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Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Hello; and welcome to a collection of odds and ends from the Bible that come in handy now and then for just about everybody.

The Difference Between The Old Testament And The New

This major division in the Bible is primarily editorial; viz: it's man-made instead of God-made; but the division is pretty harmless and actually quite useful.

In a nutshell:

1• The simplest difference is chronological, i.e. the Old Testament focuses upon the Jews' religious history prior to Christ's birth, while the New focuses upon the world's introduction to Christianity in connection with Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

2• "Old Testament" refers to the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

3• "New Testament" refers to the covenant that Yhvh's people will eventually agree upon with God as per Jeremiah 31:31-34.

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The Everlasting Gospel

This particular gospel is a bounce from the first chapter of Genesis.

†. Rev 14:6-7 . . And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the everlasting gospel to preach to the people who dwell on the earth-- to every nation, tribe, language, and people. Fear God! he shouted. Give glory to Him! For the time has come when He will sit as judge. Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all the springs of water!

It's easy to mistake the everlasting gospel for the gospel of Christ but neither Christ's name nor his crucifixion and resurrection are anywhere in the angel's message.

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

1• There is 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.

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Light

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

The creation of light was an 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.

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.

†. Gen 1:1-2 . .The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep

That statement reveals the planet's condition prior to the creation of light; and no mystery there because sans the natural laws that make light possible, the earth's particulate matter would never have coalesced into something coherent.

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.

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.

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The Length Of A Creation Day


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

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.

Hard-core Bible thumpers insist the days of creation were 24-hour calendar days in length; but scientific dating methods have 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; for example:

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

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

Another useful hint as to the length of the days of creation is located in the sixth chapter of Genesis where Noah is instructed to coat the interior and exterior of his ark with a substance the Bible calls "pitch". The Hebrew word is kopher (ko'-fer) which indicates a material called bitumen: a naturally occurring kind of asphalt formed from the remains of ancient, microscopic algae (diatoms) and other once-living things. In order for bitumen to be available in Noah's day, the organisms from whence it was formed had to have existed on the earth several thousands of years before him.

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. The tectonic forces that pushed the Himalayans up from below sea level to their current height work very slowly and require untold eons to accomplish their task.

So then, why can't Bible thumpers accept a six-epoch explanation? 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 we end up stumped when trying to figure out how to cope with the estimated 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.

It just never seems to occur to us that it might be okay in some cases to go ahead and think outside the box. When we do that-- when we allow ourselves to think outside the box --that's when we begin to really appreciate the contributions science has made towards providing modern men a window into the Earth's amazing past.

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 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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To Infinity And Beyond

†. Gen 1:16 . . He also made the stars.

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

For example: last decade, an analysis of the light that Hubble telescope detected coming from a distant galaxy named A1689-zD1 suggested it's apparent distance at approximately 12.8 billion light years.

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 reason 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 curious mysteries.

1• The available data suggests that the universe is expanding in all directions. And not only is it 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 standard 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 our own appear to be moving away faster than those closer in; which means of course that viewed from those farthest galaxies; our own would appear to be moving away faster than those closer in because the expansion is moving us too.

Ergo: many of the galaxies seen by powerful telescopes are quite a bit more spread out now than when they were born. How much more 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• Light has no detectable mass, yet is effected by gravity; so that light's path through the cosmos is not always the shortest distance between two points; which suggests to me that A1689-zD1 is nearer than its estimated 12.8 billion light years.

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. There was a time when scientists sincerely believed that although light could be slowed down, it could not be sped up; now they're not so sure.

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 the screen of an iPhone.

5• The more that scientists study the cosmos, the more things they discover about it that cause them to question what they believed in the past. Today's scientific truth is only valid until another truth comes along to cancel it.

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 unreliable and subject to revision. It's very possibly true that the Earth really did precede the stars just as the Bible says.

Now; a consideration that shouldn't be overlooked is that Gen 1:16 refers only to stars visible to the author's naked eye, which would limit the category to those of the Milky Way. In point of fact, as recent as the beginning of the last century, most astronomers sincerely believed that the Milky Way contained the sum total of all the stars in the universe; up until Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies-- now estimated to number as many as 200 billion in the observable universe.

