Weekly Bible Studies, part 2 -- Adam's Tablet
Weekly Bible Studies, beginning
Weekly Bible Studies, part 3
January 8, 2009 -- Beginning Adam's Tablet; Genesis 2:4b - 14
January 15, 2009 -- Genesis 2:15 to introduction to Chapter 3
January 22, 2009 -- cancelled due to our son's illness
January 29, 2009 -- Genesis 3, part 1
February 5, 2009 -- special evening
February 13, 2009 -- watched Fireproof (see review)
August 28, September 4, 2009 -- Genesis 4 - 5:1a
January 8, 2009 -- Genesis 2:4b - 14 [note: although these studies are being written up as essays, they are the products of a lot of discussion as well as Barry's and Helen's presentations during the Bible studies themselves.]
Genesis 2:4b-7; Genesis 2:8; Genesis 2:9; Genesis 2:10-14
The first tablet ends at Genesis 2:4a: This is the account of the generation of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Keep in mind here that the word 'generation' is being used in its old, original form and meaning. "To generate" means "to start" or "to begin." So Genesis 2:4a is looking BACK and concluding the narrative of creation.
Then Adam's tablet starts. Could Adam write? He claims he could. When he closes his tablet in Genesis 5:1a, he uses the word "sepher" which means "book, writing". This is the writing [book] of the generation of Adam [man]. That is the literal translation.
Let's start with Adam's tablet. There is an interesting note about his opening. Here it is from the NIV, although any of the translations will certainly do:
NIV: When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens -- and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground -- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
In the middle of this passage, marked off by the dashes in the NIV, is an interruption. It is called a 'parenthetic,' or word of explanation which is inserted into the original. Look at the same passage this way:
When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens -- and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground -- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The original verse was evidently intended to be: When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
This beginning passage, or sentence, harks back immediately to the tablet before it, showing where it takes up the narrative. This will be noticed in the following tablets as well. They each take up the narrative where the last one left off. In this way the order of the tablets cannot be confused.
Before we discuss that opening, however, where did the parenthetic come from? And is it important? The insertion, the parenthetic, contains Egyptian loan words and an Egyptian style. It was evidently put there, under God's direction, by Moses. It was a word of explanation which was important for us to know. There are a few times in Genesis where we see insertions -- short notes of explanation. This is apparently the longest one, though.
And it is important. It is also very widely misunderstood. First of all, look at the timing. There was no rain BEFORE there were shrubs or man to work the ground. It does NOT say there was no rain after! It is tradition to think there was no rain until Noah's Flood, but the Bible nowhere indicates that! Skipping ahead to the Flood for a moment, and after, please note that when God said He would put His rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant with the earth, not to destroy it with such a flood again, that the rainbow was to go IN THE CLOUDS. When does that happen? When rain comes and then breaks up during the day. Rain cannot come during the day unless the clouds are diven over the land during the day. This happens because of something called Hadley Cells and the jet streams. And these happen because of our earth's axis tilt. If the earth's axis were not tilted, the waters evaporating during the day from the seas would simply cool and then rain down again at night. If there were any rain on the land at all, and there may have been, it would have been at night. Remember that Noah's Flood was forty DAYS and forty nights. It continued on and on. What was new, after the Flood, was an axis tilt which not only produced the seasons, which are also mentioned after the Flood, but drove the rain-laden clouds over the land during the days.
What the parenthetic inserted by Moses or his scribe tells us, however, was that there was a time before plants, and before man, when water was coming up from the earth and everything was being wet by it. There was, as yet, at that time, no rain.
There is a second important point implied by this parenthetic, however. Why does water go UP? Water normally obeys gravity and goes DOWN. But if water goes up, it is being forced up, and that means pressure. Pressure means heat. This means water was being heated. Now, no matter which origin of the physical earth you prefer, the common knowledge among geologists of all stripes is that radioactive materials were under the crust initially, and not on the surface. In the plasma model we have presented, this also holds true. The plasma model, additionally, indicates that as God stretched the initially very hot heavens, things cooled off. This cooling means the earth started initially cool, as Genesis also indicates, but that the initial very rapid atomic processes caused the fast radio decay of the heavy elements in the cores of the planets. On earth (as well as on some of the other planets, and this will be discussed later), this heating drove water out of the rocks and minerals and out of the crystal lattices of crystals. The rapidity of this initial radioactive heating is indicated by Moses' parenthetic -- that before the middle of day three -- before any plants were here, water was already being driven up out of the ground to water it.
The parenthetic was placed here, again under God's direction, because of some of the material Adam wrote which follows almost immediately.
Before that, however, let's go back to Adam's original statement opening his tablet:
When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
First of all, man's body was formed. It was not a newly created thing. We all accept now, from our high school classes, that the elements we know are the building blocks of everything physical. This would have been laughed to scorn just a few hundred years ago. And yet that is precisely what the Bible is saying. That from the elements, or dust, of the earth, man's body was formed. The Bible is, again, thousands of years ahead of science. Adam's passage also states that life comes from God Himself. This also will be important to note in a moment.
One last point about this is the word translated 'breath of life.' It is 'nephesh,' which is also translated 'soul.' This the large, air-breathing animals also have. But God said He was CREATING (bara) man in HIS own image, so man is shown to be a tripartate being: body, soul, and spirit. Many people think the soul and spirit are one thing, but that disagrees with something else written in the Bible in Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
We think perhaps God gave us an interesting picture of the makeup of man in the archtecture of the Tabernacle, and, later, the Temple. When we look at either from the outside, what is seen is one edifice, quite impressive, but one large thing:
However, we are aware of something more important as we look more closely:
There is a building in the center, which looks like one building:
In front of this building are two very important things: the altar of sacrifice and the 'sea' or large circular container of water.
But even though this building looks like one, it is divided inside into two distinct parts:
Inside is the Holy Place, and separated from that is the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place. It is in the Holy of Holies that God's Shekinah Glory Cloud touched down, in both Moses Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple:
In the model of the Tabernacle and of the Temple, we have a model of the human being: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have receivbed from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Let's look at these three parts of man:
Spirit -- Proverbs 20:27 says in the original Hebrew "The spirit in man is the radiance of the Lord." Our spirits are meant to be the divine residence of God in man. In the unsaved person, the Holy Spirit is absent and the spirit of the man remains dark. It is still there, but dark. However, we can read from Romans 2 that these people still have a conscience and they still understand right and wrong. In Romans 7, Paul graphically describes the struggle these people go through, knowing the right and wanting the right but being slaves to sin and their own desires, and thus being unable to DO what is truly right. Animals, not having spirit, do not have this struggle. Primarily, they have instincts, which they are programmed to obey. They can also be trained, which does mean they can obey or disobey -- a characteristic of nephesh, or the soul -- but they are not internally spirits, which we are, knowing there is such a thing as right for the sake of right and wrong for the sake of wrong. The Bible is very clear in that man is an entirely distinct creation from animals, having something they don't have at all, thus indicating an unbridgeable gulf between man and animal.
Soul -- The Hebrew word translated 'soul' in the Bible is 'nephesh.' This word also translates into heart, mind, and will. It is often translated 'heart' as in Deuteronomy 4:29: "But if...you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart, even with all your soul." The soul is also identified with emotions: "Let not your heart be troubled" Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:1. In Matthew 9:4, He asks, "Why think you evil in your hearts." This indicates the soul is also identified with the mind. and in Daniel 1:18, we read that Daniel "purposed in his heart," indicating the soul is where we also have our wills. So while the spirit of man is where the Holy Spirit resides when a man is born again, lighting up the life of that man, the soul of man is where his mind, heart, emotions, and will originate.
Body -- less needs to be said here, simply because this is what the world concentrates on. But the body simply houses our soul and spirit, in the same way the Temple walls and courts surrounded the inner sanctum of the Temple. It is through the body, and through the brain, that our soul and spirit express themselves. In the new creation, those who are born again internally will also get new bodies to house their new characters. The bodies we have now are subject to rot, regardless of all the advertisements to the contrary, and the products of sin. The soul and spirit, however, will continue and the person will still be that individual person.
NIV: Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
That's verse 8 of Genesis 2, and it has caused problems with critics. We quoted the New International Version here, but most versions simply say that the LORD God planted a garden..." This has given rise to the criticism that Genesis 1 and 2 disagree with each other regarding the order of creation. Did God plant Eden before or after man was made? The third day of creation indicates the plants being formed. If you think about it, however, whether the Garden of Eden was planted on day 3 or a few minutes after the creation of Adam makes no difference at all. The Garden was a special place and does not indicate all the plants which were made!
But there is another important point to be made here. The Hebrew verb which translates 'planted' is in the past, completed tense. So the NIV may be the most correct in saying that God HAD planted the garden. But either way it works. God put Adam in a special Garden which God made specifically for Adam. It could have been made on day three or any time thereafter up to the moment God put Adam there.
One last fun note: the word "Eden" actually means "Delight." The Garden of Eden was the Garden of Delight.
NIV: And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (verse 9)
Those famous trees! Before we get to the most famous two trees, however, please note that there were a lot of other trees -- all kinds of trees. And they were beautiful and good for food. We tend to think of this as meaning the fruit was good to eat. We are sure that was part of it, but consider also that the leaves may well have been edible, the sap (like maple) may have been sweet, and who knows about the bark? Adam and Eve were surrounded by food!
But there were two other trees, and this gets very interesting.
