Genesis is hard enough as it is; here are three things NOT to do when reading the first book of the Bible (and to keep in mind as we read the rest of the Bible). [This post first appeared on my blog, www.andrewforrest.org, 1/19/15. I thought it might be helpful as we wrap up reading Genesis. –AF]
Why do the people live such long lives?
We don’t know when Genesis was written, and we don’t know what the people were like who originally heard it. What we do know is that numbers meant something different to ancient peoples than they do to us today. Are we supposed to assume that Adam lived 930 literal years, or does 930 mean something? We don’t know. What we do know is that the Bible says that God thereafter puts a cap of 120 years on human lives (6:3).
6:4 – We don’t know who the Nephilim were, or what exactly is going on here. Whatever it means, it’s not good. (And if you haven’t watched the Read Scripture video on Genesis 1-11, now would be a good time:
I find think this video explains the Nephilim passage pretty well.)
5:2, 6:19 – “Male and female.” To the writer of Genesis, the division between the sexes is really important. Here is restated again the idea from 1:27, that somehow men and women together reflect the likeness of God.
7:16 – “And the LORD shut him in.” What a great detail!