Genesis: A quick redux. Genesis grade: A-

Genesis was an interesting read in that I started to find tangents and parallels taking place that I was not aware of before. I’ve heard people say the Bible is perfect, infallible, and the “word of God”. Well to be honest, I would think the word of God wouldn’t come off like a typical incomplete novel that was still in the works. Sounds critical of me to say but that is the truth. The timeline is erratic, a lot of information and data is missing, and I almost get the impression it was a series of stories squished together to try to fit into one.

Some major observations and questions I come across as I quickly review my findings:

  • Creation. Two stories and they do not match
  • Why is it important that precious stones exist in the lands where Jehovah and the Garden of Eden are placed?
  • Adam and Eve are assumed to be the first two people on earth but after reading the story again and comparing Genesis books 1 and 2, I no longer think that is the case: Cain is afraid of ‘whosoever’ he comes across will want to kill him despite the insinuation of modern translation that he is only the 3rd person on earth.
  • Elohim and Jehovah: Different traits, characteristics, actions
    • Elohim seems cosmic, universal, ethereal, spiritual “Elohim’s spirit floats over the waters”
    • Jehovah seems earthly, worldly, physical “he walks in the cool of the evening”
    • They give different instructions to Noah regarding animals to bring on the Ark and what animals they are allowed to eat
    • Elohim’s offerings are of bread and wine, oil and drink offerings
    • Jehovah’s offerings are beasts and blood, and rejected Cain’s offerings of first fruits
  • The patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Esau, the sons of Jacob and Esau) are all well off, lot’s of flocks and land. They live lives that TODAY would be considered sinful and evil
    • Lying and cheating their brethren
    • Having multiple wives, including wives of slave women
    • Having multiple children with multiple wives
    • Treating their children unequally in terms of their inheritance
    • Disobeying their fathers
    • Not paying heed to the promises of Jehovah “do not fear” yet they do and bring chaos to those around them (Pharaoh, Abimelech, etc.)
    • The non-Jehovah special lineage (Ishmael and Esau) really didn’t do anything wrong compared to their counterparts
  • There is no mention of a priesthood until we find out about Melchizedek, King Priest of the Most High God, who gives thanks with bread and wine (Jesus like) but not the blood and burning flesh of Jehovah
  • There is no mention that evil done by man is caused or influenced by the Devil/Satan.
  • Jehovah is not omnipotent or omniscient “I came to see for myself if the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah is true”
  • With all the knowledge we know about ancient Egypt, many data points are missing in the Genesis description of Egypt (Pharaoh names for example)
  • For one event to happen (the reunion of Joseph with his brothers which saves them from the drought) a WHOLE LOT of other steps were put into place to cause this event, as claimed by Joseph that it was all part of a master plan. Why would an omnipotent god need to do such a thing?
  • Big questions pop up why many of the events and geographical sites mentioned in Genesis are all big mysteries. Where is the evidence?
    • Where was the Garden of Eden and why is it not around today with Jehovah walking around it. Where is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Where is the “flame of a sword” that protects the Tree of Life? Where are the rivers Havilah and Pishon?
    • Do we know where Sodom & Gomorrah really were?
    • Where was the Tower of Babel?
    • Did the Nephilim who were offspring of the sons of Elohim and the daughters of man leave remains behind? Why do we not know the whole story of how that took place and what happened to those that “fell” in Genesis?
    • Is there physical evidence of the great war of kings in Genesis 14? It was of a grand scale and surely something would be left behind. And where did these kings come from?
  • “Israel” was NOT monotheistic, they CLEARLY worshiped other gods, they KNEW of other gods, they POSSESSED other gods (Jacob hiding his family’s idols from Elohim)
  • The patriarchs and the 12 sons of Israel are not boasted about, they clearly are human teetering on a wickedness that modern Christians would condemn. Will this be the case in future books ahead? SPOILER ALERT: I’m jumping ahead and spoiling the narrative by saying no, they get special treatment in future books and their wickedness still exists, if not worsens. This tells me there are yet more authors with different intentions in our future.

Some odd impressions about Jehovah I took that conflict with modern church teachings that I think the bible clearly insinuates:

  • Jehovah was a surrogate father, after all it was until “he did that thing when he visited Sarai” who the bible clearly says both her AND Abraham were beyond child birthing age, did she give birth to Isaac. Was Abraham really the father when it was only by a visit from Jehovah that she gave birth? The precedent was set in Genesis 6 when we are clearly told the spiritual/heavenly beings ARE able to breed with the daughters of man.
  • Jehovah clearly starts to sound like an earthly, tribal god. His physical form means he can walk the earth but is not always on earth because other times he appears in dreams to the patriarchs. He needs physical specificity in the case of: sacrifices (he enjoys the smell of burning flesh), Sodom & Gomorrah (he needs to see the evil for himself)
  • The 12 sons of Jacob and Jacob himself were pretty wicked, yet were protected by Jehovah despite their sins.
  • Jehovah has dragon and/or volcano traits to his being and I think we will see more of this in Exodus.

