Creation, the fall, Cain and Able.

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Creation, the fall, Cain and Able.

I've been studying( just beginning) Egyptian & Mesopotamian religion-spiritual beliefs prior and during the days of Moses regards creation and sin in the hopes that this might shed some light on Genesis in scripture.

I take it that although Moses was Hebrew, but especially that he was culturally an Egyptian--due that we have account that he was socially of high cast.

It would be unlikely that a man such has him would not have been well versed in Egyptian spiritual beliefs.

In the creation account of biblical Genesis-- the elements of Egyptian creation accounts* ( *four well know accountings) of creation seem evident in that initially the waters and the divisions of waters, from formlessness, to the division of waters above and below are prominent features in both accounts. Also creation was due to the sound or word of a creator deity...


Next "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let the dry ground appear" of Genesis is not unlike the the separation of waters and due this the formation of a pyramid of earth* that comes up from this separation in Egyptian accounts.* Said to be most likely from the flooding effects in the Nile delta whereby silt spits are formed into pyramid forms...


What is different is that the sun (light) and the gods and life come out of this pyramid mound in Egyptian accounts, while in Genesis..."the spirit of God was hovering over the waters" and from his word, " And God said"... first light was separation from dark and a separation of the waters into sky above and gathered to one place below where the "land" is formed and from it life appears or is created.

It seems that in the ancient Egyptian accounts the divine elements are created from the earth, or from an understanding of nature in the Nile River area accustomed to seasonal flooding and the periodic natural creation of fertile deltas etc. All except for some aspects of the Heliopolis account & and especially the Thebes account where the god Amun was " the hidden force behind all things." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_creation_myths

On the other hand in the Genesis account God is immediately identified as prior ( somewhat like Amun) to the beginning of creation, in existence before and the creator of. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." is the first sentence of Genesis. That He would do so in kind by separation of the waters happened twice or once again with Noah. Creation in both accounts at some points touch on water's nature to be formless, bordered and separated.


As to the fall in Genesis the parties in the account seem to me to speak of Moses' autobiography if the account of the temptation reflects Moses life as an Egyptian. Simply, perhaps too simply, in the account of the fall man is tempted by the snake in a garden and the snake* in Egyptian culture is identified with the state and the Pharaoh or political Egypt. *symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in ancient Egypt.

Considering the interaction that Moses had with the Pharaoh, the push and pull of the snake ( of spirituality, culture and politics) in his personal life and in his lifetime ( life experience) in general seems obvious. It would not be dissimilar to the 40 days in the desert of our Christ where he was tempted by satan or as in Jonah's hesitancy etc...

The social conflicts that confused, that led to be misled, on good end evil were not unlike our spiritual conflicts with society today. ( And the Egyptians believed that they would be judged ( on good and evil or for sins) in the afterlife.)

On sin. Perhaps the greatest sin Moses could have known intimately besides the social sins of the regime he lived under which by default implicated him, was his own personal sin-- but especially one great one. He had killed ( murdered) a man!

Now it was understood that within Egyptian spirituality, in the afterlife there was a judgement, one had to defend himself-herself before deity. And one of the items in this defence was to declare that one had NOT committed murder. This Moses could not do!

Therefore the account of Cain and Able is to me in some ways
autobiographical of Moses. It is the account of a man murdering his kin. It is the account of a man fearing reprisal, seeking protection from his judge and getting it, but left unsettled or to wonder. It is the account of a man of guilt needing exile and eventually a promised land of his own and spiritually a rest. It is the account of a man needing healing and salvation. It is the account of a man who will find hope in the faith and the promises made to Abraham. It is the account of a man who will walk with God by such a faith. It is a the account of one Moses doing as per God's calling on him. ( He is perhaps like our apostle Paul here.)

