|Exploring Ancient History - The First 2500 Years
PART 1: THE PRE-FLOOD WORLD
The Ways of Cain and Seth The first family's brief experience in the Garden of Eden was over. Now Adam and Eve had to start a new life in much less desirable environment. What were the events and developments at the very beginning of earliest pre-flood society?
Cain and Abel The bible continues the account in Genesis 4 with the birth of Cain and Abel. No mention is made of how much time had passed since the expulsion from the Garden of Eden but it probably was a period of several decades, possibly as much as half a century. It seems a logical deduction that Adam and Eve, under Gods direction, spent considerable time establishing themselves before beginning to raise a family.
The indication in verse 2, reports Adam Clarke in his commentary, is that Cain and Abel were twins because it says about Eve, "... she again bare" — or added in baring — "his brother Abel." It does not say that she conceived separately again later before Abel was born. So the implication, says Clarke commentary, is they were: born at the same time.
Understanding Cain's character is important for the early story of human history. His very name implies what type of person he was — Cain means "gotten" or "acquired." Cain was selfish; he wanted to get for himself. He was a spoiled child. This becomes very apparent as the story develops.
There are definite and startling reasons why Cain turned out as he did. He was, first of all, the product of an unhappy marriage. Adam and Eve did not live in harmony. Eve blamed Adam for the expulsion from Eden and Adam blamed Eve. They probably never really forgave each other for having bungled their golden opportunity. Every argument they had must have ended up focused on this painful memory.
However, a savior had been promised (Gen. 3:15). This was something to look forward to. But this promise caused Eve to draw a hasty, false, and extremely harmful assumption. Notice her statement in Gen. 4:1. The King James rendering — "I have gotten a man from the eternal" — is not correct. In the original Hebrew, this statement reads, "I have gotten a man — the eternal." She actually thought that her firstborn son was the promised child, God in the flesh. Under this deception, she treated Cain as if he were a god. And that is why he turned out to be such a monstrous delinquent. The full significance of this will be explained in chapter 6 when the actual meaning of Gen. 6:2 is revealed.
Now verse 2 states that Abel was a shepherd but Cain was a farmer. God actually wanted people in this early time to be mainly shepherds instead of farmers so that the soil could slowly be built up from animal waste, leaves from the trees, and so on. He wanted elements to be added to the soil instead of removed from it. But Cain was a farmer, which in itself, was not pleasing to God. As will he been later, he also forced the ground, and, by this method, damaged it even more than normal. Cain was selfish and greedy. He wanted what he wanted NOW! On top of that, he always wanted to keep the best for himself. So Cain was a farmer which, in itself, was not pleasing to God. But, as will be seen later, he also FORCED the ground and, by this method, damaged it even more than normally.
Thus, when reading of the offering of Cain and Abel in verses 3-5, it is easy to understand why God was displeased with Cain. He not only had a selfish attitude but he used wrong, methods in even growing the fruits he offered. He had not obeyed God at all.
Notice here that though the first family had been driven from the Garden of Eden. God was still teaching and instructing them. He had not told them to disperse. He wanted the human family in his presence. If they obeyed him they would be blessed. In this case, God had requested an offering and the two brothers brought theirs. But Cain's, and what it represented, was not acceptable while Abel's was.
The First Murder In verses 5-7 God analyzed Cain's attitude for him. He told him he could triumph over sin if he wanted to and that his offerings could be found acceptable if he were genuinely repentant. But Cain never made any attempt to repent. He had an angry look on his face not only because he was disappointed, but because he was premeditating the murder of his brother. He thought this was the quickest way to solve his problem.
Verse 8 finds Abel naively out in the field in his wicked brother's company. Little did he realize he would be the victim of the first murder in all human history. How Cain accomplished the deed is not known but, being a farmer and reaper, he might have done it with a cutting instrument such as a scythe. Then, after it was over, Cain tried to hide his crime by burying the body. Human society was off to an appropriate start because war and murder have been its prime characteristics through all ages.
Cain's "Mark" God confronted Cain with his sin. He could have done this in front of the family of Adam. (see Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary.) But Cain was still not repentant. He tried to cover up (verse 9). The eternal did not waste time with Cain. He immediately told him his sentence (verses 10-12). God could have executed Cain, but he wanted the world to learn what Cain's way would lead to. He wanted to let man, cut off from God. Express his way so mankind could learn the ultimate result of wrong methods of living.
After the eternal told Cain that he would be a fugitive and a vagabond as a result of his sin, Cain still did not change his negative attitude. His reply (verses 13-14) shows his consistently self-centered outlook. He blamed God for his problems, not himself. In a sense, he said, "what you're doing to me isn't fair. I don't have a chance. I'm not getting a square deal."
God did not execute Cain for his crime. But he separated him — excommunicated him — from the rest of the human family. This is the meaning of Cain's "mark" (Gen. 4:15). It was not a brand on his forehead, a long horn growing out of his head, affliction with paralysis, his dog, or any other of the ridiculous guesses that men have put forth. It was a WARNING MARKER or BOUNDARY LINE set up to separate Cain from the rest of Adam's family.
A better rendering of the verse would make it more understandable: "and the eternal set up a marker (or, monument) for (or, against) Cain. Lest any finding him should kill him." This was actually a religious segregation because Cain wrong attitude had made it necessary. God was saying, "I won't want Adam's family influenced by your selfish and sinful approach to life."
Yes, Cain was unfit to live in the same land with the rest of the people. God told Adam's children, "you stay here in the area of Palestine. The rest of the world is for Cain to wander in" (see Deut. 32:8). Later, this separation included racial segregation; Cain became the ancestor of all the non-white people. Before the flood. Different races did exist before the flood as one can see, and these races passed through the defuse. The line and posterity of Cain did not cease with the flood. It has actually continued down to our day.
The Curse On Cain Cain was now cut off from God. "Cain went out from the presence of the eternal." (Gen. 4:16) he was now on his own; he was forced to wander; he could no longer call on God. He would have to solve his problems on his own. It was not a pleasant fate. This ostracizing of Cain is analogous to putting an individual out of God's church. Such a person is separated from God's people until he repents. But Cain did not repent. He wanted his own way at all costs and started his own society and practices.