The “sins” of Adam and Eve all the way down to Jacob (who admitted to the Pharaoh his days have been short and evil) do give a very humanistic aspect to these early peoples, an aspect that even modern man can associate with: deceit, family conflict, land issues, weather related catastrophes, widespread wickedness, and much more.

Some points I’m looking to get clarified in future books:

  • The devil was not accused of involvement in any of the evil actions taken by the peoples of this day (save for the serpent who people insinuate is the devil but Genesis does NOT specify this). The evil comes from man himself, no credit is giving to the devil/Satan
  • The difference between El*elyon, El Shaddai, Elohim, and Yahweh. I no longer believe they are one in the same and have multiple Genesis verses to prove my point. I’m hoping it gets clarified in further verse.
  • When the flood occurred it was (again, different reasons were mentioned pertaining to the difference between Elohim and Jehovah) because the world was overly wicked. There is NO mention of CORRECTION to keep the world from becoming overly wicked again. All we have is a flood that wiped out the wickedness but no measure to prevent it from happening again.
    • SO, BIG QUESTION: Can the world ever become as wicked as described in the pre-flood days?
    • Just how did the author(s) of Genesis define “the world”? Was it the entire globe? The middle east specifically? The eastern hemisphere which we find that not until at least 1492 people thought was the entire world?

Overall my latest study into Genesis really opened my eyes about details NOT discussed by any church officials, bible studies, or conversations with fellow Christians of many denominations. All I get from them is broad assumptions (Adam was first man; Jehovah is the only god; the patriarchs were faithful and role models).

Let me say this, the patriarchs get a big NO WAY in terms of being role models. It can not be denied that their lifestyle would not mesh with modern times, whether the lifestyle of a modern Christian or an average US citizen (polygamy is now illegal).

The big hypocrisy between modern church goers and Genesis: Today it is frowned upon, if not outright illegal, to own slave servants or to marry multiple wives. But that’s what the patriarchs did and it was not frowned upon by Jehovah or Elohim! So why do people point to Genesis and say there are things in there that we should be doing? Isn’t it all or none? Do we get to pick and choose which rules we follow listed in the bible? I know future books of the Bible are really going to hammer this point home.

There is much much more to discuss regarding Genesis, but I need to move on to Exodus for the purpose of this blog. Genesis complete. Overall status: Confused but still open to the word of the bible, not convinced modern science meshes with Genesis, but I know there are many more themes to come in future books so I move on.

I give Genesis an A- because it is absolutely fascinating, but mysterious (thanks to all the missing information) so it puts me in detective and critical thinking mode. I think there are multiple authors and multiple stories squished into one, which is glaringly obvious, but because it warrants more questions it incites my imagination and critical thinking skills in looking for more proving data. Flaming swords, magic trees, Nephilim, giant sea and land creatures (Leviathan and Behemoth), tribal war gods: sorry to say it has a Lord of the Rings feel to it all. If someone does not take it serious I can see why, it’s not that hard to see. I loved the imagery I got from it all (Jehovah, who is given no physical description, “walking” in the cool of the evening in the Garden of Eden, or the Elohim floating over the cosmic waters) so I give it an A- in terms of its effect on my mind and how I place myself in this world.

Let’s see what Exodus does.

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Genesis 30 – Jacob’s son of Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids. Man dragons?

Rachel, envious of her sister’s births, angers Jacob by demanding he give her children, when Jacob lays the blame for her closed womb on God. In another common occurrence, Rachel demands that Jacob impregnate her hand maid, and now we are told that Jacob has lain with a woman for the purpose of bearing children.

Sons of Bilnah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the sons):

5. Dan – “God hath judge me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son”

6. Naphtali – “With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”

Rachel claims she has prevailed over Leah despite having to resort to her handmaid for her sons and being outnumbered 4 to 2. Leah, who had left off bearing, answers back by having Jacob impregnate her handmaid, Zilpah.

Son of Zilpah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the son):

7. Gad – “Fortunate!”

Reuben, the oldest son, finds mandrakes in the field during wheat harvest and brings them to his mother Leah. His aunt Rachel demands Leah give them to her (they must have had some serious value) and Leah refuses, telling Rachel that not only has she taken her husband, now she wants to take her sons mandrakes. In a telling verse, Rachel offers a trade: Reuben’s mandrakes and Leah is allowed to sleep with Jacob (does this answer the previous question: Was Jacob the father of the first four sons of Leah?)

