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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 5219 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2018, 09:24:07 am »
● Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and increase,

This is the very first place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for "bless" shows up. It's somewhat ambiguous, but in this case I think it's pretty safe to assume that it means to furnish freely or naturally with some power, quality, or attribute; i.e. provide, endow, and/or empower. In other words: the blessing of fertility was a providential act; and no doubt included microscopic creatures as well as those visible to the naked eye.

Providence is common in the Bible; especially in Genesis.

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

Winged creatures have the advantage of flight; which, in my estimation, makes them more fortunate than creatures confined to water. The wingers get a much better world view from above than those below. Flying broadens one's horizons, so to speak, and gives us a bigger picture. Amphibious flyers, e.g. cormorants and grebes, have the best of both environs; they see things from above as well as below.

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 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 circumstantial evidence to support the assumption that they too were empowered to reproduce.

The Hebrew word for "living" is chay (khah'-ee) which basically indicates existing as life as opposed to existing as non life. For example, the structural elements of Noah's ark existed as non life; while it's passengers existed as life.

(Some people insist that all things are alive. I recommend leaving that belief at the door when crossing the Bible's threshold because scripture doesn't accommodate it.)

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 the Creator; e.g. Jer 10:10, indicating that the creator is a living being as opposed to a totem pole or a mythical fantasy. There is a very large number of instances recorded in the Old Testament where the Creator speaks of Himself as "I am".

Terra critters weren't created ex nihilo; rather, from the very land upon which they live; i.e. God used earthly materials and ingredients already at hand to construct 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.

Beasts of the earth, in this instance, simply refers to wild life as opposed to domesticated life. Dinosaurs would've been in the wild classification.

Cattle refers to mute beasts (a.k.a. dumb animals) --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, and transport people from place to place on their backs. (Probably one of the better things that Spain did for Native Americans was make it possible for them to have horses.)

NOTE: Looking a steed on the cheap? Well; according to the May 2017 issue of Smithsonian magazine; there are something like 70,000 wild horses and burros running free on Federal lands causing an unacceptable amount of environmental damage. No doubt the BLM would appreciate your help in reducing those numbers.

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

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.

Some of us would be happy if a few of the creeping species had not been created, e.g. scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, tarantulas, fleas, ticks, and ants; et al.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2018, 10:07:15 am »
● Gen 1:26a . . And God said: Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness.

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.

The Hebrew word for "Man" is 'adam (aw-dawm') which, in this case, simply refers to human life; i.e. humanity. It's actually a specie name rather than a proper name.

Because of the terms "image and likeness" there are some who believe that humanity's creator is some sort of hominid; or at least resembles one. But according to Christ, Man's creator is non physical.

"God is spirit" (John 4:24)

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

God instructed Moses' 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, John 1:18, John 5:37)

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

One of the meanings of image and likeness is located at Gen 5:3.

"When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth."

The apostle Paul once said to the men of Athens, relative to the creator: "We are His offspring". (Acts 17:28-29)

In other words: the creator, in a strange sort of way, is humanity's parent.

"I said: You are sons of the Most High." (Ps 82:6b)

If humans were paternal sons of the Most High-- viz: if they were biological sons --they'd be immortal because God is immortal; i.e. like begets like. But humans are not immortal.

"Nevertheless you will die like men" (Ps 82:7)

So then we are safe to conclude that humanity's image and likeness of God isn't the same as Seth's image and likeness of Adam; and humanity's divine sonship isn't biological. God didn't reproduce in order to bring humans into existence, rather, He created them into existence from dust rather than from Himself.

Humans then, because of their special relationship with the creator, are, from a certain point of view, a divine species of created life.

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

So very early it comes out that there are at least two categories of gods in the Bible; there's the supreme god called Jehovah, and there is the lesser god called Man.

There is of course only one true god (Deut 6:4, John 17:3, 1Cor 8:4-6) so we conclude that Man's divinity isn't intrinsic, rather, it's ersatz; i.e. artificial. It's a bestowed kind of divinity rather than inherited. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, got his divinity by inheritance; which is a kind of divinity that's vastly superior to Adam's; viz: humans are artificial gods; while Jesus Christ is the genuine article. (Heb 1:1-14)

● 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.

