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.

Advertisements

Genesis 40: Joseph in Egypt. The Baker & the Butler

Not describing what exactly the Pharoah’s baker and butler did, whatever it was it angered the Pharaoh and he imprisoned them both. In Chapter 39 we find that Joseph, although imprisoned, found favor with the jailer/Captain of the Guard, so Joseph finds himself overseeing these other two prisoners.

After a season, one day Joseph finds both of them with sad countenances. He inquires about it and they tell him:

Genesis 40: And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to Elohim? tell me them, I pray you.

Couple of observations:

  • The two servants (KJV calls them officers) understand the concept that dreams aren’t just sleep visions, they call for interpretation.
  • Joseph speaks to them about Elohim as if they would know who he was talking about
    • Can we assume a polytheistic people like the Egyptians would acknowledge a foreign god and his powers?
    • Can we assume the servants were Egyptians and not Hebrews or other race as if often the case with servants?

Both dreams are told to Joseph, and Joseph asks both to remember him in the presence of the Pharoah next time they speak with him so that he could be removed from his imprisonment:

  • The butler dreamed about 3 branches of a vine, which quickly blossomed forth ripe grapes, which the butler pressed into wine into the Pharoah’s cup
    • Joseph interprets this dream that in 3 days the Pharaoh would restore the butler to his job and he will deliver the Pharoah’s cup into his hand
  • The baker dreamed about 3 white baskets stacked upon his head. In the uppermost basket were breadmeats meant for the Pharaoh, which birds ended up eating
    • Joseph interprets this dream that in 3 days the Pharaoh would hang the baker on a tree and that birds would eat his flesh.

Three days later, as Joseph had interpreted, both dreams came true. In the case of the baker who lived, he did not do as Joseph asked as a favor for interpreting the dream, he did not tell Pharoah about setting Joseph free.

What stuck out to me about this story is the idea that Joseph spoke to the servants about Elohim, and because so, seemed to act as a representative of this deity.

Egyptian culture and punishment: Is hanging on a tree normal punishment in ancient Egyptian culture? Why did both servants get imprisoned and only one was granted mercy. Was it because he was innocent? Or his crime was not as bad as the bakers? It was at the Pharoah’s whim?

This story, after I read it again, didn’t sound as Egyptian or Pharaoh style as I thought it would. This is going to require more research, because if this story is true, there should be some basis in this type of treatment (jail then hanging on a tree) in the material record and history of ancient Egypt as we know it today.

Also, isn’t “hanging on a tree” the term used to describe Jesus being crucified? If that’s the case the Baker had his head lifted off of him (beheaded) and then hung on the tree (crucified). Was beheading and crucifying part of ancient Egyptian culture? If not, then the validity of this story is in question, which raises similar questions about the entire Joseph in Egypt story-line.

A quick online search doesn’t come up with anything that would specifically prove this story to be culturally accurate to ancient Egypt. A topic worth investigating and I will report back to this chapter post should I find anything of significance.

Christmas Eve 2017

It’s Christmas Eve, 2017. It sounds like a party zone outside my window. Loud music blaring from peoples homes, fireworks going off. People in the house behind me hollering, laughing loudly, cheering as they do alcohol shots. Cars speeding up and down the streets.

The night sky lit up with a plethora of Christmas lights, wreaths and decorations on every street corner. Family gatherings have some streets packed to the curb with cars. The race to complete last minute Xmas shopping is on.

Visiting my parents for my mom’s traditional Xmas cooking I got to sit down in my child hood home and reminisce about the Xmas days of my youth and how much things have changed.

It’s depressing in a way, how much my beliefs, nay, my KNOWLEDGE has changed since then. I’m no longer the naive yet studious young Christian who was fond of going to church and participating in church events. In a way I miss that naivety because it was comforting. Maybe, just maybe if I hadn’t sat down and really studied the Bible, I would still be in that comforting shell of naivety.

Fast forward a few decades later. Xmas has become just another day. The solemnity of the day is long gone. Xmas Eve used to be quiet, but now it’s like a giant party in the streets. I can not participate in the festivities however. My life is blessed, it’s not perfect, but I have much more in my life than many people in the world who suffer and starve every day. It’s those people I think about on days like this (well pretty much every day but especially on these festive holidays).