So the great fall in Moses' life ( a very Egyptian man) was his murder of a man which set him to question the conflicts that permitted him to take another man's life-- even more than questioning injustice and spiritual conflict in society ( although he surely did this). His personal sin sent him into exile, it brought him to Jethro, it brought him to contemplate on sin in general. From Egypt he exiled himself to seek remedy. He went to the wilderness. He found there a father in law named Jethro--priest of Midian, friend of God.

The push and pull ( conflicts) of the culture(s) Egyptian and others he lived in was of significant influence in the answer to Moses' life issues with sin ( good and evil, justice and mercy etc...)-- so much so that God through Moses thought well to chose him and with him His people to set free. It was a new beginning for God's people, just as God had made for a new beginning in Moses' life-- a re-creation from conflict and on to conflict resolution.

And so from the temptation of Eve by the snake in the garden we see clearly that for the issues of false pride and it's false tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that can set even an individual to murder his brother in the name of what is believed right, a significant conflict of human life or existence is related to all.

----------------

I would like your ideas or suggestions of "fall" accounts in ancient religions--those prior to Moses' account but that might have influenced the idea of sin as per the Genesis account as due to a "fall", caused by sin, by gods or man.

Or any comments you might have.
 
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Israel

Senior Member
#2
Justice is an extremely pointed word.
It wounds the one who would minister it as any to whom it would be ministered.
Power to live beyond that wounding shows the authority "at work".
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #3
Justice is an extremely pointed word.
It wounds the one who would minister it as any to whom it would be ministered.
Power to live beyond that wounding shows the authority "at work".


This is interesting. Can you elaborate?
 

Israel

Senior Member
#4
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This is interesting. Can you elaborate?
Your OP deserves more considerations perhaps that the "first" thing that jumped out at me. But this:

Now it was understood that within Egyptian spirituality, in the afterlife there was a judgement, one had to defend himself-herself before deity. And one of the items in this defence was to declare that one had NOT committed murder. This Moses could not do!

Therefore the account of Cain and Able is to me in some ways
autobiographical of Moses. It is the account of a man murdering his kin.
But there is a great difference. (If we accept both your considerations and Moses accountings as true) And though I am not prepared to either dismiss yours or endorse them, I am able to accept that "enculturation" may sometimes play a larger part in our relating...even (and perhaps especially) in matters of some eternal nature, than we may know. That's if I read most of what you have said as "Moses had a framework received of "others" into which the Eternal God came...and Moses was, in some sense "reconciling these'...(at least to himself). But I am open to being corrected in my understanding.

But if we let it stand...and move from there, this is where I see a "difference"...not in what you have said...but in that which to Moses was (or may have been) led.

This account is one thing:

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.

This next account...if it be, as you say, in some way autobiographical, is a bit different in my eye:

And Cain saith unto Abel his brother, 'Let us go into the field;' and it cometh to pass in their being in the field, that Cain riseth up against Abel his brother, and slayeth him.
YLT
(I use Young's when I am seeking a firm(er) translation that may not be contained in others, and I could be wrong in this...if anyone knows, help!)

In the first...Moses is reacting to what could be explained/seen as an injustice. Perhaps even find excuse...in that light.

But, I don't think we see that in the second (if in the sense you see...it is autobiographical)

In the second account...(of Cain and Abel) might we see Cain acting with malice aforethought even leading (an innocent) brother into the field...to slay him?

I don't make this to at all impugn your considerations. No, emphatically...not at all.

I am more interested in "a man" who might be led from one accounting of himself that included opportunity of presentation of excuse (even with some plea of a righteousness... "He was beating my brother!") being led in conscience (if the autobiographical sense is or has any bearing) to where he actually now sees himself acting, and presenting himself in that scenario not only with malice aforethought, but able to identify it is born of a desperate jealousy against a "righteous" one.

Moses going from one accounting in which he may see himself as even a sort of defender...to now, desperately wicked murderer. How can a man be shown...that?

Why does this "grab" me?

