Genesis 15: God’s Covenant with Abram

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from (KJV) Genesis 15

1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
I want to point out the small phrase, “in a vision”. What does this mean, exactly? “In a vision” doesn’t necessarily imply “in a dream”. Was Abram fully awake during this vision? Was he daydreaming? Prophesying? Actually dreaming? Was it a vision in a dream? And how did Abram know that this vision was from the Lord? Did he test this vision? Or just accept it as coming from the Lord? I only pursue this question because we are always told to test spirits, test visions, discern… so that we may not be led astray. Am I implying that Abram possibly was seeing visions from a different entity? Well, I’m not exactly implying anything, but I am attempting to shed light on this matter that to be discerning means to question and search for the Truth, however uncomfortable it may be. And it is my effort to find out if Abram KNEW, from every fiber of his being, if this vision truly came from God or was he being deceived.
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
…I also wonder about bloodlines, which is clearly what is meant in this verse. Abram is concerned about preserving his bloodline… although, if we take the creation account to heart, then we are all born of Adam and Eve – again, if there’s nothing more to this account – and so the specific pursuit to carry on one’s own bloodline is a fascinating subject to me. Even back then there was so much separation and animosity, quite possibly due to the separation at the Tower of Babel (although even within Cain and Abel’s own family there was already strife and conflict) created families who considered themselves separate from everyone else. It’s interesting and makes me wonder if there’s something more to this history than what most of us were/are led to believe.
3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
How important is “blood”? Is it about the blood? The DNA? The questions I’m wondering is, why was Abram chosen to be the “people of God”? I haven’t been able to study the Talmud, the Q’uran, Kabbalah, Testament of Abraham, the Ugaritic texts, etc. and it is something that I definitely want to look into in order to get a broader picture of who Abraham is and his descendants. Since Abraham is widely believed to be the line of the C”hosen Ones”, I feel it’s important to find out how, why, for what purpose, etc., etc.
According to this verse, no other bloodline is going to cut it. His adopted son does not suffice. So why is Abraham’s line so important? Why was he chosen?

4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
7 Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8 And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

This is interesting as well, because while the Lord God promised Abram the whole world, basically, Jesus Christ’s teachings is to “come out of this world” and inherit the kingdom of God (Heaven). So I find the stark contrast between these two teachings as very intriguing and worth further consideration.
9 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.

These verses confuse me even more. So the Lord God told Abram to bring Him all of these animals, with no further context to it, but then in the very next verse Abram takes it upon himself to cut them in half and place each piece opposite the other. …Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of ritualistic sacrifice? How does Abram come to the conclusion that this is the act that he must do when God told him to bring those animals to Him? Is it the act of bringing death upon the animals is symbolic of bringing the animals to God? And even if so, why do it in such a specific manner as to cut them in half? And why not the birds? Do these questions get answered in other texts or further verses/chapters of the Bible? This just seems very strange to me and screams of ritualistic sacrifice. Perhaps akin to witchcraft.
Is that blasphemous? Or am I just stating a well-earned speculation that Abram’s actions may be paganistic? It is not my intention to condemn or blaspheme the word of God, but only to raise much needed questions and consideration of the texts and belief structures that it proposes. I am a believer in God and Jesus Christ, and the pursuit of Truth. “Truth” does not mean to blindly listen to certain texts/words/teachings of others, but to sincerely study and learn our surroundings and pray for insight so that we may not be led astray. That is what I am attempting to do.

11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.
…Hm… this lends further credence that the act that Abram performed may have been ritualistic in nature. What is this “horror and great darkness” that fell upon him? Demonic, perhaps?
Not to mention, in some other translations of this verse, they don’t say “a deep sleep” fell upon Abram:

“12 And when the sun was gone down, dread felled on Abram, and a great hideousness and dark assailed him. (And as the sun went down, fear fell upon Abram, and a great dark hideousness assailed him.)”Wycliffe Bible

Sometimes I refer back to the Wycliffe version, since it seems to be the earliest English translation there is, and in his version it does not say that Abram fell into a deep sleep, but rather that dread and fear fell upon him. And the term “assail”, at least in today’s time, implies that he was attacked by this “great dark hideousness”.
13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

So I’m trying to understand the transition of these past few verses. I can infer a few speculations (but I suppose ‘speculations’ they will remain):

1. The horror and great darkness that befell Abram was the entity that has been speaking to Abram as the word of the Lord. Assailing Abram with his power? His authority? Physically assaulting Abram? Maybe… spiritually?
2. The horror and great darkness was an inclination, a gut feeling, that something bad will happen – follow that up with the Lord saying that his descendants will be in trouble for a few years may have given him this fear/dread. Certainly very likely. Although it doesn’t seem to explain the term “assailed” that was originally used as the translation.
3. Perhaps because of the Lord gifting Abram and his descendants with the land and various possessions, it made the dark entities jealous and wrathful – therefore the darkness is the acknowledgement that Abram’s descendants will go through some hardships in order to rise above these dark entities and inherit the land.

