Total Genesis

Olde Tymer

Active member
.
Hello;

Genesis is a one of those things that are called "foundational". What that means is
there's some pretty serious ground work laid in this book and a poor knowledge of
it will handicap one's understanding of the rest of the Bible; most especially the
New Testament portion.

Some really cool stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, the origin of human
life, Adam and Eve, the origin of marriage, the Devil, the first lie, the so-called
original sin, the origin of human death, the origin of clothing, the first baby, Cain
and Abel, the first murder, the Flood, the tower of Babel, and the origin of the Jews.

Big-name celebrities like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Ishmael, Rebecca,
Jacob and Esau, and Joseph are here too.

Not here are Moses vs. Pharaoh and the parting of the Red Sea. That story is in
Exodus; Samson and Delilah are in Judges, David and Goliath are in 1Samuel; and
Ruth and Esther are in books of the Bible named after them.

The author of Genesis is currently unknown; but commonly attributed to Moses.
Seeing as he penned Exodus (Mark 12:26) it's conceivable that Moses also penned
Genesis; but in reality, nobody really knows for sure. Genesis may in fact be the
result of several contributors beginning as far back as Abel, the earliest of the
Bible's prophets (Luke 11:50-51)

Scholars have estimated the date of its writing at around 1450-1410 BC; a mere
+/- 3,400 years ago, which is pretty recent in the grand scheme of Earth's
geological history.

Genesis is quoted more than sixty times in the New Testament; and Christ
authenticated its Divine inspiration by referring to it in his own teachings. (e.g. Matt
19:4-6, Matt 24:37-39, Mk 10:4-9, Luke 11:49-51, Luke 17:26-29 & 32, John
7:21-23, John 8:44 and John 8:56)

Buen Camino

(Pleasant Journey)
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Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

The first chapter of the first book of the Bible doesn't waste words with an
argument to convince skeptic minds that a supreme being exists; rather, it starts
off by candidly alleging that the existence of the cosmos is due to intelligent design.
I mean: if the complexity of the cosmos-- its extent, its objects, and all of its forms
of life, matter, and energy --isn't enough to convince the critics; then they're pretty
much beyond reach.

The creation story wasn't written for the academic community anyway, nor was it
written for people who indulge in debating and perpetual bull sessions that never
get to the bottom of anything, nor for people who regard this book as just another
chapter of "Pride And Prejudice" to dissect in a Jane Austen book club; rather, the
creation story was written for the religious community.

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that
what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Heb 11:3)

There's quite a bit of disagreement related to origins; viz: the origin of species, the
origin of the universe, and the origin of life; but not much debate about the origin
of matter; defined by Webster's as 1) the substance of which a physical object is
composed and 2) material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is
composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons,
that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy.

Without matter there could be no universe and there could be no life; so the origin
of matter then is where we have to begin.

The Hebrew word translated "God" is 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which isn't the creator's
personal moniker, rather, a nondescript label that pertains to all sorts of deities;
both the true and the false and/or the real and the imagined; plus magistrates (Ps
82). The noun is grammatically plural but doesn't necessarily indicate more than
one. Sheep, fish, and deer are plural too but don't always indicate more than one of
each. There are other gods in the Bible, such as Baal and Dagon, to whom the word
'elohiym is applied and those gods aren't composite entities; e.g. 1Kgs 18:25-29
and Jgs 16:23.

Gen 1:1b . . created the heavens and earth--

The word for "heavens" is from a somewhat ambiguous Hebrew word that pertains
to everything that can be seen in the sky when we look up with either the naked
eye or a telescope-- both in the atmosphere and the celestial regions, i.e. clouds
and stars.

The Hebrew word for "earth" is yet another of the Bible's many ambiguous words.
It can indicate dry land, a country, and/or even the whole planet.

Gen 1:2a . . the earth being unformed and void

That statement reveals the earth's condition prior to the creation of an energy that
would make it possible for matter to coalesce into something coherent.

Gen 1:2b . . and darkness was over the surface of the deep

This deep is a curiosity because 2Pet 3:5 says the earth was formed out of water
and by water. So I think it's safe to conclude that every atomic element that God
needed to construct the Earth was in suspension in this deep; viz: it was more than
just H
2O; it was a colossal chemical soup, and apparently God created enough of it
to put together everything else in the cosmos too.
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Gen 1:2c . . and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

God's spirit is a bit of a mystery. Some say it's a supernatural force, e.g. Ezek
36:24-28 where His spirit is shown to be effective at moderating people's behavior.
Others insist it's an aspect of God's sentient existence, e.g. Gen 6:3 where His spirit
is shown capable of debate, and Isa 63:10 where God's spirit was unhappy with His
people's conduct.

The Hebrew word here for "waters" is another plural noun like 'elohiym; which
means it can be translated either water or waters. Plural nouns are pretty much at
the discretion of translators whether to make them one or more than one in a
particular context.

The Hebrew word for "moving" is located in only three places in the entire Bible.
One is here, and the others are at Deut 32:11 and Jer 23:9. The meaning is
ambiguous. It can refer to brooding; i.e. a mother hen using her wings to keep her
chicks together, and it can refer to incubation and/or quaking, shaking, and
fluttering. Take your pick. I'd guess that the Spirit's movement was sort of like the
hen keeping the colossal chemical soup from running rampant and spreading itself
all over the place before God began putting it to use because up to that point, the
cosmos' natural laws governing matter didn't exist yet.

Gen 1:3 . . Then God said "Let there be light" and there was light.

The Earth wasn't illuminated by celestial sources till the fourth day when God
created the Sun, Moon, and Stars; so the light in this verse is controversial.

According to 2Cor 4:6 the light wasn't introduced from outside the cosmos, rather,
it came from within, i.e. the cosmos was created to be self illuminating. In other
words: God himself wasn't the light spoken into existence per Gen 1:3

In the very beginning, the Earth was chaotic, incoherent, and had neither form nor
function. As such it was unsuitable for human habitation (Isa 45:18). To get it into
a useful condition, it was necessary to subject the Earth to law and order. (cf. Prov
6:23 where law is depicted as light)

Gen 1:4a . . And God saw the light, that it was good

God didn't see the light until He said let there be light; meaning of course that
natural light didn't exist until God made it.