When did the excommunication of Cain take place? The indication of Gen. 5:3 is that approximately a century and a quarter had elapsed since Adam's creation. A logical deduction based on this verse is that Seth was born soon after Cain's crime because he was to replace the murdered Abel (Gen. 4:25). Since Seth was born when Adam was 130, the death of Abel must have occurred shortly before that birth.
By putting the bible together with Josephus' account. It is possible to determine Cain's activities after he was separated from Adam's family and cut off from God. He and his wife who was, of necessity, his sister, (Gen. 5:4) went to live in an area called "the land of wandering". Which was east of Eden (verses 4:16). Then Josephus tells us that Cain and his wife "travelled over many countries." (Antiquities I, II, 2.)
Here is an indication that, after the expulsion: Cain actually spent a century or more wandering over the earth. Why did Cain become a wanderer or nomad? Why did he not settle down permanently in a specific area? Amazingly, the bible and geology provide the answer. As a result of the sin of Cain the entire history of human society and the earth's surface were remarkably changed.
Notice what God had told Cain before his expulsion: "and now art thou cursed from the earth ... When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive (or wanderer) and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth" (Gen. 4:11-12). Cain, Josephus records, was the first person who "contrived to plough the ground". In addition, he greedily tried to get more crops faster by "forcing the ground." Cain, in other words, sought to gain his livelihood by farming methods which depleted the soil.
For example, he probably used the following method. He would burn down a forest or other vegetation on the land. Then he would plant seed in the ashes which served as fertilizer. Such land would produce well for a few years but after that it was ruined through such harsh abuse. Cain destroyed the soil for the purpose of quick crops. He did not care about conserving fertility for future generations. God wanted the earliest humans to be shepherds so that the soil could be built up — but Cain forced the ground before it was developed.
God put a stop to Cain's way — the way of getting. If Cain and his heirs had been allowed to continue these agricultural methods, soils all over the world would long ago have been rendered unfit for cultivation. The curse on Cain was not some strange poisoning of the soil. Logically, it could mean only one thing — A CHANGE IN THE EARTH'S CLIMATE! The geological record tells us what God did to save the soil from utter depletion. Mountain chains arose where there were none before. Seas dried up. The balmy semitropical climate of the world rapidly shifted into torrid and frigid zones.
Wherever Cain wandered, his agricultural pursuits came to naught. When it should have rained, the weather turned dry. Just as he was about to reap the ripening crop, in came a storm. Nothing turned out right. Cain was forced to turn to food gathering — to hunting and gleaning the wild fruits and berries. He and the generations who followed him eaked out a wretched living. Both geology and archaeology testify to these conditions.
The Proof of Geology In the tertiary geological deposits, which follow the upper Cretaceous, many surface changes are recorded. The climate began to turn cooler. Desert regions developed in the wake of mountain building. Pluvial and arid periods fluctuated. The climate in the northern hemisphere became even cooler. Vast snow falls engulfed the regions now labeled Canada and Europe. The arctic zone expanded. Fluctuations in sea level occurred. All along, the continental shore lines the changing beach levels left their mark. Many may still be seen today. Geologists mislabel this pre-flood period "ice ages."
Cain's children were forced to adopt his level of existence. Because of his sin, Cain initiated a degenerate way of life. His descendants became fugitives, wanderers, vagabonds. They too were reduced to hunting and gathering because the soil would not yield normal crops. They began living in caves in regions far removed from the main civilizations in the near east and became shockingly depraved.
These stone cultures have even left evidences of Canni-Balism. (page 3 of Dr. Hoeh's article, "Scientists Discover There Were Giants on Earth in Those Days," reprint 150.) The existence of these cave men, which archaeologists have discovered, does not prove the theory of evolution — it shows the shocking process of degeneration in the human race.
This period witnessed the spread of human habitation around the world. Fossil remains of giant human beings (Gen. 6:4) of this period have been found by geologists. This is the time of the Paleolithic man, of the Neanderthal man and the Mousterian culture, of the mammoth and reindeer hunters of the upper Paleolithic. Their culture exactly fits the curse that befell Cain.
The complete story of culture changes before the flood may be found in such works as F. C. Hibben's "Prehistoric man in Europe." Grahame Clark's "World Prehistory," and Emmanuel Anati's "Palestine Before the Hebrews." Those and other studies make it clear that the flood occurred at the end of the geological epoch called the Pleistocene — an event marked in geologic records by the sudden disappearance of many forms of animal life. Especially the Mammoths of Eurasia. The 'recent' which follows — geologically is the post-flood world. (see Volume II of Dr. Hoeh's Compendium of World History, Chapter 18.)
Cain's Society Before telling of the activities of Cain in his later life, it would be helpful to summarize the seven key points about him which Josephus recorded.
1) Cain was a "covetous man" who "was wholly intent upon getting." This statement reveals this evil man's true character. He was completely selfish.
2) Cain was the first to plough and force the ground — a point already covered in detail.
3) Cain did not repent but only GREW WORSE IN HIS WICKEDNESS. He "only" aimed to procure everything that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors. He increased his own wealth by violence and robbery.
4) Cain "became a great leader of men into wicked courses." He set a wrong example and others copied it. This could include his own children and/or other sons of Adam — other children of the general family as it developed over the centuries Cain's life spanned.
5) Cain was the author of measures and weights." He was not only the inventor of farming but the originator of trading — with the motive of getting. His aim was to give the least to get the most. Cain's weights and measures were probably dishonest. And this is certainly supported by Josephus' statement that Cain "changed the world into cunning craftiness." Cain was a shrewd dealer — this was the way he operated.
6) "he first of all set boundaries about ..." Cain was the first to build fences around his land. He said "don't trespass this is mine." He didn't want to let others' cattle graze upon his land. This is the feeling and the attitude he had and promoted.
