Trekking Genesis

Lämmchen

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The expression "a pleasant odor" is a biblical colloquialism that means
just the opposite of something that's objectionable; for example: "I hate that
woman's opinions about men. They stink."

Could you site your sources for this?
 

Odë:hgöd

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Could you site your sources for this?

If you have at hand a Strong's Concordance in the KJV, try a search for "sweet
savour". Mind the spelling or it may not work.
_
 
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Gen 9:1 . . God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: Be fertile and
increase, and fill the earth.

Divine blessings should never be construed as laws, rules and/or commands.
They're typically expressions of good will and/or empowerment. God included Noah
in the blessing so that he and his wife could have more children if they wanted; but
there's no record of any additional progeny.

The blessing God bestowed upon Noah's family is the very same blessing bestowed
upon the Adams in the very beginning. Here in chapter nine is the beginning of a
new generation. This new generation-- springing from Shem, Ham, and Japheth -
has continued for a good many years and won't end until everything Christ
predicted in Matt 24:1-44 comes to pass.

The word for "fill" is from male' (maw-lay') and as-used in Gen 1:22, Gen 1:26-28,
and Gen 6:11-13 doesn't strictly mean refill or replenish. It just means to fill or to
be full of; and can apply to a bucket that's never been used as well as to a bucket
that's just been emptied; or to a bucket that's half empty (or half full, depending
upon one's outlook).

Here in chapter nine, male' is indicative of a pioneering family that would start
afresh under different circumstances than those of the antediluvian world. The
Noahs were essentially a transition team, bringing human life from the old world to
the current one. The new conditions effecting Shem, Ham, and Japheth's generation
include a change in Man's diet, his alienation from the animal world, and the
introduction of criminal justice.


Gen 9:2a . .The fear and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts of the
earth and upon all the birds of the sky-- everything with which the earth is astir -
and upon all the fish of the sea;

From the start, the animal kingdom lived with Man in peaceful co-existence-- the
birds, beasts, fish, and even the tiniest of creatures; the microbes, as they would
be included in the statement "everything with which the earth is astir". That
situation ended with the Flood.

It was God's wish that the critters, great and small, would be subordinate to Man's
sovereignty (Gen 1:26-28). But no longer. I don't know how He did it, but God
instigated anarchy in the animal world so that now all is in chaos; and most, if not
all, species have stopped accepting Man as their superior; no, they view Man as
both predator and prey. Quite a few species use Man-- dead and/or alive --for food.

I think we can safely assume that it was right about here in human history when
diseases became the norm as microbes, which at one time were harmless, became
pathogens.

Also about this time, it became necessary for Man to tame animals before they
would do his bidding. In the beginning, they were willing, but now they're wary,
wild, hostile, stubborn, and rebellious.


Gen 9:2b-3 . . they are given into your hand. Every creature that lives shall be
yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these.

Man doesn't have to eat every living thing if he doesn't want to-- it's optional; since
Gen 9:1-3 is clearly a blessing rather than a commandment.

Apparently the inclusion of meat in Man's diet after the Flood was intended
primarily as a source of natural supplements to make up for the human body's
gradually lessening ability to manufacture all its own essential vitamins; much the
same reason that modern vegans resort to synthetic supplements in order to avoid
contracting deficiency diseases.

According to an article in the Dec 10, 2013 Science section of the New York Times,
scientists believe that the early human body was able to manufacture all of its own
essential vitamins; but over time gradually lost the ability to manufacture all but K
and D.

That seems plausible to me seeing as how Noah lived to be 950 years old, but by
the time of Abraham, the human life span had decreased considerably to 175;
which the Bible describes as a ripe old age (Gen 25:7-8) so the human body was
obviously a whole lot stronger back in Noah's day than it was in Abraham's.

Incidentally, the Hebrew words for "green grasses" includes tender young shoots
rather than only the adult plants. An excellent example of a shoot is asparagus. We
typically only harvest the spears because the adult plant is not only a hideous bush,
but it's not even tasty.


NOTE: Bible students are often curious about the disparity between what was right
and wrong for Noah and what was right and wrong for Moses since the laws of God
are supposedly absolutes in any era. But God-given diets are what's known as
"dispensational" which means they're in effect for only a specific era, and
oftentimes only for a specific people. For example: it's wrong for Moses' people to
eat vultures, pigs, and/or lobsters, octopus, and clams; while for Christ's people, it
makes no difference.

Dispensations are an important aspect of Man's association with God; and failure to
discern them can sometimes lead to unnecessary confusion in peoples' minds.
_
 

Odë:hgöd

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Gen 9:4 . .You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.

That restriction is against life-blood; so then blood that cannot support life-- dead
blood --is exempt.

Life-blood, is actually blood that's alive; blood that hasn't begun to spoil; viz: it's
still fresh enough for a transfusion and contains enough active ingredients to carry
oxygen and heal wounds.

Ancient Jews understood that verse to mean it is unlawful to eat meat that isn't
dead; viz: it isn't merely uncooked; it's still viable-- fresh enough for a successful
graft.

T• But flesh which is torn of the living beast, what time the life is in it, or that torn
from a slaughtered animal before all the breath has gone forth, you shall not eat.

(Targum Jonathan)

The way I see it: Man isn't forbidden to dine upon raw meat; only that it absolutely
has to be dead with no chance of recovery. Same with blood. This law is the very
first law God laid down in the new world after the Flood. It has never been
repealed, and remains among the list of primary laws imposed upon Christians.

"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything
beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You
will do well to avoid these things. Fare well." (Acts 15:28-29)

A strangled animal still has all of its blood in it. The animal might be brain dead,
and its heart may have stopped beating, but its flesh will remain alive for some
time by reason of the viable blood still in its veins. Recent changes to CPR
procedures include no longer giving victims mouth-to-mouth respiration for the first
few minutes because the blood in a victim's system still contains useful oxygen that
can save their life merely by pumping the chest as before.

Noah's Law No.1 forbids Man to eat living flesh and living blood; and Christians are
no exception. Because of the danger of pathogens, it was quite possibly necessary
to add this limitation to the grant of liberty to eat meat, lest, instead of nourishing
his body by it, Man should inadvertently destroy himself; and in this day and age of
E.coli 0157:H7, E.coli 0104:H4, and salmonella; adequately cooking meat can be
considered a form of self defense.

The prohibition against eating living flesh and blood is neither Jewish, nor is it
Christian. It's universal; because God enacted that law long before there were any
Jews or Christians. All human beings are under its jurisdiction. Man can eat all the
raw meat he wants; and he can eat blood too; but he has absolutely no permission
to eat either blood or meat that's still alive.

The animal world isn't so fussy. They routinely devour their prey alive all the time.
Hopefully no one reading this will ever stoop that low. The very best way to assure
that meat and its blood are dead is to cook it-- thoroughly; and double check it
with a meat thermometer.

At issue with the prohibition against eating blood are the feelings of some that
modern slaughter houses don't always kill animals properly. Many use a device
called a captured-bolt to stun the animals and then workers slit the animals' throats
while they're unconscious. Sometimes the bolt kills an animal instead of knocking it
out and then all that the slaughter house has to work with is gravity because the
animal's heart isn't pumping to assist. So there are those who feel no one should
eat common meat because you can't guarantee the animal's blood was properly
drained.

