Key precept: Humans are intrinsically self-centered, we simply can’t stop ourselves from ruining essential relationships thus causing self-harm.
- “There is none right-eous [always doing the right thing], no, not one:
- There is none that understandeth [always rational, we are often controlled by our emotions or physical desires despite awareness of negative consequences of actions],
- there is none that seeketh after God [wanting to be morally correct].
- They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
- there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
- Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
- Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
- Their feet are swift to shed blood:
- Destruction and misery are in their ways:
- And the way of peace have they not known:
- There is no fear of God before their eyes…
- For all have sinned…)” (Letter to the Romans 3:10-18, 23)
That word sin has become unpopular in current society, especially when applied to specific behaviors that are no longer illegal. I propose that we define sin as any behavior that an individual engages in, or fails to undertake, at the unjust expense of others. This is why any size group of individuals need laws, from as small a group of two with a safe word and process of conflict resolution, to the whole world, to safeguard and balance the rights and needs of individuals who depend on each other.
Laws serve to protect people from evil. Every society has individuals willing to harm others. Law creates a framework for reducing crime. First, it lays out the nature of proper and improper human conduct. It proscribes punishment for delinquency as a deterrent, and establishes the creation of enforcement mechanisms, such as police, that both prevent crime and enact punitive measures.
Law also promotes the common good. Humans tend to act out of self-interest. However, there are cases in which everyone benefits by pursuing a common interest and working together in cooperation. Anti-pollution laws, for instance, limit peoples’ freedom to dispose of waste as they please to promote the common good of a clean environment and resultant health benefits.
Laws provide for the peaceful resolution of disputes. Without legal processes for settling differences, people would act against one another in aggression. Laws create peaceful processes for conflict resolution through the court system.
Laws and rules help people develop good behavior. Often, people initially obey rules due to fear of punishment. However, consistent behavior causes them to internalize lawful conduct and eventually do it, even when they are not being watched.
The Bible records that all humanity was affected in the exact same way by the original sin, described in a previous post as triggering genetic changes passed down to all of the Adams’ descendants. This is observable in the sin nature that exalts self while destroying essential relationships, and rebels against authority while losing essential protection, as well as the inevitable deterioration and death of the body, often hastened by one’s own careless behaviors.
If you find this judgmental, consider your own experience of the behavior of people when there are not enough lawmen around to maintain security and order. We lock our homes and cars for a reason. Robbery and murder weren’t just in the American Wild West. The military is called in after disasters to minimize the inevitable breakdown of social order during which the weak suffer at the hands of the strong.
No matter how moral and socially conscientious we believe ourselves to be, we all have our breaking point, a thin line that triggers a response when it gets crossed. This may be as amoral as rationalizing driving faster than the posted speed limit because no-one else is on the expressway to as immoral as stealing and killing under certain circumstances.
[During Hurriane Katrina in New Orleans] Inside the Superdome, things were descending further into hell. The air smelled toxic. People had broken up into factions by race, separating into small groups throughout the building that the National Guard struggled to control. A few of these groups wandered the concourse, stealing food and attacking anyone who stood up to them.
The tiny jail cell down in the bowels of the Dome, which they kept for game-day security, was filling up. A man had been caught sexually assaulting a young girl. Reports of other rapes were widespread. Three people died in the Superdome; one apparently jumped off a 50-foot high walkway.
Supplies were running low, and as the National Guard began to ration things like water and diapers the crowd grew incensed and accused them of hoarding goods for their own use…
That night a National Guardsman got jumped as he walked through a dark, flooded locker room. His assailant hit him with a metal rod taken from a cot. The guardsman’s gun went off during the confrontation. The bullet went through his own leg.
In response, guardsmen put up barbed wire at various areas around the building, protecting themselves from the general population. [Emphasis added.]
In the beginning there was just one law – don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The concrete terms of this law provided unquestionable evidence that the Adams had violated this law and punishment was just. But it wasn’t just about eating a fruit, it was the reason someone would eat the fruit that is the abstract essence of this law, stated in the law and in the serpent’s encouragement to break the law – “becoming wise, i.e. the authority to decide what is right and what is wrong for ME.” Not because God wants his children to be robotically under his control, but because immature children need supervision to prevent the strong hurting the weak.
I’m fairly certain that the home quarantine conditions in 2020 under COVID 19 have convinced a lot of parents that they need to establish, their children need to be taught, and they need to enforce, household rules to prevent strong-willed children from harming the structural integrity of the environment and the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of themselves, siblings, and other household members, not the least being the parents themselves. Ever consider what could happen to everything sustained by God if he stops being in control? The answer can be derived from considering what would happen if you let your child run amok without supervision – other- and self-destruction.
“And God saw that the wickedness / destructiveness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil /self-centered without any concern for others continually…But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD…And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth [before they get to you]. Make thee an ark of gopher wood…” (Genesis 6:5-8)
“For in those days shall be affliction / [which the context defines as violence], such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved:” (Mark 13:19-20)
I relieve the boredom of housecleaning by listening to Cold Case and Forensic Files on YouTube. Gruesome? Not to me. I vicariously share the flood of vindication experienced by friends and family of the murder victim when the killer is invariably brought to justice – after a time of frustration while the murderer goes free because there isn’t enough evidence of wrong-doing, causing terrible suffering for the bereaved. In a profession filled with few successes, these examples of true-life justice restore my soul.
With this in mind, can we understand the following explanation of the purpose for creating laws? Without a law to break, there is no proof that someone who committed a certain act is guilty, and no legal ability to restrict that person from preventing further harm to society.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God…by the law / establishment of what is unlawful is the knowledge of sin / wrong-doing.” (Romans 3:19-20)
It is obvious that lack of knowledge that something is a sin / wrong to do causes harm even when people act out of ignorance. For example, before there was a law requiring parents to put small children in car seats, don’t you think that fatal consequences occurred from being unrestrained? But since parents weren’t held legally liable, there was no punishment for failure to safeguard their children, ergo no incentive to do so, and most importantly – no general awareness of the importance of doing so.
