Friday, April 25, 2014

Genesis 4-5

Today's notes are on Genesis 4-5.
  • We start with Cain and Abel. It's not entirely clear to me why Abel's sacrifice is accepted and Cain's is rejected. After all, there are grain offerings in Leviticus. But perhaps in Genesis, animal sacrifices are what God wants.
  • Whatever the reason Cain's sacrifice is accepted, this is a timeless verse: "If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it."
  • The blood of Abel would echo throughout later Jewish literature, including the New Testament. Hebrews 12:24 compares the effective "speaking" of Christ's blood to that of Abel.
  • Genesis has a number of genealogies, key to ancient identity. Cain's is given here. The fact that Cain can find a wife makes us wonder if the Adam and Eve story really assumes that there are no other people around. Nothing is said about Cain's wife being a sister from his parents. 
  • 5:1 gives us the second instance in Genesis where a section begins with something like, "This is the book of the generations of..." In this chapter, God is called just Elohim again, rather than the YHWH of the previous three chapters.
  • The ages in the genealogies of Genesis 5 are much longer than usual. 
  • Enoch is one of two people in the OT who does not die. God "takes" him.
Previous notes:
1. Genesis 1:1-2:3
2. Genesis 2:4-3:24

Next planned post--Tuesday with Genesis 6-9.

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