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I read this on a site pretending to be "Orthodox":
The earlier patriarchs comprise the antediluvian group, and those who are placed between the Flood and the birth of Abraham. Of the former, the Book of Genesis gives a twofold list. The first (Gen. 4:17-18, passage assigned by critics the so-called "J" document) starts with Cain and gives as his descendants Henoch, Irad, Maviael, Mathusael, and Lamech. The other list (Gen. 5:3-31, ascribed to the priestly writer, "P") is far more elaborate, and is accompanied by minute chronological indications. It begins with Seth and, strange to say, it ends likewise with Lamech. The intervening names are Enos, Cainan, Malaleel, Jared, Henoch, and Mathusala.
The fact that both lists end with Lamech, who is doubtless the same person, and that some of the names common to both are strikingly similar, makes it probable that the second list is an amplification of the first, embodying material furnished by a divergent tradition. Nor should this seem surprising when we consider the many discrepancies exhibited by the twofold genealogy of the Saviour in the First and Third Gospels. The human personages set forth in these lists occupy a place held by the mythical demi-gods in the story of the prehistoric beginnings of other early nations. It may well be that the chief value of the inspired account given of them is didactic, destined in the mind of the sacred writer to inculcate the great truth of monotheism which is so distinctive a feature of the Old Testament writings.
Holy Trinity Orthodox School : Textbooks :
Holy Scriptures : "The Old Testament Books, Part 1, an overview,"
They give TWO reasons:
1) "The fact that both lists end with Lamech, who is doubtless the same person"
OK, there are two Henoch and two Lamech, does this make it the same list?
Of course NOT!
The Cainite Henoch may well have been the one after whom the Sethite Henoch was named. He may have been some maternal grandfather or greatgrandfather. My own second name "Georg" is after my maternal grandfather, "Gustav Georg". And my own first name is after his father, "Hans Petter". One can be named after males in maternal ancestry. It happens. It is not unheard of. And similarily there are two Lamech for a very probable similar reason.
And therefore, the Lamech in each list is NOT the same, but doubtless a DIFFERENT person from the one in the other list.
The rest of this reason is the kind of guesswork, the guessing about "return path" based on content, rather than reasoning about content based on "return path", which is so prevalent in modernist thinking, if you can even call it thinking. It's an acquired automatic reflex in some academics, and though I spent what adds up to most of a decade in Lund, I avoided to acquire that mindset, very studiously. Mathusael and Mathusala are also not the the same person.
It is not a conflation of divergent traditions into a tradition about divergent series of facts.
But they try to back up this view with a second argument:
2) "Nor should this seem surprising when we consider the many discrepancies exhibited by the twofold genealogy of the Saviour in the First and Third Gospels."
If a certain bishop was knocked on the head by Communists a few years too many and admitted "discrepancy" between the genealogies of St Matthew and St Luke, he might be forgiven, like Pope Liberius for signing the formula of Sirmium.
But it is not Pope Liberius, but St Athanasius who is a Saint and a confessor of the true faith.
The author of these lines very certainly was NOT poor Tikhon of Moscow, if he was responsible for introducing such false exegesis into the Russian Communion. And if he was, he deserved no canonisation in 1989. The author of these lines did NOT have the excuse of torture by Communists!
Again, there is no such thing as a discrepancy between genealogies of which at least one is going backward, on condition that one person may be considered to have one real father and one stepfather.
Each linear rather than branching genealogy, backwards from the latest or forwards from the earliest, is usually a selection of genealogy. And St Thomas Aquinas gave the answer as to the two fathers or grandfathers of St Joseph, will look up when going to site which it was:
Sorry, can't find it in Summa, here is Haydock. One "discrepancy" I note first, in passing, as apparent but not real is omission of three generations:
Ver. 8. Joram begot Ozias, three generations are omitted, as we find in 2 Paraliponenon xxii; for there, Joram begot Ochozias, and Ochozias begot Joas, and Joas begot Amazias, and Amazias begot Ozias. This omission is not material, the design of St. Matthew being only to shew the Jews that Jesus, their Messias, was of the family of David; and he is equally the son, or the descendent of David, though the said three generations be left out: for Ozias may be called the son of Joram, though Joram was his great-grandfather. (Witham)
It is thought that St. Matthew omitted these three kings, Ochozias, Joas, and Amazias, to preserve the distribution of his genealogy into three parts, each of fourteen generations; and, perhaps, also on account of their impiety, or rather on account of the sentence pronounced against the house of Achab, from which they were descended by their mother Athalia. (3 Kings xxi. 21.) (Calmet)
Now, there is another reason which makes the "three parts, each of fourteen generations" more than just an artifice. Ochozias walked in the ways of his mother Athalia, the house of Achab.
