Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

The Toledoth in the Book of Genesis

Moses spent most of his first 40 years growing up in the courts of Pharaoh, the next 40 years he lived in exile in Midian tending the flocks of Jethro. While in the courts of Pharaoh, Moses had access to the Toledoth records brought to Egypt when Jacob and his family moved to the Egypt of the days of Joseph. Moses must have taken possession of these records and possibly taken them along on his flight to Midian where he had plenty of time and solitude to compile the Book of Genesis.

by Damien F. Mackey

This article is all about the true structure of the Book of Genesis; a structure that is so simple and straightforward -- as the reader is going to discover -- that even a child would have no trouble understanding it in its basic form. The chief credit for having laid bare this structure in all its profound simplicity belongs to the British scholar, Percy John Wiseman [1], upon whose thesis the following article will be based.


As the brilliant Australian philosopher Gavin Ardley [5] pointed out, there are two ways of going about the process of analyzing or dissecting something, depending on one's purpose. Ardley well illustrated his point by comparing the practices of the anatomist and the butcher. When an anatomist dissects an animal, he traces out the real structure of the animal; he lays bare the veins, the nerves, the muscles, the organs, and so on. "He reveals the actual structure which is there before him waiting to be made manifest" [10]. The butcher, on the other hand, is not concerned about the natural structure of the animal as he chops it up; he wants to cut up the carcass into joints suitable for domestic purposes.

In his activities the butcher ruthlessly cleaves across the real structure laid bare so patiently by the anatomist. "The anatomist finds his structure, the butcher makes his." [15]

The same sort of analogy may be applied, I believe, to the different methods that have been employed to analyze the structure of the Book of Genesis. Here I am only going to contrast the archaeologically-based approach, as used by P. J. Wiseman and others [20] (which method, I believe, resembles that of the anatomist in Ardley's example), with the Graf-Wellhausen approach (that to my mind approximates to the activities of the butcher).

Astruc's Theory

It was really Jean Astruc (d.1766) who invented the theory of separate documents, based on the Divine names used. The French physician found that in the first 35 verses of Genesis (chapters 1-24a), the word 'Elohim', "God", was used, and no other Divine name; while in chapters 2:4b to 3:24, the only designation given is 'Jehovah Elohim', "LORD God" -- except where Satan uses the word God.

Jean Astruc Astruc claimed that the passages must have been written by different writers; for if Moses himself had written the whole of it, firsthand, then we should have to attribute to him this singular variation, in patches, of the Divine name.

This was really the beginning of the documentist dissection, into fragments, of the Book of Genesis. [25] By the middle of the C19th, owing largely to the efforts of the German critics Karl Heinrich Graf (1815 - 1868/9) and Julius Wellhausen (1844- 1918), liberal scholarship had, to its own satisfaction, isolated four main Pentateuchal sources: J, E, D, P.

Thus it was alleged that a writer who used "Elohim" was the author of a so-called E document, and the writer who used "Jehovah" was the author of J [30]. But since some verses that were obviously written by the same person contained both names for God, an editor had to be introduced, then a "redactor". A Deuteronomist source, was identified [35]. After a century of conjectures and further redactors, it was decided that a further document, P (Priestly) had been written nearly 1,000 years after Moses, and so on....

In this way Genesis has been reduced to a series of confused fragments and authors, in order to account for the way in which the name of God is used in the book. The fourfold sigla, JEDP, of Graf-Wellhausen is now dogmatically retained (though in modified form) in academic institutions the world over. Nonetheless, the critical scholars have to admit that their literary expedients break, not only the logical, but also the grammatical sequence of the passages. As Wiseman commented [40]: "It is confusion confounded!"

Really, since what was formerly known as the "Documentary Hypothesis" [45] had its inception based upon an unrealistic premise: the presumption that a single author would not be likely to use more than one name to designate God, it does not come as a surprise to discover that the modern end-product of such a line of reasoning is a totally artificial form of analysis; a butcher-like activity [50], ruthlessly cleaving across the natural structure of the scriptural texts -- so chopping and hewing them into fragments that their original form and shape are no longer recognizable.

Wellhausen himself had in fact acknowledged that the result of all of this dissecting was "an agglomeration of fragments" [55]. Despite this, his History of Israel (1878) "gave him a place in Biblical studies comparable, it was said, to that of Darwin in biology" [60].

The Archaeological Approach

Because of the newness of the science of archaeology -- a science that is only about 150 years old -- we can say that from an archaeological/historical point of view the study of Scripture is still in its infancy. Pre-archaeological theories, such as those advanced by the C19th documentists, suffer from an almost total ignorance of the methods and styles of the ancient scribes, since these really became known only in the previous (20th) century, after the vast libraries of the ancient world had been excavated and their data slowly and painstakingly sifted by modern scholars.

The modern awareness of ancient scribal methods would serve to show up with embarrassing starkness the numerous defects in the old "Documentary Hypothesis".