Exactly what the definition of "properly drained" is I don't know because it's
impossible to drain every last drop of blood out of meat no matter how you might
go about it; so the prohibition against eating blood has got to be interpreted from a
practical perspective rather than from a purist's.

There are cultures that poke holes in cows' necks in order to drink blood straight
out of the animal utilizing its own blood pressure like a tap to fill their cups. Other
cultures cut open the thorax of animals freshly taken in hunting in order to take
blood-soaked bites of the animal's heart. Those examples are probably about as
close to vampirism as one can get without actually joining Edward Cullen's family
and undergoing the conversion process.
_
 

Odë:hgöd

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Gen 9:5 . . But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it
of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man
for that of his fellow man!

Noah's Law No.2 mandates capital punishment for murder; viz: eye-for-an-eye
retribution for the unjustified killing of a human being. This law is also a universal
law and applies to every family of Man and Beast that descends from the ark; no
exceptions.

God requires an investigation into the death of a human being whenever it is
caused by another human being or by a member of the animal kingdom. If the
killing cannot be justified, the perpetrator has to be executed at the hands of
human beings: no exceptions.


Gen 9:6a . .Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed;

The death penalty here in Gen 9:6 is mandatory only for murder; which Webster's
defines as: the crime of unlawfully killing a person; especially with malice
aforethought. The key word in that definition is "unlawfully"

Capital punishment for murder isn't optional. The word "shall" indicates an edict:
and anybody who thinks they're in step with God while actively opposing the death
penalty has another think coming.


FAQ: Don't you think it's better to lock all murderers away for life rather than risk
taking the lives of those who are innocent?


A: It is never better to disobey God. The first couple did, and you see what that got
them.

Disobedience is on a scale with dark arts and the worship of Shiva and Vishnu.

"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the
voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat
of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity
and idolatry. (1Sam 15:22-23)

In war, commanders expect a percentage of casualties by human error and/or
friendly fire; and those kinds of casualties are usually factored in as acceptable
losses. But it isn't wise to turn off a war off just because somebody might get hurt
by friendly fire. Accidents happen; even under ideal conditions.

It's the same with the war on crime. Just because a percentage of innocent people
get executed for something they didn't do, is no excuse to get in bed with the Devil
and oppose God's edicts as per Gen 9:5-6.

America's justice system, although far from perfect, has a pretty good batting
average. The overwhelming majority of people dead from executions fully deserved
what they got. Only a tiny percentage are victims of error; and those percentages
should always be considered acceptable losses in any legitimate endeavor to
protect domestic tranquility.


Gen 9:6b . . For in His image did God make man.

Interesting. So then; indiscriminate killing wasn't banned because it's immoral, but
rather, because it demeans the honor and dignity of God. Apparently, were
humanity lacking His image, people could go on safari and stalk each other like
game animals and mount human heads as trophies of the hunt.

"People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one
can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it
praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those
who have been made in the image of God." (Jas 3:7-9)

James criticized the cursing of humans not because it's immoral, but because it
demeans the honor and dignity of God.

The image of God lends humanity a measure of divinity that it wouldn't have
otherwise.

"You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and
honor and put everything under his feet." (Heb 2:7-8)

Without that measure of divinity, humanity would just be another among many air
breathing species.

Refusal to pursue the death penalty for murder denigrates the sanctity of Almighty
God. So don't ever let anyone tell you capital punishment for murder is wrong. No;
capital punishment for murder isn't wrong; au contraire, capital punishment for
murder is divine.


NOTE: Some time ago I noticed that the law Moses' people agreed upon with God
as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy contains no stipulations for
plea bargaining, imprisonment, or appeals-- justice is swift and some of its
punishments are what we today in our sophisticated society would call cruel and
unusual; plus capital punishment is ordered for quite a variety of violations. There
is no such thing as a life sentence in that law. Those that would otherwise deserve
it, are simply put to death.
_
 

Odë:hgöd

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Gen 9:7 . . Be fertile, then, and increase; abound on the earth and increase on it.

The idea conveyed here is that Man was not supposed to unite and stay in one
place, but to scatter, diversify, and establish communities all over the globe.


Gen 9:8-10 . . And God said to Noah and to his sons with him: I now establish My
covenant with you and your offspring to come, and with every living thing that is
with you-- birds, cattle, and every wild beast as well --all that have come out of the
ark, every living thing on earth.

Noah's covenant is an especially interesting covenant because it was made with
both Man and Beast: all living things wherein is the breath of life.

Are people today Noah's offspring that were to come? Yes they are. So we should
pay attention to what God told Noah and his sons. "My covenant" applies to
everyone; and all the critters too. In fact, all living beings in the post-Flood world
are under the jurisdiction of the covenant God made with Noah and his family.


Gen 9:11 . . I will maintain My covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be
cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy
the earth.

Noah needed to hear that so he wouldn't get jumpy the next time it started to rain
really hard in his neighborhood. There is still flooding going on in the world, but
certainly not on the same scale as the Flood.


Gen 9:12-17 . . God further said: This is the sign that I set for the covenant
between Me and you, and every living creature with you, for all ages to come. I
have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between
Me and the earth.

. . .When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will
remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all
flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

. . .When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting
covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on earth. That, God
said to Noah, shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me
and all flesh that is on earth.

Some people say Noah had never seen a rainbow before because they don't believe
it ever rained in the antediluvian world. But even if it didn't rain, rainbows aren't
restricted to rainy weather. They can be seen in waterfalls, fog, and even in icy air.
Since the antediluvian world got some of its irrigation from mists, there's a pretty
good chance Noah had seen at least one rainbow by the time he was six hundred
years old.

Noah's covenant is still in force; as evidenced by the significant presence of
rainbows in prophetic visions. (e.g. Ezek 1:27-28, Rev 10:1-4)

Next time you see a rainbow, think of ol' grandpa Noah and think of God's promise
- to Noah, to his progeny, to all peoples on this side of the Flood, and to every
creature --that the Earth will never again be destroyed by water. And remember
capital punishment for murder, and remember that the animal world is accountable
for taking human life.

And when you risk contracting E.coli 0157:H7 and/or E.coli 0157:H4 by eating a
fast food hamburger made with chicken-droppings-fed, over-crowded, antibiotic
treated, up-to-their-knees in manure, industrially produced beef; or risk contracting
salmonella by eating a tasty dish of under cooked, Teriyaki chicken made from
mass-produced, genetically altered, antibiotic-fed, overcrowded, factory-farmed
broilers; remember it was God's blessing that gave our world the green light to eat
flesh so that beginning in the last half of the 20th century, everyone from
thenceforth could dine on tainted meat.


Gen 9:18 . .The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and
Japheth-- Ham being the father of Canaan.

Stay tuned for more about Mr. Canaan.


Gen 9:19 . .These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole world
branched out.

It's remarkable that every ethnic, every tribe, every color, and every language, is
rooted in just those three men. Every existing human being is alive today from the
gene pool of Noah's boys and their wives-- Caucasian, Negro, Mongol, Asian,
Semite, Aleut, Indians of the Americas, Pacific Islander; and even the Pigmies.
Everybody is related to one of those three boys, and also related to each other in
Noah.

Whenever there is war, it is truly brother against brother. The phrase "fellow man"
is not just a feel-good, slap on the back acceptance of someone you might normally
feel superior to or despise beyond reason; no, it's an expression that identifies
human beings you are verily-- though possibly quite distantly --related to.

