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A Journey Thru The Bible's First Book

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Active
Hello;

Back around 2000 or 2001; I got the daring idea to begin composing a daily, bite
size commentary on the book of Genesis; verse by verse beginning with the
creation of the cosmos to Joseph's coffin in Egypt.

It was a clumsy effort at first but I stuck with it and as time went by, it got pretty
good. On some forums where I've survived opposition long enough to complete the
whole fifty chapters, Genesis has attracted several thousand views.

As of today's date, I'm 76 years old; and an on-going student of the Bible since
1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio Bible programs,
and various authors of a number of Bible-related books. Fifty-two years of Bible
under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but they've at least made me
competent enough to tackle Genesis.

Barring emergencies, accidents, vacations, unforeseen circumstances, and/or
insurmountable distractions, database errors, pandemic shut-downs, computer
crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon,
thread hijackers, the dog ate my homework, visiting relatives, ISIS, car repairs,
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, violent political activism, Carrington events, gasoline
prices, medical issues, and/or hard luck and the forces of nature; I'm making an
effort to post something every day including Sundays and holidays.

Some really good stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, Adam and Eve, Cain
and Abel, the Flood, tower of Babel, and the origin of the Jews.

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

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

The author of Genesis is currently unknown; but commonly attributed to Moses.
Seeing as he penned Exodus (Mark 12:26) it's conceivable that Moses also penned
Genesis; but in reality, nobody really knows for sure.

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

Genesis may in fact be the result of several contributors beginning as far back as
Adam himself; who would certainly know more about the creation than anybody,
and who entertained no doubts whatsoever about the existence of an intelligent
designer since he knew the creator Himself like a next door neighbor.

As time went by, others like Seth and Noah would add their own experiences to the
record, and then Abraham his, Isaac his, Jacob his, and finally Judah or one of his
descendants completing the record with Joseph's burial.

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

BUEN CAMINO
(Pleasant Journey)
_
 
Active
Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

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

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

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

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

Without matter there would be nothing physical. The origin of matter then is where
we have to begin.

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

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

The word for "heavens" is from the Hebrew word shamayim (shaw-mah'-yim) and
means: to be lofty; i.e. the sky; perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the
clouds move, as well as to the higher void where the celestial bodies reside, i.e.
interstellar space. Even in English, the sky is commonly referred to in the plural;
i.e. heavens instead of heaven; which is biblically correct when we count the
atmosphere and the void as divisions of the sky.

The Hebrew word for "earth" is 'erets (eh'-rets) which is yet another of the Bible's
many ambiguous words. It can indicate dry land, a country, and/or even the whole
planet.
_
 
Active
Gen 1:2a . . the earth being unformed and void

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

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

This deep is a curiosity because 2Pet 3:5 says the earth was formed out of
water, and by water. So I think it's safe to conclude that every atomic element that
God needed to construct the Earth was in suspension in this deep; viz: it was more
than just H2O; it was a colossal chemical soup, and apparently God created enough
of it to put together everything else in the cosmos too.

Gen 1:2c . . and Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

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

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

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

The creation of light was a very, very intricate process. First God had to create
particulate matter, and along with those particles their specific properties, including
mass; if any. Then He had to invent the laws of nature to govern how matter
behaves in combination with and/or in the presence of, other kinds of matter in
order to generate electromagnetic radiation.

Light's properties are curious. It propagates as waves in a variety of lengths and
frequencies, and also as quantum bits called photons. And though light has no
mass; it's influenced by gravity. Light is also quite invisible to the naked eye. For
example: you can see the Sun when you look at it, and you can see the Moon when
sunlight reflects from its surface. But none of the Sun's light is visible to you in the
void between them and that's because light isn't matter; it's energy; and there is
really a lot of it.

Space was at one time thought to contain absolutely nothing until radio
astronomers discovered something called cosmic microwave background. In a
nutshell: CMB fills the universe with light that apparently radiates from no
detectable source. The popular notion is that CMB is energy left over from the Big
Bang.

The same laws that make it possible for matter to generate electromagnetic
radiation also make other conditions possible too; e.g. fire, wind, water, ice, soil,
rain, life, centrifugal force, thermodynamics, fusion, dark energy, gravity, atoms,
organic molecules, magnetism, color, radiation, refraction, reflection, high energy
X-rays and gamma rays, temperature, pressure, force, inertia, sound, friction, and
electricity; et al. So the creation of light was a pretty big deal; yet Genesis scarcely
gives it passing mention. That's no doubt because Genesis is mostly about origins
rather than mechanics.

