RationalWiki:Annotated Bible/Genesis

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See the main article on this topic: Book of Genesis
The King James Versionaccept no originals substitutes!

Introduction to the King James Version[edit]

Many people who subscribe to the King James Only crowd, including nuts like Jack Chick, think that it is the only true, unadulterated Word of God. Yet, they seem (apparently) oblivious to the fact that the 1611 translators wrote a lengthy introduction, in which the 1611 translators themselves did not believe their translation was perfect and did not try and claim that other translations were unacceptable or wrong. While we encourage you to read the introduction for yourself, we will highlight a few bullet points here to show that the KJV translators themselves did not believe in KJV Only.

Intro text RationalWiki translation
"Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God."Other translations are perfectly fine.

"There be many words in the Scriptures, which be never found there but once, (having neither brother nor neighbour, as the Hebrewes speake) so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places. Againe, there be many rare names of certaine birds, beastes and precious stones, &c. concerning which the Hebrewes themselves are so divided among themselves for judgement, that they may seeme to have defined this or that, rather because they would say something, the because they were sure of that which they said, as S. Jerome somewhere saith of the Septuagint. Now in such a case, doth not a margine do well to admonish the Reader to seeke further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily?"We had no idea how to translate some words, which is why we translated re'em as "unicorn," just like that heathen Catholic Vulgate, even though it was later proven to be the aurochs.Wikipedia Yet, some people believe unicorns exist, even though we're admitting here we just had no idea how to render the word.

"An other thing we thinke good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that wee have not tyed our selves to an uniformitie of phrasing, or to an identitie of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men some where, have beene as exact as they could that way."We had to make some (very human) judgment calls on translation, like most translators do.

"But we desire that the Scripture may speake like it selfe, as in the language of Canaan, that it may bee understood even of the very vulgar."We had to use our own human intuition to try and render completely foreign languages into English.

"Many other things we might give thee warning of (gentle Reader) if wee had not exceeded the measure of a Preface alreadie."We had a bunch of of other issues, but this preface is getting too long [poorly implied: and we're confident no one a couple centuries later will think this is the last and final translation].

With that in mind, let's move on to the King James Version of the Holey Holy Bible.

Genesis Chapter 1 (God creates stuff)[edit]

Genesis 1:1[edit]

In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 Notes[edit]

Genesis 1:1 begins what is often called the Priestly account of creation, distinct from the story of Adam and Eve. Most modern scholars identify four distinct sources (writers or groups of writers) of the Pentateuch, each with their own style and a tendency to contradict each other: J, the Yahwist (writing in ~950 BCE), so called because it consistently refers to the deity by the Hebrew name Yahweh (יהוה, sometimes incorrectly transliterated as “Jehovah” and commonly rendered in English translation as “the Lord”); E, the Elohist (~850 BCE), which refers to the Big Guy as Elohim (“God”); D, the Deuteronomist (~600 BCE); and P, the Priestly source (~500 BCE). Additionally, Genesis has some very strong overlaps with older stories from Mesopotamia, Sumeria and Ancient Greece, such as the Eridu Genesis,[1] the Enuma Elish, the Epic of Atrahasis and the Epic of Gilgamesh, suggesting at least one of the authors was the plagiarist.

The Pentateuch is generally believed to have reached its final form with the additions by the Priestly source in or around the 500s BCE: fundamentalists tend to prefer to assume it was compiled by Moses in around 1,500 BCE from documentary sources written at the time of the events it describes.

It is instructive to compare the first creation myth with the second biblical creation myth which begins at Genesis 2:4.

Also, were this really the work of an omniscient deity, we'd at least see somewhere here clues of stuff such as the Big Bang, evolution both of galaxies and of the Universe's structure, the cosmic microwave background, formation and evolution of the Solar System, subatomic particles such as the Higgs boson, etc. and not what is just Bronze Age wisdom, so literalists would not have to cram in here modern scientific knowledge and failing so epically in the process.

One can quibble about the translation: the Hebrew text does not specify "the" beginning, but rather “in a beginning.”[2] This might raise the question: "which beginning?"[3] or "beginning of what?"[4]

Some people, most notably the LDS from which it was plagiarized taken by others, have also claimed the verses between Revelation 12:7 and Revelation 12:9 describe Satan's rebellion with one third of the angels against God, their defeat, and them being thrown from Heaven to Earth with such event having happened before this verse.

On a more technical level, if God creates the heavens and the earth in this verse then physical and chemical processes must have occurred. Light is given off by these chemical and physical reactions, since photons of light are emitted when electrons move between different orbital levels. Lots of light should have been emitted. Therefore, it would not be necessary to separately create light in the third verse.

Also on a humorous level, when people say, "In the beginning God(s) created the heavens and the earth" try asking them, "What did he make it out of?" In more formal terms, this is the problem of Ex Nihilo creation. When you create things, you generally have a starting material. It is one thing to claim that God started with some base material and made new things out of it. It is quite a different category of claim to say that God grabbed a handful of nothing and made something out of it. Of course, Genesis is conveniently silent on this matter because it didn't even occur to its authors, even if some literalists out there not only accept the former instead of the latter but also claim that, mixing in other Biblical verses, that as noted for Genesis 1:2 God was rebuilding everything after having destroyed the world once Judgement had been imposed on it (instead of that referring to the interval between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, as others defend)

Genesis 1:2[edit]

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 Notes[edit]

First off, why would God create a world that is "formless", without any dry land, when he could have just created it with dry land in some places and basins containing "seas" in others? Among other things, if the land had to emerge from the sea, this means the land would be soaked with sea water and would need to dry out before plants could grow or it could be inhabited by animals. Also, in this verse, it clearly says "...the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters". Therefore, some kind of vault of air and sky already existed, in which he could hover, even though God supposedly doesn't create such a vault until verse 6 and doesn't call it sky until verse 8. In the end, God dicks around until verse 10, unnecessarily gathering the waters together and supposedly separating some waters above the Earth from other waters below it, with a solid dome called the firmament that we know does not exist. Also, water doesn't need to be gathered in this way. In liquid form, it flows on its own due to gravity. The Earth did not start off with water either. This was accumulated later, once the Earth accreted out of the solar nebula and cooled sufficiently. The Genesis account is not even close to how the Earth actually formed, and sounds more like some pre-scientific ignorant neanderthal (most likely Bronze Age Middle Eastern shepherds) pulling wild theories out of his ass.

Believers in gap creationism slip a few million, or even billion, years between these two verses, while others claim just a few thousand years passed between each verse of Genesis 1, those two included. Even if we allow a long period of time between these verses, there still remains a problem: the Hebrew word for water in this verse is "מָ֫יִם" ("mayim"), which is the same word used to describe springs, wells, floods, rain, seas and used when people bathe and drink.[5] It is the same word used in this same chapter to describe the waters of the seas where the land is drawn from and where the fish originate. Water is made of two atoms, hydrogen and oxygen. According to modern cosmology, after the Big Bang, hydrogen was first atom formed through nucleosynthesis (next was helium and lithium). Within the vast cloud of hydrogen, the first stars take form due to gravity. Stars are fueled by nuclear fusion, turning hydrogen into heavier atoms and metals. This is where oxygen (and various other heavy atoms and metals from carbon to iron) are first formed in the Universe. Then when a massive star runs out of fuel, it explodes in a supernova and scatters the heavier atoms throughout the Universe, allowing hydrogen and oxygen to bond for the first time to create water.

In summary, stars must exist first in order for compounds like water to exist, but as we read on in Genesis, it says water already existed before the stars (or even light itself) were created. The authors of Genesis got this backwards.

It isn't particularly clear who created the darkness. This omission would later result in a series of comic books and two video games.

The phrase "spirit of god" (which for some means the Holy Spirit just because) and "moved upon the waters" is really referring to wind, because back then people thought air was of a spiritual, even divine quality, and so therefore anything conceivably atmospheric in nature could be used as an appropriate metaphor for the divine, in this case, the raging genocidal tyrant bumbling builder Yahweh.

As noted above, some claim there's an interval of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 even if in their case the former describes the Universe coming into existence, in a perfect way, and the latter the state of the world after God had judged and decided to destroy it presumably flooding it[6]. The implications of this are left to the reader to ponder.

Genesis 1:3[edit]

And God [Elohim] said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:3 Notes[edit]

(Read: And God said, "Well, 'bout time we lit this sumbitch up, yeah?")

Speaking does not cause what one says to magically happen. For all we know it was a coincidence. I could say, "Let the traffic light change to green". If it changes, at that very second, it still does not show that my words are the cause of the change. Ancient people apparently believed that a powerful ruler could utter commands so forcefully that they would become real. There is no evidence that this is true, and no plausible mechanism for it to happen this way. In reality, the words only describe what a person wants to happen, but do not make it happen on their own. It is a special pleading to say that God alone has this mysterious power.

In any event, God creates light before creating any light sources, such as the Sun or other stars. The Jehovah's Witnesses, who are old earth creationists, explain this away by saying that this verse refers to the early period in Earth's history when it was shrouded in dense clouds and some light reached the surface, but the Sun couldn't be seen clearly. However, this contradicts the Genesis account where the Sun is created on the fourth day. As with all apologetics, you can make up any excuses or conjectures you want when you don't have to show any textual evidence to justify your claim.

Likewise, in an example of Biblical scientific foreknowledge, some apologists have claimed this basically predicts the Big Bang theory, conveniently ignoring Genesis 1:1 and that the Heavens and Earth existed before light (i.e., before the Universe came into existence). But there is far more to the so-called Big Bang theory than what is described in Genesis, and scientists now believe that there are even better theories than the Big Bang.

Hilariously enough, making light this late in the game means that God created the heavens and Earth in the dark, two verses earlier. This perhaps explains why things were so badly designed, as in the case of him making the Earth formless and void and with no dry land in verse 2.

Also, technically there are many forms of light, such as heat, which are not visible to our eyes. We now know that light is just electromagnetic waves, some of which are detectable to our eyes, and some of which are not. Unless things were at absolute zero then some heat would be emitted and some light would have existed already as a consequence of the creation process. Liquid water seems to be described in verse 2, for example, so that means temperatures were above absolute zero, and therefore emitting light on the infrared spectrum.

Genesis 1:4[edit]

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:4 Notes[edit]

This verse hints that the writers of the Bible considered darkness to be a substance in its own right, the opposite of light, rather than just its absence. Also, presumably darkness already existed before God created light in Genesis 1:3, as in verse 2 where is says darkness was upon the face of the deep. Since there was no light until verse 3, it was automatically separate from light according to the story. Thus, the moment light was created in verse three, that should have been the evening and morning of the first day. Instead, God divides darkness in this verse, apparently creating a new occurrence of darkness, names day and night and then days Day 1 occurs.

Anyway, how would God "divide" darkness from light? With a razor blade, perhaps? There is no such thing as dividing darkness from light, nor is it clear what makes light "good".

Genesis 1:5[edit]

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:5 Notes[edit]

To recap: God created light, divided it from darkness, as if that even makes sense, and named the respective pieces Day and Night. This was all he managed on Day One — a fairly poor effort, particularly when compared to Day Four when he will create an estimated 300 sextillion stars just in the observable Universe. Anyway, we can only assume that God is just limbering up, because He's got a lot of work ahead of him if he's going to finish the universe before the weekend. Of course, He could take more time if He really wanted to, but previous Canaanite mythology used this same weeklong creation structure, so Hebrew scribes slavishly copied it.

Note that there will be no sun until day four, so it's not clear what this "Day" actually constitutes from a time perspective, or how there even could be an "evening" (from the Hebrew ereb which literally means "sun-set" and may or may not be a cognate to the linguistic root of "Europe", the "sunset-land").

Evening — check. Morning — check. They're even in the appropriate order for the Biblical day, which traditionally begins around local sundown/sunset/nightfall.[7] But there is no mention of the afternoon (unlike in Judges 19:8). Perhaps the afternoons are where all those billions of years fit in for stirring up the various galaxies and for piecing together RNA.

The naming here is also questionable. Day is not synonymous with light. If that were true then lighting a candle at night would make it day time again. Nobody, including the ancient Hebrews, believed that the mere presence of light automatically made it day time. What made it day time was the presence of the Sun in the sky, which is not even created until Day 4.

Night is similarly not synonymous with dark. It is another bad definition. If you walk into a dark cave that doesn’t make it night time, even if there is no light.

Genesis 1:6[edit]

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Genesis 1:6 Notes[edit]

Firmament, from the Latin firmamentum, "something which strengthens or supports". The firmament references obsolete astronomical models and was a solid structure on which the stars were mounted, which divided the sky from heaven. The Old Testament is consistent in referring to this ancient Babylonian model, where the Earth was a flat and motionless disc and rested on pillars that suspended it over nothing, and the Firmament was a dome above it with various doors and storehouses for rain and hail: this is alluded to in Job, and described in detail in the apocryphal 2 Enoch.

Genesis 1:7[edit]

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

Genesis 1:7 Notes[edit]

The "water above the firmament" is cited by some as the source of the water in the Biblical flood. However, this is problematic for a number of reasons. Such a layer of water would block sunlight. Another problem is related to the weight of the water. Water is heavy, and placing enough water above us to flood the entire planet would have resulted in Adam and Eve effectively living in a giant pressure cooker, or to be more precise, being dead and nicely broiled in a giant pressure cooker.

When interpreting the story as a creation myth, it's obvious that the bit about the "water above" is intended to explain the source of rain. This would imply that the writers believed that rainwater comes from beyond the stars (since the stars are in the Firmament, which the water is behind). It also provides an answer to the eternal old question, “Why is the sky blue?” It’s because of all the water up there!

Note also how all that water may be up there but until the Flood it did not rain and precipitation was dew-like, provided by mist coming from the soil, as described in Genesis 2:6. Considering what has been noted for Genesis 1:2, it seems this has been set up such way to drown everything and everyone if this new attempt goes bad too.

Genesis 1:8[edit]

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Genesis 1:8 Notes[edit]

It would have been nice if God had at least bothered to choose a name that conveyed what is actually the firmament. Supposedly the heavens were already created in verse 1 of this chapter, so it is strange that firmament, which separates heaven from Earth would not be created until many verses later. Calling the firmament Heaven is also simply not true. The firmament SEPARATES heaven and earth. That does not mean that it IS heaven. This is like confusing a book shelf with the books that it holds.

Genesis 1:9[edit]

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Genesis 1:9 Notes[edit]

Some literalists out there say this refers to Pangaea. Or maybe it's simply the Bronze Age cosmological model of a flat Earth with a land mass surrounded by oceans, everything under the aforementioned dome-like sky — you decide. That creationists are always in tow of scientists, even if some of the former praise Genesis for describing the origin of everything so simplistically, and not vice-versa should give a hint about the credibility of the idea of the Bible being a scientific book.

Genesis 1:10[edit]

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:10 Notes[edit]

To a Bronze Age author, it probably seemed plausible that there was only one area of "dry land". But obviously, there are several continents which are not hinted at in this verse.

Genesis 1:11[edit]

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:11 Notes[edit]

The use of the vague term "kind" in this and subsequent verses is the justification for the pseudoscience of Baraminology. The Genesis writers seems to think that there were three types of plants that included, grass, herbs, and fruit trees. But in fact there are millions of different species of plants.

