Genesis 22 – The Test, Human Sacrifice, the Lineage to Isaac’s wife

Genesis 22:1 – And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now they son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

If ever a verse would turn away the average reader into abhorrent disgust from this book, this would be it. Jehovah promises Abraham that his seed will be as countless as the sand, yet God is telling him to now sacrifice him as a burnt offering? Abraham seems response-less, not even asking for clarification. He questioned Jehovah multiple times about the future, his destiny, his covenant. But sacrifice your only son? No response.

It was a 3 day journey to the spot in Moriah, and Abraham, without emotion, separates himself and Isaac from the two young men that accompanied him. In yet another act of deception by Abraham:

22:7 – And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son…

Why couldn’t Abraham just tell him the truth? More fear from Abraham, maybe Isaac would run off and Abraham would incur the wrath of God? Then we learn it was a test, a test to find out if Abraham feared God.

Why the need for a test, doesn’t God know all peoples thoughts and motives? The only reason to test Abraham is because God didn’t know if Abraham feared him. Why go through such a test if you are all knowing? Why does anyone prove something they already know?:

  • To prove it to other people
  • To wallow in the knowledge of being right
  • They are unsure of their knowledge

The angel of Jehovah interrupts Abraham right before he slays Isaac:

22:11 – And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not they hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for NOW I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.

Abraham Isaac altar
No fear mentioned from Abraham or Isaac. Just a normal day of sacrifice?

An insecure God? He didn’t know that Abraham feared him before this test? Not knowing the loyalty of his servants with which he has performed miracles, destroyed cities, and created covenants for him and his generations to follow? The only one in this story with conviction is Abraham, who did what he was instructed without hesitation. It is God in this verse who has to test the lesser being for his devotion. This is odd and undermines the omniscient quality modern religion has applied to our understanding of God.

Not only that, was it normalized in biblical times for a man to sacrifice his children? It’s not mentioned yet but the answer is yes, and future verse will prove it. Maybe not in the realm of Jehovah but certainly in this land, and we know Abraham has traveled in all directions at this point. We already read how Lot was ready to give up the virginity of his two daughters to scores of wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah, possibly leading to their death. We know the Israelite’s fed their children to the fires of Moloch/Molech in future verse. Is this why Abraham didn’t flinch at the thought of sacrificing his son? It was already normalized?

Now I’m seeing the difference between what modern churches and interpretation apply to God as a trait and what the Bible states. They are not the same. If God knows all then why the need to test his servant and finally state “yes, NOW I know you fear me”. He admits he didn’t know before hand.

Genesis 22 ends with the lineage of Abraham’s sister in law Milcah from Abraham’s brother (including children from his concubine).

Genesis 21 – Sarah conceives, Hagar flees, Abraham & Abimelech make peace

Fulfilling his promise:

Genesis 21:1 – And Jehovah visited Sarah as he had said, and Jehovah did unto Sarah as he had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

What exactly did he “do unto Sarah”? Note that it is due to Jehovah’s “visit” to Sarah, and not the knowing of Sarah by Abraham that caused this conception. Sure enough it sounds like a recreation of the events in Genesis 6, when a heavenly being impregnates a “daughter of man”. We also know that the children of this union became “mighty men, men of renown” and eventually wicked and wiped out by the Flood in those days.

So is this child Abraham’s seed if Abraham didn’t contribute, physically, to the child’s conception? The child’s name was Isaac, he was circumcised after 8 days, and they held a great feast on the day he was weaned. The mother of the half Egyptian son of Abraham (truly Abraham’s seed for we know he impregnated Hagar), was seen to be mocking at the feast. Sarah asks Abraham to throw her and Abraham’s son out and that the child should not be a heir with Isaac. God comforted Abraham’s grief over this, promising that his son of Hagar will make a nation, and that he should listen to Sarah’s wishes.

21:12 –  …. for in Isaac shall thy seed be CALLED. And also of the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.

Notice the verbiage, Isaac will be CALLED his seed (though he isn’t, aka “we will call him your seed”) and God verifies that the son of Hagar is indeed his seed.

Abraham, with all the riches of gold, silver, cattle, handmaids and servants, wakes up the next day, gives Hagar some bread and a bottle of water, and sends her on her way where she wanders the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. After the bottle of water runs out, and seemingly without hope, she places the child under a bush and distances herself so that she can not witness the death of her child.

hagar child
With nothing but some bread and a bottle of water, Hagar is cast into the wilderness where the grace of God comes upon her and saves her and her child, the seed of Abraham.

