Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes
© 2012 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
THE STORY OF CREATION: HOW COUMOSES KNOW ALL THIS?
How accurate is Moses’ story?
As we cruise in the Caribbean Sea, we realize that this tranquil waters were once Hell on Earth.
According to Science, about 200 million years ago a meteor hit Planet Earth at the Yucatan Peninsula, not far from where we cruise, with a force larger than 6 figure times the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima.
This enormous collision raised such a dense pillar of ashes that the sky darkened all over Earth for years, making breathing impossible.
As a result, the Dinosaurs were wiped out, along with other prehistoric creatures. This catastrophe changed the course of history.
Last year I took another Kosherica cruise to Alaska. As we cruised I learned that on those beautiful, evergreen shores of Eastern Alaska, the Dinosaurs found their last refuge. The scholars say that while they were already decimated from the rest of our glob, they survived in Alaska for another 50 million years. We know that herds of those Alaskan Dinosaurs used to travel annually from the Sea shore to the North Pole, and back! No one knows for sure the reason and the purpose of these pilgrimage. About 150 million years ago they too were found incapable of living on Earth and they disappeared, leaving us only their skeletons and fossils.
A conflict between Science and the Torah’s account
Dinosaurs? A Meteor hitting Earth 200 million years ago? None of this is mentioned in the Torah!
According to the narrative of the Torah (Bible) the world was created just 5762 years ago, in only 6 days.
This belief stands at the core of our faith. Our Jewish calendar is based on it. The question is: can we reconcile the scientific view of the world’s history, with the Torah account of CREATION as told in the Book of Genesis?
The secularists rejection
And here we have a whole array of view points and approaches.
Secular scientists, of course, have a straight answer. They simply ignore the Torah narrative and consider valid only their scientific findings. They view Moses’ story as a “Bronze-Age document” unworthy of any consideration, bereaved of any shroud of scientific truth.
For instance: Karen Armstrong, the dean of Comparative Religion and the famous author of the best seller “The History of God,” relates to Moses’ Genesis as an ancient myth, no different than other myths of his time. There is no difference, she writes, between Moses story and the myths about CREATION told by the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greek, Indian or the Chinese. Is Karen Armstrong right?
In contrast to the secular bible critics, the ‘fundamentalists’ see Moses’ Genesis as the only truth. they disregard, in their unshakable faith, the scientific narrative altogether and see the truth only in the Torah, in literal way. They attack the scientific evidences of fossils and geological findings as unreliable. They challenge even the validity of the radioactive carbon measurements, saying that condition has changed on earth making these measurements in accurate. According to their view, he Universe exists merely 5762 years, and G-d made in just one week.
Some fundamentalist churches in the mid west even built villages with huge, plastic prehistoric beasts with the figures of Adam and Eve wondering among them. They teach the visitors that these prehistoric beasts lived parallel to Adam and Eve.
Mainstream Orthodoxy’s view
Many orthodox Jews, as well as modern Christians, find themselves torn between the above two approaches.
On one hand, they appreciate and respect the achievements of science. They would not disregard the scientific findings easily. On the other hand, they believe in the Torah’s narrative about CREATION. And they realize how difficult it is to reconcile these two worlds.
What are the common solutions to the problem?
When I was young, our teacher-rabbi ignored the conflict. He told us to leave it to important Rabbis who would find the proper answer.
When we were older, at High School, our teachers told us not to look at the Torah as a book of history, but rather as a source of moral messages. We should therefore ignore the discrepancy between science and the Torah. Other teachers looked at the Torah story as a metaphor, not to be taken literally.
We cannot ignore even one chapter
There are problems with these classical orthodox approaches.
First, we, as orthodox Jews, should have no doubt about the validity of any chapter in the Torah, whether or not it fits science. If Moses wrote the story, it is true.
Secondly, according to Rashi, the Torah starts with Genesis in order to establish the credibility of the CREATOR, who can therefore give the Land of Israel to whoever He wishes, like to the People of Israel. Now if we doubt the validity of this particular chapter one, how would we establish the credibility of the CREATOR?
The stakes are high
Moreover, we can’t just ignore the conflict, since the stakes are high.
First, Moses placed the Name of G-d, ELoKiM, 32 times in the story of CREATION. It is the most concentrated CHAPTER in the entire Torah. Since the Name ELoKiM stands for the All Mighty JUDGE, whose judgment is truthful, it comes out that Moses stamped the chamber 32 times with the name of ELoKIM to vouch its truthfulness!