Cain didn’t have to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to break the abstract essence of the the law when he set himself up as his own god, judging good and evil. In deciding that a fruit basket was as least as good as, if not better than, a blood sacrifice, he defied God’s moral law – and natural laws like conservation of energy – mandating that he exchange life for life.
“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Gen 4:3-5)
Don’t we habitually follow this same pattern of behavior, deciding that its OK for us to do something that the Bible – or even simply our own conscience – states is wrong?
I suspect that the television series Better Call Saul is so popular because it brings to our attention a deeply troubling reality every viewer senses in his or her own life experience. The characters’ choices of action in response to crises does much more than reveal their inner character. Their choices shape their character, and their future. As they face crossroad after crossroad of decision they proceed towards a destination, usually not of their liking, but unquestionably of their choosing.
It does this so effectively because the show doesn’t define its characters’ personalities and fatal flaws, which would allow us to treat the characters as fictional. Instead, it gently nudges us into a dawning awareness of essential human nature through the use of “precept upon precept” as we’re able to track their disasters back to the start when their choices set them up to fall. If we’re wise, we’ll take a lesson for our own lives.
The reason Abel’s blood sacrifice was accepted by God is that
- it was what God had established
- as the necessary means of forgiveness – shifting the consequence of sin to an innocent party
- using the lifeblood of animals temporarily until the Seed of the woman was born to permanently overcome sin and death through his human life’s blood
- for dealing with natural laws, such as “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction“.
Cain chose to trust Satan and his lie that he didn’t need God, he could live on his own terms. Abel chose to trust God and his promise of a future redeemer – and acted on his faith. This is what counts as “deeds” of “good works.”
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Heb 11:4)
Yahweh’s Savior / Jesus restates the foundational law for all mankind in unmistakable terms – choose to be a child of God and a member of his family. Anyone who has been in a family relationship understands that requires love. Not the feel-good kind of love, but the doesn’t-always-feel-good sacrificing your own desires to do what’s best for the ones you love because you are united as one with them.
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee…out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex 20:1-3)
Think marriage covenant – thou shalt put no other person before the one you are promising to love and cherish.
“And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ish-i [my “one flesh” husband]; and shalt call me no more Baal-i [my lord, my ruler]. For I will take away the names of Baal-im /s out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name…And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know / be one with the LORD. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (Hosea 2:16-23)
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart /gut instinct, and with all thy soul /emotions, and with all thy mind /thought processes. This is the first and great commandment.” (Mat 22:37-38)
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Joh 14:15)
God does not initiate us into a religious club with a set of rules and practices that sets us apart as being better than other people. God invites us to engage in relationship with him and his family. When we love someone, our behaviors are based on what brings us into a closer relationship with them, becoming more and more like each other. The guidelines and boundaries that make for a loving relationship with God and the members of his family are written down for us to follow in order to enhance our own protection, and growth and development within the family.
“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Gen 4:6-7)
We destroy relationships when we knowingly do things that hurt or alienate the ones we are supposed to be in unity with. Ironically, we often harm ourselves most of all by losing resources vital to our own well-being when we selfishly refuse to submit to one another, i.e. give as well as take, in relationships.
“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” (Gen 4:8-12)
Don’t we all have a sense of justice when someone who transgresses / trespasses our limit on the wrong-doing spectrum gets what we think they deserve?
The Bible documents a fair and just process of judging all humanity from all time by the same standards. Therefore all humanity needs to be saved from sin and death by the same Appointed Savior / Messiah Yeshua / Christ Jesus.
“Thinkest thou this, O man…that thou shalt escape the judgment of God…not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds…glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [of God], do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Yahweh’s Chosen Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Ro 2:3-16)
God cursed the ground so Cain could not farm. We can see how the punishment exquisitely fit the crime in that instance. But can we see how this is also chastening from a loving Father? Cain was no longer able to offer God a vegan sacrifice, he had no other option but to offer a blood sacrifice. God was guiding him into the way of salvation.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Heb 12:6)
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding…Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding…Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.” (Prov 2:1-20)
I think we are so used to having this Bible “story” presented as a simple black and white comparison of the good son vs the bad son that we don’t see the bigger picture – the need, and opportunity, for every single human being to be saved from their sin.
The statement that Cain would be a fugitive and a vagabond has been understood to be punishment, but that did not have to happen. Forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation with God and mankind were as available to Cain as they were to his parents and all the rest of mankind. Most humans don’t farm, we work in harmony with our community and trade whatever we produce in goods and services to meet each other’s needs. Abel was a herder, not a farmer, and he had gotten by just fine. Cain just chose not to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
The statement that Cain would be a fugitive and a vagabond is better understood as an astute observation of the consequences of Cain’s decision not to seek forgiveness and restoration of relationship. It is important to recognize the difference.
- Punishment is imposed by a social law and is generally not under our control.
- Consequence is the inevitable effect of our own actions, and any future consequences are under our control. We simply have to repent – rethink – what we are doing and change the behaviors that cause us harm.
Cain didn’t repent and take responsibility for his own actions. Don’t take his word for it that he was being punished. Like every recalcitrant drug abuser I’ve dealt with, he whines that the inevitable results of his behavior – homelessness, rejection by family, ruined social relationships, unemployment, poverty – is “unfair punishment” imposed by an overly strict law, and wants the person(s) trying to help him reform to repent / rethink their plans and change their behavior in order to lighten his burden of responsibility to reform. Cain chose to become a fugitive from justice in the first feud.
“And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” (Gen 4:13-15)
The mark of Cain has been cause for speculation, such as being the origin of dark skin. The Bible gives us no reason to believe that this mark was inherited by Cain’s offspring, and in any case they all died in the flood. All we are actually told about the mark of Cain is that it protected him. God also put a mark of protection on men many years later.