Now, this brings me again to the land and the possessions. I can’t help but keep going back to Jesus Christ’s teachings that worldly possessions mean NOTHING in the eyes of the Lord. In fact, he teaches that those who have riches and wealth and all these possessions are on the WRONG PATH to Heaven. Yet in these biblical teachings, Abram has been chosen to inherit the land and the riches in them. …Am I the only one who doesn’t quite understand this dichotomy? But then I am also reminded of the verse in Matthew 5 where it says that the meek shall inherit the Earth. So here we have Abram and his descendants, being promised inherited land and wealth/possessions, and then here’s Jesus saying that the meek will inherit the land. Are Abram and his descendants meek? Did Jesus offer up sacrifices to God to earn His good graces? Am I speaking out of turn and just not understanding the symbolic or universal workings of the world?

15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.
More interesting implications here, that seem to point to Abram performing a ritualistic spell and/or sacrifice. I know I may get pushback against this speculation, but again, it is NOT to offend anyone. It is only to offer up what an honest look into these verses may provoke in someone who hasn’t studied the Bible and other texts extensively and who is on a sincere path to understanding the Bible and its teachings. From an unbiased and subjective look into these verses, it seems as if Abram is performing witchcraft. Perhaps that is just how people worshipped back in those days, and I can somewhat understand that. And perhaps that is why Jesus Christ came to begin with, to show us that we no longer (or have ever) need to perform these rituals and instead look to being kind and loving to one another and believe in Him to have everlasting life. Of course, that doesn’t explain why this Lord at this time asked to have certain animals brought to him, and doesn’t explain how Abram knew how to set up this altar of sorts.
And speaking of this altar, where did this “smoking oven” and the “burning torch” come from? And it just so happened to ceremoniously pass in between the cut pieces of the animals… It seems quite obvious that this was on purpose and that Abram knew to do this. But how? Who taught him to offer up these animals to the Lord in this manner? And what is the smoking oven that just allegedly appeared out of nowhere? It does not do my peace of mind well to make this connection to Moloch, a terrible deity who is often portrayed as having a furnace or oven for a stomach in which to throw sacrifices into – sacrifices that tragically included (includes?) babies/children. Take another translation from Wycliffe, for example:


“17 Therefore when the sun was gone down, a dark mist was made, and a furnace smoking appeared, and a lamp of fire, and (it) passed through those partings. (And when the sun had gone down, a dark mist came, and a smoking furnace appeared, and a lamp of fire which passed between the pieces of the animals.)”

This is extremely suspicious to me. And I feel rather at odds because as far as I’ve researched, I have not come across a lot of sources making this connection. Am I completely in the wrong here? Why am I having this red flag when it comes to this sacrificial act and the “dark mist” and oven/furnace that just so happened to appear (manifest?) out of nowhere to “pass (collect?)” these sacrifices? I am actually quite perplexed that I don’t see many references to this as even being a possibility. I can’t be the only one who finds these texts suspicious…
18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—
19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,
20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

I know sometimes it would seem as if I’m questioning the veracity of the Bible’s origins, and while that may be true in some sense, it is not meant to presume, condemn, or ridicule, and certainly not meant to certify the propositions I set forth. And I definitely don’t mean to insult or offend anyone, especially not God. It is only to get a clearer understanding of the meanings of the Bible, and the possibility that during so many transitions and translation efforts, and perhaps intentional/unintentional mishandling and misinterpretations, that the Truth along the way may have been concealed more than we’d like.

