You are here: Home / Part 3 Disruptive Truths of God's Kingdom (Lessons #34–69) / Chapter 1 (#34–38) / Lesson 36 – Rise of Civilization – Noah’s Sons, A New View of History
Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 1996
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 3: Disruptive Truths of God’s Kingdom
Chapter 1: The Tragic Flaw in Civilized Society
Lesson 36 – Rise of Civilization – Noah’s Sons, A New View of History
25 Oct 1996
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
Just to get a perspective on what we’re doing, I’ve tried to pick key events of Scripture as we’ve gone through, and when we do that what we’re trying to do is use events not just to think about history so much as to use those Bible stores as devices that you can feed the imagery of your mind with. So when we think about who and what God is, who and what man is, what about nature, what about sin, what about salvation, that our minds and hearts will dwell on those events because those events are the means by which God reveals Himself. Last year we looked at four key events, we’re moving toward the fifth one, the call of Abraham. Each of these events depicts or provides imagery for truths of Scripture, or very vital doctrine. The doctrine of God, for example, some time when you’re praying or walking, driving or something, just think about who and what God is.
If you will, in your mind’s eye, remember the text of Genesis 1, for example, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth … And God said, Let there be light … And God said,” and it came to pass, if you just rehearse that imagery in your mind, it clarifies and fortifies the orthodox biblical view of God, as over against the pagan idea that God is part of nature and nature is part of God. It gets that Creator/creature distinction clear, that the Creator speaks and the creation responds. The same thing when with the fall, when you think about the fall it’s very critical because we said for every truth there’s always an error, and the great truth of the fall is that the universe was perfect before the fall was a fall, a fall from something, it was a fall from perfection, it was a fall from righteousness, so it means that evil had a start, and the Bible says evil will also be shunted off into a garbage heap of history called Lake of Fire, and will be dispensed with.
So evil is bounded, and if you will think again in terms of Eve and Adam reaching for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, let that imagery nourish your soul, that’s the way to feed yourself, and by feeding on the imagery of these events we correct our thinking. It’s a discipline to keep our thinking straight. You don’t have to be a theologian, you don’t have to have a PhD, you don’t have to do all advanced studies, all you really have to do is just think of the simple stories of Scripture and circulate them in your mind’s eye. Feed your soul. We have enough garbage imagery; we’re surrounded by it all day long in our society. Get a breath of fresh air and allow our souls to feed on some pure imagery, imagery that’s correct, imagery that will keep our thinking straight.
The fall is where we learn about evil, we learn that evil is bounded, we learn that evil began with a personal act of rebellion, so that we are guilty. There is such a thing as ultimate responsibility, final responsibility. What is the pagan counterpart to this, because every truth has an error, and the counterpart is that evil is normal, evil is unbounded, and everybody’s a victim, there’s no such thing as responsibility, and that’s what we see every pagan society move toward, a forsaking of personal responsibility.
The flood, how do you use that imagery in your mind’s eye? Think of Noah’s flood and think of the word judgment/salvation. In order to save from evil God has to judge evil, so the flood at once becomes both a judgment and a salvation. God judges the evil world and He saves out of it those who have trusted in Him. And by looking at salvation in terms of the flood, it corrects your thinking in another area. In our time “religion,” (quote end quote) is always looked upon as some subjective thing of the heart, unrelated to the physical universe around us. But if you will nourish your soul with thoughts about the flood of Noah, you will keep from that error because this will teach you over and over again that when God saves He saves man and his environment. And until the environment, and until the physical body is saved, the salvation process is not finished. That’s why there’s resurrection yet to come, that’s why there’s the new heavens and the new earth, that’s why the universe will be recreated. Salvation is not complete until that particular time.
The program goes on until that is reached, regeneration is a precious truth but the problem in our day, our whole society wants to psychologize everything, make everything subjective, make everything a matter of feelings, how you feel about it. Ever notice how many times you catch yourself using the verb “I feel that,” you don’t feel that, “I feel that it’s right to do this,” you don’t feel whether it’s right, you know whether it’s right or wrong, you think whether it’s right or wrong. But what’s happened in our very subjective age our verbs have changed, so we’re expressing ourselves… you don’t feel, nowhere in the Scripture is there one command about how you feel, all the commands are obey, think, submit, be filled with the Spirit which is not an emotional thing, the Bible is not denying emotions, it’s just saying the caboose comes on the end of the train and the engineer isn’t in the caboose, he’s in the engine. The point is, there is a subjectivity, and looking at the flood prevents that.
