MY RESPONSE TO THE PERSON'S QUESTION:

Thanks for your question.

To say that I reject the first eleven chapters of Genesis is a big statement, and there are actually several reasons for my reasoning behind doing this. I have gained the knowledge I have by doing my own studying, not under the influence of other scholar's opinions. Although, there are many biblical and secular scholars, Jewish and non-Jewish, who also reject these chapters or call various parts of them into question. (*These biblical scholars can easily be found on various websites, including encyclopedic, theological, archaeological, and university websites.)

First off, however, let me say this...

I am 41 years old and I am an orthodox Jew. My whole life I fundamentally believed in these chapters with my whole heart. However, as I got older I compared what I believed with myths of the ancient Middle East (namely of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, Urartu and Assyria), with archeological evidence and other things.

Among those other things, I understood the timing of "when" we Jewish folks went into exile, and for how long, and then compared that to when each book, or each section of our bible was written. Genesis was obviously written by several authors. This is a clear fact if you know Hebrew because the style of Hebrew changes several times in the book of Genesis. It would be like going from reading Victorian English to suddenly reading something in modern speech - this is a crude example, but hopefully you can see the difference in what I mean.

I also compared the pre-exile prophet's writings to the writings of the post exile time. The post-exile writings are: Genesis - Deuteronomy, Job, Esther, Zechariah, Daniel, Haggai, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.

Our captivity and exile had a major affect on our ancestors.

In this process, they adopted the myths and legends of the nations under whom they went into captivity. The religion of the Babylonians and Persians had a major influence on Judaic thought. The Persians influenced Judaic thought in particular with the religion called Zoroastrianism. When the influences of Zoroastrianism were adopted, then came the literal “birth” of the spirit named "Satan" in Jewish thought. This tells us that Job and Chronicles were produced after our time in Persia.

Some of the adopted myths easily seen in the book of Genesis entail:

The Tree of Life:
The "Date Palm" in those other cultures was a very sacred tree. It was known as the "tree of life" in those cultures. The “tree of life” was often depicted with cherub-like beings guarding it. In one artifact I found in my research in Sumerian mythology, it shows a standing serpent in the background as a king or someone is taking fruit off of the "sacred tree."

The Tower of Babel:
There were local myths why ziggurats were not completed, because "the local gods" were angry. Thus, the Jews koshered it a bit, and so gave us the "Tower of Babel" tale.

The Flood of Noah:
A flood hero named Utnapishtim was saved by boarding a boat, he then sent out a raven, dove and canary. He was saved with his family "and friends." "The gods" granted him eternal life, and then "the deities" repented for giving the flood.

Ten Descendants before the Flood:
In one Sumerian myth, there are 10 kings that ruled before the flood. In Genesis, ten descendants from Adam lived before the flood.

Enoch:
In the Sumer myths, the seventh person in that list, whose name was Enmeduranki, was transported to heaven by two gods named Shamash and Adad, he was given deep revelations. Enoch is the seventh on the Genesis list, and according to Gen 5:24 "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him."

and...

Thus, it is easy to see that real authentic Judaism got tainted along the way, after we went into captivity.

This is just a small snippet “why” Genesis 1-11 must be rejected.

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I do accept one verse from these chapters, however, and that verse is Genesis 1:1 where it says... "In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth."

I believe this because the prophets are very clear on this point.

Maregaal




Maregaal, would you kindly explain to me why you reject the first 11 chapters of Genesis?
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As you can see with this Sumerian King's list, it shows ten particular rulers. These ten people might all be factual people, however, their reigns are not factual lengths. Other kings have been confirmed as genuine historical figures from even longer lists of ancient Sumer, including Gilgamesh and a man named "Enmebaragesi", and "Aga" of Kish.

"Excavations in Iraq have revealed evidence of localized flooding at Shuruppak (modern Tell Fara, Iraq) and various other Sumerian cities. A layer of riverine sediments, radiocarbon dated to ca. 2900 BC, interrupts the continuity of settlement, extending as far north as the city of Kish. Polychrome pottery from the Jemdet Nasr period (3000-2900 BC) was discovered immediately below the Shuruppak flood stratum," from Wikipedia.

Now here is more information:

"A tale is encountered in the Sumerian King's List, which records the priestly reign of Enmeduranki in Sippar (one of the cities of the Anunnaki, under the command of Utu/Shamash).

Enmeduranki [was] a prince in Sippar, beloved of Anu, Enlil and Enki. Shamash in the Bright Temple appointed him. Shamash and Adad [took him] to the assembly [of the gods]... They showed him how to observe oil on water, a secret of Anu, Enlil and Enki. They gave him the Divine Tablet, the kibdu secret of Heaven and Earth... They taught him how to make calculations with numbers.”