Genesis 1:12[edit]

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:12 Notes[edit]

It would have been nice if the all-knowing God who it's said to have inspired this work had at least mentioned in passing that plants need sunlight to make photosynthesis and thrive, as the Sun is still not shining (wait until Genesis 1:16 to have it).

Some literalists have said that the light of God was replacing it until the Daystar was made, but of course even if this is related to the original Hebrew text, that claims Yahweh is the source of light for the Sun and the Moon further down in Genesis 1:16, this has problems of its own (ie, why the Sun was needed in such case?). Likewise, such people (often conveniently) ignore the background in which such texts were composed when taking them literally.

Genesis 1:13[edit]

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Genesis 1:13 Notes[edit]

i.e. that's it for that day (wait a minute, where did days come from?).

Genesis 1:14[edit]

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Genesis 1:14 Notes[edit]

One of the stated purposes for the stars is "for signs." However, interpreting these signs will be explicitly forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10-14 — and if interpreting a sign is prohibited, then it's not much of a sign. The most common rebuttal to this is that it means navigational signs rather than astrological signs, but legitimate Bible scholars are fairly unanimous that this is not what is being talked about here and it means the astrological signs, some of which God will go on to name in Job.

Note also that the model places these objects in the firmament, which would mean flood models that claim the firmament was destroyed during the flood to explain why we haven't found this structure (even though Ezekiel says it's still there) would require there no longer be any stars in the sky.

Genesis 1:15[edit]

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:15 Notes[edit]

The Sun does not just give light to the Earth. The oceans of the Earth would freeze over without the heat from the Sun. The Sun drives our weather patterns and also incidentally holds us gravitationally bound so that we don't fly off into interstellar space.

If the purpose of the stars, likewise, is to "give light upon the earth," then why are we only able to see a trivial number of them with the naked eye and most of them are so faint that they are hard to see even on clear, dark nights?

Science has so far catalogued billions of stars, and some estimates suggest there are as many as 300 sextillion just in the observable Universe. However, only about 2000 are visible unaided, and they certainly don't provide much in the way of usable light (at least not to humans).

And what about the lack of details on those bodies, such as some of them (planets) being much more than mere moving stars? Why that stars can be very different from the Sun, the existence of galaxies (even if a couple of them can be seen with the naked eye), or the true nature of the Milky Way are not even mentioned in passing? This stinks again of what Bronze Age authors knew (and, perhaps of greater relevance, what they didn’t know)

Besides having said the beauty of Genesis is that it's so simple, some apologists have also claimed this book lacks so many details as some concepts as "billions of years" (refreshing at least to see they are not YECs) were far beyond the grasp of its writers so God prefered to leave things such way (even if that does not explain why, for example, God could have told them there are far more stars than those visible with the eyes or that the Moon is another world that is very far away by Bronze Age standards, and has mountains but He preferred to be silent even about that.)

Genesis 1:16[edit]

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Genesis 1:16 Notes[edit]

Let's recap the sequence of events:

  1. God creates light.
  2. God creates plants (which require sunlight).
  3. God creates stars (again!).
  4. God creates the Sun.

Seems legit. Note that this verse confuses the issue of what was created first: the Sun or all other stars. There is a pretty simple reason for this, which is that at the time the sun was not thought of as a star, but that doesn't really fit the "Bible is science" mindset as not mentioning that the Sun is far more massive and much larger than Earth.

God creates stars almost as an afterthought. Considering that the Bible is the word of God, why is the knowledge of the universe shown here limited to that which would have been available to a common person of the time? It is certainly not the knowledge indicative of an omniscient God, or at the very least one who held knowledge people of that epoch did not have.

The Moon does not emit light, but merely reflects that of the Sun. Furthermore, the Moon spends half of its time moving across the daytime sky.

See notes for Genesis 1:2 above concerning the stars.

According to the other wikiWikipedia, the use of "lights" instead of "Sun" and "Moon" is typically considered to have been intended against the widespread belief of these times of both being deities, so Yahweh would get all the worship instead. This idea is reinforced with the original text in Hebrew using a term that is equal to just one source of light for both, and suggests the Sun and the Moon shone because of Him providing light. It does not mean as some apologetics have claimed the writers of Genesis knew the Moon just reflects (sun)light, even if to be somewhat fair during Classical Greece timesWikipedia and presumably still earlier on it was already known lunar phases were caused by the disposition of the Sun, the Moon, and Earth (it can be guessed by moving something spherical around a light source).

Genesis 1:17[edit]

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

Genesis 1:17 Notes[edit]

See notes for Genesis 1:15 above.

Genesis 1:18[edit]

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:18 Notes[edit]

The idea of dividing light from darkness, first introduced in Genesis 1:4, is repeated here. However, they have it totally wrong. On a spherical globe, it is the Earth itself that divides the Sun's light into day and night. This makes the day and night measurement scheme used in Genesis effectively meaningless beyond this point, because it is always day on some part of the Earth and always night somewhere else.

Genesis 1:19[edit]

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 1:19 Notes[edit]

Actually, the first evening: the sun was only created today, remember?

Genesis 1:20[edit]

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:20 Notes[edit]

Let me get this straight. The Genesis authors seem to be seriously suggesting that birds were created out of water. Also the phrase "open firmament of heaven" makes no sense. They mean the air (i.e. sky) below the firmament that separates heaven from earth.

Genesis 1:21[edit]

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21 Notes[edit]

God creates fish, birds, and marine mammals at once. We now know that amphibians, reptiles, and land mammals predate birds and marine mammals in the fossil record. It is funny that God takes special time to create great whales.

Genesis 1:22[edit]

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Genesis 1:22 Notes[edit]

This verse implies that reproduction existed before The Fall. Many fundamentalists ignore it because they want sex to be a result of the introduction of sin into the world. However, this also causes one to wonder what would occur if the fall never happened, and Adam and Eve instead chose to reproduce while living eternally, resulting in their youth also living eternally and multiplying and so and so fourth. DarkMatter2525 spoofed this idea in a video from 2012, where humans are so vast in number they double as an entire layer of the planet.[8]

For the record, according to the Population Reference Bureau, "About 117 billion members of our species have ever been born on Earth."[9] Even assuming death rates have not effected fertility (as in: Nobody has died who would go on to reproduce on the condition they remained alive), that would be an absurdly large number of people to share a planet with, and that is not even getting into the space animals would need to take up.

Genesis 1:23[edit]

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Genesis 1:23 Notes[edit]

God takes a whole day to create these sea creatures and birds, but why? What purpose does it serve in the Early creation to have whales swimming around in the middle of the ocean? And why do you need a bunch of them? They simply seem to be describing the animals they see in the world, but why were they necessary?

Genesis 1:24[edit]

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Genesis 1:24 Notes[edit]

The cow is a domesticated animal bred by humans from the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), yet here the Bible says it was created before humans. Also the mention of "cattle" is a little awkward for Baraminology: "cattle" are specifically Bos taurus, and so here the Bible contradicts their own claims by having "kind" mean "species". If "kind" is upped to "family" with cattle (as it usually is), this provides some huge problems for the creationist non-acceptable of "macroevolution", since they have just admitted a gazelle (Gazella spp.) and a cow share a common ancestor.

Genesis 1:25[edit]

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25 Notes[edit]

What makes it good to have cattle and a bunch of other land creatures, including predators? From a human perspective, this is decidedly not good.

Genesis 1:26[edit]

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:26 Notes[edit]

That's nice, but what the hell does it mean to have "dominion" over fish or birds? They certainly don't do what we say. Does it mean that we can eat them if we catch them? Other predators presumably already did that without God's special permission.

The "us" used in this chapter is unique in Genesis for God referring to him/itself. Several theories exist:

  • it is a reference to a pantheon of gods. Scholars know that the ancient Hebrews, like other Semitic people of the time, worshipped many gods, YHWH likely being the war-god of the pantheon. Evidence of this is found in the Hebrew script itself (the stuff you're reading, right now, translated to English). The word "god" in Semitic languages derives from the root word ʾEl, meaning a deity or god in the singular sense of a particular deity, also used by the Canaanites. The suffix -im denotes a masculine plural in Biblical Hebrew, i.e. more than one god. (Hebrew grammar allows the, quite probable, possibility that the speaker here is the "chief" deity over a pantheon of multiple gods. So, although there are multiple gods, the Elohim "speaker" here is the most high and powerful.) It was only centuries later, due to the work of men like Ezra and King Josiah, that the obvious grammar would be handwaved away, and YHWH would not just become the the supreme deity, but the only one.
  • it is a royal we, a formal we. Just as many languages have a "tu" (informal and singular) and a "vous" (formal or plural), so too do many languages have a formal we (in English, nurses and kings are famous for using this person). This does raise the question of who God is supposed to be talking to, though.
  • It is a reference to the Trinity, even though that concept would not be "revealed" (read: nicked from Hinduism by the early Catholic Church) for thousands of years and the Holy Spirit isn't usually thought of as humanoid. The same can be said of Genesis 1:1, where "Elohim" is interpreted by some as actually referring to the same concept. This idea has been carried further by some Fundies, who claim that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were together with God during all the events of the Old Testament, even if such idea certainly has issues.
  • God is talking to the angels serving Him.

Genesis 1:27[edit]

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27 Notes[edit]

Christian apologetics diverges over the meaning of this verse when combined with the verses in Genesis 2 (which also cover the creation of humanity). Literalists regard this verse either as merely a foreshadowing of the events in Chapter 2, and thus believe that all humans descend directly from Adam and Eve (of course, this creates later problems due to Biblical references to various other people) or as mankind being created spiritually before everything else existed, in line with Jeremiah 1:5 and similar other examples, with the making of the physical bodies being described in Genesis 2:7. However, this ideaWikipedia is rejected by almost all Christian denominations, having been considered Anathema for almost 1,500 years.

The so-called "liberal" Christian viewpoint sees this as a symbolic verse, as a generalized description of God's creation of humanity. This viewpoint thus avoids many of the textual contradictions inherent in the literalist perspective of this verse, which fundamentalist Christians base on, along with the next four verses', to express their transphobic views.

A tradition of scholarship associates Genesis 1:27 with the Divine Creation of hermaphoditism and transsexualism.[10] One can only imagine how the "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" mantra would ramify if the English translation of this verse had read "male or female created he them"…

The mention here of "female" led some Rabbis to claim while the "male" is Adam, she is a different woman to Eve.

Genesis 1:28[edit]

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:28 Notes[edit]

Genesis 1 probably had a different author to Genesis 2-3, or they may have been different variations of the creation myth which were later united. Indeed, this exact same covenant is actually made with Noah at the beginning of Genesis 9. In Genesis 2 and 3, man was created alone, and woman sometime later, and no "multiplying" took place (at least between the man and the woman) until after they were expelled from the Garden.

This verse and those like it are used by some creationists such as Ray Comfort to justify that the Earth and nature was created just for mankind. They neglect to mention that nature is very capable of killing people and some environments like the ocean (as we soon find out in Noah's flood) are extremely hostile for people. That and some plants, animals, and other organisms are also quite capable of killing people. There are some parasites that cannot complete their lifecycle without infecting a human host, sometimes to the detriment of the host.

This and Genesis 38:9-10 are the verses where anti-contraception comes from, by the way.

Also, wait a minute! Genesis 3:15-24 shows God cursing man and woman as he throws them out of his Garden, saying they'll have it rough from here on out — not blessing them with bounty! So which is it, literalists?

Genesis 1:29[edit]

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Genesis 1:29 Notes[edit]

This presumably would include cannabis, tobacco, the coca leaf, and opium poppy. Exempt from this category would be pharmaceutical controlled substances and synthetic cannabis, commonly known as "spice". That and it presumably does not include plants or plant products that are highly toxic to humans.

Genesis 1:30[edit]

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Genesis 1:30 Notes[edit]

Tigers, lions, tyrannosaurs? They just ate really dangerous plants. That their teeth are profoundly unsuited for this just shows one of the mysterious ways in which God works.

Genesis 1:31[edit]

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31 Notes[edit]

Good, until God decides to wreck the whole thing with the flood because of Man's sin… which he should've known about in the first place being you know, omniscient. Also, why did God need six days to do everything if he was so all powerful? Isn't this just wasting time?

Some Fundies have claimed the days described here are outside human understanding, not literal days, citing 2 Peter 3:8. Of course why something similar cannot be said of other stories of Genesis, especially the Adam and Eve's one, is anyone's guess.

Genesis Chapter 2 (God creates Adam and Eve)[edit]

Genesis 2:1[edit]

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Genesis 2:1 Notes[edit]

The intelligent designers of the Tale of Genesis haven't told us much about hosts yet, but a spot of foreshadowing never hurt a literary work.

Genesis 2:2[edit]

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Genesis 2:2 Notes[edit]

This is stolen from the Sumerian Enuma Elish, the oldest known creation myth. In this myth, the world is not created in six days, but by six generations of gods. The sixth generation created man from their own blood ("adamah" meaning "red dirt") to continue the world of the gods, so that the seventh generation of gods could rest. Plagiarize much?

Genesis 2:3[edit]

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Genesis 2:3 Notes[edit]

William Blake's "God blessing the seventh day" (1805)

Now if you believe in the "one day is x zillion years" like some Old Earth Creationsts espouse, does that mean god twiddled his thumbs for millennia? And if the "seventh day" is actually zillions of years, then what is the point of the Sabbath?

Genesis 2:4[edit]

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God [YHWH-Elohim] made the earth and the heavens,

Genesis 2:4 Notes[edit]

This shift marks a second author in the text, note the use of the name "YHWH-Elohim" LordGod.

This is also the beginning of a separate creation myth. See Creation Week.

Here the word "Lord" (a later development, the most common word in Semitic languages for "lord" was the infamous "ba'al") came from editors who later thought that speaking the name of God aloud was blasphemy, and thereby substituted the Hebrew word 'adonay (אדוני, literally, "my lord") in the text. Saying "the Lord God" in English translations is simply a gloss to to show that the Lord, YHWH, is a god (i.e., divine).

Genesis 2:5[edit]

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Genesis 2:5 Notes[edit]

This verse implies that the author believed that agriculture was practiced since the dawn of humanity. We now know that agriculture was invented around 9500 BCE, and for most of their history humans lived as hunter-gatherers.

Another implication of this verse is that it never rained before, water presumably being supplied by the mist described in the next verse. Some literalists, in fact, have claimed this was the case and before the Flood rain was unknown.

Genesis 2:6[edit]

But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Genesis 2:6 Notes[edit]

This verse as the previous one also suggests that rain is a product of the Fall (or rather the Flood as noted above), as before it precipitation was dew-like.

Genesis 2:7[edit]

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7 Notes[edit]

The "dust of the ground" is actually the decaying organic remains of previously living organisms, mixed with eroded particles of rocks and minerals. This should not yet exist, since nothing has died, nor had the time to be eroded. Maybe God just magically brought the first dirt into existence so that he could have the necessary potting soil for his garden and all. If that is the case, he could have also just magically brought mankind into existence too without needing to slap him together like a mud pie. However, the authors seem to want to explain the origin of the Hebrew word Adamah, which means dirt/ground. Also, older Sumerian myths had the first people being made out of clay, and the writers almost certainly were influenced by these stories.