1. The Tree of Life -- first of all, God Himself gives life. He did not give Adam some leaves to eat so Adam would become alive, but God Himself breathed life into Adam. We read in Revelation 22:2 that in the new creation the Tree of Life has leaves that are for the healing of the nations. This brings up several points;
-- why would Adam and Eve need healing before sin? Maybe it was far more for their children! It is no sin to climb a tree and fall out and break a bone. Could that have happened before sin? Why not? Although we cannot really know for sure, we do have to be careful about saying that anything we deem negative is a result of sin. Stubbing a toe, barking a shin -- could these things have happened regardless? We don't know, but we do know that the tree was necessary for some kind of healing mechanism so that the bodies of men could continue almost indefinately.
-- if the Tree of Life is found in the new creation and is for healing of the nations, how can that be reconciled with the concept of no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain then, which we read in Revelation 21:4? The word for 'nations' in Revelation 22 is 'ethnos,' which, roughly translated, is 'ethnic groups.' Does this mean that the prejudices will be healed? We do not know, really, what this means, and we will have to wait until the new creation to find out.
-- There is one more reference in the Bible to a series of trees which are for healing. We read, in Ezekiel's vision, in Ezekiel 47:12, the following: "Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." So here we have what appears to be a parallel with Revelation 22, which states, "On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." In the long run, instead of running on our imaginations (which can be fun, but not always fruitful), it is perhaps better to wait until we no longer 'see through a glass, darkly.' There will come a time when we better understand about all this.
2. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil -- a number of critics have pointed to God forbidding Adam to eat of this tree and said God does not want man to have knowledge. This is entirely wrong. God had already given Adam dominion over the earth, and good stewardship requires knowledge of what one is responsible for. In other words, science is almost commanded. So what is this tree all about?
-- first, Adam and Eve already knew good. They knew God. In the New Testament, Jesus stated in Mark 10:18 (and parallel verses in Matthew and Luke), "Why do you call me good? no one is good -- except God alone." So there is no doubt that Adam and Eve knew good and the Source of good.
-- that only leaves evil. Evil is the result of sin. Sin is defined by the law (Romans 7:7-11, etc.). So sin is disobedience to the law of God and evil is the result of all that.
-- God only gave Adam one law: don't eat from that particular tree.
-- Why did God give Adam an opportunity to disobey? Because without the opportunity to disobey, obedience means nothing more than something that is programmed in, like an instinct. But men have a choice where God is concerned. If you think about your children you will see something. They disobey, and probably fairly often. But that means when they do obey, it is special. Jesus told His followers, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15). It is through obedience we can show love to God.
-- Jesus said the most important command was to love, first God, with everything in you, and then your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40). We were created to love. But if love can be commanded, that means it is not a feeling. Feelings come along for the ride, and often plenty of them. But love itself is a decision one makes to serve another, care for another, commit to another. Loving God, for us, means serving him, caring for His reputation through our representation of Him, and commiting to Him. We can choose this or choose against this. Choosing this implies obeying Him and choosing against this implies running our own lives in obedience to our sin natures. Adam and Eve did not have sin natures, at first. But they had the freedom of choice which God has given each of us.
-- The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was therefore the opportunity given Adam and Eve to freely choose to obey and love God, maintaining their relationship with Him.....or not.
-- Thus, what was forbidden about the tree was not knowledge, and not knowledge of the good, but rather knowledge of good as compared to evil, which meant knowledge of evil. Evil came from disobedience and this caused the breaking of the relationship with God. It was this God did not want for them.
NIV: A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. The fourth river is the Euphrates. (verses 10-14)
It is probably an understatement to say these verses have caused some confusion. However, if we go back to the Hebrew and Greek, we find that it was the translators themselves who took some real liberties with the names! Here is a list:
Pishon – the word means “disperse, spread.”
Havilah – literally, “twist, whirl, dance, or have circular motion.” The word is related to Havvah (Eve)
Gihon – the word means “a stream.”
Cush – the word is not originally Hebrew, but of foreign origin.
Tigris – translator choice for the actual word “Hiddikel”, which means “rapid – something flowing rapidly.”
Asshur – literally meaning “straight, honest, happy, straight-forward.” The land was named later.
Euphrates – translator choice for “Perath,” which means “to break forth.”
Thus, let's try to put the words in as they were written, or at least the meanings:
"A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon (or that which spreads out); it winds through the entire land of Havilah (the twisting land), where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon (the Stream); it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Hiddekel (it flows very rapidly); it runs along the east side of Asshur (or it runs straight-forwardly to the east.) . The fourth river is the Perath (the one that breaks forth.)"
In addition, Barry was asked to write a paper last year regarding Havilah, where it might be, and its gold. That paper is now here: Genesis, the Land of Havilah, and its Gold.
January 15, 2009, Genesis 2:15 to introduction to Chapter 3
Genesis 2:15; Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:19-20; Genesis 2:21-22; Genesis 2:23; Genesis 2:24; Genesis 2:25
Introduction to chapter 3: Ezekiel 28:11-19
[note: because of the differences in translations, each of the verses in this section is given in the NIV, the KJV, and then in the Alexandrian LXX. Any references to LXX will always mean only the Alexandrian Septuagint. The reasons for this were stated earlier, here.]
NIV: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
KJV: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
LXX: And the LORD God took the man whom He had formed, and placed him in the Garden of Delight, to cultivate and keep it.
-- Work is therefore not part of the punishment for sin, regardless of the opinions of teenagers.
-- another interesting note: the word ‘paradeisos’ has been translated ‘garden’ in this passage in all translations. The Hebrew which translates as ‘garden’ is ‘a garden as in something fenced’ and comes from the root meaning ‘to hedge about, to protect, or to defend.’ But the Hebrew scholars who translated from paleo Hebrew to classical Greek chose ‘paradeisos!’
-- was there some kind of indication in the original language that the Garden of Eden was under God's special protection, or 'hedging about?'
NIV: And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
KJV: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
LXX: And the LORD God gave a charge to Adam, saying, Of every tree which is in the garden you may freely eat [literally: eat for food], but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – of it you shall not eat, but in whatsoever day you eat of it, you shall die by death.
- the biblical definition of death is not ‘unconsciousness’ as we think of it. It is, rather, ‘separation.’ Physical death is separation from the body. The ‘second death’ is separation from God. At no time is there any indication in either the New or Old Testaments that loss of consciousness on the part of the soul is involved.
- the actual phrase translated ‘surely die,’ and ‘die by death,’ is, in the Hebrew, ‘in dying you will die.’ This indicates two deaths which will take place, one being physical and the other a separation from fellowship with God.
NIV: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
KJV: And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
LXX: And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone, let us make for him a help suitable for him.
- the word translated ‘suitable’ has another meaning: ‘according’ – God would make a helper according to him, or after the pattern of him.
- It is interesting that the LXX has ‘let us’ rather than ‘I’ regarding who is going to make that helper.
NIV: Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
KJV: And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
LXX: And God formed yet farther out of the earth all the wild beasts of the field, and all the birds of the sky, and he brought them to Adam, to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called any living soul, that was the name of it. And Adam gave names to all the cattle and to all the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts of the field, but for Adam there was not found a help like to himself.
- God already knew Adam would not find a suitable helper, or one like himself, among the beasts. So this was a lesson for Adam. It is a guarantee he is going to like what happens next!
- Here again we have the Hebrew verb ‘formed’ in the past completed tense, so ‘had formed’ is probably the more correct translation. However there is the interesting note in the LXX that God ‘formed yet farther out of the earth’ these animals. This does make it sound as though Adam considered the animals to be formed after himself. Is it possible he was not aware of the animals until God brought them to him? If that is the case, we can see why the older manuscripts have that phrase in them.
- Please note that Adam was not naming all the insects, spiders, worms, fish, etc. The naming is limited to the original kinds of the beasts and birds. That’s all!
- The names were probably descriptive: all names in early times were. Still some holdovers: hippopotamus, for example.
NIV: So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
KJV: And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: ad he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
LXX: And God brought a trance upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and filled up the flesh instead thereof. And God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman, and brought her to Adam.
- trance? sleep? We simply don’t understand what happened, except that Adam felt no pain in the process. And no, man does not have one less rib than woman! [note: in our Bible study we made a mistake here based on what appears to be an error in one of our reference books. The word 'deep' in 'deep sleep' is NOT 'tehom.' The word used for deep sleep both in this passage as well as when Abraham fell into a deep sleep in Genesis 15 is 'tardemah.']
- the word translated ‘rib’ is, in the Hebrew, coming from a primitive root meaning ‘to curve.’ It can mean ‘a leaf, a side, beam, board, plank.’ So ‘rib’ is a good translation.
- woman is XX chromosome and man is XY. All God had to do was 'double up' on the X chromosome and leave the Y out of it for woman, in terms of genetics.
- To an extent, woman is what man is not. Man is what woman is not. For instance, men tend to have more focused attention and women tend to have the ability to pay attention to a number of things at once. Men tend to look at something logically and woman tend to look at the same thing with more reference to inside feelings. Boy babies will usually focus on colored lights and moving things. Girl babies will usually focus on people's faces. When a man and a woman work together, therefore, all the bases are covered.
- parallel to Christ on the cross. Adam becomes a ‘type’ here. Christ died, His side was pierced, and out of that sacrifice of death the Church was created/formed. In John 3:29, John the Baptist states the bride, or the followers of Christ, belongs to the bridegroom. Paul states in 2 Corinthians 11:2 – “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.”
NIV: The man said:
This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.
KJV: And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.
LXX: And Adam said, This now [‘at last’ is in the Hebrew] is bone [out] of my bones and flesh [out] of my flesh; she shall be called woman [literally, ‘wife’ in the Greek]] because she was taken out of her husband.
