Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history; the primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of the Exodus; the narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.
In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs the need for salvation and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God. Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", etc. down to Jacob. It is not clear, what this meant to the original authors, most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" and a "patriarchal history".
While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book. The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after. God consecrates the seventh as a day of rest. God creates the first humans Adam and Eve and all the animals in the Garden of Eden but instructs them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, entices Eve into eating it anyway, she entices Adam, whereupon God throws them out and curses them—Adam to getting what he needs only by sweat and work, Eve to giving birth in pain; this is interpreted by Christians as the fall of humanity. Eve bears two sons and Abel. Cain kills Abel but not Cain's. God curses Cain. Eve bears Seth, to take Abel's place. After many generations of Adam have passed from the lines of Cain and Seth, the world becomes corrupted by human sin and Nephilim, God determines to wipe out humanity.
First, he instructs the righteous Noah and his family to build an ark and put examples of all the animals on it, seven pairs of every clean animal and one pair of every unclean. God sends a great flood to wipe out the rest of the world; when the waters recede, God promises he will never destroy the world with water again, using the rainbow as a symbol of his promise. God sees mankind cooperating to build a great tower city, the Tower of Babel, divides humanity with many languages and sets them apart with confusion. God instructs Abram to travel from his home in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan. There, God makes a covenant with Abram, promising that his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars, but that people will suffer oppression in a foreign land for four hundred years, after which they will inherit the land "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates". Abram's name is changed to Abraham and that of his wife Sarai to Sarah, circumcision of all males is instituted as the sign of the covenant.
Due to her old age, Sarah tells Abraham to take Hagar, as a second wife. Through Hagar, Abraham fathers Ishmael. God resolves to destroy the cities of Gomorrah for the sins of their people. Abraham gets God to agree not to destroy the cities for the sake of ten righteous men. Angels save Abraham's nephew Lot and his family, but his wife looks back on the destruction against their command and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot's daughters, concerned that they are fugitives who will never find husbands, get him drunk to become pregnant by him, give birth to the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites. Abraham and Sarah go to the Philistine town of Gerar, pretending to be sister; the King of Gerar takes Sarah for his wife, but God warns him to return her, a
Naamah is an individual mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis 4:22. A descendant of Cain, she was the only mentioned daughter of Lamech and Zillah and their youngest mentioned child. Gordon Wenham notes that the reason "she should be picked out for special mention remains obscure", while R. R. Wilson suggests that the narrator wished to offer a balanced genealogy by noting that both of Lamech's wives had two children; the early Jewish midrash Genesis Rabba identifies this Naamah as the wife of Noah, while some Jewish traditions associate her with singing. The Naamah mentioned in the Bible is a Cainite, a descendant in the lineage of Cain. However, a Sethite Naamah is named as the wife of Noah, a daughter of Enoch, Noah's grandfather, in a medieval midrash; the 17th-century theologian John Gill mentioned a theory which identified Naamah instead with the name of the wife of Ham, son of Noah, who he believed may have become confused with Noah's wife. See Wives aboard the Ark; the demon Naamah is identified with this person in some Kabbalistic traditions.
In present day Israel, "Naamah" is used as a female first name. Media related to Tubal-Cain at Wikimedia Commons
The Antediluvian is the time period referred to in the Bible between the fall of humans and the Genesis flood narrative in the biblical cosmology. The narrative takes up chapters 1–6 of the Book of Genesis; the term found its way into early science until the late Victorian era. Colloquially, the term is used to refer to any murky period; the Sumerian flood myth is the direct mythological antecessor to the biblical flood myth as well as other Near Eastern flood stories, reflects a similar religious and cultural relevance to their religion. Much as Jews and Christians, ancient Sumerians divided the world between pre-flood and post-flood eras, the former being a time where the gods walked the earth and humans were immortal. After the flood, humans ceased to be immortal and the gods distanced themselves. In the Christian Bible and Hebrew Torah, the Antediluvian period begins with the Fall of the first Man and woman, according to Genesis and ends with the destruction of all life on the earth except those saved with Noah in the ark.