See How come there are still monkeys? if you don't want to answer "How come there is still dust of the ground?"

As mentioned above, at Genesis 1:27, some literalists say this refers just to the physical body with the non-physical having been shaped by then.

Genesis 2:8[edit]

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Genesis 2:8 Notes[edit]

Eastward of what? The writer is probably thinking of where the Sun rises, which is in the east, and believes this is an absolute direction. Primitive people would not know that, on a spherical Earth, there is always something to your east, making this reference pretty useless.

Genesis 2:9[edit]

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:9 Notes[edit]

Most translations are worded similarly, in that there are two different trees.

The tree of knowledge is the "bad" one, which God tells Adam not to eat. The tree of life will let Adam live forever, but eating from it is permitted until Adam eats from the tree of knowledge.

Genesis 2:10[edit]

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

Genesis 2:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 2:10-14, the abrupt interruption of the story of man to describe four rivers with pseudo-legalistic verbiage is generally accepted as evidence of the third author (the Priests) inserting "important" nonsense.

Genesis 2:11[edit]

The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

Genesis 2:11 Notes[edit]

The description of Havilah matches the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf. Pison (Pishon) most likely refers to a major river which once flowed through Wadi al-RummahWikipedia and Wadi al-Batin.Wikipedia

Genesis 2:12[edit]

And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

Genesis 2:12 Notes[edit]

The relationship of the presence of bdellium (a gum exuded by trees, and so decidedly not metallic) to the quality of gold is rather unclear. Anyway, this is supposed to be a religious document, not a pirate's treasure map.

Genesis 2:13[edit]

And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

Genesis 2:13 Notes[edit]

"Ethiopia" is a KJV translation of the Hebrew term "Kush" or "Gush". This is geographically nonsensical, since Ethiopia is in a different drainage basin than all other rivers mentioned here. The modern interpretation is that "Kush" refers to the homeland of Kassites,Wikipedia a tribe which invaded from the east and took control of Mesopotamia in 1531 BCE, and therefore Gihon refers to Karun,Wikipedia the largest river of Iran.

Genesis 2:14[edit]

And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

Genesis 2:14 Notes[edit]

The information on rivers would place Eden under the waters of the Persian Gulf.[11] The water level in the gulf rose considerably between 5000 and 4000 BCE, gradually submerging a heavily populated and fertile area, which is possibly also the origin of the flood myth.

Genesis 2:15[edit]

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Genesis 2:15 Notes[edit]

Why does God need a human laborer to take care of his Garden for him? If he didn't want to take care of it himself, maybe he shouldn't have planted it in the first place.

Genesis 2:16[edit]

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Genesis 2:16 Notes[edit]

The verse numbering here is very convenient. By stopping the verse here it makes it sound one way, but then God sneaks a restriction into the next verse. Recall that Genesis 1:29 said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." He didn't mention any additional restrictions at that time. This new statement makes it sound like he is reiterating his prior statement in a less long-winded and nitpicky way. But you can tell that there may be a catch this time. The end punctuation is a further clue that a bait and switch is about to be sprung.

Genesis 2:17[edit]

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:17 Notes[edit]

"Adam and Eve" by William Blake (1808)

So "Why is that friggin' tree even there in the first place?" And even if it has to be (for some reason), why does it have to be so easy to access? NonStampCollector spoofed this in his video "Genesis (take #1)" where he instead imagined God creating "The stinking bog of the knowledge of good and evil" and having no issue doing so due to their natural disgust to the area in question.[12] However, even if one insists that God must have created the tree and must have put no safeguards to make sure Adam and Eve did not consume from it (greatly limiting the power of the all powerful), NonStampCollector again notes that the fall still would not have occurred on the condition he did not allow the serpent into the Garden of Eden.[13]

Note the threat: "…thou shalt surely die." Adam goes on to eat the fruit and most certainly does not die. He surely does not die in a literal, 24 hour day, and since this is addressed to Adam, the apologetic that God really meant 1000 years, which is like a day for him, (as per creative interpretations of Psalms 90:4) also does not seem plausible. Also note that God says nothing about touching the fruit causing death, but later Eve claims this was part of the prohibition too in Genesis 3:3.

Had God been truthful, this verse should have read as, "I will choose to make it so you and all your descendants die if you do that and I'll put that snake dude in charge of eternal torment for y'all, then after messing around for a while I'll kill most of you, mess up your language, kill more of you, then eventually come up with an extremely complicated set of rules for you to follow to come back, then, like, in a few thousand years I'll realise I kind of fucked up and that doesn't work, then, like, your descendants nail me to a cross and…" all while Adam looks on in utter bewilderment.

The structure of the warning implies that the death will be a direct result of eating the fruit (occurring the same day, even), and not the result of God actively choosing to bar Adam and Eve from another tree that makes them live forever.

The obvious problem here, of course, is it's a Catch-22: it's impossible to know that defying God is wrong without knowing right from wrong, and it's impossible to know right from wrong without defying God. Some interpretations of the scripture argue that man's fall was actually a necessary part of the Divine Plan (with one line of reasoning being that it was needed to get the serpent out of the Garden, though this leads to obvious questions of what it was doing there in the first place), handwaving how it is depicted as shameful.

Overall the tale closely parallels the Greek myth of the Titan Prometheus' tussles with Zeus in defence of humanity; the ancient Israelites were more authoritarian, and so humans are the bad guys for disobeying God's arbitrary rules and seeking knowledge, rather than the serpent being the good guy for pointing out something that's true on all but the most technical of levels. Another difference is how in Prometheus' myth, Zeus ends up forgiving such Titan except in some retellings where Zeus forces Prometheus to wear an iron ring around his neck as reminder of his punishment.

And how is Adam supposed to know what dying is or that it's bad, in a world where it has never happened to anyone or anything? God might as well have said he would "blorn" or "truddle."

Genesis 2:18[edit]

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:18 Notes[edit]

If God is right that it is not good for man to be alone, then this suggests that He was the author of an imperfect creation. He should have known this from the start and made two dirt people, instead of engaging in trial and error. Anyway, why is it not good? God was alone.

Genesis 2:19[edit]

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Genesis 2:19 Notes[edit]

This is a nice point to consider the contradictions between the first two chapters of Genesis. Spanning Genesis 1:21:26, you see the animals created first. Here, mankind is created before the beasts. Also, why does God need to "see" what Adam will call the animals? Surely he already knows, as if it makes any difference, what pattern of random noises Adam assigns for each animal name. Did God really think that a sloth or crow would be a good helper or mate for Adam, as if this was even possible?

Genesis 2:20[edit]

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:20 Notes[edit]

So rather than just creating a mate of the same species for Adam as he had presumably already done for every other species, God has Adam run though and name about 1.5 million species and see if he wants to have sex with any of them, even though these could not result in offspring. Since God will later say bestiality is punishable by death for both participants, was this just another "test"? Are we to believe that God created all these animals for no other reason than just to be pets for Adam? It is doubtful that a grizzly bear, or a skunk, or a porcupine ever would have made a great pet.

Also, who named the fish or assorted deep sea critters? Did they all swim up to shore and parade in front of Adam one by one?

Genesis 2:21[edit]

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Genesis 2:21 Notes[edit]

This is probably pulled from another Sumerian myth where the god Enki trespassed on a sacred garden and tasted forbidden fruits, and was cursed by the goddess Ninhursag: later, she forgive him and bore seven daughters to heal his seven wounds. One, Ninti, was the "daughter born of the rib," because she was born to close the wound in his side.

There're also rumors that "rib" is actually a mistranslation of "penis" -one just hopes Adam would have it growing back- or rather the baculumWikipedia, a bone present in the penis of many mammals that humans lack with this explaining why is not present on them and with the perineal rapheWikipedia, a ridge of tissue between the anus and the scrotum, being the resultant scar.

Genesis 2:22[edit]

And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Genesis 2:22 Notes[edit]

William Blake's "The Creation of Eve: 'And She shall be called Woman'" (c. 1803-1805)

Biblical literalists have no problem believing that a whole woman was made from a rib in a single step. But tell them that a long series of minor changes changed a monkey into a marginally more intelligent monkey and either it's just too outlandish to believe or they'll say it's a belief despite the overwhelming evidence supporting said theory much unlike this verse.

Genesis 2:23[edit]

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:23 Notes[edit]

Presumably the original Hebrew word for woman means "of man," but the English word certainly doesn't, the construction is from Old English (wifman) where it meant something like "woman-human:" "wif" (root of "wife") was a word for women, but apparently not seen as adequate on its own, "man" was regarded as gender-neutral.

Genesis 2:24[edit]

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 Notes[edit]

Isn't there a big question to be asked here? At this point in the story, what the hell is a father and/or mother? This verse lends support to the idea that Genesis is simply another creation myth written long after the purported events are supposed to have occured rather than divine revelation.

Genesis 2:25[edit]

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:25 Notes[edit]

So what? If Michelangelo is at all reputable, then David didn't mind having his junk dangling in the wind either.

As can also be seen here, the tradition of going skyclad has certainly been a long one.

Also, the fact that they were not ashamed isn't really the issue. Either it is right to walk around naked or it is not. When they finally eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the only knowledge they seem to gain is that they are naked and they don't feel good about it. So if it is wrong for them to be naked, then why does God not tell them to cover their junk?

Genesis Chapter 3 (Adam and Eve screw it up, for everyone, for all time)[edit]

Genesis 3:1[edit]

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God (YHWH-Elohim) had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God (Elohim) said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:1 Notes[edit]

William Blake's Eve Tempted by the Serpent"

Why would the serpent be "more anything" than other creatures? Did God not make them all perfect. If not, why not?

Christian tradition (as opposed to Judaism) identifies the Serpent with Satan, the Devil, due to similar temptation-related incidents elsewhere in the Bible, which explicitly involve Satan in the role of tempter.

The Serpent also has sexual connotations, due to its phallic symbolism, and its luring of Eve and Adam to forbidden pleasures, which lead to shame and ruin, their awareness of nudity and sexual reproduction.

If the serpent is Satan and Satan cannot tempt people without God's consent (as is set forth in later books such as Job), then this was one big setup for Eve and Adam.

When one comes across a talking animal in a text, one might well assume one had stumbled on a children's story or on a traditional myth/legend/fable. At any rate, one might take the presence of a talking beast as a marker of fiction or of some sort of allegory or metaphor. But no need in the case of this verse, because Satandidit. Hence one can take a talking serpent literally, and read the Book of Genesis as sober history.

As an aside, some evangelical pastors out there in the finest tradition of PIDOOMA mention that when Satan was cast out of Heaven he went to that place (this stuff takes place in Earth, just in case you thought Eden is a place out of space and time) because this is the only planet of the Universe with life (one guesses because the Bible does not mention other life-bearing planets). Compare this with the Catholic Church ideas of aliens, if they did exist, being free of original sin.

Genesis 3:2[edit]

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Genesis 3:2 Notes[edit]

An interesting point here is the cool way that Eve reacts. Most people would say something like: "Bloody hell! a talking snake! That's something you don't see every day!" Not Eve — she coolly goes ahead and has a conversation with the ranting reptile and even takes religious instruction from it. Perhaps all animals talked and were sentient before the fall? Perhaps she took it for granted because, being innocent, she didn't know any better… just like she wouldn't have known better than to not eat the forbidden fruit?

Was the serpent even a snake, at this point? This was before he/it got all accursed of God and was transformed into crawling in the dirt on its belly. Maybe the serpent was even human in aspect(?) The Gnostic tradition has the whole creation being a botch job by an inept subcontractor, IHVH, with the more universal God, Sophia (Wisdom) entering the zoo to try to put things right and stop man being simply a childlike pet of a deluded despot and gain the potential to be a free-willed expression of the supporting Universe. The Gnostic tradition also says, "Hey, it's just a story."

Genesis 3:3[edit]

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Genesis 3:3 Notes[edit]

Of course, to Eve — at least at this point — the concept of death was as meaningless as the concepts of internal combustion, taxation, or flossing. She had no practical experience with death, and neither did God explain what death may mean. Hence, it was impossible for her to make a truly informed choice.

Secondly, as per Genesis 2:9, there are two trees in the midst of the garden, not just one. According to Eve's answer it sounds like she thinks there is just one tree in the midst of the garden. So how could she even tell which tree was which, especially if there are two different trees? There could not have been a sign, because writing had not yet been invented, nor would Adam and Eve have learned to read.

Also as can be seen in the text, the forbidden fruit is not identified. It has traditionally been identified with an apple, as in Latin "apple" and "evil" are written similarly (mālum and mălum respectively), however alternative ones as the pomegranate or the fig have also been suggested (see more hereWikipedia)

Additionally, we were told in Genesis 2:15 that humans were created to be caretakers of the garden. So it seems strange that there is a tree that they are not supposed to even touch. Plus, how does touching a tree or eating a fruit confer knowledge? More magic, presumably?

Genesis 3:4[edit]

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Genesis 3:4 Notes[edit]

For the record, the Bible makes no mention of Eve's death, so she could well still be alive for all we know, and after Genesis ends she's not mentioned again in the Old Testament. (Spoiler alert: Adam's age at his death is specifically stated in Genesis 5:5)

Genesis 3:5[edit]

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:5 Notes[edit]

And, what do you know — Satan the serpent was telling the truth. God had wanted to keep this secret and had made an idle threat about "…in the day thou eatest thereof" etc. Excuses involving the serpent knowing what God would do have the minor issue, in a Christian interpretation, of meaning that God must act in a way predicted by Satan, which is not exactly in line with the claim of omnipotence.

Genesis 3:6[edit]

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6 Notes[edit]

Knowing what would bring that fruit, it had better be really tasty. Anyway, as seen here, this looks like something set up by God to get rid of both. Maybe those fundies who claim evolution is BS and this story is the Absolute and Unique Truth™ could explain how it feels to descend of two persons so naïve who were so easily deceived, not to mention to be a degenerate version of what were the first and (physically at least) most perfect man and woman until Jesus came around.

Genesis 3:7[edit]

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:7 Notes[edit]

You read it here first in the Bible — the concept of wearing nothing but an apron.[14] It was first invented in this passage. Also, if it is immoral to be naked, why would a morally perfect God allow humans to remain unclothed up until this point? Clearly He could have made them clothes from the moment of creation, like He later does after the Fall in Genesis 3:21, or He could have instructed them to make and wear clothes.

Genesis 3:8[edit]

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:8 Notes[edit]

Yes, God was apparently trundling around the garden. The Bible does not make it clear if he was wearing a cardigan or not, but that would be pretty cool. But presumably he should have been fully clothed in some kind of outfit because God would know that being naked was wrong.

Genesis 3:9[edit]

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Genesis 3:9 Notes[edit]

It's interesting to note here that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing God has to play hide-and-seek with Adam and Eve in this verse. Marcion of Sinope took this as justification for his claim that the God presented in the Old Testament was in fact not omniscient or omnipresent — not cool at all.

Genesis 3:10[edit]

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:10 Notes[edit]

So Adam hides, and then promptly reveals himself simply because "the LORD God" asked nicely. Also, what happened to his apron?

Genesis 3:11[edit]

And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Genesis 3:11 Notes[edit]

God's question here is an argument against his omniscience — why should he have to ask at all if they ate from the tree?

