Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Mon Mar 26 2007 - 21:41:39 EDT

Dick -

It seems then that when you refer to the descendants of Adam as "the covenant race" you mean the Noachic (rather than the Sinai) covenant. Right?

You say below: "In some cases the sons of Noah conquered and displaced the people who had been living there. In some cases they blended in as in Egypt. And in some cases they were simply absorbed into the surrounding culture." This sounds as if your position is closer to that of Westermann than you indicated earlier. If some of the descandants of Noah's sons "were simply absorbed into the surrounding culture" then there's no significant sense in which those particular cultures can be called "Adamite."

Or to put in another way, you seem to be trying to have it both ways - having real descendants of Noah (& Adam) but not having to explain how the whole nation of Egypt, e.g., developed quite rapidly from one couple. (I think it's a little misleading to say "Mizraim went to Egypt." Mizraim is Egypt - that's the Hebrew name of the country.)

Gen.10 simply looks like a catalogue of the nations known to Israel at some point in its history. If that's the case then there's no reason to think that the intention was to make any distinction (in terms of descent, covenant &c) between the peoples listed there & those who aren't. The reason the Cushites are listed & the Aztecs aren't is because the Israelites knew about the former but not the latter.(If that's not the case then the Noachic covenant doesn't include peoples not listed, which has some disconcerting implications.)

I agree, of course, that the restoration of the image of God comes through faith in Christ & not via biological descent.

A minor point: I don't think it's accurate to say that Noah "became a lush." He is pictured as the discoverer/inventor of wine, which is seen as positive in Gen.5:29 (cf. Westermann, p.360). But of course not knowing its effects he got drunk. There's no indication that he became an habitual drunkard.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: ASA
  Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 10:26 AM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  There are two aspects to early Genesis, historical/anthropological and theological. It may be easier to explore the first and overlay theological ramifications then to mix the two up and try to present it in one package. Let me give a quick synopsis in a few short paragraphs.

  Jacquetta Hawkes has a book, The Atlas of Early Man, which shows the world and what areas were populated at different time periods going back to 50,000 years ago. If you looked at a world map at roughly 7,000 years ago for Adam and 5,000 for Noah there are many millions of people all over the world map during these time periods, so it is virtually impossible that the entire world's population could emanate from either of them.

  Adam enters a populated world in the midst of the Ubaidans who migrated from the north when they constructed a canal off the Euphrates River at Eridu. Eridu is the first city in Mesopotamia in archaeological terms at 4800 BC, it is the sacred city of the Sumerians and Akkadians, and that is where the Sumerian king list says kingship was "lowered from heaven." The land between the rivers was called the "edin" meaning "plain," "prairie," or "desert." So a river (canal) went out of Eden (edin) to water the garden. The Garden of Eden was irrigated and Adam didn't do the digging.

  The 2900 BC flood terminated all the Adamite population we know as Akkadians, except for Noah and family. The flood decimated the Sumerians some of whom survived by retreating to the mountains to the east, but left untouched the rest of the populated world. That would include the Egyptians when Narmer was pharaoh at 3000 BC, the early Persians at Susa who wrote in cuneiform in a language we have never deciphered, the early Hittites who also had an unrelated language, the population at Nineveh who built a city 1,000 years before Asshur discovered it, and probably the city of Ebla which became a Canaanite city.

  The Sumerians moved back into the region of Sumer and reestablished the cities destroyed by the flood. The first city was Kish and the next city where kingship was established was Uruk, biblical Erech, or "Enoch" the city originally built by Cain. According to Josephus, Noah and his family remained in the region where the ark landed. My best estimate is somewhere in the region of Kirkuk either in Iraq or possibly in Iran south of the Lower Zab and east of the Tigris. This was the land of the early Kurds though they migrated north and the ark landing site migrated with them. I have doubts the ark got as far north to beyond Nineveh (Mosul) which had an earlier flood deposit but nothing corresponding to 2900 BC. Jebel Judi is north of Mosul and uphill, and Mount Ararat is out of the question. But I'm not adamant about the arks landing site. Though when the Semites came from "the east" to Babylon, well Iran is east and Ararat (Urartu) is north.

  Upon Noah's death 350 years after the flood the families of Ham, Shem, and Japheth set out to populate their apportioned lands, according to Josephus. This amount of time allowed them to reconstitute. They had knowledge of how to fashion bronze weaponry so the pre-existing populations were no match for them. Japhethites went north and west and out of the biblical picture. There is no mention of any Japhethite descendants beyond the third generation in the OT. Hamites and Semites didn't venture too far. Elam took over Susa. Heth established his family among the "Hittites" who then are named for him. The Amorites settled in Mesopotamia. Joktan began the Semitic Arabs who to this day distinguish themselves from the Hamitic Arabs from Ishmael. Mizraim went to Egypt. Canaan took a land not apportioned to him which God directed Abraham to go to. And so forth.

  In some cases the sons of Noah conquered and displaced the people who had been living there. In some cases they blended in as in Egypt. And in some cases they were simply absorbed into the surrounding culture.

  In a nutshell that sums up the inception and migrations of the Adamites and Noachides, also called Akkadians.

