Monday, September 21, 2015

Date of Eden and The Snake. Does literalism pan out? When Did the NCHSH Lose Its Legs

Dancing With Eden.
Change partners.
The snake taps us on our shoulders.

The snake. Eden. Powers. Conundrums, or conundra.  To the existing named issues of meaning of the old Hebrew sound-form NShCh, that moderns usually translate as the Snake, add this newly discovered attribute:  the ability of the snake, the NCHSH to auto-reproduce itself, female without male, becomes a Mom. See

Virgin births are always of theological interest, suggesting, of course, that the female indeed came first and that the male was an afterthought, so this post, from several years ago, is being updated. Parthenogenesis, see  The idea has been around a long time, and in some cases, the means to do it, see

Q.  How old is Eden? This site says Adam was created in about 4004 BC - see  This renders any thinking person speechless, is that so? Keep that date in mind here.
PROCESS HERE.  An aid to scrolling.
A.  Multiple sources, approaches, research of original text meanings, where possible.

B.  Vet each appoach against other evidence accumulated. Do evolutionary arguments stem from the Biblical reference to the NCHSH (Nacash?) losing its legs as punishment for the tempting.  Does the loss of legs date, also date Eden, if we can determine vestigial legs in snake anatomy, figure when the legs receded.
C.  Separating culture from theology. Does the character and role of the NCHSH, suggest cultural intrusion establishing hierarchies and punishment patterns that might not have been part of original inspiration.

Culture and literalism:  handy patterns for maximizing survival at the time, even if later distorted by literalism; or theology: direct inspiration. If the dates of loss of legs do not match when people were at the talking, sexually differentiated stage.

D.  Eden and Politics.  Do thought patterns of candidates as to a literal Eden inform as to their future international and inter-cultural approaches.  What serves a common good, and does that matter where conviction stands above all else.
E.  Religious Truth -- Taken literally, it assumes events and intentions that establish a partilarly demonstrable connection between this deity-these deities and this group of people. Ask when the "literal" presentation then became cultural -- used to perpetuate and spin for human status and survival interests, setting bounds on acceptable needs and desires of a culture in facing life, good, evil, place in the world. If the literal or the figurative allegory furthers survival and cohesion, the story itself survives. But somewhere there was a choice made.

A.  Dating Eden

1.  For literalists, a creature lost its legs while in Eden, and slithered thereafter. The creature was the NCHSH.  The date would be some 7 days, calculated literally with a sun (don't askl) after Creation (a spontaneous combustion plus stages) plus some time: for the events of the Eden story to take place.  Literal. It means what it says. If something doesn't fit, say what it must mean and say that it also is literal; or if not literal, then infallible or dogma, to be believed as "inspired" interpretation.

2.  Figuratives. The story signifies -- what?  original sin as the sabotage of one created entity by another;  if so, was there a sabotage before the NChSh? Temptation?  but the temptation was to think, gain knowledge with the brain one had. Or was it fraud.  Did the deity really forbid thinking? How did fraud get into the created entitites? Did Woman caused man to, gasp, think and is that Sin. Oris Eden a simple, gauzy, some things work out, some don't. Hang in there, expect sabotage, fraud, betrayal, self-serving, and the good inflicted with evil.
Eden as myth. Best efforts at putting elements of experience together in a meaningful, explanatory, predictive way.
a. Eden as Allegory. Figurative, descriptive, "one thing under the image of another," see
b. Eden as Metaphor. She is a monster. One thing is so similar to another that skip the mid-terms and say she is it. See
c. Eden as Analogy, one thing is likened to something else. My love is like a red, red rose.
d. Blend. Expedience and common sense to bridge gaps.
B. How and why did the West Shift to the Literal. 
Nomads we can understand. Myths and laws of the Old Testament developed in their context. In the New Testament, however, a more settled era, Jesus spoke no by those literal laws and hierarchies of authority; but persuaded obliquely, by example, parables, general love-God-love-your-neighbor, cheeks, give to the poor, etc. So why go from nomad literal to modern literal in the western institution, even after Jesus' non-force, persuade by example approach? As the Western form of Christianity Christian or Jesusians.  Institutions hardly look Jesusian, except for the maligned liberal ones.
Is this the chronology:
The Western Christian Church veered to the literal when it wanted to organize and spread by force or spin to a group, not just one on one influence. See the course of thinking in the institutional religion, with the spur of Gregorian Reforms in the 11th Century, at Lateran II in 1139 laid out the rules, see
  • The Roman branch split with the rest of Christianity, the Orthodox, in the Great Schism of 1054, and rules abounded anew after that. The Roman branch needed converts, money, identity on its own. There had been foundations set for creeds, who is to rule whose head, but after the Schism came the deluge.
  • This Schism and its effect on the Roman branch was a profound marking point. It has relevance to the dichotomy between literal and figurative. The Roman branch is highly literal, defining and excluding. Is the east more tolerant of the figurative. We think so. Compare the branches of this east Christian west Christian historical tree at

Why did this happen so fiercely, leading to crusades and inquisitions and warfare between religious views?
The reason appears to be organizational rather than inspirational. The Roman Churh rejected the figurative because the figurative leaves latitude in interpretation, and does not forge immediate cohesion, enforceability. Paul took over from, would it have been James the Brother of who more followed Jesus' approach. Love your neighbor, give your goods to the poor, give some examples, but let the ones who disagree walk away.
The Figurative is not a complex idea.; it is easily grasped. But for an institution establishing itself as Supreme, Superior to the Eastern Christians or any other religion, Supreme in the early days against "heresy". It is too flexible to serve clout and power. Myth as myth allows various meanings. And the figurative myth allows independence of thought and analysis, ranges of interpretation. That range of permissible interpretation undermines automatic, entitled authority.
That flexibility became, in terms of religious history and ongoing
3.  Pragmatic blenders.  The ultimate appliance. Mix just enough rules so people don't have to reinvent the wheel, but base it all on principle, open to interpretation.
C.  Vet Each Approach.  When did the lizard lose its legs?

1. Problems for literalists.  Figuratives look instead to allegory, myth, metaphor, etc.

Eden by this literal text religion's eye view was start-to-finish in six rotations of the earth, and only God knows when, see Evolution 0, Spontaneous Combustion 10.  But:
a.  Traditional translations do not fit. 

We cannot use traditional translations that call this creature a "serpent" because a serpent has no legs and that leg-loss happened after the creation of the creature. Pre-serpent. Lizard? Reptile? And if the Creator did not create the Creature in its full form all at once, where did it come from? Did it cross the open border at Eden and shift shape? What does that mean for a perfect Eden? Another discussion.

b.  People could not have been there at the same time as the creature. 

People were not have been upright at the time that the NCHSH lost its legs, and talking and tending gardens?  How could the people then be simultaneously in Eden with the NCHSH, and a literal person has to pick one for the date and ignore the other: or skip the whole thing and apply "faith" that against all evidence, it happened together.1) date of upright humans talking, with concept of a one God,  and tending gardens; or  2) date of the NCHSH losing its legs.

