Category Archives: Noah

Moses Avoided Writing of the Trinity

I recently replied to “The Janitor” at JW Wartick’s excellent blog, “Always Have a Reason.” He basically made the point that Old Earth Creationists tend to place science above scripture, and not the other way around. Now personally, I have found that  science and scripture are so complimentary when placed in the context of ancient history, and interpreted against the original Hebrew that I do not generally worry about this. But, I wanted to make the point that there was at least one Old Earther out there who uses scripture to make his points. So, I mentioned some arguments that I have that are based on scripture. I did not develop the arguments, but instead of generating interest in the arguments, I appeared to evoke a response that inferred (incorrectly) what my arguments might be, or that they were implausible and not worthy of reading in more detail. I am used to being dismissed by my Young Earth brethren when conversing on the age of the earth, but it disturbs me when it happens.

The main argument I have that appeared to evoke some interest by The Janitor is that Moses knew the Trinity, and avoided details that would lead the ancient Israelites into anything other than the worship of a single God. He was worried about them falling back into polytheism. So, here is a series of links that develop my argument. My hope is that someone interested in the argument will read through the articles, and not judge the merits of the article on just the content of this post.

One comment about my intent… while I would certainly be gratified to persuade, my primary intent is to show a biblical argument that gives scripture primacy in the development of my larger position that the earth is old…

  1. Moses talked to Jesus face-to-face before writing Genesis, so personally knew God as a Trinity - Genesis 1:2
  2. Creation was witnessed by The Holy Spirit, and Jesus was with Him - Genesis 1:2
  3. Creation was made through Jesus – Genesis 1:1
  4. Jesus created at God the Father’s command to “let” – Genesis 1:3

    The observation at this point is that anyone who knows God as a Trinity should be able to see that Moses was also aware of this aspect of God… that He is a Trinity. Yet Moses did not teach this. He taught that the Lord is God, the Lord is One… which He is. But why not teach information about God’s nature it appears He knew of? I believe we can infer his reason from Genesis 6, where Moses left out other details, details about how Adam’s people worshipped before the flood, details about how Jesus attempted to intercede for the people. Instead, Moses left footnotes for us to look up, in sources that were all but lost for almost 2,000 years…

  5. The polytheistic religion of ancient Sumer was started by fallen angels and their angel/human offspring – Genesis 6:1, Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4
  6. God The Father first suggested the need to cleanse Sumer – Genesis 6:3a
  7. God the Son attempted to intercede – Genesis 6:3b, Genesis 6:6, Genesis 6:7
  8. Letting polytheism stamp out relationship with God was too horrible to let it continue. It had to be wiped out – Genesis 6:5

So my conclusion is this: Moses knew the trinity, and knew that polytheism was wiped out by the flood. However, Moses left out details of both… but those details can be confirmed and easily woven into what He did write. You will need to read the articles above to see how, but here is what it means to me… that Moses intentionally left out teachings on the Trinity and teachings about the previous polytheism for some reason. One possible reason is that he considered it common knowledge, so why detail it? I think that is true as far as it goes. These leads me to the other reason… what is original in his writing that other sources never taught? It is that the Lord is God, the Lord is One… an intentional focus on God’s single-ness above His Trinity. It must mean that this was important. And when weighed against the details of polytheism that he left out from before the flood, and the extreme nature of God’s action in sending the flood all-the-same, it suggests that leaving out such detail was immensely important! And history tells us why. Even after the fallen angels and Nephilim were removed, people’s worship of them remained… and the articles above going into the detail. Please read them for more.

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There does remain one concern I have in presenting my information to the Janitor (and potentially other Young Earthers who find this post). I am concerned that using any scientific data or historical data will be used as an argument that I am giving science priority over the scriptures. So, let me state how this site began, quite briefly…

I theorized that if modern science and scripture were in fact in agreement then I should be able to find a scientific discovery of a time when the earth was covered in water, and devoid of life and sunlight. I had never heard of such a theory of scientists before in my life, but I made that the lynchpin of my position. If could not find that, then I would never be able to convince myself of the science, and it would leave my interpretation of scripture in question. So, I searched the scientific articles and I found it. I found articles on Zircon Crystals, and they described the conditions exactly. From then on, I knew I would have a defensible position for my treatment of scripture, having used the scripture to predict the science, and not the other way around. It is my justification for  interpreting the scripture as scientific documentation (please read examples of how I do this before criticizing the concept!), and for using science to help explain the scripture (again, please read the articles before criticizing the concept). Everything on my website leads (or is meant to lead) back to that first connection, where the scripture predicted the science. If I had not succeeded in that, there would be no website. There would be no GeoCreationism.

When Jesus Repented

In Genesis 6:7, God repents of his actions, of having created mankind. The NKJV and NLT use the word “sorry;” the NIV says “regret.” The KJV however uses the word repent, and  if you look up the Hebrew, the best translation for the word is to lament or grieve, as a result of ones own action… to repent.

