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Book of Genesis

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The Creation of Adam, a famous fresco by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
Light iron-age reading
The Bible
Icon bible.svg
Gabbin' with God
This is like the most exciting shit — it's a book about a guy collecting every animal! It's like, the original Pokémon.

Genesis is a British rock band[2] and the North American name for the Sega Mega DriveWikipedia the first book of the Bible. Most people consider Genesis to be an allegorical or mythological account. Most Biblical scholars think that the book is a confused melding of three distinct sources by an editor, making it highly self-contradictory. The Book of Genesis also became a primary source and a subject for Biblical literalists and Young Earth Creationists because they consider its events to be literally, absolutely true. Except for the parts they ignore, such as man and woman being created simultaneously in Genesis 1:27 and at different times in Genesis 2:21-23.

"Genesis" comes from the Greek word Γένεσις (génesis), meaning something along the lines of "origin" or "birth". This came from the Hebrew word בְּרֵאשִׁית (B'reshit, literally "in the beginning"). The title is in fact an incipit — i.e. it's the first word that appears in the document (Hebrew בְּרֵאשִׁית, Greek Γένεσις). The Hebrew titles for the books of the Torah are all incipits, while the traditional Greek names (the ones used in English) deviate from this formula.


The Creation as depicted in the 1534 edition of Martin Luther's translation of the Bible.

Genesis runs from the Creation of the Universe™ all the way to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and it's considered by experts divided on the Primeval historyWikipedia (the first eleven chapters) and the Patriarchal ageWikipedia (also known as "Ancestral history", and encompassing the rest of the chapters):