All the physical characteristics of the different nations and various tribes, must,
therefore, have been present in the genetic constitutions of just those three men
and three women. Somehow, by the regular mechanisms of genetics-- variation,
adaptation, mutation, and recombination --all the various groups of nations and
tribes developed from that meager post-Flood human beginning.

But what about Mr. and Mrs. Noah? Didn't they have any more children? After all,
Noah still had about three hundred years left to go in his life. Well . . if the Noah's
did have any more children, they must have been all girls because the writer said
the world was populated by only those three brothers.

So if indeed there were Noah girls, they had to find husbands from among their
cousins. Those early post-Flood conditions fostered very close intermarriages; but it
was harmless in those days because the human genome was still yet relatively
young, strong, and undamaged.
_
 

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Gen 9:20a . . Noah, a tiller of the soil,

There was a time when a large percentage of Americans grew their own food, but
it's come to the point when some kids don't even know that where their food comes
from.

For example; as a young graduate student, Steven L. Hopp, co-author of "Animal,
Vegetable, Miracle
" lived in an urban neighborhood where his little backyard
vegetable garden was a howling curiosity to the boys who ran wild in the alley. One
day, as Steven pulled a nice long fresh carrot out of the ground, one of the boys
asked him how it got in there.

So after explaining some fundamentals of farming, Steven asked the boy if he could
think of another vegetable that grows in the ground. After consulting with his
posse, the boy responded: spaghetti?

Later in life, Steven's wife used to take her children's friends out back to the family
garden to warm them up to the idea of eating vegetables; but the strategy
sometimes backfired. They'd back away slowly saying: Oh maaaaan! those things
touched dirt! Ewwww!

Accustomed to shopping with their moms in a well-lit, shiny supermarket stocked
with pre-washed, pre-sorted, neatly piled vegetables, the kids were brought up to
believe that all dirt is 100% unsanitary; and really, how could you blame them
when every advertisement they see on television for sanitizers, cleansers, and
detergents always portray dirt as bad?

It's not just kids who are uninformed about agriculture. When author Barbara
Kingsolver once submitted some material to an editor, the editor nixed the part in
the story about pineapples growing out of the ground. The editor insisted they grew
on trees.

In another incident, one of Barbara's friends expressed amazement when told that
peas, potatoes, and spinach were "up" in Barbara's garden. The friend wanted to
know how potatoes could be "up" since to their knowledge potatoes grew down in
the ground rather on the surface. The friend was seriously taken aback to discover
that potato plants have stems and leaves; same as onions, radishes, beets, turnips,
and peanuts.


Gen 9:20b . . was the first to plant a vineyard.

Was Noah the first ever to plant a vineyard? I strongly suspect verse 20 means that
he was just the first one to raise grapes in the new world; not the first ever in all of
human history because according to Matt 24:38, people were imbibing prior to the
Flood.


Gen 9:21a . . He drank of the wine and became drunk,

How often did Noah drink and pass out? I ask because the wrath of God isn't upon
drinkers per se; but upon heavy drinkers.

"Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up
late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their
banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for Yhvh's
deeds, no respect for the work of His hands." (Isa 5:11-12)

I'm unaware of any woe to those who've had too much to drink. No; it's the people
who subsist on alcohol that get the bad marks; for example:

"It happened, as she continued praying before Yhvh, that Eli watched her mouth.
Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.
Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her; How long will you be
drunk? Put your wine away from you!" (1Sam 1:12-14)

Eli suspected that Hannah was a wino; which is very different than just getting
hammered now and then. In other words: I seriously doubt that Noah was a
candidate for AA. He was just a guy who let his wine sneak up on him.

I once knew a girl in high school with such a low tolerance for alcohol that just one
can of ordinary beer made her start acting silly. She was by nobody's definition
either a wino or an alcoholic; just a regular girl who liked to have fun on Friday
night with the other kids.

"Joseph took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin's serving was five
times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him." (Gen
43:34)

The Hebrew word for "merry" in that verse is from shakar (shaw-kar') which means
to become tipsy; viz: to satiate with a stimulating drink. It might surprise some
people that God gave Man grapes for that very purpose.

"You make the grass grow for the cattle, and herbage for man's labor that he may
get food out of the earth-- wine that cheers the hearts of men" (Ps 104:14-15)

Some folk object that the Bible doesn't say Joseph and his brothers drank wine at
that meal. Well; if those with that objection can come up with another beverage in
the book of Genesis besides wine that had enough wallop to make Joseph and his
brothers tipsy; I might be persuaded.


NOTE: Noah's episode with the wine didn't disqualify him from becoming one of
three most righteous men in the Old Testament. God still placed him right up there
alongside Job and Daniel at Ezek 14:12-20.

So apparently some people's idea of a righteous man is not same as God's idea of a
righteous man. The focus in this incident isn't upon Noah's conduct anyway; it's
upon his son Ham's.


Gen 9:21b . . and he uncovered himself within his tent.

Noah wasn't a flasher. And he was indoors; passed out in the privacy of his own
home. Plus the Bible only says he was uncovered; it doesn't say whether it was his
front side or his backside that Ham is about to gaze upon.

Noah's home at this point in time was a tent; which isn't the typical domicile of a
man who farms. Nomads live in tents, farmers live in houses. Vineyards take time
to grow to maturity and a nomad isn't likely to wait around long enough for that. So
why was Noah living in a portable shelter instead of a permanent building?

At this particular time, Noah's home was probably under construction. No doubt he
put a higher priority on his livelihood than on his quality of life. A nice home is a
senseless luxury when there's no food on the table.

"Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house."
(Prov 24:27)
_
 

pinacled

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Gen 9:7 . . Be fertile, then, and increase; abound on the earth and increase on it.

The idea conveyed here is that Man was not supposed to unite and stay in one
place, but to scatter, diversify, and establish communities all over the globe.


Gen 9:8-10 . . And God said to Noah and to his sons with him: I now establish My
covenant with you and your offspring to come, and with every living thing that is
with you-- birds, cattle, and every wild beast as well --all that have come out of the
ark, every living thing on earth.

Noah's covenant is an especially interesting covenant because it was made with
both Man and Beast: all living things wherein is the breath of life.

Are people today Noah's offspring that were to come? Yes they are. So we should
pay attention to what God told Noah and his sons. "My covenant" applies to
everyone; and all the critters too. In fact, all living beings in the post-Flood world
are under the jurisdiction of the covenant God made with Noah and his family.


Gen 9:11 . . I will maintain My covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be
cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy
the earth.

Noah needed to hear that so he wouldn't get jumpy the next time it started to rain
really hard in his neighborhood. There is still flooding going on in the world, but
certainly not on the same scale as the Flood.


Gen 9:12-17 . . God further said: This is the sign that I set for the covenant
between Me and you, and every living creature with you, for all ages to come. I
have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between
Me and the earth.

. . .When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will
remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all
flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

. . .When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting
covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on earth. That, God
said to Noah, shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me
and all flesh that is on earth.

Some people say Noah had never seen a rainbow before because they don't believe
it ever rained in the antediluvian world. But even if it didn't rain, rainbows aren't
restricted to rainy weather. They can be seen in waterfalls, fog, and even in icy air.
Since the antediluvian world got some of its irrigation from mists, there's a pretty
good chance Noah had seen at least one rainbow by the time he was six hundred
years old.