And as usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by Gnattyone from Pixabay

Genesis 9: God’s Covenant With Noah

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 9

God’s Covenant With Noah

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.
Why was this a new rule that God implemented on the beings of the planet? According to this, one could surmise that before this event, all animals had no fear of humans and co-existed side by side peacefully. But after the flood, God changes this completely and makes animals at the mercy of humans. Was this a test to see who will still treat animals with kindness and empathy, even after having reign over them?
3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
So am I to assume that before the flood, no one ate meat? It brings me back to Abel’s offering/sacrifice of the best of his flock, and of Noah’s sacrifice of some of the “clean” animals that Noah brought onto the ark. This was not only acceptable to God, it was beloved; as we can see from God’s reaction to Abel’s offering and one of the main reasons, apparently, that God promised to never again curse the ground because of humans. …Because he loved the smell of burning meat so much. “21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” I honestly don’t know what to say about this revelation.
4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.
Well, even God has his limits. Sadly, this common respect and courtesy for living creatures are indeed lost on some humans. For example, the military sent some of their troops to engage in a rather savage “survival” training camp that did encourage soldiers to eat/drink blood from live animals. And even admitted that the training program was not solely to teach survival skills, but rather to build a rapport with their fellow companions. “While the training exercise is marketed as a food procurement drill, officials have admitted it is intended to build camaraderie among troops in a manner resembling a barbaric hazing ritual.” – (WARNING: GRAPHIC MATERIAL) Military Training Drills Where Soldiers Eat Live Animals And Drink Snake Blood Could Spark New Pandemic, Says PETA

I don’t know about you, but if you look up the definition of ‘camaraderie‘, it states:
n. Goodwill and lighthearted rapport between or among friends; comradeship.
n. Companionship; good-fellowship; intimacy.
n. Comradeship and loyalty.

None of what was described in their “training drills” sounds like ‘goodwill’ or ‘lighthearted’ or ‘good-fellowship’ or anything of the sort and more like an occultic initiation rite to me.

Now some people will accuse others of judging based on cultural differences, but we have to ask ourselves, where do the rights of “cultural differences” stand when the beliefs are literally infringing upon other beings’ lives? “They’re just animals.” Yes. Animals with every right to living as well and not suffering through needless pain. Which again brings me to why a burnt offering of animals would be needed by the Lord and why it’s so hard for me to comprehend this idea in the first place.
5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
I know forgiveness is a huge factor in our lives, but I have to admit that I sometimes think of “karma” as being a real aspect and something that we’ll all have to face one of these days. Whether reincarnation is real or not, perhaps our deeds will go rewarded or punished depending on how we lived our life(lives). I have to be honest when I say that I hope that people get what’s coming to them – both the good and the bad. If someone is completely selfless and loving and spreads that, then I hope they get recompensed for all of their good-heartedness. If someone is evil/wicked, etc., then likewise, I hope they get what’s coming to them. I think it’s human nature to want to see good and bad people get what they inevitably deserve, and I have not yet “transcended” above that mentality.

With that being said, if someone is truly remorseful and regretful for all their bad deeds and turns their life around to show this, then by all means, forgiveness should most definitely be on the table and wipe the slate clean. I think this is one of the key attributes in clearing a kind of karmic debt/cycle. But the heart must be sincere in order for it to work.
6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
Except Cain, right?
“Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.”
Why did God show so much leniency to Cain when he was allegedly the first murderer on the planet? God even put upon him the protection from being killed by the hands of someone else, but yet this verse indicates that if you shed someone’s blood (like Cain did) then your blood will be shed by a human as well. Perhaps God changed his mind. Of course, we know this rule doesn’t necessarily reflect truth as we know it since there have been killers/murderers, etc. that get away with their crime and die peacefully in their sleep. So perhaps there’s something we’re missing to completely understand the context of these words.
7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you
10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.
11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
I think most of us might remember this story from our childhood; God’s promise to never destroy most of the world due to a flood ever again – hence the rainbow in the sky as a testament to this promise – however, as a lot of people have pointed out, the prophetic words of Revelation point to Fire as the next detrimental punishment the world will receive when the time comes. Perhaps there is a symbolic meaning behind this, seeing as how fire is often seen as the essence of purification.
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:
13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,
15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The Sons of Noah

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.)
19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

I remember seeing an interesting depiction of these three sons of Noah, implicating the skin color of each one. There is so much controversy surrounding the nature of this, that, while I feel it prudent to study it and research the possible correlations between all of it, I am not going to address it on this post. Just bringing up the subject matter for future reference, and to connect this with the possible origins we have on the different kinds of ethnicities and cultures that we can see all around the world. I think it is a fascinating study into our history, although the theories and opinions differ greatly between multiple groups and are highly debatable and ultimately inconclusive.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard.
21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

