To Be or Not to Be Neolithic: A study of Genesis 4

To be or not to be Neolithic: A Study of Genesis 4.

By Glenn R Morton 2019

One of the criticisms of my view is that Genesis 4 and 5 are set in the Neolithic. I don’t think so because all the activities listed were done long before the Neolithic, except for metal work and I don’t think metal working is what Genesis 4 is speaking of. I will lay out my case below. Let’s start with Cain as a ‘tiller’.

Genesis 4:2 says: And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

I will admit that this translation looks bad for my position but, a quick look at the Hebrew in my handy dandy Logos software says that word translated as Tiller, is abad . Strong’s says,

290 occurrences; AV translates as “serve” 227 times, “do” 15 times, “till” nine times, “servant” five times, “work” five times, “worshippers” five times, “service” four times, “dress” twice, “labour” twice, “ear” twice, and translated miscellaneously 14 times. 1to work, serve" 1

Interestingly, Strong’s section on abad , doesn’t actually define the word, but merely lists how the translators translated the word. According to the translators, the primary meaning is ‘serve’; secondary meaning is ‘do’ and only nine times is this translated till. Genesis 4:2 is one of the times. I would suggest that word choice is caused by the widespread assumption that this chapter is talking about the Neolithic times. As I intend to show, there is much doubt, at least in my mind.

Let’s consider the context of chapter 4. It follows the line of Cain–the wicked line of Cain. It starts with a murder, goes into paranoia, and ends with a filicide.

So, you are asking, how am I going to get out of this mess. I think below shows the answer. I’m going to look at what all the dictionaries say.

The Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT from here on out), which, as near as I can tell was published in 1980, says:

" 1553 עָבַד (ʿābad) work, serve. Derivatives 1553a עֶבֶד (ʿebed) slave, servant. 1553b עֲבָד (ʿăbād) work (Eccl 12:1).
1553c עֲבוֹדָה (ʿăbôdâ) labor, service.
1553d עֲבֻדָּה (ʿăbūddâ) service (household servants) (Gen 26:14: Job 1:3).
1553e עַבְדּוּת (ʿabdût) servitude, bondage (Ezr 9:8, 9; Neh 9:17).
1553f מַעבָד (maʿbād) work (Job 34:25).
ʿābad appears 290 times in the OT.
"The etymology of this word seems to share the ideas of several Semitic roots, e.g. the old Aramaic root which means “ to do or make ,” an Arabic root meaning “ to worship, obey ” (God) and its intensive stem meaning “to enslave, reduce to servitude.”
"This service may be directed toward things, people, or God. " 2

One could easily say Cain worked the ground. While that word is often translated as ‘till’, all the cognates in other languages have nothing to do with tilling, as you can see above. A better translaton might be “Cain worked the ground.”

Of a related word, the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament makes it clearer:

" 2896 עֲבַד (ʿăbad) make, do, perform, create (Peal); be made, be done, be performed, executed/carried out (Hithpeal).
Derivatives
2896a עֲבַד (ʿăbad), עֲבֵד (ʿăbēd) slave, servant.
2896b עֲבִידָה (ʿăbîdâ) service, work, ritual, worship.
2896c מַעֲבַד (maʿăbad) action (of God in history).
The primary meaning of this root indicates service, performance of a duty, or activity. The Hithpeal is used as the passive of the Peal. The formal Hebrew cognate is ʿābad, but the functional equivalent is ʿāśâ. " 3

Note the words ‘Perform,’ ‘make,’ ‘do,’ ‘work’ and ‘serve’. Of these choices, work and serve seem to be the most natural ones to use. There is no statement here of tillage, just ‘work’. Again, I am brought back to “Cain worked or served the ground”.

Ground itself is an interesting word, it is Adama. The TWOT says,

" Initially, God made ʾādām out of the ʾădāmâ to till the ʾădāmâ (Gen 3:23, to bring forth life?). " 4 .

I would point out the almost ludicrous concept that Adam and Eve, when pushed out of the Garden were 'tilling" the ground! Think about the real issues involved in them ‘tilling’ the ground. I think country folk will more understand what I am going to say that people who have never had contact with a farm. When Adam and Eve had to start fending for themselves there is no way they went straight to farming. Can’t you just see it. Adam asks Eve, “What is for dinner tonight?” Eve says, “Whatever your garden produces.” Adam informs Eve, “It won’t produce anything for another 4 months!” Eve replies, “Better go kill a couple of squirrels for dinner then.” And so begins Adam’s hunting life. They need to eat NOW, not in four months. Farming is for those who have a surplus of food in storage so that they can eat it while growing this year’s crop to put into storage after harvest for next year. That is how farming works. Adam and Eve would have died waiting on that crop.

From personal experience, trying to raise peaches and pears on my ranch, while I was away working Monday through Friday in the oil industry, you can’t harvest a crop if you are not there watching it. Every year, either the deer or squirrels stripped my trees of their fruit before I could get much of it. I had to put up a 10 ft wire around the orchard to keep the deer out, but without a cat and dog out there to chase off the squirrels, my harvests were pitiful. Even waiting for my wild grapes (and I had a monstrous vine that allowed me to make lots of Jelly, put on grapes in March but they didn’t ripen until June. For some reason the maturity slowed over the years I owned the ranch and by the end, the grapes weren’t maturing until August. The dewberries along the fences provided lots of blackberry like berries but, they also didn’t mature until June. If I were to live off things like that, I would have to preserve them, and store them for the next year, eating what I needed. Preserving berries requires canning, something Adam and Eve didn’t have available to them. If all I had was berries in June and grapes in August, I would starve. So the idea that Adam and Eve, before they had any children were ‘tilling the land’ is a real long stretch for me.

I grew other things as gentleman part time farmer. With each of them I learned other lessons. Grow watermelons or cantelope and the coyotes will take a bite out of each one. If you don’t have a fence, the cows will stomp on your watermelons, and munch the leaves of your crop. My attempt to grow corn taught me that each corn ear gets a canker in it if one doesn’t spray, the corn is hurt. I also think it was mice and rats who gnawed into my corn ears one year. My neighbor who planted a lot more corn than I, depended on having so much the deer and wild pigs couldn’t eat it all. He also had a dog left out at night.

My point in telling the story of my failed years as a weekend farmer is that while Adam and Eve are off getting squirrels or picking berries so they could eat tonight, not in four months, the wildlife was feasting on anything he had planted. Given that Adam was a solo farmer while the kids were young, He really couldn’t have planted too much crop manually. Draft animals take time to train. The harnesses take lots of time to make. One has to kill an animal, skin it, scrape off the fat and flesh which takes hours, put lime on it or bury it in manure and urine for months, then dig it up and cut it into harnesses. My guess is that Adam and Eve would have starved to death prior to successfully making the harnesses for a as yet untrained undomesticated beast. Oh yeah, training an animal can take days.

