“If you look only at Genesis as an allegory, you have a major problem, because if it’s an allegory, then tell me who our ancestor was? If Abraham was real, then from Abraham if Adam isn’t real, if it’s just an allegory, it’s just a story, then what’s the real Adam who really fell in a garden and really sinned? Where did we come from?” KEN HAM
By Alex P. Vidal
The first people introduced in the Book of Genesis are Adam and Eve.
They live on our Earth and eventually have children.
We tend to think of Adam and Eve as people like ourselves, and as a family with children.
“Is this a valid assumption?” asked Dr. Erwin Ginsburgh in First Man. Then Adam! “Were they really people like us? How might they have differed? What were they? Let us look at the available information.”
The Legends of the Bible, a compilation of material made by Rabbi Louis Ginzberg and used by Ginsburgh as reference, claim that Adam either visited or passed six other worlds before he reached the Earth.
This is the story narrated by Ginsburg, a physicist, in the book, which he also described as “a scientific interpretation of the Book of Genesis”:
In the Book of Genesis we find Adam and Eve living in a Garden of Eden.
This garden provided anything necessary to support life for two people.
Their food came from their plant kingdom. But there were two trees which were taboo: the so-called Tree of Knowledge and the so-called Tree of Life.
The Book of Genesis (3:22) says that the fruits of the latter tree could provide immortality.
Eve breaks the taboo relating to the Tree of Knowledge. She and Adam ate the forbidden fruit from this tree (Genesis 3:6).
Because of this, and to keep them from eating of the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:23), both she and Adam are forced to leave the garden where everything was provided, and must support themselves in our world.
They have at least three male off-spring who have difficulty living with each other, and the problem reaches a climax when Cain kills Abel (Genesis 4:8).
When their two remaining sons, Cain and Seth, marry we are never told where their wives came from.
Among later descendants, the biblical record shows that there is a tendency for intermarriage within the group.
Adam and his immediate descendants, are very long-lived. Many of the first descendants have life spans greater than 900 years.
Noah is famous for having survived the biblical flood.
After Noah, the lifespan of his son, Shem, falls dramatically to about 600 years.
Then there is a second fall in life span to 438 years for Shem’s son Arpachshad.
The life span stabilizes for three generations, and then a third fall to about 200 years occurs at the time of Peleg.
By the 20th generation, Abraham, the lifespan is down to 175 years.
Ultimately, man’s life expectancy falls to approximately present day lengths.
No lifespan can be listed for Enoch, the father of Methuselah, because the Bible does not record his death.
Significantly, there is explicit mention of the death of all the others, but not Enoch.
Genesis says (5:23 & 24), “In his 365th year Enoch walked with God and was not of the Earth, for God took him.”
The Legends discuss this further in the section called the “Translation of Enoch.”
The last paragraph of this section is especially interesting to a 20th century reader: “To the right of him sparkled flames of fire, to the left of him burnt torches of fire, and on all sides he was engirdled by storm and whirlwind, hurricane and thundering.”
Noah was 500 years old when his son, Shem, was born; none of Adam’s descendants had an heir so late in life.
Shem’s birth occurred at a time when Enoch would have been 900 years old if he were alive.
Was it coincidence that Noah waited until he thought Enoch had lived out his normal lifespan of some 900 years?
Abraham lived about 2,000 years after Adam’s birth.
The Legends discuss in detail the fact that the bodies of the first and second generation did not decay at death.
Specific mention is made that Abel’s body did not decay.
Since the second generation is directly descended from Adam and Eve, we can expect this generation to have inherited, and the bodies of the third generation decay after death.
Something must have changed between the second and third generations. In fact, very specific instructions are given for preparing the bodies of the first two generations before they are “buried” in the cave of Machpelah near Hebron.
According to the Book of Genesis some of the members of Adam’s family were the originators of metallurgy, music and domestication of animals.
Genesis (4:20-22) relates: “Jabal was the father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle. His brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and pipe. And…Tubal-Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron.”
Why should the Bible identify the start of some of the major facets of high civilization?
In addition, the Book of Genesis says that members of Adam’s family talked to God.
It is not clear whether all the late generations were able to talk to God, but certainly Noah, the 10th generation, and Abraham, the 20th, do have this ability.
For God told Noah to build a ship to survive the flood (Genesis 6:14) and also God entered into a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:18).
The ability to talk to God seems to decrease from this time onward, although Moses is still able to do so much later.
There appear to be some final vestiges of this power later in the Bible when the prophets received visions and warnings from God.
Today, is extra sensory perception a remaining fragment of this ability to communicate with God?
Adam apparently had some technically advanced and highly sophisticated devices.
In addition to the well-known Thee of Knowledge and the immortality-giving Tree of Life, there was a set of God-made clothes that made the wearer invincible and irresistible.
The Legends claim that Nimrod (Noah’s great-grandson) is supposed to have worn them.
There is also a very ingenious engraving device, the “Shamir,” which reputedly was used to cut stones for Solomon’s Temple, but which has since disappeared.
The Sword of Methuselah was reportedly used by Abraham when he and his small band defeated the armies of the five kings.
Even as amazing as these people were, they still had problems living with each other.
Ultimately, immortality and evil living led to the destruction of all of Adam’s descendants except Noah and his family (Genesis 6:17).
In an attempt to improve morality, as Noachide code of seven rules was drawn up to provide guidance so the remaining people could live with each other.
In the 20th generation, a very formal relationship was established between God and Abraham; specifically, a covenant was drawn up.
Apparently, there was no earlier need for such a formal arrangement.
As the lifespan of Adam’s descendants was falling and approaching that which we today consider as normal, and as it became increasingly difficult to distinguish, Abraham’s heirs from the rest of mankind, all the males descended from Abraham were circumcised.
Before this covenant, Abraham was known by the name “Abram.” As part of God’s covenant, his name was changed to “Abraham.”
The Legends also relate that Abraham was the first of Adam’s descendants who aged as he grew older.
In addition, Jacob was the first man who declined physically before death.
Before his time, death occurred quite rapidly.