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Bible Study Notes on Genesis 4 – 20160927

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 4:2  “…she bore again…”
Commentary suggests Cain and Abel may have been twins.  Not specified.  No time is given so no way to know how much time passes between events.  But enough for Cain to become a farmer and Abel a sheepherder.  During this time, I’m sure Eve is producing many more children.  In fact, since they lived so long, she could have been producing many children.

3  “…in the process of time…”
At some point.

3-5  “…Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground…Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat…the LORD respected Abel…He did not respect Cain”
By this time, I’m sure both boys had been taught that God required a blood sacrifice.  Abel brought one, but Cain brought what he had grown.  Appears that although Cain was showing some reverence by bringing an offering, he insisted on doing it his way by disobeying what God required.  God did not respect his offering.

6-7  “…Why are you angry?…If you do well, will you not be accepted?…”
Cain became angry that God didn’t accept his offering.  God lays it out plainly.  Why should Cain be angry that he wasn’t accepted when he knew he wasn’t offering what God required.  He had no excuse for his behavior and no right to become angry over the consequences.

8  “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him”
Cain insists on doing things his way and becomes angry when he is caught.  Even though everything is his fault, his narcissism won’t allow him to blame himself, so he must find someone else to blame.  Since he can’t really blame God, he attacks the one who received the acceptance he thought belonged to him.  Unfortunately, it sounds too typical.

9  “…I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Sin has completely blinded him to reality.  He lies to Almighty God, then tries to worm his way out of any responsibility.

12  “When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you…”
His punishment is directed at his vocation.  He can no longer be a farmer.

13  “…My punishment is greater than I can bear!”
Still only thinking of himself.  No remorse for the fact that he has killed his own brother.

15  “…set a mark on Cain…”
The mark of Cain.  Not specified what the mark was.

16-17  “…Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod…Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch…”
People have all kinds of problems with this verse.  Where did the other people come from, and who did Cain marry.  I’ve heard it suggested that after creating Adam and Eve, God created a bunch of other people.  Best to stick with God’s word instead of trying to make it fit our narrative.  Obviously Cain married either a sister, niece, or great niece of some sort.  Since they lived for so long, several generations could have been born and reproduced before this point.  Cain mentioned that people might try to harm him so there must have already been a good number of people around.  The Bible doesn’t mention a prohibition against familial marriage until much later.  Abraham and Sarah apparently shared one parent.  Since the human race was young, the gene pool would be clear of any mutations that might be reproduced if the parents were closely related.  Here is a good example of why we must not attempt to interpret the scripture according to our personal bias or try to make it say what we want.  The truth is there, we must find it.

16-24  “…Cain went out…Lamech took for himself two wives…I have killed a man for wounding me…”
Cain’s ungodly line.  He went out from God’s presence to live on his own and began his own family.  Lamech is the first record of man breaking God’s marriage law.  And he killed someone and bragged about it.  Man is on his way to great ungodliness.

22  “…an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron…”
The world wants to place early man in caves with not enough intelligence to come in out of the rain.  But the scripture teaches otherwise.  We don’t know how many breakthroughs in tool making came about during this time, nor if God took a direct hand in teaching the skills.  Here is the first mention of man fashioning bronze and iron to his advantage.  The flood will occur around 1500 to 2000 years after creation so it apparently didn’t take mankind long to learn many skills.

25  “…Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth…”
Exact time unknown, but obviously after Abel’s death.

26  “…men began to call on the name of the LORD”
Perhaps men began to be more reverent toward God having wandered from Him since the fall.  Commentaries also suggest that the descendents of Seth may have been called by the name of God as in sons of God, those who chose to follow Him.  This was opposed to the descendents of Cain who left God’s presence and became the sons of men.  As there were undoubtedly many other lines of folks, it’s unclear how many of them followed God and how many did not.  We do know that by the time Noah came along, most of mankind had ceased from following God and were evil continually.  Sad commentary on the affairs of men and how he corrupts himself when left to himself.  Totally dispels the idea that mankind can evolve and become greater on his own.  The scripture tells us that the last days will be just as the days of Noah with regard to the actions of the population.  A look at current news bears that out.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Genesis 3 – 20160925

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 3:1  “…the serpent…”
Debate on whether a real serpent was involved here.  No reason to think otherwise.  The fact that it spoke to Eve could simply be that it was being used by Satan.  The punishment that God pronounces addresses both a physical and spiritual serpent, thus a physical one had to be present.