God declared that light is good; but He didn't declare that darkness is good. In
point of fact, darkness typically represents bad things in the Bible; while light
typically represents good things. It's been a rule of thumb from the very beginning.


NOTE: It's curious to me that most Bible students have no trouble readily
conceding that everything else in the first chapter of Genesis is natural, e.g. the
cosmos, the earth, the atmosphere, water, dry land, the Sun, the Moon, the stars,
aqua life, winged life, terra life, flora life, and human life. But when it comes to light
they choke; finding it impossible within themselves to believe that Genesis just
might be consistent in its description of the creative process.

Gen 1:4b-5a . . and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the
light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

Defining the properties of day and night may seem like a superfluous detail, but
comes in very handy for organizing the three days and nights related to Christ's
crucifixion and resurrection per Matt 12:40.
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Gen 1:5b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a first Day.

There are two primary kinds of Days in the first chapter of Genesis. One is a
creation day and the other is a natural day. It's very important to keep those two
kinds of days distinct and separate in our thinking because they are as unalike as
sand and gravel.

Creation days are a bit problematic because there were no sunrises or sunsets to be
seen on Earth till the fourth day. And-- when you think about it --a strict
chronology of evening and morning defines neither a natural day nor a calendar
day, rather, it defines overnight; viz: darkness (Lev 24:2-4). In order to obtain a
full 24-hour day, we'd have to define creation's Days as a day and a night rather
than an evening and a morning.

In other words: the evenings and mornings relative to creation days aren't solar
events. The terms are merely index flags indicating the beginning and end of an
unspecified period.

Well; thus far Genesis defines Day as a time of light rather than a 24-hour
amalgam of light and dark; plus there was no Sun to cause physical evenings and
mornings till creation's fourth Day so we have to come at this issue from another
angle apart from physical properties.

According to Gen 1:24-31, God created humans and all terra critters on the sixth
Day; which has to include prehistoric creatures because on no other Day did God
create beasts but the sixth.

However; the sciences of geology and paleontology, in combination with
radiometric dating, strongly suggest that dinosaurs preceded humans by several
million years. So then, in my estimation, the Days of creation should be taken to
represent eras rather than 24-hour events. That's not an unreasonable estimation;
for example:

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were
created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven." (Gen 2:4)

The Hebrew word for "day" in that verse is yowm (yome) which is the very same
word for each of the six Days of God's creation labors. Since yowm in Gen 2:4
refers to a period of time obviously much longer than a 24-hour calendar day; it
defends the suggestion that each of the six Days of creation were longer than 24
hours apiece too. In other words: yowm is ambiguous and not all that easy to
interpret sometimes.

Anyway; this "day" thing has been a stone in the shoe for just about everybody
who takes Genesis seriously. It's typically assumed that the Days of creation
consisted of twenty-four hours apiece; so Bible students end up stumped when
trying to figure out how to cope with the 4.5 billion-year age of the earth, and
factor in the various eras, e.g. Triassic, Jurassic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Cretaceous,
etc, plus the ice ages and the mass extinction events.


NOTE: Galileo believed that science and religion are allies rather than enemies--
two different languages telling the same story. He believed that science and religion
complement each other: science answers questions that religion doesn't bother to
answer, and religion answers questions that science cannot answer.

For example: theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking understood pretty well how the
cosmos works; but could never scientifically explain why it should exist at all. Well;
in my estimation, the only possible answer to the "why" is found in intelligent
design; which is a religious explanation rather than scientific. Religion's "why" is
satisfactory for most folks. No doubt most scientists would prefer something a bit
more empirical.
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Gen 1:6-8a . . And God said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,
and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and
divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were
above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.

We can easily guess what is meant by water that's below the sky. But is there really
water that's above it? Yes, and it's a lot! According to an article in the Sept 2013
issue of National Geographic magazine, Earth's atmosphere holds roughly 3,095
cubic miles of water in the form of vapor. That may seem like a preposterous
number of cubic miles of water; but not really when it's considered that Lake
Superior's volume alone is estimated at nearly 3,000.

Our home planet is really big; a whole lot bigger than sometimes realized. It's
surface area, in square miles, is 196,940,000. To give an idea of just how many
square miles that is: if somebody were to wrap a belt around the equator made of
one-mile squares; it would only take 24,902 squares to complete the distance;
which is a mere .012644% of the surface area.

Some of the more familiar global warming gases are carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons,
methane, and ozone. But as popular as those gases are with the media, they're bit
players in comparison to the role that ordinary water vapor plays in global
warming. By some estimates; atmospheric water vapor accounts for more than
90% of global warming; which is not a bad thing because without atmospheric
water vapor, the earth would be so cold that the only life that could exist here
would be extremophiles.

How much water is below the firmament? Well; according to the same National
Geographic article; the amount contained in swamp water, lakes and rivers, ground
water, and oceans, seas, and bays adds up to something like 326.6 million cubic
miles; and that's not counting the 5.85 million cubic miles tied up in living
organisms, soil moisture, ground ice and permafrost, ice sheets, glaciers, and
permanent snow.

To put that in perspective: a tower 326.6 million miles high would exceed the Sun's
distance better than 3.5x. It would've exceeded the distance between Mars and
Earth on July 27, 2018 by 5x.

Gen 1:8b . . And the evening and the morning were the second day.

At this point, there was no sun to cause physical evenings and mornings; so we can
safely assume that the terms are merely index flags indicating the completion of
one of creation's six-step processes and the beginning of another.

Gen 1:9 . . And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together
unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

At this point, the Earth's surface likely resembled the texture of a billiard ball so it
would remain entirely flooded were it not reshaped.

"He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered
it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your
rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains
rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a
boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth."
(Ps 104:5-9)

That passage is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. Mountains rising, and
valleys sinking speaks of magma pressure and tectonic plate subduction-- powerful
forces of nature that keep the Earth's surface in a perpetual state of alteration.

Now, it's right about here that young-earth theorists have a problem because it's
obvious from physical evidence that much of the Earth's higher elevations were
inundated for a very long time before they were pushed up to where they are now.

