Timeline 0 – Creation Week

by John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted June 19, 2017, revised September 14, 2017

This week, I am starting a series of timelines that will outline the history of the world which I have constructed and which conforms to the chronology of the Bible. This series will be interspersed among blogs on other subjects and will follow the structure in the table below.  

                                                   GENERIC TIMELINES
Timeline 0 – Creation Week (3977 BC)
Timeline 1 – Edenic Era (3977 BC)
Timeline 2 – Antediluvian Era (3977-2321 BC)
Timeline 3A – Postdiluvian Era’s early phase 3A (2321-1870 BC)
Timeline 3B – Postdiluvian Era’s late phase 3B (1870-1464 BC)
Timeline 4A – Turbulent Era’s early phase 4A (1464-1008 BC)
Timeline 4B – Turbulent Era’s middle phase 4B (1008-754 BC)
Timeline 4C – Turbulent Era’s late phase 4C (754-665 BC)
Timeline 5A – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5A (Occident)
Timeline 5B – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5B (Middle East)
Timeline 5C – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5C (Orient)
Timeline 6A – Late Historic Era (2 BC-present)’s part 6A (Occident & Middle East)
Timeline 6B – Late Historic Era (2 BC-present)’s part 6B (Orient)
Timeline 6C – Late Historic Era (2 BC-present)’s part 6C (Sacred)

—CREATION WEEK (3977 BC) —

  Creation of Universe – a summary

Creation of Universe is described in Genesis 1:1-2:3 (for a more detailed description, see my blog of February 27, 2017 entitled Natural History 2 – an introduction to biblical cosmology continued). It was accomplished in seven 24-hour days.

Day 1 – God created Universe ex nihilo. It consisted of two parts:

Part A – a giant globe of water (matter), illuminated on one side, at Universe’s center, and

Part B – a spherical shell (space) of unknown composition and thickness, above and surrounding the globe of water.

Day 2 – God divided the giant globe of water (matter) into three parts or spatial segments:

Part A1 – a small globe of water at Universe’s center, which the Bible calls “the waters which were under the firmament” (Genesis 1:7),

Part A2 – an intermediate spherical shell of water of unknown thickness, above and surrounding the small globe of water, which the Bible calls “the firmament” and

Part A3 – an outer spherical shell of water of unknown thickness,[1] above and surrounding the firmament which the Bible calls “the waters which were above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7) and which I call “the upper waters.”[2]

Day 3 – God divided and transformed Part A1 – the small globe of water into three parts or spatial segments:

Part A1a – the land, which consisted of a solid globe of minerals at its center,

 Part A1b – the sea, which initially consisted of a spherical shell of water above and surrounding the land, and

Part A1cthe air or atmosphere, which consisted of a spherical shell of gases above and surrounding the globe. God then adjusted the interface between the land and the sea so that the surface of the matter below the air was divided into two segments: A single continent and a single sea, which surrounded the land. God then created flora on the land and in the sea.[3]

Day 4 – God transformed the firmament into interstellar space, which the Bible calls “the first heaven.” Its content by mass is primarily electromagnetic plasma (est. 96%) and secondarily astronomical bodies (est. 4%), such as stars, planets, moons, asteroids, and comets which are located within astronomical objects such as galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and planetary systems – starting with the earth’s sun and moon.

Day 5 – God created the fish and the fowl – first the fish to populate the sea and then the fowl to populate the air.

Day 6 – God created animals and humans – first the beasts, insects, etc. to populate the land and then humans to populate and subdue (cultivate) the entire earth and to exercise dominion over all other living creatures. In other words, God made humans to be the stewards of the earth.

Day 7 – After finishing Universe, which consisted of the earth, the first heaven, the upper waters, and the second heaven. God rested from his work of creating and sanctified the seventh day as a day of rest.

Creation of Eden

The Creation of Eden probably occurred on Day 6 of Creation Week. It is described in Genesis 2:8-14, which reads as follows:

2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. (KJV)

Verse 2:8 indicates that God created the Garden of Eden for mankind and then placed Adam in it. The phrase “eastward in Eden” is interesting. I believe it indicates that it was east of the Middle East where most of the Biblical events occurred. That would put it in Central Asia.

Verse 2:9 indicates that God put every tree and plant that was both pleasant to look at and good to eat in the Garden, including two special trees – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – which God placed at the center of the Garden. It is critical that we understand the meaning and significance of these two special trees.

