Genesis, Immortality and Failed Prophecies

Got on a Roll here about failed prophecy, 120 year mortality and failed curses.
Originally I posted in the closest related thread, where John Loftus enquires on the power of God to foresee and predict future outcomes -- I feel Genesis gives ample evidence, that Jehovah cannot predict his own behavior, much less, how then to predict anything about his future interactions with man (in the longterm)? Will man even be alive in future centuries, (as with the flood) for God to predict any future?

Gn:6:6: And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (KJV)
Some excerpts:
Gn:6:3: And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (KJV)

Make that 122 years...

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120 years means 120 years --especially when God says so.
Right? No.

Ask yourself why does Sarah live to be 127?
Archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon said nobody back then lived beyond around age 50.

Exaggerated Ages of the Biblical Patriarchs
It is certain that one cannot build up a chronology on the spans of years attributed to the Patriarchs, nor regard it as factual that Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Harran and a hundred when Isaac was born and that Jacob was a hundred and thirty when he went into Egypt, for the evidence from the skeletons in the Jericho tombs shows that the expectations of life at this period was short. Many individuals seem to have died before they were thirty-five, and few seem to have reached the age of fifty.
- Dr. Kathleen Kenyon (the eminent excavator of the city-mound of Jericho)

There's some blatant contradictions in Genesis. Maybe several stories from different sources, spliced together? For instance, Genesis retells the same story about Sarah and two important national leaders... one is Pharoah in Genesis 12, who wishes to have Sarah, and basically the same story is retold in Genesis 20 where Abimelech, King of Gerar wishes to have Sarah, and Abraham lies to both of them that Sarah is his sister -- but she's grossly aged by the time of the second account, obviously aged, since between the two accounts, Genesis 18:12, we read where Sarah laughs "After I am waxed old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women". It is too absurd to think a king would wish to take such an elderly woman to wife, as is implied, "Gn:21:1: And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. [...] 21:5: And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.[...] 21:7: And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. (KJV)

However:
Gn:23:1: And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
Gn:6:3: And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years
. (KJV)

Ed Babinski: Other aspects also hint of artifice: In Gen. 6:3 God "allows" man 120 year to live. Subsequently Moses, the supposed author of that passage, goes on to live exactly 120 years. (Yet in Ps. 90:10 we are told that man lives only 70 years, ah, there's that "seven" again.) Joseph went to Egypt, and lo, lived to be the ideal Egyptian age of 110 years, then Joshua retrieves Joseph's bones from Egypt and also lives 110 years. Lastly, compare how awkwardly the author of Gen. 11:10-26 and Gen. 25:8 juxtaposes the scene at Abraham's death with the age of his distant relative, Shem, as though he had no idea that people still lived so long as Shem. For the author states that Abraham died "at a good old age, an old man, after a full life," while Shem, Abraham's 7X great grandfather lived to SEE his 7X great grandson die "at a good old age, an old man, after a full life!" For Shem was, if we take Gen. 11:10-26 literally, alive and 565 years old when Abraham died at a mere 175 years of age.

IN OTHER WORDS, the Good Lord just didn't fulfil on his promise, now did he?
Sort of like that promise to make snake eat dust...

Gn:3:14: And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (KJV)

and that doesn't happen, so Isaiah comes along centuries later, prophecying:

Is:65:25: The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. (KJV)

in the "future kingdom"... because it failed fulfilment in Genesis.

I also had elaborated further... while some of the hardest contractions were taking place during the birth of my child, I was *laughing*. Literally. The miracles of modern medicine and a little thing called an epideral. I was paralysed from the waist down and not feeling a thing. Genesis and its curses seemed like a joke at that hour, and I was laughing right up nearly to the point I saw my baby in the doctor's arms.
It was a personal event that places the curse of woman's multiplied sorrows in childbirth into the category of a failed prophecy. I've even heard some Christians imply that these advances in medical science are evidence of "God's mercy". As for "mercy" --if that god of Genesis had ever wanted to show woman "mercy", he'd simply removed his curse and saved medical science the trouble by reducing the intense pain (and life threatening conditions) that's involved with childbirth. After delivering three babies, I can vouch that the pain and dangers in childbirth are still as severe as they ever were... "bedecking their god in stolen plummage".

That's not all. When I was a Christian, seeking proof of an inerrant Bible, I was *amazed* to learn some snakes have vestigial limbs (Photos included there). There's nothing to be amazed at after all. It's possible Jehovah had a bad habit of putting legs on snakes, removing legs, putting them back on again, then gave the snake legs again, only to remove them again in Genesis for "sin"(?).
From the above link: "The West Bank fossils may be snakes whose limbs re-evolved, making them "real snakes, just extinct real snakes" with legs, Greene said. Greene postulates that if animals like the West Bank fossils could re-evolve limbs, then other animals that have certain genes they never lost but whose "triggers" are dormant could re-evolve those traits. Maybe humans will end up with tails again." In fact, that's happened already on occasion.

ED BABINSKI: It is not true that "snakes are the only vertebrates without legs." Besides snakes (which are reptiles without legs), there are species of long snake-like AMPHIBIANS that also lack legs. (Kind of like long snake-like newts without legs.)
There are also some species of reptiles and amphibians with long snake-like bodies and TINY LEGS. (Were they only "half cursed" according to the Bible?)
Of course those snake-like amphibians aren't even mentioned in the Bible.
"Curse on the Serpent" in Genesis Bites the Dust, On JP Holding's Is Genesis Wrong About Snakes Eating Dirt?
"Moreover, some snakes live in lakes or even oceans, and could hardly be described as "dust eaters." Others live high in the branches of tree-canopied rain forests, and seldom if ever rub their bellies on the ground and "eat dust." Besides, virtually all animals "eat" or swallow "dust" or dirt, either voluntarily or accidentally. So, Bob's "apologetical belief" that the Scriptures must jive with modern herpetological science is based on selectively emphasizing only some herpetological observations, ignoring others, viz., stretching the meaning of an obvious literary put down to mean something "scientific sounding," i.e., "tastes" the air."
--
Further question, is the "tree of life" in Genesis, which after reading in context, very much like a physical (not spiritual) immortality?
Gn:3:22: And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (KJV) An ongoing supplement in the monthly diet? ...
Rv:2:7: ...I give to eat of the tree of life...
Rv:22:2: ...the tree of life... yielded her fruit every month...
Rv:22:14: ...that they may have right to the tree of life...