The war torn children, the starving families, the homeless, the mentally ill receiving no help. The lonely, the family-less, those with no one to reach out to for company. Some moments today I felt like I could feel their emotion all at once, it weighs on me heavily, and I feel helpless like there is nothing I could do.

Sure I could donate more money to foundations and charities that help people out. I donate but the feeling doesn’t go away, as it shouldn’t. But it can be overwhelming and has taken any festivities out of my heart and placed me inside my house, alone. You see, I am among that list, and it’s days like this that can be especially painful. In a way I just want today and tomorrow to be over as quick as possible.

It’s days like this that I feel that I’m on the outside looking in. Out in the cold, out alone, watching life play on for people with full and complete lives. Wondering why I can’t be in there, what I did wrong, what I’m being punished for. I know I’m not alone though, so I feel like I need to carry some of that burden and pain for others.

I’ve heard the usual Christian platitudes: “Well there’s a reason for it all, God has a plan for you”…. more made up dogma with no real foundation in scripture. The fact that what the future holds is unknown, and the idea that some interventionist god is going to save the day is enough for some people, well not me.

The wishes of joy and happiness for the holidays is something I pray for EVERY DAY. Not just on Xmas, not just on Easter, EVERY DAY. Just like every day should be Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day. We’ve turned simple concepts that should infiltrate daily lives into holidays that almost force people to squeeze all their effort into these concepts of life into one day.

I still have faith that things will turn around, but when they do, will I be praising God? I don’t know. When I was a naive child, the answer would’ve been a resounding yes. Now, not so much. The Xmas festivities and the naive Christian child I once was are both long gone. The idea that people need to suffer or be punished to strengthen their belief is an odd one, but it is clear that is the M.O. in the Old Testament so people readily accept it.

When bad things happen to good people, it tells me fate is not in the hand of a just and mighty God, but fate is in the hand of chance, in probability, in randomness. Not some divine decider of justice.

If it were, there would be no suffering innocent children, and the evil of the world would be punished. If there is some divine decider of justice and evil persists, the two are mutually exclusive and putting belief in this decider is impossible for me.

Christians respond: “Oh but it will! That’s the promise of Jesus and Revelation we just have to wait” when Jesus clearly spoke in his letter to the 7 churches “the time IS AT HAND”. That was 2000 years ago.

The more I read the Bible, the more I deconstruct the part of me that was just like them, with typical auto responses that, while they may make the person feel better about the situation, don’t have any basis in scripture.

I’ve disappointed many of my Christian friends but they do concede that their inability to really read the Bible as a whole (they focus on individual scriptures) may give me an edge on validity. I’m not trying to be right, I just want to understand the book. The more I do however, the farther away I get. I know I’m not the only one, there are some brave souls out there speaking out as well in more public venues.

The night is dragging on, the music and hollering has not stopped. The monster that is Xmas reigns supreme tonight and nothing will stop him except time. His carcass will stuff trash cans for the next few weeks as a solemn reminder how plastic and dirty the holiday has become. Another week or so and I can go back to normal without constantly being reminded.

The hour has turned, it is officially Christmas.

Peace to all who read this and those who in turn preach peace in this world. Merry Christmas.

Genesis 32 – Jacob & Esau his brother meet reunite. Wrestling match. The TRUTH?! Where is it!

Jacob departs after his covenant with Laban, and on his way he meets angels of God, saying, “this is God’s army” so now we have a place named Mahanaim for this reason.

At this point, these angels remain nameless.

And he seeks out his brother Esau:

Genesis 32:3 – And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the field of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau: Thus saith they servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now: and I have oxen, and asses, and flocks, and men-servants, and maid-servants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in thy sight.

14 years is a long time to be away from family, so this sounds like a reaching out of peace to his brother who he deceived twice, and who he knew wished him dead. His messengers return to tell Jacob his brother is indeed coming, but with 400 men. Jacob is frightened and splits his camp in two, so that if Esau was to attack and wipe out one, at least the other would survive. Jacob prays to Jehovah asking for protection, repeating the promise back to Jehovah he was told he would receive. He REALLY must have been in fear if he reaches out to Jehovah this time, which isn’t surprising knowing what he did to his brother.

