kind specie. From just one man's genetic chemistry came all the other variations of Man; ranging anywhere from Pygmies to Eskimos; and has to make you wonder how that works if evolution is total bull. Well; I don't think it's wise to relegate Darwin to the category of total bull. I mean, just look at how well pathogens adapt and mutate in order to cope with antibiotics. That's a natural process and the pathies don't even have to give it any thought. I believe Darwin was on to something, but shot himself in the foot by leaving intelligent design out of the equation. An origin of living species theory is incomplete without an originator of life.

God built mysterious genetic reactions into living organisms that give them the ability to make adjustments to themselves in order to survive-- adjustments that are triggered by conditions in their respective environments. It's because of those kinds of involuntary adaptations and mutations that I'm very curious sometimes what the original humans really looked like.

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

In other words: He was satisfied.

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

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Gen 1:22-25

†. Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fertile

The blessing of fertility is pretty amazing. It not only enables creatures to reproduce their own bodies, but also to transfer the breath of life from one generation to the next.

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

Aqua creatures exist in the most unlikely places. When the crew of the bathyscaphe Trieste descended into the 35,761 feet Challenger Deep located in the deepest part of the Mariana Trench in 1960, they didn't really expect to find anything living down there; but to their surprise, they saw a flat fish similar to sole and flounder. The video camera on board the Kaiko probe spotted a sea cucumber, a scale worm and a shrimp at the bottom. The Nereus probe spotted a polychaete worm (a multi-legged predator) about an inch long.

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

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

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

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

The Hebrew words for "living creature" are chay (khah'-ee) and nephesh (neh'-fesh).

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

Soul is translated from the Hebrew word nephesh (neh'-fesh). Its first appearance is at Gen 1:20-21 in reference to sea creatures and winged creatures; again at Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and wild beasts; and again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature.

Soul, then, distinguishes fauna life from flora life.

Terra critters consist of the very land masses upon which they live. They, like Man, weren't created out of thin air; but rather, God used earthly materials and ingredients already at hand to manufacture them. Neat-O. Not only are the various plants and animals indigenous to planet Earth; but they are part of it too and blend right back in when they die and decompose.

The word for "beasts" (of the earth) is chay, which, in this instance, simply refers to wild life as opposed to domesticated life.

The word for "cattle" is behemah (be-hay-maw') and means a mute beast (a.k.a. dumb animal). Behemah are the herd species from which came those that can be domesticated for Man's uses. They can pull plows and wagons, provide tallow for candles and soap, and hide and wool for clothes, meat and dairy for table, carry loads on their backs, and give people rides.

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

The plural of behemah is behemowth (be-hay-mohth') a word which some have construed to indicate dinosaurs; citing Job 40:15-24 as their proof text. However, it's easily proven that the era of monster reptiles was long gone before Mr. Job was even born.

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

"creeping things" is the word remes (reh'-mes) and means: a reptile; or any other rapidly moving animal. Dinosaurs would've been included in this grouping.

Some Bible students suffer anxiety over dinosaurs because paleontologists have easily dated them extinct a good many thousands of years prior to the emergence of humans; but that's not really a problem if we but permit creation's days to be epochs of indeterminate length rather than 24-hour events.

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Gen 1:22-25

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

Because of the terms "image and likeness" there are some who believe that man's creator is a human being; or at least resembles one. But according to Christ, creation's God is non physical.

"God is spirit" (John 4:24)

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

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

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

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

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

Man's authority to dominate the earth is where we find his image and likeness of God. In other words: Man's image and likeness of God is all about power (cf. Gen 44:18).

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

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

We are not above the Earth;
We are of the Earth.

Well . . I respect the Native American cultural feelings behind that statement; and must admit that I agree with it whole-heartedly. But creation's creator decreed that though Man is of the earth; he is very definitely above it too, and has the God-given right to subjugate every living thing on the planet including the whole earth: its forests, its grasses, its rivers, its seas, its soil, its rocks, its air, its minerals, its mountains, its valleys, and even its tectonic plates and the very atmosphere itself.

†. Gen 1:27 . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The language of that verse is inconsistent with verse 26. In that location Man was created in "our" image. In this verse Man is said to be created in "His" image. It appears to me that the difference is due to the word "own". In other words; "our image and likeness" is not quite the same as "His own image". And there seems a bit of a difference between "us create" and "He created".

NOTE: The pronoun "them" in Gen 1:27 is a bit ambiguous. It can refer to the first male and the first female; but it can just as easily refer to the human race in total. In other words: Gen 1:26-27 is where we all began.

Some women would be offended to be called a "him" but it's a biblical designation nonetheless. Regardless of one's gender, all human beings are of the genus Adam and can be legitimately referred to as a him or as a he. Bible students really have to watch for that because when they run across the word "man" and/or "men" in the Bible, it doesn't eo ipso indicate males.

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Gen 1:28-30

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

Some interpret that verse to be an edict requiring married people to have children; and that they have no business getting married for any other reason. But the wording is so obviously a blessing rather than a law; especially since God said the very same thing to the winged creatures, and the fish, and the reptiles, and the bugs, and the beasts.

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

NOTE: The belief that couples should enter marriage for no other reason than procreation is an invention right out of an ascetic imagination; and if truth be known, it's in defense of a celibate clergy. According to Gen 2:18-24 and 1Cor 7:7-9, marriage is primarily for the purpose of companionship rather than procreation. If in fact deliberately childless marriages are wrong, then Catholicism's platonic union of Joseph and the Lord's mom would be a sinful relationship.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prior to the Flood; man, beast, bug, and birds too-- even the lions and tigers and hawks and eagles and vultures and crocodiles --subsisted on fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Precisely what kind of diet God intended for sea life is not stated.

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

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

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

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

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Gen 1:31

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

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

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

Plus denuded water sheds thus causing unnecessary erosion and stream sedimentation, dammed rivers thus disrupting ancient fish migration routes, over-exploited natural resources, filled the atmosphere with toxins and greenhouse gas emissions, poisoned aquifers, contaminated soil and waterways with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, GMO vegetation; and made possible super germs, and seriously upset the balance of nature.

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

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

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

"O Yhvh! . . what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. (Ps 104:24)

NOTE: The information disclosed in the first chapter of Genesis is incorporated in the text of a gospel labeled as "everlasting".

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, announcing with a loud voice: Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Rev 14:6-7)

The everlasting gospel is very elementary. Pretty much all it says is:

1_ There's a supreme being.

2_ He deserves respect.

3_ There's a frightful reckoning looming on the horizon, and

4_ The cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of intelligent design.

Of particular interest to me is the inclusion of water in the everlasting gospel. Scientists theorize the origin of the earth's amazing quantity of water without really knowing exactly where it came from, nor how it got here. Well; that is one of the things that I like about Genesis. It takes an essentially unsophisticated, uneducated blue-collar welder like myself and gives him answers to questions that people much brighter, and better educated cannot answer.

Giving "glory" to God simply indicates giving someone credit where credit is due; and "worship" basically just simply means admiration.

It's quite natural to admire celebrities, pro athletes, and super achievers-- to give them credit where credit is due --but not quite so natural to do the same for their creator.

Anyway, point being: people either believe in intelligent design, or they don't. If they do believe, then they will admire both the designer's genius and His handiwork. If they don't believe; then they won't admire anything about Him: simple as that.

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Gen 2:1-5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The phrase "declared it holy" is from the word qadash (kaw-dash') which means: to be clean, or to make, pronounce, or observe as clean; viz: sanitize.

Pronouncing something clean, or observing something as clean and/or conferring upon something the status of clean and sanitized, doesn't mean it's intrinsically clean. It's just regarded as fully dedicated to God's purposes; which is exactly what the word "sanctified" implies. The Hebrew word for "sanctify" is also qadash: the very same word as for "declared it holy".