Both and allegorists, or figuratives,  and literalists are indeed "thinking" people.  They just stop thinking at different points. When do we want our children to stop thinking?
Reptile loses legs?  We can figure that out.

Physical Fossil Science places Eden at 112 to 94 million years ago. The earliest snake fossil that is not a reptile with legs dates from that period. See The New York Times sets the date of the creature with legs, a reptilian thing becoming a snake without legs, at 47,000,0000 years ago. See
Common ancestor to reptile or lizard to snake.  Cryptolacerta Hassiaca. The year is 47 million years ago. Meet the lizard-dragon-serpent before and as it became the Snake: The common ancestor. Lizards lost their legs and became Cruptolacerta Hassiaca.
So, if Eden is the time when the snake lost its legs, we have Eden at perhaps 47-90 million years ago, giving some latitude from the articles, with a focus on other research. Evolution 10, spontaneous combustion 0.
Were Humans there then?
Depending on the fossil, Fossil Science as to humans or human prototypes-progenitors also places Eden at a far later time: Humans or human prototypes, on off the tree, date variously from some 7 million to 1.2 million years ago, depending on which remains have significance for whom, see Now we may have another, Australopithecus sediba.
Modern human ancestor.  Australopithecus Sediba. Modern Humans (emerging about 1.9 million years ago), are now to be updated with Australopithecus Sediba, see; and keep in mind always the earlier findings, example Israel's contribution at, say, some 100,000 years ago; and later dates are bandied for entry of different branches into Europe and contact with Neanderthals.
  • Refine the "human" further, to conform to the texts: The humans in issue must be a talking, linguistically sophisticated, gardening people. When were the first talking people, with language skills, naming skills, also suitable as gardeners. Those were in Eden at the same time as the now-legless wonder. We need a bridge between the earliest ancestor possibles, and us; and that had been Homo habilis, a toolmaker, thanks to the Leakeys.
Evolution 10, spontaneous combustion 0.
However, this evolutionary date does not coincide with the serpent's eye view, the herpetological evolutionary date, so Eden's date is still out of reach.
C.   Vet Texts
What words were used to describe the events. What text do we choose to believe. The new, the blue, or the one we wore last?
Theology. Old Hebrew. Literal Nacash. Figurative Nacash.
Issues with the NChSh. Hebrew appears to say that it was "NChSh" that was in Eden doing the bad things that resulted in more bad things. See whether or not this is the same as snake (not) at

Who gave the NChSh its marching orders, or is it independent and equal in power to the deity, who could not control it? Was the NChSh the "wise one", as some of our own translations provide; and if so, does that help us date Eden?  If other cultures have the NChSh, or its equivalent, does that dilute the absolute authority of one account, ours? 
Theology.  Other cultures. Literal Nacash. Figurative Nacash.

Other cultures refer to an actor with the function of an NChSh or a Nacash. One of the definitions from the literalism site, is "the wise one" for the NChSh.
Do we believe highly variable and much translated, retranslated-revised, augmented-subtracted texts over time (count the Bibles out there), each selected interpretation as direct inspiration of an identifiable deity who just happens to support present culture as it is, thus it must be right. Once used for that purpose, is force and manipulation then used to exploit the now dependent people and stay in power?

D.  Thought Patterns and Politicians and Eden
and other Religious Beliefs.
Politics: Does a candidate's beliefs about literalism and Eden; or literalism superimposed on any human act and whether it is good or evil, other "religious truths", predict how they approach issues in governing. Should we be concerned, as voters, about non-analytical behavior, generally. When did the candidate stop thinking; and does that serve the common good.

Update 20120. Among the literalists appears to be Governor Rick Perry who has no idea how old the earth is; or if there was an evolution of anything, and cares not a tumbleweed whit.  Rick Santorum has strong, narrow views about his evangelical-based idea of religious truth:  public schools should teach Creationism.  Romney shape-shifts, depending on expedience.  Gingrich (this by way of update) also shapeshifts, see, and claims he is reformed from earlier baggage-ways, Huntsman appears moderate and sensible and qualified for a multi-faceted society.
So how could humans at 1.9 million years ago, converge with the lizard-dragon-serpent losing its legs some 47 million years ago. Presidential elections are so interesting. Do their positions reveal more about their analytical thought process, intellectual curiosity, analytical ability, by their views on Eden.
How we get information counts in elected officials, and what we do with what we get. Look back to when the serpent separated from the legged lizard, Eden itself, not just Israel where the stories got told last before being Incorporated into The Book, a term favored by Rick Perry (corporations, ).
Quoth Rick: We must choose between one date (the serpent's) and the other (the humans') because all is black or white, and if that does not work, declare victory and leave the field. All is black or white. So blacks get more capital punishment, is that so.
We have an ideal opportunity, in a season of debatius borius, who will ask the Governor (in between executions) when, if ever, thinking counts.  Was it a religious kind of belief that said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Of course.  Faith.
Conclusion:  How to date Eden, assess the meaning of oldest religious texts, match them to common experience.  Cultures look to origins to justify themselves, and their ways. In order to do this, did stories begin and expand as myth, to be received figuratively;  or as a disinterested reporting meticulously and without great change from teller to teller from the start, to be received literally.

For literalists, is the story of the snake a mechanism for culturally demonizing others, an ongoing theme of institutional religions.  How else to explain good, evil, life, fruitful relationships. Did we stop with the nomadic view. And now, with a snake shown capable of reproducing itself as a female without a male, do the old myths of
*  Photo:  yet another Eden, here, Switzerland

Friday, September 4, 2015

KNGDV: Symbol of a process. Vet old texts for understanding, not certainty. A challenge to systems.

KNGDV or KNGDU.  This odd combination represents a way of vetting religious systems.  Take an early word form, here the k-n-g-d-v rough phonetic from Genesis 2-18, as one of many from a literal translation the paleo Hebrew.  The shapes used there are not our letters at all, so narrative-builders enter fill-ins and interpretations. Follow the translations down the rabbit hole of meaning. Does KNGDV somehow mean help-meet or is she to be a guide, in front of him.

A.  Since so many old texts did survive, ask why.

What human need is at work in the preserving, copying, puzzling, making up narratives, and ascribing inspiration to be taken on others' faith.

Religious meaning. What is this? When in doubt, sound certain rather than question, say some.

1.  Seeking meaning.

Look for a cogent, respectful discussion of how absolute interpretations do a disservice to faith by faking security.  Do systems fill in to make a narrative that suits the institution, and fibs that the individual's fears and anxieties can be relieved by dogma absorption and supremacism, and denying others rights of decision-making on their own moral ground.  This is the way.

No, it may well not be. The other view: Does more security arise from questioning tradition, interpretations and mores in culture? There may well not be more security, but the state of not knowing at least is normalized, freeing the person from the drive to force others to follow one cultural-religious ideology.