According to Bishop Ussher's 17th-century chronology, the Antediluvian period lasted for 1656 years, from Creation at 4004 BC to the Flood at 2348 BC. The elements of the narrative include some of the best-known stories in the Bible — the creation and Eve, Cain and Abel, followed by the genealogies tracing the descendants of Cain and Seth, the third mentioned son of Adam and Eve.. The Bible speaks of this era as being a time of great wickedness. There were Gibborim in the earth in those days as well as Nephilim; the Gibborim were unusually powerful. The antediluvian period ended when God sent the Flood to wipe out all life except Noah, his family, the animals they took with them; the Nephilim reappear much in the biblical narrative, in Numbers 13:31–33. Early scientific attempts at reconstructing the history of the Earth were founded on the biblical narrative and thus used the term Antediluvian to refer to a period understood to be similar to the biblical one. Early scientific interpretation of the biblical narrative divided the Antediluvian into sub-periods based on the six days of Creation: Pre-Adamitic Primary Secondary Adamitic, corresponding to St. Augustine's First Age of his Six Ages of the WorldPrior to the 19th century, rock was classified into three main types: primary or primitive and tertiary.
The primary rocks are void of fossils and were thought to be associated with the creation of the world in the primary Pre-Adamitic period. The secondary rocks containing copious fossils, though human remains had not been found, were thought to have been laid down in the secondary Pre-Adamitic period; the Tertiary rocks were thought to have been put down after Creation and in connection to a flood event, were thus associated with the Adamitic period. The Post-Flood period was termed a name still in use in geology; as mapping of the geological strata progressed in the early decades of the 19th century, the estimated lengths of the various sub-periods were increased. The fossil rich Secondary Pre-Adamitic period was divided up into the Coal period, the Lias and the Chalk period expanded into the now-familiar geologic time scale of the Phanerozoic; the term Antediluvian was used in natural science well into the 19th century and lingered in popular imagination despite detailed stratigraphy mapping the Earth's past, was used for the Pleistocene period, where humans existed alongside now extinct megafauna.
Writers such as William Whiston and Henry Morris who launched the modern Creationist movement described the Antediluvian period as follows: People lived much longer than those alive today between 700–950 years, as reported in the genealogies of Genesis. Whiston calculated that as many as 500 million humans may have been born in the Antediluvian period, based on assumptions about lifespans and fertility rates. Instead, the Earth was watered by mists. However, there has since been debate among Creationists over the authenticity of arguments such as the one that'there was no rain before the Flood' and previous ideas about what the Antediluvian world was like are changing. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the understanding of the nature of early Earth went through a transformation from a biblical or deist interpretation to a naturalistic one. Back in the early 18th century, Plutonists had argued for an ancient Earth, but the full impact of the depth of time involved in the Pre-Adamitic period was not accepted until uniformitarianism as presente
Satan known as the Devil, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood. In Christianity and Islam, he is seen as either a fallen angel or a jinn, who used to possess great piety and beauty, but rebelled against God, who allows him temporary power over the fallen world and a host of demons. In Judaism, Satan is regarded as a metaphor for the yetzer hara, or "evil inclination", or as an agent subservient to God. A figure known as "the satan" first appears in the Tanakh as a heavenly prosecutor, a member of the sons of God subordinate to Yahweh, who prosecutes the nation of Judah in the heavenly court and tests the loyalty of Yahweh's followers by forcing them to suffer. During the intertestamental period due to influence from the Zoroastrian figure of Angra Mainyu, the satan developed into a malevolent entity with abhorrent qualities in dualistic opposition to God. In the apocryphal Book of Jubilees, Yahweh grants the satan authority over a group of fallen angels, or their offspring, to tempt humans to sin and punish them.