NOTE: Seeing as how God grabbed the seventh day for His own purposes, then we have to respect His prerogative to determine how that day is used. For example: at Mark 2:28, Jesus claimed to be lord of the sabbath; which anyone familiar with the Old Testament easily understands that he claimed to be the God written up in Genesis 2:1-3. That's a pretty serious claim.

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

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

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

Up to this point, The creator has been identified by 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which is a nondescript label for any and all kinds of gods; both the true and the false and/or the real and the imagined. The noun is grammatically plural but doesn't necessarily indicate creation's God is a plural being. Sheep, fish, and deer are plural too but don't always indicate more than one of each. So plural nouns don't eo ipso denote more than one item. There are other gods in the Bible, such as Baal and Dagon, to whom the word 'elohiym is applied and those gods aren't composite entities; e.g. 1Kgs 18:25-29 and Jgs 16:23.

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

NOTE: The Bible's God is commonly referred to with masculine pronouns because Yhvh is a king; and kings are always males rather than females; for example:

Thus testifies Yhvh, the king of Israel, and His redeemer, Yhvh of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; other than Me there is no god." (Isa 44:6)

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

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

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

The word "mist" is from 'ed (ade). It's a very rare word and appears only one more time in the whole Bible at Job 36:26-30 where translators render it to mean water vapor; viz: fog. California's coastal redwood trees derive much of their moisture from fog.

The reason for the mist is something I learned in a high school science class. Had God brought rain prior to flourishing ground cover, the land would have eroded something awful and millions of cubic yards of perfectly good dirt would have washed into creeks, and streams, and rivers to be carried out to sea where it would be lost in perpetuity.

†. Gen 2:7a . . And Yhvh God formed a man's body

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

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

The Hebrew word for "dust" is a bit ambiguous. It essentially refers to powder, but can also be translated clay, earth, mud, mortar, ashes, and/or rubbish.

A major ingredient in man's construction is water, without which his "dust' wouldn't coalesce. Water is essential to complex organisms; which is why scientists get really excited when they discover it out in in the universe.

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

The word for "breathed" is from naphach (naw-fakh') and means; among other things: to kindle; which Webster's defines as (1) to start (a fire) burning: light, (2) to stir up: arouse, (3) to bring into being: start, and (4) to animate.

Naphach is sort of like what Indy Car drivers do when they're given the order to start their engines.

The word for "breath" is neshamah (nesh-aw-maw') which means: a puff. Neshamah is a bit ambiguous and has been variously translated air, soul, spirit, blast, and inspiration.

What we're looking at here is a kind of artificial respiration, but not the regular kind because it doesn't do a bit of good pumping air into the lungs of a corpse. They won't come alive like that; it's been tried.

However, there's abundant evidence in the Bible, starting here in Genesis, indicating that it's possible to pump life into a corpse. But in order to do that, one first needs a source of life just as in regular artificial respiration one first needs a source of air.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

That says pretty much the same thing as Gen 2:7, and then adds the fact that God himself is the source of life from which He drew the life He used to fire up the man's body.

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

The Hebrew word for "soul" is nephesh (neh'-fesh). Its first appearance is at Gen 1:20-21 in reference to aqua creatures and winged creatures; again at Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and wild beasts; and again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature.

In other words: Gen 2:7 is saying that humans are souls rather than saying they have souls. The same is true of aqua creatures, winged, creatures, and terra creatures. So "soul" distinguishes fauna life from flora life.

The breath of life makes it possible for fauna life to exist as individuals. Webster's defines an individual as existing as a distinct entity.

Individuality-- which can be roughly defined as a sense of self; viz: a sense of personal identity --is one of science's unsolved mysteries.

Creatures within whom is the breath of life are perishable; but I have yet to encounter a passage in the Bible clearly stating that the breath of life is perishable. In point of fact, I think it is very easy to prove that the human creature's breath of life is not only a permanent feature of their existence; but also keeps them in existence.

For example: when Abraham, Lazarus, and the rich man of Luke 16:19-31 passed away, they all left their organic bodies behind, yet on the other side they are perceptive; fully conscious, and fully sentient.

I don't know for sure in what form they exist on the other side, but one thing I do know is that they have not ceased to exist as individuals, nor have they lost their identities-- Abraham is still Abraham, Lazarus is still Lazarus, and the rich man is still the rich man; and that has to be because they retained their breath of life when they crossed over to the other side.

Q: Christ said that it's possible for people to lose their soul (Mark 8:36). I assume he was referring to the hell fire about which he spoke at Matt 10:28. Seeing as how soul, relative to people, refers to their humanness, then what kind of creatures do they become without it?

A: That is a very, very disturbing question because it suggests the prospect that when people lose their humanness in the hell fire depicted at Rev 20:10-15, they will undergo a transition into something quite different than human; viz: something inhuman.

I'm guessing, just guessing mind you, that their humanness will be replaced with something demonic because according to Matt 25:41, hell fire was constructed especially for the Devil and his allies.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
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†. Gen 2:6 . . a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

The word "mist" is from 'ed (ade). It's a very rare word and appears only one more time in the whole Bible at Job 36:26-30 where translators render it to mean water vapor; viz: fog. California's coastal redwood trees derive much of their moisture from fog.


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Not a correct statement.
" California's coastal redwood trees derive much of their moisture from fog "

Only 40% thats not even half? Thats not MUCH/MOST.

Dawson (1998) also notes that during the summer months, redwoods may get up to 40% of their water from fog, and that fog can account for 13-45% of its water uptake annually.

http://online.sfsu.edu/bholzman/courses/Fall99Projects/redwood.htm

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That is all.....

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†. Gen 2:8a . .Yhvh God planted a garden in Eden,

The remainder of Earth's flora was planted in a large scale, landscaping manner. But the garden was specially prepared for Man like someone might build a home for their family. It's true that Man is a creature and Yhvh isn't his actual biological kin. But Man is much more than just another nephesh like as if he were a pet canary or a gerbil. No, human beings were given the honor of God's image, and are as close to being God's kin as a creature can possibly get in the natural world.

The Hebrew word for "garden" is from gan and means: a garden as fenced. So the garden wasn't just a nondescript parcel of acreage with apricots and turnips growing wild on it. The garden (which very likely was a full-blown farm complete with orchards) was meant to be tended.

†. Gen 2:8b . . in the east

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

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

For Bible purposes, the State of Israel is oftentimes regarded the geo-political center of the Earth. Its position is spiritually elevated too. So whenever you go to Jerusalem, you go up. And when you leave, you go down. It was from the east (east of Jerusalem) that magi came to pay their respects to the young Jesus. (Matt 2:1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tree of life doesn't give life; but rather, according to Gen 3:22 has something in it that sustains life: indefinitely. Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop the human body from getting old and falling apart is currently unknown.

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

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

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

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

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

I mean: how smart is it to experiment with Meth after you've been adequately instructed that it will ruin your skin, permanently damage blood vessels in your brain possibly causing a stroke, rot your gums and loosen your teeth, and make you look haggard and repulsive?

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

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

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

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

The Pishon river has yet to be positively identified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That passage is a favorite of the Bible's critics because Adam didn't drop dead the instant he tasted the forbidden fruit. In point of fact, he continued to live outside the garden of Eden for another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth. (Gen 5:4)

So; is there a reasonable explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

Well; first thing to point out is that in order for the threat to resonate in Adam's thinking; it had to be related to death as Adam understood death in his day, rather than death as the Bible thumpers understand it in their day. In other words: Adam didn't expect to die spiritually. No, he expected to die normally; viz: physically; like as in pass away.

How can I be so sure that God meant normal death instead of spiritual death? Because according to Gen 3:19 that's how it worked out; and to make sure Adam stayed normally dead, God blocked his access to the tree of life. (Gen 3:22-24)

Anyway; the trick is: Adam wasn't told he would die the instant he tasted the fruit. God's exact words were "in the day"

Well; according to Gen 2:4, the Hebrew word for "day" is a bit ambiguous. It can easily indicate a period of time much, much longer than 24 hours' viz: the "day" of Adam's death began the moment he ate the fruit.

