This study stems from a biblical worldview, which dictates that the Bible is inspired of God, inerrant, and infallible: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:16-17). The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keepthem, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7). If we accept these biblical claims, and the Bible’s divine authority, then we may look to the Bible to increase our knowledge of both the Creator and His creation. What does the Bible say about the age of the Earth? First of all, it is important to note that the chief purpose of the Bible is the revelation of the way of salvation: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerninghimself (Luke 24:27). And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must befulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the thirdday (Luke 24:44-46). 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). Because the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ is not affected by the age of the Earth, Scripture does not directly address it. However, Scripture is very clear about the age of the Creator of the Earth: But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2). INTRODUCTION My brief experience as a volunteer “archaeologist” in 1984, at the City of David excavations in Jerusalem, has enabled me to view Scripture from a unique perspective. I have found that correlations between the Bible and material culture can lead, not only to a broader understanding of what occurred (truth), but also expand our knowledge of God and fill us with the knowledge of His will. Before my arrival in the City of David, previous excavations had uncovered, and removed, material culture from the Roman, Greek and Persian periods. Dr. Yigal Shiloh, director of the excavations, asked me to dig in Area D-2, through which ran an Iron Age city wall that had been constructed by King Hezekiah. On the top portion of this wall (called the mid-slope wall), we found remains of a cobblestone walkway which was dated by indicative pottery fragments to the Persian period (539-333 B.C.). Interestingly, the word “repaired” is used 35 times in Nehemiah chapter 3 and probably refers to the reconstruction of Hezekiah’s wall and gates which had been damaged or destroyed by the Babylonians (II Kings 25:10). Along the bottom of some sections of the mid-slope wall, we found evidence of earlier construction activity by the Jebusites, which, according to the pottery evidence, would have taken place sometime around 1800 B.C. One morning, I volunteered to wash artifacts that had been brought up to site headquarters in tagged pails. There was a small celebration after I noticed an inscription and star design from the Persian period on one of the pot handles. Later, I was asked to wash some flint tools that had been found in a pit in the bedrock near the Gihon Spring. The flint points and flakes were still so sharp that it was like handling broken glass beneath the murky water in the pail. In Dr. Shiloh’s opinion, the flint tools and associated pottery appeared to be from the Chalcolithic period (4500-3150 B.C.). My area supervisor, Donald Ariel, later wrote: "The great importance of the assemblage published here lies in the fact that it is the first undisturbed assemblage of Chalcolithic pottery to be found in Jerusalem. Though the small quantity of material does not permit discussion in depth, it is clear evidence of settlement of unknown extent of Jerusalem in the Chalcolithic period. A few Chalcolithic sherds have been found in different locations all over the eastern slope of the City of David hill (e.g. Area E). One might suggest that such a settlement grew up around and adjacent to the Gihon Spring. Similar settlements close to springs are known in the Chalcolithic period; an example near Jerusalem is Sataf (Gibson, Ibbs, and Kloner 1991: 34-35)” (Ariel, 2000). Back inside the New Imperial Hotel, I opened my Bible to the first chapter of Genesis. I could see the familiar 4004 B.C. date in the margin and was excited to think that I had just handled artifacts that could have originated from around the time of Adam and Eve. But the problem with this idea became apparent when, later, we were told that some of those flint tools may have originated in even earlier periods; the Neolithic (8500-4500 B.C.), the Natufian (10,300-8500 B.C.) or even the Epipaleolithic (18,500-10,300 B.C.). This information was mentioned in the Hebrew University’s final report IV: “The presence of 11 bladelets may be of some interest, since bladelet industries are known in the Chalcolithic at Ghassul (Neuville 1934) and in the Early Bronze I at Arad (Schick 1978). However, it is impossible to determine whether these pieces are in fact intrusive from even earlier periods. Cores consisted of 37 irregular, nodular flake cores, five small mixed blade/flake cores, two single platform non-Canaanean blade cores and ten bladelet cores. The later could easily be Epipaleolithic intrusions. All come from fill loci… The three blade and two bladelet cores recovered are undoubtedly intrusive, dating from the Neolithic/Chalcolithic and Epipaleolithic, respectively” (Rosen, 1996). I have always believed that the creation of the first man, Adam, occurred somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 B.C., so the thought that I had handled tools that had been manufactured during the Epipaleolithic Period (18,500-10,300B.C.) certainly gave me pause! In nearby Jericho, archaeologists Kathleen Kenyon and John Garstang found evidence of occupation as early as 8000 B.C. John Garstang, a British archaeologist, mounted an expedition to gather evidence regarding the date of the fortifications at Jericho. He dug from 1930 to 1936 and promptly published his findings in a series of preliminary reports. Garstang concluded that the residential part of the city (City IV) came to an end about 1400 B.C., based on pottery found in the destruction debris and on scarabs recovered from nearby tombs. He ascribed the destruction to invading Israelites. Later (1960s), when excavating Jericho, Kenyon ignored Garstang's records and came to her own conclusions regarding the Israelites. Of special importance, though, is Kenyon’s follow up excavation of the Neolithic strata. She distinguished two strata that had been occupied by people who did not make or use pottery (so-called pre-pottery Neolithic) and two other strata (pottery Neolithic) inhabited by people who did use pottery. Kenyon concluded that the settlement at the site goes back to at least 8000 B.C., thus giving Jericho the distinction of being one of the world’s oldest cities. Kenyon’s discoveries, later confirmed by excavations at other sites, are the foundation of what we now know regarding a formative period that preceded and led to the historical periods. Chester C. McCown wrote: "In 1925, on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and under the general supervision of Professor John Garstang, director of the School and of the Department of Antiquities, an Oxford student, Mr. F. Turville-Petre, excavated two caves just at the edge of the plain at its northern side, Mugharet el-Emireh ("the cave of the Princess") and Mugharet ez-Zuttiyeh ("the cave of the Gipsy woman")… Here (Mugharet ez-Zuttiyeh), under a large boulder and deep in the layer of man-made deposits, amid flints of the Mousterian type, Mr. Turville-Petre came upon four pieces of a skull now famous as the "Galilee man." The Galilee skull dates back to at least 40,000, perhaps, even to 100,000 years ago and actually represents an entirely new species related to the genus Homo. A popular preacher contrasted "Galilee man and the Man of Galilee." Yet it is not from a sentimental but from a scientific point of view that these four bits of human braincase are important. They were put into the hands of the famous English anatomist and (physical) anthropologist, Sir Arthur Keith, who identified them as coming from the skull of a young man of the Neandertal race. It was the first discovery of that race outside of Europe. Over twenty skeletons, or more often parts of skeletons, of members of the race had been found in Europe, in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Moravia, France, Croatia, Italy, Gibraltar, and the islands of Jersey and Malta. The types of flint instruments made and used by the Neandertalers, the Mousterian, were well known in all of these countries... But outside of Europe, who made and used them? When the boulder was tilted over and the brown fragments of skull lay revealed, a new chapter was begun in the prehistory, not only of Palestine, but of the world, for they provided for the first time that similar races were making and using similar flint tools in Asia as well as Europe. Sir Arthur Keith noted also that the skull was partly Neandertal, partly of a different type. Was Galilee man a true Neandertaler?" (McCown, The Ladder Of Progress In Palestine, 1943). What’s going on here? Who were these beings that lived so long ago, and how do they fit in with the biblical account of creation? I believe I have found the answer to these questions and that is the reason I have chosen to share this study. As we look into this issue, it must remembered that the chief purpose of the Bible is the revelation of the way of salvation and that the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ is not affected by what we choose to believe about the age of the Earth and its inhabitants.