“And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man [angel] clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” (Eze 9:3-6)
It should come as no surprise that Anti-christ mimics this strategy, promising protection to those who take his mark.
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Rev 13:15-18)
With God’s mark, Cain was, even if unwillingly, a witness of God’s mercy “in the midst of a perverse and crooked nation.” (Phili 2:15)
“Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” (Deut 32:2-7)
We know that Cain did in fact testify of God’s saving grace because five generations later one of his descendants referenced him while claiming this same protection for himself.
“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.” (Gen 4:23-24)
It doesn’t sound to me that Lamech was humbly calling on the Most High God. I do know that God is not a mercenary soldier at our beck and call. Like subjects in an earthly kingdom, we gain the king’s protection when we submit to his authority. Lamech’s inflated claim sounds like what psychiatry describes as “hyper”-religiosity – boasting of self-serving power based on imagination. He was very likely calling on the anti-christ worshiped in his day.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee…Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psa 2)
Is it inconceivable that God blessed Cain in spite of his wickedness? Years later another wild brother with a murderous heart had the audacity to ask for God’s blessing, and he too got it.
“And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.” (Gen 27:38-41)
The fact is, none of us deserve God’s blessing, and all of us are as guilty as Cain and Esau.
“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I [Savior] say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Mat 5:21-22)
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. ” (Ro 2:1)
We all want immediate judgment on those who harm us, but God is merciful to all by delaying judgment to give time to repent, and blesses all to give reason to repent.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”(II Pet 3:9)
Esau did in fact repent of his plan to kill his brother, and they were reconciled. But note, this was after Jacob repented of his own sin against his brother and shared his blessings with him.
“And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom…I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed...And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:..I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. And he…took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother…And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee? Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us…And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me…and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids…And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept…And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord…if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.” (Gen 32:3-33:11) “ And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.” (Genesis 35:29)
Is it possible that this incident was written to provide a guide on how to tear down walls between feuding family members, the Middle East and the whole world? Like God, Jacob took the first steps in reconciliation. He didn’t wait for his unspiritual enemy to come to his senses. How could he?
“…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Messiah Yeshua / Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ also received us to the glory of God. Now I say that Yahweh’s Consecrated Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.” (Ro 15:1-9)
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Messiah / Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Yahweh’s Consecrated Savior / Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah / Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Eph 2:11-14)
In contrast, Cain provides a guide on how to bring a perpetual state of war by building walls.
“…And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden…and he builded a city... (Genesis 4:16-17)
Call me crazy, but I’m assuming that the geographical reference is included because it is meaningful, therefore I’m going to park here and take the time to locate Cain’s first city, the oldest city in the world. I will start from the premise that the data provided to locate Eden necessarily references geographical and political features known to the people to whom it is addressed, which is to say the people inhabiting the post-flood world, therefore are identifiable post-flood features. My second premise is that Eden is not the name of the garden, but a much wider territory in which the garden was located.
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden…And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four head[water]s.” (Genesis 2:8,10)
Today we can’t find one river parting into four separate rivers within in the biblical lands. This would be due to geographical features being altered by massive hydrolic and tectonic forces. ocurring even after Moses recorded known landmarks and names for these rivers.
The Great Rift, which begins in Syria between the Lebanon [Mountains] and Anti-Lebanon [Mountains], runs along the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, the Arabah, the Aqaba gulf, the Red Sea, and continues through the continent of Africa as far as Zimbabwe, is generally regarded as the product of a grandiose revolution in the shell of the Earth…
Prehistoric man witnessed the latest phases of widespread tectonic movements which convulsed East Africa and provoked great subsidences [lowering of the land](of as much as 1500 feet or more)…modifying notably the courses of the rivers [emphasis added]…along the entire length of the Rift.
The deepest place in the Rift on land is [not in Africa despite the looks of it as shown in the photo above, but] the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. It appears that the catastrophe which originated the Dead Sea, caused also the origin of the Great Rift.
Beyond the Red Sea, which stretches for several hundred kilometers and has not a single affluent / inlet river, the aquatic life of the African lakes and rivers belongs to the so-called Ethiopian zoogeographical region / plate. [SO!] According to Annandale “the explanation of the Ethiopian [African plate affinity / presence of the fish fauna of the Jordan is that the Jordan formed at one time merely part of a river system that ran down the Great Rift Valley. The Jordan was one branch of this huge river system, the chain of lakes in East Africa represents the other; [emphasis added] and together they opened [paste tense] into the Indian Ocean…” (3
Whatever the structural changes of the earth in the catastrophes before that which I describe here, there must have been some time when the Jordan streamed into the valley of Sittim (the name of the plain before the Dead Sea originated) and continued into the Mediterranean, most probably through the Jezreel Valley.
Legendary reminiscences from the patriarchal age indicate that the Jordan existed before the Dead Sea came into being.(4) It appears that the coming out of Paddan-aram to Canaan required the passage of a river. Today the way from Palestine to the north does not require the crossing of water. But if the Jordan did flow through the Esdraelon Valley into the Mediterranean, it had to flow in a direction opposite [northwest] to the one in which it flows today [southeast].
Does there exist any reminiscence about the Jordan changing the direction of its flow?
An inscription of Thutmose I reads: “Frontier northern [of Egypt], as far as that inverted water which goeth down in going up [emphasis added].” (9) …The river that reversed its direction is the Jordan…
Even under normal weather and tidal conditions rivers don’t stay fixed in place or even maintain their flow in the same direction, any more than the nations, so we shouldn’t expect to find them exactly as described diverging from one common source and going in the same direction on current world maps, but that is not to say we can’t figure out where they used to be from the clues provided in Genesis 2:11-14.
