CHRISTIAN BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS.4

2. Reflections on Creation of Man in Chapters 1-6:
Man is presented as a direct and specific creation of God, formed and nursed by the Lord. His origin is divine in that he shares God’s image and likeness, and all that he was and became came from the Lord. Angels are not brought in to educate Adam and his wife, nor is man seen in some primitive and barbaric state of ignorance and alienation from God. There are some who would have us believe these things are mere symbolism of human development and would lead us to their newly developed theories of various forms of evolution from primates to Homo sapiens. This they find in science and natural philosophy by the relatedness of all living creatures, that life is similar in all species and thus must derive one from the other in a serial variety of simplest forms of life to ever increasing complex species which generate and evolve by adaptation in a struggle to exist and live in the most suitable manner. We cannot deny that in creation the patterns and symmetry of the Creator must exist, that in nature His wisdom and genius is found. In fact, we expect to see in the physical world the unseen counterparts or a resemblance and correspondence or reflection in the universe. It gives no credit to God to ignore or reject the countless evidence of His manifold works in nature or its reality. We also expect to find in inspired Scripture, as words and truth coming from God must also mirror the same patterns and analogies, and also the anomalies that must exist with such an infinite God. Here we read of man’s creation by God in very simple terms and a succinct picture which cannot be ignored by any intelligent person. Adam was formed as a first and an original creature by the Lord out of the dust of the ground and inbreathed by the Lord with the breath of life to live and become lord of all the earth. As with the creation so also here, man originates from God in this manner, or the Bible is broken and invalidated, without truth and revelation. We will reflect on the ancient chronology in the upcoming chapters but say here that the time that it is very recent, of several thousands of years (say 6-12, cannot be reconciled to the hundreds of thousands or millions of years that the scientific evolution requires. That man is unique among all animals is Genesis, and that all creation came from God is truth. Therefore, all creatures which resemble man were created by God in their species and innumerable variations. Scripture is not broken in admission of the fossil remains of pre-humans or other evidences of life forms reaching back into the dateless past. If God created certain species to adapt or transform or mutate it does not weaken faith and harm the truth. It’s when we touch what is holy and belongs to God that we do great injury to our souls. It is a true saying that the ancients were deceived by ignorance of the world, but modern man is deceived by his ever-increasing knowledge of the universe. But as in our reflections on the Creation Week, so too here we will let the learned speak for themselves as to their doctrines and theories of human origins.
The description in the Generations of Heaven and Earth are the actual process used in the manufacturing of the creation in which we are told when and how this work was done. The earth or land was barren and dry without rain only a mist or stream irrigated the ground, adamah. The marginal notes and the variant renderings of different translations confirm the difficulty of these verses leading to man’s formation. The interpretation that the description is another account of the creation week is not sustainable. Adam was not yet formed or birthed but was already conceived and in God’s creation. The earth as the place for man was not ready. And as the house is built after the land is prepared by clearings and grading, the foundation being laid to construct what must be manufactured from the ground. In the creation week the Word is given but here we have the Land and the Man, that is, the people who must live on it and fulfill God’s purpose or words. The ground must be cultivated to yield by growth what will feed man and animals. The Lord (YHWH) prepares Earth as His Eden in which He plants a Garden for man. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, the adamah, and partakes of the earth and shares animal life. Water was necessary to soften the dry-land, which would nourish the ground to grow vegetation of variety and value. In the creation week earth is submerged in waters, but in Eden the land was dry and watered by mist and streams or springs, which will become rivers. The formation is a special creation marking God’s masterpiece which will be His signature work and confirm His majesty and glory because it bears His image and likeness and decreed to be the lord of earth and of all in it or of it. That God could have brought into being the prepared earth and its creatures and Adam in a day or an hour or minute or a second, we doubt not, but this would not stamp His personality and relationship but only His power and wisdom. We say, if no pain there is not gain. And the Lord took pain to slowly cultivate the ground from a field to useful lot, and to plant what He deemed best and good.
Man is formed (yitzer) from the dust or dirt as clay and mud is formed, with all the earthly elements and especially water. Adam is often interpreted as derived from adam or adm meaning red, or from dam meaning blood; but these are deficient, adam is from adamah the ground of the earth. Whether it was reddish as some earth is does not dictate its proper meaning, nor because they are similar in form or sound make their root the same. The Arabic is easier proved to be influenced by these roots being alike than be derived from each other though they may share a more primitive origin. Adam is man as so formed while still not alive. The Lord breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils and he became a living soul. As a living soul he shares the animal life of other creatures who were called such in the creation week, but unlike them receives from the Lord God His own direct and divine living or life-giving breath which births life, a soul. All that a human soul is, is found in Adam who begins life without ability to care for himself, and ignorant of all things. He must learn from the Lord all that pertains to life and God. This divine life as living breath is capable of growth and development to make a man lord of all on earth. But in order to grow he needs God in everything. He will discover himself as he interacts and relates to fellow creatures and the Lord. We are not told a thousand things which must needs be lived and learnt, but we are told enough to lead us to and keep us in the truth. In the creation week these things are not revealed or decreed, but they are here vital to man. In the creation week we learn of God in many things, being and doing, and these many attributes and descriptions of God, or Divine details of His Person, must one by one be generated and perfected in Adam. The Lord must build a home for Adam, a living place, and this place must be a Garden, a Paradise, in Eden eastward (Gan-Eden miQedem), and he moved Adam from his birthplace to his new home and working place where he will learn to work and rule in living. This Garden of Eden, nourished by waters, settled by the Lord, and now occupied by man, is not a ordinary place, but initially must be a nursery of living and learning. The Lord furnished the Garden with many trees of beauty and appeal, healthy and healing, all that was essential to Adam. Two Trees were also made at the center of the Garden, one of Life and the other of Knowledge of Good and Evil. What and why these two trees were needful will soon be disclosed.
The History continues that a River proceeded forth out of Eden to irrigate the Garden, which then parted into four heads or rivers. The rivers are described from south to north. The two northern extremities, the rivers, are well known, the Hiddekel or Tigris River flows north east from the garden to Akkad through Bagdad and Assyria up to Armenia, and the Euphrates which is west of the Tigris flowing through Sumer and Babylon up to Syria and Turkey. The two rivers listed as 3rd and 4th are basically unchanged from then to now, and they converge at Bosra. The first two rivers flow from the garden southward and part to the west and the east. The two southern extremities the Rivers, Pison and Gihon, the 1st and 2nd, are enigmatic and create controversy. Most agree that the two northern rivers meet at the southern end of Mesopotamia whence that name is derived meaning Between-Rivers, the land of the most ancient Sumerians and Babylonians and of the ancient Akkadians and Assyrians. The ancient Biblical Pison River flows around or turns to or through the ancient Land of Havilah where gold, bdellium, and the onyx stone are valued. The ancient Gihon River turned to or around Ethiopia which in Hebrew is Cush or northern Africa. The ancient Gihon is not of Jerusalem as some quickly assume. The modern attraction to the Kharkeh east of the Tigris and Karun east of Kharkeh falls short in several areas and features. The Euphrates or Al-Furat, and the Tigris, from Persian or Hiddekel, now Dijlat of the Shat-al-Arab are clearly and easily traced, and historically valid, and are the rivers that flow from the Zagros Mountains. The earth is ever changing, and the continents undergone changes in size and shape by several processes. It is known in modern times that the earth’s constitution is made up of various layers, and center is molten hot lava as seen in volcanoes in eruption. Again, this layered composition of the earth is made up of larger segments of land throughout the earth and in and under the oceans. Science by knowledge of Plate Tectonics has mapped out the fractured planet and all its major plates. There are about ten plates so named, and one is called the Arabian Plate which borders the Indian Plate where great and mighty activity is visibly taking place in these two continental plates that are deep below the ocean, and are shifting and sliding away from each other, at opposite directions and different speeds. The plate fault line Arabia goes down from eastern shores of Mediterranean Sea along the borders of Syria and Lebanon and Israel or Palestine, continuing southward in a straight line to the coast line of the Sea of Aqaba down to the tip of Sinai Peninsula, straight down through the middle of the Red Sea and turning westward in the middle of the Gulf of Aden into the Indian Ocean meeting the larger Indian Plate. It is due to this, according God’s design in the creation of the world in such an awesome manner, most dreadful with wondrous grandeur in wisdom and power, that earth changes and reveals land from beneath and swallows land from above. It is well known that the tip of the Persian Gulf has moved forward and submerging land that once was visible and livable in southern Iraq and Kuwait along with Bahrain and ancient Dilmun. I am persuaded that Eden’s Garden, Gan-Eden, is gone into the sea of death. In the Garden the two rivers were met with two more heads or mouths or streams that flowed into the sea in two different directions. One flowed southward to the east along the borders of ancient Elam and southern Persia or Iran and into southern India; the other flowed south west on the eastern coast of Arabia going around Arabia unto Sinai Peninsula then down to east coast of Africa or Cush including ancient Ethiopia. The Nile River is not to be regarded to have anything to do with Gan-Eden. As in modern times the southern coast by land or sea can be followed, so anciently the two rivers in the form of the Gulfs enabled the culture and civilization to spread from Adam’s first home till the Great Flood swept them and the Garden away under the waters. But I leave you to think as you wish. I am sure of this that after the Flood and at the time of Moses Adam’s first real estate was no longer visible or known except in stories and myths and oral tradition and primitive writings. These things contain many mysteries some of which will begin to unfold.