Take for example Mount Everest. Today its tippy top is something like 29,029 feet
above sea level. The discovery of fossilized sea lilies near its summit proves that
the Himalayan land mass has not always been mountainous; but at one time was
the floor of an ancient sea bed. This is confirmed by the "yellow band" below
Everest's summit consisting of limestone: a type of rock made from calcite
sediments containing the skeletal remains of countless trillions of organisms who
lived, not on dry land, rather, underwater in an ocean.
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Gen 1:10 . . And God called the dry ground Land; and the gathering together of
the waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good.

"good" meaning not that the land and seas are morally acceptable, but rather,
perfectly suitable for the purposes that God had in mind for them.

Gen 1:11a . . Then God said: Let the land produce vegetation

The land at this point was likely solid rock; which would require some changes to its
chemistry if it was to sustain a large variety of plant life.

Soil formation is a very slow process, sometimes taking as long as a millennium to
make just one inch; which at first would consist of little more than powdered rock.
In order for soil to become really productive, it needs organic material mixed with
it. So it's my guess that the very first vegetation that God created were species that
thrive on stone, and little by little their remains would amend the powder to
increase its fertility.

Some of the lyrics of one of AC/DC's songs says: "It's a long way to the top if you
wanna rock 'n roll". Well, it was an even longer ways to the soil from which human
life was eventually brought into viable existence.

The Hebrew word for "produce" appears in only two places in the entire Old
Testament; here and Joel 2:22. It basically means to sprout. Here and in Joel, it
refers to species of plants where none of their kind previously existed.

The variety of Earth's vegetation is boggling. It's estimated between 250,000 to
315,000 species-- that's the plants we know of but doesn't include the ones that
may have existed in the past prior to catastrophic weather conditions and extinction
events.

Gen 1:11b-12 . . seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with
seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced
vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with
seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

According to Gen 2:4-5, the land's vegetation was dormant in the beginning; it
didn't actually flourish until the atmosphere began producing moisture.


NOTE: It's believed by science that there was an era in Earth's youth called the
Carboniferous period when it was blanketed by dense jungles and forests. As those
plants and trees died, and were buried beneath layers of sediment; their unique
chemical structure caused them to be "cooked" into solid coal; and there is really a
lot of it.

Why isn't the Earth currently blanketed by dense jungles and forests? Well; the
earth's conditions today cannot produce enough humidity, nor enough rain, nor
enough global warming to sustain the kinds of heavy vegetation that once existed
in the Carboniferous era. In other words: the Earth, over time, has managed to
give itself a remarkable make-over; and at least one element of its make-over are
the mountains.

The ranges now in existence; e.g. the Andes, the Himalayas, the Rockies, the Urals,
the Appalachians, the Cascades, the Brooks Range, the Alps, etc; and the various
minor inland and coastal ranges weren't always in place where they are now. Those
were shoved up over time by the forces of tectonic subduction, volcanism, and
magma pressure. Even Yosemite's massive granite monoliths haven't always been
there. They were formed deep underground and then somehow pushed up to where
they are now.

Anyway, point being; those ranges have a very great deal to do with the Earth's
current weather systems.

Gen 1:13 . . And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
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Gen 1:14a . . God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky

On the fourth day, God spent time up in celestial regions. It might seem odd that
He began work on the surface of the Earth, and then before finishing, stopped short
and moved off into space. Why not finish building down here on the planet first?

Well; at this point in the process of creation; there was light throughout the cosmos
but it wasn't sunlight and planet Earth was very dark and freezing cold. For
example: the dark side of the Moon gets down to minus 279º F (-172.8° C) so it
was time to turn man's home into a greenhouse if anything meaningful was to live
down here.

A major player in the Earth's water cycle is evaporation, which is driven by the Sun.
By means of evaporation, the earth's atmosphere gets enough water vapor to form
the clouds that produce precipitation.

The Sun also plays a role in temperature variations that make conditions like
humidity and fog possible. Temperature variations also play a role in the process of
erosion; which assists in soil formation.

Many varieties of vegetation depend upon the annual cycle of the four seasons of
Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; seasons which would not be possible
without the Sun.

Oxygen is an essential gas for sustaining life on Earth and a very large percentage
of it is produced by photosynthesis which is a chemical process that works best in
sunlight. No doubt the original atmosphere contained oxygen enough, but that
would eventually be absorbed by oxidation and other kinds of chemical activity.
Plant life plays a major role in both filtration and replenishment; hence the need to
get a Sun shining as soon as possible.

The atmosphere contains on average 19.5 to 23.5 percent oxygen; even with all
the fossil fuel burned around the world, along with the destruction of savannas,
prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and rain forests, coupled with volcanic activity; the
percentage remain fairly stable.

Today's science is aware that the Moon doesn't generate its own light; but prior to
that discovery, people no doubt regarded the Moon as a second Sun; especially
seeing as how from the perspective of Earth, the Sun and the Moon appear to be
the same size in diameter, and both appear to circle the Earth.

Gen 1:14b . . to distinguish Day from Night;

On the first day of the creative process; God defined Day as a condition of light;
and defined Night as a condition of darkness. Here, it's further defined that Day--
as pertains to life on Earth --is distinctly separate from Night rather than a 24-hour
amalgam of light and dark.

The properties of Day and Night come out so early in the Bible that they easily
escape the memories of Bible students as they slip into the reflexive habit of always
thinking of Days as periods of one Earth rotation of 24 hours. That's okay for
calendars but can lead to mistakes when interpreting biblical schedules, predictions,
and/or chronologies, e.g. Matt 12:40.

Gen 1:14c . . they shall serve as signs for the set times-- the days and the years;

The Hebrew word for "set times" is sometimes translated relative to specific
calendar dates wherein people assemble for special occasions and/or events.

No doubt it didn't take early man long to discover that celestial objects are
repetitive, i.e. the same ones move across the sky over and over again: a perpetual
loop that can be used for the basis of a calendar.

While the Sun is useful for keeping track of solar increments, the Moon is useful for
marking off lunar increments. For example: were you to tell somebody your
intention to visit them in five Moons, they would have a pretty good idea when to
get ready for your arrival; so long as you both used a common definition of "moon".
To some, a moon is New Moon, while for others a moon indicates Full Moon.

