September 28, 2006

Breadcrumb: A few unanswered questions

Here are a few questions I considered asking in yesterday's essay. You might want to think about your own answers.

- Where did Cain's wife come from? (Gen. 4:17)
- Who were the sons of God (Gen. 6:2) and the giants (Gen. 6:4)?
- There were two men named Enoch, not one. Why? (Gen. 4:17-18; 5:17 and 5:21-24)
- Why did God decide to limit men's lives to 120 years? (Gen. 6:3)
- Did God command Noah to take the animals into the ark by twos (Gen. 6:19) or sevens and twos (Gen. 7:2-3)?


Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll bite the first one (all those years of cathechism(sp?) were for something after all!)

The way our priest explained it to us way back when I was a kid in Portugal is that the whole "God created Adam&Eve in his image" thing is not a litteral thing but just a way to explain that Adam&Eve were the first ones to beleive is Him ( God or Yaveh or well The One :) ). God "inspired" them to beleive in Him and therefore created them as true beleivers. There were other people around at the time it is just that didn't didnt beleive in Him so they don't count. So Cain's wife and all that they were from "the Others".
End official explanation give to me by the RC Church.
I really liked that priest because he represented what I think I teacher of the faith should be and never pretended to take anything at face value. His best example to us was "you have see those television manuals writen in japanese and translated into portuguese how much sence they make? And we have the original authors around still! Imagine a text 5000 years old in a language nobody speaks anymore, you expect all the dots and all the comas to be at the righ place? it is the general message you need to understand not the examples used to illustrate them".
In conclusion, I like to call myself an agnostic catholic.

Anonymous said...

The ancient Jewish answer to (1) was Lilith. Lilith being Adam's FIRST wife - the one mentioned in Genesis 1 as having been created at the same time as the man, rather than after several intervening events. You'll meet her again in Isaiah (but the KJV translates her name as "screech owl" for some bizarre reason) - she was seen as a demon that stole children.

"Giants". Bad translation. The Hebrew is "Nephilim". They came up with an attempted explanation in the 2nd century BC - the "Book of Enoch". The real answer is that its an old wives tale like "here be dragons"; "Nephil" is the Aramaic term for the constellation of Orion (often seen as a "giant").

There are two Enochs because two different documents have been spliced together. These are called the "Jahwist" and the "Priestly Source". That's why there are two creations (1:1-2:3 vs. 2:4+), and the 2x2 vs 2=unclean+7=clean as well, and the 150 days of flood vs 40 days and nights. If you notice, Adam-Cain-Enoch-Irad-Mehujael-Methusael-Lamech . is almost exactly the same as Enos-Cainan-Mahaleel-Jared-Enoch-Methuselah-Lamech (Enoch's just swapped places with Mehaleel/Mehujael); "Enos" means "man" - a similar meaning to that of "Adam". To put it another way, Cain's Lamech is Noah's father.

The sumerians have a similar (and earlier) list of "kings before the flood". Ancient versions have only 6 kings, but later versions have slightly more. The biblical version is copied from the sumerian; the names are changed but the descriptions remain the same (the Hebrew names generally mean the same as the descriptions of the sumerian king in the same slot). That's why you have the absurd ages - its similarly absurdly long in the Sumerian list (although worse)