What Was the Significance Between Methuselah and The Flood of Noah?

the-flood-on-noah

As you may know from scripture or possibly by word of mouth, there is a character in the Bible called Methuselah found in Genesis 5. Methuselah was and is the oldest man to ever live on this planet. According to scripture, he lived up until the ripe old age of 969. What a life!

But perhaps what’s even more significant is how God used Methuselah and his life to give an indication as to the coming judgement that was to befall the people of the time. Lets get some of the basic facts and numbers straight.

The genealogy in Genesis 5 presents Enoch as Methuselah’s father. Enoch was sixty-five when he gave birth to Methuselah. Then Enoch lived another 300 years before God whisked him away. That section of scripture plus Hebrews 11:5 indicates that Enoch did not taste death but was transported directly into heaven due to the fact that he walked so closely with God. Following on, we have Methuselah who was 187 when he gave birth to Lamech who was Noah’s father. Lamech was 182 when he gave birth to Noah, and Noah was 600 years old when the Floodwaters came.

So what was the significance?

Well we will need to translate Methuselahs name into its Hebraic meaning. It was tradition back in those days for a child’s name to mean something of value, weather negative or positive depending on certain factors around the time of the child’s birth. If you convert Methuselah to its original Hebraic meaning, it translates to, “his death shall bring Judgement.”

So what was the enormous worldwide event that took place around this time that the Bible records? The flood of Noah of course! Note that Methuselah was 187 years old when he gave birth to Lamech and Lamech was 182 when he gave birth to Noah. Add 187 with 182 and that would make Methuselah 396. Exactly at this age, Noah was born and then exactly 600 years later, Noah was 600 and the Flood came about. Add 600 to 369 and you get 969, the exact year of the flood and Methuselahs death. Remember Methuselahs name’s Hebraic meaning, “His death shall bring Judgement”? Well that’s exactly what happened, just as God intended. God used Methuselah as a reference point in counting down the days until the first worldwide Judgement upon the evil of the world. When the appointed time was up, God released the floodwaters and only Noah and his family who were obedient to God and accepted his grace were saved. God truly does work in mysterious ways doesn’t He!

Who did Cain Marry? – Theology

marriage

Genesis 4: 16 “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch.”

This is probably one of the most common questions asked in regards to Genesis, Adam and Eve, and the post-sin world in terms of marriage. Who did Cain marry? I’ve been asked about this question on a number of occasions. What I have come to notice is that, I’ve probably heard just as many Christians ask this question as non-Christians.

The answer is actually quite simple and as Christians, we should not allow questions like these ones to cause us to doubt our faith, or bog us down when we are put on the spot by a sceptic. 1 Peter 3:15 reminds us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

The context of the situation

We have to look at the context of the situation to get a better understanding of what we are dealing with here. In Genesis 1, God creates Adam and Eve the first two humans. In Genesis 3, Satan causes them to sin, and because of this God sadly has to cast them away from his presence and so they begin to physically and spiritually die (before this, they were sinless and in perfect union with God). In Genesis 4, we see that Adam and Eve have their first two children, Cain and Abel. Cain is a farmer, and Abel is a keeper of animals. On one particular day, they both bring offerings unto God, however God rejects Cain’s offering because Cain tries to present his offering based on his own works and in the wrong heart and mind. Cain conspires and kills His brother Abel, and at this point God sends Cain out of his presence. It is at this juncture that the question arises.

Who did Cain Marry?

Genesis 4: 16 “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch.” As we can see from this verse, Cain makes love to his wife in the land of Nod east of Eden. But who is his wife? Scripture hasn’t mentioned any other female names apart from Eve by this point. Firstly take note that this verse says that Cain knew his wife (had sexual intercourse) in the land of Nod, he did not find her there and then marry as many people mistakenly assert. He was already married to her and just brought her along to Nod.

To answer the Question at hand, Cain married his sister…I know what you might be thinking right now, as most people do as soon as the answer is given. That’s incest! How can he marry his sister! The bible is immoral! Before you make your judgements too quickly, allow me to explain to you why this was perfectly acceptable back then, but not now.

In genesis 5:4 we read, “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.” What we see here is that Adam and Eve actually had many other sons and daughters after Cain, Abel and Seth (who is their third son) were born. This means that the only options for marriage were their own sisters (or brothers). Secondly there would be no one to report incest to apart from their own brother or sister and so that wasn’t an issue at the time. Thirdly, incest is a modern word. There was no such thing at that time almost 6000 years ago.

The two most important points to bring up about this actually lie in genetics, and history however.

The Genetic Reason

Scientifically speaking, the only reason why incest is incest, is because since the time of Adam, humans have slowly accumulated mutations and degenerations due to the fact that we are a copy off of a copy off of a copy off of a copy…off of Adam and Eve, (just try to copy a CD a few thousand times, and then compare how much information is left on the last CD as opposed to the first one…Not much!). We are now at a point where, if you were to marry a really close relative, say cousin or sister, your genes would more than likely have a high chance of harbouring the same defects. This means that when you have your child, he or she will now exhibit those deformities (look at the case of Charles Darwin who married his cousin and had 10 children of which, most of them had serious defects and some of them died very early). If humans carried on in this way, before long all humans would pretty much be wiped out. The further away you marry from yourself, the less of a chance that your genes will have the same defects as your partner. Now your child has a much stronger chance of survival as the good genes from one parent will mask over the bad genes from the other parent causing very minor issues if any, as oppose to life threatening ones.

Since Adam and Eve were created perfect, sinless and mutation-less, they had perfect genes and so when they had their sons and daughter, only extremely minor (if any at all) genetic issues started to arise. This means that they could marry each other no problem, and so incest was not a problem. This then leads into the historical reason.

