Monograph: A Study on The Sixth Day of Creation

Introduction & Background

Genesis 1:1-31 records the steps of Creation stated in days. "And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." In Hebrew tradition, the day ends at sunset, end of day, and a new begins lasting until the sun once again sets. The modern Jewish Sabbath begins Friday evening, usually at 6:00 PM and lasts 24 hours until the next day begins.

"A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night." [Psalm 90:4 - David speaking to God]

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." [2 Peter 3:8 NIV]


This verse may well be the one which has caused some to believe the earth is six thousand years old. If the Jews in Simon Peter's day had a word for billion, he might have used it instead of a thousand. At http://translate.google.com/#en|iw|billion, there are five different words given as being 'billion', and five in Greek. The word 'billion' does appear in English language NIV.

It is generally agreed that the historical Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, along with some Hebrew and Greek (although there is some debate as to the degree). The towns of Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, were primarily Aramaic-speaking communities, although Greek was widely spoken in the major cities of the Mediterranean Basin. Jesus may have also known enough Hebrew to discuss the Hebrew Bible, and he may have known Koine Greek through commerce in nearby Sepphoris. [wikipedia.org]

I have not found an ancient or middle Aramaic word meaning 'billion'. We can therefore accept bot DAvid and Peter's words as literal, or recognize that numeric terms from ancient texts were not like our modern numeroc system. Hebrew numbers were alphabetical in chatacter. The Roman numeric system, like the Hebrew, used alpha characters for numbers, the most well known being the 'I' =1, 'V'=5, 'X'=10, 'L'=50, 'C'=100, and 'M'=1,000. One million in Roman numerals ix MM with a bar above to indicate they numericals are multipled, otherwise, when a less value precedes a greater value, the less is substracted from the greater. Thus, our Arabic numeral 4 may be expressed in Roman either as IIII or IV. 9 can be expressed as VIIII or IX, and so on. The shorter expression is the most common usage.

So, how long did it take for God to start on day one (Sunday according to Saint Paul, the first day of the week which ends on the Sabbath), and finish on day six? No one knows. You may believe it was all done in 144 hours or any other number you like. No matter what you believe, there is only the literal reading of Genesis to support a Christian view understanding of the process time frame.

For purposes of this study, I will use the literal days one through five, then diverge to examine what I think is the reality of our situation.


New International Version ©2011
Genesis 3:


21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[or, in front] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
King James Version 1611
Genesis 3:


21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22 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:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Commentary: Genesis 3:21-24
As we commence this study you may be shocked by some of the questions I raise and/or answers I give. You can be open minded and prayerful about this, or simply discard it.

After the fall of man, their awareness of nakedness caused them to try to hide themselves with leaves. Toward the end of their time in the garden, when the Lord pronounced judgment and curses upon them and the serpent before banishing them, He made clothing for them from skins.

(No doubt Christians who are member of PETA and similar lunatic groups, must struggle with whether or not to forgive God for killing some helpless, innocent, animal to obtain its skin for clothing. Good thing they weren't there with their paint buckets).

Did the Lord obtain skins from animals? Or did He clothe their bodies with the skins we now wear? We know nothing of the physical forms of Adam and Eve. We know only that the man was formed from the ground and the woman was formed from a piece of the man.

Now let us back up a bit. On the sixth day God made the man. On the seventh day, He rested from all His labors. (The writers of Genesis seem to think it took effort for God to create all the cosmos out of nothingness. Do you believe God 'labored' to make it happen? I don't. HE spoke it/commanded it, to come into being).

Subsequently, an unrecorded number of 'days' passed until the serpent deceived the woman and all hell broke loose. Did all this happen on day eight? Or maybe day 10,000? No human knows the answer.

The passage cited above clearly states the reason they were expelled: to prevent them living forever in their then form. When Messiah came, their descendants were offered a way to obtain eternal life by eating from the True Vine of Life, Jesus Christ. But, not in our present form. Jesus raised himself from natural death and took on a form which was sometimes manifest as a mortal, other times as someone completely different, and other times s one who pass through walls.

cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. [NIV]
Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. [KJV]


Though banished, it was not the garden itself they were prevented from entering; it was access to the Tree of Life that was denied them.