God challenged Abraham to count the stars (Gen 15:5). But of course without optical assistance, Abraham was limited to the stars of the Milky Way; whose apparent diameter is estimated to be a mere 100-150,000 light years.

The final say of course is the Bible. 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. I believe 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.

"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)

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Day And Night

†. Gen 1:4b-5a . . 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, and opposite, conditions-- the absence of light, and/or the absence of darkness. Labeling those conditions may seem like a superfluous detail, but when analyzing the chronology of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, it's essential to keep days and nights separate. When people attempt to define "day" as a twenty-four hour amalgam of light and darkness, they invariably come up with some rather convoluted interpretations of Matt 12:40.

†. Gen 1:14 . . God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky 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 24-hour events. That's okay for calendars but can lead to gross misunderstandings when interpreting biblical schedules, predictions, and/or chronologies.

†. Gen 1:15-18a . . 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.

That passage not only defines "day" as when the sun is up, and "night" as when the sun is down; but it further defines night as when the stars are out; and yet people still don't think God means it.

Christ defined Day and Night as they were practiced when he was here.

†. John 11:9 . . Jesus answered: are there not twelve hours in the day? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light.

"this world's light" is the sun; which Christ defined as "by day". So if Christ's "day" was defined as when the sun was up; then Christ's "night" had to be defined as when the sun was down.

So then, when Christ predicted his death to last for three days and three nights, he obviously meant the hours of daytime and nighttime as they were understood when he was here otherwise the people with whom he rubbed shoulders wouldn't have known when to expect his crucified body to recover.


NOTE: Daytimes divided into twelve divisions were regulated by what's known as temporal hours; which vary in length in accordance with the time of year. There are times of the year at Jerusalem's latitude when daytime consists of less than 12 normal hours of sunlight, and sometimes more; but when Christ was here; the official number of daytime hours was always 12 regardless.

I don't know exactly why the Jews of that era divided their daytimes into twelve divisions regardless of the seasons, but I suspect it was just a convenient way to operate the government and conduct civil affairs; including the Temple's activities (e.g. the daily morning and evening sacrifices)

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The Image And Likeness Of God

†. Gen 1:26-27 . . Then God said: Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and 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. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 9:5-6 outlaws murder: not on the basis that its morally wrong, but because humanity was created in the image of God.

Jas 3:9 frowns upon cursing people: not on the basis that it's morally wrong; but because humanity was created in the image of God.

I take it from those passages that were it not for the fact that mankind was created in the image of God, human life would be very cheap, and have no more value than a gerbil or a garden slug.

The image and likeness of God is what lends human life a measure of dignity over and above the animal kingdom. Were it not for their image and likeness of God, people could go on safari and hunt each other for sport, like human wildlife, and mount their heads on walls and mantles.

Gen 5:3 indicates that at least one of the meanings of "image and likeness" is reproduction. However, if God were to reproduce, He would reproduce more of himself just as when humans reproduce, they produce more of themselves; viz: humans beget humanity, and were God to reproduce, He would beget divinity. But humans most certainly are not divine.

For one thing; according to Ex 3:14 God is imperishable, while according to Matt 10:28, humanity is perishable: body and soul.

†. Ps 82:6 . . I said: You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.


NOTE: According to Deut 6:4, John 17:3, and 1Cor 8:4-6, there is only one true god. Seeing as how that's the case, then the "gods" of Ps 82:6 are, by default, false gods; in other words: they aren't really divine.

Now, obviously humanity's status as sons of the Most High isn't a biological status because according to Gen 2:7 human life was constructed from the dust of the earth; in other words: humanity wasn't born a son of the Most High by means of the Most High multiplying. Were that the case, humans would be spirits. (John 4:24)

So then; I think it safe to conclude that humanity's status as a son isn't a natural-born status; but rather, an honorary status; viz: the image and likeness of God is conferred rather than inherited. And a pretty amazing status it is too seeing as how it's about as close to divine as a creature can get without actually biologically descending from God.

†. Ps 8:5 . .You have made man a little lower than the angels; and You have crowned him with glory and honor.

