Sunday, March 20, 2011

Times lines--Post-deluvian

I took the time to map out the years following the flood, and the study was definitely worth it. I really gained some perspective for my future readings in Genesis and Exodus.

To begin with, Noah was 500 years old when God told him to start building the ark. After he started the project, his sons were born. Shem was 100 years old three years after the flood started. I am considering the first day of the flood the beginning of year 1 of the Post-deluvian world.

Day 0-Flood begins
Day 40-Rains end
Day 190-Waters prevail upon the earth
Day 191-Ark rests on Mount Ararat
Tenth month--Tops of Mountains visible
40 days more--Noah sent out a raven and a dove
7 days more--the dove departs again
7 days more--the dove goes out and does not return
First day of year one--the water was gone, Noah removes the arks cover
Year 1,Month 2, Day 27--the earth is dry, Noah and his family leave the ark
1--Shem (101) Elam b.
2--Shem (102) Asshur b.
3--Shem (103) Arphaxad b.
138-Arphaxad (35) Salah b.
168-Salah (30) Eber b.
102-Eber (34) Peleg b. Year of Babel
132-Peleg (30 Reu b.
164-Reu (32) Serug b.
194-Serug (30) Nahor b.
223-Nahor (29) Terah b.
393-Terah (70) Abram, Nahor, Haran b.
341-Peleg dies (239)
342-Nahor dies (119)
350-Noah dies (950)
371-Reu dies (239)
379-Abram (86) Ishmael b.
393-Abram (100) Isaac b.
394-Serug dies (230)
428-Terah dies (205)
451-Arphaxad dies (438)
468-Abram dies (175)
471-Salah dies (433)
503-Shem dies (600)
532-Eber dies (464)
573-Isaac dies (180)
583-Israel (Jacob) comes to Joseph in Egypt
600-Israel (Jacob) dies (147)
1000-400 years later, the Israelites leave Egypt (a millenium after the flood)

Genesis 11A--Babel

The tower of Babel would have been located in the plain of Shinar, Nimrod (son of Cush, son of Ham) probably orchestrated its construction.

The attitude, both expressed and perceived, was very prideful. Those involved were seeking to be the masters of their own destinies. The Godhead perceived their intent perfectly and they conversed amongst themselves: "nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Humanism is not a new philosophy. "Can we do it? Yes, we can!" Sounds familiar, huh?

So God confounded their languages. As I read this account, I can't help but wonder if God's about to confound the money of the world system--the U.s. especially--for the same reason, but that's beside the point. When God did confound their languages, the event brought they proud progress to a grinding halt, and the project was forgotten in the wake of the new crisis.

The imagination can go wild in this scenario. We're not given many specifics, but it will be interesting to have perfect knowledge of this event someday in heaven. In the meantime, I can note, after carefully mapping out the generations, that the account of occurred between 102 years and 341 years after the flood. I tend to lean in the 102 year direction, as Peleg's meaning implies division. If Peleg was born and given his name because of the division of languages, the tower incident would have been 102 years after the flood. This timing would also be about right for Nimrod's generation (fourth from Noah) to be doing the building.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Genesis 10, 11B--Genealogy

I think these genealogies are just so interesting because they are the second start of all civilization! All of us came from these three guys!

1) Japheth was the eldest, and his children made up the isles of the Gentiles as they became divided by land, tongue, family, and nation.

Japheth's children were GOMER, Magog, Madai, JAVAN, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Gomer's children were Ashkenaz, Riphath, Togarmah
Javan's (Gomer's brother) children wer Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

2) Ham was the middle son, who looked on his father's nakedness and received the curse of servitude to his brethren.

Ham's children were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan

Canaan's sons mentioned by name are Sidon and Heth. After that, his descendants are detailed as peoples: the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Gen 10:19 says, "And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha."

Cush's sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtecha, and Nimrod

Nimrod's descendants are noted as cities, rather than children. He was responsible for Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh (in the land of Shinar), and Resen (between Ninevaeh and Calah).

Mizraim (Nimrod's brother) son's were Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim (father of the Philistim), and Caphtorim.

3) Shem was the youngest son. From his descendants would spring Israel, God's chosen people. I will insert details from Genesis 11 here, to amplify my understanding of the passage of time.

Shem was 100 when he begat Arphaxad. Since the flood kept his family on the ark roughly a year, and Noah was warned of the flood 100 years before it happened, Shem would have been three years old when his father started building. Shem lived to be 600.

Shem's sons were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.

Aram's sons were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.

Arphaxad's son was Salah. Arphaxad was 35 when he begat Selah. Arphaxad lived to be 438. His father Shem would have been 539, so he preceded his father Shem in death.

Salah's son was Eber. Salah was 30 when he begat Eber. Salah lived 433 years. Shem saw his son and grandson die before him.