* Years in the Old Testament are sometimes based upon a 30-day month; and3
they're not always marked by the Sun's position in space relative to the stars. More
about this later when we get to Noah.
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Gen 1:15-18a . . and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine
upon the Earth. And it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to
dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. And God
set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the Earth, to dominate the day
and the night, and to distinguish light from darkness.

At this point in biblical history, "stars" no doubt indicates all luminous objects in the
heavens seeing as how it would be a very long time before humanity began
categorizing some of the stars as planets.

I think it's important to emphasize that in the beginning God "set" the stars in the
sky just as he set the Sun and the Moon in the sky, i.e. celestial objects didn't
arrange themselves all by themselves sans any intelligent supervision whatsoever;
no, they were placed; and not only were they set in place, but also set in motion--
nothing in the entire cosmos is standing still, though many things appear to be.

According to Gen 1:15, stars illuminated the Earth on the "day" that God made
them.

Well; the only stars whose shine is of any practical use as illumination are those of
the Milky Way; which is estimated 100,000 to 180,000 light years in diameter.
Obviously then; if left entirely up to nature, light from stars nearest our location in
the galaxy would begin dousing the earth with illumination long before those at the
far side.

For example, light from Alpha Centauri takes only about 4½ years to reach Earth
while light from Alpha Orionis (a.k.a. Betelgeuse) takes about 640. There are quite
a few stars whose illumination reaches Earth in less than 50 years. But whether 4½
years, 50 years, 640 years, or 180,000 years; the time involved is insignificant if
we but allow that the days of creation were eras rather than 24-hour events.

But what's the point of putting all those objects out there in space? Well, for one
thing, they're not only brain teasers; but they're actually quite pretty. Celestial
objects decorate the night sky like the ornamentation people put up during
holidays. The night sky would sure be a bore if it was totally black. Decorated with
stars; the night sky is like a beautiful tapestry, or a celestial Sistine Chapel.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky proclaims His handiwork." (Ps 19:2)

The universe makes better sense that way than to try and find some other meaning
for it. Objects in space are simply a magnificent works of art-- just as intriguing, if
not more so, than the works of Picasso, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Monet, Vermeer,
and/or da Vinci --testifying to the genius of an imagination without peer.

Sadly, a number of very intelligent people like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson
look to the sky for the wrong reasons. Why not just look to the sky for inspiration
instead of only exploration and discovery? What's so bad about visiting the sky as a
Guggenheim or a Louvre displaying your maker's many-faceted talents?

"For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it
evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of
eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what
He has made." (Rom 1:19-20)


BTW: God has actually counted all the stars above, and given each one a name.
(Ps 147:4)

Gen 1:18b-19 . . And God saw that this was good. And there was evening and
there was morning, a fourth day.
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Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament
of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth,
which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl
after his kind:

The Hebrew word translated "bring forth abundantly" is somewhat ambiguous. It
can speak of swarms and it can also speak of production. If we choose production,
then it would mean God constructed aqua life and winged life from nothing more
than water.

One of the essential elements for the construction of organic life is carbon. Well;
sea water contains that element, along with several others.

Distilled water contains little more than hydrogen and oxygen, whereas untreated
fresh water contains quite a few useful elements that it picks up from interaction
with soils and rocks; so either salty or fresh would've been suitable.

The Hebrew word translated "winged fowl" just simply means covered with wings.
It's a rather ambiguous word because it includes not only creatures with feathers,
but according to Lev 11:13-23, it also pertains to bats and flying insects.

What did those early flyers look like? Well; I suggest that at least some of them
had to be Pterosaurs because on no other day but the fifth did God bring about
critters with wings. Precisely when and/or how God phased out those early skin
winged creatures is one of science's thorniest mysteries. It's reasonable to assume
that whatever exterminated the Pterosaurs should have exterminated everything
else with wings too; but somehow birds, bats, and flying bugs are still with us.

It's important to note that winged creatures were just as distinct a creation as aqua
creatures. So winged creatures didn't evolve from creatures who once lived in the
sea. Winged creatures are a separate genre of life in their own right, and absolutely
did not evolve from some other order of life.

The Hebrew word translated "great whales" basically means a marine or land
monster. It's sometimes translated "dragon" as in Isa 27:1


NOTE: Bible scholars are not always confident how best to represent a Hebrew
word with the English alphabet. In point of fact, there are ancient Hebrew words
that nobody really knows what they mean so translators are forced to take
educated guesses here and there in order to fill in the text.

"every living creature that moveth" would include not only critters that swim but
also critters that creep, e.g. starfish, lobsters, crayfish, newts, clams, and crabs et
al.

But what about aquatic dinosaurs? Well; according to Discovery's web site "Walking
With Dinosaurs" paleontologists believe there were some amphibious reptiles such
as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, but those creatures didn't have the gills necessary
to be truly aquatic like Nemo and his dad Marlin.

Gen 1:21b . . And God saw that this was good.

In other words: He was satisfied.

The Hebrew word for "good" in this instance is horribly ambiguous. It's meanings
range from morally good, to good looking, to a job well done, to something that's
good to the taste; and to a whole lot of other things in between; e.g. a good show,
good food, as good as it gets, satisfactory, pleasing; etc, etc.

Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and increase,

This is the very first place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for "bless" shows up.
It's somewhat ambiguous, but in this case I think it's pretty safe to assume that it
means to furnish freely or naturally with some power, quality, or attribute; i.e.
provide, endow, and/or empower. In other words: the blessing of fertility was a
providential act; and no doubt included microscopic creatures as well as those
visible to the naked eye.
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Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament
of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth,
which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl
after his kind:

The Hebrew word translated "bring forth abundantly" is somewhat ambiguous. It
can speak of swarms and it can also speak of production. If we choose production,
then it would mean God constructed aqua life and winged life from nothing more
than water.

One of the essential elements for the construction of organic life is carbon. Well;
sea water contains that element, along with several others.

Distilled water contains little more than hydrogen and oxygen, whereas untreated
fresh water contains quite a few useful elements that it picks up from interaction
with soils and rocks; so either salty or fresh would've been suitable.

The Hebrew word translated "winged fowl" just simply means covered with wings.
It's a rather ambiguous word because it includes not only creatures with feathers,
but according to Lev 11:13-23, it also pertains to bats and flying insects.