1  “…Has God indeed said…”
The heart of all sin.  Disbelief in God and His word.  Seeing a lot of that today.  All institutions created by God are being questioned simply by saying that God doesn’t exist or that if He does, He didn’t say it.

3  “…nor shall you touch it…”
Touching the fruit wasn’t mentioned until this point.  I’ve heard some say Eve was embellishing what God had said.  We have no indication of anything specific.  Perhaps it was the way Adam described it to her, exaggerating a bit for emphasis.  They weren’t supposed to eat it so best not to even touch it.

4  “…You will not surely die…”
Satan’s method.  First question God and His word then give a complete lie about Him.  Instill a seed of unbelief which opens the door to an alternative path.  Makes the other path seem logical.  Why it is so important to know the word of God and His truth.  No reason to consider other options if they don’t agree with Him from the start.

5  “…God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”
Satan followed the lie with a bit of truth to make his lie sound legitimate.  He used the same method with Christ during His temptation in the wilderness.

6  “…woman saw that the tree was good for food…pleasant to the eyes…desirable to make one wise…”
Here is the beginning of walking down the wrong path.  She knows the truth, that she shouldn’t eat of the fruit, period.  Therefore, she had no business even being around it or talking to the serpent about it.  Yet, she chose to listen to him, then consider what he said, then to look at the fruit.  Each step brought her closer to the sin which she eventually did.  Had she compared her position and actions to the truth at each stage, she could have turned, but she did not.  This is the same path we take when we sin.  We consider things we know to be contrary to God’s will, we covet things we know are forbidden to us, we begin to think we have been slighted, that we deserve what we think we see.  In the end the sin never delivers what was promised.

6  “…and he ate”
Wondered what would have happened had Eve given the fruit to Adam, but instead of eating it, he chose to believe God and not eat it.  How would that have worked within creation?  We think they were so different from us because they were perfect and innocent, but perhaps there’s not as much difference as we think.  At least not in the areas that deal with decision making and personal relationships.  While Adam certainly knew what he shouldn’t do, his relationship with his wife persuaded him otherwise.  How important it is that God be part of all of our relationships.  If any part does not honor Him, we need to question the relationship, not God.

7  “…they knew that they were naked…made themselves coverings”
No longer innocent, physically or spiritually.  Destroyed their relationship with each other and with God.  They attempted to deal with their situation on their own by hiding from God and by covering themselves with things that can’t cover adequately.  That’s our problem.  We can’t do anything that can take care of our sin.  We must have someone do it for us which is why Jesus had to die for us.

12  “…The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate”
He not only is blaming his wife for his sin, but God also.  Man is responsible for his own sin, he can’t pass it off on anyone else.  Just speculation, but I’ve wondered if he was also somewhat responsible for the woman’s sin as he wasn’t there protecting her when the serpent enticed her.  Wouldn’t reduce the woman’s responsibility for her own sin, but may add to his.

13  “…The serpent deceived me, and I ate”
She passed the buck too.  Serpent doesn’t have anyone to blame.

14-15  “…Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.  And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Judgment on the serpent, both the physical and the spiritual.  The physical shall be hated and feared more than any other animal and shall be the lowest of the low.  The spiritual shall be the same, but the conflict between it and man shall result in man’s descendent destroying it.  Christ, the seed of the woman, destroys sin and Satan by dying and rising again.  First mention of the hope we have in Christ.

