Thursday, September 13, 2007

Genesis: Location & Date

Location & Date:
Either in Egypt before Moses’ Flight (1502 BC) or during the Wilderness Journey (1463-1423 BC)

Moses might have used Israel’s forty years of wandering in the desert to organize and write much of the Torah (c. 1463-1423 BC). However, Moses possibly compiled Genesis during his first forty years in Egypt (before 1502 BC) for three reasons.

First, the last forty years were busy with leadership and writing the other books of the Law, and second, in Midian, he would not have had access to Israelite records. Third, during his first 40 years Moses came to faith in YHWH and developed a desire to deliver his people (Exodus 2:11ff; Hebrews 11:24).
He would have had time to study primeval and patriarchal records and of the Abrahamic covenant and promises to Jacob during this time. He was interested in his people’s past and had time to research the records brought by Jacob from Canaan and safeguarded by Joseph in Egypt. Fourth, Genesis seems to have been written for a nation of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, assuring them of God’s covenant with their fathers and promise of deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Gen 15:16; 46:4).
Genesis teaches that Abraham’s promise was connected to the Land (Gen 13:14-17). God had warned Isaac of God’s perfect will not to go down to Egypt (Gen 26:2), but in His permissive will told Jacob not to be afraid to go down to Egypt (Gen 46:3) so that in His providential will He could say “out of Egypt I called my son (Hosea 11:1) and fulfilled again in Jesus’ flight to Egypt.

Genesis 1-11 gives us at least 2000 years of history.
Genesis 12-50 covers 350 years.
Exodus to Deuteronomy covers about 40 years.
Genesis 12 to Matthew 1 covers 2000 years.
Matthew 1 to Revelation 22 covers 70-100 years.
Genesis is a spiritual interpretation of history. Genesis gives us the background and sets the stage for the rest of Scripture. Abraham left Ur about 2100 BC. Joseph resettled the family in Egypt about 1677 BC.

Archaeologist “Sir Charles Marston, often called an ‘archaeologist with a purpose,’ serves to silence the critics of the Bible. Records of many persons that scientists have said never existed have been brought to light; many places that they said were only Bible names have been unearthed. Marston tells us that the scene of the events recorded in the first chapters of the book of Genesis appears to be laid around the river Euphrates. The surrounding country is called Shinar, or Chaldea, or Mesopotamia. We have known it as Babylonia; today it is called Iraq” – Henrietta Mears, What the Bible is All About, p. 38.

“Archaeological discovery in Mesopotamia bares evidence of the flood, both in cuneiform writings and in the actual flood deposits. The main body of Noah’s descendants seems to have migrated from Armenia, where Noah’s family left the ark, back toward the plain of Babylonia where they built the tower” – Henrietta Mears, WTBIAA, pp. 38, 39-40.

Creator God * Covenant-keeping God
Elohim * YHWH
Powerful God * Personal God
Universe Created * Humans Created
Climaxes with man * Climaxes with marriage
Six days of creation * Sixth day of creation