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A. Reasonable Assumptions

IN CHAPTER I we saw the real nature of the composition of the book of Genesis. As stated there, it consists of original documents inspired by the men whose names are attached to them and brought into a single unit by the inspired Lawgiver of Israel, Moses. Thus in the study of the book of Genesis we are not dealing with folklore, traditions or legends but rather with sone, sound, and sober records of historical events written by eyewitnesses, or by those who were in closest touch with the actual events and were in possession of the written documents composed by men as they were inspired by the Spirit of God. Hence we can rely absolutely upon the record as found in (bereshiyth) Genesis.
Not only do the conciseness and the accuracy of Genesis argue for its inspiration but the unparalleled reserve on the part of the writers attests a supernatural origin for these accounts. Hence we are standing upon the bedrock foundation of historical facts when we accept this marvelous book as an unimpeachable authority. We shall, therefore, assume that God said what He meant and meant exactly what He said. In our interpretation of the record we shall endeavor to avoid forcing upon any statement an interpretation which the facts will not justify but rather shall take the primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning of every word and statement unless the facts of the context indicate that a secondary or figurative meaning is to be understood.
As has already been stated, we shall accept the reasonable and logical position, without any hesitation or question, that there is a supreme, intelligent Being who was and is the original Cause--the uncaused Cause of everything--on account of and through whose will the material universe exists. As to how such an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being, who is a Spiritual Personality, could bring into existence the material world as we know it today, we shall not attempt to philosophize, but shall in a true scientific spirit accept the phenomena as we observe them today. We shall believe that this is an honest world in which we are living,

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and that the testimony of our faculties, when neither warped nor distorted by any means, give us a reasonably accurate conception and idea of the world external to ourselves. Moreover, we shall avoid philosophical and theological hair splittings in regard to the ultimate nature of the material universe as long as we can make distinctions between the self and non-self in the practical world in which we live. Since all of us have to admit this proposition, we shall accept without question the reality of the world about us.
According to scientific investigation, we see that there are two realms: the spiritual and the material. Furthermore we shall accept the tenet that the spiritual is the higher of these two. Our cause for believing this is that mind controls matter. One of the reasons for accepting this proposition is that we know there is a distinction between animate and inanimate objects-a difference between a living person and a corpse. There is no difference between the weight of a living person and the lifeless body immediately after that person passes through that experience which we call dying. While the spirit remains in the body it controls the movements and the actions of the same, but as soon as it departs from the body, the corpse is powerless to move and function as formerly. While I recognize that the argument from analogy is in most instances fallacious, nevertheless there are similarities which justify basing an argument upon parallel cases, because like causes under like conditions produce like results the world over. This axiom is the fundamental of all scientific investigation. Since we see that mind controls matter as far as ourselves are concerned, and since we observe the material universe in motion, we conclude that there is some Spiritual Being, invisible to our mortal eyes, who is directing these movements and sustaining the life which we observe on every hand throughout the vegetable and animal kingdoms.
I refuse to consume my time and energy with the speculations of the philosophers who are never agreed among themselves. What one school affirms, the other denies; what one generation proclaims as truth, the next relegates to the discard. We are living in a practical world and must accept things as they are and work upon that basis.

B. The Creation

The Scriptures open with this sublime, majestic statement: "In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth." In my book The Eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel and

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to Lost Humanity, I prove that the Hebrew word (elohiym) literally means Gods. Though it is plural, it is used with a singular verb. This unusual grammatical phenomenon is an echo of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, as we learn in the volume just mentioned. According to this quotation, these Divine Personalities constituting the one, true God, created the heavens and the earth-the entire material universe.

Several questions arise in the mind of the thinking person. Among them may be listed the following: How did God create the material world out of nothing? What method did He employ? When did this occur? As to the first of these queries, I have never seen a satisfactory answer given by any man. To attempt an explanation is to philosophize without any factual basis. Such a course of reasoning always leads to confusion and speculation. We simply accept the fact that there are the two realms, a spiritual and a material, because, as stated above, our daily experiences prove their existence. As to the method employed by the Almighty in the act of Creation, no one can say. Whether or not the omniscient Creator flung the heavenly bodies out into space by His hand of omnipotence, full-orbed and obedient to the laws of His wisdom, and did this in a moment of time, no one can say. If He chose to perform the work in this way, He could have done it, because He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. On the other hand, if He wished to accomplish this task over a long period of time which we call "light years," He could have done it this way. In our investigating this phase of the question, we must always keep our feet upon the basic facts of the existence of mind and matter and recognize the further fact that mind has the supremacy over matter. Let us keep in mind that the omnipotent, eternal Being brought into existence the universe as we know it today. In regard to the third question, which pertains to the time of His creative activity, no one is able to declare. We must accept the Almighty's statement of the case and say that He did it "In the beginning." From this sublime declaration we simply gather the fact that there was a time when the Almighty alone existed. In His good pleasure He put forth what is termed the creative act, and the material universe sprang into existence. As to the how, the when, and the where, we are totally ignorant, except that we know He did it "In the beginning." This period which is called "In the beginning" may have been millions of light years ago, as far as our knowledge is concerned. We shall have to be content, in our gross ignorance

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and our limited, finite comprehension, with the information which is imparted to us in this great statement.

C. The Wrecking of the Original Earth

As to the Almighty, His work is perfect (Deut. 32:4). Accepting this statement as accurate and true, we must believe that the Lord created the universe perfect. Thus declared Isaiah the prophet (Isa. 45:18). As to whether or not there was a race of beings that we might properly call pre-Adamic, no one can say. Some have concluded from Isaiah's statement that, since He formed the earth to be inhabited, there was such a primitive race. This is altogether possible. Some see in the exhortation to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth proof that there was a race of people on the earth originally, which, as we shall presently see, was blotted out by the disaster referred to in Genesis 1:2. Thus they see in these words, "replenish the earth," proof that there had been a race of people prior to the creation of Adam. As confirmation of this position, our attention is called to the use of the same word in Genesis 9:1, which the Lord spoke to Noah with reference to his re-peopling the earth after the Flood. One must admit that this word might imply that there had been a race of people upon the earth prior to the creation of Adam.

In view of these facts, if some skeletal remains could be dug out of the earth's surface, and if absolute and positive scientific data could be discovered showing that such remains gave positive proof of the existence of men upon the earth fifty thousond or a hundred thousond years ago, I would not have to discard my faith in the absolute verity and accuracy of the Biblical account. I would be driven by the stubborn logic of facts to believe that such unearthed remains came from a pre-Adamic race; but I refuse to accept the speculations of theorists who discover a tooth here, a mere fragment of a cranial bone there, and another bit of a bone somewhere else, around which a supposed lifelike model for our museums is made. To such reconstructions names are given, and the unsophisticated and unsuspecting student, gazing with amazement upon them, comes to the conclusion that such an array of reconstructions is scientific evidence of the existence of life upon the earth for hundreds of thousonds of years, and that here is proof of the evolutionary hypothesis, which simply assumes that men sprang from the lower forms of life. Instead of such effort's being scientific evidence of this unproven theory, it is simply wild guessing labeled as proof.

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Since the Lord performs His work in a perfect manner, we must conclude that He created the earth in this state, but that at some later period it was wrecked and reduced to the condition described in Genesis 1:2. A literal reading of the first words of this verse is, "But the earth became a desolation and a waste." The word in the original text (hayethah) rendered "was" literally means "became." The Hebrew language does not use the copula as we in English do. One of the personal pronouns was used frequently to serve this purpose. When, however, the word (hayah) was employed, the idea of becoming was in the author's mind. This fact is seen throughout the first chapter of Genesis in the recurring phrase, "And there was evening and morning." The period called "evening" and that designated as "morning" combined developed into OT became a day. This is the significance of the term. Another fine illustration is to be seen in Genesis 19:26. Here we read of Lot's wife's fleeing with her family from the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Looking around, contrary to the specific instructions given her, she became a pillar of salt. She was a woman of flesh and blood prior to this act. When she disobeyed, she was turned into a pillar of salt. Such is the primary significance of this word; therefore whenever we see it, we must understand that it has this inherent meaning, unless the facts of the context indicate clearly otherwise. Such an assumption is the only scientific method of approach in the understanding of this word. Another fine example of this primary meaning is seen in Isaiah 66:2, "For all these things hath my hand made, and so all these things came to be, saith Jehovah." Evidently the earth in its perfect primitive condition as created suffered from some great calamity which reduced it to a state of desolation and waste, as is indicated in Genesis 1:2.