Women mentioned in the genealogy are four, two gentiles and two adulteresses:
Ver. 5. See Josue, chap. ii. & dein. We nowhere else find the marriage of Salmon with Rahab; but this event might have been known by tradition, the truth of which the divinely inspired evangelist here confirms. (Bible de Vence) Rahab was a debauched woman, preserved in the pillage of Jericho, where she had been born. In this genealogy only four women are mentioned, of which two are Gentiles, and two adulteresses. Here the greatest sinners may find grounds for confidence in the mercies of Jesus Christ, and hopes of pardon, when they observed how the Lord of life and glory, to cure our pride, not only humbled himself by taking upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh, but by deriving his descent from sinners, and inspiring the holy evangelist to record the same to all posterity. (Haydock)
Thamar, Rahab, Ruth, she who had been the wife of Uriah (Baathsheba).
So, should St Matthew have said "and Joram begat Ochozias of Athaliah"? No. Athaliah had to be omitted even here.
Her son Ochoazias was omitted because walking in her evil ways, and because mentioning him would have meant mentioning his mother.
Her grandson Joas was omitted for having his grandmother executed (though she deserved it), and after she cursed him committing later the murder of a prophet, the Zacharias who had been his comrade (was it Zacharias now?). And then another generation is omitted. So, the omission fits the command of Moses (which St Matthew the Levite knew very well) to consider God as visiting the sins of the fathers up to the third or fourth generation.
Her greatgrandson was Amasias:
And he did what was good in the sight of the Lord: but yet not with a perfect heart.
Reason enough why he was omitted. Plus his being - according to the Old Law - a generation "still on probation" before God.
Therefore, the omission was more than a mere artifice to make it 14 three times over. It was obedience to one aspect of the Law he and his Lord were born under and which was valid during the time concerned by chapter one of his Gospel. It was a "condemnatio memoriae", not such as to amount to lying, but to avoid saying overly evil things in connexion with the ancestry of Our Lord. As a man who has been in prison for a real crime, it is merciful once he is again in honour not to mention his being in prison, so also with a family to pass over these members.
So also Jehoiachim is individually omitted.
But the greater apparent discrepancy is who is father of St Joseph:
Sextus Julius Africanus, in his 3rd-century Epistle to Aristides, reports a tradition that Joseph was born from just such a levirate marriage. According to this, Joseph's natural father was Jacob son of Matthan, as given in Matthew, while his legal father was Eli son of Melchi (sic), as given in Luke.
A more straightforward and the most common explanation is that Luke's genealogy is of Mary, with Eli being her father, while Matthew's describes the genealogy of Joseph. This view was advanced as early as John of Damascus (d.749).
These quotes are from wiki.
St Thomas as I recall, accepts both traditions, but Eli is the grandfather of the Blessed Virgin. So Eli is direct ancestry to St Mary AND legal ancestry to St Joseph. Here is the explanation of Haydock, which as I recall is the same as the one of St Thomas, though In forget in what exact context:
- The difficulties here are:
- 1. Why does St. Matthew give the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary?
- 2. How is it inferred that Jesus is descended from David and Solomon, because Joseph is the son of David?
- 3. How can Joseph have two men for his father, Jacob of the race of Solomon, and Heli of the race of Nathan?
- 1. Why does St. Matthew give the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary?
- the 1st it is generally answered, that it was not customary with the Jews to draw out the genealogies of women;
- to the 2nd, that Jesus being the son of Joseph, either by adoption, or simply as the son of Mary his wife, he entered by that circumstance into all the rights of the family of Joseph; moreover, Mary was of the same tribe and family of Joseph, and thus the heir of the branch of Solomon marrying with the heiress of the branch of Nathan, the rights of the two families united in Joseph and Mary, were transmitted through them to Jesus, their son and heir;
- to the 3rd, that Jacob was the father of Joseph according to nature, and Heli his father according to law; or that Joseph was the son of the latter by adoption, and of the former by nature. (Haydock)
- the 1st it is generally answered, that it was not customary with the Jews to draw out the genealogies of women;
All apparent discrepancies solved, no real discrepancy left.