The Noahic Covenant: when you’re thinking in terms of order in the midst of chaos, think of the Noahic Covenant. God controls the world and the universe according to His verbal promises that He has written into terms of a contract that has been signed. That’s the way God rules. It’s not a case of just physical laws; it’s a case of a signed personal contract, like you would write in any business agreement. God has written that. And the word “covenant” is a very important word, and here’s why. There is not another country or religion on the planet that ever has God making a contract with His people, other than Israel and the Old Testament. Nothing! The Hindus don’t have it, Buddha doesn’t have it, Confucianism doesn’t have it, Taoism doesn’t have it, no religion ever has a contract between God and His people other than Israel and the Old Testament.
That should say something. It says loud and clearly that only the God of the Scripture reveals Himself in a personal way, that all the other stuff is hokey, it’s hot air, it’s imagery, it’s subjectivism, it’s dreams, it’s just palaver. But in the Scripture we have God going on record historically to specific clauses in a contract. This is something to feed on when everything seems like it’s falling apart, go back to the basic, God is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God. In spite of what it looks like, I dwell in an ordered environment, that behind the chaos there is order, and the order is the order of a personal God who is upholding the text of a contract to which He has signed His name.
This is what we’re trying to do, use these events to remember these doctrines, what kind of God God is, what man is, what nature is, the issue of suffering, the issue of judgment/salvation, and now we’re getting into the call of Abraham, and I introduced this course, what we’re moving to is the very delicate and controversial aspect of the gospel, and that is why is it said that one and only one group of people have the truth and no other people do. What is this offensive exclusivism? I’m sure some of you have become Christian in a family of non-Christian, if you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a dozen times, how can you be so arrogant to think that you have the way, the truth and the life. The only thing I can think of is a TV program years and years ago, Phil Donahue made the mistake of inviting Bill Buckley as his guest, and he got to one of those areas where he had Buckley in the front and he was waving his little Donahue finger in his face and saying the trouble with you Christians is you always think you’re right and everyone else is wrong. And he thought he was going to intimidate Buckley, the problem is that Bill Buckley is not the kind of guy that you can intimidate quickly, so quick as a wit Buckley looked at him, blinked his eyes and said, Well, Phil, that’s because we do have the truth. And it was exactly the answer that Donahue didn’t expect, because he thought he had set the whole studio up to ridicule and so intimidate him he would never come back at him like that. Buckley just looked him straight in the face and said because we have, we do. It was neat to watch Donahue because he didn’t know what to do then, because his intimidation didn’t work, and Buckley didn’t back down. Buckley just drilled him right back. That’s what we’re coping with here with the call of Abraham.
Why did God abandon the world system and choose out from humanity this subset, then forever after work strictly with this subset of people? Why did God do this? You ask the average person on the street and they’ll say it’s very unfair of God to do that, and they’ll say that’s why we can’t stand Christianity, you people say “Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me,” well what about the Muslims, what about the good person… this, that and the other thing. We’ve all heard this. That’s where we’re moving. This is why we’re spending a lot of time at the very fountain of the origin of civilization, to see there is a reason why God picked out a subset. It is all going to flow logically. But you have to start where the Scripture starts and we have to go back to origins, in this case we’re dealing with the origin of civilization.
Let’s go to Acts 17:26; keep in mind that this is the passage where the Apostle Paul preaches the gospel to the center of Greek thought, Athens. And it’s a critical address because it’s addressed to Gentiles, not Jews and there’s a certain style, a certain logic, a certain approach that Paul used, and we know that this is not just for the philosophers at Athens because the methodology in Acts 17 is the same methodology if you observe Paul preaching in Acts 14. It’s the same methodology he uses in Romans 1. Every once in a while you get some preacher in Acts 17 he tries to say this was a big failure of Paul, he was trying to cater to the intellectuals and nobody responded, etc. Wrong! If that’s so, how do you explain Romans 1 and 2? The logic of Rom. 1 and 2 recapitulates the logic of Acts 17, so if you’re going to throw out Acts 17 as a failure you also have to throw out Rom. 1 and 2, and Acts 14, all those passages go together. It’s a Pauline approach to the nations.
Acts 17:24-27 is probably a summary of hundreds of words that Paul preached that day, because the Holy Spirit apparently tends to summarize a lot of these sermons. Notice what he does; in verse 24, he deals with the issue of creation. You always hear oh, we don’t want to touch creation, that’s controversial, let’s just get to the gospel. If you’re going to avoid the creation issue, what are you going to avoid? The Creator/creature distinction. And if you’re going to avoid the Creator/creature distinction you’ve already started to compromise your view of God. You can’t teach about the biblical God without talking about the biblical God who creates. That’s why Paul does not avoid the issue in verse 24. Paul knew that people who followed Aristotle and Plato not only did not believe in this kind of a thing, that they could not. If we know Platonic categories and Aristotle’s logic, we know that it was unacceptable to say what he said in verse 24, and Paul knew that, but Paul goes ahead anyway and says it, because you can’t understand God apart from creation. This is why the great creeds, the Apostle’s Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” Why does it start that way? Because you can’t avoid creation when you’re talking about who and what God is.