2. Found.

This non-traditional religious-oriented group describes itself as progressive, but that is difficult to define, see there are aspects  of anyone's religious life that are firmly within the traditional circle, retaining designations of the institution, for example, regardless of other movings outside it.
  • John Shelby Spong, retired Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Newark NJ (retired 2001), lays out an inclusive and accessible approach to theology, for anyone.  An interest is in the parts of texts misused to foster prejudice and violence. the facts that can shed light on all this human ongoing insecurity.  Live with it, positively, and as a bridge and helping hand to others regardless, perhaps.
4.  Premises of Bishop Spong, if I understand them reasonably accurately:  Please correct if wrong.

All humans seek security, but concretized faith positions cannot provide it, and should not distort old texts in order to try.  There is a basic flaw in ideological systems, in that they aim to convince people that they can find identity and security in this life, a very human drive, by adopting a system. And that deprives everyone of the full panoply of human relationship and inquiry needed to help each other, and live broadly moral lives.  Is that so?

5.  Current spur in the news for this issue. See
  •  A county clerk's spiritual life was shaped by a conversion experience with the result that she, in her own conscience, will not allow others to live their lives according to the secular law.  Her ideological system says that allowing same gender marriage is morally wrong, that the Deity requires her and others like her not only to live their own lives accordingly but also to aggressively enforce the institution's interpretation (from the Deity) against anyone outside the group.  Her own conscience, newly awakened, says to deny others their own path. Her security is in her membership ad her adamance based on her sincerely held religious belief. 
5.1  What overall might be the John Spong Response to the Kentucky clerk's conscience dilemma, and our own path:  
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5.2.  As beings conscious of our selves, danger, the future, and death, humans seek security, to reduce anxiety. Humans seek meaning. Religion is part of the anxiety-reducing and meaning system. People also turn to other substances, addictions, and other sources of even temporary comforts.

5.3. The human condition itself remains chronically insecure and , and no ideological system can bring security without distorting, suppressing, reducing the thought process to controlled level of ongoing dependence. 
5.3.  In order for religion to work effectively  as a security avenue, it must be "ultimately true with no doubts allowed."  Steps are taken to ensure that. For example, enter the (suddenly) infallible Pope (1870, declaration, but made retroactive) (I would add that censorship of other ideas so the belief community is insulated, also serves to remove doubts).
5.4.  That requirement of ultimate truth for the chose system also fosters the drive to compel others to comply.  (It follows that, rather than encouraging inquiry and interacting, the system seeks to add to its own membership, even if other paths emerge through text or events).  Rather than needing to be "born again", goes the idea, we need to "grow up."
5.5.  What is it, then, to identify as a member of a religious group (if that is what is desired) if there is no dogma.  As to Christians (Bishop Spong is one), he says:
"To live with integrity in a radically insecure world is, I believe, the meaning of the Christian life."   John Shelby Spong, see site
So, he continues, truth is not possessed, but is a goal for walking toward. Forcing conversions repels more than attracts, a sign of decline.  Spong, above. "Whether a new stage of religious maturity is being born to take its place is not quite as clear. That, however, is where the future of Christianity lies."

6.  KNGDV finds a kindred spirit in Bishop Spong.  There is pleasure in looking things up, finding Aha moments, but those will never change others' minds -- ever.  That is not the goal. Rather, KNGDV here is dedicated to the walk forward, the larger understanding of why we distort as we do.

B.  Broader secular epiphany.

 James Joyce and Epiphany. How awareness unfolds.  See Considerations, and with warmth extended to the Kentucky clerk, a fellow
  • Consider the risks of vetting. Rather than add to the security offered by fixed systems, this vetting instead suggests that anxiety about meaning is to be lived with, as a normal, there are no absolute answers.  Texts that religious systems include-omit-interpret may well not match, even nearly, the old roots.
To balance the risks of vetting, ask about the risks of dogma adoption.  Do the certain institutions instead serve the survival needs of the institution, or the individual to attain some sense of security in this life. Does it matter, so long as enough other individuals seek understanding and perspective on their own. So, down the rabbit hole. Membership, adamance, dogma: do those bring security or merely delay.

7.  Start:  Take any verse, portion of any scriptural text, and vet. Prepare for surprises, and resistance by firm system believers to the possibility of taint, cultural self-serving, in the interpretations. 
  • Kentucky clerk, I think you would find the process of vetting your belief about same-gender deity approval or not to be safe, if you have like-minded friends interested in arguments counter-arguments. Certainty: No one verse will establish that.  
  • Skip labels like progressive. Think Progress. A constructive way of looking at tradition, and moving forward with and from it, using thinking, texts and ideology as a vetting opportunity.
And perhaps look up approachable Bishop Spong.  His ideas may be a war alternate place to consider our common walk, if your system allows. Conscience may be religious culture, the result of persuasion, not deity attention. Perhaps. How to know. Uncertainty.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

No Genesis Marriage. Jerome added Wife - Uxoris

Jerome, Dogma made "marriage" and "wife" a Genesis concept, 
which, compared to texts, it was not.

Aishe, Aisha.  Woman.  
Genesis relationship with a man "often unexpressed in English."  Strong's.

Consider the translation merry-go-round.  Thinks Jerome, Saint Jerome born 240 AD, died, say 314 AD.  Long ago.  He translated into Latin for the purposes of the emerging Catholic Christianity (as opposed to the Christians who migrated East, rather than allying with Rome).  He was conversant with the various texts of scripture from many languages at the time

So, thinks Jerome, as he approaches the issue of woman as human being or the cultural role of Wife, identity related to the male, I see (says Jerome), I see no no ambiguity in the text that the word "woman" is used, but because I work for the Boss in the Emerging Roman Version (read patriarchy) I will use a more culturally shaping and useful word, Wife.

Where I see Woman in the text, I will substitute Wife.  Done.

Yea, I will affix Uxoris, pipes up Jerome. We cannot have a mere "woman of him" or "man of her" in our texts, depicting sexual relationship.  We must have hierarchical marriage, with wife, and husband as in patriarchy and property interests, interposed. 

 I will make her a wife, the way the Church wants it. 
I will  pretend a ceremony! 
I will deem him a husband, and her a wife, and so he did, 
with conceptual entanglements through the centuries resulting.

Marriage this, marriage that. Define, describe. Who was married. Who not. Who knows. Who should be. Who wants to be. Who can stop whom from it. Who means what by it.

Marriage is cultural; not "divine" at all from the old texts. Is that so?  Explore.  Vet. See Jewish Marriage in Antiquity, by M.L.Satlow,
 My preference is to go directly to Genesis and see what I can figure out first.  Will then go read the tomes. We know from this site, that details are few -- great opportunity for translators and institutions to fill in blanks and pretend:  see Women and the Law in  Ancient Israel, at

Current issue: Tradition flees from the idea of Jesus being married, although would it not have been more unusual if he had not been married?  Were the disciples married? Do we care? Marriage, if cultural, as it seems to  be, should be no-one's theological interest.

Jerome:  Translator into Latin, and inserter of the textual Uxoris. Do our translators alter or ignore evidence to show what the culture wants. What we have, is material on the woman-acquisition process in patriarchal Hebrew history.  Not "wives" with vows and sanctity afloat.

