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

Elohim 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.

Elohim tells them they can eat it all. Doesn’t this contradict what Jehovah eventually tells them in regards to CLEAN and UNCLEAN animals? Elohim makes no distinction here. Elohim’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 Elohim 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 Elohim 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 Elohim says post flood:

9:11 (Elohim 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 (Elohim later describes as Noah/man and every living creature).

Jehovah’s words are interesting. We dealt with a flood (indicated by the words of Elohim 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 Elohim. 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 Elohim of his covenant with life on earth.

noah rainbow

Genesis 8 – Water & the Return to the Earth

Water didn’t just come from above, it also came out of the earth:

Genesis 8:1 – And Elohim remembered Noah, and all the beasts, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark: and Elohim made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.

If the entire globe floods with water, how and where does the extra water subside too? Ice caps are one way of drawing this water out from the earth. It almost sounds like water returned back *into* the earth from the fountains it once poured out of.

One question I have is, just how different was the earth (temperature, rainfall, flora, etc.) after flood? Not sure if it will be mentioned but that is one question that gets raised. Reason being, if something did change atmospherically in our historical record, it would be a good correlation to tie into the story of a world wide flood.

Noah’s ark. Where did it go?

8:4 – And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the MOUNTAINS of Ararat.

Ararat
The MOUNTAINS of Ararat (not just Mt Ararat)

Was it large enough that it sat upon multiple mountains at once? To put all the known life we know exists on the earth today into one vessel, it would have to be enormous. Of course, Elohim gave explicit measurements on the size of this ark so, in terms of dimensions, I see no mystery. How everything was squeezed into it is another story.

So after 40 days Noah sends a raven out, not really indicating why, but we are told the raven goes to and fro until the waters dried.  Then he sent a dove out which found no footing, and he tried again 7 days later, and this time the dove returns with an olive leaf. 7 days later he sends the dove out again and the dove never returns.

Oops! Well there just went ONE of the TWO doves. We can only assume its partner ended up finding him/her otherwise they were doomed to go out of existence.

So we are told we are now in the 601st year, first month, first day of the month when Noah opens a window and sees dry ground. In the 601st year, 2nd month, 27 day of the month, God speaks to Noah and tells him to return to land with all the animals he harbored and again repeats the mantra from the Creation in Book 1 to go forth and multiply.

So far so good.

Noah then builds an altar to Jehovah and offers a burnt offering of every clean beast and bird. But wait, we were told he brought TWO of each. Wouldn’t a burnt offering kill one of the two? So now the SEVEN and SEVEN would make more sense, but looking back we are told he only brought TWO.

So which story is incorrect?

Regardless, Jehovah enjoyed the sweet savor of burning flesh of the clean animals, and he said in his heart (which I read as he didn’t tell this to Noah or to anyone else):

8:21… and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for that the imagination of man is evil from his youth

This is interesting because we are often under the impression, in modern Western culture anyways, that children are innocent. I don’t know many evil (as defined here) youth. Not saying they don’t exist but this verse is being applied to all man.

Also, can we attribute burning flesh to a sweet savor? This has always struck me as odd, why would a spiritual being require earthly sensations and senses to be pleased?

Genesis 7: Did Noah follow Elohim’s or Jehovah’s instructions?

I’ve shown the difference between Elohim’s instructions to Noah vs. Jehovah’s instructions to Noah in the previous post. On the day Jehovah tells Noah he will cause it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, he tells Noah it will occur in seven days, and when it happens, everything Jehovah created will perish (note that what Jehovah lists as his creations is NOT every being on earth, also addressed in previous posts.) Important verse:

Genesis 7:5 – And Noah did according unto all that Jehovah commanded him.

Note: Jehovah commanded him to bring 7 and 7 of unclean creatures and birds. So what are we told Noah actually did?

Genesis 7:8 – Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, there went in TWO and TWO unto Noah in the ark, male and female, as Elohim commanded Noah.

What? Major contradiction!

What’s going on here?

This concept that Noah followed Elohim instead of Jehovah is repeated in verses Genesis 7:13 – 16, where it once again says that Noah followed Elohim’s commandment of TWO and TWO. Here’s an interesting verse to piggy back on what could very well indicate the idea that Elohim and Jehovah were separate beings:

Genesis 7:16 – And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as Elohim commanded him: and Jehovah shut him in .

Now verse is confirming, again, that Noah followed Elohim’s instructions, not Jehovah’s. However Jehovah was the one who shut the door/secured the living flesh into the ark so he is still part of the picture.

Now the flood comes, 40 days of rain upon the earth. All flesh died, (flesh that moved upon the earth that is): birds, cattle, beasts, every creeping thing, and every man. To add to the mystery of the flood we have the following verse:

Genesis 7:22 – all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died.

All on the DRY LAND died. What about those that lived in the WET LAND, aka the waters?

For a quantitative view of the flood, verse 24 says the waters prevailed upon the earth for 150 days, approximately 5 months.

So we have rainfall from the sky and waters coming from the fountains of the earth that lasted for 40 days/nights, and the water was risen (prevailed) for 150 days.

Ark and the Flood
40 – 190 days total for the effects of the flood, as described in the Bible. What a sight that would be to look upon a giant ark carrying two of all creatures of the land and sky, floating upon the deluge. The chaos of it all. Predator vs Prey in one vessel for that long.

The logistics of creating an ark that could carry every animal on the earth, for up to 190 days, including food, water, and the subsequent waste created, is absolutely amazing. I have to say this has to be one of the more fascinating events to take place.

Could the creation of the ark and the ability to put two of every living thing (of dry land) on the ark to make them survive a global deluge be replicated today??

Genesis 6 and 7:1 – The mystery of Noah’s dual instructions

In the latter part of Genesis 6, Elohim gives instructions to Noah on how to build the ark, and describes his covenant with Noah, his wife, his 3 sons, and his sons wives. Doesn’t say how many wives of his sons however, we can’t assume there are only 3 wives because we know that polygamy has already been mentioned and normalized.

Elohim’s instructions to Noah regard what we are told are “animals” but in the Bible are called “… every living thing of all flesh…” are found in verse 19:

Genesis 6:19 (Elohim speaking to Noah which started in verse 13) – And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Pretty straight forward, 2 of each, birds, cattle, and creepers of the ground. Again I beg the question, what about sea creatures? Also, did Noah reach out to other continents for those living creatures that did not exist in the Middle East at the time?

The story changes, however, when we get into Genesis 7:1 when Jehovah gives his instructions (emphasis is mine):

Genesis 7:2 (Jehovah speaking to Noah) – Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee SEVEN and SEVEN, the male and his female; and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his female: of the birds also of the heavens, SEVEN and SEVEN, male and female…”

See the difference? Elohim says bring two of each, Jehovah says 7 and 7 unclean and two each of clean.

So here is where I beg the question: Why do Jehovah’s instructions include extra “beasts” from Elohim’s instructions?  All I want is for the reader to acknowledge the difference in instructions because the answer comes later. So what really happened on the Ark of Noah?

The Ark
Two or Seven? Elohim or Jehovah? The verses are clear and the answer is not.

The mysteries abound but I know we are just getting started, because most people (believers and non-believers) know what happens next in the story.

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?