Moreover, Moses placed Genesis as an introduction to his five Books. This infers the importance of the story. So when we find the chapter discredited by our science, we actually discredit the validity of Moses’ entire prophecy.
On the other hand, if Moses account of CREATION is found credible by our science, his entire prophecy is credited too.
Thus when we scrutinize the validity of Genesis by our Science, we need to remember that the stakes are enormous. We either validate, or discredit, Moses entire revelation and prophecy!
A third question may be raised. If Moses is a true prophet who could see the future, did he not foresee that a day would come, and people would find his description of CREATION discredited? So why did he place the story of CREATION in his bible? As a true prophet he should have avoided this trap!
2: Comparison between Moses’ story and the ancient myths of CREATION
The Egyptian’s myth of CREATION
Is Karen Armstrong right? Let’s compare now Moses’ account of CREATION to the ancient myths told in his time. For that, we can use Ms. Armstrong’s own writing.
According to Ms. Karen Armstrong, the ancient Egyptians of 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 Nun then went into the Sea (Nun is Water) and retrieved her sons’ testicles. Then She resurrected her son out of the testicles, and used them to create the world. Moses, growing in Pharaoh’s home, must have known this story by heart.
The Greek’s myth about CREATION
Moses also must have known the Greek myth of CREATION. The Greek, according to Ms. Karen Armstrong, believed that the world was created when a male deity named Uranus mated with the female goddess of Earth, Gaia, who gave birth to the Titans.
The Father Uranus, not unlike the Egyptian Rah, was consumed by a fear that his children would take over his kingdom. He therefore forced the Titans back into their mother Gaia’s womb, causing her much pains. But the youngest child, the brazen Cronus, had the courage to stand up against his father.
Armed with a sickle, Cronus lay in Gaia womb and waited for his father. When Uranus penetrated Gaia again, Cronus cut off his father’s sex organ and threw it to the Sea. The world was then created out of this sex organ.
The Chinese, Indians, Persians, and all other cultures of Moses time held similar myths about CREATION.
Passionate stories, but unscientific
Let’s not look down on these ancient myths. They surly incited much passion in the believers. The Egyptians paraded in the streets chanting in their god’s honor, clapping hands and dancing with ecstasy while telling each other the good news of the resurrection of the ‘son of god’ out of its own testicles.
The Egyptians even built impressive temples for their god’s glory, and their poets and philosophers sought deep meaning in the resurrection story. They pondered about life, death and resurrection, about a father killing his son, and the relationship of the story to the cycle of seasons on Earth. We understand their passion and empathize with their enthusiasm. Yet we can’t say that those stories, fascinating as they were, had anything to do with our scientific understanding of CREATION. These ancient stories were all mythical, not factual.
Now, let’s compare these stories to Moses’ account of CREATION. Is his story also a myth?
Moses’ story in comparison
When we compare Moses’ story to the ancient myths, we note first of all that Moses story is void of any violence, jealousy, sexual perversion and power struggle.
Unlike all ancient myths, Moses’ story is ‘clean.’ It focuses on facts about CREATION. This alone sets his story apart from all the myths of his time, including the Egyptian myth that he knew by heart. So who told Moses such a clean story?
Moses sees order in CREATION
Secondly, Moses sees an ORDER in CREATION. Some items and creatures were created early, and others were created later. This too sets his story apart from all the ancient myths. No one in Moses’ time perceived an ‘order’ in CREATION.
Thus, To Pharaoh the animals were a mere game, a mish-mash of creatures to be hunted or tamed for work and pleasure. No Egyptian record shows any grading of the animals according to their appearance on Earth. This holds true for all other ancient myths. No one saw an order in CREATION.
So, Ms. Armstrong, 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 this, having been raised in Pharaoh’s great house?
3: Moses Vs. Science
How long lasted the Six Days?
Let’s examine now whether or not Moses’ story is compatible with Science.
According to Moses, the world was created in Six Days. Are these our days? How long did a Day of CREATION last?
Kabala scholars of the tenth century answered this question. Rabbi Abulafia derived the length of one Day of CREATION from a Psalm song.
Most Psalms, as you know, are related to King David. Psalm 90, however, is attributed to Moses. In it Moses says that “for our thousand years are like one day in your eyes…”
Hence, according to Kabala, one year of the CREATOR equals our 350,000 years.
Since, according to Kabala, 6000 years of the CREATOR equal One Day of CREATION, it comes out that ONE Day of CREATION is 6000 times 350,000, or 2.1 Billion human years.