That was a milestone in human history. Up till Adam tasted the fruit, the only days on record were the six of creation, and the one when God ceased creating. Adam inaugurated a new day by tasting the fruit— the day of death.

"Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men" (Rom 5:12)

Well; like Jack Palance's character Curly in the movie City Slickers said: "The day ain't over yet"

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of gaiety, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this seriously." (Ecc 7:2)

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-- Parenthesis --

The ban on the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, was tempered by a carte blanche to eat fruits from all the rest of the trees; including the tree of life. So it's not like God pigeonholed Adam and forced him to eat from the wrong tree in order to survive.

Earlier, in Gen 1:29, God gave Adam permission to eat all manner of plant life. So he had lots of options. An abundance of other nutrition was available. Therefore, if Adam ate from the wrong tree, he had no excuse for it. And that is what really made eating from that tree so serious-- it was willful, and done in full understanding of both the ban and the consequence.

Compare Num 15:27-31 where willful sin is described as a category of sin for which there is neither atonement nor forgiveness under the terms and conditions of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Q: Why on earth would God plant a deadly tree in an otherwise perfect environment? Was that really necessary? What real purpose does a tree serve that has the potential to kill? Why even create such a tree in the first place?

A: The tree wasn't a bad tree. When God finished creating, He looked over His work on the 6th day and pronounced it all not just good, but "very" good.

The tree of the knowledge of good and bad wasn't a bad tree per se; any more than toad stools, poison ivy, lightening, rattlesnakes, scorpions, avalanches, gravity, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, UV sunlight, cactus needles, tsunamis, earthquakes, electricity, fire, lava, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and hemlock are bad in and of themselves. Those things are hazardous, yes, but they all fit into the natural scheme of things. When people willfully cross over boundaries, ignoring the dangers, and start messing around, then they get hurt and it's really no one's fault but their own. For example:

San Francisco was once destroyed by an earthquake related to the San Andreas fault; but where did they rebuild San Francisco? Right back in the same place.

Los Angeles is at risk of the same San Andreas, and are even now as I write this preparing for a major quake. Are there plans to evacuate Los Angeles and relocate the city? No. They plan to ride out whatever the San Andreas and/or any of the other faults throw at them and city planners and disaster control specialists have already calculated the body count because the Andreas is overdue for a massive slip and so is the Puente Hills Blind Thrust System. City officials know big quakes are coming but nobody is getting out of the way.

All around the island of Japan are ancient monoliths, some as much as 600 years old, with the inscription "Do not build your homes below this point". The monoliths testify to past tsunamis. People back then set up those monoliths to warn future generations; but do future generations listen? No; they don't. 25,000 Japanese are listed as dead and/or missing from the tsunami of 2011 because they settled in communities below those ancient water marks.

The below-sea-level city of New Orleans was flooded by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Did city planners wise up and relocate the city to higher ground? No; they rebuilt right back in the same place.

On the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo rumbles two-mile-high Mt. Nyirangongo; one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The city of Goma, consisting of something like one million people, will be pelted with falling rocks and lava splatter, and buried by molten rock and pyroclastic flows of superheated dust just as sudden as the city of Pompeii if that mountain should ever decide to get serious about its business. Past eruptions bear this out.

And as if the volcano itself isn't threat enough, 2,590 hectare Lake Kivu nearby conceals an enormous underwater concentration of carbon dioxide and methane which could be released by a major eruption, spreading a lethal cloud across Goma that would spare no one.

Are Gomites concerned? No. Thousands of homes-- shacks constructed of hand-hewn eucalyptus boards and sheet metal roofs --have been built right on top of the solidified lava of past eruptions. In other words; the Gomites are knowingly living at ground zero; right in Mt. Nyirangongo's known kill zone.

The Cumberland River inflicted major flood damage throughout the city of Nashville in 2010. Pete Fisher, manager of the Grand Ole Opry needed a canoe to get across the parking lot and enter the theater. He reported that had someone been sitting in the front row seats, they would have seven feet of water over their heads. Did the owners move the Opry to higher ground? Nope, the Opry is still right there on the banks of the Cumberland targeted for the next flood event.

City planners have known for years that Manhattan is so few feet above mean sea level that any sizable tsunami at all would flood both the city and its subway system; but have the Sand Hogs stopped boring tunnels or have construction workers stopped erecting buildings? No, they keep right on boring and erecting; and in 2012 hurricane Sandy pushed a surge of sea water inland and crippled the city's public transportation and much of its electrical power.

Adam was given fair warning what would happen if he ate from the tree. It was just as fair a warning as parents give their kids not to poke paper clips into wall sockets or lean over too close with their face when they pet a strange dog. Consequences for spurning a parent's instructions in those cases can be very terrible.

"A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." (Pro 22:3)

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Gen 2:18-20

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

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

Note that aid isn't spelled with an "e" as in aide; so that Eve wasn't meant to be either Adam's servant, nor his assistant; but rather, his assistance-- in other words; his aid as in first aid. Note that assistance is not spelled the same as assistant nor are the two words synonyms. An assistant does what they're told, while assistance is supportive.

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

In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that human beings were not intended to live a celibate life. If male human life was packaged in a box of software, one of its system requirements would be Companion. Woman's potential for companionship is the primary reason that God made her-- not for her sex appeal nor for her reproductive value; no, for companionship.

Before God introduced the man to a woman, He first gave the man an opportunity to seek appropriate companionship from among the creatures of the animal kingdom. That route proved futile.

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

Adam's task would have been overwhelming if as many varieties existed in his day as ours; which I honestly don't think did because, for one thing, prior to the existence of humans the earth underwent some mass extinction events. I'm sure Adam loved animals; I mean look: he gave them all names; which is something that people who make their living in animal husbandry try to avoid because the practice can lead to attachments; thus making the situation very difficult when it's time for sale and/or slaughter.

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

But as cute and cuddly as creatures are, they just don't have what it takes to be the kind of companion that a human being really needs.

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

That's telling me that people who seek companionship from a pet are out of kilter because pets are unbefitting-- they're a lower form of life than people; and God didn't create them to be people's personal companions, no, according to Gen 1:26-28 He created them to be people's servants. I think that even to this day, were most people given a choice between human companionship and that of a lower form of life; they would opt for the human.

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

The Hebrew word for "rib" is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-22 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side"

Eve wasn't constructed directly from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was constructed indirectly; viz: from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body; ergo: Eve got her human life from Adam; consequently any and all human life produced by Eve's body is Adam's human life.

The woman completed the creation of Man; so that Man is actually a composite unity-- a male part and a female part; viz: the man and the woman are opposite sides of the same coin.

It was apparently the creator's deliberate design that all human life be biologically related to a sole source of human life-- the one and only human life that God created directly from the earth's dust; viz: Adam.

Why wasn't Eve given a chance to fit in with the animals before introducing her to Adam? Well, I think it's because men can make do with a soccer ball named Wilson if they have to; but normal women, as a rule, can't. Men and Women share a lot of similarities; but the resolve to go it solo, to be a rugged individual, is not one of them. There are exceptions, of course; but as a rule, women do not care to live alone and unloved in the world. It's curious, but when we think of hermits; our minds typically think of them as male because female hermits just seem so contrary to nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POP QUIZ: How many friends do people need to dispel feelings of isolation and loneliness? Answer: Just one-- if that one is a supportive spouse.

They say dogs are Man's best friend. No they aren't; dogs are beasts. They might bring a man his slippers; but a dog lacks the capacity to nurse a man when he's down with the flu, or sympathize with him when his job is outsourced to cheap labor in India. No; a human being's best friend is a spouse that looks out for them.