Noah's covenant is still in force; as evidenced by the significant presence of
rainbows in prophetic visions. (e.g. Ezek 1:27-28, Rev 10:1-4)

Next time you see a rainbow, think of ol' grandpa Noah and think of God's promise
- to Noah, to his progeny, to all peoples on this side of the Flood, and to every
creature --that the Earth will never again be destroyed by water. And remember
capital punishment for murder, and remember that the animal world is accountable
for taking human life.

And when you risk contracting E.coli 0157:H7 and/or E.coli 0157:H4 by eating a
fast food hamburger made with chicken-droppings-fed, over-crowded, antibiotic
treated, up-to-their-knees in manure, industrially produced beef; or risk contracting
salmonella by eating a tasty dish of under cooked, Teriyaki chicken made from
mass-produced, genetically altered, antibiotic-fed, overcrowded, factory-farmed
broilers; remember it was God's blessing that gave our world the green light to eat
flesh so that beginning in the last half of the 20th century, everyone from
thenceforth could dine on tainted meat.


Gen 9:18 . .The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and
Japheth-- Ham being the father of Canaan.

Stay tuned for more about Mr. Canaan.


Gen 9:19 . .These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole world
branched out.

It's remarkable that every ethnic, every tribe, every color, and every language, is
rooted in just those three men. Every existing human being is alive today from the
gene pool of Noah's boys and their wives-- Caucasian, Negro, Mongol, Asian,
Semite, Aleut, Indians of the Americas, Pacific Islander; and even the Pigmies.
Everybody is related to one of those three boys, and also related to each other in
Noah.

Whenever there is war, it is truly brother against brother. The phrase "fellow man"
is not just a feel-good, slap on the back acceptance of someone you might normally
feel superior to or despise beyond reason; no, it's an expression that identifies
human beings you are verily-- though possibly quite distantly --related to.

All the physical characteristics of the different nations and various tribes, must,
therefore, have been present in the genetic constitutions of just those three men
and three women. Somehow, by the regular mechanisms of genetics-- variation,
adaptation, mutation, and recombination --all the various groups of nations and
tribes developed from that meager post-Flood human beginning.

But what about Mr. and Mrs. Noah? Didn't they have any more children? After all,
Noah still had about three hundred years left to go in his life. Well . . if the Noah's
did have any more children, they must have been all girls because the writer said
the world was populated by only those three brothers.

So if indeed there were Noah girls, they had to find husbands from among their
cousins. Those early post-Flood conditions fostered very close intermarriages; but it
was harmless in those days because the human genome was still yet relatively
young, strong, and undamaged.
_
The narrow path has cloven foot prints in sand.

The clay , sweat , straw, and road treaded by those who are fearless has many values.
 

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Gen 9:22a . . Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness

What if Ham had barged in on his mother like that? Didn't anybody ever teach that
man to knock or call out before entering someone's bedroom? What was he doing
sneaking around in there anyway?


Gen 9:22b . . and told his two brothers outside.

Ham wasn't just a little kid who stumbled into his parents' bedroom. He was a
grown man, married, and quite possibly by this time his son Canaan was already
born. Catching his dad naked was probably an innocent enough accident; but Ham
couldn't let it go. No, he just had to broadcast it and make sport of his dad. Good
grief, you'd think he would at least pull the covers so no one else would see his dad
in that condition.

Ham didn't seem to respect his dad very much. It's a very black-hearted demon's
seed who takes pleasure in opportunities to mock their parents. I wonder if that's
what Ham felt as he gazed down at his dad. Did it actually make him feel good to
see the old gentleman wallowing in disgrace?

So although the Flood wiped out sinful people, it didn't wipe out sin did it? No, sin
survived, and stowed away aboard the ark within the very family of Noah; the most
righteous man on Earth; before the Flood and after the Flood. (cf. Ezk 14:13-20)


Gen 9:23 . . But Shem and Japheth took a cloth, placed it against both their
backs and, walking backward, they covered their father's nakedness; their faces
were turned the other way, so that they did not see their father's nakedness.

Good lads! Those two men respected their dad and did the right thing by him. It's
only too clear that Ham despised his father. You know, when you love people, you
won't demean them, nor ridicule them, nor wish them disgrace, nor do anything at
all that might tarnish their reputation. Love reveals itself by always looking out for
the best interests of others.

Ham's act is seen even more reprehensible when juxtaposed with the Flood. Noah's
ark saved Ham's bacon, and this is how his son repaid the favor? When Noah got
off the ark, he reciprocated God's kindness with gratitude and burnt offerings. Ham
reciprocated his father's kindness with mockery and public disgrace. There are
those among the Serpent's seed, as were Cain and Ham, who hate good simply for
the very good's sake; viz: good disgusts them.


Gen 9:24-25a . .When Noah woke up from his wine and learned what his
youngest son had done to him, he said: Cursed be Canaan;

I'd imagine that Canaan objected very strongly upon hearing a curse pronounced
upon himself when it was not him but his dad who embarrassed grandpa. What did
Canaan do to deserve a curse? Not a thing. Then why did Noah curse Ham's son
instead of cursing Ham? The answer to that is located in the passage below:

"Jehovah, Jehovah: a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in
kindness and faithfulness; extending kindness to the thousandth generation--
forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He does not remit all punishment; but
visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children's children unto the third and
fourth generation." (Ex 34:6-7)

Parents' progeny aren't imputed guilt for their parents' conduct, but they do
sometimes become collateral damage when God goes after the parents. For
example the Flood. No doubt quite a few innocent children drowned in that event
due to their parents' wickedness. The same happened to the children in Sodom and
Gomorrah. And during Moses' face-off with Pharaoh, God moved against everything
that pertained to the man; including, but not limited to, his economy, his land, his
livestock, his citizens, his citizens' children, and his own children. It's a very
disturbing biblical fact of life that sometimes God gets back at the parents by going
after things that pertain to them.

For example; God took the life of David's innocent little baby boy to get back at his
father for committing the capital crimes of premeditated murder and adultery.

Another example is located in the 16th chapter of Numbers where not just the
rebels were punished; but their entire families and all their belongings were
swallowed by a fissure that God opened in the ground beneath their feet.

A close call is recorded in the book of Jonah. Had not the adults in Ninevah changed
their ways, something like 120,000 little children would have perished; not to
mention all the cattle. According to Jonah 4:11, taking out children and dumb
animals is not something that God enjoys. But there is a mysterious element to
absolute justice that apparently compels Him to do it.

The antediluvian's case, Ham's case, Sodom and Gomorrah's case, David's case,
Pharaoh's case, Korah's case, and Ninevah's case lead me to suspect that God's
chosen people caught up in the Holocaust weren't caught up as retribution for their
own sins; but rather; as retribution for the sins of past generations; which also tells
me that the status of God's chosen people isn't something to be proud of; but
rather; something to be afraid of because moths that fly too close to the flame risk
getting their wings burned seeing as how the covenant's God doesn't practice
favoritism.

"You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; therefore, I will punish
you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:2)

In other words: among the various human communities on earth; Moses' people
have the least excuse for their impieties due to their privileged association with God
and their ready access to the knowledge of His will.
_
 

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Gen 9:25b . . the lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers.

That's a very derogatory remark, and more likely a colloquialism or a metaphor
rather than a literal prediction; sort of like the one God made regarding the
Serpent; that it would crawl on its belly and eat dirt; viz: henceforth be regarded
the lowest sort of filth imaginable. Well, that was Noah's prediction regarding
Canaan; and it came true. The people of the land of Canaan became so abhorrent
that God, in Deut 7:1-5 and Deut 18:9-14, commanded Moses' people to drive
them out, to exterminate them, to reject their religions, and to avoid assimilation.