- Note in the LXX – in reference to the Hebrew, the reason for the name “woman” appears – “She shall be called Issha, because she was taken out of Ish.” There are a number of possible meanings for these words, but primary and root manings appear to be ‘man’ and ‘woman.’
- Adam's response appears to be along the lines of 'yippee!'
- God showed Adam what didn’t work, first. Often our lives are the same. He wants us to appreciate what His will for us is, so He often seems to allow us our own way for a bit first – enough to teach us.
NIV: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
KJV: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
LXX: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall be cemented to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
- ‘echad’ – one in unity. ref. Deuteronomy 6:4 -- Hear, O Israel, the LORD [YHWH] our God [elohim], the LORD [YHWH] is one [echad]. The word does not mean two things fused into one like one candle melted into another. It means (in marriage) two become so close they are same as one person in purpose, actions, goals.
- This verse says a man is to leave family home/ties – but the old Israelite custom was that a man brought his new wife to the family home, usually into rooms he had built on for her or, if the family was wealthy enough, into a new home he had built on the family property. In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples He is going to prepare a place for them in His Father's house. Is this contradictory to the directive that a man should leave his parents' and be joined to his wife?
- Here is the only solution that occurred to us: The human man is no longer under the authority of his parents, regardless of where he is living. He is to assume the headship of his own family. He is to be more strongly united to his wife than to any other person, including his parents.
NIV: The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
KJV: And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
LXX: And the two were naked, both Adam and his wife, and were not ashamed.
- ‘ashamed’ is ‘boosh’ – primitive root means to be disappointed or delayed. Can also mean to become confused or confounded. To become dry. The Hebrew scholars for the LXX chose the Greek word for ‘ashamed.’ That was how they understood the passage.
- possibility of an editorial insertion, a parenthetic, here.
- ‘naked’ is arom – naked, or stripped, or to be made smooth.
Before Chapter 3-- Ezekiel, with reference to Satan.
We read at the close of the first Tablet that God declared all creation to be 'very good.' This indicates no angels had yet rebelled. There is a common belief that Satan and some angels, at least, were created before the six days of creation listed in Genesis. However this goes against Exodus 20:11. Here God is speaking the Ten Commandments to the Israelites in His own Voice. 'For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.'
Was heaven, as in God's abode, there before creation? The Bible indicates no. The word for 'heavens' in Genesis 1:1 and Exodus 20:11 is 'shamayim.' The 'im' ending is a plural meaning three or more, as in elohim, cherubim, seraphim, etc. Checking through the Old Testament, we find reference to three seperate meanings of 'heaven.. First, there is the heaven where the birds fly and where rain comes from, our atmosphere: But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. (Deut. 11:11) Second, there is the heaven where the stars and sun are, or 'outer space:' The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isaiah 13:10). And, third, is God's dwelling place: ...then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that al the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel... (1 Kings 8:43). It should also be noted that in 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul speaks of being caught up to the 'third heaven,' indicating he was in the presence of God. The reason this is important is that the angels themselves, being part of creation, were not created before Genesis 1:1. Nor was there any destruction of the earth between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 by 'fallen angels' -- for they had not yet fallen. We cannot understand about 'where' God was (or even if there was any such thing as 'where') before creation. We only know THAT He is and was and always will be. In the meantime we, and the angels, life in this time/space/mass continuum while this creation lasts.
Therefore the biblical evidence is that the angelic rebellion, led by Lucifer/Satan took place sometime between the close of Creation Week and the opening of chapter 3 of the Bible. We have no idea of the amount of time involved here. The only possible indication would be that Adam and Eve were told to procreate and they would have obeyed in terms of having sex. However Eve did not conceive until after she and Adam disobeyed regarding eating the fruit. This is a possible indication that the time between the close of Creation week and the advent of sin into the world was not long. It was, however, during this time that one third of the angels rebelled against God, led by one special angel. It is that particular angel we want to talk about now.
In Ezekiel 28, there is a fascinating passage, going from verses 11-19. Ezekiel is addressing the King of Tyre. However it is God speaking through Ezekiel and since the King of Tyre was never in Eden, it appears that the person actually being address is the person behind, or possibly possessing, the King of Tyre. This section thus appears to be God through Ezekiel to Satan through the King of Tyre. If this is what was going on, then there are some strong indications that Satan, or Lucifer (which means 'light bearer'), was the guardian cherub of Eden. See what you think. Because there are several different ideas presented in the different translations about what words should be used for the Hebrew words, we have also included a transliteration of the Hebrew for this passage as a final addition.’
Ezekiel 28: 11-19
NIV: The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the King of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz, and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.
[note: in the NIV passage, the last section is all in the past tense. Watch the following translations and you will see that the last section of the passage is in the future tense in them.]
KJV: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
LXX: And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for the prince of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God; Thou art a seal of resemblance, and a crown of beauty. You were in the Delight of the Paradise of God [literally: in Eden, the Garden of God] ; you have bound upon you every precious stone, the sardius, and topaz, and emerald, and carbuncle, and sapphire, and jasper, and silver, and gold and ligure, and agate, and amethyst, and chrysolite, and beryl, and onyx: and you have filled your treasures and your stores in you with gold. From the day that you were created you [were] with the cherub: I set you on the holy mount of God; you were in the midst of the stones of fire. you were faultless in your days, from the day that you were created, until iniquity [literally: ‘the iniquities’] were found in you. Of the abundance of your merchandise you have filled your storehouses with iniquity, and have sinned: therefore you have been cast down, wounded, from the mountain of God, and the cherub has brought you out of the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart has been lifted up because of your beauty; your knowledge has been corrupted with your beauty: because of the multitude of your sins I have cast you to the ground, I have caused you to be put to open shame before kings. Because of the multitude of your sins and the iniquities of your merchandise, I have profaned your sacred things; and I will bring fire out of the midst of you, this shall devour you; and I will make you ashes upon your land before all that see you. And all that know you among the nations shall groan over you: you are gone to destruction and you shall not exist anymore.
And was the word of Jehovah to me saying, Son of man, lift up a lament over the King of Tyre and say to him, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: You sealed the measure full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. In Eden, the Garden of God, you have been; every stone precious was your covering, the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx and the jaspers, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald and gold. The workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes in you – in the day you were created they were prepared. You [were] the cherub anointed that covers, and I had put you in the height of holy God [where] you were. In the midst of the stones of fire you walked up and down. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until was found iniquity in you. By the plenty of your trade they filled your midst [with] violence, and you sinned. So I cast you profaned from the height of God, and I destroyed you, O cherub covering, from among the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted for your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. To the ground I have cast you. Before kings I will put you, that they may see you. by the host of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trade, you have profaned your holy places; thus I brought a fire from your midst; it shall devour you, and I will give you for ashes on the earth in the sight of all who see you. All who know you among the peoples shall be appalled at you, terrors you shall be, and you will not be forever.
- tabrets – toph – to drum or play as a tambourine or timbrels
- pipes – neqeb – from a primitive root to ‘express with holes.’ This word is only used once in Scripture, so the translation cannot be compared with any other use. Another meaning for ‘neqeb’ is a mounting, as for a gem. “A bezal for precious stones.” There are three or four words for ‘pipe’ or ‘flute’ but none of them are similar to neqeb. Current spelling for bezal is bezel: “the oblique face of a cut gem, especially the part projecting from the setting. It can mean the groove and flange of a watch case to hold the watch glass, or a sloping edge, such as on a chisel.” This is why the NIV translators chose to refer to the mountings which were prepared for the gems rather than the idea of drums or pipes.
- Whichever it is, it is important to understand that they were prepared for this person in ALL the translations and thus whether it be gem mountings or pipes and drums, there is nothing evil about any of it.
- What was this 'trade' or 'merchadise' which is being mentioned? It is easy to retreat and say "He is really talking to the King of Tyre," but that king was never on the mount of God, was never in Eden, was never perfect in his ways, etc. If anyone has any ideas about this, we would be interested in hearing! There is one thought perhaps worth considering, maybe just slightly: Jesus used parables about earthly things to explain about spiritual truths. In the Old Testament we see many things were not only real in and of themselves, but were also 'types' of other things. The Tabernacle and Temple themselves were designed according to some kind of heavenly reality. Is there, therefore, some kind of commerce in heaven, among the angels? We can't let our imaginations go overboard, but if things on earth are but shadows of a Reality, maybe there's a lot more going on 'up there' than we have any idea about!
Before we got to the Bible study this time, there was a long discussion about the times we live in, and if these are the ‘end times’ or not. We agreed that they probably are, based on a number of Bible passages. Barry brought up Luke 21:29-31:
(NIV, but any version will do) –
He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know the kingdom of God is near.”
What is the meaning behind this parable? The fig tree is used as one of the symbols of Israel in the Old Testament. In 1948 Israel became a nation again, in one day, as prophesied in Isaiah 66:7-8
Before she goes into labor, she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.
Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen such a thing?
Can a country be born in a day, or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
In Luke 21:32, Jesus says the generation who sees all these things will also see the end of all of it. In 1967 Israel took back Jerusalem. Given one generation from either of these events, we are in the end times now.
The discussion turned to the rapture. It is our belief that the Bible indicates those who are true followers, who are part of God’s family and belong to the church Jesus Himself has established (not any particular denomination or group, for Christianity is based on an individual relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit) will be taken out of the way before the Tribulation comes. Some believe the Tribulation is here. Not so. The Temple needs to be built either just before the Tribulation or during the first part of the Tribulation. Either way, that time is not now.