So Acts 17:24, creation: “The God who made the world, and all things in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.  Neither is He served by human hands,” so in verses 24-25 he is characterizing pagan religion. Then he follows a strategy in this sermon that we want to remember, and that is the strategy of envelopment. In other words, either you interpret the world through the Bible, or you will permit the world to interpret the Bible according to it: one or the other! So the way you avoid getting trapped is to encircle the world and explain it from the biblical point of view. Don’t ever let the world try to explain itself. Don’t ever accept that, either in your own thinking or always strive to interpret things that happen, things you’re interested in, the flow of life, the flow of history, always seek, ALWAYS to go back to Scripture and anchor your understanding into some area of Scripture for that thing. That way you neutralize the toxins that are all there, the intellectual poison of the world system. This is what he does here.
Notice Acts 17:26, now he applies the doctrine of creation to the generation of a pagan society, and he says “and He made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation.” Notice that he says “He has made from one every nation of mankind,” that is Paul’s analysis of the world as a mission field, that the world has a primary unity, it is a genealogical unity that goes back to the Noahic issue and Adam and Eve, ultimately. So all men, it doesn’t matter what their culture is, it doesn’t matter what their language is, it doesn’t matter what their race is, it doesn’t matter how long they’ve lived in one place or another place, God has made from one all nations of men. It’s axiomatic, and it has to follow.
In fact, if that’s not so, then Christ’s death has a problem, because Christ died as the Son of Adam, and He died for all the sons and daughters of Adam, and if we have people who are not people who are not sons and daughters of Adam, then Christ didn’t die for them. So from one He made every nation of men to live. Look at what he says about history, and he includes the Greeks, who were very proud and arrogant about their history. Remember in the New Testament how many times you read about the Greeks and the barbarians, it was their way of saying we are the Greeks and everybody else is a barbarian. It’s the class idea. So here he destroys the class idea because he says “every nation of mankind” has been made, i.e. every people group, “to live on all the face of the earth,” notice all the face of the earth, because we’re going to deal with that strongly tonight and next week. ALL the face of the earth, not part of the earth, all the earth. What did God tell Noah to do? Go out and do what? He repeated what He told Adam, Go out and fill the earth. So God made every nation of mankind to live on ALL the face of the earth. And “having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation.” Notice God determines the groupings, God determines the geographical groupings. Do you want a philosophy of history; have you ever taken a history course that dealt with verse 26? Do you realize what we’re looking at?
In Acts 17:26, this is the biblical philosophy of history, that God shapes nations, He shapes them in space, i.e. their boundaries, and their times, the rise and the fall of nations. It is all pre-tuned, and adjusted by God. That is the biblical view of history. I didn’t want to discourage any home schoolers that are trying to train their children in dates; I made some snotty remark about history being just a pile of dates that you memorize, etc. Dates are important because it structures it, but what I’m saying is, my objection to that method of teaching history is that it teaches history like it’s all separate little marbles, unrelated. It doesn’t teach pattern, and I remember being very frustrated as a non-Christian in high school learning history. It was easy to get As in history, all you had to do was memorize the garbage and then burp it back and go on to the next lesson. But that wasn’t learning anything, and moreover that wasn’t directing me to do anything with it. I felt very frustrated because history just seemed to me like a pile of marbles; this did this, so what? Why did Columbus do this? Why did the Europeans try to colonize the North America continent? Who was there before them? Were the Indians the only ones? Those are the questions I was interested in, not who did what on such and such a month and day. That makes sense if those are fillers to the large framework that you’ve pre-established. What we’re saying here in verse 26, there is the large framework that we have to work out of to get to the details. So God determines the appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.
Acts 17:27 is the purpose of history, verse 26 is the control that goes on in history, the grand movements, the migrations, the rise and the fall of civilizations, but verse 27 is why that takes place. Why, for example, did God let Spaniards go into Central America and massacre the Aztec and Inca civilizations? God obviously allowed it to happen? Why does God allow Hitlers to do the awful things they do? Why does God permit the rise of Puritanism to do its thing in New England and England? Why? Verse 27 is a biblical answer to this. And yet where do you ever hear it in history courses? It couldn’t be clearer and Paul knew this because he was an evangelist. Look at this, an evangelist, a missionary, and he trained himself in world history so he could move out into various geographical people’s groups and immediately envelop them in the strategy of encirclement. He could encircle their whole way of life and their whole thinking with the Word of God. And he says, you creeps, you came from the same mankind as the barbarians, you all came from the same thing, your rise that you Greeks are so proud of, your great classic era of Plato and Aristotle, do you know why God had the Greeks do this, he says?