What did those early flyers look like? Well; I suggest that at least some of them
had to be Pterosaurs because on no other day but the fifth did God bring about
critters with wings. Precisely when and/or how God phased out those early skin
winged creatures is one of science's thorniest mysteries. It's reasonable to assume
that whatever exterminated the Pterosaurs should have exterminated everything
else with wings too; but somehow birds, bats, and flying bugs are still with us.

It's important to note that winged creatures were just as distinct a creation as aqua
creatures. So winged creatures didn't evolve from creatures who once lived in the
sea. Winged creatures are a separate genre of life in their own right, and absolutely
did not evolve from some other order of life.

The Hebrew word translated "great whales" basically means a marine or land
monster. It's sometimes translated "dragon" as in Isa 27:1


NOTE: Bible scholars are not always confident how best to represent a Hebrew
word with the English alphabet. In point of fact, there are ancient Hebrew words
that nobody really knows what they mean so translators are forced to take
educated guesses here and there in order to fill in the text.

"every living creature that moveth" would include not only critters that swim but
also critters that creep, e.g. starfish, lobsters, crayfish, newts, clams, and crabs et
al.

But what about aquatic dinosaurs? Well; according to Discovery's web site "Walking
With Dinosaurs" paleontologists believe there were some amphibious reptiles such
as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, but those creatures didn't have the gills necessary
to be truly aquatic like Nemo and his dad Marlin.

Gen 1:21b . . And God saw that this was good.

In other words: He was satisfied.

The Hebrew word for "good" in this instance is horribly ambiguous. It's meanings
range from morally good, to good looking, to a job well done, to something that's
good to the taste; and to a whole lot of other things in between; e.g. a good show,
good food, as good as it gets, satisfactory, pleasing; etc, etc.

Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and increase,

This is the very first place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for "bless" shows up.
It's somewhat ambiguous, but in this case I think it's pretty safe to assume that it
means to furnish freely or naturally with some power, quality, or attribute; i.e.
provide, endow, and/or empower. In other words: the blessing of fertility was a
providential act; and no doubt included microscopic creatures as well as those
visible to the naked eye.
_
Thanks I like your insights it makes me put on my thinking cap lol.
 
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Gen 1:22b . . fill the waters in the seas, and let the winged creatures increase on
the earth.

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

Aqua creatures exist in the most unlikely places. When the crew of the bathyscaphe
Trieste descended into the 35,761 feet Challenger Deep located in the deepest part
of the Mariana Trench in 1960, they didn't really expect to find anything living down
there; but to their surprise, they saw a flat fish similar to sole and flounder.

Gen 1:23 . . And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

We've come now to the sixth day when all terra life was created; including humans.

Gen 1:24-25 . .Then God said: Let the earth bring forth living creatures after
their kind-- cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind, And
it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle
after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God
saw that it was good.

This grouping of creatures isn't specifically given the blessing of fertility; but if God
would bless aqua creatures and those with wings, why ever would He not bless the
terra species too who are just as important? But since they've been reproducing all
this time, then I'd have to say there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support
the assumption that they too were empowered to reproduce.

The Hebrew word for "living" basically indicates existing as life as opposed to
existing as non life.

The word makes it first appearance at Gen 1:20 in reference to aqua creatures and
winged creatures; and many times in the Old Testament thereafter; including
fifteen times in reference to the Creator; e.g. Jer 10:10, indicating that Man's
maker is a living being as opposed to a totem pole or a mythical fantasy. There is a
very large number of instances recorded in the Old Testament where the Creator
speaks of Himself as "I am".

"creeping things" is translated from a Hebrew word which, according to Psalm
104:25, tells of not only creatures that live on land, but also those that live in
water, which are apparently creatures that skitter, slither, or hop rather than bound
and/or gallop; which suggests that the word is somewhat ambiguous and not all
that easy to classify; in point of fact, it could even include amphibious critters.

Terra critters weren't created ex nihilo; rather, from the very land upon which they
live; i.e. God used earthly materials and ingredients already at hand to construct
them. Neat-O. Not only are the various plants and animals indigenous to planet
Earth; but they are part of it too and blend right back in when they die and
decompose.

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

Cattle refers to mute beasts (a.k.a. dumb animals) --the herd species from which
came those that can be domesticated for Man's uses. They can pull plows and3
wagons, provide tallow for candles and soap, and hide and wool for clothes, meat
and dairy for table, carry loads, and transport people from place to place on their
backs. (Probably one of the better things that Spain did for Native Americans was
make it possible for them to have horses.)

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

No doubt some of us would be happy if a few of the creeping species had not been
created, e.g. scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, tarantulas, fleas, ticks, ants; et
al.


NOTE: Missing from the list of created life is the world of microscopic creatures, e.g.
Cryptozoa and Phyla, which suggests the list is limited to life with which people
would be most familiar. Until the invention of optics, the world of the very small
was unknown.
_
 
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Gen 1:26a . . And God said: Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness.

Similar language is employed at Gen 5:3 describing Adam's son Seth; suggesting
that the boy was an assembly-line duplicate of his dad; which is highly unlikely.

The Hebrew word translated "Man" in this case, simply refers to all human life
regardless of age, race, or gender (Gen 5:1-2). It's actually a specie name rather
than a proper name. Its Greek equivalent in the New Testament is anthropos
(anth'-ro-pos) which, again, refers to all human life regardless of age, race, or
gender.

The thing is: humans are material beings whereas God's characteristics are those of
a ghost, i.e. spirit. (John 4:24) so mankind and God are very much unalike in their
appearance.

Adam came into being as a "living soul" which we find later indicates consciousness,
self awareness, and individuality. The critters were created as living souls too, but
none of them are said to be in the image and likeness of God.

The big difference between mankind and the animal kingdom is morality. Mankind
was created moral whereas the critters were created amoral. Mankind was intended
to be responsible, whereas the other critters have no clue pertaining to
responsibility.

Mankind then has the ability to contemplate the repercussions of its actions,
whereas the animal kingdom's various behaviors are driven by instincts.

Gen 1:26b . . and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air,
over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along
the ground.