Why did I earlier say that any two linear genealogies of which one is going backwards to origin, are not really discrepant?
Because, any genealogy going backward is branching and not just one line. A person has a mother as well as a father. Four grandparents, usually four different persons, exceptions to which principle were in the grandchildren of Adam and Eve, where they were parents both of father and of mother to each grand child, but also, far later and this time sinfully, among Egyptian Pharaos and others practising incest, which by now has also become genetically dangerous by accumulation of mutations. And eight greatgrandparents, usually though not always among Hebrews of OT, not always among Arabs, eight different persons. This means that going back over fathers would be picking the ancestors who according to Sosa Stradonitz are 1 (oneself), 2 (father), 4 (paternal grandfather), 8, 16, 32 ... while a full genealogy is much more detailed. The paternal and linear genealogies are there because they resemble king lists.
In Sweden among the Palatine dynasty, we are concerned with Charles X Gustaf, his son Charles XI, and this king's son Charles XII, while the latter's sister practically ends the dynasty. Grandfather, father, son/grandson. Ignoring all other descendants of Charles X who did not rule Sweden, ignoring also mother and three of four grandparents of Charles XII, who also did not rule Sweden. Those three were the ones reigning. In France Henri IV, Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII are also a dynasty patrilineal only, and this time even with lacunae. Generations are omitted between Louis XIV and Louis XV as well as between Louis XV and Louis XVI. And such king lists are exactly what both genealogy of Christ in St Matthew and Genesis genealogies also resemble.
In the post-Flood time, there is a "second Cainan" (but this time a Cainam and not a Kenan) omitted in Genesis after Arphaxad - in the Hebrew version. Septuagint inserts him again, as does St Luke. The reason is that Greek culture was not familiar with omitting a generation because it is sinful. So, here the LXX adds to the text, but not without warrant, it translates a cultural phenomenon. This must not be imitated by later Bible translators, the Seventy made this under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
Be that as it may, the acceptance of this general view helps greatly to simplify another difficult problem connected with the Biblical account of the early patriarchs, viz. their enormous longevity. The earlier account (Gen. 4:17-18) gives only the names of the patriarchs there mentioned, with the incidental indication that the city built by Cain was called after his son Henoch. The later narrative (Gen. 5:3-31) gives a definite chronology for the whole period. It states the age at which each patriarch begot his first-born son, the number of years he lived after that event, together with the sum total of the years of his life. Nearly all of the antediluvian fathers are represented as living to the age of 900 or thereabouts, Mathusala, the oldest, reaching 969.
These figures have always constituted a most difficult problem for commentators and Bible readers; and those who defend the strict historical character of the passages in question have put forward various explanations, none of which are considered convincing by modern Biblical scholars.
Modern Bible scholars do not constitute the episcopate. Neither in Biology, nor in Higher Criticism do scholars if pronouncing themselves in consensus enjoy the infallibility of Bishops in full Union with the Church when pronouncing themselves in union all over the world.
So, this appeal to "modern Bible scholars" is an appeal from Scripture which the Church accepts as Inspired by God, to a fallible corpus of men who are not the universal episcopate.
The reason modern Bible scholars (as opposed to contemporary anti-modern ones!) that is people who should rather be termed Modernist Bible scholars or Bible fuddlers, do not accept the real explanation as convincing is that they start with the wrong outlook. If they had the right outlook, they would accept that people lived ten times as long before the Flood. But they are apostates.
Kent Hovind among non-Catholics and Sungenis among Catholics, among others, fortunately are contemporary but not modern Bible scholars, who do believe the long ages of the Patriachs, which the Church has always believed.
Let's go through the explanations that "modern Bible scholars" according to site consider "none of which ... convincing":
1) "Thus it has been conjectured that the years mentioned in this connation were not of ordinary duration but of one or more months. There is, however, no warrant for this assumption in the Scripture itself, where the word year has a constant signification, and is always clearly distinguished from the minor periods."
The rejection is perfectly in order and the position was also rejected by earl Church Fathers up to St Augustine who in De Civitate is rejecting it. And of course defending the literal longevity of the antediluvian patriarchs.