The "glory and honor" spoken of in that Psalm pertains to the image and likeness of God; which puts humanity pretty high up on the food chain-- not because they are brighter and smarter then the other creatures; but because the image and likeness of God lends mankind an amount of value that no other species on Earth can match.

Q: If mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, then why is mankind so prone to evil?

A: Because mankind isn't biologically related to God, nor is mankind a chip off the olde block, so to speak. The term "image and likeness" is merely a status. It has no bearing whatsoever upon either the qualities, or the character, or the personality of mankind's creator. Were mankind biologically related to God, people would be 110% sinless in thought, word, and deed.

†. John 3:9 . .Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

Q: But doesn't Acts 17:28-29 say that mankind is God's biological kin?

A: According to Acts 22:3, Paul the apostle was accomplished in Judaism; so he knew very well from the schooling he underwent with Gamaliel that according to Gen 2:7 human beings were definitely not made of God, rather, made of dust.

No; Paul simply appealed to the Greek's own poetry to point out to the Athenians that if human beings were truly God's biological offspring, then the father of human beings surely would be made of something other than metal and/or stone. I think maybe the Greeks took their religious art just a mite too seriously.

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Big Daddy

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

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

†. Gen 2:21-23 . .Yhvh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The Hebrew for "rib" in that passage is is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-23 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"

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

†. Gen 3:20 . . Adam named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all people everywhere.

†. Acts 17:26 . . He made from one man every variety of mankind to live on all the face of the earth

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.

So then; it is not quite accurate to say that Christ didn't have a human father because if Christ is biologically related to his mother, and if his mother is biologically related to Eve, then Christ is biologically related to Adam.

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Why Adam Didn't Drop Dead

†. 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 has always been an embarrassment for Bible thumpers 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 off let me point out 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"

†. Ecc 7:2 . . 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.

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Why Everyone Has To Die At Least Once

Prior to Moses, an official code of law with the power to condemn the entire human race by the act of just one man did not exist.

†. Rom 3:19-20 . . Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

†. Rom 5:13-14 . . Before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam.

The answer is: they all had to die because of Adam. His disobedience in the matter of the forbidden fruit effected his entire posterity: both the good and the bad; the young and the old.

This is really difficult for some people to get their heads around. Nevertheless, it's very important to accept it whether one understands it or not because Paul applies this principle in his effort to explain why it is that believers never have to worry about being condemned for their sins. (Rom 5:12-21)


NOTE: Opponents are often quick to point out that Ezek 18:20 says that children don't share their father's guilt. But hey, which came first? Adam or Ezekiel? So then, since Adam's incident came along many years before Ezekiel's prophecy, then God was at liberty back then to reckon Adam's posterity as joint principals in his act of disobedience.

†. Rom 5:12 . . Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin; and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

"all sinned" has no reference to all's own personal sins; just Adam's, i.e. his sin became everyone's sin, even everyone yet to be born.

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Why Cain Was Rejected

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

Both men worked at honorable professions and their skills were essential to the Adams' survival. Humans at this time were vegetarians 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.

†. 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 that the items they brought were sacrifices for sin. The Hebrew word for "offering" 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 are indicated by the word 'olah (o-law') instead of minchah; for example Gen 8:20 and 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 treated 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 of age. 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 rather than a pagan ritual. (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.

The language and grammar of that verse indicate that God not only snubbed Cain's offering; but also Cain himself; so that his offering wasn't the only issue: Cain himself was an issue too.

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 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.

Cain worked for a living in an honest profession. He wasn't a thief, wasn't a predatory lender, 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. He was very religious and worshipped the exact same God that his brother worshipped, and the rituals he practiced were correct and timely.

The man did everything a model citizen is supposed to do; yet he, and subsequently his gift, were soundly rejected. What?

Well; for one thing; at this point in his life, in spite of appearances; Cain was actually impious. (1John 3:12)

In what way was he impious? Well, my first guess would be friction between him and his brother. It is unacceptable to worship God while the worshipper's relationship with their brother is dysfunctional.

