Chuck Vandergraaf wrote:
>Lately, though. I've started to see myself as a penguin on an ice floe
>heading north, towards the equator: I'm the penguin and the ice under my
>feet is Word of God. As we obtain more and more information, more and more
>of the OT turns out to be not what we were taught it to be. There was
>apparently no "Adam" as he is portrayed in Genesis, and his missing rib
>didn't turn into his spouse. There may not have been an Ark as we
>understand it and Noah (or whoever he was) did not bring all the animals
>with him. The book of Esther may have been little more than a "morale
>booster" and Jonah may not have visited Nineveh.
>Finally, how does this impact on the Sunday School curriculum? Do we still
>tell the stories about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and let the kids
>find out later that "it wasn't necessarily so," or do we tell them that
>"it's only a story" so that they won't have to face disappointment later on?
>The ice floe is melting....
Please pardon me for being Mr. Butinsky, as this was addressed to Howard,
but I have been on this list for years now, and have argued until I turned
blue upon occasion that all of Genesis 2-11 has historical
integrity. Okay, set aside Adam and Noah for awhile. Let's look at some
of Noah's progeny starting with his sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem.
Genesis 10:2. Japheth had seven sons: "Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal,
Meshech, and Tiras." Josephus attaches Magog to the Scythians on the Sea
of Asof and the Caucasus. The Medes are derived from Madai. Javan is
given credit for founding the Greeks. Herodotus placed descendants of
Tubal on the east of Thermodon. Meshech relates to the Moschi "in the
Moschian mountains between Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis." Tribal offshoots
of Tiras have been associated with Thrace, Egypt, and Assyria.
Genesis 10:3. Gomer had three sons: "Ashkenaz, Riphath, and
Togarmah." Ashkenaz has been linked with some peoples in the area of
Germany, and possibly with the Ascanians in upper Phrygia. Many who live
in the eastern United States call themselves "Ashkenazi Jews." The
Armenians can be traced to Togarmah.
Genesis 10:4: The sons of Javan were "Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and
Dodanim." Spain may have been the land of choice for the offshoots of
Tarshish, although Tarsus in ancient Cilicia, birthplace of Paul, is
Tarshish in Hebrew. Kittimites can be found in Cyprus, and possibly, on
the shores at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Dodanim's
descendants are connected with the north of Greece.
Genesis 10:6. The sons of Ham are: "Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and
Canaan." The descendants of Cush are identified with Eastern Mesopotamia,
Arabia, Southern Asia, and Khuzistan in present-day Iran. Mizraim is
Egypt. Even when Mizraim is mentioned later in the OT, translators put
"Egyptians." The Canaanites took the southeastern shore of the
In 1977, the Canaanite city of Ebla was brought to light at Tell Mardikh in
Syria. Dating to the Chalcolithic period, Ebla appears to have been a
major trading partner with Mari and Uruk. The clay tablets excavated from
Ebla revealed a cuneiform style of writing similar to that found at
Shuruppak and Abu Salabikh, dating to the same period.
Genesis 10:8: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the
Genesis 10:10: Nimrod is called the "mighty hunter." "And the beginning
of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of
Shinar." All of these cities have been found and excavated except for
Accad. Yet Accad is known from the written history of southern
Mesopotamia. The exploits of Nimrod remain a mystery. No traces of Nimrod
have yet been found in the annals of ancient history except for a city
named Birs Nimrud.
Genesis 10:11: "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh,
and the city of Rehoboth, and Calah." A clay tablet was recovered in
excavations at Khorsabad in 1933-34. It contains a list of Assyrian kings
beginning with "17 kings who lived in tents," probably nomads. "Tudia"
tops the list of kings followed by "Adamu," a likely namesake of his famous
forefather. Farther down the list, the 38th king is "Puzar-Assur." He was
one of many Assyrian kings named in honor of a more immediate forefather,
Asshur of Genesis 10:11.
Asshur began the Assyrian empire in the northeast corner of Upper
Mesopotamia where the Tigris river runs from northwest to southeast. Here
mounds of ruins can still be found today along both banks of the river.
This is a quote from The Cambridge Ancient History: "The knowledge about
some of the cities buried under these mounds was never lost. That the
mound of Nimrud on the east bank, close to the point where the Greater Zab
flows into the Tigris, was the town of Kalakh mentioned in Genesis 10:11
was told by the natives to a British representative of the East India
Company who explored the site in 1820. They even knew that the country to
which this town had once belonged was named 'al-Assur'.
Building cities, however, does not mean Asshur started from scratch on
virgin soil. Although the excavations at the city of Asshur only hint at
previous habitation, the underlying ruins beneath Nineveh revealed levels
of occupation that preceded the arrival of the Assyrians by roughly 1,000
years. The artifacts recovered at Nineveh were related to the pre-flood
Ubaid or Halafian cultures, not to the Semite or Sumerian peoples.
Pottery and artifacts dating to the pre-flood period at Nineveh is
unmistakable evidence of a pre-existing populated site upon which Asshur
could build an Assyrian city, but the testimony runs deeper then
that. Cuneiform writing found at the site reveals the city already was
called "Ninua" before Asshur arrived
Mizraim and his sons are associated with Egypt. By no means does that
signify they gave birth to the entire Egyptian populace. With the
exception of the Philistines, who came from Casluhim with reinforcements
from Caphtor, the rest of Mizraim's sons leave only sparse traces in
various parts of Egypt. Pathrusim is associated with the island of Pathros
where John was exiled.
From Noah's grandson, Canaan, came Sidon and Heth, followed by the
Jebusites, Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites,
Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
Sidonians dwelt at the "northern borders of Canaan or Phoenicia." The
Hittites are the sons of Heth, and initially occupied a stretch of land
south of the Black Sea before they began their conquering ways. Jebusites
inhabited Jerusalem. Amorites remained closely associated with the
Canaanites, and ranged from "the mountains of Judah and beyond the Jordan
in the time of Moses."
The Arkites found their space in the south of Lebanon, also the home of
choice for the Sinites, though no one seems to know exactly where. The
Arvadites took up residence on a "small rocky island of Arados to the north
of Tripolis." Zemerites were the "inhabitants of Simyra in
Eleutherus." The town of Hamath, located about 115 miles north of
Damascus, was founded by the Hamathites.
Genesis 10:22: The children of Shem are: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and
Aram. From Lud came the Lydians who may have remained in the same general
area as the Assyrians, though Bush places them in Ethiopia. The Aramaeans,
founded by Aram, situated themselves in various parts of Syria and
Mesopotamia, and from them the Chaldeans descended. The children of Aram -
Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash - are all to be found in close proximity to the
same area settled by their father. Joktan is considered to be the head of
the primitive Arabian tribes; his sons can be traced largely to places and
districts in Arabia.
In short, the geneaologies in Genesis 10, confirmed by archaeology and
ancient history, underscores the historical integrity of the biblical
narrative. By the way, this is one of the reasons I find Glenn Morton's
explanation so "out to lunch." How could grandsons and great grandsons,
which are identifiable as living from about 3,000 years ago, be immediately
related to a man (Noah) who presumably lived 5 million years ago?
Start paddling that ice berg back south, Chuck.
Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution - www.orisol.com
"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."
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