Historical purpose  of Marriage:  to "concentrate property and personnel within narrowly delimited descent groupings (reflecting) a social order marked by considerable political and economic inequalities."  Marriage patterns: transactions and exchanges interfamilial as well. See

Is that anything like the current and recent-past ceremonies to love,  honor, even obey?  Is there a commitment or just an economic bind that may or may not include "love."  Partnership ideas?  Was there any ceremony at all, or just that purchase and sale, swap. I use the Mechanical Translation of Genesis, Blue Letter Bible, for Strong's concordance, mostly.  See sites below.

A.  Evolution of Marriage

1.  Ask:  What was the relationship between early men and women in the Old Testament. The concept of a "wife" and "husband" permeate culture and religious practice, even most all our Old Testaments; but are expressed in different terms in the ancient texts themselves.

1.1.  Start at the beginning. Seek out transliterations and find ambiguity, if not outright contrary terms used, other than the marriage, husband and wife so dear to our ritual hearts.  According to this transliteration of Genesis, for example, there is no marriage existing with a separate term like that in Genesis. See A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Genesis,

1.2  There were, however, pairings, the acquiring of women, with events that preceded and occurred at marriage as a bonding with some obligations, as a practical matter of a formal pairing.  The man took power over her (Strong's 1111, 1167, see below).  This was not part of Creation, however;  look at the time passing from the Expulsion to the rest of Genesis.

1.3  With all that power to the man, however, the woman was not powerless.

It appears from Gen. 24:39 that the woman had to agree, she was to "walk after" the man, if she so chose.  Gen.24:51.  The man also is to "take and walk." Gen.24:58.  They inquire of the woman what she will do.

Woman is to be respected.  See Sarai and Abram. Abraham (renamed as Father Lifted, not Abram) is told by Elohim, Powers, as to her status:  "I will respect her and also from her I will give to you a son and I will respect her and she will exist for nations, kings of peoples will exist from her." Gen.17:16  [My RSV says only that God will bless her].  "Respect" is also a term used for men, Gen.48:3, 9.  So, respect women, respect men, both functional.

Woman has value. There is a bride price and gift, see Gen.34:12.
  • Purchase, sale, control.  Great Creeping Patriarchy.  All that is a far cry from Genesis' Creation -- and evolved only in the long male powerplays thereafter.  After all, she was periodically vulnerable. And once the men started wanting lineage, she was caught.  Is that so?  See Mechanical Translation at Appendixes p.418, Gen. 9:21 (the site offers a free download that is great fun to have on the drive -- look up anything anytime).  
There were some rules. To have sex with a woman without permission is to afflict her, defile her, see Dinah at Gen. 34:2,5, 13.

An expression of love seems to be "attached to"  Gen.34:8, love (same word), to adhere to, or speak to her heart, Gen.34:3.  She is "gotten" to serve as a woman. See Gen.34:12. Women are product, swapped for other women. Gen.34:21. She can be Whore. Gen.34-21 -- So that arrangement also existed, of course. Could she keep her own income? It was an exchange of act for value. A whore or prostitute does not operate in secret. f A whore covers her face. See Gen.38:15. But an "honorable" woman taking that path can be "cremated" (a prostitute using deceit to get what she wants, Gen. 38:24).

To take another's woman is a crime, Gen. 39:7ff (Paroh's woman)

Taking her and coming to her may be enough (if she does not object?) see Gen. 38:2-4. As to signifying consent on that and other issues, walking to it can signify consent to whatever is on the table.  See Gen. 38:11

She owned property. For example, any instance of "his" tent should be translated instead as "her" tent, because in ancient Hebrew culture, the family tent belonged to the woman. It is so described at Gen.12:8.  Is that the beginning of, give the woman the house?
  • And Rahhel and Le'ah ask for a portion of their inheritance from their father, Gen. 31:14-16:  "[W]ere we not thought of as foreigners to him given that he sold us and he also greatly ate our silver, given that all the riches which Elohiym (Powers) delivered from our father, to us he and to our sons and now all which Elohiym (Powers) said to you, do."   [At v.19, after they all went back, Rahhel went in and took Lavan her father's idols and Ya'aqov (Jacob, He Restrains) took Lavan's heart (what?) and there was a pursuit ff.
The woman controlled when she has children, at the outset, until she herself came to be controlled.  Conception.  At Creation, the woman took the first step -- she was not a passive recipient of what Adm had -- instead, she  "acquired" or "purchased" a child -- it was her act with Yahweh, nothing put upon her against her will.  Gen.4:1.  Acquired:  That is the meaning of the word Cain. Acquired.  He is the one who served the ground, while his later brother, Able (meaning "empty") fed the flocks. Look at the trouble from the beginning:  There was Cain doing what he was supposed to, till the fields (Adm's job) but Able who fiddled with sheep got the preference.  No justice from early on.

Jahweh visited Sarai and she conceived?  It wasn't Abraham?? See Gen.21:1-2.  Like Eve who bargained with Jahweh?

1.4  It is a long time, however, before she starts to be seen as an individual.  Women on occasion had individualized names, but these are the exception.  All men's names, however, were descriptive (Hairy, He Who Laughs, etc.)

That woman's naming occurs in early chapters, as with Adah, Ornament; Tsilah, Shadow (look up in chapters and verses in Glossary at MT) [and for fun, note that men are also individually described as to an attribute in their naming, and Seth means Buttocks].
Women's naming then peters out until much later with Abram.  By then, the cultural patriarchy had taken root.  See FN 1 for many, many names of women.  But these are a small portion of the total naming of all those men and places in Genesis.

1.5   Is Creation foolproof, Good?  Is all that was made, made Good? Not necessarily. Creation was made to be "functional" -- a different concept from "good".  See MT.
  • Elohim, meaning Powers, also made mistakes, one being the heart of the human: " [T]he thoughts of the heart of the human are dysfunctional from his young age and I will not continue to hit all the living ones which I made." (the promise to Noah, meaning Rest). See FN 1 for naming of women after Abraham.

B.  Marriage, the Ceremony and Vows, Roles

Check out whether marriage occurs in Genesis.  Marriage. Husband. Wife. Ceremony. Rights. Children. Home. Divorce.  What?  Starting Transliteration.  Download the Mechanical Translation, scroll to Genesis 1, then do a search or "find" of the entire book for each term.

1. Marriage. 
  • The word appears only in Gen. 38:8, as a phrase for these ideas --  'come to the woman of your brother  and do the marriage duty to her and make a seed rise for your brother.' 
  •  "Marriage duty" appears nowhere else and is undefined. What were the duties, if any, other than to beget.  And with the begetting, who got what rights to the product?  Was she free to go, live an autonomous life, who controlled her, how.
  • Marriage appears as a term in itself not in Genesis except as to the one duty; only appears as a self-defining unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended to the translation itself. 
2.  Husband.

Husband.  If there is a marriage, there must be a Husband.  Find find.  No occurrence at all for the word Husband in Genesis.  It also only appears as a self-defining but undefined unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended.