  The theological aspects are more complex and debatable. Contrary to some on this list I believe the image of God means simply a representative of God. The Israelites were not to make any graven images (representations) of God, for example. Adam was "created" in God's image - meaning he was appointed to represent God and introduce a new era of accountability. Whether Adam had natural parents is an open question. Through genetics we may some day know the answer to that, but I believe longevity was part of the package. That explains the 900+ years between Shem and Abraham in the Septuagint and the time between the flood at 2900 BC and Abraham at 2000 BC. It explains why Asshur was thought to be a "god," and why Gilgamesh sought out the reclusive Utnapishtim (Noah) in search of immortality.

  All living at the time of Adam could have achieved the same status Adam had if he had done his job. The mission fell to Noah who became a lush. Next was Abraham who did approximately what he was told. Then the Israelites were the chosen people to bring the news of God to their neighbors, but for the most part remained aloof. Then Christ, who truly was in God's image, made this status available to all. I believe today the IOG comes through Christ, it is not a birthright.

  Dick Fischer

  Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

  Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

  www.genesisproclaimed.org

  -----Original Message-----
  From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
  Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 10:06 PM
  To: Dick Fischer; ASA
  Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  OK, that's clear. Now sometimes you've said that Adam was the ancestor of the Israelites & sometimes of the "covenant people." What covenant do you mean? If it's just Israel then presumably it's the covenant at Sinai. I have been assuming that that's what you mean & that's why I described the fact that the peoples listed below (& more) are portrayed as descendants of Noah - & thus of Adam - as "devastating" for your view. But maybe you mean the Noachic covenant. That would mean that the Egyptians, the Ionian Greeks (Javan) & many others - but not the Chinese or Native Americans &c - are descended from Adam. So which do you mean?

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/

    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Dick Fischer

    To: ASA

    Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 12:36 PM

    Subject: RE: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

    Hi George:

    I think it would be well nigh impossible to fabricate a list of patriarchs retroactively based upon discovery of ancient populations and then ingeniously devise who begot who. And it would be the mother of all coincidences that peoples discovered just happened to bear the names of Genesis patriarchs. It seems far more logical to me that the people who bore the names of their ancient forefathers came from actual people. So yes, put Westermann and me in separate camps on this issue, however, Westermann was a first class scholar and I am in agreement with many of his conclusions. It's just that I have the benefit of close proximity to the Library of Congress where most others don't.

    Take Asshur, Noah's grandson, as one case alone.

    Asshur (Gen. 10:11) began the Assyrian empire in the northeast corner of Upper Mesopotamia where the Tigris runs from northwest to southeast. A vassal treaty of Esarhaddon (681-669 BC), son of Sennacherib (705-681 BC - see 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah), who had been murdered while on the throne, carried a seal naming "Ashur," founder of Assyria, as a god. And appropriately, Esarhaddon named his son, who was crown prince at the time, "Ashurbanipal" in honor of him. Just as Tubalcain descended from Cain so too some Assyrian kings were named after their famous forefather, i.e. King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria (833-859 BC) and the 38th king on the earliest Assyrian king list was "Puzar-Assur."

    This quote is 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'.

    Dick Fischer

    Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

    Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

    www.genesisproclaimed.org

    -----Original Message-----
    From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
    Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 1:48 PM
    To: Dick Fischer; ASA
    Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

    Yes, many of the names listed in Gen.10 can be identified with nations known from secular history in the ancient world. I was going to go on to the implications of that but it wasn't what I was asking. Are these _just_ names of nations or do you think this chapter in fact gives genealogies of real individuals from whom those nations descended &/or were named? Westermann (Genesis 1-11, p.504), e.g., takes the 1st view. In reference to the "sons" of Japheth: "The 'sons' are peoples or countries. The genealogical pattern is only the form of presentation; it is not meant to indicate descent. Only Japheth is a person; he does not stand for a people or country. The same holds for Shem and Ham; all three are only the names of persons and they are part of the tradition history of the flood. They do not belong to the table of nations, but act as a connecting link with it."

    This seems plausible to me, though I'm a little cautious about saying what the biblical author "meant." In any case, can I assume that you don't hold that view but think that the references to Gomer &c as sons of Japheth, Ham & Shem are to real historical individuals?

    Shalom
    George
    http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Dick Fischer

      To: ASA

      Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 10:11 AM

      Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

      Hi George, you wrote:

      Just so we're not talking at cross purposes, am I right in assuming that you read Gen.10 as a collection of real genealogies - i.e., that the people who are listed there are biological descendants of Noah's 3 (real) sons?

      Working back from Abraham we can trace as far as Shem's children, Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. Elam refers to a people, ElymŠans, concentrated around Susa initially, the ancient capital. Elamites are encountered first as Persians speaking a non-Semitic language. Scholars place Elam at the head of this Persian culture, and he is listed as a king in Persian history books. Asshur, of course, founded Assyria. Arphaxad is known as the forbearer to the Chaldeans, Arphachshad was called Arruphu by the Akkadians, and was known to Hurrians in the Nuzi tablets as Arip-hurra.

      Scholars from the time of Josephus have concurred that the Lydians descended from Lud, called the Luddu from the annals of Ashurbanipal. Lydians were famed archers in the ancient world. In Josephus, "Aram was father of the Aramites, whom the Greeks call Syrians ..." The Aramaeans, founded by Aram, situated themselves in various parts of Syria and Mesopotamia, and the Aramaic language stems from the children of Aram.

      In short, almost every one of the enumerated children stemming from the three sons of Noah can be found somewhere in the ancient world. It's in my upcoming book.

      Dick Fischer

      Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

      Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

      www.genesisproclaimed.org

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Received on Mon Mar 26 20:42:37 2007

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