This is more of a personal opinion, but I am not a big drinker, and, to be quite frank, I don’t think anyone else should be either. There is so much conflict and drama when alcohol is in the mix, and it leads to drastic decisions that probably could have been avoided simply by not imbibing the drink. There are (conspiracy) theories as to why alcohol is called ‘spirits’ to begin with. Maybe there’s a perfectly good reason why it’s called that. And it’s also a good reason why we should stay away from it. A little bit of it here and there is fine, but when one crosses the line into “drunkenness”, it most definitely becomes a problem. The consumption of alcohol directly weakens our cognitive functions, and, in my conspiratorial opinion, leaves one wide open for spiritual possession and impaired judgement.
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside.
You wouldn’t think it simply by looking at this rather straight-forward statement, but it is, in fact, rife with hidden meaning. (That is, of course, contested, but what isn’t nowadays?)
When I first read this line, my mind automatically thought, “Well, so what? Noah’s son accidentally looked upon his drunken father’s nakedness. Is that really such a major deal? And his other sons simply took a garment and respectfully covered him. What’s to see here?”

23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
But it wasn’t until I researched these verses that it made sense. What the term ‘saw his father naked‘ really means in Hebrew – is a euphemism for sleeping with his father’s wife.
Yes.
It means that Ham slept with his own mother.
Why Was Canaan Cursed?
This is of course, just one theory, but it’s the one that makes the most sense to me. After all, yes having someone take a peek at you while you’re laying naked is utterly embarrassing, but enough so to warrant cursing your own grandchild? Eh, not so much. However, a family member having an immoral relationship with another family member, especially one who you’re married to? And then to have that family member go behind your back and brag about it to other family members?…That makes more sense.
But that does raise the question as to why Noah cursed his grandchild to begin with and not Ham; the one who ACTUALLY committed the sin.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him,
25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

There are debates as to if this is what is really meant by the “uncovered nakedness” means, and as I’ve stated, it is what makes most sense to me. If it was that Ham saw him naked and bragged about it to his brothers, then the severity of the curse doesn’t seem to fit the crime. If, however, it is because Ham committed incest with his mother and this is how Canaan was born, it falls into place more logically. Now the question is, was the mother complicit in this egregious deed; or was she overpowered and taken advantage of? Was it not only a crime of incest, but also of rape? The Bible doesn’t expand upon this further, so there is no way of knowing.

And through my own curiosity, since Noah automatically went to curse Canaan, I wondered if this child had already been born and was just the poor recipient of Noah’s wrath due to being the child of Ham, OR, if Noah knew that Canaan was going to be born from Ham’s incestuous relationship with his mother. The verse states “when Noah awoke from his wine” – could this have meant “when Noah awoke from his drunken stupor”? When looking up how long one can be drunk for, the answer was astonishing. If it was a matter of a single day/night in which Noah lay drunk and finally arose out of it, that would be one thing. But again, the Bible doesn’t specify. If, however, Noah was a consistent wine drinker to the point where he was a (even barely) “functioning drunk”, then this state could last for weeks, months, even years! Perhaps when he finally set the wine aside and sobered up, is when his other sons got through to him and let him know the grievous action that their brother committed. And during that time, Noah, seeing his wife pregnant and knowing that it wasn’t his but instead Ham’s, unleashed his curse on the unborn child.
26 He also said, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

It seems as if Noah’s wrath onto Canaan is more of a retribution to smite Ham – forcing him to watch his son be at the mercy of others, but because to me it seems unfair to subject an otherwise innocent child to such hostility and animosity, it’s taking me awhile to wrap my head around it.
There is something that I’m reminded of and wonder if it has any relevance to the reaction of Noah to his grandson Canaan. In some reincarnation testimonies, children have been known to decide which parents they want to be born from. Could this be why Noah holds resentment to Canaan? Since Canaan allegedly chose to be born from this cursed union?
I will never forget when my son told me when he was around 4, “I’m glad I picked you to be my mommy.” (…I didn’t know it worked like that…) Of course I asked him what he meant by that, and he couldn’t quite explain it but stated it as a matter of fact thing, like “of course that’s how it works, silly”. He also regaled me with stories of what it was like INSIDE THE WOMB and me, being fascinated with what he was telling me, grabbed the nearest piece of paper and pen I could find and hastily scribbled down everything he was saying. Was this merely a fanciful imagination of a young child? Or was he remembering things that go far beyond our current comprehension?
Lastly, I want to bring up how sad it is that after God’s hard work at smiting the WHOLE PLANET (save but a few) because of the evil inclinations of the human heart, what happens next? Ham, one of the chosen few to be saved, goes out and SINS and brings corruption right back. …Really? Out of 8 people, they couldn’t just stay holy enough to not further curse the land? It’s not like they went ahead and listened to the Lord and repopulated the land AND THEN one of those foolish offspring brought about corruption. NO. We see it right away from one of Noah’s sons. You can’t tell me that God didn’t foresee this coming. Which begs the question, ‘why allow it’?