3.  Wife.  If there is a marriage, there must be a Wife.  Try Wife.  There is a "midwife" in Gen. 35:17; and Gen. 38:28.  The word "wife" only appears as a self-defining but undefined unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended.
  • Mechanical Translation.  An example of a phrase we commonly see translated as Wife -- Because you listened to your wife, etc.  But there, Genesis 3:17 shows no "wife", only woman, woman of you, your woman. Do a search in the Mechanical Translation for woman, and it all is references to the men taking their woman, or taking a woman.  Try it.  
Taking a woman or getting a woman is not the same as a marriage, or a wife.  Those require ceremony, vows, all that.  What words did the ancient Hebrews use?
  • Go to the Blue Letter Bible, as another reasonable source, and note this is conservative.   .  "Wife" appears, says Blue Letter, in the King James Version (my favorite), 16 times in Genesis as an exact match.  It appears in 370 other verses in the entire KJV, it says.
The "word number" for Wife is 802 in Hebrew and it appears as each of those 16 references to "Wife."  Must mean wife, right?  Look that up. 802 is Ish-shah, and it uses "wife" to define "wife" -- one, married, female, misc. What?  No help.
802 in Strong's is the feminine of 376.

376 is "a man as an individual or a male person." And it includes husband.

 802 includes wife.  Both, then add a status to the designation as male or female. What did they mean by it? Is there a difference between that and "woman"?  Strong's 802 is also the feminine of 582, and 582 is a mortal, a man in general, and husband and wife are stuck in there with no clue as to what is the origin of that relationship, just stuck there.  "Often unexpressed in English" we are told.

So, the relationship, the woman thing, is "often unexpressed in English."  English wants Wife, dammit, Wife!  The Church requires that she be a wife!
Pick an example of "wife" in one of our translations.  Again, we pick at random Genesis 3:17, "because you have listened to the voice of your wife...."
Hebrew for the word we are looking for is, I think from deduction, תאכל
Scripture4all  - AshthK -- woman of you.
Hebrew Old Testament - 'aShThK -- Jerome translates it into the Latin as Uxoris
And so does everybody else thereafter.  Uxoris!  Wife!

Check translation of Uxoris.  It should show Wife.  Yes.

But check translation of the Hebrew "woman" that Jerome translates as "wife" -- and that word for woman is not not Uxoris at all. 

Look at all the references to wife -- each one instead refers to the 802 or woman or woman of you, or women of him, or take a woman.  And everybody falls in line after Jerome the Wrong and says, wife, wife, wife. Woman of you is different.

The word for woman in Latin is Mulieri. Jerome uses mulieri when God speaks to the woman, that she will give birth in pain.  Gen. 3:16. What is the Hebrew there? Woman e-ashe.  No reference to who she is connected to.  Fine. E-adm, man, e-ashe, woman.  Being in a relationship, he's my man, etc., does not create a marriage.

Conclusion so far:  no reference to any ceremony, any exchange, any obligation, just the taking of a woman.  And several, as with Abraham.  Yet Jerome, good old Jerome, he needs to find wives here and so he does, arbitrarily.  Dogma, dogma.

4.  So what is marriage in Genesis?

In Gen. 2:24, we have the man leaving his father and mother [but who were they when Adm and Aishe were created by the Creator -- was Elohiym multiple (yes, by its terms) and so there was a heavenly pairing? and adhering to his woman.  Genesis 2:24 requires no contracts, no property exchanges, no controlling, nothing but adhering.  No sacrament, no blessing.  So much for our cultural to-do about marriage.
  • So:  'aShThK.  Gen.3:17.  Go further.  Lot's wife is Lot's woman instead.  Abraham's wife is Abraham's woman instead.   At Gen.20:3, a woman is "married of a master" -- sounds like no wife there, just a bonded person. People buy women.  Jacob works seven years for what he hopes will be Rachel for woman of him.  No "wife."  Leah speaks of aishi, man of me. 
Etc.  Woman of him, man of her, but no ceremony, no "marriage", a bonded system, a purchase.  This will take more detail, but where in Genesis does anyone undergo a ceremony or words other than to do the buying thing?

802 is aisha. 802 is not "wife."  Jerome, go back and rewrite.  No uxor. Mulier. Woman.

FN 1.  Women's individualized names do not resume after that initial flurry, until Abraham, whose name means Father Raised.

His woman (the word "wife" is not used) is named Sarai, or Princess, thus a status as well as an individual in gender. Gen.11:29.  More:  continue to read that Abraham let her be taken by Pharaoh, saying she was his sister, in order to save his own skin).  For these, if not specified, go to glossary at the Mechanical Translation for chapter and verse locations.

Listing in part:

Sarai. Princess. Sarai is also known as Noblewoman [bought for a thousand silver? see Gen.20:16. Is a man's woman different from his bondwomen? same verse].
Milkah. Queen.
Hagar. Stranger; maid of Sarai who owned her and controlled her
Re'umah. meaning Lifted Up, Abraham's concubine Gen.22:24
Rivqah, Ensnarer.
Qethurah, Incense (concubine of Abraham)
Rahhel. Ewe
Le'ah. Weary
Dinah. Judgement [Dinhavah is also a city meaning Give Judgement]
Devorah. Bee (nurse of Rivqah)

A place is named Shaddai, meaning My Breasts. Gen.35:11 and elsewhere, just noting it here because it is repeating.

Bilhah.  Wear Out.
Zilpah. Trickling (is this a man or a woman?  not clear, see Gen.46:18, a later reference).
Basmah.  Spice.
Timnah.  Withhold.
Meheythavael.  Favored of El.
Asnat. Belonging to Nat (not quite certain of that one), daughter of Pothee-Phera (he whom Ra gave)
Serahh. Excess.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who invited a deity to the marriage?

Does declaring an institution sacred make it so? 
What did the deity say and do about marriage.
What did later people say and do.
For whose benefit? 
Are we bound by others' views?

A.  What God hath joined together, let no man (no one?) put asunder.

So goes a familiar part of a religious marriage ceremony for some.  How dare anyone challenge the institution of marriage, so venerable for 3000 years of recorded history.  So we are admonished.

Look again.  What did the deity do as to ordaining "marriage" -- was there a contract, and exchange of matters of value, witnesses, and then a change of habitation and consummation? In later Biblical references, is a "wedding" the same as a "marriage"? What is law governing human-human relationships in the old texts. What prohibits or says anything at all about what it is, who can be in it. The Torah is silent. The Talmud, or teachings, instead is the source of custom. Vet the terms, see process at Vetting Roots, Vetting Lexicons. Add another mechanical translation, or transliteration site, at  The point is that there is no one answer, no one approach. Check them all before adopting any authority.