It is often difficult to imagine how God could possibly regret anything. After all, He is God, right? Instead of taking an action He knows He will regret, why even take the action? Because He knows He will? That answer messes with our view of His omniscience and omnipotence, so it cannot be the answer. As it turns out, the answer lies in God’s very nature… He is a Trinity.

As we see God in the New Testament, so He was in the Old. God the Father knows all, before during and after. He is never surprised, and concerns Himself more with Justice and judgement of our conduct, in light of our heart. Whether we live or die from a situation is not so important as what we did in the time we had. Did we love Him? Did we love others? Did we believe His word (to the extent we could understand it)? Did we obey Him (or at least think we were)?

Then there is  God the Son, who does quite a most of the physical work. He is the one who made the creation at His Father’s command. He is the one who gave Moses the Law and later founded the Church, the One Who died for our sins, the One Who rose from the dead. He will be the one who rules for 1,000 years and the one who will testify before His Father on behalf of His faithful, the ones who believe and obey God to whatever degree they understand Him and have had His truths revealed in their heart.

Jesus is also the aspect of God that relates to our human emotion… or more accurately, He is the aspect of God we are relating to when we emote, when we love, when we distress, when we obey, and when we are tempted. He can feel all these because He does not know all and so has the emotions of anticipation before things happen, and the emotions of fulfillment or regret when mankind acts He wants or does not. He is not omniscient. Though it is available to Him. He foregoes His true potential on our behalf, and He did so at the beginning of the world, as He made mankind in His image, and sought to save Adam’s line from the Flood over the 120 years His father gave Him. It was much like the parable of the fruit tree, where the vineyard keeper asked for another year before the owner took it out, except in Genesis 6, Jesus requested 120 years. It was the type of request Jesus make again and again, but while Israel would come to repent later in History, Sumer never did.

In His attempt to bring Sumer back to His Father, Jesus removed all of the things that caused mankind to fall. He removed the Nephilim. He removed the Watchers, those “sons of God” who saw how beautiful the human women were and married them. The Nephilim were banished to wander the earth disembodied, and the Watchers He gave over to His Father who locked them up in the Pit of Darkness until the end of time. This left the people to themselves to either repent of their deeds or not… and they did not.

The evidence suggests that these were the people of Sumer, and the myths that survive them tell us that once their “gods” were absent, they preferred to forge myths and idols to remember them by, rather than turn to the God who created them. Jesus did not know this is how it would turn out, and despite His best efforts, it was necessary for Him to remove the fig tree from the ground. And see what Jesus said in Genesis 6:7, the words of a God who did not know all, and failed to change the hearts of those whom He loved, 7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

He was sorry. He repented of His actions. It is a fascinating statement for God to make, because it places Jesus in a place of sorrow and regret that we hardly realize He understands when we are in it ourselves. But we see here that He does understand it. He got Sumer another 120 years to change their ways and they did not. We can even see in their records and ruins how they went from a unified culture of pleasing their gods to a culture splintered into cities, where each city looked to its own god for protection. It what you might expect from a society with gods present to a society with gods absent. Having their gods removed did not change their hearts, and so they were destroyed, and Jesus was sorry.

Repentance is usually associated with actions of evil or sin that otherwise prevent you from entering God’s presence. That is not always what such actions are. One can repent of an action that ultimately led to sin that was not yours. You committed no sin in what you did, but it led to sin all the same. It led to distance from God, though not your distance, and distance from God is all the Father could see when He looked upon Sumer, and Jesus could not fix it. Is it because God is not omnipotent? No, but because Jesus chooses to forgo His omnipotence, and because God the Father is merely judging our life and time we have on earth. Our death per se is not a sin, just as animal death is not a sin, even while much sin leads to it… but not everything leading to death is sin. But our emotional connection to the unanticipated results of our action can make us feel regret, regret to the point of repentance, though we were not in sin ourselves.

There is a common argument that either God does not prevent evil because He cannot or because He will not. If He would but cannot, then He is not all-powerful; if He can but will not then He is not all-good. In Jesus’ case, He is not all-powerful. In the Father’s case, the characterization is a red herring, because God is all-just, and God’s justice is not rooted in the existence of evil, but His reaction to it. His reaction is to have His Son lead to repentance those who will follow, and then reward in death the actions we all take in life, whether it be rewarding our good deeds because we have repented of our bad, or rewarding our bad deeds because we did not repent. God’s justice is the ultimate good. It is a failure in our humanity that we require that goodness be something else.

Of course, I realize that a skeptic will not be persuaded by the argument. However, the skeptic is not my target, but the Christian who wants to understand the nature of His God and how the scripture seeks to inform us about Him. As for the skeptics are not commissioned to convince, but to explain the reason for the Hope that is within us… the Holy Spirit will do any convincing.