During the past 10 years I was out of the Genesis battle, so I worked my family genealogy. I found a document written by my great great grandfather about 1895 when he was an old man. He had been born in 1832. He talks about the tanning of leather on the US frontier,

" James McBride Sr., the survivor of this war lived in Virginia thereafter and worked at his trade, for according to good old custom no young man of any family was allowed to grow up without a trade, and he had two. He was both a gunsmith and a shoemaker, so thus he worked. As every man in that day did he tanned his own leather for the shoes he made. There were no tanneries as there are now, but every man had to tan his own leather or else he had to pay a big price for it, and in those days the tanning of leather was a slow process. First, they took the hide and soaked it in water with lime or ashes until the hair started to slip. Then with tools made especially for that purpose they scraped the hair and any meat off the hide, then it was ready to put in the vat for tanning. Now, the vat was made in this way. I will call it a box, which they made about eight feet long, and four feet wide and three feet deep. This was made very tight so that it would hold water, then they dug a pit just large enough to hold the box just below the surface of the ground, with a good solid cover, then they put down a layer of red oak bark then a hide then another layer of bark and so forth until the pit was filled, then they poured the water in the box until it was filled to the top, and then they put the last layer of bark and lead to hold the bark and hides down in the pit. It took about six months to tan the leather in this way, whereas with new methods now days they can tan a hide in a day or less. When I was a boy my father used to tan all his own leather, so I know whereof I speak. " 5

Without leather, no harnesses; without harnesses, no draft animal; without draft animal, very few plants can be planted. If someone wants to believe that Adam, Eve, and Cain were farmers go ahead, but one should explain how all the above problems were overcome. Further, we must know that there are easier ways for Adam and Eve to make a living than farming. When asked why they didn’t farm, one Bushman gave a quite reasonable answer,

" Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalashari Bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn’t emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world? " 6

One final thing about the problems of Adam and Eve farming–farming was very unhealthy for its early participants.

The study of the sample of skeletal remains from South Asia showed that there was a decline in body stature, body size and life expectancy with the adoption of farming. A broadly similar result was obtained by the analysis conducted on skeletons from prehistoric populations in Georgia, USA-—i.e. the health of the hunters was markedly better. In the case study of the Levant region there was a slight increase in the level of health with the initial adoption of farming, but this was followed by a marked decline once intensive agriculture and husbandry were fully established. Of the 13 regional studies, 10 showed that the average life expectancy declined with the adoption of farming. There are a number of factors that would have led to this decline. The domestication of animals that took place on a major scale with the advent of farming had, along with its benefits, the unforeseen result of allowing the transmission of numerous infectious diseases from these domesticates to their human masters Among the side effects of the new lifestyle was the development of a new host of diseases and disorders, including beri-beri, rickets, leprosy (thought to have been transmitted to man from the Asian water-=buffalo) and diptheria. Diptheria is one of at least 30 distinct diseases which can be transmitted via milk. As the palaeopathologist Don Brothwell has said, the practice of dairy farming undoubtedly assisted in the spreading of such diseases.7

Adam and Eve and their children would have been gatherers. Thus, working the ground meant something different for Cain than it did for people in King David’s time. What could working or serving the ground mean? One interesting interpretation comes to mind. The predecessor to the plow has existed for a long time. Encyclopedia Britannica says,

" The antecedent of the plow is the prehistoric digging stick. The earliest plows were doubtless digging sticks fashioned with handles for pulling or pushing. " 8

The oldest wooden digging stick is long before the Neolithic.

" A digging stick, dated to ∼39,000 BP, is made of Flueggea virosa ." 9 At Swartkrans, bones were apparently used as digging stick,

"Some of the fossil bones looked so worn at the tip that they must have been used for several days. Bob began to wonder if the hominids carried these digging sticks with them. Then he noticed that the wear scratches on some specimens were obscured by a glassy polish. A similar sort of polish occurs on modern bone tools used by hunter gatherers to burnish hides. Bob speculates that the hominids may have made hide bags to carry tools and tubers, and the glassy polish formed as the bones rubbed against the leather. A few tiny, awl-like pieces of bone—the sort of tools that could be used to puncture leather— were also uncovered at Swartkrans. " 10

These date to between 1.8 million and 1.1 million years ago. 11

The person using those bone digging sticks 1.1 myr ago or more, was actually working the ground! Because of the above, I can’t see Cain being a farmer. Thus, I am forced to believe that working the ground is the one correct translation in this setting. I think the choice of the word ‘till’ is a choice made early in translational history when people believed that the earth was only 6000 years old. Now, clearly if you already assume that this is a Neolithic family then yeah, they are farming, but as you will see below, it is anything but certain that they were Neolithic.

The people below are also working the ground. Plant resource management in hunter-gatherer tribes goes way back in time. To me there is little doubt that ancient man planted plants to help them, just as the Aborigines did with yam. Hunter-gatherers did whatever it took to live, planting a few things to have food next year was a good idea,

" The closest parallel to planting practice in Aboriginal gathering pertains to the Dioscorea yam in subtropical and tropical Australia. Observations of replanting, described in detail for Arnhem Land by Jones 1975) and Jones & Meehan , for the eastern Cape York Peninsula by Harris, and deduced on historical evidence for Western Australia, entail a rather casual replacement of the stem-attached top of the tuber at harvest, and are identical both to the informal procedures of the Tasaday oragers of the Philippines. " 12

This allows the yam to grow back. Other techniques are also “working the ground”

" I believe Native Americans were excellent vegetation managers and we can learn a lot from them about how to best manage forests of the U.S.," said Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. "Native Americans knew that to regenerate plant species that they wanted for food, and to feed game animals they relied on, they needed to burn the forest understory regularly ." 13

Plants were vital to survival and all hunter-gathering societies were excellent botanists. Even Chimps seem to know what plants to eat.

The noted recovery time of 20-24 hours after bitter-pith chewing in two M group chimpanzees is comparable to that of local human inhabitants, the Tongwe, who use cold concoctions of this plant as a treatment for parasites, diarrhea and stomach upset. These observations encouraged Huffman and colleagues to investigate the possible contribution of plant secondary compounds in V. amygdalina against parasite infection. Phytochemical analysis of V. amygdalina samples collected at Mahale in 1989 and 1991 from plants known to be used by chimpanzees revealed the presence of two major classes of bioactive compounds. From this work to date, a total of four known sesquiterpene lactones (vernodalin, vernolide, hydroxyvernolide, vernodalol), seven new stigmastane-type steroid glucosides (vernonioside a1-a4, B1-B3) and two freely occurring aglycones of these glucosides (vernoniol A1, B1) have been isolated…

“Supportive of the ethnomedicinal literature, the sesquiterpene lactones present in V. amygdalina, also found in V. colorata and a number of other Vernonia spp., are well known for their anthelmintic, antiamoebic, antitumor, and antibiotic properties .” 14

We know Neanderthals were doing this 40-50,000 years ago:

" Plant-based medicine may have been around for even longer than previously thought. Scientists recently uncovered new evidence of herbal remedies used by Neanderthals. It seems our prehistoric relatives had gained knowledge of the anti-inflammatory, antiviral and pain-relieving properties of plants in their environment, and began developing their own medicinal practices. Most shockingly, it turns out Neanderthals were using their own natural penicillin some 40,000 years before modern humans discovered it. Researchers from the universities of Liverpool and Adelaide conducted an analysis of DNA that had been persevered in dental plaque belonging to four Neanderthal individuals. The study subjects were obtained from two European archaeological sites; Spy in Belgium and El Sidrón in Spain. The remnants reportedly date back 42,000 and 50,000 years ago, respectively. " 15

" Some of the oldest evidence for hominin use of plants as medicine come from Spain and South Africa. The Neanderthals from El Sidr on, Spain, used medicinal plants, as demonstrated by plant microfossils (Hardy et al., 2012). In Sibudu, South Africa, bedding structures of Cryptocarya was found in 77 ka old archaeological layers. The plant family contains insecticidal and larvicidal chemicals. Leaves were brought as bedding to the sited possibly because of their medicinal ingredients. " 16

Between the above and the fact that at a 400,000 year old site of Schoningen, where a wooden spear was found, and where an analysis of the plants used by these ancient men was published in 2015, we know that plant knowledge goes far back in prehistory. At Schoningen, by my count 36 out of 67 species listed in the paper were medicinal species. All of them were edible. While we can’t and will never prove that ancient man did what modern hunter-gatherers did, manage their resources by planting next year’s tubers, we can tell that they were very knowledgeable with plants. And that raises an red flag for me on Cain.