The Tree of Life symbolizes life which is lived dependent upon the Word of God. In the description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 22, the Tree of Life stands adjacent to the river which flows out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb at the center of the City. The tree’s roots are nourished continually by the living waters of the Word of God.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes life which is lived independent of the Word of God – at least in part. That part is the determination of what is good and what is evil. That this determination belongs to God, the Serpent makes explicit when, as we shall see later, he suggested to Eve that, when she eats of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, “…your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3: 5). As gods? No. As God!

Verses 2:10-14 provide some geographical information about the Garden. A river went through the Garden and then, upon leaving the Garden, broke into four branches: the Pison, the Gihon, the Hiddekel, and the Euphrates. Although there have been many attempts to identify these rivers with rivers that exist today, in my opinion, none are convincing. In fact, I believe that the attempt to map the surface of the earth in Edenic and Antediluvian times is fruitless. Since those days, the topography of the earth has been significantly altered by the Flood of Noah and other more recent cataclysms.

The Edenic Covenant

The Edenic Covenant is described in Genesis 2:15-17, which reads as follows:

2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (KJV)

 Verse 2:15 indicates that God told Adam that he put Adam in the garden “to dress it and to keep it.”

Verse 2:16 records the command that God then issued to Adam, which is called the Adamic Covenant. The command had three elements: a permission, a prohibition, and a sanction.

The permission is extraordinarily unrestrictive. Adam may eat anything in the garden that he wants with only one exception. Considering the variety of flora which must have been there – all past and present species – the permission amounts to almost total freedom.

The prohibition, on the other hand, is very restrictive and specific. Adam must eschew eating the fruit of only one tree – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The sanction for disregarding this prohibition is terrible. If Adam eats of the forbidden fruit, he shall die.

Here God freely gave Adam access to the Tree of Life, just as God freely gave Adam life. God withheld only one thing from Adam; the right to determine what is good and what is evil. God reserved that determination to himself. God would determine what is good and what is evil – not Adam.

Notice that God established the Edenic Covenant before he created Eve. Although the covenant applied to all mankind, he gave it to Adam as the first man and therefore the head of the human race. Adam, the man, was therefore responsible for ensuring that all his descendants understand and adhere to the terms of the covenant.

Adam’s First Task

Adam’s First Task” is described in Genesis 2:18-20, which reads as follows:

2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (KJV)

In order to show Adam his need for a companion of a special sort, God gave Adam a specific task. Note that it was a scientific task – the taxonomic project of naming and ordering all living creatures. In doing so, Adam discovered that, whereas every other living species but mankind was created male and female, mankind lacked a female.

 The Creation of Eve – a Bride for Adam

The Creation of Eve – a Bride for Adam is described in Genesis 2:21-25, which reads as follows:

2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (KJV)

A few observations.

First, the word translated “rib” here is usually translated “side.” God took flesh and bone from Adam’s side with which to form Eve.

Second, the word translated “made” here bears the connotation of “formed” or “sculpted” – the female figure was not just a replica of the male body, but a divine work of art.

Third, there are some interesting family relationships here. God created Adam, and so Adam was a son of God. Now God wanted to present his son with a bride. To ensure that Adam and his bride were of the same species, God took genetic material from Adam’s side and with it he created a woman. Since God created the woman, she was a daughter of God and therefore a sister of Adam. Then the father of the bride gave away his daughter to the groom, just as happens in most Christian marriage ceremonies. Thus Adam and the woman were first brother and sister and then husband and wife, just as later Abraham and Sarah were first brother and sister and then husband and wife.

Verse 2:24 indicates that Adam recognized in the woman the mate that he had been lacking, and he took her to be his wife. Henceforth they would be an independent family.

Verse 2:25 indicates that Adam named his wife “Woman” or “Eve.” By doing so, Adam exhibited a biblical principle. The person in authority over another has the right to name or rename him. God named Adam. Adam named Eve. Later, we will see that God renamed Abram, calling him Abraham. Parents name their children.

 © 2017 John Holbrook Jr.
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[1] “Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heaven” (KJV Psalm 148:4).

[2] Above and surrounding Part A3 was the Part B – a spherical shell (space) described above, which I call the 2nd heaven.

[3] Processes must have been moving very fast at this point in order for seeds to germinate and mature within hours.

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