Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Genesis 4:19-24 comments: Lamech, the first fundamentalist

    19 ¶  And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. 21  And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. 22  And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

    23 ¶  And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. 24  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Here are listed some originators of professions, crafts, and cultures such as the nomad who herds animals, the musician, and the iron and brass worker. This is not to say that these were the only professions, crafts, and cultures but the way they are listed they may only be meant for examples. They are representatives of the endeavors of man down through the ages, their beginnings.

Here also, according to a disputed and controversial extra-Biblical tradition, is the wife of Noah, Naamah. If that were true, and we have no proof or even suggestion in the Bible that it is, then mankind also descends from Cain, as well as Adam’s son, Seth.

The knowledge and skills gained by these men would be passed on to the three sons of Noah who began populating the entire earth after the Flood.

Here also continues the abuse of God’s word and of His commands and of His ordinances, going beyond what He said as Eve did or using His words as an excuse for sin as Christians often do. Just as Job’s three friends misrepresent God, insisting that if something bad happens to you then you must have done evil to deserve it so Christians will say, just because God allowed something, even an opinion of a Bible writer or a cultural reference specific to the time in which it was written, that God meant it for a rule that is to be enforced mercilessly on the congregation. Christians often choose to either twist God’s words, His intentions, or even to go beyond what He has said with alcohol, dress, relationships between men and women, and many other issues that reflect their own bigotry, fear, and paranoia rather than a desire to please God. Here, God specifically protected Cain from revenge for his murder of Abel but Lamech will murder another man and insist that he is worthy of even more protection than Cain. “After all,” Lamech would say if he were a fundamentalist preacher today, “God said it, its Bible, so it must mean what I want it to mean and who cares about the context?”

This begins the justification for the extreme violence of the pre-Flood civilization that must have been characterized by a callous disregard for life, a savagery that would have maintained powerful warlords at the top of the heap, with people seeking their protection. This is not unlike our European and African heritage and in countries like Somalia and the Sudan today.

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