Noah travels through time, uses crane to build Ark

| 111 Comments
NoahTimeTravel.jpg

www.arkencounter.org

111 Comments

It’s possible.

There was probably a big drum at the base of the housing to wind and unwind the rope but it was probably hand-cranked.

I seem to recall a passage in the Bible that referred to Noah’s wife as the “Big Wench.”

So, yeah, I could see it working.

Doc Bill said: it was probably hand-cranked.

The romans supposedly had large cranes that used treadwheels (i.e. big hamster wheels that soldiers or slaves could walk inside of) instead of hand cranks. Multi-ton lifting was not beyond them. Wikipedia shows a reconstruction of a 30’ high one under “Crane (machine).”

But (a) that’s iron age technology, not stone age, and (b) doesn’t make the ark story any less ludicrous.

Where’s the part of the Bible where Noah sold junk bonds to finance the Ark? We do at least know that he would not have had to pay off the bonds.

eric said:

Doc Bill said: it was probably hand-cranked.

The romans supposedly had large cranes that used treadwheels (i.e. big hamster wheels that soldiers or slaves could walk inside of) instead of hand cranks. Multi-ton lifting was not beyond them. Wikipedia shows a reconstruction of a 30’ high one under “Crane (machine).”

But (a) that’s iron age technology, not stone age, and (b) doesn’t make the ark story any less ludicrous.

Yeah, fine description, eric, but then you can’t add the zinger “Big Wench” around which my fabrication was constructed. Look, buddy, when I’m talking about Yogi Bear I don’t need any help from National Geographic!

I am awestruck by this “photo,” the detail is fantastic. Did Noah use a Canon, Nikon, or was this simply a Polaroid shot? Does Ham actually think he’s going to build exactly what is depicted here, or is it just a fairy-tale, dreamy come-on to lure more investors? Furthermore, all the items in his future park will require tens of millions more from investors. And all for naught.

Maybe somebody at AiG read Genesis incorrectly and it was actually the two cranes that were then brought as a pair onto the ark.

There is speculation that ancient Egyptians had cranes, and apparently they were building pyramids before the Flood, so why not?

Of course the Egyptians were evil-doers who just went on keeping their civilization going when they were supposed to be drowning.

Glen Davidson

Man, they missed a chance on that one! I mean anyone who can display a dinosaur wearing a saddle should have taken the opportunity to show Noah’s actual cranes: sauropod dinosaurs!

They must not have remembered their history lessons from The Flintstones.

And anyone with any sense of the limits of wooden construction just has to look at AIG’s fantasy of the thing. As Mike reminds us, you can’t build a wooden ship that size. Just look at the apparent length of the keel, the backbone of any wooden ship. How many separate pieces of wood must there be there? Pinned together how? A wooden keel of that length is NOT going to be stiff enough to keep the whole monstrosity from flexing, springing its planks, and breaking up catastrophically. Last I knew, the Floodists need a lot of violent weather and turbulence to produce all the effects they claim for the Flood. Does Ham really want to claim that that thing would remain in one piece and watertight in anything but a dead calm?

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

There is speculation that ancient Egyptians had cranes, and apparently they were building pyramids before the Flood, so why not?

Of course the Egyptians were evil-doers who just went on keeping their civilization going when they were supposed to be drowning.

Glen Davidson

The Egyptians used ramps, not cranes, to lift heavy objects, though they may have had pulleys, as well.

eric said:

Doc Bill said: it was probably hand-cranked.

The romans supposedly had large cranes that used treadwheels (i.e. big hamster wheels that soldiers or slaves could walk inside of) instead of hand cranks. Multi-ton lifting was not beyond them. Wikipedia shows a reconstruction of a 30’ high one under “Crane (machine).”

But (a) that’s iron age technology, not stone age, and (b) doesn’t make the ark story any less ludicrous.

Neolithic people did some extremely impressive building, but you can’t get around the facts that the ark is impossible and there was no global flood.

According to Wikipedia the first recorded use of cranes was by the ancient Greeks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_[…]cient_Greece

This video may not be as completely crazy as it sounds at first, although I would have thought that leaks would have been a major problem.

Anyway, for your enjoyment:

http://youtu.be/TJcp13hAO3U

A thought occurred to me; but I don’t know if it would pan out.

One of my ancestors was a sailor on the wooden ships before, during, and after the Civil War. He sailed all over the world, and was a captain of his own vessels on the Great Lakes for over 40 years. He and his sons built and repaired ships and described the issues of keeping them seaworthy.

Ham has indicated that he will hire Amish workmen to build the ark. I wonder if any of these Amish workmen will get a feel for the overall weakness of the structure as it becomes bigger and starts sagging under its own weight. Building barns and furniture is one thing; those are relatively small.