Humanity's sovereignty, power, and control over nature is primarily where we find the exercise of its image and likeness of God; in other words: Man does not answer to nature-- just the opposite --nature answers to Man. (Ps 8:4-8)

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 Native America's cultural sentiment underlying that statement; and must admit that I agree with it to a certain extent. But the creator decreed that though Man is of the earth; he is very definitely above it too, and has the God-given authority to subjugate every living thing on the planet including 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 earth's very atmosphere itself. According to Heb 2:8, humanity is on track to take control of even more.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 10:18:51 am by Olde Tymer »
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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2018, 10:58:46 pm »
The Hebrew word for "Man" is 'adam (aw-dawm') which, in this case, simply refers to human life; i.e. humanity. It's actually a specie name rather than a proper name.

Humanity and mankind are different things. The human condition was named in Rome as homo humanus. which was distinct from homo barbarus.

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2018, 05:34:10 am »
● Gen 1:27a . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;

If humans were paternal sons of the Most High-- viz: if people were His biological offspring --they'd be eternal beings like Himself because God is an eternal being; i.e. like begets like. But humans for now are not even immortal let alone eternal.

So then we are safe to conclude that humanity's image and likeness of God wasn't the same as Seth's image and likeness of Adam, viz: humanity's divine sonship isn't biological. God didn't reproduce in order to bring humans into existence, rather, He created them into existence from dust rather than from Himself.

● Gen 1:27b . . male and female He created them.

It's okay to pity people who refuse to be identified by their gender and prefer to be known as non binary, i.e. as neither male nor female. But there is no just no way on God's green earth that Bible believing Christians should ever be supportive of the non binary movement because the image and likeness of God finds its completeness in distinct male and female gender identities.

There's a term for people who believe themselves to be someone and/or something other than what and/or who they really are. I think it might be called Dissociative Disorder. There was a time when society confined people with those kinds of conditions to psychiatric facilities for observation and therapy, but nowadays political correctness requires that they be "included". But God-honoring Christian churches dare not accept into their membership someone known to identify themselves as non binary.

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Heb 12:15)

A bitter root is one belonging to a species unfit for human consumption. When you find noxious vegetation sprouting in your garden, you've got to get out there with a hoe and dig that stuff up before it spreads out of control.

NOTE: The pronoun "them" in Gen 1:27 is a bit ambiguous. It can refer to the first couple; but it can just as easily refer to the human specie in total. In other words: Gen 1:26-27 speaks of all of us; and by extension, so does Gen 2:16-17 because according to Acts 17:26, that's how it worked out.

Some women would be offended by association with a male pronoun but it's a biblical designation nonetheless. Regardless of one's natural gender, all human beings are of the 'adam species and can be legitimately referred to as a him or as a he because all of us, regardless of gender, are extensions of a solo specimen; including Eve because she was made from a human tissue sample taken from a man's body. 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 always indicate males.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 01:04:44 pm by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2018, 08:45:45 am »
● Gen 1:28a . . God blessed them and God said to them: Be fruitful 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.

It's always best to regard blessings as  benefits, approvals, 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: According to Gen 2:18-24, marriage is primarily for the purpose of companionship rather than procreation.

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 'adam's domain.

But the interesting thing is; the 'adam specie 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; humans, beasts, creepy crawlies, and winged creatures 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 aqua life isn't 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 clear 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 future 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)

● 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, humans haven't improved the planet at all. They've actually ravaged Earth 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, parking lots, and residential communities.

A prime example of this kind of destruction is INTEL's massive Ronler Acres Campus located on what was once agricultural land in Hillsboro Oregon. Thousands of cubic yards of perfectly good topsoil was scraped away during construction of the facility. What did they do with it? Was it transferred elsewhere in order to use it for farming? No, instead INTEL used it to build a massive privacy berm all around the facility where the soil will never again grow food. NIKE did the very same thing with the topsoil scraped away during construction of its facility in Beaverton.