7) "he built a city, and fortified it with walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it ..." As one shall see, Cain's methods continued after the flood. Nimrod copied from him. Nimrod gathered people together to build a city so he could easily keep the populous under his control. He merely perfected an idea which had originated with Cain.
Cain's Famous Walled City At this point Josephus' words about Cain need to be emphasized: Cain "built a city, and fortified it with walls ..." The bible speaks of this same city: Cain "builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." (Gen. 4:17)
Though in a sense this is getting ahead of the story, it is appropriate at this point to tell of the significance of the famous walled city, Enoch. In recent years, archaeologists made a startling discovery. In their excavations at the site of ancient Jericho (which is adjacent to present day Jericho in Palestine) they were amazed to uncover a big town in an early "pre-pottery Neolithic" state thousands of years — as they measure time — before any city of this type should have existed. This vast town existed at a time when only villages of tents or huts should have been in use — but there it was. It was of large proportion, of great duration — and had a huge wall around it. When the archaeological findings are correctly interpreted (see the chart on page 80 of the "Bible and the Ancient Near East", edited by G. Ernest Wright), it is evident this city must have existed before the flood.
In short, when the statements of the bible and Josephus are correlated with the findings of archaeology, there is one logical conclusion: PRE-FLOOD JERICHO WAS THE WALLED CITY OF ENOCH WHICH CAIN BUILT.
Here are some details concerning this city. It occupied an area of not less than ten acres — large dimensions for that early time, and especially since it was completely surrounded by a great wall. Many thousands of people lived in and around this heavily fortified town — and it is these fortifications that form the most astonishing feature of this remarkable discovery.
These defenses are described as "astounding for any period." They consisted of a ditch, wall, and tower. The ditch or moat was some 28 feet wide and six to seven feet deep. Inside this protective ditch the wall itself was built. A remarkable structure over five feet thick and some thirteen feet high. Finally, adjoining the wall was a great circular stone tower (which is still standing to this day) reaching a height of over 26 feet. James Mellaart makes this significant observation: "the prodigious labour involved in the erection of these defenses implies an ample labour force, a central authority to plan, organize and direct the work and an economical surplus to pay for it." ("Earliest Civilizations of the Near East", London, 1965, page 36.) Such was the power and authority that Cain had mustered.
To recapitulate: early in his life, after having been driven out by God, Cain wandered over many areas of the world. He did not stay in any one place very long. And the children he had over the course of those many decades also were nomads who migrated and engaged in hunting and fishing. The implication in Josephus' account is that Cain did not build this famous walled city until well into his life. Some centuries elapsed before he began this project.
Now take careful note of the location of this city: it was in "Seth's land" or Palestine. That's right — CAIN HAD DARED TO COME BACK INTO FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. At an earlier time God had said: "this area is for Seth and his family — the rest of the world is for Cain and his children to wander on." But, as we well know, Cain was not noted for being willing to obey any of God's orders.
Another significant point: the archaeologists cave concluded that pre-flood Jericho could not have supported its immense population by agriculture alone. There was not enough fertile area to support that many people. Thus they conclude that this famous city must have existed on the basis of trade and commerce.
How could this city engage in trade and commerce? Remember what Josephus said — that Cain was the inventor of weights and measures implying that he was engaged in trading. But also recall that Cain procured "spoils by robbery." In other words, he must have forced surrounding peoples to pay tribute, and he must have engaged in looting and pillage. This was the basis of his trade and commerce. In addition, with the dead sea then already in existence and located near-by, Cain must have controlled the salt trade of that world. This was a lucrative business because all people need salt for meats and vegetables.
Cain then, built this great walled town and made it the world center of trade and commerce. From it he pillaged the rest of society. "Do unto others before they do unto you?" And this is the way our world is today. Cain was cut off from God. He was wandering on his own. And we live in world cut off from God too — groping its way to destruction.
He sent marauding bands out to steal and loot. Then they would escape their pursuers by hiding inside the city's impenetrable walls. This was his headquarters, the focal point of that society's "civilization." As a result of it also, the family of Cain broke down racial bounds and began to began to intermarry with the family of Seth. (for detailed information about this famous city, see Emmanuel Anati's "Palestine Before the Hebrews" and Kathleen Keyon's "Digging up Jericho." The later work has numerous fine pictures showing the walls of pre-Flood Jericho and the kind of buildings that were there.) Yes, Cain's city is still with us today. This famous pre-flood world trade center was destroyed, of course, by the flood. But archaeology has found that it had been destroyed before that also. The wall was smashed and then rebuilt.
The Way of Cain The important truth we need to learn from all this is that Cain was the originator of civilization as we know it. Our entire society today is patterned after "the way of Cain" (Jude 11). It is a way of competitiveness, selfishness, and greed. Satan used the family of Cain to perpetuate his philosophy.
Cain was "spiritually bankrupt." He had no love for his neighbor at all. The code of Cain was, "get the other fellow before he gets you. Do unto others before they do unto you." This is the way our world is today. Cain was cut off from God. He was wandering on his own. And we live in a world cut off from God too — groping its way to destruction.
God could have destroyed Cain. But He wanted him to develop his own way and let the world learn from it. God wanted man to go ahead and express his own way and let that way come to full flowering and fruition. Cain's way led to the Flood — the complete destruction of humanity except for eight persons! And it will lead to an unbelievable carnage again in the near future! God has decreed that man must learn once and for all — in complete finality — that THE WAY OF CAIN SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK!! When man learns this lesson by hard experience, then he will turn to God in real repentance! But he has not reached that point — yet!
We study history to learn the lesson of human experience so we don't make the same mistakes ourselves (I Cor. 10:6, 11; Rom. 15:4.) The history of the past will help the citizens of the World Tomorrow see that God's way is the only way.
And so the great truth of these early chapters of the Bible is that Cain started an entire pattern in society which is with us to this day, a way of life which must finally be eradicated from the earth! It is a way which, though our human nature prompts us to follow it, we must exterminate from our daily practices and replace it with the way of God — the way of love, giving, and sharing!"
