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Adziilii's Pulpit

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Some years ago, before we were married, my Protestant wife invited her Catholic dad to church. Well; that day, of all days, the minister's sermon focused on the church's finances.

On the way home, my wife's father commented: Protestants are no different than Catholics. All they want is money. He never went back, nor did my wife feel it wise to ask him to.

I've often wondered how my wife's dad would've felt about Protestants had the minister that day taught the Bible instead of laying a guilt trip on the congregation to give his church more money.

I have felt for some time now that Sunday morning services are a mission field. The reason I say that is because many of the people coming to church are visitors rather than members; and relatively few, if any, ever attend Sunday school classes. This is especially true on Easter Sunday.

Well; I would like to utilize Talk Jesus' sermon area to set up a soap-box pulpit and teach the book of Genesis. My teaching isn't seminary quality, but when people don't know the first thing about the book anyway, then my level of expertise is passable enough; and certainly superior to hounding them for money.

As of today's date, I'm near 75 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. Near 51 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, computer crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon, thread hijackers, tangents, excessive quarrelling and debating, the dog ate my homework, visiting relatives, ISIS, car repairs, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, student walk-outs, 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.

Buen Camino
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Genesis 1:1


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)

Genesis doesn't waste words with an apologetic argument to convince scientific minds that a supreme being exists; rather, it starts off by claiming 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.

Gen 1:1a . . In the beginning God

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 creation's God is a plural being. 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.


NOTE: The plurality of 'elohiym works to the advantage of some religions; e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses. In their theology; no less than two creators were involved in the origin of the cosmos; so that in their thinking, Gen 1:1 reads like this:

"In the beginning, gods created the heavens 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 since according to 2Cor 12:2 there's at least three.

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.


NOTE: The creation story wasn't written for the scientific community, nor was it written for people who indulge in debating and perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything; 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)
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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 particles to coalesce into something coherent.

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

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

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 plural or singular 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 an 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 cosmos' light be natural too? In point of fact, without natural light, planet Earth would become a cold dead world right quick.
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Would you consider my previous posts entitled "An understanding of Genesis..." 1:... and 2:... and reply or are you so locked into your present understanding that you will not consider greater or different understanding and aren't seeking greater? You say not written for science but I say modern science can greater inform our understanding than what humans in Moses day and unto today could understand.
 
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This is probably a good time to make an important public announcement.

If you've ever attended a church service or a Billy Graham crusade, you know that a sermon isn't an interactive forum. Sermons are essentially one-way lectures that neither invite nor accommodate outbursts, discussion, response, critique, debate, or remarks.

If someone has something to say to me, please do so via a private message in the conversation area of my profile rather than disrupting Adziilii's Pulpit with chat.

Thank You.
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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.

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.


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 compliment 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 the only possible answer to the "why" is found in intelligent design; which is a religious explanation rather than scientific.
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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 particles to coalesce into something coherent.

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

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

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 plural or singular 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 an 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 cosmos' light be natural too? In point of fact, without natural light, planet Earth would become a cold dead world right quick.
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This is why I do not trust commentaries....You take a single verse, and that being not even a complete statement, so it's out of context, and build a doctrine on it? 2 Peter 3:5 For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But, wanting so much to be right about this, they overlook the fact that it was by God’s Word that long ago there were heavens, and there was land which arose out of water and existed between the waters, 6 and that by means of these things the world of that time was flooded with water and destroyed. 7 It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
Now what does it say? One cannot presume to teach if he is in need of teaching. You should NEVER teach something before you have learned it.
Where to you propose that this 'natural light came from?
 
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Top Poster Of Month
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This is probably a good time to make an important public announcement.

If you've ever attended a church service or a Billy Graham crusade, you know that a sermon isn't an interactive forum. Sermons are essentially one-way lectures that neither invite nor accommodate outbursts, discussion, response, critique, debate, or remarks.

If someone has something to say to me, please do so via a private message in the conversation area of my profile rather than disrupting Adziilii's Pulpit with chat.

Thank You.
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You do know that this is not a church service, and you are not Billy Graham?
 