Jacob gathers a large gift in hopes to appease Esau before he arrives: 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams, 30 milch camels and their colts, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 foals. He sent each group forward, separate from each other (goats separate from rams, etc.) so that as Esau approached each group, he would be told that they are gifts from his brother Jacob to appease him in the hopes he will accept him. The groups he divided travel on to perform their mission and Jacob prepares:

32:22 – And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two handmaids, and his 11 children, and passed over the ford of Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is they name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, They name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for thou has striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?

So how did this work? As he sat alone a man comes along and start wrestling him and they grapple until the sun rises? Was it customary for men to randomly wrestle strangers, if so, what for? This is the first time the Bible has mentioned wrestling, will it occur again?

As the story ends, I am reminded of the vision of Abraham and Jehovah where Abraham’s horror/dream ends as the sun rises. What is it about the sun rise that causes these supernatural events to cease? Is Jehovah primarily nocturnal? Similar to what we would know as a vampire? Does he require blood?

So thanks to this event, Jacob’s name is now Israel, he has a limp, and the children of Israel do not eat “the sinew of the hip which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day” because this man touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh. Is this “sinew of the hip which is upon the hollow of the thigh” party of every animal’s anatomy? Or just humans?

I’m pretty sure there is anatomical term for this sinew, a quick Internet search has not given me an answer yet.

So what exactly is “touched” in this case? A mere finger brush? A strike? A penetration through the skin like a stabbing? I’d also be interested in a physiologist’s interpretation of this event. Does sinew = muscle so he suffered a muscle strain? A torn ligament? Not being pastoralists or butchers of animals, most people today wouldn’t understand “the sinew of the hip which is upon the hollow of the thigh”. I, in my basic understanding, would say this is a hip ligament that connects to the thigh bone (the hollow of the thigh, knowing that dried bones are hollow). Only someone who has butchered an animal (or a human!) would know what this means in human anatomy.

SIDE NOTE!

Other biblical versions are saying that this “man” was actually an angel, so suddenly the deviation of Biblical texts from one another are really throwing a wrench in translation. We are told this was a man in ASV, but after Jacob gets his revelation of his new name, he claims he has seen God face to face (32:30). So it’s been established, according to Jacob/Isaac, God can take the form of a man and the Bible will simply describe him as “a man”. A mystery man if you will.

Stepping on over to KJV, I now see that Jacob’s name Israel was defined “A prince of God”. Isra-prince, El-God? Isra sounds alot like Ezra. This ASV verse I quoted above leaves out the “prince” word, and it completely changes the interpretation in my eyes and mind.

With all these translations, versions, interpretations, how in the world is anyone supposed to find the truth? Yet I know there are churches out there, non-denominational, Born Again, Protestant, Catholic, and every mix in between that says there’s is the truth, and because they claim to be holders of the truth, they turn on and attack one another. And the followers and parishioners of each attack the other.

If this “book” in it’s multiple versions, truly was the word of God, why are there so many variations? Is this a Tower of Babel type confusion put upon the people of the earth? Not only do we speak multiple languages, but the Bible has become a series of different languages/interpretations!

Believers out there: Why should someone, with no preconceived notions about this book, who has collated a long list of inconsistencies within and among different versions of this book, not just shelve the book and move on to other fruitful endeavors?

My bet: I’d get hundred’s of different answers, most dealing with a punishment of Hell, and I’d put money on that the answers were not found in the Bible, but in individual’s translations of this Bible, negating their answers as FACT. I don’t want opinions or conjecture, I want the truth. I’d see 100 versions of the “truth” at this juncture, then 100 more, until at some point I close my eyes and ears to modern man’s Bible and wait for divine intervention to answer me.

In the meantime I would live my life in peace, with respect to all life around me, with respect to the mystery of creation and this universe, helping my fellow man/those in need to the best of my ability, nurturing future generations, respecting righteousness and fair law.

BUT, because I didn’t say those “magic words” (and you born agains know who you are and what those words are) and because I can point out inconsistencies in the Bible (from the very beginning in Genesis Books 1 and 2) I guess I’m going to burn in Hell?