The question is particularly odd given that no other source of knowledge in the garden is even mentioned to exist.

Also, didn't God say back in Genesis 1:29, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."?

Genesis 3:12[edit]

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Genesis 3:12 Notes[edit]

Adam's decision to blame anyone but himself sets the pattern for later Biblical patriarchs.

Genesis 3:13[edit]

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Genesis 3:13 Notes[edit]

If God is omniscient, he wouldn't have had to ask that question.

Genesis 3:14[edit]

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Genesis 3:14 Notes[edit]

Because of its role in the Fall, the Serpent and all later snakes have to crawl on the ground. God must have liked gilding the lily adding feet to snakes so that He can remove them later.

So the snake crawls on its belly only after it's cursed! How did it move about before? Also, why are the cattle cursed too? For that matter, since in the Christian interpretation the Serpent is actually one of God's angels, why did God curse snakes at all? (Protip: it's because the Serpent and Satan are two different figures in the Old Testament). And "all the days of its life?" Satan isn't mortal…

The ability of speech for all snakes is also lost, but is not explicitly mentioned. So God is to blame for starting the practice of the "fine print". Or that we all talk like snakes before the Tower of Babel.

Snakes, generally speaking, enjoy a diet far more varied than dirt, and crawling along their "belly" in undergrowth makes them an even more effective predator than they would have been if they had legs. Good job God! But actually legless snakes, their fossil ancestors that had legs,[15] and relictual legs on extant snakes is evidence for evolution.[16]

Also, argument against God's omniscience: an omniscient God would know about the impending flood (in case it is not obvious enough, He caused it), and as such the punishment can simply be an order for Noah not to bring any onto the ark.

It is also interesting to note how besides the Serpent not being addressed as the Devil as noted above, it will not appear again in the rest of the Old Testament and only in the New one if you follow the usual identification of Satan with it.

Genesis 3:15[edit]

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15 Notes[edit]

This verse has provoked fringe theories (serpent seed doctrine) since the days of the early Gnostic writings, with the main idea being that Cain was Eve's son by the Serpent rather than by Adam, a theory rejected as heresy by the early church fathers and all mainstream Christian denominations. The precise configuration of who is descended from the serpent has been used as a justification for racism, particularly in a modern white supremacist movement called Two-Seedline Christian Identity where the descendants of Eve and the Serpent are identified as the Jews. Interestingly the doctrine was also used by another group, The Shepherd's Chapel, to argue the exact opposite, that the Jews were the ones descended from Adam while a group called the Kenites were descended from Cain.

It suffers from the very obvious issue that the early Bible would probably have identified Abel as Adam's seed rather than Eve's if it was just talking about one of her two sons, and is rather blatantly talking about humans and snakes not getting along. It also has the minor problem that Genesis 4:1 explicitly says that Cain is Adam's son, since she conceived after he "knew" her.

Incidentally, the idea that the serpent was Satan is relatively new in Christianity: prior to this, the serpent was thought to be Lilith, Adam's first wife in Jewish tradition and another figure of the Epic of Gilgamesh. In Jewish tradition, Lilith was created as Adam's equal with her being the woman that appears in Genesis 1:27, refused to submit to him, and, knowing the secret name of God that enabled her to fly, escaped the Garden only to return in the guise of a serpent to tempt Eve. Depictions of the Serpent as a snake-woman can be found on Notre-Dame Cathedral and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Genesis 3:16[edit]

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16 Notes[edit]

This rather interestingly implies that there was sorrow and pain in childbirth before, given that 0 multiplied by anything is still 0. This would also be a rather pointless thing to tell Eve, since at this point she (nor anyone else) has ever had children and so would have nothing to compare this to.

Also important is that this is not as sometimes misquoted “pains in childbirth”, but “pains and childbirth”. From their nomadic past, the Hebrews may have been extrapolating from sheep and goats only having estrus and reproduction periodically, not constantly, which would definitely look more burdensome for female humans by comparison.

Genesis 3:17[edit]

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Genesis 3:17 Notes[edit]

The Bible's first clear statement on the nature of the relationship between Adam and Eve as husband and wife, and the message seems to be "don't listen to your wife".

Genesis 3:18[edit]

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Genesis 3:18 Notes[edit]

Repeats the theme from Genesis 2:5 that agriculture was practiced since the beginning of humankind, which is obviously not the case.

Genesis 3:19[edit]

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:19 Notes[edit]

This is the first mention of death, and suggests that mortality was created as a punishment for Adam and Eve's sin.

It's not clear why human sin should cause all other animals to be given to die of natural causes.

God: "Of course, you have no idea what bread is, but...I'm pretty sure you'll figure it out and then you'll be like 'ohhh, that's what God was talking about.' Also, make sure to call it 'bread' once you do."

Note also there's no mention at all of an afterlife, be Heaven or Hell, this being in line with other Old Testament verses that suggest that either once one goes black everything ends or someone goes at best to an Underworld without distinctions of any kind, as other cultures of the area thought, nor humans are considered by God wicked, corrupt, and tainted creatures who deserve to be punished for all eternity just for existing as Fundagelicals love to claim.

One could also argue that both Adam and Eve plus the Serpent got lucky with the punishment given some Fundies claim the entire creation, down to bacteria and viruses and presumably up to galaxies, got corrupted thanks to that screw-up. And also wonder why if that tree was so dangerous that having eaten its fruit corrupted everything was in the middle of the Garden, unprotected (and why there was no other way to fix up things than to send Jesus to die millennia later if you're a YEC, especially given God's claimed omni***)

Genesis 3:20[edit]

And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:20 Notes[edit]

Yes, Adam forgot to give his wife a name when God created her. Maybe he was stricken at his first sight of a naked female, like any male virgin.

Genesis 3:21[edit]

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21 Notes[edit]

William Blake's "The Angel of the Divine Presence Clothing Adam and Eve with Coats of Skins" (1803)

God gets in the first actual killing of the Bible, unless he literally just made the skins without animals attached to them. God's Killcount: 2 (for each person).

Genesis 3:22[edit]

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:

Genesis 3:22 Notes[edit]

The tree of life is an interesting artifact in Genesis, because there is some consensus that "mortality" was one of the effects of the Fall, and that Adam and Eve were immortal (for some, however, this verse is a proof of both being mortal instead) until they ate from the tree of knowledge and were cast out. If everything in existence was immortal until that point, what then is the purpose of having a tree whose fruit grants immortality? If that was the case, then it's as if God created the tree of life because he knew that he would take immortality away from man during the Fall, and needed a backdoor to immortality to justify throwing them out of Eden in the first place.

There is also no explanation on the exact effects of the tree of life. Given that Adam and Eve weren't prohibited from eating from it, did the tree simply extend their lifespan as long as they consumed its fruit including to stop their aging or would one bite have the same type of effect as the tree of knowledge and instantly grant eternal life? And what would happen if they ate from the tree of life, only to later eat from the tree of knowledge?

Note also the "one of us", which as "Elohim" above is very likely a leftover of the days when Judaism was polytheistic in nature even if as noted above one could argue it refers to the Trinity, the angels, or is simply a royal "we".

Genesis 3:23[edit]

Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Genesis 3:23 Notes[edit]

The theme from Genesis 2:5 is repeated for the third time. God has still not gotten around to creating copyeditors.

Like the lack of an afterlife, especially the nasty one to which humans will from now onwards be condemned by default thanks to the original sin according to Christianity, it's also interesting to note how there's not even some foreshadowing of possible future redemption thanks to Jesus' sacrifice.

Genesis 3:24[edit]

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 3:24 Notes[edit]

Anachronism. While Omniscient God would have known what a sword was, by the logic of this story, Adam and Eve would not have known what a sword was. They are the only two people on earth, there has been no war yet, and they struggled to make their own clothes, let alone any advanced tools. The significance of the sword, both in its killing power and as a symbol of authority, would have been utterly lost on them. Another sign that this is a story written for later listeners rather than an accurate retelling of historical events.

Note also that the fate of the snake is not mentioned, and as noted above it will be forgotten for the rest of the Old Testament except as Lilith if you feel imaginative, and in the New Testament as Satan, and the same can be said for the Old Testament at least of the Garden of Eden except for some later references but not in this context, both trees, and the fruit screw-up despite it being so important to Christianity, which also points at this to have been conceived at first as nothing but a "just-so" story.

Genesis Chapter 4 (Cain kills Abel)[edit]

Genesis 4:1[edit]

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Genesis 4:1 Notes[edit]

This is the first mention of sex between Adam and Eve, and it takes place after their banishment. This is often read as meaning that mortality, sexuality and reproduction (thus the existence of mankind, otherwise Adam and Eve would likely have spent all eternity together and alone in the Garden, Lilith aside) were all results of the Fall, though this does not gel with earlier verses telling various things to be fruitful and multiply. (Maybe Adam & Eve took the word "fruitful" literally and that's why they ate from the tree of knowledge?)

Genesis 4:2[edit]

And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4:2 Notes[edit]

If the story of Cain and Abel is interpreted non-literally, as a commentary on the conflicting ways of life of nomadic pastoralists and farmers, it gets a lot more interesting. The author considers pastoralism to be favored by God, and seemingly propagandizes by saying "farming is bad because it is for murderers with no innate understanding of what God wants". This hints that the Bible was written by pastoralists the modern day equivalent of conservatives. On a more literal level, Cain is the first farmer and Abel is the first shepherd. It seems improbable, however, to say the least, that these two boys just casually invented farming and animal domestication, two major technologies, out of nowhere. Farming requires a lot of knowledge of things like soil, how to plant, equipment like plows, and even infrastructure such as irrigation and storage. It is not something that Cain could have invented all out of thin air. Pastoralism is less complicated, but still requires a decent understanding of how to keep animals docile and healthy and protect them from predators.

Genesis 4:3[edit]

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Genesis 4:3 Notes[edit]

Some have claimed that "And in the process of time" means Cain did not offer the first fruit of the ground, but his was an afterthought instead unlike Abel's one.

See also Genesis 4:5 below.

Genesis 4:4[edit]

And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Genesis 4:4 Notes[edit]

See 4:5 note below.

Genesis 4:5[edit]

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Genesis 4:5 Notes[edit]

No clear reason is given as to why Abel's offering (slaughtered baby animals) is good, other than immediately noting that he brought the firstlings—presumably the best, so suggesting absolute prioritization of respect of God over his needs—but Cain's offering ("fruit of the ground") is bad—although good luck picking out what a crop’s firstlings are—especially when God specifically told Adam he would eat the fruit of the ground. But the implication is that vegans are bad and carnies good!

Genesis 4:6[edit]

And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Genesis 4:6 Notes[edit]

Maybe because, as the previous verse says, Cain received no respect for his offering? That would offend most people.

Genesis 4:7[edit]

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Genesis 4:7 Notes[edit]

Cain: "Um, that's great God, but, aside from the Forbidden Tree, you haven't told us what else you consider a 'sin' yet, so I have no idea what you're talking about. Actually, now that I think about it, you never asked for an offering in the first place, so why the hell did we just do that?"

Why does God even need an "offering" of a handful of food, as the Creator of the heavens and Earth? Why should he expect displays of gratitude from mankind either, after he just cursed them and drove them from Eden? As far as his advice to Cain, it is vague, to say the least. Maybe he is not a fan of broccoli or whatever crop Cain grew. Without specific information, his feedback is pretty useless.

Genesis 4:8[edit]

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Genesis 4:8 Notes[edit]

First murder in the Bible. God has only given two commandments to humankind thus far:

  1. Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), and
  2. Do not eat from the Forbidden Tree (Genesis 2:17).

He will not formally give a commandment forbidding murder until after the Flood (Genesis 9:6). So, Cain actually hasn't broken any rule set forth by God. The Apologetic answer might be something like "killing another obviously is the opposite of multiplying", but by using this logic, any behavior or act other than killing is perfectly all right at this point (theft, robbery, blasphemy, screaming in someone's ear, calling your mom a bitch and slapping her then pooping on her bed, etc. etc.) as long as you take a few minutes out of the day to either impregnate or get pregnant.

Or, contrary to fundamentalist Christian doctrine, just maybe all morality doesn't originate from God and the Bible, and morals can exist on their own without some God or some book to dictate what is moral to us.

Genesis 4:9[edit]

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

Genesis 4:9 Notes[edit]

Cain's "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper" question is quite odd. He's talking to God. Shouldn't his response question be: "Whadda ya asking me for? Don't you know where Abel is? Aren't you God?" Cain's comment seems to be sarcastic, because Abel was a keeper of animals, so he not only killed his brother but is mocking his lifestyle. In retrospect, it probably was not a great strategy to be a smart-ass to God's face.

Of course, the point here is that Cain is deliberately lying to God, and this is a BAD THING. Oddly enough, God won't smite him like he does to most of the people who will lie to him in the future. Cain is forced to go wandering, with a strange protective facial tattoo, but he'll eventually find a wife and live to a ripe old age — not a bad outcome for a liar and unrepentant murderer. Compare this to poor old Achan in Joshua 7, who fails to donate some silver coins he found, which result in him (along with all his children) getting stoned to death and their corpses burned.

Meanwhile, there is a midrash which implies that Cain is effectively asking God why HE wasn’t playing keeper to Abel (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/filling-in-the-gaps/ ). While this parallels Adam trying to foist blame onto Eve and God alike, it’s also treated as an early, non-atheistic recognition of the Problem of Evil. Why, after all, would God not have intervened and protected his favored Abel against Cain in battle? He is depicted as intervening in many other conflicts, but it would have made a big difference if he had intervened in this one.

Genesis 4:10[edit]

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Genesis 4:10 Notes[edit]

Please, please take this verse metaphorically!

This verse can also be interpreted like Genesis 3:19 – as proof of either the lack of an afterlife, or as the same, gloomy one for everyone.

Genesis 4:11[edit]

And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

Genesis 4:11 Notes[edit]

Again "cursed from the earth" sounds pretty bad, but as it turns out all that happened was he moved to the land of Nod. Sure, we don't know exactly where Nod was, but it seems that it was in the general area — it wasn't like Cain had to move to Argentina or something.

Genesis 4:12[edit]

When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Genesis 4:12 Notes[edit]

A fugitive from whom exactly? Are Adam and Eve coming after their first-born son? Where are Adam and Eve in all of this anyway? Don't they have an opinion on the matter?

Genesis 4:13[edit]

And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Genesis 4:13 Notes[edit]

So he kills his brother and is told that he can't be a farmer anymore. How is that more than he can bear as a punishment? The nomadic hunter-gatherer life style worked pretty well for early humans and was only abandoned when populations grew too large to support it. Cain only has to support himself, and seems to be proficient at killing, so it shouldn't be much of a problem for him to kill animals.

Genesis 4:14[edit]

Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Genesis 4:14 Notes[edit]

"Cain Fleeing from the Wrath of God" by William Blake

Why is Cain worried about human retribution here? At this point, the entire human population is down to three people. (Okay, four, if you count whomever was to become his childbearer woman wife)

Also see the notes to Genesis 4:11 above. "Driven… from the face of this earth" turns out to actually mean "forced to move to the next county".

Genesis 4:15[edit]

And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

Genesis 4:15 Notes[edit]

There are many problems that arise from this verse.