As to what or who caused this disaster no one is able with dogmatic certainty to affirm. There are indications, however, that he who is called in the Hebrew text (hashatan), the adversary, was the one who wrecked it or was the occasion of its being reduced to a state of desolation. From Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 we have the strong implication that Satan, the adversary of God and man, revolted against the Almighty and attempted to match swords with Him. This rebellion caused the wrecking of the earth. Bildad, in his discussion with Job, alludes to this very calamity (Job 25). Other references to this fact appear at different places in the Scriptures.

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Corroborative testimony of this position is seen in the strata of the earth which give evidence of great up-thrusts on the face of the globe from beneath and which occurred in the physical realm. According to the science of geology, there have been convulsions in nature which have caused mighty upheavals in the past. It is reasonable to suppose that many of these, if not all, were caused by the clashing of wills, since, as we have seen, mind is superior to matter. In the sacred Scriptures Satan is represented as an opponent of God, who is very powerful, and wise, yet deceitful and crafty. It is also reasonable to suppose that in his rebellion against the Almighty, this wrecking of the earth and possibly the universe, was brought about.

While the entire universe is moving according to established laws without any variation whatsoever, there are abnormalities in the physical realm which give evidence of disaster here and there. For instance, every meteorite is a silent testimony to some former wreck or disaster. From these and many other facts we are to conclude that we have confirmatory evidence to the statement that the earth was reduced to a state of wreck and ruin, as seen in Genesis 1:2.

The result of the revolt against God was that life, if it had existed on the earth prior to the creation of man, became extinct. It is altogether possible, and quite probable, that the skeletal remains of prehistoric animals date from the period which antedates this calamity. All the fossil remains of animals and insects, extinct at the present time, may have come from that primitive age. On this point no one can be dogmatic, but we can take our stand upon the statement of Genesis 1:2 that after the wreck the earth was surrounded by water and enveloped in darkness. There is evidence in abundance that the continents, as we now know them, have been submerged under water at various times. The first deluge of the earth, then, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2.

D. The Period of Reconstruction

According to the sacred record, there were six days, not of Creation, but of Reconstruction, as they might properly be termed. On the first day, we are told, God said, "Let there be light: and there was light." This illumination was not from the sun because its rays had not penetrated the darkness enveloping the globe until the fourth day. We must conclude that this light was the result of a direct fiat of the Almighty. On the second day part of the waters

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on the face of the earth were removed and placed above the expanse. Explorations in the stratosphere show that the temperature in those high ethereal regions is very low. Hence, according to' the laws of physics, these waters placed at such high altitudes would freeze and would encase the earth in the form of an ice envelope. Of this position there is quite a bit of positive evidence. On the third day the waters left upon the earth were gathered together into one place, forming one original sea, and the dry land appeared, which constituted the original continent. On this day also God brought the vegetable kingdom into existence. The light from the sun, moon, and stars penetrated the darkness that had hitherto shrouded the earth. These heavenly bodies had been in their places from the beginning, but had been obscured by the darkness surrounding the earth. Nevertheless on the fourth day they became visible from the standpoint of the earth. Marine life and the fowls of the air were created on the fifth day. Finally on the sixth the land animals were created. As the crowning effort of God's activity, He created man, to whom He gave the right of supremacy over this world.

The perennial question as to' whether these days were literal periods of twenty-four hours each or long geological epochs has been debated by the ablest minds, but still remains unsettled. The word day, as a study of its use in the Old Testament shows, could and primarily did mean a literal day of twenty-four hours. It also had a second connotation. In the case of its use in Genesis I, no one can be dogmatic in taking either position. It is wisest, therefore, to hold oneself in reserve and await further information. Personally I am inclined to believe that they were of twenty-four hours' duration, but I refuse to' be dogmatic. After having made this short preliminary survey, we can be certain that the six days mentioned in Genesis 1 were periods of reconstruction and not of creation. We should avoid the statement that the Bible speaks of the heavens and the earth's being created in six days, for there is not one syllable to support this position. There is a difference between the Hebrew word indicating "to make" and that connoting "to create," During these six days God was repairing and remodeling the earth preparatory to the creation of man, whom He purposed to place here as the crowning act of all His works. We shall therefore speak of these six days as a period of reconstruction and preparation.

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The word rendered "create" is (bara). It occurs fifty-three times in the Hebrew text of the sacred Scriptures. In every occurrence where it appears in the active voice, God is the subject. The reason is obvious, because no creature can perform this act. The Almighty alone can create. It occurs in Genesis 1:1, 21, 27. According to verse 1 the Almighty existed in the period called "In the beginning." The result of His putting forth the creative act was the coming into being and the forming of the entire material universe. From a study of verses 20 and 21 we see that the second use of this word also indicates the bringing into being of that which had no existence prior to the act. Up to and through the fourth day there was no evidence of the existence of marine life and that of the fowls of the air. God put forth His creative activity, and the result was the bringing into existence of this type of life. On the following day He brought into being the animal kingdom.

Finally, as stated above, He held a conference, humanly speaking, in His council chambers of eternity, in the very heaven of heavens. The Divine Personalities constituting the one true God decided to make man, decreeing "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Those engaged in the conversation were of the same image and likeness, i. e., the same divine substance and being. In their resolution they decided to make man after themselves as the great prototype. Having reached this decision they created man out of the dust of the earth; i. e., they made his body of this material. This fact is further attested by the statement of the Almighty, "for out of it (ground) wast thou taken: for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). Having formed his material body, the Lord "breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a living (immortal) soul" (Gen. 2:7). The word rendered "living" is very frequently used by the inspired writers as an adjective modifying God who, as we know from other passages, has always existed and will continue throughout all eternity. Man, when he was created, consisted of his corporeal body, his animal life which is indicated by the Hebrew word (nephesh) soul, and the breath of lives, his spirit. Many students of the Word have concluded that man is a tripartite being, since he is spoken of as having a body, a soul, and a spirit. But a thorough study of the

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subject brings to light the fact that soul and spirit are frequently used synonymously. The facts seem to indicate that man's spiritual nature when it is thought of in relation to the body* is called soul. When, however, it is thought of in relation to God, it is spoken of as spirit.

When man was created, the Lord placed him in a garden eastward in Eden. This place is described with relation to four rivers, two of which are the well-known Tigris and Euphrates. This Eden was a specific, historical location. In this place were all things that were conducive to man's happiness and needs. He was permitted to partake of the fruit of all the trees in the garden except that of the knowledge of good and evil. He was granted the privilege of partaking of even that one which was known as "the tree of life." The Lord solemnly warned him, however, not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for, declared He, "in the day that thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). This statement is thoroughly scientific. Two forces are operative in our bodies from birth to death, the one opposed to the other. They are known as the anabolic and catabolic processes. The former builds up whereas the latter tears down. During the early part of life the anabolic forces are the more powerful. From middle life to the grave the catabolic gain the ascendancy and finally accomplish one's death. All of this was involved in the warning given to man that the day he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he should begin to die-the catabolic processes would enter his physical being and begin their destructive work.

From the very beginning Adam had full possession of his intellectual powers, which were very great indeed. From the beginning he possessed the ability to speak. He held the mastery over the animals, because the Lord caused them to pass before him as he named each of them. Enmity had not entered into the world at that time. Everything was peaceful. The creatures were obedient to man's behest. Each had its mate, but for man one was not found. God provided for man a helper ďas over against him," one to share his joys and to assist him in fulfilling his duties. In order to
* For a most illuminating and fascinating book on the human organism, which points out the marvels of man's anatomy and the unmistakable evidence of creative design on the part of the Almighty, see God and You by Arthur I. Brown, M.D.