Eber's sons were Peleg and Joktan. Eber was 34 when he begat Peleg. Eber died at 464. Peleg's name must have special meaning, as it is implied that the incident of Babel divided the tongues and nations during his lifetime.

Joktan's sons were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab.

Peleg's (son of Eber) son was Reu. Peleg was 30 when he began Reu. Peleg lived to be 239.

Rue's son was Serug. He was 32 when he began Serug. Rue lived to be 239.

Serug's son was Nahor. He was 30 when he begat Nahor. Serug lived to be 230.

Nahor's son was Terah. He was 29 when he begat Terah. Nahor lived to be 148.

Terah's sons were Abram, Nahor (named after his father?), and Haran. Terah was 70 when he had his sons. There would have been at least two wives involved, as Abram married his half sister, Sarai.

Haran's son was Lot. Haran died before his father in the land of his nativity, Ur of the Chaldees. His daughter was Milcah. His son was Lot.

Nahor married his niece Milcah, who was Haran's daughter.

Together, Terah, Abram and Sarai, Nahor and Milcah, and Lot went from Ur of the Chaldees into the land of Haran. Terah lived to be 205.

Abram's sons were Ishmael(of Hagar) and Isaac (of Sarai). Abram was 86 when Ishmael was born. He was 100 when Isaac was born. After Sarai's death at 127, Abram married Keturah and she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Abraham lived to be 175. Of course, the info on Abraham and Isaac is in later chapters, but by the time I got this far, my curiosity was killing me.

Isaac lived 180 years.

Alchohol and Drunkenness

Now here's a big topic for today. The opinions sure do fly, and I admit, I've vacillated, though I don't actually drink. I want a strong and understandable position on this subject, so I can pass good answers and discerning stand points to my children.

The first mention of drunkenness is in Genesis 9. Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, whom God chose to preserve mankind through, is drunk. Because he is drunk, he finds himself caught in an indiscretion. Now nobody is perfect, but I think what we can learn here, is that even the best of men, can be made unwise and foolish through the effects of alcohol. God does not issue a reprimand to Noah for his drunkenness, but Noah's children are adversely effected. No commands are issued here, but there are some principles.
1) When a good man drinks, he can's always think. Drink responsibly? Well, that's kind of hard to do when your senses are impaired!
2) What you can handle, your children might not be able to. Is it really worth the risk?

Genesis 9

Genesis 9 covers three things.

First, it elaborates on God's covenant between Himself and all living--that He will not destroy all life with a flood again. He sets a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of promise to all generations.

Second, the chapter records God giving dominion over all living creatures to man. I will be noting this passage under "Significance of Man."

Thirdly, world history after the flood is begun with an account of Noah in an awkward situation and how his children respond. I will start a new post to deal with alcohol and drunkenness and make note of this early passage.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Worship is a hot topic in my day--how it should be done--what's appropriate and what's not. I know there are a lot of opinions and a lot of man made books out there. I want to study God's word and discern for myself. I just want to start noting occurrences of worship as they come up in my readings.

1) Before the fall. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God daily. All was open and innocent. There is no mention of worship until man and woman sinned, and their shame caused them to fear God's presence. (Gen 3:8)

2) Cain and Abel offer sacrifices. (Gen 4) Obviously someone must have taught them the need to do so. Whether God taught Adam and Adam taught them, is not explained. There is no mention of a commanded type of offering. As I've mentioned before, Hebrews 4 implies that Abel's sacrifice was approved, not necessarily because it was a lamb, but rather because he offered the lamb with faith.

3) Genesis 5 says that in the days of Seth, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. In my mind this would imply prayer; however, we are not given any kind of indication as to what types of specific instructions people may have been given about the worship of God. However, by Genesis 6, the clear thing is that the majority of mankind is not seeking to please the creator.

4) After Noah and his family come off the ark, they build an altar and offered "clean beasts and clean fowl" to the Lord. Now here, I find myself unsure of something. Did Moses, as he authored the Pentateuch through the Holy Spirit's inspiration and having been given the law, recognize the animals that Noah offered as clean and record them so; OR, did God give instructions about sacrifice to his early civilization. Did Noah know the animals were clean (or unclean) or did Moses recognize them as such?

It doesn't really matter, of course, it's just one of those brain-benders. Either way, I return to my lesson from the specific construction of the ark. If God intends for us to do something in a specific way, he will give specific instructions. That's what I'm looking for as I study.

5) Gen 12:7. Abram built an altar and worshiped God when he arrived in the land of Canaan, and God appeared to Him and re-affirmed that Abram was where God wanted Him to be. "And the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him."
Gen 13:4 This time Abram builds an altar and calls upon the name of the Lord. God does not speak to him first, but rather He is called upon. At this point, Abram is rich in goods, but He still hungers for God.
Gen 13:18 Abram has heard Gods voice, and God's promise for the land has been reaffirmed again. In addition, Abram has obeyed God and walked through the promised land. It is after this exploratory journey, that he builds and altar to worship, one assumes to praise and show thanks with anticipation of what is to come!