"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." (Matt 5:23-24)

†. Gen 4:5b-7a . . Cain was much distressed and his face fell. And the Lord said to Cain: Why are you distressed, and why is your face fallen? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

Cain knew the drill; viz: it's conduct first and worship second. That can be readily seen played out in the first chapter of Isaiah where Yhvh's people are depicted practicing their God-given worship to perfection. They were attending Temple on a timely basis, praying up a storm, offering all the correct sacrifices and offerings, observing the Sabbath, and all the holy days of obligation. But God soundly rejected all of that because their conduct was unbecoming.

Bottom line is: Abel and his offering were acceptable because Abel's conduct was acceptable; while Cain and his offering were unacceptable because Cain's conduct was unacceptable. So then, from Cain and Abel we learn that the key to acceptable worship is acceptable conduct. The two are joined at the hip; so to speak. And that being the case; I'd have to say that there are a number of Christians attending church every Sunday morning who really ought to stay home and not come back until they clean up the things in their lives that they know very well are rubbing God the wrong way.

†. 1John 1:5-6 . . This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth

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Why God Didn't Execute Cain For Murder

†. Gen 4:12-13 . . If you till the soil, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. You shall become a ceaseless wanderer on earth. Cain said to the Lord: My punishment is too great to bear!

Cain's punishment was relatively 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 wrong, yes; and it's intrinsically a sin, yes; however; it hasn't always been a capital sin. 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, not even divine law; which is precisely why God didn't have to execute Cain for murder.

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From Whence Cain Got A 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 the work and has been on a creation sabbatical every since.

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

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

It was apparently the creator's deliberate design that all human life descend from a solo specimen.

†. Acts 17:26 . . From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.

The Greek word for "nation of men" is ethnos (eth'-nos) which pertains to racial diversity.

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

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 all married amongst themselves.

†. Gen 9:18-19 . . 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.

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.

Now as to the sin of incest; according to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17; God doesn't enforce His laws ex post facto: viz: they are not retroactive. So then, it would be a gross miscarriage of justice to prosecute pre-historic people for incest because it wasn't prohibited in their day; and wouldn't be until later in Moses'.

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How The Critters Got To Noah

†. Gen 6:3a . . And Yhvh said: My Spirit shall not strive with man forever. Yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.

Some feel that God set the limits of human longevity in that verse. But people still continued to live long lives for a great number of years afterwards. Even Abraham, who lived many, many years after the Flood, didn't die till he was 175 years old. No; it's far more reasonable to conclude that God was announcing a deadline; viz: the antediluvians had 120 years left to get ready to meet their maker. But you think that alarmed anybody? Heck no. They went right on; business as usual.

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

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

†. Gen 6:12-14 . . God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah: I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark

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

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

Fortunately Noah didn't have to go on safari to round up his passengers. God said two of each "shall come to you" (cf. Gen 7:9, Gen 7:15) which implies of course that species who failed to come got left behind and went extinct in the Flood. There was plenty of time for them to make it because Noah was 120 years building the ark and getting it ready.

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

If the ark were to launch in 2017, critters would have been on the move towards it since 1897-- six years before the Wright Brothers historical flight, and fifteen years before the Titanic foundered --and probably reproduced many times along the way since there are not all that many species that live to see 120 years of age.

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

Scientists also know about subduction and magma hot spots and pressure points that can raise and lower the earth's crust like a service elevator; for example according to Gen 14:3, the area now known as the Dead Sea was once known as the Vale of Siddim. Sometime in the distant past the earth's crust rose in that region, blocking the Jordan River's natural drainage into the gulf of Aqaba; thus trapping it's waters in a huge basin from which they cannot escape. Subduction causes the earth to wrinkle, bulge, and form mountain ranges and hill country.

"He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever. Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters were standing above the mountains. At Thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to the place which Thou didst establish for them. Thou didst set a boundary that they may not pass over; that they may not return to cover the earth." (Ps 104:5-9)

That portion of Psalm 104 is probably speaking of Gen 1:9-10. It's handy for showing that God is capable of molding the Earth's lithosphere into any geological configuration He pleases to push sea beds up and form land bridges; thus expediting migrations from all over the world over to Noah's diggings.

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

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

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

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

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

Geological processes normally take thousands of years to accomplish, but those processes can be sped up considerably by the cosmos' creator, who has absolute control over everything-- not just the earth's geological processes; but all the rest of nature's processes too.

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