The Lord God moves Adam into the Gan-Eden to cultivate and care for it. We are not told of the countless things or the time involved to nurse and train Adam from absolute zero human experiences to a state of maturity to work and rule. I used to think the Lord made Adam mature as a perfect adult, but I was childish in my thinking. Adam would go through human experiences just like all humans go through them, to develop after birth, and just like the Messiah, the Word incarnate did from childhood to teens to adulthood. Adam is commanded a prohibition, after a general permission as to the trees of the Garden, in regards to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, with the penalty of dying death (literal rendering noted in the marginal notes of many versions, and pointed out by countless interpreters). We are not yet taught what evil is or death, but we have been shown that darkness is opposite light, and the creation as coming from God was good, even very good. Man is created without his choice or will, but here Adam has a choice and will to obey the Lord or to disobey God. Adam was made alive by the Lord God and he will surely die if He disobeys God and eats of the forbidden tree. Adam names the animals brought to him but remains alone without his match. In the creation week Adam was made both male and female, their name was Adam, and referred to as them. Here Adam is alone without the female or woman to fulfill God’s words, His creativity.
The Lord then put Adam in deep sleep, anesthetized him, to operate in opening Adam’s flesh and removing piece of him, rib or side or whatever, and reclosed his flesh. The side-piece is made or built into a woman (ishah, female). We are not told of the degree of time and training required to bring her to Adam, but she is in the second order by design. She is brought to Adam who pronounced that this one is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, and calls her woman (ishah, from ish). The writer adds that a man (ish) leaves father and mother to cling and attach to his wife (ishah, female or woman), and thus the two become one flesh (basar). This is the first three occurrences of the word flesh, and here one flesh refers to the union of two in the procreation of offspring to fulfill God’s words. In simple innocence in unashamed nakedness we have the first union or marriage the conjugal rights and state. They share a common life and body in the institution and creation of a sacred but natural union, shared in a lesser degree by the animals.
Man is presented as a direct and specific creation of God, formed and nursed by the Lord. His origin is divine in that he shares God’s image and likeness, and all that he was and became came from the Lord. Angels are not brought in to educate Adam and his wife, nor is man seen in some primitive and barbaric state of ignorance and alienation from God. There are some who would have us believe these things are mere symbolism of human development and would lead us to their newly developed theories of various forms of evolution from primates to Homo sapiens. This they find in science and natural philosophy by the relatedness of all living creatures, that life is similar in all species and thus must derive one from the other in a serial variety of simplest forms of life to ever increasing complex species which generate and evolve by adaptation in a struggle to exist and live in the most suitable manner. We cannot deny that in creation the patterns and symmetry of the Creator must exist, that in nature His wisdom and genius is found. In fact, we expect to see in the physical world the unseen counterparts or a resemblance and correspondence or reflection in the universe. It gives no credit to God to ignore or reject the countless evidence of His manifold works in nature or its reality. We also expect to find in inspired Scripture, as words and truth coming from God must also mirror the same patterns and analogies, and the anomalies that must exist with such an infinite God. Here we read of man’s creation by God in very simple terms and a succinct picture which cannot be ignored by any intelligent person. Adam was formed as a first and an original creature by the Lord out of the dust of the ground and inbreathed by the Lord with the breath of life to live and become lord of all the earth. As with the creation so also here, man originates from God in this manner, or the Bible is broken and invalidated, without truth and revelation. We will reflect on the ancient chronology in the upcoming chapters but say here that the time that it is very recent, of several thousands of years (say 6-12, cannot be reconciled to the hundreds of thousands or millions of years that the scientific evolution requires. That man is unique among all animals is Genesis, and that all creation came from God is truth. Therefore, all creatures which resemble man were created by God in their species and innumerable variations. Scripture is not broken in admission of the fossil remains of pre-humans or other evidences of life forms reaching back into the dateless past. If God created certain species to adapt or transform or mutate it does not weaken faith and harm the truth. It’s when we touch what is holy and belongs to God that we do great injury to our souls. It is a true saying that the ancients were deceived by ignorance of the world, but modern man is deceived by his ever-increasing knowledge of the universe. But as in our reflections on the Creation Week, so too here we will let the learned speak for themselves as to their doctrines and theories of human origins.
The Bible makes no claims as a book of religion or science, nor philosophy or history and the like. It does record things touching many categories of knowledge as it comes to importance in the interaction of God with Adam and Noah, from Shem to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or Israel. Israel as the Hebrew race is followed through the generations and lives of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, and finally to Christ. The generations are selected histories inspiring and inspired in relations to the Lord God as He moves in and through His creation with His creatures to bring about His will and way. Genesis as the book of origins begins the seeds of all that follow and governs the definitions and interpretations which unfold. As with cosmology in the creation week in chapter one, so here in chapter two the creation continues in its generations and history beginning with man. The story of man is anthropology and all that is seeded in it with properties of its own determined by design as a seed to a tree. Man is the vital life of the cosmos as a seed in the earth, because the Creator and Maker has so willed and said. Men study and discover His mysteries and secrets in many things and ways, but the greatest discovery is man himself as the reflection of God. Every detail and every word inspired by God instructs us to Him and of Him as we are guided along our generations. Genesis is the story of God in man.
Man’s constitution in anatomy and psychology as with the heavens in astronomy and the earth in geology, is revealed in chapter two and thereafter. The two stories are intertwined and are connected, but they are not two versions of the same thing and pieced together by clever documentary devices, and then interpreted by ingenious theories and promoted as doctrines of the wise and the learned. If we go back far enough, be it hundreds of years or thousands of years, we discover the innumerable ideas that mankind has created and invented of heavenly things and earthly things, and if God was not concerned with His creation, that is His world, mankind would not have any truth to trust. As with today in every field among all nations, there is the widest spectrum of human perspectives as to everything. Experimental science and experience in living will eventually expose the errors and evils in what we believe and teach, if not to ourselves then to others, if not in this generation then in the next. So it behooves me to share some of the conflicts and controversies related to the two chapters of Genesis.