2) "It has also been suggested that the ages given are not those of individuals, but signify epochs of antediluvian history, and that each is named after its most illustrious representative. The hypothesis may be ingenious, but even a superficial reading of the text suffices to show that such was not the meaning of the sacred writer."
Thank you! I also reject that position totally.
3) "Nor does it help the case much to point out a few exceptional instances of persons who in modern times are alleged to have lived to the age of 150 or even 180. For even admitting these as facts, and that in primitive times men lived longer than at present (an assumption for which we find no warrant in historic times), it is still a long way from 180 to 900."
If we consider people have lived and died without apparent violence from without as long as 180 or as short as 50, in observed modern times, it helps some that the line which we descend from was infected by a genetic change lowering longevity, just as families like the Gonzaga princes in Mantua in Italy are very much less longlived than a family of Jansenists in France.
This I know from genealogical and other historic studies of groups of people, to ascertain on my part that Middle Ages were not unusually short lived people nor have we "evolved" to greater longevity since, despite modern prejudice to the contrary.
Now, if humanity had been reduced either to the longlived family or the shortlived family, the post-bottle-neck humanity would obviously be either more shortlived or more longlived according to which family was chosen.
If Noah himself lived to 900 years, or 950 (rather!), the shortlived gene may have come in from his wife or from his daughters in law. It may have originated as a curse of God.
We are a post-bottle-neck humanity with the longlived genes gleaned out by now.
4) "Another argument to corroborate the historical accuracy of the Biblical account has been deduced from the fact that the legends of many people assert the great longevity of their early ancestors, a circumstance which implies an original tradition to that effect. Thus the first seven Egyptian kings are said to have reigned for a period of 12,300 years, making an average of about 1757 years for each, and Josephus, who is preoccupied with a desire to justify the Biblical narrative, quotes Ephorus and Nicolaus as relating "that the ancients lived a thousand years." He adds, however, "But as to these matters, let every one look upon them as he thinks fit" (Antiq. I 3:in fine)."
Josephus notes that very rightly.
The Egyptian Kinglist has been added to in years, and the first seven kings probably represent a claim to descend from the Cainite line, bypassing the Flood : people who flee away from the true God unto false ones may try to flee from memories of his punishments too. The years are inflated, as Origen and St Augustine note.
One thing here when we come to Josephus, the author of this illboding passage says "and Josephus, who is preoccupied with a desire to justify the Biblical narrative," - but "preoccupied" as usually used is a bad word, a synonym for "anxious". It detracts from the dignity of Josephus and others (including St Augustine in De Civitate) who have taken time to justify the Biblical narrative.
Precisely as such detractors also detract from dignity of Fundamentalist Apologetics in these days. Because they have none themselves, having apostasised as clearly as if St Athanasius had followed the orders of Pope Liberius.
Unless of course the author claims he is himself under torture, like Liberius was in Sirmium.
5) "On the other hand, it is maintained that as a matter of fact there is no trustworthy historic or scientific evidence indicating that the average span of human life was greater in primitive than in modern times."
a) "No trustworthy historic evidence" = rejecting Holy Scripture as such = apostasy.
It also means rejecting totally the evidence of other Pagan cultures, which, though falsified, are not totally untrutsworthy either.
For instance if both Egyptians and Babylonians and Chinese say the earliest kings lived thousands of years (thus beyond "same day" = "same thousand years", thus denying fall of Adam) and both Egyptians and Babylonians limit this to exactly seven this refers in a garbled, but not in a totally fabled, way to people living longer before the Flood and to Cainite dynasty having seven generations, and also to these civilisations denying the Flood (as St Peter prophecied scoffers will repeat these days), rather than to Sethite one, accepted as the real ancestry it was of those faithful to the tradition from Noah.
b) "No trustworthy scientific evidence" = forgetting that Jack Cuozzo, a scientific dentist, has found Neanderthal features in adults are results from great longevity.
Forgetting equally you cannot test longevity in dead persons or animals when either you have no sample or the samples are misunderstood.
Forgetting moreover that the evolutionist "scientific community" has a vested interest in evolutionism and in preaching progress.
6) "In this connation, it is customary to cite Gen. 6:3, where God decrees by way of punishment of the universal corruption which was the occasion of the Flood, that henceforth the days of man "shall be a hundred and twenty years." This is taken as indicating a point at which the physical deterioration of the race resulted in a marked decrease in longevity. Despite the critical considerations which bear on this passage, it is strange to note further on (Gen. 11) that the ages of the subsequent patriarchs were by no means limited to 120 years. Sem lived to the age of 600, Arphaxad 338 (Massoretic text 408), Sale 433, Heber 464, etc."