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do this, the Lord caused a deep sleep to come over Adam while He performed the surgical operation of removing from his body "the rib," which possibly or probably involved the removal from his body of the feminine organs, around which the Almighty built woman and breathed into her nostrils the breath of lives. Then she, too, became an immortal soul, a never-dying individual in the sense that her spiritual life will continue throughout all eternity. As stated elsewhere in this work, the first clue to modern surgery was taken from this incident by a believing physician, who saw the possibilities of an anesthetic in order to perform a surgical operation.

In Eden the marriage relation was ordained and the home set up. This is the first institution among men. The marriage relationship from the divine standpoint is indissoluble except for the disloyalty on the part of one of the contracting persons.

In chapter 3 Satan makes his first appearance upon the scene of human endeavor. As seen before, he probably was the cause of the trouble which brought about the wrecking of the earth. But we know that it was he who destroyed the first home. According to his real character, he came in disguise claiming to be a friend of the woman, whose destruction he was planning. By way of digression let me say that he always follows these tactics. Deception is his chief weapon. He endeavors to conceal the real purpose. Only spiritually-discerning people can detect the fraud. He could not deceive the man; hence he did not make any attempt, but, realizing the nature of woman who depends more on her intuitive powers than upon reason, he approached her by attacking God's character. Of course he did not come out in the open and question His goodness, but did it by innuendo. This type of approach is most vicious and powerful.

When Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and Adam followed her example, they experienced what they had never known before. There entered their bodies and surged through their being a new force and a power hitherto unknown by them. For the first time they became conscious of what had really happened-the corruption of their natures. With a smiting conscience they became ashamed of their condition and endeavored to clothe themselves with fig leaves. When the Lord God appeared to them, as He was in the habit of doing, they shrank from His h01y presence and hid themselves. This is evidence of their consciousness that something had taken place within their very beings. Then they realized that they were not worthy to stand in the presence of His holiness. This

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new element which entered their being, I might, by way of comparison, call spiritual gravity. The physicists tell us that there is a force which acts upon all material substances pulling them toward the center of the earth. In the same manner there appeared in human life a subtle, evil force which has a downward pull upon the soul, and which causes men to do wrong, to think evil, and to rebel against God. Moses and the prophets spoke of it as being uncircumcised in heart. Frequently the men of God designated it as sin. There is a difference between sin in the flesh and sins in the life. They are related as cause and effect. As long as sin is in the flesh, just that long will there be sins in the life unless one 1S absolutely yielded to the Spirit of God.

When man sinned, the Lord announced that He would banish him from the garden lest he should put forth his hand and partake of the tree of life and live forever. At the same time He gave him assurance that "the seed of the woman" should bruise the serpent's head. This is the first intimation of the coming of Messiah, who is here designated "the seed of the woman." This point I have thoroughly discussed in my book Messiah: His Nature and Person.

As to how long man remained in the garden of Eden before the transgression, we are not told. To attempt to do, so is mere speculation and guessing. Some theologians speak of his stay there as "the age of innocency." This designation is quite appropriate. After the promise of the coming of the Redeemer of the race was announced, man was expelled from the garden. He then had to go forth and battle, not only with Satan and hostile powers, but also with sin in his very being. The struggle within is between two contrary forces: the desire to do right and serve God on the one hand, and to rebel against the Lord and to do evil on the other. Thus he went out into an unfriendly world. The promise of the coming of the Redeemer was the only ray of light to encourage his heart.

According to some archaeologists, the oldest piece of art known to the human family is that which is recognized as the temptation seal that pictures a tree on the opposite sides of which are seated two persons. Behind one of them is the upright form of a serpent, who is whispering to this one. This ancient piece of art is recognized by scholars as a pictorial representation of the account found in Genesis 3 and is corroborative evidence proving the historicity of the Biblical narrative.

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We have already seen in chapter I that Genesis 5: 1 b-6:8 constitutes the record which God privileged Noah to write and preserve. As we shall also see, Noah was born in the year 1056 A.H.; hence 1000 years of history passed before his birth. Of course Noah was not contemporary with the events of this first millennium and had to get his information from reliable sources. Furthermore, we saw in 5:1a that Moses attributed the material found in 2:4b-4:26 to Adam and stated that it was the book or history of this first patriarch.

Delitzsch rendered this statement, "this is the book of the finished writing of Adam." Archaeology has unearthed tablets antedating the Flood which prove conclusively that writing was prevalent in the early days of the human race. Adam lived to be 930 years old; i.e., he lived within 126 years of the birth of Noah. From the tablets discovered we see that genealogical tables and family records were the precious prized possessions of the inhabitants of the Mesopotamian valley. It is reasonable to suppose that these patriarchs whose names appear in the Biblical genealogical tables (Gen. 5 and 11) conformed to the customs and preserved on tablets their family history. Furthermore it is also reasonable to assume that Adam kept his book or tablets until death and passed them on to someone in the theocratic line who in turn delivered these sacred records to Noah.

Noah, falling heir to these genealogical tables and family histories and being guided by the Spirit of God, compiled the register which constitutes chapter 5 of Genesis. He concluded his contribution to this revelation by giving a vivid description of conditions which prevailed in his day, and which constitutes Genesis 6:1-8.

The principle upon which this genealogical table is written is very simple yet fundamental. Noah connected his tablet with that of Adam by repeating the title word, as we have already seen, and dated the blessing of man and woman as the time when God created them. Thus he connects his account with that found in the history of Adam.

The time is reckoned and the generations are connected by giving the age of the father at the birth of his oldest son, who was reckoned in the theocratic or royal lineage. Following this statement appears one giving the remaining years of the life of the patriarch after the birth of the first-born. Finally the total years of the life of the patriarch are given. The summary of the lives of each of these

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fathers as given is followed by the statement, "and he died." This is true of everyone except Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who lived 365 years and was translated so that he did not see death because God took him; i.e., removed him from this earth and transported him to Glory.

In order then to compute the entire time from the creation of Adam to the birth of Noah, one begins by simply taking the age of Adam at the birth of Seth, namely, 130 years, and adds to it the age of Seth at the birth of his son Enosh, when the former was 65 years of age. This simple process of addition yields the grand total of 1056 as the year in which Noah was born.

Some have doubted the figures given as the ages of these prediluvian patriarchs, considering that they are exaggerations. Others have endeavored to fit them into modern conceptions by claiming that these years were simply months. This latter attempt at explanation reduces itself to an absurdity. For instance the 65 years of Seth at the birth of his oldest son would be, upon this hypothesis, 5 years and 5 months. A child of this age could not become a parent. This is too ridiculous and absurd for words. As suggested in chapter I, conditions prevailed prior to the Flood different from those which have existed since then. It is quite likely that the canopy surrounding the earth protected it from the deadly actinic rays of the sunlight, which break down cell tissues. This and other considerations confirm the belief that longevity was not an accident but rather the order of the primitive period. This is further supported by the sudden reduction of the span of life immediately after the Flood, as is reflected in Genesis 11. Since Genesis, together with all the Hebrew Scriptures, gives absolute and abundant proof of divine origin, it is unnecessary to take any further time in showing the reasonableness of this tabulated data.

From 5:28-31 it is clear that Lamech either had the tablets of Adam or was well acquainted with the promise of Gen. 3:15. At the birth of his son Lamech called his child's name Noah, saying, "This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed" (Gen. 5:29). When this statement is read in the light of Genesis 3:15f, it is more than evident that Lamech was simply repeating that promise with which he was familiar, doubtless, by both hearing it repeated and by seeing it in the original document. Noah did save himself and family from the Flood, and thus partially

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fulfilled the vision of his father. Of course it will find its complete and full materialization in the promised Messiah, who is recognized as the world Deliverer and is in Hebrew theology given the name Menahem, which is here in the participial form and rendered "comfort."