Genesis 30:16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

Lely, Peter, 1618-1680; Reuben Presenting Mandrakes to Leah
Depiction of a young Reuben bringing mandrakes to his mother Leah. Note the ‘handmaid’ with child, most likely Dan, Naphtali, or Gad borne to handmaid Bilnah. Also note the (collared) dog in the painting, because there is correlation (warning on pursuing this connection)

We are told God hearkened unto Leah (who was no longer able to give birth aka “left off bearing” but now she was?)

Sons of Leah with Jacob (Words of Leah who named the sons:)

8. Issachar – “God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband”

9. Zebulun – “God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”

Daughter of Leah (no indication Jacob was the father): Dinah.

God “remembers” Rachel, who has been barren all this time, and opens her womb (no indication Jacob was the father though it’s a good assumption).

10. Joseph – “God hath taken away my reproach; Jehovah add to me another son”

Back to mandrakes: can also be translated as “man dragons”, they seem to be a plant found in parts of the middle east. It could also be a general term for a group of hallucinogenic plants. An internet search will show that some of these tubers called mandrakes actually look like humans. The context of it in this book is unknown, however the idea that Leah would trade mandrakes to Rachel for the privilege of sleeping with her/their husband means that these items were highly valuable to Rachel, enough where she’d let another woman (even though it was his wife) sleep with him. Twice.

mandrake root
Hallucinogenic? Collectible? Why would Rachel, who was highly envious of Leah for having an open womb, allow Leah to sleep with Jacob for the mandrakes that Leah’s son Reuben had gathered? Here is an example of a creature figure like root of what is commonly known as mandrake. The mandrake in this book could be an entirely different plant however.

 

Genesis 29 – Jacob seeks a familial wife, Canaan follows suit; Jacob, Rachel, Leah

Isaac commands Jacob not to find a wife of the people of Canaan, instead he sends him to marry one of his first cousins, daughters of Laban.

Esau follows suite, after taking wives of the Hittites which bothered his mother and father, he goes to somewhat more distant relatives to marry within: Mahalath, the daughter of his uncle Ishmael.

Jacob leaves Beer-sheba on his way toward Haran when he experiences a dream: A ladder connects the top of heaven set upon the earth, with angels ascending and descending it. Jehovah stands at the top and repeats his promise to Isaac (this is your land, your seed will be plenty in all directions, all families of the earth will be blessed.

Genesis 29:15 – And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

So there is a “completion” to this promise, that Jehovah will leave him once he has done all he has promised for Jacob.

29:16 – And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Afraid, dreadful. Words to describe the house of God and the gate of heaven? The concept that Jehovah is not at places at once looks to be a belief Jacob carried. Is this why Jacob would travel and “fear” despite being told not to?

Jacob arrives in the land of his uncle Laban. He meets Rachel at a watering hole with her sheep and everyone is introduced. Laban offers Jacob wages for his work as Jacob stays with him, and Jacob requested the hand of his younger daughter, Rachel (described as beautiful and well favored) over Leah his eldest daughter (described as tender eyed, sore to the eyes?)

Jacob promises 7 years of work for the hand of Rachel.

After the 7 years, he calls in his promise and in the midst of the wedding night, Laban switches Rachel with Leah, and Jacob sleeps with her that night. Was she veiled the whole time where Jacob could not tell? Was he drunken the way Lamech was when his two daughters were able to sleep with him? Laban exclaims that it’s not his culture to give away his youngest daughter before the eldest to explains his guile.

Jacob is offered 7 more years of work for the hand of Rachel.

Jacob prefers Rachel over Leah, aka “Jehovah saw that Leah was hated” so what does Jehovah do? He closes Rachel’s womb and opens Leah’s. Leah begins to give birth:

  1. Reuben – “Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me”
  2. Simeon – “Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated, he hath give me this son also”
  3. Levi – “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.
  4. Judah – “This time I will praise Jehovah”
Leah pregnant
Four births for Leah while Jacob loved Rachel. Once again Jehovah intervenes for these births. Can we say for certain Jacob was the father while he “hated” Leah?

Was she not praising Jehovah before? Seems like she was, but maybe she wasn’t giving proper thanks for the previous 3 children Jehovah had given her. Is it possible that Jacob was NOT sleeping with Leah (after all we know he loved Rachel more) so, with Jehovah’s intervention (as with Sarah and Rebekah), Leah gives birth? After all, after Levi was born, Leah exclaims “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.”