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

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

It's also important to note that the woman wasn't constructed from the dust of the earth. She was constructed from Adam, therefore women are just as much Adam as Adam; ergo: children born of women are just as much Adam as Adam: whether virgin-conceived or normally-conceived makes no difference-- they're all just as much Adam's progeny as Eve's.

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

Clinging implies need. Most people don't care much for needy spouses because they're so high maintenance; but I don't think Genesis is talking about that kind of clinging. It seems to me more like reliance; and if a man can't rely on his wife; who can he rely on? Reliance implies faithfulness: day in, and day out. You know, people who indulge in starter marriages have got the wrong idea about what it means to be one flesh with somebody.

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

Adultery is very serious not only because it's immoral, but also because it's an act of theft. Spouses that cheat on their partners are no different than carjackers joyriding in a stolen car.

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

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

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

The term "one" indicates unification. According to Matt 19:6, this particular unification is permanent. In point of fact, according to 1Cor 6:15-16 this unity isn't limited to marriage: it takes effect even when people sleep around.

†. Gen 2:25a . .The two of them were naked, the man and his wife,

It's very difficult to believe that God fully intended for people to always live without clothing. So how come early Man didn't need protection for his skin? Nobody really knows for sure; maybe because human beings had fur, or that human skin was a whole lot tougher and thicker than now; and far more resistant to abrasion and sunlight.

Still; nudity seems so impractical. And I would imagine that Adam and his wife needed to bathe pretty often too. Without clothing to protect their skin from dust and grime, in no time at all they would be as funky as two pigs in a puddle.

Another practical consideration is hyperthermia. How did they stay warm at night after the sun went down?

†. Gen 2:25b . . yet they felt no shame.

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

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

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

That was an interesting time in early human development. They had neither intuition nor conscience as yet to moderate their dress code. Some expositors label this era in the human experience as the age of innocence; which implies not just an ignorance of ethics; but primarily a lack of self consciousness-- which Webster's defines as uncomfortably aware of one's self as an object of the observation of others. Had somebody criticized the first couple about their appearance, they would no doubt have stared at their critic like a man taken leave of his senses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five common elements of psychopathy are evident in the Serpent's behavior.

1_ Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

2_ Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

3_ Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

4_ Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying and conning others for profit.

5_ Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

If those elements sound familiar it's because they're the all-too-typical management practices of corporations the likes of ENRON, Nike, Nestlé, Bechtel, Union Carbide, Shell Oil, and Monsanto.

Wall Street is especially brutal. I watched a trader interviewed in a documentary who said that his first reaction-- upon seeing the Twin Towers aflame in 2001 --wasn't concern for the families and friends of the 2,300 killed and missing; but rather he inwardly exclaimed: Oh m' Gawd! What will that do to the price of gold?! In that man's mind, a catastrophe isn't a tragedy, no, it's an opportunity. Futures traders are very attuned to things like that; and in their world: nice guys really do finish last.

The garment and textile industry in particular, stands out as the poster child of psychopathic management practices: a veritable jewel in the Serpent's crown.

What we see in human nature often mirrors the Serpent's own dark personality. But the origin of the Serpent's twisted mind is really puzzling. How did it get that way? Was it a birth defect? Did it bump its head?

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

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

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

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

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

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†. Gen 3:1b . . He said to the woman,

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

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

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

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

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

Catching the woman alone, away from her husband's oversight, the Serpent began subtly introducing a concept which neither she nor Adam had even imagined before: it is actually possible for a creature to question its maker. However; that is not a particularly good idea.

"Shame on him who argues with his Maker, though naught but a potsherd of earth!" (Isa 45:9)

"All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account. [God] does as He wishes with the host of heaven, and with the inhabitants of the earth. There is none to stay His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" (Dan 4:32)

Why didn't the Serpent attempt to trick the male before turning to Eve? Well, Adam was a tougher nut to crack because he got his intel straight from the horse's mouth and knew the truth very clearly and without ambiguity. But the woman quite possibly was instructed second hand, in conversations with her husband; who was, in effect, her personal rabbi. So it would be fairly easy to convince Eve that maybe she didn't hear her husband correctly; or worse; that he didn't know what he was talking about. I mean: isn't there more than one way to interpret the Bible? How do you know your way is the right way?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here we have the beginnings of what's known as a half-truth; which Webster's defines as: a statement that is only partly true and that is intended to deceive people. In other words: a half-truth contains a kernel of truth but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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

The woman's fall is typical. First she revised God's instructions. Then she listened to someone refute them. Next, she will accept the refuter's argument, and then she will break with God.

NOTE: Something that Christ's believing followers have to be constantly on guard against is sophistry; which Webster's defines as subtly deceptive reasoning and/or argumentation (Eph 4:11-14). Cults typically sustain themselves by means of sophistry; which of course they call reasonable and/or sensible. But faith isn't built upon only what makes sense to it; rather, faith is built upon what's revealed to it.

So be careful out there; most especially with door-to-door missionaries armed to the teeth with humanistic reasoning, semantic double-speak, and clever half truths.

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†. Gen 3:5a . . but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings

The Hebrew word for "divine beings" is 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which is the very same word for man's creator in Gen 1:1. If someone presented you with an opportunity to be a god; wouldn't you take it? I think so; especially if you didn't know any better.

The thing to note is that the Serpent's prediction wasn't altogether untrue. In time they did become gods (Gen 3:22, Ps 82) but his prediction was a half-truth. In other words; he withheld a very important aspect of god-ism; and that is there is only one true god (2Chron 15:3, Jer 10:10, and John 17:3) so that by default, Eve and her husband became false gods since in the Bible there is no intermediate layer of gods sandwiched between the true and the false.

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

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

In her defense; the woman was inexperienced, and certainly no match for the Serpent's intelligence nor his powers of persuasion. But her defeat wasn't inevitable. She could have easily resisted the Serpent by simply sticking to her guns and parroting God's instructions over and over again until the Serpent got disgusted and gave up. But no, she dropped God's instructions early on; and thus set the stage for the utter ruin of her own posterity.

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†. Gen 3:5b . . who know good from evil.

Why anybody in Eve's circumstances would have the slightest interest in knowing good from evil defies reason. I mean, in her circumstances, in the garden of Eden; who would even have a use for that kind of information?

But we all know that's about; don't we. Yes; human nature's curiosity is never satisfied. The desire for information, even trivial information, is common to all of us. I'd imagine that after observing Adam and his wife for a while, the Serpent figured that out all by himself in no time at all.

The Serpent was correct about one thing though. Eve would know good from evil after eating from the tree alright; only he didn't tell her it would be an instinctive knowing rather than an enlightened knowing. In other words; man wasn't designed to be a god; but rather, the student of a god.

"I know, O Yhvh, that a man's way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps." (Jer 10:23)

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

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

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

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

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

The "wisdom" available from the tree was in the form of "instinct" which can be defined as 1) a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned, 2) a natural predilection and/or proclivity that makes you want to act in a particular way, and 3) something you know without learning it or thinking about it.

Some folks, insulted by being thought of as no more sophisticated then a bird or a beast, prefer to have their instincts labeled "intuition". Well; that's okay by me. In my mind's eye there's no difference, so what the hay; let the Wookie win one.

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

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

You can just see Eve's eyes brighten from the sugar rush as she realized the Serpent was right after all-- she didn't drop dead. So the woman brought it home and convinced her man to try it too.

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

Did Eve first deftly dice the fruit and camouflage it in a tasty parfait so her husband wouldn't know what he was eating? No. Adam knew exactly what he was doing. He went into it with eyes wide open.