Was the Flood a Scourge?

I recently completed an article on Genesis 6:3, which describes God’s fatherly approach toward the pre-flood Sumerians. In short, God wanted the ancient Sumerians to accept Him as their adoptive father, so He could include them among His sons in Heaven, as He does all His faithful. However, they looked to the angels instead, angels who fell from grace, had children with the people, and lived physically among them, teaching them secrets of Heaven they were not yet supposed to know. The bloodshed that resulted from the selfishness of their offspring, the Nephilim, was awful. It was clear that Sumer would never look to God, so He spurred the Nephilim to kill each other off, placed the fallen angels in the bottomless pit for future judgement, and sent a flood to kill off the fledgling civilization… with the exception of Noah, who was found to be the lone righteous man among them all.

The fatherly aspect can be seen if you think of the Sumerians as foster children. Those who follow the Holy Spirit will be resurrected and go to Heaven in the end times, to be (once they rise) adopted. God wants to adopt us all, but will only do so for those who accept the offer. Except for Noah, the Sumerians did not accept the offer.

So, I posted the article (linked to above) yesterday, and then today came upon the following verses in my devotionals, in the book of Hebrews, chapter 12…

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Upon first reading, this probably seems like an odd passage to apply to the Sumerians. Think about it. Are we really supposed to consider the Flood to be mere “chastening?” Is that one of those “scourges” that the writer of Hebrews is talking about? Hardly seems as assuring as the writer of Hebrews intends it to be, when applied to that situation. However, I do not believe that application of this passage is quite right. Let us back up a little.

The first person God fostered on earth is Adam. Adam was an obedient child of God… until he wasn’t. He sinned against God then hid. So God chastened him. He banished him from the garden and placed him in a hostile environment. That is the scourge the Hebrew writer speaks of. It isn’t the Flood. But keep reading, and you will see the parallel with Adam and his descendants. They became weary, and “despised the chastening of the Lord.” Eventually, Adam’s people would move to Sumer where life was easier to be sure, but harder to live while keeping focus on God. So God sent them angels to look over them, and that brings us to Genesis 6 and the flood.

Instead of embracing the angels as their gods, the people of Sumer needed to take the advice that would eventually find its way to verses 5 and 6 and above. Instead, they despised God’s chastening. They were discouraged. It’s most likely why they moved from the dry region of Ubaid 3/4, where their dependence on God would be absolute, and moved to Sumer where they could take care of themselves without Him. Instead of seeing their banishment from the Garden as the scourge of a loving father, they left Him.

As verse 7 tells us above, they could have stayed where they were, followed the Holy Spirit, and God would have dealt with them as sons (Luke 20:36, Romans 8:14), but they left. So now we come to Genesis 6:3, where God said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” He could just as easily have said something like we see in Hebrews 12:8 above, “But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” In other words, they were within the chastening of the Lord in Ubaid 3/4, but were without His chastening in Sumer. They became illegitimate sons, worshipping the fallen sons of God, and destined not to become sons of God themselves when the end-times come. When God said He was not to contend with them much longer, He was washing His hands of them, calling them illegitimate sons. The Flood was no chastening; it was a cleansing.

As for Noah, he received favor from the Lord and Noah was chastened, asked to build an ark on dry land, gather up two of every kind, and then endure a catastrophe that would kill off everyone else he ever knew accept his family. The rest were illegitimate children. These last words of our Hebrews 12 passage can be applied to the Flood as words of Noah, the one who accepted God as father, the one who accepted God’s chastening and His scourge…

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

The lesson for us is to look at the difficult situations that we are in, and realize that where we have become more faithful, we have been chastened. Where we continue letting ourselves become more faithful, we accept chastening. Where we feel pain and look toward God in areas we never did, we accept His scourge. I word this very carefully, because not all misfortune is God’s scourge, and not every unpleasantness is His chastening. Just ask Job. However, it is helpful to ask yourself whether your faith is in doubt, or is it challenged, or is it strengthened? In any of those cases, make the choice for God, learn what He is asking you to, cast off the concerns of this world and follow His Holy Spirit, and you will find yourself a child of God.

Noah’s Flood and the Resurrection of Jesus

A key to understanding the Flood is understanding God’s character. It is not easy, and many non-believers  make a big deal of any seemingly negative or violent thing that God has done, while Christians tend to confine those actions to God’s past, making it seem to non-believers like we are making excuses when we simply do not understand enough about God to answer their challenge adequately. There is nothing wrong with being honest when that is true. The problem is that we follow it up with scriptures about God’s love — for God is love — which may not seem wrong, except for the fact that we completely discount the acts of violence we could not explain.