16  “…I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
Judgment of the woman.  Multiply your sorrow is mostly obvious, but I’m not sure on the conception.  Why is this different from what she would have experienced before the fall?  Is it actually a negative?  Are all aspects of the curse supposed to be taken as a whole as opposed to items on a list?  Checked other commentaries.  Most agree the first two deal with her life as a mother, the third as a wife, the two aspects of being a woman.  Many consider the first joined, the multiplied sorrow would be part of the multiplied conception.  Since some women never conceive, this can’t be taken by itself.  Perhaps a comparison to what was will make it easier to see.  To bring forth offspring should have been nothing but a joyous affair, both in physical experience and in prospects of the children.  Now, having offspring will include much suffering.  Physical will include the uncertainty of conception, the uncertainty of bringing a pregnancy to term, the many pains associated with a pregnancy, and the pain of delivery.  Afterward, there is the knowledge of what the child will have to face being in the same fallen condition as the parent.  As to the role of wife, she was to be an equal partner, a helpmeet for her husband.  Now, there will be conflict between the two as each will want their own way with the man ruling over the wife.  In a sense, her desire will be for her husband’s position, but he will rule over her, thus the conflict.  I have nothing to back up the idea, but I also wonder about another relational idea which is in taking all of the curse as a whole.  If the relationship had remained perfect, she would be equal with her husband and be able to expect complete adoration and affection from him as his helpmeet.  Now there is the possibility of her being treated as nothing more than a means of producing offspring, and instead of a position of safety and affection, she is now relegated to having her husband rule over her which doesn’t guarantee safety or affection.  I don’t want to read more into what is actually said so that is pure speculation.  However, those conditions do indeed exist in couples’ relationships now, unfortunately.  I can say with certainty they are a result of man’s sin even if not part of the stated curse.  One other thought on the multiplied conception, also purely speculation, that it wasn’t a negative.  If woman reproducing could no longer be a certainty, then the ability to have many conceptions would be a blessing.  There would certainly be much sorrow associated with each, but there would be hope that reproduction would actually occur.

17-19  “…Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.  In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
Judgment of the man.  Immediately have hope thrown in with the curse.  The ground is cursed for the sake of the man.  Although man’s work will now be laborious, doing it will actually help the man.  Will give him a purpose and activity other than sin.  Whereas the work man was intended to do was created to be easy and enjoyable, now it would require much labor and toil.  It will also sometimes be fruitless, bringing thorns and thistles, worthless plants instead of the food that was intended.  And the curse of death which God warned him about in the beginning.  Many have debated over the years regarding God’s warning about on the day you eat of it you will surely die, and then the man apparently didn’t die immediately.  Nothing but a misunderstanding of man’s makeup, his three-fold existence, being created in the image of God.  Man is a living soul with a spirit body to commune with the spiritual realm and a physical body to commune with the physical universe.  The day he disobeyed God, man’s spirit died, and his body was transformed to be mortal.  It would now age and decay and eventually die.  That is the condition man is now born into, with a dead spirit and a physical body cursed with a sin nature.  Only through belief in Christ as payment for sin can the spirit be resurrected by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and hope and assurance be given that one day when the mortal body dies, it will be resurrected into an immortal one.  Sin results in death of the spirit and body.  Christ’s sacrifice gives new life to both.  Since the spirit is already dead, its resurrection is immediate.  The resurrection of the body will take place after it has died, or if it is still alive at the return of Christ, it will be spontaneously transformed.

20  “…Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living”
From a Hebrew word meaning life.

21  “…the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them”
Man could not even adequately clothe himself because of his sin.  God had to do it for him.  And something had to die in order to cover up man’s nakedness due to sin.  First sacrifice.  As the book of Hebrews tells us, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.  Life is in the blood, therefore blood must be shed to pay for sin.  The blood of animals can temporarily cover sin, but cannot pay for it.  A perfect, sinless sacrifice would be required for that, which is why Christ had to come to earth as a man.

22  “…Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”
Commentary had an interesting point here.  God isn’t speaking out of irony or contempt.  Well, man has really messed up now, guess we need to get him away from the tree of life before he does more damage.  Instead it is from sadness and compassion toward mankind.  Due to man’s fallen condition, it is best that he be kept from the tree of life so that he doesn’t eat of it and stay in his fallen condition forever.  Man was immortal, and the tree was there for that affirmation.  Now he is not.  He doesn’t deserve that affirmation any longer, nor should he have access to the tree to possibly keep him in his fallen state.  Because of Christ and His sacrifice, death has actually become our hope of ultimate freedom from sin.  I’m not going to have to live in this fallen, broken-down body forever.  One day it will be free from its sin nature.