Chapter 1 – GOD’S ETERNAL NATURE AND HIS CREATIVE ACTS When entering any discussion concerning God and His creation, it is important to first consider God’s eternal nature: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God (Psalm 90:2). It is not difficult for most of us to envision “everlasting” in a future sense (always will be), but to grasp the idea of “everlasting” in a past sense (always was) may require more effort. “To everlasting” implies no end, while “from everlasting” implies no beginning. God has no beginning, therefore, when the biblical writer states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), he may be referring to the beginning of time itself, being necessary for the initial existence of man and the physical universe in which he lives: “In general, there is a considerable likelihood that the early Christians understood the Genesis story to imply that the beginning of time was simultaneous with the beginning of the creation of the world, especially since the chronological scheme takes its departure from this date. …The opinion, maintained by a dogmatician like Barth and an Old Testament scholar like Eichrodt, that time began with the first acts of creation, is surely a very natural way of interpreting the Genesis text and of stating how it would be read in the early Church” (Barr, 1962). To exist outside the bounds of time, as only God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) can do, is to live in an unchangeable environment – an eternal, all knowing, moment: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exodus 3:14). Jesus, being both God and man, demonstrates that time exists within the greater realm of eternity and His existence lies both within and without its borders: Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:57-58); I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16). But to exist as we do, solely within the constraints of time, is to experience constant change and a progression through the present, into the future, leaving the past behind. It is possible that, as time began, the first change in an otherwise unchangeable environment was God’s creation of the angels (sons of God). They are recorded in Scripture as shouting for joy as the foundations of the earth were set in place: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7). The greatest of them all was the anointed cherub that covereth, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty: …Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (Ezekiel 28:12b-15). The phrase “till iniquity was found in thee” indicates that freedom of choice plays an important role within the realm of time. When time is no longer, change will no longer occur. Freedom of choice will no longer be a factor because the choice that brought us near to God, or separated us from Him, will already have been made and where we will spend all of eternity will be based on our own personal choice. Choose wisely! The Lord has no “beginning” or “ending,” so when He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13), He is speaking strictly in human terms. Existence in our physical world requires a beginning and an ending. It follows then that the Bible is God’s word, written for mankind in terms that mankind can understand, not from God’s perspective, but from ours: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8). God reveals Himself to mankind not only through His written Word, but also through His wonderful creation: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard (Psalm 19:1-3); For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). In 1871, Reverend Herbert Morris commented on the fact that God is responsible for two books; the Bible, and the book of nature: “Two great volumes have been laid before man for his instruction, and from which his ideas and science all have been derived – the material Works, and the inspired Word of God. These being the productions of the same wise and unchangeable Author, the harmony subsisting between them is universal and complete. Both have for their end the manifestation of the Invisible Deity. While in the Bible we have a verbal revelation of the wisdom and power and goodness of God, in material Nature we have a pictorial revelation of the same, ‘the invisible things of Him being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.’” (Morris, Science and the Bible, 1871). “There is, therefore, nothing to alarm the friend of the Bible in the geological announcement that the earth may have existed through unmeasured periods before the creation of man. Geology militates not against the Scripture, but against the mistaken, though common, interpretation put upon it. The Scripture nowhere undertakes to inform us when this globe was brought into existence; it simply states the grand and important fact, that “in the beginning,” whenever that was, “God created the heaven and the earth.” Between that beginning and the creation of man, millions of years, or even millions of ages may have elapsed, during which all the physical changes and operations described by geology were going on. But these, like the rings of Saturn, or the satellites of Jupiter, the sacred historian, without saying a word, or dropping a hint, passes by, as not being embraced in the plan or connected with the object of the inspired word” (Morris, Science and the Bible, 1871). Reverend Morris’s comments may have been influenced by the earlier writings of Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers: “Those rocks which stand forth in the order of their formation and are much imprinted with their own peculiar fossil remains, have been termed the archives of nature where she hath recorded the changes that have taken place in the history of the globe. They are made to serve the purpose of scrolls or inscriptions on which we might read of those great steps and successions by which the earth has been brought to its present state. And should these archives of nature be but truly deciphered, we are not afraid of their being openly confronted with the archives of revelation. It is unmanly to blink the approach of light from whatever quarter of observation it may fall upon us – and these are not the best friends of Christianity who feel either dislike or alarm, when the torch of science or the torch of history is held up to the Bible. For ourselves, we are not afraid when the eye of an intrepid, if it be only of a sound philosophy, scrutinizes however jealously all its pages. We have no dread of any apprehended conflict between the doctrines of Scripture and the discoveries of science – persuaded as we are, that whatever story the geologists of our day shall find to be engraven on the volume of nature, it will only the more accredit the story which is graven on the volume of revelation” (Chalmers, 1857). If you believe, as the Bible says, that God created the heaven and the earth, then you can call yourself a “Creationist.” Creationists are divided into two main camps – Young Earth Creationists (YEC) and Old Earth Creationists (OEC). Young Earth Creationists believe that the days of the first chapter of Genesis are normal 24-hour days, and the creative events described therein all occurred during that time with the appearance of cattle, creeping thing, beast of the earth, and man on the 6th day with all the other creative acts occurring within the previous 5-day period. Sages of the late Second Temple Period and the century after the destruction calculated the date of Creation. They did so based upon the Bible’s account of kingdoms and lifetimes, thereby determining the time from the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. to Creation. Many rabbis attempted this complicated task, but the method attributed to Rabbi Yossi ben Halafta, a second century A.D. sage, is the one which gained popularity. He calculated “molad tohu” (birth from nothing) to be in the fourth hour of Monday, October 7, 3761 B.C. Countless scholars, both Jewish and Christian, have attempted to calculate the date of Creation. Even though they used the same Hebrew Bible for their systems of accounting, there is a broad range among their estimates. Well into the twentieth century the most commonly given date for Creation was the year 4004 B.C., calculated by Bishop Usher, who published his date in 1654. To this day, those Jews who take the biblical accounting of time literally still hold to Rabbi Yossi’s calculation, dating Creation to the year 3761 B.C. and many Christians (Young Earth Creationists) continue to hold on to Usher’s 4004 B.C. date. Young Earth Creationists adhere to catastrophism (the doctrine that major changes in the earth's crust result from sudden catastrophes, such as the impact of a large meteor, rather than from gradual evolutionary processes) and attribute geological features on the earth, like the Grand Canyon and all the fossil remains in thick rock layers to a relatively recent flood. This is called “Flood Geology.” DR. Norman Geisler wrote, "Most young-earth creationists are also flood geologists; that is, they believe that the apparent age of the earth represented in the sedimentary geological formations do not represent millions of years, but only one year of activity by a worldwide flood" (Geisler, Systematic Theology, 2003). It is also necessary for Young Earth Creationists to claim that dinosaurs were on the ark and co-existed with modern man. But as geologists continue to read God’s volume of nature and share their interpretation with us, the mounting evidence that our earth is very old is hard to ignore. Professor of Geology at Calvin College, Davis Young wrote: “Scientific arguments that are said by creationists to indicate that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, at most, are based on incomplete information, wishful thinking, ignorance of real geological situations, selective use of data to support the favored hypothesis, and faulty reasoning. Scientific evidence, considered as a whole, and as we have it now, compellingly argues for the great antiquity of the Earth” (Young, 1982). Professor Stephen Moshier of Wheaton College commented: “As geoscience educators, we dedicate our professional lives to sharing knowledge about Earth and its history with our students. Yet, we may find ourselves on the battlefield of a culture war over the perceived conflict between science and religion. A 2009 Pew survey found that 59% of the American public believe that science and religion are often in conflict (Masci, 2009). The most acute tension is felt and expressed among Evangelical Protestant Christians (some 25% of the American public), many of whom believe that modern scientific explanations of cosmic origins, Earth history, and evolution are incompatible with the Genesis account of the creation week and the flood of Noah. Young Earth Creationism (YEC) and "flood geology" is promoted to this community as the "Christian alternative" to godless, secular science. Many of our students bring those concerns into the geology classroom.” (Moshier, 2009). Believers in Old Earth Creationism (OEC) claim that the creation events took longer than six days and that there is no conflict between the witness of Holy Scripture and the witness of nature. Most Old Earth Creationists hold that decay of matter and energy, and death of living things had been characteristic of the universe since the creation. This is called uniformitarianism (a geological doctrine that processes acting in the same manner as at present and over long spans of time are sufficient to account for all current geological features and all past geological changes). They do not believe in evolution, but believe God suddenly intervened supernaturally to create complex life and later created entirely new species (after their own kind) suddenly and at widely spaced time intervals (see Genesis 1:21, 24, 25, 27).