I cannot provide a conclusive argument that will convince an atheist to convert, but I would like to offer some scriptures to the Christian who is having trouble coping with this concept. The first comes from the the first five of the 10 Commandments. They are in Exodus 20. Pay special attention to #2, which is in verses 4 to 6…

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

One might think of these 5 Commandments as the 5 stumbling blocks of man. Let us go through them one at a time, and think about how they apply to today…

  1. Have no other gods before God – we still have problems with this, but we don’t always call them “gods”.
  2. No images of God – People still worship the cross, the crucifixion, pictures of Jesus. This limits the richness of how God wants to relate to us.
  3. No cursing in God’s name – Cursing in God’s name is seeming more acceptable with every generation
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to honor God’s creation of us – We work 7 days a week. Even going to church is “work.”
  5. Honor our parents, because the relationship we have with them models in miniature some key aspects of our relationship to God.

Now, I have gone to the trouble of summarizing the purpose of these 5 commandments in terms of our side of a relationship with God. But what about God’s side of the relationship? What does it look like? This is where our arguments and ability to defend our faith often falls apart… **we do not know** what God’s side looks like! However, we do have a clue, in Genesis 6, Let us start with verses 5-7 which read…

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 

Seriously. God seriously felt like this about what was going on before the Flood. And exactly what was that? It is described in Genesis 6:1,2,4, which read…

1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of Godsaw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose… 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

What was really happening is that God had sent Angels to the earth to watch over us. But instead of watching over us, they decided to marry the women and had children with them. This may actually explain the mythological stories that survived the early Sumerian civilization. If so, then think about what those fallen angels actually did, and how the people of the time reacted. In fact, let us think of them in terms of the first five commandments.

  1. Have no other gods before God – The people worshipped God’s angels, instead of God.
  2. No images of God – We are still finding archaeological remains of idols from just after Noah’s time, remnants of people’s desire to remember the “gods” from the before the flood.
  3. No cursing in God’s name – According to Sumerian myth, there was one god who sent or gave birth to all the others. While accurate in some sense, their characterization of him is anything but the one true God.
  4. Observe the Sabbath day to honor God’s creation of us – They honored God’s angels, and those angels’ children, the Nephilim. Any rest they received was in homage to the Watchers, not God.
  5. Honor our parents, because the relationship we have with them models in miniature some key aspects of our relationship to God – They honored the Watchers, and it was not a model for relating to God.

And God’s initial reaction is recorded in Genesis 6:3. Let us also include verses 5-7 from above…

3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 

And do you know what God did? He confined the Watchers to hell. These are the angels we will judge in 1 Corinthians 6:3. He then had all of the Nephilim actually kill each other. These are the disembodied spirits we see in scripture, such as Legion, whom Christ allowed to possess a herd of pigs before they drowned. After that, God chose a godly remnant of mankind, Noah, and had him build an ark. God then sent a catastrophe and began His legacy with man from scratch, promising never to cleanse man by flood ever again. Ever wonder how God was able to keep that promise?

Look around you. I know you see sin and you see the church demonized throughout the world, but do you know what you don’t see? Watchers. Angels. You see no physical manifestation of God or His divinity. And do you know why? It is so God can keep His promise. He showed us what happens when we can see his Angels, when the spiritual is visible. First of all, the angels succomb to sin. Second of all, we worship them. Finally, ignore God.

One possible objection is that God could simply physically manifest alongside the Angels. The answer is that He did. He walked in the Garden. He visited Abraham before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. He wrestled with Jacob and then blessed him. He talked to Moses in his tent, and showed him His glory on the mountain. He then came down to earth, died for our sins, and rose. He has been here, and will come again. But none of this is proof for the faithless, because it is not meant for them as proof, but for you as confirmation, the one who loves God, the one who knows Him in your heart, the one whose nature confuses you when you try and get your arms around His violent acts of the Old Testament, and sacrificial acts of the New. He has been here, and so have His angels. Somehow, both extremes of God’s character, are not actually extremes. They just appear that way because we do not always understand. To us, they are extremes.

Today, God stays in the Spirit, and His angels do as well. (It is why the Spiritual gifts are so important.) For those of who believe, God made His point nearly 5000 years ago that this is how it must be. And amazingly enough, there is a faithful church who loves Him and will go home to be with Him one day. And they will be honoring that day to come this Sunday, as we celebrate the first fruits of the resurrection, which happened when an Angel actually did appear physically to roll the stone away from Jesus’ grave, and then left almost as quickly… not long enough to be accepted by all of mankind, but long enough to prevent his own stumbling, and not long enough to be worshipped by man, so that God could simultaneously keep his promise to not destroy mankind in a flood again, and the promise to redeem us from our sins. Why? Because redemption from sin is what it’s all about. Whether we’re talking about cleansing a civilization of sin through a Flood, or an individual life through an empty tomb, that is all it was ever about.

