Thursday, September 26, 2013
With Whom did Seth have a son? By: Gary Yarborough
This question was posed by a subscriber in a "Letter to the editor" of a Christian research publication. The editor responded that this was a difficult question to answer, a touchy subject and one that required conjecture. The editor explained that the only logical assumption is that Seth had sexual relations with: 1) His mother 2) a sister, or 3) a pre-Adamite female.The editor presented the theory of sibling incest as the most logical and probable conclusion. This supposition is based upon the editors interpretation that Adam, Eve, Cain, Seth and the pre-Adamic people were the only people inhabiting Eden. The editor is of the interpretation that Adam and Eve were the first and only of their kind; also, that the "pre-Adamites" were non-Whites, or "non-Adamic". There are a variety of interpretations of the Genesis account of creation within "Identity" circles. Some believe that there was an ancient White race prior to the creation of the Adamic race recorded in Genesis 2:7. Some interpret Genesis 1:27 as a pre-Adamic White race. And yet other Identity folk interpret Genesis 1:27 as being the creation of the non-White races. In the above three cases, most Identity Christians believe that Adam, created in Genesis 2:7, was the first man (ish), and Eve was the first woman (ishshah) Which brings us back to the question: "Who did Seth have a son by?"I believe there is a more logical and probable answer to this question than incest. It seems incredible to me that the omniscient Creator would create Adam and Eve knowing that in order for them to reproduce their kind they would be forced to resort to incest. Especially considering that incest is a violation of Gods law. (See Leviticus 18:6-18).The interpretation that Adam and Eve were the first and only of their kind upon earth is a theory founded upon the traditional belief that one person, Moses, authored the Pentateuch. This traditional belief is the cause of numerous doctrinal errors and misinterpretations of the Bible. The belief that Moses authored the first five books of the Bible is based upon New Testament verses that seem to indicate that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch. There is no other evidence to suggest that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. In fact, there is evidence that suggests that the Pentateuch was written by at least two different writers at two different periods in time. And that these writers works were added to by priestly scribes at an even later date. Therefore it behooves us to take a closer look at some of the New Testament verses that seem to indicate Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. Once the erroneous 'traditional" belief that Moses wrote the Pentateuch is corrected, then the Genesis accounts of our origin are easier to comprehend.Most references to Moses in the New Testament are in relation to the Pentateuch. The title of the Pentateuch during the time of Yahshua was "The book of Moses" (Mark 12:26). The Pentateuch was known as "The book of Moses" because the Pentateuch contains the Law, which "was given to Moses by the hand of God." This tradition was so widely held that the name of Moses and "the law" of God became synonymous terms. As indicated by the numerous verses in the New Testament wherein these terms can be interchanged and verses read virtually the same. In thirty-five of the seventy-seven references to Moses in the New Testament, the name Moses can be replaced with the word "law" and nothing is lost in the translation. For example, Matthew 8:4 reads "Shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." Substitute "the law commanded" for "Moses commanded" and the verse reads exactly the same.Question: Did Yahweh give Moses the authority to create law or make commandments? No! Only Yahweh has this authority, Moses commanded nothing, Yahweh did! The law is Yahweh's law, not Moses' law. Lets examine another verse. Luke 16:29 reads: "Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them." This verse is from the parable concerning the certain rich man requesting that Abraham send Lazarus back to the living to warn his five brothers. At the time this parable was written Moses was no longer living! The five living brethren did not "have Moses" and the prophets, they had the law and the prophets, or prophecies.I do not dispute the fact that the people of Yahshua's era believed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. It was a tradition taught to the people by the priests. A tradition so widely accepted that the name of Moses and the Pentateuch or "the law" became synonymous terms. But, this fact is not "evidence" to prove that Moses actually wrote the first five books of the Bible. What I do question is the tradition itself. I question this tradition because of indications within the text of the Pentateuch that suggest more then one author. The traditional "Identity" interpretations of the first few chapters of Genesis, and the text of these chapters are inconsistent with the whole of Scripture. That is, if the traditional belief that one man wrote the Pentateuch is utilized in the interpretation. Many questions arise concerning the first few chapters of Genesis as a result of this tradition. Such as: "Who did Seth have a son by?" This question cannot be answered and be consistent with the whole of scripture if the interpreter utilizes the theory that Adam and Eve were the first and only two of their kind; and this theoretical interpretation of the creation is founded upon the