  1. Creation Week: Genesis describes the time from Creation to the descent of the Children of Israel to Ancient Egypt. The first chapter of Genesis is about Creation Week, or the week in which God created the heavens and the Earth.
    1. God created, in the following order:
      1. The Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1)
      2. Light, which he divided into "Night" and "Day". (Genesis 1:3)
      3. Heaven (Genesis 1:7)
      4. Land (Genesis 1:9-10)
      5. Grass, herbs, and trees (Genesis 1:12)
      6. The Sun and Moon (Genesis 1:16)
      7. Whales and "every living creature that moveth" (Genesis 1:21)
      8. Beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:25) (because beasts don't move, apparently)
      9. (Skyclad Naked) Male and Female humans! (Genesis 1:27)
    2. God gets called, “Elohim” which is plural, when speaking God refers to “we “and “us“. Jews insist it is just a majestic plural and there is not more than one God. [3] Modern biblical scholars theorize that the source of Genesis 1 was actually a litany recited in synagogues after the Babylonian Exile which functioned to unite the congregation in the proper frame of mind for worship. It had, therefore, a Priestly source, as interpreted under the documentary hypothesis.
Adam and Eve in the Garden, depicted by by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens.
  1. Garden of Eden: Somewhat confusingly, a second creation myth begins in chapter two — in reality, just a recap of the events described, but worded so confusingly it seems to indicate it's a completely separate story — with God then creating Adam out of a pile of dust, and breathing into his nostrils to induce life (Genesis 2:7). God then put Adam in the Garden of Eden, which was probably in Mesopotamia (four rivers flowed through the garden, including the Euphrates). He told Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This, of course, then raises the question as to why the tree was even there in the first place. God then made a woman called Eve out of Adam's rib. Next, the serpent came and told Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Eve obliged, and gave the fruit to Adam. He ate it, and they committed the original sin. God got really mad, and evicted Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:24).
  2. The Fall: There is a whole theology concerning the "Fall" of man that is bound up with the Genesis stories of patriarchs who lived to be seven, eight, even nine hundred years of age. By the time Abraham rolled around, the life spans had fallen to 175 years. His grandson Jacob lived to be only 147. Moses died at the shockingly young age of only 120. So it is assumed that Adam and Eve were immortal until they sinned, and the longer history rolls on from that point the shorter, on average, human lifespans became as the curse of sin corrupted man. But a very careful reading of Genesis presents something that seems to have been missed, or glossed over.
    1. In Genesis 3:22-23 we read, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Very simply, Adam and Eve were not and never were immortal, and God sent them out of the garden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life and becoming so.
  3. Adam and Eve proceeded to get busy, and produced Cain, and then Abel. Cain became a farmer, while Abel became a shepherd. Both of them offered sacrifices to God — Cain offered what he'd grown on his fields, while Abel slew a lamb. God accepted Abel's offering, but rejected Cain's, presumably because the latter did not contain blood. From now on, blood fetish will be a recurring theme. Cain killed Abel out of jealousy in the wheat field. Cain was exiled, and founded the city of Enoch in the land of Nod.
  4. Nephilim: Some say the "Sons of God" who had sexual intercourse with the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6 were angels, or demons. But loyal angels would never have had sex with women, and fallen angels would never be called sons of God. Besides, angels are spirits, and they only obtain bodies for specific tasks, such as wrestling with Jacob. Modern scholarship has "the sons of God" as an earlier, surviving Israelite/Caananite concept of El as head of the heavenly host and Yahweh (and possibly also his wife, Asherah) as children of El, with a level of lower godlings below them. See, for example, Mark Smith's Early History of God.[4]
  5. Global flood: Adam had a lot of kids. Most of them lived for between 800 and 1000 years. An insane amount of incest must then have occurred. Noah came ten generations later, and because every human being on Earth except for Noah and his family were wicked, God told him to build an Ark. At the ripe young age of 600, with the help of his sons, he built Noah's Ark. He then put a male and a female (and sometimes several of each) of every single species on the Earth, and set off on the voyage with his sons. After 300 days, give or take, the Ark came to rest on the slopes of Mount Ararat, then God tells Noah that every time you see a rainbow its his way of saying that God's never going to try to drown the Earth again (emphasis on "try to drown", the fine print leaves open to use other methods to kill everyone.)
  6. Curse of Ham: After this, Noah planted some grapes and got drunk. Ham (one of his sons) came along and found him drunk, naked, and sleeping. For some reason, Noah then put a curse on Ham's son Canaan, making him and all his descendants slaves of Ham's brother Shem and Japheth. Some fundamentalists believe this that means Ham was the father of all black people, and use this as justification for the slavery of black people.
  7. Tower of Babel: Four generations after the flood, Noah's descendants tried to build a tower that could reach Heaven. God responded by confusing the languages of all of the workers, and destroying the tower.
  8. The next part is a list of lineages. It's pretty boring, and irrelevant unless you want to know the name of Noah's great-grandson via the lineage of Shem (as Shem begat Aram, then the answer is Uz). Closer examination reveals that Shem dies after almost all his progeny, up to and including Abraham (the only exception is Eber). That's a fun way to spend 500 years after the flood: watching your offspring die of old age before you. The time spans between begats provided in this passage were used by the creationist Bishop James Ussher in the construction of a timeline purportedly showing the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old. (If you're interested in details, it was created on the evening of October 23, 4004 BCE.)
"Holy shit, Abraham, we didn't think you were actually gonna do it!"
  1. Abraham: The story then shifts to a Babylonian named Abram, who traveled to the land of Canaan with some family. God talked to Abram, and gave him some land, and told him that his descendants were pretty much screwed (confinement in Egypt for 400 years). God then made a covenant with him, and changed his name to "Abraham". This is also the part where God said all boys need to get their foreskin chopped off on the eighth day of their life.
  2. Sodom and Gomorrah: Next comes the "hottest" part of Genesis, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by a rain of fire and brimstone. God didn't exactly specify what was going on there but many interpretations hold he did so because everybody in the cities were gay. Unfortunately God revealed these plans to Abraham who realized that he had a nephew living in Sodom named Lot. Also, the city dwellers had sort of wanted to rape Lot's guests, who were actually angels… but, the angels were dudes, making homosexuality the obvious sin in this situation. Somehow consent (or the lack thereof) was not mentioned as one of the problems.