New International Version ©2011
Genesis 4:


1 Adam[the man] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth[or acquired] a man.”
2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
King James Version 1611
Genesis 4:


1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 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:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 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.
Commentary: Genesis 4: 1-7
This passage is a straightforward narrative but raises questions. How many 'days' elapsed between Adam's sin and Cain's birth, then his crop, presumably but demonstrably, the first such? What did they eat before they grew crops? Abel sacrificed meat from a lamb to God. Animals existed in the garden along with his parents. Did he take a lamb from the garden? Did they in fact live in the garden but without access to the Tree of Life? Apparently killing animals for offering, and/or food, was permitted them. It seems clear that at this point in human history, there was only one LAW, which was to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Why did God accept Abel's offering and reject Cain's? Could it be that crops did not have blood to be shed? The sin in the garden was committed by man, not flora. God did not curse the trees, grasses, flowers, etc. He cursed the 'ground' to make it unyielding to the man's efforts. Cain must have worked very hard to grow food, while Abel was a shepherd, a comparatively easy occupation compared to farming with no mechanical implements. What is going on here?

Something about Cain's offering was not acceptable. God told him forthrightly he had no reason to be angry or downcast; that if he did what was right, he would be accepted. What was Cain doing that was not right in God's sight? There is a lesson here for us, and it is this: it is not the offering that God rejected but the offerer.

When I make an offering to God, it is out of the gratitude in my heart, in addition to my understanding that all I have came from Him in the first place; that He is the sovereign owner of all that is. In human terms, when I make something, it is mine. In a court of human law I can obtain recognition of that fact. If I copyright this writing, which I am this moment creating out of nothing, it is my property. God is the owner of all property of any kind.

I do not pretend I can read or judge Cain's heart or mind, even if I knew him personally. I am left believing there was something in his life and being that was offensive to God.

Then comes The Warning from God.

7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” [NIV]
7 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. {KJV]


In both translations, God tells Cain he must RULE over sin, whether sin be an it or a him. In the garden, it was a serpent, no doubt a form of Satan, but possibly not. It was a 'him'. Beginning with Cain, the firstborn of Adam and Eve, sin was lying in wait for mankind. Sin yet lies in wait for you and for me. In my view, sin is unbelief. Remember, the LAW was not given as we know it until Moses. Cain was not under that law. What sin could he commit? What law could he violate?

If my thesis is correct, he could go into the garden, or was already in the garden, and eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was not blocked. Only the Tree of Life was guarded. But sin was present wherever Cain was and it was ready to ensnare him.

My last, and to me most interesting, comment concerns the fact that God was on speaking terms with Cain. God was present! In the garden, or not in the garden, God was known to both Cain and Abel. They had reasons for bringing Him offerings though the reasons are nowhere explained.



New International Version ©2011
Genesis 4:


8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.
11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear.
14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so[or very well]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[wandering] east of Eden.


NOTES on NIV from Biblegateway.com
Genesis 4:8 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text does not have “Let’s go out to the field.”
Genesis 4:15 Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew 'Very well' rather than 'Not so'.
King James Version 1611
Genesis 4:


8 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.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he (meaning the Lord) said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12 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.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 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.
15 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.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
Commentary: Genesis 4: 8-16
In the field, or a field, Cain talked to his brother. Might have been conversation but more likely a quarrel which ended only when Cain killed his brother.

The we hear the Lord talking with Cain, Cain's denial of responsibility, etc. The Lord now issues a new curse on top of the ones levied against Adam, Eve, and the serpent.

In verse 14 I am astonished to find that Cain's lament centers of the fact that he will be hid/hidden from God's face. He could 'see' God? When the Israelites were marching through Sinai Desert, or "The Wilderness of Sin", Moses was placed in a rock cleft to protect him while the glory of the Lord passed by. The Lord's backside could be briefly viewed by Moses but not the face. To see the face of God was to die. No man could look upon the face of the Lord. What about Cain? (And what a coincidence the wilderness was named sin, eh?. No, I am not from Canada).