Denuded watersheds have caused unnecessary erosion and stream sedimentation. Man dams rivers, thus disrupting ancient fish migrations. He's over-exploited natural resources, filled the atmosphere with toxins and greenhouse gas emissions, poisoned aquifers, contaminated soil and waterways with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides; littered the oceans with billions of pounds of plastic, made possible super germs, and seriously upset the balance of nature.

It seems that most everything 'adam touches, he 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 the golf balls that astronaut Alan Shepherd left behind.

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 satisfaction in a job well done.

I believe the universe's architect knew precisely what He was doing, and where He was going with His work; 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 chemistry. 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.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2018, 10:00:37 am »
● 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 kinds of souls for that matter 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.

"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." (Ps 139:15)

The "depths of the earth" is a reference to Gen 2:7 talking about the beginning of mankind. We were all there in the making-- 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".

● 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 here 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, sometimes Jehovah, and sometimes Yahweh.

The 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."

BTW: According to Phil 2:9-11, God bestowed upon Jesus Christ the name that is above every other name that can be named; viz: Jesus Christ has the God-given right to be known as Yhvh. God also promoted His son to the highest of all positions; viz: Jesus Christ now shares the very throne of God where he's known as God, rules as God, and speaks as God; which has been pretty much his ultimate destiny all along (Ps 2:1-12, Ps 45:1-7, Ps 110:1). That's all I dare say about that for now lest I derail our journey thru Genesis.

(If perchance there are Jehovah's Witnesses looking in; I'd appreciate it if you'd take your concerns about Phil 2:9-11 to another thread rather than hijacking this one for the Watchtower Society's doctrines. Don't be a cowbird)

NOTE: Yhvh is commonly referred to with masculine pronouns because He's a king; and kings are always males rather than females; e.g. 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 2:4-5 is a brief recap of the first five days of the creation process.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 08:27:18 pm by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2018, 09:03:59 am »
● Gen 2:6 . . a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

The Hebrew word for "mist" is 'ed (ade). It's a very rare word and appears only one more time in the whole Bible at at Job 36:27 where it's apparently speaking of the process of evaporation; which typically produces water in the form of fog, dew, and humidity; which are very gentle ways to irrigate young plants and/or bare ground.

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. Water in the form of dew, fog, and/or humidity is a whole lot more gentle on bare ground than falling water. (California's coastal redwoods obtain a large percentage of their moisture from fog.)

● 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 like 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.

NOTE: The natural human body is sometimes thought to be the sum total of human existence, but according to 2Cor 5:1-4 it's just a domicile.

● 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; viz: the human body wasn't spoken into existence ex nihilo; God constructed it from already-existing physical matter.

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

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.

This isn't speaking of artificial respiration 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.

The breath of life is a mysterious, supernatural energy that can animate otherwise normally lifeless things; even stones. (Luke 19:40)

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

The Hebrew word for "soul" is nephesh (neh'-fesh) which isn't unique to human beings. 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; and yet again at Gen 9:10 to classify every living thing aboard Noah's ark.

Soul is somewhat ambiguous. It can be said that creatures are souls and also that they have souls. But here in the beginning, nephesh simply refers to consciousness, individuality, and self awareness.

NOTE: According to Matt 10:28, the body and the soul are perishable. However; though the body is perishable by any means, the soul is perishable only by divine means; i.e. the deaths of body and soul aren't necessarily simultaneous, viz: the soul lives on until such a time as God decides to give it either a thumb up or a thumb down.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 08:29:07 pm by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2018, 12:52:27 pm »
● Gen 2:8a . .Yhvh God planted a garden in Eden,

The Hebrew word for "garden" is from gan (gan) which means a garden as fenced; in other words; walled-- I assume to protect it from foraging animals; which makes sense seeing as how the garden would be Adam's primary food source. I'm guessing it was very likely a full-blown farm complete with grains, vegetables, and orchards; and meant for husbandry.

● Gen 2:8b . . in the east

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tree of life doesn't give life; but rather, according to Gen 3:22 has something in it that sustains life. It's also a good source for natural remedies (Rev 22:2). Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop the human body from getting old and falling apart is currently unknown.