    1. As an extremely considerate and self-sacrificial gesture, the merciful and generous Lot offered to save them from such a horrible sin by selflessly offering his own virgin daughters to be raped instead, but they were too perverted to accept any reasonable and godly solution. Indeed, the Bible proves that this solution could have saved Sodom from destruction, when, in a similar case some centuries later, people that accepted it escaped divine retribution (Judges 19:24, etc). Earthly retribution was needed instead (however, the Children of Israel were still considerate enough to apply collective punishment, as true representatives of God on Earth, always ready to carefully and piously enact God's favorite procedures).
    2. Lot took the good people in the city (himself, his family, and the two guests) out of the city before God destroyed it. Lot's wife made the mistake of looking back at the destruction, and was turned into a pillar of salt (which was probably worth a fortune in those days!). Then, Lot's daughters seemed to think that the world had ended and attempted to repopulate the world by seducing their dad while he was drunk.
  3. Isaac: Abraham was married to a woman named Sarah who was infertile. So, he instead had a son with Sarah's slave named Hagar and in those days the kid was considered legitimate. However, Sarah hated this kid named Ishmael and kicked Hagar and her son out of their camp and Arab people claim their lineage from him. Eventually Sarah had a baby boy named Isaac. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac at the top of the mountain for no reason. Abraham obeyed and brought Isaac to the mountain, and as he was plunging the knife toward his son an angel swooped down and grabbed his hand. This angel then told Abraham that God was just "testing" him. A ram then conveniently appears out of nowhere, and Isaac sacrifices the ram instead.
Jacob tries to woo Rachael (who doesn't seem interested).
  1. Jacob (a.k.a. Israel): Isaac had two sons — Esau and Jacob. Esau was big and strong, hairy, and the first born, Jacob was cunning and weak and the second born, hence Esau was supposed to inherit his father's estate and blessings. Too bad for Esau, the old man was blind and Rebecca, their mom, liked Jacob better, so Jacob cooked up some soup and gave it to his older brother in exchange for the birthright. Then, Jacob strapped some wool on his arms and fooled his dad into blessing him as the first born. God seemed to tacitly approve of this, and armed with his brother's birthright Jacob set off to find a wife.
    1. Jacob eventually met a nice girl named Rachel and wanted to marry her, but it turned out he was dirt poor and her dad, Laban, made him work as a slave for 7 years to get her hand. Karma must have caught up with Jacob because on his wedding night he got hitched to Rachel's older sister Leah. So, Jacob went back to work for another 7 years and finally got married to the right girl.
    2. Leah was Rachel's older sister. Jacob thought Rachel was more beautiful, and just wanted her, but he was tricked into marrying Leah in order to get Rachel too. Jacob always loved Rachel more. Yahweh compensated by closing Rachel's womb for many years and making Leah as fertile as a bunny. Rachel and Leah were not only Jacob's wives, they shared grandparents with him, making them first cousins. This wasn't a problem, because Jacob's mother and father shared a grandparent and great-grandparent, making them first cousins once removed. Jacob's family tree forked, but only with one another.
    3. He also picked up his wives' handmaidens Bilhah and Zilpah as concubines.[note 1] As a result, they have a happy family of 13 kids (for the record, the OctomomWikipedia has 14): sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin, and daughter Dinah. The sons eventually become the patriarchs of the 12 Tribes of Israel, or their touring name, the Israelites. The happy patriarch then gets into a wrestling match with an angel and God changes Jacob's name to Israel (he who fights with God).
  2. Tamar: The story of Tamar is one of those overlooked corners of Genesis...because it is a story about a very strong woman. Essentially, Tamar was a proto-Ruth, but more edgy. She was a Canaanite woman who nonetheless became an ancestor of Jesus and the mother of an heir of the Blessing. She was married to Er, the firstborn son of Judah. But Er pissed off the Lord somehow, and God had him whacked.
    1. Then by Hebrew law, the second son Onan was required to marry her, which he did. But he wasn't pleased with the thought of just being a stud for Tamar, so at the height of his passion he withdrew from her and let his seed spill on the ground (somehow this part of the story has been mangled to the point where "Onanism" is a word meaning masturbation, but it was coitus interuptus instead). The Lord didn't like that either, so he in turn whacked Onan.
    2. Judah told Tamar to hang out for a few years until his third son, Shelah, was old enough to give it a go. But when the time came, Judah balked, and refused to marry them off, probably because he thought Tamar was jinxed. Well, Tamar was not to be denied. She dressed like a whore and seduced Judah himself after his wife died. He didn't recognize her when they did the nasty. Nine months later she had twin boys, Peretz and Zerah. At first Judah wanted to burn Tamar to death for being a whore and getting prego, but Tamar retaliated by showing a few tokens he left behind on the bedroom dresser when he visited her. With his face as red as a beet, Judah finally acknowledged her sons as his own, and Peretz was numbered in the line of Messiah.
  3. Joseph (Old Testament): Joseph, the second youngest was his dad's favorite, and, as documented in the musical,Wikipedia got a special rainbow-coloured coat. His older brothers didn't like this, so they did what most other envious siblings would do; they sold him into slavery in Egypt and faked his death. While in Egypt his mistress[note 2] tried to seduce him, but when he turned her down she claimed that he raped her and as a result he wound up in jail awaiting execution. While in jail he helped interpret the dreams of his inmates (one got his job back in the royal household, the other got executed). Eventually, word of his ability got to the Pharaoh, who let him out of jail so that Joseph could interpret his dream.
    1. The Pharaoh kept having this dream where there were seven fat cows who come out of the Nile and are eaten by seven thin cows. Pharaoh's priests couldn't figure out what it meant, but God, working through Joseph told the Pharaoh that there would be seven years of surplus grain followed by a seven year famine throughout the Middle East. The Pharaoh realized the opportunity, and ordered all the farmers to give half of their surplus grain to the state to stock up for the famine. Unsurprisingly, Joseph turned out to be correct.
    2. The famine eventually hit Joseph's family back home in Canaan who came to Egypt looking for some food. Joseph recognized his family and eventually reconciled with the rest of the Israelites. Eventually Jacob died in Egypt and the Israelites decided that Egypt was not a bad place to live after all. That is, until Exodus