Because once I said a truth "Jesus died for my sin", yet I had no fullness in any understanding (not that I claim now, to!) in that, at all. I can say...it was a saying (even true!) that was at best seen (as brother Day Trip has said of abstract knowledge) in only some sort of abstract knowledge. (Did I treasure this vanity, or some form of it..."But that's because I was partially ignorant..."?)

But to come to see "my true part"...not of just some man acting partially (do you hear my vanity?) ignorant, but with such a malice toward the Holy, and indeed the Holy ONE, provoked by all jealousy to "tear Him down" in my rising up against Him, and to see there, my once truest estate?

Not partial ignorance that could claim "if "I" knew better" (Again, do you see my vanity?)...but complete, total and blinding unknowing, and all of resistance in every measure, aspect and motive...against the Holy...and only because it is (He is) the Holy? No...I had been brought to the place of "I am without excuse...I am the man who hated my brother without a cause" (And we know what Jesus says of such.)

So, if Moses, troubled by a sense of justice un-resolvable to himself...left himself (or better, perhaps, found himself left) in that place of complete and utter "no excuse" saw Cain, and even God's provision for Cain (even as for, and toward himself)...he certainly had...if not the fullness...at very least...an inkling of the Christ of God.
And I believe he surely did "for God will raise up another prophet like unto myself..."

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him." Deut 18

Of which we believe he speaks of Jesus the Christ of God.

Listen to Him.
I had to listen...was pressed to listen more attentively...even after declaring His name as Lord. For even after that I found jealousy, envy...anger and hatreds having far too much of motive that I could neither deny...or of my own...escape. And there was considerable vexation...and even a tormenting discovered.

But I received much grace...that man received much grace to a better sight, not yet in him made perfect...and a hearing...that could carry him past the vanity of "If I (I I I I) knew better, then..."
No, I had to see. (And am no further dispensed of the direness of that need) that I AM the man who "knows not what he does"...not knows a little and does his best, not sees a little and tries to do "better"...but knows, not yet, at all as he ought.

But this is where the grace was found...for to that man is given to heard...if he is made, compelled, forced to see that "Forgive them (him) they do not know (not doesn't know mostly...but doesn't know AT ALL) what they (he) does." A strange turn from I am the "me"..."...to in every truest sense...the "they."

Oh! How well I am made aware, even at every turn it seems that this "beginning thing" must have a deeper root than I yet know.

Some might well say "Well, of course...and by now you should probably know better" They could perhaps rightly say "You should be well past that, just knowing Jesus forgives men of their sin"

"Everyone...knows that!"


Yes, I do not yet know...as I ought. And it's made painfully obvious when I react to men in anything less that the grace I have been shown. (There seems always a lag between seeing...and the seeing to being) Yet I am convinced this "lag" is where mercy and grace...shines brightest...even...and especially, because it is not being seen!) That lag between the man who "thinks he knows"...and Jesus Christ in sum of His fullness.

Do I abandon justice? God forbid! I must abandon the righteousness of Christ to do so!

But I do (only begin) to see the wounding of the only One presented me in its (His) righteous, and correct ministration...yet...He lives so far beyond that wounding, that this manifestly shows me it is all the work of that Authority in its (Our only Holy and Righteous God) deliverance through Him.

And such justice is this is found in agreement with that Authority...you have judged your Christ so very, very rightly...in raising Him to your right hand!
And you have shown mercy...to the one who condemned Him.

God forbid I seek escape. Or be found "making" excuse.

What God our Father has provided in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so far eclipses excuse, as the day swallows the darkness of night. Is as far removed as good is from evil, than I can express. Or even yet, apprehend.

God forbid I seek any excuse in my being found completely covered in the blood...of an innocent man. To some it may yet testify of my complete and total complicity in an act so unspeakably terrible...I should be nothing but always...and only, ashamed. But I have glimpsed something...elsewhere...of how it is seen.
 
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gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #5
Let me suggest a problem of modern life perhaps equivalent to Moses and his issues.

Is the freedom fighter who kills just? Is he just( in his right) to his enemy? Is he in his right to his kin? When is he a terrorist? When is he a patriot with the moral backing of all that is right? When can he kill a man without guilt?