The cries of the child and the cries of Hagar rise up to God, and the angel of God tells Hagar to get up and hold the child, because he will be a great nation. God opened her eyes to see a water well, where she was able to fill her bottle and give the water to her child. God was with the child as he grew, he became a great archer who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and eventually married one of his mother’s kin, an Egyptian.

Jehovah tells Abraham the covenant is for him and his seed (the child CALLED his seed or his actual seed?) After this Book I’m starting to see a different picture.

  • Jehovah + Sarah (whatever happened when he visited her) = Isaac who God says is CALLED Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham + Hagar = Unnamed at this point but who God says IS Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham is starting to look more like a surrogate/earthly father for the child of heavenly Jehovah and earthly Sarah
    • Can it be denied that the Bible did not say Abraham conceived with Sarah?
  • Both children are promised greatness, but it is the child of Sarah by Jehovah’s actions that is promised the covenant. If Jehovah was the “father” of Isaac, then he is protecting his own child.

As outrageous as that sounds, it is what I am reading. Is this so outrageous after understanding what happened in Genesis 6 when beings from heaven mated with females on earth? Remember, there were giants/Nephilim in those days AND after, as verse mentions. Was this heavenly being/earthly female propagation continuing after the flood?

In what really should be a separate book, Book 21 ends with a peace treaty between Abraham and Abimelech in the land of Philistines where Abraham sojourned for many days.

Genesis 9 – A Covenant with Man, Food, and a Sign of the Covenant

God blesses Noah and his sons, again tells them to be fruitful and multiply and man is given domain over every beast, every bird, all the fishes of the sea.

Genesis 9:3 – EVERY moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all.

God tells them they can it eat all. Doesn’t this contradict what Jehovah eventually tells them in regards to CLEAN and UNCLEAN animals? God makes no distinction here. God’s instructions continue:

9:4 – But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

“Flesh with the life, which is the blood…” Ok, this is where it gets somewhat ambiguous, most animals have life and blood in them (according to our modern standards.) This almost sounds like a commandment to be Vegans. What makes more sense is that God is referring to life as in human life, an explicit instruction against cannibalism. Not sure but these are two possible interpretations.

NOW we see a verbal Covenant created between God and Noah. Note the difference between Jehovah, thinking in his heart, that he will no longer smite animals and the earth for the sins of man.

But first, let’s look back at what Jehovah said post flood:

Genesis 8:21 And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said IN HIS HEART, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake … neither again will I smite any more everything living, as I have done.

Compare to what God says post flood:

9:11 (God to Noah) And I will establish my covenant to you; neither shall ALL flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth…. 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth (God later describes as Noah/man and every living creature).

Jehovah’s words are interesting. We dealt with a flood (indicated by the words of God in verse 9:11), not a cursing of the ground. The ground was cursed back with Adam and Eve. Is this what Jehovah is referring to, the original curse? He also says he “smote” every living thing. This word is ambiguous defined as a strike/hit which doesn’t necessarily cause death, though in later use it can also be attributed to a kill.

Back to the covenant with God. Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth: “… of these was the whole earth overspread.” So now we’ve reset the original peoples, and all can be traced back to Shem, Ham, and Japeth and now we have a sign that will appear that will remind God of his covenant with life on earth.

noah rainbow

Genesis 6 Part 2 – The Wicked Earth, Noah, & Jehovah vs God part 1

The nephilim/giants walk the earth, unnatural creations of “the daughters of man” and “the sons of God” and the earth fills with wickedness and violence. These nephilim/giants are called “men that were of old, the men of renown.”

So, judging by the subsequent verse, the earth being filled with nephilim/giants was not a good thing. Here is Jehovah’s response to what is happening on earth:

Genesis 6:5 – And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth… 6:7 And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I made them.

Does this include ALL living things? Or just the things that Jehovah takes credit for creating. No mention of fish or other animals of the sea? Why would beast, birds, and creeping things be punished for the wicked works of man? Regardless, Noah, was apparently not part of this wickedness, and it is said “Noah walked with God.” Walking with God is an important concept we will deal again with very soon. For now we return to Genesis 6.

