Bible 101

Welcome to Day 2 of reading the Bible in a year.  Today, we read and discussed Genesis Chapters 5-8, with great confusion, I might add.  There were several discrepancies between my bible and Hallie’s.  The timing was off regarding how long Noah was on the ark, how long it was before the water receded and such, so that makes me question how close (or rather how far) our bibles are to the hebrew text.

Chapter 5 only covered the lineage from Adam to Noah.  Adam was 130 when his son, Seth, was born.  Adam lived 800 years after that, had many other sons and daughters, so Cain, Abel and Seth were not the only children of Adam and Eve.  Adam lived to be 930.  And it went on through the lineage until Noah.  I didn’t feel the need to cover all the names and ages.  Suffice to say folks lived a heck of a long time in those days, the oldest, being Methuselah living to be 969.  That’s a long stinkin’ time!  Think about all the stories that man had!  He wasn’t just passin’ ’em down to the grandkids.  He was passin’ ’em down to the great-great-great-great…

Chapter 6 covered the flood, mainly.  God changed the life of man to be a shorter time span of not more than 120 years.  This chapter spoke of Nephilim being on the earth in those days and also afterward, which are the offspring of “sons of God” and “daughters of men”.

Now, aren’t “sons of God” actually angels, or I’m supposing that since they had offspring with human females, they were fallen angels?  Any thoughts?

God saw man’s wickedness and seeing that man’s thoughts were only of evil, he was grieved that he made man and his heart was filled with pain, so he decided to wipe man from the face of the earth, along with animals, birds and all creatures that move along the ground.

So, I get the part of wiping out humankind.  I don’t know if I understand why he wanted to destroy the animals, too.  Was it only because it was the only way to destroy man – was to destroy all the animals along with man?  What’s your view?

However, God saw favor with Noah, so he told Noah to build an ark, gave him the measurements, told him he could bring his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives along with him, as well as 2 of every living creature, male and female, 2 of every bird, 2 of every animal and 2 of every creature that moved along the ground.  As well, to bring every kind of food that was to be eaten by Noah, his family, and the creatures.  God explained he was going to bring floodwaters to destroy all of life under the heavens; everything on the earth.

Then, in chapter 7, God tells Noah to take 7 of every kind of clean animal (male and female), 2 of every unclean animal (male and female), 7 of every kind of bird, and in 7 days, God would send rain for 40 days and 40 nights.

So, at this point, I’m wondering why 7 of unclean animals and 7 of every kind of bird.  I always understood it was 2 of everything.  Granted, I was not raised in church and have not read the bible cover to cover, nor studied the entire thing.  In church, when we do go, the preacher tends to jump around from here to there, so I’ve never heard of the 7 and 7.  This was new to me.

Noah was 600 when the floodwaters came.  The Bible says pairs of clean and unclean animals came, birds and all the creatures that move on the ground came to Noah and entered the ark.  Then (my bible says) on the 17th day of the 2nd month, all the springs of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of the heavens opened. 

See, I always thought that the great flood of Noah’s day was all rain.  I did not know it started with springs from the earth.  See what you can learn when you sit down and read the bible yourself?

All the highest mountains were covered with waters rising to a depth of more than 20 feet.  Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals and creatures that swarm over the earth, and mankind.  Everything on dry land.  Waters flooded the earth for 150 days.

In chapter 8, God sent a wind over the earth and waters receded.  The springs of the deep and the rain stopped after 40 days and 40 nights.  At the end of the 150 days, waters receded, and on the 17th day of the 7th month, the ark came to rest on mountains of Ararat.

Now, Hallie’s bible says it happened after 5 months.  Many of her timeframes are different than mine.

Anywho, eventually, at the first of the 10th month, tops of the mountains became visible.  (Hallie’s bible says 7 months).  After the 40 days, Noah opened the window he’d made in the ark and sent out a raven and it flew back and forth till the water had dried from the earth.  Then, he sent a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground, but the dove returned.  Noah waited another week, and sent the dove out again.  The dove returned that evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak.  7 more days, he sent the dove again and this time, the dove did not return.  So, the first day of the 1st month of Noah’s 601st year, water dried from the earth.  By the 27th day of the 2nd month, the surface was completely dry.  Then, God okayed them all to come out.