So what about the Rapture? In 2 Thessalonians 2, Barry pointed out something which our modern translations don’t seem to have done justice to. We can easily see the church at Thessalonica was disturbed that the Day of the Lord had come. Why should that disturb them? Because that would mean the Rapture happened without them. Paul goes on to reassure them, and there is a key word which our translations have not picked up on.
What we have in our Bibles today is, in verse 3 of chapter 2: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”
The word in the NIV translated as ‘rebellion’ is translated in the old King James as ‘falling away.’ But the word in the Greek is ‘apostasia.’ It is used one other time in the New Testament in Acts 21:21: (starting with v. 20) When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.”
This turning away in Acts is a departure from the laws of Moses and living by grace. If we substitute the original meaning of ‘departure’ into 2 Thessalonians 2:3, we have “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the departure occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed….”
Does this meaning hold with the context? At the beginning of this section (2:1), Paul wrote, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed…”
So is Paul then referring to THE rebellion or THE departure? The only thing he has mentioned with can be referred to with the definite article, “the,” is “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him.” So the reference would be to that and demand the meaning of ‘departure’ rather than rebellion.
The related word to ‘apostasia’ is ‘aphistemi’, which means “to depart from, to draw away, to fall away, to depart, or to withdraw oneself.”
Is this meaning supported anywhere else in the Bible? Yes, in Revelation 3:10, when Christ is commending the church at Philadelphia (which is considered a type of the faithful at the end times): “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”
The word translated ‘from’ in ‘from the hour of trial’ is ‘ex,’ which means ‘out of,’ Noah was saved through the Flood, but the faithful at the end will be saved out of the time of trial. They will be removed first. If Jesus has said those people would be saved in the hour of trial, the preposition used would have been ‘en.’
These references are in addition to the common ones used supporting the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4.
THEN we started Genesis, chapter 3, which we did not finish. However all our notes on it are here now, as those in the study took home a copy of these notes. Some additional material is here since it came up during the discussions.
Before we get to the famous temptation and the fruit that was eaten, there is a question which needs to be discussed. We know God has always known everything, so He knew Adam and Eve would sin. He knew many of us would rebel and refuse Him even to death. And yet we are told He is love. Why did God make men? Especially since He knew so many would rebel against Him?
First, let's look at God's character. In 1 John 4:7-8 we read "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
Now go to Romans 8:28-30: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
The main point for the purpose of this part of the discussion is that believers are to be conformed to the likeness of Christ Jesus. We are to be images of Him in the same way a mirror images you. The image is not you yourself, and we will never be little Christs! But the purpose of the Holy Spirit in us is to change us until we are true reflections of our Lord. Our characters will show Him. Philippians 1:6 says He will not stop until He has completed the good work He has begun in us. Hebrews 12 reminds us that those of us who are His will be disciplined -- because we are His. So the final purpose of our lives is to be conformed to the image of Christ. Couldn't God have just made us that way to begin with? Not if we were to love, and God is love.
[Note: Romans 8:28-30 has often been used as a support for Calvinism. A close look at it denies that claim. The first mention of believers is 'those who love him,' and that comes before all else. God knows who they will be, but their choice was always free. The predestination clause is that those who love him are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. There is no indication here that the believers themselves are predestined to be believers.]
In 1 John 2:15-17, we read, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. for everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
So what is love? Many say it is a feeling. In the English we have only one word, but in the Greek there are four words that mean different types of love. There is sexual love, friendship love, brotherly love, and 'agape' -- or unconditional love. In John 3:16 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. When Christ was hanging on the cross, the Father did not feel good. The kind of love being talked about here is not a feeling; it is a decision to commit and to care for someone else. A lot of feelings come along with it, and not all of them are pleasant! A mother getting up to a sick child in the middle of the night is not feeling good, but her choice is to put her child's welfare above her need for sleep. That is love.
In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was. He responded that it was to love the Lord God with everything in us and to love our neighbor as ourselves. No one always feels good about themselves, but they always take some amount of care of themselves. They eat, they seek shelter and warmth and clothing. They are commited to caring for themselves. People defend themselves when accused of wrongdoing (whether or not the accusation is correct). So if we are to love God, then we are to CHOOSE to COMMIT to standing up for Him in the world and following Him in our lives. If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we are to CHOOSE to COMMIT to the welfare of the people God has put in our lives. Keep in mind, if love can be commanded, it is not an emotion. It is a choice. You cannot command emotions. You can command choices.
In John 14, in both verses 15 and 24 Jesus says that if a person loves Him, then the person will obey Him; and if a person does not obey Him, then the person does not love Him. There is a simple equation Jesus is presenting there. Love = obedience where God is concerned. And obedience is also a choice.
So why did God create man? To allow him to love and be loved. It's that simple. That is what will finally conform us to the image of Christ. But love is a choice, as obedience is. And we see in the Garden of Eden that every tree but one was there for the delight of Adam and Eve and to eat from. But one tree had to be there which was forbidden if there was to be a choice. Without that choice, there is no chance to choose to obey, or choose to love. Love requires a choice -- for all of us.
Genesis 3:1 -- Now the serpent was more crafty [King James: ‘subtle’] than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The word for serpent is ‘nahas,’ from a root meaning to hiss or whisper, as in a magic spell. The root also implies to foretell, with the implication of a divine enchanter or enchantment. Related words mean ‘enchantment.’ Interestingly, the word is related to the Chaldean word for ‘copper or brass.’ A variant of ‘nahas’ spelled the same way with different pronunciation, means divination, to interpret an omen, or learn by divination or sorcery. The root word also means to learn by experience or diligently observe.
It is interesting that the Greek word used for the serpent (in reference to Satan) in the Bible also does not mean ‘snake’ at all, but refers to sharpness of vision, a cunning or malicious person. What does need to be said is that the snake, or serpent, has been used as a type for this for a very long time, possibly since before the Flood.
In many ancient and pagan cultures, the serpent is the source of wisdom.
‘Crafty’ is an interesting word. “Arum” is used eleven times in OT and eight times translated at ‘prudent.’ It is 6175 in the Strongs: cunning, crafty, prudent, subtle. Related to the word meaning ‘cunning’ is a word meaning ‘to make bare, smooth, to be cunning, to take crafty counsel, be prudent, deal subtly'.
The meaning is the serpent – or the hisser or whisperer – is being extremely careful about what he is doing. In terms of the understanding of the ancient Hebrew scholars who translated the paleo Hebrew to classical Greek several hundred years before Christ (the Alexandrian Septuagint), the meaning included the characteristic of maliciousness on Satan’s part.
This whisperer’s first words recorded are a challenge about what God has said, an attempt to raise doubt. It should be noted that that will always be the first part most temptations today. It can be disguised as “Is it really right that….?” or “Do you think it is fair that….?” Remember Proverbs 1 and other places: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” An appeal to ‘right’ or ‘fair’ is simply one step down from an appeal to God, since it is He who has pronounced what is right and fair and just.
Genesis 3:2-3 – The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Eve answers with the correct answer, but then she adds to it. Adam was told not to eat of the tree, but Eve states they also must not touch it. Did Adam tell her that to try to keep her safe? Did she add those words on her own? We don’t know. But there is a theme which runs through the Bible and is very explicit in Matthew 23 – people keep trying to add to God’s laws, whether it is detailing them or simply adding extra laws. Perhaps we see it starting even before sin, in the Garden. People want boundaries, and when the boundaries don’t seem clear enough, they add to them. Watch children playing games. When a rule does not seem to exist to cover a situation, they will make one up. We desire orderliness.
It is interesting that when Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, He gave just two, and they both had to do with love: first of God and then of those near you. The Constitution of the United States is quite short, but there are hundreds of thousands of laws that have been added since it was written. Yet, when Jesus gave us two commandments, He said that covered everything: all the law and the prophets are based on those two.
This can make it difficult for people who want to approach life legalistically. If there is not a prescribed action to take, they feel uncomfortable. Yet, as Christians, we are to follow the Holy Spirit inside of us, not the plethora of rules and regulations people keep adding. The Holy Spirit will not lead us into disobedience. But how much easier is it to listen to man and follow – or attempt to – all the little laws that govern our daily lives!
Eve has simply said ‘die,’ but the whisperer repeats God’s exact wording, repeating the word for ‘die.’ Literally, the whisperer is saying “you will not die in dying.”
The word we have ‘surely’ does not exist in the original. This was the interpeter’s conception of what seemed to be an emphatic, when, in fact, it was speaking of two deaths.
So after Eve listened to the doubt that the whisperer had expressed, he followed up the doubt with a lie. This lie is a direct contradiction of God’s law. The whisperer then appeals to God! “For God knows…..” And what the whisperer then says here is 95% truth! They WILL learn about evil and that will make them, in that sense, like God – knowing the meaning of both good and evil.
Note the reference to their eyes being opened. The euphemism of light and seeing being the same as understanding is a very ancient one, and seems to be in almost all cultures.
Genesis 3:6 – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it..”
- it’s a fruit, after all, and therefore good for food!
- it looks pretty
- from doing this, I will gain wisdom
three-fold appeal: sensual, emotional, mental
Why did Adam eat it? It was to him God had given the direction. We presume he told Eve. We know from what Paul says in Romans that Eve was deceived and sin entered the world through Adam. Did he refuse to be separated from her? Did he think he could save her? We don’t know Adam’s reason.
Note here: God judges those who are deceived entirely differently from those who know better. This is interesting when applied to people we love who may be in cults or otherwise deceived. It is reassuring that those who honestly think they are being obedient to God and trying to honor Him will be judged differently from those who are doing the deceiving.