A fragment of the Book of Isaiah found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
See the main article on this topic: Documentary hypothesis

Traditionally, Genesis and the other four Mosaic books were considered to have been written by Moses himself. Although a minority among conservative Christians still hold to this view, the greater part of modern scholarship believes that they were collected in the middle of the first millennium BCE from a number of older sources. Literary criticism and analysis suggests three sources for the original material which was then edited by a redactor. The fact that Moses' death is related in Deuteronomy 34 has mysteriously changed few fundamentalist whackjobs' opinions.

A still controversial theory despite having gained interest is that Genesis was written down to unite the two most powerful groups of Israel's community: priests, who claimed to descend from Moses, and major landowning families, who claimed to descend from Abraham, after Persians promised more autonomy for said region within their empire, assuming they wrote a single law code common for both.[5]

Genesis is typical of the contemporary Mesopotamian worldview, and likely has been strongly influenced by non-Abrahamic religions or myths.

Based on similarities in both the story itself and shared cultural worldviews, many scholars argue that the story of Creation Week in Genesis is strongly influenced by (if not based on) the Babylonian creation myth Enûma Eliš.Wikipedia[6]

Similarities with Enuma Elish[edit]

  1. Order of Creation
  2. "Order" from "Chaos" (The Torah places more emphasis on the organization of things rather than the 'something from nothing' aspect of creation that is emphasized by the Christian Old Testament.)
  3. Six periods of time before the creation of "man" or of "savage god". In the Enuma Elish, it is six prior generations of gods, not six days, and man is to be slave to the gods.
  4. Concept that man is created in God's image.
  5. Gods are created from clay (the ground) and man from the Gods' blood. "Adamah" means "red dirt", so the Bible seems to have gone for a little of column A and a little of column B.
  6. The strange idea of light being created before the Sun.