2Cor 4:6 verifies that light wasn't introduced into the cosmos from outside in order
to dispel the darkness and brighten things up a bit; but rather, it radiated out of the
cosmos from inside-- from itself --indicating that the cosmos was created to be
self-illuminating by means of the various interactions of the matter that God made
for it; including, but not limited to, the Higgs Boson.

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

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

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

NOTE: It's curious to me that most Bible students have no trouble readily conceding
that everything else in the first chapter of Genesis is natural, e.g. the cosmos, the
earth, the atmosphere, water, dry land, the Sun, the Moon, the stars, aqua life,
winged life, terra life, flora life, and human life.

But when it comes to light they choke; finding it impossible within themselves to
believe that Genesis just might be consistent in its description of the creative
process. I mean, if all those other things are natural, why wouldn't the light be
natural too? In point of fact, without natural light, planet Earth would become a
cold dead world right quick.
_
 
Member
Hello;

Back around 2000 or 2001; I got the daring idea to begin composing a daily, bite
size commentary on the book of Genesis; verse by verse beginning with the
creation of the cosmos to Joseph's coffin in Egypt.

It was a clumsy effort at first but I stuck with it and as time went by, it got pretty
good. On some forums where I've survived opposition long enough to complete the
whole fifty chapters, Genesis has attracted several thousand views.

As of today's date, I'm 76 years old; and an on-going student of the Bible since
1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio Bible programs,
and various authors of a number of Bible-related books. Fifty-two years of Bible
under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but they've at least made me
competent enough to tackle Genesis.

Barring emergencies, accidents, vacations, unforeseen circumstances, and/or
insurmountable distractions, database errors, pandemic shut-downs, computer
crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon,
thread hijackers, the dog ate my homework, visiting relatives, ISIS, car repairs,
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, violent political activism, Carrington events, gasoline
prices, medical issues, and/or hard luck and the forces of nature; I'm making an
effort to post something every day including Sundays and holidays.

Some really good stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, Adam and Eve, Cain
and Abel, the Flood, tower of Babel, and the origin of the Jews.

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

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

The author of Genesis is currently unknown; but commonly attributed to Moses.
Seeing as he penned Exodus (Mark 12:26) it's conceivable that Moses also penned
Genesis; but in reality, nobody really knows for sure.

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

Genesis may in fact be the result of several contributors beginning as far back as
Adam himself; who would certainly know more about the creation than anybody,
and who entertained no doubts whatsoever about the existence of an intelligent
designer since he knew the creator Himself like a next door neighbor.

As time went by, others like Seth and Noah would add their own experiences to the
record, and then Abraham his, Isaac his, Jacob his, and finally Judah or one of his
descendants completing the record with Joseph's burial.

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

BUEN CAMINO
(Pleasant Journey)
_
@Beetow. I am currently teaching through the Bible and these posts seem very helpful. In fact, after laying down the foundation of inductive Bible Study method for the past couple of weeks I am starting through the Pentateuch today. My congregation is a small group. Where have you posted your whole study? I will love to read them all. Thank you. I will be sharing my thoughts with you whenever I feel like it.
 
Active
A tad bit over simplistic, but not bad for those with short attention spans.
Well, you may find my version of Genesis les than satisfying too because I readily
admit that it's not seminary quality, and deliberately composed for folk who are
only mildly curious.
_
 
Active
Gen 1:4b-5a . . and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the
light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

Defining the properties of day and night may seem like a superfluous detail, but
comes in very handy for organizing the three days and nights related to Christ's
crucifixion and resurrection per Matt 12:40.

Gen 1:5b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a first Day.

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

Anyway; when you think about it; a strict chronology of evening and morning
doesn't define day, it defines overnight; viz: darkness. In order to obtain a full 24
hour day, you'd have to define creation's first Day as a day and a night rather than
an evening and a morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

BTW: The epoch theory is only a second opinion, so to speak. There are other
theories out there to choose from; people aren't stuck with this one as if it's the
only possible explanation.

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

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

In this case the word for "heaven" is singular probably because we're only looking
at the Earth's atmosphere.

