Genesis 9:18-11:26

We finish the story of Noah with the implication (translations seem uncertain) that he first discovered alcohol. And drunkenness. This abuse of a good thing shows we’re back to sin pretty quickly. And Canaan used the opportunity of his father’s sin to apparently invent gossip. Noah curses him (perhaps unfairly, especially because it affects Canaan’s descendants), and millenia later others use that curse to justify reprehensible behavior.

After that it’s genealogy stuff until Babel. Again, this is a familiar story. But it seems most tellings editorialize in a lot of motivations that aren’t actually stated. I really hate when they do that. Anyways, the people want to build a city with some great works in it so they aren’t dispersed. And it seems God wanted to prevent those great works. Or just to disperse the people. Hmm…given the command to Adam and Eve to multiply and subdue the Earth, I’d guess the latter was a greater motive than to destroy great works. In any case, there’s no mention of the morality of them building a city, or a tower, or a ziggurat (I’ve hear that archeology suggests a ziggurat is more likely than a tower). See, this is why it’s good to read the Bible for yourself; you notice details other leave out or add in.

After that, there’s more genealogy to the end of the chapter. Or nearly to the end.

Genesis 6-9:17

So, I had some former notes on Genesis 6, but I didn’t like them. So after a bit of a break, I’m rereading and rewriting.

Genesis 6:1-8 is just full of theological debate bait. Exactly what were the Nephilim? How can God apparently change His mind? How did Noah find favor with God? I feel like I’ve seen too many debates on these, so I’ll just move on.

So, the story of the flood is pretty well known. But I have a few stray thoughts. First, in verse 18 is (I think) the first covenant mentioned in the Bible. And it’s an all-God one, He has no conditions on Noah. In chapter 8, I find the phrase “But God remembered Noah” striking and I don’t know why. Then in 8:20 is the first sacrifice mentioned since Cain and Abel. And it immediately precedes God’s promise to not reflood the Earth. That’s cool timing!

Genesis 4-5

Chapter four begins with Cain killing Abel over sacrifices being accepted. One generation from the fall and we’ve already got murder. Sin is brutal.

Then we’ve some genealogical bits, which I tend to not find interesting. But check out the last sentence: ‘At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.’ That’s interesting to me, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. The origins of petitionary prayer, perhaps? I’m gonna check to see what Matthew Henry has to say about this.

He points out that Adam and Eve had lost both sons in a day, and this is the first time we see them in this chapter. We see God restoring them, first by giving them a new son (followed later by more children), then restoring their worship of Him. Also, the sins of Cain and later of Lamech may have driven people back to God.

Chapter five has more genealogy. Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah. Enoch is recorded to have walked with God. That’s cool, I’d like to be remembered that way. And that we end with Noah signifies the next chapter will be interesting.

Genesis 3

The fall. The part where all the bad begins. This will not be a happy chapter.

The serpent is a new character here. He’s usually assumed to be Satan. And it’s not a new interpretation by any means, so don’t mind the people who try to make a big deal out of it not being explicit.

The serpent works to trick the woman into eating the forbidden fruit. People will sometimes gripe about God being cruel, putting temptation right in their path and being surprised when they fail. Except they only now really notice the tree is pleasing to the eye or the fruit is good for food (I assume they mean simply edible). When you notice that, this tree sounds significantly less awesome than the rest by far.

The woman is tricked and eats the fruit. And then she gives some to Adam, who was apparently right there the whole time. Seriously, dude? You couldn’t have reminded her this is a bad idea?

So, shame enters the world, and leads to their being found out. Adam, Eve, and the serpent all receive curses. Then God makes animal skin garments for Adam and Eve, the first sacrifice for sin, even if the concept is still very vague at this point. Then Adam and Eve are driven from the garden, and it is guarded to prevent their return.