What was the effect of the "way of Cain" on society down to the Flood. And can we know what ultimately became of Cain? Also, what were the major contributions of the line of Cain to society in pre-Flood times? These are the interesting questions yet to be covered.
The Line of Cain vs. The Line of Seth and Enos To put the picture in as simple terms as possible. It may be stated that the story of the pre-flood society is the story of the line of Cain as opposed to that of Seth and Enos. What was the interrelationship of these two major groups before and up to 2370?
As indicated previously, Cain and Abel may have been twins. But they were un-like twins. Cain was originally separated because of religious reasons, because of his rebellious attitude. But, later, this division also became racial in significance.
In other words, Cain was the father of the NON-white race before the flood. Seth was the ancestor of the contrasting WHITE line. And these two lines were to remain separate. This is what God wanted. And, for a long time, they were — but this changed in Lamech's day (Gen. 4:19) who lived in the generation that existed just before the flood came upon the earth.
The important concept to bear in mind, then, about the situation before the flood is this: biologically (racially), culturally, intellectually, and spiritually there were just TWO BASIC WAYS OF LIFE — the way of God which was preserved in the family of Seth, and the way of Satan which was promoted by the descendants of Cain! See the accompanying genealogical chart at the end of the chapter.
Seth and Enos WHAT KIND OF A PERSON WAS Seth, the son born to Adam and Eve after Abel's murder? (Gen. 4:25) (Josephus Antiquities I, II, 3) provides some interesting information. Seth was a man of CHARACTER! His children were properly reared and imitated his good character. All of them had good dispositions and lived together in the same country without fighting and warring.
This implies that the family of Seth WAS SEPARATE FROM THE FAMILY OF CAIN AS GOD HAD INTENDED. As shall be noted shortly, the family of Cain carried on fights, feuds, quarrels, and dissensions. It is only natural that the philosophy of Cain should breed such results. But the family of Seth, for centuries, was separate from the sins and mistakes of the line of Cain. God certainly must have protected them and given them blessing and favor.
Knowing what kind of a person Seth was is very important to bear in mind in relation to the following information, Seth was born when Adam was 130 years of age. Seth lived a total of 912 years.
Enos was Seth's first son (Gen. 5:6). Notice, at this point, that Genesis chapters 4 and 5 are not in direct sequence. To find out anything additional about Enos, it is necessary to go back to Gen. 4:26. "... Then began men to call upon the name of the eternal." Now understand this point: the Hebrew here rendered "call upon" can mean, just as correctly, to "preach" or to "publish." (compare, for example, Matt. 24:14 and Mark 13:10 — in the first the gospel is prophesied to be preached but, in the second instance. It is to be published.)
In short, this verse may be properly understood as, "then began men to preach or publish in the name of or by the authority of the eternal." In other words, this Hebrew expression means to communicate in general without distinguishing as to whether it is writing or speaking. And it may include both these methods.
A few Jewish commentators have understood this verse to mark the beginning or origins of WRITING! In other words, the first people to use the written language and records (as well as to spread the knowledge of God by preaching) was THE FAMILY OF SETH AND ENOS.
Adam and Eve, back in the Garden of Eden, had a spoken language. God put into Adam's mind, by a direct miracle, the symbolic knowledge necessary to understand and to speak a verbal language in order to communicate with God.
But God did not give man a ready-made written system of communication. Something's God leaves to man to develop and perfect. Writing was one of these arts. God wants man to work and build character in acquiring and preserving knowledge. Thus he left the development of this skill to man.
The fact that the line of Seth, in the lifetime of Enos, perfected a beginning form of written communication is supported by verse 1 of chapter 5: "this is the book ..." Records were being kept. This chapter 5 is a simple genealogy, an uncomplicated type of writing with no particular style or form, another indication that this was the beginning of written records.
Eight Preachers of Righteousness A verse in the New Testament, II Peter 2:5, provides a major point about the line of Seth. Notice that the word "person" is in italics. The way the verse stands in the King James version, the impression is given that Noah was the eighth person of the eight that were in the ark, but, in the original Greek, the meaning of the verse is this: "and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, THE EIGHTH PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly ..."
Noah, then, was the eighth preacher of righteousness in his line, beginning with Seth, Methuselah is not included — he died the year of the flood. For the other six preachers of righteousness before the flood, see Genesis 5 and the accompanying chart.
To repeat: the major cultural and social contribution of the family of Seth, in the society before the flood, was THE ART AND SKILL OF WRITTEN LANGUAGE.
The next question is, "what were the contributions of the family of Cain?" And "what were the RESULTS of their contributions?"
Immense Length of Life Before the Flood Before answering these questions, it would be helpful in arriving at an understanding of the pre-flood world, to realize the impact of the great length of life these people experienced and what effect they had on the entire society.
When did people reach maturity in that day? Certainly it was not at 20 or 25 as today. Genesis 5 gives a definite indication. The fathers listed there had their first sons, between the ages of 60 and 130. The youngest recorded age at which the first son was begotten was in the case of Mahalaleel — 65 (Gen. 5:15). The same was true in Enoch's case (verse 21). Jared, on the other hand, was 162 years of age, and Methuselah was 187. In short, the indication is that it took people to mature, on the average, upwards of three or four times as long. In other words, in that world, a person was in his "teens" till he reached 60 to 80 years of age.
The oldest human fossil remains prove this. One of the chief characteristics of all these remains is the extreme longevity characteristic of the skeletons. The massive proportions of the body. The great development of the muscular processes, the extreme wearing of the teeth — without our characteristic amount of decay — THE OBLITERATION OF THE SUTURES OR SEAMS BETWEEN THE VARIOUS BONES OF THE SKULL and the indications of SLOW OSSIFICATION of the ends of the long bones, all point to the inevitable conclusion that the earliest man matured slowly and attained great length of life — just as Genesis declares. Such characteristics of the skeletal frame are completely absent from modern degenerate man.
That these ancient men did attain great age is demonstrated by the fact that their remains are usually found with fragmentary skeletons of youths and babies not exhibiting those characteristics. (chapter 5, "The Meeting Place of Geology and History" by Sir J. William Dawson, pp. 62-63.) These genuinely scientific findings do not prove that man has evolved. Rather, they substantiate the truth of the bible that men in ancient times, unlike today, experienced centuries of physical life.