Nobody in their right mind would entrust the care of all life on earth to an amoral
beast; which is exactly what mankind would've been had God not created them like
Himself, i.e. beings with a sense of responsibility.


NOTE: The introduction of the plural pronouns "us" and "our" into the narrative at
this point has given rise to some interesting speculation regarding the identities of
the antecedents.

Deut 6:4 says God is a singularity. But until the 'us" and the "our" of Gen 1:26 and
Gen 3:22 are positively identified; we must insist that God wears more than one
hat; and thus far those hats have been Himself (Gen 1:1) His spirit (Gen 1:2) and
His voice (Gen 1:3).

* God's voice is notable because John 1:1-3 tells of a divine being involved in the
work of creation called The Word; translated from a Greek noun that basically
refers to speech.

The Hebrew word translated "rule" basically means to tread down, i.e. subjugate;
specifically: to crumble off.

I saw a pretty interesting bumper sticker some time ago that went like this:

We Are Not Above The Earth;
We Are of the Earth.

Well . . I respect Native America's cultural sentiment underlying that statement;
and must admit that I agree with it to a certain extent. But the creator decreed that
though Man is of the earth; he is very definitely above it too, and has the God
given authority to subjugate every living thing on the planet including its forests, its
grasses, its rivers, its seas, its soil, its rocks, its air, its minerals, its mountains, its
valleys, and even its tectonic plates and the earth's very atmosphere itself.
According to Heb 2:8, humanity is on track to dominate even more.
_
 
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Interesting fact about "Genesis" I don't think most people realize. When you use the English word "Genesis" in reference, you are actually witnessing to a Greek source. The Hebrew/English word for the same writing is "Beresheet".

The same is true of various English "Biblical" references. Many of them come to English directly from Greek. Not Hebrew. Which itself denotes the influence of the Greek OT.
 
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Continuing from No.12

Gen 1:27a . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He
created him;

Seeing as how Man is a physical being whereas God is a spirit being, then we are
safe to conclude that Man's image and likeness of God isn't as some sort of
duplication, rather, that Man exhibits some of God's characteristics, e.g. He's
sentient, regulated, responsible, intelligent, sociable, verbal, imaginative, artistic,
resourceful, and conscionable.

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

We live in a time of gender dysphoria wherein folks are defying both their
chromosomes and their natural physical structure-- the non binary folk preferring
no gender at all.

There's a term for people who believe themselves to be someone and/or something
other than what and/or who they really are. I think it might be called Dissociative
Disorder. There was a time when society confined people with those kinds of
conditions to psychiatric facilities for observation and therapy, but nowadays
political correctness requires that they be "included".


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

Some women would be offended by association with a male pronoun but it's a
biblical designation nonetheless. Regardless of one's natural gender, all human
beings are mankind and can be legitimately referred to as a him or as a he because
all of us, regardless of gender, are extensions of a solo specimen; including Eve
because she was made with human material taken from a male's body. Bible
students really have to watch for that because when they run across the word
"man" and/or "men" in the Bible, it doesn't always indicate males only.
_
 
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Gen 1:28a . . God blessed them and God said to them: Be fruitful and increase,

Some interpret that verse to be an edict requiring married people to have children;
and that they have no business getting married for any other reason. But the
wording is so obviously a blessing rather than a law.

It's always best to regard blessings as benefits, approval, and/or empowerment
unless clearly indicated otherwise. Some blessings have to be merited (e.g. Deut
28:1-13) but not this one. It was neither requested nor was it earned-- it was
freely given without any strings attached and nothing asked in return.

Without the empowerment of fertility, Man would be just as sterile as a soup spoon.
So it was a very essential blessing. And a very interesting blessing it is because the
blessing of fertility empowers living things to pass their own kind of life on to a next
generation. God quit creating after six days. So unless creatures were enabled to
reproduce, all would soon die out and become quite extinct in a very short time.

Libido therefore, is an essential element of the blessing of fertility. God intended for
His creatures to reproduce; and to ensure that they did, He wired them all with an
attraction to the opposite sex of their own kind rather than instilling within them a
sense of duty.

It isn't necessary to cajole creatures to mate; no, they will do so on their own,
propelled by built-in sensual proclivities and predilections. Had libido not been
included in the blessing, human life would've become an endangered species within
just a few generations. Anybody familiar with the birds and bees understands very
well that attraction is crucial to multiplication.

Gen 1:28b . . fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of
the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.

The Hebrew word for "master" emphasizes coercion and force; and means: to
disregard; to conquer, and to violate.

The word for "rule" means: to tread down; to subjugate.

Those two Hebrew words combined leave no room for doubt regarding Man's
supremacy in the sphere of things. God blessed humanity with the authority to
dominate planet Earth at will, and exploit it to his own advantage. Man answers to
no plant nor animal on this entire globe. The whole Earth is within the scope of
humanity's purview. If aliens ever come here unannounced, they can be arrested
for trespassing, and/or charged for parking because the Earth is Adam's world; and
there's more to his domain than meets the eye.

"For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under
him." (Heb 2:6-8)

Gen 1:29-30 . . God said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon
all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for
food. And to all the animals on land, to all the winged creatures of the sky, and to
everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the breath of life, I give all the
green plants for food. And it was so.

Prior to the Flood; humans, beasts, creepy crawlies, and winged creatures too--
even the lions and tigers and hawks and eagles and pythons, vultures and
crocodiles --subsisted on vegetation. Precisely what kind of diet God intended for
aqua life isn't stated. But even today there are a number of aquatic species of
vegetation important to the survival of a variety of creatures that live in water.

That raises an interesting question: why do carnivores have teeth so uniquely
suited for killing other creatures and ripping their flesh? Well, I think it's clear they
didn't use their teeth like that at first.

For example; buck-toothed beavers have incisors that could take your hand off but
they don't use them for that purpose. Male musk deer have saber-like upper canine
teeth and their diet is moss and grass and sometimes twigs and lichen. And
everybody knows about Wally the walrus' big ol' tusks; which he doesn't use to kill
his food, but rather, to plow up the sea bottom in search of his favorite mollusks.

Though the fossilized remains of a therapsid called Tiarajudens eccentricus exhibits
saber tusks, it is believed to have efficiently chewed leaves and stems with
interlocking incisors and cow-like molars.