A. An Analysis of the Book of Shem, Ham, and Japheth

The account of the universal deluge, generally known as Noah's Flood, is narrated in Genesis 6:9b-9:29. Moses attributed this section of Genesis to the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. As already seen, they tied their accounts to that of their father by the catchline method which was in vogue in their day, as is evidenced by the cuneiform tablets. In their account they give a much fuller description of the low moral and ethical standards and conduct of the people of prediluvian days. This is found in 6:9-12. Following this account, verses 13-22, we find instructions given by the Lord to Noah for the construction of the Ark. In chapter 7 we see that the Flood came in the 600th year of Noah. In chapters 8 and 9 appears an account of the recession of the Flood and of Noah's beginning life anew after it. Thus this account is given by eyewitnesses of the events to which they bear testimony.

The Deluge is considered an epoch or simply as a date in the chronological record and is parallel to the point of departure at the birth of the oldest son of each of the patriarchs.

B. The Biblical Year

There has been much discussion as to the length of the years mentioned in the Hebrew text. Were they solar or lunar? Different scholars have labored to prove various theories. The Flood year may possibly throw some light upon this question. According to Genesis 7:11, the Flood began on the 17th day of the 2nd month of the 600th year of Noah's life and continued for 40 days, which brings us to the 26th day of the 3rd month. That these months were 30 days long is seen from the additional light found in Genesis 8: 3, 4, which tells us that the Ark rested on Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month, that is, 150 days after it began. Thus each month was 30 days long. Forty days after the mountains were seen, Noah sent a raven forth which did not return (vss. 6, 7). After that time he released a dove that did not find any resting place; hence it returned. "And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark" (vs. 10).  

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This language means that there were seven days between the sending forth of the raven and that of the dove the first time. The second time the dove went forth, it returned (vss. 10, 11). According to verse 12 he sent forth the dove the third time after the lapse of seven days. Therefore the third time that the dove went forth was on the 2nd day of the 12th month.

According to 8:13, the waters were dried up on the 1st day of the 1st month of the 6O1st year of Noah's life. At this time he removed the covering from the Ark and looked forth upon the ground, for it was dry. Then on the 27th day of the 2nd month of the same year (vs. 14) God spoke to Noah and told him to disembark, which thing he did. Was this date given in terms of the lunar year or the solar? If this data are put in terms of solar months, Noah was in the Ark one year and eleven days. If, on the other hand, the facts are given with relation to lunar reckoning, then he was in the Ark one complete solar year. Under this condition he would have been in the Ark 319 days of the 6OOth year of Noah's life and 46 days in the 6O1st year. John Kennedy, in his work, New Method of Scripture Chronology, argues that the primitive Hebrew calendar was measured in terms of solar years of 365 days, computed in terms of the lunar year of 12 months, 11 of which had 30 days, and the 12th only 24 and at times 25. Thus the lunar year was 354 or 355 days long.

On this point Anstey makes the following deductions:

"The Biblical year is the luni-solar year. Time is measured by the revolutions of the sun. The feasts are regulated by the revolutions of the moon, and the relations between the solar year are adjusted, not by astronomical calculation, but by observation of the state of the crops, and the appearances of the moon. The resulting system was perfect and self-adjusting. It required neither periodic correction nor intercalation."

The Hebrew word (shana), rendered year in our version, comes from a root signifying a repetition. This fact indicates that the year began at the same starting-place each time. Reference occasionally occurs in the Biblical record to the "return of the year." The word rendered "return" in connection with the year appears in such passages as Exodus 34:22; I Samuel 1:20; and II Chronicles 24:23. From Creation to the Exodus the new year began in the fall at or near the autumnal equinox, but at the Exodus it was changed to begin at or near the vernal equinox. This latter reckoning was to regulate the religious activities of the Hebrew people. Thus their feasts occurred in the 1st, 3rd, and 7th months.

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When all the facts are taken into consideration, it seems quite likely that the years were reckoned upon the basis of the seasons. A hint of this seems to be given in Genesis 8: 22. It appears quite probable also that the Hebrew people corrected their calendar and thus adjusted the lunar year in its proper relation to the solar or tropical year.


The special contribution which Shem was permitted to make in the preservation of God's revelation is contained in Genesis 10:1b-11:9. According to 11:10, this section is the book of the generations of Shem. He connected his contribution to the former tablets coming to him from his ancestors by use of the title method. At the beginning of the book of Shem, Ham and Japheth we see in 6:10 the names of these three patriarchs. They are repeated in the beginning of Shem's book, showing that this tablet was cemented to the former revelations by this usual method.

For the ethnologists the tenth chapter of Genesis is most important. It gives the account of the spread of the human family after the Flood. The Biblical account of the three great divisions of the race is verified by the researches of modern ethnologists. In making this statement I am thoroughly aware of the fact that there are points of contention and controversy on several issues; nevertheless the more men learn of the antiquities of the nations, the nearer they come to the Biblical account as set forth here.

Some have objected to this portion of the record, because, in the. midst of the names of the descendants of some patriarchs, we find certain names in the plural number. For instance, in 10:6 we read that Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan were sons of Ham. This second name is the regular word for the Egyptians. Cush became the name of a country, Ethiopia. Canaan was one of the early names of Palestine. This working out of history is clear to us, but how could Shem in enumerating the sons of Ham insert the word Mizraim in the plural? When we recognize that he wrote his account at least 100 or more years after the Flood, as is evidenced from the fact that he mentioned the division of the earth, which we know occurred in the days of Peleg, we see how he could speak or think of the Egyptians as being the descendants of Ham. It is quite likely that they had developed into a numerous clan and their influence was being felt. Hence Shem spoke of them in terms of their position and influence at the time of the writing. Such usage is common.

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This table of nations has every earmark of an early document, because it reflects a primitive type of civilization and culture. There were no empires at that time, but simply small tribes and city-states. Nevertheless there was an effort to unify the human family, as we see in 11:1-9. Since there is not the remotest idea of great empires reflected here, we may be absolutely certain that the critical theory relative to the late composition of Genesis, which asserts that environment alone gave birth to the different concepts reflected in the Scriptures, is untenable. According to this hypothesis Genesis 10 should reflect the conditions existing from the ninth to sixth century before the common era, since it is claimed that the Torah was composed at that time. According to the critical theory that the Scriptures are simply the reflection of the environment out of which they came, this chapter must have been written at an early date since it reflects a primitive social order. As already suggested in chapter I, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were still standing at the time Genesis 10 was written, because they are pointed out in describing the boundaries of Canaan. Since these cities of the Plain were wiped out in the days of Abraham, we may be absolutely certain that Genesis 10 was written prior to that catastrophe.


As we saw in section 1II, Noah was born in the year 1056 A.H. The Flood came in 1656, i.e., in the 600th year of Noah. We must now continue constructing our chronological bridge connecting the next span with the Flood year. In order to do this, we must look at the next tablet which is found in Genesis 11:10b-27a. According to the last verse of this citation, this portion of the record was Terah's. It is evident that he fell heir to the Sacred Oracles which had been passed down through the theocratic line from Adam to Noah, to his sons, and then to Shem, who, in turn, delivered them to Terah. As we shall presently see, Terah, the father of Abraham, was born in the year 1878 A.H. and died in 2083, but Shem outlived him by 75 years. Hence Terah could have gotten all the information regarding his ancestral line from Shem, who had personal knowledge of the entire period covered by his genealogy. That Terah had the former series of tablets and joined his to the last one is evidenced from his repetition of the phrase, "after the Flood," which is found in the beginning of the tablet of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

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Terah began his contribution to the sacred history with the birth of Arpachshad two years after the Flood, i.e., in 1658 A.H. Since Terah was born in 1878 A.H., he gives, doubtless upon the authority of Shem, the genealogical line from the birth of Arpachshad to his own birthday, a period of 220 years. Since his life overlapped that of Shem 205 years, he had every opportunity from a human standpoint to get the exact data from a contemporary. Hence he has traced the lineage to his own day and to the birth of his oldest son, who was born when he was 70 years of age.

