Part V: Pre-Flood
The Seed To Crush Must Survive From Eve
Now before going any further we should clarify a fact or two about general conceptions, especially those foisted on us by Holywood. In the blockbuster film Noah true facts were casually replaced by fantasy.
One of the last if not the last surviving ancestor from Cain’s line was a guy called Tubal-Cain, who became known throughout the land as a person capable of making many different types of weapon. It was interesting and entertaining for the filmmakers of Noah to use this character as a warlord, one intent on creating mayhem, which he duly did throughout the film, excellently portrayed by Ray Winstone. However, the Truth of Scripture was overruled completely when they had him stowaway on the Ark, it never happened. There are quite a few other errors in the film but I don’t want to harbour on them and take away from the enjoyable special effects and great acting. Yet there is another thing we must comment upon, relating to Methuselah, brilliantly played by Sir Anthony Hopkins.
There are many details of the Flood account about which we can only speculate, but perhaps Noah was given up to 120 years of warning that the Flood was coming (6:3) and we are told he was a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5). Yet during the building of the Ark only "eight souls were saved" (1 Peter 3:20). Why didn't he influence more people? His faithful obedience in building a huge boat on dry land must have been both attention-getting and a source of conviction to the surrounding sinful people. We might suspect that Lamech and Methuselah espoused the same testimony, yet only the eight close family members boarded the Ark.
Since Methuselah died the same year of the Flood, some have wondered if he was an unbeliever and this is why he perished in the Flood waters. Of his spiritual condition we know little, other than that he was the son of godly Enoch, and his son Lamech prophesied with spiritual insight at the birth of Noah (Genesis 5:29).
Here are a few more hints to ponder. God had promised that "the seed of the woman," Eve (3:15) would one day destroy Satan, and ever since then Satan, in his hatred for God and His hatred of man, who was Created in God's Image, has schemed to thwart God's Holy Plan (4:7, 6:2). Furthermore, humankind itself thought of "only evil during these times - continually" (6:5) and "the earth (was) filled with violence through them" (6:13). If left unchecked it was clear then that there soon would be no survivor of Eve remaining.
Certainly the violence took the lives of many. Animals became violent and bloodthirsty. Wars between communities of humans were rampant. Sinful nature had full sway. Would we not be correct in assuming then that the violence was directed toward believers most of all? Perhaps Noah had many more converts over the years but they all got killed and the only ones left in the end were the eight mentioned in the Bible.
And this may have been what happened to Methuselah. Perhaps he was the very last martyr, cut down just as the Ark was finished. Maybe the filmakers were not far from the truth in this aspect. And when Methuselah was killed, God's patience was finally over. In order then to preserve mankind, and in particular Eve's lineage through whom the Redeemer would one day come, the moment had come for God's justice to be unleashed.
Though some may mistakenly think Methuselah died in the Flood, this is highly unlikely. Methuselah was raised by a godly parent, Enoch. It was Enoch remember who walked with God and pleased God so much that God took him away from Earth, initially, without the taste of death. In fact, Methuselah may have actually even helped Noah in the construction phase of the Ark. But his death preceded the Flood.
Part VI: The Rain Begins
The Seed To Crush Must Survive From Eve
The most dramatic, deadly and catastrophic event to have ever happened on the Earth BAR NONE was the Flood (as recorded in the Bible). It is not for comment here about the logistics of the Ark building or how all the animals got in the Ark or to answer other related questions in that vein. We can answer such stuff in another portal, here we are solely focusing on ‘The Seed’ and its journey. Yet it is worth noting initially that it had never rained before on Earth, so the rain was a new experience, for everyone.
Other similar Flood stories do not alter or shake any statements that we can read in Scripture. You will be told in books and presentations that the Biblical Flood is just one of a number of Flood myths, however these viewpoints are always error strewn. And there are two aspects here to be clear about.
1.The reason there are even any flood stories around the world from different cultures and religions (there are about 500 stories) is because of a basic truth.
The real Flood was truly global and therefore there will be worldwide tales.
2. When someone uses a myth to unsettle the foundations of proper Scriptural text, any quiet research will reveal that any flood myth will be weak in credibility and always, repeat always, stem from a date far later than biblical dates. So other flood stories are copied from the Bible, not the other way round. And this is true even for myths that seem at first sight to actually pre-date the Bible because, quite simply, they don’t.
In reading the Bible we cannot hope to grasp all the terrible aspects involved in it but we can be assured that the Seed survived and was passed on through Noah to one of his sons. Before all that however, it is important to reflect on myths surrounding such a cataclysmic event.