Genesis 4 – Cain’s Children in History

Well, not exactly “in history”.

I have completed two articles on Cain, discussing his move to “East of Eden”. One is a scientific article discussing the likelihood of his descendants working with iron. One needs to ask whether our dating of Noah, and by extension Adam, would place Cain’s desdendants in a time and place that makes sense. So, if the flood is 2807 BC, and Adam was born in 4336 BC, then how could Tubal-Cain have worked with iron, when the Iron Age began in 1200BC?  You can read about it here:

http://www.geocreationism.com/science/meteoric_iron_preceded_iron_age.html

The other article is commentary on the scripture itself, discussing the historical ramifications of the names and vocations of Cain’s descendants. Not only did Tubal-Cain work with iron, but Jabal lived in tents and raised livestock; Jubal invented stringed instruments. Some would say this is impossible, and suggest that some wishful thinking on Moses’ part, assuming Moses even wrote Genesis, right? Well, Moses would know all about the history of Egypt, and it turns out that the history he is writing of fits right in, but only because our dating of the events dates just a few hundred years before Egypt’s own history first shows them appearing.

It turns out that history is quite possibly exactly as scripture says. You can read about it here:

http://www.geocreationism.com/scripture/genesis-4/genesis4-18t24-aligning-cains-clans-with-history.html

Something to consider in all this, is that accepting such evidence that the scripture is true can be more of a stumbling block than a confirmation… if you believe in a young earth. Why is that? It is because most young earthers believe in a catastrophic flood that was so violent and destructive that absolutely nothing could survive. Some theories have the flood creating the continents. Most have the flood creating the mountains. To suggest that drawings on a rock of a stringed instrument from 600 years before the flood would survive to be discovered, or that meteoric iron beads from 1,000 years before the flood would survive to be discovered… and successfully dated, and their location be at an intact archaelogical dig… it should just be too fantastic for a young earther to believe. On the other hand, their dating is within the 5,000 years or so that most young earthers would limit us to, in our ability to date things accurately. And, these date back to when scripture tells us they should. So, either the finds are fake, or the flood was not as catastrphic as they think (don’t get me wrong, it was pretty horrible, just not bad enough to completely reform the earth).

To me, this points at a somewhat localized flood that impacted the world. It also lends credence to the artifacts that date just a little earlier, and then just a little earlier, and then earlier…

Update: Noah’s Flood started on April 20, 2807 BC

I have been working on a group of articles for http://geocreationism.com that attempts to organize the research documented on this blog for when the flood occurred. I have been attempting to verify my facts against additional sources, and when I got to the computation for the date written in Genesis 7:11, I found that the website I was using was incorrect. The date should be April 21, not May 2. This affects at least the following posts on this blog:

Okay, here what caused my error: I used the website http://www.kaluach.org/ to figure out the Gregorian date for 17 Iyar in 2807 BC (the 17th day of the 2nd month, per Genesis 7:11). It computed that the date of May 1, 2807 BC equates to the Hebrew date of 17 Iyar 953. It would seem that this website’s tool is off by a year, by counting ”0″ as a year. However 1AD is the year after 1BC; there is no “year 0″. Consequently, it was giving the day for year 2808 BC, not 2807.

Argh.

Well, I have now verified on multiple websites that 17 Iyar 954 equates to a Gregorian date of 20 April 2807 BC. Please keep this mind as you read through prior posts, and if there are any to add to this list, please let me know!

The impact this has on things is that the rain from Noah’s flood lasted from April 21 (the morning after) until May 30, 2807 BC. This nicely brackets the timing of the Sumerian deluge, whose rains began on May 10 (after the sudden darkness of a validated full solar eclipse), and lasted through May 16.

It would seem that God timed things in a rather interesting way:

  1. Begin rains within the Mountains of Ararat on April 20
  2. Send a comet into the Indian Ocean on May 10, beginning rains throughout the Middle East and darkness, concurrent with an eclipse
  3. Rains end in Middle East or after May 16
  4. Rains end within the Mountains of Ararat on May 30

Odd as it seems, it actually explains why the comet and eclipse are in other well-known flood myths (e.g., Epic of Gilgamesh), but not in Genesis… Noah missed it!

If you any of you would care to double check my dates again for me, here are the website I have found that all agree with my new dating:

All four websites compute the same dates, and confirm that http://www.kaluach.org/ is off by a year.

Boy, am I glad I double checked this!

Genesis 11:3 – The Tower of Babel – The Science and History

 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

This verse has always been interesting to me. It suggests that under normal circumstances, stone would have been the common choice for their city and tower. Instead, they chose bricks, which they baked thoroughly. Verse 3 also suggests that not everyone used tar for mortar in their times, but these builders did. Apparently, they were being innovative.