Similarities with Sumerian myths[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Epic of Gilgamesh

The Sumerian myth and the Eden story share some similar aspects.[7]

  1. The setting: a garden paradise (Dilmun) surrounded by desert, where all is peaceful and no animals harm one another.
  2. Variation of the creation of Eve: in Sumerian myth, Ninhursag curses the God Enki for eating forbidden fruit, then regrets her actions and creates seven goddesses from his semen to heal his seven wounds. One, Ninti, was created to heal his injured rib, and was the goddess of healing afflictions of the chest.
  3. The meaning of the female names; Eve (life), Ninti (lady of life)
  4. Flood myth, with Utnapishtim replaced with Noah and the angry God Enlil (who essentially wanted humanity to stop playing their fucking music so loud) and the sympathetic Ea / Enki folded into crazy ol' Pentateuch YHWH
  5. Gilgamesh finds a fruit that will grant him eternal life, but it is eaten by a serpent before he can try it out

Similarities with Greek mythology[edit]

  1. In Hesiod's Theogony, it is stated that Gaia (earth) is born out of the primordial chaos along with Nyx (night) and Erebus (darkness). Nyx and Erebus's children are Aether (upper sky) and Hemera (day). Gaia's then gives birth to Ouranos (sky) and brings apart hills and plains on one side, then she gives birth to Pontus (sea).
  1. In Greek myth, after assorted divine fuckery, Zeus takes the secret of creating fire (i.e., the gift of knowledge) from man, and the Titan Prometheus, creator of mankind, restores it. For this, Zeus condemns Prometheus to eternal punishment and dicks over mankind, doing the latter by presenting a jar containing all the world's evils to Pandora, the first woman, who promptly opens it. The essential idea that Zeus was a massive asshole seems to have been lost on the writers of the Bible, who made God the good guy in all of this.
  2. Both Deucalion and Noah are commissioned to build boats and dump animals on, ignoring plants and marine life, and also without any sense of scale.
  3. Both Noah and Deucalion get free kids.

Jewish vs. Christian versions[edit]

It is worth noting that the Jewish and Christian versions of Genesis have quite a few differences (as do much of the Hebrew scriptures in general), including the order of sentences and passages, the structure of passages, emphasis on the importance of particular stories, and, in fact, word choice when translating into non-Hebrew languages which can drastically alter meanings of particular verses.

Contradictions and other nonsense[edit]

Medieval European depiction of the Creation, in which the infinite creator of all humanity looks a lot like some random Medieval European.
See the main article on this topic: Biblical contradictions
We can start right off with the first two books of the bible, in Genesis.

In the first chapter, God creates Adam and Eve at the same time.

In the second chapter, God creates Adam, and then Adam does a few things, he names the animals, he does this and he does that, and he gets lonely. So he talks to God and says, you know, "I'm lonely". God then says "Allright, I'll provide you with a mate", and then he takes the rib, and creates Eve out of his rib and so on...

We all know these stories. These are two different creation stories.
Michael Shermer[8]

Most biblical scholars believe that the first two chapters of Genesis actually contain two creation myths spliced together, along with "editorial comments" from the compiler (which some believe to be the spiritual precursor of WikiEditors, since he or she adds meticulous details like lists of "begats", pages of cubit measurements for a boat, and repetitive, redundant, recurring language). Dr. Paul L. Maier,Wikipedia who is himself a Christian, puts it as follows:[8]

Well, I wouldn't call them contradictions as much as commentaries the one on the other. Again, let's point out we probably do have two different authors here, whose work was blended together then, in an editorial revisioning, somewhat.

Which in itself makes an important point about the fact that scholarly consensus regarding the Bible neither supports infallibility, nor a literal reading, and indeed about the inherently man-made nature of scripture. It's also quite telling that the characters and events described on the first part of the narrative (Adam and Eve, Noah, the Tower of Babel, etc) are almost (at best) forgotten for the rest of the Torah/Old Testament and especially, barring the attempts of some apologists to shoehorn on its verses modern scientific knowledge and often failing hard, there are no mentions of anything unknown in the epoch the authors of Genesis lived, including the kind of stuff that requires sophisticated equipment far beyond their reach to be discovered, such as that there are several land masses and not just one, the Sun absolutely dwarfs Earth, bacteria, subatomic particles, galaxies, etc. as one would expect had it been the product of divine revelation.

