The Beginning


In the beginning were two different stories of creation.

The first included the scientific facts. The world existed under a vault, like a dome, which separated the waters above from the waters below. The vault, called heaven, contained the lesser lights, the stars, and the greater light, the sun. Creation took six days. Man and woman were made together, in the image of God, at the end of the sixth day. Then God took a day off.

The second one was the garden story. God made man first, out of mud, and breathed life into him. Then He planted the Garden of Eden. Man was appointed caretaker. God eventually made woman as man's companion, but only after having found, one by one, that every other species of animal in the world was unsatisfactory in the role.

The garden story was also the story of the fall. Man and woman disobeyed God at the suggestion of snake. God punished them. God then threw man and woman out of the garden. He did that so they couldn't eat from other tree in the center of the garden and become even more like Him.
In the middle of the garden were two trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of immortal life. God told man that to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge would assure his death. This, of course, was true.

Snake told woman that in eating the forbidden fruit she would become God-like, knowing good from evil. This was also true. She ate the fruit and gave some to man, who was there with her. They heard God walking around in the garden, and they hid. God called out to man.

Man said he was hiding because he was naked.

God asked, "Who told you that you were naked?" This might sound like a stupid question. Then God asked another question. "Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?" Man broke down immediately and blamed woman. Woman blamed snake. Snake wasn't talking. All three were punished.

For the snake, all the other animals would hate him; he would crawl on his belly and eat dirt. Woman would hate him more than anybody.
Woman would have intense pain in childbearing. She would have a yearning for man, yet man would dominate her.

For man, God cursed the ground. The ground would produce thistles and brambles. He promised man a hard, sweaty life, followed by death.

At this point, the three had been punished, yet they were still in the garden. So, why were they driven out?

"Then God said. 'Now that man has become like one of us in knowing good from evil he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick from the tree of life too, and eat and live forever!' So God expelled him from the Garden of Eden…"

Us? Us Gods? The Guys? Whoever us was, us was not Adam and Eve, and them being too much like us was something to avoid. Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden lest they become even more God-like. They knew too much, but now God knew that they wouldn't live forever.

Knowing good and evil, Adam and Eve also knew male and female. Born to them in time were Cain and Abel. Cain, the elder, became a farmer. Abel was a shepherd.

Once they were offering a sacrifice to God. Cain brought some veggies. Abel offered from the first-born of his flock. God was pleased by Abel and his sacrifice, but not by Cain and his. God didn't say why.

Cain became angry and downcast. He invited Abel out to open land, where he jumped him and killed him. Then he lied to God when asked about Abel's whereabouts. Cain even got sarcastic about it, but God knew Cain was guilty because Abel's blood cried out to Him. God heard blood talking to Him.
God's punishment for Cain was to make him go away. This was too much for Cain, who protested that anyone who saw him might kill him. Anyone? His mom and dad were the only other people alive at the time. Even so, God gave Cain a protective mark that promised sevenfold vengeance on his killer. Sevenfold?

Cain left God's presence, and went to the land of Nod, east of Eden. Then Cain had sex with his wife. His wife?

They started a family.
Cain fathered Enoch,
who fathered Irad,
who fathered Mehujael,
who fathered Methushael
who fathered Lamech.

Through two wives, Lamech was the father of all cattlemen, musicians, and blacksmiths. These people came from God's second favorite. Their line would end in the flood.

Adam and Eve got together again and made Seth. The generations on this side have some similar names to those on Cain's. What's nice about the generations on this side is that everybody's ages are included so that you can calculate how long it was from creation to the great flood. It goes like this:

Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth.
Seth was 105 when he fathered Enosh.
Enosh was 90 when he fathered Kenan.
Kenan was 70 when he fathered Mahalalel.
Mahalalel was 65 when he fathered Jared.
Jared was 162 when he fathered Enoch.
Enoch was 65 when he fathered Methuselah.
Methuselah was 187 when he fathered Lamech.
Lamech was 182 when he fathered Noah.

Noah was 600 when the flood came. That makes 1,656 years between creation and the flood.
The precise goings-on in heaven at this time were not told, but somehow there were some boys down on Earth who were the Sons of God. These boys started noticing the Earth girls, the daughters of men, and they thought they were beautiful. They married a bunch of them. They had children together. These children were called the Nephilim. They were "the heroes of days gone by, men of renown." That's the story.

The Nephilim would also have been wiped out in the flood, unless they had a way to get up to heaven to visit Grandpa.

Things on earth had gotten to be just too bad. God saw all men as wicked, and all living things as corrupt. His heart was grieved. He was sorry about creation. He decided to drown the whole mess.
Having thus resolved, God proceeded to make sure that every species He'd made would survive. God picked out His favorite man, Noah, and had him build an ark. Noah brought on some of everything, then his own family, and closed the door. God opened up the sky.

Inside the ark, the chosen were safe and dry. Outside, all the other cats and rats and elephants, and all the other families on earth were slowly and horribly drowned.

The fish were probably OK.

Everybody got off the ark. Noah killed some of the surviving animals, and burned them up as a thank-You to God. The smell of the smoke rising from the carcasses pleased God. It seemed to perk Him up. He then promised that He would never wipe out humanity in this way again, although people were still up to no good from infancy onward. He blessed Noah and his sons, and told them to fill up the earth.

God made all animals part of the human diet, as well as the green grasses. God emphasized that the blood must be drained out of any flesh that's eaten. God said He intended to keep track of the life-blood of every man and animal. Then God repeated Himself, telling Noah and family to fill up the earth. Then He repeated His promise not to destroy life this way, again. He created the rainbow to use as a reminder, as though He might forget.

Right after the flood, Noah, a man of the earth, planted some vines. He made some wine. He got drunk. He went to sleep in his tent. Noah's youngest son was Ham. He saw Noah, naked, sleeping it off in the tent. He told his brothers, Shem and Japheth, about it. The two older boys took a blanket and backed into dad's tent. Averting their eyes, they covered the old man. Then Noah woke up. When he learned what "Ham had done to him," for some reason, he was furious. Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan, saying that he should be the slave of his relatives.

As it turned out, Ham's family had much more than its share of hard times. They became the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. The men there were unanimously fond of nonconsensual homosexual sex with travelers. They came to a bad end. Ham's family also became the Egyptians. God destroyed them gradually, giddily. Ham's family also became the Canaanites. They were the people living in the Promised Land when the promise was kept. Mostly they were put to the sword: man, woman, child. All the nations that God would exterminate came from Ham, the peeper.

As earth started to fill up again after the flood, everyone spoke the same language. Together, the people devised a brick hardening technology that would allow them to build a tower with its top in the sky. The new building was started in Babel.

Then God saw the goings on.

"So they are a single people with a single language!" said Yahweh. "This is only the start of their undertakings! Now nothing they plan to do will be beyond them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language there, so that they cannot understand one another."

That's what happened. God and certain unnamed associates destroyed communication and the construction project was stopped. God's will was that human beings remain under control. Human beings became too capable, so He Personally messed them up.

Unable to communicate with one another, people drifted apart.

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