The Historical Reason

God knew that at some point, because of sin and slowly accumulating mutations, there would come a point where extremely close relatives couldn’t marry anymore. This defining point is seen in the book of Leviticus 18:6-18 over 2000 years after Adam and Eve, where God gives an entire list of DO NOT’S to Moses for the Israelites to follow in regards to sexual relations and marriage.

So if God establishes all laws and before this point there was no law against marrying a close relative because of little to no genetic issue, then we can safely say that there truly was nothing wrong with close relatives marrying before this point, it broke absolutely no laws!

It is always good to know that when we come across difficulty in scripture, there is almost always an answer. The answer might not be obvious at first, but because God’s Word is true and he wants us to understand it, he will make sure to provide a way for us to make sense of it!

Is the Scientific Method in the Bible?

The Scientific method

What exactly is the scientific method? This is quite possibly the question you may be pondering over right now as you read the title. In order to answer this question, let us first look at what the word science means. Science comes from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge. The word science just simply means knowledge.
The modern dictionary definition of the word science you will find today defines science as:

A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws

This then leads us to the scientific method. The scientific method is essentially what scientists use in order to do science; this method qualifies what is science and what isn’t. The oxford dictionary definition the scientific method as:

A method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses

So where did the scientific method come from? To be precise, the definition above does not state that the scientific method came about in the 17th century; it just says that it has characterized natural science since the 17th century. There isn’t a set time where any one man invented the entire method. Over time esteemed names such as Newton, Galileo and Francis Bacon have contributed to what we now hold to be the scientific method.

There isn’t any set time where one man invented the method, however in the Bible, what we surprisingly (or should I say unsurprisingly) see is that the entire scientific method that we recognize and use today is pretty much summed up and displayed in action with God and Satan right at the heart of the experiment in the Book of Job. To add the icing on the cake, the book of Job that we see this take place in, happens to be one of the earliest books in the Bible according to dating (even though it is hard to pinpoint an exact date). Many scholars date the Book of Job to as early as 1700-1900BCE, around the time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob), in others words roughly 4000 years ago, way before the Roman or Greek Era.

Where do we see the Scientific Method in the Book of Job?

We see this method take place straight away in Job chapter 1 and 2. God lays out the plan in the order of: hypothesis, theory, testing (repeating), and confirmed result.

Hypothesis – Job 1: 6 – 12:

Satan comes into heaven. God starts the conversation by asking Satan what he has been doing. Satan says that he has been all across the earth. God then asks Satan if he has considered the righteous and wealthy man Job (even though he already knows the answer since he knows everything). Satan then responds by saying, he has seen him but that Job only worships God because he has given him riches and wealth, if he were to lose all of his riches, he would curse God and stop loving him. God (knowing Jobs heart and extremely strong faith in him) then says to Satan that he can test out his hypothesis on Job by taking away all his riches and his family, but not to lay a finger on his body. Satan agrees and now his experiment begins.

Theory and repetition of theory – Job 1:13 – 22 till Job 2: 1 – 10 :

Satan Goes down and ruins everything that Job has attained, taking away of all his wealth and fortune firstly, and then soon after, killing all his sons and daughters off. At the end of all this, Job, childless and penniless makes this amazing remark, (Job 1:21) “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job still loves God and doesn’t blame him for anything!

Satan angrily goes back to God and basically asks if he can repeat his experiment but this time by taking it up a notch. Satan now asks if he can harm Job’s actual body, to which God says yes he can harm his body but he cannot kill him. So Satan leaps joyfully back down to earth, and causes all kinds of illnesses within Job’s body, the most notable one being boils and saws all of his body. Satan is convinced that Job will deny God, thus making his hypothesis a good theory and eventually a confirmed result.

Unfortunately for Satan things do not go according to plan. In Job 2:9, Jobs wife comes up to him and tells him to curse God and die because the struggle is and has been too much to bear. Job yet again replies with this astounding message, (Job 2:10) “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Throughout all this, Job stays true and loyal to God, brushing of his wife’s remarks, and utterly destroying Satan’s plans without even knowing it!

Confirmed result:

We have already seen the results of the original hypothesis, but just to reiterate, in Job 1:21 and Job 2:10 we see that Job acts contrary to what Satan wants and hypotheses. To confirm Job’s responses in chapters 1 and 2, by the end of the entire book, Job still trust’s God, and all that he has lost is returned to him in much larger multitude than he ever had before by God!

In all this we can clearly see the scientific method laid out completely, from Satan’s original hypothesis, to the theory (a hypothesis tested with some solid evidence to back it up), and then the repeated testing in which he and God are able to eventually finalize the results. This is exactly the method that scientist use this very day in order to work and discover truths about the world, and as we have just seen, God himself was using this 4000 years before anyone, basically instructing us on how it should be done.

It’s a shame that in today’s society, the Bible isn’t credited with being the source of the scientific method simply because we are in an era where God and his Word have supposedly been falsified and shown to be untrue. What’s funny however is that the very method people try to use to disprove the Bible is the very method that validates the Bible. We often hear that science disproves the Bible and yet these same scientists use the scientific method practically everyday in their research completely oblivious to the fact that they are essentially stealing from the Bible in order to argue against it. What a strange world we live in, but thank God for the scientific method!

Final Note on Morality and Theology of the Book

In terms of the moral and theological aspect of this book of Job, there are answers to all of the questions posed in this book, however I have not tackled those questions purposely in this article as the main aim here is to display to you the roots of the scientific method only.