When you think about the fact that building a tower and city from baked bricks and tar was sufficient in their mind to “make a name” for themselves, it suggests a level of innovation, that perhaps they were making history, or at least thought they were.

As I discuss in Genesis 11:4 – The Tower of Babel – “Now, here’s the plan”, it would seem that Noah’s clans were not the only people migrating to Shinar, suggesting Shinar was not the only one place on earth with people. This is consistent with the science, which has discovered ancient kingdoms and cities through much of the world, particularly Egypt, India, and China. In light of this, and my assertion in previous posts that my dating of The Flood to 2807BC places the Tower of Babel at some time shortly after that, perhaps 2700 BC, one might ask whether building a rather large structure from baked bricks and tar is in fact an innovation for their time. According to Wikipedia

The first mortars were made of mud and clay. Because of a lack of stone and an abundance of clay, Babylonian constructions were of baked brick, using lime or pitch for mortar. According to Roman Ghirshman, the first evidence of humans using a form of mortar was at the ziggurat of Sialk in Iran, built of sun-dried bricks in 2900 BC. The Chogha Zanbil Temple in Iran was built in about 1250 BC with kiln-fired bricks and a strong mortar of bitumen. In early Egyptian pyramids constructed about 2600–2500 BC, the limestone blocks were bound by mortar of mud and clay, or clay and sand.

So, if Wikipedia’s account is accurate (Wikipedia is not without flaws), Babylon (where Babel was) was already using baked brick fully 100 years before the flood. But, it was not mere epiphany that bricks would be better than stone, so much as a lack of stone combined with an abundance of clay that led to this. Until mortar was discovered however, they just stacked the bricks as they built. It seems that the use of mortar was a real advancement, and that this took place around 2900 BC. This begs the question of when they moved from clay mortar to tar mortar.

2900 BC is about the time when I believe God chose Noah for his righteousness, and decided to give Adam’s descendants another 100 years before destroying them. Then, after the flood in 2807 BC, Noah’s descendants migrated to Babylon, where the tower would be built, but using tar instead of clay. It would seem that the pre-flood technology no only survived, but it even advanced. This confirms my theory in other posts where I present evidence that Adam’s descendants perished in The Flood, but surrounding peoples were merely dramatically impacted.

Looking back at our Wikipedia citation above, is it really not until 1250 BC that we see bitumen being used for mortar? Well, bitumen is a type of asphalt (not to be confused with the asphalt cement we use today), which is black and sticky. Sounds like tar, does it not? Well, this date suggests that the region would not use tar with bricks for another 1500 years or so. In the meantime, Egypt was using limestone blocks with mortar made “of mud and clay, or clay and sand.” Even Egypt was not yet using tar. It suggests that any tower built using tar as mortar would truly have been innovative around 2700BC; it would also apparently have been lost! Well? Isn’t that what Genesis 11 tells the story of? They figured out a way to make a name for themselves, and God thwarted it!

There is a book entitled “Asphalts and Allied Substances – Their Occurrence, Modes of Production, Uses in the Arts and Methods of Testing”. The book is rather old, being copyrighted in 1929 and 1938. Giving some allowance for what today would seem to be primitive dating methods, this actually has some remarkable contributions to the history of asphalt in the Sumerian region where the Tower was built. Given the scholarly research underlying the book, I daresay, the following quote is quite enlightening…

Use of Asphalt by the Sumerians (about 3800 to 2500 BC). The earliest recorded use of asphalt by the human race was by the pre-Babylonian inhabitants of the Euphrates Valley in southeastern Mesopotamia, the present Iraq, formerly called Sumer and Accad (Akkad), and later Babylonia. In this region, between the river Nile in Egypt and the Indus river in India, there occur various deposits of asphalt.

In other words, asphalt was known within the region for about 1,000 years before the Tower. It just wasn’t being used for mortar quite yet. However, its durability was already known. Further down the same page, the author goes on…

Another statue, originating about the same time (3000 BC), known as “Human-Headed Bull,” is composed of steatite, inlaid with small yellow shells imitating streaks, and held in place with asphalt. Many of the shells are intact, gripped firmly by the asphalt throughout fifty centuries of time and exposure, furnishing evidence of its remarkable adhesiveness and durability. This statue is now at the Louvre, Paris.

This narrows things down a bit, allowing us to see a time when clay was the mortar of choice, but the strength of asphalt for other uses was already known. In fact, the earliest uses of asphalt were in two of the four cities that would be ruled by Nimrod: Babylon and Akkad. Sumer is basically the entire region. But interestingly, notice where the asphalt deposits were… from the Nile River (Egypt) to the Indus River (India).