24  “…He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden…to guard the way to the tree of life”
Actual occurrence, but symbolizes more of man’s separation from his previous state.  Similar to the veil in the temple separating man from God’s presence.  Christ removed that separation with His sacrifice, which is why the veil tore during His time on the cross.  We have now been redeemed back to God if we accept His gift of redemption.  I doubt the cherubim is still there.  I imagine Eden was destroyed and the tree of life removed during the flood.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Genesis 2 – 20160923

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 2:1  “…all the host of them”
Both on earth and in the heavens.  That would also include the universe.  God has created the entire physical universe in six days.  When you consider the other theories of the creation of the universe, there is only two reasons for doing so.  Either you do not believe God exists or you accept His existence, but don’t believe He had the power to create everything at His word.  This is the basis for original sin, not believing God.

3  “…God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it…”
Set it apart.  Wasn’t due to His exhaustion.  He not only created the universe for us, but the way in which He created it is also for us.  Man wasn’t just an afterthought.  God created everything and did it the way He did it with mankind in mind.  Sobering thought.

4-5  “…when they were created…the LORD God made the earth and the heavens…every plant of the field before it was in the earth…LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground”
Answers the question of chicken and egg.  The statement is being made that God created everything as it is, He didn’t start some process and walk away to leave it to itself.  He created the heavens and the earth, He created the plants and placed them in the ground, He created the animals and placed them in the sea and on the land, and He created mankind.  There wasn’t rain to fall to water planted seeds or man to till the ground or plant the seed.  God did it all by His spoken word, then set the world into motion.  I had not noticed this before.  I considered it a repeat of what had already been stated which the scripture does a lot to show importance.  But God emphasizes that He does exist, and He did create everything.

6  “…there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground”
Have heard varying thoughts on this.  Assumed that this was the original way of watering the earth as opposed to rain due to the water canopy above the firmament.  No clouds as we have now, but more of a greenhouse effect with very heavy mist and dew.  Makes sense.  Creation was perfect.  No issue with drought or over watering/flooding.  All will change with the flood.

7  “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Beginning the specific narrative of the creation of man.  Have had the first mention of man’s creation on the sixth day, now going into more details.  Important ones at that.  Man came from the dust of the ground.  Our bodies are part of this physical universe.  Then God breathed into us the breath of life, and we became living souls.  He didn’t do this to other animal life.  Commentary makes the statement that the text literally says breath of lives.  God created us in His image and breathed into us not just animation, but also spiritual life.  Man exists as a living soul, an eternal entity.  This is the part that makes us in God’s image.  And we have both physical and spiritual forms in which to exist in order to interact in both the physical and spiritual universes.  This is also in God’s image.  It sets man apart from all other creation.  It will become more apparent in the story of the first sin when man dies.

8  “…a garden eastward in Eden…”
East of what.  Assumption is Israel which would put it in the area which is now Iraq and Iran.  No mention of how large an area.  Checked the world map.  If we consider that the original dry land God created was one unit and that the continents drifted during the aftermath of the flood, looking at a world map and bringing the continents back together puts Israel and Eden in somewhat of the center of the great mass.

9  “…The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Much debate on what these actually were.  Were not any fruit trees that we have now, obviously.  Commentary suggests the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was placed there as a test of obedience.  Leads me to think perhaps they were both put there as symbolic gestures, not as some source of magic fruit to bestow something.  Tree of Life could represent purity of life and its intention or purpose was to exist forever.  The book of Revelation mentions that the tree of life will one day be present again in man’s habitat.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil may not have bestowed any extra knowledge, but the act of eating from it caused man to no longer be innocent in thought or deed.  This tree is not mentioned to be in the new habitat as the tree of life.  There will no longer be a need for a test of obedience.  All those who will make it to that point will have chosen life with Christ.

10-14  “…a river went out of Eden to water the garden…”
Describes a river that came out of Eden and became four other rivers.  Wonder if those four were intended to branch off and water the entire land mass.  Only the Hiddekel and the Euphrates are mentioned again.  With the new geography which will be in place after the flood, I feel like those four and the original supplier were eradicated.  The present day Hiddekel and Euphrates are probably not the original two by those names.