It is also worthwhile to note in regard to this topic that in Antiquities I, III, 9, Josephus lists eleven ancient writers — Manetho, Berossus, and Hesoid among them — all of whom "relate that the ancients lived (nearly) a thousand year." True science and the records of ancient times again serve to corroborate the bible.
The Size of Families The next key questions then are: how large were the families of that day? And how many children did people have? People did not have had children as often as is possible today. This factor was regulated by nature. It is probable that women could conceive children only at a certain time in a period of a year rather than monthly.
According to ancient Hebrew traditions Adam had 33 sons and 23 daughters or a total of 56 children over a period of about 500 years. This would be an average of one child every 9 years. And Josephus tells us that Lamech, by his two wives, Ada and Zillah, had 77 children.
These figures give us an idea of family numbers in that time. Today people live only one tenth as long, and they can have children more frequently. In other words, if we reduced the totals for Adam's life and family to one tenth, he would have lived 93 years and had 5 or 6 children. Families now tend to be smaller but, a generation or two ago, it was not unusual to have a family of 6 to 8 children. So, using the comparison of once tenth, we can gain a helpful perspective in evaluating that society.
The Population Explosion With these concepts in mind, it can be seen that the population of the earth, which started with two people, grew very slowly over a long period of time. The population did not "explode" till near the time of the flood. Even if the population had doubled every 50 or 60 years, it still would not have been considered great until around 2500 — and the flood came in 2370.
There is the analogy Mr. Armstrong uses of doubling the penny. If 1 cent were doubled every day for 30 days it would not count up to much the first two or three weeks, but in the fourth week the total would really mount up. In the 28th day that original penny would have become $1,342,177.28.
The point is this: the population of the earth was relatively small till the life-time of Methuselah (3339 to 2370). But, IN THIS SEVENTH GENERATION — starting to count with Seth — BOTH THE POPULATION AND THE SINS OF MAN BEGAN TO MULTIPLY TREMENDOUSLY. This is what is recorded in Genesis 6:1: "... when man began to multiply on the face of the earth" — "explode" — then sins began to increase to such an extent that God had to exterminate the human race and make a fresh start with the family of Noah. How, in greater detail, this result came about is the story that remains to be told.
GENEALOGY OF THE TWO MAJOR LINES OF PEOPLE IN THE PRE-FLOOD WORLD
(LIVED 130 YEARS AND BEGAT SETH)
|LINE OF CAIN || ||LINE OF SETH AND ENOS|
|(GEN. 4:17-22) || ||(GEN. 4:25 TO 5:32)|
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|1) Cain started a way of life that was the epitome of rebellion against God. He was the originator of The non-white disobedient line of people in the pre-Flood society. || ||1st) Seth, 105 years. He was a righteous man with obedient happy children. He was the son of Adam and Eve who replaced the murdered Abel. It was from this line of people that Christ was ultimately to come (Luke 3:38).|
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|2) Enoch was the first man born to Cain. Cain built a city and named it after his son. (Gen. 4:17). Notice that some of these names repeat themselves in the two lines of people. || ||2nd) Enos, 90 years. As explained in the text, he was the second of eight preachers of righteousness in his line. During his life the population of the world had grown large enough to necessitate the spreading of the truth by preaching and writing.|
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|3) Irad ||Note: these three descendants of Cain are simply listed in Gen. 4 verse 18. Apparently they had no great impact on society.|
|5) Methusael|| || |
|3rd) Cainan, 70 years.|
|4th) Mahalaleel, 65 years.|
|5th) Jared, 162 years.|
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|6) Lamech lived somewhere in the period 3400 to 2500. He was a contemporary of both Cain and Noah. He was the leading man of violence in the centuries prior to the Flood. Read the text to understand his full impact on society and the magnitude of his evil deeds.|
|7) Jabal, Jubal, Tubalcain, and Naamah were the four outstanding important children of the 77 that Lamech traditionally had. They shaped their society in many wrong directions. As a direct result, the flood came in their generation. But as the text makes clear one of them carried the way of Cain through the flood.|
|This generation was contemporary with the lives of Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah.|
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|6th) Enoch, 65 years. As Gen. 5:21-24 states, he was a man famous for his obedience to God but whose life was cut short by some 600 years. He was the sixth preacher of righteousness.|
|Methuselah, 187 years, the longest life recorded in human history. Methuselah died in the flood. His father Enoch, had prophesied the end of that wicked society and Methuselah, the son was a living testimony of this.|
|7th) Lamech 182 years. He was the 7th preacher of righteousness in the pre-flood world and was the father of Noah.|
|8th) Noah, 600 years to the close of the flood. He was the only racially pure and spiritually righteous man in the world when the flood came.|
EXPLANATION OF THE CHART: this simple chart provides the KEY to understanding the TIME ELEMENT of the pre-flood world. The most significant feature of this summary outline is that it shows that the impact of LAMECH AND HIS FAMILY was concentrated in the last few centuries before the flood when the population of the earth was exploding. Notice: the numbering 1 through 7 for the line of Cain represents the seven generations spoken of by Josephus as living from Adam to the flood (Antiquities I, III, 1,). The listing "1st" through "8th" from Seth through Noah numbers the eight preachers of righteousness as spoken of in II Peter 2:5.
PART 5 — ADDED MATERIAL (See Table of Contents)
CHAPTER 3 - Added Material
Assyrian Dominance To return to the story of Babylonia. From this time forward, down to the fall of Nineveh, Assyria was the dominant power in Mesopotamia except for a short time during the reign of Hammurabi. Babylonia was second-rate in contrast to the predominance of Assyria.
In the year 1403 the predominant power in Shinar passed from Erech to the city of Ur. Here are the events: Utuhegal had appointed an official (called an ensi) to be director over the city of Ur. But this official, Ur-Nammu, was disloyal. He revolted, overthrew his overlord, Utuhegal, the conqueror of the Guti, and established his rule and dynasty at the city of Ur. The year 1403, then, marked the beginning of the Third Dynasty of Ur. It lasted for 117 years down to 1286.