The earliest Westerner to live with the Ona, was apprenticed to an Ona Joon, a medicine man. He was going to learn all the medicinal plants. Then he thought better of it and dropped out of Joon school. Here is why.

" There was another reason: self-preservation. Medicine-men ran great dangers. When persons in their prime died from no visible cause, the ‘family doctor’ would often cast suspicion, in an ambiguous way, on some rival necromancer. Frequently the chief object of a raiding party, in the perpetual clan warfare of the Ona, was to kill the medicine-man of an opposing group. No I would not become a joon, to be blamed, maybe, for a fatal heart attack a hundred miles away. " 17

So why raise this with a modern human? Medicinal herbal knowledge has almost always been viewed as magic in primitive tribes. And that has brought in the idea of the sorcerer. The medicine man/shaman or what ever name applied to him, was able to work miracle cures, sometimes merely by his knowledge of plants. Out on my former ranch grew a tree with sharp thorns on the trunk. As with much plant medicinal knowledge, the use of this tree was passed on to me by a neighbor at my ranch, who called it the toothache tree. Slice a bit of bark off the tree, put it on your gum where the tooth hurts and voila, your gum goes numb. It really does. One friend I showed that to went numb for 4 hours. I was becoming worried about lawsuits! Then he got over it.

Cain had already had his offering rejected by God when God said: " If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted(KJV). This implies that Cain had not previously done something well. This is not referring to the future murder, but to something Cain did in the past that caused the rejection of the offering.

Since the context of this chapter is the evil line of Cain combined with the fact that Cain brought plants he had to have gathered, I think it is possible that Cain had become well acquainted with plants and their usefulness, and thus was, what later tribes would call a medicine man and was starting down a road God didn’t like. This would lead to the possible interpretation that Cain SERVED the land, as in worshipped the creation, and thus, his heart was not pointed to God during his offering. That is, it was a half hearted offering out of social pressure. This interpretation would also fit with the general degradation we see in Cain’s lineage, leading to the corruption that caused God to bring the flood.

The scripture doesn’t say Cain was a tiller of the ground, even though it is translated that way. It says he worked the ground or served the ground. Logic dictates that 2-5 people alone in the world, couldn’t actually engage in farming without starving to death. Thus, we are forced into the view that Cain was doing something different than tilling the ground. It basically said Cain worked or served the ground and gathered plants for his offering to God. I think it is possible that Cain brought his Sorcery to God as an offering and it was rejected.

Abel’s fondness for Sheep

The Scripture clearly says Abel was a keeper. That word doesn’t capture the meaning of ra a. Both cognates with other languages and Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament say it means, "The actual meaning is “pastured” or “herded.” 18

There are two ways of doing that, like the boy David did, or, like some hunter-gatherers do–just follow the herd where ever they go. A study in Nature dated the stone tools to 1.36 myr, which would mean H. erectus had made it to China by that time (Skulls of him are found in the Georgia Republic dated to 1.7 myr. So this isn’t a far-fetched idea. 19 A news account of this study said,

" The researchers conclude that the tools were used by hunters who were following game migration routes. Bones of gazelle and horse-like creatures, among other extinct species, were found with the tools at the ancient game processing site. " 20

Did the early Chinese hominids think they own those herds? Yes, they followed them because they gave food to their tribe. Did the herds think they were owned? No. If that was what Abel was doing, following the herds, Ok, call him a shepherd, but he, unlike Cain was offering to God something that God did, provide the animal that was killed.

It is a bit unclear of what Abel was a ‘keeper’ of . The word translated as cattle is tson and may mean sheep, goats or cattle. (it also could mean possessions). One problematic issue is that herding leaves no archaeological trace. All in all if Cain were following the herds, he was a keeper of tson .

Certainly no definitive checklist of archaeological indicators has been generated; in fact, it has been pointed out that herding per se leaves no archaeological races. What is clear is that the differences between hunting and herding adaptations are fundamental ones and that any archaeological evidence should include much more than just those areas relating specifically to animals .” 21

All is not lost. Remains of meals DO leave an archaeological trace. We moderns seem to think that herding or penning animals up is a Neolithic thing. It isn’t.

Now, herders get the vast majority of their calories from the flocks and herds they keep. That is why they keep them. But what are we to do when Neanderthals did the same thing in the Caucasus mountains where they obtained 85% of their calories from sheep! 22 They were not following the herds, these people were stationary.

It would appear that Neanderthals may have penned up some wild sheep in a suitable box canyon for easy hunting.

At another cave Neanderthals obtained 60% from sheep and goats 23

" Outside the Caucasus, high frequencies of mountain goat in Middle Palaeolithic contexts have been observed in Uzbekistan at Teshik-Tash (Capra sibirica: 1 80% NISP [Gromova 1949]) and Obi-Rakhmat (Capra sibirica: 47.4-66.7% [Wrinn n.d.]), at the Spanish sites of Gabasa 1 (Capra pyrenaica: 33.7-52.2% NISP per layer [Blasco Sancho 1995]) and Axlor (Capra ibex: 25.6% combined ungulate sample [Altuna 1989, 1992]), and at Hortus in southern France (Capra ibex: 75.4% NISP combined sample [de Lumley 1972]). " 24

Hortus is a Neanderthal site from 50,000 years ago and is the site where evidence for a Shaman’s cape was found. They too seemed to be stationary while getting shepherd percentages of their calories from ibex. It seems that Neanderthals had some system which had a similar effect calorically as herders, yet they are consistently viewed as hunter-gatherers. Furthermore, the Neanderthals did this long before the Neolithic. Thus, to say Abel being a sheep herder proves it was in the Neolithic is contradicted by all the listed archaeological sites above. Thus, this isn’t proof that Genesis 4:2 requires a Neolithic age.

Cain built a City? Probably not

Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.

To understand what Cain was building we really have to understand the whole story of Cain Scripture says(Gen 4:2-7):

" Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it .”

I will stop here and point out that Cain’s problem was a heart problem. His heart, at the time of his sacrifice was not correct and God was telling him that his offering would be accepted if he did what is right. What was right was what Hebrews 11:4 says: By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. This implies Cain didn’t have faith in God–was he serving the earth rather than working it? Genesis 4:2-6 is an eerie parallel to what Malachi said (1:6-9):

"It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.
“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’
“You place defiled food on my altar.
“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’
“By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.

“Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the LORD Almighty."

This suggests to me that Cain’s offering was either leftover food, or maybe plants dedicated to proving his knowledge and power as a healer. As I showed above, knowledge of medicinal plants in hunter-gatherer societies was always viewed as sorcery. Whatever the problem, Cain was off to a bad start. After the murder God and Cain have an exchange, with Cain sharing his greatest fear, that someone would do to him what he had done to Abel (Genesis 4:11-16),

" The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

"But the LORD said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. "

Cain was paranoid about being killed; this is the important point here. To help Cain’s paranoia, God put a mark of protection on Cain so that no one would kill him. But Cain didn’t trust God as we already know and thus went off to build a place where he could see people coming. A protected, guarded place. Why do I say this? The basic meaning of the word translated as city is "A place guarded by waking or a watch’! Back in Neolithic times turning a word for watch in to a word for city made sense because it was a place where people watched out for you. Thus as one guy said, Hebrew is an efficient language, the word for Watch gained a new meaning, city. But in Cain’s time there were too few people to have a city unless one assumes a Neolithic age first. But even Strong’s indicates that what Cain built isn’t necessarily a city. Strong’s says:

5892 עִיר, עִיר, עִיר הַהֶרֶס [ʿiyr, ʿar, ʿayar /eer/] n m. From 5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post); …1089 occurrences; AV translates as “city” 1074 times, “town” seven times, “every one” twice, and “variant” six times. 1 excitement, anguish. 1A of terror. 2 city, town (a place of waking, guarded). 2A city, town. 1

A small encampment is encompassed by this word, so long as the encampment is guarded.