As in the case of Enoch, Enmeduranki was groomed by the gods to be the first priest with any real understanding of the esoteric mysteries, as well as to create an hereditary priesthood and pass on the secret knowledge to them. This knowledge included the engraved secrets of Heaven and Earth (i.e. Earth sciences, astronomy and cosmogony), and the ability to make calculations (i.e. mathematics). In The Book of Enoch, knowledge imparted to Enoch included mining, metallurgy and the secrets of the Lower World, geography and the way the Earth is watered, astronomy and the laws governing celestial motions, how to calculate the calendar, and knowledge of plants, flowers, and foods.

The Sumerian texts went on to explicitly state that the knowledge was to be passed from father to son, just as the gods had commanded. “The learned savant, who guards the secrets of the gods, will bind his favored son with an oath before the Sumerian gods... And will instruct him in the secrets of the gods.” Enmeduranki also mimicked Enoch in that they both ascended, i.e. “God took him”. In effect, they did not die, but made the transition the easy way. This also explains why Enoch did not live the customary 900+ years of his family tree, but left the planet after a mere 365. (We leave it to your imagination the possible mathematical significance of the number of Enoch’s years.)

The case of Enoch and Enmeduranki brings up another point. The Sumerian King List gives the names, cities, and length of reigns) of nine priest-kings who reigned before the time of the Deluge. If one compares the biblical version with the Sumerian, we obtain an interesting correlation.

In comparing these “king lists”, we note immediately the Enoch/Enmeduranki connection. In addition, virtually all scholars recognize the equivalence of Noah and Ziusudra -- both are described in detail along with an associated flood. The same applies to Ubartutu (known as the father of Ziusudra) and Lamech, who beget Noah."

The problem with the biblical story of the "flood of Noah" deriving its source from Sumer, is the fact that according to "Genesis," the flood covered the "whole" earth and killed "every" breathing thing. According to the previous page and according to the figures in the bible, the flood occurred around 2,518 BCE. Well, science can confirm that a big local flood occurred about 400 years before, but not a global flood. Furthermore, there are better records in Egypt that completely debunk both the biblical flood myth and the Sumerian exaggerated flood myth.

How do we come to this conclusion? Because according to the accurate records of the Egyptians, who wrote their records on their Temple walls and elsewhere, they have an unbroken chain of reigning rulers that date to the very dawn of writing, which is around 3,200 BCE.

DID YOU GET THAT?

I will put it in another way...

If the flood of Noah was truly historically accurate, and if our Jewish bible is accurate regarding how long people lived, then if one counts time starting from the time Nebuchadnezzar destroyed our Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE, to the very beginning, then the Noah flood would have transpired around 2,518 BCE. Well, science and historical kings list's cannot confirm such a flood ever occurred.

Archaeologists date Gilgamesh around 2,600 BCE, if we were to cross breed the dating that archaeologists pin on the reign of Gilgamesh, and then use the dating of the Sumerian tablets from Gilgamesh to the Sumerian flood, their flood would have to occur around... 22,624 BCE, a time long before the age of writing, making it impossible. Mankind started writing around 3,200 BCE.

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The fact of the matter is that we, the Jewish people, went into captivity for our idolatry. What makes people think that we would get better after coming to a polytheistic culture, especially after being there and in Persia for over 200 years?

By the points I have clearly made in this article we can easily see that the flood never occurred. Sorry to say.

For a good detailed list of the kings of Egypt, go to this site. Here too. There you will see that there is no break in Egyptian culture. If you do your homework, you will see that there was never a break in Egyptian culture even in pre-historic times, not by a flood anyway, and especially not around 2,518 BCE.

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Another point to make is this:
The biblical record about a world wide flood is impossible based on scientific fact. Why? Because even if the two polar ice caps melted, the sea level would only raise 200 feet, and that height is tremendously lacking compared with the mountains of the world. According to Genesis 7:19, "all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered", yet, this is an impossibility with the amount of water on and under the earth, and in the earth's atmosphere.  

Here is a quote about the main reservoir of water on earth, "The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world's ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet). But the average temperature in Antarctica is -37°C, so the ice there is in no danger of melting. In fact in most parts of the continent it never gets above freezing," at THIS SITE.

So, even if all of the polar ice caps melted, there would still not be enough water to cover the earth to such a degree as the biblical flood account records.

Thank you,

Maregaal
3/12/2012