Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes
© 2011 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
How did Moses know al that?
Presentation in Noahide Nation Convention Dallas Texas July 2011
The Story of CREATION as told in Genesis chapter one seems out of place. If the Torah wishes to teach us moral values, why should she spend time on the world’s history?
Moreover, it seems that most people today think that the story of CREATION as presented by Moses is not valid and is contradicted by science. Why then present the story at all? Why did Moses take the risk of teaching us something that can be invalidated? As a true prophet, couldn’t he foresee the future?
Indeed, most scholars today see Moses’ Story as just another myth about CREATION typical of the Bronze Age.
Karen Amstrong, the dean or the queen of comparative religion, regards Genesis no differently than other stories told in the ancient world.
She also describes these stories in detail.
The Egyptians, in Moses time, believed that the world was created when a male deity named Rah had sexual relationship with a goddess named Nun, thereby impregnating her.
Fearing that her male embryo would one day take over his father’s kingdom, Rah slashed Nuns’ belly, removed the embryo, killed it, cut off its testicles and dumped them into the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Aco.
The lamenting mother-goddess then retrieved her sons’ testicles from the sea, resurrected him and created the world out of these testicles. Moses, having grown in Pharaoh’s house, surely must have known the story.
In Pharaoh’s home he most likely heard the Greek’s stories about CREATION. The Greek were smarter than the Egyptian. They said that when the male g-d Uranus mated with the goddess of Earth, Gaia, she gave birth to the Titans. Uranus hated his children and forced them back into Gaia’s womb, causing her much agony. The youngest of the titans, the brazen Cronus, had the courage to stand up against his father. Armed with a sickle, he lay in her womb waiting. Next time Uranus penetrated Gaia, he cut off his father’s sex organ and threw it to the Sea. This way the world was created and flourished.
The Chinese, Indians, Persians, and all other cultures on Earth in Moses time told similar stories.
Now we must admit: these stories inspired much passion in their believers. They paraded in the streets chanting hymns in their names. They staged the stories in their theaters, clapped their hands and danced with ecstasy hearing the good news of the resurrection of the son of god and built impressive temples in their glory. Their poets and philosophers sought deep meaning in the details of the stories, like the meaning of the killing of the son of god by his father, or the resurrection of the torn testicles. We can understand these believers and even empathize with their enthusiasm. But one thing we can’t say. We can’t say that these ancient stories are compatible with our scientific knowledge. These stories were mythical, not factual.
So is Karen Amstrong right by counting Moses’ story among these ancient myths?
Is Moses’ story compatible with modern science?
Before we try to answer this question, let’s lay out what is at stake here.
Moses repeats the name of G-d in Chapter 1 32 times. Moreover, God’s name here is ELoKiM, the JUDGE.
Thus, “In the Beginning ELoKiM created the Heavens and the Earth.”
The world was created, Moses says, by the Almighty JUDGE to stand a judgment.
This is the base of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, which is the annual anniversary of CREATION.
On RH, every year, the world stand on trial as it did at CREATION.
On that day every creature in the Universe passes before the JUDGE ELoKiM who determines its fate for another year/
Now the title ‘ELoKiM’ represents the Absolute Justice and the Absolute truth. ELoKiM’s nickname is emeth, truth.
Wherever His Name appears in the text, a truthful judgment is made and a truthful verdict is issued.
Thus by placing ELoKiM’S name 32 times in Chapter 1, Moses vouches that this story MUST be true.
After all, it carries in it the signature of the Absolute Truth, the Name of ELoKiM, 32 times, in the most concentrated fashion in the entire Torah.
No other chapter carries ELoKim Name in such density.
So if Chapter 1 is found untrue, Moses entire prophecy is untrue.
On the other hand, if we find Chapter one to be truthful and credited, then the rest of the Torah is also truthful and credited.
So when we scrutinize the validity of Genesis Story by our science, the stake is enormous.
We either validate Moses’ prophecy or discredit it altogether
So is there a difference between Moses’ story and the ancient myths of his time?
First we notice that Moses’ story lacks any reference to violence, Jealousy, sexual perversion and seeking power.
It is a clean story that focuses on the simple facts of CREATION.
This point alone sets Moses’ story apart from all the other ancient myths.
Secondly, Moses presents the inhabitants of the world as coming in a certain ‘order.’