Here is God’s response to his view of the earth:

Genesis 6:12 – And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for ALL flesh had corrupted their way upon earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of ALL flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Compare to the words of Jehovah. See the difference? Are they same thing? Jehovah says he is going to destroy that which he created: man, beast, creeping things, and birds. God says he is going to destroy all flesh and the earth.

Jehovah observes that man is wicked, God observes that all flesh is wicked.

So some might say, “well what Jehovah meant by all flesh is all man” hence its the same message. However we know that what God says to Noah, during his instructions to build the ark, contradicts this because he is referring to all living beings upon the earth:

Genesis 6:19 – And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt though bring into the ark.

Noah builds a three story ark with dimensions and instructions clearly defined by God. God continues his instructions and explains the upcoming destruction to Noah:

Genesis 6:17 – And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon this earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die.

Again, notice the difference of the words of Jehovah, what Jehovah created, and what God says will perish in the flood: All flesh with the breath of life.

So big question: what about the creatures of the sea? The animals Jehovah created breathe air to live. Sea creatures breathe under water. Will they also perish? If they are on the list to perish in the flood, and the chosen only to survive on the ark, how did Noah keep sea creatures on the ark? Is it possible that some of the wicked creatures of the earth at this time survived the flood by going under water with the rest of the sea creatures? Again I point to the breath of life, assuming they are referring to breath being air, then aquatic animals are exempt from this death sentence.

Whale and Man
The earth floods completely. Which one of the creatures in this photo could survive this deluge?

If you flood the earth, can you drown a fish?

Genesis 6 – The Nephilim & The Rabbit Hole!

The writer of Genesis 6 describes how, as the population of Man has grown, so did the population of women, aka “…the daughters of man…”

Now we are introduced to a new being of existence: “… the sons of God…” Could his “sons” be the ones he mentioned in Genesis Book 1 when he says “… let us make (man) in our image…”? Are they less powerful than him, thus creating a hierarchy in the heavens? Are they his equal? Are they angels? If so, why not just say “angels”? Could Angels and the Sons of God be different beings? Do they have a mother? Could God mentioned here be the same type/image of the male/female being described in the creation story? Most people I would know would say “NO” but don’t all sons have both a mother and a father?

It is at this point in the Bible when people will say oh, these beings are the fallen Angels. The Bible does not specifically say that however.

Whoever they are, they could not only look upon the beautiful daughters of man, but also chose wives of them and procreate. In an awkward response to this occurring, Jehovah limits the age of man to 120 years, as opposed to the nearly 1,000 years the previous men had lived*. So mix the “sons of God” with the “daughters of Man” and we have another being of existence. But before we start talking about them, let’s look at how different Bible versions treat Genesis 6:4:

ASV: The Nephilim were in the earth those days, and also after that, when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

Now the King James version… does this change the meaning of this verse to you?

KJV: There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown

It’s theorized that the Nephilim (often translated as the “fallen ones”) are the Fallen Angels, but in these verses the Nephilim would be the CHILDREN of the fallen ones. So which version makes more sense? Shouldn’t it be the Nephilim and human women bore children Giants?

One thing for sure, these weren’t just regular people according to the Bible.

nephilim
Proven fake/Photoshop’d. Regardless, if these giants roamed the earth, where are their bones? Did they even have bones? What does Science say?

*Another observation: it is at this point that “man” goes from living nearly 1,000 years to 120 years (which is more in line with modern life spans). Possible that it is at this point something cataclysmic occurs in the environment that begins to age man at a different rate? Has anything like this occurred in the animal kingdom, where lifespans drastically change?

This verse 6:4 can be the Rabbit Hole for many, where we take the detour to the investigation of the Fallen Angels, the Nephilim, and Giants, not only in the Middle East, but around the world. There are Bible era texts that go into more detail for those that are interested. One things for certain, this is not the first time the Bible will mention these beings.

If you do follow this rabbit hole, you will also discover an explanation for the existence of ghosts, demons, and supernatural possessions of humans by these beings. For now, the journey inside the Bible continues. Without going into more detail, I can only think of one of my most favorite movies when I think about where this rabbit hole has taken me.

MBDEXOR EC046
Courtesy of the movie, The Exorcist. With a little bit of research you will see how this portrayed ritual ritual connects to Genesis 6:4

Genesis 4 – Cain/Abel, Curse of Cain, Cain’s wife?

