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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 3610 times)

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Olde Tymer

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A Journey Thru Genesis
« on: December 17, 2018, 11:26:37 am »
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Back around 2000 or 2001; I got the daring idea to begin composing a daily, bite-size commentary on the book of Genesis. It was a clumsy effort at first but I stuck with it and as time went by, it got pretty good. On some forums where I've survived opposition long enough to complete the whole fifty chapters, Genesis has attracted quite a few views; several thousand in fact.

As of today's date, I'm 74 years old; and an on-going student of the Bible since 1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio Bible programs, and various authors of a number of Bible-related books. Fifty years of Bible under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but they've at least made me competent enough to tackle Genesis.

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

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

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

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

Buen Camino
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« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 12:13:20 pm by Olde Tymer »

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 11:35:16 am »
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Genesis 1:1


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

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.

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

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

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

The creation story wasn't written for the scientific community, nor was it written for people who indulge in debating and perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything; rather, the creation story was written for the religious community.

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

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

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

● Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

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


NOTE: the plurality of 'elohiym works to the advantage of some religions; e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses. In their theology; no less than two creators were involved in the origin of the cosmos; so that in their thinking, Gen 1:1 reads like this:

"In the beginning, gods created the heavens and earth"

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

The Hebrew word for "earth" is 'erets (eh'-rets) which is yet another of the Bible's many ambiguous words. It can indicate dry land, a country, and/or even the whole planet.
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« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 05:59:46 am by Olde Tymer »
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 12:45:24 pm »
I find the book of Genesis especially the account of creation to be a polemic rather than a scientific treatise...any thoughts or  comments about that?
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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 01:04:37 pm »
I find the book of Genesis especially the account of creation to be a polemic rather than a scientific treatise...any thoughts or  comments about that?
I believe Genesis is mostly literal and describes creation in detail just exactly as God tells us. There are waters above the heavens and the gates of heavened were opened for the great flood as well as the fountains of the deep, the waters below. The sun moon and stars were created later than day one. Much later. The Bible can be very scientific if allowed to be interpreted correctly.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 03:48:54 pm »
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I find the book of Genesis especially the account of creation to be a polemic rather than a scientific treatise...any thoughts or  comments about that?

The creation story wasn't written for the scientific community, nor was it written for people who indulge in debating and perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything; rather, the creation story was written for the religious community.

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

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 07:39:51 pm »
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● 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 particulate matter to coalesce into something coherent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

But when it comes to light they choke; finding it impossible within themselves to believe that Genesis just might be consistent in its description of the creative process. I mean, if all those other things are natural, why wouldn't the light be natural too? In point of fact, without natural light, planet Earth would become a cold dead world right quick.
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« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 08:37:23 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 07:55:42 am »
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● Gen 1:4b-5a . . and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

For example: theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking understood pretty well how the universe works; but could never scientifically explain why it should exist at all. Well the only possible answer to the "why" is found in intelligent design; which is a religious explanation rather than scientific.
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« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 08:08:43 am by Olde Tymer »

Lori Bolinger

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 09:11:09 am »
I find the book of Genesis especially the account of creation to be a polemic rather than a scientific treatise...any thoughts or  comments about that?
I believe Genesis is mostly literal and describes creation in detail just exactly as God tells us. There are waters above the heavens and the gates of heavened were opened for the great flood as well as the fountains of the deep, the waters below. The sun moon and stars were created later than day one. Much later. The Bible can be very scientific if allowed to be interpreted correctly.
I don't disagree with it as per what it says about creation I just don't believe it is written as a scientific treatise and thus should not be used as such.  That doesn't mean it is wrong scientifically.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 09:57:35 am »
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● Gen 1:6-8 . . And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.

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

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

Our home planet is really big; a whole lot bigger than people sometimes realize. It's surface area, in square miles, is 196,940,000. To give an idea of just how many square miles that is: if somebody were to wrap a belt around the equator made of one-mile squares; it would only take 24,902 squares to complete the distance; which is a mere .00012644 the surface area.

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

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

To put that in perspective: a tower 326.6 million miles high would exceed the Sun's distance better than 3 times. It would've exceeded the distance between Mars and Earth on July 27, 2018 by 5 times.

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

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

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

At this point, God initiated the on-going titanic forces that keep the Earth's surface in a perpetual state of alteration.

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

Psalm 104 is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. Mountains rising, and valleys sinking speaks of magma pressure and tectonic plate subduction.

It's doubtful the Psalmist knew about those particular fields of science but he was clearly somehow aware that the Earth's crust is malleable. And that's true. With just the right combination of time, temperature, and pressure; solid rock can be made to fracture, buckle, and give way; and also to bend, even forced to hairpin back upon itself like taffy.

Now, it's right about here that young-earth theorists have a problem because it's obvious from physical evidence that much of the Earth's dry land was inundated for a very, very long time.

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

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

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


NOTE: There are Hebrew words in the Bible for marshes, rivers, and streams; but I've yet to encounter one for lakes and ponds. In other words "seas" suffices not only for oceans; but also for smaller accumulations. (A rather curious sea is located at 1Kings 7:23-26)
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« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 10:23:06 am by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 08:25:30 am »
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● Gen 1:11a . .Then God said: Let the land produce vegetation

This is the very first mention of life on Earth; and what's interesting about it is that life on Earth wasn't created from nothing, rather, by means of ingredients taken from the earth itself; e.g. aqua life and winged life were made from water and terra life was made from land.

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

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


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

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

The ranges now in existence; e.g. the Andes, the Himalayas, the Rockies, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Cascades, the Brooks Range, the Alps, etc; and the various minor inland and coastal ranges 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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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2018, 10:56:29 am »
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● Gen 1:14a . . God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Years in the Old Testament are sometimes based upon a 30-day month; and they're not always marked by the Sun's position in space relative to the stars. More about this later when we get to Noah.
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« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 08:16:54 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2018, 08:34:21 am »
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● 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. Those physical properties of day and night were accepted in Jesus' day.

Gen 1:3-5 defines day as a condition of light, and defines night as a condition of darkness. Gen 1:14-18 defines day on Earth as when the Sun is up and night on Earth is defined as when the Sun is down.

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

The "light of this world" is the Sun. So John 11:9 corroborates Gen 1:3-5 and Gen 1:14-18.

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

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

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

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

For example, light from Alpha Centauri takes only about 4 years to reach Earth while light from Alpha Orionis (a.k.a. Betelgeuse) takes about 640. There are quite a few stars whose illumination reaches Earth in less than 50 years. But whether 4 years, 50 years, 640 years, or 180,000 years; the time involved is insignificant if we but allow that the days of creation were epochs rather than 24-hour events.

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

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

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

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

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

● Gen 1:18b-19 . . And God saw that this was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
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« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 11:56:35 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2018, 07:06:24 am »
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● Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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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