P. J. Wiseman, on the other hand, was fortunate to have had the opportunity of participating in some of the most important archaeological digs that took place in Mesopotamia midway through this present (now previous) century; for example, that of Sir Leonard Woolley at the site of Ur, and of Professor S. Langdon at Kish. Wiseman had many discussions about ancient writing methods and related subjects with these and other scholars (most notably, Professor Cyril Gadd).

In the light of all of this firsthand evidence and expertise that had become available to him, Wiseman found himself perfectly equipped to reexamine the structure and authorship of the Book of Genesis. He discovered that the book's structure was really quite straightforward, and was completely explained by the facts of archaeology.

In true anatomist fashion -- according to Ardley's analogy -- Wiseman was able to lay bare the real structure of the Book of Genesis, and thereby scientifically to expose, by stark contrast, just what an unholy mess the JEDP dissectors were leaving behind them. In fact, nowhere do the clumsy techniques of the documentists show up so embarrassingly as when contrasted against the light of Wiseman's patient uncovering of the real structure of the Genesis texts. [65]

Wiseman had at least been prepared to concede on behalf of the early documentists, as an excuse for their radical fragmenting of the texts, that they had not been in a position to compare the literary form and structure of Genesis with other ancient methods of writing, that would have enabled them to have read Genesis in the light of the times and circumstances in which it was written. But, in the case of contemporary exegetes, he considered that: "...it cannot be regarded as other than serious that notwithstanding archaeological discoveries, many still read Genesis not as ancient, but as though it had been written in relatively modern times." [70]

The mistake had been made, he said, despite the very obvious fact that the Genesis narrative itself "is constructed in a most antique manner by use of a framework of repeated phrases." [75] These phrases, that form the skeleton of the structure of Genesis, are of two kinds, namely (i) COLOPHON phrases and (ii) CATCH-LINE phrases -- the former being the more important.

In the following pages I shall try to bring home to the reader the full significance of these literary indicators, colophon and catch-line, that reveal the Book of Genesis to be a most ancient document -- much older than the documentists would have it. My explanation will lead naturally into a special consideration of the controversial and famous first chapter of Genesis. A grasp of the proper and true structure of the Book of Genesis will enable the reader to understand why, for example, biblical commentators have proposed the so-called "two accounts of Creation" theory (Genesis 1 and 2), and how this theory ought to be modified.

Also, following Wiseman, I shall be able to account quite simply for the perplexing problem of the variations of the Divine Names throughout Genesis; a variation that has led the documentists to fragment so much of the Scriptures into their J and E compartments.

Who borrowed from whom? Did the authors of the scriptural books really borrow much of their written material, their stories, their poetry, their wisdom, from the pagan mythology and the literature of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, for instance -- or do the latter owe a debt to the Hebrews? [80]

How Does the Bible Authenticate Itself, Including the Book of Genesis?

Matthew 19:3-8: "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female...He saith unto them...because of the hardness of your hearts...but from the beginning it was not so."

For the Messiah the law of beginnings stood supreme.

Luke 17:26-30: "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat...drank...married...until...Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise...it was in the days of Lot...it rained fire and brimstone from heaven...Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

The law of beginnings reechoed in the words of the Messiah.

Acts 7:1-15: "Then said the high priest, Are these things so? And (Stephen) said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham...And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country...Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans...And he gave him none inheritance in it...when as yet he had no child....And he gave him the covenant...and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs....sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him...delivered him...gave him favour and wisdom...made him governor...there came a dearth...and great affliction...Jacob heard...he sent...Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob...So Jacob went down into Egypt..."

Stephen, the faithful follower of the Messiah, believed the Book of Beginnings -- Genesis.

Romans 4:3, also verses 9-21; 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 3:6; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; Hebrews 11:3-22; 1 Peter 3:20: "For what says the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

The Apostle Paul believed the accounts of Genesis as did Jesus beloved disciple the later Apostle Peter.

YEHOVAH God in His infinite wisdom knows how to direct the affairs of man to keep knowledge of Himself before Adam and his seed. Genesis bears the earmarks of inspired revelation. In Genesis 2:7 YEHOVAH God made man; 3:8 YEHOVAH God conversed with man; 18:17 YEHOVAH God revealed His doings to Abraham; 39:21 YEHOVAH God was with Joseph.

Highlighting the Participants in the Figures of Speech in Genesis 3:15

Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [YEHOVAH's ecclesia], and between your seed [Satan's followers] and her seed [other Christians], it [the Messiah] shall bruise your [Satan's] head, and you [Satan] shall bruise his [the Messiah's] heel [when the Messiah died on the tree]."

YEHOVAH God, in Genesis, is presented as up close and personal to man.

Since here I am interested only in the Book of Genesis; my question can be more specific: Which are the more ancient, the accounts of Creation, the Fall, the Flood, Babel, etc. in the Mesopotamian and/or Egyptian writings -- or those recorded in Genesis? [85].

This is a further question that I shall be addressing in the following pages.


(i) The Colophon Phrase

Documents written in Mesopotamia were generally inscribed upon stone or clay tablets. It was customary for the ancient scribes to add a colophon note at the end of the account, giving particulars of title, date, and the name of the writer or owner, together with other details relating to the contents of a tablet, manuscript or book [90]. The colophon method is no longer used today -- the information originally given in a colophon having been transferred in our day to the first or title page. But in ancient documents the colophon with its important literary information was added in a very distinctive manner.

