Tuesday, September 28, 2010
From Adam to Noah: Facts or Fiction
Genesis 5 consists of a list of genealogies depicting the line of descendants from Adam to Noah. This is one of those chapters most would skip and in fact it was suggested that we do so, but we refused.
(There is much one could cover about this chapter, but in order to keep it rather short, ill be very brief.)
Chapter 4 focused more on Cain’s descendants so Chapter 5 zooms in on the line of Seth.
For many, text such as chapters 4 and 5 would be the end of the “literal” and “non-literal” debate because there seems to be such detail in the genealogies; however there are other explanatory theories to keep the debate alive.
The list given in Chapter 5 is made up of ten names along with supposedly the number of years each person lived. Some believe that this list accurately describes an historical account of real human beings who all lived to be hundreds of years old.
Or is this a list made up in order to mimic another culture such as the Sumerians which listed their kings and the number of years each reigned. In this case the list in chapter 5 can be seen as a way of comparing the Jewish people to the Sumerians, and not a list of literal people or literal ages.
There are also other pretty convincing similarities. For instance, in the Sumerian kings list, the seventh king listed was believed to have not died and went straight to heaven. Enoch is listed as the seventh in chapter 5 who was also believed to have gone to God without dying.
In chapter 6 the purpose for listing the genealogies seems to come together and make more sense as part of an allegorical story in my opinion.
What are your thoughts?