Genesis 4:1 “…I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah.” Ok, is she referring to getting a man (Adam)? Or is she referring to a “man” being born to her who was named Cain? With really zero information about how/why they became so, Abel is said to be a keeper of sheep (pastoralist) and Cain a tiller of the ground (agriculturalist). Jehovah favors Abel’s offerings over Cain’s, Cain becomes angry, and he is scolded by Jehovah. He is told that if he does well, his offering will be lifted, but if he does not, then it is a sin, which he is told he does rule over the sin. Cain confronts his brother in the field and slays him.

Cain and Abel
A rendition of the slaying of Abel and the discovery by Jehovah

Jehovah curses Cain to walk the earth as a wanderer and a vagabond, and the earth will not yield to him. Cain, in anguish, says the curse is too much to bear and that all who meet him will want to slay him.

Genesis 4:14 “… and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.”

Ok, supposedly Cain is the 3rd person to have been created, so then who is he referring to when he says “whosoever”? Is he referring to other people who wander the earth, people not addressed in this particular Jehovah creation? Could he be referring to the beings that God in Genesis 1 refers to when he says “we”?

Cain is still Jehovah’s creation so he puts a curse on anyone who would slay him will receive vengeance 7 fold, and Jehovah appoints a sign for Cain so that anyone who finds him will not kill him. So just what was this “sign”? I hear it often called the “mark of Cain” but it’s not described. Was it an actual sign worn over his neck? Was it a mark on his body, face, or other that would make it apparent to anyone not to slay the wearer?

Cain leaves Jehovah, goes to the land of Nod, east of Eden, and with his wife, conceives his first son Enoch.

Ok, so where did his wife come from? Was she already on the earth just in a different part? Those who believe Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth would just then say “oh well Adam and Eve must have had daughters.” But the Bible does not mention any daughters! Again, it does not even mention that Adam and Eve were the first on earth, only that they were put into the Garden to tend to it. We just ASSUME they were the first.

Mysteries that are just not covered in the text. I believe they are key to our understanding of what the stories of the Bible truly tell. Creation was good in Book 1, but the Creation of Book 2 to this point on is chaotic, bloody, and imperfect and leads to more questions that just aren’t answered in these texts.

So what happens when there are no definitive answers? We come up with our own. “Well Adam and Eve had daughters so that explains where the wives came from.” The Bible does not say that. “Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on Earth”. The Bible does not say that.

When we make up our own answers and conclusions, and the person next to us makes up their own, then we source the divisiveness that has separated individuals, families, congregations and churches since the first “church” was created.

Genesis 2:11 Good Gold and More

What piqued my interest was the description of Havilah, where there is not only good Gold and Onyx (a precious metal and precious stone), but also bdellium, a resin probably once used as an incense (and now used for makeup brushes).

So why the mention? What was the author trying to portray? Obviously these 3 materials were of importance to the culture at the time the words were put into writing, but there is no mention of it’s significance to the Garden of Eden, to Jehovah God, or to Adam and Eve.

The author wanted the reader to know there were good things in Havilah. So is there a place in the Middle East where we can find these three valued materials?

I don’t know. I will research but I will say this. The instant I read this verse I thought of the Annunaki, who according to Sumerian texts, came to this planet to mine for Gold. Who also have a creation story that archaeologically speaking, pre-dates the Bible with many similarities.

Because I am curious about the cultural relevance, I will continue to look into the significance of these three materials. In our culture, gold is highly valuable for it’s decorative nature. But we must remember that gold has industrial value as well, and value is often culturally defined. For some people in this world, Gold was merely a decoration and other precious stones were more valuable. For others, Gold was so valuable it resulted in slavery, greed and death in their quest to obtain it.

What would you do for a nice chunk of Gold? Would you stay in possession of a gold plated bible? I know there will be more Gold references later in the Bible so I look forward to seeing how it is portrayed and why.

images.duckduckgo.com
A God approved Bible? Is owning Gold a good thing in God’s eyes? Gold was obviously important in Genesis Book 2. Is it just a mere metal or is there more to this story?

Genesis Book 1 – The Creation and 7 Days

I’ve got to say one of the more fascinating books I’ve read over and over. Absolutely full of potential interpretations… here I go:

What can be said about the first sentence: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Even the non-religious are familiar with this phrase. It’s ambiguous and must be maddening to those of non-faith who want to know exactly how it happened.