Thus the colophon ending to one of the mythological Babylonian accounts of creation reads [95]:

"First tablet of...after the tablet...Mushetiq-umi...A copy from Babylon; written like its original and collated. The tablet of Nabu-mushetiq-umi [5th] month Iyyar, 9th day, 27th year of Darius."

My primary purpose in this article will be to demonstrate that the MASTER KEY to the method of compilation that underlies the structure of the Book of Genesis is to be found in the use of the colophon.

Now scholars seem to agree at least that structurally the most significant and distinguishing phrase in the Book of Genesis is the phrase:


The formula is used eleven times throughout the Book of Genesis.

Wiseman, commenting on the importance of this phrase, wrote [98]:

"...for so significant did the Septuagint translators regard it, that they gave the whole book the title 'Genesis'", which is the Greek version of the Hebrew word for "generations".

Following Wiseman, though, I shall be preferring the Hebrew word for "generations", 'Toledoth'. [100]

The Toledoth formula , "These are the generations of...", is to be found in the following places throughout the Book of Genesis:



2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth".
5:1 "This is the book of the generations of Adam".
6:9 "These are the generations of Noah".
10:1 "These are the generations of the sons of Noah".
11:10 "These are the generations of Shem".
11:27 "These are the generations of Terah".
25:12 "These are the generations of Ishmael".
25:19 "These are the generations of Isaac".
36:1 "These are the generations of Esau".
36:9 "These are the generations of Esau".
37:2 "These are the generations of Jacob".

In the past, scholars of all schools had recognized what was obvious, and had admitted the importance of the repetitious Toledoth phrase. However, as we are going to find, there is a disturbing tendency amongst more recent exegetes practically to ignore the phrase, as though it did not even exist in the text. Moreover, it seems that virtually all have misunderstood both its use and its meaning.

There is a simple reason for this, as Wiseman has explained. Many of these sections of Genesis that conclude with a Toledoth, commence, "as is frequent in ancient documents, with a genealogy or a register asserting close family relationships" [105]. This has led commentators to associate the Toledoth phrase, "These are the generations of...", with the genealogical list where this follows. Hence they have assumed that this phrase is used as a preface or introduction. For instance, Dr. Samuel Rolles Driver wrote in his Genesis [110]:

"This phrase...properly belongs to a genealogical system; it implies that the person to whose name it is prefixed is of sufficient importance to mark a break in the genealogical series, and that he and his descendants will form the subject of the section which follows, until another name is reached prominent enough to form the commencement of a new section".

But Dr. Driver's assertion is plainly contrary to the facts, as anyone will realize simply by reading through the narrative of the Book of Genesis [115]. It does not take the attentive reader long to discover that the Toledoth phrase does not always belong to a genealogical list, for in some instances no genealogical list follows. Hence Wiseman was entirely correct when he stated that "the main history of the person named has been written BEFORE the 'Toledoth' phrase and most certainly it is not written after it" [120].

To illustrate this fact, Wiseman pointed firstly to what he called the "classic example" of the second Toledoth: "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1). After this Toledoth we learn nothing more about Adam, "except his age at death". Again, the record following the phrase, "These are the generations of Isaac" (Genesis 25:19), clearly is not a history of Isaac, but of Jacob and Esau. Similarly, after, "These are the generations of Jacob" (Genesis 37:2), we read mainly about his son Joseph [125].

Commentators have been puzzled by these presumed peculiarities. But the whole thing ceases to be puzzling as soon as one realizes that the Toledoth phrase is not an introduction, or the preface to the history of a person, as is so often imagined. "Rather", as Wiseman had discerned, "it is to be read as a colophon ending, for only as such does it make proper sense" [130].

So much for the first part of Dr. Driver's statement that the Toledoth is tied to a genealogical system. When we test the second part of his statement we find that it, too, does not square with the facts and is therefore quite erroneous. Driver had imagined that the Toledoth phrase had served to introduce the next "prominent" person in the narrative. Who would doubt, however, that the most "prominent" individual in the Book of Genesis is ABRAHAM? He, more than all the other great Patriarchs, would be entitled to be named in a Toledoth were Driver's interpretation correct. "Yet", as Wiseman had observed, "it is remarkable that while lesser persons such as Ishmael and Esau are mentioned, there is no such Toledoth phrase as 'These are the generations of Abraham'" [135].

"Toledoth", or Family History

The Hebrew word Toledoth was used to describe history, usually family history, in its origins. Wiseman had proposed, as an equivalent phrase for Toledoth in English [138-24]: "These are the historical origins of...". It is evident, he wrote, that the use of the phrase in Genesis "is to POINT BACK to the origins of the family history", and not forward to a later development through a line of descendants.