belief that one man wrote Genesis chapters one and two.If one man authored the Pentateuch, why did he present two accounts of creation, both seemingly contradictory and at odds with one another? There are various explanations for repetition among Identity folk. One is that there were two creations, a sixth day creation of man (Genesis 1:27) and an eighth day creation (Genesis 2:7). The first being a multiple creation of both males and females. The second being in the singular creation of one individual male, and then later, one female. In both accounts the word "man" is translated from the Hebrew word "Adam", meaning "to flush, turn rosy, ruddy complexion". A characteristic of the White race. One question that arises out of this interpretation is: Why would the omniscient creator create man (Adam kind) and then re-create the same creation again? Was the first creation, not good enough for the first time around? Did the Creator forget something the first time? According to Genesis 1:31 everything was "very good". What could be the reason for the two creations of the same type of man? This theory is at odds with other verses of scripture and infers that the omniscient creator erred. It creates conflict of scripture instead of harmony. For insistence, which of these two creations has the authority of the "dominion" mandate? Does the first creation have authority over the second creation and its mandate to "dress and keep" the garden of Eden? Were both creations given the very same mandates? If one were to examine the words "dress and keep" in their Hebrew definitions one would note that the meaning is not unlike the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28. So, if this theory were correct, there are two creations of the same kind, both with the same duties. This theory simply has no reason and makes no sense. What does make sense is that both of these accounts of the creation are about one and the same creation of man, as described by two different writers! And these accounts do not conflict provided they are interpreted in what I believe is their proper context. Before these two accounts can be put in their proper perspective, it is necessary to show that the author of Genesis chapter one is not the author of Genesis chapter two.If one were to take the first two chapters of Genesis, set them side by side and compare them, one would note some stark contrasts. The most prominent being that the Deity in Genesis one is called "God" translated from the Hebrew word "Elohiym", meaning: "Almighty God". Whereas the Deity in Genesis two is called "Lord God" from the Hebrew word "Yahweh", meaning: "eternal, or ever-living God". Question if Genesis chapter one and two were written by one writer, why the sudden change in titles for the deity?It should be noted that the divisions and numeration’s of chapters and verses in the Pentateuch were not employed until 1528 AD, and not without errors. Genesis chapter one should have thirty-four verses instead of just thirty-one. Genesis chapter two should begin at verse four of Genesis two where the deity is called "Lord God" for the first time. Biblical scholars have speculated that the deity titles differ because Jewish scribes changed the titles so as to prevent repetition of the holy name. Repetition was construed as impudent. One might ask, how many times can the name be repeated before it is considered impudent? The tide "Elohiym" is repeated thirty-one times in Genesis chapter one! It is a fact that cultures and languages evolve and change over periods of time, this is true of religions also. I have concluded that the titles for the deity differ because two different men wrote Genesis chapters one and two, and they probably wrote in two different periods in time, wherein their perspective religious traditions had evolved.Another stark contrast between Genesis chapters one and two is the different style and tone of the texts themselves. All writers have their own unique style of writing. In our side by side comparison of Genesis chapters one and two, one would note that the literary form and style of the texts are quite different. The writer of Genesis one is more properly concerned with the "creation" itself. His characters are less realistic, his style less vivid. Whereas the writer of Genesis two is not properly concerned with the creation, the origin of the world is not even mentioned. The world is described as a desert instead of as "without form" or as a deep abyss as described in Genesis one. The style of the writer of Genesis two is more creative and flowery in his descriptions. He utilizes myth, metaphor, and allegorical speech in his discourse, where as the writer of Genesis one is more direct and literal. Modern identification of literary discourse has been a valuable contribution to biblical exegesis. Utilizing the identification of literary form in our side-by-side comparison of Genesis chapters one and two we can conclude that these two chapters were probably authored by two different writers.There are other indications within the two accounts that suggest they were written by different authors. The dissimilarities of the accounts attest to the theory of different authors, for no writer would so blatantly contradict himself. I have already pointed out that the creation of men in Genesis chapter one was a plural creation of both males and females, contrary to Genesis chapter two in the singular creation narrative. Also that the descriptions of the earth varied one from the other. We will here examine some of the other dissimilarities. Genesis one has no mention