The root of this word (Strong’s 5782) means awake alert roused, and it is theorized by the person I spoke with to have been used as a word for protection and gradually morphed into being used of places that are protected, like in English we can say go to the Watch. meaning a body of sentinels or guards. In this latter case the word has turned from a verb to a noun, just as happened in Hebrew a long time ago.

It is a curiosity that this word is identical to the last word in Strong’s above and identical to Strong’s 5894, which is the word used in Daniel 4 for watcher, the angel that came to talk with Daniel. While this may or may not mean anything, but given that this is the lineage which caused the corruption that brought on the flood, I wonder if there is a connection here with dark arts. Was Cain engaging with a fallen ‘watcher’ at this place he built? Could it be related to Astrology, which of course needs to be done at night? I don’t know. The language would make it possible. One can of course just say Cain was paranoid and wanted a safe place to live away from everyone else.

The main point is, Cain built himself a place of safety for himself, not a city as we would know it. A city as we know it can only be the case IF you first assume the answer to the question above and say this is in the Neolithic prior to examining the data I am showing here. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been enough people. A footnote in Josephus (Book 1, Chapt 2) says that an old tradition holds that Adam and Eve had 33 sons and 23 daughters. If this is an old tradition, then even the Jews would not have viewed what Cain built as a city as that word brings to our minds.

The Big Kahoona Problem–Brass and Iron

Genesis 4:19-24: And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 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.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Gensis 4:22 would seem to end my view, IF it is to be read as the translation above. But I don’t think this verse can be used against the view I have laid out. I took a long hard look at the verse a while back but never published on it. There is a long tradition in Christianity that this verse is talking about metals. I don’t believe it is.

The first thing I did was to let the Scripture interpret Scripture. There are only two places in the Bible where the three words ‘brass and iron’ occur together, here and Jeremiah 6:28. And Jeremiah 6:28 gives us a definition of the term, “brass and iron”!

“They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters”

Unless we are willing to say all these rebels and corruptors are actually made of brass and iron, the phrase clearly is a euphemism for corruption , and that is the context of this story Tubalcain is part of. Let me explain why brass and iron became a euphemism for corruption. Brass is mostly made of copper with about 10% tin. When melted the copper and iron are like oil and water. It is hard to keep them mixed and they have a miscibility gap where at the right temperature and pressure they completely unmix. But if you keep them mixed at other temperatures, they are biphasic, which means one becomes solid and one remains liquid and the resulting metal is useless because it has drops of the other metal included inside it. So when it all cools the sword or knife is useless because it is weak. 25

Now, I wanted to know if Moses would have known of this problem. Moses was born in 1570 BC or so. Egypt produced some terrestrially smelted iron as early as 2600 BC in the form of a wand and rusted tool. This is iron that has no nickel in it which is a sign of meteoritic iron. 26 Even as late at 1800 BC iron was still a rare commodity but a grave from the XII dynasty produced a iron spearhead, but that has been challenged, 27 Even if we throw the spear head out. At the same time an Alalakh text speaks of 400 iron spears and a text from 1700 BC say that an iron bracelet was sent to the king of Mari as a gift by the king of Carchemesh. 28 Iron was even in the hands of the smaller powers and knowledge of iron was spreading rapidly. It is hard to believe that if small powers like Carchemesh had iron, a major power like Egypt didn’t. Because Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house, he would have been familiar with the latest technology which was iron and would have known or at least had good opportunity to know of the problems mixing brass and iron. If you get brass in the iron melt, it corrupts the iron and if you get iron in the brass melt, it corrupts the brass.

So, if the above is true, that brass and iron is a euphemism then what is the Tubalcain verse saying?

Lets start with Tubalcain’s name, H8423. It means-offspring of Cain or thou will be brought of Cain. Cain means spear. This name seems to imply someone who followed in the path of Cain.

The RSV and ASV versions say that Tubalcain was the “forger of all instruments” The King James says “instructor of every artificer” and the New Century version says “Tubal-Cain, who made tools out of bronze and iron.” The NIV says “Tubal-Cain who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.”

We have already seen that brass and iron is a euphemism. Lest someone say bronze is different than above, Brass is copper and tin; Bronze is just brass with a bit of aluminium, manganese, nickel or zinc added. The same miscibility gap problem exists for the copper which is the vast majority of the Bronze atoms.

The word translated forged (H3913) is latash and means according to Brown-Driver-Briggs ““to sharpen, hammer, whet”” Strong’s says “A primitive root; properly to hammer out (an edge), that is, to sharpen:-instructer, sharp (-en), whet.” 1

Nowhere does the word ‘forged’ appear in these two dictionaries. Looking at the other uses, the word is translated 3 times as sharp or sharpen and once as whet and once as instructor (in the KJV). Sharpen seems to be a proper definition.

So far this looks like an iron foundry. But what is Tubal-cain sharpening? Instruments? Not hardly. What he is sharpening is the word H2794 choresh, which is a PERSON. Strong’s says 'fabricator, mechanic or artificer" Brown-Driver-Briggs says “metal craftsman” But I am going to argue that that doesn’t fit because ONE DOESN"T SHARPEN OR FORGE PEOPLE. One sharpens or forges INSTRUMENTS. It is interesting that the Bible doesn’t use the words for instruments which can be sharpened. These words were a chariyts (a cutting instrument) or a keliy (utensil) or magzerah (axe). If these words were used, it would unquestionably be about working metal. But here we have Tubal-cain sharpening a person. This is why the King James calls him an instructor because that is what teachers do. Like iron sharpening iron, so one man sharpens another. So Tubal-cain is an instructor as KJV says. So what is he instructing? This word choresh is an active participle of a word that has nothing to do with metal craftsmen. Choresh H2794 comes from charahs H2790 which has the following meanings, none of which have anything to do with metal working except in the most glancing fashion:

) to cut in, plough, engrave, devise
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to cut in, engrave
1a2) to plough
1a3) to devise
1b) (Niphal) to be ploughed
1c) (Hiphil) to plot evil
2) to be silent, be dumb, be speechless, be deaf
2a) (Qal)
2a1) to be silent
2a2) to be deaf
2b) (Hiphil)
2b1) to be silent, keep quiet
2b2) to make silent
2b3) to be deaf, show deafness
2c) (Hithpael) to remain silent

Nowhere in BDB’s list is metal or craftsmen allowed. I would contend that their definition was determined by what they viewed as the context of the verse. But there is a different possible context. Let’s take the 1© meaning-to plot evil. If we were to chose this meaning instead of the one normally chosen, we would have:

Tubalcain is the instructor of every plotter of evil corruption

Several things argue that this is the real meaning of this verse. First, this is the last generation before the flood. The reason for the flood was corruption. says that is why the world was about to be destroyed: If Tubal-cain was just an innocent blacksmith, then why bring the flood? Genesis 6:11, 12

" The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth ."

In this reading presented here, Tubal-cain would be the great corruptor.

The second thing which supports this view is the irony of contrast between Tubalcain’s name and that of his sister. To use the meanings, when it says Tubalcain’s sister was Naamah, it is saying " offspring of Cain’s sister was pleasantness ". If Tubalcain was a corrupt murdering person after the path of Cain, then to have a sister named pleasantness is hugely funny. If he was just a metal artificer, what is the point of even naming he sister?