Wiseman's conclusion here is entirely consistent with what we find in the New Testament. The colophon phrase is used only once in the New Testament, where in Matthew 1:1 we read: "The book of the generations of Jesus Christ", following which is a list of ancestors. In this context, Wiseman noted [140], it certainly meant quite the opposite to descendants, for it was used to indicate the tracing back of the genealogy to its origin. [145]

This is precisely the meaning of the Greek word, "genesios", translated as "generation". The first use of the Toledoth phrase is in Genesis 2:4: "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth". Amazingly, in this one instance only, the majority of scholars have found themselves logically forced to accept the natural placement of the Toledoth formula [150]:

"...for they have seen that it obviously points back to the narrative of the creation contained in the previous chapter, and that it cannot refer to the narrative which follows, for this section contains no reference to the creation of the heavens".

The phrase is appropriate only as a CONCLUDING sentence.

So, most commentators (against the usual practice) make the story of creation end with the Toledoth. "Had they seen that all sections of Genesis are concluded by the use of this 'Toledoth' formula", wrote Wiseman, "they would have recognized the key to the composition of the book".

Since, as we are now coming to appreciate, the scribal method used in Genesis was the general literary method of early antiquity, then surely the genuineness of the Genesis records is attested by their adherence to the prevailing literary method of these remote times!

Commentators generally however, having assumed that the Toledoth formula begins a section, and not realizing that it ENDS it, "have used this key to its compilation upside down" [155]. Consequently, the problem of the composition of the book of Genesis has remained unsolved for them.

For instance, we read in Skinner's Genesis [160]: "The problem of the TOLEDOTH headings [sic] has been keenly discussed...and is still unsettled".

Eugen Maly

Again, Eugene Maly, the commentator on "Genesis" in the Jerome Biblical Commentary -- with only the bankrupt JEDP theory to guide him -- has fallen into the double trap of thinking that [165]: The "Toledoth [story] usually refers to a genealogical account [sic]", and that it serves as an introduction: "In P [sic] it marks the important stages in salvation history....It is placed here [i.e. in Genesis 2:4] to preserve the majestic beginning [sic]".

This is exactly the sort of hopeless tangle in which the exponents of the JEDP "dissection" inevitably end up. (Though some of them actually opt for the easy way out, by entirely ignoring the crucial Toledoth phrase).

Written on Tablets

Another important fact needs to be emphasized in connection with the use of the Toledoth formula. The second time that it occurs, in Genesis (5:1), we read: "This is the book of the origins of Adam". Here the Hebrew word sepher, translated "book", means "written narrative", or as F. Delitzsch has translated it, "finished writing" [170].

The Septuagint actually goes so far as to render the first Toledoth (Genesis 2:4) as: "This is the book of the origins of the heavens and the earth". Regarding this fact, Wiseman has pointed out [175]: "We must realize that the 'books' of antiquity were TABLETS, and that the earliest records of Genesis claim to have been written down, and not as is often imagined passed on to Moses by word of mouth".

Ancient Middle East records were produced on clay tablets using a metal or wood stylus which made wedge-shaped indentations on the damp clay during production. The tablets were then either sun-dried or baked for permanent storage.

The Babylonian system enabled the ancient peoples to make multiple copies of the tablets. Once impressed, all one had to do was to produce another slab of soft clay and take a reverse impression, then a third slab placed over the second one after it had dried would produce on the third a copy of the first one. A simple copying machine! These tablets could be strung together to make continuous narratives or official records, or whatever.

A Typical Babylonian Clay Tablet

A careful examination of the name of the person stated at the end of the various phrases, "These are the generations of...", makes it clear that the Toledoth refers to the owner or writer of the tablet, rather than to the history of the person named. Thus for instance: "These are the generations of Noah" does not necessarily mean: "This is the history about Noah", but rather the history written or possessed by Noah. To put this into a modern perspective, the Toledoth, or colophon is really like a kind of signature from a contemporary of the events recorded. In the case of Noah's document, the Toledoth would convert to something like: "This is Noah signing off".

As previously mentioned, nowhere is there a phrase: "These are the generations of Abraham", yet the great Patriarch's story has been written in full; for we are told that Abraham's own sons, Isaac and Ishmael, either wrote or owned the series of tablets containing their father's story [180].

Nature of the Colophon

To summarize so far, we find that we have learned three important things about the Toledoth, colophon phrase:

(a) it is the concluding sentence, not the beginning, of each section and therefore points back to a narrative already recorded;

(b) the earliest records claim to have been written;

(c) it normally refers to the writer of the history or the owner of the tablets containing it.

Genesis therefore contains the following series of tablets possessed by the persons whose names are stated in the various colophons:

Tablet #



1 1:1 to 2:4 This is the book of the origins of the heavens and the earth.
2 2:5 to 5:2 This is the book of the origins of Adam.
3 5:3 to 6:9a These are the origins [or histories] of Noah.
4 6:9b to 10:1 These are the origins [or histories] of the sons of Noah.
5 10:2 to 11:10a These are the origins [or histories] of Shem.
6 11:10b to 11:27a These are the origins [or histories] of Terah.
7 & 8 11:27b to 25:19a These are the origins [or histories] of Ishmael and Isaac.
9 - 11 25:19b to 37:2a These are the origins [or histories] of Esau and Jacob.