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

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

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

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

To put that in perspective: a tower 326.6 million miles high would exceed the Sun's
distance better than 3½ times. It would've exceeded the distance between Mars
and Earth on July 27, 2018 by 5 times.

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

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

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

At this point, dry land as yet had no soil because at first it would've been bare rock;
and there's not only a lot of it, but quite a bit of it is very scenic too.

One of my favorite geological wonders is Arches National Park in Utah USA, and
another is Canyon Lands National Park, also in Utah. Some very smart people have
yet to figure out how nature formed the amazing features in those areas; but I
guessing that God, the most skillful painter/sculptor that there is, did it because He
wanted to leave His mark on the Earth by creating something spectacular.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gen 1:10 . . And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the
waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good.

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

NOTE: There are Hebrew words in the Bible for marshes, rivers, and streams; but
I've yet to encounter one for lakes and ponds. In other words "seas" suffices not
only for oceans; but also for smaller accumulations. (A rather curious sea is located
at 1Kings 7:23-26)
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Active
Gen 1:11a . . Then God said: Let the land produce vegetation

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

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

Gen 1:11b-12 . . seed-bearing plants, fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that this was good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well; at this point in the process of creation, planet Earth was very dark and
freezing cold. For example: the dark side of the Moon gets down to minus 279º F,
(172.8° C) so it was time to turn man's home into a greenhouse if anything
meaningful was to live down here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The word for "signs" is from 'owth (oth) and means a signal; viz: indicators. For
example: the mark that God put on Cain was an 'owth. (Gen 4:15)

The Sun's movement across the sky is very useful for keeping time. It probably
didn't take long for early men to realize they could divide a day into convenient
elements by utilizing shadow.

"seasons" is translated from either mowed' (mo-ade') or moed' (mo-ade'). Those
words are translated "congregation" numerous times in the Old Testament relative
to special dates on the calendar.

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

If the Sun and the Moon were the hands of a clock; the Sun would be the minute
hand and the Moon would be the hour hand; so to speak.

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

Gen 1:3-5 defines day as a condition of light, and defines night as a condition of
darkness. Gen 1:14-18 defines day on Earth as when the Sun is up and night on
Earth is defined as when the Sun is down; and that's how it was when Christ was
here.

"Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not
stumble, because he sees the light of this world." (John 11:9)

The "light of this world" is the Sun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stars makes better sense that way than to try and find some other meaning for
them. The universe is simply a magnificent work of art-- just as intriguing, if not
more so, than the works of Picasso, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Monet, Vermeer,
and/or da Vinci --testifying to the genius of an engineer-artist without peer.

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

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

Gen 1:18b-19 . . And God saw that this was good. And there was evening and
there was morning, a fourth day.
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Active
Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said: Let the water teem with living creatures, and let
birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky. So God created the great
creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems,
according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

How can water alone be used to create living things? Well, it can't be any more
difficult than creating the entire cosmos ex nihilo; i.e. from and/or out of nothing.

However, one of the essential elements for the construction of organic life is
carbon. Well; seawater contains that element, along with several others too; and
there's plenty enough seawater that's for sure.

The word for "creature" is from nephesh (neh'-fesh) which refers to consciousness,
individuality, and self awareness. It never applies to vegetation. For example:
though saguaro cacti are alive, they aren't nephesh because vegetation lacks a
sense of individuality and is neither conscious nor self aware, i.e. nephesh refers to
all critter life great and small; but never to non critter life.

Nephesh shows up first in Gen 1:20-21 as sea creatures and winged creatures.

Next it shows up in Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; viz: cattle, creepy crawlies, and
wild beasts.

It shows up again in Gen 2:7 as the human creature.

It shows up again in Gen 2:19-20 as the creatures to whom Adam gave names.

It shows up again in Gen 9:8-16 as all conscious life aboard the ark, including Noah
and his family.

Some say that animals are people too. Well . . they're certainly not human, but
according to the Bible, they are very definitely just as much a nephesh as a human
being. So I guess we could consent, at least to some degree, that critters are
people too; in their own way.

The Hebrew word for "birds" is 'owph (ofe) which just simply means covered with
wings as opposed to covered with feathers. It's a rather unusual word because it
includes not only creatures with feathers, but according to Lev 11:13-23, 'owph
also pertains to bats and flying insects. The English word "bird" was obviously an
arbitrary translation since owph is ambiguous.

