I believe the hebrew Old Testament was created as an academic history. Just as Pharaoh Ptolemy commissioned Manetho to write Aegyptiaca, the History of Egypt. It seems obvious that the post exilic Jewish priesthood commissioned Ezra to assemble a sizable team of their best scholar-priests and write the history of the world through the Jewish lens from the libraries and best resources they had in 491 BC. (Before both Herodotus’ Histories & Menetho’s Aegyptiaca)
Furthermore, I believe Ezra and his team utilized spiritualist adepts not unlike John Ballou Newbrough (1828–1891) or John S.M. Ward (1885 – 1949) who claimed to have channeled large sections of their impressive historic works through a type of mediumship which allowed them to see history in a condensed visionary and symbolic/meaningful way. (read their impressive works here)
It’s layout is far simpler than most imagine. And after a short overview, I will go into greater detail on each individual portion and how each symbolic section corresponds to true history.
It is separated into three main sections. 1. Then ten demigods. 2. The ten Patriarchs 3. The history of the current cycle.
First in its timeline are the ten demigods. Most ancient histories of Ezra’s day started with the demigod’s of their culture with lifespans ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. An account of many such ancient demigod genealogies can be read about in Diodorus and Eusibus Chronicle here. (Both the oldest Babylonian & Egyptian histories started with the demigods.)
For Ezra, he employed exactly ten demigods between Creation and Flood, followed by exactly ten patriarchs between Flood and Abraham (the father of his Nation). The number ten in each case symbolizing a complete age, and fulfilling multiple purposes in his Chronology. By making each demigod have a lifespan approximating 1000 years he symbolized an Egyptian concept of a full ‘age’ or cycle of heavenly time. Joseph Smith attempted to explain this in saying.
1 And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees; 2 And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; 4 And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob. (Book of Abraham 3:1–4) As also “Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.” (facsimile 2, figure 1)
This concept is further explained in the apocryphal channeling Oahspe. Where the Egyptian cycle is called a ‘dan’ and is said to equate to roughly 2500-4500 years of earth’s orbit wherein it passes through a celestial zodiac and makes a complete harvest of souls before a time of cosmic destruction. (quote?). Therefore, the ten demigods roughly represent 10 past cycles of time which approximated 3500 years each, or a Platonic Great Year of 36,000. By adding 2 such sequences of 10 (the demigod plus the patriarchs), Ezra meant to equal 70,000 years. Seven thousand years short of the important cosmic processional number of 77,400 years. Or a period of 3 great years.
Dualistically, Ezra used numbers slightly less than 1000 in order to get Shem & Ham to match with the Egyptian records for Menes, called Aegyptus and the father of the Egyptian race (according with Hermes in Greek). Abraham in turn was also to match with a semi-mythical character in the Egyptian, Babylonian & Hebrew records who accords with. This in turn would get his history to Moses, who was the beginning the current Cycle and of well documented history of the old world.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION FROM THIS POINT[the intro featured image to this should be the timeline… but I should really pack a TON of info and color into it]
Put on both web sites. This is where you should explain how the fight between religion & science has ruined both. Each takes an extreme position and the truth is in the middle.
Moses 1 is the key. It explains clearly that Moses’ revelation of the earth is only PARTIAL, and gives an account ONLY of this cycle of THIS earth. In verse 30 Moses essentially asks “why did you create the universe (heavens), earth, it continents (lands) and people?” And god makes it clear that he is not going to answer that question. He responds in verse 31, “For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me” (Moses 1:31)
Discontent with being denied an answer, Moses tries a more specific question, “Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.”
The answer given to Moses question is confused in translation, as we have lost common usage of the idiom “the heavens and earth shall pass away”. The ancients understood well that the history of the earth was one of global destruction and re-creation.
38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words…
40 And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest; and thou shalt write the things which I shall speak.
We have thought this mean, I’m going to tell you about the planet earth, and its creation and history. But it is actually saying I will tell you about THIS CYCLE of earth (heavens & earth)
Rewrite the above, and summarize a bit better. To just explain that its a “symbolic summary”.
Geology of the Bible
Texts such as the Kolbrin (which contains material that pre-dates the Bible) make it clear that the bible was NOT meant to be taken literally in it pre-Moses timespans. Revealed texts such as Oahspe, and Joseph Smith’s book of Moses also make this clear, although the talking snake (Egyptian apep, god of the under world) and woman coming from man’s rib should be enough of a hint that the formative periods of the book are meant to be a deeply symbolic metaphor.
Howver, what many might not have considered is that Genesis is actually meant to accord or roughly correspond to the visions seen by Moses (according to LDS theology–see Moses ch. 2) or seen by the adepts of old (see Oahspe) concerning the formation of the earth. In fact for a modern example of this, see J.S.M. Ward’s vision of the formation of the earth here. This would explain why it begins with details of the formation of energy/light, the galaxy, the planets and the plants and animals. For a more detailed ancient view of those parts of the bible, see the opening books of the Kolbrin (Link).
In correlating the bible with Geology, I believe the important geophysical events such as the creation of earth, the creation of animals (and beginnings of them dying and making fossils) as well as The Flood and separation of the Continents at Peleg at least seem to be put in the correct order, but then superimposed upon the narrative of mankind so as to create a timeline which correlates natural science with scripture. (ie. Things start living and dying in both the Garden of Eden and Cambrian Explosion, then there’s a Great Dying at the Flood/Permian Extinction, then there’s a separation of the continents at Peleg/Pangea, and then a general march to the conditions of today.
As I know there are many Jews, Muslims and Creationists who visit this site, I offer the following Geologic/Scriptural correlation that is at least somewhat rational. (Which is more than I can say for the majority of creationist biblical correlations out there). Take it for what it’s worth even though it is only meant to represent what I believe the writers might have intended or perhaps even thought in the way they saw the earth’s progression through time.
AND NOTE. The ONLY rational placement of a Global Flood is with one of the two mega-extinction events such as the Great Permian Extinction superimposing geologic events over the human timeline. Any other placement comes up against insurmountable problems. Also the separation of the ‘land’ or continents at Peleg can match only with the separation of Pangea in the Permian. The following correlation would have to assume things like 1. Current Radiometric dates are off by millions of years. 2. Man existed in the early geologic record but left no trace in the fossil record. 3. Rates of erosion and deposition in the deep past occurred under uniformitarian principles, but at vastly higher rates because of the draining of creation and flood waters from the land over hundreds of years. 4. Oogenesis is driven by rapid pole shift, not convection cells.