Gen 9:26a . . And he said: Blessed be Jehovah, the god of Shem;

Jehovah is said to be Shem's god. But Yhvh is not said to be the god of either Ham
or Japheth. Shem is the only one of the three brothers of whom it is said "Jehovah,
the god of" perhaps implying that the Bible's God didn't become Shem's god just
because the family he was born into worshipped that particular god, rather because
Shem personally chose the Bible's God to be his god. A lot of adults are in a religion
simply because that's the one they grew up with.


Gen 9:26b . . let Canaan be a slave to them.

The pronoun "them" would refer to the peoples that would descend from Shem.


Gen 9:27a . . May God enlarge Japheth,

That seems more a prayer than a prediction. Japheth is generally regarded as the
father of several Gentile nations, most particularly the Romans and the Greeks,
who became mighty world powers. Japheth seemed like an okay kind of guy who at
least had a sense of propriety. People like him; even though maybe not particularly
God-fearing, will listen to reason, and can often be persuaded to do the right thing.
He proved at least that much when he assisted brother Shem to cover their dad's
exposure in a discreet way. It is so cool to see someone wishing good for non-Jews
so early in human history.


Gen 9:27b . . and let him dwell in the tents of Shem;

That doesn't necessarily mean Shem's people and Japheth's people would mingle
and assimilate. The expression "dwell in the tents of" is a colloquialism sometimes
used to denote compliance or conformity. Here's an example of just the opposite of
what we might call dwelling in the tents of Shem.

"Better one day in Your courts than a thousand [anywhere else]; I would rather
stand at the threshold of God's house than dwell in the tents of the wicked." (Ps
84:11)

The "tents of the wicked" regards a life style that has no place in it for the Bible's
God and doesn't allow His spirit an influence in one's personal life. The remainder of
that Psalm is dedicated to the kind of people of whom we could say: dwell in the
tents of Shem.

"For The Lord God is sun and shield; The Lord bestows grace and glory; He does
not withhold His bounty from those who live without blame. O Lord of hosts, happy
is the man who trusts in You." (Ps 84:12-13)


NOTE: The expression "Lord of hosts" runs throughout the Old Testament. It's
apparent meaning is that Jehovah is commander in chief of all military forces; both
natural and supernatural-- friends and foes alike. The expression isn't poetic. God is
able to manipulate the outcome of any conflict in which He's involved. Plenty of
stories in the Old Testament bear that out.

People who live in the tents of the wicked, and walk where the wicked walk; sure
don't walk where Shem walks. Not all of Japheth's people would dwell in the tents
of Shem of course. But the idea is that Japheth's people weren't totally a bad apple
like Canaan's. Many of them would become God-fearing, moral, scrupulous, and
upright-- though not all of course; but at least Japheth's progeny wouldn't prove
100% incorrigible.


Gen 9:27c . . and let Canaan be a slave to them.

Not all of Ham's descendants would become subservient to the people of Shem and
Japheth. Only those in Canaan's line.


Gen 9:28-29 . . Noah lived after the Flood 350 years. And all the days of Noah
came to 950 years; then he died.

Another righteous man bites the dust. Noah lived twenty more years than Adam,
but nineteen less than Methuselah-- no doubt a great role model and a tremendous
influence upon the minds of all his grandchildren. He surely must have had a huge
brood of them in the new world by the time his 350 post-Flood years ended.

Guys like Noah prove a point. Just because someone is righteous is no reason to
think that they shouldn't have to die. The human body has its limits. No matter how
righteous somebody is, their body will eventually give out.
_
 

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Gen 10:1 . .These are the lines of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah:
sons were born to them after the Flood.

The tenth chapter is a tiresome list of genealogies that some have found interesting
enough to devote entire books; generating a catalogue of nations connecting
Noah's descendants to the ancient civilizations and even today's. But I'm going to
comment upon only a few salient features.


Gen 10:5 . .These are the descendants of Japheth by their lands-- each with its
language-- their clans and their nations.

Diverse languages didn't appear right away. First came the tower of Babel. It was
after that when people's languages became what we might call "foreign".


Gen 10:8-9 . . Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior
on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before The Lord; that is why it is said: Like
Nimrod, a mighty hunter before The Lord. The first centers of his kingdom were
Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar.

At first, mankind was scattered out in individual clans, and leadership was pretty
much restricted to local patriarchal Dons and Sheiks.

But Nimrod wasn't content with local rule. He was resolved not only to be head and
shoulders above his neighbors-- not only to be eminent among them but to lord it
over them.

The same spirit that actuated the mighty men and the men of renown prior to the
Flood, (by reason of whom the Flood came) now revived in Nimrod. There are some
in whom ambition, achievement, and affectation of dominion seem to be bred in the
bone. Nothing short of hell itself will humble and break the proud, domineering
spirits of men such as those.

Nimrod is interesting. He's a Nephilistic personage with humble beginnings: first as
a professional hunter; probably supplying meat to frontier towns and selling pelts at
trading posts. That was likely Nimrod's career path up until his exploits became
famous and he began to realize it was far more profitable to go into politics.

Lots of great men, some good and some bad, had humble beginnings-- Abraham
Lincoln, King David, and even Hitler. Timely circumstances, and fortuitous events,
catapulted those blokes up to very high levels of control over their fellow men.

A contemporary case in point is former US President Barak Hussein Obama: a man
who had little to no chance of winning a US Senate seat had it not been for his
shoo-in opponent's carnal indiscretions.

From thence, the voting public's disgust with the Republican party, coupled with
their infatuation with the color of Mr. Obama's skin (he's not really Black, he's
mulatto.), practically assured his election to America's highest federal office. He was
but a junior senator with like zero executive experience; yet there he was flying
around the world in Air Force One.

To this very day Nimrod is still known as the outdoorsman who would be king. He
was such a famous icon of that day that his example became descriptive of others
who worked their way to the top like he did-- men of vision, daring, energy, strong
personal ambition, and dogged perseverance.

The common personality trait, among such men, is their strong desire not just to
govern, but to quite dominate people. There are those for whom it isn't enough to
win; no, it isn't enough for people like that to win: everyone else has to lose. They
don't want 50% market share, nor even 90% no, they're content with nothing less
than 100%

Actually, Nimrod was one of the great men of history, though so little is written
about him. He was the first statesmen to successfully unite the world; and it was
such a solid unity that only divine intervention could bring it down.


Gen 10:21a . . Sons were also born to Shem, ancestor of all the descendants of
Eber

Descendants of Eber (most notably Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) became known as
Eberites: a.k.a. Hebrews.


Gen 10:32 . .These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations,
in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the Flood

What I find very interesting about the nations divided in the earth is their diversity
of progress. When Europeans came to the continental US, they found indigenous
peoples who were, from all appearances, perpetual cave men. They never had an
iron age. Heck, no metal age at all; except maybe copper here and there.

Long, long after the Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons evolved into Egyptians,
Romans, Greeks, Spaniards, and Portuguese; the American Indian was still using
stone tools, living in rudimentary shelters, and walking everywhere he went. His
greatest obstacle to travel was distance because they had neither horses nor
wheels. It was like they were a people whom time forgot.
_
 

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Gen 11:1 . . Everyone on earth had the same language and the same words.

