Howdy. For myself (and you as well if you choose to follow), I’ll be posting my chicken scratch as I re-read the Old Testament. I’ve been taking notes the last few days as I’ve gone through Genesis. My goal for the year is to really wrestle with these passages. So I’ll post my questions that I’ll attempt to come back to later. Sometimes it’ll be scatter brained, sometimes it’ll be quite a leap but hence the fun of it all. I’ll try and bold my questions or leaps. The bible I’m using is a first century study bible by Kent Dobson.
Day 1: light, dark
Day 2: sky, water
Day 3: Land, seas
Day 4: Sun, moon, stars
Day 5: Water creatures, sky creatures
Day 6: Animals, humans
Day 7: Rest
- Bereshith: (In the beginning)
- Elohim (God)
- This first and foremost is a poem. With math and numbers and repetitions.
- 7 days. 7 hebrew words that open the poem.
- not morning then evening. Evening then morning.
- 2. Ruach- The Spirit (breath,wind) of God was hovering over the waters.
- Where did the waters come from? Did God create the waters?
- 3: God speaks: Let there be:
- verse 1 God is creator, verse 2 God is spirit, verse 3 God is word
- God is one but God is several.
- 11: first instance of creation creating. “according to their kinds”
- 26:Let us make mankind in our image. In our likeness. SO THAT they can rule.
- Is the image and likeness is for the purpose of ruling?
- The light of day 1 is completed on day 4 with the sun the moon and stars
- Birds go in the sky, fish go in the water-Day 4 populates day 2
- animals and humans go on land (Day 6 populates day 3)
- God separates in the first three days and fills in the next three days
- We measure time and days by the creations of day 4. How long were the first three days?
- Adammah-earth, ground or land- man
- Barah appears 3 times as are the characters of God are 3
- 7 words in the first verse, 14 words in the second verse, “earth” appears 21 times. seventh paragraph has 35 words. God appears 35 times. “it was so” appears 7 times. “and God saw” appears 7 times.
- patterns of 3 and 7….how bout 10?
- “to make” occurs 10 times. “according to their kinds” occurs 10 times. “and God said” occurs ten times. (3 times in relation to people. 7 times in relation to other creatures). “let there be” occurs 10 times (3 times for things in heaven, 7 times for things on earth.)
- Seventh days doesn’t have a specific ending.
- Begins:God creates and ends God rests
- Gen 1:1 can be read as “When God began to create..” Was there anything before creation? Where did the angels come from? or God’s throne, or even wisdom?”
- Jewish text 2 Enoch reads “And on the sixth day I commanded my wisdom to create man.” Was wisdom a divine branch of God?
- ancient kinds were considered to be the image of God on earth.
- Adam literally means “humanity”
- No other creation account in history contains a story of woman’s creation.
- one verse is devoted to man’s creation. six verses are dedicates to woman (1+6=7)
- The term “helper” is not demeaning it is attributed to God in Deuteronomy 33:29
One flesh being the full purpose and rejoining or creative purposes.
- verse 2, God said nothing about touching the tree. Some scholars believe that Adam added to the word of God and that this was what leads to the first sin. And was a reason rabbis said God spoke to Adam first.
- 6. Adam was with Eve for this whole debacle.
- 14&17 Man was not cursed. Ground and serpent were cursed. People are only given pain. (not specified as a curse)
- If Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil, how could they understand that transgressing the command of God was an evil act?
- 1: Did Eve commit adultery? She gave birth to a MAN? not a child or son? Did God help Eve give birth to a man?
- 3: are we made in the image of God or of Seth?
- 3: 120 years till the flood?
- The Nephilim were what? Rabbis suggested fallen angels that roamed the earth
- 5: first mention of total depravity
- 7: Why did God regret making the animals?
- 9: Noah was only blameless amongst people, not necessarily God.
- 11: Earth is broken
- 12: End of ALL people
- 13: destroy the Earth
- 14: Look up what specifically “pitch” was
- 17: ties back to Genesis 1 and put an end to it.