Chapter 2 – THE SIX DAYS OF REVELATION IN CHAPTER ONE OF GENESIS Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 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. The Reverend C. I. Scofield made popular the view (Gap Theory) that there could be a great gap of time between the first two verses of the Bible into which all the geological ages fit – Destruction of the original earth and then a recreation of earth within a six-day time period. But the verses, being connected throughout Genesis chapter one by the word “and,” are not separate entities and should not be treated as such. Around 200 A.D. Tertullian argued, “But how much more credible is our opinion, which holds that Scripture has only subjoined the arrangement of the subject after it has first duly described its formation and mentioned its name! Indeed, how full and complete is the meaning of these words: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth; but the earth was without form, and void, Genesis 1:1-2 — the very same earth, no doubt, which God made, and of which the Scripture had been speaking at that very moment. For that very but is inserted into the narrative like a clasp, (in its function) of a conjunctive particle, to connect the two sentences indissolubly together: But the earth. This word carries back the mind to that earth of which mention had just been made, and binds the sense thereunto. Take away this but, and the tie is loosened….” (Tertullian, The Method Observed in the History of the Creation, in Reply to the Perverse Interpretation of Hermogenes). When the Bible states …God created the heaven and the earth and the earth was without form and void… (Genesis 1:1-2), the implication is that what was being described is how the earth looked immediately following its creation. Envision it as a plain ball of water containing no other defining characteristics or living thing (Psalm 104:5-9). The narrative then continues with God forming the earth and filling the void in the rest of chapter one. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. There are some who interpret the “days” of Genesis chapter one as long periods of time, even millions of years (Long Day Theory). Long-day theorists claim that the word “day” in Genesis chapter one must be interpreted by its context - not how it is normally used. Ironically, they take II Peter 3:8 out of context to strengthen their theory. II Peter 3:8-9 – But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. A more careful interpretation of these verses would show that they have more to do with the Lord’s eternal and merciful nature than His precise perception of time. “Time is of no consequence to God, and in His love for men He is keeping open for as long as possible the door of repentance. …The main thrust of it is that after the second coming, ushering in Christ’s judgment, there will be no further opportunity for repentance, and so God in His mercy is giving men as long as possible to repent” (Wheaton, 1978). Another problem with the Long Day Theory is the use of the words “evening and morning” in Genesis chapter one. When reading Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31, an interpretation which would make these days other than ordinary twenty-four-hour days seems impossible. To an ordinary reader of modern days, as to those of ancient times, these days, each with their evenings and mornings, imply six days of ordinary length. The great Hebraic scholar C.D. Ginsburg commented on the use of the term “day” in chapters one and two of Genesis: “There is nothing in the first chapter of Genesis to justify the spiritualization of the expression day. On the contrary the definition in verse 5 of the word in question demands that yom should be understood in the same sense as we understand the word day in common parlance, i.e. a natural day” (Wiseman P. , 1977). “The arguments generally produced by those who ascribe to the word day here an unlimited duration of time are untenable. They say that the word day is not to be taken here in its literal meaning is evident from chapter 2:4, for the portion of time spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis as six days is spoken of in the second chapter as one day. But the word used in the first six days is the simple noun, whereas in chapter 2:4 it is a compound of the day of with the preposition in, which, according to the genius of the Hebrew language, makes it an adverb, and must be translated, when, at the time of, after” (Wiseman P. , 1977). Genesis 2:4 – These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens… Archaeology is a relatively new science, the benefits of which have not been available to us until about the last hundred and fifty years or so. But we now have the distinct advantage of incorporating tangible evidence along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our efforts to properly interpret Scripture. “Until the results of modern archaeological research became known it was not possible to understand fully the literary methods in use in early days. During the years the writer was living in Babylonia, time was spent in examining, on the one hand the text of Genesis, and on the other the ancient methods of writing prevailing there 5,000 years ago. It was the study of the Bible creation record in the light of these old literary methods which has made possible a more exact knowledge of the unique structure and meaning of the narrative. …Every advance in archaeological discovery has enabled us to understand these writings better. There has been a vast growth in our knowledge of the remote past, particularly about the old ways of writing, and the present reinterpretation is made in the light of methods customary in early times” (Wiseman P. J., Creation Revealed in Six Days, 1958). P. J. Wiseman became familiar with ancient Babylonian tablets and noticed similarities in literary form to that of the book of Genesis. His “Tablet Theory” caught the attention of more than a few Bible scholars. “An important step towards an understanding of the manner in which Genesis was compiled in the light of the ancient Babylonian ‘life-situation’ was made in 1936 by P. J. Wiseman. A British air-commodore of decidedly antiquarian bent, Wiseman examined the literary forms of ancient Babylonian tablets with a view to solving the literary problem of the origin of Genesis. From the existence of colophons, catch-lines, scribal dating, and other devices of antiquity familiar to the Assyriologist, Wiseman argued towards the presence of similar phenomena in the bulk of Genesis. He interpreted the enigmatic phrase ‘these are the generations of’ as in fact constituting a colophon in the text, and pointing to the preceding verses as a complete unit which in cuneiform would have constituted a tablet. He further adduced the presence in the early Genesis narratives of such Babylonian literary mechanisms as scribal attempts at dating, the linking of passages in series, specific titles of sections, and the use of catch-lines.” “Wiseman’s theory postulated documentary sources for Genesis although of a completely different nature from those suggested by the adherents of the Graf-Welhausen school. He stressed the strictly Mesopotamian nature of much of the source-material which he had uncovered, and suggested that it had been combined with the Joseph narratives to form the book of Genesis, presumably under the direct influence of Moses. His approach had the distinct advantage of relating the ancient Mesopotamian life-situation, unlike the attempts of the Graf-Welhausen school, and showed that the methods of writing and compilation employed in Genesis were in essential harmony with the processes current among the scribes of ancient Babylonia” “Accordingly, the present writer feels justified in following Wiseman in the assertion that Genesis contains in the first thirty-six chapters a series of tablets whose contents were linked together to form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal life written from the standpoint of a Mesopotamian cultural milieu” (Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1969). If Wiseman is right about the colophons coming at the end of each of the eyewitness’s accounts, it would indicate that the book of Genesis is made up of tablets which were written or owned by an eyewitness to the events described therein. These “family records” would have been eventually compiled by Moses, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the Late Bronze Age (1550 – 1200 B.C.) and should be considered historically reliable. “… there is good reason to think in terms of the writing rather than oral transmission of the traditions of Genesis in the Bronze Age. The evidence is clear for the writing of “books” in that period. No longer should the cultural milieu be thought of as something in addition to the development of writing and writing formats. Rather the cultural background of the patriarchs includes the development of writing and its application to bookmaking and record-making. Since the format of such a Bronze Age “book” can be traced in Genesis, there is reason to place the original writing of the history as well as the history itself in the Bronze Age” (DeWitt, 1977). Wiseman’s “tablet theory” was cautiously received by some Bible scholars but when, as a result of his new perspective, he broke from tradition and introduced an entirely new way to interpret the account of creation, those scholars were not so quick to follow. The most common type of data used in support of the six days of Genesis chapter one being days of creative activity is based upon traditional interpretations of the Bible, so it serves as our point of departure in investigating the possibility that those six days were days of revelation. Most church fathers accepted the days in Genesis chapter one as ordinary days – days in which creative activity occurred. This approach has affected the way people interpret Scripture, even up until the current time. But, as the man who started the Reformation said, “Whenever we observe the opinions of the Fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake” (Plass, 2006). Psalm 12:6-7 – The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. II Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is givenby inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all goodworks. II Timothy 2:9 – Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised fromthe dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Traditions of men may have hindered proper interpretation of Scripture for centuries but the Word of God will eventually accomplish the purpose for which He sent it: Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in thething whereto I sent it. In 1958, Wiseman suggested that the “days” of Genesis chapter one may be days of revelation, not days of creative activity (Revelatory-day view). According to this view, God took six days to reveal details about Himself and His creation. “The days of Genesis chapter one are intended to be literal days, but not of creation, and the time occupied in the events described may well be as long as the ‘geological’ interpretation asserts” (Wiseman P. J., Creation Revealed in Six Days, 1958). Wiseman wrote, “We are expressly told that each of the six days was divided by ‘an evening and a morning’. Why these six ‘evenings and mornings’? Why were they introduced? For God’s sake or for man? Endless difficulties have been created in thinking that Almighty God, the Creator, ceased His work of creating the world as the evening drew on and recommenced it as morning light appeared. Was it necessary for God to cease from His work of creation when darkness came on, and to wait till morning light dawned before He could resume? This idea needs only to be stated in this blunt fashion in order to enable us to see that the cessation for the six mornings and evenings was to meet man’s necessity for rest. God had no need of a nightly rest, “He fainteth not, neither is weary.” (Wiseman P. J., Creation Revealed in Six Days, 1958). Isaiah 40:28 – Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Psalm 139:12 – Yea, the darkness hidethnot from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and thelight are both alike to thee. Wiseman also raised the question of why God gave names to things while creating them, when there was not yet a man created to hear the names. “God gave names to the things that He spoke about. On the first day He called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night’; on the second day, when telling about the firmament, He called it ‘heaven’ and then we read how on the third day ‘God called the dry land earth and the gathering together of the waters called He seas.” Why did God give names to these things? A name to identify a thing is not necessary to God, but it is necessary for man. The supposition that God gave names to things before man had been created has been a great perplexity to all commentators. When we see that the names were given for man’s sake still another difficulty which has embarrassed and stumbled not a few disappears” (Wiseman P. J., Creation Revealed in Six Days, 1958). Commentators have also struggled over the years in their attempt to explain the issue of the fourth day: Genesis 1:14-19 – 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: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 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. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 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. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. The question has been asked, if the creative acts described in the first chapter of Genesis are written in the order in which they occurred, then what would have been the source of the light and point of reference (sunrise/sunset) in days one through three? As to the source of light, it has been suggested that the light in days one through three consisted of the glory of God and the Lamb was the light thereof: Revelation 21:23 – And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. But, reading on, we find that there is no night there: Revelation 21:25 – And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be nonight there. Also, note Psalm 139:12 – Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Again, in Psalm 104: 1, 2 we read, Bless the LORD, O my soul, O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth (Psalm 104:19, 20). Days one through three in the first chapter of Genesis include night: Genesis 1:5 – And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Therefore, the source of the light in days one through three in the first chapter of Genesis would differ from that of Revelation 21:23, Psalm 139:12 and Psalm 104:2 in that the latter three consist of only light (day) and the former consists of both light (day) and darkness (night). Within the revelatory-day view, the issue of the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19) is not a problem because these are not held as days of creative activity, but of divine revelation. According to this view, the Lord God chose the fourth day to tell Adam about the sun, moon and stars which, hitherto, would have been the point of reference (sunrise/sunset) described in days one through three. Job 38:12 – Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place? Wiseman suggested that the seventh-day rest would have begun after God had completed, not only His creative activity, but also, His revelation to man concerning it. “During the daylight hours of each of the six successive days (each divided by an evening and a morning, when man rested) God revealed to him something new about creation, and during the first three days gave to man the names of the things He had revealed. When at the end of the six days God had finished talking with man, He instituted the seventh day as a day of rest for man’s sake. In six days, God had revealed “the heavens and the earth and all that in them is”, and the six days occupied in this work were followed by a day of rest. …God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, that is not later on, but just then on the seventh day” (Wiseman P. J., Creation Revealed in Six Days, 1958). Genesis 2:1-4 – Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. “LORD (Heb. Jehovah). The primary meaning of the name LORD (Jehovah) is “the self-existent One.” Literally (as in Ex. 3:14), “He that is who He is, therefore the eternal I AM.” But Havah, from which Jehovah, or Yahwe, is formed, signifies also “to become,” that is, to become known, thus pointing to a continuous and increasing self-revelation. Combining these meanings of Havah, we arrive at the meaning of the name Jehovah. He is “the self-existent One who reveals Himself.” The name is, in itself, an advance upon the name “God” (El, Elah, Elohim), which suggests certain attributes of Deity, as strength, etc., rather than His essential being” (Scofield, 1945). “It is significant that the first appearance of the name Jehovah in Scripture (Gen 2:4) follows the creation of man. It was God (Elohim) who said, “Let us make man in our image” (Gen 1:26); but when man, as in the second chapter of Genesis, is to fill the scene and become dominant over creation, it is the LORD God (Jehovah Elohim) who acts. This clearly indicates a special relation of Deity, in His Jehovah character, to man, and all Scripture emphasizes this” (Scofield, 1945). The potential problem with the Revelatory Day Theory becomes apparent when reading Exodus 20:11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is and rested the seventh day…. It is clearly and simply stated here that God made heaven and earth in six days. For roughly two years the author studied this verse and particularly the word “made” (In Hebrew - "asah"). The King James translators translated the Hebrew word asah as “shewed” more than 40 times, including its use in Exodus 20:6 (just five verses before Exodus 20:11): And shewing (asah) mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. The temptation was to insert the word “shewed” in place of the word “made” in Exodus 20:11, which would have allowed the verse to read, For in six days the LORD shewed heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…. There was just one problem with doing that; according to the Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon, written by Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (1786-1842), asah is never translated as shewed! Gesenius's influence as a master of Hebrew is widespread. The editors of the Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon refer to him as the father of modern Hebrew Lexicography and so it becomes clear that, in Exodus 20:11, made means made. However, the Revelatory Day Theory should not be discarded just yet. Taken in context, Exodus 20:11 is an extension of the fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). Exodus chapter 31 repeats the commandment: And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:12-18). The pattern given, by Moses, of six periods of activity and one of rest was used as a teaching aid to the children of Israel in their remembrance of the Sabbath because it was imperative that the children of Israel understood its significance, which was later made clear by the prophet Ezekiel: Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them (Ezekiel 20:12); And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God (Ezekiel 20:20).