The Hebrew word for "language" is from saphah (saw-faw') which means: the lip.
The one for "words" is from dabar (daw-baw') which means: a word (as spoken or
written)

Spoken languages are a combination of words and lips; viz: vocabulary and
pronunciation, i.e. accent and inflection. It's one thing to know the words of a
language, but it is quite another to speak them with the correct pronunciation. In
that day, everyone used the same words and spoke them alike.


Gen 11:2 . . And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a valley in the
land of Shinar and settled there.

The name "Shinar" was of course given later because these early migrations were
to lands heretofore uninhabited. According to Gen 10:10, Shinar became Nimrod's
turf.

The amount of time elapsed between Noah's bender and this migration isn't stated
in the Bible-- plus; there's really no way to tell which part of the world was "the
east" in the author's day.

Here in the USA, the Great Continental Divide is an east/west determinant. Funny
thing is, if you're located in Phoenix Arizona, then Billings Montana is to your
continental east even though geographically, it's almost directly north; so when you
see directions like "east" and/or "west" in the Bible, it's probably best to NOT think
cardinal points on a compass.

For example in the case of the Magi of Matt 2:1. As best as we can tell, their city
was somewhere east of the meridian that runs north/south through the Jordan
River Valley but that kind of an east is continental rather than geographical so
there's really no telling where they came from.

This particular migration was "from" the east; which means pioneers from among
Noah's progeny, whose numbers at this point are totally unknown, went out west
looking for greener pastures. Although the region of Shinar has not yet been
precisely pinpointed, we can take a relatively educated guess at it.

"In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The Lord delivered King Jehoiakim
of Judah into his power, together with some of the vessels of the House of God, and
he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his god; he deposited the
vessels in the treasury of his god." (Dan 1:1-2)

The "Shinar" of Daniel's day is apparently the region where ancient Babylon was
located. Babylon's location today is marked by a broad area of ruins just east of the
Euphrates River, approximately 90 km (56 mi) south of Baghdad, Iraq. It's part of
an area commonly known as the Fertile Crescent; a very large region arching
across the northern part of the Syrian Desert and extending from the Nile Valley to
the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In the early post-Flood years, this region was very
lush. But today much of it is arid wasteland.

Gen 11:3a . .They said to one another: Come, let us make bricks and burn them
hard. (Brick served them as stone).


Brick are blocks of clay or other ceramic used for construction and decorative
facing. Bricks may be dried in the sun but are more usually baked in a kiln. They
cost relatively little, resist dampness and heat, and can actually last longer than
some kinds of stone.

Brick was the chief building material of ancient Mesopotamia and Palestine. The
inhabitants of Jericho in Palestine were building with brick about 9,000 years ago
(7,000 bc). That's about 5,000 years before Abraham's day.

Sumerian and Babylonian builders constructed ziggurats, palaces, and city walls of
sun-dried brick and covered them with more durable kiln-baked, often brilliantly
glazed brick, arranged in decorative pictorial friezes. Later the Persians and the
Chinese built in brick, for example, the Great Wall of China. The Romans built large
structures such as baths, amphitheaters, and aqueducts in brick, which they often
covered with marble facing.


Gen 11:3b . . and bitumen served them as mortar.

According to Webster's, bitumen is any of various mixtures of hydrocarbons (as tar)
often together with their nonmetallic derivatives that occur naturally or are
obtained as residues after heat-refining natural substances (e.g. petroleum).

The stuff can be deadly if one isn't careful because once your feet become stuck,
they are very difficult to extract; as the museum at the La Brea tar pits in Los
Angeles attests. But it's a handy building material too. Noah sealed the ark with a
bituminous material, and Moses owed his life to it. (Ex 2:1-10)


Gen 11:4 . . And they said: Come, let us build us a city, and a tower with its top
in the sky, to make a name for ourselves; else we shall be scattered all over the
world.

Magnificent cities have a way of attracting tourism, commerce, and industry. People
want to come and visit, and to live there. Politically, their scheme made good
sense. More people equals more prosperity; resulting in more power and control
over the region-- and of course the larger their tax base the more city services they
could provide citizens; including an effective civil defense program.

There's nothing really intrinsically wrong in building a large beautiful city. But in
their case, it wasn't the right time for it. God wanted the post-Flooders to move out
and populate the entire globe, rather than accumulate in one local region.

Towers served a variety of purposes in the ancient world. Some were used as look
outs, others were used as tombs, and yet others were used as bloody altars for
human sacrifices.

The purpose intended for the tower of Gen 11:4 isn't stated but guessing from the
wording, I'd say it was intended to be a grand monument; sort of like the 630 foot
stainless steel Gateway Arch in Ste. Louis Missouri, or a magnificent minaret like
the 239-foot Qutab Minar in Delhi India. Something like that would certainly go a
long ways towards getting the Shinarians the renown they sought.

But their wish that the tower's top be in the sky suggests their primary motive was
to use its facade to display a variety of gods popular in that day. There's towers like
that right now that in the city of Madurai in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu,
located on the banks of River Vaigai.

The towers are literally festooned with hundreds of gods. So if your favorite god is
up there somewhere, there's no need for you to leave town and go on a pilgrimage
elsewhere to worship. People love their religion. So if you give them the liberty and
the means to practice it; they'll love you forever. Tolerance is good politics. If only
Islamic fundamentalists understood this.
_
 

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Gen 11:5 . .Jehovah came down to look at the city and tower that man had built,

That verse presents an interesting theological problem. Wouldn't it make better
sense by saying Jehovah looked down, instead of saying He "came" down? Why
bother to come down? Doesn't the Bible's God see all and know all? Isn't God
omniscient? Can't He see everything from right where He is?

Well; fact of the matter is, yes, Jehovah could see the city and the tower from
Heaven, but He wasn't satisfied. It was His wish to inspect everything up close and
personal; to actually visit the city and the tower in person as an on-site eye
witness.


Gen 11:6 . . and Jehovah said: If, as one people with one language for all, this is
how they have begun to act, then nothing that they may propose to do will be out
of their reach.

I don't think Yhvh objected to the people's unity per se. I mean, after all; it's
Christ's wish that his church be unified (John 17:1-26, 1Cor 1:10). I think what He
objected to was the direction that humanity's unity was taking; and it was no doubt
similar to the direction depicted below.

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth
take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yhvh and against His
anointed. Let us break their chains-- they say --and throw off their fetters." (Ps
2:1-3)
_
 

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Gen 11:7 . . Let us, then, go down and confound their speech there, so that they
shall not understand one another's speech.

"let us" is the language of Gen 1:26 when God created man. Exactly who
accompanied Yhvh on this mission isn't stated; but it's difficult to imagine Him
traveling solo without an entourage of some sort. (cf. Gen 28:12 and Matt 25:31)


Gen 11:8 . .Thus the Lord scattered them from there over the face of the whole
earth; and they stopped building the city.

The language barrier was only a temporary delay because later on the city of
Babylon was eventually built. But at this point in time, the world had no choice. It
was just impossible to continue. Incidentally; the entire world has never again been
unified in a singular endeavor like it was on that tower.


Gen 11:9 . .That is why it was called Babel, because there the Lord confounded
the speech of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them over the
face of the whole earth.

In time, people did branch out and colonize the whole planet. But barely anything is
said in the Bible about the world in the years between Babel and Abraham.