This three-fold appeal to Eve’s own thinking rather than paying attention to God’s direct command can also be seen in Christ’s three temptations in Matthew 4:1-11.
Satan again began with a doubt 4:3 “IF you be the Son of God…” you need to do something to prove it – satisfy your hunger - “command that these stones become bread.” Satan never got any further with Christ than the” IF”. Christ responded immediately with the statement from God in the Bible (Deut. 8:3), which settled the matter for Him. Here is the physical temptation.
Satan tried again in 4:6 “IF you be the Son of God…” do something to prove it and make a display of yourself – “Throw yourself down (from the Temple).” Again Satan never got further than the “IF” as Christ again responded immediately with a statement from God in his Word (Deut. 6:16). Here is the mental temptation, to prove Himself.
Satan tried a third time in 4:9, but the mask is now off “If you fall down and worship me – I will give you all these things [kingdoms of the world].” Christ again responded from God’s word as the final authority (Deut. 6:13 & 10:20). Here is the spiritual temptation, to shortcut the plan of God and escape the pain to come.
Christ trusted implicitly in God’s word as His final authority – contrasts Eve and Adam. He overcame Satan’s tempting on that basis. Notice the three tests were in the areas of Christ’s body (hunger), his soul (personal display), and his spirit (worship Satan). They were in turn economic (supply of bread), political (make a name for yourself), and religious (worship the Devil).
Genesis 3:7 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Their eyes ‘were opened.’ This is simply the meaning we still use today when we tell someone “Open your eyes!” It means “Understand!” So they both now had an understanding and with it came the realization they were naked. Does this mean they did not know they didn’t have clothes before? Probably not. Remember when Moses went up on the Mountain to talk to God? He was there for over a month. When he came back down after that close time with God, his face was glowing with a brightness that had to be hidden from the Israelites until it had faded. Was this same brightness – this sharing of God’s glorious light – what ‘dressed’ Adam and Eve before sin? It would have departed immediately upon the advent of sin and thus they would have seen themselves as ‘unclothed’ or ‘naked.’
As for sewing the fig leaves….
There may be a lot of tradition here which does not seem to be in the original Hebrew!
The word translated ‘sew’ in the Hebrew means “forge, manufacture, put together,” It is not the usual Greed word for ‘sew’ in the Alexandrian LXX.
Even more interesting is the word for 'fig:'
8386 – lamentation, heaviness, mourning -- taaniyah
The difference between the two words is one letter ‘yod.’ It looks like an apostrophe. Yod is in 8386; it appears maybe it was dropped in later versions. In the Hebrew Bible it is 8386, but all other references (like Strongs) it is 8384.
In the ancient LXX, the word is ‘fig.’ So we have the possibility of a very ancient change there.
If this is what happened, then Adam and Eve realized they were without God’s brightness and naked, and they manufactured, or put together, mourning for themselves. They lamented. From their responses to God later, it does not look like repentance was part of it, at least at this point. Did they just feel sorry for themselves? That is something we will have to wait to find out.
Genesis 3:8 –“ Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking(up and down) in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
The word for ‘sound’ is ‘qol’ and is translated most of the time as ‘voice.’
‘Cool’ is ‘ruah’ which is only translated ‘cool’ this one time in the Bible although it is used 379 times. The most common translations are “spirit, wind, breath” and related words. Was the LORD Himself walking in the Spirit during the day? It gets interesting when we look at the actual words used.
However it was, Adam and Eve knew He was there and they hid. They had never hidden from Him before. We are the same way. We so something we know is wrong and, instead of going to God and confessing, we attempt to hide – usually behind excuses instead of trees.
Genesis 3:9 – But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”
‘called’ is exactly the same word as when Adam ‘called’ the animals by their names.
Did God not know where Adam and Eve were? Of course He knew! It was an opportunity for them to come to Him on their own. And, evidently, they did –
Genesis 3:10 – He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
It is interesting that fear is connected to losing God’s shining covering.
Genesis 3:11 – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
God immediately connects cause and effect for the man. God is faithful to do this throughout the Bible.
Genesis 3:12 – The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
It’s God’s fault. It’s the woman’s fault. It’s not MY fault!
Genesis 3:13 – Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Each person is given a chance to accept responsibility before God, and thus to repent. Eve, however, claims deception and evidently that is the truth, despite the fact that she chose to depend on her own ideas rather than God’s command.
So this brings up the question, Why did Eve believe the serpent? And that is why we spent time last week on Ezekiel. If Satan/Lucifer were the guardian cherub of Eden, then Eve would have been used to him and would have thought he could be trusted. She would have associated him with God’s protection of them.
Genesis 3:14-15 – So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
There is an enormous amount here, especially if we go back to the Hebrew. First the simple ones: “livestock” is “cattle,” and “wild animals” is “beasts of the earth.” No problem there – just translator choices.
But ‘crawl on your belly’ may be different. In the same way ‘their eyes were opened’ is a known idiomatic phrase, this one may be one not so well known now. The actual translation is ‘on your breast and belly you shall go.’ The Hebrew word for ‘crawl’ is ‘halak’ and is used 1556 times in the Old Testament. It is normally translated “go, went, come, walk, walked,’ and many other similar words. it is only translated ‘crawl’ this ONE time!
If ‘serpent’ is the Whisperer or Hisser, and he is to go on his belly from thence forward, what is the possible meaning? The ‘go on your belly’ phrase in the ancient cultures was indicative of total subservience, as to a king. People would approach a king lying flat out on the ground, and one of the signs of total dominion was for the king to put his foot on the person who was on the ground. Keep that picture in mind for a moment.
If we are heading in the right direction here, then we are not talking about an actual glorified snake in the garden, but about the glorified cherub who was guardian over Eden (and possibly more) and proud because of his beauty. To this being who deceived Eve, then, God says “you will be totally subservient all the days of your life, on your belly.” He will not be able to challenge God in wisdom or beauty, as he originally wanted to do. He will be severely limited in what he can do. But the rest of the prophesy is also not what tradition tells us.
What does the phrase 'eat dust' mean? There have been so many studies about how snakes 'taste' dust with their flicking tongues. But what Genesis is saying is not about a snake and not about 'eating dust,' if we go back to the early meanings of the words. God is prophesying here about something that will happen in the future -- something they saw before the Flood and something we see today. Satan is devouring the earth. THAT is the meaning of the words so often translated 'eat dust.' The ancient Alexandrian LXX says Satan will 'eat the earth all the days of your life.' The word 'eat' is also 'devour,' and not simply masticating and swallowing. The word so often translated 'dust' is the same word used in Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (eretz)."
Satan will be allowed to work his evil, but only on earth. Was he then originally not just the guardian cherub of Eden, but of the entire earth? In Job 1 when God asks Satan, rhetorically, where he has been, Satan says he has been walking back and forth on the earth. So for a time, Satan is allowed earth. This is why he offered Christ, in the third temptation, the dominion over all the earth's kingdoms. They were his temporarily. We also find an oblique reference to this in Ephesians 6, where we learn our battle is not against flesh and blood but "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Thus, to Satan, God prophesies that Satan will be humbled, restricted, and eventually mocked (Ezekiel 28). But for 'this age' in this creation until Christ comes again, he will have dominion over the earth and will devour it. And then the Messiah, the Christ, will crush his head and kill him.
Again, we are not trying to present salvation doctrine here, so it is not vital that you believe one way or another about Satan in the garden. We simply wanted to present to you what it appears the original may have been saying as opposed to the traditional translations. Either way, Eve was deceived, got Adam to eat, and sin entered the world. That is the important part.
Then God goes on talking to Satan, stating there will be enmity between him and the woman. We mentioned this before, but it is interesting that it is normally the woman who must be talked into doing wrong. Women seem to have more of an instinctive aversion to evil; they seem to draw away more quickly. At least when they are young!
This enmity will continue between the offspring of both, but here God puts in a qualifier: “he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
First of all, the woman’s offspring will conquer Satan himself, disabling him completely and then killing him. It will not be offspring against offspring in this sense. Rather, the Savior will go back to the source. Second, the woman’s offspring is here defined as one man, not a number of people. And, finally, this man will have his heel struck by Satan.
Think about that picture of going on his belly and a king putting his foot on the subservient one. In ancient battles in the Middle East, the winning king would put his foot on the supine body of the losing king. We see this in Joshua 10, where he had been victorious over the five kings and put them in a cave. Then, “so it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ “ Afterwards Joshua killed the five kings. It was the victor’s choice to kill or not kill the losing king. The picture now becomes more clear. If Christ’s foot is proverbially on Satan, who is on his belly, Satan can either lie still or try to strike back. The only possible place to strike the victor is on the foot itself. And so Satan does, striking Christ’s heel. Down or not, Satan is going to strike back as much as he is able.
Genesis 3:16 – To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Again, the traditional translation, as quoted here from the NIV, seems to differ somewhat significantly from the Hebrew words and their meanings.
First of all, however, please note that she is NOT cursed. Satan was, and later the ground will be, but Adam and Eve are not. Instead, God is simply declaring to them the consequences of what they have done.
First of all, the actual Hebrew does NOT say “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing” as all our modern translations say in one form or another. The actual words are “I will greatly multiply your conceptions.” What does that mean? We don’t know. There is the possibility that a woman did not have a ‘period’ once a month, but much more rarely, or that she ovulated more rarely. This in itself would reduce conceptions. Whatever it means, it is not what we are reading in our translations. The second part of it is correct, however, in that ‘in pain you will give birth to children.’ This can mean the birth process itself, which it not as pleasant as we would like, or it can also include the pain of raising children who are rebellious by nature.