Chapter 3 – THE SIX DAYS OF EXODUS 20:11 AND 31:17 The Genesis account of creation reaches its climax in the Lord’s observance of the Sabbath: Genesis 2:1-3 – Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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. Israel’s observance of the Sabbath thereafter is an affirmation of their faith in Him as they fulfill the Fourth Commandment: Exodus 20:8-10 – Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. Moses was commanded to teach the children of Israel: Exodus 24:12 – And the LORD said unto Moses, “Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” Deuteronomy 4:14 – And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. It is here my intention to demonstrate that Moses, in fulfilling his responsibility to teach the children of Israel, uttered explanatory statements to them, after reciting the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Deuteronomy 5:15). In two of those statements (Exodus 20:11 and 31:17b), Moses spoke of “days,” which, as I will show, could be interpreted as “God’s days” or “divine days” (grand in scale), within which the Lord God created heaven and earth: Exodus 20:11 – For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 31:17b – …for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. The third occurrence of an explanatory statement, made by Moses after reciting the Fourth Commandment, can be found in Deuteronomy 5:15 and will be examined in greater detail below. Deuteronomy 5:4–25 consists of a re-telling of the Ten Commandments to the younger generation who were to enter the Promised Land. Deuteronomy chapter five and Exodus chapter twenty are virtually identical, with Moses reciting the Ten Commandments in each. But the phrases which immediately follow the Fourth Commandment in each book differ in content. Interestingly, the phrase “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” is absent in the Deuteronomy account of the Fourth Commandment – which goes on to say that nothing more was added: Deuteronomy 5:22 – These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables ofstone, and delivered them unto me. According to this verse, the statement, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” was not spoken by the Lord and, consequently, would not have been written in the two tables of stone. Ken Ham, founder and chief executive officer of the Young Earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis, has a different opinion on this subject: “Now, when the Creator God spoke as recorded in Exodus 20:1, what did He (Jesus) say? As we read on, we find this statement: ‘for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day’ (Exodus 20:11).” “Yes, Jesus did explicitly say He created in six days. Not only this, but the one who spoke the words ‘six days’ also wrote them down for Moses: ‘Then the LORD delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly’ (Deuteronomy 9:10).” “Jesus said clearly that He created in six days. And He even did something He didn’t do with most of Scripture – He wrote it down Himself. How clearer and more authoritative can you get than that?” (Ham, 2006). There is another reason to believe that Moses’ explanatory statement, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” was not spoken by the Lord. The phrase immediately following the Fourth Commandment in Deuteronomy 5:15 says: And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm:therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. According to E. W. Bullinger, this verse is a parenthetical break in Moses’ recital of the Fourth Commandment, in view of their shortly having servants of their own (The Companion Bible, 1974, p. 246). If we agree with Bullinger, regarding the parenthetical statement in Deuteronomy 5:15, then we can infer that Moses’ statements made immediately following the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17b could also be parenthetical in nature. Exodus 31:17 begins with Moses’ recital of the Fourth Commandment (words originally spoken by the Lord God – incorporating 1st person) and ends with what may be a personal statement (words originally spoken by Moses – incorporating 3rd person): Exodus 31:17a – It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: Exodus 31:17b – for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. The idea that the statements made in Exodus 20:11, 31:17b and Deuteronomy 5:15 may be parenthetical does not mean that the verses are to be disregarded, but it allows us to put them in their proper context – Exodus 20:11 and 31:17b do not reflect claims, made by the Lord God, that He created all things in six days. Examples in Scripture of the pattern of six periods of activity and one of rest, contrasting the length of time it took the Lord God to make heaven and earth and when He ceased (rested), are plentiful but the patterns do not consist solely of days contrasting days: Exodus 21:2 – If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. The emphasis being on the pattern (not the duration) is clearly seen in Exodus 23:10-12, where the pattern begins with reference to “years” and ends with reference to “days”: And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. Six days shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. The annual pattern of six and one is also found in Leviticus 25:3-5: Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which growth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. In the time of Moses, the length of life must have been shortened specially, so that the adults died off within the forty years (Bullinger). The 90th Psalm has been attributed to Moses and in verse 10 he writes, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten..." This pattern incorporates decades (threescore and ten) that parallel the time it took the Lord God to make heaven and earth and to rest. Jeremiah 25:11-12 and Daniel 9:2 both speak of the seventy-year Babylonian captivity but when this same seventy-year period is mentioned in connection with the Sabbath, the familiar pattern of six (in this case sixty) and one (in this case ten) appears once again: II Chronicles 36:21 – To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. Therefore, Patterns of six-and-one, as used in Scripture, parallel decades, years or days interchangeably with the time that elapsed while the Lord God made heaven and earth and then rested. Because the duration of time varies within each of the patterns, it becomes clear that the patterns alone were the focus and, as a result, the duration of time contained within them becomes irrelevant. The German theologian, John Peter Lange, effectively demonstrates why the six days mentioned in Exodus 20:11 could have been intended to parallel God’s divine-days or epochs: “…the Fourth Commandment: ‘…six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, …for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth.’ …a careful study shows that there is something more than first strikes us. It might be replied that there is no difference of radical idea… but a vast difference in the scale. God’s days of working, it is said, must be the same with man’s days of working, because they are mentioned in such close connection. Then God’s work and man’s work must also be the same, or on the same grade for a similar reason. The Hebrew word is the same for both: ‘In six days shalt thou labor and do (asah) all thy work; for in six days the Lord made (asah, made, wrought) heaven and earth.’ Is there no transition here to a higher idea? And so of the resting: ‘The seventh shall be to thee a Sabbath (shabath, a rest), for the Lord thy God rested (shabath) on the seventh day,’ – words of the same general import, but the less solemn or more human term here applied to Deity.” “What a difference there must have been between God’s work and man’s work, - above all, between God’s ineffable repose and the rest demanded for human weariness. Must we not carry the same difference into the times, and make a similar ineffable distinction between the divine working-days and the human working-days of our lower chronology? …The lower, or earthly, day is made a memorial of the higher. We are called to remember by it. In six (human) days do all thy work; for in six (divine) days the Lord made heaven and earth. …It is the manner of the Scriptures thus to make times and things on earth representatives, or under-types, of things in the heavens, - Heb. 9:23. Viewed from such a standpoint these parallelisms in the language of the Fourth Commandment suggest of themselves a vast difference between the divine and the human days, even if it were the only argument the Bible furnished for that purpose. As the work to the work, as the rest to the rest, so are the times to the times” (Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, 1868). Isaiah 55:8-9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. The six days of Genesis chapter one may well consist of man’s days within which the LORD God revealed information about Himself as Creator and details about His Creative activity. However, the word “days” as used by Moses in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17, could have been intended to parallel something other than twenty-four-hour periods of creative activity because the word "days" is used, in this case, along with both years and decades elsewhere in Scripture, to form the familiar pattern of six-and-one. The pattern itself, was intended to bring to mind God’s creative activity and the ceasing thereof. The pattern, not the duration of time contained within, was Moses' tool for teaching the children of Israel. “It is true that the creation/revelation week is compared with a workweek (Ex. 20:11); however, it is not uncommon in the Old Testament to make unit-to-unit comparisons rather than minute-for-minute ones. For example, God appointed forty years of wandering for forty days of disobedience (Num. 14:34). And, in Daniel 9, 490 days equals 490 years (cf. 9:24-27). What is more, we know the seventh day is more than twenty-four hours, since according to Hebrews 4 the seventh day is still going on. Genesis says that “on the seventh day [God] rested” (Gen 2:2), but Hebrews informs us that God is still in that Sabbath rest into which He entered after He created/revealed: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his” (Heb. 4:10)” (Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume Two, 2003). The first example of the use of the word “day” to mean anything other than a twenty-four- hour period is found in the second chapter of Genesis: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens (Genesis 2:4). If this verse is understood to be a colophon (title of what was previously written), then ‘in the day God made the earth and the heavens’ could be translated, ‘at the time God made the earth and the heavens,’ and may refer to the time occupied for all of God’s creative acts up to and including His revelation of details related to those creative processes to man. According to German theologian John Peter Lange, the Jewish mind always conceived of creation as vast, indefinite, and most ancient: “Every other striking feature of the account is dwelt upon but this wondrous brevity, the greatest marvel of them all, as it would