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). 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, 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), or the "day" when God created all things (Genesis 2:4). 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 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).

(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).

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

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), musical skills are noted (Genesis 4:21) and metalwork appears (Genesis 4:22).

Halley's Bible Handbook explains about the region where Adam and Eve first lived, near the Euphrates River (Genesis 2:14): "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 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).

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).

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). 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, 12).

Later in Genesis, Laban asked Jacob to wait a week before receiving Rachel as his wife (Genesis 29:27). 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; Acts 17:2; Hebrews 4:4, 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). Where did he find a wife?

The first clue is found in Genesis 5:4: "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).

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), 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; 20:17). Today almost every nation in the world enforces similar laws. VT


  • KARS

    When man was first created God the Father didn't tell us what mans' life exspectancy would be; therefore man lived to as old as 969 years. For Methuselah was the longest living man. See Genesis 5:22-27.
    After the flood, Noah, his wife, and 3 sons with their wives where told once again to be fruitful and multiply along with all the creatures on the Ark. See Genesis 8:14-17;9:1,7

    Note Genesis 9:20-22 talks about clean meats long before the children of Israel were re-taught this concept in the Sinai Penisula.

    It wasn't until prior to the flood that the LORD placed a time span of a 120 years. See Genesis 6:1-3.

    So even though man was sentenced to die for partaking of the "forbidden fruit" they were still to have families from generation to generation.

    We are sentence once to die. Genesis 3:19; 2 Cor. 1:9; Heb. 9:27
    Which follows after death? The resurrection from the dead and judgement before Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

    I learned this all here from the booklets and articles that UCG gives free to whomever has the desire to learn the truth.

  • dziwczyna


    God was not lying when He said "in teh day that you eat of it you shall surely die". It was Satan who lied.

    The day they ate it they chose death, instead of eternal life. So, yes, they physically still lived for years beyond that event, but they rejected God and His offer of eternal life.

    An example of this is from Christ in Matt. 22:23-33. Christ is questioned by the Sadducees, a Jewish sect, who did not believe in the resurrection. Christ's answer in verse 32 states: 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    We know from scripture that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob died. They are 'living', because they will be resurrected in the first resurrection to eternal life. Their judgement is finished.

  • suewilliams

    I guess the answer lies in each man ability to love the truth... If you love the truth and search for it with all your heart you will find it. But each man has his own journey. To me this is the truth. The day that Adam ate of the fruit, his fate was sealed. The decision was made. No turning back. Romans 4:17
    "God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did" Adam and for that matter the earth was changed. Adam began to age. Sickness entered the world and the earth was under a curse. It was a choice from which he could not turn back so in a sense he did die that day.
    Also.. and probably the most important point.. Adam created a debt that he could not pay.. because a lifetime of sinlessness will not cover one sin. Just one sin requires something he/we do not have to give. It took Christ. So Adam died that did we all.

  • KARS

    This is a great article about the re-creation of the inside of our world. Keep in mind that Satan the adversary destroyed the surface as well as damagining parts of our solar system. Look at the moon for instances and what happened to the other planets as well. Science as discovered many things about the other planets with their spacecrafts like Voyager for instants and the Hubal telescope.
    So yes it is possible that our earth was re-created in 7 days.

  • brotherjoseph

    The point of my comment is the time element involved. I see no way that the creation "days" could be a 24 hour earth day. If it had been so, Adam would have died within 24 earth hours. Seeing as he lived over nine hundred years, the Genesis "days" would be one of Gods days, 1000 years. If we were to accept the 24 hour Earth day theory, then God would be a liar because Adam did not die during the 24 hours after eating the forbidden fruit.

  • suewilliams

    brotherjoseph... I believe that part of your answer is in the fact that Adam & Eve had a choice between two trees.. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.. They could have eaten of the tree of life and lived forever.. This tree was taken away (apparently) within 24 hours of their eating of the one tree that God said they could not have..

  • brotherjoseph

    Brother Mario,
    I would like to hear your view on the verse at 2Pet 3:8 where we are told that "a day with God is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day". Then refer back to Genesis where Adam is told by God that "in the day you eat from it you will surely die" referring to the forbidden tree. They ate and Adam lived on for nine hundred plus years, but died before "one" of Gods "days" had past. Wouldn't it follow, that if creation days were a 24 hour earth day, Adam would have died within a twenty four hour period and would have never produced progeny?

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