The third thing supporting this view is the strange claim by Lamech in the verses immediately following. To refresh memories.

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 H3206 to my hurt

Lamech killed his own son and the translations don’t make that clear. H376 is eesh , which just means man. But the word H3206 has the meaning from Brown’s Driver Briggs of " child, son, boy, offspring, youth " The adding that he killed a son or a child to my hurt , means that Lamech killed his son to his sorrow . If it hadn’t been Lamech’s son then it wouldn’t have been to Lamech’s sorrow. Killing the biggest corruptor of morals around would make perfect sense if Tubal-cain was the instructor of every plotter of evil corruption. Rebellious children often bring grief and cause family problems that get way out of hand. Tubal-cain’s corruption had gotten so bad that his father killed him, maybe in self-defense. This is why Lamech considered the sin so much worse than what Cain did and invoked a 77 times worse vengence if someone kills him.

If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold

A final comment, Lamech’s strange message is meaningless unless one concludes that the proper translation of the Tubal-cain verse is “Tubalcain is the instructor of every plotter of evil corruption.” If Tubal-cain were an innocent metal worker, what reason was there for Lamech, his father, to complain about killing a child? And if it wasn’t Lamech’s child there would be no explanation of why it was to his sorrow that makes sense.

To conclude, this verse does not require that Adam be Neolithic age.

Tents, the latest invention of the Neolithic???

Genesis 4:20-21 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.

People who put Adam in the Neolithic again make the Biblical record false. Tents go hundreds of thousands of years back in time. There is conclusive evidence that fossil men were making huts and using hides, just like primitive peoples of 2 centuries ago did. Here is a description of modern humans using tents and whistles (a musical instrument) from 25,000 years ago:

" Also in Moravia are the important Gravettian sites of Predmost, Pavlov and Brno. At Pavlov a large number of hut plans have been identified, oval, round and five-sided in shape, with some postholes and hearths. The associated industry included decorated bone and ivory objects including animals and human figures, and a number of phalange whistles; the occupation has been radiocarbon dated to c. 25,000 B.P ." 29

Neanderthal and archaic H. sapiens used posts and hung hides to block off the wind in their caves.

" There are a number of candidates for Pre-neandertal walls constructed of posts and perishable materials. The best known of these was part of a Riss habitation structure at Lazaret Cave . Despite Villa’s reservations, artefact and charcoal distributions support the interpretation of a barrier existing along the line of postholes at Lazaret, separating intensely used areas from little used areas. Similar rock features surrounding voids have been found at Lunel-Viel and Organac III where they were interpreted as pole supports for walls . " 30

At Terra Amata, 300,000 years ago, pre-Neanderthals were making tents.

" At Terra Amata, in present-day Nice, we have evidence of seasonal habitations on coastal dunes. There are ovoid arrangements of stones with regularly spaced post holes. Within the shelters these represent, the floors were covered with pebbles or animal hides (imprints are preserved). Hearths occur in holes or on stone slabs sheltered by low stone walls. Food residues include elephant, deer, boar, ibex, rhinoceros, small mammals, and marine shells and fish. The industry is of Early Acheulean type, and includes a few bone artifacts. " 31

And the oldest tent structures I know are firm tents comes from the H. erectus site of Bilzingsleben from 425,000 years ago. Mania’s map shows 3 horse shoe shaped areas where the open part of the circle is to the SE. These are their tents. The cold of Germany at this time was severe being just past the worst time of the coldest glacial age in the last 500 kyr.

The fact that the openings were to the south east, is significant. In Germany the cold fronts come from the NW. Making your tent open to the NW means cold air blows straight into your tent. By turning them SE facing, not only does one block the wind, one shelters the first that was said to near the openings of those tents. Pattern 5 are the areas of the tents, and pattern 10 are the hearths. By arranging things this way, H. erectus was able to stay warm and cozy on a cold glacial age night.

Thus, there is nothing particularly noteworthy about a Neolithic man using tents 9,000 years ago when they were made by H. erectus over 400,000 years prior to the Neolithic. This Neolithic interpretation of the Bible makes no sense… Why the Bible would find that remarkable in Neolithic times is unexplainable.

Music invented in the Neolithic???

Further, a Neolithic Jubal could hardly be called the father of those using harps (stringed instruments) and flutes. The word translated ‘organ’ actually means flute. Brown-Driver-Briggs says ,

" according to [Targum-grm] a reed-pipe or flute " 32

The oldest picture of a flute may be from an 18,000 year old French site, long before a Neolithic Jubal lived. Coles and Higgs observe,

" At Les Trois Freres (Ariege), a semi-human figure seems to be playing either a musical bow (although musically this is not in the correct position) or a flute. The association of the semi-humans at this site, with grouped animals, seems to indicate some ceremonial activity, whether it be sympathetic magic or not and music by this time had been in existence for some thousands of years. " 33

Reed flutes don’t preserve well in the archaeological record, but bone flutes do. Many Homo sapiens made bone flutes have been found, A 27,000 year old flute was found at Isturitz, France. The original report, written in French, describes it thusly,

" Enfin, j’ai decouvert en 1921, une piece qui est sans doute unique, un gros os d’Oiseau, malheureusement brise a une de ses extremites, mais qui porte encore sur une seule rangee trois larges trous, comme dans une sorte de flute (pl. VII). C’est, sans doute, le plus ancien instrument de musique connu. " 34

Translation:

" At last, I uncovered in 1921 a piece which is without doubt, unique, a big bird bone, unfortunately broken at the ends, but because still carried three holes, like that of some sort of flute. It is without doubt the most ancient musical instrument found ." [trans. by David Morton]

Panpipe flutes were found at Dolni Vestonice, Czechoslovakia. This site is approximately 27,000 years old. Coles and Higgs relate,

" Decorative objects include perforated shells and other pendants, and tubular beads; bone tubes, one with a plug of resin, probably were panpipes ." 35

But this isn’t all. Neanderthals invented a musical instrument which we still play today It is a rasp or ‘skiffle’. It is a percussion instrument in which a stick is rubbed across a groove. Here is a picture of a modern wooden rasp.

" The use of the object is believed to have been as a musical rasp or ‘skiffle’ in which a stick was rubbed across the grooves to make a noise.

"Indeed the well-formed groove pattern endows the object with some resemblance to a certain type of musical instrument, a rasp or scraper. The rasp is a primitive idiophonic instrument with a corrugated surface that is scraped rhythmically by a non-sonorous object to produce sounds. Striking the parallel grooves of the Schulen bone with a rigid instrument, such as a wooden rod or a bone plectrum, indeed produces a stridulous sound. However, if the object was indeed used for producing sound in this way, that sound would almost certainly differed from the one it can produce today. The alteration of the shape of the obne and its fossilization may have profoundly changed its acoustic characteristics.

"Rasps or scrapers are well-known instruments, both from archaeological and ethnographic sources. Their distribution is almost world-wide. In its simplest form the rasp consists of a notched stone, bone, shell or gourd, which is scrapped with a stick or other rigid object, the sound being increased in some instances by placing the instrument over a hole in the ground. It may be considered, together with the flute, the lithophone and the bullroarer, as one of the earliest musical instruments known to man. " 36

A similar possible rasp is found at Riparo Mochi, Italy in deposits which are 35,000 years old. The authors also suggest that it is a rasp made by modern man. If such an instrument is accepted in the case of modern man, it should also be accepted for Neanderthal. 37

Neanderthals, who as shown in part 1 of my When Did Adam Live? series, were capable of religious ceremony, also made flutes. The most famous is the 43,000 year old, controversial, Divje Babe flute. This flute was made of cave bear femur. The flute is broken at each end and has two completely preserved holes in the center and two broken holes at either end. The spacing of the holes is nonlinear and the bone is hollow. It was found with Mousterian tools, the tools which are generally associated with Neanderthal man. Radioactive dating of the layers above and below the flute show that it is between 67,000 and 43,000 years old.