Verse 27, “That you should seek God,” that’s why. “That they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him,” notice the word “grope,” who gropes? Blind people. This is a left-handed compliment, that they should seek because they’re blind, this is like God herding a group of blind people out of the door, pushing them gently off so they don’t bang into a chair, so they can get out of the door, they’re all blind, they don’t know where they’re going. And this is what God says, he’s contorting the times and the boundaries of people groups, “if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, thought He is not far from each one of us,” and then he goes on.
Then he goes through a few verses and he comes down to verse 30, look at what it says in Acts 17:30. “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent.” In other words, God let the process of history go on until the gospel, so from Noah to Christ, among the nations outside of Israel, history was allowed to proceed to keep a minimal God-consciousness alive. The rise and the fall of nations had as its purpose to keep, verse 27, a minimal level of God-consciousness there; that was the purpose of history. God didn’t force anybody to do anything; He was hoping they would come to Him. How? Through what they could remember, what they had learned from Noah, and Japheth, Ham, and Shem who had passed it down, they had information. There’s not anybody out there that didn’t hear. Every peoples group had originally a tradition from Noah. It got lost, it got distorted, yes, but people groups don’t rise in vacuums.
So the point is that with the gospel, now God declares everybody always, look at the universals in verse 30, every man always should repent, in other words the whole world is screwed up, and the gospel is going into it. Basically God says all you nations are wrong, I don’t care whether you’ve got good hotten-tots or whether you have great Confucianists, you’re all screwed up, and moreover, I’m telling you you’re going to have to totally change your hearts because you’re all wrong. That’s the offense of the gospel, that’s why we’re not liked, that’s why the gospel message is, frankly, very offensive in a day like our own time when it’s sort of politically incorrect to make these kinds of assertions. That’s what we are gripping with in this area of Genesis, so let’s turn back to Genesis.
In Genesis 10, the notes handed out tonight get into the details of Genesis 10 a little bit. At the end of Genesis 9, remember in Acts 17 we just got through saying that the boundaries of the habitations and the times of the nations rise and fall have been determined for a theological purpose … a theological purpose! Let me give you a little insight into that, how this helps you. Those of you who have worked a little bit in ancient history, think of the Romans. What do you think of first when you think of the great Roman civilization? What did Rome do to the world? If you’ve traveled, or seen travel pictures, what did the Romans leave everywhere they went? Roads, bridges, some of them still in use. They had an engineering corps that you couldn’t believe, fantastic, the Roman engineers. Their army engineers built those roads so they could control the world. That’s what they wanted to do. The great Caesars wanted taxes, they wanted revenues, they wanted domination, they wanted an empire, so they built their roads, everywhere the Roman soldiers went they built roads. So these people built this vast system of communication. Now what came along just at the time that the Roman army engineers had completed many of their major roads? The gospel, and who used the roads? The Christians, to carry the Word of God. You can’t tell me that all the activity of the Roman engineers wasn’t being allowed for other purposes than those which the engineers themselves thought they were building the roads for. Do you see the irony in history?
I remember when I was in high school, the Chinese communists took over Tibet, suddenly legions and legions of Chinese regiments moved into Tibet and they shattered the culture of Tibet, and at the time one of the most famous newscasters in the U.S. was Lowell Thomas on the radio, and he went to Tibet, the Dalai Lama asked him to come to Tibet and Lowell Thomas popularized the poor tragedy of these people in Tibet that suddenly became dominated by the Chinese armies, the red armies that moved in, tanks, jeeps, guns, massacres. But what did the red army do? The red army, like the Romans wanted to set up communications all over Tibet, so what did they do? They gave them radios so they could listen to radio Peking. Guess who got on the radio waves with another message? The Far East Broadcasting Company, deliberately tuning in their powerful 100,000 watt transmitters to blast in, right on the frequency. So now what? Tibet was known as one of the most demonic of all cultures in Asia. The red-hooded monks of Tibet probably have the reputation for being the most demonic occultic people on the face of this earth, and they were the ones that were crushed by the communists, and the communists allowed all kinds of entrees for the gospel, not because they wanted to, it was because in the great grand chess game of history, man makes a move and God makes a countermove. Nice of you to do that—boom, you lose. This is how God rules in history, and that’s the irony that you want to capture in all of this.