Who is going to find him? Aren't there only three people alive in the world at the moment? Furthermore, as Adam and Eve are probably perfectly capable of recognizing their own son, why the mark?

If one assumes there actually are other people somewhere, how will any of them know what the mark means? Is random murder such a common problem that Cain needed to be officially excluded in this way? Also, what difference would it make to Cain to be avenged sevenfold if he is dead? Are there even seven other people upon which he can be avenged? And would they be killed or just made to wander like Cain with their own facial tattoos?

The Mark of Cain has since been adopted by racists.

Genesis 4:16[edit]

And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Genesis 4:16 Notes[edit]

What the hell? Suddenly, it seems we have a brand new land called Nod, possibly populated by people who got there by some secondary creation we know nothing about. Some biblical scholars believe that "Nod" is a metaphorical reference to being in a state of "wandering", not being a specific place. Yet, it is described as being to the East of Eden, whatever the interpretation.

However, Cain doesn't seem to properly grasp what being a "fugitive and a vagabond" actually means, as he appears to settle down again fairly promptly.

Genesis 4:17[edit]

And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

Genesis 4:17 Notes[edit]

Cain's wife: So here Cain gets a wife. But where did she come from?

Either Nod was inhabited by people who already lived there (and were thus not the children of Adam and Eve, Jewish mysticism suggesting they could have been born from Adam and Lilith instead), or Cain hooked up with a daughter of Adam and Eve, meaning he married his full-blood sister (ew). The Mormons believe that Cain actually married one of his brother's daughters (i.e., a niece)… although that still doesn't explain who the niece's mother was. (At the time incest was best it seems). On the other hand, the other wikiWikipedia claims that in Hebrew "Nod" is the root of the verb "to wander", meaning Cain became a vagabond, even if that does not explain from where all these people came. It appears that Genesis may only be a creation myth that explains the origins of Hebrew people and not all people.

Basically, it is far from clear where all these other people originate from (Cain's wife, the people he is afraid of, etc.) and doesn't seem to make sense for them all to be brothers and sisters. The continuity between the story of Adam and Eve, and that of Cain and Abel, is rather tenuous, and this is one of the strongest indications that the early chapters of Genesis are just a collection of allegorical and moral tales, each with its own message, but not necessarily part of one great story.

Anyway, we are supposed to believe that one guy, who is not even able to farm anymore, and is not supposed to be settling down anywhere, decides to found a city? Cities need agriculture, which is precisely what Cain can't do.

City of Enoch: This verse gives us the very first city in human history, named after Cain's firstborn. This city, despite its incredible historical significance, never gets mentioned again anywhere in the entire Bible. Which is a shame, because it would have been nice to know who lived in this city apart from Cain, his wife, and his infant son. As a side note, this is the first Enoch, another one will get born later, and who is apparently still alive.

Genesis 4:18[edit]

And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.

Genesis 4:18 Notes[edit]

Either Enoch was a hermaphrodite with self-reproductive capabilities, or there are some more unidentified women lurking somewhere. Apparently, women are not important enough to be given explanations for their sudden existences.

Genesis 4:19[edit]

And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Genesis 4:19 Notes[edit]

The first explicit mention of polygamy in the Bible. The wives actually have names this time, although (yet again) there is no explanation of where they came from.

Genesis 4:20[edit]

And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

Genesis 4:20 Notes[edit]

In a manner eerily similar to other ancient mythology, Genesis names the progenitors of nomadic shepherds, musicians and metalworkers.

Note that Cain's descendants are described as still living at the time of composition of this story, long after the Flood.

Genesis 4:21[edit]

And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

Genesis 4:21 Notes[edit]

See note to 4:20.

Genesis 4:22[edit]

And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

Genesis 4:22 Notes[edit]

The reference to iron is yet another anachronism: smelted iron tools only became popular in Mesopotamia around 1500 BCE, or long after the Ussher date of the flood. Earlier iron artifacts were made from meteoritic iron.

Naamah is the first female in the Bible whose birth is directly acknowledged.

Genesis 4:23[edit]

And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

Genesis 4:23 Notes[edit]

Whoa! Lamech comes on home and tells his wives he just killed somebody. Wow, the punishment that is coming will be huge!

Genesis 4:24[edit]

If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Genesis 4:24 Notes[edit]

Or not. Lamech's punishment for murder is zilch — God doesn't even notice/care apparently. Meanwhile Lamech proudly announces that anyone who seeks vengeance on him will get it eleven times worse than anyone who tried to punish Cain. I seriously need to get the name of Lamech's lawyer.

Also, God unintentionally inspires the name for a Huntington Beach metal band several thousand years later.

Genesis 4:25[edit]

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Genesis 4:25 Notes[edit]

The timeline is a bit fuzzy here, but the next chapter states that Adam was 130 years old when he knocked up Eve again. Go Adam!

Genesis 4:26[edit]

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 4:26 Notes[edit]

Yeah, yeah, Seth found another mystery woman for a wife.

Meanwhile, this verse seems to be saying people had forgotten about God pretty intensely in the preceding 235 or so years. God didn't seem too fazed by that, which is kind of good, judging by how psychotic he becomes later at the slightest hint of disrespect.

Genesis Chapter 5 (Boring genealogies, Part 1)[edit]

Genesis 5:1[edit]

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Genesis 5:1 Notes[edit]

This starts the genealogy listed in the Bible, following the other religious figures. Note that the ages listed in the Bible imply that the individuals lives to around 800 years in a generation, compared to the modern life expectancies that aren't known to often exceed 120.

Genesis 5:2[edit]

Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Genesis 5:2 Notes[edit]

Apparently they were all called Adam.

Genesis 5:3[edit]

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

Genesis 5:3 Notes[edit]

Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. And apparently Cain and Abel forgot to be born into this genealogy, despite featuring as recently as the previous chapter.

Genesis 5:4[edit]

And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:4 Notes[edit]

Yay, finally some girls are born. We're still left with the vexing problem of who were the mothers of all the children born prior to now.

Genesis 5:5[edit]

And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Genesis 5:5 Notes[edit]

And all that nine hundred and thirty years he never manages to pass down the essentials of enjoying such longevity (Maybe the global flood did destroy it).

The general argument from apologists is that prior to the flood humanity had much longer life spans. The idea that before the Fall we had longer lifespans is plausible (in mythological context at least), and it is claimed some accumulated fallen-ness gradually decreased people's lifespans until they were in line with what we would expect of actual humans.

Some have argued that there was a mistranslation of the Hebrew and this number actually represents 930 lunar months, which puts Adam's age at a far more plausible 75 or so. It is believed a similar system, along with a complex non-decimal numeric system, is responsible for the Sumerian kings before the flood in the original myth having a combined age of almost a quarter of a million years. While elsewhere there are references to other people siring children at the tender age of 35 (which in lunar month terms is only three years), but it is very well-known that the Pentateuch has at least four distinct authors, so it is entirely within reason that some would count the age in lunar months and then later writers come along and make additions in solar years, explaining the discrepancy.

Also in case you forgot, Adam was supposed to die after eating from the tree of Good and Evil. Some apologists have argued that he did receive the assigned punishment, because he would have lived forever if he had not eaten the fruit and remained in the Garden of Eden. However if that is so, what was the tree of "Eternal Life" (the other tree mentioned in Genesis 2:9) for?

One thing that Christianity dislikes addressing is where all of the early Biblical figures went after they died. Since it would be thousands of years until Jesus was born, the only real option is they went to Hell. It is worth noting that Dante Alighieri found this thought so odious that in Canto IV of the Inferno he specifically sent a mighty angel down there to go and get some of them.

Genesis 5:6[edit]

And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

Genesis 5:6 Notes[edit]

It took Seth this long to get his wife pregnant with his first son, Enosh. Suggested explanations:

  • Seth receives really good abstinence education from God.
  • Seth has really advanced contraceptive technologies but the global flood destroyed it.
  • Seth is so unpopular with the ladies (which are probably his sisters or nieces anyway) that it takes him this long to get a woman to like him enough to have sex with him.

Similar explanations apply for almost everyone in the lineage mentioned.

But if you're keeping track, Adam is 235 years old at this point.

Genesis 5:7[edit]

And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:7 Notes[edit]

This is pretty much how the rest of Chapter Five is going to go. Feel free to skip to the end, everyone else does.

Genesis 5:8[edit]

And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

Genesis 5:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:9[edit]

And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

Genesis 5:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:10[edit]

And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:11[edit]

And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

Genesis 5:11 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:12[edit]

And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:

Genesis 5:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:13[edit]

And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:13 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:14[edit]

And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

Genesis 5:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:15[edit]

And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

Genesis 5:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:16[edit]

And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:16 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:17[edit]

And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

Genesis 5:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:18[edit]

And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

Genesis 5:18 Notes[edit]

This is the second Enoch.

Genesis 5:19[edit]

And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:19 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:20[edit]

And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

Genesis 5:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:21[edit]

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

Genesis 5:21 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:22[edit]

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:22 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:23[edit]

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

Genesis 5:23 Notes[edit]

Unlike other pre-flood individuals mentioned by name, Enoch lasted only 400 years compared to the parents (and thus, Jared must have watched his son die but at least have a grandson.)

Genesis 5:24[edit]

And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Genesis 5:24 Notes[edit]

Enoch did not die. The Lord took him. This implies that Enoch is still alive in Heaven with God, making him the oldest living person named in the Bible.

Genesis 5:25[edit]

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.

Genesis 5:25 Notes[edit]

For the record, Adam is still alive at the time Methuselah has his first son.

Genesis 5:26[edit]

And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:26 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:27[edit]

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Genesis 5:27 Notes[edit]

Methus(h)elah is, besides the possible exception of Enoch, the longest living human in the Bible, although it isn't explained why God was so ok with him living so long. The general idea is that he died either the year of the flood or a little while before. Of course, for all the attention Methuselah gets for his longevity, he wasn't really that special since he lived only marginally longer than other early Biblical figures like Adam.

Genesis 5:28[edit]

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:

Genesis 5:28 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:29[edit]

And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

Genesis 5:29 Notes[edit]

The curse is probably a reference to Genesis 3:17. Noah's name apparently means or shares a root with the word for rest.[17] It seems to me that basically the parents are saying oh good a child let's put him to work so we don't have to work as hard. In an era before child labor laws, more kids meant more farm labor.

Genesis 5:30[edit]

And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:30 Notes[edit]

Genesis 5:31[edit]

And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

Genesis 5:31 Notes[edit]

At this point, 1057 years passed since the birth creation of Adam, or 127 years since his death. Combined with at least 600 years that Noah took before the great flood, it basically requires squeezing most of human history into the period following 2400 BCE if you take a simple guess that the Earth is only ~6000 years old (the current year + 4000).

Also of note is the age of which Lamech died - 777 years. It is parallel with Genesis 4:24, where Lamech notes that Cain was avenged sevenfold, and Lamech seventy-sevenfold. Despite them being two different people, that name has an odd affinity for the number seven and indicates that age of death in multi-generational pre-history was purposely chosen by the author.

Genesis 5:32[edit]

And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Genesis 5:32 Notes[edit]

Noah, one of the prophets, never manages to tell his followers (which should also be his offspring/wives given the global flood) how to live for five hundred years, or even half as long. The goat definitely ate the secret and whoever kept the goat patched up the scripture in Genesis 6:3.

For those interested, the genealogy continues at Genesis 9:28.

Genesis Chapter 6 (Everyone must drown! Part 1)[edit]

Genesis 6:1[edit]

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

Genesis 6:1 Notes[edit]

Genesis 6:2[edit]

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Genesis 6:2 Notes[edit]

Who or what are "the Sons of God"?

There are endless arguments over what this actually means, there's even an entire Wikipedia article.Wikipedia

This also runs into trouble much later, in the New Testament, where the Gospel of John (specifically John 3:16) refers to Jesus as God's only begotten son.

So let's see if we've got this right. Angels/heavenly beings, who probably have everything they could possibly want, were tempted to marry primitive human women who were likely no more than ignorant, goat-herding peasants dressed in rags. That doesn't sound particularly plausible.

Genesis 6:3[edit]

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Genesis 6:3 Notes[edit]

The age limit is 120 years, but Genesis 11:10 and beyond still shows people lasting longer than that. A short life for humans, except when plot demands otherwise. Also, much more closely and much more probably, Jeanne CalmentWikipedia died after the age of 122.

Genesis 6:4[edit]

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:4 Notes[edit]

See PZ Myers Pharyngula threads re.: Giants and Dwarfs(sic)

The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men That They Were Fair sculpture by Daniel Chester French. Wikimedia

Translations other than the KJV have this differently. But based on the King James Only view that's what we're talking about here. ("Nephilim" is claimed by others to mean "fallen" — whatever that may mean in context — and is left untranslated in new English translations.) In 1 Enoch, the nephilim are meant to be giants as they had a height of 3000 ells which converts to 2.130682 miles (3.4290002926 km).

The 1962 abomination, Eegah claims it is Genesis 4:32 after someone asked if the titular Eegah was real after he was killed at the end of the movie. There is no Genesis 4:32.

In any event, the text says these offspring "became mighty men which were of old, men of renown". So naturally, the authors then completely drop the ball and don't tell us a single name or deed of any of these allegedly famous heros that they just brought up. How could they have forgotten to include any of those details?

Genesis 6:5[edit]

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:5 Notes[edit]

Could you be more vague? The nature of the wickedness is not explained. As the Mosaic law has not yet even begun to be passed down, there are no official rules getting broken, unless everyone is breaking into the Garden of Eden and eating from the Tree of Knowledge just to piss God off, which really says more of the incompetence of the cherubim and seraphim guarding Eden than anything else. I can see some people being "wicked", but why would it be the case that every single man, woman, and baby, other than Noah and his family, was continually conspiring to be evil. Surely there would be some who would naturally be inclined to be kind, honest, friendly, etc. Also, if everyone is so depraved and evil all the time, how does Noah and his family go about their daily lives, much less build a boat for 100 years and gather species of every animal in the world? You would think they would be constantly attacked, robbed, etc.

Genesis 6:6[edit]

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Genesis 6:6 Notes[edit]

This is Pentateuch God not being omniscient, since otherwise He would have known this would happen. It also contradicts assertions that God is perfect for Him to regret His actions (or to create fifteen thousand species of trilobites and then just kill all of them).

By the way, this verse makes reference to God's "heart". How anthropomorphic of the Genesis writers. Are we honestly supposed to believe that an all-powerful, immortal being has a physical blood pump in his chest and perhaps a circulatory system?

Genesis 6:7[edit]

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:7 Notes[edit]

See Examples of God personally killing people

In this verse, God didn't like the result of his own creations. This implies he is either not omniscient or that omniscience doesn't extend to the consequences of His own actions. Maybe he shouldn't have coddled murderers like Cain. Maybe he should have sent prophets, given laws through Noah, or provided any documented form of official moral instruction. Genesis shows no evidence that God tried any of this to prevent evil or fix it. Plus, even if humans are evil, through his apparent neglect, why punish animals? He has so many options for killing off humans without killing any animals in the process. The flood is simply not an effective or fair way to target the guilty without harming the innocent as well. Any being that does such a thing is an amoral bumbler, not a morally perfect God.