15  “…God…put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it”
Man has always had work to do.  He was given dominion over everything on the planet, and he was also told to tend and keep it or take care of it.  This is where I disagree with those who insist that man is the cause of climate and environmental problems.  The earth was created for us to dominate and use.  It cannot function as it should without man’s intervention.  Certainly we are to take care of it to the best of our abilities, but it is not so fragile that we could completely destroy it nor so self sustaining that it would be better off without us.

17  “…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
Only command man was given to not do something.  Sets up his free will choice to believe and obey God or not.

18-20  I always found it odd that God states it’s not good for man to be alone, then the text tells about Adam naming the animals.  Someone pointed out God’s basic reason for doing what He does, to show man something.  He brought all the other animals to Adam which showed him there wasn’t another like him.  Adam now understands his need for another like himself.

21-22  “…He took one of his ribs…He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man”
Interesting that God didn’t make the woman out of the dust of the ground as He had man, but took something from the man and fashioned her from it.  People have made all kinds of inferences from that action.  Most are probably nice thoughts, but I prefer to stick to what is said, basically that woman came from man, but she is different.  She is of the same type, but different enough to be a helper and companion.

24  “…they shall become one flesh”
Interesting to think that God created man, then in a sense divided him into two parts, man and woman.  Yet man and woman are to become one again in their relationship with each other and with God.  Of one thought and purpose in their worship of Him.  Hard to know what this would have looked like had man not sinned and destroyed it.  I wonder how much will be restored when time is complete.

25  “…they were both naked…”
Hard to know all the implications of this statement beyond the obvious.  When comparing man’s condition here to that after the fall, it seems to include an honesty and openness that is lost.  Man and woman were totally open with each other and God.  They held nothing back and were not ashamed of anything that was revealed.  After the fall this was no longer the case, as it is now.  We not only have aspects of our physical bodies which we are ashamed to show, but aspects of our personalities and attitudes.  A married couple can become this way with each other if God is part of their union.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Genesis 1 – 20160921

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning…”
Beginning of time.  God is outside of time.  He created the space/time continuum for His physical creation.  He does not have a beginning, so this beginning must be for the physical universe in which we exist.  We also exist within the non-temporal realm, but more on that later.

1  “…the heavens and the earth”
This planet and the space in which it is suspended.  From our perspective, earth and up.

3  “…’Let there be light’; and there was light”
Not the light of the sun or any other celestial body.  Darkness was on the face of the deep.  Now it is not.  Not sure where this light comes from except from God Himself.

5  “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night”
Probably from the beginning of the rotation of the earth.  No sun as of yet.

5  “…evening and the morning were the first day”
How God designated counting day and night.  Not from midnight to midnight, but from sundown to sundown.  Night comes first and then daytime.  The new day begins around six o’clock in the evening.  The Israelis still count time in this fashion.  This concludes the first day.

7-8  “…God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament…And God called the firmament Heaven.”
The earth was covered by water, a good bit of it apparently.  God has now created a firmament or space between some of the water.  Vertical space.  There is now water on the face of the planet, a section of space, and then another section of water providing a water canopy surrounding the earth.  This Heaven refers to the space we see which is the lower atmosphere.  Scripture will later refer to it as the first Heaven to distinguish it from outer space, the second Heaven, and the realm in which God dwells, the third Heaven.  This water canopy would probably have provided better protection from outside radiation than the thinner mist/atmosphere we have now.  This concludes the second day.

9-10  “…’waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’…God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas”
He pooled the water on the surface into one place and allowed dry land to appear.  Says one place, but then refers to it as Seas.  Also uses the plural to refer to the water although it was all one.  I still go with the one place statement.  That’s pretty specific.  So originally there was only one great continent and one great body of water.  That’s not to say there wasn’t water coming from the land as we have fresh water and salty seawater.  Some rivers will be mentioned later.

12  “…earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind”
He created plant life.  Grass, other plants, and trees.  This concludes the third day.