impress itself upon the mere human imagination picturing it all on its sense-scale. All creation begun and finished in six solar days! The earth, the air and seas, with all their swarming spheres of life, the hosts of heaven, sun, moon, and stars, angels and men, all called from non-existence, from nothingness we may say, and their evolution completed in one week, such weeks as those that are now so rapidly passing away! – a week measured, as to extent, by our present time-scale, through the index of that scale – and this adds still to the wonder – for there is nothing repugnant to reason either in its shortness or its instantaneousness, if God had so willed it – but the utter silence respecting such a wonder in every other part of the Bible. There must have been something in the most ancient conceptions of time, especially of aeonic or world-times, that led to this. It is shown by their use of the great Olamic plurals before referred to [Psalm 90:2, 145:13, and I Timothy 1:17], and the transfer of the same usage to the aeons of the New Testament. …The Jewish mind, prophetical, contemplative, and poetical, seems to always have conceived of creation as vast, indefinite, and most ancient” (Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, 1868). Proverbs 8:22-31 – The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. “The manner in which the creative days appear in Psalm 104 has drawn the attention of commentators ancient and modern. …Here are the creative days in all the greatness of their evolutions, but no mention of the brevity, no hint of any such impression on the mind of the writer, nothing to suggest anything of the kind to the mind of the reader. There is the feeling of vastness, power, immensity. …From the Psalm itself, certainly, if we carried nothing else into the interpretation, no such impression of brevity would be obtained. All is the other way. …There is no mistaking here the outline of the creative picture, and of the creative times, yet the impression is not one of brevity. There is order here, succession and evolution on a vast scale; but no intimation of a crowding into times out of harmony with the conception of the works, or the scale of duration which the conceptual truthfulness of the picture demands. If we had nothing but this passage, no one would think of solar days in connection with its great transitions” (Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, 1868). Chapter 4 – THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD – Geological Periods and Archaeological Periods “Only a direct revelation from God can acquaint us with that which took place before the foundation of the world. In the first verse of the Bible we read of God’s original creation. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” How many millions of years ago this took place is not revealed, nor can human science ever find it out. But here revelation takes us before the foundation of the world. Whatever is in God’s eternity, that unfathomable existence without a beginning, is beyond man’s ability to know and therefore unrevealed. In the words before us the Spirit of God makes known the great truth, that God before even the world existed planned His Masterpiece, how He would make known the exceeding riches of His grace. With Him in all eternity, resting in His own bosom was His Only Begotten Son, the Son of His Love. In Him, by Him and for Him all things, visible and invisible were called into existence. Before even this creation was effected, God knew the outcome. Surprise is an impossibility with God. He knows the end from the beginning, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts xv:18). Before He created the highest creature, him who was the Cherub that covereth (Ezek. Xxviii:14), God knew that he would become the Devil. The whole story of man’s fall, dragged down by the fallen Lucifer (Isaiah xiv:12) into sin and death, was not hidden from God. He knew all what would come to pass. The whole human race as it was to come into existence was known to Him and every member in that race. Well may we exclaim with David, when the Spirit of God unfolded to him God’s omniscience, ‘Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it’ (Psalm cxxxix:6)” (Gaebelein, 1913). According to some geologists, our Earth acquired its present size somewhere between 4 billion and 5 billion years ago. Life on Earth may have originated as long as 2 billion years ago, but there are no good fossil remains from periods earlier than the Cambrian period, which began about 490 million years ago. The Precambrian's lower limit is not defined but ended about 542 million years ago and geologists estimate that the Precambrian encompasses about 90% of Earth's history. The geological history of Earth since the Precambrian Time is subdivided into three eras, each of which includes several periods. 1. The Paleozoic Era began 542 million years ago and lasted approximately 291 million years. The name was compounded from Greek palaios (old) and zoön (animal). (Genesis 1:20-21). 2. The Mesozoic Era began 251 million years ago and lasted roughly 186 million years. The name was compounded from Greek mesos (middle) and zoön (animal). It is also referred to as the Age of Reptiles. (Genesis 1:24-25). 3. The Cenozoic Era began 66 million years ago and includes the geological present. The name was compounded from Greek kainos (new) and zoön (animal). The Cenozoic Era is also known as the Age of Mammals. (Genesis 1:24-25). While playing with my children at our home in Michigan, I found a large (3” diameter) trilobite fossil which had been beautifully preserved within a limestone boulder. The boulder had broken apart in just the right spot to bring the trilobite to light after being hidden for millions of years! As the result of a little research, we were delighted to learn that our find was evidence of one of the earliest creatures of God’s creation. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Trilobites, exclusively marine animals, first appeared in the Paleozoic Era, at the beginning of the Cambrian Period, about 542 million years ago.” Charles Baker, President Emeritus of Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, wrote: “Some evolutionists would have us believe that a cross-section of the rocks show a gradual development from simple one-celled animals in the lowest to the most complex, highly developed animals in the highest stratum, but this is not the record of geology. The first undisputed traces of fossil animal life occur in the Cambrian strata and of these Gedney states: ‘About two thousand species of life have been found in the Cambrian strata in which all the phyla of animal life except the chordates or vertebrates, and most of the great classes, are represented. This constitutes a third great geological fact, that all the invertebrate phyla appear contemporaneously with marked suddenness in the Cambrian differentiated into phyla, classes, and orders and with no clear indication as to how they developed into this condition if they did develop at all.” Baker also quotes A.H. Clark (Smithsonian Institute): “So, we see that the fossil record, the actual history of the animal life on the earth, bears out the assumption that at its very first appearance animal life in its broader features was in essentially the same form as that in which we now know it… Thus, so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any of the major groups arose from any other.’ If all these hundreds of species of invertebrate life appear suddenly in the same strata of rocks, it is evident that they did not gradually develop through a process of evolution over millions of years, and it is therefore evident that Theistic Evolution is just as contrary to fact as is Atheistic or any other kind of evolution” (Baker, 1971). Paleontology is the study fossils and what can be learned about the ecologies of the past, and about our place, as humans, in the world. It incorporates knowledge from biology, geology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, and even computer science to understand the processes that have led to the origination and eventual destruction of the different types of organisms since life arose. What paleontologists have discovered is that the history of animal life on earth coincides with the biblical account of the sudden appearance of different species (“after his kind”): 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. 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. And the evening and the morning were the third day (Genesis 1:11-13). 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. 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. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 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. 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 1:20-25). After the Ice-Age extinction (18,500-10,300 B.C.), man (created “in the image of God”) and the animals of today were formed from dust: 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 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 1:26-28). 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); 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). All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds (I Corinthians 15:39). “The very long period that marks the beginning of human history lasted from about a million and a half to eighteen thousand years ago. Termed the “Pleistocene” by geologists, this period is called by archaeologists the “Paleolithic” (Greek palaios, old, and lithos, stone) and is customarily divided into the Lower, Middle, and Upper Paleolithic, followed by a short transitional period, the Epipaleolithic. The dates for this prehistory period have been established by various scientific means, the most important of which are radiocarbon and other isotope datings, paleomagnetism, and geological and paleontological research” (Noy, Treasures of the Holy Land, 1986).
LOWER PALEOLITHIC – 1,500,000 - 100,000 Before Present The ancient site of Ubeidiya in the Jordan Valley has been dated to about a million and a half years before present (the Early Acheulean period). Its flint industry is parallel to that of the famous Olduvai Bed II in East Africa. Tools from the Early Acheulean period are limited to only a few types, such as crudely made hand axes, choppers, and picks. An important transition occurred toward the end of this era, in the Upper Acheulean, to the method of striking flakes from a single flint core which permitted the production of many tools from one solid piece of flint. In Israel, the first Neanderthal type of human was found in Upper Galilee, Israel - Mugharet el-Zuttiyeh ("Cave of the Robbers"). The cave was excavated from 1925 to 1926 by Francis Turville-Petre. He discovered a Neanderthal-like skull, now referred to as the Galilee Skull. The frontal bone and part of the upper face were found in the Mugharan level, which leads to an estimate of the age of the fossil to range from 200,000 to 500,000 years old. A second Neanderthal type was found near Mount Carmel - Mugharet et-Tabun Cave. The female skull was found in the early 1930s by Yusra, a local woman on the research team led by Dorothy A. E. Garrod. This skull is thought to be between 122,000 and 50,000 years old.
MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC – 100,000 - 40,000 Before Present During this period Homo sapiens – Latin homo (human being, man) + sapiens (wise, sensible, judicious) appeared in much of the Old World, including the Lower and Upper Mousterian cultures. In Israel two human types have been observed, one with Neanderthal traits and the other of the Homo sapiens sapiens appearance. The oldest burials are found in the Middle Paleolithic of Mount Carmel and the Galilee, in Israel and occurred 130,000 to 100,000 years ago. Two populations, Early Modern Humans and Neanderthals are involved, with a total of some 40 individuals. Examples of Early Modern Human remains found are the Cro-Magnon in Europe, Skchul/Qafzeh hominids in Israel, and Omo in south-western Ethiopia. These examples are regarded as Early Modern Humans because they retain some archaic features, like projecting face and prominent brow ridges. Skhul V (dating from 100,000-130,000 years ago), for example, has prominent brow ridges and a projecting face. However, the brain case is quite rounded and distinct from that of the Neanderthals and is similar to the brain case of modern humans. The Skhul remains (Skhul 1-9) were discovered between 1929 and 1935 at a cave located in Es Skhul in Mount Carmel. The remains of seven adults and three children were found. Theodore Doney McCown discovered Skhul V in 1932 with the mandible of a wild boar on its chest. These Early Modern Humans occupied many caves, including those at HaTannur (el-Tabun) where rich occupation layers have been revealed. Hearth and ash layers appear within the caves, along with flint implements and animal bones. Generally, cold weather prevailed, and forests covered the hills even into the Negev. Large animals, mainly of African origin, disappeared, and the fallow deer became the animal most frequently hunted. A revolutionary method of flint working – the Levallois technique – was developed; this involved the preparation of the outer edges of the core from which many flakes were struck. After the flint was struck, its edges were finished, or “retouched,” by fine blows. Various retouched flakes and points, as well as scrapers and chisels, were among the tools in common use. The flint points may have been affixed in wooden hafts and served as cutting tools or spearheads.
UPPER PALEOLITHIC – 40,000 - 18,500 Before Present The Upper Paleolithic culture has been observed in many parts of the world, including the Americas. During this period Early Modern Humans displayed physical characteristics quite similar to Modern Humans, although a bit more robust, particularly seen in the leg bones. They produced many carved bone and stone objects as well as the spectacular cave paintings of Europe. The Proto-Mediterranean type of Homo sapiens also appeared in Israel around this time. Perhaps most characteristic of this period is the introduction of fine tools made by a new technique that produced long, narrow blades. Burials included funerary offerings and the use of ocher. The earliest evidence of personal adornment also comes during this period in the form of beads and pendants made of shells and animal teeth. The animals of this period were more robust than the animals of today. Woolly mammoths, mastodons, long horned bison, and saber-toothed tigers roamed the landscape as attested to by the bones found at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California. On a personal note, I lived in the, nearby, Hancock Park neighborhood in the late 1970s and enjoyed frequent visits to the tar pits.
EPIPALEOLITHIC – 18,500 - 10,300 B.C. This period coincides with the end of the last glacial period (11,700 years ago), which affected the climate and landscape around the world. In Israel humans settled in open sites rather than in caves and lived in small groups consisting of a few families. A major innovation of the period is the use of pounding and grinding utensils, among them limestone bowls and basalt mortars and pestles. These are evidence of the gathering of wild grains and new methods of food preparation. There was a great variety of local cultures at this time, each having a specific microlithic flint industry. Large quantities of microliths (smaller blades, often having a geometric form such as triangular, square, or trapezoidal) have been found because each tool consisted of several flints fitted into one wooden haft. These small bits of sharp flint were cemented (using resin) into a groove in a piece of wood to form a tool with a cutting edge longer than it was feasible to produce in a single piece of brittle flint; examples are a spear with a long cutting edge or the farmer’s sickle of later date. As mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to handle some of the sharp flints from this period while working as a volunteer at the City of David Excavations in Jerusalem. The end of the last glacial period witnessed the extinction of all these pre-Adamic beings (including the Clovis people in North America) along with other large beasts, including mammoths, mastodons, horses, camels, dire wolves, American lions, short-faced bears, sloths, giant tapirs and saber-toothed tigers: “We live in a zoological impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared; and this is, no doubt, a much better world for us now they have gone. It is surely a marvelous fact, and one that has hardly been sufficiently dwelt upon, this sudden dying out of so many large Mammalia, not in one place only but over half the land surface of the globe.’ In 1876, Victorian naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace was already puzzled about the extinction of many large beasts at the end of the last Ice Age. Thirty-five genera of mammals, most of them of a large size like mammoths, disappeared during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene some 10,000 years ago. Many hypotheses have since been proposed to explain this mass extinction, from overhunting by humans to climate change” (Bressan, 2017). University of South Carolina archaeologists have provided important clues regarding the sudden disappearance of the Clovis people and megafauna: “No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts -- mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger -- living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.” “The research findings are outlined in a new study in Scientific Reports, a publication of Nature. The study, authored by 10 researchers, builds on similar findings of platinum -- an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets -- found by Harvard University researchers in an ice-core from Greenland in 2013.” “The South Carolina researchers found an abundance of platinum in soil layers that coincided with the "Younger-Dryas," a climatic period of extreme cooling that began around 12,800 ago and lasted about 1,400 years. While the brief return to ice-age conditions during the Younger-Dryas has been well-documented by scientists, the reasons for it and the demise of the Clovis people and animals have remained unclear” (Binette, 2017). Archaeologist C. Vance Haynes Jr. recorded the following information regarding “black mats” in North America: “Of the 97 geoarchaeological sites of this study that bridge the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (last deglaciation), approximately two thirds have a black organic-rich layer or “black mat” in the form of mollic paleosols, aquolls, diatomites, or algal mats with radiocarbon ages suggesting they are stratigraphic manifestations of the Younger Dryas cooling episode 10,900 B.P.(before present) to 9,800 B.P. This layer or mat covers the Clovis-age landscape or surface on which the last remnants of the terminal Pleistocene megafauna are recorded. Stratigraphically and chronologically the extinction appears to have been catastrophic, seemingly too sudden and extensive for either human predation or climate change to have been the primary cause. This sudden Rancholabrean termination at 10,900 ± 50 B.P. appears to have coincided with the sudden climatic switch from Allerød warming to Younger Dryas cooling. Recent evidence for extraterrestrial impact, although not yet compelling, needs further testing because a remarkable major perturbation occurred at 10,900 B.P. that needs to be explained.” “Nothing in the Quaternary stratigraphic record is more impressive than the abruptness of megafaunal extinction near the end of the Pleistocene. The fact remains the existence of mammoths, mastodons, horses, camels, dire wolves, American lions, short-faced bears, sloths, and tapirs terminated abruptly at the Allerød-Younger Dryas boundary. This is the Rancholabrean Termination (RT). Only bison survived to the Younger Dryas, probably because they vastly outnumbered other species. Considering the abruptness and magnitude of the termination, a major environmental and biotic disturbance took place at 10,900 B.P. that requires interpretation.” “Should an extraterrestrial (ET) cause be considered? Brakenridge and Berger suggest there may be an ET explanation for YD in the form of a supernova. So far, by preliminary examinations, I have found microspherules in magnetic fractions separated from microstratigraphic samples at the base of the black mat at Murray Springs. However, micrometeorites and microspherules are components of cosmic dust that is constantly falling to earth. Therefore, this is just the beginning of a scientific study to see if an ET event can be verified to explain the Rancholabrean termination. Further analysis is in progress and other Clovis sites need independent study and verification of this evidence. Until then I remain skeptical of the ET impact hypothesis as the cause of the YD onset and the megafaunal extinction. However, I reiterate, something major happened at 10,900 B.P. that we have yet to understand.” "Conclusions: Black mats, as described here, appear to be stratigraphic manifestations of Younger Dryas climate and indicate a rise in local water tables apparently because of more effective recharge, as a result of cooler climate. The YD black mat covers the Clovis age landscape on which the last skeletal remnants of Rancholabrean megafauna occur. This stratigraphic contact represents (i) the end of the Allerød warm period and the abrupt beginning of the YD, (ii) the abrupt termination of Rancholabrean fauna, and (iii) the last evidence of the Clovis culture. The attribution of these events to an extraterrestrial event needs further testing” (Haynes Jr., 2008). La Brea Woman is the name for the only human whose remains have ever been found in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. The remains, first discovered in the pits in 1914, were the partial skeleton of a woman at around 18-25 years of age at death, she has been dated at 10,220–10,250 cal yr BP. and found associated with remains of a domestic dog, and so interpreted to have been ceremonially interred. The Biblical notion of a universal catastrophic destruction of all living things in the recent past and a supernatural regeneration of the world by the Lord God is something many people of science today would never consider., but wouldn’t it seem logical that a global event which wiped out the giant mammals (megafauna), would also wipe out the humanoids that hunted them? Finally, about 10,000 years ago, God created Adam and Eve and the animals that we are familiar with today. They were a new creation from “out of the ground” (Genesis 2:7, 19) and, according to Genesis 2:19-20, Adam gave names to every living creature. Dr. Gleason Archer skillfully makes the distinction between “pre-Adamite creatures” and man: “To revert to the problem of the Pithecanthropus, the Swanscombe man, the Neandertal and all the rest (possibly even the Cro-Magnon man, who is apparently to be classed as Homo sapiens, but whose remains seem to date back at least to 20,000 B.C.), it seems best to regard these races as all prior to Adam’s time, and not involved in the Adamic covenant. We must leave the question open, in view of cultural remains, whether these pre-Adamite creatures had souls (or, to use the trichotomicterminology, spirits). But the implication in Genesis 1:26 is that God was creating a qualitatively different being when He made Adam (for note that the word rendered “man” in Gen. 1:26-27 is the Hebrew ‘Adam), a being who was uniquely fashioned in the image of God. Only Adam and his descendants were infused with the breath of God and a spiritual nature corresponding to God Himself. Romans 5:12-21 demands that all mankind subsequent to Adam’s time, at least, must have been literally descended from him, since he entered into covenant relationship with God as the representative of the entire race of man. This indicates that there could have been no true genetic relationship between Adam (the first man created in the image of God) and the pre-Adamite races. However, close the skeletal structure of the Cro-Magnon man (for example) may have been to Homo sapiens, this factor is scarcely relevant to the principal question of whether these cave men possessed a truly human soul or personality. They may have been exterminated by God for reasons unknown prior to the creation of the original parent of the present human race. Adam, then, was the first man created in the spiritual image of God, according to Genesis 1:26-27, and there is no evidence from science to disprove it” (Archer, 1974). So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 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 thingthat moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:27-28). To be created in the image of God is to have a threefold nature and possess eternal life. God is eternal: The eternal God is thy refuge… (Deuteronomy 34:27). Man is eternal: And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesusshall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting (I Timothy 1:16). The Threeness of God is reflected in Genesis 1:1 (God), 1:2 (Spirit) and 2:4 (LORD God). The plurality of God is also apparent in Genesis 1:26 where it states, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Again, in Genesis 11:7: “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” The Threeness of man is reflected in I Thessalonians 5:23: “…and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The “body” is flesh, the “soul” is self-awareness, and the “spirit” is God-consciousness. Pre-Adamic beings did not possess a threefold nature. They lacked God-consciousness; an essential component relative to the ability to exercise freedom of choice. A comprehensive view of mankind is memorably conveyed by Reinhold Niebuhr: “The obvious fact is that man is a child of nature, subject to its vicissitudes, compelled by its necessities, driven by its impulses, and confined within the brevity of years which nature permits its varied organic forms, allowing them some, but not too much latitude. The other less obvious fact is that man is a spirit who stands outside of nature, life, himself, his reason, and the world” (Niebuhr, 1953).