Some creatures were born early and others came later.
This too sets his story apart from all other ancient myths, since no one in Moses’ time had any conception of an order in CREATION.
To Pharaoh, for instance, the animals were just a game, a mish mash of creatures only to be hunted or tamed for work or pleasure.
Other cultures saw the animals and the trees as a target for worshipping.
So who told Moses that Vegetation came first, then Fish, then Birds then Crocodile then Cattle then Beasts then Crawling creatures and finally Man?
How did he know that, having been grown in Pharaoh’s house?
Now Moses also says that the world was created in Six Days. Are these our days? How long did CREATION take?
Kabalistic scholars of the tenth century had calculated this by a Psalm song.
As you know, most Psalms songs are related to King David. Psalm 90, however, is attributed to Moses. In it Moses says something very profound:
“For our thousand years are like one day in your eyes.”
Hence one year of the CREATOR is equal to our 350,000 years.
And since kabala says that 6000 years of the CREATOR comprises One Day of CREATION
It comes out that ONE Day of CREATION is 6000 times 350,000 or 2.1 Billion human years.
Thus the entire Six Days of CREATION took 12.6 OR 13 billion years, exactly as science says.
This is what the KABALISTIC SCHOLRS calculated in the Tenth century.
But we don’t need to follow such a calculation. The verse in Genesis tells us how long ONE Day Of CREATION was.
At the end of the First Day it says,
“And ELoKiM saw that it is good, and it was evening and it was morning, ONE DAY.”
Several questions here: how could ELoKiM call it ‘one day’ when there were no Sun and a Moon yet seen on earth?
As Moses himself says, the luminaries appeared on Earth only on the Fourth Day.
Hence the ‘First Day of CREATION’ can’t be related to the Sun and the Moon, and so are Day three, four and all the rest of the Days.
A Day Of CREATION is, rather, an era, a phase or a stage in the history of the Universe.
Another question is, Why did ELoKiM call it ‘ONE Day’ rather than ‘Day One?’ Later He would call all the other Days in proper numerical fashion,
as Day two, Day three, Day four, Day five and Day six. Why ‘did He call the First Day ‘ONE Day’?
The answer is profound. The verse here defines for us how long ‘ONE Day Of CREATION’ is.
It is the time the Universe advanced from the Beginning till it saw in it Light, Matter and Water.
It is an era. It might have taken 2.1 billion human years, as kabala says and as science says as well.
So let’s continue to scrutinize Moses’ story by our scientific knowledge.
Recently, the HC aired a very artistic animated series about the History of the Universe, focusing on Planet Earth.
It summarizes everything that Science tells us about CREATION. It is based on the latest archeological and geological findings.
According to the HC, there was indeed a Beginning, a Big Bang, when the Universe was born.
Then, HC says, the Universe expanded, Entropy began to decline, Energy and Light were formed and converted to Matter according to Einstein’s formula.
Chaos became an Order; then primitive molecules appeared in Space ovens called Novas. Gases were formed and water molecules appeared in space.
Then, 4.1 billion years ago, a barren Planet Earth appeared in space, bereaved of any atmosphere or life. The scientists dubbed it as The GRANIT PLANET.
Now what does Moses say about this era?
THE FIRST DAY
Moses too says that there was a beginning, the start of time scale. Then there was Chaos, Deep and Darkness. Then ELoKiM created Light and Water. Earth was ready for the next step.
So here Moses concurs with HC account, unlike any other ancient myth.
So please tell me, Karen Amstrong, how did Moses know that? Who told him the story of the origin of the Universe?
THE SECOND DAY
Then, says HC, about 4.0 Billion years ago the Planet Earth became covered with a thick ice coat.
The HC depicts Earth at that stage as a beautiful, white ball traveling in space. The so called Granit Planet turned into a WHITE PLANET
Where did the ice come from? According to the HC’S experts, the water came from Space. It just happened that Earth passed through a huge cluster of icy comets that fell on earth.
For millions of years the Earth was bombarded by the constant shower of icy comets that formed the oceans. Yet there was no life or atmosphere on Earth. Then the comet shower somehow stopped. No one knows why.
But that era was crucial, the scientists say, for the future of the Planet. Without water, life as we know it would not evolve.