Pison has no collateral information in the concordance, so no help there. Apparently it disappeared from biblical history early on. We can only look for guidance to the second clue provided – the ancient national founder Havilah, grandson of Ham, son of Cush, nephew to Mizraim, the ancient namesake founder of Egypt.
“the sons of Ishmael…by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations…dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria:” (Genesis 25:16-18)
So ancient Havilah consisted of a territory beginning at Egypt’s boundary, going eastward to Assyria. When we fit this geographical puzzle piece into the gap left by the other known settled territories such as the land of Canaan, the land of Uz, Padan-Aram, etc. we are left with the Arabian peninsula. And this is confirmed by Arabs who identify themselves as descendants of Ishmael.
“Since time immemorial, rivers have been the lifeblood of civilization” so we should expect to find a river flowing through the land of Havilah.
Hah! you scoff! There aren’t any rivers in the Arabian desert! Not today, but…
Dr. Farouq El-Baz, NASA scientist and Professor at Boston University piqued the interest of Biblical scholars around the world with his announcement of the so-called Kuwait River. The idea that a river once flowed across the deserts of Arabia, and somehow connected with the Tigris and/or Euphrates River, seemed far-fetched. Yet evidence for such a river came from the satellite radar images taken during the 1994 mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Al-Baz studied the images, and noticed that traces of a defunct river that crossed northern Arabia from west to east were visible beneath the sands, thanks to the ground-penetrating capabilities of the radar technologies. He called it the Kuwait River (believed to have ran through Wadi Al-Batin valley in Northeastern Saudi Arabia, in ancient times) for that is where it apparently connected with the Euphrates or emptied into the Persian Gulf…
Water last flowed in what El-Baz calls the ‘Kuwait River’ between 5,000 and 11,000 years ago; some stretches of the river may have been up to 5 kilometres wide. Then as the region became one of the driest in the world, blowing sands covered the channel.
“And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia / Cush, son of Ham, brother to Mizraim / early Egypt.”
Where is this ‘land of Cush through which the Gihon river is said to flow? The shocking answer here is made plain in the King James Version of the Bible, according to which the Gihon winds through the ‘land of Ethiopia’ – that is, the land of the Nile tributaries [emphasis added]! This is a rather blatant clue…But the ‘land of Cush’ more accurately refers to the ancient kingdom of Cush (or Kush) that existed in Nubia as early as 2000 BC [early post-flood resettlement of the area.]
But the Nile runs in the opposite direction! You protest. So did the Amazon at one time.
The changes that this crust and tectonic movement created helped redirect the water movement in South America in different ways and eventually reversed the flow of many of the rivers in an easterly direction towards the Atlantic as opposed to the Pacific or Caribbean.
Erosion also played a major part in the flow change of the Amazon. The growth of the Andes increased the chances of rainfall which produced more erosion coming off of the mountain range, prompting the buildup of sediment faster than the rivers could wash it away. This was a major contributing factor to the course of the Amazon River flowing backwards.
From here on it’s straightforward.
“And the name of the third river is Hiddekel / Tigris: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.”
“And the fourth river is Euphrates.”
While I don’t subscribe to every premise or conclusion by the following author, I think this particular historical data is reliable and valid.
There was indeed a widespread belief in ancient times that the Nile and the Euphrates ‘were but different portions of the same stream’[Star Names, Richard Allen, p 216]
Putting the pieces together, the big picture that emerges is that
- the headwaters / origin of these four rivers – Pison, Nile, Tigris and Euphrates – emerged from the river that watered the garden which was eastward in Eden, therefore we can place Eden with its fabulous garden west of these headwaters.
- Only the four rivers – the Pison in Arabia, the Gihon/Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates have been historical grouped together. Moreover, but highly significantly, there exists a spring, or underground source, of Gihon in Jerusalem to this day.
On the basis of the data gathered and the biblical geography centered on Jerusalem we may conclude that Eden is located under the Medi-terra-nean (Middle of the Earth) Sea.
However, based on the fact that three of the named four rivers conveniently meet in southern Mesopotamia, the locals there assert that Eden is located there, after designating a nearby river in the area as Gihon. This river, however, is not mentioned in the text that provides solid clues for the identity of all four rivers, including the Gihon as the Nile.
From a biblical perspective we should expect Antichrist’s Babylon in southern Iraq to challenge Jerusalem as the city where God put him name forever.
Another clue that develops as this study proceeds is that iniquitous Ham’s offspring made a beeline for the territory bordering the Mediterranean. There is something historically special about this land even before it became the bridge between warring continental empires.
And that brings us back to Cain’s first city, located “eastward of Eden”. As the tale progresses, we discover that Cain wanted to stay as close as possible to human resources, so his first (but not last) city is probably not far from Eden. And that initial hypothesis is supported by archeology.
Jericho has rightly carved its name in history…As the most ancient city in the world…At the beginning of 3000 BC, Jericho emerged as an urban centre. Its material prosperity was manifested in its domestic architecture and the mud-brick city wall that surrounded it.
…then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen 4:26)
So how does the building of a city and a growing population under the control of an unrepentant sinner drive men to call upon the name of the LORD? And what does that mean, “call upon the name of the LORD”?
It means to cry out for salvation from trouble.
“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.“(Psa 116:1-15)
Louis Ginzberg’s collection of Jewish legends (published 1909), while not presented as facts, provide glimpses of ancient culture which we in our own imaginations cannot conjure.
Cain…endeavored, therefore, to immortalize his name by means of monuments, and he became a builder of cities [this is a known practice of later civilizations, famously but certainly not only Egypt]. The first of them he called Enoch, after his son, because it was at the birth of Enoch that he began to enjoy a measure of rest and peace. Besides, he founded six other cities [including, according to legend, Kabul in Afghanistan]...This building of cities was a godless deed, for he surrounded them with a wall, forcing his family to remain within. All his other doings were equally impious. The punishment God had ordained for him did not effect any improvement. He sinned in order to secure his own pleasure, though his neighbors suffered injury thereby. He augmented his household substance by rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintances to procure pleasures and spoils by robbery, and he became a great leader of men into wicked courses. He also introduced a change in the ways of simplicity wherein men had lived before, and he was the author of measures and weights. And whereas men lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, he changed the world into cunning craftiness.