THE NATUFIAN CULTURE – Ca. 10,3000-ca. 8500 B.C. The name of the culture is taken from a cave in Wadi en Natuf, in the western Judaean hills. The gathering of wild grains by this culture is documented by the numerous sickle blades, grinding implements, and large mortars present in every Natufian site. Also, the numerous burials that have been uncovered from this period, make a thorough study of the Natufian population possible. The innovative achievements of the Natufians brought them to the threshold of modern civilization – the “Neolithic revolution” and they were the first to establish permanent settlements, some of which exceeded one hundred individuals. This growth in size is remarkable when compared to earlier periods. There seems to have been a sudden flowering of art, as animal and human representations, previously unknown in the region, now appear. These representations may have related to their cultic and spiritual life. The Natufian culture made an important contribution in a period of transition from a society subsisting on hunting and intensive food gathering to a society of agriculturists. Dr. John Bright beautifully sums up what we have studied so far in this study: “From the terraces of the Nile valley to the highlands of northern Iraq characteristic flints attest to the presence of man as far back as the Early Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age, perhaps (but who can say?) two hundred thousand years ago. The succeeding Middle Paleolithic (richly witnessed by skeletal remains, especially in Palestine) and Late Paleolithic found man in his long cave-dwelling stage. He lived entirely by hunting and foraging. It was only as the last ice age ended (in warmer climes the last pluvial period) approximately in the ninth millennium B.C., and the rigors of climate abated, that man was able to take the first steps toward a food-producing economy: he learned that wild grains could be cultivated and animals herded for food. This transition began in the so-called Mesolithic Age (before ca. 8000 B.C.); the Natufian culture of Palestine (so called from caves in the Wadi en-Natuf where it was first discovered) is an illustration of it. Here we see man still living in caves but having also begun to establish crude settlements for seasonal, and even for continuous, occupation. The earliest settlement at Jericho belongs to this period, and it was in existence by ca. 8000 B.C., if not earlier” (Bright, 1981).
NEOLITHIC PERIOD – Ca. 8500-ca. 4500 B.C. The Neolithic period, spanning almost four thousand years, is subdivided into two major parts, each which has additional internal divisions: The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (8500-6000 B.C.), and the Pottery Neolithic (6000-4500 B.C.). “Using accumulated experience of many generations and advancing beyond it, the creativity of Neolithic humans and their changing attitudes to many aspects of their lives led to innovations that justify the term ‘Neolithic Revolution.’ This socioeconomic revolution, a momentous step forward in the ability of humans to deal with the environment, included the systematic cultivation of plants and the domestication of animals, followed by the growth of settlements, which had to accommodate expanding permanent populations. In time, a more complex society evolved, which practiced a variety of crafts, engaged in trade, and developed a rich religious and spiritual life” (Noy, Neolithic Period, 1986). As we look at what the Bible says about tilling the ground and keeping the sheep, we see how Dr. Noy’s observations coincidentally read like an interpretive account of the biblical narrative presented as history: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken (Genesis 3:23). And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 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: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell (Genesis 4:1-5). And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 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 4:16-17). “By 5000 B. C. the new technology spread west and east from its nuclear area in the Fertile Crescent to Europe and central Asia. Flint tools reached a peak of functional sophistication. Arrowheads had begun to appear at the end of the Natufian period, and in the Neolithic period they developed from simple forms with notches to large forms with tangs, attesting to the mastery of the bow and arrow, a new and efficient hunting weapon. Sickle blades and axes were adapted to the needs of agriculture. Pottery, a great invention of the Neolithic period, came into use in the sixth millennium B. C. and provided a reliable means of cooking, transporting, and storing food. The potter fashioned the vessels by hand and baked them in an open fire (later in a kiln). Pottery is easily breakable, but the fragments are practically indestructible; these pieces give evidence of the forms and decorations unique to each culture and each period. Therefore, from this point on, pottery is important in archaeological dating” (Noy, Neolithic Period, 1986).
CHALCOLITHIC PERIOD – 4500-3150 B.C. The Chalcolithic period combines elements of copper (Greek, chalcos) and stone (lithos) technologies. So far, there is no evidence that copper was known in the early part of this period, but, by its first appearance in the Late Chalcolithic, techniques for its use were already highly advanced, and copper was culturally and economically significant. The first mention of metalworking in the Bible is found in Genesis 4:22: And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah. Agriculture and pastoralism were the chief means of subsistence of these sedentary and seminomadic societies, but they also worked in specialized crafts requiring expert artisans and smiths. These Late Chalcolithic coppersmiths, potters, stone cutters, and ivory carvers joined the Near Eastern cultural explosion of the fourth millennium, creating what for them must have had deep cultic or ceremonial significance. The Sumerians were one of the earliest urban societies to emerge in the world, in Southern Mesopotamia more than 5000 years ago. They developed a writing system (cuneiform) whose wedge-shaped strokes would influence the style of scripts in the same geographical area for the next 3000 years. The earliest known examples of writing in Egypt have been dated to around 3,400 B.C. The ancient Egyptians believed that writing was invented by the god Thoth and called their hieroglyphic script "mdju netjer" ("words of the gods"). The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek hieros (sacred) and glypho (inscriptions) and was first used by Clement of Alexandria. The discovery, in 1799, of the Rosetta Stone, a bilingual text in Greek and the Egyptian hieroglyphic and demotic scripts enabled scholars to make genuine progress with their decipherment attempts, and by the 1820s Jean-François Champollion had completely deciphered the hieroglyphic script.