Gen 11:10a . .This is the line of Shem.

Well; that's pretty much about it for the other brothers. From now on, the Bible will
direct its focus mainly upon Shem's line. But not all. Just specific ones that are
connected to Abraham's covenant; and ultimately to Messiah.

Noah was a pretty simple kind of guy. He probably tore apart the ark for its wood
and built a home, and barns, and whittled fence posts and split rails to corral his
livestock. The rest of the ark's lumber he could distribute to his sons and
grandchildren for their own ranches after setting aside enough firewood for many
years to come.

He more than likely stayed pretty close to where the ark went aground and
remained behind when the others migrated out west. After all, if Noah could raise
food right where he was, plus his grapes, then why move away? He'd seen it all
anyway and lived the adventure of a lifetime.


Gen 11:10b . . Shem was 100 years old when he begot Arpachshad, two years
after the Flood.

That would make Shem about 97 years old when the flood began.


Gen 11:11 . . After the birth of Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years and begot sons
and daughters.

Each of the patriarchs probably had at least as many daughters as well as sons
even though girls' names are rarely listed in the record.


Gen 11:12-25 . .When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he begot Shelah. After the
birth of Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years and begot sons and daughters . .When
Nahor had lived 29 years, he begot Terah. After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived 119
years and begot sons and daughters.

Included in the genealogy of Gen 11:12-25 was a man named Eber. His name
carries on to this day in a people well known as Hebrews; for the Old Testament
word for Hebrew is 'Ibriy (ib-ree'); which means an Eberite; viz: a descendant of
Eber.

At that point in time, the human life span was noticeably decreasing.

Noah lived 950 years (about the same as his antediluvian forebears), but Shem
lived only 600. It became even worse by the time of Nahor; who only lived to 148.
Today, even the healthiest among us begins to decline as early as our mid thirties;
with an average life expectancy of not even 80. This problem has baffled scientists
for years and no one seems to know yet just why our body cells age and
deteriorate so fast. Whoever solves that problem will get very rich from it, that's for
sure.

God introduced tongues during the Tower Of Babel incident to break up world
unification. Apparently it was God's judgment that world unification in those days
was not a good thing. Well; the language barrier remains in place today; so I'm
assuming that world unification in our day is still not a good thing.

In other words: today's world is an imperfect world. But according to 2Pet 3:1-13
and the 21st chapter of Revelation, a new world order is on its way; a perfect world
that can be trusted with unification so there will be no need for a control measure
to thwart global rebellions against God and all that He stands for.
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Odë:hgöd

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Gen 11:26-27 . .When Terah had lived 70 years, he begot Abram, Nahor, and
Haran. Now this is the line of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and
Haran begot Lot.

By the time of Terah, Shem's line had slipped away and no longer worshipped Yhvh
in spite of their solid spiritual heritage.

"Then Joshua said to all the people: Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel; "In olden
times, your forefathers-- Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor --lived
beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods." (Josh 24:2)

Because their dad worshipped other gods, the two brothers, Abram and Nahor,
grew up as idolaters until Noah's god stepped in and broke the chain: appearing to
Abram, and instructing him to leave his relatives, and get out of Ur.

One has to wonder what happened with Terah. His grandfathers Shem and Noah
actually came off the ark and saw the Flood for themselves but that was waaaaay
back when. Time has a way of turning history into legend; and anon into myth,
folklore, and superstition.


NOTE: One of the problems associated with the credibility of the Flood is finding
evidence for it; and a significant portion of that problem is related to the Flood's
duration. The actual downpour lasted a mere forty days; and the standing water
was gone within a year; which just isn't enough time. It takes water millennia to
erode permanent features in the earth's lithosphere.

And on top of that, once the rain stopped, the Flood's waters were essentially static
like a lake or a swimming pool. In order to cause erosion of any significance, water
has to move; as a river or a stream, or as waves along the sea shore; not stand
still.

When I was a kid, the presence of sea shells and fossils way up on the sides and
tops of mountains was thought to be evidence of the Flood, but now we know that
they got up there by tectonic forces rather than by the Flood.

You know it hasn't been all that long ago that people began putting some faith in
continental drift. It's been barely a century since German meteorologist Alfred
Wegner proposed that Earth's dry land had once been a single continent then
gradually began separating. He was soundly mocked and dismissed by his
contemporary scientific community.

Not anymore they don't. Now pretty near all the geological scientists are in
agreement that the earth's prominent mountain ranges were produced by the
grinding, colliding, buckling, and subduction of massive sections of the earth's
crust.


Gen 11:28 . . Haran died in the lifetime of his father Terah, in his native land, Ur
of the Chaldeans.

The Grim Reaper cares not for the age of its victims, whether young or whether old.
Haran died before his dad. Many a parent has buried their children before they even
had a chance to live.

You know, anybody can die; it's not all that difficult; and people don't have to be
old nor do they have to be especially intelligent. Even the young, the inexperienced,
and the stupid do it all the time.

"For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered: in days to come both
will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die." (Ecc 2:16)

"For the time of mischance comes to all. And a man cannot even know his time. As
fishes are enmeshed in a fatal net, and as birds are trapped in a snare, so men are
caught at the time of calamity, when it comes upon them without warning." (Ecc
9:10-12)

"Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets: do they live for ever?" (Zech 1:5)


Gen 11:29 . . Abram and Nahor took to themselves wives, the name of Abram's
wife being Sarai and that of Nahor's wife Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father
of Milcah and Iscah.

Nahor married a niece; the daughter of his brother Haran. And Abram, according to
Gen 20:12, married a half sister; the daughter of his father Terah. Such close
marriages were later forbidden in the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon
with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

But as Genesis has shown all along, at this early date close marriages were neither
forbidden nor particularly dangerous from a genetic point of view, and so were not
uncommon. Adam's family married among themselves; and so did Noah's. They
really had no choice about it. There just weren't any other people available for
spouses at the time.

Inbreeding was neither a sin nor a problem in those days. But it sure is now. You
wouldn't dare engender children with a sister or a brother or a niece nowadays. The
risk of birth defects is just too high. It's notable that as longevity decreased, so did
the margin of safety in marrying relatives. The quality of the human body was
seriously deteriorating.
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Odë:hgöd

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Gen 11:30 . . Now Sarai was barren, she had no child.

This is the very first recorded incident of a human reproductive malfunction. Other
than the reduction in longevity; the human body seems to have been running on all
eight cylinders up to this point. But who was the problem; was it Abram or Sarai? It
was Sarai because Abram later engendered a child by one of Sarai's servant girls.

One of the first horrors the human family witnessed was Abel's death. No one had
ever seen a human being dead before. And now this. A woman who couldn't
conceive. It must have been stunning and unbelievable. All the women in history up
to this point were cranking out babies like rabbits and mice.

But this was double bad for Sarai. Not only could she not have a family of her own,
but you know how the tabloids feed on unusual events. Well . . this was one for the
books. Sarai, in her day, was a true freak of nature. Everyone would point at her
and whisper in hushed tones: Look! There she is! That's the one we saw on 20/20.

She must have felt terribly inferior, and you can just imagine what that did to her
self esteem too. Sarai was a gorgeous piece of work, but her womb had no more
life in it than a stack of 8x11 Xerox paper.