Still, Genesis is rife with blatant contradiction from which the text cannot hope to revive. To name a few examples:

  1. In the first myth, the stages of creation are separated into six days. The second myth does not mention any separation of time periods.
  2. In Genesis 1:6-8, the Earth is covered in water. God (Elohim) commands the waters covering the Earth to separate, forming land and sea. In Genesis 2:5-6, the Earth is dry. God (v.2 YHWH-Elohim) had not caused it to rain yet. He then causes water to spring up from beneath the Earth.
  3. In Genesis 1:27-28, God (Elohim) creates man and woman (both unnamed) together, then tells them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. In Genesis 2:7, the LORD (YHWH-Elohim) creates Adam, then all the animals, then (apparently some time later) creates Eve from Adam's rib in Genesis 2:21-22. Adam and Eve are not told to be fruitful and multiply.
  4. In the first myth, God gives the man and woman dominion over the earth. In the second myth, the LORD does not; he decrees instead that man will have to work for his living, debasing him rather than elevating him.
  5. The first myth contains no reference to a self-contained Garden of Eden where the man and woman must remain. The Garden of Eden first appears in the second myth.
  6. The first myth lacks geographical references. In the second myth, the Editors inserted names of the rivers and lands near the Garden of Eden.
  7. In the first myth, the animals of the sea and air were created on Thursday, while the animals of the land, including man, were created on Friday. In the second myth, man was created before any plants are even created, let alone any animals to eat them.

Because of the two scrolls and the additions of the Editors, Genesis contains many conflicts. The Noah story has many fun examples.

  1. Genesis 6:11 repeats Genesis 6:1. Perfect gods need to state things 2 or more times.
  2. Genesis 6:19 God commands Noah to bring 2 of every kind. Yet in Genesis 7:1, he is to take either 7 or 7 pairs of each clean animal, and (presumably) 2 of all the rest.
  3. Genesis 7:12, it rained for 40 days, and the waters abate after 150 days and the ark lands. Genesis 8:1-3, it rains for 150 days, and the waters abate after 10 months, the ark landing after 7 months (I know, 7 ≠ 10 in my math book, either.)
  4. Genesis 8:7 Noah sends a raven to find land. In Genesis 8:8, he sends a dove to do the same. Modern translations use "then" as a conjunction, but the original Hebrew Torah makes no such correction for the sudden change in bird species.
  5. Finally, the land dries up. Either on the first day of the first month, or the 27th day of the 2nd month. Clearly, conservative math is not a new concept!

First version[edit]

  • Sunday: God creates light. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.[9]
  • Monday: God creates a firmament and divides the waters above it from the waters below. The firmament is named "heaven".[10]
  • Tuesday: God gathers the waters together, and dry land appears. "Earth" and "sea" are named. Then God brings forth grass, herbs and fruit-bearing trees on the Earth.[11]
  • Wednesday: God creates lights in the firmament of Heaven, to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made, as well as the stars.[12]
    • Note: God apparently wanted to make the most of humpday. The simple five-letter-word "stars" does not do justice to the monumental amount of work that must have been exerted to create the effectively countless numberWikipedia of stars in the observable Universe alone.
    • Note: "To be or not to be, that is the question."
  • Thursday: God creates birds and sea creatures, including "great sea serpents" or "great whales". They are commanded to be fruitful and multiply.[13]
  • Friday: God creates wild beasts (the goat came to be and there was much rejoicing), livestock and reptiles upon the Earth. He then creates Man and Woman in His "image" and "likeness". They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [or shepherd it: God seems to have mumbled a little at this part]." Humans and animals are given plants to eat. The totality of creation is described by God as "very good".[14]
  • Saturday: God finishes his work of creation, and rests from His work he reaches into his cooler, grabs a cold one and says "this day shall be for the boys."[15]

Second version[edit]

To complicate things the second chapter of Genesis beginning in Genesis 2:4 has a different creation story. In this one the order goes as follows:

  • Earth and heavens[16]
  • Mist and water on the earth[17]
  • Adam, the first man on what seems to be an empty earth[18]
  • Plants[19]
  • Animals[20]
  • Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)[21]

The Sun-Day Paradox[edit]

The Sun-Day Paradox[22] is the name given to a serious question asked of creationists who take a literal view of the Bible — in particular, Genesis 1. The question, in its simplest form, is 'What would happen if the Sun were to go out?' Since the Sun was created on the fourth day of Creation Week to rule part of an already established light/dark cycle—rather than be the source of that light — creationists must be of the view that nothing will change: day and night should continue in the same way as before[note 3]

In the debate between science and creationism, rather than arguing from different and opposing premises, this question raises an issue from within the logical confines that a literal belief in the Biblical creation story places upon itself. Furthermore, it is a question that applies equally to different forms of creationism such as Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism and Day-Age Creationism.