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

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

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

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

From the gist of upcoming verses, it's readily apparent that the knowledge of good and bad implies an intuitive sense of right and wrong.

Though Man was created intelligent; he was basically uneducated. A sense of right and wrong wasn't programmed into his intuition. He was supposed to learn right and wrong via Divine tutelage; not by trial and error nor by self initiative-- and certainly not by doing something patently foolish like eating from a tree known to be unsuitable for human consumption.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2018, 09:29:49 am »
● Gen 2:10a . . A river issues from Eden to water the garden,

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

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

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

The Pishon river has yet to be positively identified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used in ancient Mesopotamia by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians for seals and jewelry. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (33003100 BC), and powdered lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra. In ancient Mesopotamia, lapis artifacts can be found in great abundance, with many notable examples having been excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (2600-2500 BC).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2019, 09:34:08 am »
● 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.

Q: Why would God plant a hazardous tree in an otherwise perfect environment? Was that really necessary? What real purpose does a tree serve that has the potential to kill people and alter human consciousness? Why even create such a tree in the first place?

A: Although the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unfit for human consumption; it wasn't necessarily a bad tree. When God finished creating, He looked over His work on the 6th day and pronounced it all not just good, but "very" good.

Take for example light. God pronounced it good; but in practice light has the potential to burn your skin, give you cancer, and/or cause permanent eye damage.

I don' t know what that tree's purpose in the garden might have been but I'm confident it was no more intrinsically evil than toad stools, poison ivy, lightening, rattlesnakes, scorpions, avalanches, gravity, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, cactus needles, tsunamis, the solar wind, earthquakes, electricity, fire, lava, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and hemlock are evil in and of themselves. Those things are hazardous, yes, but they all fit into the natural scheme of things.

Gen 2:15-17 is a favorite among Bible critics because Adam didn't drop dead the instant he tasted the forbidden fruit. In point of fact, he continued to live outside the garden of Eden for another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth (Gen 5:4). So; is there a reasonable explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

The first thing to point out is that in order for the warning to resonate in Adam's thinking; it had to be related to death as he understood death in his own day rather than death as modern Sunday school classes construe it in their day. In other words: Adam's concept of death was primitive, i.e. natural rather spiritual.

As far as can be known from scripture, Man is the only specie that God created with immortality. The animal kingdom was given nothing like it. That being the case, then I think it's safe to assume that death was common all around Adam by means of plants, birds, bugs, and beasts so that it wasn't a strange new word in his vocabulary; i.e. God didn't have to take a moment and define death for Adam seeing as how it was doubtless a common occurrence in his everyday life.

Adam saw things born, he saw things bloom, he saw things gradually wither, he saw their life ebb away, and he saw things decay and dissolve into nothing. So I think we can be reasonably confident that Adam was up to speed on at least the natural aspects of death; viz: he was familiar with mortality and he was familiar with immortality.

Death includes not only mortality but also disintegration.

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (1Cor 15:53-54)

In other words; had Adam not eaten of the forbidden tree, he would've stayed forever 21, but the very day that he tasted its fruit, his body became infected with mortality-- he lost perpetual youth and began to age. Mortality is a walking death, and it's slow, but very relentless. It's like Arnold Swarzenegger's movie character; the Terminator-- it feels neither pain nor pity, nor remorse nor fear; it cannot be reasoned with nor can it be bargained with, and it absolutely will not stop-- ever --until you are gone.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 07:17:56 am by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2019, 11:57:35 am »
● Gen 2:18 . .Yhvh God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary; I will make a fitting helper for him.

That is a curious statement considering that God had given His creation an evaluation of "very good" back in Gen 1:31.

Well; the evaluation was based upon "every thing that He had made" so Adam's construction came out exactly as God wished; which means that Adam's creator deliberately made the man reliant upon a suitable companion right from the very get-go; i.e. Eve wasn't a "fix" to address an unforeseen problem like the many that plagued NASA during the Apollo program.