(The reader will notice that the first series only does not conclude with a signature).

In this way the compiler of the Genesis documents (traditionally believed to have been Moses) clearly indicated the source of the information available to him, and named the persons who originally possessed the tablets from which he gained his knowledge. "These", Wiseman insisted, "are not arbitrarily invented divisions. They are stated by the author to be the framework of the book" [185].

Now we are really beginning to understand the nature of the sources used for the compilation of the first book of our Bible. Genesis, it appears, was not compiled from sources that long postdated the Mosaic era -- as Graf/Wellhausen and their colleagues had imagined. These latter had commenced their analysis, "without a single piece of writing of the age of Genesis to assist them" [190]. They ended up by dissecting Genesis into a series of unknown writers and editors all of whom they alleged could be detected by their "style" or "editorial comments". They committed the FALLACY of subjecting Genesis to a type of contemporary literary analysis, just as if it were a piece of modern writing.

They were clearly wrong!

Genesis was, in fact, compiled from multiple sources that predated the time of Moses. And, while the book does indeed disclose many "styles" -- as the documentists have correctly observed -- it does not, as they have claimed, disclose a plurality of authors in its final form.

The Supporting Facts

Wiseman had been able to provide two remarkable confirmations of the accuracy of his Toledoth thesis. These were that [195]:

1). "In no instance is an event recorded which the person or persons named could not have written from his (their) own intimate knowledge, or have obtained absolutely reliable information".

2). "It is most significant that the history recorded in the sections outlined above ceases in all instances before the death of the person named, yet in most cases it is continued almost up to the date of death, or to the date on which it is stated that the tablets were written".

To give a couple of examples:

TABLET 4, written or owned by Noah's sons, contains the account of the Flood and of the death of Noah. How long Ham and Japheth lived after Noah's death we are unaware, but we know from Scripture that Shem long survived Noah. Hence there is nothing in this section that could not have been written by the sons of Noah.

TABLET 5, was written or owned by Shem, who wrote of the birth and the formation into clans of the fifth generation after him. We know that he survived the last generation recorded in this tablet, namely the sons of Joktan, Genesis 10:29.

It could not be a mere coincidence that each of these sections, or series of tablets, should contain only that which the person named at the end of them could have written from personal knowledge. For, as Wiseman had correctly suggested [200]: "Anyone writing even a century after these Patriarchs could and would never have written thus". Hence, we can see that the key-formula: "These are the origins of...", that is acknowledged by reliable scholars as constituting the very framework upon which the records of Genesis are constructed, is consistently used by the compiler of the book.

A rule to which Bible exegetes often adhere is that "the first use of a word or phrase fixes its future meaning". We have seen that the obvious and admitted meaning of the first Toledoth (Genesis 2:4) is appropriate for the remaining instances of its use. With this key in hand, we are delivered from having to grope like blind men or women in a dark labyrinth of conflicting guesses; for we find, in the scriptural text itself, clearly indicated sources.

(ii) The Catch-Lines

Apart from the presence of the Toledoth colophons throughout Genesis, there is further compelling evidence that these ancient records were originally written on tablets, and in accordance with ancient methods. In ancient Babylonia, as Wiseman has explained [205], the size of the tablet used depended upon how great a quantity of writing was to be inscribed upon it. If this were a smallish quantity, for instance, it would be written on one tablet of a size that would contain it satisfactorily. But when the quantity to be inscribed was of such a length that it became necessary to use more than one tablet, it was customary:

(a) "to assign each series of tablets a 'title'";

(b) "to use 'catch-lines', so as to ensure that the tablets were read in their proper order".

In addition, as has already been explained, the colophon with which many tablets concluded, frequently included -- among other things -- the name of the scribe who wrote the tablet, and the date when it was written. Now there are clear indications throughout Genesis of the use of some of these methods. Though naturally, of course, since these literary aids relate to the tablets as they came into the possession of the final compiler, it is unlikely that we should find them all in the document as completed by him, which we call Genesis.

But one of the sure proofs that the Book of Genesis was compiled at an early date is indicated by the presence of these literary aids. To quote Wiseman on this subject [208]: It "is remarkable confirmation of the purity with which the text has been transmitted to us, that we find [these literary aids] still embedded in this ancient document", which we know as the Book of Genesis.

Evidence of these catch-lines serving as literary aids may be observed in the following significant repetition of words and phrases connected with the beginning or ending of each of the series of tablets, now incorporated in the Book of Genesis:



1:1 "God created the heavens and the earth" 11:26 "Abram, Nahor and Haran"
2:4 "Lord God made the heavens and the earth" 11:27 "Abram, Nahor and Haran"
2:4 "When they were created"  25:12 "Abraham's son"
5:2 "When they were created"  25:19 "Abraham's son"
6:10 "Shem, Ham and Japheth"  36:1 "Who is Edom"
10:1 "Shem, Ham and Japheth" 36:8 "Who is Edom"
10:32 "After the Flood" 36:9 "Father of the Edomites"
11:10 "After the Flood" 36:43 "Father of the Edomites"

 According to P. J. Wiseman [215]: "...the very striking repetition of these phrases exactly where the tablets begin and end, will best be appreciated by those scholars acquainted with the methods of the scribes in Babylonia", for this arrangement was the one then in use to link the tablets together. The repetition of these catch-phrases, precisely in those verses attached to the colophon, "cannot possibly be a mere coincidence. They have remained buried in the text of Genesis, their significance apparently unnoticed".

