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How to interpert Genesis

May 4, 2005
Meanwhile, back at "How to Interpret Genesis"; I would like to offer the following comments.

Noah’s Flood as Myth

What does that mean???

I am suggesting the word "Myth" as being the form of narrative by which a culture explains the meaning of a significant natural or cultural event. It is the story that gives meaning to a seemingly random and meaningless catastrophe.

Stories of a great flood are found in the records of many ancient cultures. So, it seems to me, it is not reasonable to assume that there was no flood. It is apparent from the ancient records of multiple cultures around the world** that a flood occurred.

But what should we make of it? Why did it occur? What knowledge should we take away from the event? What does it mean to us?

It strikes me as important to us that the answers to those questions differ significantly when comparing the Mesopotamian flood epics with the later Biblical, epic of Noah’s flood.

Mesopotamia, the Tigris-Euphrates valley, is considered to be the “Cradle of Civilization.” By that title, historians point to the fact that it was in that region that the first City-states arose. They arose because of the most technologically significant development in the history of mankind: the plough. The plough made “civilization” (the city) possible because by its use, people were able for the first time to produce more food than they could personally consume; they consistently produced an abundance. That abundance made it possible for some people to be engaged in work other than feeding themselves and the beginning of the trades. People could be potters, weavers, iron smiths, soldiers, stone masons, etc. The abundance of food made cities possible by making the crafts possible as one’s life work.

But with the city came restrictions. Since cities were centers of wealth, they became targets for plunder. So they built walls. Walls confine the population and create the problem of having enough room for all the people. And that was the issue for the Mesopotamian flood epics”: overpopulation.

The resolution of the population problem in the Mesopotamian epics was to lower the birth rate. After the flood (to get rid of the overpopulation) the gods arranged for there to be more still births, a higher infant mortality rate, more barren women who could not bear children and women who chose to remain childless. (perhaps dedicated virgins at the temples to the gods)

To the Mesopotamian city-state civilizations, children were a conditional blessing and population control was a necessity of survival. (Sound familiar?)

The reason for the flood in the Biblical account had nothing to do with overpopulation. In fact, the first command of the Lord to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.

It is not possible to do that by gathering in an ancient city in Mesopotamia.

The reason for the flood, according to Scripture, is the endless increase of sin. Mankind was becoming more and more vile and wicked by the day so God called the one righteous man left on earth with his sons and their wives to, essentially, “reboot” the system. God would remove all sinners from His earth and start again with a righteous root.

Noah did not live in a city. He was a herdsman and his livelihood depended on the ability to move freely to where his flocks and herds could graze and children were to him always an unconditional blessing. They were God’s blessing to man.

So, the cities believed that too many children were a curse (It was expensive to feed and house them.) and the gods sent a flood to relieve the earth of its burden. Then they reduced the number of births to keep the population down.

To the Hebrew (those reciting the story of the flood) children were always a blessing. The curse was not overpopulation but, rather, the result of refusal to follow the commandments of God. The idea of overpopulation being a problem would be an absurdity to the ancient Hebrew.

So, the “flood myth” is the narrative used to communicate those truths about the flood.

**(See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flood_myths)

iakov the fool
(beaucoup dien cai dau)

DISCLAIMER: By reading the words posted above, you have made a free will choice to expose yourself to the rantings of iakov the fool. The poster assumes no responsibility for any temporary, permanent or otherwise annoying manifestations of cognitive dysfunction that, in any manner, may allegedly be related to the reader’s deliberate act by which he/she has knowingly allowed the above rantings to enter into his/her consciousness. No warrantee is expressed or implied. Individual mileage may vary. And, no, I don't want to hear about it. No sniveling! Enjoy the rest of your life here and the eternal one to come.
Would have? Should have?

Who is interpreting the evidence now, according to his western 21st century mindset?
Oct 21, 2017
I think Genesis 1 in particular and the following few chapters are a very clever and beautifully crafted narrative of the newborn human experience.

The pereceptive consciousness that arrives innocent and open in this world. And is then easily led to believe a narrative created for them by the more experienced here as to how this world should be. And that newborn therefore should exist and act within it. The lesson of innocence growing into knowledge set forth for it by that which paves the road in what is then perceived reality. Believing in what they're told are the parameters of this world in all realms. Thought, action.

Forgiveness of sin later on then is achieved by forgiving ourselves for reaching into our most carnal desires because we believe this world is all there is, as we've been told. Opening then to accept what has not so readily been taught us through the years. That we are sacred holy vessels that are the source creator manifest on this plane as but one example of that powers potential realized in a tiny form called human.

Connecting with that holy spiritual power that is inate in all of creation from that creative power is what we feel as baptism within , into , that sacred and most holy spirit.

Genesis is a map of who we are and where we came from. We are all cells in the body of God. "Have I not told you ye are Gods". Yeshua was not saying we are like gods. Rather, he was saying we belong to God. How could we not when Creator is the source for all that is?
Genesis is the beginning of our story. The book of Revelation is the narrative of where we have come from and where we are destined for.

Praise God the journey ahead is to be fabulous.
Apr 17, 2015
What I got is you want to go back to the gods and myths of ancient Mesopotamia to understand the flood.
Nah. That's not it at all. You totally missed the point and the parallels between ancient pagan Mesopotamian society and modern socialist/materialist society.

The Mesopotamian flood epics mere based on the premise that the earth could not sustain the explosive population growth they were experiencing. (Sound familiar? Mankind causing the destruction of the earth is the mantra of the modern materialist/socialist pagans.)

The flood wiped the earth clean of people except the couple who would re-people the earth.
The pagan gods made sure that the same over-population problem didn't repeat itself by causing of some women being barren and for there to be a high infant mortality rate. (The high infant mortality rate can be seen as the pagan gods' version of Planned Parenthood.)

Noah's flood epic (which is written 500 years after the Mesopotamian epics) corrects that false understanding.
The cause of the destruction of mankind was the level of sin and evil in mankind's hearts. It had reached a "point of no return" so God stopped sin's progress.
There is no equivalent of the pagan Planned Parenthood because all life is sacred to god and every infant an unqualified blessing.

Noah's flood epic is God's view and message. God doesn't change.
The Mesopotamian epics are the pagan view in the ancient world and up until today. Satan doesn't change either.

iakov the fool
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