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

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

"great whales" is from tanniyn (tan-neen') and/or tanniym (tan-neem') which
mean: a marine or land monster. Tanniyn is sometimes translated "dragon" as in
Isa 27:1

It wasn't a tanniyn, however, that swallowed Jonah. That creature was either a
dagah (daw-gaw') a dag (dawg) or a da'g (dawg). All three words mean a fish.

NOTE: The reason I quoted the three Hebrew words for "fish" is because the fact is:
translators are not always confident how best to represent a Hebrew word with the
English alphabet. In point of fact, there are ancient Hebrew words that nobody
really knows what they mean so translators are forced to take educated guesses
here and there in order to fill in the text.

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

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

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

In other words: He was satisfied.

The Hebrew word for "good" in this instance is towb (tobe) which is horribly
ambiguous. It's meanings range from morally good, to good looking, to a job well
done, to something that's good to the taste; and to a whole lot of other things in
between; e.g. a good show, good food, as good as it gets, satisfactory, pleasing;
etc, etc.
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Active
Gen 1:22a . . God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and increase,

This is the very first place in the Bible where the Hebrew word for "bless" shows up.
It's somewhat ambiguous, but in this case I think it's pretty safe to assume that it
means to furnish freely or naturally with some power, quality, or attribute; i.e.
provide, endow, and/or empower. In other words: the blessing of fertility was a
providential act; and no doubt included microscopic creatures as well as those
visible to the naked eye.

Providence is common in the Bible; especially in Genesis.

Gen 1:22b . . fill the waters in the seas, and let the winged creatures increase on
the earth.

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

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

The video camera on board the Kaiko probe spotted a sea cucumber, a scale worm
and a shrimp at the bottom.

The Nereus probe spotted a polychaete worm (a multi-legged predator) about an
inch long.

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

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

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

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

The Hebrew word for "living" is chay (khah'-ee) which basically indicates existing as
life as opposed to existing as non life. For example, the structural elements of
Noah's ark existed as non life; while it's passengers existed as life.

(Some people insist that all things are alive. I recommend leaving that belief at the
door when crossing the Bible's threshold because scripture doesn't accommodate it;
and that kind of thinking only fosters confusion in the minds of those who entertain
it.)

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

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

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

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

NOTE: Looking a steed on the cheap? Well; according to the May 2017 issue of
Smithsonian magazine; there are something like 70,000 wild horses and burros
running free on Federal lands causing an unacceptable amount of environmental
damage. No doubt the BLM would appreciate your help in reducing those numbers.

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

It's no accident that some of the animals are so useful to Man. God made them for
the express purpose of serving people. Although they're nephesh, same as Man,
that doesn't make them equals with Man. However, although beasts are below the
rank of the image and likeness of God, people have no right to be cruel to animals.
But Man does have the right, by the creator's fiat, to take advantage of them; and
to induct them into slavery for Man's benefit.

No doubt some of us would be happy if a few of the creeping species had not been
created, e.g. scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, tarantulas, fleas, ticks, ants; et
al.
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Active
Gen 1:26a . . And God said: Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness.

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

The Hebrew word translated "Man" is 'adam (aw-dawm') which, in this case, simply refers to human life; i.e. humanity. It's actually a specie name rather than a proper name.

Because of the terms "image and likeness" there are some who insist that humanity's creator is some sort of hominid; or at least resembles one. But the terms "image and likeness" aren't synonyms for facsimile, i.e. doppelgänger; so let's let's not make that mistake because according to Christ, humanity's creator isn't physical.

"God is spirit" (John 4:24)

Spirits don't have solid bodies. (Luke 24:36-39)

God instructed Moses' people to avoid making any kind of mannequin, figurine, totem pole, or statue representing God since no one has any true concept of what creation's God actually looks like in person. (Ex 4:10-19, John 1:18, John 5:37)

There exists absolutely nothing in nature physically resembling its creator; except maybe the air in front of our face-- neither Man, nor beast, nor plant, nor bird, nor bug, nor reptile nor anything out in the void (Rom 1:21-23). Pagan concepts that portray creation's God as a human being are purely fantasy. (Rom 1:25)

The apostle Paul once said to the men of Athens, relative to the creator: "We are His offspring." (Acts 17:28-29)

The Greek word translated "offspring" means kin; which Webster's defines as a group of persons of common ancestry. In other words: humans were created to be their creator's relatives; not biologically of course, but legally, i.e. adoption.

