In the beginning, when God created the Earth and sky, the Earth was without life and not yet useful for anything. Deep waters covered the earth, and darkness covered the water. God’s Spirit was moving like a storm over the surface of the water. Then God said, “Let there be light!” And light began to shine. He saw the light, and God knew that it was good.
Then God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light “day,” and He named the darkness “night.” There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the first period.
Then God said, “Let there be a space to separate the water into two parts!” So God made the space and separated the water. Some of the water was above it, and some of the water was below it. God named that space “sky.” There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the second period.
Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together so that the dry land will appear.” And it happened.
God named the dry land “Earth,” and God named the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that this was good. Then God said, “Let the Earth grow grass, plants that make grain, and fruit trees. The fruit trees will make fruit with seeds in it. And each plant will make its own kind of seed. Let these plants grow on the Earth.” And it happened.
The Earth grew grass and plants that made grain. And it grew trees that made fruit with seeds in it. Every plant made its own kind of seeds. And God saw that this was good. There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the third period.
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky. These lights will separate the days from the nights. They will be used for signs to show when special meetings begin and to show time. They will be in the sky to shine light on the earth.” And it happened. So God made the two large lights. He made the larger light to rule during the day and the smaller light to rule during the night. He also made the stars. God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth. He put them in the sky to rule over the day and over the night. They separated the light from the darkness. And God saw that this was good. There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fourth day. Then God said, “Let the water be filled with many living things, and let there be birds to fly in the air over the earth.” So God created the large sea animals. He created all the many living things in the sea and every kind of bird that flies in the air. And God saw that this was good. God blessed all the living things in the sea and told them to have many babies and fill the seas. And he blessed the birds on land and told them to have many more babies. There was evening, and then there was morning. This was the fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth produce many kinds of living things. Let there be many different kinds of animals. Let there be large animals and small crawling animals of every kind. And let all these animals produce more animals.” And all these things happened. So God made every kind of animal. He made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling things. And God saw that this was good.
The Garden of Eden is considered to be mythological by most scholars. Among those that consider it to have been real, there have been various suggestions for its location: at the head of the Persian Gulf, in southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run into the sea; and in Armenia.
In reading, I attempted to determine where the garden of Eden is/was located. As we read His-story we are told that land was separated from water. One contiguous entity; in generations Human DNA has not changed much at all.
If we truly have taken the time to observe the continents; time and conditions have caused them to shift when originally, they were one. Pangaea or Pangea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 335 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago.
Additional evidence for Pangaea is found in the geology of adjacent continents, including matching geological trends between the eastern coast of South America and the western coast of Africa. The polar ice cap of the Carboniferous Period covered the southern end of Pangaea. Just before the days of the dinosaurs the Earth’s continents were all connected into one huge landmass called Pangaea . … About 180 million years ago the supercontinent Pangea began to break up. Scientists believe that Pangea broke apart for the same reason that the plates are moving today.
Having spent a period studying the actual facts of continental drift.
It is actually mind boggling to see that ‘race’ is a nonexistent term.
We speak Africa, I will point out that Moses in escaping punishment for the crime of murder, ran to Ethiopia.
Racism or tribalism was present even in that ‘time’. Zipporah or Tzipora (/ˈzɪpərə, zɪˈpɔːrə/; Hebrew: צִפוֹרָה, Tsippōrāh, “bird”) is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest or prince of Midian.
The story of Moses’s Cushite wife is actually quite cryptic. As you observed, we hear earlier of Moses marrying the daughter of Jethro the Midianite. Yet in the Book of Numbers Moses’s sister Miriam is upset about his having taken a “Cushite” wife. Cush is generally translated as Ethiopia (probably the entire region south of Egypt – see Shemot Rabbah 10:2), a place inhabited by blacks. (See e.g. Jeremiah 13:23: “Can a Cushite change his skin, or a leopard its spots?”) Is this a different wife? And where did she come from?
An important introductory point is that the Midrash states that when Moses fled Pharaoh (Exodus 2:15), before arriving in Midian, Moses escaped south to the land of Cush. (Note that Moses was presumably a young man when he fled Egypt, in Midian he married and had two small children, and he was 80 on his return to Egypt at the start of the story of the Exodus. Thus, apparently, many of his early adult years are unrecorded in the Torah.) Moses first served the king of Cush and then upon his death became king himself, ruling for 40 years. He was given the former king’s widow as a wife but he refused to live with her or worship the Cushite god (Yalkut Shimoni Shemot 168).
With that introduction, I will present some of the explanations given of Moses’s Cushite wife. Most commentators do not follow the Midrash above and assume the woman Miriam was referring to was his Midianite wife, Zipporah. Some explain she was referred to as a Cushite because the nomadic, desert-dwelling Midianites somewhat resembled the Cushites, or that Zipporah herself was unusually dark-skinned or homely (Radak, R. Bechaye, Ibn Ezra, Chizkuni). Others explain it was a type of contrary nickname (Targum, Sifri quoted in Rashi). She was actually strikingly beautiful, and it was customary to give a superior person a less-becoming nickname, so as not to arouse jealousy. The Talmud explains differently, that “Just as a Cushite is distinct in her skin [color], so too was Zipporah distinct in her [good] deeds” (Mo’ed Katan 16b, see also Targum Yerushalmi).
Others explain, based on the Midrash, that the wife under discussion was not Zipporah but the Cushite princess, whom Moses had never lived with (Targum Yonatan, Ibn Ezra alternate explanation, Rashbam, Chizkuni alternate explanation). No doubt unlike his righteous wife Zipporah, the Cushite never embraced the faith and became worthy of joining the nation.