Moses when he killed ( by his hand took the life of) an Egyptian, even for the reasons claimed, why did he seek exile and refuge? Did he have another recourse other than slaying the man? Was it a crime of passion? Was it premeditated? Did his action have the effect of preventing others of his kin from suffering severe aggression? Was he his victim's accuser, judge and executioner?

Now... was it a freedom sought that compelled Cain to murder Able? Who knows his accusations?

I somehow or for some reason sense that Jethro led Moses to the only authority that would permit Moses to live beyond his wounding. And it was for this authority that Moses returned to Egypt with a set of demands--much as today and in the past( ex. Paul) a convert to Christianity ventures into apostolic life according to his/her calling. It seems to me so far that Jethro was the only possibility for this to happen to Moses in the world Moses knew. Jethro, priest and friend of God. Maybe? Maybe think of Jethro like a Noah figure, a man who walked with God as we know it. His ark was Moses. Or think as this as Annanias was to Paul, Jethro was to Moses. Maybe?....
 
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Israel

Senior Member
#6
Let me suggest a problem of modern life perhaps equivalent to Moses and his issues.

Is the freedom fighter who kills just? Is he just( in his right) to his enemy? Is he in his right to his kin? When is he a terrorist? When is he a patriot with the moral backing of all that is right? When can he kill a man without guilt?

Moses when he killed ( by his hand took the life of) an Egyptian, even for the reasons claimed, why did he seek exile and refuge? Did he have another recourse other than slaying the man? Was it a crime of passion? Was it premeditated? Did his action have the effect of preventing others of his kin from suffering severe aggression? Was he his victim's accuser, judge and executioner?

Now... was it a freedom sought that compelled Cain to murder Able? Who knows his accusations?

I somehow or for some reason sense that Jethro led Moses to the only authority that would permit Moses to live beyond his wounding. And it was for this authority that Moses returned to Egypt with a set of demands--much as today and in the past( ex. Paul) a convert to Christianity ventures into apostolic life according to his/her calling. It seems to me so far that Jethro was the only possibility for this to happen to Moses in the world Moses knew. Jethro, priest and friend of God. Maybe? Maybe think of Jethro like a Noah figure, a man who walked with God as we know it. His ark was Moses. Or think as this as Annanias was to Paul, Jethro was to Moses. Maybe?....
I don't disagree, at all.
And I think you may agree to an adding of Melchizedek. Or a Caleb.
Those who "people" the scripture...of few word's mention perhaps, or appearing in so many cases as what could be described as "bit" players to the unmarked.

A dearest brother in the faith, an accused charlatan by some, sinner, "out of order" saint by the seeming more kind, was insufferable to so many...but I knew him as my father in the faith...as Timothy knew Paul. And as Paul surely knew of Timothy. Together...even when apart; by a design they could only acknowledge...and knew both had neither power, nor will to create.

This brother was chiefly relentless in joy...to the chagrin of many, also. He could not be captured...only fled from...or find a grace that only grace, could make him bearable to be with.

When I approached him about his speaking of life to this marriage I'd intended with the sister I brought to him, meeting her for the first time, he saw her love of God, and I don't think my delight in her was any the more hidden from him. Nevertheless he looked at her with joy, but in a steadfastness she cannot help but recall these almost two decades later.

"Do you love the Lord's appearing?" He asked her.

"yes".

"Do you desire it above all else?"

"yes"

"Do you long for it in such a measure that if it meant forgoing marriage to Israel, it remains your supreme delight?"

The delay in those moments of answer to this brother she had just met...but recognized as brother...were not to any shame, not to any misgiving...they were the moments in which right answer is seen as having more structure, and reality...than even what could appear in mind to be most real. And even pressing in desire.

And I am not at all unconvinced that anything other than a delayed (by thoughtfulness) answer might be more of a betrayal, even though it could "appear" the same answer in word. Someone was asking her to "know herself"...before him. Someone was summoned by question...to see to a betterness, by request of answer.