This genealogical table is computed just a little differently from the one found in chapter 5. The father's age is given at the birth of his oldest son. Following this, the remaining years of the father's life are stated. The totals are omitted, but by simple addition one can get this information.

There is a very decided drop in the length of the lives of the postdiluvian patriarchs from that of the antediluvians. While one cannot afford to be dogmatic, I am inclined to believe that this reduction in the span of life was due to the changed conditions brought about by the Flood and the destruction of the canopy which surrounded the earth, and which kept back the deadly actinic ray, as has already been suggested in chapter I.

From 11:10, 11 we see that Arpachshad was born to Shem 2 years after the Flood, i.e., in 1658 A.H. According to verse 12, his son Shelah was born when he was 35 years of age; hence we add 35 to the year 1658 and get the date of Shelah's birth. When the latter was 30, his son Eber was born; hence we add 30 to 1723 and get the birth-year of Eber. When Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born; hence Peleg's birth-year was 1757 A.H. This year proved to be an epoch in the history of the world and the human race, because, as we are inforn1ed in Genesis 10:25, the earth was divided; i.e., the one original continent was split up into the present land distribution, as we see today. Of course there have been minor changes since that day, but in the days of Peleg this great catastrophe occurred. Since his name indicates division, it is quite likely that that calamity occurred the year Peleg was born. If so, 1757 A.H. is one of the crucial dates in all history. Continuing the simple process of addition of the figures which we find in this table, we arrive at the conclusion that Terah, vas born in 1878 A.H.

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When Terah was 70 years of age, one of his sons was born. If we had Genesis 11: 26 only to consider, we might think that Abraham, Nahor, and Haran were triplets, but such is not the case. We have already seen the statement that, when Noah was 500 years old, he begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). These three sons were not triplets, for Japheth was the eldest (see Genesis 10:21, footnote marginal reading, Revised Version). Shem, because of his religious nature and being in the theocratic line, is mentioned first although Japheth is the eldest son. A like situation we have in Gen. 11:26 relative to Abraham, Nahor and Haran. Abraham is given the priority because of the prominence which he played in the revelation and the plan of God. As a matter of fact, Haran was the eldest son, and Nahor and Abraham married their older brother's daughters.

Remembering that Abraham was 75 years old when his father died at the age of 205 (Gen. 11:32; 12:4), we see from this fact that Terah was 130 years old when Abram was born. Therefore Abraham was 60 years younger than his older brother Haran. Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of Haran, and Abram took Sarai, who was, according to Genesis 20:12, the daughter of Terah (the granddaughter) but not by Abram's mother. Evidently Sarai was a child by a second marriage of Terah's. Tradition makes Iscah and Sarai the same person, but the proof is not absolutely positive.

The history of the life of Abraham is found in Genesis 11:27b-25:18. He walked across the historic stage with a firm tread of reliance upon and an unswerving faith in Almighty God. He hoped against hope and obtained the promises of the Almighty. He stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries and through the centuries to the present day has occupied a position of preeminence enjoyed by no other historical character.

He spent the first part of his life in Ur of the Chaldees, in lower Babylonia. Prior to modern archaeological discoveries on the site of ancient Ur, many scholars doubted the historicity of Abraham and relegated the chapters of Genesis recording his life to the realm of legend and folklore. Some however were not so bold in their rationalism and accepted the historicity of the Biblical account upon the basis that certain tablets discovered speak of an Abraham who rented land and sowed his crop. Also records have been unearthed which tell of the renting of a wagon with the stipulation that it

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should not be used in going to the land of Amnru, that is, the west coast from the standpoint of Babylonia.

From the recent excavations of Ur we see that Abraham lived in a city that had developed the highest type of culture and industrial life of those times. He was reared in the great whirl of the cosmopolitan life of this ancient city. Here the moon god was the principal deity. Abraham's father worshiped idols when he was in Babylonia. This is seen from Joshua 24:1, 2. Sir Leonard Woolley in his book Abraham has given us a most fascinating picture of the environment in which the patriarch grew up.

At the call of God Abraham together with his father, Terah, and his nephew, Lot, left Ur and journeyed to Haran in upper Babylonia. At this place the moon god was worshiped, as has been proved by archaeological discoveries. Here Abraham remained until his father died at the age of 205 years, he himself being 75 (Gen. 11:32; 12:4).

At the call of God, which is always to separation from an evil and an ungodly environment, Abraham left Haran in company with Lot and his immediate family to go into the land of Canaan. When the Lord gave him this call, He entered into a sevenfold covenant with him. The items of this covenant are as follows: (1) I will make of thee a great nation; (2) I will bless thee; (3) Make thy' name great; (4) Be thou a blessing; (5) I will bless them that bless thee; (6) And him that curseth thee will I curse; (7) And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. We can see this sevenfold promise very clearly. The fourth one, however, which seems on the surface to be a command, is a promise, although it is put in the form of an order, urging Abraham to pass on to others the blessings conferred.

While God has partially fulfilled this promise to Abraham, in no sense of the term can one say that it has been accomplished as here contemplated. God has made of Abraham a great nation. There is no race upon the earth greater than the Hebrew people. When one considers them numerically and their achievements, together with the outstanding characters who have made the greatest moral and spiritual contributions to the world, he is forced to say that God has indeed made of Abraham a great nation. These statements are true. When this passage is read in the light of other predictions, it is seen that the fulfillment thus far accomplished falls far short of the promise here given. Therefore we

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may be confident that God will yet in the future make this promise good. The Lord has blessed the Hebrew people in a marvelous manner but not in the full measure promised here.

There is a special blessing, according to this covenant, for those who will bless the Hebrew people. God has made this promise which is tucked away in this 12th chapter of Genesis. He is, as He declared to Jeremiah (Jer. 1:11, 12), watching over it to fulfill it. In this connection may I appeal to my Gentile readers that, if they wish the fullest blessings of God to rest upon them, they must do all they can to bring a blessing to the Hebrew people? I can testify that God has made this promise good in my own experience and in the lives of hundreds of others.

There is also a severe warning against ill-treatment of the Jew. God declared that He would curse those who curse Israel. He likewise has been watching over this threat. As proof of this position, all one has to do is to look at the rubbish heaps of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt. Those nations persecuted the Jews. The wrath of God was stirred against them; hence He poured out His judgments upon them. No weapon that is formed against Israel can prosper (Isa. 54:17). May I sound a warning to every anti-Semite that he is calling down the wrath of Almighty God upon himself whenever he in any wise persecutes the Jews, or assists in any way this subtle propaganda that is abroad throughout the earth today, stirring up hatred against God's ancient, chosen people?

Another most important matter is presented in the twelfth chapter of Genesis for our earnest consideration. God gave the land of Palestine to the Hebrew people. It is theirs by right of divine decree. They hold the title-deed to it in the archives of heaven. Though they have been deprived of it for centuries, the time is fast approaching when they will be reinstated in the land of the fathers and will be blest above all nations. That the land-promise contained in Genesis 12 means the possession of the literal land is confirmed by the language of the Almighty to Abraham after he and Lot separated. At that time the Lord urged him to lift up his eyes, looking towards the north and south, east and west and declared saying, "all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever" (Gen. 13:15). This land-promise is reiterated throughout the Scriptures. In God's good providence the Chosen People will again inherit the country and nevermore be removed therefrom.

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The last point in this connection which is of inestimable value in this study is that Israel's position in the world is spiritual. She is called to a life of separation, having been endowed by miraculous inheritance at the birth of Isaac to perform her world-wide mission. Agricultural, industrial, or mercantile life is not the calling of the Hebrew people. On the contrary, her task is a spiritual one. Unfortunately the leaders of Israel cut loose from the moorings of God's divine call and plan; hence the nation has drifted far out upon the sea of the nations and away from God's original purpose. Eventually she will be brought back by His mercy and will perform this divinely-ordained ministry to the peoples of earth.

Therefore, since Genesis 12:1-3 embraces the cardinal, fundamental principles of predictive utterance, it is the cornerstone of all prophecy as it relates to Israel and the nations.