of a special garden, nor a tree of life or good and evil which God commanded man to abstain from. In fact, Genesis 1:29 states that: "every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall he for meat'.In the narrative of Genesis one there is a source for the concept of "family", being that the creation was a plural one. However, since the man and woman of Genesis chapter two are described as a singular creation, i.e. the man had no father or mother, where did he acquire this concept of "family" so that he could make the statement proposed by the writer of Genesis chapter two in verse 24? It is recorded that the man stated; "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his Wife."Genesis Chapter two, by virtue of its literary form, cannot be interpreted in a literal sense; and I don't believe the author intended it to be a literal account. It was never intended to be an "actual history" nor a "scientific explanation" of our beginnings, nor was chapter one. This is an error that Bible critics incorporate to disprove the Bible. And some Christian scholars who believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures incorporate the same tunnel vision in their attempts to refute the critics, coming up with the short end of the debate and over looking the original intent.We know that Genesis two is allegorical by virtue of its contents. At times, truths are expressed in parables and allegories, in metaphorical speech, and sometimes in myths and legends that in themselves are fictitious. That Genesis two is in fact allegory is evidenced by verses that are impossible to interpret in a literal sense. Example; "tree of knowledge of good and evil", the term "tree" is obviously allegorical because common sense dictates that plants have no knowledge; but truth can be conveyed by allegory providing the interpretation is proper. The whole of scripture provides the key to proper interpretation. Ezekiel 31:9 indicates that "tree" is an allegorical term utilized to designate "people". Also, notice that this reference indicates that Eden was inhabited by a multitude of envious people. (See also Matthew 7:15-20)Let us examine another example of allegory in Genesis two. The man (singular) is placed in the garden to "dress it and to keep it". Bear in mind that God planted this garden, it was a paradise. Was it not perfect in its creation? What did it require man to do, that nature and its Creator did not? This question is answered in the definition of the terms "dress" and "keep" in their Hebrew origin. The word "dress" in this verse is from the Hebrew "Abad", meaning to work, labor, serve (Strong's #5647). The word "keep" in its Hebrew form is "Shamar", meaning: to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. to guard, to protect (Strong's #8104). So, mans duty is to dress the garden, to work in, labor in, and to serve. Man's duty is to guard and protect the garden. What is the threat to the garden? There exists some form of danger, and there is a purpose for the creation of man to "till" the ground, i.e. to guard and protect. But what is the threat? Surely not nature, everything in this respect is perfect and "very good". So there exists some form of unnatural and evil presence.To "dress and keep" is figurative speech for the mandate of Genesis 1: 28 to be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it and have dominion. These references are further evidence that Genesis one and two are both different accounts of the one and very same creation, as related by two different authors. They also are evidence that there exists an unnatural oppositional force already extant prior to the creation of man indeed, the purpose for the creation of man!Another question one may pose: If the creation accounts in Genesis one and two are indeed two distinct and separate creations, which of the two created beings have the Creators authority? Both the dominion mandate of Genesis one twenty-eight and the dress and keep precept are one and the same principle. If these creations are distinct, there exists conflict of authority between the two creations! But if they are one and the same creation, as narrated by two different writers, there is harmony!Given the enormity of the task prescribed for man, it seems unreasonable that the omniscient Creator would create a labor force, or army, of one single Adam and one single Eve, and this knowing full well that in order to reproduce "like kind" they would be forced to violate the Creator's law of incest! Why create one pair when the Creator could just as simply create a force sufficient to the task at hand?The unnatural danger and threat to the garden is manifest in Genesis 3:1 in the form of a serpent. This is another allegorical term utilized by the author to designate Satan, or more accurately, the "adversary". A literal serpent cannot speak, therefore we must conclude the "serpent" in this verse is allegorical. Also, just as we utilized the whole of scripture as a key to define the literal meaning of the allegorical "tree", we must likewise utilize scripture to define "serpent". According to Revelation 20:2, the serpent is the Devil (adversary), and Satan. We also note that, according to both John the Baptist and Jesus, there exists a generation (race) of serpents or adversaries (Matthew 3:7, 23:33).Question: could this "generation of serpents and vipers" be the descendants of the envious "trees" that the prophet Ezekiel said were in the garden of Eden (Ezekiel 31:9)? This would certainly explain why the garden would require protection. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the original sin, or the fall of man. There is a division among various "Identity" sects, a dispute over what is called "the seedline doctrine" of Genesis 3:15. The adherents of the seedline doctrine claim that there is a literal adversarial seedline inhabiting the earth, an opposition to the will of God and the seedline of the woman Eve. Those who oppose this doctrine claim that Genesis 3:15 cannot be interpreted literally. And rightfully so. However, as previously stated, sometimes, truths are expressed in allegories and parables, by myths and legends that in themselves are fictitious.Both sides of this dispute are partially correct, and incorrect in their interpretation of Genesis. Because both sects utilize the traditional belief that one man authored the Pentateuch. Both sects believe that Adam and Eve are "literal beings" instead of the allegorical "types" that the author of Genesis two intended them to be. Although I do not agree with either of these two sects interpretations, I do believe there is a literal, in the flesh, walking, talking, breathing, adversary seedline that is diabolically opposed to the nature of the Creator and His creation. As evidenced herein, I do not deny that the events of Genesis chapter two and three occurred, but I believe these events took place on a much larger scale. It is my belief that Adam and Eve are allegorical "Types" utilized by the author of Genesis two as representatives of the Adamic people referred to in Genesis 1:27. The events of Genesis two and three are allegorical accounts of historical facts.It is a fact that cultures, languages and religions evolve with time. It is also true that the Bible, as we have it today, evolved over time. The narratives of the Bible began as oral traditions related to the people around camp fire gatherings, religious functions and at general assemblies of the folk. Told by priests, bards and laymen, these traditions subtly varied with the narrator and the tribes or clans of folk. There are two basic traditions or schools of thought contained in the Pentateuch, The "Yahwist" and the "Elohist" traditions. Later in time, and long after, these oral traditions were recorded in script form, these traditions were added to by priestly scribes, another source, called the "Priestly". We today, have no original text of the Bible. The oldest manuscripts we have of the Bible are copies, copies of copies.In studying the Pentateuch one will notice that not only is there a dual narrative of the creation, but there are dual accounts of practically every event in the Pentateuch! There are two distinct accounts of the deluge, with differing numbers of animals taken into Noah's ark. The exile of Hagar, the call Of Moses, the narrative of the quail and manna are all related twice. The commandments are given twice as well. The Deity is called by different titles. The holy mount is referred to as "Horeb" and "Sinai". The inhabitants of Canaan are called "Amorites" and "Canaanites".The prevailing theory of biblical scholars at the beginning of the 19th century was "The Theory of Fragments". It was thought that the Pentateuch was compiled from fragments of written sources rather than documents. This theory gave way to the "Complementary" theory in 1823 which supposed that the Elohist tradition was expanded by the addition of the fragments from other sources.It is probable that Moses' priestly scribes discovered the decaying and disintegrating leather scrolls containing the written records of the oral traditions which became the Pentateuch. It is probable that these priestly scribes meticulously and painstakingly spliced and transcribed the Elohist and Yahwist traditions together to preserve them for future posterity. It is probable that these scribes are the "Priestly source" that added to the Pentateuch. Or, it could be that priestly scribes in the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem are the priestly source, for the Pentateuch was rediscovered there and replicated again.The "Fragment" and "Complimentary" theories best explain the difficulties of translating and interpreting the Pentateuch. I have not witnessed any better explanation or interpretation of Genesis that stands up so solidly to scrutiny or critique as this one. To answer the question of the subscriber to the Christian Research publication: "Who did Seth have a son by?" is answered: By an Adamite kinswoman! A plural creation provides a wife for both Seth and Cain. A plural creation provides a mother and father for Adam (Gen. 2:24). It provides people for Cain to fear judgment from (Gen. 4:14). It provides people to dwell in the city Cain built in the land of nod east of Eden (Gen. 4:17). Some identity sects that propose the singular creation theory claim that Cain's wife was a non-White, even though there is not a shred of evidence to support this claim. This speculation is as ludicrous as the incest "logic" presented by the Christian Research editor for our genetic origins. We cannot speculate, suppose, or use conjecture to interpret the scriptures. Any interpretation that does not maintain the unity and harmony of scripture is not valid interpretation. The singular creation doctrine creates conflict of scriptural harmony.This exposition of the Pentateuch does not compromise the validity of the Bible, but the validity of man's interpretation of the Bible and man's traditional beliefs. While those among us who practice and teach priest craft argue and create dissension, the garden of YHVH goes unprotected! Let us return to our duty, the task for which we are created.