Those boundaries in Genesis 9:25, there’s what we call an oracle of Noah given about the shape of history to come. It’s in the form of a blessing and a cursing, upon and through his sons. I want to refresh your mind about certain elements in that. Remember Canaan, who was a son of Ham, is mentioned here because who wrote Genesis? Moses. What were the Israelites about to face when Genesis was first written? Canaan, they were going into the land. So obviously they needed some analysis of where they were in history. “Cursed by Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.  He said also, Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.  May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” We won’t get into Canaan because we’ll have plenty of time to deal with Canaan, what I want you to look at is Genesis 9:26-27, the word “Shem” and the word “Japheth.” Shem and Japheth are two of the three sons of Noah. Notice that Shem seems to be the one who will carry the Messianic line. Notice it is Shem who is the one who carries and is associated with the God of redemption, the God of the Noahic Covenant.
You’ll also notice the second son in verse 27, Japheth, is to be enlarged. He is to be made large, and we interpret that, and part of the lesson handed out tonight, in Genesis 10:2-5 something happens in verse 5 that’s unlike the corresponding verses for Shem and Ham. I want you to see that in the notes, but as you think about it, verse 27 God enlarges Japheth, that’s saying something about the pattern of history, history that we’ll assume beginning at this point, “And let him dwell in the tents of Shem.” In some way, Japheth is dependent upon Shem.
Now without getting into details, let’s skip forward many, many centuries. When Christianity moved out into the world, what did it move from, primarily, in terms of Shem and Japheth? If Shem represents the Semitic peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, the Middle East area, where did the gospel come from? It came from Shem. Where did the gospel primarily go? Northeast, northwest, southwest, or southeast from the Middle East. Where were the great missionary travels of Paul? Northwest? Where did the Japhetics settle? Northwest. And it’s striking that when we open our Bibles there’s two languages in the Scriptures? The first one is Hebrew (actually there’s another one, Aramaic, but forgetting that for a moment, just the two major languages). The Old Testament is written in Hebrew. That’s a Semitic language. The New Testament is written in Greek. That’s a Japhetic language. So in the very structure of the Bible you have this thing, this shape of history that’s being built.
We want to move on to our notes because we’re still working this background of what Noah’s sons went into, and we have to cover some of this background because if we don’t, we wind up letting the world interpret this background in such a way that it discredits the Scripture. Turn to the chart on page 7; I said that you can’t get enough of that data. That chart summarizes Genesis 10, from the time between Noah and Abraham you have this process of decreasing longevity. We have on that chart people like Shem living a long time, and then we have Peleg, he’s born here, he dies here, but Shem overarches him. If you take this time period between these later men when they were dying, and finally when Shem dies off in Abraham’s time, you take this zone of history, it is a strange, unprecedented time in human history, it had never occurred before, it will never occur again, a very strange thing. For three centuries grandfathers outlived their grandsons. For three centuries the human race as it was diverting and multiplying had these superintending giants whom they called gods, and this is why we believe that Shem, Ham, Japheth and their sons reappear in mythology all over the world. The later generations, the third, fourth generation, count down that chart about five generations and you get down to the people that are living less, and still are unable to outlive their great-great-great-grandfathers. And they look back at these people, and these people must have assumed supernatural proportions to them, it’s not out of imagination to see that.
On page 7 I have a quote, and I’m not competent to pass on every idea that Dr. Pilkey has, but several of his observations are very incisive, and that’s why I put this quote in here. “The high longevities of Noah’s immediate family combined with the gentile Pentecost of human government to make that family the most astounding aristocracy the world has known. Nothing in human experience can compare with it short of the Christian Apocalypse . . . During this period, all but one of twenty-five dynasties of the Sumerian King list and the first twelve dynasties of Egypt ran their course. Shem outlived most of them.” Just think of that, that is unheard of from the modern historian’s point of view, absolutely impossible, this is fairy story, this is all mythology. But you see, it’s mythology because we insist on taking processes we observe now and extrapolating them backwards. Isn’t that what evolution does? It takes processes of human reproduction, animal reproduction, certain adaptations, breeding, etc. artificial selection, and assumes that there’s such a thing as natural selection, patterned after artificial selection, and it propagates those imaginatively backwards, taking the present as the key to the past.
This is an illegitimate method of reasoning. It’s a pagan method of reasoning, but biblically we can’t agree with that, and here’s why? What do you do with this? How do you dare take processes going on in 2000 and 1000 BC and AD 1000 and our own day, historical processes that we can control because we’ve got a lot of data, and arrogantly presuppose that this couldn’t have happened. The Bible data is it did happen. So you’ve got to use this when you interpret the data. The data can’t be interpreted just in terms of present processes. And when you do this, that’s why Pilkey says it’s an astonishing thing. During this period, if you have any feel for history, this is stunning, “all but one of the twenty-five dynasties of the Sumerian King list and the first twelve dynasties of Egypt ran their course” before Shem died. Amazing, he was around to see the rise and fall of twenty-five Sumerian dynasties; he outlived twelve dynasties of Egypt. Not only did he, but probably his sons outlived them. Amazing!