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

Note that aid isn't spelled with an "e" as in aide; so that Eve wasn't meant to be the man's Girl Friday, rather; someone to strengthen him. In other words: woman's true role is a supporting role rather than a leading role; i.e. domineering women are out of sync with humanity's creator. The same goes for masculine women-- a.k.a. strong women.

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

In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that human beings were not intended to live a celibate life. If male human life was packaged in a box of software, one of its system requirements would be Female Companion.

Woman's potential for companionship is the primary reason that God made her-- not for her sex appeal nor for her reproductive value; no, for a man's companionship; which is commonly expressed by cordiality, friendliness, friendship, goodwill, kindness, civility, concord, harmony, rapport, charity, generosity, compassion, empathy, sympathy, chumminess, intimacy, affection, devotion, loyalty, fondness, and love.

From all that, I think we can safely conclude that a woman who tears her man down instead of building him up is a broken woman; i.e. maladjusted.

Now; before God introduced the man to a woman, He first gave the man an opportunity to seek appropriate companionship from among the creatures of the animal kingdom. The results were unsatisfactory; and no surprise there seeing as how critters aren't equipped to relate with humans on a high enough level.

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

Adam's task would have been overwhelming if as many varieties existed in his day as ours; which I honestly don't think did because, for one thing, prior to the existence of humans the earth underwent some mass extinction events.

I'm sure Adam loved animals; I mean look: he gave them all names; which is something that people who make their living in animal husbandry try to avoid because the practice can lead to attachments; thus making the situation very difficult when it's time for sale and/or slaughter.

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

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

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

That's telling me that people who prefer a pet's companionship to a human's are out of kilter because pets, even as soothing as they are in some situations, are unbefitting-- they're a lower form of conscious life than people; and God didn't create them to be people's personal companions anyway, no, according to Gen 1:26-28 He created them to be people's servants.

I think that even to this day, were most normal people given a choice between human companionship and that of a pet; they would opt for the human because people relate to each other much better than they relate to critters; either wild or domesticated.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2019, 11:15:50 am »
● Gen 2:21a-22a . . So the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman;

The Hebrew word for "rib" is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-22 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side" which is really how tsela' should be translated because according to Gen 2:23, the material taken from Adam included some of his flesh; and seeing as how the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11) then I think it's safe to assume that the flesh God took from Adam's body to construct the woman contained some of his blood too.

The most important thing to note in that passage is that the woman wasn't created directly from the soil as the man was, viz: she wasn't a discreet creation, i.e. the woman wasn't her own unique specie.

Being as the woman was created from the man's flesh, blood, and bones, then the flesh, blood, and bones of her body were reproductions of the man's flesh, blood, and bones. Therefore any and all progeny produced by the woman's body, whether virgin conceived or normally conceived, would consist of the man's body, i.e they would be the man's progeny just as much as hers if her own ovum was in any way at all involved in the conception.

This section makes it appear that the woman was brought into existence after the completion of the sixth day. But according to Gen 1:27, the male and the female were both created at the very same time on the very same day.

FAQ: So; where was the woman prior to her actual appearance on the scene?

A: She was in Adam's body.

That's not a strange new idea. For example: Heb 7:9-10 says that Levi was in Abraham's body; and that was literally centuries before Levi was born.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 10:54:40 am by Olde Tymer »
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2019, 01:17:19 pm »
● Gen 2:22b . . and He introduced her to the man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's said that dogs are Man's best friend. No they aren't; dogs are domesticated beasts. They might bring a man his slippers, guard his property, and lick his face; but a dog lacks the capacity to be concerned that a man isn't eating right and getting enough rest and/or sympathize with a man when his job is outsourced to cheap labor in India. How many dogs shared their master's alarm when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and Wall Street fell off a cliff resulting in thousands of people all over the globe to suddenly find themselves unemployed and losing their homes? Had one do so, that would be a very unusual dog. 

No; a man's true BFF is a loyal woman that looks out for him.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand

But if you love him, you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him, oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man.

Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely.
Stand by your man, and show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can.
Stand By Your Man.

Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill
Epic Records, 1968

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