6) Genesis 14:18--Abram comes into contact with Melchizedek, priest of the most high God, and offers tithes.
7) Genesis 15:9--Immediately after Abram's conversion, God responds to his question ("whereby shall I know?") with instructions for a sacrifice. Sacrifice by this time, has been well established as the normal mode of worship. How is this worship executed? Here, God gives specific instructions about the sacrifice and those instructions are followed. Again, Abram seems aware of a certain protocol as to how the animals are to be divided, but we don't know how this knowledge was attained or passed down. Then Abram has to wait. He has to keep circling scavengers from devouring the sacrifice. At sundown, God comes to Abram while he sleeps, and in the midst of fear and darkness, God reveals Himself.

When Abram wakes up, night has fallen, and before his eyes adjust to the dim light, a smoking lamp passes among the sacrifices. While he is fully conscious, God affirms that the incredible events of that day have not all been a dream. Abram worshiped and waited obediently, and God's Will for his future was affirmed in his heart, in his mind, and before his very eyes. God used worship to create certainty in His servant, both of His Will and of His promises.

Genesis 8

Today, the headlines have been full of disaster. An 8.9 earthquake struck Japan this morning, killing hundreds. Tsunamis have effected not only Japan, but also Hawaii, and more than likely California before the day is over. Throughout the year there have been freak occurrences of dead birds and fish, and just yesterday, there was another story about millions of dead anchovies on the west coast. Again, I am feeling a little more able to identify with old Noah.

How does the godly person, the one who finds "grace" in the eyes of the Lord, respond to disaster, impending or present? Genesis 7 showed me that the godly person first responds with obedience. Genesis 8 shows me that the godly person trusts God and waits on him. In this chapter, Noah is waiting for the waters to "abate." This process took 150 days, but Noah and his family weren't exactly given a count down calendar. Even then, they weren't done waiting. Now they had to figure out when they should leave the ark.

I want to note Noah's waiting process.
1) First, the ark rested on Ararat. They'd been on the ark more than six months; still Noah did not go for instant gratification. He didn't hear the voice of the Lord, so he waited.
2) Then, after another couple months, Noah could see the tops of the mountains. His eyes told him things were improving, but he didn't trust his own senses, he waited for the word of God.
3) Noah sent out a dove. He experimented, and eventually received positive confirmation that things were improving; however, he didn't trust the outside source. He waited on the Lord.
4) Verse 15 says, "And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth . . . "

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't make a move in our Christian lives until we have a vision experience with God, in which we're given detailed instructions. Today, we have the benefit of the Word of God, and through Christ's redemptive work, the presence of the Holy Spirit within to guide us. What I can learn, is that as I face a waiting situation of mild or disastrous proportions, I can learn from Noah's example. I can obey and avoid fleshly impulse. Though good counsel and good sense are gifts from God, I must rest in the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit above all!

The end of chapter 8 shows Noah, his family, and all those upon the ark preserved. They emerge to a new life, which they begin in a spirit of gratitude as Noah offers a sacrifice. God covenants with Noah that he will not destroy the whole earth with a flood again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Genesis 7

I'll admit. Initially, I was guilty of apathy due to familiarity in regards to this passage. I've read it in the KJV a million times, and I've read several children's versions to my kids many times. I didn't think I was going to take away much that was new. Ah, pride does come before a fall.

This week, I saw a lengthy report on the coming demise of the dollar. Gas prices have been rising, unemployment is getting worse, and our government is printing dollars like monopoly money. I was filled with dread as I realized that we probably are on the edge of a second depression and that my children will likely grow up in a very different world than I did. I lost sleep over it several nights in a row. Then on Sunday, upon returning to my Bible study, I was struck between the eyes with what I had been missing.

Genesis 7 finds 500 year old Noah doing right and blessed by God, but suddenly faced with the apocalypse. God gives him instructions to prepare for the disasters. He tells Noah what to build and how and who to take along, but that's all he knew for 100 years. For 100 years he obeyed by faith, knowing the disaster would come, but not when exactly--knowing that he and his family would survive, but not exactly knowing what life would hold for them after that.

Seven days before the flood, God gave Noah warning and told him how many days and nights the flood would last, but not how long it would take for the waters to abate. Still there was an unknown future and a need to just trust God.

Now I don't pretend to compare my family's current experience to Noah's, but what I can understand from Noah's story is that God has always, and will always, prepare and care for His children. When disaster looms, and when disasters comes, we can trust God to take care of us and carry us into the future!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Obviously, God's perfect plan for this world did not include sin and violence. However, is violence always a sin? Yes and no. God lays out some laws which specifically prohibit some acts of violence--murder and rape are pretty clearly forbidden.