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years.
29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

As we can see, the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways and I can’t even pretend to know the hows, whats and whys and so on. All we can do is live life the best way we can, work on our own development and help others through their hardships and learn from our mistakes. We may never know the “ultimate plan” and why God allows certain things to happen, but to stay in a cynical, hard-hearted stubbornness of rebellion and disbelief is to shut out open-mindedness and understanding. Something that I am perpetually working on in my own life.

And again I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Genesis 8: Noah’s Deliverance

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 8

Noah’s Deliverance

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
I am certainly not trying to put words in the mouth of the Bible, but I am wondering what this verse is alluding to. It’s not like God can forget Noah and his companions, right? At least in my upbringing, I was taught that God knows what is going on AT ALL TIMES, so it’s impossible for Him to “forget” anyone. Was this verse just a way to humanize God so that people can relate and understand some of His mysterious, but sovereign decisions? I truly don’t know.
2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,
When I was younger, I always assumed that after the infamous 40 days, that everything was hunky dory right after that. It didn’t even cross my mind that it would take time for the water to recede. I just thought, in my childish naivete, that after 40 days, the water would automatically have dissipated, and everyone could go on with their lives. To be honest, I didn’t even think otherwise until much later on in my adulthood. So to see it really spelled out for me and giving me a better outlook as to how long the process really took, was sort of shocking, to say the least. It makes me wonder what else we take for granted when it comes to information and basic knowledge.
4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
You know, when I initially started this chapter, I thought I wouldn’t find much to comment on. But surprisingly, while doing some research on these specific places and time frame, actually found too much information that I couldn’t possibly cover all on this one post.
When looking up the mountains of Ararat, it took me to various sources of fascinating history:

– from the alleged eye-witness accounts of Noah’s Ark as early as the 1800’s (possibly even earlier), and then throughout the decades by various different adventurers – one including Vladimir Roskovitsky.
And if one digs deep enough, may find a connection between the “perfect timing” of Vladimir’s discovery, and the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917; which just so happened to cause the loss of the evidence of this historic find. (Hm… what does that remind me of? Oh yeah! The purported discovery of King Gilgamesh’s tomb in Baghdad, and then right after that, the US invasion of Iraq! Which also, in a strange turn of events, also just happened to lose evidence to these findings. Coincidence? Or completely planned?)

– to a hoax that CBS ran (not surprising), featuring a man named George Jammal who alleged to having witnessed the ark. It turned out that CBS was being duped by Mr. Jammal, even when he referred to some lovely names, such as: Mr. Asholian, Vladimir Sobitchsky, and Allis Buls Hitian.

– to the interesting references to Gilgamesh (which I ironically covered not too long ago in this post) and Ishtar (whom I also referenced due to the insane amount of symbolism that can be seen throughout the entertainment industry.) I am not making these connections on purpose. They are just “coincidentally” being mentioned when researching these seemingly different topics.
5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark
7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.
I want to make a mention that in some other versions of the Bible, the verses are rather specific in stating that the dove is female; describing the dove as “she”/”her”. Yet in this version, it does not mention the bird’s gender at all. This is very strange to me. It is almost as if this version (and others like it) made a deliberate decision to exclude the gender of the bird, for some reason.

Is the gender of the bird relevant? Important? To be honest, even if it wasn’t, if it is not an accurate translation of the original Bible, no matter the relevance, then it is still highly suspect and makes one wonder what else this translation has changed from the original version. I say “original” version because even though I don’t read Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. and can’t possibly know what the true original texts say, I am basing this information off of the Wycliffe Version which was allegedly written in the late 1300’s. If this is one of the earliest texts we have to go by, then their version states that the dove is female. Along with several other versions after that. The NIV, as well as a handful of others, seem to specifically omit this detail. It seems very bizarre that they would make a conscious effort to do so.