In the future kingdom of God, carnivores won't be carnivorous any more, and
nothing in the animal kingdom will any longer pose a danger to either Man or to
each other. (Isa 11:6-9)
_
 
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Gen 1:31 . . And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And
there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Some feel that the cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --was
created incomplete, not quite up to snuff: that it was to Man that God entrusted the
task of putting on the finishing touches. But that is very doubtful. Why ever would
God, after an overall inspection, conclude His work by pronouncing it all good-- and
not just good, but "very" good. Why would He say the creation was very good if in
truth it was incomplete?

In reality, humans haven't improved the planet at all. They've actually ravaged
Earth and left it with terrible damage-- leveled mountains, dried up rivers, emptied
lakes, drained marshes, indiscriminately obliterated habitat, wiped out animals to
extinction, scraped away perfectly good cropland and replaced it with warehouses
and factories and malls and residential communities.

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

Denuded watersheds have caused unnecessary erosion and stream sedimentation.
Man dams rivers, thus disrupting ancient fish migrations. He's over-exploited
natural resources, filled the atmosphere with toxins and greenhouse gas emissions,
poisoned aquifers, contaminated soil and waterways with chemical fertilizers,
pesticides, and herbicides; littered the oceans with billions of pounds of plastic
debris, (India's sacred river Ganges alone deposits an estimated 6,000 tons of
plastic annually into the Bay of Bengal) made possible super germs, and seriously
upset the balance of nature.

It seems that most everything the Adams touch, they ruin; and as if the Earth isn't
enough, they've moved out into space where in the years since Russia launched its
first Sputnik into low Earth orbit on Oct 04, 1957, humans have littered the sky
around their planet with 13,000 catalogued pieces of space junk, which is only a
fraction of the more than 600,000 objects circling the globe larger than one
centimeter (a centimeter is a little over 3/8ths of an inch). Humans have even
discarded 374,782 pounds of litter on the Moon, including the golf balls that
astronaut Alan Shepherd left behind.

So; when God looked over His work and "found" that it was very good, does that
mean He was surprised it came out like it did? (chuckle) No. It would be a strange
craftsman indeed who couldn't look over their work with satisfaction in a job well
done.

I believe the universe's architect knew precisely what He was doing, and where He
was going with His work; and was highly pleased that it came out exactly as
planned. I seriously doubt that God was feeling His way along like experimenters in
medicine and chemistry. Nobody could build a fully functioning cosmos and all of its
forms of life, matter, and energy unless they knew what they were doing from
beginning to end.
_
 
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Gen 2:1-2 . .The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the
seventh day God finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the
seventh day from all the work that He had done. And God blessed the seventh day
and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He
had done.

The seventh day memorialized the completion of creation. However, although it was
made a holy day, it wasn't made a day of obligation until quite a few years later:
after Noah's flood, and not till the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with
God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

An important thing to note is that God is still on sabbatical, viz: the other six days
were bounded by an evening and a morning whereas the seventh isn't bounded;
indicating that it hasn't ended, i.e. God has yet to pick up where He left off and
begin adding to the current grand scheme of things. (cf. Ecc 1:9-10)

The seventh day of the civil week was eventually labeled "sabbath" which is from a
Hebrew word that basically means intermission, i.e. a pause. It became an
important day for Jews (Ex 31:16-17) but has never been made a special day for
Gentiles, that is; unless they immigrate to Israel; wherein a one day pause in folks'
weekly routines are supposed to be the law of the land. (Deut 5:12-14)

A day off once a week is not only humane, but also reminds the Jews that the
cosmos-- all its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of intelligent
design. It also reminds them that the God of their providence is extremely strong.
In point of fact: Abraham knew their God as 'El Shadday (Gen 17:1) the God of
every kind of power and control that can be named, and then some: an
unstoppable juggernaut beyond compare.

"Is anything too hard for The Lord?" (Gen 18:14)

Gen 2:4 . .These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they
were created, in the day that The Lord God made earth and heaven.

The Hebrew word for "day" in that verse is yowm (yome) which is the very same
word for each of the six days of God's creation labors. Since yowm here refers to a
period of time obviously much longer than a 24-hour calendar day; it justifies
suggesting that each of the six days of creation were eras of indeterminate length.

Gen 2:4 is the very first time in Scripture where the name YHVH appears. The
correct pronunciation is currently unknown. Sometimes it's pronounced Yehovah,
sometimes Jehovah, and sometimes Yahweh.

The appellation is so sacred among pious Jews that they make every effort to avoid
speaking it except under very special circumstances. In some of their writings, in
order to avoid using the four sacred letters comprising the tetragrammaton, they
write instead "The Name" and/or sometimes "Hashem". So Ex 20:3 could be
written: "I, The Name, am your god" or "I, Hashem, am your god."

YHVH is commonly referred to with masculine pronouns because He's a king; and
kings are always males rather than females; e.g. Isa 44:6.

Gen 2:5 . . and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb
of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the
earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Bible students have to exercise caution when reading that section in order to avoid
making the mistake of concluding that human life was created prior to vegetation;
when we know for a fact from the day-by-day account in the first chapter that
humans were the very last to be put on earth. Gen 2:4-7 is only saying that when
God created vegetation on day three, it wasn't permitted to flourish right away.

Gen 2:6 . . a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the
ground.

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

Had God brought rain prior to flourishing ground cover, the land would have eroded
something awful and millions of cubic yards of perfectly good dirt would have
washed into creeks, and streams, and rivers to be carried out to sea where it would
be lost in perpetuity. Water in the form of dew, fog, humidity and vapor is a whole
lot more gentle on bare ground than falling water and/or running water.
(California's coastal redwoods obtain a large percentage of their moisture from fog.)
_
 
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Gen 2:7a . . And the Lord God formed a man's body

Mankind's creator didn't give birth to humanity like women give birth to children or
baby chicks hatch from eggs; no, humans aren't God's biological progeny-- humans
are God's handiwork like the glass products manufactured by craftsmen in Murano;
where they make things from scratch using mostly sand for their base material.

Gen 2:7b . . from the dust of the ground

The Hebrew word for "ground" basically refers to soil, viz: the human body wasn't
created ex nihilo; God constructed it from already-existing physical matter.