Bob Fink, a musicologist from Saskatoon, Canada was the first person to realize the significance of the spacing of these holes. He studied the structure of the flute and said that the notes on the flute are Do, Re, Mi. He summarized his findings by writing a report that sadly is no longer available on the internet and even sadder is that he didn’t get proper credit for his discovery.

"Holes 2, 3& amp; 4 on the bone (as shown, from left to right) stand in a significant relationship to each other: The distance between holes 2 and 3 is virtually twice that between holes 3 and 4. The line up of the holes indicate that it is a flute.

"This means we are looking at a whole tone and a half tone somewhere within a scale. Such a combination of whole tone and half tone is the heart and soul of what makes up 7 note diatonic scales. Without making even one more measurement beyond this, we can already conclude: These three notes on the Neanderthal bone flute are inescapably diatonic and will sound like a near perfect fit within ANY kind of standard diatonic scale, modern or antique. We simply cannot conceive of it being otherwise, unless we deny it is a flute at all. " 38

The significance of Fink’s work is that the Neanderthals may have invented the musical scale used by all western European musical systems. When you listen to Beethoven or Brahms, their music is possibly based upon the Neanderthal musical scale!92 Is this scale a human universal? Even John Leonard at the University of Houston’s Engines of Ingenuity featured this flute on his show. 39

Fink’s report is now only found on the waybackmachine. The link is in reference 38 .

As Bob worried about, because it was made by Neanderthals, who, in the 1990s were not supposed to be smart enough to make flutes all sorts of strange ideas were floated to explain away this flute. Some said scavengers gnawing the bones punctured the bone precisely at the diatonic scale. Yeah, right. Another suggestion was that the acid in a hyena’s gut dissolved the holes just in the right spacing and on the same side. Yeah, right! I don’t know if anthropology ever accepted this flute, a picture is shown below.

This is in footnote 94, p. 119 of Adam, Apes and Anrhopology

" Fink calculates that the odds of the spacing is 1/680 to keep the tuning. But if the bone is divided into 10 degree units any hole could be found in any of the 10 degree segments, then each hole has a 1/36 chance of being in a given segment. with 4 holes the probability of the alignment becomes 1/364= 1.6 million. Multiplied by the spacing probability the odds become 1 out of a billion ."

This was why I was saying 'Yeah right!" above.

But this isn’t the only flute Neanderthals made, which was ignored in the anthropological world. The oldest flute I have been able to find is a from Haua Fteah in Libya. It is had at least two perforations and thus was much more complex than some flutes made by modern men. McBurney notes,

" To these may be added a remarkable bone object most plausibly explained as a fragment of a vertical ‘flute’ or multiple pitch whistle, from spit 1955/64. In this position although directly associated only with a few non-diagnostic chips, splinters and splinters of bone it is none the less attributable to the Pre-Aurignacian owing to the clear indications provided by the overlying spits 1955/61-58, to be discussed in the next chapter. These last show every affinity with the material culture as described and certainly indicate the continued existence of the tradition in the area.

" In all important respects preserved the bone tube reproduces the features of known paleolithic flutes from the European Gravettian both in the East and West, although older by a factor of at least 2 than any other specimen known."40 This object was recovered from the earliest, deepest occupation level at Haua Fteah, Libya. Since at the time McBirney wrote, the oldest flutes were in the neighborhood of 30,000 years, that means the Haua Fteah flute is at least 60,000 years old. But Glynn Isaac describes the dating of the layer in which the flute was found. Neanderthals are always associated with Mousterian assemblages and further the flute was in a layer that yielded two Neanderthal mandibles (jawbones). He states,

"The stratigraphy at this cave site in Cyrenaica appears to span an unusually large segment of Late Pleistocene time and consequently deserves mention apart from its representation in the frequency distribution patterns of C14 dates. About 5 metres of deposits were excavated below ‘Mousterian’ levels which have been C14 dated as follows:

W 85 Layer XXVIII(Mousterian) 0.034.000+/-0.0028 x 106

GrN 2564 XXVIII(Mousterian) 0.0434 +/-0.0013 x 106

GrN 2022 XXVIII(rest fraction) 0.04 +/-0.0015 x 106

GrN 2023 XXVIII(bone fraction) 0.47 +/-0.032 x 106

"Extrapolation of the sedimentation rate down through the underlying strata gives a reasonable geochronometric estimate of at least 70 to 80,000 years for the base of the excavation. The small artefact sample from the lowest levels represents an idiosyncratic industry which includes fairly numerous blades (McBurney. 1967:91), burins, Acheulian elements (ibid.:Fig.IV,7:1,2,6), Mousterian elements (ibid.:Fig.IV, 1:7:Fig.IV,5:4:Fig. Iv, 7:3), the oldest known fossil musical instrument (ibid.:90: A.IV), and perhaps the oldest shell midden (ibid.: 99) ." 41

While this is the oldest flute I have found, penny whistles made of phalange bones go back 100 kyr. They are found at Prolom II in the Crimea which dates between 90-100,000 years. Stpanchuk describes what is found:

" It is impossible not to notice abundant Saiga tatarica phalanges with holes. For example, there are 41 such phalanges with holes. For example, there are 41 such phalanges (55.4% of the total) in the second layer (excavations of 1981 and 1982). In most cases crudely pierced holes are connected with the dorsal surface near the distal epiphysis of the first and second phalange, but are also often located on the articular surface. In many cases the phalanges have two or even three holes, mainly tending to the distal or proximal ends. It is rare that a hole in situated in the medial section. Average dimensions of holes are 3-4 mm; whereas larger ones, sometimes up to 10 mm in size, are much rarer. The origin and purpose of these holes is not quite clear. The study of phalanges with holes has already been going on for more than 150 years, and various explanations have been proposed: the obtaining of marrow; use as whistles; and the result of biting through by a carnivore while the animal was alive. Other hypotheses seem to be fantastic, for example, that they were vessels for poison. It is possible that some of the phalanges with holes were really used as whistles. R. Wetzel wrote that phalanges with roughly pierced holes from Bocksteinschmeide H which he had recognized as ‘hunters’ pipes’ were shown by experiment to utter quite strong shrill sounds. One cannot completely exclude the hypothesis about marrow procuring, although in many ways it does not withstand criticism. New evidence about natural causes has recently been adduced. In any case, the abundance of phalanges with holes at Prolom II cannot be comprehensively explained by any one of the causes mentioned above. Maybe in future investigations of these artefacts at Crimean sites (apart from Prolom II they are known in any layers of Zaskalnaya V, VI IX, as well as at Prolom I, and elsewhere) will make clear their enigmatic origins ." 42

Neanderthal sites have perforated phalange whistles.43 all the way down to 45,000 years ago. Modern humans also made these phalange whistles.

Thus, for Jubal to be somehow remarkable as the father of musical instruments is quite a bold claim for a Johnny-come-lately Neolithic guy when musical instruments had been in existence for at least 90,000 years before he was born. It would almost be like me claiming that I had invented the wheel! Such absurd claims should not be tied to Scripture and that is what a Neolithic Jubal does.