14-16  “…’Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’…God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also”
Creation of the sun, moon, and the stars.  Commentary is fuzzy with its timeline.  It suggests it doesn’t know when sun, moon, and earth were created in relation to each other.  It describes the appearance of each body as appearing to someone who would be standing on the earth.  As the sky clears, the sun is now visible or “made.”  It uses the fact of two different words for created and made, bara and asah.  I don’t feel comfortable with that explanation.  I get the feeling of the difference between bara and asah as being created from nothing and making something from what He has already created.  He created the light and now has coalesced it into sun, moon, and stars.  This may also be when He created the planets.  Interesting thought there, considering the idea of coalescence.  One may argue that the rotation of the earth wouldn’t have caused a distinction between light and darkness unless the light had a specific source.  First, it says greater and lesser light.  Apparently there was some light all the time, not total darkness as we think of it.  The coalesced sun, or greater light would now shine during daytime and the moon, or lesser light, would now shine during nighttime.  Second, I firmly believe what God created six thousand years ago is not exactly what we have here today due to sin entering into creation and degrading everything.  Therefore, we can’t make a point by point comparison between what we see now and what was created then.  We must take what God says in His word to know what happened.
Also mentions the lights will be for signs as well as seasons.  The observance of heavenly signs has been corrupted today through the nonsense of astrology, but I think this shows that God did intend and still uses signs in the heavens for His purposes.  We just have to study to see what they are from His perspective.
This concludes the fourth day.

21  “…God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind”
Creation of sea creatures and birds.  Noticed the phrase according to their kind.  God created each original creature specific to itself.  Does away with the idea of one type of creature evolving into another type.  This concludes the fifth day.

25  “…God made the beast of the earth according to its kind…”
Creation of the land animals, also according to their kind.  That would include great lizards, what we commonly call dinosaurs.

26  “…’Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth'”
Creation of man.  Made in God’s image, different from the other creatures He has created.  And has dominion over the rest of creation.

27  “…in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”
Created two distinct persons and genders.  Male and female.  All of mankind descends from these two persons.

29-30  “…’I have given you every herb that yields seed’…’every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food’…’to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food’…”
God provided the plant life as food for the other living creatures, including man.  So, originally, all land animals ate plants and not meat, regardless of the type of teeth they had.  I’ve heard types of teeth used as an argument for carnivores.  Sharp, pointed teeth come in handy for eating certain fruits and vegetables as well as meat.  Man gets really ridiculous when he leaves God’s explanations and tries to create his own.  This concludes the sixth day.

Recap of creation:
First day – heavens and earth and light
Second day – waters divided between the surface and the upper atmosphere creating the sky
Third day – water separated from land, plant life
Fourth day – sun, moon, and stars
Fifth day – sea creatures and birds
Sixth day – land animals including man

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Ruth 4 – 20160919

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Ruth 4:1  “…up to the gate and sat down there…”
City gates were used as a place of conducting business at that time.  Commentary suggests a small covered area without walls.  Since that is where folks would travel on their way out in the morning or back out after noon, it was easy to catch them for business.

2  “…he took ten men of the elders of the city…”
Boaz caught the other kinsman on his way out then snagged ten other city elders to sit and be witnesses.  Scriptures say two or three witnesses were enough to establish most things, but commentary suggests that Jewish tradition would use more when conducting cases of great importance such as matrimony, divorce, or property.

3  “…Naomi…sold the piece of land…”
Checked on this since the text hasn’t mentioned Naomi selling any land.  Commentary based on the KJV says she was in the process of selling or thinking about selling as the KJV says selleth, which could mean in the process of or have done.  NKJV has sold which is pretty much a done deal in this context.  Checked other translations.  Appears the idea is that she was thinking of doing so.  Whether she was actually doing so or Boaz was using the idea to broach the subject of redemption is not mentioned.  Commentary suggests mentioning it was a way of finding out if the other kinsman was interested in performing the redemption.

4  “…Buy it back…”
The idea of keeping the land in the family is a big deal in Israel, at least during the times of the scripture.  God seems to make this a high priority.  There are several references to not moving the ancient landmarks, and the whole process of redemption and the jubilee year show that maintaining the land among the tribes was of great importance.  Not sure exactly why, although it may be a deliberate display of God’s promise to Abraham regarding the land.  He promised it to Abraham and his descendents, so keeping track of it would convey the importance of the promise.  I wonder how land is dealt with today.  Current Israel only has partial possession of the land.  Not sure if tribal association plays a part in where they live.