Some of the ground's minerals are derived from the disintegration of meteors that
burn up in the atmosphere-- commonly referred to as star dust. But that only
accounts for a small percentage. The bulk of ground's parent materials come from
the disintegration of the Earth's own rocks which are, and were, formed
underground and end up on or near the surface via natural processes like
volcanism, continental plate subduction, and mighty earthquakes, etc. Once on the
surface, the action of wind, water, and temperature begin to erode rock and make
dust with it.

God could've-- had He wanted --created h.sapiens from nothing more than stone.
(cf. Luke 19:37-40 and Matt 3:9)


NOTE: Sooner or later most people eventually run afoul of the passage below so I
think it best to include it in our discussion of the creation story.

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul
knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in
secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see
my substance, yet being incomplete; and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Ps
139:14-16)

The Hebrew word for "curiously wrought" has to do with skilled needlework, i.e.
embroidering, knitting, etc, which produce multicolored handmade articles rather
than made by machines; suggesting that the human body with all of its intricacies
was crafted by the hand of God.

The Hebrew words for "lowest parts of the earth" always, and without exception,
refer to the netherworld; viz: underground. (e.g. Ps 63:9, Isa 44:23, Ezek 26:20,
Ezek 31:14, Ezek 31:16, Ezek 31:18, Ezek 32:18, and Ezek 32:24)

Some folk prefer to apply Ps 139:15 to a woman's womb; but women don't have to
go underground to get pregnant. No; I think it best, and far more sensible, to
interpret it as relating to the author's creation rather than his conception because
everyone is made, and has been made, from a Hebrew word pertaining to soil,
which contains materials derived from the disintegration of the Earth's own rocks.

Many of the Earth's rocks are, and were, formed underground and end up on or
near the surface via natural processes like volcanism, continental plate subduction,
and mighty earthquakes, etc. Once on the surface, the action of wind, water, and
temperature begin to erode rock and make dust with it.

In a nutshell: The author of Ps 139:14-16 believed that God saw his bodily
constituents while they were not yet even soil but were still underground, deep in
the Earth where they were being formed into rock which would later be broken
down to make the soil with which Adam's body was constructed per Gen 2:7.

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

If the breath of life were atmospheric gases, it would be possible to revive a corpse
with artificial respiration; so we have to conclude that this particular breath is an
energy vastly more powerful than anything found in nature.

The breath of life isn't unique to humans. Every creature aboard the ark with Noah
was alive due to the breath of life, and every creature that drowned in the Flood
too. (Gen 7:12-23)
_
 
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Gen 2:7d . . and Man became a living soul.

POW! From soil to soul in one magic moment: sort of like Pinocchio.

The Hebrew word translated "soul" isn't unique to human beings. Its first
appearance is at Gen 1:20-21 in reference to aqua creatures and winged creatures;
again at Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and wild beasts;
and again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature; and yet again at Gen 9:10 to classify
every living thing aboard Noah's ark.

Soul is somewhat ambiguous. It can be said that creatures are souls and also that
they have souls. But here in the beginning, nephesh (neh'-fesh) simply refers to
consciousness, individuality, and self awareness, i.e. sentient existence.

All fauna life was created sentient in the book of Genesis. However, I've yet to
discover a passage in the Bible indicating that flora life was created sentient, ergo:
flora life isn't self aware; flora life has no soul.

So then it's safe to say Man is a person, and it's safe to say that parakeets and
meerkats are persons (in their own way) but it would likely be unwise to posit that
turnips, saguaro cactus, and kelp are persons because it's necessary to be a soul
and/or have a soul, in order to qualify as a person.


NOTE: According to Matt 10:28, the body and the soul are perishable. However;
though the body is perishable by any means, the soul is perishable only by divine
means; i.e. the deaths of body and soul aren't necessarily simultaneous, viz: the
soul lives on until such a time as God decides to give it either a thumb up or a
thumb down.

Gen 2:8a . .The Lord God planted a garden in Eden,

The Hebrew word for "garden" pertains to a garden as fenced (or possibly just a
tract with definite boundaries and dimensions). If walled, I assume to protect it
from foraging animals; which makes sense seeing as how the garden would be
Adam's primary food source. I'm guessing it was very likely a full-blown farm
complete with grains, vegetables, and orchards; and meant for husbandry.

Gen 2:8b . . in the east

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

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

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

The word "Eden" basically means pleasure, and delight. So Adam's farm was in a
very nice location and we could, if we had a mind to, name his spread Happy Valley
or Pleasant Acres.

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

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

Man came into being by the designs of a superior intelligence who looked out for
the unique little creature made in His own image right from the first, and got him
off to a good start; which was fortunate because at that point in time, humans were
an endangered species seeing as how there was only one breeding pair in
existence.
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.
Gen 2:9b . . with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,

The tree of life doesn't give life; for that we need the breath of life. Nor does the
tree prevent death as if it were a vaccine. According to Gen 3:22 and Rev 22:2 the
tree is a remedy for whatever ails you including, apparently, the aging process.
Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop
the human body from falling apart is currently unknown.

A very active field of modern scientific research in our own time is gerontology--
the study of age. As yet, gerontologists have no significant understanding of why
our bodies deteriorate, and therefore no clue as to what treatments, or nutrients
might be employed to keep it youthful.

* It's very possible the tree of life existed as a grove rather than a solo specimen
because according to Gen 1:11, fruit-bearing vegetation was meant to reproduce.
Same goes for all the other trees, including the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil.

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

The Hebrew word translated "good" is ambiguous. It isn't limited to morals, ethics,
or scruples. Even a tasty meal or an entertaining movie can be good.

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

From the gist of upcoming verses, it's readily apparent that this particular
knowledge of good and bad pertains to an intuitive sense of right and wrong, viz:
righteous and unrighteous, decent and indecent, proper and improper, appropriate
and inappropriate, guilt and innocence.

Though Man was created intelligent; he was basically uneducated. His conscience
was intended to be conditioned via Divine tutelage (e.g. Rom 12:2) rather than trial
and error and/or by self initiative; and certainly not by doing something patently
foolish like experimenting with fruit from a tree known to be unsuitable for human
consumption.
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