During its period of over a century, the Third Dynasty of Ur was the leading dynasty in the area of Shinar. But it was by no means the only one. There were contemporary dynasties at Awan in Elam, Adab, and Mari.
After the reign of Ur-Nammu (1403-1385), the founder of the dynasty, there were four other rulers. The last of these was Ibbi-Sin who reigned for 25 years, 1311-1286. during his reign the leadership of Ur crumbled! Business documents recovered by archaeology show that there was famine in Ur, prices rose, and the government had to buy grain at high prices from different regions. To add to the problems of Ibbi-Sin, two former city governors usurped authority and made themselves independent kings, Naplanum (1306-1285) in Larsa and Ishbi-Irra (1301-1268) in Isin.
The final blow to Ibbi-Sin came in 1286. In that year there was an attack from the east out of Elam. The Elamites conquered Ur. Ibbi-Sin was carried captive to Elam — the Third Dynasty of Ur had become history!
A vital chronological matter may appropriately be discussed at this point. It concerns the fact that the Fourth Dynasty of Kish was resurrected in 1291 during the reigns of Ishbi-Irra and Ibbi-Sin. remember that Ur-Zababa of Kish IV had been slain in the attack on Kish by Lugal-Zaggisi in 1649. From that year onward, for over 3 1/2 centuries, the Fourth Dynasty of Kish lay dormant. the family lived on but did not enjoy royal status. But in 1291 Usiwatar ascended the throne of Kish and reigned for seven years. This was, in effect, the "resurrection" to royal authority of the family that had begun centuries before with the famous Queen Ku-Baba! This second and final phase of Kish IV lasted till 1255 when the dynasty ended completely.
The fact that one king list for Kish IV assigns 400 years to Ur-Zababa while another gives him a mere 6 (which is how long he reigned — 1655-1649) has caused no end of consternation to historians. They label the records for Kish IV as "corrupt" and "worthless." But actually the answer to these seemingly irreconcilable accounts is very simple.
The mysterious "400 years" actually covers the period from 1655 to 1255 — that is, from the beginning of the reign of Ur-Zababa to the end of the dynasty as a whole. the actual break in the dynasty extends from 1649 (the death of Ur-Zababa) to 1291 when Usiwatar came to power, a period of 358 years. Therefore the "400 years" is actually an era which represents a gap during which there were no kings in this dynasty. The family continued but did not have political authority. Thus there is a 358 year break in the continuity of this dynasty which the scribes rounded off to a convenient figure of 400 years. At the end of the 358 years the old royal family of Kish once more was restored to the throne.
The key to dating the last part of Kish IV is a ruler named Shu-ilishu. In the Dynasty of Isin, Ishbi-Irra (1301-1268), the first ruler of the dynasty, was followed by Shu-ilishu for ten years (1268-1258). It is known, of course, that Ishbi-Irra was contemporary with Ibbi-Sin, the last ruler of Ur III which has already been discussed. This synchronism makes Isin I dateable. Therefore it is known when Shu-ilishu ruled in Isin I. But here is the point: Among the last several rulers of Kish IV is a king named Shu-ilishu. This is the same individual. Shu-ilishu ruled in both Kish IV and Isin I! This major chronological "link" makes it possible to date the latter years of the resurrected Kish IV. The fact that Shu-ilishu is listed in both dynasties clears up the mystery of the 400 years. The 400 years begin in the days of Queen Ku-Baba and Ur-Zababa and end in the time of Shu-ilishu! The reign of mysterious Fourth Dynasty of Kish in the history of Babylonia. The end of Kish IV is contemporary with the beginning of Isin I.
Isin, Larsa, and Babylon With the establishment of Naplanum in Larsa and Ishbi-Irra in Isin a new stage was reached in the confused history of Babylonia. From the time of the captivity of Ibbi-Sin of Ur III in 1286 to the rise of Babylon to real power in 1077 — a period of over two centuries — Shinar was split into a northern kingdom dominated by Isin and a southern kingdom ruled by Larsa. As far as all present knowledge is concerned, there were no ruling dynasties from any other cities until the rise of Babylon in 1174. This period, then, has been labeled the Isin-Larsa period.
How did these two dynasties arise? The answer is the repetition of an old story: they arose during a period of struggle. This struggle, as already summarized, was between Ur III's last ruler, Ibbi-Sin, and the Elamites who attacked from the east. Ibbi-Sin was finally carried captive in 1286 which marked the end of Ur III. This left the two dynasties of Isin and Larsa which had begun in 1301 and 1306 respectively.
Isin and Larsa continued for 112 years down to 1774 as the only two cities in Shinar from which there were ruling dynasties. But, then, in the year of 1174, the First Dynasty of Babylon arose!
Babylon is universally considered to be one of the greatest of ancient cities — and yet there was no dynasty of kings ruling from it until as late as 1174. The First Dynasty of Babylon — the dynasty which Hammurabi made famous — was the first actual line of kings to rule from this famous city. In other words, form the time of Cush and Nimrod and the building of the city and tower of Babel (which turned out to be a failure!) till the reign of Sumu-abum (1174-1160), the first king of Babylon, there were no political rulers exercising control from Babylon. For 1080 years — 2254 to 1174 — there were no kings in Babylon proper. It was not a city-state as other Sumerian cities were. Babylon had existed prior to this only as a religious center.
What made it possible for a new dynasty to arise in Babylon in 1174? The answer lies in Assyrian history. Assyria was the next-door neighbor of Babylonia in the Fertile Crescent. In 1174, at the city of Assur, king Assur-dugal was ruling. But in this his sixth year — 1174-1173 — chaos struck the city! This is clearly reflected in the Assyrian king list for this period: It is recorded that in this last year of Assur-dugal no less than six kings occupied the throne! In the list, each of them is described as "son of a 'nobody'" — indicating they were non-royalty!