Are these 4 children another example of a heavenly being mating with a daughter of man? The Bible does not indicate, again, that Jacob contributed his seed to these 4 births, only Rachel’s words that Jehovah “gave her” these children. No mention of Jacob’s reactions though if she had to give birth to a third before proclaiming “NOW Jacob would join her, it’s possible he had nothing to do with these conceptions.

It’s not uncommon for married couples not to procreate, especially when one prefers the company of another, so it’s not that far fetched to believe. After Judah, it is said she left off bearing. So now we have 1 group of 4, will the remainder of the 12 also be split into groups of 4?

Also of note, she didn’t give birth to any females? Another work of the hand of Jehovah to ensure all male births? Or, as with previous examples, it just wasn’t important to mention, i.e. daughters of Adam and Eve who were said to have been born, but given no names or order within the children.

Genesis 11 – The Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1 – And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east … 11:4 and they said, Come, let us build a city, and a tower, and let us make us a name; let we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

The whole earth spoke one language, and they were journeying east. Notice the direction constantly mentioned is east: there is gold to the east, Adam and Eve were placed east of Eden, Cain was banished east of Eden.

The last part of that verse is intriguing, they want to make name, otherwise they would be scattered abroad. So they build a tower to reach heaven. Are they looking for a heavenly name?

Unfortunately, unlike Noah’s ark, we have no description or dimensions to describe the Tower. It must have turned into dust over time because we have no archaeological evidence of the Tower existing, so all we are left with is renditions of the imagination:

Tower Babel
An interesting rendition of the tower, which solves the spiral affect of building upward and thinning out. Also, it represents some currently existing structures found on the earth. The magnitude of such a tower is mind boggling.

While it’s not directly stated, it’s almost implied that they want to be gods or god-like. An interesting parallel to Adam and Eve who, if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, would also become “like gods”.

So, in answer similar to Adam and Eve, Jehovah responds:

11:6 – And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, LET US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one anothers speech.

There is the “us”‘ again, pointing not to one being in heaven, but multiples as we saw in Genesis Book 1. The idea that they would become like gods if they succeeded: “…nothing will be withholden from they, which they purpose to do.” So, it sounds like they were doing it so they could be gods or god like.

So not describing who or how or where these languages went, Jehovah confounded their languages so they could not understand each other. A cultural explanation of why other nations speak different languages put into myth? An actual event which spread the descendants of Noah who once traveled in one group all over the world?

Then Genesis 11 continues on with the lineage of Shem (is this an allusion to the idea that the lineage of Shem are the people in said story?) The roots of Abram are put into place. One verse of interest to note: Abram was by birth, a Chaldean:

11:27 – Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

So now we get some locality, Ur of Chaldees being in Babylon. Is this where Abram’s ancestors were scattered to during the Tower of Babel fiasco? And now Abram is being told to come back? Conjecture at this point.

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 ha*Elohim” 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 Elohim’s response to his view of the earth:

Genesis 6:12 – And the earth was corrupt before Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence. And Elohim saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for ALL flesh had corrupted their way upon earth. And Elohim 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? They are NOT the same! Jehovah says he is going to destroy that which he created: man, beast, creeping things, and birds. Elohim says he is going to destroy all flesh and the earth.

Jehovah observes that man is wicked, Elohim 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 Elohim 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 Elohim. Elohim 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 Elohim 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 (nephilim?) 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 5 – Gender and the mystery of Adam

We assume Adam was, what we would call today, a Man. Is this really the case? What does the Bible say?

Genesis 5:1 “… In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called THEIR name Adam, in the day when THEY were created.”

If you didn’t catch that, read it again. THEIR name was Adam. Not his name, not her name, THEIR name. Since when do two individuals receive one name? How about when they are one being? Also note, it does NOT say it was Jehovah God that created man, or in his likeness, but just God. This idea of a differentiation between Jehovah God and God may bother some but trust me it gets addressed in later scripture. Remember, in Genesis Book 1 there is absolutely no mention of Jehovah until Book 2 when the Garden of Eden and a different creation and mandate for man is described. Suddenly in book 5 the label Jehovah is removed when discussing the creation of man.

Just like I pointed out that Eve did not receive her name until they were taken out of the Garden of Eden, I believe there is more to this story than what is currently taught.

What is explained is that Jehovah God put Adam under a deep sleep, took a rib, created the woman, and sewed Adam back up. Jehovah God separated the woman out of the man that God created to create two beings.

  • God: Created Adam, being male and female as the verse describes
  • Jehovah God: Took the female out of Adam to create another being

Is this not what the verse says?

Adam
Adam! Please tell us, is this painting historically correct?

So what do you think? Was Adam initially a different type of being?