Re: The Origins Solution

Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 23:16:54 EDT

  • Next message: "Re: RTB interview"

    Gordon noted,

    << The Expositor's Bible Commentary is among the minority. Its position is
     that since the Babel account interrupts the list of descendants of Shem
     after the list of Joktan's descendants and then lists Peleg's descendants
     after the Babel account, the people involved in the Babel account were
     just one branch of Shem's descendants. >>

    I see no logical connection between the fact that the account interrupts
    Shem's genealogy and the conclusion that therefore the people of Gen 11:2
    were just one branch of Shem's descendants.

    Poole, the 17th century commentator, following Calvin, thought that because
    the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was Babel (Gen 10:10) that the people were
    Ham's descendants; and he specifically denies that Shem's descendants were

    But, even if the people of Gen 11:2 were just one branch of humanity, it
    would not change the overall context of Gen 11:1 from being a statement about
    all of humanity. Remove the chapter division, which is a late addition, and
    you see the reference to the "earth" in a universal sense in the preceding
    verse, 10:32. It is that context, the context of all humanity having been
    destroyed by the Flood that sets up the meaning of "earth" in 11:1 as
    referring to the incipient humanity that descended from Noah, all speaking
    his language---whatever it was. There are a number of other reasons for
    understanding Gen 11:1 as universal. I have delineated them in my paper on
    the Tower of Babel, attached to this email. [If anyone reading this would
    like a copy, just email me.]

    <<Although the early church fathers apparently believed that the Flood was
    global, it appears that some of them realized that there were some
    problems associated with this view. Ambrose, for example, in considering
    Genesis 8:1 observed that there is a lot of wind on the ocean, but sea
    level is not dropping. Therefore he decided that the wind (or breath or
    spirit in the Hebrew) referred to the Holy Spirit, a view that perhaps
    noone holds today.>>

    I cannot see the logical connection between the understanding of ruah as the
    Holy Spirit instead of wind in Gen 8:1 and the extent of the Flood.

    Best wishes,


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Oct 17 2001 - 23:17:58 EDT