It is not my concern to explain or refute the Bible critics; I am only considering their arguments and questions. Many erroneous Biblical doctrines have always existed, and we all partake of some ignorance as we do knowledge. Several centuries past in such ignorance many things of the Bible and of Genesis were denied as impossible an historically unsubstantiated, these enigmas were used by foolish presumptive men to mock Scripture, but now, during man’s progress in the sciences and specialties of exploration and experimentations, a world of an ancient and forgotten past have been unearthed to mock the mockers, and to shame their once honored fame and name. That the Mesopotamian civilizations were the earliest origins of historic mankind and that it was once rich in vegetation; and waterways different than today; that races are commonly related; that languages have originated from a common stock, that certain stories go back to early man and primitive people where ever found, Egypt, then Assyria and Chaldea, then Medes and Persians, Greeks and Romans, all arose in succession as the Bible recorded. The Sumerian civilization once forgotten for two thousand years, have been unearthed with writings that was unknown, but soon deciphered; yielding thousands of details of a post-flood era, and a pre-Abraham world. The Bible has now become a Book to find suggestions on many quests to unravel ancient history. Questions on human origins and migrations, human nature and man’s psychology, origins of some nations like the Arabs, and many other matters. I turn to another witness.
The Babylonian-Assyrian Genesis called Enuma Elish of seven tablets in cuneiform was unearthed to witness of the common stories of the early chapters of Genesis. These tablets would soon shame many dubious Bible critics of the previous centuries; but soon was interpreted by some as the source of Moses’ Genesis. As the tablets were deciphered and understood the contrast between Genesis and Enuma Elish were gigantic. Then came the clay tablets of the earliest Sumerians pushing back the Genesis stories more than a thousand years, and with the Sumerians and Acadians the stories of a pre-flood civilization brought back Genesis as a scientific curiosity. The Epic of Gilgamesh was soon compared with Noah and his times, along with the Flood that ended that earlier culture where man was closer to God. Any novice can read and compare the stories and see a world of difference, especially Monotheism versus Polytheism. I need not spend extended time and multiply pages in this and so many like myths which are used in comparative religions or archaic symbolism or primitive metaphysical worship. The Bible does agree with essential kernels of human nature and experiences leading culture, custom, and traditions, and are important and informative to those who have need to explore man’s origins. But here is an example:

1.”Like the Greek Theogony, the creation of the world in the Enuma Elish begins with the universe in a formless state, from which emerge two primary gods, male and female:”
“When the skies above were not yet named Nor earth below pronounced by name, Apsu, the first one, their begetter, And maker Tiamat, who bore them all, Had mixed their waters together, But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds; When yet no gods were manifest, Nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed, Then gods were born within them.” (Dalley 233)
((But I would paraphrase these lines thus: Before the heavens above were ever named Before earth below pronounced by name, He Apsu, the beginning, their begetter, And She, maker Tiamat, who bore them all, They had mixed their waters together, But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds; When yet no gods were manifest, Nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed, Then gods were born within them…))
(“Apsu, the male “begetter,” is the sweet waters, while Tiamat, the female “maker,” is the bitter, salt waters. Sweet and salt water mingle together at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, site of the origins of Mesopotamian civilization. Some translators see the word “maker” in line 4 not as an adjective describing Tiamat but as another god, named Mummu, who emerges at the same time. As you might expect, Mummu means “maker,” “form,” “mold,” or “matrix.” Besides being Apsu’s vizier, Mummu is the mold or the undifferentiated substance from which things are made. Like Eros at the beginning of the Theogony, this Mummu-power is necessary to get the job of birth-creation going. Stephanie Dalley notes that “the bit-mummu was the term for a workshop that produced statues of deities” (274). N. K. Sandars, however, sees mummu as potential, or entropy (27). In this early period, nothing is named yet because nothing has appeared or been created yet. Notice that pasture-land must be formed–wrested from the desert by the hard work of digging and irrigation. The reed-beds mentioned in line 6 are handier than one might think: in southern Iraq today, the marsh dwellers live and work in floating houses and boats made from the reeds in the reed-beds. The “destinies” mentioned in line 8 are somewhat like the Sumerian me–cultural patterns and ways of living.”) (“After the waters of Apsu and Tiamat mix, the gods Lahmu and Lahamu (“slime, mud”) emerge. And from this pair come Anshar (“whole sky”) and Kishar (“whole earth”), meaning perhaps “the horizon, the circular rim of heaven and the corresponding circular rim of earth” (Jacobsen 168). Anshar and Kishar give birth to Anu, the sky god, who in turn begets what one translation calls “his likeness” (Heidel 18) Ea, the trickster god of the flowing waters, who is familiar to us as Enki. The following genealogical chart summarizes the creation so far:”)

2. ((A better collection of translations and texts and collected and edited by Robert W. Rogers, Cuneiform Parallels Old Testament. Bodleian Library, Oxford. September 13, 1911.)):
“The Story of Creation: 1 When above the heaven was not named, And beneath the earth bore no name, And the primeval Apsu, who begat them And Mummu and Tiamat, the mother of them all,— 5 Their waters were mingled together, And no field was formed, no marsh seen, When no one of the gods had been called into being, And none bore a name, and no destinies [were fixed] Then were created the gods in the midst of [heaven], 10 Lakhmu and Lakhamu were called into being . . . Ages increased …”= e-nu-ma e-liS la na-bu-u sa-ma-mu sap-lis am-ma-tum su-ma la zak-rat Apsu-ma ris-tu-u za-ru-su-un Mu-um-mu Ti-amat mu-al-li-da-at1 gim-ri-Su-un 5 m6-Su-nu is-te-nis i-Jji-ku-u-ma gi-pa-ra la ki-is-«u-ra su-sa-a la Se-‘ e-nu-ma ilani la su-pu-u ma-na-ma su-ma la luk-ku-ru Si-ma-tu la [Si-mal ib-ba-nu-u-ma ilani ki-ri[b] [Sa-ma-mi2] 10 (ilu) Lajj-mu u (ilu) La-Qa-mu uS-ta-pu-u [. . .] a-di ir-bu-u i- [. . .]”] (“The text is published by King, in Cuneiform Texts, xiii. See further for additional fragments, King, The Seven Tablets of Creation, where also are to be found transcription, translation, and a valuable commentary. Earlier editions, which are still valuable, are Heinrich Zimmer, in Gunnels, Schdpfung und Chaos, pp. 401ff; Delitzsch, Das Babylonische Weltschopfungsepos. (Abhandlungen der Sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, Bd. xvii, 1896): Jensen, in Schrader’s Keilinschriftlichs Bibliothek, vi, 1, pp. 2ff.; Winckler, Keilinschriftliches Textbuch zum Alten Testament, 3te Auf., pp. 94ff.; Bezold, Die Schepfungslegende (Kleine Texte fur theolog. Vorlesungen und Uebungen. Litzmann, Heft 7, Bonn, 1904); P. Dhorme, Choix de Textes Religieux Assyro-Babyloniens, pp. 2ff. The literature in explanation of this difficult text and of its relations to the religion of Israel is very extensive. The following may be mentioned: Jastrow. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (1898), pp. 407ff., and Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens (1904-1912); A. Loisy, Les Mythes Babyloniens et les Premiers Chapitres de la Genese (1901); A. T. Clay, Light on the Old Testament from Babel (1907); Rogers, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, especially in its relations to Israel (1908).”)

((Finally, here is a fuller example of the Sumerian Genesis, by which the Hebrew Genesis is shown to be reflected by a poor distortion, and great confusion, of an earlier history and context. The polytheism shows the depraved creativity of human development in transmitting truth and the traditions of their beginnings. I do not seek to explain the elements of these early stories and myths, I only find the evidence and witness that Moses version, given by God, goes back in many details to the people and places given in Genesis are not imaginary, not fictional, and if true, not mythical. The re-discovery of this pre-Egyptian period of history and the generations after the great Deluge, clearly shows the connective thread of the later stories of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. I double bracket my paraphrases.))
Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the nether world: translation. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to make accessible, via the World Wide Web, over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC. If you wish to use or cite the corpus, please use the following form of citation: Black, J.A., Cunningham, G., Fluckiger-Hawker, E, Robson, E., and Zףlyomi, G., The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/) , Oxford 1998- Copyright © J.A. Black, G. Cunningham, E. Robson, and G. Zףlyomi 1998, 1999, 2000; J.A. Black, G. Cunningham, E. Flckiger-hawker, E. Robson, J. Taylor, and G. Zףlyomi 2001. The authors have asserted their moral rights.
Version A, from Nibru, Urim, and elsewhere:
“1-26 In those days, in those distant days, in those nights, in those remote nights, in those years, in those distant years [[in the beginnings of days, and of days and nights, and of years]]; in days of yore, when the necessary things had been brought into manifest existence [[before all things]], in days of yore, when the necessary things had been for the first time properly cared for, when bread had been tasted for the first time in the shrines of the Land, when the ovens of the Land had been made to work, when the heavens had been separated from the earth, when the earth had been delimited from the heavens, when the fame of mankind had been established, when An had taken the heavens for himself, when Enlil had taken the earth for himself, when the nether world had been given to Erec-kigala as a gift; when he set sail, when he set sail, when the father set sail for the nether world, when Enki set sail for the nether world — against the king a storm of small hailstones arose, against Enki a storm of large hailstones arose. The small ones were light hammers; the large ones were like stones from catapults (?). The keel of Enki’s little boat was trembling as if it were being butted by turtles; the waves at the bow of the boat rose to devour the king like wolves and the waves at the stern of the boat were attacking Enki like a lion. 27-35 At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub tree, a single tree, growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the Euphrates. The force of the south wind uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the Euphrates picked it up and carried it away. A woman, respectful of An’s words, was walking along; a woman, respectful of Enlil’s words, was walking along, and took the tree and brought it into Unug, into Inana’s luxuriant garden. 36-46 the woman planted the tree with her feet, but not with her hands. The woman watered it using her feet but not her hands. She said: “When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?” She said: “When this will be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?” Five years, ten years went by, the tree grew massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled it’s young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana cried! 47-69 When dawn was breaking, when the horizon became bright, when the little birds, at the break of dawn, began to clamor, when Utu had left his bedchamber, his sister holy Inana said to the young warrior Utu: “My brother, in those days when destiny was determined, when abundance overflowed in the Land, when An had taken the heavens for himself, when Enlil had taken the earth for himself, when the nether world had been given to Erec-kigala as a gift; when he set sail, when he set sail, when the father set sail for the nether world, when Enki set sail for the nether world — against the lord a storm of small hailstones arose, against Enki a storm of large hailstones arose. The small ones were light hammers; the large ones were like stones from catapults (?). The keel of Enki’s little boat was trembling as if it were being butted by turtles; the waves at the bow of the boat rose to devour the lord like wolves and the waves at the stern of the boat were attacking Enki like a lion. 70-78 “At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub tree, a single tree (?), growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the Euphrates. The force of the south wind uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the Euphrates picked it up and carried it away. I, a woman, respectful of An’s words, was walking along; I, a woman, respectful of Enlil’s words, was walking along, and took the tree and brought it into Unug, into holy Inana’s luxuriant garden. 79-90 “I, the woman, planted the tree with my feet, but not with my hands. I, Inana (1 ms. has instead: the woman), watered it using my feet but not my hands. She said: “When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?” She said: “When will this be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?” Five years, ten years had gone by, the tree had grown massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled it’s young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana cried!” Her brother, the young warrior Utu, however, did not stand by her in the matter. 91-113 When dawn was breaking, when the horizon became bright, when the little birds, at the break of dawn, began to clamor, when Utu had left his bedchamber, his sister holy Inana said to the warrior Gilgamec: “My brother, in those days when destiny was determined, when abundance overflowed in the Land, when An had taken the heavens for himself, when Enlil had taken the earth for himself, when the nether world had been given to Erec-kigala as a gift; when he set sail, when he set sail, when the father set sail for the nether world, when Enki set sail for the nether world — against the lord a storm of small hailstones arose, against Enki a storm of large hailstones arose. The small ones were light hammers; the large ones were like stones from catapults (?). The keel of Enki’s little boat was trembling as if it were being butted by turtles; the waves at the bow of the boat rose to devour the lord like wolves and the waves at the stern of the boat were attacking Enki like a lion. 114-122 “At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub tree, a single tree (?), growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the Euphrates. The force of the south wind uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the Euphrates picked it up and carried it away. I, a woman, respectful of An’s words, was walking along; I, a woman, respectful of Enlil’s words, was walking along, and took the tree and brought it into Unug, into Inana’s luxuriant garden. 123-135 “The woman planted the tree with her feet, but not with her hands. Inana watered it using her feet but not her hands. She said: “When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?” She said: “When will this be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?” Five years, ten years had gone by, the tree had grown massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled it’s young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana (1 ms. has instead: I, holy Inana,) cried!” In the matter which his sister had told him about, her brother, the warrior Gilgamec, stood by her.” [[The story line in my perception is that of the poetic version and perversion of Adam and Eve and the generations of Cain and Abel, of the Fall of Man, the Garden of Eden, and such like, leading up to the Flood. A thousand pages could be filled with such stories in many versions, altered more or less, and fitted to various peoples or tribes and nations. We will revisit these early Epics when we have reflected on Noah and the Flood. I will at that time call as witness the opinion and translations of the famed Sumerian scholar Kramer.]])

The study of man has continued from the most ancient times to the present, ever changing in twist and turns, from loss of the truth to myths and fables of every kind. Every detail of human origins was altered and modified as it is to this day. The human evolution as it is taught shows religious beliefs in superstitions and obsession in the supernatural, from there reason and research in search for wisdom and truth added to the confusion in seeking to correct falsities and insanities. This endeavor became poetic prophesies and the general sophistry and finally philosophy as it approached scientific experimentation and theories based on such. In this concern in our reflections on the Genesis account of man and his generation in the world, we have anthropology in countless segments of doctrine and schools. The ideas concerning man as a human being with human nature, human behavior, and such like, has produced precise and specialized forms of knowledge which slowly developed into the field of Psychology as the Study of Soul, the Human Soul and Life and Being. The psyche as taught by the ancients and perfected by the Greeks in their myths was the soul as the female human personality filled with original and unique beauty divine and desired by all, she was sought by divine love in cupidity, evoked jealousy and lusts, lived and produced pleasure, shrouded in dreams and fantasies, loving in darkness, possessed by Eros, hated by Aphrodite , her sisters were deceit and seduction and murder, fated by Apollo, seeks love even to death and hell, satiated by sex, assisted by goddess of love, amused by Zeus who reunites her to Eros and makes her immortal; she is symbolized as a butterfly of love and desire or lust. And what we learn of Psyche so with other human and divine attributes and emotions and the like. Hesiod’s Theogony and Cosmogony shows the artful fictional Genesis of the Universe and Nature, often with most offensive behavior of divine powers and idols. Hesiod poetically explains and retells the history and religious tradition with obvious metaphysical sophistry as divine oracles. This brief analysis by……. will contrast the doctrine of Genesis. ((From Hesiod’s Poems and Fragments. Done in English Prose, with Introduction and Appendices; by A.W. Mair; in Oxford, Clarendon Press. 1908.))