About now you are wondering what this has to do with the sixth day. Hang in there; it's coming.

Cain also feared that 'everyone' who saw him would kill him.

Firstly, who is 'everyone'? Scripturally, we know of only three persons on the planet at the time. There was Cain himself and his parents Adam and Eve. Did he fear one of his parents would kill him? Where is the 'everyone' who would kill Cain? Scripture tells us HOW God made Adam and Eve, and how Adam and Eve reproduced Cain and Abel.

Scripture does NOT tell us whether or not God made other humans placed elsewhere than in the garden. As is recorded later, both Cain and his brother Seth got wives and had sons who got wives from somewhere.

How could he be killed more than once? But the Lord assures him it won't happen because the Lord will put a mark on him so that anyone who killed would be avenged sevenfold. Do you want to believe this literally? That if anyone killed Cain, God would kill that person seven times? Or would God avenge Cain by killing off the assailant plus six of his family? A sevenfold punishment is realistic perhaps in terms of say; theft, where the thief loses seven times as much as he stole. Or, kidnapping, where the kidnapper is held prisoner for seven times as long. But human death can not be repeated seven times on the same person, so far as we know what we do about death.

I believe it nonproductive to speculate on what sort of mark God put on Cain, but apparently it worked because in later verses not included here, Genesis 4: 17 onward, Cain got, or already had, a wife from somewhere and she bore Enoch. Then Cain built a city. Yet the mark in verse 15 is confusing. The Lord Himself said the mark was son anyone finding Cain would not kill him. Who was there who could kill him? The implication that there are other people where Cain will be a vagabond is unmistakable.

Furthermore, whoever 'found' Cain would know the meaning of the mark. In much later books of the Bible we learn about rebellious angels having fallen to earth. We are also told they look upon the daughters of men and desired them. Did this happen before Adam and Eve or simultaneously with their creation, or later? Where did the daughters of men come from?


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

And this continues for generations. Meanwhile, Eve gives birth to Seth and another descendant line begins. But back to Cain; he went out of the Lord's presence to dwell in the land of Nod. Nod appears once, and once only, in the entire Bible. According to notes and various authorities, Nod means 'wanderer'. There is a place, near Talishi in Iran, which has been identified on Biblical maps as "Nod", east of the plain of Eden. Many believe it all began in this area. Others place it elsewhere.

If you take a look at this linked web site Human Migration, you see where modern researchers using DNA and fossil records believe it all began in Africa.

According to Scripture Nod is not a geographic location but a way of life - vagabond, wanderer. The Middle East and Africa are today populated by many tribes who live as Cain did, moving their homes, goods, families, herds, from place to place in an unending parade through their lives. In the Arctic Circle there are such nomadic peoples, who though having many modern technologies, move their entire homes, on runners, across the ice fields according to season.

Most of the Christians I personally know insist they are descendants of Seth rather than Cain. From looking at what goes on in our world of 2011, I'd say Cain's children are alive nd well.

For most of my life I thought Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and went to dwell in a land named Nod. It now seems to me quite foolish. The information came from 'common knowledge' among people I've met or heard. Scripture presents a surprisingly different picture from what I thought was the case.



Summary
The Bible is not given to us as a chronology. Histories therein overlap and repeat. In Genesis chapter 1 the entire Creation is outlined in steps. (The chapters and verses numbering system and divisions we use today originated in the 16th century. The oldest texts are not so divided. After this summary you will find a lengthy excerpt from a wikipedia article on the subject.)

Genesis chapter 2 opens with the seventh day, God resting from His labors. Chapter 2 repeats the narrative of Creation's steps then segues into chapter 3 in which the sin occurs and ends with the banishment at Genesis 3:24.