The main body of flood myths from the historical biblical land sites tend to come from fragments of the First Babylonian Dynasty. In fact from a myth fragment within surviving fragments of the Babylon era as a whole, and these fragments have spawned many stories, such as the Mesopotamian ones of Ziusudra (a river flood at Shuruppak), the more famous Gilgamesh flood (actually the same flood but at a different time) and Atra-Hasis (quite clearly a tale taken from the Bible). These myths would seem to pre-date the Bible by being dated at different times between 2900BC and 2700BC, any date will suffice as long as it is before 2348BC, the year the real Flood began.
The ‘Epic Of Gilgamesh’ even records a man making a boat and saving the animals, which leads to the immediate reckoning that Noah’s Flood is copied from the Gilgamesh mythical flood, so the Noah Flood is a myth too, yet the evidence of this is very flaky.
Part VII: Myths
The Seed To Crush Must Survive From Eve
Without going completely around the world (there are also Hindu, Greek, and African and Meso-American flood myths, most being utterly unbelievable and impossible to take on board as factual events) we will, with respect and, as a resistance to going too much off track, concentrate on just one myth, the one that carries the most famous challenge to the Flood account in Scripture.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, carved in clay tablets, is a remarkable discovery and one that has even prompted the atheist Richard Dawkins to write a book on. Interesting that he will delve into anything, even something that is not science, in order to try and outwit the Bible. He fails by the way.
First let us remember that mythology is always based on actual events. If you read through all the information about Gilgamesh you can only conclude that it is all myth. Some of the stuff appears to be quite ridiculous. Sometimes Gilgamesh is referred to as Bilgamesh or Lzdubar. And sometimes you find that scholars end up arguing not about if a Flood took place but about which one came first!
One point that is raised is that the cuneiform system of writing, which is done upon clay tablets by a blunt reed to create a kind of wedged shaped pictorial mark, is so old and almost certainly the first ever inscribed system that could be classed as actual writing, is also therefore older than any writing found from biblical sources. And this is true.
However, the fact that the Gilgamesh Epic is older than verses from Genesis does not mean that Genesis is copied from Babylonian myths. And we must keep in mind that the stories we have found from Babylon have a very high fairy-tale content, comprising many different gods with human attitudes and tales that spin with a quite absurd direction. The inscriptions are also primed as poems, not historical facts. It is interesting too that the Gilgamesh flood story, which is at pains to copy the Noah Flood point by point, ends up with an Ark that would sink like a stone.
But anyway, which story is the older one?
Most scholars actually date the Mesopotamia clay tablets at around the 15th-18th Century BC. The oldest dating is perhaps 2000BC; older dates are tinged with speculation. The Books of Genesis and Job were written, in the form we can identify today, at around 1400BC but we must consider that an early form of proto-Hebrew script is dated older, as evident from discoveries from the Sinai Peninsula. Other Old Testament books were written much later than the era we are examining here.
If we take the Babylonian fragments to date between 2000BC or even 2900BC against biblical records dating at best to 1400BC then there is no contest. The Noah Flood is just a copy of the Gilgamesh Epic. This assumption though would be in error to a high degree, as we would be completely bypassing one of the strongest Jewish strengths, that of oral traditions and the passing down of information. No culture is better at doing this and the detailed oral methods used by the Jews has served to relay much information of the early days of humanity. We know for sure that this almost supernatural ability has been used by the Jewish peoples for at least maybe 3,500 years because of evidence we already have. There is no logical reason then, to assume that this oral tradition does not work further back in time. The odds are in fact very good that the oral traditions, which gave rise to Genesis, go back far beyond even the most extreme dates imagined for Gilgamesh. Clearly any dispute against such a premise as this would be quite a feeble argument.
We can ascertain that Scripture was either documented somehow or given through oral teachings at least to the same time periods as the dating of the Gilgamesh tablets. This is because of some of the names used in biblical reference. Without going through them all, we can cite the names of Abraham’s father and brother as highlighting the distant years in question. Terah and Nahor were common names from the times around 2100BC but faded out of use afterwards. In Genesis 12 we read that Abraham (Abram at the time) left the city of Haran with his wife and nephew. Haran was lost from existence by 1800BC. There are five cities from biblical records that have all been found by archaeologists all that date to beyond 2100BC.
Further independent research will help conclude that (a) Scripture reaches way back into the distant past, way beyond Gilgamesh and that (b) Mesopotamian flood stories are awfully sallow versions of what we find from the sane details of biblical text. And further, the poems of the Epic are even more muddied by the involvement of various mythical Sumerian idols and gods. It is only the Bible that claims all of Scripture comes from God and that there is no human revelation. Only the Bible makes coherent sense. Only the Bible is consistent, without blemish, is perfect and inerrant and portrays His-Story, the story of history from God’s Perspective.
It is only in Genesis where we can truly seek to continue the journey of ‘The Seed’. It is only in Genesis where we find the truth to cover an epoch: -
Two things are needed for life, water and sunlight. When they meet you get a rainbow.