At the very least, urban economies built on consumerism distract people from the kingdom of heaven priorities. At the worst, they cause terrible suffering.
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (I Tim 6:9-11)
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Rev 12:13-14)
The Edenic way of life is only possible for those with a humble spirit of brotherhood and a compassionate heart to share God’s blessings. In other words, people filled with God’s spirit.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (I Tim 6:6-8)
Will Durant’s classic Story of Civilization gives insight into the differences between urban and rural cultures.
The North American Indians were described by Captain Carver as… “extremely liberal to each other, and supply[ing] the deficiencies of their friends with any superfluity of their own.” “What is extremely surprising,” reports a missionary, “is to see them treat one another with a gentleness and consideration which one does not find among common people in the most civilized nations. This, doubtless, arises from the fact that the words ‘mine’ and ‘thine,’ which St. Chrysostom says extinguish in our hearts the fire of charity and kindle that of greed, are unknown to these savages.” “I have seen them,” says another observer, “divide game among themselves when they sometimes had many shares to make; and cannot recollect a single instance of their falling into a dispute or finding fault with the distribution as being unequal or otherwise objectionable. They would rather lie down themselves on an empty stomach than have it laid to their charge that they neglected to satisfy the needy. . . . They look upon themselves as but one great family.” (Retrieved from Chapter II, Section III, Economic Organization)
Traces of Genesis, proof that knowledge of the true God indeed was known to the whole world, can be found in “…this quote from Weatenatenamy, Young Chief of the Cayuse nation, which seems to encapsulate this feeling which is at the heart of Native American spirituality:
I wonder if the ground has anything to say: [It does – “And the LORD said unto Cain…the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” (Gen 4:9)
I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said…the earth says, God has placed me here. [“And…the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice…Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Lu 19:37-40)]
The Earth says, that God tells me to take care of the Indians on the earth; the Earth says to the Indians that stop on the Earth feed them right. God named the roots that he should feed the Indians on; the water speaks the same way…the grass says the same thing… The Earth and water and grass say God has given our names [i.e. characteristics, function]
and we are told those names; neither the Indians nor the Whites have a right to change those names, [And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” (Gen 1:4-5) “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness…Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isa 5:20-21)]
the Earth says, God has placed me here to produce all that grows upon me, the trees, fruit, etc. [“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Gen 1:11)]
The same way the Earth says, it was from her man was made [“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen 2:7)].
God, on placing them on the Earth, desired them to take good care of the earth do each other no harm. [“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen 2:15)]
God said.” [“…the worlds were framed by the word of God…” (Heb 11:3)]
Interestingly, there were few cities found among the North American Indians. In contrast, the collection of people brought together in Cain’s city provided the first opportunity for diversification of labor, freeing some people from the daily grind of food production to engage in cerebral pursuits, inventing technologies and creating the arts. Civilization was born where “…in the city invention and industry multiply comforts, luxuries and leisure…” (Retrieved from Chapter I)
“And Cain…builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father [originator] of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp [stringed instruments] and organ [wind instruments]. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron…” (Genesis 4:18-22)
Like unto Cain were all his descendants, impious and godless, wherefore God resolved to destroy them…
The two wives of Lamech, Adah and Zillah, bore him each two children, Adah two sons, Jabal and Jubal, and Zillah a son, Tubal-cain, and a daughter, Naamah. Jabal was the first among men to erect temples to idols, and Jubal invented the music sung and played therein. Tubal-cain was rightly named, for he completed the work of his ancestor Cain. Cain committed murder, and Tubal-cain, the first who knew how to sharpen iron and copper, furnished the instruments used in wars and combats. Naamah, “the lovely,” earned her name from the sweet sounds which she drew from her cymbals when she called the worshippers to pay homage to idols.
From Josephus writing two thousand years before Ginzberg but obviously drawing on the same Jewish sources:
And when Cain had traveled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not accept of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors. He augmented his household substance with much wealth, by rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintance to procure pleasures and spoils by robbery, and became a great leader of men into wicked courses. He also introduced a change in that way of simplicity wherein men lived before; and was the author of measures and weights. And whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, he changed the world into cunning craftiness. He first of all set boundaries about lands: he built a city, and fortified it with walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it; and called that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son Enoch. Now Jared was the son of Enoch; whose son was Malaliel; whose son was Mathusela; whose son was Lamech; who had seventy-seven children by two wives, Silla and Ada…Tubal, one of his children…first of all invented the art of making brass…Nay, even while Adam was alive, it came to pass that the posterity of Cain became exceeding wicked, every one successively dying, one after another, more wicked than the former. They were intolerable in war, and vehement in robberies; and if any one were slow to murder people, yet was he bold in his profligate behavior, in acting unjustly, and doing injuries for gain.
Growing economies provide the means to supply armies, to enrich one group at the expense of another.
“A herd of blonde beasts of prey,” says Nietzsche, “a race of conquerors and masters, which with all its warlike organization and all its organizing power pounces with its terrible claws upon a population, in numbers possibly tremendously superior, but as yet formless, . . . such is the origin of the state…This violent subjection is usually of a settled agricultural group by a tribe of hunters and herders. For agriculture teaches men pacific ways…The hunter and the herder, accustomed to danger and skilled in killing, look upon war as but another form of the chase…they look with envy upon the ripe fields of the village, they invent with modern ease some plausible reason for attack, they invade, conquer, enslave and rule.” (Retrieved from Will Durant, Chapter III, Section II, The State)
According to the renown war historian Arther Ferril,
…the origins of war can be traced back…to the emergence of settled life…Agriculture did not produce permanent settlements…cities develop from the beginning of the Neolithic Age…many of them are fortified sites. There was in the Near East at the beginning of the Neolithic Age a genuine burst of organized warfare as important for the history of the area as Alexander’s conquest of Persia in the fourth century BC or the march of Islam in the seventh century AD.