Clearly this was a time of strife and confusion — internal disruption! A major revolution exploded in Assyria! Only such a major upheaval as this could make it possible for a rival power to rise in the city of Babylon. This event allowed Sumu-abum to ascend the throne at Babylon and commence its first dynasty of political overlords. In another century this line was to be the dominant dynasty in Shinar!
From 1174 forward, then, there were three powerful dynasties in existence in Babylonia — Isin, Larsa, and Babylon. As an advance summary of what took place here is what happened between these political rivals: Rim-Sin, the last ruler of Larsa, was able to defeat Isin and thus bring the greater part of Shinar under his control. But he, in turn, easily defeated by the well-known Hammurabi of Babylon who was able to unite the whole area under his rule.
The next step is to take up the story of these events in more detail. Rim-Sin (1103-1042), the last ruler of the Larsa Dynasty, came to power in 1103 and ruled for 61 years.
Here, in more detail, is the story of this three-cornered struggle between Isin, Larsa, and Babylon. Down to 1077 none of the three dynasties was able to muster an attack against the others. But then the struggle began. The stage became set through the rise of three rulers. Rim-sin of Larsa came to the throne in 1103. Damiq-ilushu came to power in Isin five years later in 1098. And, in 1092, Sin-muballit (father of Hammurabi) became king at Babylon.
The key events from 1077 onward may be summarized in a series of four major attacks: Babylon initially overcame Isin but, two short years later (1075), Larsa conquered Isin and drove out the Babylonians. Eight years later, however, Babylon had grown strong enough to recapture Isin. Finally, 23 years after that, Babylon, under Hammurabi, was able to conquer Larsa. Thus, in the long struggle which covered some 35 years, Babylon came out the victor.
The first of the four major attacks of the 35-year struggle took place in the year 1077-76. In that year Sin-muballit of Babylon attacked Isin and Damig-ilushu and made them submit to his overlordship. Sin-muballit, however, allowed Damiq-ilushu to remain in the city of Isin.
Sin-muballit's dominion over Isin was short-lived. In the calendar year 1075-74 the second major attack was perpetrated. Rim-sin, not to be outdone, launched and attack from Larsa against Isin and the military occupation of Sin-muballit. The military blow was a complete success! The Babylonians were driven out, Damiq-ilushu fled to the Sealand (where he ruled till 1050), and Rim-sin incorporated the fallen city into his realm at the mid-point of his 61-year reign.
Hammurabi Though the forces of Sin-muballit had been driven from Isin before the armed might of Rim-sin, Babylon was only just beginning its rise to power! In 1072 an important event took place. This was the year in which the famous Hammurabi began a joint reign of ten years with his father, Sin-muballit. This also marked the beginning of his entire reign of 55 years down to 1017. (Note that the famous rulers of the Akkadian Dynasty, Sargon and Naram-sin, also reigned for 55 years each.) Hammurabi, an Aramean, was to be the first ruler since the days of Sargon and Naram-sin to build an empire which reached outside of Lower Mesopotamia!
By the year 1066 Babylon, under the joint leadership of Sin-muballit and Hammurabi, had grown in strength to the extent that it was ready to challenge the power of Rim-sin. In this year Babylon attacked Isin, recaptured the city, and drove out the forces of Rim-sin. Larsa, under Rim-sin, had passed its peak and was now on the decline!
Finally, in 1043-42, the inevitable took place. In this, the 29th year of the reign of Hammurabi, the forces of Babylon attacked and defeated the city of Larsa and its aged king, Rim-sin. The dynasty of Larsa passed out of existence! Babylon, under the ambitious Hammurabi, had become the dominant power in Shinar.
But this was not the end of Hammurabi's triumphs. He was acutally able to defeat Assyria and annex it into his expanding realm the very next year after the fall of Larsa (1041)! The domination of Babylonia over Assyria continued for 50 years down to 991. In addition, Hammurabi also subjugated Mari and the well-known Zimri-Lim (pp. 46-50 in Werner Keller, "The Bible as History"). For the last two decades of his 55-year reign, then, Hammurabi ruled over a kingdom that extended from the Persian gulf to Mari and Assur and eastward to the Zagros Mountains — but he could not overcome the power of Israel in Palestine in the reign of David (1052-1012)!
One of the most amazing facts brought forth by the true reconstruction of ancient history is that Hammurabi was contemporary with Saul and David! Historians have invariably placed him centuries earlier. Shortly after archaeologists uncovered the history of this period it was the common practice to conclude that Hammurabi was the Amraphel of the Bible (Genesis 14). Today it is no longer believed that he was a contemporary of Abraham. The old theory has been replaced by confusion!
Historians now, depending on which of three or four chronological schemes they prefer, date Hammurabi anywhere from the 17th back to the 19th century B.C.! The Britannica states that his reign began about 1800. In other words, Hammurabi is placed at least eight centuries too early by all Bible-rejecting historians. Historians conclude that the confusion about the dating of Hammurabi is not important. But the matter takes on great significance when it is realized that historians like to believe that Moses fashioned the Ten Commandments after the famous law code of Hammurabi. This makes it vital to know if Hammurabi lived before or after Moses. The true restoration of history, based upon the chronological limits assigned by the Bible, proves that Hammurabi lived FOUR CENTURIES after Moses. If anyone was influenced by a previous law it was Hammurabi — not the other way around.
There is clear and positive proof that Hammurabi and his successors lived during the time of the greatness of Israel. In the days of Hammurabi's son, Samsu-iluna (1092-991), and his grandson, Abi-eshuh (991-963), Babylon was famous for its proverbial literature — literature written in the form of the Biblical Proverbs. The reason for this is obvious: In the days of Solomon (1012-972) the culture of Israel dominated the world. This is clearly emphasized in I Kings 10:24: "And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart." The writing of wisdom literature, then, in Mesopotamia, was the result of the direct influence of Solomon's Empire on surrounding cultures. Egypt reflects the same literary features during this identical period. As we might expect, historians have assumed that this kind of literature long antedated Solomon who simply revived it by copying from his ancient predecessors.
