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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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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.

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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WildB
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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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