Answers from Genesis - Part 3

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Answers from Genesis - Part 3

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We continue with general questions about the book of Genesis. Here are the answers as we best understand them in light of the Bible.

Were the six days of creation literal days?

Some contend that each of the days of creation in Genesis 1 represented a long span of time. Yet consider that fruit-bearing plants were created on the third day while insects to pollinate them were not created until a few days later. If these were millions of years apart, the plants would not have survived.

Note that the Bible is quite clear about how long each day was: "So the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:5 Genesis 1:5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
American King James Version×
). How long is the daylight portion of a day? Jesus Christ Himself, contrasting day and night, said, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:9 John 11:9Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world.
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, emphasis added throughout). There are also 12 hours in the night, for a total of 24.

There are, however, places in the Bible where "day" can symbolically mean an extended period of time, such as the "day of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 5:2 1 Thessalonians 5:2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
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), or the "day" when God created all things (Genesis 2:4 Genesis 2:4These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
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). But anytime in Scripture when the term day is preceded by a numeral, it always means a literal day of the week.

So evening and morning clearly mean a full rotation of the earth, or a 24-hour period. Besides, Genesis 2:2 Genesis 2:2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
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mentions the fact that God rested on the seventh day and sanctified that portion of time. This is enshrined in the Fourth Commandment, which requires resting on the seventh day of each week (the Sabbath) as a memorial of God's creative activities on the previous six days of creation week—and it obviously refers to a 24-hour period (see Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 [8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: [11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
American King James Version×
).

(For further information, download or request our free booklet Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe? Especially see the inset article "Genesis 1 and the Days of Creation.")

Did Adam and Eve actually exist?

Some think Adam and Eve were fictional characters, yet Jesus Christ knew they were real. He said of them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:4-5 Matthew 19:4-5 [4] And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, [5] And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?
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).

In fact, Jesus Christ's own genealogy is recorded all the way back to Adam and Adam's son Seth (Luke 3:38 Luke 3:38Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
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).

Also, written language dates back to around 4000 B.C., about the time biblical chronology indicates Adam and Eve lived. From 4000 B.C. to 2000 B.C., history records an amazing advance of technology, art and culture.

For instance, pictographic and then cuneiform writing appears. Elaborate architecture using mathematics arises, metallurgy using copper and then bronze is mastered and music and art reach sophisticated levels. This is faithfully recorded in the Genesis record, where cities are built (Genesis 4:17 Genesis 4:17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bore Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
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), musical skills are noted (Genesis 4:21 Genesis 4:21And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
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) and metalwork appears (Genesis 4:22 Genesis 4:22And Zillah, she also bore Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
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).

Halley's Bible Handbook explains about the region where Adam and Eve first lived, near the Euphrates River (Genesis 2:14 Genesis 2:14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
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): "Ethnologists quite generally consider this region to have been the original home of all the present races of men. It was the region from whence came the ox, goat, sheep, horse, pig, dog, apple, peach, pear, plum, cherry, quince, mulberry, gooseberry, vine, olive, fig, date, almond, wheat, barley, oats, pea, bean, flax, spinach, radish, onion, and most of our fruits and vegetables. [It is] the cradle of the human race" (1965, p. 64).

When God rested on the seventh day, later called the Sabbath, did it become a command for all of mankind or just for the Jews?

Many will be surprised to know the Sabbath rest begins in chapter 2 of Genesis and not when God spoke His commandments to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai after bringing them out of slavery in Egypt.

Genesis 2:2-3 Genesis 2:2-3 [2] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. [3] And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
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says: "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested [the Hebrew word here is a verb form of the word Sabbath] on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

Notice that God not only blessed but also "sanctified" the seventh day. In the Bible, sanctifying something means setting it apart for holy use—and that is what He did with the seventh day. This is why God later said, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8 Exodus 20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
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).

Note also that God created, blessed and sanctified the seventh day at the time of creation, which was long before Israel or the Jews even existed. Thus God had already given the Sabbath day, but He now reminded His people to not forget about it and "to keep it holy."

Jesus Christ expressly stated that the Sabbath was made not just for the Jews, but for all of mankind and that He was the master of it. "And He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27-28 Mark 2:27-28 [27] And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: [28] Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
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).

We see throughout Genesis that the seven-day weekly cycle was perpetuated. We read, for example, that Noah and his family were inside the ark for one week before the Flood came (Genesis 7:10 Genesis 7:10And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were on the earth.
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). Then, after the Flood, Noah waited a week before sending the dove to see if there was any dry land. When it came back, he waited yet another week before sending it out for the final time (Genesis 8:10 Genesis 8:10And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
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, 12).

Later in Genesis, Laban asked Jacob to wait a week before receiving Rachel as his wife (Genesis 29:27 Genesis 29:27Fulfill her week, and we will give you this also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years.
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). So keeping the seven-day week, with the seventh being holy, remained the standard in Genesis.

Moreover, this all happened long before the Sabbath commandment was codified as the Fourth Commandment at Mount Sinai. In the New Testament, we read that Jesus Christ, the apostles and the people of God faithfully kept God's Sabbaths (Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
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; Acts 17:2 Acts 17:2And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
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; Hebrews 4:4 Hebrews 4:4For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
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, 9).

Indeed, all the faithful followers of God kept the Sabbath day—in the Old and the New Testaments—and there are no recorded exceptions! (You may also wish to ask for our free booklet Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest.)

Who did Cain marry?

We read, "And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch" (Genesis 4:17 Genesis 4:17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bore Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
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). Where did he find a wife?

The first clue is found in Genesis 5:4 Genesis 5:4And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
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: "After he [Adam] begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. " God had told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28 Genesis 1:28And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
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).

It was expected that Adam and Eve would have many sons and daughters—especially as their long lives gave them centuries of childbearing years. In fact, Jewish tradition states that they had 33 sons and 27 daughters.

By the time Cain and his brother Abel were old enough to raise livestock and harvest crops (Genesis 4:1-4 Genesis 4:1-4 [1] And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. [2] And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD. [4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering:
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), they must have had younger brothers and sisters. Of course, the Bible does not record every detail, such as naming all the children that followed. It only highlights major events such as the murder of Abel (verse 8). But it does say that Cain was very concerned about being killed by those who wanted to avenge Abel's death (verse 14). God therefore set a mark on him to protect him from being killed by those seeking to punish him (verse 15).

So the logical answer regarding Cain's wife is that he must have married one of his sisters, as at first that is what all the sons of Adam had to do.

After some time had passed, laws against close-kin marriages became necessary due in part to the frequency of children with biological defects springing from such unions. During the days of Moses, God gave laws against marriages between a brother and a sister (Leviticus 18:9 Leviticus 18:9The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or daughter of your mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness you shall not uncover.
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; 20:17). Today almost every nation in the world enforces similar laws. VT

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