In the Synoptic Gospels, Satan tempts Jesus in the desert and is identified as the cause of illness and temptation. In the Book of Revelation, Satan appears as a Great Red Dragon, defeated by Michael the Archangel and cast down from Heaven, he is bound for one thousand years, but is set free before being defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire. In Christianity, Satan is known as the Devil and, although the Book of Genesis does not mention him, he is identified as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In the Middle Ages, Satan played a minimal role in Christian theology and was used as a comic relief figure in mystery plays. During the early modern period, Satan's significance increased as beliefs such as demonic possession and witchcraft became more prevalent. During the Age of Enlightenment, belief in the existence of Satan became harshly criticized. Nonetheless, belief in Satan has persisted in the Americas. In the Quran, Shaitan known as Iblis, is an entity made of fire, cast out of Heaven because he refused to bow before the newly-created Adam and incites humans to sin by infecting their minds with waswās.
Although Satan is viewed as evil, some groups have different beliefs. In Theistic Satanism, Satan is considered a deity, either worshipped or revered. In LaVeyan Satanism, Satan is a symbol of virtuous characteristics and liberty. Satan's appearance is never described in the Bible, since the ninth century, he has been shown in Christian art with horns, cloven hooves, unusually hairy legs, a tail naked and holding a pitchfork; these are an amalgam of traits derived from various pagan deities, including Pan and Bes. Satan appears in Christian literature, most notably in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, variants of the Faust legend, John Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, the poems of William Blake, he continues to appear in film and music. The original Hebrew term sâtan is a generic noun meaning "accuser" or "adversary", used throughout the Hebrew Bible to refer to ordinary human adversaries, as well as a specific supernatural entity; the word is derived from a verb meaning "to obstruct, oppose".
When it is used without the definite article, the word can refer to any accuser, but when it is used with the definite article, it refers to the heavenly accuser: the satan. Ha-Satan with the definite article occurs 13 times in the Masoretic Text, in two books of the Hebrew Bible: Job ch. 1–2 and Zechariah 3:1–2. Satan without the definite article is used in 10 instances, of which two are translated diabolos in the Septuagint and "Satan" in the King James Version: 1 Chronicles 21:1, "Satan stood up against Israel" or "And there standeth up an adversary against Israel" Psalm 109:6b "and let Satan stand at his right hand" or "let an accuser stand at his right hand." The word "satan" does not occur in the Book of Genesis, which mentions only a talking serpent and does not identify the serpent with any supernatural entity. The first occurrence of the word "satan" in the Hebrew Bible in reference to a supernatural figure comes from Numbers 22:22, which describes the Angel of Yahweh confronting Balaam on his donkey: "Balaam's departure aroused the wrath of Elohim, the Angel of Yahweh stood in the road as a satan against him."
In 2 Samuel 24, Yahweh sends the "Angel of Yahweh" to inflict a plague against Israel for three days, killing 70,000 people as punishment for David having taken a census without his approval. 1 Chronicles 21:1 repeats this story, but replaces the "Angel of Yahweh" with an entity referred to as "a satan". Some passages refer to the satan, without using the word itself. 1 Samuel 2:12 describes the sons of Eli as "sons of Belial". In 1 Samuel 16:14-23 Yahweh sends a "troubling spirit" to torment King Saul as a mechanism to ingratiate David with the king. In 1 Kings 22:19-25, the prophet Micaiah describes to King Ahab a vision of Yahweh sitting on his throne surrounded by the Host of Heaven. Yahweh asks the Host. A "spirit", whose name is not specified, but, analogous to the satan, volunteers to be "a Lying Spirit in the mouth of all his Prophets"; the satan appears in the Book of Job, a poetic dialogue set within a prose framework, which may have been written around the time of the Babylonian captivity.
In the text, Job is a righteous man favored by Yahweh. Job 1:6-8 describes the "sons of God" (bənê hāʼĕ
The Septuagint is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. It is estimated that the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,particularly in the Pauline epistles,by the Apostolic Fathers, by the Greek Church Fathers; the full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις "The Translation of the Seventy", derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by 70 Jewish scholars who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora and early Christian circles, it is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew, but in Greek.