Turn to Genesis 10 and look at one of the sons of Ham in that list. Genesis 10:6, here is the sons of Ham, the third son of Noah. “And the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.” Let’s think, Ham is the son of Noah, so he is living like Shem is, long time; he has a son, Cush and Mizraim, now Mizraim is strange because that word ends in “im” and it probably isn’t a person, it’s a nation. Anybody know what that nation is? It’s Egypt. So whoever this son is, he is the one who began Egypt, the guy that pulled Egypt together was a guy by the name of Pharaoh Menes, and that Pharaoh was have said to have commandeered power in Egypt and united Egypt because of a problem. Do you know what the problem was? Too much water, and it fits with what we said last time, the ice age was going on all during this time period, so you have a cold climate, the storm tracks are south, the South Sahara is well watered, has rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert, which you can see when you get on satellite, certain radar imagery you can see the river beds underneath the sand. So all this was fertile area. And Menes founded the Egyptian civilization by carving out stability in that Nile area so you could grow crops, it wouldn’t be flooded out. Notice then, Mizraim would be the first dynasty of Egypt, he began it, and Ham is still living, because Ham is his grandfather.
Ham is also the father of Cush. Cush is the founder of Ethiopia, obviously black. So now here we have a marvelous thing, we have a white son, Mizraim and a black son, Cush. Where are these genes coming from? It goes back to the wives of the sons, it goes back to the fact that you had a lot of genes floating around then, and they were combining in all kinds of different ways, and you have origins. It also is true that Cush and Mizraim both lived a long time. Where do you suppose they might have been born? Mesopotamia or Egypt? It’s a matter of speculation, but presumably they were born in Mesopotamia. That means that Egyptians became Egyptians not in Egypt; Egyptians became Egyptians in Mesopotamia. And then after they had their Egyptian identity they went into these areas. And Cush, who was the founder of the Ethiopian black in the middle of Mesopotamia, from which he went into Africa. So this is a very, very startling and radical rearrangement. I’m making a point because I want to get you to realize that we’ve been asleep at how we’ve been trained and educated in history. We haven’t begun to probe the depth of Scripture in how history really happened. Maybe we won’t know until the Second Advent of Christ what really went on in all of history. But we’ve got a lot of screwed up analysis, and we’re very arrogant in how we think we understand history, oh, this happened this way and this… not so fast [blank spot]
We gave you a map on page 9, and we made the observation that if humanity diverged from the Middle East, it is striking to notice that the most primitive forms left, East Africa finds, Neanderthal finds, Peking man, isn’t it striking that these primitive finds are all on the outer end of the arrows, you draw arrows out from Mesopotamia where the Bible would say that civilization diverged from, it’s in the frontier areas where you have this apparent physiological stress on the human frame. Remember these people lived centuries; they lived in an adverse environment. An alternate interpretation, instead of saying that these people evolved out on the rim and then somehow people all moved in from the rims to the Middle East to start civilization, the Bible says it’s exactly reverse, they started in the Middle East and went out, and deteriorated.
On page 11 we talk about the high intelligence and the high technology of Noah’s sons, and I deal with some of the anthropologists most famous and well known observations, claiming that you have primitive men. “In the evolutionary view millions of years were required for man’s IQ to evolve high enough to support the cultural skills necessary for civilization. To support this belief, evidences are cited such as primitive man’s lack of inventiveness, the simplicity of his artifacts, the extreme conservativism of his customs, and his smaller skull size.” Next paragraph: “The Canadian physiologist, Dr. Arthur Custance, years ago refuted each of these evidences as IQ indicators. The majority of intelligent people have never invented anything.” How many people do you know invented the wheel? “Simplicity of artifacts are often the best indicator of inventive genius.” The guy thinks how to do it simple is a genius. “Conservative customs in an extremely stressful environment is the safest way of survival.”
There are certain things they teach you in military survival school that you’d better learn, because when you’re down and wounded some place, and the bugs are crawling all over you, and you’re starved, you don’t experiment, that’s not the place to experiment. What you do is you apply the principles you learned in your training, and you stick with it because those principles are proven and you don’t have survival margins to experiment. You experiment when you have a little latitude for error, but when you don’t have any latitude for error and you’re just hanging on by your fingernails, you don’t experiment. So if people were conservative it might have been just the stress of the times, they didn’t dare experiment, not that they were too stupid to experiment; they were smart not to experiment.