Now, about the woman’s desire for her husband. The word ‘for’ was not what the Hebrew scholars chose when translating from the Hebrew to the Greek 300 years before Christ. It is, instead, the word ‘to.’ “Your desire shall be to your husband.” The possible indication is that marriages will be marked more by striving or competition rather than the unity they were planned to exhibit. However, an alternate translation is “Your husband your desire shall be…” And there is the indication there that it is the woman who will want marriage more than the man. This would give the man power over the woman to some extent. If that is the meaning, then the choice of ‘for’ is an accurate one!
Will the husband rule over the wife? The same word in the Hebrew which is translated ‘rule’ means “to speak in proverbs, or to become like, or compare.” Will the wife end up comparing herself to her husband, or desire to become like him? Will there be a movement in men the other way around, where some, at least, desire to become more like women? Either way, that would result in a ‘war’ between the sexes, which is what we see today, and quite a bit with the ‘feminist’ movement. Since God never changes and Paul wrote in Ephesians that we, as husbands and wives, are to submit to each other, although the husband is still the head of the house, we have some interesting thoughts to put together here.
Genesis 3:17-19 – To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Adam is not cursed, but the ground is. Later, in Romans, we read, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Interesting that in the Garden of Eden they could eat of any tree. That just meant picking fruits and leaves, perhaps. So easy! But now they will be out of Eden and must eat the plants of the field. That means agriculture. And they will have to deal with thorns and thistles. Interestingly, both thorns and thistles are simply hardened bits of stem or leaves. It’s a good picture of what happens to hearts which rebel.
God says that the toil to produce food will be painful. They will find themselves sweating through the work involved and that this work will not cease during life on this earth.
God also states that their bodies will return to the elements which made them up, or the dust of the earth. Does this mean that is not what would have happened before? We know Enoch was directly translated to be with the Lord, so is this a picture of what was intended for our bodies originally?
Notes from the new group, August 2009 -- we are also eagerly awating the redemption of our own bodies. We are looking forward to our Resurrection bodies. Will those bodies be different from our bodies now? The point was made that the disciples did not recognize Jesus after His Resurrection. Will our bodies later show our characters more than the physical features we know now?
This creation includes the Millennium, when the believers will come back with Christ. What will we look like? The nucleus of the new Millennial Kingdom will be those who have come through the Tribulation. We don't know what we will look like.
Genesis 3:20 -- Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all living.
The word “Eve” means “life.” (A possible double meaning here is that life is through Christ, who would be her seed.) Why is this naming mentioned now? Had Adam not named her before? We only know he called her ‘woman’ before, and before this time, that is how she is mentioned in Adam’s narrative. She is not referred to as Eve until this point, after sin.
Genesis 3:21 – The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Before they had been covered by God’s own glorious light. Now their covering would demand justice be fulfilled. That would mean blood. So the first sacrifice – that which gave them clothing of skins from God – was accomplished. This sacrifice, as every other after it, would be looking forward to the final sacrifice of Christ on the cross, when justice would finally and completely be satisfied and fulfilled.
Genesis 3:22 – And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
“one of us” – the Trinity is again implied.
Why? If they were always healed, they would be literally doomed to live forever in sinful flesh. Thus, physical death is not a curse, but a mercy. It is also a severe picture and warning.
Genesis 3:23 – So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Man now had to work the ground to get food as Cain did later. Animals were not part of the diet, so tending animals like Abel did later was for another purpose. Cows – milk; flocks (sheep and goats are essentially the same animal)– fleece/milk.
Genesis 3:24 – After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
"placed" -- shakan -- to lodge, to reside or permanently stay, to continue, to remain
“drove out” – garish – to drive out from a possession, to expatriate, drive away
“the east” – qedmah – “ancient, aforetime, in front of (eastward),” it is the ‘ever’ part of ‘everlasting.’ So the idea of a specific direction may or may not be a correct meaning. The same word is used after the Flood when they journeyed ‘from the east’ in Genesis 11:3, and it could just as easily mean “from ancient times.”
“cherubim” – in the Hebrew the definite article precedes cherubim here. The only other time we see cherubim in the Bible are when they surround the ‘wheel within a wheel ‘ (literally ‘a whirlwind within a whirlwind’ probably indicating the Shekinah glory cloud) and later in Revelation around the throne of God. Carvings of cherubim overshadow the Ark of the Covenant. Except for the Ark, we find four mentioned. They appear to be always associated with God’s presence. So here we have them guarding the way to the Tree of Life. Was the Lord there also? In Psalm 80:1, Psalm 99:1 and Isaiah 37:16, we see that “He dwelleth between the cherubim.”
“flaming” – lahat – a blaze, from the idea of enwrapping
“sword” – chereb – a sharp cutting instrument. There may be an intentional association with the word ‘cherub’ here. In the Hebrew, the literal translation for this passage reads:
And he lodged at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and flaming the sword whirling around to guard the way of the Tree of Life.
Is this our first reference to the Shekinah Glory Cloud itself in the Bible? The words do not contradict that idea and may suggest it.
If this is true, then the presence of God was still available to fallen man there at the entrance to Eden. Was it still possible to communicate with Him there? Possibly.
February 5, 2009, Special Evening
Big changes. One family had to drop out because of schedule conflicts, one woman had to stop because of family responsibilities and one couple will not be here for awhile because she broke her shoulder! But other people now want to join! So, with a small group this evening we let them choose what they wanted to discuss. They were curious about the geologic column and about Moses crossing the Red Sea. For the first, we explained what is easy to read here in a couple of our articles:
A Brief Earth History and Time, Life and Man.
For the information about the Red Sea crossing, we showed the third section of the excellent video, "The Exodus Revealed."
With other couples joining, our study is switching to Friday nights and in two weeks we will do a review of everything up until now for the new folk. So until we get back to Genesis 3, we will not be uploading more studies.
August 28, September 4, 2009 -- Genesis 4
We have decided to give four versions of each verse: the New International Version, the King James Version, the Alexandrian Septuagint, and the transliteration from the Hebrew. All of these except the Alexandrian are based on the Masoretic text, translated about 100 years after Christ. The Alexandrian LXX was translated by Hebrew scholars from paleo-Hebrew to classical Greek about 300 years before Christ.
Genesis 4: 1; Genesis 4: 2; Genesis 4: 3; Genesis 4: 4; Genesis 4: 5; Genesis 4: 6; Genesis 4: 7; Genesis 4: 8; Genesis 4: 9; Genesis 4: 10; Genesis 4: 11; Genesis 4: 12; Genesis 4: 13; Genesis 4: 14; Genesis 4: 15; Genesis 4: 16; Genesis 4: 17; Genesis 4: 18; Genesis 4: 19; Genesis 4: 20; Genesis 4: 21; Genesis 4: 22; Genesis 4: 23 -24; Genesis 4: 25; Genesis 4:26; Genesis 5:1a
NIV – Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. she said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”
KJV – And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Alex. LXX – And Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived and brought forth Cain and said, I have gained a man through God.
Hebrew – And the man knew Eve his wife. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man child Jehovah.”
- How many women on earth at this time? -- only 1
- What was God’s promise regarding the Savior? -- he would come from the seed of the woman
- What does the original indicate that Eve may have thought?m -- perhaps that Cain was the promised Redeemer; see the Hebrew
- Adam ‘knew’ his wife – close, intimate relationship. John 17:3
- “Cain” means “acquisition” or “to chant, wail, or lament” also “spear” -- it depends on which dictionary you use and which vowels are used!
- “Abel” – means fresh, grassy, meadow
- This seems to indicate that these are adult names and not given at birth.
NIV – Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.
KJV – And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Alex. LXX – And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Hebrew – And she continued to bare his brother Abel. And became Abel a shepherd of flocks, and Cain became a tiller of the ground.
- Were they twins?
- “continued” is yacaph, meaning to add, augment, or continue to do something
- Keeper of sheep – why? Wool, milk – note: sheep and goats are the same animal. It’s like dogs, bred for different characteristics
- the word translated ‘flocks’ or ‘sheep,’ is not nearly so specific. it is ‘tson,’ and from an unused root meaning ‘to migrate.’ the indication is actually that Abel moved his flocks from place to place. Cain, however, would have been in one basic area, working the ground.
NIV – In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
KJV – And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Alex. LXX – And it was so after days that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to the LORD.
Hebrew – And it was in the end of days that brought Cain from the fruit of the ground an offering to Jehovah.
- Numbers 18:12 mentions firstfruits as a commanded offering. Often Cain's sacrifice is criticized because it was not a blood sacrifice, but that was not the reason God was displeased as shown later. You are to give the first and/or best results of your labor to the Lord, whatever it is.
- Whatever you do, do as unto the LORD (New Testament – nothing changed)
- The right translation for the word used as ‘offering’ is actually ‘sacrifice’
NIV – But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
KJV – And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Alex. LXX – And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his sheep and of his fatlings, and God looked upon Abel and his gifts,
Hebrew – And Abel he also brought from the firstlings of his flocks, even from their fat. And looked Jehovah to Abel and to his offering:
- the ‘with favor’ in the NIV and ‘with respect’ in the KJV are inserting meaning by adding words.
- Is the meaning wrong? Not really. It’s like “hear my prayer, O Lord…” It does not mean God does not actually hear any prayer, but the meaning is ‘please pay attention to it and grant it.’ Translators must find a way to get the meaning across and so words are often inserted. If, however, the translators are wrong about the meaning, then the inserted words only mislead. This may be what we are seeing when Eve gives birth to Cain. The phrases 'with the help of' and similar were inserted by interpreters/translators. If Eve thought Cain was the promised Redeemer, then those inserted words are very misleading.