Either way, according to almost all interpretations, the issue was not that Moses took such a wife, but that he had separated from her. (The Midrash gives different explanations how Miriam happened to find out they weren’t living together.) Many of the commentators who understood that his wife was dark or homely explain that Miriam suspected he separated from her because he found her unattractive. In any event, the Torah records Miriam complaining about something else – claiming that they too are prophets. The implication was that she suspected Moses separated from his wife because he believed a prophet is too holy for married life – as the Midrash puts it, “The elders, fortunate are they but woe to their wives!” She objected to this, but God explained that Moses was an exceptional prophet who had to maintain especially high standards.
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?A
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed.
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.” Numbers 12:1
In The Word we see the passion of God for those who walk with God, Amen. Above we read that God speaks to many in visions and dreams, but God Spoke with Moses Face to face in Spirit. We have shared that Moses wished to glimpse the blinding, overwhelming and slaying Essence of God Who made the Sun! And Moses was only able to see the rear of The Essence of God, Amen. This is the Man that spoke “Face to face” with God in the spirit. In the physical it is not so!
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Exodus 33:11
Yet, “But,” God said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” Exodus 33:20
We are moved to attempt to site passages of people in The Word seeing forms which are described as The Lord. God made you! And God can take any form He pleases, Amen.
The Bible says that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
This is the only time God became flesh and lived with man. Previously God had assumed a temporary physical form. There are eight recorded appearances in the Old Testament where God took upon Himself a physical form for a short duration. Three times He appeared as a man, once in a burning bush that was not consumed, and four times as the Angel of the Lord. Each time that this occurred it was in an extraordinary situation.
He Appeared To Hagar (Genesis 16:9-13)
Hagar was Abraham’s mistress, the mother of his son Ishmael. Hagar and Ishmael were banished from Abraham into the desert. As they were dying of thirst the Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar to provide water for the survival of her and her young child. The Angel of the Lord that appeared to Hagar was God Himself:
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen him who sees me?’ (Genesis 16:13).
God had a plan for Ishmael and his descendants. Therefore, He personally appeared to spare Ishmael.
God Appeared To Abraham And Sarah At Mamre (Genesis 18:1-33)
Three men appeared to Abraham and his wife Sarah at the plains of Mamre. They had come to inform Abraham and Sarah concerning two matters. The son that God had promised them would be born to Abraham and Sarah the next year, and the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. One of the three visitors who gave them this information is designated as the Lord:
Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1).
In this same passage this person is called the “Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25). This is a title that belongs to God alone.
God Again Appeared To Abraham On Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:11-14)
God told Abraham to bring his son Isaac to Mount Moriah to be sacrificed. Abraham obeyed and was about to take Isaac’s life when God intervened. The Angel of the Lord stopped Abraham saying:
Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me (Genesis 22:12).
He called a second time to Abraham:
By Myself I have sworn says the Lord (Genesis 22:15).
In this instance the Angel of the Lord, who called out to Abraham, was God.
The Lord Appeared To Jacob At Peniel (Genesis 32:24-43)
This account has the patriarch Jacob wrestling all night with a man who finally disabled him. The next morning Jacob realized that it was God Himself whom he had wrestled:
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:30).
He Appeared To Moses In The Burning Bush (Exodus 3:2-4:17)
When Moses received his call from the Lord to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage he saw a bush that was burning but not being consumed. A voice came from the bush identifying God’s presence:
Because of the magnitude of the task Moses was about to undertake, God personally appeared to him by means of the burning bush. There is, however, no indication, one way or the other, whether the Lord assumed some type of physical form in the burn.
God Appeared To Gideon (Judges 6:11-24)
Gideon was a man who was called by God to raise an army to defeat the innumerable Midianites. Because Gideon was a timid person God paid him a visit to assure him that all would go well. After the encounter Gideon realized who had visited him:
Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face’ (Judges 6:22).
He Appeared To Samson’s Parents (Judges 13:2-23)
The angel of the Lord appeared to a Jewish woman to announce the birth of a son who would deliver the people of Israel. Because of the importance of the mission God personally appeared to her.
When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that he was the Angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, we shall surely die, because we have seen God (Judges 13:21,22).
The Lord Was In The Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3:23-29)
The last recorded Old Testament appearance of God in a physical form was to the three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar threw the three young men into the furnace because they refused to worship his golden image. God miraculously spared their lives. Nebuchadnezzar was astonished.
Look! he answered, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).
Scripture records that on eight different occasions during the Old Testament period God took on a human-like form. Some of these appearances were as the Angel of the Lord. They include an appearance to Hagar – the mistress of Abraham. The Lord also appeared to Abraham and Sarah at Mamre. There was also an appearance to Abraham at Mount Moriah. Scripture also records an appearance to Jacob at Peniel. The Lord made a special appearance to Moses in a burning bush. On this particular occasion Scripture does not speak of any physical form – merely that the Lord appeared. The Lord did appear in a human-like form to Gideon. We also find him appearing to the parents of Samson. Finally, the Lord appeared with the three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace.
These eight brief appearances of God in a physical form teach us several things: When an extraordinary situation occurs God is willing to personally appear. These occurrences set a precedent. Since God appeared on these occasions for a short duration during the Old Testament period it set the stage for Him coming in the person of Jesus Christ to live upon the earth.
We can see that there have been experiences with The Glory of God. Again we learn the promise of God; in a dream (spirit form) Jacob saw The Essence of God from a distance.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord f will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Genesis 28:10-22
It is amazing how The Word is one! We began sharing about the location of the Garden and ended up in the lap of Moses. Hallelujah!
Father LORD, Your Word is one, I give you ALL praise with my head to the ground and with no desire to stand, for I am nought without You. Bless me Father for I have sinned, in my thoughts, in my words, in my heart. LORD place Your Love in me as You have placed Your Spirit within me. Father, I bless you for this day and time. Be glorified in my all, I pray in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.