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Dear Brother @Bendito
I believe Brother @Adziilii asked that if you had comments to make since he's attempting to make this into a Sermon that you PM him with any questions/comments. If the issue is doctrinal in nature, that you believe is completely off as heretical. Then please include Staff on the PM. We can then make an informed decision on how we should move forward as it pertains to the thread. Until then, please respect his desires in this. He has appropriately placed it in the Sermons Forum.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
Moderator
Nick
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Gen 1:6-8 . . 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 .00012644 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 I think 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, God initiated the on-going titanic forces that keep the Earth's surface in a perpetual state of alteration.

"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)

Psalm 104 is stunning; and clearly way ahead of its time. Mountains rising, and valleys sinking speaks of magma pressure and tectonic plate subduction.

It's doubtful the Psalmist knew about those particular fields of science but he was clearly somehow aware that the Earth's crust is malleable. And that's true. With just the right combination of time, temperature, and pressure; solid rock can be made to fracture, buckle, and give way; and also to bend, even forced to hairpin back upon itself like taffy.

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 dry land was inundated for a very, very long time.

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.

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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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 didn't always exist. 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 shoved up to where they are now.

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

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

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

Well; at this point in the process of creation, planet Earth was very dark and freezing cold. For example: the dark side of the Moon gets down to like -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, viz: appointments.

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.
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Gen 1:15-18a . . and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the Earth. And it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the Earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to distinguish light from darkness.

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 God punched their light straight through in order to get them shining on the Earth right away.

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 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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Gen 1:20-21a . . And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.

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 "fowl" 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 "fowl" 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; etc, etc.
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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.

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.

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

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.)

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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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 for "Man" is 'adam (aw-dawm') which, in this case, simply refers to human life as a specie rather than a proper name.

Because of the terms "image and likeness" there are some who believe that humanity's creator is some sort of hominid; or at least resembles one. But according to Christ, Man's creator is non 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)

One of the meanings of image and likeness is located at Gen 5:3.

"When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth."

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

In other words: the creator, in a strange sort of way, is the human specie's parent.

"I said: You are sons of the Most High." (Ps 82:6b)

If humans were paternal sons of the Most High-- viz: if they were biological sons --they'd be immortal because God is immortal; i.e. like begets like. But humans aren't immortal.

"Nevertheless you will die like men" (Ps 82:7)

So then we are safe to conclude that humanity's image and likeness of God isn't the same as Seth's image and likeness of Adam; and humanity's divine sonship isn't biological. God didn't reproduce in order to bring humans into existence, rather, He created them into existence from dust rather than from Himself.

Humans then, because of their special relationship with the creator, are, from a certain point of view, a divine specie of created life.

"I said: You are gods" (Ps 82:6a)

So very early it comes out that there are at least two categories of gods in the Bible; there's the supreme god called Jehovah, and there is the lesser god called Man.

There is of course only one true god (Deut 6:4, John 17:3, 1Cor 8:4-6) so we conclude that Man's divinity isn't intrinsic, rather, it's ersatz; i.e. artificial. It's a bestowed kind of divinity rather than inherited. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, got his divinity by inheritance; which is a kind of divinity that's vastly superior to Adam's; viz: humans are artificial gods; while Jesus Christ is the genuine article. (Heb 1:1-14)

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, humans are on track to take control of even more.
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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.

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

The Hebrew word for "mist" is 'ed (ade). It's a very rare word and appears only one more time in the whole Bible at at Job 36:27 where it's apparently speaking of the process of evaporation; which typically produces water in the form of vapor. From thence come things like fog, rain, dew, humidity, and snow.

Left to itself, nature would've been producing plenty of rain at this point in time, but none is on record prior to the Flood.

Heb 11:7 testifies that God gave Noah a head-up about things coming that no one had ever seen before. One of those things was rain; it was unheard of in his world. When you think about it, water falling from the sky is pretty amazing; and in Noah's day, no doubt beyond imagination.