God begins to form creation and labels it in its various forms. God creates the “firmament” aka heaven aka I interpret as the sky above. We believe there is water on the surface of the earth, Genesis says there is water above and below the firmament. On the lower surface (God calls Earth) he separates the water on the surface to form land.

What about the waters above the firmament? How does that mesh with modern knowledge? Well it’s not hard to see, when it rains, water comes from above, hence the waters above. Also remember water can be 3 phases, liquid, solid, vapor. Is the reference to the water above reference to the moisture that is ever present in our atmosphere? The blue sky of the day which is reflected in the blue waters below?

For those not familiar, but who believe the words of the Bible, look up “Flat Earth” theory. This theory meshes with the bible description (and other global cultures BTW) that the earth sits on 4 corners and, be careful here, is NOT a spinning globe. Walk softly with this theory because it will bring a wrath upon you from the “globers.”

Genesis 1:11 – God asks the earth to put forth grass and herbs, fruit bearing trees. 1:12 “and the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed… trees bearing fruit…” and the day was complete. My instant impression: We know that grass and trees do not seed and fruit in one day, it can take weeks if not months or, for some trees, years. This “one day” that is referenced, can it possible be referring to another time gauge, one that does not reference the day as defined by the rising and setting of the sun? Could it be that in these days the sun “day” was much longer than the 24 hours we know of? Or, did the plants, upon the command of God, fast forward their growth to put forth their seeds and fruit in one day as commanded. I’ve heard the argument that the days referenced in the Old Testament are different from the 24 hour days of today. I will look for more clues in upcoming verse.

Genesis 1:14 – God creates the lights in the firmament (stars and the two great lights: Sun and the Moon). “… let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years…” Much like today and among cultures around the world, the stars are used for horoscopes (constellation signs), seasons/days/years as sky watchers mapped the star patterns that would indicate to them changes in seasons and other portents that would include planting, harvesting, war, migrations and other important cultural events. Entire calendars can be based on the stars. This is important because I believe there are commands later on in the Bible that people do not participate in the foretelling of the future or portents, so I will be looking for that reference to. The 4th day.

The 5th day: God creates the animals in the water and in the sky. I like the “sea-monster” reference. Most would picture whales, but I wonder what other creature may be being referenced to here. The Leviathan? This day God creates the animals of the sky and the waters and commands them to be fruitful and multiply.

The 6th day God creates earth bound creatures, including man. 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Key word here: OUR. Who was God speaking to? Could there be other “gods”? Was he referring to the Angels that accompanied him during the creation? One thing is for sure, we look like God and whoever else he was speaking to. God is in our form… BUT WAIT! In future verses God walks the earth as man, but when as Jehovah with the Israelites, he is in a form that has to have a container and shield around him. Where I go with this information will not be liked by many and will expound when I get there. For now, I understand we are made in God’s image. Also it is here that God gave man dominion over the rest of the creation, which by many modern humans has been their license to completely ravage God’s creation by poisoning the air, water, food, and life around us. Truly difficult to come to terms with at times.

“And he rested on the seventh day” hence the Sabbath as defined in the Old Testament. When I first read this I wondered: Just what does ‘rested’ mean? We know what it means for us, we are exhausted, our bodies or minds tire, and we need to be in a state of sleep or relaxation to rejuvenate. Why would God need rest? In a sense, I saw God as a machine that was shut down for a day. (BTW by machine I don’t mean an actual powered mechanism that runs on energy sources such as gasoline or electricity, though I have met some who interpret it so.) Or an energy force that no longer worked upon its creation and dissipated away. Fact of the matter, I believe there is more to “God rested” than what most people believe. More on that later.

Genesis Book 1 complete.

 

Prelude

I’ve been speed reading and am absolutely enthralled with my bible reading so far. I am at Leviticus 11 and will be turning around back to Genesis 1:1. This was one of my strategies in the past, read to a certain point, then turn around and start over to see what I missed or took out of context.

What my mind is computing from the imagery of the bible (ASV and KJV) is far different from what my young and innocent mind did when I first “read” the bible as a child. Far different from the church services and bible studies I participated in in the past. It’s a new world I’m seeing.

So it’s back to the beginning, where I will start my blog posts. My interpretations and impressions will not mesh with modern interpretations. I am not here to claim to know the truth, only to describe how my mind is envisioning the world of the Old Testament.