Hence the entire Six Days of CREATION lasted 2.1 times 6, or 12.6 billion human years, quite close to what science says. According to Science, the Universe is about 13.7 Billion years old.
The Fist Day couldn’t be related to the Sun and the Moon
This is what the Kabala Scholars of the tenth century calculated from Psalms. But we don’t need to follow such a calculation. The verse itself in Genesis tells us how long One Day of CREATION lasted.
Thus, at the end of the First Day the Torah says, “And ELoKiM saw that it is good, and it was evening and it was morning, ONE DAY.”
Several questions arise:
(1) How did ELoKiM call the First Day ‘one day,’ when there was not yet a Sun or a Moon in the sky? According to Moses, the luminaries appeared only on the Fourth Day!
Hence the phrase ‘one Day’ can’t be related to our day, which is dependent on the Sun and the Moon.
The same consideration is true also for ‘Day Two’ and ‘Day Three’ before the appearance of the Sun and the Moon on Earth. Hence ‘One Day’ relates to an era, a phase in the story of CREATION.
(2) Secondly, the Torah says that ELoKiM named the First Day as ‘ONE Day,’ rather than ‘Day One.’ All other Days, in contrast, are called by their proper numerical names, as Day two, Day three, Day four, Day five and Day six.
The answer is profound. By calling it “One Day” the Torah ctually defines for us the precise length of ‘ONE Day’ of CREATION.
How long did a Day last? The Answer is: As long as it took CREATION to advance from the ‘Beginning’ to see in it Light, Matter, and Water.
One Day is therefore an era in CREATION. As Kabala says, it might have taken 2.1 billion human years, very close to what Science says.
Having defined the length of One Day of CREATION, let’s compare Moses’ account to the scientific one. As a source, we can use the History Channel (HC) animated series called The History of Planet Earth. It summarizes all that Science knows about CREATION. It is based on the latest archeological and geological findings and it does not refer to the Bible.
So when we compare the HC account to the Book of Genesis, are these stories compatible? Let’s compare them Day by Day, phase by phase.
The History Chanel’s account of the Beginning
According to the HC, the Universe was born in a Big Bang. Then, the HC says, the Universe expanded, Entropy began to decline, Energy and Light were formed and converted to Matter according to Einstein’s formula.
Then Chaos became an Order, and primitive molecules appeared in Space, backed in huge space ovens called Novas. Gases were formed and water molecules appeared.
Then, 4.1 billion human years ago, a barren Planet Earth appeared in space, bereaved of any atmosphere or life. The scientists dubbed it as The GRANIT PLANET.
What does Moses say about 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 phase.
Hence Moses account does concur with the HC narrative, something you can’t say in regards to any ancient myths of his time. Neither the Egyptians, not the Greek or the Babylonians had any such story about a Beginning, a Chaos, a Light, a Matter and Water.
So, Karen Amstrong, who told Moses this accurate account of the origin of the Universe? Certainly it wasn’t Pharaoh, or the Greek or any tradition of his time. So who told him the story? How could he know all that?
THE SECOND DAY
The History Channel’s account of the Ocean formation
About 4.0 Billion years ago, the HC says, Planet Earth became covered with a thick, white, icy coat. The HC depicts it as a beautiful, white, tennis-ball traveling in space.
Thus the ‘Granit Planet’ turned into what the Scientists dub a WHITE PLANET.
Now, where did the ice come from? According to the HC’S experts, Earth passed through a huge ‘area in space’ full of icy comets, which then ‘fell’ on Earth.
Thus, during the following millions and millions years, our Planet was bombarded by a constant shower of icy comets, that gradually accumulated and formed the icy coat.
Let’s remember that there was not yet any atmosphere or life on Earth.
Then the shower of comet shower somehow stopped. No one can explain why it happened. Perhaps the traveling icy comets passed away to a different area in space. But the advent of Water on Earth, the scientists say, was a crucial turning point in the history of our Planet. Without water, life as we know it wouldn’t evolve.
Moses’ account of the creation of the Oceans
What does Moses say about this phase in Earth history? According to Moses, the oceans were created on the Second Day, as it says:
(1:6) And ELoHiM said Let it be a firmament in the midst of the Waters, and let it divide Water from Water,
(1:7) And 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 ELoHIM called the firmament Sky, ShamMayim (“there are the waters”.) And there was evening and there was morning, Day Two.
Thus 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 Science?
The point is that Moses story CAN fit the scientific one, a thing you can’t do with any ancient myth of Moses time.