Genesis 6:8[edit]

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 6:8 Notes[edit]

Why? If the Bible was intended as a moral guide, some clarification as to what all the bad people were doing wrong and what was so damn nifty about Noah might be useful.

Genesis 6:9[edit]

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:9 Notes[edit]

Noah didn't seem so just and perfect when he stripped naked and passed out drunk in front of his kids in Genesis 9:21. And even ignoring that, isn't one of the central ideas of the Christian faith that humans are sinful and imperfect by nature because of the Fall--the thing that happened just a couple of chapters ago?

Genesis 6:10[edit]

And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Genesis 6:10 Notes[edit]

If Noah was the only good guy on Earth then God should have been commanding him to make babies like crazy with as many wives as possible, not just have one wife and three sons. He should have made all the evil people unable to conceive children and simply let them die out. Problem solved. No flood required.

Genesis 6:11[edit]

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Genesis 6:11 Notes[edit]

Here's a fun party game: How many other "families" can you name that believed they were also in the same situation?

Genesis 6:12[edit]

And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Genesis 6:12 Notes[edit]

Following the logic, the flesh had corrupted the Earth because of the tree that God himself made available to Adam way back when. Perhaps rather than blaming humanity, God might have thought "Hmmm, in hindsight, that tree was a bit of a cock-up". Also, what "way" did these people corrupt?

Genesis 6:13[edit]

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 6:13 Notes[edit]

God is bothered by the violence in the world, so he resorts to violence to end it.

In every other version of this tale, the God that wants to destroy mankind and the one that gives the warning to the Noah figure are different people.

Genesis 6:14[edit]

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

Genesis 6:14 Notes[edit]

This starts an interesting and totally coincidental theme where it seems God can make anything man can't make, but He can't make anything man can make, such as a boat, a temple or the Tabernacle, or fine garments for His priests. Just like it would be if God were completely imaginary, oddly enough.

Fun fact: a quick google search for "gopher wood" reveals that no one is 100% sure what kind of wood is being referred to here. The Hebrew is just the consonants g-p-r, and it is somewhat unlikely that the ancient Israelites had a word for an animal which is from North America;Wikipedia the most likely translation is "cypress" based on the similar letters used.

It is also good advice to pitch it with pitch; we guess God is just making sure Noah doesn't try to pitch it with peanut butter or something.

Genesis 6:15[edit]

And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

Genesis 6:15 Notes[edit]

This would make it the largest wooden ship ever constructed by a considerable margin, and would be physically impossible without metal bracing, which is never mentioned. Where the hell he's going to find all this cypress wood when he lives in Iraq is also not mentioned: Iraq does have forests in the Northeastern mountains, but the main trees are oak and willow, not cypress.

Genesis 6:16[edit]

A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

Genesis 6:16 Notes[edit]

At this point, Noah must've said: "Do you think I wouldn't have a door, man? I'm not a fucking idiot, mate."

Genesis 6:17[edit]

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Genesis 6:17 Notes[edit]

For more details see global flood.

Did nobody else have a boat or raft to float on besides Noah? Not even fishermen? Why could they not survive the flood as well by drinking rain water and catching fish, for example?

Genesis 6:18[edit]

But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

Genesis 6:18 Notes[edit]

According to the genealogy, Methuselah and Lamech are still alive, and will last 100 more years. However, since the flood occurred 1657 years after Adam's birth, and Methuselah died only 1656 years after Adam's birth (Lamech dying 5 years earlier), they don't need to enter the ark.

Genesis 6:19[edit]

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

Genesis 6:19 Notes[edit]

Compare this to Genesis 7:2, which has different instructions for "clean" animals. One would also question where Noah was supposed to find a male New Mexico whiptailWikipedia lizard.

Note also God requests "two of every sort," not of every "kind," so your KJV-only baraminologists are screwed here.

Also, why go through all this rigmarole when God could just create all the animals again? Is this perhaps from an older story where this wasn't the same God that created them in the first place? (spoilers: yes)

Genesis 6:20[edit]

Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Genesis 6:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 6:21[edit]

And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

Genesis 6:21 Notes[edit]

Genesis 6:22[edit]

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Genesis 6:22 Notes[edit]

Yep, we did the whole thing of listing everything a character needs to do and then ending with "and so he did." No idea how this 600 year old uneducated man living in Mesopotamia found all this wood or caught all these animals or DIY'd a giant-ass boat, he just did.

Genesis Chapter 7 (Everyone must drown! Part 2)[edit]

Genesis 7:1[edit]

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Genesis 7:1 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:2[edit]

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Genesis 7:2 Notes[edit]

This may be a retrospective correction of Genesis 6:19.

If you want to take a small sample of a species (or "kind") and be able to repopulate that species fairly rapidly later on, seven specimens would an absolute minimum but would still cause a population bottleneck. With only one pair, population renewal could only take place at the rate of the female's gestation, and there would be too high a risk of one of the animals dying before reproduction, or being infertile. But with, say, five females and two males, the rate of repopulation would be much quicker, and there would be a spare male in case of problems. Perhaps extinction risks were not such a concern with the "unclean" beasts.

The surplus "clean" animals would become useful in Genesis 8:20. Of course, this rule greatly multiplies the problems Noah and his family would have feeding and taken care of all the millions of species on their boat.

It's not actually clear here what distinguishes "clean" from "unclean" animals. It is usually presumed that the unclean animals are the ones not considered kosher (e.g. pigs, weasels). However, the food rules aren't laid out until much later, in the Torah books: Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Genesis 7:3[edit]

Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 7:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:4[edit]

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

Genesis 7:4 Notes[edit]

Forty days? Forty fucking days? Really? If God is truly da one, why on earth does it take Him forty days to wipe out everything?

Genesis 7:5[edit]

And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Genesis 7:5 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:6[edit]

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

Genesis 7:6 Notes[edit]

Yes, and I bet he never let his kids forget how hard things were in his day. Why when I was your age I had to build an Ark and save the world, and that was just what I did before breakfast. Thank you, grandpa Simpson.

Genesis 7:7[edit]

And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.

Genesis 7:7 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:8[edit]

Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,

Genesis 7:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:9[edit]

There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

Genesis 7:9 Notes[edit]

This verse contradicts Genesis 7:2-3, where there were seven of every clean animal and fowl. See Number of each "kind" on Noah's Ark.

Genesis 7:10[edit]

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

Genesis 7:10 Notes[edit]

The flood starts on day 8.

Not Noah's ark.

Thus begins the greatest act of animal cruelty and mass-murder of all time, putting Doctor Oz and Cruella de Ville to shame. Cruella de Yahweh drowned all those innocent animals purely as collateral damage in order to kill off some people he didn't like. Of course, this is often portrayed quite differently by Bible fanatics who depict the Hydro-holocaust as a happy, fun, family-friendly event that is suitable to be made into a plaything for infants. This is nothing short of propaganda directed at children.

The Deluge by Gustave Doré (1865)

The God of Genesis could have just sent a plague that killed humans and made Noah and his family immune. That would have been way more effective than indiscriminate drowning. Are we really to believe that newborn babies and young children were evil too and needed to die?

Genesis 7:11[edit]

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Genesis 7:11 Notes[edit]

Okay, Bible, you don't have to be so specific on what day of his life it happened. One way that liars try to cover up their lies is to give overly specific information in some areas where it doesn't matter. That way we ignore the other details, like the millions of species he had to cram on the Ark through that tiny door. It really doesn't matter the exact day that the flood supposedly happened, since it is a made up story that never happened anyway. But we get it, the verse tells us that Noah is old as all hell, and probably damn tired from building the Ark for the last 100 years too. God could have just snapped his fingers and had the Ark instantly appear with all the animals and food loaded. It's really the least he could do, considering that he is destroying the world for no good reason, and using the equivalent of a thermonuclear bomb to smite a mosquito.

On a technical note, the "fountains of the deep" are sometimes used to justify the Hydroplate theory.

Genesis 7:12[edit]

And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 7:12 Notes[edit]

Next starts day 48.

Genesis 7:13[edit]

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

Genesis 7:13 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:14[edit]

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

Genesis 7:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:15[edit]

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

Genesis 7:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:16[edit]

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Genesis 7:16 Notes[edit]

Note the two different names for god in one sentence, "Elohim" and "YHWH". Two different names, two different gods, clearly a sign that these are two distinct stories that have been intertwined by a single editor.

Genesis 7:17[edit]

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

Genesis 7:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:18[edit]

And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 7:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:19[edit]

And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

Genesis 7:19 Notes[edit]

Genesis 7:20[edit]

Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

Genesis 7:20 Notes[edit]

A cubit is generally standardized as eighteen inches - fifteen cubits is less than 25 feet. Unless the verse is talking about the distance above the mountains the waters "prevailed," these are some very small mountains. In actuality this may have been a real flood that affected Shurupakk, Kish, and the surrounding areas: a flood of 25ft would be sufficient to do this.

Genesis 7:21[edit]

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

Genesis 7:21 Notes[edit]

God is all-benevolent. Sure...

Genesis 7:22[edit]

All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Genesis 7:22 Notes[edit]

The "breath of life" and verse Genesis 8:11 shows that the authors of Genesis did not consider plants to be alive in the same sense as animals. It's also rather questionable what happened to animals without nostrils.

Also, what about ducks, which can, like, float on top of the water? And eat the plants that are still alive because they don't have nostrils?

Genesis 7:23[edit]

And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Genesis 7:23 Notes[edit]

What about people who had other boats? Are we supposed to believe that the Ark is the only boat in the world? Animals have also been known to survive on natural rafts. Even in terrible floods and ship wrecks today we often find survivors clinging to flotsam and jetsam.

Genesis 7:24[edit]

And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 7:24 Notes[edit]

Next starts day 151. If you add 150 days to the counter, you'd end up with day 198, which conflicts with Genesis 8:4.

Genesis Chapter 8 (Everyone (except Noah) is now dead. Thanks God.)[edit]

Genesis 8:1[edit]

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;

Genesis 8:1 Notes[edit]

"God remembered Noah" may also imply that God is not omniscient.

Also, God must have really horrible memory to forget about the one thing that is still alive.

Genesis 8:2[edit]

The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

Genesis 8:2 Notes[edit]

That's nice, but there are no windows of heaven to close, nor are there fountains of the deep that could produce any significant amount of water. "Fountains also of the deep" lead some people to create a hydroplate theory.

But if you're one of three people who still read The Bible literally, you might expect that the rains were stopped at this point instead of day 48.

Genesis 8:3[edit]

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

Genesis 8:3 Notes[edit]

This described the same event as Genesis 7:23, and we're still on day 151.

Genesis 8:4[edit]

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

Genesis 8:4 Notes[edit]

Mountains of Ararat refers to a general region. In Syrian and Quranic tradition, the specific landing point is on Mount Judi, found in Turkey (but near Syria). To add a bit of confusion, Turkey also has a Mount Ararat as well, which is closer to Georgia (and was once part of Russia).

Also, 5 months passed since Genesis 7:12.

Genesis 8:5[edit]

And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

Genesis 8:5 Notes[edit]

From the timing shown in Genesis 7:11, seven and a half months passed.

Genesis 8:6[edit]

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

Genesis 8:6 Notes[edit]

8.5 months plus 40 days.

Genesis 8:7[edit]

And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

Genesis 8:7 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:8[edit]

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Genesis 8:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:9[edit]

But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Genesis 8:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:5 said that tops of the mountains were already visible. Did the clock turn back to before 8.5 months?

Genesis 8:10[edit]

And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

Genesis 8:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:11[edit]

And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

Genesis 8:11 Notes[edit]

Either trees aren't "living things" (Genesis 7:23) and hence didn't die along with everything else, or they somehow regrew at an astonishing speed. Olive trees do not grow fast at all.

Genesis 8:12[edit]

And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

Genesis 8:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:13[edit]

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

Genesis 8:13 Notes[edit]

Noah is 601 years old now.

Genesis 8:14[edit]

And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

Genesis 8:14 Notes[edit]

Net time of the flood was just over about 1 year, before everything returned to normal.

To survive that long, you need to store or harvest 1 year's worth of food for 8 people, along with the millions of species aboard the Ark. Not taking into account the time spent after the flood. Crops aren't ready for harvest at this time, and all plants on land would be dead and decayed. And salted!

Genesis 8:15[edit]

And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Genesis 8:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:16[edit]

Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.

Genesis 8:16 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:17[edit]

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

Genesis 8:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:18[edit]

And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:

Genesis 8:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 8:19[edit]

Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

Genesis 8:19 Notes[edit]

How did the kangaroos and platypi get to Australia?

Genesis 8:20[edit]

And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Genesis 8:20 Notes[edit]

If there's just two of each animal, such a sacrifice would nullify the purpose behind bringing them on the ark. This is not a problem with Genesis 7:2, where the seven animals were taken, and the 7th animal is a spare.

Of course, we're down a dove and a raven at this point, as they never returned.

Genesis 8:21[edit]

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Genesis 8:21 Notes[edit]

This verse and Genesis 6:5 states that humans are generally evil. Since humans are evil per Genesis 6:5, God decides to destroy all living things, but in this verse, humans are evil so God decides not to destroy all living things.

Even though God promised to never curse the ground again or destroy all living beings, there are still loopholes that permit destroying everything within a small area, or smiting creatures one at a time. Literalists like to argue that this is specifically saying He will not destroy mankind the same way as He did this time, to get around His hulking out and getting ready to kill everyone again in Exodus 32:10. Not to mention what's in store in the Book of Revelation, where prospects look quite bleak for living things.

Genesis 8:22[edit]

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Genesis 8:22 Notes[edit]

This verse states that there won't be any worldwide apocalypse any time soon - aside from just wiping out all humans and keeping everything else alive.

There is a reference to 'seedtime and harvest', but no mention of Noah taking any grain to sow after the flood (which of course would be over and above an entire year's supply of foodstuffs for 8 humans and millions of animals).

Genesis Chapter 9 (God promises to stop being such a bastard. Noah gets drunk and naked.)[edit]

Genesis 9:1[edit]

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Genesis 9:1 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:1-3 are essentially identical to Genesis 1:28, indicating either a renewal of the covenant, or that Genesis 1 covered everything up to Noah without saying so. Like 1:28, many Christians, including Roman Catholics, use this verse to justify their opposition to contraception.

Genesis 9:2[edit]

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Genesis 9:2 Notes[edit]

All animals will now be scared of people. Nice. Unfortunately, animals in remote areasWikipedia like emperor penguins, kakapos, dodos, and others and big scary animals like polar bears, tigers, great white sharks haven't gotten the memo while cows and sheep just don't care.

Genesis 9:3[edit]

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Genesis 9:3 Notes[edit]

Apparently up until now everyone was a vegetarian. Don't ask us about the mammoths.

This also discards the clean-unclean distinction God clearly made to Noah in explaining how to stock the Ark (though that distinction is itself suspect at this point, as noted earlier, since what makes an animal clean or unclean won't be explained until much later). But yes, it's another hint that this is a story invented for later people rather than a faithful retelling of literal history.

Genesis 9:4[edit]

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Genesis 9:4 Notes[edit]

A reference to the Kosher practice of not eating meat that contains blood.

Genesis 9:5[edit]

And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.

Genesis 9:5 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:6[edit]

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Genesis 9:6 Notes[edit]

Unless Cain or Lamech does the shedding. Or one of the many, many other people who will end up spilling blood on God's orders.