  • It looks like weddings are a cultural, a non-religious matter, late in blooming, a product of later teaching (hello, Paul) by others, and the Christian soldiers marched in and extrapolated that their "God ordains it". Ideology derivatives.  
  • With Jerome and other early translators in the Common Era, find the word "wife" interposed where "woman" appears in the transliteration (we are checking for other transliterations to compare); and find "marriage" and betrothal language where no "betrothal arises from the context -- instead, you may find master and servant, for example. A purchase. 
  • Is there "marriage" at all as we know it, or is the woman "acquired" at the wedding. Or acquired by purchase. Look back at the language of Eve in considering Cain: I have acquired a son from JHWH.  See .  Gaining something, acquiring. Adam not even in the picture, literalist view. Eve on a par with the deity, and bargaining for something on her own. Research old texts. Find ambiguity.
  • Research method: multiple open windows. Show the research path by fair use of URL's and linking (if anyone objects tell me and I'll do something else as may be required.  How else to research unless these footnote-equivalents are given?) (Lexicon at; and Scripture4all at for hebrewoldtestament and Greek online for starters). 
  • Early times. Transliterations. This site,, is useless for our purposes because it it ideologically institutionally Christian, not Jesus' words, using its interpretation to lay out the same interpretation again, and does not correlate the Hebrew word with the specific English, just gives the traditional ideological narrative. How does simply going to a wedding bless it?

B.  Findings so far, and subject to change with new information.

1.  The word marriage.

In English Biblical translation, marriage is found 19 times in my King James version, and in 18 verses.  Type in the word marriage at the Lexicon, and search,
The word "wedding" is used in the original texts, suggesting just a specific social event; but English translators often substitute "marriage" -- with other overtones and a long time frame. Does that make any difference.

2.  Multiple contexts.

That one word marriage, in English translation, is used, however, in six different ways, with six different meanings or contexts, even though connected in the New Testament by the wedding idea of celebration.  The six ways are shown by separate word numbers for each usage, see the Eliyah lexicon. I have looked each up below.

3.  Old Testament.

Looking at all the uses of "marriage", the word marriage occurs in the Old Testament only twice. But there is no specifying in either of those references how something we call a marriage takes place.  There is no reference or law about it in the entire Torah, or the rest of the Old Testament.  All that has emerged about the ins and outs of marriage is a matter of custom, oral tradition, teaching, the Talmud.  Not Torah.  The Good Lord sayeth nothing.  Good Lord!

4. Sacred or secular.

 Marriage so far appears to be mere custom, not religion; but with a religious overlay to suit institutional needs. One man one woman:  not so.  Many wives, and marriages to little girls, all part of Western heritage. Mormon included. Is that so? Section 5 addresses the specific meanings but I omit a definition that uses the word to define itself.

Marriage:  the pesky idea. Asking for a blessing is nice, but fulfills or proves no religious deity-originating law about who can enter into that relationship.

5.  Process.  What makes a marriage?  Old Jewish custom:

A marriage process did evolve from early recorded times, but not as part of the Torah.  It is from the Talmud, that developed and evolved through the society, we learn that a marriage is the taking of a wife, and that wifiness results from three steps, once she has given her consent -- Talmud says a woman cannot be acquired without her consent, Judaism 101 at That site lays out what is needed--

a. exchange of money, (at least the ring, perhaps, and where its value is known)

b. a contract, with the husband's obligations to the wife, her conditions of inheritance, child support obligations, the wife's support in case of divorce, and more if they wanted; and the status that is deeper than mere betrothal begins, the kiddushin

c. the husband brings her to his home [I thought in Creation he was to leave his and move in with hers?? -- another disobedience?] moving in and actual conjoining; the nisuin;  and this in the old days could be as much as a year after the kiddushin, the commitment.  What if either had buyer's remorse during the long kiddushin? If he jumped ship, she would be left married but without a husband? These days the two events are celebrated at once, I think.  See Judaism 101.

6.  The contract.  This part of acquiring a wife is also laid out.

6.1   It is a contract, so no rabbi is needed at all.  It is merely custom to have a rabbi officiate. Wanting a religious officiant is more a Christian overlay to this private contract, and reflects our laws that a civil or religious officiate. See Judaism 101.

6.2  Wedding ceremony:  exuberant. And the patriarchal interpretation rises up and calls itself blessed, as The Man (not as humankind, but as though "Adm" were male even without the woman) glories in His image (what??) and the controls ensue, bless its heart.

7.  The significance of marriage as a social stabilizer.  It is unnatural not to be married.
  • So, Jesus probably was indeed married, if he was a good Jew. Is that so? 
  • Marriage is not primarily for procreation, however.  Look to "companionship, love and intimacy."  The Judaism 101 refers as justification to the verse Gen.2:18 that the deity determined that it is not good for the man to be alone.
    • At that stage, however, there was only humankind, the Adm, who only got a gender when there was the other gender; and 
    • It is debatable if the word referred to means "good" -  it could well mean "functional."  A single humankind entity is not functional? That makes more sense, and fits with the overall plan for the adm to till the ground and tend the garden and name things, period. See  Nothing sacred or holy about the creation of the adm or the evolution of genders, if not created that way in a single puff.
 Again, see Judaism 101 at If that site is wrong, please let me know. This is not my tradition.

8.  Without affirming that any such marriage-producing-wifehood process occurred, the word wife nonetheless is hammered into the translations twice in the Old Testament, and time and again in the New.
  • Although marriage appears only 19 times in 18 verses, the word wife appears 407 times in 370 verses in the King James. See again the Eliyah lexicon.  How can there be a wife if there was no "marriage"? What was meant by marriage?  At the least, there is ambiguity about how the idea of marriage evolved, and what is ordained by whom.  Look up all the words that English translates as wife, and find, instead, woman. Not husband or wife, man of her, or woman of him. 
  • And with no exchange of money, and contract, the conjoining is just that:  and not a marriage at all. Meet Adam and Eve.  Or their progeny and wherever they got themselves "wives."  There were pairings, no obligations
  • So far, marriage is a matter of societal custom, convenience, and designating who is to control whom.  The deity could care less.
  • This is an odd liberty that English translation takes with the word "marriage" - to spread it around willy-nilly,  where, to the contrary, there is no definition of marriage at all in the Torah or Old Testament, or New. It is only in the Talmud, oral tradition, teachings, that ideology and custom are spelled out, but that is not Torah, direct word of the power(s) above around everywhere, etc.
9.  Explore, with those old traditions and the fact of no Torah guidance at all, the many meanings where the English translation says only marriage.