"Adam was not the one deceived" (1Tim 2:14)

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

I think Adam was cautious at first, and kept a wary eye on Eve for some time waiting to see if she would get sick; and when she didn't, he surely had to wonder if maybe God was wrong. I think most husbands would sympathize with Adam. I mean: here's your wife sitting right beside you happily munching away on something that you were led to believe was toxic, and she's still healthy, lucid, and exhibiting no ill side effects. How is a reasonable man supposed to argue with empirical evidence as good as that was?

Adam was told by a competent source that the forbidden tree was lethal. Though he could see for himself that Eve was experiencing no ill side effects; he should have refused to taste it until at the very least he consulted with somebody who knows what they're talking about: which in his case was the maker of the fruit.

There's a useful lesson to be learned from it. In other words: Faith doesn't rely entirely upon empirical evidence, but instead; believes what's revealed to it rather than only what makes sense to it.

Eve's apparent immunity to the fruit's toxins wasn't really reason enough to assume that God's instructions were unreliable. But even had they been unreliable; it was still wrong of Adam to brush them aside and do as he pleased. He was told not to eat the fruit. Whether it was actually toxic or harmless is unimportant. This episode is primarily about the quality of Adam's attitude towards authority rather than about the quality of the fruit.

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†. Gen 3:7a . .Then the eyes of both of them were opened

According to 1Tim 2:14, Eve was in violation of Gen 2:16-17 when she tasted the fruit. But curiously, her eyes weren't opened till after Adam tasted it. In other words: up till Adam tasted the fruit, its effects upon Eve's health were kept on hold. This is akin to someone carrying the HIV virus without coming down with AIDS.

†. Gen 3:7b . . and they perceived that they were naked;

Shazaam! Their newly acquired knowledge of good and evil kicked in with an intuitive sense of propriety. In other words: Adam and his wife found themselves slaves to a humanistic sense of right and wrong so powerful that even if Almighty God himself told them it was okay to remain disrobed; they would not have believed Him.

†. Gen 3:7c . . and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.

I seriously doubt they had a needle and thread. The word for "sew" is taphar (taw-far') which just simply means to fabricate clothing. If taphar were used to strictly mean needle and thread; then it would appear that Job stitched fabric directly to his own skin. (Job 16:15)

But why not bosom coverings? Why not derrière coverings too? Why only loin coverings? Well it's not too hard to figure out is it? The moment Adam tasted the forbidden fruit, they developed a guilt complex over sex and the human body that continues to this day; and I sincerely believe that complex is the very reason why so many people feel that the male libido is naughty and sinful.

Some say there were no agents in the fruit to cause the changes in human nature that occurred in the Adams. But I'm not so sure. According to an article in the Oct 8, 2011 issue of the Oregonian; new research reveals that some, if not all, the plants we eat actually change the behavior of human genes in ways never before imagined.

A new study led by Chen-Yu Zhang, of Nanjing University, found that fragments of plant genetic material survive digestion and wind up swimming in the bloodstreams of humans and cows. Those tiny strands of RNA that somehow make it through the toxic acids and enzymes in the gut come from rice and the plant family that includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. Zhang found that they can muffle or amplify human gene expression in various ways. The discovery could lead to ways of designing plants that act as medicine or even change our own genetic structure for the better (or the worse).

And it's well known what happens to kids when they move into adolescence. Hormonal chemicals kick in, and their childish innocence vanishes; right out the window. They lose interest in kid's toys and begin to take an interest in things more appropriate for their age; including a very noticeable interest in themselves, and in the opposite sex; and most especially in what others think about them. In other words: they become self-conscious; which Webster's defines as: uncomfortably aware of oneself as an object of the observation of others.

Those adolescent changes aren't miraculous changes-- they're totally natural, hormonally induced, organic changes. So if kids undergo a natural kind of change because of the chemicals generated by the glands in their own bodies, then there is good reason to believe that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually did contain something that caused Adam and his wife to morph and develop an intuitive sense of propriety; and that "sense" can't help but influence people's interpretation of Matt 5:28. In other words they want male libido to be naughty because their forbidden-fruit intuition compels them to "feel" it's naughty.

At any rate, the pending dialogue, between God and Man in the next few verses, implies that God himself had no hand in making those two people change. On the page of scripture, their altered human nature is directly related to the fruit and to nothing else-- though I've yet to figure out the delay in Eve's case nor how Adam's tasting the fruit triggered its effect upon Eve.

So instead of stretching our imaginations to construct a complex spiritual explanation, I suggest it would be better to stick with the biological one and let it go at that.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
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†. Gen 3:7a . .Then the eyes of both of them were opened

And it's well known what happens to kids when they move into adolescence. Hormonal chemicals kick in, and their childish innocence vanishes; right out the window. They lose interest in kid's toys and begin to take an interest in things more appropriate for their age; including a very noticeable interest in themselves, and in the opposite sex; and most especially in what others think about them. In other words: they become self-conscious; which Webster's defines as: uncomfortably aware of oneself as an object of the observation of others.

Those adolescent changes aren't miraculous changes-- they're totally natural, hormonally induced, organic changes. So if kids undergo a natural kind of change because of the chemicals generated by the glands in their own bodies, then there is good reason to believe that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually did contain something that caused Adam and his wife to morph and develop an intuitive sense of propriety; and that "sense" can't help but influence people's interpretation of Matt 5:28. In other words they want male libido to be naughty because their forbidden-fruit intuition compels them to "feel" it's naughty.

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Its a crime, that in these later days, parents are encouraged and emboldened to mess with pre-pubic kids hormones.

To turn them into non natural- created creatures.

Its demented abuse of a child in its worst form.

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That is all.....

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

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

The breezy time of day is a bit difficult to figure out without really knowing the climate conditions under which Adam and his wife lived. The breezy time may have been a routine part of their day when the mist was gently blown around to irrigate the garden.

The Lord God may have conducted school for the Adams every day at just about that time; so His arrival was likely expected. It was an opportunity to share their experiences and ask questions about things in nature that they didn't fully understand. And maybe they even talked about intelligent life on other planets, and how to make hot cocoa and pop corn.

Can you imagine the incredible advantage of being in a classroom with the undisputed expert on everything? You would never need a second opinion, nor go away wondering if the speaker really knew what he was talking about.

†. Gen 3:8b-9a . . and the man and his wife hid from Yhvh God among the trees of the garden. Yhvh God called out to the man

Why did God call out to the male? Answer: the principle of primogeniture. In other words: the male was created first, and the female second; ergo: Adam held the rank of firstborn and also the paterfamilias of his race; which included his wife who, in a manner of speaking, was his first child.

NOTE: The rank of firstborn is always, and without exception, a male position. No woman has ever held that rank in the Bible simply because women are the wrong gender; which explains why the Bible's God has permitted women neither in the Levitical priesthood nor the Christian pastorate.

†. Gen 3:9b . . and said to him: Where are you?

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

But the important thing to note in this incident, is that God took the initiative to seek Man, not the other way around.

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

Adam wasn't totally naked; just partially. But even that degree of undress seemed inappropriate to his newly acquired sense of right and wrong. I mean: how many of us would feel comfortable opening the door to guests while wearing nothing more than a pair of Haynes briefs? Well; prior to the forbidden fruit incident, everybody could've opened the door dressed like that without giving it a second thought; but now? It would definitely raise eyebrows; at least in America anyway.

†. Gen 3:11a . .Then He asked: Who told you that you were naked?

In other words: where'd you get the idea that undress is indecent? Well; nobody had said undress is indecent, nor even suggested that it's indecent-- the concept of a dress code was unheard of at that time. No; they just "felt" it's indecent. In other words; it was their intuition telling them that undress is indecent. Where did they get that? Not from their maker, that's for sure; no, they got it from that tree.

†. Gen 3:11b . . Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?

Seeing as how God created the chemistry of that tree, then He knew in advance how it would alter the human consciousness if people were to ingest some of it.