Also, see note at Genesis 4:8 above.

Genesis 9:7[edit]

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Genesis 9:7 Notes[edit]

God seriously is worried about humanity going extinct, a problem he created at this point. Shouldn't everyone have got the point by now though?

Genesis 9:8[edit]

And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

Genesis 9:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:9[edit]

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

Genesis 9:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:10[edit]

And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Genesis 9:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:11[edit]

And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Genesis 9:11 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:12[edit]

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

Genesis 9:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:13[edit]

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Genesis 9:13 Notes[edit]

Gay Pride Flag.svgGay Pride Flag.svgGay Pride Flag.svgGay Pride Flag.svgGay Pride Flag.svg So, there were no rainbows before now? Either there was no rain or atmospheric water vapor in the previous centuries (most likely the former, as Genesis 2:5 and 6 claim God did not allow to rain and a mist from the ground watered everything respectively), or God always made sure the conditions needed for rainbows never occurred, or God somehow modified the refractive properties of light and/or water just to make a point. Or, maybe, this is a prescientific attempt to explain rainbows?

Genesis 9:14[edit]

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

Genesis 9:14 Notes[edit]

Except when it isn't, which is most of the time.

Genesis 9:15[edit]

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Genesis 9:15 Notes[edit]

This is read as meaning he isn't going to kill everyone with water again to get around the continued existence of floods, tsunamis, etc. Of course, this leaves open a loophole to allow for the use of other methods as we will see much later.

Genesis 9:16[edit]

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

Genesis 9:16 Notes[edit]

Did God really just say he needs a rainbow to remind himself that he promised not to kill everyone again?

Genesis 9:17[edit]

And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

Genesis 9:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:18[edit]

And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Genesis 9:18 Notes[edit]

Ham, the son of Noah, is the father of Canaan. Park that little fact in your memory for when you get to the Book of Joshua. Not to spoil the story, but it doesn't pan out very well for the Canaanites.

Genesis 9:19[edit]

These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

Genesis 9:19 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:20[edit]

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

Genesis 9:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:21[edit]

And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

Genesis 9:21 Notes[edit]

Note that it takes multiple years to get grapevines growing and then some time to ferment wine. So this could not have happened right away.

Noah pioneered the tradition of God's chosen righteous men celebrating God's grace by getting drunk and going skyclad naked. The pattern continues later with Lot in Genesis 19:33.

Genesis 9:22[edit]

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Genesis 9:22 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:23[edit]

And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.

Genesis 9:23 Notes[edit]

This verse highlights the Bible's obsession with nakedness. It makes it clear that the wrongful act of Ham was not that he went and told everyone that his father had exhibitionist tendencies while wasted, it was that he simply saw his father naked.

Genesis 9:24[edit]

And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

Genesis 9:24 Notes[edit]

So just so you understand, Ham accidentally saw his drunken father naked. This seemingly trivial action would eventually lead to the deaths of literally thousands of people.

Genesis 9:25[edit]

And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

Genesis 9:25 Notes[edit]

This is the passage that was used to justify beginning the African slave trade despite the earlier abolition of slavery in Europe. See Curse of Ham.

By the end of this, there is yet another curse and the flood, as will become very evident within a few chapters, achieved absolutely nothing except inundating an entire planet.

And just to compare to other local variants of this myth: Ziusudra, the Sumerian Noah, was taken to the dwelling place of the gods as soon as his ark landed. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim, the Babylonian Noah, was rewarded with immortality, like the Gods.

Noah got fuck-all and became a naked old drunk cursing his own kids.

Of course Noah is not God and had no magic powers to curse people. Therefore his proclamation of a curse on Ham's son Canaan means as much as any other drunken oath. Diddly and squat.

Genesis 9:26[edit]

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:26 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:27[edit]

God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:27 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:28[edit]

And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Genesis 9:28 Notes[edit]

Genesis 9:29[edit]

And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Genesis 9:29 Notes[edit]

Remember Genesis 6:3? 120 years and all that?

Genesis Chapter 10 (Boring genealogies, Part 2)[edit]

Genesis 10:1[edit]

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

Genesis 10:1 Notes[edit]

This entire chapter is genealogy. The next event is in Genesis 11:1.

Genesis 10:2[edit]

The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Genesis 10:2 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:3[edit]

And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

Genesis 10:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:4[edit]

And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

Genesis 10:4 Notes[edit]

So we are told about the offspring of two of the seven sons of Japheth: Gomer and Javan. We get nothing about the sons of Magog, Madai, Tubal, Meshech, or Tiras. So are we to assume that none of them had any sons? It doesn't seem likely that not one of them would have a single male child. At the very least the authors could comment, "the other sons were childless" or "they had only daughters" or whatever.

Genesis 10:5[edit]

By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Genesis 10:5 Notes[edit]

"after his tongue" suggests dialects, but in the Tower of Babel myth in the next chapter we are told that everyone on Earth spoke the same language.

Genesis 10:6[edit]

And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Genesis 10:6 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:7[edit]

And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Genesis 10:7 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:8[edit]

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Genesis 10:8 Notes[edit]

Nimrod got quite a few legends attached to his name in subsequent history, but the Bible's account of him basically begins and ends here.

Genesis 10:9[edit]

He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Genesis 10:9 Notes[edit]

This is the origin of this word. The fact that Nimrod's name became an insult appears to have largely been based on Bugs Bunny mockingly referring to Elmer Fudd this way in 1940s cartoons.

Genesis 10:10[edit]

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Genesis 10:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:11[edit]

Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Genesis 10:11 Notes[edit]

NinevehWikipedia was one of the greatest cities of antiquity, near modern-day Mosul in northern Iraq, and the site was settled around 6000 BCE and historically important by 2900 BCE. Nobody knows who founded it (there's a legend that someone called Ninus did but that seems to have been made up in the Hellenistic era around 400 BCE). There's no clue where Rehoboth is, and it may be a misinterpretation of a reference to a town square.[18] Calah is modern NimrudWikipedia in northern Iraq. It's not clear where Resen (next verse) is either.[19] Moral: don't use the Bible as a gazetteer or guide book.

Genesis 10:12[edit]

And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

Genesis 10:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:13[edit]

And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

Genesis 10:13 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:14[edit]

And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

Genesis 10:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:15[edit]

And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,

Genesis 10:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:16[edit]

And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

Genesis 10:16 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:17[edit]

And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

Genesis 10:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:18[edit]

And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:19[edit]

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Genesis 10:19 Notes[edit]

SidonWikipedia is still a major city in Lebanon, south of Beirut; Gaza is to the southwest of Israel; Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and probably Zeboim were in the Jordan river plains. The location of Lasha is unclear but it was probably near the river Jordan or Dead Sea. Hence the Canaanites, descendants of Ham, get modern day Israel and Palestine and the bottom of Lebanon.

Genesis 10:20[edit]

These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

Genesis 10:20 Notes[edit]

They left out the children of Phut, the third son of Ham. Was he shooting blanks or not interested in women or too ugly or what? It is possible that he only had daughters, but it would be better if the authors accounted for this, since they bothered to name him.

Genesis 10:21[edit]

Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

Genesis 10:21 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:22[edit]

The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

Genesis 10:22 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:23[edit]

And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

Genesis 10:23 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:24[edit]

And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

Genesis 10:24 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:25[edit]

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

Genesis 10:25 Notes[edit]

As mentioned on the plate tectonics article, some creationists say that this refers to Pangaea breaking apart during the Flood (either that or they claim this happened when said supercontinent broke apart two hundred million years ago, in the Triassic). The amount of BS on these statements, especially the second one, is left for the reader to ponder.

Genesis 10:26[edit]

And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

Genesis 10:26 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:27[edit]

And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

Genesis 10:27 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:28[edit]

And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

Genesis 10:28 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:29[edit]

And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

Genesis 10:29 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:30[edit]

And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

Genesis 10:30 Notes[edit]

Genesis 10:31[edit]

These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

Genesis 10:31 Notes[edit]

So again no children are listed at all for Shem's three sons Elam, Asshur, and Lud? If these are in birth order then Elam is first born and would likely want to have heirs. All told, 9 of the 16 grandsons of Noah are not described as having any children at all. So much for being fruitful and multiplying.

Genesis 10:32[edit]

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

Genesis 10:32 Notes[edit]

Genesis Chapter 11 (Communication is bad, mmkay? Plus Boring genealogies, Part 3)[edit]

Genesis 11:1[edit]

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Genesis 11:1 Notes[edit]

See also Tower of Babel
"The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

Interestingly, as we shall see in the verses to come, this is seen as a bad thing.

This verse directly contradicts Genesis 10:5, Genesis 10:20, and even Genesis 10:31, which was only two verses earlier. The YEC date of the Flood means it also contradicts history, since we have records of at least six languages existing before it is supposed to have happened.

In pre-literate societies, linguistic drift can spawn numerous tribal languages, even in short periods of time. We are told in Genesis 10:5, 10:20, and 10:31 that each of the sons of Noah sired offspring that spread out "after their tongues", suggesting regional dialects emerging almost immediately. The time between the Flood and the Tower of Babel is at least 100-200 years, depending upon construction time for the tower, so it is possible that dialects developed over this time. But honestly, how effective would it be to confuse languages to stop an ancient construction project, when all it basically consisted of is stacking bricks?

The whole story reads like an older myth that was dropped in here for convenience because somebody liked the story and didn't want to leave it out: a version of the story is found in the Sumerian text Enmerkar and the Lord of ArattaWikipedia dating c. 21st century BCE, long before Genesis was written, and with no mention of any of Noah's relatives. It has no obvious link to the genealogy of Noah's family found before and after the story.

Genesis 11:2[edit]

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Genesis 11:2 Notes[edit]

Who is this "they" that are journeying from the east? Only Nimrod is described as starting a kingdom in Shinar in 10:9, so if these are his offspring, why not name them? In fact no specific offspring of Nimrod are named, only cities that he supposedly started, which is a strange thing for a hunter to do.

Genesis 11:3[edit]

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

Genesis 11:3 Notes[edit]

Yes, slime. Apparently it is also the name of a type of clay mixed with pitch.

Genesis 11:4[edit]

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:4 Notes[edit]

Today, their behavior is interpreted as "hubrisWikipedia", or false pride. This is probably because God is the jealous type, and he will only tolerate monuments that are in his honor. However, as far as making a name for themselves, building any city at all in a barren plain is sure to make a name for them. Building a super-high tower would not be necessary. It is not a small thing to build a city so why devote so much time, energy, and materials to building a tower — time, energy, and materials that could be better used building defensive walls and homes and granaries. It is therefore doubtful that the first thing an ancient people would devote their time to would be to a massive tower. Cities that built Ziggurats were already well established and thriving metropolises. …Then again, for all of the previously-mentioned reasons, building a miles-high tower in order to establish oneself as a Big Deal would qualify as an act of hubris in and of itself, regardless of whether or not any deities took offense to it.

Genesis 11:5[edit]

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

Genesis 11:5 Notes[edit]

Another case of the non-omniscient and non-omnipresent Pentateuch God, since He must go down in order to see something.

Genesis 11:6[edit]

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Genesis 11:6 Notes[edit]

Like in the Genesis story, God is shown as a figure like ZeusWikipedia who fears that man will someday exceed Him. This shows a very different conception of God to the later Bible. However, it is worth noting that, if people truly had a common language since the creation of Man, then this has been the case for almost 2000 years at this point in the story. So why is it suddenly only an issue now?

Genesis 11:7[edit]

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Genesis 11:7 Notes[edit]

Presumably "us" refers to God and his angels, although it is also possible that this line is a vestigial remnant from when this story featured numerous gods instead of one. As noted above, "us" is also interpreted by some as referring to the Trinity.

Despite this verse, there is much less resistance to claims that languages evolved over time. Namely, achievements have still been made in spite of current language barriers (countered by bilingualism), and we have constructed much larger towers since Babel.

Genesis 11:8[edit]

So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Genesis 11:8 Notes[edit]

So, let me get this straight: God doesn't want people to be united or work together communally? And we're supposed to worship this guy?

Genesis 11:9[edit]

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 11:9 Notes[edit]

One possible explanation for this tale is that the Marduk Ziggurat's construction begun under Hammurabi faltered as the Mesopotamian empire collapsed: with this, financial constraints not only stopped the construction of the Ziggurat, but also forced the closure of schools teaching the first known syllabic language, Cuneiform. Within a couple of generations, nobody knew how to read the old language.

Genesis 11:10[edit]

These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Genesis 11:10 Notes[edit]

With a new genealogy starting, note the maximum age of these individuals begins to drop. They're still above 120 years, which is supposed to be a limit, according to Genesis 6:3. It is also notable that male sperm becomes less viable with age, so breeding at advanced ages for men and women is likely to introduce genetic defects. Even ancient people would have understood that it would be better to breed when one is younger and more virile/fertile. Also, the Hayflick limit makes the ages described impossible for humans.

Genesis 11:11[edit]

And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:11 Notes[edit]

Contradicts Genesis 6:3 as noted above.

Genesis 11:12[edit]

And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:

Genesis 11:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:13[edit]

And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:13 Notes[edit]

Contradicts Genesis 6:3 as noted above. (This will start to get repetitive.)

Genesis 11:14[edit]

And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:

Genesis 11:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:15[edit]

And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:15 Notes[edit]

You guessed it, contradicts Genesis 6:3.

Genesis 11:16[edit]

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:

Genesis 11:16 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:17[edit]

And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:17 Notes[edit]

Doesn't contradict Genesis 6:3!

Nah, just kidding, it does.

Genesis 11:18[edit]

And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:

Genesis 11:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:19[edit]

And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:19 Notes[edit]

La de dah. Fill in the blanks yourself.

Genesis 11:20[edit]

And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

Genesis 11:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:21[edit]

And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:21 Notes[edit]

Hmmm... I'm getting this weird rash, I wonder what it is?

Genesis 11:22[edit]

And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:

Genesis 11:22 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:23[edit]

And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:23 Notes[edit]

Only two to go!

Genesis 11:24[edit]

And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:

Genesis 11:24 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:25[edit]

And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:25 Notes[edit]

The second last and the youngest of them all at only 148 years... but still longer than the maximum 120 years God decreed back in Genesis 6:3.

Genesis 11:26[edit]

And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Genesis 11:26 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:27[edit]

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Genesis 11:27 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:28[edit]

And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Genesis 11:28 Notes[edit]

There have been many attempts to find the modern-day location of Ur of the Chaldees,Wikipedia which was also the supposed birthplace of the patriarch Abraham, but none are convincing. It is not to be confused with UrWikipedia in southern Iraq.[20][21]

Genesis 11:29[edit]

And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Genesis 11:29 Notes[edit]

OK just a warning. For the next few chapters, we'll be hearing all about Abram and Sarai. Then in Chapter 17 God decides for some reason they need to be called Abraham and Sarah instead.

Genesis 11:30[edit]

But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Genesis 11:30 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:31[edit]

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Genesis 11:31 Notes[edit]

Genesis 11:32[edit]

And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Genesis 11:32 Notes[edit]

Given all the lineages above, the following people were still alive when Terah died:

  • Shem (73 years left)
  • Arphaxad (13 years left)
  • Salah (43 years left)
  • Eber (104 years left)

It must be strange for these people to watch their descendants die of old age before them.