Conclusion

Because of all the above, it is my opinion that translator bias has caused us to believe that Genesis 4 refers to the Neolithic and speaks of metalurgy and the claims of being the father of musical instruments makes no sense for anyone who lived after 100,000 years. Music almost certainly goes further back in time than that. In 4000 years, none of our wooden musical instruments will still be in existence, the perishable wood having rotted away. Most musical instruments of today’s primitive cultures are made from perishable plant matter. We can’t expect anything different from Neanderthals and earlier hominids.

To be or not to be Neolithic? The answer is NOT TO BE.

References

1 .Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship
2 .Kaiser, W. C. (1999). 1553 עָבַד. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 639). Chicago: Moody Press.
3 . Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., Jr., & Waltke, B. K. (Eds.). (1999). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 1053). Chicago: Moody Press.
4 .Coppes, L. J. (1999). 25 אדם. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 11). Chicago: Moody Press
5 .Thomas Jefferson McBride, History of Great Grandparents, Grandparents and Parents of Thomas Jefferson McBride, Draper Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society in SC 21
6 .Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Discover, 1987, in in D. Bruce Dickson, ed. Readings in Archaeology, (New York: West Publishing, 1994), p. 22
7 . Richard Rudgley, The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age, (New York: The Free Press, 1999), p. 8
8 https://www.britannica.com/technology/plow
9 Francesco d’Errico, et al, “Early evidence of San material culture represented by organic artifacts from Border Cave, South Africa,” PNAS August 14, 2012 109 (33) 13214-13219, https://www.pnas.org/content/109/33/13214
10 Donald C. Johanson, Lenora Johanson, and Blake Edgar, Ancestors, (New York: Villard Books, 1994), p. 163-165
11 Pat Shipman, What can you do with a bone fragment? PNAS February 13, 2001 98 (4) 1335-1337 https://www.pnas.org/content/98/4/1335.full
12 . D. E. Yen, Agronomy of Asutralian Hunter-Gatherers,", in David R. Harris, Gordon C. HIllman, Foraging and Farming: The evolution of Plant Exploitation, Routledge, 2014, p. 59
13 . Eastern forests shaped more by Native Americans’ burning than climate change" May 21, 2019 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521162443.htm
14 . Michael A. Huffman, “Current Evidence for Self-Medication in Primates: A Multidisciplinary Perspective,” Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 40(1997):171-200, p. 180
15 . https://www.naturalcures.news/2018-12-20-neanderthals-used-plant-based-medicines.html
16 . Gerlinde Bigga, Werner H. Schoch, Brigitte Urban, Paleoenvironment and possibilities of plant exploitation in the Middle Pleistocene of Schoningen (Germany). Insights from botanical macro-remains and pollen," Journal of Human Evolution, 89(2015), p. 92-104, p.101
17 .E. Lucas Bridges, The Uttermost Part of the Earth, (New York: Dutton, 1949), p. 264
18 . White, W. (1999). 2185 רָעָה. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 852). Chicago: Moody Press.
19 . https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kenneth_Hoffman3/publication/11773272_Earliest_presence_of_humans_in_northeast_Asia/links/09e4150560ab419a63000000/Earliest-presence-of-humans-in-northeast-Asia.pdf
20 . http://dailybeacon.webfactional.com/news/2001/sep/27/artifacts-show-humans-in-north-china-136-million-y/
21 . Roger Cribb, “Comments,” Current Anthropology, 30(1989):5:621
22 . Daniel S. Adler, Guy Bar-Oz, Anna Belfer-Cohen, and Ofer Bar-Yosef, Ahead of the Game : Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Hunting Behaviors in the Southern Caucasus ,"" Current Anthropology Volume 47, Number 1,February 2006, p. 91
23. L. V. Golovanova, et al, ““Mezmaiskaya Cave: A Neanderthal Occupation in the Northern Caucasus,”” Current Anthropology, 40(1999):1:77-86, p. 85
24 . Daniel S. Adler, Guy Bar-Oz, Anna Belfer-Cohen, and Ofer Bar-Yosef, Ahead of the Game : Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Hunting Behaviors in the Southern Caucasus ,” Current Anthropology Volume 47, Number 1, February 2006, p. 96
25 see answer by Alejandro Fais a materials engineer, I used this as the starting point for my research. https://www.quora.com/Can-bronze-be-combined-with-steel
26 . J. C Waldbaum, The First Archaeological appearance of Iron New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980, p.p. 71
27 J. C Waldbaum, The First Archaeological appearance of Iron New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980, P. 75
28 . J. C Waldbaum, The First Archaeological appearance of Iron New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980, p… 75.
29 . J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 298
30 . Brian Hayden "The Cultural Capacities of Neandertals ", Journal of Human Evolution 1993, 24:113_146, p. 132
31 . Bernard Campbell, Human Evolution, (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1974), p. 385
32 . Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 721). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
33 . J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 226-227
34. E. Passemard, 1944, “La Caverne d’Isturitz en Pays Basque,” Prehistoire 9:1-84, p. 24.
35. J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 298
36 . Dirk Huyge, “Mousterian Skiffle? Note on a Middle Palaeolithic Engraved bone from Schulen, Belgium,” Rock Art Research, 7(1990):2:125-133 p. 130-131
37 . Steven L. Kuhn and Mary C. Stiner, “The Earliest Aurignacian of Riparo Mochi (Liguria, Italy),” Current Anthropology, Supplement, 39(1998):175-189, p. 182
38 .Bob Fink, The Neanderthal Flute, https://web.archive.org/web/20050214090805/http://www.webster.sk.ca/greenwich/fl-compl.htm
39. https://uh.edu/admin/engines/stoneage/epi1232.htm
40. C.B.M. McBurney, Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica),(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 90
41. Glynn Isaac, in Barbara Isaac, editor, The Archaeology of Human Origins, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 71
42. Vadim N. Stpanchuk, “Prolom II, A Middle Palaeolithic Cave Site in the Eastern Crimea with Non-Utilitarian Bone Artefacts,” Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 59, 1993, pp 17-37, p. 33-34.
43 . Paul Mellars, The Neanderthal Legacy, (Princeton: University Press, 1996), p. 373; Randall White, “Comments” Current Anthropology, 36:4(1995), pp. 605-634, p. 624

Glenn you have really outdone yourself this time but this is really TL;DNR.

And not to be picky, but when I see someone arguing Hebrew translation and using Strong’s I shudder.

It’s not just Tubal-Cain (even though your interpretation of Tubal-Cain is flawed, for reasons I will state), the very etymology of the name Cain (Qayin) has metallurgical roots in Arabic and Aramaic. As scholar Nissim Amzallag states, the story of Cain likely has roots with the Qenite people of North Arabia, so an Arabic etymology is very likely. Amzallag also points us to the fact that the earliest cities, such as Eridu, Shuruppak and Memphis, had metallurgical links, thus I think you take Genesis 4:17-24 out of it’s historical context, and I see no reason to doubt the traditional translation.

http://www.scielo.org.za/pdf/ote/v24n2/07.pdf

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Hi Reggie, I read your piece and here are my comments on it. I was not impressed.

A similarly spelt root appears in fifth century B.C.E. South-Arabian tribal, clan, and personal names. The root, meaning “smith,” is also found in later Aramaic and Arabic.14 In cognate Semitic languages it means “tinsmith” or “craftsman.” "Marlene E. Mondriaan, “Who were the Kenites?” OTE 24/2 (2011): 414-430 , p 417

If this is the evidence of Cain’s name being derived from Arabic, it is about 1000 years too late. Moses wrote in the last 1500s BC. There might be a link to the name Cain, but it might be that the 500BC root you cite was derived from the Bible, not the other way. If the Arabic root is to be claimed to be the cause of Cain’s name, it must occur EARLIER. That is how causation works and she seems not to understand that. 1000 years ago, England, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark Sweden and Norway all spoke the same language. In 1000 years, languages change dramatically and words shift their meaning. This root ‘evidence’ is useless.