9.1  Old Testament usage -

"Marriage" appears twice in the English translation of two separate Hebrew words in theTorah (Pentateuch, first five books).   In each, the text supports only a cohabitation idea, if even that (as to a master-servant relationship that clearly is not "wife");  it is the Talmud that adds ritual, status, ceremony.
  • Strong's number 5772, H5772 is Ownah,
    • Genesius, 18th C scholar, ( commentary: .  "Conjugal cohabitation",cohabitation, conjugal rights, but that from the Talmud, not the Torah
    • Ex.21:10, "duty of marriage" -- Torah.  
      • "Wife" in translation where a servant is the context, not a wife-- Exodus elsewhere:  Ex.21:3.  It is suddenly here that "wife appears, when the context clearly is not marriage, see Jerome in the Vulgate putting in "uxor" or wife at  The text is woman, not wife. And everybody just falls in line, wife, wife, wife. Thanks, Jerome. Your agenda worked.
        • As to a male servant, he shall serve 6 years, then go free. And if the master gives him a woman (the translator at this site says "wife" but that is not supported in the transliteration at -- the verb is possess a woman,  not be married -- she is merely property) then she goes out with him; but if she has had children, she and the children remain the master's.
        • But if the servant says he loves her and wants to stay, the master shall take him to the judges, and then the master shall bore a hole in his ear and the servant shall be bound to him forever [pierce your ears origin?] Same Online Interlinear site.
        • "Betrothal" as English translation when the text says nothing of the kind. Ex.21:7-9.  It is Jerome again who does it -- see the betrothal language where buying or taking the woman is meant by the text, and in most of the translations at
        • If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go "out" as the male servants (they get free and can go out after 6 years) and she does not please the master to whom she is appointed, then she shall be "redeemed" and the master shall have no power to sell her to a foreigner (this gets hard to follow, at 
        • And if the master had appointed her to his son (no betrothal language), he shall deal with her in the manner of daughters (what?) (are we to assume she did something bad?)
      • "Wife" used where multiple servants instead are the context.  As to the master, if he has that first maidservant (translated as "wife" when it looks like sexual partner is intended only, not wife) and takes another (woman) (also translated as "wife"), then his duty to the first is not diminished.  He must provide her meat and clothing and habitation. Ex.21:10-11, at
        •  So that is the duty when a servant is sold to the master:  feed, raiment, shelter.  That is not the same as the marriage obligations of the Jew as the culture changed, see Judaism 101, with rights of inheritance, giving her property, etc.
        • Still -- all that marriage language out of nowhere in this master-servant relationship. 
          • The English translation adds out of nowhere that her "duty of marriage" remains -- but this is no marriage. 
          • Duty to be his sexual partner?  That would be plausible, but that i snot being a wife. Master with privileges is something else.  If cohabitation or sexual privilege is meant, the English changes it.
          • Trust not thy translated scriptures, for they are pretzeled beyond all recognition for the glory of those who seek to salt words for their benefit.
        • And if he does not those three things, she shall go free but without any cash.
        • Keep reading:  the master does not have power of death over the servant; and on for many other laws of the time as to killing, injuring.  It takes a great deal of adding words and omitting things to get to a clear narrative. There is no airtight single narrative.
Old Testament non-Torah
9.2  New Testament - Marriage
a.  Still no laws, rules about marriage, so look to Judaism 101,
As a Jew, the process for marriage as outlined at Judaism 101 seems consistent here, but someone else would have to find out the specifics of First Century Talmud, or later centuries when the Gospels were written by those persons unknown. What is added in that time, that is not in the texts of what Jesus himself said.
b. Enter the New Testament, Greek now, translations from that, and Paul and Paulian theology and Rome, superseding plain meaning of what are ambiguous and partial texts, with much excluded in the name of unification, forging in stone an emerging ideology. Thayer, commentary, is 19th century, and a good start.  Later findings

c.  All the New Testament references, like the Old, are to a status, not a process, and there is no establishing any religious role for a deity in it.

No ordaining. No blessing. Just going to a wedding does not bless it.  Not setting up "sacraments" makes them necessarily "sacred".  The texts provide for none such. Oh, my.  On the other hand, other references to adultery and fornication suggest that the deity cares about the marriage, and that stems from Commandments, or does it? Perhaps the deity wants people to stand by their contracts -- and it means nothing more than that kind of honor in one's word. Marriage isn't blessed:  it is another contract.  Is that consistent? You in the back with your hand up.  Go ahead.
    • Mt.22:2, "made a marriage for his son"
      • Lexicon:  Comes from the feminine of primogeniture. Feminine of #1060.  That #1060 means firstborn. Found him a firstborn woman? Or made a "feminine" for his son?  By this time, we can conclude that custom and oral tradition had established a process for marriage, but what was exchanged, what was the contract of such marriage?
      • Wedding festivities, see
    • Jn.2:2, " the marriage"-  ditto. Wedding - no reference to a deity's view of a wedding
    • Hb.13:4, "marriage...honorable in all" [eliyah site adds "is" in the ellipsis] - ditto. Matrimony fine, but watch out you paramours and adulterers. You need the contract before you indulge? The dogma enters. This says God will judge.Jesus said not to cast first stones. You pick.  I am looking for references to man-man or woman-woman relationship and find nothing; Ditto as to contraception.  Merely saying no to spilling seed outside is not enough -- that could be matter of courtesy and tidiness. Bring a towel.
    • Rv.19:9, "called unto the marriage supper of the lamb" -ditto but here a celebration is specified, an occasion
  • Strong's 1547,  G1547 is ekgamizo.  Give a daughter away in marriage, the "ek" meaning out of the house,
    • Mt.22:4, "come unto the marriage" -- wedding
    • Mt.22:9, "bid to the marriage"
    • Mt.22:30, "given in marriage"
    • Mt.22:39, "giving in marriage"
    • Lk.17:27, "given in marriage"
    •  I Cor.7:38, "he that marriage doeth well, but he that giveth...not in marriage doeth better"   [eliyah lexicon site adds a "her" in the ellipsis]

C.  Conclusion so far

Marriage is an evolving cultural idea, not full-blown from the Beginning, see; and with later justifications added about the deity requiring it, blessing it, all that.

Instead, from the texts, marriage is the acquiring of a wife, primarily a contract for keeping company, and ordering sensibly the passions of the people. As such, the deity really did not join anybody to anybody else, Adam and Eve could not have made the causal connection between a conjoining and a baby nine months later, and the meaning of the relationship can be expanded or not, as the culture itself desires.

 If you make the contract, however, stick with it or bear consequences not of damnation but other damages including divorce (permitted among the Jews). No casting first stones, is that so?  Persuade if you like, but no forcing. There is no 3,000 years of consistent marriage.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creation: Good means merely Functional, in Working Order. Not "good" morally superior.

Go back to the Old Hebrew mechanical translations of actual word forms.
And the Powers Saw That It Was "Functional."
Not good as a moral preference.  If it worked, it was functional.
Shall we take that idea to church?
 If so, we note that there is in texts no moral aspect; merely keeping the thing going.
Is this so?
Our creation as Adm Human was not "good" either.
Merely functional:  Tend the place.  And Adm messed that up.  It was not functional to leave him in charge.
We are functionaries, if anything.
Function of the earth? Not "good", not human-directed, just to be kept "in working order".
אלהים את־חית
A. Overview:
What are we good for?  Christian Century magazine, article Eating in Ignorance, by Norman Wirzba 5/30/2012 at p.27 states that Creation is to be good for us; not what we are good for.  "Creation exists for our health and nurture, but it is not made for our exclusive enjoyment."  Fine as to part 2; we are not exclusive beneficiaries.  Wrong as to part 1, what Creation is for. To mix dogma with old texts is one reason why some of us tend to the spiritual, but not to the institutional, see same issue, at

Creation exists why?  For reasons unknown and unknowable, but by design, to be at least "functional" -- to keep itself going.  Humankind:  tend it.  Till it.  Eat its seeds. See Mechanical Translation at Download and search Genesis 1-4. There are always multiple possibilities in any translation-transliteration, but this one carves out a clearer, nondogmatic meaning than others such as Scripture4all, enthralled by traditional narratives. See