Now what does Moses say about that phase of Earth? Let’s read it together:
(1:6) And (7) ELoHiM said Let it be a firmament in the midst of the Waters,
And let it divide Water from Water,
1:7 And (8) ELoHiM made the firmament, and He separated the Waters which were underneath the firmament, from the Waters which are above the firmament, and it was so.
1: 8 And (9) ELoHIM called the firmament Sky, ShamMayim (“there are the waters”.) And there was evening and there was morning, Day Two.
According to Moses, on the second Day Of CREATION ELoKiM separated the Waters Above Earth from the Water that covers Earth.
Can you find a better agreement between Moses and the scientific narrative? So again, who told that to Moses, having grown in Pharaoh’s house?
THE THIRD DAY
Science tells us what came next.
According to the HC, the white glob did not last long, in geological time scale.
About 3 Billion years ago a volcanic activity erupted at the bottom of the oceans and wormed the ice. As it melted, the oceans became muddy and wavy.
Planet Earth took on a green color, since there was not yet an atmosphere. The scientists dubbed this phase as the GREEN PLANET
This tremendous volcanic activity at the oceans pushed up the Earth plates so that that first rocks appeared above the water.
The HC brings some geological evidence for that phase. In South Africa, along the shore of the Cape of Good Hope, the scientists discovered smooth, blackish rocks.
What is special about them is that, unlike any other rock on Earth, they are void of any life-form or fossil embedded in it, not even the tiniest microscopic creature.
The geologists date these rocks to the time when the first continents arose above the sea, before there was any life on Earth.
Similar rocks were also found along other continents’ shores. By these rocks the geologists can map the original continent that arose from the Oceans.
Now let’s see what Moses says about the first part of the Third Day:
(1:9) And (10) ELoHiM said Let the Water under the Sky be gathered together
into one place and let the dry land appear, and it was so.
(1:10) And (11) ELoHiM called the Dry Land Earth,
and to the Water Gathering He called Seas,
And (12) ELoKiM saw that it was good.
So here again Moses accurately concurs very accurately with the scientific story. The dry land, he says, arose from the oceans on the first part of the Third Day, before there was any life on Earth.
So again, please tell me Karen Amstrong, how did Moses know all that? Who told him the story? How could you place his story among other stories of his time?
Now HC tells us what came next.
According to the scientists, next came mono cellular algae called Stromitolite, still ubiquitous on Planet Earth, still growing in shallow waters near the ocean’s shores.
You can see its picture on the Internet. What is special about this algae is that it does not need oxygen to grow. On the contrary, it produces Oxygen by photosynthesis.
No one know how it arrived here and from where it came.
But according to the scientists, our Planet was soon covered with these mono cellular creatures which produced enormous amount of Oxygen.
A billion and a half years would pass and Earth had an atmosphere. The sky became blue. Earth is dubbed now as the BLUE PLANET.
Next, says HC, these mono-cellular Stomatosites evolved into multi-cellular vegetation. At that stage there were no mobile creatures on Earth.
The vegetation spread by seeds and wind. Thick clouds filled the atmosphere and heavy rain began to fall.
These caused the trees to grow tall and compete for the meager sunlight. Many millions of years later and Planet Earth became covered by a thic k vegetation and tall forest.
What does Moses say about the second part of the Third Day?
After the separation of Dry land from the Sea, Moses says, ELoKiM passed a judgment while the Day was still in progress.
Usually He would pass such a judgment only at the end of the Day.
But on the middle of the Third Day, Moses says, ELoKiM assessed the passing half Day.
That was a decisive moment, a crossroad in the Universe’ history. The fate of Earth was at stake. Would it continue to develop as planed, or not?
Then, Moses says, EloKiM the JUDGE said that it was good, and that Earth would see the next step. Then Moses says,
(1:11) And (13) ELoHIM said let the Earth bring forth grass,
herb yielding seeds, and fruit trees yielding fruits after its kind,
whose seeds is in itself, upon the Earth, and it was so.
(1:12) And the Earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seeds after its kind,
and trees yielding fruits whose seed was in itself, after its kinds.
And (14) ELoHiM saw that it was good.
(1:13) And there was evening and there was morning, Day Three.
As Moses says, ELoKiM seeded life on Earth. The word seed is repeated here four times.
The seed then brought forth grass, then herbs, then shrubs and then Trees, in that order. No mobile creatures are mentioned. They did not yet exist.