- In meat, the fat carries the main flavor
- It was already known that the firstborn or the first fruits were to be dedicated to the LORD.
NIV – But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry and his face was downcast.
KJV – But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Alex. LXX – But Cain and his sacrifices he regarded not, and Cain was exceedingly sorrowful and his countenance fell.
Hebrew – and to Cain and to his offering not did he look. And glowed Cain greatly and fell his face.
- the word translated ‘angry, wroth, sorrowful, glowed’ is from a primitive root meaning “to glow, to melt, to burn, to dry up or to kindle or incite passion (by extension)"
- Is the indication that Cain was deeply embarrassed rather than angry? Was his reaction embarrassment and depression (his face fell)?
- Cain and Abel are having personal communication with God using regular conversation. Here is an indication that Christ Himself was present to be talked to there between the cherubim in the flaming whirlwind at the entrance to Eden.
NIV – Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?”
KJV – And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?
Alex LXX – And the LORD God said to Cain, Why have you become very sorrowful, and why has your countenance fallen?
Hebrew – And said Jehovah to Cain, why have you glowed? And why has fallen your face?
- Face to face communication. God is still available to people on that physical basis
- The question is rhetorical and invites honesty in response to God. That is always God's first invitation to us when we disobey. Will we be honest with him or make up excuses or hide or ignore Him or what?
NIV – If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
KJV – If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Alex LXX – Have you not sinned if you have brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? Be still; to you shall be his submission, and you shall rule over him.
Hebrew – Is there not if you do well, exaltation? And if not you do well at the door sin is crouching and towards you its desire is. But you should rule over it.
- some very different meanings in these different translations. Note especially the Alexandrian LXX.
- “sin” in the LXX is from a primitive root meaning ‘to miss,’ - the 'target' would be obedience to God's will. Missing that, often on purpose, is sin. God is telling Cain the tendency, inclination to sin is right there with you.
- NT says for every temptation there is a way out. God was the same then. Cain could rule over the temptation to do things his own way rather than God’s
- Alex LXX is the ancient translation. It says the sacrifice was not “rightly divided” – did Cain keep the best for himself? He was right to bring it, but the division was wrong.
- Was Cain being ‘caught in the act’ the beginning of his murderous rage?
- In James we read that we should resist the devil and he will flee. Is this what the Lord is telling Cain? Did Cain, like his mother, listen to something Satan suggested about the offering and therefore did wrong? Is it Satan he must rule over? There seems to be an indication of this in the use of 'him.' (Jesus says Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning, or ancient times. Is this a reference to Cain killing Abel?)
- “exaltation” in the Hebrew is literally ‘an elevation or something to be lifted,’ figuratively elation or cheerfulness.
NIV – Now Cain said to his brother, Abel, “Let’s go out into the field.” And while they were in the field Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
KJV – And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Alex. LXX – And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the plain; and it came to pass that when they were in the plain Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Hebrew – And talked Cain with Abel his brother; and as they were in the field, rose up Cain against Abel his brother and killed him.
- Premeditated? the NIV and Alex. LXX indicate yes.
- The Alexandrian says "the plain." This was away from Eden, clearly; away from the presence of the Lord. It sounds like it was also away from any other people alive at the time. Since Abel was a herdsman, it may have been in his territory rather than Cain's farming area. Or it may have been away from everything altogether.
- Did the words indicate a fight? “Attacked,” and “rose up” come from a combination of two words, “el” and “quwm.” The meaning of the two together depends on the context, but equally possible translations are “to rise up against,” “to accomplish against,” “to continue against,” etc.
- If Eve had thought Cain was the promised Messiah, how must she have felt at this point?
- Up until this time, no person had died. Animals were killed for sacrifice to God, but no human being had yet died. Was Abel’s death an accident? Did Cain know what would cause his death? 1 John 3:12 in the NIV says Cain 'belonged' to the evil one. The word translated 'belonged' there is 'ek' – of the evil one. The King James says Cain was 'of' that wicked one, which is actually the more literal translation, even though it is a bit more vague. Cain had evidently been listening to Satan, and so we do see the reference before to HIS desire is to have you, but you must rule over him. But if Satan's desire was to have Cain, then Cain did not already belong to Satan. So the most that can be said, staying true to Bible here, is that Cain's murder of Abel was inspired by Satan or at least encouraged by him. The question remains, however: did Cain actually know ahead of time his actions would cause Abel's death? If we look at one of the meanings of the word "Cain," -- spear -- then we very possibly can say yes. If the name Cain was given to him because of the way he killed his brother, then it was premeditated. The caution with all of this is to not jump to conclusions about some of what we read and not to always depend on traditional ideas about the meanings. Letting Bible explain Bible means we must get to know the Bible thoroughly.
NIV – Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
KJV – And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? and he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Alex LXX – And the LORD God said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I know not, am I my brother’s keeper?
Hebrew – And said Jehovah to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And said he, Not I do know, keeper my brother’s am I?
- Cain lied; he knew where Abel was – knew where his body was. But, again, God always gives us the opportunity to confess first.
- Cain disclaimed responsibility for Abel.
- Interesting in Matt. 25, the sheep and the goats, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of one of these my brothers, you have done it unto me….” "My brothers" -- Jewish people? This could have strong repercussions for these end times! Jesus is the first-born (or pre-eminent) of many brothers in terms of the Christian faith, so these also could be the brothers being referred to in the Matthew 25 passage. Whichever it is, we ARE our brothers' keepers.
NIV – The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.
KJV – And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Alex. LXX – And the LORD said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me out of the ground
Hebrew – and he said What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.
- God confronts Cain with the truth, which God knew all along.
- This may give support to the idea of Cain having speared Abel. A simple fight where Abel's head was banged hard enough to kill him, or if he was strangled, would not have left blood on the ground.
NIV – Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
KJV – And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.
Alex LXX – And now you are cursed from the earth which has opened her mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
Hebrew – And now cursed are you more than the ground which opened its mouths to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
- “Cursed” – awrar – a primitive root meaning to condemn as hateful or abominable.
- The Hebrew gives the meaning as 'more than the ground,' which was cursed when Adam and Eve sinned. Cursed 'from the earth' seems, however, to support the following verse.
NIV – When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.
KJV – When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength: a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Alex LXX – when you till the earth, then it shall not continue to give its strength to you: you shall be groaning and trembling on the earth.
Hebrew – when you till the ground, not again will it give its strength to you. A vagabond and a fugitive you shall be on the earth.
- vagabond – nuwa – to waver, to be a fugitive, to make go up and down, to move or scatter
- fugitive – nuwd – primitive root which means to nod, to waver, to wander, to flee or disappear -- these two words are the Hebrew
- groaning – stenon – groaning or sighing
- trembling – tremon – tremor, trembling -- these two words were the Hebrew scholars' choice for translating from the paleo-Hebrew to classical Greek 300 years before Christ.
- There is another problem with the NIV, KJV, and Hebrew -- the original Masoretic text was consonants only. Vowels were added on the basis of oral tradition in 900 A.D. Given Cain's later life, as shown below, the Alexandrian LXX is probably the more accurate in its translation.
- Cain would still have his same skills, but God would not honor his work and allow the ground to grow the crops properly
NIV – Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear.
KJV – And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Alex. LXX – And Cain said to the LORD God, My crime is too great for me to be forgiven.
Hebrew – And said Cain to Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
- Alex LXX shows original meaning. This is incredibly different from what we have believed he said. But this is the most ancient meaning and makes sense of God's response later.
- Intentional changes or vowel point problem? We may never know.
- If this shows Cain's repentence and shame over his action, then we have a reason for the Lord's mercy in what follows. Granted the Lord is merciful to all of us so many times when we are not ashamed of what we have done; but how much more so when we repent?
NIV – Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.
KJV – Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth: and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth: and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Alex. LXX – If you cast me out this day from the face of the earth, then I shall be hidden from your presence, and I shall be groaning and trembling on the earth and then it will be that anyone that finds me will slay me.
Hebrew – Lo, you have driven me out today from the face of the earth and from your face I shall be hidden. And I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth and it will be anyone who finds me shall kill me.
- Obviously the LORD is available for face to face communication
- In Exodus, we find that repayment for first degree murder is that a near relative may kill the murderer. At this time, everyone alive was a near relative to everyone else. It is interesting that this form of justice was known at this time.
- Clearly, the brothers were adults and probably fathers, grandfathers or even great grandfathers at this time, for the earth had a population.
- When Eve had Seth, she considered him a replacement for Abel, and that was about 230 years after the Creation, so Cain and Abel were not young at the time of the murder.
- Cain still had a significant fraction of his life ahead of him given the average ages of the preFlood people.
- Note again the Alexandrian. Cain will be hidden from the Lord's presence. So the Lord's physical presence was physically there for people to communicate with Him. This meaning is not as clear in the other translations, but is still there.
NIV – But the LORD said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
KJV – And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whoseoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
Alex. LXX – And the LORD God said to him, Not so, anyone that slays Cain shall pay seven penalties; and the LORD God set a mark upon Cain that no one that found him might slay him.
Hebrew – And said Jehovah to him, If anyone kills Cain, sevenfold he shall be avenged. And set Jehovah on Cain a mark so that not should kill him anyone who found him.
- The mark of Cain is thus a mark of forgiveness, not a mark of condemnation or a racial characteristic.
- Seven penalties is different from ‘sevenfold’ – the first is a matter of number, the second a matter of severity. The more ancient text speaks in terms of numbers of punishments.