As God's kin, humans have a status far and away above the status of every other form of life on Earth.

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

Humanity's sovereignty, power, and control over nature is primarily where we find the exercise of its image and likeness of God; in other words: Man does not answer to nature-- just the opposite --nature answers to Man. (Ps 8:4-8)

The word for "rule" is from radah (raw-daw') and means: to tread down, i.e. subjugate; specifically: to crumble off.

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

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

Well . . I respect Native America's cultural sentiment underlying that statement; and must admit that I agree with it to a certain extent. But the creator decreed that though Man is of the earth; he is very definitely above it too, and has the God-given authority to subjugate every living thing on the planet including its forests, its grasses, its rivers, its seas, its soil, its rocks, its air, its minerals, its mountains, its valleys, and even its tectonic plates and the earth's very atmosphere itself. According to Heb 2:8, humanity is on track to take control of even more.
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Active
Gen 1:27 . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them.

It's okay to pity people who refuse to be identified by their gender and prefer to be
known as non binary, i.e. as neither male nor female. But there is no just no way
on God's green earth that Bible-believing Christians should ever be supportive of
the non binary movement because the image and likeness of God finds its
completeness in distinct male and female gender identities.

NOTE: According to Gen 2:24 and Matt 19:4-6, marriage is a non binary
relationship, though the participants themselves retain their individual gender
identity.

There's a term for people who believe themselves to be someone and/or something
other than what and/or who they really are. I think it might be called Dissociative
Disorder. There was a time when society confined people with those kinds of
conditions to psychiatric facilities for observation and therapy, but nowadays
political correctness requires that they be "included". But God-honoring Christian
churches dare not accept into their membership someone known to identify
themselves as non binary.

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to
cause trouble and defile many." (Heb 12:15)

A bitter root is one belonging to a species unfit for human consumption. When you
find noxious vegetation sprouting in your garden, you've got to get out there with a
hoe and dig that stuff up before it spreads out of control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOTE: The popular interpretation of Matt 5:27-28 is extremely contrary to the
blessing of fertility. It has served to warp thousands of innocent young psyches,
and burdened men with unnecessary guilt complexes over sex and the human
body.

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

The Hebrew word for "master" is from kabash (kaw-bash') which emphasizes
coercion and force; and means: to disregard; to conquer, and to violate.

The word for "rule" is from radah (raw-daw') and means: to tread down; to
subjugate.

kabash and radah are very strong language. Those two words combined leave no
room for doubt regarding Man's supremacy in the sphere of things. God blessed
humanity with the authority to dominate and to violate planet Earth at will, and
exploit it to his own advantage. Man answers to no plant nor animal on this entire
globe. The whole Earth is within the scope of humanity's purview. If aliens ever
come here unannounced, they can be arrested for trespassing, and/or charged for
parking because this earth is 'adam's domain.

But the interesting thing is; the 'adam specie is also the monarch of the whole
cosmos; not just the dinky little third rock from the Sun where he hangs his hat.

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

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

Prior to the Flood; humans, beasts, creepy crawlies, and winged creatures too--
even the lions and tigers and hawks and eagles and pythons, vultures and
crocodiles --subsisted on vegetation. Precisely what kind of diet God intended for
aqua life isn't stated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denuded watersheds have caused unnecessary erosion and stream sedimentation.
Man dams rivers, thus disrupting ancient fish migrations. He's over-exploited
natural resources, filled the atmosphere with toxins and greenhouse gas emissions,
poisoned aquifers, contaminated soil and waterways with chemical fertilizers,
pesticides, and herbicides; littered the oceans with billions of pounds of plastic,
made possible super germs, and seriously upset the balance of nature.

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

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

I believe the universe's architect knew precisely what He was doing, and where He
was going with His work; and was highly pleased that it came out exactly as
planned. I seriously doubt that God was feeling His way along like experimenters in
medicine and chemistry. Nobody could build a fully functioning cosmos and all of its
forms of life, matter, and energy unless they knew what they were doing from
beginning to end.
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