So here again Moses accurately concurs with our science.
Can you do such a matching between any mythical story and science? Only Moses’ story does fit what science is saying.
So again, who told Moses that after the separation of dry land life was seed the first time on Earth? Who told him that life came first as a seed, a tiny creature?
Who told him that after the appearance of the seed came grass, then shrubs then trees? Who told him to see such an order in the vegetation? How could he know what science is saying?
THE FOURTH DAY
Next, says the HC, the trees produced so much Oxygen that the heavy clouds dispersed. The Sunlight could now reach the ground and even enter the oceans depth.
The trees could now grow less tall. Life could develop in the oceans.
Now what does Moses say about the Fourth Day?
(1:14) And (15) ELoHiM said let there be luminaries in the firmament of the Sky,
to divide the day from the night.
And let them be for signs and for seasons and for the days and years.
(1:15) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the sky to give light upon the Earth, and it was so.
(1:16) And (16) ELoHiM made the two great luminaries,
the Greater luminary to rule the day,
and the smaller luminary to rule the night, and the stars also.
(1:17) And (17) ELoHiM placed them in the firmament of the Sky,
to give light upon Earth.
(1:18) And to rule over the day, and over the night,
and to divide the Light from the Darkness.
And (18) ELoHiM saw that it was Good.
(1:19) And it was evening and it was morning, a Fourth Day.
Moses does not say that the luminaries were created on the Fourth Day but rather seen from Earth on that Day.
This fits very well the scientific story. So dear Karen Amstrong, who told this to Moses?
THE FIFTH DAY
Next, says the HC, about 2.5 Billion years ago, a catastrophe occurred and Earth entered an extremely cold period. The land froze and a thick icy layer covered the ground. It killed all vegetation on the dry land. The scientists dub it as the ICY PLANET. It lasted millions of years. During this period, HC says, mobile creatures appeared first time in the depth of the oceans as swimming tiny creatures.
What does Moses say?
As the Fifth Day dawned,
(1:20) (19) ELoHiM said let the water swarm abundantly
With moving creatures that have life
and let birds fly above the Earth in the firmament of the sky.
And ELoKiM created the great Crocodiles…”
According to Moses, ELoKIM passed a judgment at the end of the Fourth Day. Everything He deemed ‘good’ was allowed to enter the next, Forth Day. Everything that wasn’t good enough was eliminated. ELoKiM’S judgment is harsh, but just. The vegetation on the ground died, but life in the oceans began.
Then, Moses says, ELoKiM created the Fish. The oceans swarmed with multitudes of swimming creatures, small and big.
Then, says Moses, EloKiM created Bird, then Crocodiles which are amphibians that live in both water and on dry land.
But here is a question here. . According to Moses, first came fish then Birds and then Crocodiles.
And for years I thought that here, perhaps, Moses was not so accurate. In Medical School they told me that the fish developed into amphibians that invaded dry land. Only then the amphibians led to birds. So why did Moses place the Bird after the fish, and then the crocodiles?
But then came another TV Discovery show and corrected my perception. Indeed, the show says, at first came some fish to the shore to find a refuge from predators in the Ocean.
These first fish on dry land did not invade inland but rather evolved into birds that flew back to the water to prey on fish.
Then huge birds developed to catch the huge fish. Planet Earth was ruled now by these predator Birds.
Only later the fish on shore began to invade the inland, giving birth to the Crocodiles.
So again, Moses is more credible than my Med School. So who told this to Moses?
THE SIXTH DAY
The accuracy of Moses’ account is even more striking as we move on to the next, Sixth Day Of CREATION.
About 400 million years ago, says the History Chanel, the Ozone layer developed enough to provide a shield from the sun’s UV radiation.
This shield allowed creatures to develop on the vast swamps of Earth.
Since the vegetation was abundant, these cattle-like creatures grew heavy.
Living in shallow water, their bodies grew huge but their legs remained small. They could not run fast.
That led to the appearance of giant predators, huge beasts that could run fast and could feed on the Cattle.
Among these predators were the dinosaurs who ruled Earth from 200 to 100 million years ago.
Then, HC says, a catastrophe occurred, a meteor or an explosion that wiped out the large cattle and the Beasts and the Dinosaurs.