And finally this grand and grandiose counter illustration of a small skull, he points out that Anatole France’s cranial capacity was only 1100cc, which is about that of the primitive man. Anatole France obviously wasn’t primitive. Then he says that we have examples today of old stone age cultures. One of them would be the Eskimo. In a lot of Eskimo areas, if those civilizations would die out today and you were an archeologist digging fifty or a hundred years from now and you dug into their utensils, you would swear you are dealing with an Old Stone Age group. Does that mean they’re stupid? That they haven’t evolved? So it’s a very interesting point that he makes, he cites this reference, who noticed that in Australia when they took children of the aboriginal tribes out of the tribes and put them in a western school, and they sat right next to kids from western culture, they did fine, didn’t know they were supposed to be primitives. And that’s why that statement is so powerful. “The mental distance between a living so-called ‘primitive’ and a ‘civilized’ person is regarded as equivalent to thousands of years, but experience proves that this distance, where it exists, is equivalent to no more than a few days, for man is everywhere and always man.” An amazing statement, but he gets rid of some of this garbage we pick up, in all the history stuff we read, just garbage, it’s that we have bought into an entire world view. While we were tying to learn facts, we thought we were trying to learn facts, instead we were being sold an entire world view foreign to Scripture, and we wonder why we have a hard time believing the Scripture.
I also cited two major evidences on pages 13-14 of the high intelligence, one of which is pretty astonishing. Back in the 1950s and early 60s, a guy by the name of Hapgood did some work in which he traced back certain maps that were… the debate has always been when Christopher Columbus and the early explorers, where they got their maps from. We never think about it, some of us can’t read a map. The point is that to go out on the ocean, and we always hear today that all the people in the Middle Ages believed the earth was flat that they’d fall off the edge, one of the little fairy tales that we learn in history course. The problem is, they never tell you that an Egyptian by the name of Eratosthenes measured the earth’s circumference with a very simple experiment. He took the angle of the sun’s shadow at two places on the Nile on a north-south axis, and he figured out the circumference of the earth at 25,000 miles, and he did it in 200 BC. Is 200 BC a little bit before the Middle Ages? So the world was known to be round, there wasn’t a worry about falling off the edge, that’s some more of the bologna talk we get. But these guys had good maps. Not only did these guys have good maps, they had maps of Antarctica. And what’s interesting, when Hapgood began to study the maps he went back and did an analysis.
Just to show you, the map at the top of this diagram is a modern day map of Antarctica, and Hapgood made an interesting observation, that when he studied these maps, he found out that the bottom one, which was made in 1543 from earlier maps, had some peculiar features. Notice it has mountains mapped, they’re just mountains but they’re under ice. Here is the Ross Ice Shelf, it goes out that much. This doesn’t have any ice in it, it’s all water. This has rivers completely closed off with ice; this map traces the rivers inland a hundred miles. Who did that map, how did they know that those rivers were there? We now know because we’ve taken sonar soundings below the ice so we discovered those rivers. Where did these maps come from? Who mapped Antarctica before it froze, that’s the question. And it was frozen in 1543 so that obviously wasn’t done in 1543. That goes way, way, way back in history, and I can’t get into all the arguments but Hapgood does an amazing piece of work, he’s talked to cartographers, and all kinds of people about these, nobody wants to make a commitment of course, obviously this is a little shattering to find out that in the Pleistocene epic man was going all over the world doing mapping expeditions. This just isn’t on the schedule; we were eating bananas when that was supposed to have been done. What is going on here? Well, what is going on is we appear through these maps to have evidence of a tremendous operation.
Look on page 13, Hapgood’s quote: ”The evidence presented by the ancient maps appears to suggest that in remote times, before the rise of any of the known cultures,” by that he means Egyptian, Sumerian, “of a true civilization, of a comparatively advanced sort, which either was localized in one area but had worldwide culture . . . . In astronomy, nautical science, mapmaking and possibly ship-building, it was perhaps more advanced,” notice this, “than any state of culture before the 18th century of the Christian Era .… Mapping on such a scale … suggests both economic motivations and economic resources. Organized government is indicated. The mapping of a continent like Antarctica implies much organization, many exploring expeditions, many stages in the compilation of local observations and local maps into a general map, all under a central direction.” Who offered the central direction? Who were the gods and goddesses that were reigning in history at this time, who were the magnificent people? Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth and their immediate progeny. They lived for centuries; they had plenty of time to do this. Remember that the ice age, if we reconstruct it along biblical lines like Oard did, if you map this out it took 700 years after the flood where the ice built up in the ice ages, reached a peak in about 500 years, and in 200 years began to melt down, and it was at this melt down where the ice on Antarctica began to build up. So that would locate these maps as done in the first 500 years after the flood, which would mean they were probably done before Abraham.