For here, she knew all hung...(someone was found asking, pressing...and to O! so many it could even have appeared...rudely...for answer) And she knew there is no trickery here no, "I will try to give the right answer...so I can have my ice cream". For in the question itself is the very pushing away...as far as conceivably possible...any consideration of "ice cream".

I don't need to say what she said. He did bless us in this union.

I say this because this brother's relentlessness often including the saying of this "God is not looking for yes men"(Though I am completely and unabashedly knowing that this brother knew that in beholding God's Yes Man, they would be changed) And he would then go on (if folks could stand it, bear it, be around him long enough to say it) Of Jesus' relating of two sons.

One answered "yes! I'll go and work in the fields"...but didn't.

One said "no"...but was later of a change, and went.

And Jesus asked "which one did the will of his father?"

He was also fond of saying (or maybe he was just compelled to) if and when (usually) some lettered, or learned, or positioned in title brother would make mention of the "minor" prophets.

"There are no "minor" prophets to God" And he is and was quite correct.

And it is, and was, far more than a simple disdain for the trappings of man that seek to drape a thing that caused him to speak what I know, to some, was just his appearing as contrarian. No, this brother knew...what he saw. Behind drapes...and cloaks...and cloths of things. Placed there by man.

And the cost of seeing...there.

But he knew well, and was again completely unrelenting in honor, and that honor be given rightly to the only one who paid that cost. "Shout out the name of Jesus" was among his earlier songs. And he never forgot it. Was never to advanced in theology to play it...and sing it.

When first meeting him and shortly thereafter as we began to spend time together, I saw the ease of flow of Spirit through him. I knew it...as a taste of something I once sensed...but now saw plain in my sight...and in a man to such a degree as the only thing I found to say at that time was "I want, what you have"

To which he answered..."to have what I have you must lose, what I have lost" But there was no regret in this, no plea for sympathy (how could there be...to one as me whom he saw plainly...with little and no idea of the things he spoke)

It would be as silly as a bloodied soldier stopping to tell a baby as he walked back from one front on way to another battle..."you have no idea what I have seen or been through".

It was simply...a matter of truth.

I know I was used to help him lose some more. I too learned "I am not easy...to be with" I have seen at least a Peter...if not a Judas, in the last place I ever wanted...or thought, I'd find him.

He was also very fond of saying "there is no bad news...in the good news", and I am beginning to learn what this means. It is news to the one who can receive it always...and always "new".
What is made not to its receipt, has not the "old news"...just nothing at all...new. Or of news.

It is simply a matter of truth. The news has always within itself to be made public..."this is NEWS!" Even when it is made known...by words. What is old is passing away, and cannot prevent itself.

It is under the god of time. I have pondered the lesser gods of this world, their holds, their appeals, and they all, ultimately lead me to that god of their gods...time. Money I have seen, and known, I have watched fame, or position or notoriety and the men who may labor under it. I have watched in myself, myself in relation to these, and seen enough (I am persuaded) of other men to see how these things are all sought for a giving in time, of how they in illusion, may appear to live. The rich man with time to spend on his Yacht or whatever, the famous man to enjoy the time of adoration, and likewise the man of position.

But ultimately I face this truth...when all is spent, when all is clear, when all is made known...there is not one of those things such a man does not seek to, or would gladly trade for "just a little bit more...time". He has made that, allowed that, forged that into so rigid a god by his practice and devotion. His only thought was to "enjoy" time...find pleasure and only such...in it.

(And, although I believe myself far from ascetic in any measure...I am nevertheless also inescapable of reproof and rebuke)

Jesus came in time, and into time...showing He alone is God over that god...breaking its hold...that to all who would receive, no matter their present appearance...time is given...to repent. And time takes its place as the vapor it is, beneath Him.