The Terah-Abraham connection has given some chronologers quite a bit of trouble. When the facts are viewed impartially, the solution is very easy. According to Genesis 11:32, Terah died at the age of 205, while he was living in the land of Haran. At that time Abraham was 75. Since Terah was born in 1878 A.H. and died when he was 205 years old, his death occurred in the year 2083 A.H. Since Abraham was 75 at that time, he was born in 2008 A.H. The year 2083 was epochal in the line of redemption since in it Abraham received his call to separation and to covenant relationship with God.

The 14th chapter of Genesis has been the battleground between the radical and the conservative scholars. The former see in this wonderful chapter only a fragment of history which became in some wise connected with the Genesis record; the latter, on the other hand, correctly see in this marvelous record an account of historical events which occurred in the lifetime of Abraham and Hammurabi. The late Robert Dick Wilson of Princeton, the greatest Semitic scholar of the age, affirmed that the Amraphel king of Shinar of the Biblical account is the Hammurabi of the monuments. Arioch and Chedorlaomer also have been identified as contemporaries of Hammurabi. For a full discussion of the evidence supporting this proposition see Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament by Robert Dick Wilson, and The Pentateuch.. A Historical Record by W. T. Pilter.

The next historical date in the life of Abraham is given in chapter 16 which records that Abraham was 86 years of age when Ishmael was born. This was 2094 A.H. The events recorded in chapters

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14 and 15 therefore occurred sometime between the 75th and 86th years of Abraham's life.

The next historical notation is found in Genesis 17:1. This passage informs us that, when Abraham was 90 years of age, God entered into the covenant of circumcision with him and promised to give him a son by Sarah, his wife. Nine years later the Lord appeared to him when he was at Mamre and renewed the promise which He made when He cut the covenant with him (Gen. 15) . In reaffirming the promise, the Lord disclosed to him that "At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son." From 21:5 we learn that Abraham was 100 years of age when Isaac was born. Therefore we may be certain that He appeared to Abraham and announced the birth of his son and also foretold the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah the year he was 99, which was 2107 A.H. The day following the announcement of the doom of Sodom and the cities of the Plain, they were overthrown. Thus we can pin down historically the year of the destruction of these wicked cities.

In Genesis 21 we read of the feast which Abraham made when Isaac was weaned, and when Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, was cast out. At that time it became apparent who was to be the seed of Abraham, for, according to verse 12, God declared "in Isaac shall thy seed be called." For the present I suggest that this year was probably 2113, but shall give the proof later.

In chapter 22 is the record of the great test to which Abraham was subjected when God commanded him to offer as a sacrifice his only son through whom He had made the promise to bless the world. Without faltering through unbelief but being made strong by his faith, Abraham proceeded to offer Isaac upon the altar and was stopped by the intervention of an angel at the critical moment. When Abraham thus demonstrated his unswerving faith in God, the Lord renewed the original promise to him that He would multiply his seed, and that they should be the channel through whom He would bless all nations (Gen. 22:15-18). God always has good and sufficient reasons for everything that He does. We must believe therefore that such was the situation on this occasion.

Beyond the mere fact of testing Abraham's faith we must see divine wisdom in the Lord's requiring him to offer his son as a sacrifice. There are a fitness and an appropriateness for every requirement which the Lord lays upon men. Since this is true, we

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shall seek for any clue, as we continue our studies, that might solve this problem.

The next dated event in the record is the death of Sarah which occurred when she was 127 years of age, and Abraham was 10 years her senior. Therefore this occurred in the year 2145 A.H. At this time Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite.

In the 24th chapter we have a record of the betrothal and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah and, following this in chapter 25, appears the record of Abraham's marrying Keturah. Finally at the age of 175 (Gen. 25:7) he was gathered to his fathers in 2183 A.H.

This graphic section in which Abraham is the chief actor closes with 25:11, 19. As we have seen before, this division of Genesis was attributed by Moses to Ishmael and Isaac.


In 25:19b-37:1 we have an account of the lives of Isaac and Jacob. Of course there were people of lesser importance on the stage at this time but they occupied the central positions.

When Isaac, who was born in 2108 A.H., was threescore years of age, Esau and Jacob were born. Thus their birth year was 2168. Though Esau was the elder, by the electing grace and purpose of God he was set aside and Jacob was chosen as the one through whom the birthright and blessing should descend. From childhood Jacob manifested a quiet and meditative mood, whereas Esau, though jovial and jolly, had little appreciation of spiritual values; hence he recklessly threw away his birthright. Jacob, realizing its value., took advantage of his brother's weakness and procured it. He should not have done this, for the purpose of God had designed that he should have it. It is not necessary for one to plan and scheme in order to obtain the gifts of God. The Lord knows how to overrule and bring the blessing to those for whom it is intended. Thus Jacob made a serious mistake on this occasion, but God overruled.

There is in both the natural and the spiritual realms a law which is inviolable. It is utterly impossible to set aside this unchanging principle. It may be stated in these words: Man reaps exactly what he sows. This was true in Jacob's case. He deceived his father, taking advantage of his decrepitude. Deception was likewise practiced upon him later in life-in fact Jacob suffered the remaining part of his life for his having practiced deception. For instance,

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his uncle Laban took advantage of him and changed his wages ten times. There was no justification of his treating Jacob in this way, but God overrules and uses even the wickedness of men to praise Him and to carry out His will (Psa. 76:10).

At this point we must work out the chronology in connection with Jacob's life. He was born in the year 2168 A.H. and was 130 years old when he went down into Egypt; hence the date of the descent to Egypt was 2298 A.H. At that time Joseph was 39. This conclusion is arrived at by a simple mathematical deduction. In the second year of the Egyptian famine in the days of Joseph, Jacob and his family went into Egypt (Gen. 45:6-47:9). Preceding this period there were seven years of plenty (Gen. 41:2527). Joseph was 30 years old when he was brought out of prison and given the place of food-dictator (Gen. 41:46). By simple addition then we see that Joseph was 30 plus 7 plus 2 in the second year of the famine, at which time his father was 130. By subtracting Joseph's age from that of his father, we see that Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born; but he was born at the end of the 14th year of Jacob's laboring for Leah and Rachel (Gen. 30:25). This becomes clear when we read the last citation in its connection, because, when Joseph was born, Jacob entered into a bargain with Laban to serve him for the ring-streaked and spotted among the sheep and goats. This was the third contract into which he entered with Laban, having fulfilled the two former ones, each of which was seven years, for his two wives. The last six years therefore he served for his livestock; hence Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born. Since he served Laban 14 years for his two daughters, by subtracting these years from 91, we arrive at 77, the age of Jacob when he fled from home and went to be with his uncle Laban. Hence he left Canaan and went to Paddan-Aram in the year 2245. At the expiration of the 6 years, during which he labored for his livestock, he returned to Canaan in 2265.

Isaac died when he was 180 years old (Gen. 35:28), which was in 2288 A.H. As we shall see, Joseph was sold into Egypt in the year 2276; hence he had been there 12 years when his grandfather Isaac passed away.


We have seen that the material constituting the first 36 chapters of Genesis was originally on clay tablets, the human authorship

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and ownership being attributed to Adam, Noah, Noah's sons, Shem, Terah, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, but the last fourteen chapters are not attributed in the text to any of the patriarchs. In this discussion we have seen that these chapters reflect entirely an Egyptian culture and civilization. Since they form the perfect connecting link between Genesis 1-36 and the book of Exodus, and since there was no one after Joseph so competent as Moses, a man versed in all of the arts and sciences of the Egyptians, to whom the precious, inspired documents, which had been handed down through the theocratic line, could be given, it is most highly probable that he was the one who by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote these 14 chapters giving the history of Joseph. Just as a piece of broken pottery fits the place out of which it came, so these chapters fit into the framework of the last part of Genesis and Exodus. Therefore we conclude that when these early revelations fell into Moses' hands, he by the Spirit of God made all editorial revisions that were necessary in order to make the geographical data intelligible to the Israelites whom he had led out of bondage through the wilderness and to the east side of Jordan. Hence he continued the narrative by giving us the history of Joseph.