The Stone Age from lith = rock, is subdivided by archeologists into Paleo / ancient, Meso / middle, and Neo / new by the findings of more or less refined flint arrowheads, stone tools, etc. Archeologists assert this demonstrates a linear timeline of evolutionary differences in mental development and accordingly assign a vast range of millions of years between the styles to support the evolutionary paradigm. Our knowledge of cultural differences existing simultaneously among Homo sapiens in the 20th century disproves this claim. Just as Israel was forced to rely on stone missiles thrown by slingshots during the Iron Age when the Philistines maintained exclusive rights to their superior metal weapons, so we should expect the Cainites to have achieved military superiority by developing metal weapons during the oldest age of mankind known as the Paleolithic Age when farmers and herders used what was available to create sharpened tools since they didn’t have the time or expertise or resources to make their own metal tools. It is simply a matter of living in a big enough society to enable division of labor.
“The large number of Upper Palaeolithic sites, caves, rockshelters or open settlements, provides a potent argument against the old theory of aimless wandering as a characteristic of the period. The presence of numerous rock sanctuaries in western Europe should have immediately dispelled such ideas…”
“…there was a revolution in weapons technology that has only a few modern parallels – the invention of gunpowder, the locomotive, airplanes, tanks, and the atomic bomb. Four staggeringly powerful new weapons make their first appearance, weapons (along with the Paleolithic spear) that would dominate warfare down to the present millennium:
the bow, the sling, the dagger (or the short, short sword), and the mace.
This new, revolutionary weapons technology was combined with the invention of military tactic and, by historical standards, produced true warfare…The devastating effect of early weapons is amply illustrated by a burial site along the Nile [dating to this stage of history]…Signs of staggering human savagery greeted the excavators…the individuals were wounded and disabled, lying on their backs, in agony, heads thrown backwards, when they were shot through the throat with the bow and arrow…some of the multiple wounds are frightening to imagine…a young adult female, had twenty-one chipped-stone artifacts in her body. Three of them…shot into her mouth. Essentially she had been hit over her entire body. Overkill may be a modern concept, but it was an ancient practice…Altogether at the site there were skeletons of eleven children, twenty adult males, twenty-one adult females, seven adult, sex unknown…We may have at this site the first extensive skeletal evidence for warfare in prehistoric times…
The military revolution that occurred at that time – the major new weapons, the massive fortifications, the creation of strategy and tactics – ultimately gave rise to the great war machines of ancient Egypt, Assyria and Persia which dominated the Near East to the time of Alexander the Great.
Later in history, when God’s people are in the same circumstances, the pattern of salvation is clear – God always sends a human savior, in keeping with his directive giving dominion to mankind.
“And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; and they encamped against them, and they destroyed the increase of the earth…and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass…and they came as grasshoppers for multitude…and they entered into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord. And…Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites…And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” (Judg 6:2-13)
No doubt there were plenty of people living hand-to-mouth in caves, fleeing from hunters. Parallel situations occur in historic times.
- Early Christian communities fleeing persecution found refuge in the Kadisha caves in Lebanon.
- In the Middle Ages a massive population displacement was driven by the Mongol hordes.
- In the 16th – 17th centuries the Europeans who conquered and destroyed the complex civilizations in Central and South America forced the survivors of great empires back into subsistence living conditions.
- From the 17th to the 19th centuries down-trodden Europeans left their cities to live in rough camping conditions while settling North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
- The UN Refuge Agency reports that a record number 65.3 million people, or one in every 113, were displaced from their homes into substandard living conditions by war or persecution in 2015.
- In 2017 seven million Americans in the path of Hurricane Irma were rushed to evacuate their homes, with thousands forced into shelters.
Likewise, the prehistoric cave people were not stupid sub-human Neanderthals. Adam and Eve were made in God’s likeness, and their immediate offspring would have possessed the genius brainpower of the original sons of God. Then their exceptionally long life spans allowed these brilliant scientists and artists to build on their achievements and train millions of students in the process.
Can you imagine what our world would be like if the genius innovators of the last 500 years had continued research and development for hundreds of years, or the most powerful conquerors in history had continued expanding their empires? We can, by correlating archeological finds with the biblical record, recognizing repeating patterns in human behavior and extrapolating from the historical records of equivalent personages.
What is commonly called prehistory begins with Adam and Eve at about 3,760 BC and develops as the population grows. This biblical time frame is supported by the social sciences.
Between 3500 B.C. and 3100 B.C. the foundations were laid for a type of economy and social order markedly different from anything previously known. This far more complex culture, based on large urban centers rather than simple villages, is what we associate with civilization.
The following small sampling of the first emergence of civilizations follows the line of Cain, ending about 1,500 years later about 2100 BC at the flood. Bear in mind that pre-flood dates are subject to significant errors based on faulty assumptions in carbon dating and geological processes, but within the biblical text anything dated prior to 2nd millennium B.C. can be treated as belonging to the pre-flood era. Non-biblical dates of births, deaths & events from Jasher, Enoch & Jubilees. Archeological dates from Wikipedia ancient history timeline. Unless otherwise referenced interpretation of names from Bible codes.
3760 BC: Adam “knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.” (Gen 4:1) Adam lives 930 years, experiences first-hand the destructive forces of sin on all his offspring.
