Friday, September 3, 2010

Extraordinary Questions!

(Answers are in the Combox, but don't peek until you have tried to answer on your own!)

People visit Just Genesis from all over the world.  They often come to this site by searching for an answer to an interesting question.  The following are some of the more extraordinary questions that have been asked recently. Given that many readers of Just Genesis have become very astute at answering questions of this nature, I encourage you to take a shot at answering these tough ones!

Interesting and Unusual Questions

What was the symbol for a priest in 2300 B.C.?  (Clue: When visible, it caused ancient man much anxiety.)

What does the phrase “holy to Anath” refer to? (Clue: Trace linguistic root of name "Anath".)

Were the Patriarchs from Abraham to David patrilineal or matrilineal? (Clue:  Primogeniture + cousin bride's naming prerogative.)

If the moral/natural-law tradition calls reason good, why can’t reason still be good when it concludes that said tradition is without value for the modern world? (Clue: Binary distinctions)

Were Adam and Eve the first humans or the first Israelites? (Clue: African creation stories involving first ancestors.)

If the tower of Babel is the origin of all the languages spoken today why aren’t there more languages listed in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10? (Clue: Who are the tellers of this biblical story?)

Who was Canaan’s mother? (Clue: Ham is the father of Canaan and Ham and Shem's lines intermarried.)

What are the names of Zipporah’s sisters? (Clue: Zipporah was either Moses' patrilineal cousin or his half-sister.)

When was King David born?  (Clue: He was the youngest of Jesse's 12 sons and Jesse was a contemporary of Samuel.)


Georgia said...

Have you posted an answer key?

Alice C. Linsley said...


1. Blood and symbols of blood like red ochre (also the shepherd's crook and flail)

2. Asenath bore Joseph two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim. Asenath's name means “holy to Anath”. This woman was the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis, a shrine sacred to Horus. She was named after Mari-Anath, the consort of the high God. Many water shrines were dedicated to her and women came to these shrines to ask God for children or to ask for healing (compare to John 5).

3. The kinship pattern of Abraham's royal family was both matrilineal and patrilineal. Bloodline was traced through the mothers and the right of rule was passed from the fathers.

4. No human reasoning can change Holy Tradition because Holy Tradition is founded on the fixed binary distinctions observed universally in nature. These binary disctinctions frame the biblical worldview so when gay activists agrue that the Bible permits homosex, they are wrong. If it did, there would be cleansing rituals for those who had homosex, just as there were cleansing rituals for priests when they became defiled in their time of service. Instead the Bible perscribes death for homosex, adultery, witchcraft and for the daughters of priests who behave immorally.

5. Adam and Eve are the names for the first ancestors of the Afro-Asiatic peoples who gave us the Bible. The story of Adam and Eve finds its closest parallels in the first parent narratives of Africa. Here they are understood NOT as the parents of all humanity, but of their tribe. The names Adam and Eve are etymological names, not historic names such as those found in Genesis 4 and 5. The first historical persons are found in Genesis 4 and 5, where we already have an established kinship pattern.

6. There are 17 language families in the world. All the peoples and languages mentioned in Genesis 10 (The Table of Nations) are in one language family: the Afro-Asiatic family. This is the oldest known language family. This is proof of the reliability of the Geneis record. Were the Chinese and Polynesians listed here (as examples), we'd know that someone corrupted the text, since Abraham's people had not knowledge of those groups 7,000 years ago.

7. Canaan's father was Ham. Since Ham was a ruler we can speculate that he followed the kinship pattern of the rulers among his people, which was to have 2 wives. One was a half-sister (as Sarah was to Abraham) and the other a patrilineal cousin or niece (as Keturah was to Abraham). If Canaan was named after the cousin bride's father, he would be regarded as belonging to his maternal grandfather's house. He would be Canaanite. If he was born to the half-sister wife he would be regarded as belong to Noah's house. (That's the best I can do until I find more information on this.)

8. Zipporah's sisters are not named in the text. However, it may be that Moses married 2 daughters of Jethro (as Jacob married 2 daughters of Laban). This would mean that his other wife was the daughter of Jethro's Kushite wife, since the text calls her a Kushite.

9. Samuel was born around 1010 B.C. Jesse was about the same age. Jesse appears to have sired David when he was about 30 years of age.
David is believed to have been born around 1040 BC.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Sorry! The Prophet Samuel was born about 1056 B.C.

Edwin R. Thiele dates David's birth to 1040 B.C., and I think he's right, given the data for Samuel and Jesse. David ruled over Judah from about 1010–1003 BC, and ruled the united kingdom of Israel about 1003–970 BC.

Many Jewish sources accept this dating for David also.