Genesis: Differentiating Between Good and Evil

by Manfred Davidmann

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Contents

Introduction and Overview
How Evolving Life Forms and Human Beings Populated the Planet
The Behaviour of the Sons of Noah (Genesis Chapter 10)
Differentiating Between Good and Evil (Genesis Chapter 11)
Notes and References
Notes   <..>
References   {..}

Relevant Current and Associated Works

Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview



Introduction and Overview

This report is one of a series which together describe and illustrate the meaning and intent of Genesis. Each is self-contained but together they provide the knowledge needed for understanding Genesis, its allegories and their significance. These allegories illustrate and define the difference between good and evil, and the importance of behaviour on social strength, well-being and good life under modern conditions.


Genesis begins by describing how the planet was created, in other words how it was formed, the changes which occurred as the planet aged, how plants and animals were formed, evolved and populated the planet. It describes how human beings evolved and also how the behaviour of life forms changed as human beings evolved.

When the Pentateuch (Torah, Five Books of Moses) was written about 3,400 years ago, people had but little knowledge about science or evolution compared with what is known today. So concepts for which we now have precise terms were described rather than stated and expressed in religious terms so that they could be appreciated and followed by the population.

Understanding this we see that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is stated in Genesis and what we now know about the evolution of human beings.

See The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil


Chapters 5 and 6 then describe the behaviour of human beings before the flood. There is no conscious knowledge of good and evil and of the difference between them and their behaviour is like that of their primitive ancestors. Their behaviour is stated and condemned as evil. These two chapters of Genesis outline evil behaviour.

Chapter 5 shows people amassing possessions and wealth and dominating others by brutal strength.
See Genesis' Secrets: Pre-flood Evils and the Social Problems of Our Time
Chapter 6 adds unrestrained sexual behaviour
See Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
and Chapter 6 also adds the gaining and misuse of power over others.
See Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty


The flood follows and from here onwards Genesis shows a conscious knowledge developing of good and evil, stressing consequent reward and punishment, justice and retribution.

Human beings are shown to be becoming numerous and spreading out, behaving much as before the flood. Different communities developed different customs, traditions, ways of behaving and, with the life and travels of the Patriarchs, some learned to know the difference between good and evil, learned to behave humanely.
See Genesis: Differentiating Between Good and Evil
Genesis records what is, and is not, moral sexual behaviour and the consequences of depravity. Clearly stated is that the consequences cannot be avoided.
See Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
Genesis considers the gaining and misuse of power over others. We are told the consequences of allowing some people to misuse their abilities to manipulate, control and enslave others. And the Pentateuch states social laws of behaviour and a social system which have to be kept as they enable people to gain and keep liberty and good lives of high quality.
See Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty


The abovementioned reports also summarise corresponding present social problems and describe the Pentateuch's social laws and social system for overcoming them.

Further relevant knowledge and information necessary for understanding the meaning of Genesis can be found in the following reports:

Meaning and Significance of the Names of God in Genesis
Describes the meaning and significance of the names of God which are used in Genesis. These are of greatest importance for understanding the meaning of the text of the Bible.

Meaning and Intent of Genesis: Essential Notes on Hebrew Grammar
Lists and illustrates the grammatical rules which help to differentiate between references to individuals and references to groups or life forms. Essential information for understanding the meaning of Genesis.

Bible Translations, Versions, Codes and Hidden Information in Bible and Talmud
Shows how changes made in the past have obscured the original intended meaning. Describes the ways in which hidden information has been encoded and labelled so that its original meaning could not be misunderstood or misinterpreted.



In this report, more detailed explanations and comments are indented as follows:

Indented explanations and comments.


How Evolving Life Forms and Human Beings Populated the Planet

What flowed out of Eden, what spread out from Eden, were primitive life forms including flesh eating predators. Genesis Chapter 2 records they spread out to lands called Havilah, Cush and Asshur. {1} <1>

Chapter 2 continues by describing the evolution of mammalian feelings and family life, of hominoids and Homo erectus (early man) <2>. Genesis then records how human beings evolved {1} and that Homo erectus was replaced by human beings <3>.

The flood left only a few survivors {2} and Chapter 10 describes the spreading out of human beings after the flood. The same names which earlier referred to lands to which primitive animals spread out from Eden, namely Havilah, Cush and Asshur, are all mentioned for the second time in Chapter 10.


The Behaviour of the Sons of Noah (Genesis Chapter 10)

Much effort has been spent in the past in relating the names of the different people listed and mentioned in this chapter to people, tribes, lands or countries. There is no obvious pattern, some of the names are unknown, some names refer to individuals or to communities without clear distinction.

But names of people and places are listed in different lines of descent in different generations to tell us that this chapter is about how human beings populated the planet and that they behaved much alike. That on the whole their behaviour was inhuman like that of their primitive ancestors. Genesis Chapter 10 does not distinguish between different types of behaviour.

The way in which names are listed to show this can be seen by the following two examples.


The three lands mentioned in Chapter 2, namely Havilah, Cush, and Asshur, are here all mentioned for the second time and all together, in the following lines of descent:

Havilah    In Ham's line, also in Shem's line
Cush   In Ham's line
Asshur   In Shem's line

Which seems to confirm that this is a record of the 'spreading out' of human beings regardless of descent, regardless of behaviour.