((ANALYSIS OF THE THEOGONY: 1—115 Prooemium: 1-35 The Muses came on a time to Hesiod as he shepherded his sheep under Helikon and taught him sweet song. ‘Shepherds of the fields,’ they said, ‘ evil things of reproach, bellies only! We know to speak full many things that wear the guise of truth and know also when we will to utter truth.’ So saying, they gave to Hesiod a wondrous olive branch and breathed in him a voice divine that he might sing of the things that shall be and the things that were aforetime; 36-67 Of the manner of the song of the Muses: how in Pieria Mnemosyne bare them unto Zeus; 68-74 How the Muses, after visiting Hesiod, departed unto (Mount) Olympos; 75-103 The names of the Muses and the manner of their gifts to men. 104-115 Invocation of the Muses to sing the generation of the everlasting gods, the children of Earth and Heaven and Night and Sea: how Gods and Earth came into being, and the Rivers and the Sea and the Stars and Heaven above, and the gods who sprang from these: how they divided their possessions and attributes. 116-125 First of all was Chaos and then Earth and Eros (Love, Lust). From Chaos sprang Erebos (Darkness) and Night, and from Night in wedlock with Erebos sprang Aether (Ether, Air, Firmament, Fire, Light) and Day. 126-155 Earth first bare Ouranos (Heaven), and the Mountains and Pontos (Sea). These she bares without wedlock. In wedlock with Ouranos she bare Okeanos (Oceans) and Koios (Coios, Coitus) and Krios (Crius), and Hyperion and Iapetos (Japetos, Japheth) and Theia (Thea, Goddess) and Rheia (Rhea) and Themis (Theme) and Mnemosyne (Memory), and Phoibe (Phoebe, Phoebe, Bright, Radiant) and Tethus (Tethys), and, youngest, Kronos (Chronos, Time): also the Kyklopes (Cyclops)—Brontes (Thunder), Steropes (Steropes, Lightening), Arges (Argos, Argent, Shine, Bright); and further the hundred-handed Kottos (Cottos. Cottus), Briareos (Strong), Gyes (Gaea, Gaia, Earth); 155-210 How Ouranos hated his own children, and as each was born hid it in Earth: how Earth being sore straitened, devised a crafty device and gave to Kronos a sharp sickle, wherewith she persuaded him to do his sire grievous hurt: how the blood of the wound fell into the lap of Earth, whence sprang the Erinyes (Furies, Madness, Rage) and the Giants, and the Nymphs (Bride, Virgins) Meliae (Melia, Mylea, Milia): but from the fleshy parts that were cast into the sea sprang Aphrodite: and how Ouranos named his sons Titans. 211-225 The children of Night, without a sire: —Doom (Moros), Fate (Ker), Death, Sleep, Dreams, Blame (Momos), Woe (Oizus), Hesperides, Moirai (Klotho, Lachesis, Atropos), Nemesis, Deceit, Love (Philotes), Old Age, and Strife (Eris). 226-232 The children of Strife (Eris): —Toil, Oblivion, Famine, Griefs, Wars, Battles, Murders, Manslaughter, Quarrels, False Speech, Dispute, Lawlessness, Ruin (Ate), and Horkos (Oath). 233-239 The children of Pontos (Sea) and Earth: — Nereus, or the Old Man of the Sea, Thaumas, Phorkys and Keto, and Eurybia. 240-264The daughters of Nereus, son of Pontos and Earth, and Doris, daughter of Okeanos: —Thetis, &c. — fifty in all. 265-269 The daughters of Thaumas and Elektra, daughter of Okeanos: —Iris and the Harpies (Aello and Okypete). 270-279 The children of Phorkys and Keto (son and daughter respectively of Pontos): —the Graiai (Pemphredo and Enyo) and the Gorgons (Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa) 280-286 When Perseus cut off Medusa’s head there sprang from her Chrysaor and the horse Pegasos. The latter left earth for the immortals and now dwells in the halls of Zeus. 287-294 But Chrysaor with Kallirrhoe, daughter of Okeanos, begat three-headed Geryoneus, whom Herakles (Hercules) slew in Erytheia; 295-305 Kallirrhoe next bare Echidna; 305-332 Echidna in wedlock with Typhaon bare Orthos, the dog of Geryoneus, and Kerberos, the hound of Hades, and the Lernaean Hydra, whom Herakles (Hercules) slew: and Chimaira, whom Pegasos and Bellerophon slew. Chimaira bare to Orthos the Sphinx and the Nemean lion, which Herakles (Hercules) slew. 333-336 Keto to Phorkys bare the dragon which guards the golden apples of the Hesperides; 337— 345 Rivers sprung from Tethys and Okeanos: —Nile, Alpheios, Simois, Skamandros, Acheloos, &c, &c. 346363 Nymphs sprung from the same, including Styx, eldest (or’ most excellent’) of them all. 364-370 Three thousand daughters of Okeanos there be and sons as many—sounding rivers, ‘ whose names it was hard for mortal man to tell: but those who dwell by each know them everyone.’ 371-374 The children of Theia and Hyperion:—Sun, Moon, Dawn; 375-377 the children of Krios and Eurybia: —Astraios, Pallas, Perses; 378-382 the children of Astraios and Dawn:—the winds Argestes, Zephyros, Boreas, Notos, and after them the Morning Star. 383-403 the children of Styx and Pallas:—Zelos (Zeal, Jealousy) and Nike (Strife, Victory) and Kratos (Power, Strength) and Bia (Life, Bios, Vita), who dwell with Zeus (Theos, Dzeus, Deus, Dios), as he had vowed of old to Styx, when, with her children, she aided him against the Titans; Styx herself he appointed to be the Mighty Oath of the gods; 404-410 the children of Koios and Phoibe :—Leto and Asteria. 411-452 Asteria bare to Perses Hekate: the eminent powers and privileges of Hekate, as answerer of prayer, helper in council in games, and in war, aider of kings in judgments; of horsemen and of seamen, and of shepherds: and finally the nurse of children 453-458 The children of Rheia, daughter of Ouranos and Gaia, and Kronos :—Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus; 459-491 how Kronos, learning from Ouranos and Gaia that he was fated to have a son who should overthrow him, swallowed his own children: how Rheia, when about to bear Zeus, took counsel of Earth and Heaven to save her child: how they carried her to Lyktos in Krete, where she brought forth Zeus and hid him in a cave on the hill Aigaion : but she swaddled a great stone and gave it unto Kronos, who swallowed it, thinking it to be his son Zeus. 492-506 how Zeus throve mightily, and how in time by the devising of Earth, Kronos vomited forth the stone: which Zeus set up at Pytho to be a sign in the aftertime, a marvel to mortal men. And Zeus set free his father’s brothers, who in gratitude gave him thunder and lightning; 507-511 the children of Iapetos and Klymene, daughter of Okeanos: —Atlas, Menoitios, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. 512-520 the fates of Epimetheus, Menoitios, and Atlas. 521-616 the fate of Prometheus: how at Mekone he cut up an ox and attempted to deceive Zeus by offering him the bones concealed in fat (wherefore to this day men ‘burn white bones to the immortals upon fragrant altars ‘): how Zeus in vengeance refused men fire till it was stolen by Prometheus: created the first woman to be the bane of men: bound Prometheus and sent an eagle to devour his liver, which grew again by night as much as the eagle devoured by day—till he was at last, by consent of Zeus, delivered by Herakles, who slew the eagle. 617-719 how with the help of the hundred handed giants, Briareos, Kottos, and Gyes, Zeus overcame the Titans and imprisoned them in Tartaros; 720-745 descriptive of Tartaros; 746-757 the abode of Atlas in the west; 758-766 the abode of Sleep and Death, children of Night; 767-774 the abode of Hades and Persephone, guarded by the dog Kerberos; 775-806 the abode of Styx: how the gods swear by Styx, and the punishment of perjury; 807-819 of Tartaros, in which the Titans are imprisoned: of the abode of the hundred-handed giants; 820-868 of Typhoeus, son of Earth and Tartaros, and how Zeus overcame him and hurled him into Tartaros: 869880 the offspring of Typhoeus ;—all winds except Notos, Boreas, and Zephyros; 881-885 how Zeus became king of the gods; 886-900 how Zeus took Metis to wife and swallowed her when about to give birth to Athene; 901906 Zeus next took to wife Themis, mother of the Hours (or Seasons)—’Opai, namely Eunomia, Dike, and Eirene, and of the Fates (Moirai), namely Klotho, Lachesis, and Atropos; 907-911 next Zeus took to wife Eurynome, daughter of Okeanos, who bare to him the Graces, namely Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia; 912-914 next Zeus took to wife Demeter, who bare to him Persephone, whom Aidoneus carried off; 915-917 next Mnemosyne, who bare the nine Muses; 918-920 next Leto, who bare Apollo and Artemis; 921-923 lastly Hera, who bare Hebe, Ares, Eileithuia. 924-929 Zeus begot Tritogeneia from his own head, and Hera of herself bare Hephaistos; 930937 the son of Amphitrite and Ennosigaios :—Triton; the children of Ares and Kythereia:—Fear and Terror and Harmonia; 938-944 other children of Zeus :—by Maia, daughter of Atlas,—Hermes; by Semele, daughter of Kadmos,—Dionysos; by Alkraene,—Herakles (Hercules); 945955 Hephaistos wedded Aglaia, the youngest of the Graces; Dionysos wedded Ariadne, daughter of Minos, and Zeus made her immortal; Herakles (Hercules) wedded Hebe and dwells with the immortals, sorrowless and ageless forever; 956-962 the children of Helios and Perseis, daughter of Okeanos :—Kirke and Aietes; Aietes wedded Iduia, daughter of Okeanos, who bare to him Medea. 963-1020 goddesses who bare children to mortal men: Demeter to Iasios—Ploutos; Harmonia to Kadmos—Ino, Semele, Agave, Autonoe (wife of Aristaios), and Polydoros; Kallirrhoe to Chrysaor—Geryoneus; Dawn to Tithonos— Memnon and Emathion; Dawn to Kephalos—Phaethon; Medea to Iason—Medeios; Psamathe, daughter of Nereus, to Aiakos—Phokos ; Thetis to Peleus—Achilles; Kythereia to Aineias—Anchises; Kirke to Odysseus—Agrios, Latinos, Telegonos, Kings of the Tyrrhenians; Kalypso to Odysseus—Nausithoos and Nausinoos; 1021-1022 ‘And now, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympos, . . . sing ye the race of women.’