As far as I can discover, this is what the Amish know of shipbuilding.

But the minute they start trying to fit the planking to those ribs, some skilled craftsmen will start getting the idea. And how will they “heel over” this thing to secure and seal the bottom?

And how does one build that keel? And what of ballast?

This should be “interesting.” There will be lots of gloss-over if it even gets started.

Doc Bill, interesting idea, but I’m unaware of any archeological evidence of the Egyptians using the technique as shown.

And Ham claims the upcoming movie has “historical inaccuracies” in it.… *shakes head* sheesh!

I think we are missing an opportunity here: Challenge AIG to float its Ark. If it’s authentic, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Doc Bill said:

This video may not be as completely crazy as it sounds at first, although I would have thought that leaks would have been a major problem.

Anyway, for your enjoyment:

http://youtu.be/TJcp13hAO3U

What utter silliness.

Two impossibilities immediately come to mind. (1) How was the water at the top of the pyramid raised up as the rising pyramid became higher and higher? Water doesn’t flow uphill. Did Israelite slaves carry the water to the ever higher top of the pyramid? Then why not just have them pull the blocks?

(2) The upward sloping channels that raised the blocks from the base to the top would have produced so much water pressure at the base, that the stone channels couldn’t contain it, and the air-filled bags would have compressed to the point that differential stresses would cause bursting.

(3) The Egyptians never learned to dam streams, much less rivers. How they could have engineered such hydrological marvels in beyond belief.

(4) There is no evidence for such hydrological engineering.

(5) There exist more conventional explanations, compatible with the archaeological evidence.

I repeat, what utter silliness.

Thanks, Bill, it was very entertaining. You think this guy is a creationist? He reasons like one.

Doc Bill said:

This video may not be as completely crazy as it sounds at first, although I would have thought that leaks would have been a major problem.

Anyway, for your enjoyment:

http://youtu.be/TJcp13hAO3U

The Great Pyramid of Giza was originally 480.6 feet high. A column of water that high would have a pressure at the base of over 200 psi.

Try filling a concrete block chimney that high with water and see what happens.

prongs said: Israelite slaves

I’ve heard this thing about Israelite slaves building the Pyramids. Where does this come from? It certainly isn’t in the Bible. And isn’t an anachronism?

This video may not be as completely crazy as it sounds at first, although I would have thought that leaks would have been a major problem.

It is completely crazy. The density of limestone is around 2.5 g/cm3; that of water, 1 g/cm3. How much air would you need to make the overall density of the limestone and the air bags less than 1? Hint: Neglect the mass of the waterlogged animal bladders. Answer: Several times more than was implied in the video.

(3) The Egyptians never learned to dam streams, much less rivers. How they could have engineered such hydrological marvels in beyond belief.

Sure they did.

It’s completely silly, but they did make high dams nonetheless.

Anyway, there’s a pretty good idea of how internal ramps were used to make the pyramids, which explains some things about the Grand Gallery and which has some evidence for it from gravimetric observations, or some other observational method that can detect cavities in the pyramids. While not yet definitively demonstrated to be the case, it’s probably one of the best candidates thus far.

Glen Davidson

harold said:

eric said:

Doc Bill said: it was probably hand-cranked.

The romans supposedly had large cranes that used treadwheels (i.e. big hamster wheels that soldiers or slaves could walk inside of) instead of hand cranks. Multi-ton lifting was not beyond them. Wikipedia shows a reconstruction of a 30’ high one under “Crane (machine).”

But (a) that’s iron age technology, not stone age, and (b) doesn’t make the ark story any less ludicrous.

Neolithic people did some extremely impressive building, but you can’t get around the facts that the ark is impossible and there was no global flood.

According to Wikipedia the first recorded use of cranes was by the ancient Greeks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_[…]cient_Greece

Yeah, in ~600BC. Noah built his Ark ~2,000BC.

The picture is all wrong. It was more like the Flintstones and the brachiosaurs did all the heavy lifting so that Noah could take their babies onto the ark and leave the parents to drown.

TomS said:

prongs said: Israelite slaves

I’ve heard this thing about Israelite slaves building the Pyramids. Where does this come from? It certainly isn’t in the Bible. And isn’t an anachronism?

Jewish tradition. Period.

And Charlton Heston as Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments (soon to be rebroadcast on a television station near you this Easter - don’t miss it; it’s a classic - well worth watching; it is the culmination of Western imagination about Egypt and the Israelites, I love it)

There is no evidence for a million Israelite slaves in Egypt, building pyramids. It’s a nice tribal myth, that binds the tribe together, nothing more. Now it’s part of our Western culture, codified in our sacred books and our sacred cinema, cemented in future history as fact - something for future literalists to argue as fact.