That incident is an astounding revelation. It tells me that humanity's current moral compass is maladjusted and can't be trusted to provide him with absolutes; which is precisely why there are nine justices on the US Supreme Court instead of just one; because one justice alone can't be trusted. In point of fact, it is extremely rare for all nine justices to agree because they don't render absolutes; no, they render opinions; and the majority's opinion isn't eo ipso right; no, it's just the one we have to live with until such a time as it's overturned by a future majority's opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't think the kind of enmity that God spoke of was the kind where friends fall out of harmony; but rather, He decreed a sort of poetic justice; viz: "You caused her downfall; and now I'm going to make it so that she causes yours."

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

The word for "offspring" is from zera' (zeh'-rah) which is an ambiguous Hebrew word that technically means: seed; but can also mean a product and/or a result, and also fruit, plant, sowing-time, and/or progeny and posterity.

For example: the 53rd chapter of Isaiah predicts that Yhvh's servant would "see seed" in spite of the fact that Isaiah also predicted Yhvh's servant would die and leave behind no posterity. In that case; zera' can't possibly mean that Yhvh's servant would see biological seed; but rather, see the fruits of his labor; which within the context of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah consists of bearing the sins of many and thus shielding them from the wrath of God.

Zera' is one of those words that can be either singular or plural, depending upon the context. Other words like that are deer, sheep, Man, and head (as in head of livestock). Every kid in a family can be called the parents' zera' whether there's eight kids or a lone child.

†. Gen 3:15c . . He will pound your head, and you will bite his heel.

The Hebrew word translated "he" isn't gender specific. It can mean either he, she, and/or it. So that Gen 3:15c could be-- and in some translations is --translated: "It will pound your head, and you will bite its heel". The decision to use "he" was an arbitrary choice; but seeing as how the Serpent, to my knowledge, is unable to reproduce itself with biological offspring, I'd recommend going with "it".

Anyway; from that point onwards the Serpent has made it his mission in life to prevent Eve's seed from doing the very thing God predicted; eventuating in Herod's slaughter of Jewish toddlers and Christ's execution.

Who are the Serpent's seed? Liars and Murderers; for starters (John 8:44). Additional Serpentary seed are people who exist solely to satisfy their passions and desires (Eph 2:1-3). And people given to rivalry and strife (Jas 3:14-15). Those kinds of seed are seed from the aspect of being products of the Serpent's handiwork.

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

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

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

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

†. Gen 3:16c . .Yet your urge shall be for your husband,

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

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

That is probably one of the most hated verses in the whole Bible. Eve's daughters do not like to be subjugated to and/or dominated by men. It really goes against their grain; and if the women's suffrage movement that took place in America's early 1900's were to be thoroughly analyzed, it would not surprise me that women's right to vote wasn't really an equality issue: it was a rebellion against male domination.

That rule isn't restricted to marriage. It regulates women's place in church too-- all churches.

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (1Cor 14:33-35)

"Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression." (1Tim 2:11-15)

How long the Adams lived together sans the imposition of a gender hierarchy isn't stated; but evidently there was no need for it prior to the tree incident. But the incident aptly demonstrates that manipulative women can quickly lead men to ruin in no time at all because it's all too easy for them to persuade men to behave themselves in ways contrary to their own better judgment; which reminds me of a really cute line from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

Toula Portokalos complains to her mother: "Ma, dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. Ah, the man is the head of the house!"

Toula's mom, Maria Portokalos, responds: "Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck; and she can turn the head any way she wants."

That's humorous but it's not a laughing matter. Many a man has been led like sheep to the slaughter by women who got them to do things contrary to their own better judgment.

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

A portion of God's gripe with Adam was that he put a creature's wishes over and above His own; thus making one of the things that God created a competitor for humanity's loyalty. (cf. Mark 12:28-30)

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

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

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

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

Adam was no stranger to work because God already had him tending the garden. But matters worsened with a new ingredient. The word for "toil" is from 'itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone') and means: worrisome-ness.

Webster's defines worrisome-ness as: causing distress or worry or inclined to worry or fret; viz: Man became anxious, insecure, and perhaps somewhat melancholy. 'Itstsabown is the very same word used in verse 16 to describe the physical and emotional discomfort that Eve was doomed to endure during pregnancy.

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

God finished the entire cosmos in six days; and no more creating took place after that: so thorns and thistles already existed prior to the events of chapter 3. But in the beginning, noxious plants doubtless weren't so dominant. Today they're a nuisance because if ground is left fallow, it will soon be covered with dock, mustard, dandelion, chaparral, wild flowers, brambles, reed canary grass, and stuff like that. Those kinds of plants may be okay for wildlife, but Man needs something a little more substantial.

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

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

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

Whereas the Adams before had a beautiful productive farm complete with orchards that required minimal maintenance, they became faced with stubborn soil that needs plowing and sowing, and weeding. Very few natural grains exist abundantly in nature. These days; if he wants them in any sizable amount, Man has to farm.

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

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

Did God have to kill Adam in order for him to stop living? No; all He had to do was deny Adam access to the tree of life and let nature takes its course; in other words: it was only a matter of time before Adam simply passed away of old age.

It's often assumed that Adam was created immortal; but no so. Adam was created an air-breathing creature. Smother him and he'd die. Hold his head underwater and he'd die. But as long as Adam supplemented his diet with nutrients form the tree of life, he'd not die of natural causes.

But what happened to Adam when his body returned to dust? Did he return to dust too? No; And that's because Adam wasn't entirely organic. His body came from the ground but his life came from God. According to Jonah 2:1-6, human beings survive the death of their bodies, and go to a place called sheol; which, in Jonah's day, was sited at the roots of the mountains; viz: the depths of the earth.

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

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

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

There is one "living" that Eve did not produce and that's her own self. She was constructed from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body; ergo: Eve got her human life from Adam; hence any and all human life produced with Eve's body is Adam's human life.

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

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

Some people have a problem with Eve. They just can't believe she's the mother of the entire human race; which would include Christ too. But Genesis says Adam named his wife Eve because she was the life giver of all the living, not just a portion of the living.

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

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

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

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

Modern shirts aren't long enough to provide an adequate covering of Man's body. Theirs were probably more like a knee or calf-length dress. A shirt implies that Eve's topless days were over; although that wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility that she may have become the Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel of her day and created some interesting necklines.

The garments were for their sake rather than the Lord's. Undress per se isn't forbidden in the Bible, nor does God himself feel particularly offended by it. Exposure is forbidden during religious services like in Ex 20:26 and Ex 28:42; but that's not really for God's sake but rather for the worshippers. After all, God created Man totally disrobed; and that's the way Man lived for an unspecified time in the garden until he tasted the fruit and found himself inhibited with a humanistic sense of propriety.

The garments actually facilitated the people's association with God. They were unbearably uncomfortable around their creator in the buff and that was principally the reason they hid from the Lord when He came calling. However, fig leaves aren't very durable; they're merely an expedient. God showed them a much better way-- and actually, a way they would never have thought of all by themselves because nobody had ever killed an animal before and who would have guessed their skins could be used for clothing until God showed them how?

That day, humans learned something about the advantages of leather goods. Most leather is produced from cattle hides: calfskin, goatskin, kidskin, sheepskin, and lambskin. Other hides and skins used include those of the horse, pig, kangaroo, deer, crocodile, alligator, seal, walrus, and of late; python. Human beings have used animal skins for a variety of practical purposes since ancient times, and to this good day leather is still a useful material all around the world. Precisely what species of animal God killed in order to make Adam his first suit of leathers is unknown.

The point to note is that the clothing man's maker crafted for the Adams didn't cost them one red cent nor did they have to contribute even the slightest bit of labor to its construction. God slaughtered the animals, treated their hides, and fabricated the garments Himself; and gave the clothing to them for free, out of kindness; and free of charge. I believe God went to all that trouble because He didn't want anything coming between himself and Adam. In other words, Adam's felt-shame over undress was a barrier between him and his creator so God showed him a really good way to overcome it: a way much superior to Adam's limited experience.