About 50 million years ago, the stage was set for the tiny mammals to take over.
About 400 thousand years ago, earth saw the first Homo Sapience.
Now let’s see what Moses says on the Sixth Day:
(1:24) And (23) ELoHiM said let the Earth bring forth
living creatures after their kind, Cattle and creeping things and Beast of the Earth after their kind
and everything that creeps on Earth after their kind, and it was so.
(1:25) And (24) ELoHiM made the Beasts of the land to its kind,
and the Cattle after their kind,
and everything that creeps on the Earth after their kind.
And (25) ELoHiM saw that it was good.
And ELoKiM said let us make Adam in our form and our image.
Here again, Moses concurs, beautifully, with the scientific narrative.
As the Sixth Day arrived, he says, life on Earth expanded vastly. New creatures appeared in the following order: Cattle, then Beasts which preyed on the Cattle,
then snakes and spiders and crawling creatures that feed on everything else.
Then, Moses says, ELoKiM passed a harsh judgment. He assessed everything that had been created so far on the Sixth Day.
Some creatures were deemed ‘good’ in His eyes and were therefore allowed to proceed to the next phase of the Sixth Day.
Other creatures were deemed not good, unfit for the master plan, and they were eliminated.
ELoKiM is truthful and His Judgment is just. He is harsh, but just. If He deems a creature unfit, that creature would be gone.
The heavy cattle and the beast and the dinosaurs were deemed ‘not good’ so they disappeared.
Other creatures had to adapt and diminish their size in order to enter the second part of the Sixth Day.
Here again Moses story seems to fit well what science it telling us.
But here again I found a discrepancy between Moses and what they told me in Medical School. They told me that ‘creeping creatures’ developed much earlier, before cattle and beasts. Is Moses wrong?
Then came Time Magazine and saved my faith.
As it turns out, archeologists have recently discovered a skeleton of a huge snake, so large that it could swallow a Greyhound buss with no difficulty.
And they say that this particular skeleton belonged to a young snake. A mature snake would have swallowed two busses side by side.
So after the disappearance of the Dinosaurs, the scholars say, condition was conducive for big snakes to show up and rule over Planet Earth.
For millions of years these giant snakes moved around unchallenged, eating and chewing everything on their way.
So again, Moses is proven more accurate than my Medical School. So who gave that knowledge to Moses?
Then, science says, Man arrived.
And Moses says the same: After passing a harsh judgment, ELoKiM said “Let Us Make an Adam.”
Thus GENESIS Chapter 1 is accurate and credible. It is a living miracle in our hands, perhaps the greatest miracle of all. Greater than the miracle of the Exodus, or the split of the Red Sea. Why? Because these miracles of the Exodus can or cannot be proven scientifically. One may argue that they are a myth. But no one can argue that Moses account about CREATION is myth.
So if chapter 1 is true, then the rest of Moses’ words must also be true!
Thus the greatest miracle of all is the Torah itself, as the RaMBaM writes.
If it is as if Moses knew that one day, thousands years after him, people would challenge the truthfulness of his words.
They would say that his words are just another Bronze Age’s message, unrelated to their time.
So he placed the Story of CREATION as an introduction to his five books,
And stamped in it the Name of ELoKiM 32 times, vouching its accuracy.
And he must have said to himself: when people will doubt my prophecy,
They will validate my story by their science and therefore will accept the rest of my words as truthful.
He also took time to tell us that ELoKiM the JUDGE created the world in Six Days.
Each Day was advanced after a JUDGMENT took place. All in all, ELoKiM decided 32 times that some creatures would disappear while others would be allowed to enter the next Day.
Moses is therefore telling us that we, humans, are no different than the rest of CREATION.
That we too stand ELoKiM’s Judgment, day by day, year by year.
We too are judged whether or not we would see the next day, the next year or disappear.
So according to science, next came homo sapience, as a mere extension of natural CREATION.
According to Moses, next came the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH, and joined the Attribute of JUDGMENT ELoKM
To created ADAM in their ONENESS.
Is Moses right?
My guess is that since Moses is found right in the first part of the story, in telling us the history of the Universe,
He should also be right when he tells us about the making of Adam that was different than all other creatures.
So who said Let Us Make Adam in our Form and our Image? How was Adam created?
On that we need to devote another class. Thank you.
End of presentation