That no distinction is at this point being made between the descendants of the sons of Noah is confirmed by:

Sheba    In Ham's line, also in Shem's line
     
Lud   In Shem's line
Ludim   In Ham's line

The descendants of the sons of Noah are listed for up to two generations. We are given names for their children and grandchildren. There are only two exceptions and 'Sheba' is one of them. 'Sheba' points to the meaning of Chapter 10 by being listed both in Shem's and in Ham's line of descendants.

Lud and Ludim are another kind of exception in so far as Lud and Ludim (plural of Lud) are not mentioned elsewhere in the Pentateuch.


So Chapter 10 is a record of how the planet was repopulated by people increasing in numbers and spreading out, without distinguishing between good or evil behaviour, without distinguishing between lines of descent from the three sons of Noah as regards behaviour.

But a distinction was drawn by Noah between the behaviour of his sons in Chapter 9 of Genesis, particularly between the behaviour of Ham and Shem. This distinction is taken up again at the end of this chapter 10.

Noah distinguished between moral and immoral behaviour, and the resulting consequences, stating that 'good' gains strength and 'evil' weakens in accordance with the way people behave. And at the end of Chapter 10, and in Chapter 11, we are told that the world became divided, that a distinction was being drawn between good and evil, some behaving one way, some the other.


Differentiating Between Good and Evil (Genesis Chapter 11)

In Chapter 10 are listed the descendants of the sons of Noah for up to two generations. One of only two exceptions has just been discussed, namely 'Sheba'.

The second exception stands out. Shem's grandson Shelah has a son called Eber who has two sons called Joktan and Peleg.

In Chapter 10 are listed the names of thirteen children for Joktan, none for Peleg. But in Chapter 11 are listed the descendants of Peleg for five generations to Abram (the Patriarch), none for Joktan.


In addition, we are told:

Gen 10: 21 And to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born.

Gen 10: 25 And to Eber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg <4>; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.


In other words, (Gen 10: 21) states that all the descendants of Eber, that is those of Joktan and of Peleg, are descended from Shem and that (Gen 10: 25) in Peleg's days the earth was divided.

And in Chapter 11, following the story about the tower of Babel, are listed the descendants of Peleg to Abram (the Patriarch Abraham).

So there is a clear division, a separation, between those mentioned in Genesis Chapter 10 and those mentioned in Genesis Chapter 11.


Figure 1    From Inhuman to Humane Behaviour after Being Scattered

From Inhuman to Humane Behaviour, and Tower of Babel


What lies between them are the 'Tower of Babel' events. We are told that as a result people were scattered from there over all lands, that different languages developed and that people ceased to understand each other. So different people would be developing differing customs, traditions, ways of behaving.

And some human beings, namely the descendants of Eber's son Peleg, become more and more aware of the difference between primitive inhuman (beastly) behaviour and of humane behaviour. And in the end learned to behave like human beings, as illustrated by the life and travels of the Patriarchs, learned to distinguish between good and evil, learned to behave humanely. {2, 3, 4}

And so the world was divided between those who continued to behave much as their primitive ancestors had done, and those who, knowing the difference between good and evil, decided to behave according to what was good, decided to behaved like human beings.



Notes and References


Notes

<1>   See {1} on 'Eden's Rivers' (Gen 2: 10-14)
     
<2>   Homo erectus: Erect man, much smaller skull size than modern humans.
     
<3>   Homo sapiens: Human beings, modern humans.
     
<4>   Hebrew 'peleg', that is 'Division'


References

{1}   The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{2}   Genesis' Secrets: Pre-flood Evils and the Social Problems of Our Time
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{3}   Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{4}   Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann


Relevant Current and Associated Works

Other relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann:
     
     
Title   Description
     
How the Human Brain Developed and How the Human Mind Works   Describes clearly what happens while sleeping, role of dreaming, meaning of dreams. Functioning of the two halves of the human brain is related to the autonomic nervous and the immune systems. Shows how human behaviour is affected by primitive instincts.
     
The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve   Major review, analysis and report about motivation and motivating. Covers remuneration and job satisfaction as well as the factors which motivate. Develops a clear definition of 'motivation'. Lists what people are striving and struggling to achieve, and progress made, in corporations, communities, countries.
     
Role of Managers Under Different Styles of Management     Short summary of the role of managers under authoritarian and participative styles of management. Also covers decision taking and the basic characteristics of each style.
     
Family, Sex and the Individual; Women's Liberation, Feminism and Community   This report investigates casual sex and its effects on individuals, family and community. It examines the role of the family in bringing up children and relates dominance and confrontation within the family to that in the working environment.
     
Using Words to Communicate Effectively   Shows how to communicate more effectively, covering aspects of thinking, writing, speaking and listening as well as formal and informal communications. Consists of guidelines found useful by university students and practising middle and senior managers.

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Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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Copyright    ©    January 2001    Manfred Davidmann
All rights reserved worldwide.

History
10/01/01 Work Completed
30/05/01 To Website