Here is Haydock:
Ver. 3. His days shall be, &c. The meaning is, that man's days, which before the flood were usually 900 years, should now be reduced to 120 years. Or rather, that God would allow men this term of 120 years, for their repentance and conversion, before he would send the deluge. (Challoner)
He spoke therefore to Noe in his 480th year. (St. Augustine) Those who suppose, that he foretold this event 20 years later, think with St. Jerome, that God retrenched 20 years from the time first assigned for penance. The Spirit of the sovereign Judge was fired with contending; or, as others translate it, with remaining quiet as in a scabbard, and bearing with the repeated crimes of men. He resolved to punish them severely in this world, that he might shew mercy to some of them hereafter. (St. Jerome, 9. Heb.) (Calmet)
If we suppose, that God here threatens to reduce the space of man's life to 120 years, we must say, at least, that he did it by degrees: for many lived several hundred years, even after the deluge. In the days of Moses, indeed, few exceeded that term. But we think the other interpretation is more literal, and that God bore with mankind the full time which he promised. (Worthington)
7) "The one ground on which the accuracy of all these figures can be defended is the a priori reason that being contained in the Bible, they must of a necessity be historically correct."
Homer can be substantially correct on Iliad and on either Odyssey or the parts excluding what could have been what he bragged to Phaeacians; though he was wrong on theology and not inspired.
And YOU are claiming a text can be the inspired word of God and not even historically correct?
7 b) "The older commentators maintain this position generally."
Thank you for this admission that Patristic Consensus is for Biblical Inerrancy!
8) "Many scholars, on the other hand, are agreed in considering the genealogical and chronological lists of Gen. 5 and 11, to be mainly artificial, and this view seems to be confirmed, they say, by a comparison of the figures as they stand in the Hebrew original and in the ancient versions. The Vulgate is in agreement with the former (with the exception of Arphaxad), showing that no substantial alteration of the figures has been made in the Hebrew at least since the end of the fourth century A.D."
But they could have been made between translation of the seventy and translation of St Jerome. Especially in the generation following apostasy of Jewry when rejecting Christ.
8 b) "But when we compare the Massoretic text with the Samaritan version and the Septuagint, we are confronted by many and strange discrepancies which can hardly be the result of mere accident. Thus, for instance, with regard to the antediluvian patriarchs, while the Samaritan version agrees in the main with the Massoretic text, the age at which Jared begot his first-born is set down as 62 instead of the Hebrew 162. Mathusala, likewise, who according to the Hebrew begot his first-born at the age of 187, was only 67 according to the Samaritan; and though the Hebrew places the same event in the case of Lamech when he was 182, the Samaritan gives him only 53. Similar discrepancies exist between the two texts as regards the total number of years that these patriarchs lived, viz. Jared, Heb. 962, Sam. 847; Mathusala, Heb. 969, Sam. 720; Lamech, Heb. 777, Sam. 653."
The Samaritans may have changed their Genesis while apostasising against King Solomon's Son Rohoboam.
8 c) "Comparing the Massoretic text with the Septuagint, we find that in the latter the birth of the first-born in the case of Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Malaleel, and Henoch was at the respective ages of 230, 205, 190, 170, 165, and 165, as against 130, 105, 90, 70, 65, and 65 as stated in the Hebrew. The same systematic difference of 100 years in the period before the birth of the first-born appears likewise in the lives of the postdiluvian patriarchs, Arphaxad, Sale, Heber, Phaleg, Reu, and Sarug. For this list, however, the Samaritan agrees with the Septuagint as against the Massoretic text."
I know, and this may very well be because Jewry inspired by some demon changed the text under Kaiaphas and Hannas.
Precisely as Samaritans did under Jeroboam.
I will not quote the difference of years before Flood this makes when using Usher's method. But I will note that the difference explains rather much the difference between Usher and St Jerome. The former, as is well known placed Birth of Christ in Year of the World 4004. Less famously outside Roman Catholics who hear it said every Christmas, in the Vigil, Our Lord is born 5199 after God in the beginning created Heaven and Earth.
Hans Georg Lundahl