~3700 BC: Cain, means “Spear“, (now there’s a clue) son of Adam lives 900 years, He kills righteous Abel in rebellion against God’s laws. Exiled from Edenic society, this arrogant murderer is the architect of, not just a city, but a city-based empire which he continually expands for almost a thousand years, a significant time period the Germans call a reich.
Compare to what Julius Caesar accomplished in 900 years from his birth ~100 BC – 800 AD. In his reckless determination to create and rule his own world he rebels against Roman law, killing his law-abiding rivals to usurp authority and power. Although cut off from society, he is, in fact, worshipped as a god and maintains his influence through control of his heirs and successors.
3560 BC: “And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch” (Gen 4:17). Enoch means “Trained“, certainly a reference to his father Cain, undoubtedly a reference to the technological instruction provided by the fallen angels after 3300 BC. Note, this is not the righteous Enoch descended from Seth, recorded in Genesis 5 and quoted in Jude. First city in the world is named in honor of Cain’s Enoch.
Compare to what Augustus Caesar, the first and greatest Roman emperor, trained in the disciplines of politics and warfare by his uncle and adoptive father Julius, would have accomplished had he lived, and continued to collaborate with Julius for 900 years from 50 BC – 850 AD. As it was, in just 45 years he accomplished his father’s plan to exterminate his rivals, waged civil war to reshape the egalitarian republic into a dictatorship, and led the expansion of Rome’s control over the known world. As Julius Caesar’s heir, he took his adoptive father’s family name of Caesar, initially calling himself “Son of God,” but after assuming power he claimed to be a living god. Augustus founded a European dynasty that has lasted for 2,000 years, tracked through the same adoption process by his aspiring heirs taking the family name Caesar (translated Kaiser/Czar/Tsar in various languages). “The title “Caesar” is found in all the European languages. It was probably the first Latin word adopted by the Germanic language family to which English belongs.” Augustus was often taken as a title by the rulers of the Roman Empire in all its incarnations as the Holy Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Russian Empire, the German Reich, and the up-and-coming Third Rome. As the pontifex maximum / great high priest and world leader who ushered in an unparalleled era of peace and prosperity at the time that God’s Promised Savior, Christ Jesus, son of David, King of Israel was born, he is without any doubt the rival Christ / anti christ of Daniel’s fourth empire.
~3500 BC: oldest known civilization in the Americas established in the Norte Chico region of coastal Peru, expanding by 3200 BC to 30 major population centers. Possible indication of rapid appearance of “push factors” driving migrations such as invasions, religious persecution, poverty from paying tribute to tyrants, etc.
~ 3440 BC: “And unto Enoch was born Irad” (Gen 4:18) His name means “City of Witness or Fugitive” i.e. protection from vengeance in an era noted for violence? Num 35:11-12
~ 3360 BC: “and Irad begat Mehujael” (Gen 4:18) name means “Destroyed of God.”
3300 BC: Arrival of fallen angels/ gods/ aliens on earth at ~ 3300 BC, or ~450 years from the beginning of history, according to multiple diverse sources. Indus Valley civilization begins at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, supporting a population of over 5 million people by the time of the flood. By comparison, New York City, the largest city in the United States, has a population of about 8 million people, and Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the US, only has a population of about 4 million.
Imagine what Muhammad, founder of the 2nd largest and fastest growing religion in the world, would have accomplished had he lived for 900 years from ~ 600 – 1500 AD. He proclaims he is the true prophet of God and reforms what says is a corrupted version of God’s word, righteously eliminating idol worship and establishing just laws. Within 100 years Muslim armies defeated European forces to conquer and rule an empire from Spain through northern Africa to India, bringing about a Golden Age of scientific knowledge, wealth and cultural achievements.
3200 BC: Cycladic culture on Greek islands supports thousands of inhabitants on each of many islands growing wheat and barley, raising sheep, goats, and pigs, and fishing. It is best known for flat female idols carved from marble.
3100 BC: first Egyptian dynasty, first Egyptian pyramids built.
~ 3160 BC: “and Methusael begat Lamech “Gen 4:18) name means “Those in Despair”. From Cain’s line but marries Adah & Zillah, daughters of righteous Cainan (Jasher 2:17,36). Possibly a believer, since he lives during righteous Enoch’s reign during a great revival, or possibly Adah & Zillah are corrupted.
~3060 BC: “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal…And his brother’s name was Jubal…And Zillah…bare Tubalcain.” (Gen 4:19-22) Notice, unlike the genealogical record up to this point – these sons are NOT said to have been begotten by their father, but only that his two wives bare them. This is suggestive of “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ…Joseph…take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Mat 1:16) Only in the case of J, J & T the conception could not be holy. We’ve already examined how the rise of civilization contributed to warfare and the corruption of mankind. There are other clues in the record of these three men of other factors at work as well, which will be examined further in the next post.
“Jabal…was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle…Jubal…was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ…Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron…”
The statement that J, J & T are the fathers / teachers, i.e. founders, of civilized arts and crafts seems to be contradicted by the archeological record of earlier civilizations reported in this timeline. This statement can be reconciled with those records, however. J, J & T became mature adults and leaders of their people at the same time that a unique Mesopotamian civilization is recorded to have taken shape, about 2800 BC. “…note that these proverbial patriarchies [founding fathers of culture] were mysteriously not terminated by the flood of Noah.” J, J & T’s pre-flood Mesopotamian culture is what was reconstructed in the first post-flood civilization which then spread through the whole world.
3000 BC: Minoan civilization begins on Crete. Flourishing through seafaring trade between the lands bordering the Mediterranean, it grows in the next thousand years to become the first major European civilization with palaces and a hierarchy of classes with artisans producing magnificent pottery, jewelry, statues, carvings, frescoes and other works of art.
2830 BC: Adam dies, having given all recorded generations up to Noah his 1st-hand testimony of Yahweh’s creation and plan of redemption. “…the gospel of The Promised One / Christ…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Ro 116-19) Adam’s death may have been the first non-violent, natural death, proving that all men, in fact, must die. He is honored as the father of all living and commemorated in “gatherings” on the anniversary of his death for many generations.