IanR, Ham is indeed floating his Ark! He’s floating it with junk bonds and other ways that he’s fleeced his gullible, drooling acolytes.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

(3) The Egyptians never learned to dam streams, much less rivers. How they could have engineered such hydrological marvels in beyond belief.

Sure they did.

It’s completely silly, but they did make high dams nonetheless.

Glen Davidson

One dam! Only one. When Sadd el Kafara failed, perhaps due to an earthquake, the Egyptians built no more dams. Apparently the Gods frowned upon such human pride.

The brilliant Egyptian engineers who built it evidently built no more. Their unique knowledge was forgotten, not passed on, and never used again.

And that’s why I say the Egyptians were not schooled in hydrological engineering that would have been required for that silly YouTube video of water channels floating the giant stone blocks upward (uphill) to build the Great Pyramids - preposterous!

Unfortunately, what this thread and many others on Panda’s Thumb demonstrates is the triumph of the Creationists who have somehow managed to get otherwise reasonable people to devise arguments against the beast fables and children’s stories found in Genesis. What’s next? New arguments against the thesis that anvils float?

J P Houdin has a rational hypothesis, with actual evidence to back it up. And his ideas about the construction of the Grand Gallery are the best ever put forward (again, supported by evidence). Until something better comes along, I’m rootin’ for him.

prongs said:

Doc Bill said:

This video may not be as completely crazy as it sounds at first, although I would have thought that leaks would have been a major problem.

Anyway, for your enjoyment:

http://youtu.be/TJcp13hAO3U

What utter silliness.

Two impossibilities immediately come to mind. (1) How was the water at the top of the pyramid raised up as the rising pyramid became higher and higher? Water doesn’t flow uphill. Did Israelite slaves carry the water to the ever higher top of the pyramid? Then why not just have them pull the blocks?

(2) The upward sloping channels that raised the blocks from the base to the top would have produced so much water pressure at the base, that the stone channels couldn’t contain it, and the air-filled bags would have compressed to the point that differential stresses would cause bursting.

(3) The Egyptians never learned to dam streams, much less rivers. How they could have engineered such hydrological marvels in beyond belief.

(4) There is no evidence for such hydrological engineering.

(5) There exist more conventional explanations, compatible with the archaeological evidence.

I repeat, what utter silliness.

Thanks, Bill, it was very entertaining. You think this guy is a creationist? He reasons like one.

I think he’s a house builder in Derbyshire. I’m not sure I’d hire him to install guttering! I recall an article years ago describing how Egyptians could have used “water levels” to set the foundation.

Like I said, for your entertainment!

davemullenix said:

Does anybody else look at that crane and immediately think of the Trojan Rabbit in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”?

Holy 16 tons, yes! All praise be unto Brian!

Matt Young said:

Until I get reliable, up-to-date information to the contrary, I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

But what if the first and third digit of that number are upside down?

How many sons and son-laws did Noah have working with him? And how did they go to the various islands and continents to find the world’s animal life?

Bill DeMott said:

How many sons and son-laws did Noah have working with him? And how did they go to the various islands and continents to find the world’s animal life?

I have been told that, per Genesis 6:20, the animals came unto Noah.

Bill DeMott said:

How many sons and son-laws did Noah have working with him? And how did they go to the various islands and continents to find the world’s animal life?

This all took place on the Rodinia supercontinent, so conveniently they didn’t have to cross any large bodies of water.

In defense of this speculation, creationists cite Genesis 1’s “let the waters be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear.”

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

KlausH said:

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

And you also have Araphaxad fathering Shelah at the ripe old age of two and a half.

KlausH said:

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

Of course, it could just be that the keepers of the oral tradition liked to bump up the ages to see how far they could go before people started quibbling.

david.starling.macmillan said:

KlausH said:

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

And you also have Araphaxad fathering Shelah at the ripe old age of two and a half.

Wrong. I never said ALL the ages were in months. I only said many.

Kevin B said:

KlausH said:

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

Of course, it could just be that the keepers of the oral tradition liked to bump up the ages to see how far they could go before people started quibbling.

That kind of exaggeration just goes with the territory of ancient, oral-tradition ancestor tales. I just finished listening to a recording of the Iliad (yet again). One of Homer’s formulas is to tell of some hero picking up a huge rock or something “that not two men could pick up as men are today”.

Just Bob said:

Kevin B said:

KlausH said:

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Matt Young said:

… I will assume that Methuselah means “he sends death away,” since about all we know about him is that he lived for 969 years. Supposedly.

OK, I checked with a minor expert, who says that metu clearly means man and has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Ethiopian (as Strong’s Concordance noted). Shelach could be a spear, a deity, or even a place; he is betting on a deity, so Methuselah would mean a man of that deity. Evidently, the Jewish Publication Society commentary on Genesis cites evidence that shelach was the name of the god of a river that you had to cross to get to the netherworld.