Not Pharaoh, not the Greek, not the Babylonians had any such conception of the formation of the Oceans, which occurred before any life appeared on Earth.
So, Karen Amstrong, who told this story to Moses? How could he know all this?
THE THIRD DAY
The History Chanel’s account:
Science tells us what came next. The WHITE PLANET changed. About 3 Billion years ago, a volcanic activity erupted at the bottom of the oceans and wormed up the icy coat above it. As the ice melted, the oceans were formed. At that time, they were muddy, wavy, with a brownish gray dull color. You can see this color as you dive today into the depth of the Oceans.
At that point, HC says, Planet Earth took on a green color, since there was no atmosphere. The scientists dubbed it as THE GREEN PLANET.
As the volcanic activity continued, the geological plates were pushed up above the water surface and formed the first Dry Land, the primordial mother of all continents.
Primordial rocks along the shores
The HC shows the geologic evidence for this phase. Several years ago, working in South Africa not far from the shores of the Cape of Good Hope, the geologists discovered smooth, blackish rocks.
Unlike any other rocks, these ones are void of any life-form or fossil embedded in it, not even the remnants of the tiniest microscopic creature.
The geologists date these primordial rocks to the time when the first continent arose above the sea, before there was any life-form or any atmosphere on Earth.
Similar rocks were later found also along other shores, allowing the geologists to ‘map’ the first continent which arose above the Ocean.
Moses’ account of the appearance of dry land
According to Moses, as the Second Day was over, and the oceans appeared, it says:
(1:9) And 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 ELoHiM called the dry land Earth, and to the Water Gathering He called Seas, And ELoKiM saw that it was good.
Here again Moses concurs beautifully with Scientific narrative. 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 how did Moses know this? Who told him the story? No one in his time did ever propose such a story that CAN fit well our scientific knowledge!
Seeding life on Earth
The History Chanel account
As the continents appeared, there was not yet any atmosphere. How was the atmosphere formed?
According to science, a mono-cellular creature, a sort of algae called Stromitolite, appeared from nowhere. We don’t yet know how it settled on earth. It can be still be found anywhere on our Planet, still growing in shallow waters near the ocean’s shores.
You can see its picture on the Internet. Just google its name. What’s special about these algae is that it does not need oxygen to grow. On the contrary, it produces Oxygen and other gases by photosynthesis.
Science now says that several millions years later our Planet was covered with a thick layer of these mono cellular creatures, which produced enormous amount of Oxygen. “Tones and tones of Oxygen were produced,” the scientists say, creating our atmosphere.
A billion and a half years later, and the Earth was covered with blue atmosphere. The scientists dabbed this phase as THE BLUE PLANET.
Thus the original Granite Planet of the First Day
had turned into the White, Icy Planet of the Second Day
then into the Blue Planet of the Third Day.
Next, HC says, the mono-cellular Stomatosites evolved into multi-cellular vegetation. No mobile creatures did exist yet. The vegetation spread by seeds and wind.
The sky was heavily clouded and rain fell constantly. The trees grew tall hungry for the meager sunlight.
Millions of years passed, and Planet Earth was covered by a thick, tall forest.
Moses’ account of the Seeding of Life
What does Moses say about this phase of Earth?
Still on the Third Day, after the separation of Dry land from the Sea, ELoKiM passed a judgment while the Day was still in progress.
Usually He passed a judgment at the end of the Day. But at the middle of the Third Day, ELoKiM assessed the passing half Day and decided whether to proceed or not.
Thus, Moses says, the Earth stood at that point on a crossroad. ELoKiM decided its future course. Then ELoKiM said that it was good, and the Third Day continued. Then, Moses says:
(1:11) And 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 ELoHiM saw that it was good.
(1:13) And there was evening and there was morning, Day Three.
Thus on the ‘second half’ of the Third Day, after the appearance of the Dry Land, ELoKiM seeded life on Earth. The word seed is repeated four times in just a two verses.
The seed brought forth grass, then herbs, then shrubs, then Trees in that order. No mobile creature existed yet on the Planet.
So here again Moses does concur perfectly well with Science.
Can you match any other ancient story with Science? You cannot.
Only Moses’ story CAN fit the scientific one.
So, again, who told this to Moses? How did he know that life appeared only after the separation of dry land from the ocean? Who told him that vegetation appeared first as grass, then shrubs and then trees? How could he know that Vegetation appeared before any mobile creature?