BRONZE AGE – 3150-1200 B.C. The Bronze Age is traditionally divided into three main periods – Early (3150-2200 B. C.), Middle (2000-1550 B. C.), and Late (1550-1200 B. C.), with a short intermediate stage at the end of the third millennium (Middle Bronze I, 2200-2000 B. C.). “The Bible has preserved and transmitted various aspects of Canaanite culture and religion. It is a major form of information both for the historian and for the archaeologist. The urge to prove the Bible true was a powerful factor in the birth of archaeology and its evolution during the nineteenth century, and the quest for correlations with the biblical account has remained an important aim of archaeological research. It has been widely accepted that the Patriarchal Age should be placed in the Middle Canaanite period (the first half of the second millennium) or even earlier, at the end of the third millennium” (Noy, Neolithic Period, 1986). The Egyptian “Execration Texts” were discovered in Egypt and are comprised of two groups of texts from the 18th and 19th centuries B.C. The texts are written curses in the Egyptian script and can be seen today at museums in Berlin and Brussels. Both texts contain mentions of Jerusalem along with other cities in the land of Canaan from the same period. The curses were designed to threaten the rulers of the cities and force them to obey the demands of the Egyptian kingdom. This discovery points to the level of importance that Jerusalem possessed at this time, which corresponds to the same period as that of the early fortress discovered by archaeologists at the site of the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem. IRON AGE – 1200-586 B.C. “During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, repeated attempts were made to establish a standard chronology for the events described in the Bible. Most were dutifully literal. Outside sources were needed to verify the Bible’s inner chronology, and they were eventually found among the archaeological remains of two of the most important – and most literate – civilizations of the ancient world.” “Egypt, with its awesome monuments and vast treasure of hieroglyphic inscriptions began to be intensively explored by European scholars in the late eighteenth century. But it was only with the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics (on the basis of the trilingual Rosetta Stone) by the French scholar Jean Francois Champollion in the 1820s that the historical value of Egyptian remains for dating and possibly verifying historical events in the Bible became apparent. Although identification of the specific pharaohs mentioned in the stories of Joseph and of the Exodus remained uncertain, other direct connections became clear. A victory stele erected by Pharaoh Merneptah in 1207 BCE mentioned a great victory over a people named Israel. In a slightly later era, Pharaoh Shishak (mentioned in I Kings 14:25 as having come up against Jerusalem to demand tribute during the fifth year of Solomon’s son) was identified as Sheshonq I of the twenty-second dynasty, who ruled from 945 to 924 BCE. He left an account of his campaign on a wall in the temple of Amun at Karnak, in Upper Egypt.” “Another rich source of discoveries for chronology and historical identifications came from the broad plains between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the ancient region of Mesopotamia. Beginning in the 1840s, scholarly representatives of England, France, and eventually the United States and Germany uncovered the cities, vast palaces, and cuneiform archives of the empires of Assyria and Babylonia. For the first time since the biblical period, the main monuments and cities of those powerful Eastern empires were uncovered. Places like Nineveh and Babylon, previously known primarily from the Bible, were now seen to be the capitals of powerful and aggressive empires whose artists and scribes thoroughly documented the military campaigns and political events of their time. Thus references to a number of important biblical kings were identified in Mesopotamian cuneiform archives — the Israelite kings Omri, Ahab, and Jehu and the Judahite kings Hezekiah and Manasseh, among others. These outside references allowed scholars to see biblical history in a wider perspective, and to synchronize the reigns of the biblical monarchs with the more complete dating systems of the ancient Near East. Slowly the connections were made, and the regnal dates of Israelite and Judahite kings, Assyrian and Babylonian rulers, and Egyptian pharaohs were set in order, giving quite precise dates for the first time” (Finkelstein, 2001). The majority of scholars agree that Shoshenq I was Pharaoh in Egypt from 945-924 B.C. and that the Egyptian ruler referred to in the Bible as Shishak (I Kings & II Chronicles) is, in fact, Pharaoh Shoshenq I. He was the first Egyptian king to be mentioned by name in the Bible (I Kings 11:40; 14:25; II Chronicles 12:2-9). And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboham, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made (I Kings 14:25-26). The fact that the “holy ark” was not taken by Shishak is borne out by king Josiah’s comments: … Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel (II Chronicles 35:3) - (626 B.C.). “A critical find in convincing many scholars that Sheshonq’s campaign was indeed real came from the site of Megiddo, which is mentioned in a name-ring on the Bubastite Portal. In 1925, American archaeologists from the University of Chicago were preparing for their new excavation of Megiddo. In this connection, they naturally examined the records and work of the German archaeologist Gottlieb Schumacher who had excavated there 20 years earlier. One of the Chicago workmen came upon a fragment of an inscription in the dump of Schumacher’s excavation that contained cartouches of Sheshonq! The fragment was part of a victory stela that once stood at the site. Stelae like this were customarily set up as victory monuments at places Egyptians had conquered and occupied. Such stelae have been found at Beth-Shean and Tel Sahhib (erected by Sethos I) and at Byblos, Tyre and elsewhere (erected by Ramesses II)” (Levin Y. , Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?, 2012). Pharaoh Shishak (Shoshenq I) left an account of his campaign on a wall in the temple of Amun at Karnak, in Upper Egypt. The Bubastite portal includes a large weathered relief in which Shoshenq I lists more than 150 towns (including Megiddo) he conquered during his military campaign into Israel and Judah. “Today the vast majority of scholars believe that the Bubastite Portal records a real Egyptian campaign by Pharaoh Shoshenq in the mid-to-late tenth century B.C.E. As concluded by Israel’s leading Biblical geographer Anson Rainey: “This inscription can only be based on intelligence information gathered during a real campaign by Pharaoh Shoshenq.” “The Old Testament contains a complete and carefully worked-out chronological system, by which a large number of the important events (and a good many details of less apparent significance) can be dated in relation to one another, and in particular dated from the absolute datum point of the creation of the world. …It is a chronological system, and the centre of greatest interest to the biblical writers. Such figures as the 430 years of the sojourn in Egypt (Ex. 12:40), or the 480 years from the Exodus to the beginning of the construction of Solomon’s temple, are cardinal points in the scheme.” “The details and the purposes of such schemes do not concern us here, but in general it may be suggested that a major interest was the provision of significant figures (in relation to the creation of the world, or to the total time for which the world would last) for great events in religious tradition such as the Deluge, the Exodus, and the construction of major sanctuaries.” “In the New Testament a somewhat similar scheme appears in Matthew chapter I, although the number of years are not given, but only the generations. St Paul also very probably had an exact knowledge of these schemes, for in Galatians 3:17 he quotes the figures precisely as they were transmitted in the Greek and Samaritan tradition. Again, the explicit statement in the speech of Stephen that Abraham migrated into Canaan ‘after his father had died’ may be no mere slip. While it is possible that this might arise from a reading of Genesis with no chronological or arithmetical interest, it is considerably more probable that it arose from a conscious following of a chronology similar in this respect to that found in the Samaritan text. Philo not only gives the same interpretation, but appears to regard it as a matter of common knowledge. …The chronological scheme is of fundamental importance for the understanding of the biblical text” (Barr, 1962, pp. 27-29). "Kenneth Kitchen has called the reality of Shoshenq’s campaign during the reign of Rehoboam 'beyond reasonable doubt.' If this campaign occurred in 925 B.C.E. and, as the Bible says, this was the fifth year of Rehoboam’s rule in Judah, Rehoboam would have become king, and Solomon’s reign would have ended in 930 B.C.E. (925 + 5)” (Levin Y. , Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?, 2012). According to I Kings 11:42, Solomon reigned for 40 years, which means he became king in 970 (930 + 40). The fourth year of Solomon’s reign would have been 966 (970 - 4). This is a significant date because it is from this point in time that the Bible reveals to us when the Exodus occurred (I Kings 6:1). And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord (I Kings 6:1). 966 + 480 = 1446
BIBLICAL LINKS from Abraham to Jacob - Genesis 12:4 - 12:10 - …and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. …and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there… [1876 B.C.E.]. Genesis 21:5 - And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him . Genesis 25:26 - … and Isaac was threescore years old when she (Rebekah) bare them (Esau and Jacob) . Genesis 47:9 - And Jacob said unto Pharaoh,The days of the years ofmy pilgrimage are an hundred and thirtyyears [1661 B.C.E.]. 1876 - 1661 = 215 years Jacob (Israel) entered Egypt in 1661 – The Children of Israel left Egypt in 1446 (exactly 215 years later). "They left Egypt in the month Xanthious, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt" (Josephus, 1840). Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41) According to Genesis 12:10, the sojourning began with Abraham (the same year as the covenant). 1446 + 430 = 1876 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect (Galatians 3:17). 1446 + 430 = 1876
EXPLANATION of the 430 YEARS (2 x 215) - From Abraham’s arrival in Canaan at age 75 until his grandson Jacob took the clan to Egypt was 215 years. This can be added up from Genesis 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9. The 430 years "in Egypt" must count from Abraham’s arrival in Canaan since Jacob took the clan to Egypt 215 years later and after that it was only 4 generations until the Exodus. (Genesis 50:23; Exodus 6:14-26) Therefore the 430 years in "Egypt" (Exodus 12:40-41) began with 215 years in Canaan (which Egypt at various times ruled) followed by 215 years in Egypt proper. Using the Bible, it is possible to trace the date of the Exodus to the time of the building of Solomon’s temple (I Kings 6:1).
THE GENESIS TABLETS (P. J. Wiseman) The generations of the heavens and of the earth – The story of creation (ending at Genesis 2:4). Pre-Pottery Neolithic – 10th-7th millennium. The book of the generations of Adam – Early man and his fall (beginning at Genesis 2:5 – ending at Genesis 5:1). Including the Neolithic Period (Pottery Neolithic) 6th and 5th millennium. The generations of Noah – The wickedness of man (ending at Genesis 6:9). The Chalcolithic Period – 4th millennium and The Early Bronze I and II – 3100 -2650 B.C. The generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth – The flood (ending at Genesis 10:1). The Early Bronze III and IV – 2650 – 2200 B.C. The generations of Shem – The tower of Babel and the people scattered (ending at Genesis 11:10). Early Bronze IV and The Middle Bronze I – 2350 – 1950 B.C. The generations of Terah – Family line from Shem to Abram (ending at Genesis 11:27). The Middle Bronze I and II A – 2250 – 1730 B.C. The generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son – From the birth of Abram to his burial by Isaac and Ishmael (ending at Genesis 25:12). The Middle Bronze II A-B-C – 2000 – 1550 B.C. The generations of Isaac, Abraham's son – From the birth of Abram to his burial by Isaac and Ishmael (ending at Genesis 25:19). The Middle Bronze II A-B-C – 2000 – 1550 B.C. The generations of Esau – From the birth of Esau and Jacob to the burial of Isaac (ending at Genesis 36:1) The Middle Bronze II A-B-C – 2000 – 1550 B.C. The generations of Esau – From the birth of Esau and Jacob to the burial of Isaac (ending at Genesis 36:9) The Middle Bronze II A-B-C – 2000 – 1550 B.C. The generations of Jacob – From the birth of Esau and Jacob to the burial of Isaac (ending at Genesis 37:2) The Middle Bronze II A-B-C – 2000 – 1550 B.C.
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