Why do I show this? Because I want to give tremendous power to the call of Abraham. This is high technology. We don’t want to ever think that God called Abraham out of a sort of primitive land, everybody running around in loin cloths. On the contrary, these people, to make a map like that one of the things you have to solve, not only do you have to measure latitude which is pretty easy because of the suns angle, the one thing that’s a problem and no one has yet explained how they did it, is how to you measure longitude? The way we measure longitude is by clocks, very careful clocks, but otherwise if you don’t have a careful clock, there’s not any way I’ve ever read that you can measure longitude. So the key in early navigation, and this is the problem early math people had, remember when Columbus and these guys were crossing the Atlantic ocean they had a longitude problem, not a latitude problem, they could find their latitude, the question was how could they find their longitude, their distance east and west, how do you do that? That’s a hard question; it involves a lot of trigonometry. It’s non-trivial type solution. These guys solved it. The question is how did they solve it? Nobody knows how they solved it. They had tools of some sort by which they solved it.
The other thing that we want to show is the “Worldwide Key Words of Semitic Origin.” We’ll talk a little more about that next week, but one of the other strange things was found by another researcher by the name of Cohane. Cohane discovered that back of the languages across the earth there appear to be Semitic roots. For example, he took studies where they took the language of the Aztecs, and some of the Central American and South American civilizations, and they found a 40% correlation with Semitic language. Why do the Indians in South America and Central America have so many Hebraic words? Why do they build pyramids? Why did the first settlers build pyramids? The Spaniards conquered these people because these people had this thing in their memory that the men who built those pyramids were white people, and one day those white people that built the pyramids would come back. When Cortez and the Spanish conquerors came onto the land they were accepted very naively by the Indians because the Indians thought these were white guys and they were the ones coming back, they were the same guys that built the pyramids of generations before their fathers. And they were deceived, of course, and the Spanish slaughtered them; but that tragedy was born out of the strange shape of history.
There’s one other little amazing fact of history, turn back to page 10. One of the great show cases of evolution is how do you explain things like the kangaroo in Australia, after all, there’s marsupials that are different from the placental animals and they all seem to be concentrated in Australia. So obviously, say the evolutionists, that’s proof of evolution; they must have evolved in place. There’s an alternate explanation, and that is that they were man introduced, that as man spread out from Mesopotamia he took animals with him, and the interesting characteristic of marsupials is they do great on journeys. Notice, Woodmorappe who’s done a lot of work on this: “many if not most living things have had a more widespread distribution than they do today …. As humans were forced to leave their habitations around Babel, they undoubtedly took animals with them for husbandry, game, and a reminder of their former area of living …. Introductions into barren continents had a much greater effect on biogeography than the later introductions of living things into already-populated continents.” Do you see why?
We’ve got a gypsy moth problem on the East Coast. Do you know how gypsy moths came into the U.S. On a boat in Atlanta, Georgia. One boat and the gypsy moths are all over the place, eating our trees, all from an accidental human introduction. In the south, in Atlanta and Georgia and those other areas and you’ll see this Japanese vine growing all over the place. Who brought that in here, it didn’t float over? It was brought by people. How else would the people leaving the ark, taking the only animals they had, because there weren’t any animals out there, all the animals had to be introduced, either by wild migration or by deliberate human introduction. So peculiar biogeographic distributions of animals can be explained if we take the Genesis text literally.
One concluding remark, I refer to Job 40; if you have time you ought to go to that passage and read that because the critics of the Bible have a big fun game with that chapter, they say ha-ha, Job is talking about a mythological animal. And the reason they think it’s a mythological animal is because they say it sounds too primitive, it was leviathan, and we obviously know they don’t exist, etc. It’s interesting that there are rumors down through history that dinosaurs did coexist on into time, and if you study the Chinese mythology you’re aware of the dragon motif. If you think of what a Chinese dragon sounds like, the whole description, very much like a dinosaur. And then in 1977 off of New Zealand some Japanese fisherman caught this. This obviously had been floating around some time in the water, and it wasn’t two hundred and fifty years old, and you don’t have to be a biologist to know enough about the birds and the bees that where there’s one, there’s got to be two. So what are these things? Do we really control our zoology? Do we really know all forms, or are there forms yet out there that have never been seen by man? Or if they are seen, like this one, it’s totally misinterpreted to mean it’s some unknown thing. Well, the unknown thing bears a striking resemblance to a dinosaur. The point is that we know very little about many of these areas and we have, unfortunately, even as Christians, we absorb this stuff that we’re given out, just take it passively, never think about it, never try to correlate the Scripture. And that’s what we want to learn the discipline of doing, of questioning what we are picking up on our antenna from the world system. Next week we’ll move into an analysis of Genesis 10-11.