Furthermore, I would comment on the Kenite hypothesis in the article. The Kenite hypothesis implies that the God of Abraham isn’t the God of Moses. That further renders the Bible to be untrue because it represents the God of Abraham as the God of Moses, not some Kenite God picked up like a virus while traveling.

Mondriaan writes:
"The name could also be related to Ugaritic qn, meaning “reed” or “shaft.” Marlene E.Mondriaan, “Who were the Kenites?” OTE 24/2 (2011): 414-430 , p 417

Yeah, so which is it? 1000 year too late Arabic or an earlier Ugaritic word? I think the earlier word is more likely. Strongs says Cain means spear; BDB says Cain means 'spear" That is consistent with a cognate meaning shaft. There is nothing about metal in Cain’s name in two of the most trusted Hebrew dictionaries.

Mondriaan writes:
" the Arabian Qaynān was probably a patron deity for smiths and metalworkers." Marlene E.Mondriaan, “Who were the Kenites?” OTE 24/2 (2011): 414-430 , p 417

It either IS or it isn’t saying “probably” means she didn’t know. In this claim, she offers no reference or source of information for this claim. Why should I believe this when she uses the word ‘probably’. How does she know? Did she just make this claim up?

" Origins of nations are all described in segmentary genealogies, with the exception of that found in Gen 4:17-22, which some scholars consider to be the tribal genealogy of the Kenites, thereby accepting Cain as the eponymous ancestor of this tribe." Marlene E.Mondriaan, “Who were the Kenites?” OTE 24/2 (2011): 414-430 , p 418

This is just rich and shows that this writer doesn’t even understand the mindset of the Hebrews. She seems to ignore ignore that the Biblical account tells of a the flood intervenes between the Kenites and Cain, which flood killed off the Cain lineage. So, even if she doesn’t believe in the flood, the ancient Hebrews DID and they would never have held such a view. They would not have beleived that Kenites were descended from Cain, because Cain’s descendants were DEAD. Humans are supposed to have mirror neurons which allow us to place our selves in the situation of someone else. Mondriaan isn’t using her mirror neurons.

“During the thirteenth century B.C.E. the Hittites discovered a process to extract iron from its ores. At that stage the Hittite Kingdom had expanded to include virtually all of Asia Minor.” Marlene E.Mondriaan, “Who were the Kenites?” OTE 24/2 (2011): 414-430 , p 420

I just shook my head at this statement. She is totally out of date on the early working in iron. I documented earlier cases of smelting iron and a bracelet of iron sent to a king 500 years prior to when she says the Hittites invented iron. Xray spectroscopy shows that small pieces of terrestrial iron were smelted as far back as 2600 BC.

Frankly, I don’t think this writer is very deep and I certainly don’t buy that a ‘root word’ can be claimed to to be a root when it occurs at least 1000 years after the descendant word was written. This is retrocausality.

**

LOL, why thank you. So you say that another dictionary would say the words mean something else? prove it.

Edited to add. Are you saying that Brass and Iron used in Jeremiah 6:28 isn’t a euphemism??? If it is a euphemism, then almost certainly brass and iron in Genesis 4 is euphemism. and that changes the meaning of those verses

When I look at 20 different translations and they all say the same thing then it takes more that a dictionary to convince me the meaning is something else. And for an argument based on translation then it really takes more than Strong’s.

Bill, I noticed you avoided my question. Is brass and iron in Jeremiah 6:28 a euphemism? to save you the trouble of looking it up, here it is:
They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters

Is this a robot rebellion and they really ARE made of brass and iron, or is this a euphemism for corruption? Avoiding the tough questions is not the way to deal with issues. This point is the key point for understanding Genesis 4:22 So please answer the question.

Edited to add: Bill, you didn’t like me using strongs, and shook your head at that terrible act. I asked you to prove that other dictionaries would yield different meanings and you play switch topic here by talking about translations. That isn’t doing what I asked of you. Changing topic is not a way to address the issues head on. If Strongs is a bad dictionary then what dictionary has the correct meanings which are different from what Strongs says?

I don’t speak Hebrew so couldn’t answer that question. I know when I am talking to people that are not native English speakers that I often say something that is completely correct English and yet they do not understand.

If you think you can correctly translate a foreigh language using just a dictionary you will end up with some bad translations. Help me out here @Christy I was told by a seminary professor to never trust a word study done by a person that doesn’t speak the language.

Etymology (the usual focus of word studies) can be interesting, but it rarely give non-native speakers insight into the meaning of a word in a specific context. The only way you get close to that is by studying multiple contemporaneous uses of the word in similar contexts. Contemporary theory of meaning-making has definitely moved away from the code model idea that we construct meaning by adding up the discrete units of meaning stored in our mental lexicons and grammars. The current model is inference-based.

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You did nothing but state your own theological objections to it. You presuppose that moses wrote all the Torah and that Abraham made a covenant with God.

I also find an Arabic etymology more likely if you consider that the story of Cain probably originated with the Qenites. Why would the Hebrews make a story where a murderer received divine protection? It makes sense however, for the people who believed they were descended from Cain.

Also, not just Tubal-Cain, but all the sons of Lamech seem to have metallurgical links, it therefore makes sense to assume that the name Cain has metallurgical links.

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I have been in touch with people who have studied the language and they say what I have suggested is plausible. I find your refusal to answer the question about Jeremiah interesting because if it isn’t a euphemism, then those rebels really were made of brass and iron. That is the two options. And robots back then is ridiculous.

Christy writes: The current model is inference-based.

Yeah, I infer from Jeremiah 6:28 and knowledge of technological development that there were no robots back in Jeremiah’s time, which leaves the only option that Brass and iron together, along with the physical problems I outlined in mixing those two metals, requires that it be a euphemism. Unless of course you too think they really were made of Brass and Iron. I really don’t think you will chose that option.

And if it is a euphemism, then I infer that it is likely that the same use, applies to Genesis 4:22, which then makes Tubalcain the instructor of every artificer of evil corruption. And shortly after that, the Bible says the flood is because of the corruption of man.

Secondly, the ‘not a euphemism’ model (but something yall don’t say what it is) leaves the account of Lamech and his murder of his son really unexplained. In other words, yall are not paying attention to the context Genesis 4:22 has. Yall are treating it like each verse is an isolated thing not to be read in context of the rest of the Genesis story. Tubalcain was a wild child, and wounded his father and his father killed him. Tubalcain was into corruption, not metal.

plausible != right

Here is what Calvin says

And Matthew Henry

So euphemism is not a given. There are other options. Which calls into question your way of viewing this.

It could also be an idiom with a meaning that we can not uncover.

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Can’t uncover the meaning? Jimminy, Jeremiah 6: 28 practically defines it, bounding it with two different terms. I must admire your ability to avoid the obvious.
One translation says:
They are all stubbornly rebellious,
going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
all of them act corruptly

All of them are stubbornly rebellious,
Going about as a talebearer.
They are bronze and iron;
They, all of them, are corrupt. NASB

They define brass and iron as corruption or revolting

Neither Henry nor Calvin had much knowledge of metals. I looked it up and the two are unmixable and form biphasic mixes, meaning you have bubbles of brass in the iron or bubbles of iron in the brass. Such a conglomerate ruins the final metal. It is corrupted!

As iron sharpens iron, but you probably have a reference that shows that is not correct. :wink:

But they could read the Hebrew directly.

Just look at the whole section, not just a few verses.

The point is not corruption but the purification of metal. As even you said, bronze and iron can not be purified. How could bronze and iron be purified, given the technology available to the original audience?

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