Noah built an altar to God, taking some of the clean animals and clean birds and sacrificed burnt offerings on it (I’m supposing that’s why Noah took 7 of every kind of clean animal, as well as 7 of every kind of bird).  God smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart he would never again curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.  And never again would he destroy all living creatures, as he did.  “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Why do you think God was pleased with animal sacrifices?  Why was the aroma pleasing to him?  Any thoughts?  This is disturbing to me and to Hallie.

Tomorrow, Genesis Chapters 9-12.  And yes, I realize this is reeeeally drawn out and a bit dry.  I’ll try to make more reader-friendly tomorrow.  At least it’s a little shorter compared to yesterday.  😉

Make it an awesome Friday tomorrow!  God speed.

Love y’all!

Carol & Hallie


About Carol B Sessums

Writer, Editor, Coffee Addict, Lover of Mountains. Lives to shrink the planet, one story and connection at a time.
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4 Responses to Bible 101

  1. youthguyerik says:

    Good Post. Wanted to comment on the “sons of God” thing. As I understand it, this is best understood in context of the preceding chapter. We have the line of Cain and the line of Seth. Cain’s lineage are more or less wicked folks. Whereas Seth’s kids are good in general. So, the “sons of God” (Seth’s kids) think the daughters of man (CAin’s kids) are hot and marry them despite them being somewhat ethically challenged. This is an admonish on against marrying outside of the the right line and religion. The rest of the Old Testament is full of instances of people marrying pagans and it causing problems (Samson, the Israelites and the CAnaanites, Solomon). The word used there doesn’t signify angels, though there are a few screwball theologians who try to make this into something it isn’t. Their children, by the way, are called mighty men of old. The KJV badly translates this as “giants”.

    Also, the 7 of every clean animal is so he can eat them. He can only eat clean animals. If he only has 2 cows the population of steak producing animals will run out awfully quickly.

    The aroma being pleasing to God refers to the fact that Noah sacrificed from the best he had and God responded. I suspect God wan’t all that interested in the food. Rather, he appreciated the sacrifice. Check out the sacrifices in the story of Cain and Able. CAin sacrificed fruits and vegetables whereas Able sacrificed an animal. The animal was more valuable and ultimately became the common item of sacrifice because it points forward symbolically to Jesus’ sacrifice. (This is called Typology. It means something that is a sort of symbol of a thing that happens in Jesus life. The story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac is a more obvious example.)

    I enjoyed following your adventure in the book of Genesis. I’m looking forward to reading more. Sorry if i am being a know it all. Just trying to answer your questions.

  2. Cris says:

    In my view, I’m closer to what you were suggesting, Carol, that the sons of God were, in fact, angels who left heaven in their lust after the fair daughters of mankind. That would make them fallen angels, indeed.

    If it were just Seth’s kids after Cain’s kids, it would likely not have even been mentioned. Or if it were mentioned, it would have likely said just that — Seth’s kids went after Cain’s kids. In my view, that’s too simplistic an explanation (no offense intended).

    Besides, as you mentioned, there were more than just Seth’s kids and Cain’s kids.

    In many of the ancient literature, such a thing as I proposed was mentioned. In fact, in the Book of Enoch, which I believe to be valid, it says:

    “VI. 1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'”

    It goes on in more detail about the oath these 200 angels took, the names of their leaders, that they descended on Mount Hermon, bore giants, “VII. 3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, 4. The giants turned against them and devoured mankind.”

    The angels brought with them knowledge from heaven and taught them to men—charms, enchantments, cutting of roots, making of swords, knives, other weapons, working with metals, the art of makeup, bracelets and other ornaments, and so forth.

    It’s all very interesting.

    So, that’s my take, briefly.

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