Titles and Dating of Tablets

On cuneiform tablets the TITLE was taken from the commencing words of the record. Similarly, the Hebrews called the first five books of the Bible by the title taken from their opening words. Thus they called Genesis, "Bereshith", the Hebrew for "in the beginning". Wiseman explained exactly how this practice was carried out in the ancient Near East. When two or more tablets formed a series, they were identified together because the first few words of the first tablet were repeated in the colophon (or title-page) of the subsequent tablets, "somewhat similar to the way in which the name of the chapter is repeated at the head of each page of a modern book" [220].

Where pages of the book were not bound together, as they are now, the advantage would be obvious; for "...by the repetition of such words as those listed above, the whole of the Genesis tablets were connected together".

In addition to the title, Wiseman pointed out that some of these tablets showed evidence of DATING [225]. After a tablet had been written and the name impressed upon it, it was customary in Babylonia to insert the date on which it was written. In the earliest times this was done in a very simple fashion, for it was not until later that tablets were dated with the year of the reigning king. It was the custom for the ancient scribes to date their tablets in the following way:

"Year in which canal Hammurabi was dug".

As an early example in which the method of dating the Genesis tablets can be seen, Wiseman pointed to the end of the second tablet series, Genesis 5:1, where we read: "This is the book of the origins of Adam in the day God created man" [228].

Later tablets were dated by indicating the dwelling-place of the writer at the time that the colophon was written, and these dates were immediately connected with the ending phrase, "These are the generations of...".

Instances of this are:


25:11 -- "And Isaac dwelt by Beer-lahai-roi"
36:8 -- "And Esau dwelt in Mount Seir" [230]
37:1 -- "And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father sojourned..."

Clearly both the purity of the text, and the care with which it has been handed down to us, are manifested by the fact that such ancient literary aids and cuneiform usages as these are still discernible in the Genesis narrative. Their presence also signifies, according to Wiseman [235], that in the earliest times these records were written on clay tablets, and that these tablets, forming a series from Genesis 1:1 to 37:1, were joined together in the same manner as we have them today.

Joseph's History

The long last section of Genesis, that is, Genesis 37:2 to 50:26, does not conclude with a colophon. Why not? Because this last section of Genesis is mainly a history of Joseph in Egypt. At least the family history centers around him. This record begins with the words, "and Joseph being seventeen years old", and ends with, "and he [Joseph] was put in a coffin in Egypt". In this section we have passed from Babylonia (or, at least, from Babylonian influence) to Egypt, where in all probability the account would be written on papyrus. (We believe that it is probably more correct to say that the Babylonians learned this method from the Hebrews since we found that Hammurabi was a contemporary of Solomon or even quite likely Solomon himself.)

Since the Egyptians did not use the colophon ending, the lack of one at the end of the Joseph narrative is perfectly harmonious with our Toledoth theory.


As we saw earlier on, one of the chief imputations made against Genesis by the documentists is that different names for God are used in various parts of the book. Each different writer, they allege, had only one name for God, and so they endeavor -- from this rather tenuous assumption -- to account for the use of different names. They assert that each section of verse in which a particular Divine name is mentioned indicates that it was written by the writer who uses that name exclusively or predominantly.

Numerous contradictory explanations of the variations in the use of the Divine name have been given both by critics and by defenders, to account for the fact that in Exodus 6:3 we are told that God was not known to the Patriarchs by the name of "I AM WHO AM" (that is, 'YEHOVAH'); while, on the other hand, Genesis frequently represents Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as using that name.

But Wiseman was convinced that these contradictory explanations and evasions "have been due to a fundamental mistake made by both sides in assuming that no part of Genesis had been written until the time of Moses" [240]. This crucial ASSUMPTION, he stated, "has resulted in the desperate literary tangle of the documentists, and the difficulties of the defenders of Mosaic authorship".

The critics find themselves in the hopeless position of having to concede that the numerous editors who (so they think) had a hand in the compilation of Genesis, must have had before them the explicit statement of Exodus 6:3:

"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVA was I not known to them." [Exodus 3:16; a) Gen. 12:7; b) Gen. 26:1-2; c) Gen. 35:1]

In the face of such a theory, Wiseman asked: "Are we supposed to assume that the final editor was unaware that he was contradicting himself?" [245]. The critical "explanations" only increase their difficulties!

All these evasions are made because neither side in this great and prolonged debate has realized that the Book of Genesis is a record written by the persons whose names are stated in it, in the colophons.