"where is the promise of His coming...?" is all of that which is repeated by that which is yet trapped (if perchance to be freed, even by a word) under that god. A word given of the God beyond and above time, to break a stranglehold.

And at any time a prisoner may be find the gate blown open, the cell door blown off its hinges to deliverance form what once seemed so far...to as near as heart, and lips.

What I say may not me news...to any. But to me, and in me, the news has within it...a power that cannot be thwarted to its publication.
(I know that much of the above I have previously spoken of...probably multiple times, but I find it not unrelated to returning to first love, also)



Listen...before "christianity" was big, before Bibles rolled off printing presses by the billions...a man walked in a tiny little obscure corner of an Empire, barely seen or known outside the few miles His feet would carry Him. And the few who (relatively) who either knew of him...or were just beginning to know Him.
And this man...spoke, worked, died. And then, rose from the dead.
This is true.
And this is always such news, even to those who may believe "I have known this...for some time..."
He alone has the power to not only make this real "in our time"...but through Him, take us out of its constraints...that even an event which took place "in time"...may be seen to break all its constricting restriction...to see Him who is from the beginning. Timeless.

I would say "always eternal" but that would make all of heaven laugh at me. But sharing a laugh at my expense...costs me nothing. And laughter...is so often a good thing. May it be made pure in us, and to us. That we may see it, also, eternal. And only of great joy.
 
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Israel

Senior Member
#7
Your considerations continue to provoke.

Now... was it a freedom sought that compelled Cain to murder Able? Who knows his accusations?
I know how envy and jealousy can so blind and turn a man to thinking the problem is "out there", the issue is "out there", and turn then to his own hand to resolve in the "out there", what can only be dealt with rightly...to a freedom, at home.

But for me to "project" this to Cain who found such severe troubling in his brother's acceptance to a slaying...well...he needs no judgment from me to add to what the Lord has already ministered.

We do believe before resorting to his own hand he was told this:

If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And you shall be its desire, and you must rule over it.

If all and only were to be Cain's portion in the mastery of sin...to have naught but rejoicing in his brother Abel's full approval...who finds fault in joy?

Especially if they discover that joy is their portion.

I am convinced Jesus is/was the most sober, most serious, most long suffering of all ever presented to my sight. There is no room at all for comparisons here.

Never a random word, never a word without power, never a work without eternal significance.

Turning over tables to vexing the Pharisees...yet not without manifesting a marvel, not without words to calm a torment and torrent of fear...in those who could find no rest.

When he told His disciples they would have His joy in themselves, no one wondered, no one questioned this gift as real...no one said "Hey what did Mr. Somber face say...what's he talking about?"

The showing of faces, the seeing of faces, the knowing...of faces, is only rightly discerned, by gift.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #8
Your considerations continue to provoke.



I know how envy and jealousy can so blind and turn a man to thinking the problem is "out there", the issue is "out there", and turn then to his own hand to resolve in the "out there", what can only be dealt with rightly...to a freedom, at home.

But for me to "project" this to Cain who found such severe troubling in his brother's acceptance to a slaying...well...he needs no judgment from me to add to what the Lord has already ministered.

We do believe before resorting to his own hand he was told this:

If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And you shall be its desire, and you must rule over it.

If all and only were to be Cain's portion in the mastery of sin...to have naught but rejoicing in his brother Abel's full approval...who finds fault in joy?

Especially if they discover that joy is their portion.

I am convinced Jesus is/was the most sober, most serious, most long suffering of all ever presented to my sight. There is no room at all for comparisons here.

Never a random word, never a word without power, never a work without eternal significance.

Turning over tables to vexing the Pharisees...yet not without manifesting a marvel, not without words to calm a torment and torrent of fear...in those who could find no rest.

When he told His disciples they would have His joy in themselves, no one wondered, no one questioned this gift as real...no one said "Hey what did Mr. Somber face say...what's he talking about?"

The showing of faces, the seeing of faces, the knowing...of faces, is only rightly discerned, by gift.
Interesting.
 
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