"And God blessed [or, made holy] the seventh day, and sanctified it" [Genesis 2:3 KJV]

Do you see anything blessed or holy about the period from Cain through today? I don't. Whether Biblical or conventional, history is made up almost entirely of man's depravity, violence, hatreds, and so forth. Since the giving of the LAW to Moses, it has, if anything, become worse. In the New Testament we learn that mankind is incapable of keeping the Law of Moses.

Only the divine God-Man Jesus lived on Earth without sinning. Whether that is because He was perfect in the Spirit, or whether because He was one with God, no matter what He did, it was not sin, is not an issue with which we can deal. Suffice it to say, that because He was without sin, His death paid the price for all the sins of mankind and re-opened the channel between man and God.

Did the seven days of Creation go by long ago? Is God resting from His labors? Not according to the One He sent.

[Jesus said] “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” [John 5:17 NIV]
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. [John 5:17 KJV]


So, WHY is God still working instead of resting?
For me, it is simple. The seventh day, which is holy, is yet to be. Genesis 2:2-3 is not historical; it is prophetic. God is not finished with man. God will rest when the current creation ends, the judgment is made, and HIS people come home to Him.

WE are living in the SIXTH DAY of His total creation according to His purposes. Amen.


Bible Chapters & Verses
Chapters
The original manuscripts did not contain the chapter and verse divisions in the numbered form familiar to modern readers. Some portions of the original texts were logically divided into parts following the Hebrew alphabet; for instance, the earliest known copies of the book of Isaiah use Hebrew letters for paragraph divisions. (This was different from the acrostic structure of certain texts following the Hebrew alphabet, such as Psalm 119 and the book of Lamentations.) There are other divisions from various sources which are different from what we use today.

The Hebrew Bible began to be put into sections before the Babylonian Captivity (586 BC) with the five books of Moses being put into a 154-section reading program to be used in a three-year cycle. Later (before 536 BC) the Law was put into 54 sections and 669 sub-divisions for reading.

By the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the New Testament had been divided into paragraphs, although the divisions were different from the modern Bible.

An important canon of the New Testament was proclaimed by Pope Damasus I in the Roman synod of 374. Pope Damasus also induced Jerome, a priest from Antioch, to undertake his famous translation of the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire at the time. This translation is known as the Vulgate. The Church continued to finance the very expensive process of copying and providing copies of the Bible to local churches and communities from that point up to and beyond the invention of the printing press, which greatly reduced the cost of producing copies of the Scriptures.

Churchmen Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro determined different schemas for systematic division of the Bible in the early 13th century. It is the system of Archbishop Langton on which the modern chapter divisions are based.

Verses
It is presently unknown how early the Hebrew verse divisions were incorporated into the books that comprise the Biblical canon. However, it is beyond dispute that for at least a thousand years the Tanakh has contained an extensive system of multiple levels of section, paragraph, and phrasal divisions that were indicated in Masoretic vocalization and cantillation markings. One of the most frequent of these was a special type of punctuation, the sof passuq, symbol for a full stop or sentence break, resembling the colon mark (:) of English and Latin orthography. With the advent of the printing press and the translation of the Bible into English, Old Testament versifications were made that correspond predominantly with the existing Hebrew full stops, with a few isolated exceptions. A product of meticulous labour and unwearying attention, the Old Testament verse divisions stand today in essentially the same places as they have been passed down since antiquity. Most attribute these to Rabbi Isaac Nathan ben Kalonymus's work for the first Hebrew Bible concordance around 1440.[2]

The first person to divide New Testament chapters into verses was Italian Dominican biblical scholar Santi Pagnini (1470–1541), but his system was never widely adopted.[3] Robert Estienne created an alternate numbering in his 1551 edition of the Greek New Testament.[4] The first English New Testament to use the verse divisions was a 1557 translation by William Whittingham (c. 1524-1579). The first Bible in English to use both chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible published shortly afterwards in 1560. These verse divisions soon gained acceptance as a standard way to notate verses, and have since been used in nearly all English Bibles.

You can read the entire fascinating history of this topic at Wikipedia.org



©2011 Wayne Hepburn


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