[Here the poem breaks off]))

Hesiod and Homer lived about the time of David and Solomon down to Isaiah (900-700 BC), some thousand years after the patriarchs, and several thousand years from Adam’s creation. Hesiod, like many before him, and others after him, explained the world as a Divine Nature in which all invisible things of nature and reality are brought into being by the immortal and invisible beings and powers. The inspiration of universal tradition and thoughts are poetically expressed as truth and doctrines but are not connected with an Originator but takes pre-existent matter and substance that self-generate into nature and god, with the balance of dualism throughout, that is, of male and female, good and bad, strong and weak, and so on, infinitely eternal. We find Hesiod’s device of history the same with the Sumerians as the earliest representative, then the Egyptians, afterwards many nations along with the Greeks and the Romans. The modern world is filled with these notions and terms. Genesis lays out a far simpler and clearer and nobler account of all things. The connection between the divine and the human is not mythological and fabulous but according to the divine order and nature in which God created, made, formed, and ordered it. In like manner human nature is not evolutionary from a savage state to a refined civilized form, for it is evident from the earliest recorded history man’s intelligence was far greater then, than what slowly came to, and that from such decline and decay rises by divine intervention and participation into a higher and more mature state. What man’s formation and preparation before the fall, was limited to the original pair, but the descendants of the families of man, after the fall, lost most of what was once developed and governed by God. We do not read of Adam as stupid or idiotic, but very logical and sensible even in shame and guilt. Away from God man became less divine in moral and spiritual qualities and virtues. Human nature did not begin man’s own acquisition of sensible experiences that merely compounded into accumulative progress or psychological growth. In Genesis God is like a Father to Adam and man like a son to God, and as a baby must learn by the one who births it or cares for it, so too Adam, and in Adam all mankind. Human nature was after the Divine Nature in that God nurtured in Adam those qualities that formed our original personality as human. All acquired knowledge and experiences of living were good, some things not good, and some things very good. Man became a knower of good and evil in sin and his psychology altered in mortal state. His reason and thoughts from heart and head is such that it will lead to death until God saves him from this living death and corruption.
The nature of the soul and mind of man has intrigued me over the many years, first in myself then in others, by Scripture and by study. As a Christian I found two opposing views developed from the Bible which has risen at the same time modern psychology. The dual nature of man as a damaged trichotomy, or the duality as a unity; in one a spirit distinct from the soul, in the other the soul and spirit are one and the same. Delitzsch’s System of Biblical Psychology became the first to pave the way towards a new spiritual understanding of the person and nature of man. Laidlaw’s Bible Doctrine of Man offered a new perception of duality and unity of the soul, and opposed to trichotomy, adhering and limited to the Bible expressed statements without developing a system of psychology. Delitzsch surveyed the entire field and explained the dominance of dichotomy from earliest times up to Plato and Aristotle who till the reformation influenced all biblical psychology. Laidlaw avoiding the systematic independence of a biblical psychology adheres to a Bible doctrine of man as an individual with two natures, purged from heathen or foreign myths and fables, adopting language of its recipients in the common populace. I will cite from these two works after I have concluded the reflections of the generations of the heavens and the earth.

3. Textual & Biblical Criticism:
We return to Genesis chapter two, concluding our reflections by way of some textual critics.
(A Historical and Critical Commentary of the Old Testament with a New Translation and Hebrew Text; by M. M. Kalisch, Phil. Doc, M.A. Vol.1. Genesis-Bereshith. New Edition. Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer. 1879.) (Comments on chapters one and two)
The Book of Genesis abounds with problems no less perplexing than interesting. Its vast range includes branches of the natural sciences and of history, of ethnography and philosophy; and with materials of singular variety skillfully blends great and fruitful ideas. It has, accordingly, provoked an overwhelming mass of comment, partly in confirmation, and partly in opposition to its statements; it has proved the battle-field for almost every shade of opinion, both religious and skeptical; and it is evidently destined to become the arena for the critical discussion of the whole ground-work of Biblical theology, and for the introduction of a new era in religious thought. The conviction of the surpassing importance of the book has strengthened us to face the numerous difficulties of a conscientious interpretation. We have endeavored impartially to weigh the facts, and calmly to draw the inferences. It has been our aim to neglect no essential evidence. But after due consideration, the conclusions have been stated with unreserved frankness. As we have no preconceived theory to defend, we have never been tempted to distort the text or to indulge in reckless combinations; and we have always tried so to unfold the argument, that the reader may at once either discover our error or admit our result. The excavations on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, the continued researches on Indian and Egyptian antiquities, the many new accounts of observing travelers who have recently visited the lands of the Bible, and the rapid advance made in the study of oriental languages and literature, have materially augmented the means for illustrating the Scriptures. They have especially enabled us to pursue more efficiently than was hitherto possible, the momentous enquiry concerning the relation which the Hebrew writings bear to the general cycle of Eastern traditions. We have attempted to make these new sources of information available for the exposition of Genesis, and to point out the peculiarities which, in spite of a similarity of materials surprising in many instances, distinguish the records of the Israelites from those of other ancient nations. By thus separating the form of the narratives from the ideas which they embody, many difficulties may find a solution doing equal justice to universal history, and to the development of the Hebrew mind.” “Even the philosophical historian, who undertakes to delineate the progress of the human race, may consider that his legitimate labors first commence at the point where he perceives the earliest dawn of well-ascertained facts emerging from the mists of fables and legends, and where his eye is arrested by the sight of several nations, as the Hindus and Egyptians, the Babylonians and Assyrians, considerably in advance on the path of prosperity and civilization. Yet it may not be unprofitable, under two aspects, to overstep that boundary. The student may either trace the antecedent phases of our planet, point out its organic relation to the universe, and determine the place which man occupies in the system of creation; or he may, by acute reasoning, endeavor to ascertain the first steps which mankind made in its struggle for improvement, before it arrived at that stage of development which existing annals or monuments exhibit. This double task was attempted by nearly all religious lawgivers of antiquity. Not only did they dwell upon the origin of heaven and earth, but they described the history of man from the commencement, the transition from innocence to sin, the toils of existence, and the arts that soften or alleviate them; and they indicated the links which joined their own people with the first human families. Now, whatever may be the positive value of the facts and reflections they furnished, the cosmogonies belong to the most instructive relics of primitive literature. They lay open, with distinctness attainable from few other sources, the hopes and cravings, the aims and ideals, of the different nations. They teach the supposed connection between man and his destiny, or the powers that govern it; and they embody the moral principles believed to be necessary for the virtuous life of the individual, and to form the chief end of all human generations.” “Facts are indeed invaluable, because they form the imperishable basis of research: but they are a useless encumbrance unless they enclose some idea, influence the will or the feeling of man, and contribute either to his ennoblement or his happiness. The views set forth in the book of Genesis have not only become the foundation of the culture of the Hebrews, but, through them, of a large part of mankind; and if they have as yet not produced all the beneficent effects of which they are capable, it is because passion, short-sightedness, and egotism, have been unable to recognize and to appreciate the common kernel of humanity in the modified forms of human thought.” “The modern researches in the natural sciences are as gigantic in their extent, as they are incontrovertible in their main results. The investigation of the laws of the material world, and their application to practical purposes, form the characteristic pursuits of our age. But the Bible also alludes, in many important passages, to physical laws and to