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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Breaking Down The Bible.
Genesis 6. The Sons of God and Noah’s Ark

Animals boarding the Noah's Ark (Jacopo Bassano workshop)
Animals boarding the Noah's Ark (Jacopo Bassano workshop)
This is one of my favourite chapters of the Bible, and, from my point of view, one of the most enigmatic, too. If only someone had gone to the trouble of thinking about it carefully in the 2000 years that have passed since it was written.
Almost every line poses mind-boggling questions.

1. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

Who were the mothers of these daughters?

2. That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

How come the Sons of God hadn’t taken the mothers before they gave birth to their daughters? I guess the sons of God arrived right when the daughters had bloomed into fair maidens. But who were the sons of God in the first place? Extraterrestrials, whom primitive people of those days took for sons of God, angels or some other entities? Mind that prehistoric people were likely to consider of divine origin any creatures descending from heavens!

This is indeed one of the most intriguing places in the Bible. Why does God only have sons? Divine misogyny? I assume they were immortal, but not indifferent to the joys of the flesh it seems. But how could God have such “human” sons? Weren’t they supposed to take after their Father and be pure and asexual? Why would God create humans if he already had sons? Merely to amuse himself? There’s hardly a mention of them in the rest of the book.

Since the Bible is basically a mythological summary of the events of the days of yore, this chapter is clear evidence that some sort of superior aliens visited the planet, although for some unaccountable reason all of them were apparently males. At least that’s, in my opinion, the only reasonable explanation.

3. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

That’s when we were genetically reprogrammed and turned into single use cheap trinkets. Today our life spans are even shorter, not to mention that most part of one’s lifetime falls on (i.e. is guzzled by) old age. Some animals and trees live longer, which shows how little respect we get as a species from the heavenly powers. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out yet how to reverse the program as far as I know. Anyway, even if we did, it would only be available to the rich and powerful.

4. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

That means at least in part the sons of God were men of flesh and blood and could reproduce with terrestrial women. As a result, some genomes were improved and mighty men were born. Apparently local giants already existed by when “sons of God came in unto the daughters of men”. Who were they? Speaking dinosaurs? Other extraterrestrials? Their identity is, too, shrouded in mystery.

5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Spot on, but who or what made us the way we are? However, compared to the modern society, back then humans were saints. So how come we haven’t been wiped out of existence yet? It might be around the corner, though, for all we know.

6. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

He could have easily righted a wrong, but just wouldn’t let the show go, would he?

7. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Beats me why a supposedly supreme and just Divinity decided that “beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” were as at fault for the “wickedness of man” as man himself. Who created the animals the way they are? In the animal world violence is a means of survival, so beasts and fowl can hardly be considered corrupt.

Unless there is some kind of transmigration (or reciprocal migration) carousel of souls between animals, plants and humans. After all, ‘the Egyptians maintained that after death the soul, being immortal, transmigrated into bodies of all kinds of animals, ... The particular animal selected is that one between whom and man the sympathy or similitude is most marked and reciprocal’. In other words, the animal is picked according to mutual affinity of souls.

8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Was Noah one of the Nephilim? Seems reasonable to suppose God chose the best specimen in every sense of the word to create a new race.
9. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

10. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Not much has changed since then, has it? Except that it went from bad to worse. I’m still at a loss to understand how exactly animals had corrupted their way upon the earth.

13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Once again, is it a predator’s fault that it can only survive through violence?

14. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

16. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

17. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

18. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

19. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

20. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

What was the point of keeping the corrupt creatures alive and repopulating the earth with the same trash again? I’ve always wondered how they managed to make the beasts coexist peacefully at such close quarters instead of eating each other. Did they choose only the “virtuous“ beasts and what would be a definition of a “virtuous beast”? How could “two of every sort” provide genetic diversity necessary for establishing healthy population? It makes more sense if we suppose that some advanced aliens taught Noah to take genetic material of every living thing and then clone them. That would explain why the resulting copies are so flawed.

21. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
22. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Come to think of it, Noah was lucky his entire family was deemed virtuous enough to be saved. Clearly the tale draws on Greek mythology (gods mating with human girls, etc), but gives no clues to the mystery of progeny of God.

Since Classical antiquity, the prevailing view was that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6:1-4 were fallen angels who engaged in unnatural union with human women, resulting in the begetting of the Nephilim (the giants, by the way were they intellectual or physical giants, or both?). The argument against this view is Jesus' comment in Matthew 22:30 that angels do not marry. But that doesn’t mean the fallen ones wouldn’t indulge in such indecent activities. There's no mention of angels, either fallen or unfallen, in the chapter to support this view, though.

Some Jewish traditionalists believed that the "sons of God" who married the daughters of men were merely human beings of high social position, who, married women from the general population out of lust. (Note that the concept of marrying out of love never even crossed their minds). Others defined these "sons of God" as tyrannical Ancient Near Eastern kings who were honoured as divine rulers, engaging in polygamous behaviour.

Various interpretations stemmed from this idea, such as that the "sons of God" were men who possessed divine power, by means of astrological knowledge, able to beget children of unusual size and strength;
or that it was some secret doctrine and was not to be taken literally (this view could hold some truth, but to my knowledge, no one has managed so far to unveil the "secret doctrine");
or the concept that the "sons of God" were the older generations who were closer to physical perfection, as Adam and Eve were perfect and their perfect attributes were passed down from generation to generation.
However, their perfect physical attributes diminished with each generation, so that the early generations were mightier than the succeeding ones. ‘The physical decline of the younger generations continued until the Flood’ (and has been underway ever since — I’m afraid we are undergoing the same process at present), ‘to the point that their days were numbered as stated in Genesis 6:3. It was immoral for the older generations to consort with the younger generations, whereby puny women begot unusually large children.’

Some Conservative godly scholars hold that the "sons of God" are descendants of Seth, the pure line of Adam, while the "daughters of men" are the descendants of Cain (or Cainites).
Once again, it's the women who gets defiled for men's sin — you see, the sons of God SEDUCED the daughters of men", not the other way round, yet sexist clerics declare the sons of God descendants of Seth, the pure line of Adam, and the "daughters of men" the descendants of Cain, that is, impure line. A telltale bias suggesting that in large part the Bible was concocted by Christian Pharisees.

Anyway, from where I stand, they were travellers from other worlds (or parallel universe for that matter), who bred with local females (for want of anything better, I guess).

I wonder what the Pope makes of the whole thing.

To be continued...

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