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

The mystery of the pronoun "us" was touched upon back at Gen 1:26.

Man didn't become one of the us, he became "as" one of the us; in other words: human life became a race of gods.

"I said: You are gods" (Ps 82:6a)

Man's status as a god is problematic because there is only one true god (Deut 6:4, John 17:3, 1Cor 8:4-6). Therefore Man is a false god; and subject to the condemnation of idolatry-- in man's case, the idol is himself.

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

Isn't that what gods do? Yes; gods are judgmental; viz: they develop their own ethics in accordance with their own personal concepts of what they think should be right and be wrong. Talk about a clash of the Titans! From that point on, God and Man have been at odds with each other fighting over which of the gods is going to set the standards for everybody else: the god of heaven; or the gods of the earth? Well; gods are supposed to be eternal; but humans die like flies.

"I said: You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you will die like men, and fall like all other princes" (Ps 82:6-7)

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

The Old Testament Hebrew word translated "forever" doesn't always indicate infinity. Normally it just means perpetual as "in perpetuity" viz: indefinitely; which Webster's defines as: having no exact limits. In other words: it's not unusual for something said to be forever in the Old Testament to be subject to an end; for example the law of the Passover as per Ex 12:1-14. The Passover is to be observed by pious Jews until such a time as God says not to; and so far, He hasn't.

The tree of life didn't contain enough nutrients to give Adam eternal life. It couldn't even give him immortality. But the tree could have given Adam perpetual youth; but even then, only so long as he supplemented his diet with regular doses of it; for example: I have an under-active thyroid gland that if left untreated would eventuate in my untimely death. But so long as I continue to supplement my diet with a prescribed daily dose of a medication called levoxyl, I can expect to live to a normal old age.

However; I can't get by on just one dose of levoxyl, nor can I take a lifetime of doses all at once. Levoxyl has to be taken a little at a time on a daily basis. What I'm saying is: as long as Adam supplemented his diet with nutrients from that tree on a regular basis; he wouldn't die of natural causes; thus he had the potential to remain forever twenty-one. But that was not to be since God had already decreed that man must die for eating the forbidden fruit.

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

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

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

The cherubim and the fiery sword didn't actually guard the tree-- they guarded the way to the tree. That's a curious situation and strongly suggests that there is but one route to the tree rather than a variety of routes.

The sword itself almost seems to be a sentient form of life, turning in every direction, threatening and warning all who dared approach. At night its eerie glow lit the sky, and in the daytime, passersby observed its eternal flame burning perpetually like the bush Moses saw in the desert. Brrrr. What a creepy sight that must have been.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No act of creation takes place when babies are conceived. No, man's creation took place back when Adam was created. Babies are merely reproductions of Adam via the blessing of fertility.

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

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

T. Gen 4:1 . . And Adam knew Hava his wife, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Kain; and she said: I have acquired a man, the Angel of The Lord. (Targum Jonathan)

Apparently Eve expected her firstborn son to be "the God-sent one" who was supposed to fulfill the promise of Gen 3:15 and crush the Serpent's head. But alas, Cain was just an ordinary kid; he wasn't the Angel of The Lord.

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

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-- Interrupting Genesis For An Important Announcement --

Today would have been a very crucial day in Christian history had Christ been crucified in 2017. Here's why;

According to John 18:28 and John 19:13-14, Jesus was crucified on the day when the Jews were slaughtering Passover lambs and roasting them with fire ready to eat by sundown. According to the 12th chapter of Exodus; the date was Nissan 14 on the Jewish calendar; which, in 2017, corresponded to Monday, April 10 on the Gregorian calendar.

Jesus predicted that he would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Matt 12:40).

The preponderance of evidence indicates that his dead body returned to life on the third day rather than during the third night (Matt 17:22-23, Mark 9:31, Luke 9:22, Luke 24:46, Acts 10:40, 1Cor 15:4). So right off the bat we can rule out a nighttime resurrection; i.e.. Christ's dead body revived when the sun was up rather than when the sun was not up.

So then, seeing as how Christ passed away on the cross during the afternoon of Nissan 14 prior to sundown, then counting three nights from thence results in his body returning to life during the daylight hours of Nissan 17. Due to certain women arriving at the cemetery early in the morning on the third day, and thus discovering Jesus' body gone; then we should be pretty safe in concluding that Christ walked out of his grave sometime before noon.

As an example: in 2017, the afternoon of Nissan 14 fell on Monday, April 10. Had the Lord been crucified on that day, then his first night in the heart of the earth of the three he predicted as per Matt 12:40 would have been Monday night. From thence it is very easy to deduce that his third night in the tomb would have been Wednesday night, resulting in his body rising from the dead during the daylight hours of the very next day, which would have been Thursday, April 13.


NOTE: There's quite a bit of confusion going around related to the time of the women's arrival at the cemetery; for example Matt 28:1

"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher."

The Greek word translated "came" is ambiguous. It can not only mean came, but also went, i.e. it can indicate travel as well as arrival and/or coming as well as going. Here's the same verse from another translation.

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb."

Seeing as how the preponderance of evidence indicates that Jesus' dead body revived on the third day rather than during the third night, i.e. when the sun was up rather than when the sun was not up, then it's safe to conclude, in this case at least, that "went" is the appropriate translation of the Greek word erchomai, i.e. the women left their homes during early morning twilight; and by the time they met together and journeyed to the cemetery, the sun was fully up.

NOTE: The original languages of the Bible contain a lot of ambiguous words, and translators are not always sure how best to interpret them; so sometimes the onus is upon the reader. In those cases, it becomes necessary to compare scripture with scripture. Caveat Lector.

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

Abel's name is from hebel (heh'bel) and means: emptiness or futility. Figuratively: something transitory and unsatisfactory. Poor Eve; she's only had two kids and already motherhood has lost its appeal. Cain was her very first pregnancy. It was a new, exciting adventure. Well, Abel's birth was no big deal. He was redundant; just another bun in the oven. The first one is the best. After that, they're all Same-O, Same-O.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hebrew word translated "sheep" is either tso'n (tsone) or tse'own (tseh one') which mean: a flock; which Webster's defines as a group of birds or mammals assembled or herded together. So you can see there that "sheep" is an arbitrary choice of words. Abel could just as easily have been a cowboy wrangling bovine and/or tending goats rather than sheep; but I won't argue the point. Sheep will do.

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

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

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†. Gen 4:3-4a . . In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to The Lord from the fruit of the soil; and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the firstlings of his flock.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But where did they get this religion of theirs? Well; wasn't Abel a prophet?

"Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary." (Luke 11:50-51a)

It's evident then that the offerings were a legitimate part of a God-given religion. (cf. Heb 11:4)

†. Gen 4:4b-5a . .The Lord paid heed to Abel and his offering, but to Cain and his offering He paid no heed.

Cain was of a good family. He wasn't the product of poverty or an inner city barrio or dilapidated public housing. His mother wasn't cruel and/or thoughtless, nor did she neglect him or abandon him. He wasn't in a gang, didn't carry a church key, a shank, an ice pick, or a gun; didn't smoke weed, drink, snort coke, take meth, gamble or chase women. He was very religious and worshipped the exact same God that his brother worshipped, and the rituals he practiced were correct and timely.

Cain worked for a living in an honest profession. He wasn't a thief, wasn't a predatory lender, wasn't racist, wasn't a Wall Street barracuda, a dishonest investment banker, or an unscrupulous social network mogul. He wasn't a cheap politician, wasn't a terrorist, wasn't on the take, wasn't lazy, nor did he associate with the wrong crowd. The man did everything a model citizen is supposed to do; yet he, and subsequently his gift, were soundly rejected.