THE FOURTH DAY
The History Chanel account
Next, says HC, the trees produced so much Oxygen that the clouds dissipated. The Sunlight could then reach the ground and enter the oceans depth. The trees could grow less tall. Life could develop in the oceans.
But then, HC says, Earth entered a catastrophic freezing period. All vegetation above the ground perished in the freeze, yet survived in the oceans. Mobile Life appeared then only in the water.
Moses’ account of the Fourth Day
As the Fourth Day dawned, Moses says, ELoKiM ordered the luminaries to be ‘seen’ in the sky in a regular fashion, as it says:
(1:14) And 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 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 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. ELoHiM saw that it was Good.
(1:19) And it was evening and it was morning, a Fourth Day.
Note that Moses does not say that the luminaries were created on the Fourth Day, but rather were seen from Earth from that Day onwards in a regular fashion.
This could mean that the Earth rotation became more stable.
It also means infers that henceforth the Sun rays could be seen well from the ground, and that they could even reached the bottom of the oceans to allow the primordial mobile creatures to develop there.
So again, we see how well Moses story fits the scientific narrative. So Karen Amstrong, who told this to Moses? How could he tell us a story that can be verified so well by science?
THE FIFTH DAY
The History Chanel’s story
About 2.5 Billion years ago, HC says, a catastrophic event changed the course of life on Earth. The glob froze and a thick icy layer covered the ground, killing all vegetation on the dry land.
The scientists dub this phase as THE ICY PLANET. It lasted millions of years.
During this period, HC says, mobile creatures appeared in the depth of the oceans, under the ice, as tiny, swimming, warm-like creatures.
Then they developed into Fish. From them appeared the first Amphibians, then Birds that feed on the Fish.
What does Moses say?
As the Fifth Day dawned, the following happened:
(1: 20) 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.
(1: 21) And ELoKiM created the great Crocodiles…”
How accurate Moses account is! First, he says, as the FOURTH Day came to its end, ELoKiM passed a harsh judgment and said that it was good.
ELoKiM’s judgment is always tough, but just. Anything ‘not good’ in His eyes is readily eliminated, whereas everything ‘good’ is allowed to enter the next Day.
Thus, at the end of the Forth Day, ELoKiM passed a judgment and terminated the Vegetation which was formed above the Ground.
Then, as the Sun was seen from the ground, and it is rays penetrated the Oceans, the water swarmed with MOBILE creatures for the first time ever, exactly as science says.
ELoKiM then created Fish to its kind. Then He created Bird to its kind and the Crocodiles, the first amphibians, in that order.
Thus Moses’ account does fit the scientific story very well. So who told this fascinating story to Moses?
Birds first, or Crocodiles first?
But here is a dilemma. According to Moses, first came Fish, then Birds and only then the Crocodiles.
And for years I thought that, perhaps, Moses wasn’t so accurate here. How could the Bird arrive after the Fish?
In fact, my biology teachers in Medical School taught me that Fish evolved into amphibians, which could invade dry land, and from hem came the Birds. So how is it, that Moses mentions Birds after the Fish, and only then the Crocodiles? Could he go wrong?
But then came another TV Show by the Discovery Chanel, and corrected my perception.
Indeed, the Discovery Channel says, at first ‘some fish’ escaped from the water to the shore, to find refuge from their predators in the Ocean. They came on shore with the tide. Some survived.
But those ‘fish on dry land’ did not care to invade the inland, since there was nothing there to seek. They evolved, rather, into Birds which flew back over the water to prey on fish!
Millions years later, and Earth saw huge Predator Birds hovering over the waters to catch huge fish. Planet Earth was ruled by these enormous predator Birds.
Then, the Discovery Channel says, some of these ‘fish on the shore’ did invade the inland, evolving into the Crocodiles to its kind.
Thus Moses is more accurate than my Medical School biology teachers! First came the Fish, then the Birds that prayed on the Fish, then the Crocodiles which invaded the inland.
Who told this accurate story to Moses? He certainly did not hear it from Pharaoh’s wise men, nor did he hear it from any other nation. So how could he tell us a story that CAN be verified by our science?
THE SIXTH DAY
The History Chanel account
As we move on to the Sixth Day of Creation, Moses’ accuracy is seems even more striking.
According to the HC, about 400 million years ago, enough Ozone was established in the atmosphere to shield the animals from the sun’s UV radiation.
This Ozone shield allowed large creatures to develop. At first they evolved in the large swamp that covered Earth. Since vegetation was abundant, these cattle-like creatures grew heavy.