Both rivers are somewhat north of the Euphrates, and the biblical recording of eastward migration to Babylon already suggests the migration was roughly following the Euphrates, traveling more south-east actually. Such a migration strongly suggests the settlers began where the asphalt deposits were, and brought with them a knowledge of asphalt, where to find it and how to use it. This was a real innovation for this region. Apparently, the people of the post-flood migration were familiar with asphalt, and brought with them new ideas on how to use it. But, is the Tower of Babel really the only example of asphalt mortar before 1250 BC?

Back to “Asphalts and Allied Substances”…

Ur-Nina, King of Lagash (about 2800 BC). In the city of Kish (Persia) there has been excavated the palace of King Ur-Nina, the foundations of which consist of plano-convex bricks cemented together with asphalt mortar. Similarly, in the ancient city of Nippur (about 60 miles south of Baghdad) excavations show Sumerian structures dating from this same period, composed of natural stones joined together with asphalt mortar, including the “ziggurat” of Enlil.

This would suggest that the discovery of asphalt mortar was about the time of the flood. Does that make sense? Well, remember that this a rather old book, and dating techniques have improved tremendously. According to a more-up-to-date Wikipedia, King Ur-Nina dates back to 2500BC, not 2800BC. That makes a lot more sense. Compare also the myths of the time (Genesis 10 – Noah’s Family Tree – Babylon), and we start to see a real convergence.

So, look at what we have. There is a biblical account of a regional innovation around 2700BC, consisting of the use of tar as mortar with baked bricks. This is followed by a punishment by God, who basically saw to the subsequent dismantling of the Tower. Within 100 years, we see a Babylonian myth about the Tower, and less than 100 years after that, we see the technology showing up again, but this time it survives.

A Tale of Two Timelines (Part 2)

As one may have inferred from Reflections on History and the Jewish Calendar (Part 1), even before I discovered the King’s Calendar, I had reason to believe that the times recorded in the Bible were always meant to lead us back to the date of 2807 BC for the flood. Then I found the King’s Calendar, and presto! Now I have two dating techniques that lead back to 2807 BC. What’s going on? Well, if there’s something to this (i.e., if this isn’t a wild goose chase, and is more than sheer coincidence), then it would seem that the following sequence took place…

  1. Bible is written with solar dates leading back to 2807 BC for the flood
  2. Bible dates are converted into artificial dates
  3. Artificial dates get interpreted as solar dates, but 2807 BC is still preserved as year of flood
  4. People start realizing that the “solar” dates are off (because they aren’t solar!) and traditions arise that preserve the derivation of 2807 BC using the misunderstood dates
  5. Proper interpretation of sequence leading from Flood to Exodus is lost
  6. Traditions from above are preserved, and new chronology is assumed
  7. Paul’s writings reflect the new chronology
  8. New chronology is formalized in the Seder Olam Rabbah

Such a sequence would explain why my interpretation Abraham to Moses could derive 2807 BC… the traditions were derived from 2807 BC first! Unfortunately, the rationale behind those traditions was lost. Later, when the King’s Calendar was composed, it would naturally be open to the same type of corrections, and so would also lead back to the same date.  This suggests using the flood as a synchronism, or synchronizing agent.

= = =

For my theory to be true, I need to determine whether history would support such a sequence. The first few steps depend on the premise of the The King’s Calendar. Chapter 2 of the eBook begins as follows…

The premise of the ‘King’s Calendar’ is that between the fifth and third centuries BCE the Chronological Data within the Historical Records of Judah and Israel were ‘converted’ into an artificial chronological system, and transcribed into the original historical records… That an artificial system was used was a logical deduction.

In other words, he isn’t sure this is true. But, if the Bible is yet true in its dating, then the imposition of an artificial calendar is the logical conclusion. I believe that my successful exercise of artificial years to derive 2807 BC helps lend some veracity to the argument.

= = =

I think the answer can be found in the transcribing of the Septuagint. The King’s Calendar is authored by R.P. Bendedek. In an article Bendedek wrote for Magic City News, he points out a seeming difficulty between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text. The Masoretic text names 480 years from the Exodus to the Temple; the Septuagint names 440. Bendedek suggests the following sequence of events took place to arrive at this seeming contradiction…

  1. The Masoretic version originally reads 440 solar years transpiring between entrance into Canaan and Solomon’s first year when he commissioned the building of the Temple (Matches my step 1 above)
  2. Septuagint is created, echoing the 440 solar years in the Masoretic text
  3. The Masoretic redactors converted the real 440 solar years into 480 artificial years, shifting the originally recorded reference from Solomon’s 1st year (when he commissioned the temple) to his 4th year (when he actually started building it) (Matches my Step 2 above)
  4. People start assuming that the 480 years is really the 440 years in the Septuagint plus the 40 years in the wilderness (Matches my Steps 3 through 6)
  5. Someone “corrects” the Septuagint version from saying 1st year to 4th year, having made the same assumption, that the Masoretic text includes the 40 years of Wandering

I believe this series of events validates the sequence of events that must of have happened for both of my exercises to validate the same Flood date. I also believe that a similar series of events occurred to lose the sequential nature of the 430-year sojourn and the 400 years of slavery, not to mention the preceding years spent in Canaan.