Attempts have been made by rationalistically-inclined scholars to find a parallel between the story of the "twin brothers" of whom we read in the Egyptian annals and the Biblical account of Joseph and his experiences in the house of Potiphar. It takes a great flight of the imagination and an absorbing desire to find resemblances between the two stories. The only thing common to the Egyptian legend and the Biblical narrative is that there was a scandal in each case perpetrated by a lustful woman. Beyond this they have nothing in common.

The record of the seven years of famine is in perfect keeping with Egyptian history, for in the reign of king Zoser who reigned, according to the received chronology, about 2980 B.C.E., there was a famine of 7 years, during which time the Nile did not overflow. This caused a crop failure and great distress throughout the land, as is recorded on a stele discovered between the first cataract and the island of Elephantine.

A more striking example of a famine in Egypt and preparation made for it is found in the inscription of Baba of the city of EI-Kab. After speaking of how he had been kind, gentle, and considerate of the town folk and how he had made preparation for certain ones,

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he concluded with these words: "I collected corn as a friend of the harvest-god. I was watchful in time of sowing. And when a famine arose, lasting many years, I distributed corn to the city each year of famine." This man Baba is believed to have written this inscription during the 18th dynasty, i.e., about 1500 B.C. or earlier. Brugsch, a number of years ago, pointed out the similarity between this inscription and the story of Joseph's conduct as recorded in Gen. 41:47-57. From this statement we can see that famines were possible and that preparations were made for them.

According to II Chronicles 16:9, the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose hearts are perfect toward Him. According to the Biblical record, Joseph's heart was certainly perfect toward God and he had one object in view, namely, to do the will of God and to honor Him; hence the Lord used him in a most marvelous manner. Few men have suffered dishonor, ignominy, and shame together with persecution and have held themselves aloof from the world, living a clean, pure, separated life as did Joseph. God can and does use men of this type for the accomplishing of the highest plans and purposes in connection with the development of His plan of the ages.

Joseph was born in 2259, the year his father was 91. He was 17 when he was sold into Egypt, which was in the year 2276 A.H. Being purchased by Potiphar, he became a servant in this nobleman's house and remained there until a scandal was started by his master's infamous wife. At this time he was cast into prison. As to when he was thus incarcerated, the record is silent, but we know that he was released when he was 30. Thus he stood before Pharaoh in the year 2289 A.H. and became the food-dictator of Egypt. For seven years he garnered the harvests and preserved them in storehouses especially prepared for the purpose. Following these years of plenty were seven of famine. In the second year of it, i.e., 2298, Jacob and his family went down into Egypt at Joseph's invitation.

Jacob lived in Egypt 17 years; hence he died in 2315 A.H. Before his death, however, he blessed Joseph's two sons (Gen. 48), blessed his own sons by prophetic insight, and outlined the course of their history in the latter days.

Joseph lived to be 110 years of age (Gen. 50:26); hence his death year was 2369 A.H. This statement brings us to the close

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of Genesis, this wonderful Book of Beginnings. It recounts the history of 2369 years. As has already been seen, Genesis starts with that part of eternity called, "In the beginning;" It therefore narrates the primeval disaster (Gen. 1:2), a period of six days of reconstruction, and 2369 years of human history.

Viewing Genesis from another point, we might say that chapters 1:1-2:4 give us God's simple, plain, unadorned statement of the beginning of the heavens and the earth and the original disaster followed by the reconstruction period. Genesis 2:4b-11:27a is God's revelation written by men in the theocratic line who lived amidst a Babylonian environment; hence in their records we see a Babylonian culture and civilization as the background. From 11:27b-37: 1 the 1ocal coloring of the narrative is that of Palestinian civilization and culture. On the other hand, in 37:2-50:26 an Egyptian atmosphere pervades the entire narrative. This is exactly what one would expect in view of the development as it is narrated in the various documents of which the book consists.

Mathematics, we are told, is an exact science. Figures do not lie. All of the chronological data which are found embedded in the text of Genesis harmonize completely. If it were composed of documents, as is asserted by the radical critics, and is simply a hotchpotch of preexisting documents worked over and welded together by later redactors, there would not be the harmony of the numbers such as we see when the narrative is allowed to give its own message. Since the mathematical data and the chronological facts embedded in the text show a perfect harmony, we are to assume that the documentary theory in vogue today is contrary to the facts and creates, rather than solves, difficulties. All the evidence proclaims with no uncertain sound the fact that God's Spirit used these various men in the theocratic line to unroll a certain amount of His revelation, and that the Lord used Moses to weld these primitive tablets together into a literary unit, and to write the life of Joseph, which constitutes the connecting link between the primitive revelation and that delivered by himself to Israel.


Having discussed some of the major problems connected with the chronological issues of Genesis, I here submit a brief tabulation of the outstanding men and events presented in this marvelous Book.

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In Exodus 12:40, 41 we have the following language: "Now the time that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt." In this passage we read of a period of 430 years. The above quotation is from the American Standard Revised Version which is in agreement with the rendering of the version published by the Jewish Publication Society of America. The King James Version translates it thus: "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt." The version of Isaac Leeser, differing somewhat from these, reads: "Now the time of the residence of the children of Israel, which they dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, and it happened on the selfsame day, that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt."

These various renderings cannot all be true to the facts, although they may be and are more or less accurate and true to the grammatical construction of the original text. The reading of the Revised Version agrees with that of the Jewish Publication Society, with the exception of the rendering of the sacred Name. These translations affirm that the children of Israel were in the land of Egypt for 430 years. Isaac Leeser favors this position although the language is rather ambiguous. According to the King James Version, the sojournings of the children of Israel, who dwelt in the land of Egypt, were 430 years-ordinary, literal years. This translation simply states that their sojournings were for 430 years and adds the information that they dwelt in the land of Egypt. This rendering is true to the syntax and grammar of the Hebrew text. So is the rendering of the Revised Version. The translation of the Jewish Publication Society is likewise true to the original text.

One may ask, "How can two conflicting readings be true to the original?" The explanation is to be sought in the relative pronoun (asher) which is rendered in the Revised Version by THAT and in the King James translation by WHO. In the Revision the antecedent of THAT is time, whereas in the King James Version the antecedent

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is THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. Another factor contributing to these various readings is to be found in the different meanings of the word rendered time in the Revised Version, and sojourning in the King James Translation. The relative pronoun (asher) is indeclinable and may have as its antecedent a noun in either the singular or plural number and also in either the masculine or feminine gender. Sometimes it is used adverbially in certain connections. Therefore, because of its great latitude, it has been rendered differently in the same passage by the various translators, since each viewed it from his peculiar standpoint. Since these two translations are grammatically possible, which one are we to accept? According to an acknowledged principle fundamental in all speech which I designate "The Golden Rule of Interpretation," we are to take the Scriptures in their plain sense, if possible. Therefore we are to take each word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the context indicate clearly otherwise. The word rendered SOJOURNING in the King James translation and TIME in the Revised, is (moshabh). This noun comes from the verb (yashabh) and primarily means "to sit, rest, dwell." This is the meaning inherent in the word. The idea of time is a derived and secondary meaning; therefore according to the rule just stated, we should adhere to the primary meaning unless there is justification in the context to warrant a departure from the customary sense, and to demand acceptance of a secondary signification. Is there such proof? One will seek in vain for it. Let us take its primary meaning. With this understanding, then, I accept the rendering of the King James' Version, which declares that the sojournings of the children of Israel were 430 years. The clause, "who dwelt in the land of Egypt," is nonrestrictive; hence it adds a bit of additional information. The apostle Paul in Galatians 3:15-19 declared that there were 430 years from the promise which God made to Abraham (Gen. 12:17) to the giving of the Law. Let us note that the initial date of this period is the call of Abraham, and the terminus is the departure of Israel from Egypt. Accepting this statement as true, I believe that he was speaking of the same period of time of which Moses wrote in Exodus 12:41,42. We have already seen that the promise was made to Abraham in the year 2083 A.H. when he was 75 years of age. Twenty-five years later, when he was 100, Isaac was born; hence the first 25 years of the 430 years passed before the birth of Isaac. Abraham was living in Hebron at the time Isaac was born. The latter was 60 years old when Esau and Jacob were born.