On the other hand, if there were no precise origins for the use of describing the bird as a female, and the translators do so out of their understanding or opinion, then I can understand why they would not want to specify. But it is just another reason that it is hard to take everything the Bible states as accurate, since there are too many different versions/translations/alterations. (It is also interesting to note that the Wycliffe version states that it was a crow, and not a raven, that Noah initially sent out to find land. If that has any significance on the matter.)
10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
There are interesting debates as to whether plants could live through a flood of such magnitude, as many speculate that all plant life would drown/die off due to being overwhelmed by the deluge for so long; but scientifically speaking, plants/grass/seeds, etc. can indeed survive even after a considerable amount of undesirable conditions. (How Did Plants Survive and Disperse after the Flood?)
12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.
14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15 Then God said to Noah,
16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.
17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.
19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

God’s Covenant with Creation

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
I mentioned it a little bit about this in the previous chapter with Cain and Abel, and I don’t want to insinuate that I know anything about how the world works, but I do question the… ritualistic aspect of building altars and sacrificing things for God. I am just confused and curious as to why this would be a practice. And to think it allegedly started with Cain and Abel offering their crops/flock. Why did they do this? Did God ask them to? There are some Christian apologetics who claim that yes, sacrifices were needed to appease God and show their faith to Him and/or to wipe away sin. Some even say there are biblical references that it needs to be a “blood sacrifice”, which then obviously wouldn’t include crops like Cain tried to offer. Of course, that is if we’re taking the scripts to be literal. And this is what I have a problem with.
Again, I can’t pretend to think that I know better about how “life” and this world works, but speaking as a person who believes in spirituality and the goodness of one’s heart, the act of sacrificing anything “for the higher good” is lost on me.

21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
And that brings me to this verse. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love animals and am trying to transition to vegetarian-ism, although I haven’t fully reached that destination quite yet, so I must admit that I love the smell of a good barbecue as much as the next person. But again, the mystery of a burnt offering that is pleasing to the Lord escapes me. So unless I am just not understanding how a universal creator could be tempted by the smell of delicious meats and (basically?) requires blood sacrifices in order to wipe sin away, perhaps I am just misconstruing the deeper, philosophical meaning, or – there is something not quite accurate with this interpretation.

Then, to make matters even more confusing, since there is no real proof of who wrote Genesis to begin with, we have to ask ourselves, how did the author know what the Lord said “in his heart”? Did God reveal this to the author? If the author was Moses, like some biblical scholars believe, then perhaps Moses himself received visions of this very revelation and was led to write it down for prosperity sakes and at the command of God for our enlightenment. Of course it’s said that the Bible is the Word of God in and of itself, so perhaps this makes sense. But obviously I am not sure on this matter, and will have to do more extensive research on this to even get close to understanding this subject. Especially since there is no concrete evidence either way.

One more note, God admits that “every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood“. According to these Bible verses. But yet, He still found some worthy of being saved. Now, again, the knowledge of who is written in the Book of Life (who will be saved) is already known to Him. He already knows who has a good heart (even though we’re all born with evil inclinations, supposedly) and who will remain steadfast and have faith. So we have to address the whole act of unleashing the flood upon the world, save but a few, knowing that in the end, those very same few will give rise to the current situations we have today, and eventually who leads us to the apocalypse in Revelation.

God sees all, so it seems as if predestination vs. free will is still a highly debated topic and possibly won’t end until the whole world does. And if Noah and his extended family ended up completely innocent of this, then we have to come to terms that not everyone died during the flood. Plus when you take into account that the previous chapter about Nephilims stated that they lived before, and after, the flood, it makes one wonder how they survived or came back into being. – And I can go on and on with “human heart is evil” verse, but I will just end this topic here before I get too long-winded.
22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Like I said above, I could go on and on about the human heart and our inclinations, but that might have to be on a separate post. I was also really intrigued by the historical connections to King Gilgamesh and Ishtar, as well as the strange coincidences that as soon as the alleged Ark was found (along with the other ancient discoveries), there were invasions to these countries that just so happened to eradicate any evidence of it. Very strange, indeed…

 

Again, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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Earnest Examination

Genesis 16: Hagar and Ishmael - Earnest Examination
Genesis 14: Abram Rescues Lot - Earnest Examination
Genesis 13: Abram Inherits Canaan - Earnest Examination
Genesis 12: The Call of Abram - Earnest Examination
Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel - Earnest Examination
Genesis 10: The Table of Nations - Earnest Examination
Genesis 8: Noah’s Deliverance - Earnest Examination
Genesis 7: The Flood Begins - Earnest Examination