My minor expert agrees that the name almost certainly does not mean “his death shall bring judgment.” He thinks, however, that the name probably does not involve the verb shalach, because that would be very unusual.

So I retract the claim that Methuselah means something to do with sending away death, though I still think it is kind of cute.

I have only a very minor familiarity with Hebrew. But I suspect that an extremely good argument can be made for the view that all the names early in Genesis are thematically tied to the fables, and all the ages listed have numerological significance.

The problem is that a hardline fundy will just say “Of course the names and ages have significance; God did that!” But at least it helps defend against the accusation that removing the historicity of Genesis does away with its importance.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

Of course, it could just be that the keepers of the oral tradition liked to bump up the ages to see how far they could go before people started quibbling.

That kind of exaggeration just goes with the territory of ancient, oral-tradition ancestor tales. I just finished listening to a recording of the Iliad (yet again). One of Homer’s formulas is to tell of some hero picking up a huge rock or something “that not two men could pick up as men are today”.

I loved reading between the lines in Homer. It seems, from the lack of equipment, strategy, and planning, most of the epic battles were just turf wars between roving gangs of teenaged punks.

Interesting little blurb in Parade Magazine today: No Real Animals Used to Film Russell Crowe’s New Noah Movie. Maybe because they could not fit them onto the Ark? Maybe because they did not know how to handle all those wild animals? Maybe because computer animation is cheaper? Ark Park please take note.

KlausH said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

KlausH said:

If you consider the fact that many primitive societies measured lives in MONTHS, not YEARS, due to short lifespans, you get very reasonable ages for the patriarchs. Noah would have been 58.

And you also have Araphaxad fathering Shelah at the ripe old age of two and a half.

Wrong. I never said ALL the ages were in months. I only said many.

Sure, sure. Just pointing out that it wouldn’t be a 1-to-1 correspondence.

Just Bob said: That kind of exaggeration just goes with the territory of ancient, oral-tradition ancestor tales. I just finished listening to a recording of the Iliad (yet again). One of Homer’s formulas is to tell of some hero picking up a huge rock or something “that not two men could pick up as men are today”.

Primitive oral storytelling also tends to have the some repetitive listings of people (such as geneaologies) that the bible has. Which makes perfect sense - when you’ve only got one or a few stories to tell, you make them long and detailed. Its more interesting to hear a version of your one story “with filler” five times over the course of a year, than to hear a “tight” version of the story 50 times that year.

Its also worth remembering that preliterate people weren’t stupid. They had the exact same brainpower as us, they just used it for different things…things like remembering all the stuff that we would typically write down instead. So while we might find a long list boring, they might have found it a valuable and useful exercise of their memory.

Just Bob said:

I just finished listening to a recording of the Iliad (yet again). One of Homer’s formulas is to tell of some hero picking up a huge rock or something “that not two men could pick up as men are today”.

There is a very long tradition of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, declaring that “things were much better in the olden days.” Apparently three millennia long.

Carl Drews said:

Just Bob said:

I just finished listening to a recording of the Iliad (yet again). One of Homer’s formulas is to tell of some hero picking up a huge rock or something “that not two men could pick up as men are today”.

There is a very long tradition of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, declaring that “things were much better in the olden days.” Apparently three millennia long.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not ask why the old days were better than the present; for that is a foolish question

eric said:

Primitive oral storytelling also tends to have the some repetitive listings of people (such as geneaologies) that the bible has. Which makes perfect sense - when you’ve only got one or a few stories to tell, you make them long and detailed.

If you want to show off your storytelling skills, you memorize such long lists and can rattle them off. And if you’re PAID to be a bard (maybe you’re blind and can do nothing else, or you’re a travelling storyteller, hired by local chiefs in towns you pass through) then you can make your story more interesting and relevant to your audience by cleverly working in references to THEIR OWN heroic ancestors, real or claimed.

TomS said:

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not ask why the old days were better than the present; for that is a foolish question

I always liked Ecclesiastes.

When I was young, I did time in a Catholic grade school, apparently as penance for from forbidden fruit one of my ancestors ate or something.

We were always subjected to graciously allowed to participate in Bible studies, and the priest would always ask us about our favorite meaningful verses.

They were, of course, supposed to be one of the famous new testament tropes, but I would always have some obscure, philosophical quote from Ecclesiastes at hand.

Always seemed to weird out the old priest when I went deep with something outside his normal range.

Sometimes the nuns would give me crap, but I’d point out that if “The sun also rises” was good enough to inspire Hemingway, it was probably good enough for me.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on March 10, 2014 2:07 PM.

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