All I can say is Wow.

Genesis 10 – Noah’s Family Tree – Akkad

Noah > Ham > Cush > Nimrod >> Akkad

While no son of Nimrod is listed in scripture, several cities are listed as coming from him.

Genesis 10:8-12 -  8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.

The first one I want to focus on is Akkad. To read Moses’ account one would think that Nimrod was the emperor of the Akkadian empire, which was centered in Akkad, and spanned roughly the same area as Nimrod’s cities. Though not likely, I think there is a historical story to tell here.

Recall that last year, I put together a timeline of Biblical history which compares quite favorably with secular Jewish History and  Secular Egyptian History. The question then is how favorably it compares with Akkadian history.  First, here is my biblical timeline…

  1. 2807 BC – Flood Begins
  2. 2806 BC – Flood Ends
  3. 2380 BC – God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen. 11:10-32, 12:1-4)
    Israel lives in Canaan for the next 215 years
  4. 2165 BC – Israel moves to Egypt to live with Joseph
    Israel lives under Joseph in Egypt for 73 years
  5. 2092 BC – Joseph dies
    Israel lives in peace in Egypt for 215 years
  6. 1877 BC – Pharaoh who does not know Joseph enslaves Israel
    Israel lives enslaved for 400 years
  7. 1477 BC - Moses leads Israel out of slavery 
  8. 997 BC – Solomon started building temple 480 years after leaving Israel
  9. 960 BC – Completion of the Temple (secular dating)

It is looking like the Tower of Babel and scattering of languages was between 2806 BC and 2380 BC, probably around 2700 BC. According to Wikipedia, here are the key historical datings I see…

  • “During the third millennium BC, an intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism” (2000-3000 BC) — advent of multiple languages and bilinguilism is consistent with Tower of Babel being around 2700 BC
  • “reached the height of its power between the 24th and 22nd centuries BCE” (2100-2200 BC) — Around the time Israel moved to Egypt with Joseph
  • “Semitic speakers seem to have already been present in Mesopotamia at the dawn of the historical record, and soon achieved preeminence with the first Dynasty of Kish and numerous localities to the north of Sumer, where rulers with Semitic names had already established themselves by the 3rd millennium BC” — Consistent with Shem’s descendants (and even Ham’s) beginning several cities between the end of the flood and the Tower of Babel.
  • “The fame of the early establishers of Semitic supremacy was far eclipsed by that of Sargon of Akkad (Sharru-kin = “legitimate king”, probably a title he took on gaining power) (23rd century BCE)…” — During this time the Hebrews lived in Canaan, where they would have no interaction with these events. It would explain why Jacob’s descendants were still speaking Hebrew despite the dominance of the Akkadian language, while other Semitic descendants of Noah in Sumer and Assyria were overcome.

So, it would seem that History can accommodate the idea of Nimrod conquering much of Sumer and Assyria, in the form of naming them and perhaps extracting payments for safety and/or protection. Sumer came before the Tower, Assyria after. However, Nimrod had no status as a recorded emperor. It would seem he merely began Semitic cities and gave them names… names that were maintained when the Akkadian Empire was later formed, and later fell.

Genesis 10 – Noah’s Family Tree – Ham – Introduction

Having completed Shem’s part of Noah’s family tree, I am moving on to Ham’s. I may not do the entire tree as I did with Shem’s, but I want to at least cover those members who made noticeable impacts on the same territories Shem’s descendents did. For some perspective on what this means, look at the following map…

It seems from this map that Shem’s descendents settled throughout the Arabian peninsula, Ham West of the Red Sea, and Japheth around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. This would have occurred over time after the people were dispersed at Babel. But now look at this map, which focuses in on the area around Babel a bit more…

We can see several of the cities we have already discussed from Shem’s family: Assur (questionable), Ur, Susa, and Elam. Arphaxad is also in that area, but isn’t shown. But now look at what other cities are there. Many are from Ham’s line through Nimrod. The ones shown above are Uruk and Babylon. Two others would be Akkad and Kalneh. These may be of particular interest because I believe the Tower of Babel was around where Babylon is shown above. Perhaps Nimrod was an instigator? The rest of Nimrod’s influence will be found in Assyria, which is around Assur. (I realize the map up top shows it controlled by Eber, but is an old map, and my research suggests Eber’s territory was more likely to be between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates…

So, given the interaction that is evidence between Ham’s descendents and Shem’s, both before and after the dispersion, my focus on Ham’s descendents will be on those involved in that interactions. The ones who simply moved north may not get their due… but we’ll see!