natural phenomena. It became, therefore, an indispensable task for the Biblical student, and especially the theologian, to compare those recent results with the respective Scriptural statements. The conclusion, at which these men arrived, though vastly differing in detail, may be reduced to two chief classes. One part of these scholars — whose zeal, unfortunately, overruled their reason — flatly denied the correctness, and even possibility, of such facts: everyone knows that Galileo was compelled to abjure and to curse the Copernican system of the earth’s motion as fallacious and heretical; Voetius described it as a neologian fabrication; and the learned Francis Turrettin, not much more than one hundred and fifty years since, endeavored to overthrow it by Scriptural and physical arguments. But the opposition to that great astronomical truth has gradually vanished away before the colossal labors of Kepler, Newton, and their illustrious followers; nor will anybody at present, as once the learned doctors of Salamanca did, decry the views of Columbus as an impious heresy; and if objections are still raised by some tenacious straggler, they are received as a curiosity, causing hilarity rather than provoking controversy. But more vehement were the denouncements hurled, up to a very recent date, against the results of geology, itself a comparatively recent science; it was declared an unholy and atheistic pursuit, a dark art, a ” horrid blasphemy,” a study which has the evil one for its author; and its votaries were designated as arch-enemies of religion and virtue, infidels standing in the service of the infernal powers.” “The other class of scholars, more sober and less skeptical, acknowledges, either wholly or partially, the exactness of the natural sciences, but denies emphatically that there exists the remotest discrepancy between these results and the Biblical records. This is at present by far the most prevalent opinion among theologians; they positively assert that if there is an apparent contradiction, the fault is not in the Scriptural text, but in its erroneous exposition. They have, therefore, proposed a vast number of explanations intended to prove that harmony; and they have endeavored to show that the present notions of astronomy and geology, though not clearly expressed in the Bible, are certainly implied in the words, or may easily be deduced from their tenor. We believe the time has arrived for pronouncing a final and well-considered opinion on these momentous points; the materials necessary for this decision exist in abundance; they are all but complete; and we propose to submit to the reader an analysis which will enable him to judge and to decide for himself, and to form an opinion founded, not upon indefinite conceptions, but upon indisputable facts. There is, indeed, a third and very large class of scholars, who attempt to evade these questions altogether, by simply asserting that the Bible does not at all intend to give information on physical subjects — that it is exclusively a religious book, and regards the physical world only in so far as it stands in relation to the moral conduct of men. But this is a bold fallacy. With the same justice it might be affirmed, that the Bible, in describing the rivers of Paradise, does not speak of geography at all; or in inserting the grand list and genealogy of nations (in the tenth chapter), is far from touching on the science of ethnography. Taken in this manner, nothing would be easier, but nothing more arbitrary, than Biblical interpretation. It is simply untrue that the Bible entirely avoids these questions; it has, in fact, treated the history of creation in a most comprehensive and magnificent manner; it has in these portions, as well as in the moral precepts and the theological doctrines, evidently not withheld any information which it was in its power to impart. Therefore, dismissing this opinion without further notice, we shall first compare, under different heads, the distinct statements of the first chapters of Genesis with the uncontroverted researches of the natural sciences; we shall then, secondly, draw from these facts the unavoidable conclusions as regards the possibility of a conciliation; and shall, lastly, review the various attempts which have hitherto been made to effect that agreement.” “It has, indeed, been very positively contended, that the days mentioned in the Biblical record of Creation signify periods of a thousand years,’ or of indefinite extent. But this imputed meaning is absolutely against the usage and genius of the Hebrew language; and the days of creation are really and literally periods of our and twenty hours.’ However, it might be asserted — and it has, in fact, been frequently advanced — that the earth, with all its various layers and stratifications, has, by the Divine will, been called into existence in that limited number of days; and that God, after the completion of this lordly act of creation, has left nature and all her component parts to those eternal and immutable laws with which He had endowed her. But this opinion is rendered impossible by the following facts: — in all the strata of the earth, except the two or three lowest, are found organic remains of creatures which possessed and enjoyed life, and which evidently perished, partly by that revolution of the earth which buried the old formation, and partly by the change of climate which took place in the next epoch. It may be important to observe, that each stratum has its own characteristic species…. Now we ask, if the earth was created within six days, how and for what conceivable purpose were these numberless, and often huge and appalling, forms of beings, exhibiting every stage of growth, embedded in the different strata of the earth? We believe there is scarcely any man preposterous or blasphemous enough to impute to the Deity such plan less and reckless destruction in the midst of His majestic acts of creation. Many species, and even many distinct genera, have thus entirely disappeared; they are no longer represented on the earth. Generally, even the organic beings of one formation exist no more in the next higher group of rocks. Do not these circumstances compel as to suppose an indefinite antiquity of the earth’s crust? Many have certainly ascribed all those destructions to the influence of the Noachian deluge; they advance, that first submarine volcanoes, by ejecting their molten masses through different successive explosions, formed the massive layers below; and that then the land floods, sweeping away the islands and continents with their organic creations, produced the second or higher formations. But, besides failing entirely to account for the production of the Tertiary strata, this theory introduces the agency of fire also in the deluge, of which we read nothing in the Biblical record; it assumes a series of volcanic eruptions of such rapid succession as could only be caused by a miraculous intervention of which nothing is mentioned; and it starts from the objectionable supposition, that strata, demonstrably separated from each other by immense periods, were formed within the space of a few months. For the facts, that very different fossils are found in the same formations, and that the same petrified species occur in different layers, cannot overthrow the general theory of slow successive stratification; the vast climatic changes which our planet has undergone, and the great variety in the internal structure of the various organic beings, are sufficient, together with other obvious circumstances, to account for these facts. We shall, in its due place, continue this subject in its further consequences. Indeed, the contemplation of the strata themselves, and of the organic remains which they enclose, lead exactly to the same result…. but we can scarcely accede to the very widely-spread theory of a ” primitive plant,” or ” cell,” or monad, producing all the later and more perfect vegetable forms by way of a partial metamorphosis; for every new formation of the crust of the earth is incontrovertibly the product of almost entirely new elements not before existing, and therefore amounting to a new creation; and the vegetation of even the last Tertiary epoch, or that below the most recent one, goes back to a period of at least 100,000 years before the present era. It appears, however, that many of the plants are “hereditary” through various geological epochs; and that certain species have traversed many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, in spite of the local and successive revolutions on the earth’s surface. For submarine forests in several parts of the globe consist of trees which still cover the neighboring continents, though the animal found in the same localities in a petrified state have ceased to exist; and many species of plants are not found in regions where they might thrive perfectly well according to their structure, or to the present condition of the globe. They seem to be absent from such countries only because they did not exist there in former geological epochs…. It is certain, both from ocular evidence and from inductive conclusions, that most of the animals discovered as fossils in the strata of the earth have died in a natural course on the spot where they enjoyed life. Now, as many of them are creatures of long life, and many reached an age far beyond the time now allotted to the creatures of the earth, it is impossible that they should have accomplished the full circle of their existence in a few days: the many theories which have been ventured to prove the contrary are so extravagant, that they do not even deserve notice. They proceed from the vain desire to support a tenacious preconception; they are neither based upon any allusion of the