No spiritual immortality was implied or given to Adam, and upon sinning he is told:
Gn:3:19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV)

However...
Mk:12:25: For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (KJV)
Mk:12:27: He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. (KJV)

And indeed, some of the Jews held no such belief:
Acts:23:8: For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. (KJV)

So, when Jehovah gives his word that he shall fulfil ... rather, he's often given to a change of mind (or at least, change of heart -Gn:6:6).

7 comments:

Sharon Mooney said...

"The West Bank fossils may be snakes whose limbs re-evolved, making them "real snakes, just extinct real snakes" with legs, Greene said. Greene postulates that if animals like the West Bank fossils could re-evolve limbs, then other animals that have certain genes they never lost but whose "triggers" are dormant could re-evolve those traits. Maybe humans will end up with tails again."

Like Jehovah, I am free to err.
I am guilty of misinterpreting Greene's statement. After reading with closer examination, -- Greene is saying these fossils were descendants of real modern snakes as we know snakes (the legless variety)... and they were a species which emerged in the fossil record, developing legs... and then, went extinct.

Sharon Mooney said...

Confusion Abounds in Genesis

Question for some of you scholarly types on D.C. :

Gn:6:19: And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. (KJV)
*Genesis 6 states nothing of taking by sevens, "clean animals" on the ark. Simply "two of every kind". To my knowledge, there has been no "list of clean animals" in Genesis up to this point --Where before Genesis 7, are clean and unclean meats even specified? Perhaps that explains Genesis 6. Perhaps Genesis 7 was spliced in at a later time, added in retrospect of Leviticus and Deuteronomy's list of clean and unclean meats ?

Gn:7:2: Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. (KJV)
This contradicts with chapter six.

Followed by further confusion when Jehovah commands in Chapter 7, to take them by sevens, and preserve them ... for what, except --
Genesis 9: 3 -- "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."

The first time a specific law is given defining clean and unclean meats, that law is "anything goes" -- as in, "all moving things" are sanctified as good to eat. So why the pairs of seven of the "clean animals". . . -- what the hey, why mince meat... we'll just make them ALL clean to eat.

Or, am I misunderstanding something?

DagoodS said...

Sharon Mooney,

If you want to see the two flood stories separated out, here is the traditional split. They were later intermingled, as you suspect.

Sharon Mooney said...

Dagoods, thanks for that link,
parts of the story... are difficult or impossible to separate.

Is there more?

For instance, with the rise of Babylon, Sargon who conquered and united the city states of Mesopotamia has one account that sounds much like Moses, that he was "found in a basket floating on a river". Similar to Moses who becomes a Prince in Egypt, Sargon became cup-bearer to the king of the city of Kish... overthrew him and took his place.

A couple details in Sargon myths sound much like the Biblical Moses.

Daniel said...

Some people have suggested that the chronologies in Gen 5 were based on the lunar, rather than solar, calendar. If true, the magnitude of the age can be divided by 12, and the difficulty in this miraculous age of the patriarchs disappears.

Of course, this also makes sense from the perspective that they supposedly didn't start having kids until very late in life, some of them over 100 years old when they had their first kid. In viewing that fact, you think, "a correction factor must be applied to all of these ages, so the calendar is probably the fix."

Problem is, Kenan (Gen 5:12) had a kid at 70. Divide that by 12, and we have the world's youngest father at 5 years of age.

So, there doesn't seem a satisfactory solution either way -- it is quite unbelievable that people lived for a millenium, and equally unbelievable that they waited over 100 years to have kids in a day when contraception was unheard of.

It is also not a "solution" to divide everything by some number, because it makes some of the ages for conception far too young.

Silly old myths, folk-tales, lore...

Sharon Mooney said...

Daniel Morgan: Some people have suggested that the chronologies in Gen 5 were based on the lunar, rather than solar, calendar. If true, the magnitude of the age can be divided by 12, and the difficulty in this miraculous age of the patriarchs disappears.[..]
Problem is, Kenan (Gen 5:12) had a kid at 70. Divide that by 12, and we have the world's youngest father at 5 years of age.
---
Wikipedia: Other Islamic traditions hold that Adam was moved to Sri Lanka, as the next best thing to Eden, and, viewing Adam as having been a giant, human size having shrunk drastically before the great flood, Adam's Peak is said to contain his giant footprint.

I gather it's difficult to pinpoint exactly which early cultures and mythologies the Bible came from, maybe Genesis was a combination of stories from oral tradition? (I mean, earlier written records do not exist.)
Many of the ancient cultures believed in Giants, something slightly less than a god -i.e., Atlas who held the sky on his shoulders in the Greek myths.
Maybe this explains the long lifespan... I mean, the Genesis account even mentions human women having sexual relationship with giants, nephalim and the term sons of god are implied... immortality and the gods tend to go together, the Titans were giants and locked in the lowest hell... how long should they live, hundreds or thousands of years?

paul.brennan said...

The 120 years mentioned in Gen 6 is not referring to any limit on how long individual people would live. It is telling us how long God will continue striving with man: "My spirit shall not always strive with man".

The 120 years was the period of time before the flood would occur.