The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period have led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas's dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century BCE. Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it satisfied a need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was waning before the demands of every-day life." While there are other contemporaneous Greek versions of the Old Testament, most did not survive except as fragments. Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus; the Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta interpretum, "translation of the seventy interpreters", Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomḗkonta, "translation of the seventy". However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term Septuaginta; the Roman numeral LXX is used as an abbreviation G or G. Seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.
This narrative is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, is repeated by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and by various sources, including St. Augustine; the story is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud: King Ptolemy once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned, he entered each one's room and said: "Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher". God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically. Philo of Alexandria, who relied extensively on the Septuagint, says that the number of scholars was chosen by selecting six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. According to rabbinic tradition, the Septuagint was handed in to Ptolemy on the date of an annual fast and mourning for the Jewish people; the date of the 3rd century BCE is supported by a number of factors, including the Greek being representative of early Koine, citations beginning as early as the 2nd century BCE, early manuscripts datable to the 2nd century.
After the Torah, other books were translated over the next two to three centuries. It is not altogether clear, translated when, or where; the quality and style of the different translators varied from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative. The translation process of the Septuagint itself and from the Septuagint into other versions can be broken down into several distinct stages, during which the social milieu of the translators shifted from Hellenistic Judaism to Early Christianity; the translation of the Septuagint itself began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well. The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament; the Septuagint is written in Koine Greek. Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic. Other books, such as Daniel and Proverbs, show Greek influence more strongly.
The Septuagint may elucidate pronunciation of pre-Masoretic Hebrew: many proper nouns are spelled out with Greek vowels in the translation, while contemporary Hebrew texts lacked vowel pointing. However, it is unlikely; as the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Greek Bible expanded. The Hebrew bible called Tanakh, has three divisions: the Torah, the Neviʾim, the Ketuvim; the Septuagint has four: law, history and prophets, with the books of the Apocrypha inserted where appropriate. The Torah has held pre-eminence as the basis of the canon.
The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews; the term "Talmud" refers to the collection of writings named the Babylonian Talmud, although there is an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud. It may traditionally be called Shas, a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah; the Talmud has two components. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone; the entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, customs, history and many other topics.
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, is quoted in rabbinic literature. Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study". Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works, though some may have made private notes, for example of court decisions; this situation changed drastically as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple and Judea without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained, it is during this period. The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud, dates from 1342 and is available online; the process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were the two major centers of Jewish scholarship and Babylonia.
Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Talmud Yerushalmi, it was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500; the word "Talmud", when used without qualification refers to the Babylonian Talmud. While the editors of Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Here the argument from silence is convincing." The Jerusalem Talmud known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary, transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias and Caesarea, it is written in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah, developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem, it has more been called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel". Its final redaction belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, said "let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended; the text is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th century has been associated with the decision of Theodosius II in 425 to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of semikhah, formal scholarly ordination.
Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land, it was an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Chana
Jabal is an individual mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis 4:20. Jabal was the son of Lamech and Adah, the brother of Jubal, half-brother of Tubal-cain and Naamah, he is described as the "ancestor of all who live in tents and raise livestock." Francis Nigel Lee interprets Genesis 4:20 to mean that Jabal was both the "father of all cattle ranchers" and the "father of all tent-dwellers", as such as the "pioneer of all livestock and agricultural technology" as well as the "pioneer of all architecture." Lee notes that Jabal was also a weaver, thus "the pioneer of the clothing industry."Gordon Wenham, on the other hand, understands the verse to indicate Jabal was the first "dweller with herds." That is, he was the "father of the Bedouin lifestyle." He notes that whereas Abel "merely lived off his flocks," Jabal could "trade with his beasts of burden," and that this "represents cultural advance." Media related to Tubal-Cain at Wikimedia Commons