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Thus the year of their birth was 85 years after God's making the promise to Abraham. Jacob was 130 years old when he and his family went down into Egypt; hence we must add this number of years to the 85 that had already passed when he was born, which calculation makes a total of 215 years. Thus from the giving of the promise to Abraham to the descent of the children of Israel into Egypt there were 215 years. Since the first 215 years of the 430 passed before Israel went into Egypt, they were there the latter half of this period, because they came out at the end of the 430 year period. It is therefore a serious mistake chronologically to affirm that the children of Israel were in the land of Egypt 430 years.

Other confirmation of this position is found in the promise which God made to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 15:12-21.

"12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and 10, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 And in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full."

We must note carefully the wording of this promise. The proper approach to the understanding of this prediction is to see the force of the original of verse 13 and its translation: (Hebrew of v. 13)

"And he said to Abram,
Know of a surety that
A. thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs,
B. And shall serve them;
B. And they shall afflict them,
A. Four hundred years."

This verse is in the poetical form known as an introversion. The first and fourth lines are parallel, the latter supplementing the information of the former; the second and third are parallel, the third completing the second. If we render this passage in plain prose, it should read as follows: "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs for four hundred years; and they shall serve them, and they shall afflict them."

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We must note carefully that the prediction refers to Abraham's descendants-"thy seed." The next thing to note is that Abraham's seed are, according to this prediction, to be sojourners in a land that is not their own for four hundred years. The third item that is here revealed is that his seed shall serve others and shall be afflicted. A fourth fact of this prophecy is that the Lord threatened to punish the nation whom Israel would serve. The fifth consideration is that Israel should come forth out of her bondage with great substance; and the sixth item given in verse 16 is that they should come forth in the fourth generation. The seventh and last element of this promise is that Israel should inherit the land "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

When Isaac was weaned (Gen. 21:8-14), he was declared to be the seed, whereas Ishmael with his mother was cast out. The rejection of Ishmael and the appointment of Isaac as Abraham's seed were in accordance with the code of Hammurabi, which laws were in effect in Palestine at that time.

Since Isaac at the weaning time became the legal heir of Abraham, this instance must be the initial date of the 400 year period mentioned in this passage. Without doubt. the terminal date is that of Israel's exodus from Egypt. According to Martin Anstey, the Hebrew mothers in patriarchal times weaned their children when they were between the ages of 3 and 5. Since Abraham was 75 when the promise was made to him, since he was 100 years of age when Isaac was born, and since children were weaned between the ages of 3 and 5, we must add from 28 to 30 years to this 400 year period to indicate the lapse of time from tl1e giving of the promise to the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. If we accept 5 years as Isaac's age when weaned, we must add 30 to our 400 year period. This calculation brings our prophecy into harmony with both the statement of the apostle Paul and that of Moses, found in Exodus 12:41,42.

But one may object that according to this passage the sojournings of the children of Israel were 430 years, which period terminated with the Exodus. Hence, according to this argument, Moses had in mind only the descendants of Jacob and not all the patriarchs from Abraham at the age of 75 onward to the Exodus. If we take this interpretation, we have a clear contradiction between Exodus 12:40, 41 and that found in Genesis 15. We cannot admit any error here, since all truth harmonizes. Whenever there is an apparent discrepancy and any of the terms are capable of

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several meanings, we must select that one which accords with all the known facts. An examination of the general application of the expression, "children of Israel," shows that it was sometimes used in the narrow sense to include only the descendants of Jacob, whereas in other connections it refers to and includes even Abraham, the great father of the Hebrew race. The solidarity and the continuity of Israel are the regular conceptions found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.

In Exodus 12:40, 41 Moses therefore was speaking of the sojournings of the Hebrew people from the time of the call of Abraham to that of their deliverance from Egypt, a period of 430 years. But in Genesis 15:12-21 God was simply talking about the sojournings and the wanderings of the seed of Abraham. This is a different statement altogether from that found in Exodus 12:40, 41. Abraham was a sojourner in the Land of Promise when Isaac was born. Throughout his life he was a wanderer and a stranger in this land, because it was at that time under Babylonian control. Jacob, likewise, did not possess the land of Canaan but was a sojourner there. So were his sons. When they descended into Egypt they still were sojourners and possessed no certain country of their own. Therefore from the time of Isaac's being recognized as the seed of Abraham to the Exodus, the Chosen People were sojourners in a strange land and were subjected more or less to handicaps and persecutions. Since the call of Abraham was in 2083 A.H., and since Jacob went down into Egypt in 2298, Abraham and his seed were strangers in a land not theirs, i.e., in Canaan for 215 years. During the lifetime of Joseph the children of Israel were in favor in Egypt. Since he died in 2369, they enjoyed peace and prosperity there for at least 71 years. Their bondage, however, began when there arose a king over Egypt who did not recognize the services which Joseph had rendered to his nation (Ex. 1:8). At this time Moses was born in the midst of the persecution of Israel. Since he was 80 years of age at the time of the Exodus, he was born 80 years before that time. As we have already seen, the Exodus occurred 430 years after the promise made to Abraham in 2083 A.H.; therefore the Exodus occurred in the year 2513 A.H. Moses, being 80 years of age at this date, was therefore born in 2433 A.H. Again, since Joseph died in 2369 and Moses was born in 2433, there were 64 years intervening between the death of the former and the birth of the latter. As to Israel's

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condition in Egypt during at least the greater part of this period, we may infer that she probably enjoyed the favor which had been extended to her during Joseph's lifetime. Since Jacob and his sons entered Egypt in the year 2298 and since Moses led them out in 2513, they were in Egypt only 215 years. The popular conception therefore that Israel was in Egypt 430 years is untenable, there being no evidence to support this supposition.


Unfortunately some have seen a discrepancy between Genesis 46:26 and 27.

"26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, that came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six: 27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore and ten."

The scholars sensing a contradiction in these two verses have declared that they come from two different sources entirely. No one who will pay attention to the facts as they are presented in the context will make any such claim as this. Verse 26 states that "All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, that came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six." The language is very specific. Moses here tells us that those who went into Egypt and who proceeded out of the loins of Jacob in addition to the wives of his sons were 66. In verse 27 we have a different statement. Here we are informed that the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two, namely, Ephraim and Manasseh. Following this sentence is the declaration that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore and ten." Joseph preceded Jacob to Egypt. His two sons were born there. There are three more mentioned in this verse than in the preceding. Furthermore, Jacob is included in the count of the 70, whereas he is excluded from the count of the 66. Hence verse 27 embraces four not mentioned in verse 26. There is perfect harmony between the two statements. It is only necessary for us with open minds to look at the statements of Scripture in order to see the truth as it is set forth.

The Septuagint translation of Genesis 46: 20 adds the two sons of Manasseh and the three sons of Ephraim. Their names are: Machir and Gilead his son; and the sons of Ephraim are

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Shutelah, Talath; and Edem was the son of Shutelah. Hence tltere are five more mentioned in this Greek translation. Doubtless this is the basis of the statement of Stephen concerning the 75 souls mentioned in Acts 7:14.

In this chapter we have seen a few of the marvels which are set forth in this wonderful Book of Beginnings. This brief survey produces upon the heart of the earnest student that we have an original document written by men who were borne along by the power of the Spirit of God, and who have given us an authentic account of the beginnings of everything. This book is not a scientific treatise. Whenever, however, it deals with any subject amenable to scientific investigation, it sets forth the facts in universal language that all peoples desirous of truth can understand. It has presented the most satisfactory account of the existence of all things and has traced all evils to their original source. Furthermore, it has given us a hope of eternal bliss with God forever through the promised Redeemer. It also has traced human history for 2369 years.

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