- 18: This is where the story differs from other ancient tellings. In the others God starts over and wipes out all people and creatures. Here God spares a righteous family.
- 21: Bring all edible foods. Was there a garden on the ark? If animals were not to be eaten, how did food on the ark keep from perishing? What did the herbivores eat? how did they keep enough food for each type of diet and it not perish?
- Noahs Covenant
- The New Testament refers to this story in terms of Baptism.
- Noahs waters the symbol of baptism that saves us all.
- Matthew references a dove that descends at Jesus’ baptism.
- a dove that descends after a spiritual cleanse.
- “according to it’s kind”
- Month 2, 17th day
- God was active in his “preservation of the breath of life”
- 22: Nostril’s specified
- 23: and those with him in the ark. others? maybe not just family?
- 150 days of floods
- Water rose and fell for 40 days and 40 nights
- 17th day of the second month the floods began 7+10=17
- 1: wind calmed the waves
- 4: from month 2 days 17 to month 7 day 17
- waters receded till month 10 day 1 to which mountains could then be seen
- 40 more days till Noah looks outside
- 7 more days and the dove brings a leaf
- 7 more days and the dove does not return.
- 1st day of 1st month of Noah’s 601st year the water dries up.
- 27th day of month 2. earth is dry. and Noah leaves the ark
- 17: “be fruitful and multiply”
- 20: Noah builds and alter and sacrifices the clean animals with burnt offerings.
- 21: God finds the smell to be a “pleasing aroma” this phrase in mentioned again in 2 corinthians 2:15 Is hell a burnt offering? A smell that pleases God?
- “the human hearts are evil from childhood
- 22:all will endure as long as the earth endures.
- 2:Animals will fear us.
- 3:I give you everything for food. But like Adam and Eve this has a restriction; no bloody meat.
- 5 an accounting or reckoning; to seek with care, care for; to inquire about, investigate; to be intent on, to make supplication
- 9: Noahic covenant is for Noah, his descendants and animals, or all creatures
- all life will never again be destroyed by water. It does not say all life will never again be destroyed. there is no promise of other methods of destruction.
- the visible sign of a rainbow reminds GOD of his covenant to not flood. this seems similar to Calvin’s interpretation of baptism as a visible sign of God’s covenant to us. A visible sign of our security.
- 22:Tradition taught that Ham joked of his fathers nakedness and thus broke a command of Honoring his father.
- 28: 350 years 7 x 50 and a total of 950 years ( longer than Adam by 20 years.
- Neighbors and tribes first referenced directly
- This is likely not a literal family history. Cannaanites told geographical theologies
- the number of nations is 70 (7×10) a rhetorical symbol of God’s providence as seen in Exodus 1:5 Jacob had 70 descendants and in Deuteronomy 10:22 70 ancestors.
- 10:8-12 Nimrod led the world astray
- 1: Augustine claims the first language was Hebrew
- The book of Jubilus 12:25-26 speaks of God teaching Abram Hebrew after the languages were “polluted”
- Towers symbolize the arrogance of man.
- Was Abram the first monotheist or did Abram become a monotheist? Torah does not identify him as monotheist. Josephus claims he was the first to teach or argue for monotheism.
- Shinar: Babylon
- 3: Bricks were new technology unlike stone and tar
- 6:God seems threatened by humans. This is the reason he changes their language. because he is worried about their power working together?
- For the very efforts of being unscattered God scatters these people.
- Babel means confused
- Babel was in modern Saudi Arabia near Iraq
- Arphaxad lived 403 years as did Shelah
- many had children at 30 years of age
- after people scattered it seems as thought life expectancy decreased.
- 26: at 70 years (7×10) Terah gave birth to Abram and his brothers Nahor and Haran
- Abrams nephew is Lot
- Abrams wife is Sarai (his daughter in law)
- Nahors wife is Milkah (Haran’s daughter)
- Abrams niece is Milkah
- Milkahs brother is Iskah
- The word used for “Father” may simply mean ancestor.
