An Atheist Reads The Bible: Gen 4-7

If you’re just joining us, an intro to this bible based adventure can be found here.

Chapter 4- The pretty well known story of Cain and Abel. God doesn’t like Cain’s offering, but praises Abel’s; Cain gets jealous; Cain kills Abel; God makes Cain an outcast; Cain makes babies; genealogies full of strange names follow.

The question everyone has here, and I’m no exception, is Where do the other people come from?!? Cain takes a wife…but the population of the Earth is currently Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel’s dead body, and then Adam and Eve’s other son Seth a little later. Some people suggest that Cain bred incestuously with Eve, but then where did the ladies Adah and Zillah mentioned in verse 19 come from? The bible needs a better continuity editor.

Off topic a smidgen: I think more bible-based names need to become popular baby names. We have lots of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Johns in our society, but why not any Tubal-Cain or Mehujael?

Chapter 5- Genealogies from Adam down through Noah.

Verse 4 here does say that Adam had sons and daughters after Seth…so maybe Cain copulated with his sister?

I thought I found some mistakes in the genealogies: Gen 4:18 says Methushael begot Lamech, but Gen 5:25 say Methuselah begot Lamech. Upon closer inspection, chapter 4 is about the descendants of Cain, and chapter 5 is the descendants of Seth. So, just confusingly begotten cousins. Nothing to see here.

Everyone lived a really long time back then, The men listed here commonly didn’t have their first son until after they were 100+ years old, and they lived 700-900 years before dying (except this Enoch guy…He walked with God, then was no more, for God took him. Whatever that means). I wonder at what point people stopped living so long, and why? Maybe they had a fountain of youth…or didn’t have cancer yet…or maybe they had shorter years.

Chapter 6- God regrets making those evil humans, tells Noah to build an arky-arky.

Plans for an Ark based theme park in Kentucky.

Plans for an Ark based theme park in Kentucky.

I need to read further before asking questions apparently. In Gen 6:3 God limits the days of man to 120 years. Still doesn’t explain why we don’t live that long any more, but at least it’s closer to what actually happens in the observable world than 800 years.

Gen 6:4- “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”  I’m just going to leave that amusing verse here for you to mull over.

So, God was sorry he made men? How come he didn’t foresee their evil-ness? Shouldn’t an all knowing God know that he’ll regret making those people, and therefore just skip making them?

On the dimensions of the ark: a cubit is the length of your forearm from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger, approximately 18 inches. The ark is 300 forearms by 50 forearms by 30 forearms. That’s pretty small, considering a family of 8, 2 of every animal, and enough food for the people and animals needed to fit inside.

Chapter 7- Noah’s family gets on the boat, it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, everyone/thing not on the boat drowns, water remains on the earth 150 days.

So, how many animals should Noah take? Gen 6:19-20 says 2 of every animal, a male and female. Gen 7:2 says “seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female.” Pairs of male and female animals can’t possibly equal 7 animals. Does God mean 7 pairs, or is one poor clean animal doomed to be the 7th wheel? Verse 9 uses the famous “two-by-two” line, so I guess it’s 7 pairs.

I like the imagery of “the windows of heaven” opening up to release the rain. (Hey, maybe it’s the water that exists above the firmament from chapter 1!)

7:20 “The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.” 15 cubits is about 22 or 23 feet. They clearly didn’t know about Mt Everest when this was written.

Every living thing on the earth was destroyed, but shouldn’t the fish have been okay? At least until the waters receded and some got stranded. Although, salt vs fresh water would be an issue. Never mind, the fish are dead too.

Next time, the exciting conclusion of the flood story, and more genealogies.


About Essential Everyday Pineapple

Crazy cat lady extraordinaire, liberal, atheist, feminist, vegetarian, engineering student with an art degree. Essential Everyday Pineapple is just a phrase from a random word generator that had a nice ring to it. What? Blog names are tough.
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3 Responses to An Atheist Reads The Bible: Gen 4-7

  1. Dustin says:

    For more information about the absurdity of the flood:

    Good stuff, Jessica!

  2. It does say that the animals were in pairs, “male and his female” for reproductive purposes. And it doesn’t mention anything about the fish dying, so I think they were fine, i.e. not killed like everything/everyone else outside of the ark.

  3. Serah Michaelis says:

    This is so cool! I am glad I’m not the only one who sees inconsistencies within Christian beliefs. Reading this makes me feel better. Well, the only time I feel like crap over my lack in belief is when my mother basically tells me that Im a terrible person if I don’t believe in god. But this is awesome!

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