The Problem for the Compiler

There cannot be the slightest doubt that the tablets that Abraham would have taken with him from his original home in "Ur of the Chaldees" [250] would have been written in the cuneiform script prevalent at the time. When the compiler of the Genesis texts came into possession of these tablets, he would have found on some of them the cuneiform equivalent of "God". In others, he would find the cuneiform equivalent of "El Shaddai", "God Almighty" ( ); the name by which Exodus 6:3 plainly stated that He appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In regard to the word, "Shaddai", Wiseman wanted to draw attention to certain facts "to which sufficient attention has not been given" [255]:

"...in the first place, the full composite title 'El Shaddai', as stated in Exodus 6:3, is not used elsewhere than in Genesis, and these uses are on important occasions."

These special occasions were:

1). The announcement of a son for Abraham and Sarah, Genesis 17:1;

2). Isaak speaking to Jakob at the occasion of his escape to Mesopotamia from before the countenance of Esau, Genesis 28:3;

3). Jakobs blessing and new name Israel, Genesis 35:11;

4). Jakobs blessing over Ephraim and Manasseh, Genesis 48:3;

"... the next impressive fact is that the word 'Shaddai' alone is used 42 times, and in almost every instance by persons writing or living outside Palestine, and in contact with Babylonian cuneiform modes of expression".

When, at a date later than the revelation of Exodus 6:3, the compiler was putting the Book of Genesis into the form of it with which we are now so familiar, with all of his Patriarchal records before him, he would have found the cuneiform equivalent of "El Shaddai" on many of them. At this stage, according to Wiseman (who had accepted the traditional identification of the compiler of Genesis as Moses), he would have found himself confronted with the following, peculiar problem [260]: "Now that God had revealed to him the new name "I Am Who I Am", which word for God should he use in transcribing these ancient tablets?"

Every translator of the Bible has been confronted with this same problem. The title "God" may be repeated, but how is the description or name to be transcribed where necessary, unless the new revealed name of God is used?

To use any other name, as Wiseman had noted, "would be to create a misunderstanding in the minds of those for whom Genesis was being prepared". What name then was the compiler to write? God had since revealed Himself by the name of "I Am Who I Am", and that name had been announced to the children of Israel in Egypt and was revered by them. Wiseman provided the following answer to the difficulty with which the compiler would at this point have been confronted [265]:

"Now that the ancient records of their [the children of Israel's] race, preserved in purity and handed down by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were being edited and possibly translated by Moses, what name should he use? He saw that the ancient title 'El Shaddai', God Almighty...had been corrupted by its use in connection with scores of other 'gods', each of whom were called 'god almighty' by their devotees? The most natural course was to use the name Jehovah.

Thus, then, is the presence of the word Jehovah [YEHOVAH] in Genesis quite naturally explained. It is not by assuming a complicated jumble of tangled documents written by unknown writers as the modern scholars do, or by an evasion of the literal meaning of Exodus 6:3, but by the inspiration from [YEHOVAH] God which led Moses in most instances to translate "El Shaddai" by the word Jehovah -- his distinguishing name, that separated him from the heathen gods around".

As one discovers from reading Wiseman, tremendous instruction can be gained from studying the pattern of the Divine names used according to the context of each successive Toledoth history.


Really, the whole documentary approach to Biblical interpretation is due to mythologizing tendencies that -- employing all possible and impossible kinds of combinations -- seek to work into the Genesis stories -- and even into the narratives of the Patriarchs -- features and elements drawn from the Babylonian or Egyptian myths that are absolutely remote from, and completely alien to, the Hebrew spirit.

One has only to compare the Genesis account of Creation with the Babylonian one, for instance, to realize how intrinsically different they are. The two accounts are as follows:


Babylonian Creation Tablets [270]

1. Light Birth of the gods, their rebellion and threatened destruction.
2. Atmosphere, water Tiamat prepares for battle.
3. Land, vegetation The gods are summoned and wail bitterly at their threatened destruction.
4. Sun and Moon (regulating the lights) Marduk promoted to rank of 'god': he receives his weapons for fight. These are described at length; he defeats Tiamat, splits her in half like a fish and thus makes heaven and earth.
5. Fish and birds Astronomical poem.
6. Land animals Kingu who made Tiamat to rebel is bound and, as a punishment, his arteries are severed and man created from his blood. The 600 gods are grouped; Marduk builds Babylon where all the gods assemble.

A comparison of the two accounts makes it immediately apparent that the Bible owes NOTHING whatever to the Babylonian tablets -- despite the efforts of commentators to try to convince us that whoever wrote this portion of Genesis had actually borrowed his concepts from these corrupted Mesopotamian myths. If we rely solely on the text of Genesis, without being biased by the Babylonian mythology, we find no trace of any contest with a living monster in the sense of the Babylonian myth of the fight of the gods.

The Primeval Deep

Almost all the modern biblical critics take it for granted that "tehom", the Hebrew word translated as "deep", or "waters" -- as used in the Creation and Flood stories (Genesis 1:2 & 7:17) -- is identical with the Akkadian word, "tiamat"; the name of the dragon of darkness that Marduk slew in bitter conflict, before the creation of the world. Maly [275] for instance, in the Jerome Biblical Commentary, makes this identification.