- Abrams dad dies at 205 in Harran.
- 6: trees were considered sacred and used in worship. Maybe a reference to Genesis one of perhaps Genesis 1 is a significant cultural use of this fact.
- “at that time.” has been used as a way of claiming Moses may not have been the sole author of the Torah. Canaanites not yet in the land. yet they were expelled after Moses’ time. Were there other authors? or maybe an editor added some notes to the text?
- 12:10-20 is perhaps a foreshadow to the Exodus or Exodus is using this story to tell of the situation at hand. Abram enters because of famine. Diseases plague pharoah and Abram leaves with wealth.
- 13: a moral lie appears again in Gen 20 and 26
- 7: he built an alter
- 8: Why is it relevant that Bethel is on the west and Ai on the east?
- 13: Technically she WAS his sister-in-law
- 17. God really doesn’t like pharoahs
- 6: Having too much can hinder a journey
- 9:You make the call. You choose. Left was Bethel? right was Ai?
- 10:One of the first allusions to a future biblical even directly.
- 11: Abram was superior to Lot and yet he lets Lot choose where to live.
- Lot chooses the Jordan . From Lot Israels enemies form.
- Moabites and Ammorites.
- Torah forbids them from the assembly of the LORD 19:36-28
- 13:Sodom is repeating pre-flood behavior
- 15:All the visible land is promised to Abrams offspring and it will be given forever.
- 16:He’s going to have a big family
- 17: Walking the perimiter of the land was a way of accepting the gift. “Go walk”
- 18: Hebron!
- Trees of Mamre at Hibor
- builds an alter
- alters seem representative of give land. A sign or territory?
- 1: Babylon/Shinar
- 2:War breaks out! WAR!
- 3:Lot taken as a prisoner of war
- 13:Abram the Hebrew-first use of the word Hebrew
- 16:Abram recovers all that was lost.
- 18:God most high may have been a common name befor YHWH or Elohim
- no known significance to 318
- Eliezers name equals 318. thus it’s been stated on Eliezer must have gone with Abram rescue Lot.
- 18-20 Melchizedek means the king of righteousness/justice
- is it a name or title?
- he was a “priest of God” how could he be? the religion had not been produced yet.
- Abram gives him a tenth (Which is the first use of this percentage. Tithing)
- King of Jerusalem>
- he brings bread and wine!!!
- Some taught that Mel. was Noah’s son Shem.
- PS110 emphasized his divine or semi divine nature.
- Dead sea scrolls speak of him as a heavenly judge sitting next to God.
- Tradition has him having an earthly mother but not an earthly father.
- Hebrews 5:10 makes use of these claims calling Jesus as a priest after the order of Melchizedek.
- Commentary suggest M. made a fatal priestly flaw in blessing Abram before God thus losing the role of the priesthood to Abrams descendents.
- 2: abram still has no heir
- 6-8: Abram like Moses is promised land and doubts
- 9: clean animals, DOVE
- 11:Is there significance to birds trying to eat the sacrifice?
- 5-12 God gives no directions on what to do with the animals brought.
- abram is likely using a cultural tradition of binding a covenant. Breaking the deal was symbolized in the death of the animals.
- 6:Abram is justified before circumcission and the law.
- 13: 400 years (40×10) your descendants will be strangers to the land and be slave but they will leave rich. (Like Abrams experience with Pharoah)
- Abram will be spare of this and given long life.
- 15: “I am the LORD…who brought you…” same title for God used to begin the ten commandments followed by the same expression. Ex 20:2
- 16:A group of people have not yet fulfilled their purpose (likened later to Gentiles)
- 17:Firepots and smoke are symbols of the divine presence. Provoking fear. Hell. Firey tornado. burning bush.
- 18:Abrams covenant. land will be given.