It's common for poorly-trained Bible students to trip up on the nature of the men's offerings and totally miss the role that the nature of the men themselves played in their worship; in other words: they assume Cain was rejected because his offering was bloodless and they attempt to justify their theory by citing the below:

"It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. God accepted Abel's offering to show that he was a righteous man." (Heb 11:4)

The focus in both Genesis and Hebrews is not really upon the offerings because it's okay for a minchah to be bloodless. The focus is actually upon faith and righteousness; viz: Abel was a man of both faith and righteousness whereas his brother wasn't. In a nutshell: Cain's association with God was strictly via ritual.

It's not uncommon for John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer to associate with God like that. On Sunday they go through all the proper motions; while the rest of the week they think, feel, speak, and act like secular humanists with little concern as to how God might feel about their conduct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps the classic example is the one below.

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

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

The principle didn't go away. It's still the Lord's way of doing business with people; even with Christians.

"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." (1John 1:5-7)

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

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

Whatever it was that God found displeasing in Cain's life at the time of the minchah disaster was moved to the back burner at this point because something far worse is looming on Cain's horizon; and it wasn't his kid brother's murder; no, it's something far more fatal to one's spiritual welfare.

It's a perpetual unwillingness to talk things over with God and get some things straightened out between the two of you. This is not just serious-- it's extremely serious and apparently quite common among people with Cain-ish attitudes.

"But they refused to pay attention, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. And they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of legions had sent by His spirit through the former prophets" (Zech 7:11-12)

That attitude is one of the very reasons why some people are sent to hell.

"This is the condemnation: that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." (John 3:19-21)

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

This is the first mention of self control in the bible. In other words; yes, God created humanity with the capability to choose the wrong paths for itself, and the capability to choose the wrong behavior too; but that's only half the story. God also created humanity with the capability to choose the right paths for itself, and the capability to choose the right behavior.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Cain planned to explain Abel's death to his parents isn't stated. He couldn't very well blame it on a carnivorous predator since man and beast were on friendly terms prior to the Flood. It's my guess he set up the crime scene to make it look like an accident.

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

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

Cain worshipped the True God, same as his brother, and he practiced the very same rituals; yet responded to his maker's simple question with a lie and a sarcastic rejoinder. Those who are the Serpent's progeny often act like that because the Serpent's progeny have a Serpent's tongue.

"You are of your father the Devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44-45)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since Cain could no longer sustain himself by farming, it would be difficult to settle down and build himself a home; so he was forced to become migratory and forage for seasonal foods like the uncivilized beast that he was. It was poetic justice. The punishment sure fit his personality. If he was going to act like a brute, then he deserved to live like one.

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

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Gen 4:13-16


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

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

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

A: Murder is intrinsically evil, yes; however; according to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17, law enacted ex post facto is too late; viz: law can't be enforced until after it's enacted; which is precisely why God didn't, and couldn't, prosecute Cain for murder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

God didn't promise to be Cain's body guard; only to severely punish anyone who slew him. This event highlights one of the problems associated with domestic tranquility. Law works to protect you only when people obey it; so that fear of retribution becomes the only really practical deterrent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hebrew word for "Nod" is from nowd (node) and means: wandering, vagrancy or exile. Precisely how Nod got its name, or where it was located is unknown. The only other place in the entire Old Testament where nowd is found is at Ps 56:9.

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Gen 4:17-19


†. Gen 4:17a . . Cain knew his wife,

Adam was created directly from the dust of the earth. Not so Eve. She was constructed from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body. In other words: Eve's flesh was biologically just as much Adam's flesh as Adam's except for gender; viz: Eve wasn't a discrete species of human life, rather; she was the flip side of the same coin.

After God created Adam and Eve, He wrapped creation and has been on sabbatical every since.

According to the Bible, all human life thereafter came from Eve's flesh.

"Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." (Gen 3:20)

Bottom line: The flesh of Cain's wife descended from his mother's flesh.


NOTE: Seeing as how Eve was the mother of all living, then she was the mother of Christ; ergo: if Mary was the mother of God, then so was Eve.

An even more convincing example of prehistoric incest is Noah and his three sons and their wives. Nobody else survived the Flood; ergo: Shem's, Ham's, and Japheth's children married amongst themselves-- brothers with sisters and/or cousins with cousins.

"Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth. These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was populated." (Gen 9:18-19)

Obviously the human genome was very pure back in those days. The proof of it is pre-historic human life's amazing longevity-- Adam lived to be 930, and Noah to 950.

According to Acts 17:26 it was the creator's deliberate design that all human life descend from a solo specimen. Well, in order for that to happen, people had to sleep with close relatives in the beginning.

Now as to the "sin" of incest; according to Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17, Bible laws enacted ex post facto are too late; viz: law can't be enforced until after it's enacted. Well, laws forbidding incest weren't codified until the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

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

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

Whether Cain actually lived in a permanent settlement is doubtful since he was stuck with vagrancy and wandering. Cain's city was very likely nothing more than a rudimentary village like the towns in the Old West and the Klondike that grew up around rail heads and mining camps.

Some of those were little more than a village of tents, and that's probably all that Enochville amounted to. Just a nomadic assembly of Cain's clan where they could pool their resources, and watch each other's back as they wandered from place to place in the land of Nod searching for sustenance.

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

Adah is from 'Adah (aw-daw') and means: ornament. It's not unusual for people to name their little girls after jewelry like Pearl, Ruby, Jade, Sapphire, and Amber. Zillah is from Tsillah (tsil-law') which is derived from tsel (tsale) and means: shade (or shadow), whether literal or figurative. Shade is a good thing in sunny locales so Zillah's name may have been associated with shelter, protection, peace, serenity, and rest-- as in Song 2:3.

Lamech's marriages are the very first incidence of polygamy in the Bible, and I have yet to see a passage where God either approved or disapproved of it other than the restrictions imposed upon New Testament church officers. (e.g. 1Tim 3:2, 1Tim 3:12, and Titus 1:6)

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

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

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Gen 4:20-22


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gen 4:23-26


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes the record shows the mother naming a child, and sometimes the father; which suggests that in all cases there was very likely mutual consultation between husband and wife on this important decision. But it's always important for the father to take a hand in naming the children because the act testifies that he has legally, and officially, accepted them as his own (e.g. Gen 15:16, Gen 21:3, Matt 1:21, Luke 1:13, Luke 1:63, Rev 2:17).

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

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

The Hebrew word for "Lord" in this case is yhvh; which always, and without exception, refers to the one true god.

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

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

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Gen 5:1-8


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

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

Adam's genealogy includes every natural-born human being who ever lived and/or will live, but the only branch in his tree that really counts is the one leading to Jesus of Nazareth: the Bible's central figure.

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

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

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

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

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

Adam lived to be 930. If we compare that age to that of the average life expectancy of American men today, Adam would have been an eleven year-old kid when Seth was born.

Eve understood Seth to be Abel's replacement. But that doesn't necessarily mean Seth was the very next boy born into the Adams family after Abel. It doesn't even mean Seth was her third child. Bible genealogies often have very large gaps in them, omitting insignificant male siblings; and typically all of the girls. In one instance (1Chrn 1:1) the record skips Abel and jumps right to Seth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No doubt some people envy the longevity of the antediluvians; but I don't. Their life was hard, and for the most part, pretty boring too. Would you want to live for 912 years in pre historic conditions? Not me.

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

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

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

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

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

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Gen 5:9-27


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Gen 5:28-32


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So; were Mr and Mrs Noah childless until Noah was 500 years old? Probably not. The other kids, if there were any, didn't count as far as God was concerned, and, if there were any, they perished in the deluge. Being related to holy men like rabbis, pastors or deacons doesn't guarantee a ticket to safety. Everyone has to make their own personal decisions in that regard (e.g. Gen 19:12-14). God commands all people everywhere to repent. Refuse, and it's curtains; no matter how important, nor well connected, your relatives might be.

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