Since they lived in shallow water, their bodies grew large, but their legs remained small. They could not run fast.
Then came the giant predators, the huge beasts which could run fast and feed on the Cattle. Among them were the Dinosaurs, who ruled Earth 200 to 100 million years ago.
Then, says the HC, a catastrophe occurred. A huge meteor, or a gas explosion, 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. Only 400 thousand years ago, Earth saw the first Homo Sapience.
As the Sixth Day dawned, it looked like any other previous Day. ELoKiM went on to develop His creatures as before, as it says:
(1:24) And 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 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 ELoHiM saw that it was good.
(1:26) And ELoKiM said, let us make Adam in our form and our image.”
On the Sixth Day, Moses says, life on Earth expanded vastly. New creatures appeared in the following order: Cattle then Creeping things then Beasts which preyed on the Cattle.
Then, Moses says, while the Sixth Day was still going on, ELoKiM passed a harsh judgment on everything He had created on that Day. Like on the Third Day, this midday judgment was crucial, a turning point in Earth history.
On that harsh Judgment, some creatures were deemed ‘not good’ and were eliminated, while others were deemed ‘good’ and allowed to proceed on to the rest of the Sixth Day, and live side by side with Adam.
As we’ve said, ELoKiM is harsh, but just. If He deems a creature unfit His Master Plan, this creature would be terminated.
The heavy cattle and the beast and the dinosaurs were deemed ‘not good,’ incapable to live alongside Adam, so they disappeared.
Other creatures had to adapt and diminish their size to enter the second part of the Sixth Day and live by Adam.
Thus, Moses concurs well with Science. His story CAN fit the scientific narrative.
What about the Creeping Creatures?
Here again I found a discrepancy between Moses’ words and the story I learned in Medical School. My biology teachers told us that the ‘creeping creatures’ developed much earlier, before cattle and beasts. Is Moses wrong?
But then came the 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 bus with no difficulty.
The archeologists say that this particular skeleton belonged to a young snake. A more mature snake would swallow two Greyhound busses!
Thus, the scholars say, after the disappearance of the Dinosaurs, big snakes showed up and rule Planet Earth. For millions of years these giant snakes moved around unchallenged, snapping and eating everything on their way. Nothing could stand in their way.
So again, Moses is proven more accurate than my Medical School’s biology teachers. Snakes came early, but they ruled Earth after the Beasts were gone. So please tell m, who gave this information to Moses?
Here is a summary of Moses’ story compared to the scientific narrative of the History of Earth:
The GRANITE PLANET……Moses’ Fist Day
The WHITE PLANET……….Moses’ Second Day
The GREEN PLANET……..Moses’ first part of the Third Day
The BLUE PLANET……….Moses’ second part of the Third Day
The ICY PLANET………….Moses’ Fourth Day
CURRENT EARTH.……….Moses’ Fifth&Sixth Days
Moses Torah is a living miracle in our hands
Hence we conclude that the story of CREATION as told in Genesis Chapter One does match our scientific knowledge. This can’t be said about any of the ancient myths about CREATION told in Moses’ time. Being scrutinized by science, Moses comes out creditable.
How awesome this is! No one, just no one in Moses’ time could even dream about such an accurate account of the history of the world, as Moses did.
We should look at Moses’ story of Genesis as a living miracle in our hands. We, more than our predecessors, can tell how accurate his story is.
We tend to seek miracles. We seek evidences for God intervention in the world and our lives. But we tend to overlook the fact that we do have a true miracle in our hands, the Torah itself.
The RaMBaM writes that the people of Israel have believed in the Torah not because of the miracles of the Exodus, or for any other miracle. We believe in the Torah, he writes, because we have the greatest miracle of all, the Torah itself.
Being the first generation ever that CAN verify Moses’ words by our science, we feel as if Moses is peaking to us over the thousands of years that separate us.
It feels as if Moses, as a true prophet, did see that years later, humanity would doubt his words. They would see his books as an ancient myth of no credibility. He therefore placed the story of Genesis right at the introduction to his Five Books, to serve as a test of his truthfulness. He figured out that when people would find out how truthful the story of Genesis is, they would accept the rest of his words.
This is perhaps why He mentions ELoKiM name 32 times in Chapter One, as a stamp of truthfulness.
We have talked about the World CREATION. Now we may ask, who and how and when was Adam created? Does Moses’ account match what we know from science about the Homo Sapience? On this we’ll focus in our next class.
END OF CLASS