The reason for the 'ed is something I learned in a high school science class. Had God brought rain prior to flourishing ground cover, the land would have eroded something awful and millions of cubic yards of perfectly good soil would have washed into creeks, and streams, and rivers to be carried out to sea where it would be lost in perpetuity. Water in the form of dew, fog, and/or humidity is a whole lot more gentle on bare ground than falling water. (California's coastal redwoods obtain a large percentage of their moisture from fog.)

Gen 2:7a . . And Yhvh God formed a man's body

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


NOTE: The natural human body is sometimes thought to be the sum total of human existence, but according to 2Cor 5:1-4 it's just a domicile.

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

The Hebrew word for "dust" is a bit ambiguous. It essentially refers to powder, but can also be translated clay, earth, mud, mortar, ashes, and/or rubbish; viz: the human body wasn't spoken into existence ex nihilo; God constructed it from already-existing physical matter.

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

The word for "breath" is neshamah (nesh-aw-maw') which means: a puff. Neshamah is a bit ambiguous and has been variously translated air, soul, spirit, blast, and inspiration.

This isn't speaking of artificial respiration because it doesn't do a bit of good pumping air into the lungs of a corpse. They won't come alive like that; it's been tried.

The breath of life is a mysterious, supernatural energy that can animate otherwise normally lifeless things; even stones. (Luke 19:40)

Gen 2:7d . . and man became a living soul.

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

Soul is somewhat ambiguous. It can be said that creatures are souls and also that they have souls. But here in the beginning, nephesh simply refers to consciousness, individuality, and self awareness.


NOTE: According to Matt 10:28, the body and the soul are perishable. However; though the body is perishable by any means, the soul is perishable only by divine means; i.e. the deaths of body and soul aren't necessarily simultaneous, viz: the soul lives on until such a time as God decides to give it either a thumb up or a thumb down.
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Gen 2:8a . .Yhvh God planted a garden in Eden,

The Hebrew word for "garden" is from gan (gan) which means a garden as fenced; in other words; walled-- I assume to protect it from foraging animals; which makes sense seeing as how the garden would be Adam's primary food source. I'm guessing it was very likely a full-blown farm complete with grains, vegetables, and orchards; and meant for husbandry.

Gen 2:8b . . in the east

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

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

For Bible purposes, the State of Israel is oftentimes regarded the geo-political center of the Earth. Its position is spiritually elevated too. So whenever you go to Jerusalem, you go up. And when you leave, you go down. It was from the east (east of Jerusalem) that magi came to pay their respects to the young Jesus. (Matt 2:1)

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

The word "Eden" is from 'eden (ay'-den) and/or 'ednah (ed-naw') and means: pleasure, and delight. So Adam's farm was in a very nice location and we could, if we had a mind to, name his spread Happy Valley or Pleasant Acres.

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

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

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

Gen 2:9b . . with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,

The tree of life doesn't give life; but rather, according to Gen 3:22 has something in it that sustains life. It's also a good source for natural remedies (Rev 22:2). Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop the human body from getting old and falling apart is currently unknown.

A very active field of modern scientific research in our own time is gerontology-- the study of the phenomena of the aging process. As yet, gerontologists have no significant understanding of the aging process, and therefore no clue as to what treatments, or nutrients might be employed to stop it.

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

The Hebrew word for "good" in 2:9 is from towb (tobe). It's an ambiguous word and isn't restricted to morals, ethics, or scruples. Even a tasty meal or an entertaining movie can be towb.

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

From the gist of upcoming verses, it's readily apparent that the knowledge of good and bad implies an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Though Man was created intelligent; he was basically uneducated. A sense of right and wrong wasn't programmed into his intuition. He was supposed to learn right and wrong via Divine tutelage; not by trial and error nor by self initiative-- and certainly not by doing something patently foolish like eating from a tree known to be unsuitable for human consumption.
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Gen 2:10a . . A river issues from Eden to water the garden,

The verb "issues" is in grammatically present tense; indicating whoever wrote Gen 2:10, did so while the land of Eden yet existed. The authorship of Genesis has yet to be positively established. A verse like 2:10 strongly suggests that the data used to compile Genesis, was progressively accumulated in hand-me-down journals or in oral rote, generated by people who lived prior to the final compiler's input.