Well, if hell is where I go and you arrogant Christians are not there with your falsehoods and judgements, maybe it’s not so bad.

One of the reasons I started this blog was because a friend of mine had two “Christian” women tell him he was going to hell for believing the Bible contradicted itself. When he tried to prove his point with actual verse (again, try Genesis Books 1 and 2), they laughed at him and walked away mid-sentence. They mocked him. I took up the figurative sword and shield and started reading on my own and found, that, right off the bat, the contradictions do indeed start piling up.

This is a good time for a break. Maybe the spark of divination, that same spark I had when I was very young and proved the presence of the universal force of peace and balance, and gave me belief in God, will come back and give me direction. In the meantime, this book (or books since there are so many variations) gets closed up.

 

 

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 28 – Oops, skipped it. Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob has stolen his twin brother Esau’s blessing from him, deceiving his father Isaac in the process. What’s done is done and Isaac sends Jacob off to Paddan-aram, and instructs Isaac to marry one of his cousins on his mothers side. He blesses Jacob and asks God (not the Lord/Jehovah/Yahweh) to bless Jacob with Abraham’s blessing.

Seeing that Isaac his father sent his twin brother off to marry a first cousin, Esau (now knowing taking a wife of the Canaanites was displeasing to his parents) goes to the lineage of Ishmael his uncle, to find a wife.

Jacob leaves Beer-sheba on his way to Haran and receives a vision:

Genesis 28:10 – And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Have you or anyone you know used a rock for a pillow? At the top of this ladder stood Jehovah/the Lord/Yahweh and repeats his Abrahamic promise to Jacob while he slept. Again, not appearing in physical form, but in a dream vision.

28:16 – And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Now we have a human’s observation of what is called the gate of heaven. But it’s not a beautiful sight as some of us have been told, to Jacob, it was a DREADFUL place that gave him fear. Jacob defines Beth-el as God’s house, ONLY UNDERSTANDING that if God is with him, then he will choose the Lord as his God, and he can return to his father’s house in peace. After all, he has fled his father’s house due to his actions towards his father and his twin brother.

 

Genesis 19 – The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; The creation of the Ammonites and Moabites

Lot, Abraham’s nephew/brother, meets with the 2 angels and welcomes them into his home to rest and stay the night, but the angels prefer to stay in the streets all night. The men of Sodom surround Lot’s house:

Genesis 19:5 – and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

Initially this seems like an innocent request to meet with the two men. Unfortunately we are then clued in to what “know” means in a disturbing response from Lot:

19:7 – And he (Lot) said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing.

Lot, standing outside the door with one of the angels, offers to throw his two virgin daughters to the wolves to protect the two angels. Noble indeed, but what does this tell us about how he, or can we even say men of that era, thought of their daughters? He didn’t offer gold, silver, or cattle, to keep the men outside his door at bay, he offered his virgin daughters. We know he was rich in cattle from previous verse where he split his flock from Abraham’s. The two angels manage to get Lot inside the house and close the door, and blinded the men outside the door so that they could not find the door.

The angels tell lot to gather his relatives, for the destruction of the city is at hand. In the end Lot can only muster his wife and two daughters (for their husbands mocked Lot.) The angels tell lot to leave immediately, but he does not:

19:16 – But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

They “set” Lot and his wife and daughters outside the city. Being that they are angels, can we assume that they actually lifted them up and dropped them off outside the city? Or did they take them by the hand and lead them walking/running to the outside of the city?

Lot is told to escape to the mountains, but he begs to be allowed to hide in a small city not connected the Sodom and Gomorrah, the city which becomes Zoar. Lot enters Zoar and then:

19:24 – Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

This is interesting because it is truly supernatural to think that someone could turn into a pillar of salt. At first I thought maybe it was a euphemism for a pile of ash, which would make sense when fire is raining down from the sky. But salt? And only when they looked upon it, everyone else had their back to the event and were safe. Was this a measure taken to ensure that whatever was really happening was kept a secret by the non angels Lot and his family? That’s one way to keep a secret of Jehovah and the angels method of raining fire and brimstone.