I'm a man; so how can I possibly understand Sarai's personal grief? Only another
barren woman can understand what Sarai must have felt. There are women who
don't care about children. But Sarai doesn't strike me as one of those. And even if
she didn't care for children, it would have still been a comfort in her mind to know
that at least she could have some if she wanted to.

"There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not; "It is
enough" -- the grave; the barren womb, the earth that is not filled with water; and
the fire." (Prov 30:15-16)


Gen 11:31a . .Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and
his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and they set out together
from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan;

Ur's ruins are located approximately midway between the modern city of Baghdad
Iraq, and the head of the Persian Gulf, south of the Euphrates River, on the edge of
the Al Hajarah Desert. The site of Ur is known today as Tall al Muqayyar.

In antiquity, the Euphrates River flowed near the city walls; and thus Ur was
favorably located for the development of commerce and for attaining political
dominance. The biblical name "Ur of the Chaldees" refers to the Chaldeans, who
settled in the area about 900 BC. By the 4th century BC, the city was practically
forgotten, possibly as a result of a shift in the course of the Euphrates River.

Water played an important role in the location of ancient civilizations. The Sahara
desert, for example, was once a pluvial region with lakes. When geological forces
caused the loss of rainfall and surface water, the Sahara became the dry waste it's
famed for today and consequently its inhabitants had to relocate.

Ur was enclosed by oval walls thirty feet high, which protected not only the city, but
two harbors as well. Sir Leonard Woolley discovered that the inhabitants benefited
from well-planned streets, and houses with high standards of sanitation. They
appear to have been constructed to remain cool in the hot summers and some may
have been two-storied. House walls adjoined the streets. Homes featured an inner
courtyard onto which their rooms faced; just like Judah's home in the Charlton
Heston movie Ben Hur.


Gen 11:31b . . but when they had come as far as Haran, they settled there.

According to Gen 12:1, God took an interest in Abram while he was in Ur, before he
left with Terah to travel to Haran. After sharing his vision with Terah, the dad quite
possibly became interested in a new life himself, having recently lost a son. The
land where he then lived held bad memories and, probably not wanting to lose
touch with any more of his family if Abram were to move away, he suggested that
they all travel together; which is a perfectly good idea considering the dangers they
were likely to encounter en route.

But the dad didn't have the heart for it really. The old gentleman decided to settle
in Haran instead of going all the way to Canaan like the original plan called for.

From Ur, Canaan is dead west and just about the same distance as Haran. But
instead of going directly to Canaan, they went north, following the trade routes. I
think I would have too. Terah's family was a lot safer going from town to town
along the fertile crescent. It would take longer to get to Canaan, but they would be
in better shape upon arrival.

There are some who like to keep their foot on the gas and push on through when
they travel. But that is very tiring. It's far better to stop often, eat, and rest before
moving on. The towns along the northern route could provide them with needed
supplies for the journey too.

But Haran (modern Charran or Haraan) is too far out of the way really. It's clear up
in Urfa Turkey on the trade route to Nineveh. Terah could have turned south a lot
sooner and gone on down to Canaan via Damascus. But I think that by then, he'd
lost interest in Canaan and decided that Haran was the place for him. And Abram,
probably not wanting to leave his dad alone there, stayed on too.


Gen 11:32 . .The days of Terah came to 205 years; and Terah died in Haran.

Terah lived a relatively long life for his day. His son Abram only lived to 175.

But I sometimes wonder if Terah didn't cut his life short by staying in Haran. Did he
forget about God's call to Abram to go to Canaan?

Seeing as how Terah didn't serve Noah's god, rather, other gods (Josh 24:2), it's
only natural that he wouldn't take Yhvh's call seriously. Noah's god wanted Abram
to live down in Canaan. But because of his dad, Abram didn't go there; an example
how parents can actually be a hindrance to their children associating with God
whole heartedly. (cf. Luke 14:26)
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Odë:hgöd

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Gen 12:1. .The Lord said to Abram: Go forth from your native land and from your
father's house to the land that I will show you.

Stephen said Abram was still living in Ur, and hadn't moved up to Haran yet when
God called him to leave his kin (Acts 7:2-3). There's no record of any interaction
with God all the while that Abram lived in Haran. Jehovah was silent, and waiting
for Abram to get with the program and do as He said-- leave his kin and head on
out to a country of God's choosing. When he finally departed, Abram was not yet
informed of his precise destination. (Heb 11:8)

The Lord made several promises to Abram at this time.


Gen 12:2a . . I will make of you a great nation,

Greatness is arbitrary. Some say numbers best represent greatness, while others
feel that accomplishments, prosperity, health, and contributions to mankind define
greatness. In that last aspect; no other nation on earth has contributed more to the
benefit of mankind than the people of Israel. It is through them that sinful men of
all nations may obtain a full ransom from the wrath of God. Israel is also destined
to become the seat of world power, economic prosperity, and the center for
religious studies.


Gen 12:2b . . And I will bless you;

Abram became a very wealthy man; with enough male servants to field a
respectable army. He also enjoyed long life and good health; and the admiration of
his neighbors.


Gen 12:2c . . I will make your name great,

Nobody is more famous than Abram. Even people who never heard of George
Washington, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, or Genghis Khan, know about Abram.
He is connected to the three most prominent religions in the world: Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam. And his name is always held in the very highest regard.
Abram isn't known for nefarious deeds nor bloody conquests. He is known as the
friend of God, and as a role model for all decent God-fearing people everywhere all
over the world.


Gen 12:2d . . And you shall be a blessing.

There are some people that the world is well rid of like conceited entertainers,
neighbors from hell, thin skinned defensive people with raging tempers, habitual
liars, cry babies, people who falsify information, sully reputations, ruthless
businessmen, con and scam artists, unscrupulous lawyers, crooked cops and
dishonest politicians, insurance frauds, Wall Street sociopaths, managers on a
power trip, hackers, and the like.

But Abram was none of those. He was a very gracious, honorable man; the kind of
guy you would thank God for. But most of all, Abram is the progenitor of Messiah--
the savior of the world.

"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham"
(Matt 1:1)

Messiah is the one who makes it possible for sinners to escape the judgment of
God. You can't be a better blessing than that.

"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted
up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so cared for
the world that he donated His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to
condemn the world, but to rescue the world through him." (John 3:14-17)


NOTE: The reference to Moses' serpent is located at Num 21:4-9

Just as Moses' people were spared certain death by doing no more nor less than
looking to Moses' serpent; so believers today are spared certain death in the
reservoir of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15 by doing no more nor less than
looking to Christ's crucifixion.


Gen 12:3a . . I will bless those who bless you, and curse him that curses you;

That curse works both ways; viz: it prevents God from cursing Abram. This is very
important because were God to curse Abram, for any reason, any at all; He would
have to level a curse right back at Himself.

God as much as granted Abram immunity from any, and all, of the curses listed at
Ex 34:6-7, Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1 69 that God is obligated to
slam Moses' people with for breaching the covenant that they agreed upon with
God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Modern Judaism insists that Deut 29:14-15 retroactively binds Abraham to the
covenant. But Deut 5:2-3 and Gal 3:17 clearly exempt him.


Gen 12:3b . . And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

The Hebrew word translated "in you" is a bit ambiguous. It can also mean "through
you" and/or "by means of you".

Abram eventually found out that the above prediction concerned a great grandson
of his.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." (John
8:56-57)

The "blessing" in focus is no doubt the one below.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever
believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the
Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be spared through
Him. (John 3:16-17)

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins
of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)
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