But what about the context of war? Today, some groups express large objections to the violence that takes place within a war situation. In this case, one must consider, that though God did not ever want violence, violence is the natural result of a society in the grip of sin. Peace has not been a naturally occurring process or an attainable state since the fall of mankind. Also, as I continue my study, I know I will come across situation that God will command his people to war--to accomplish his redemptive purpose on the landscape of history. War also takes place to judge sin. In addition, we are instructed to live under authorities and laws of the land. This obedience to authority sometimes involves acts of war.

I want to go back and note situations in which violence has already occurred in the past five chapters.

1) Animals killed to make clothing for Adam and Eve.

2) Cain killing Abel out of bitterness. This murder had great consequences for Cain, but he was allowed to live. God had not yet set out the "life for a life" standard for mankind.

3) Lamech kills a young man to his hurt.

By chapter 6, God saw that the "wickedness of man was great in all the earth." Violence is clearly the natural consequence of sin. God did not create it, we released it when we disobeyed God.

By chapter 9, there's a development in the discussion on violence. God says in Genesis 9:6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

I think here are some early thoughts on the topics of MURDER and CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. However, again, I think some would return to the question, how do these issues translate to the war situation for the Christian? What is the mind of Christ on these issues? I intend to continue to study them out. I feel I know how they will come out; however, I want the final comment to come from God's Word and not me!

Genesis 6

The gist of this chapter is that mankind got evil, and they got evil quickly. We sure didn't need long to "evolve" in our sin natures. Barely ten generations of recorded history in, and our creator God was sick at heart. He was ready to take it all back to the drawing board.

I take two things from this chapter. First of all, history repeats itself. Today's society does not differ much from Noah's. People "take them" intimate partners "of all they choose." Either through divorce or outright immorality, people defile themselves within themselves without much thought. In addition, man had become increasingly violent, which is a natural result of the strong presence of sin and a strong absence of the Spirit.

Second, though you may be alone in doing right, it is still important to do that right. God notices, and it thrills His heart! The earth's entire population was in sin, yet Noah "walked with God." Those are the same words used to describe Enoch, who God saw fit to translate without the experience of death. Noah's obedience saved him, and it also effected the salvation of his loved ones!

1) on Violence--Given it's own post heading.

2) On the "Sons of God." Nothing theological here. I just found it interesting. I remember hearing in a Bible class, that the "sons of God" might possibly have been the angels that joined Satan in his rebellion and were then cast from heaven. The result of their unions with human women produced children of remarkable size, strength, ability, and reputation. I can't help wondering if it was offspring of this nature that gave rise to the Greek and Roman stories of gods and demi-gods.

3) Specific Instruction--When God wants something done a specific way, he takes the time to give the details! On the other side of that coin, if God takes time to give us the details in regards to something, we had better pay attention and obey to the letter. Just as I love my children as they are, but expect them to obey me when I instruct them; my Heavenly Father loves me as I am, but expects my obedience. Partial or half-hearted obedience still falls below par!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Genesis 5

Actually, this post is a continuation of Genesis 4. The end of this chapter details the descendants of Cain and introduces the line of Seth. I want to place these two lines side by side and make an observation.

1) Cain bore
2) Enos (namesake of Cain's city), who bore
3) Irad who bore
4) Mahujael, who bore
5) Methusael, who bore
6) Lamech, (who also committed murder)
who bore through Adah
7) Jabal (father of nomads and cattlemen) and
Jubal (musician)
and through Zillah
7) Tubalcain (brass and iron smith)
and his sister, Naamah

1) Seth to bore
2) Enos, who bore
3) Cainan, who bore
4) Mahalaleel, who bore
5) Jared, who bore
6) Enoch (who walked with God and was not), who bore
7) Methuselah (the oldest man recorded), who bore
8) Lamech, who bore
9) Noah (who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, built the ark), who bore
10) Shem, Ham, and Japheth (fathers of post-flood civilization).

I found it interesting that six generations after Cain murdered Abel, his sin was still affecting his descendants. Cain's great (x5) grandson Lamech killed a man, and harked all the way back to God's protective curse over Cain to defend against his own actions.

On the other hand, when Seth bore a son, the time is marked as when men began to "call upon the name of the Lord. Five generations later, Enoch walked so closely with God that God took Enoch into his presence without the natural occurrence of death! Enoch son must have been influenced by his father's good life, because he lived the longest life recorded. Methuselah's son (ironically, another Lamech), must have been influenced, because he raised a son who found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The point? What we do in this life does effect the generations to come for the good or for the bad. This has been true from the beginning! I take it as a challenge to raise my children for the Lord, both what I teach them and in the example that I offer everyday. Lord, help them to see me calling on your name and living every day for you!