Moses and Solomon did not need the help of the Babylonians. Just the opposite was true.
The reign of Hammurabi is regarded as the "classical age" of ancient Babylonia. Hammurabi's correspondence gives the impression of a shrewd politician and an able administrator who took careful pains to maintain a good government. Letters to his governors contained precise instructions for the enforcement of order and justice. His famous law code was compiled in the later years of his reign. This long list of laws was inscribed on a diorite stele discovered at Susa (Shushan), where the Elamites had carried it at a later time. Other copies of this law code have also been found on clay tablets. However, Hammurabi's law was not the first codification known from ancient Mesopotamia. Fragments of a Sumerian code of King Ur-Nammu of Ur have been found as well as a code of laws of King Lipit-Ishtar of Isin.
A large number of legal and economic documents from this period provide a good picture of the way of life. Trade flourished. The economy was based on private property and enterprise. As for religion: When Babylon rose to the status of capital of a large realm its city-god, Marduk, also rose in prominence! Marduk became the supreme god who replaced the old Sumerian god Enlil as head of the pantheon.
After Hammurabi, the First Dynasty of Babylon continued in unbroken father-son sequence through five more rulers down to 879. All five reigns were at least 21 years in length. However, these kings were not able to maintain Hammurabi's empire although the cultural and economic life of Babylonia went on along the same lines he had developed. Then, in 879, a foreign invasion brought this famous dynasty to its close.
The Sealand Dynasty The story of the year of the year 1075 in Babylonia has already been told: This is the year in which Rim-Sin of Larsa overthrew the city and First Dynasty of Isin and drove out its last king, Damiq-ilushu. But this was not the end of the reign of Damiq-ilushu. He fled to the Sealand where he was also recognized as king and where he continued to rule for 25 more years down to 1050. The Dynasty of the Sealand continued through eight other rulers down to the year 846. It was contemporary with Hammurabi and Babylon I.
Where was the "Sealand?" The Bible mentions this area of the Near East in Isaiah 21:1 with the expression "the desert of the sea." It could also be called "the wilderness of the sea" or " the wilderness of the sealand." This extensive area was the desert region extending from southern Shinar down into southeastern Arabia adjoining the lower edge of the Persian gulf. It was an extension of the region of Babylonia which bordered on the sea and thus derived its name.
The fact that the Damiq-ilushu of Isin is the same person as the first ruler of the Sealand Dynasty proves that Sealand I is contemporary with Babylon I. Historians recognize that this is true although formerly they theorized that Sealand I followed Babylon I.
The Sealand Dynasty had a royal house comprising two different branches. The second branch included a king named Ilumu-ilum who ruled 60 years — 1016-956. Notice the last part of the name — -ilum. This is just a Sumerian form of Elohim! Elohim is the word translated "God" in Genesis 1:1. In other words, here was a Babylonian king who applied to himself one of the names or attributes of God! Such is the vanity and arrogance of pagan rulers!
In the year 846 the Sealand Dynasty was overthrown by the Kassites (a warring Cushite dynasty from the east which lasted 1022-660) in a famous war which included Assyria and other peoples of Mesopotamia.
Second Dynasty of Isin The end of Hammurabi's famous dynasty, Babylon I, in 879 brought to prominence a new line of kings from the city of Isin. This dynasty — also often referred to as the Pashe Dynasty — exercised government both from Isin and from the famous city of Babylon. At this time in ancient history Babylon played a role in Mesopotamia similar to that of Thebes in Egypt: Both cities were regarded as the political and religious capitals of their respective regions.
Of special note in Isin II is its fourth ruler, Nebuchadnezzer I (847-825). He was a predecessor of the Nebuchadnezzer of the Bible. The Nebuchadnezzer of the Book of Daniel, then, was actually Nebuchadnezzer II.
Historians mistakenly assume that the Second Dynasty of Isin followed the Kassite rule in Mesopotamia. Actually these two dynasties were parallel or contemporary. This is proven by the fact that the kings of Isin recorded several wars with the Kassites. And the Kassites applied the epithet "destroyer of the Kassites" to Nebuchadnezzer I due to his wars with them.
Three Small Dynasties Between 747-700 The year 747 marks the commencement of the famous Second Dynasty of Babylon, the very last dynasty in the history of ancient Babylonia. It includes the reign of Nebuchadnezzer II. But before telling the story of this long list of rulers three other brief dynasties must be accounted for — Sealand II, Bazu, and Elam.
Sealand II lasted for a brief 21 years from 747 to 726 under three kings, none of whom are famous. Then, in 726, the Sealand Dynasty was displaced by kings from the House of Bazu. The Bazu Dynasty continued for 20 years down to 706. It also included just three kings with long and unfamiliar names (for example, Eulmash-shakin-shumi).
The year 706 was a crucial one in the history of Mesopotamia. It witnessed an invasion of Elamites into the land of Akkad under the leadership of king Mar-biti-apal-usur. His reign of 6 years — 706 to 700 — comprises the entire duration of the brief but tempestuous Elamite Dynasty which, for at least part of this period, exercised authority at Babylon. The Elamites joined with the Chaldeans and Babylonians in revolting against the domination of Assyria. These six years of Elamite attack are also the last six of the reign of Shalmaneser III ("the Great") who ruled 735-700. In the ancient Assyrian record (limmu canon) each of these six years is marked by the word "revolt!" The Assyrian Empire was less than a century away from its final collapse. This period of upheaval in Mesopotamia is clearly reflected in the days of Merodach-baladan and Sargon, kings who make up part of Babylon II, who will be discussed shortly.
This Elamite incursion made possible the final rebellion of the Medes against their Assyrian overlords in 700. The Medes had been a subservient people since 1958 B.C. In 816 they had revolted and gained much progress toward ultimate triumph. But they had to wait till 700 to make their final and complete break. Then, in 612, they assisted the Chaldeans in the final and complete break. Then, in 612, they assisted the Chaldeans in the final overthrow of Assyria. Finally, in 539, they reached the pinnacle of their power when they joined with the Persians to overthrow the great Babylonian Empire in the days of Daniel.