5  “…you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead…”
Speculating here as the commentary doesn’t say.  Sounds like the land would have been part of the son’s inheritance.  If the redeemer bought it from Naomi to keep it in the family, he would also acquire Ruth since she was a widow, and being so, he would need to raise up children by her in the name of the dead.  That would make sense.

6  “…I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance…”
Man was apparently decent as he was going to redeem the land.  But the addition of Ruth and acquiring her as a wife was going to throw a wrench in the works.  Text doesn’t say how redeeming the land and Ruth would have ruined his inheritance.  Perhaps the idea meant was that it would complicate his situation.  One of those times I wish we had more details.

8  “…he took off his sandal”
How they agreed in a transaction.  Similar to a handshake today.  Verse seven explains it.  This was also used in divorce.  If a man divorced his wife, in the presence of witnesses, she would remove his shoe/sandal and spit on him.

11  “…all the people who were at the gate…”
Sounds like others had been walking through and had stopped to watch.  Easy way to make a wedding announcement.

13  “…the Lord gave her conception…”
I like the fact that the scripture reminds us that God is still behind much of what we take for granted.  Nothing happens that He doesn’t allow.  He may not want it, but He allows it for our sake.  I’ve heard people scoff at the idea that the birth of a child is a miracle.  Since it only requires two biological donors, they say they don’t need God to make a baby.  While the chances of a conception are very high, from a human perspective, no one can say for certain that it will take place, or that the child conceived will make it to term.  The birth of a child is not a given, like a lot of other things that we take for granted.  James was right.  We need to say if the Lord wills we will do this and that.  And remember to thank Him after the fact.

15  “…for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him”
Completion of God’s restoration.  Text doesn’t say, but I would imagine that Naomi no longer referred to herself as Mara.

17  “…they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
Interesting that God tells of His heart of redemption through a story of redemption.  Ruth was not Jewish, yet she is part of the line of Christ.  In Matthew we learn that Rahab, also not a Jew and a prostitute as well, was also in the line of Christ.  God keeps His word.  If we repent of our sin, He will forgive and restore us to Himself.  That is the whole of history from the garden of Eden until now, God restoring the relationship between Himself and humanity.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Ruth 3 – 20160915

Bible Study Notes

Ruth 3:1  “…My daughter, shall I not seek security for you…” Not sure how long a time has passed.  Previous chapter ends with the note that Ruth gleaned from Boaz’s fields through barley and wheat harvests, but Naomi will mention that Boaz is busy winnowing barley.  This could have happened just . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Ruth 3 – 20160915

Bible Study Notes on Ruth 2 – 20160914

Bible Study Notes

Ruth 2:1  “…relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech…” Wonder if he had great wealth during the famine.  Could he have possibly assisted Elimelech then?  Did Elimelech ever ask?  All speculation.  Thought occurred to me that we make most of our own problems or . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Ruth 2 – 20160914

Bible Study Notes on Ruth 1 – 20160912

Bible Study Notes

Ruth 1:1  “…when the judges ruled…” This would put it after the Israelites got into the Promised Land and Joshua died.  God through Moses instructed them to live according to the laws that He gave them.  They had no need for a king because God Himself was their king.  They had . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Ruth 1 – 20160912

Bible Study Notes on Esther 9 & 10 – 20160908

Bible Study Notes

Esther 9:1-2  “…the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them…no one could withstand them” Although they knew the Jews had the legal permission to fight back, some of the enemies of the Jews still tried to attack them.  Apparently, none were successful.

3-4  “…all the officials…helped the Jews…For Mordecai was great…” . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Esther 9 & 10 – 20160908

Bible Study Notes on Esther 8 – 20160906

Bible Study Notes

Esther 8:2  “…king took off his signet ring…gave it to Mordecai…” King transfers what he had given to Haman to Mordecai.  Would be elevating Mordecai to Haman’s position.  Doesn’t mention it, but seems to me it gives credence to the idea that Mordecai already had some form of office in the . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Esther 8 – 20160906