If we use Scripture4all's "good", what is the meaning of  "good" in creation's "saw that it was good"?  Mechanical Translation has an answer: Good means "functional",  so that it might follow that any interference with the functionality of creation is the ultimate evil?  Does that prohibition include climate change, pollution, species decimation. Look at old wording and reconsider Adm's place in the world.
1. God saw that it was good?  
What is good? a moral determination, or a usefulness, effectiveness measure, a distance measure, etc. Skip the usual sites first, research sites listed at Vetting Lexicons; and go directly to Find that that mechanical translation from Hebrew shows that "good" not used to comment upon Creation:  "functional" is.  At the very least, there is ambiguity about what "good" meant then, and how English and dogma treat it now.
2.  Creation of human Adm has no following trope that that was good. So making the Adm was not even functional. That turned out to be true.  Adm couldn't even do the job he was given.
3.  Checking uses of "good" as Strong's H 2896 in the King James Genesis, other sites. 
B. Discussion
1.  Uses of "good": 
Traditionally, God, at creation, saw that it was good. That is not necessarily so. See
A modern word-for-word mechanical translation shows that there is no "good" in moral terms involved;  only that the Powers saw that the thing worked.Get the fast, free download for a word-for-word transliteration. 
Instead of "he (always a masculine singular in Western religious translation) saw that it was good", find the plural "Elohim" or "Powers" and "given that functional" or "saw that it was functional. 
2.  We delude ourselves if we think our own "creation" as Adm (the human) was "good" in a moral sense. Not so.  For all of us who think humankind is special, note the absence of the trope that the deity saw, after making Adm, that it was good.  Without the word, Adm is not even functional! Dead silence. Is this so: The Powers knew they blew it from the start, from Adm.  It is only before Adm that the Powers see that it was good.
Test the theory: This theme of creator's regret recurs with Noah:  the deity says there will not be another deity-inspired destruction like the flood again, but that does not stop his evil-doing humans from doing it themselves:  See Genesis 8:21 -- Deity Straight Talk.

  "*** The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth....***"
3.  Now check the usual old sources.  How did we get to the one meaning, the moral "good" from the Hebrew. Even, our idea that we get dominion in the sense of control for our own use and benefit, from it, see Dominion: Worst Concept in the World; or worse yet, that we are "sanctified" and more worthy than other creatures (the same nphsh in all of us) because of an image. See Sancity for Human Life? Because of an image?
a.  Old words

Elohim, or aleim, ki tub, perhaps, phonetically at, for example,
b. The customary translation appears in the Parallel Old Testament: at
The word for "good" has these Strong's designations as appearances in the King James Bible: see
c. The word appears hundreds of times in the King James. I am focusing on Creation and Genesis, because origins are enchanting. What did the original written words say, and how or if people later spun or omitted in order to further cultural identity, survival, and interest groups' power structures.
d.  Lexicons

Strong's H 2896:  Descriptive Good. Adjective. 
  • Gen.1:4, the light was good, phonetic KY-TVB;  and the KY - TVB repeats in all these --
  • Gen.1:10, separating earth from seas, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:18, plants yielding seeds and fruits, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:21, making whales and birds and fish, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:25, making beasts and cattle and creepies saw it was good.  See the old Paleo Hebrew at Only the modern Hebrew there is transliterated, however, and we can find there the portion of Elohim "saw that it was good" -- not sure what portion of the Paleo Hebrew stands for that. What word for "good"--
  • Gen.1:31, seeing everything that was made, saw it was good.
  • Gen.2:9, everything that came from the ground and was pleasing to the eye was for food, saw it was good;
  • Gen.2:9, gold is good;
  • Gen.3:5, not good for the man to be alone (adm, human);
  • Gen.3:6, woman saw that the tree of knowledge of good TVB(noun) and evil VUr'y was good (adjective) for food, as well as pleasing to the eye, and desired to make one wise; then the concept jumps a full dozen chapters, to
  • Gen.15:15, die in a good old age, same word, but with an H, what is that? TVBH
  • Gen.18:7, a calf tender and good
  • Gen.19:8, here are my daughters who have not known men, do unto them as is good in your eyes [is that a putting of accountability on the men out there, setting a moral limit to what they can do, was there a limit on what to do with women of another household, or is good merely what feels good? this is not mere permission to rapine], and to these men do nothing because they came under the shadow of my roof [hospitality cannot be violated?]
  • Gen.21:16, a good way off, a bowshot
  • Gen:24:12, send me good speed this day
  • Gen,24:40, the thing proceedeth from the Lord, we cannot speak unto thee bad or good
  • Gen.26:29, thou wilt do us no hurt as we have not touched thee [now, that is a good standard for intervention in others' lives: leave me alone if I have not touched you], and as we have done nothing but good to thee, and sent thee away in peace
  • Gen.27:9, fetch me two good kids from the flock
  • Gen.30:20, Leah had a good dowry.

    Other translations disagree on the number of times "good" is used as Strong's H 2896. 
Strong's H 2896. Noun.
  • Gen.2:9, tree of knowledge of good and evil;
  • Gen. 2:17, don't eat of the tree of good and evil or you die; Gen.3:5, gods know good and evil;
  • Gen.3:22, the gods see that the man (not worried about the woman eating) ate of the good and evil tree, and is now like one of the gods knowing good and evil; and fearing that the man now will reach out and eat of the tree of the lives also, and so live forever (as do the gods)(again, the deity had no worry about the woman doing this - as kngdv, she was not even banned from the garden, all she had done was get deceived. Adm could have informed her about that tree and he was there and stood by and didn't.  He and the NShCh got the book thrown at them, not the woman)
e. 4100, at Gen.27:46, if this thing happens, what good shall my life do me. That is another use of good.
f.  Cross check:
Some other translations must have used other than the H 2896 in their translations of "good" -- Find dozens of uses of "good" in the alternate search at Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, the big dictionary, at
See all these other words that mean "good" in Hebrew: 36, 258, 239, 376, 393, 434, 457, 553, 829, 1309, 1319, 1576, 1580, 2388, 2447, 2451, 2492, 2617, 2623, 2869, 2895, 2896, 2897, 2898, and on through the 3000's numbers.
Where to check the Strong's H 2896?  Strong's is not enough in itself.
Go to another site, Mechanical Translation: free download of Mechanical Translation of Genesis at
Find this meaning for "he saw that it was good"

Elohim (powers)
"given that functional", or
"saw that it was functional".
Creation not good but functional? Makes sense. Functional. Works in the system already created. No morality, no good-evil, just in working order. And no pronouncement of "good."  No wonder. The Adm had evil in his heart from his youth. Disobediences Vet your translations.  Vet your tutors tho teach that the earth is to be tamed, exploited, used by you for your benefit because you are sanctified and God will make certain the sun comes up again. Who taught the tutor to toot?

Plug them in, side margin at  Now see the possible translations that can be plugged in. We used the KJV, good shows up 720 times in 655 verses OT. The word "good" is used in a range of settings, some not appearing in the KJV, others in the KJV but not elsewhere, etc. There is no agreed definition and what is 2896 in one translation may well be something else in another.