Some good news, Terah is the last of the descendants of Noah who ignored God's decree about not living longer than 120 years.

Genesis Chapter 12 (Meet Abraham, a liar and a pimp)[edit]

Genesis 12:1[edit]

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Genesis 12:1 Notes[edit]

Abram being the original name of Abraham. He is traditionally dated to the "patriarchal age" in the 2nd millennium BCE, but the consensus of most modern Biblical scholars is that it's impossible to relate Abraham to any historical context, and he and the other Biblical patriarchs are more or less mythical.[22]

Genesis 12:2[edit]

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 12:2 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:3[edit]

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 Notes[edit]

Handy hint: Worship Abram/Abraham. God will fuck you up otherwise.

Genesis 12:4[edit]

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Genesis 12:4 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:5[edit]

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Genesis 12:5 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:6[edit]

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Genesis 12:6 Notes[edit]

A recap: the Canaanites are descended from Ham, who is the son who accidentally saw his drunken, passed out father (Noah) naked.

Obviously, this makes them BAD people. Now just remember that - Canaanites are BAD. Try to forget WHY they are bad, just remember they are BAD. It will make the Book of Joshua much easier to get through.

Genesis 12:7[edit]

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 12:7 Notes[edit]

"One of your great-great-uncles saw his daddy naked, so I'm giving your descendants all of this land".

Genesis 12:8[edit]

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 12:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:9[edit]

And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

Genesis 12:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:10[edit]

And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

Genesis 12:10 Notes[edit]

"Fuck all these starving people, I'm going on vacation."

Genesis 12:11[edit]

And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

Genesis 12:11 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:12[edit]

Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

Genesis 12:12 Notes[edit]

Based on the ages given elsewhere, Sarai/Sarah was 70 years old at this point. But apparently still way too foxy for the Egyptians to handle.

Genesis 12:13[edit]

Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

Genesis 12:13 Notes[edit]

Sarai is technically Abram's sister, as will be revealed later.

Also note that it is clear that Abram/Abraham knows that Sarah is so smoking hot that Pharaoh will take her for his own wife.

However, rather than explore viable alternatives like, say, not fucking going into Egypt in the first place, he tells her to lie and say she is his sister. This will not stop Pharaoh at all, but it will stop the Egyptians from killing Abraham so as to make Sarah a widow.

Of course, when the nasty, murderous, evil Egyptians later learn the truth, they actually do nothing of the sort, and merely send Abraham on his way.

Genesis 12:14[edit]

And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

Genesis 12:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 12:15[edit]

The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

Genesis 12:15 Notes[edit]

We are really expected to believe that Pharaoh wants to marry a nobody like Sarai with no noble titles, no land, and no money, who is not even an Egyptian? Pharaoh has a bit of a GILF thing going on, apparently. However, that's not how royal marriages worked then.

Genesis 12:16[edit]

And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

Genesis 12:16 Notes[edit]

So Abraham is not only lying about it being his wife and not his sister[note 1] with Pharaoh, but he is cashing in to boot. What a guy.

In modern day language, this is known as "pimping".

Genesis 12:17[edit]

And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

Genesis 12:17 Notes[edit]

This may be the Bible's only plague of plagues. How, exactly, is Pharaoh the bad guy in this scenario?

Genesis 12:18[edit]

And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

Genesis 12:18 Notes[edit]

Pharaoh has a pretty solid argument here.

Genesis 12:19[edit]

Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

Genesis 12:19 Notes[edit]

So Pharaoh, having just been severely fucked over by both Abraham AND God, simply (and rather graciously) says, "just take your wife and leave".

Fortunately, God will be back to fuck the evil Egyptians over plenty more, so don't fret.

Genesis 12:20[edit]

And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

Genesis 12:20 Notes[edit]

Which, given what just transpired, is more than fair.

Genesis Chapter 13 (Abram and Lot return filthy rich and God promises the human race to match Earth's dust in numbers. Also, tents.)[edit]

Genesis 13:1[edit]

And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

Genesis 13:1 Notes[edit]

Note that Lot is seen here traveling with Abram and Sarai. This may be where he got some of his ideas about keeping it in the family as seen following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, once his wife was conveniently out of the way.

Genesis 13:2[edit]

And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Genesis 13:2 Notes[edit]

Given that Abram left "the land of famine" with not much, all this wealth must have come from his time in Egypt when he was pimping Sarai. But the gifts the Pharaoh gave are only described as, "sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels". So how did Abram end up with gold, and silver, and cattle?

Alternatively, if he did have all these cattle when he was in the land of famine, this means he preferred to allow a whole bunch of people to starve to death rather than lose a few cows. Either way, there is really nothing to like about this guy.

Genesis 13:3[edit]

And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;

Genesis 13:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:4[edit]

Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Genesis 13:4 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:5[edit]

And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

Genesis 13:5 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:6[edit]

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

Genesis 13:6 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:7[edit]

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

Genesis 13:7 Notes[edit]

There is an anachronism here. The narrator's addition—that the Canaanites and Perizzites lived then in the land—suggests it was written at a time when the residence of those groups was considered history. Though many believers attribute the authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses, the Canaanites lived in the land for the entirety of his life—and even after his death.

Genesis 13:8[edit]

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Genesis 13:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:9[edit]

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Genesis 13:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:10[edit]

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

Genesis 13:10 Notes[edit]

The Bible is not above putting in spoilers.

Genesis 13:11[edit]

Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Genesis 13:11 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:12[edit]

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Genesis 13:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:13[edit]

But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Genesis 13:13 Notes[edit]

We'll hear a lot more about Sodom later, including this "wicked and sinners" thing, but except for one incident it's not really explained. Don't hold your breath. Anyway, if they are so evil, why is Lot living with them?

Genesis 13:14[edit]

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

Genesis 13:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:15[edit]

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

Genesis 13:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:16[edit]

And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

Genesis 13:16 Notes[edit]

God expects Abram's seed to match the amount of dust we have on Earth.

Genesis 13:17[edit]

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

Genesis 13:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 13:18[edit]

Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Genesis 13:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis Chapter 14 (A bunch of kings suddenly fight each other and Abram is still an asshole)[edit]

Notice that Abram is suddenly a warrior badass instead of a wimp who pretends his wife is single so that he won't get killed.

Genesis 14:1[edit]

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

Genesis 14:1 Notes[edit]

Suddenly, there are new nations the reader is forced to keep track of, making it even more of a sudden challenge to follow now.

Most believing Bible scholars consider Amraphel to be a corruption of "Hammurabi," and most young-Earth chronologies rest on this assumption. Secular linguists, archaeologists, and Assyriologists universally give this one a resounding "NO."

Genesis 14:2[edit]

That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

Genesis 14:2 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:3[edit]

All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

Genesis 14:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:4[edit]

Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Genesis 14:4 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:5[edit]

And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

Genesis 14:5 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:6[edit]

And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.

Genesis 14:6 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:7[edit]

And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.

Genesis 14:7 Notes[edit]

This Chedorlaomer guy and his friends just can't satisfy their bloodlust.

Smiting the Amalekites here contradicts with Genesis 36:12, where Eliphaz Amalek is born after his descendants were smitten. To be fair, perhaps Amalekites was used in a general sense. "Amalekite" translates to "people who dwell in the valley" and was probably more of a descriptor than an actual proper name at this point.

Genesis 14:8[edit]

And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;

Genesis 14:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:9[edit]

With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.

Genesis 14:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:10[edit]

And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.

Genesis 14:10 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:11[edit]

And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

Genesis 14:11 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:12[edit]

And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Genesis 14:12 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:13[edit]

And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

Genesis 14:13 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:14[edit]

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Genesis 14:14 Notes[edit]

Also, what Abram did here was assemble a lovely slave army of only 318 and expect them to fight entire nations of his opponents. Remember, this guy is endorsed by God, so it can be assumed God supports slavery and also supports smiting opponents.

Genesis 14:15[edit]

And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

Genesis 14:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:16[edit]

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Genesis 14:16 Notes[edit]

The way women is put after goods, with "also", and also separate from the people, is very curious, as if women are a special kind of good, but not enough to be "the people".

Genesis 14:17[edit]

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

Genesis 14:17 Notes[edit]

Wait, Genesis 14:10 just said "the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell" into tarpits in the vale of Siddim. So which king of Sodom is this? It sounded like he died, but he better at least be covered in tar!

Genesis 14:18[edit]

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Genesis 14:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:19[edit]

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 14:19 Notes[edit]

The "Most High God" El Elyon, is thought to be a different God., the God of Salem. Note the offering of bread and wine and how Yahweh rejected Cain's offering of grain.

Genesis 14:20[edit]

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Genesis 14:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:21[edit]

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

Genesis 14:21 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:22[edit]

And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

Genesis 14:22 Notes[edit]

Genesis 14:23[edit]

That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Genesis 14:23 Notes[edit]

That's nice. Abram doesn't accept the spoils not because he's humble, but because he's too proud and doesn't want people to say, "I have made Abram rich", probably because Abram is already rich from pimping Sarah. Perhaps he has foresight in the apparent wickedness of Sodomites, but nothing is explained about exactly what is so bad about Sodomites at this point.

Genesis 14:24[edit]

Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Genesis 14:24 Notes[edit]

Abram supposedly has the king of Sodom over a barrel here, yet he decides to do nothing. Earlier we heard that Sodom and Gomorroah was full of evil people. So why didn't Abram just kill this king and take over and change things with the help of his buddy Melchizedek? Instead he did all the fighting and gives virtually everything back to this king, for no particular reason, just because of ego?

Genesis Chapter 15 (God blesses Abram with rectum babies)[edit]

Genesis 15:1[edit]

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Genesis 15:1 Notes[edit]

There has been no explicit mention in the previous chapter of God's role in winning the battle, but maybe God helped with the astounding victory of a motley army of 318 slaves.

Genesis 15:2[edit]

And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

Genesis 15:2 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:3[edit]

And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

Genesis 15:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:4[edit]

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

Genesis 15:4 Notes[edit]

If interpreted literally, this indisputably qualifies as a scientific error. An heir coming forth from a man's bowels is quite unknown to medical science. Unless you're willing to not take "bowels" literally, of course.

Genesis 15:5[edit]

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Genesis 15:5 Notes[edit]

First, it's the dust in the Earth and now it's the stars. Given that there are around 3,000 stars in the sky at any given time and a telescope is not mentioned, it's a much more feasible number than the dust in Earth. Still, this doesn't fare well for Abram's large intestines.

Genesis 15:6[edit]

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:7[edit]

And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

Genesis 15:7 Notes[edit]

See Genesis 11:28-31 for more on Ur of the ChaldeesWikipedia.

Genesis 15:8[edit]

And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Genesis 15:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:9[edit]

And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

Genesis 15:9 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:10[edit]

And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

Genesis 15:10 Notes[edit]

God basically asks for yet another animal sacrifice and for some reason, the birds aren't divided.

Genesis 15:11[edit]

And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

Genesis 15:11 Notes[edit]

It's nice wondering what would've happened instead if those birds were successful in their raid. Would God smite the birds? Would God order just more? Or would God say, "Nah, forget it, it's good enough we have half a leg missing."

Genesis 15:12[edit]

And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

Genesis 15:12 Notes[edit]

So he is asleep and in a "horror of great darkness". How is he aware of anything going on here and how are the authors aware of Abram's dream state and internal mental experiences?

Genesis 15:13[edit]

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Genesis 15:13 Notes[edit]

God knowingly afflicts his chosen people with slavery and ignorance of their descendants for four hundred years. Why does it have to be that way? Is it to test their faith? If so, why the arbitrary length of four hundred years? And if God can tell the future, why didn't he earlier warn Abram that Lot is going to be kidnapped in the previous chapter?

Genesis 15:14[edit]

And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

Genesis 15:14 Notes[edit]

Again, why the set-up for this "great substance"?

Genesis 15:15[edit]

And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

Genesis 15:15 Notes[edit]

If this "good old age" is past 120 and contradicts Genesis 6:3, tables shall be flipped.

Genesis 15:16[edit]

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 15:16 Notes[edit]

The Amorites are described as wicked in Leviticus, which has not yet been written. How is this meaningful to Abram?

Genesis 15:17[edit]

And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

Genesis 15:17 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:18[edit]

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Genesis 15:18 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:19[edit]

The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

Genesis 15:19 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:20[edit]

And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

Genesis 15:20 Notes[edit]

Genesis 15:21[edit]

And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Genesis 15:21 Notes[edit]

Genesis Chapter 16 (It's okay to rape your mistress if your wife can't have kids)[edit]

Genesis 16:1[edit]

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

Genesis 16:1 Notes[edit]

...whom Sarai would later nickname Hagar the Horrible. *rimshot*

Genesis 16:2[edit]

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

Genesis 16:2 Notes[edit]

"Well, if you insist, my dear wife Sarai, I'll bang your exotic handmaid," said Abram.

Genesis 16:3[edit]

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Genesis 16:3 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:4[edit]

And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

Genesis 16:4 Notes[edit]

Religious sanctity of marriage = man + his wife, and it's already shirked by a likely unconsenting mistress.

Genesis 16:5[edit]

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

Genesis 16:5 Notes[edit]

The mistress gloats that she got knocked up after a one-night stand she didn't ask for and the wife never got pregnant.

Genesis 16:6[edit]

But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

Genesis 16:6 Notes[edit]

Abram righteously allows Sarai to beat up a pregnant woman for getting sweaty with Abram as she told them both to do. Why is Sarai jealous only after Hagar is pregnant? She knew Hagar could conceive beforehand, which is why she asked Abram to sex her in the first place!

Again, this Abram and Sarai are supposed to be God's blessed people.

Genesis 16:7[edit]

And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

Genesis 16:7 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:8[edit]

And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

Genesis 16:8 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:9[edit]

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

Genesis 16:9 Notes[edit]

This is an instruction to return to the mistress who recently beat her. Of course it could be that Hagar is unprepared to survive in the wilderness, having no supplies for the escape, thus requiring her to turn back. Still, the angel orders Hagar to submit to her mistress, so it's not really "oh, you're unprepared to escape, go back".

Genesis 16:10[edit]

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

Genesis 16:10 Notes[edit]

Amplifying Hagar's fertility really seems like a punishment here, given the major investment of raising children and the reception it gets from Sarai when Hagar does conceive.

Genesis 16:11[edit]

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.

Genesis 16:11 Notes[edit]

See also Ishmael.

Genesis 16:12[edit]

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

Genesis 16:12 Notes[edit]

From this information alone, it seems like Hagar will be punished by having a rebellious and hated son.

Genesis 16:13[edit]

And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

Genesis 16:13 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:14[edit]

Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

Genesis 16:14 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:15[edit]

And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.

Genesis 16:15 Notes[edit]

Genesis 16:16[edit]

And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Genesis 16:16 Notes[edit]

Genesis Chapter 17 (God asks for a transaction of foreskins so Abram and his descendants can eventually be a minority group)[edit]

Genesis 17:1[edit]

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Genesis 17:1 Notes[edit]

Genesis 17:2[edit]

And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

Genesis 17:2 Notes[edit]

Genesis 17:3[edit]

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

Genesis 17:3 Notes[