NIV – So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
KJV – And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
Alex LXX – So Cain went forth from the presence of God and dwelt in the land of Nod, over against Edem.
Hebrew – And went out Cain from the presence of Jehovah and lived in the land of Nod east of Eden.
- Land of Nod – Nod means ‘exile’ – may be a play on words from ‘nuwd – meaning fugitive
- ‘east’ The word used is the feminine form of the word that means ‘ancient.’ It means ‘in front of, or forward.’ The LXX using ‘over against,’ is the closest, meaning nearby. Cain evidently stayed as close as possible.
NIV – Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.
KJV – And Cain knew his wife: and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Alex. LXX – And Cain knew his wife, and having conceived she bore Enoch; and he was building a city and he named the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
Hebrew – And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and he called the name of the city according to his son’s name, Enoch.
- The idea of ‘restless wanderer,’ ‘vagabond,’ etc. is clearly wrong. God did not lie. Cain was not a restless wanderer. He moved nearby and built a city. Therefore the correct translation of verses 12 and 14 would be “groaning and trembling” is we are told in the ancient Alex. LXX.
- This is NOT the same Enoch who walked with God and was taken up rather than died. That Enoch’s father’s name was Jared, as we are told in Genesis 5.
- Who did Cain marry? His sister. Early genetics contained no mutations. Incest was not defined until the time of Moses. Abraham married his half-sister. He looked for someone in the family group for Isaac to marry. When Esau married outside the family Isaac and Rebekkah were upset; Jacob married within the family group (both sisters!). Genetic load did not make this type of marriage dangerous until it had built to the levels occurring at the time of Moses. However, this idea of marrying within the family continued in many ways. We see it in the European royalty right up until World War I. And like Tzar Nicholas' only son, the result of this much intermarriage showed up as hemophilia in many of the male children of European royalty. What we do see continuing biblically is that the Isralites in the Promised Land were forbidden to marry outside twelve tribes. This had primarily to do with reasons of faith, which the Bible deals with more. In the New Testament we see the same orders. Paul forbids the believer to partner with an unbeliever. This can be marriage or business. He asks what light has to do with darkness and tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
- Cain was building a city – indicates enough population to support a city by that time. Enoch not necessarily Cain’s firstborn, it’s just that his wife was pregnant with him while the city was being built.
- Population – Adam lived over 900 years. Assume Eve about the same. Today a woman is of childbearing age for about 30 years, or about 1/3 of her life. If Eve was of childbearing age for one third of her life, that was 300 years. If she only had one child every three years, she had 100 children. The oldest would be close to 300 when the youngest sibling was born – and thus already married and a parent, grand-parent, and probably more. The population at that time exploded exponentially.
NIV – To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
KJV – And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael began Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Alex. LXX – And to Enoch was born Jaidad; and Jaidad begot Maleleel; and Maleleel begat Mathusala; and Mathusala begot Lamech.
Hebrew – (numbering is different now) And was born to Enoch Irad and Irad fathered Mehujael; and Mehujael fathered Methusael. and Methusael fathered Lamech.
Enoch – comes from a root word meaning to initiate, to discipline, to train up, to dedicate. The Hebrew word for ‘teacher’ comes from this.
Irad – fugitive
Mehujael – two versions: “God is combating” and “smitten of God” – HOWEVER when you look at the root that the word ‘combating or smitten comes from it means “to stroke, to rub, to smooth, to touch.” Name could mean “touched by God.”
Methushael – man of God
Lamech – wild man or overthrower
- Names given upon manhood? See Cain and Abel
- different spellings in Alexandrian reflect Greek translations of Hebrew words
NIV – Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.
KJV – and Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Alex. LXX – And Lamech took to himself two wives; the name of one was Ada, and the name of the second Sella.
Hebrew – And took to himself Lamech two wives; the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah.
- "Adah" means 'ornament' or 'pleasure.'
- "Zillah" means 'protection' or 'screen.'
- Lamech had two wives. God only gave Adam one.
- These two wives remind us a bit of Rachel and Leah -- one the ornament and the other the hard worker.
NIV – Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock.
KJV – And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
Alex. LXX – And Ada bore Jobel; he was the father of those that dwell in tents, feeding cattle.
Hebrew – And bore Adah Jabal; he was the father of those living in tents and raising livestock.
- Abel had already been a herdsman, so what does this mean? Very possibly, using Hebrew culture, the word 'father' would indicate a tribe of herdsmen came from Jabel
- "Jabal" means ‘moving’ – Name indicates moving with flocks as they feed. Nomadic lifestyle
NIV – His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute.
KJV – and his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
Alex. LXX – And the name of his brother was Jubal; he it was who invented the psaltery and harp.
Hebrew – And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those playing the harp and the organ.
- "Jubal" comes from the word meaning ‘stream’ – from ‘yabal’ which probably means ‘to flow,’ or ‘to bring forth,’ or ‘to carry forth.’ Idea is to bring with pomp. The word ‘jubilee’ is from Jubal.
- The word translated 'invented' in the Alexandrian also means 'made known.'
NIV – Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
KJV – And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
Alex. LXX – Sella she also bore Thobel; he was a smith, a manufacturer both of brass and iron; and the sister of Thobel was Noema.
Hebrew – And Zillah also she bore Tubal-Cain, the hammerer of every engraving tool of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
- Tubal-cain – ‘tubal’ means ‘to produce’ or ‘produce, or wealth, or fruit’ – this name has come to mean the offspring or fruit of Cain. “Cain” means “acquisition” or “to chant, wail, or lament” -- it depends on which dictionary you use!
Tubal -- "brought" - also Tabal, Tabali, Tubalu, T’bilisi, Tibarenoi, Tibareni, Tibar, Tibor, Sabir, Sapir, Sabarda, Subar, Subartu, Thobal, Thobel, Tobol, Tobolsk
- Naamah – Naa – Noah (Noe in the LXX). ‘ma’ is the root word for water. She was, in terms of her name and Jewish legend, Noah’s wife.
- KJV says ‘brass’ instead of bronze. In translation of LXX also brass, but strictly speaking it should be bronze. Bronze was the metal which was usually used then, and brass only came into prominence very much later. Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. Brass is any alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties Despite this distinction, some types of brasses are called bronzes. The word in the Bible indicates copper, or reddish -- the color of copper --, so the word should be probably be ‘bronze.’
- “Tubal” or “Thobel” may have been a common enough name at the time that this particular one was identified as being of Cain’s line.
Interesting that Zillah was the mother, and not Adah
NIV – Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have kill a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”
KJV – And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; the wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Alex. LXX – And Lamech said to his wives, Ada and Sella, Hear my voice, you wives of Lamech, consider my words, because I have slain a man for my wounding and a youth for my hurt. Because vengeance has been exacted seven times on Cain’s behalf, on Lamech’s seventy times seven.
Hebrew – And said Lamech to his wives Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice you wives of Lamech, listen to my words – for a man I have killed because of my wound and a young man for my hurt. For sevenfold Cain is avenged and Lamech seventy-seven.
- Evidently Cain had been murdered. The ‘if’ is evidently added in the modern translations
- God exacted vengeance on Cain’s behalf, but Lamech plans to exact his own
- Lamech's name means 'wild man.' His temper must have been volatile.
- The system of law and order had clearly broken down. Lamech is boasting about murdering two young men and is not at all afraid of any legal ramifications.
- Compare this to the murder of Abel, which was considered horrendous and worthy of killing in retribution. Now the culture was condoning multiple wives and casual murder
- Imagine how Adam and Eve felt. They were the only ones alive who knew what the world had been like before sin. And although -- if they had not sinned -- others would have after them, they must have felt responsibility and deep shame for what they saw their act had led to. Their pain must have been incredible.
NIV – Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”
KJV – And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Alex. LXX – And Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and called his name Seth, saying, For God has raised up to me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Hebrew – And Adam again knew his wife, and she bore a son and she called his name Seth, for has appointed me God another seed in place of Abel, because killed him Cain.
- "Seth" means 'compensation or sprout;' also ‘substituted’
- If Seth was the substitute for Abel, then Cain and Abel were not young men at the time of their fight; both were easily 200 years old or more.
NIV – Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.
KJV – and to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Alex. LXX – and Seth had a son, and he called his name Enos: and he trusted on the name of the LORD.
Hebrew – And to Seth also he was born a son, and he called his name Enos. Then it was begun to call on the name of Jehovah.
- "Enos/Enosh" means 'mortal.'
- LXX shows that many did not trust on the LORD by that time. It had become something remarkable.
- Whatever translation you choose, something different is being mentioned. Evidently the evil had progressed to such an extent that either God was no longer available to men as He had been, on a personal basis at the entrance to Eden, or men simply wanted nothing to do with Him until they became desperate.
- ‘Call upon’ – qara – primitive root meaning ‘to call out,’ ‘to address by name’ can mean ‘to betray yourself,’ ‘to cry unto,’ ‘to invite,’ ‘to preach,’ ‘to proclaim,’ ‘to pronounce or publish.’
NIV – This is the written account of Adam’s line.
KJV – This is the book of the generations of Adam
Alex. LXX – This is the book of the generation of men (in the day in which God made Adam.)
Hebrew – This is the book the generations of Adam (in the day that created God man)
- This closes Adam’s tablet. The fact that he did not go beyond Enos in Seth’s line, gives an indication of the time when Seth’s son was old enough to become a believer – not long before Adam was 930 years old and died.
- The NIV uses the term 'written,' because the Hebrew word 'sepher' is in the Hebrew and indicates something written
- The part in parentheses may be the beginning of the next tablet.
continue to Part 3