The Hebrew word for "river" is nahar (naw-hawr') which is another of those ambiguous Bible words. It can indicate a stream or a sea and/or metaphorically: prosperity. It was stated previously in Gen 2:6 that the face of the whole ground was watered by fog; which suggests that the Eden river was either an aquifer or something similar to the slow-moving water of the Florida everglades.

Gen 2:10b-11 . . and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah where there is gold,

The Pishon river has yet to be positively identified.

The Hebrew word for "Havilah" is Chaviylah (khav-ee-law'); which means circular. It's not only a place-name but also a person-name (e.g. Gen 10:7, Gen 10:29) which may indicate that the land of Havilah was named after an antediluvian individual who settled in that area.

Gen 2:12 . . (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.)

Again, the author used a present tense verb. The gold "is" good, not was good-- strongly suggesting the author actually lived in the period he wrote about.

As a money; gold has intrinsic value, whereas fiat currency as a money is worth little more than the good faith and dependability of the country that issues it. In other words: the US Government could, if it wished, simply outlaw the currency you have on hand and in an instant your paper money would be totally worthless. But gold has never been totally worthless.

Gold is valuable no matter where it comes from but some gold is easier to mine than others and some is a whole lot more plentiful. Placer gold for example is usually in the form of dust and requires dredging, sluicing, and washing. Hard rock gold is better; but requires boring tunnels, rock crushing, and refinement in smelters. I'd say the really good gold is that in the form of nuggets.

However, rather than the quality of Havilah's gold, the author's use of the word "good" might just be saying that its gold is bountiful; as opposed to scarce. Gold can be found just about everywhere, but concentrations of it exist in only a relatively few places.

Bdellium is a gum resin similar to myrrh; obtained from various trees. The author could have been referring to amber; a hard yellowish to brownish translucent fossil resin that takes a fine polish and is used chiefly in making ornamental objects like beads and such. Bdellium was the comparison Moses used to describe the color of manna in Num 11:7.

In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used in ancient Mesopotamia by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians for seals and jewelry. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300–3100 BC), and powdered lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra. In ancient Mesopotamia, lapis artifacts can be found in great abundance, with many notable examples having been excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (2600-2500 BC).

Gen 2:13 . .The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush.

Cush of the post-Flood world is associated in Scripture with both a region of Arabia and the present-day land of Ethiopia. But the exact geographic site of the Cush of antediluvian days is impossible to know. If it's the same, then we can be pretty sure that the Earth underwent some dramatic geological events in the distant past because it is now impossible for any river in Ethiopia to connect in any way at all with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today's world.

Gen 2:14a . .The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur.

According to Assyrian monuments, the Tigris was known to the post Flood ancients as the Chiddekel, or the Hiddekel. Asshur was located in modern-day Iraq south of Mosul on the western bank of the Tigris river in between the Great Zab and the Little Zab rivers.

Gen 2:14b . . And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today originate in eastern Turkey; flowing roughly (very roughly) parallel to each other from out of Turkey, past Syria and Mesopotamia, and down into modern-day Iraq before joining together and emptying into the Persian Gulf.

The general picture in Genesis 2 is that of a major watercourse (the Eden River) feeding an immense aqua system supplying water to a very large geographic area comprising parts of Turkey, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nubia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Iraq.

It would appear that the Eden River itself head-watered possibly in what the world today knows as Russia; but it is impossible to tell exactly where it came from because that region no longer generates a south flowing monster river system such as the one from Eden described in Genesis 2.

The third and fourth rivers no longer connect to a larger river that elsewhere branches off and flows to Ethiopia. It's pretty obvious from the author's geographical descriptions that the world's current topography didn't exist prior to the Flood. The antediluvian world was shaped quite different than the one we live in now. The Tigris and Euphrates of today are but remnants of an ancient irrigation system that at one time made the entire Middle East a very beautiful and fertile region; but to look at it today; you'd never guess it.
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