Pillar of Salt
At Mt Sodom stands a pillar called Lot’s wife. The rock does look ‘melted’. In many cases this would be more of a phallic symbol. So is the story of Lot’s wife a parable to explain this mysterious pillar? Or can the melted bones of Lot’s wife be found in this pillar?

19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

So this rescue was done as a favor for Abraham, and apparently not so much for Lot.

Lot leaves Zoar in fear, and goes to the mountain that the angels had told him to go from the start. It doesn’t say what he feared, or why he would fear staying in Zoar if Jehovah had just rescued him from the cities destruction. In another disturbing story, Lot’s daughters, fearing that there are no longer any men on earth, get their father drunk and sleep with him on subsequent nights so that they could conceive children. The logic here is that, knowing they believed they were the only ones left on earth, they commit incest to create children who would also have to commit incest in their generation to procreate.

The fathers/roots of the Moabites and the Ammonites are conceived.

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 9 Part 2 – Noah’s drunkenness & His Son’s Legacies. Genesis 10 – Lineage

In an odd event that results in even odder results, Noah is found drunk and naked in his tent by his son Ham, who goes and informs his older brothers. His brothers grab a garment, place it over their shoulders and walked in backwards towards Noah so as not to see him.

Noah wakes up, realizes what happens, and instead of cursing Ham, curses Ham’s son, Canaan. Noah curses his own grandson because of the actions of Canaan’s father. We are told Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations, and he walked with God. Yet he got caught in this unfortunate, if not embarrassing, situation, at which point instead of repenting for his drunkenness, he curses his own grandchild? This curse is for Canaan his grandson to be servants to the lineage of Shem and Japheth.

Genesis 9:26 (Noah speaking) And he said, Blessed be Jehovah, the god of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. Elohim enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.

Is Jehovah also not the god of Canaan, Japheth, and Ham? Is it up to the grandfather to appoint such a sentence to his grandchildren? Interesting story and outcome. He blesses Jehovah who is god of Shem and he wants Elohim to enlarge Japeth.

Noah dies after 950 years and his lineage is described in Genesis 10. A few interesting verses to note:

Genesis 10:8 – And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah

The last time we heard about “mighty men” it was in reference to the children of the Sons of Elohim/Daughters of men who were called Nephilim and giants. A quick internet search for Nimrod uncovers an interesting image:

Nimrod lion
That’s not a cat, it’s a lion!

Hopefully we come across Nimrod again in future verse, I’d like to know more details.

Genesis 5 – The Lineages, Enoch son of Seth

Probably the most interesting part of these sections is the length that man lived in those days. Adam gave birth to Seth “in his own image” at the age of 130 years. Finally we see a possible reference to Adam giving birth to daughters: Genesis 5:4 “…. and the days of Adam after he begat Seth were 800 years: and he begat sons and daughters.” What I’m not sure of is whether it is referring to Seth or Adam. It repeats the same words for Seth so it must be Adam.

In the midst of the birth/death lineage, we find an example of someone who does not fit into this mold: Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalel, son of Kenan, son of Enosh, son of Seth (3rd son of Adam we assume.)

Genesis 5:21: “And Enoch lived 65 years and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with ha*Elohim after he begat Methuselah 300 years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were 365 years: and Enoch walked with ha*Elohim: and he was not; for ha*Elohim took him.”

Enoch
Are you aware of the existence of the Book of Enoch?

Very interesting! Enoch did not die, he walked with ha*Elohim, therefore, he was “not.” Also is it coincidence he lived 365 years, as there are 365 days in a year? Is Enoch a reference not to just a man, but the generation where this number became of cultural significance? Doesn’t say so, but the numbers tend to hint to more than what is being read.

Also note this man is not the Enoch of the lineage of Cain, who was Cain’s first born and who he built a city named after.

Now we are introduced to Noah, the son of Lamech, who says:

Genesis 5:29 “…and he (Lamech) called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed.”

So Noah is said to come to comfort the people because of the suffering they experience due to the ground Jehovah has cursed. Initially I feel this points to the curse Jehovah put upon Adam, and Noah was their reprieve, a reset if you will. So, without peeking into the future, will the ground no longer be cursed thanks to Noah? Will the earth provide its strength now that he is here? Must read on to find out.

And Noah has 3 sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.