A peculiar detail can be seen in Genesis 1:14-15, which reads as follows:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.

Apparently the lights in the sky were also created to act as signs. The idea that the movement, configuration, and appearance of celestial bodies conveyed personal messages was really common in primitive societies. This idea is now generally referred to as astrology, which is forbidden and ridiculed in many other scriptural references. Genesis 1 apparently endorses astrological thinking.

Before Creation Week[edit]

There are a lot of things which predate Creation Week (6000 years ago). Items are given here, followed by when they were invented (In this case, animals and plants are listed when they were domesticated).

  • Stone tools (3 million years ago)
  • Fire (making it) (790,000 years ago)
  • Hafting (attaching handles to stone tools) (500,000 years ago)
  • Spear (400,000 years ago)
  • Mining (40,000 years ago)
  • Needle (40,000 years ago)
  • Drill (35,000 years ago)
  • Burin (35,000 years ago)
  • Fishhook (35,000 years ago)
  • Atlatl (spear thrower) (35,000 years ago)
  • Archery (30,000 years ago)
  • Paintbrush (30,000 years ago)
  • House (25,000 years ago)
  • Boomerang (20,000 years ago)
  • Pottery (15,000 years ago)
  • Dog domestication (13,000 years ago)
  • Trepanning (12,000 years ago)
  • Whistle (12,000 years ago)
  • Agriculture (11,000 years ago)
  • Oven (11,000 years ago)
  • Goat domestication (11,000 years ago)
  • Sheep domestication (10,000 years ago)
  • Wheat domestication (9,500 years ago)
  • Chisel (9,000 years ago)
  • Flax domestication (9,000 years ago)
  • Mortise-tenon Joint (9,000 years ago)
  • Sickle (9,000 years ago)
  • Pig domestication (9,000 years ago)
  • Drop spindle (tool for making thread or yarn) (~9,000 years ago)
  • Copper utilization (8,500 years ago)
  • Lead utilization (8,500 years ago)
  • Glue (8,200 years ago)
  • Cow (8,000 years ago)
  • Axe (8,000 years ago)
  • Drum (8,000 years ago)
  • Boat (8,000 years ago)
  • Weaving (7,500 years ago)
  • QuernWikipedia (7,000 years ago)
  • Leather (7,000 years ago)
  • Irrigation (7,000 years ago)
  • Loom (7,000 years ago)
  • Plow (7,000 years ago)
  • Seal (of a document) (6,500 years ago)

Jacob and genetics[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

In Genesis, Jacob for some reason wants his livestock to have speckled coats, so he forces them to eat in front of speckled rods (Genesis 30:37-40):

Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban's animals.

What we learned here is that the external markings of calves can thus be controlled by having their mothers look at markings on sticks when they are conceived. According to scripture, this actually works. However, anyone who didn't sleep through high school biology class will tell you that the coloring of livestock is completely independent from what color rods their parents stare at. Of course, it's best not to take things for granted, so testing should be done as prescribed by the passage. This would make an excellent topic for creationists to make new excuses for, and much joy could be had by all.

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Torah Summary & Analysis


  1. We're not saying that this sort of relationship won't work today, but he'd need a lot of stamina and some really willing partners to try it. It probably wouldn't work, unless you call them mistresses instead of concubines, because concubines may require some sort of formal ceremony/registrations.
  2. In case the context, which is rather vague since being a mistress does not preclude one from the ability to seduce a lover that one already has, does not make this obvious, "mistress" here means "owner's wife," not "lover."
  3. Or that we would see God, given that some have claimed as plants appeared before the Sun and they need it (ie, light) to perform photosynthesis the light of God replaced the Daystar.