Biblical text, nor derived from natural laws or phenomena. Conjecture, fancy, and mysticism, are the parents of these abortive attempts. But we may observe, as a curiosity, that it was, and — incredible to say — is still asserted, that these fossils have never been animated structures, but were formed in the rocks through the planetary influences; that the mammoth which, at the conclusion of the last century, was found in the ice of the polar regions in such remarkable preservation that dogs and bears fed upon its flesh, had never been a living creature, but that it was created under the ice, and then preserved, instead of being transmuted into stone; that all organisms found in the depth of the earth are models created on the first day, to typify the living plants and animals to be produced in the subsequent part of the creative week; but as many forms which lie buried in the earth do not exist on the earth, it is maintained that they were rejected as inappropriate or imperfect. They represent the “gates of death,” but foreshadow also the immortality of the soul, the resurrection, and the ultimate re-union of the dust of the human bodies at the sound of the last trumpet! This is the sober mode in which ocular evidences are argued away, and Scripture is interpreted! But unfortunately, plain facts overthrow these fancies of a seeming life; in the stomach of the fossil animals, the very substances are visible which formed their food; and the dung of the carnivorous vertebrate contains, in many instances, the teeth, bones, and scales of the creatures on which they had preyed…. But all these changes, however extraordinary and astounding, are only as many manifest proofs of the creating activity of an Omnipotent Power, which, through unnumbered millenniums, after an all-wise though recondite plan, prepares new continents in the hidden depths of the fathomless sea, or in the volcanic abysses of the burning earth; lifting them up from the secret womb by a tremendous, but salutary. . .. These facts may suffice to prove the utter impossibility of a creation of even the earth alone in six days. The difficulties are infinitely increased, if we proceed to the contemplation of the whole universe. . . . If we reflect on all these circumstances, there seems indeed to be no alternative left, but honestly to acknowledge the immense difference existing between the Biblical conceptions and the established results of the natural sciences. But we need not apprehend thereby to lose or endanger what is eternal in the Scriptures. It is only necessary to pursue their exposition with the same vigor and energy, with the same unwearied attention and eager research, which characterize the natural philosophers of our time. The Bible has no more dangerous enemies than those who, either from indolence and apathy, or from fanaticism and bigoted zeal, are deaf to the teachings and warnings of the other sciences; and those men, however well-meaning or warmhearted, must be made mainly answerable if the authority of the Scriptures should lie disregarded by the most enlightened and most comprehensive minds. . . . We have seen that the results of the natural sciences are at variance with the Biblical narrative, especially with regard to the Age of the World, the Creation in Six Days, and the Formation of the Solar System and the Universe. . . . We are here reminded of the beautiful words of Socrates, who, in Plato’s Phaedon, when new and apparently unanswerable objections were raised against his proofs of the immortality of the soul, said: “First of all, we must beware, lest we meet with that great mischance to become haters of reasoning as some become haters of men (misanthropes); for no greater evil can happen to anyone than to hate reasoning. But hatred of reasoning and hatred of mankind both spring from the same source. For the latter is produced in us, from having placed too great reliance on someone without sufficient knowledge of him, and from having considered him to be a man altogether true, sincere, and faithful; and then, after a little while, finding him depraved and unfaithful, and after him another; and when a man has often experienced this, he at last hates all men, and thinks that there is no excellence at all in mankind. And yet he attempts to deal with men without sufficient knowledge of human nature, since he is unable to discern between the good and the bad. Just so a man who has discovered the fallacy of one argument after another, after having some time relied on their soundness, at last distrusts all argument, and becomes a hater of reasoning, though he ought to accuse his own shortsightedness, or unskilfulness.” . . . The Pentateuch has a three-fold end; it is intended to show, first, God as the Creator and Ruler of the World; secondly, to define the position of Israel among the nations of the earth; and, thirdly, to explain the organization of the Hebrews as a theocratical monarchy after their conquest of Palestine. Such is the aim; such are the leading ideas of the Books of Moses. These principles they unfold and carry out with minute consistency, whilst all other portions are only introduced to throw light upon them. They constitute the essence of the Mosaic dispensation; they are its exclusive characteristics, which are found in no other work which man possesses. The Scriptures proclaimed those spiritual and moral truths, which will be acknowledged in all ages; and they proclaimed them at a time when the whole earth was shrouded in mental darkness. But it is quite different with the scientific truths. The people of Israel, although favored as the medium of higher religious enlightenment, remained, in all respects, a common member in the family of nations, subject to the same laws of progress, left to the same exertions, adhering to their former notions and habits of thought, rectified by their faith only in so far as to harmonize with the pure doctrine of monotheism and the absolute rule of a just Providence. Hence, for instance, Moses did not abolish the “avenge of blood,” although he materially modified it; nor did he command monogamy, although he evidently encouraged it; he retained the phylacteries, which he, however, divested of all superstitious elements; and he ordained, in common with almost all heathen legislators, the sanctification of all first-born of men and animals, and all first-fruits, although he made this law subservient to the purposes of his theocracy. But the law is inexorable in punishing witchcraft, necromancy, divination, enchantment, or any other appeal to the power of spirits, because this would have endangered the principal idea of the legislation; it would have defiled the purity of monotheism. . . It is, indeed, a very convenient way of restoring harmony between the Bible and the natural sciences by asserting, that the production of the starry hosts, and the vast geological epochs, lie before the work of the six days; by making the first two verses a carte blanche, on which everything might be crowded, that disagrees either with astronomy or geology; and by maintaining that the condition of the earth, such as it is at present, and as it is adapted for human habitation, is the sole object of our chapter. Large volumes have, in this sense, been written with much pomp of language, and great self-sufficiency; and that of Kurtz1 is inferior to few in irrational and pretentious deductions. But these scholars ought to see, that this is not to harmonize, but to separate; by such tactics, they tacitly acknowledge that they despair of a conciliation; they admit the difficulties in almost every point; but forsaking, by a cowardly maneuver, the true arena of the dispute, they entrench themselves behind a few harmless verses; but calm and judicious criticism protests both against the stratagem, and the arguments: the former is undignified; and the latter spontaneously convert themselves into so many proofs for the contrary opinion. The first chapter of Genesis incontestably intends to offer a history of the creation of heaven and earth, such as the author believed to be authentic; he, therefore, commences with the Nothing, and then advances, through the chaos, in progressive steps up to the perfection of the universe. And all this was done during the six days which constitute the creative week, and which include that “beginning” when” God created heaven and earth.”. . . . We believe we have indisputably demonstrated, both by positive and negative proofs, that, with regard to astronomy and geology, the Biblical records are, in many essential points, utterly and irreconcilably at variance with the established results of modern researches. We must acquiesce in the conviction, that, at the time of the composition of the Pentateuch, the natural sciences were still in their infancy, and that the Hebrews were in those branches not materially in advance of the other ancient nations. But, on the other hand, they succeeded completely in removing, even from their physical conceptions, every superstitions and idolatrous element. It will be the task of the following notes on the first chapters to prove this proposition. We have cleared the way for a plain and unsophisticated interpretation. We are fettered by no preconceived dogmatical views. We shall be enabled to attempt a conscientious penetration into the notions of the Hebrew historian; and shall in no instance be induced to force upon his words, by a contorting and delusive mode of exposition, our modern systems of philosophy. Thus, may we hope to secure a positive advantage for Biblical science.”

[55]

About mjmselim

Male, 65, born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 7 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
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