2800 BC: Mesopotamian civilization flourishes in what is now Iran, with technological innovations such as the plough, sailing boats, and copper metal working. Texts in an undeciphered script dated to this period are labeled “Proto (primitive) -Elamite” because of the many cultural similarities and because no large-scale migration to this area seems to have occurred between these Proto-Elamites (pre-flood peoples) and the later, post-flood Elamites. Tepe Sialk is the site of the only remaining Proto-Elamite ziggurat, or pyramid temple. The many pyramids found in cultures around the world testifies to a common religious belief system focused on the heavens.
2800 BC: first Chinese dynasty. The Five Emperors are portrayed having lived to a great age, introduced the use of fire, taught people how to build houses, invented farming including cultivation of silk, discovered medicine, devised the calendar and Chinese script.
2785 BC: Cain dies, accidentally killed by Lamech, according to Jasher.
2659 BC: Enoch son of Cain dies
2600 BC: Archaic Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica.
From this time forward fratricide among the demi-gods inevitably escalates into World War.
2560 BC: Completion of the Great Pyramid of Giza. A monument to the pre-flood civilization? Safe storage and preservation of pre-flood knowledge?
~2525 BC: Irad son of Enoch dies
~2470 BC: Mahujael son of Irad dies
~2337 BC: Methusael son of Mahujael dies
~2230 BC: Lamech son of Methusael dies
~2200 BC: Completion of Stonehenge
~2160 BC: Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain die. Last recorded generation of Cain’s line die in the flood, or during the era of extreme violence that culminates in the cleansing of the world by flood. This era will be repeated in our own future when “…then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…” (Mat 24:21-22)
The movie Apocalypto vividly portrays the violent, oppressive means of empire building and tribulation so briefly mentioned in the Bible. Brutality in empire-building is the culmination of unregenerate human nature. Any people group that rejects the complete Word of God will invariably practice evil, as evidenced by “Christian” nations’ treatment of:
- Native peoples in the New World who within a few decades were almost exterminated by European explorers with upwards of 90% death rates from disease and maltreatment.
- North American Indians sacrificed to European immigrants’ desire for land,
- Africans forced into slavery by fellow Africans in collaboration with European and American profiteers,
- Australian Aborigines who lost their land and children to European settlers.
- Peoples experiencing genocide in countries colonized, destabilized, then abandoned by Western nations once they are no longer of any use to them.
Anyone who imagines that humans can achieve peace on earth without God is believing the lie that man can achieve power and control over evil without God. Humans are egotistical, covetous, and hard-hearted and will always exploit and enslave others. (Fair warning, this depiction of gang violence is too close to home for some to handle, also, some of what my granddaughter calls “private language.” Bear in mind, what we sheltered people can’t bear to vicariously view is what too many people are forced to experience in real life.)
Lauding archeological remains as a sign of high culture while ignoring the exploitation and enslavement of the people whose resources were used to build those palaces and monuments is a disturbing manifestation of the hardness of human hearts. The Hunger Games strips away the veneer of respectability of contemporary – yes, contemporary – society and exposes the real face of selfishness that inevitably results in cruelty.
Starting with just one set of parents, and calculating from a modest population growth rate of 2.5%, by 1,000 AM (years after Adam), or about 2,800 BC (before Christ), there would have been 3+ billion people, equal to the population of the entire world after WWII. Interestingly, a map of the receding glaciers at the end of the last ice age, which may be evidence of creation day / night catastrophism discussed previously, corresponds to a population map of the earliest stages of human history. Archeological evidence shows that the humanity spread throughout and filled the center of the earth with civilizations.
And all of them eerily similar. The legend of Atlantis is at the center of it all, and is one source of information about the observable common roots of civilizations around the world during this era.
Atlantis is said to have been founded by the god of the sea, Poseidon (Greek) or Neptune (Latin) who had 10 sons born of a human woman. The kingdom and surrounding ocean were named for his oldest son Atlas, who was the chief of ten kings. Sound familiar?
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns.”(Rev 13:1) “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings…These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” (Rev 17:12-13)
According to Plato’s account, written down in the 4th century BC from an oral account vouched to have been received from the Egyptians 200 years earlier, Atlantis was
a power that sprang forth from beyond the Pillars of Hercules [Straits of Gibraltar], from the Atlantic Ocean. For at that time this ocean was passable, since it had an island in it…and it provided passage to the other islands for people who travelled in those days. From those islands one could then travel to the entire continent on the other side [North and South America], which surrounds that real sea beyond [the Pacific]…Now on this Isle of Atlantis a great and marvellous royal power established itself, and ruled not the whole island, but many of the other islands and parts of the continent as well. What’s more, their rule extended even inside the strait, over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tyrrhenia [central Italy]. Now one day this power gathered all of itself together, and set out to enslave all of the territory inside the strait, including your region [Greece] and ours [Egypt], in one fell swoop… Sometime later excessively violent earthquakes and floods occurred, and after the onset of an unbearable day and a night, your entire warrior force sank below the earth all at once, and the Isle of Atlantis likewise sank below the sea and disappeared.
2104 BC: The Flood.
Memories of a catastrophic world-wide flood have been retained in legends around the entire world. Graham Hancock does not grant the biblical account any greater authority than these legends, but he does credit all accounts as having a basis in fact while presenting fascinating archeological evidence. This can enhance our understanding of the brief biblical account of a “golden”, i.e. highly civilized, age when the gods (AKA fallen angels, extraterrestrials, aliens, ancient astronauts) lived among, and brought advanced knowledge to, humankind. This age ended when this knowledge was used to oppress, destroy and corrupt to such a degree that God decided to wipe the earth clean with a flood and start again with just one family.