A notable dissenter from this view, however, was the brilliant linguist, Professor A. S. Yahuda. He, commenting upon this almost universal identification of the biblical with the Akkadian word, wrote [280]:

"The positiveness with which this assumption is put forward, and the stubbornness with which it is maintained, are based on no intrinsic or philologically well-founded facts; since besides the similarity of sound of [tehom] and tiamat, no other proofs for such an identification can be put forward".

The fact that the documentists have so stubbornly persisted with a view that has so little in its favour, is due, I believe, to the stranglehold that those mythologizing tendencies (to which I have already referred) have over them. The word "tehom", according to Yahuda [285], "means nothing else but the primeval water, that ocean which filled the chaos"; a fact that becomes quite apparent from the complete biblical phrase itself, translated into English as "on the face of the waters [that is, 'tehom']" This unmistakably indicates the real nature of "tehom" as water. From its biblical context, Yahuda concluded that "tehom" ought to be identified philologically, not with "tiamat", but with another Akkadian word, "tamtu"; a word that, he said, often occurs -- not only in Creation myths, but also in many other kinds of myths -- most distinctly in the sense of primal ocean, exactly like "tehom", "and not as the personification of any divinity like tiamat.'"


Regarding the story of the great flood, one might perhaps be inclined to ask us: If the Toledoth theory is correct, then how would you account for the fact that commentators of the Graf-Wellhausen persuasion have been able to identify two -- or in the case of Astruc, three -- accounts of the Flood story interwoven into the text of Genesis chapter 7?

Well, thanks to Wiseman's findings, I believe that one ought no longer have any difficulty at all in answering this sort of query; for it is quite naturally accounted for by his Toledoth theory. Chapter 7 of Genesis is, as we saw, part of Tablet (series) 4, written, or owned, by Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and signed by them [290].

Their story is taken up almost entirely with the account of the Flood of which they were eyewitnesses.

Jean Astruc, who claimed to have discerned "three accounts" of the Flood story, instanced in support of his claim such repetitious passages as:

Genesis Chapter 7,

18: "And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth".

19: "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth".

20: "Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail".


21: "And all flesh died that moved upon the face of the earth".

22: "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life and all that was in the dry land died".

23: "And every living substance was destroyed".

In regard to Astruc's theory, then, it is sufficient here to note with Wiseman "two significant facts" [295]:

Firstly, the conclusion of the tablet informs us that more than one person was connected with the writings of the narrative, "for it is the history of the three sons of Noah".

Secondly, an examination of the story reveals every indication that it was written by several eyewitnesses of the tragedy.

The documentists have given considerable attention to the Flood narrative, thinking that the Hebrews would have borrowed it from the Babylonian mythology (we have already accounted for one of the main philological reasons why they have been under this impression). Although they have been quite correct in identifying multiple accounts of the Flood story; they have completely missed the mark when it has come down to identifying the actual authors of it.


Ignorance of the nature of the sources from which the Book of Genesis was compiled has led modern scholars into saying things like:

(a) The second chapter of Genesis is more ancient than the first,

(b) The order of Genesis is wrong,

(c) There are two accounts of creation, each written centuries after Moses.

The documentist view is that the first chapter of Genesis was put into writing by an unknown author, or school of writers, in about the C8th BC (many hundreds of years after Moses). I believe that the arguments presented in this article completely lay to rest any such claims.

But, asked Wiseman, does the narrative of the first chapter of Genesis itself give any clue as to the time when it was written? To which question he answered that, in addition to the ancient literary method of the colophon dating, there are "some pieces of evidence which seem to assist us in ascertaining the chronological place of Genesis chapter 1 in the Old Testament" [300]. And he went on to list these as follows:

1). No anachronisms: "...it contains no reference whatever to any event subsequent to the creation of man and woman, and of what God said to them." [305] By contrast, the Babylonian version of creation, for instance, contains reference to events of a relatively late date, such as the building of Babylon. [310]

2). Universality: All the references in this chapter "are universal in their application and unlimited in their scope." We find no mention of "any particular tribe or nation or country, or of any merely local ideas or customs. Everything relates to mankind without reference to race."

3). Simplicity: The Sun and Moon, for instance, are referred to simply as the "greater and lesser lights" (Genesis 1:16). It is well known that astronomy is one of the most ancient branches of knowledge. In earliest times the Babylonians had already given names to the Sun and Moon.

4). Brevity: Compared with the lengthy Babylonian series of six tablets of creation, the Bible uses only one fortieth the number of words.

Tablet (Series) 2

The universality of the references in Genesis chapter 1 cannot be found in the second series (Genesis 2:4b to 5:1). In this second series there are historical notes:

(a) Rivers are named, as are countries.

(b) Minerals are being developed.

This, we believe, is Adam's own recorded history. It is not a repetitious second account of chapter 1, and even more ancient, as scholars would have us believe. The writer gives more detail about the creation of the first man; the Garden is planted; geographical locations for Eden are given; the animals are named, and so on.

Tablet (series) 2 is utterly different from chapter 1 in style and content, and would seem to be a much later production.


We do not know the extent of writing before the Flood, but, if our thesis is correct, we can know something about the literary method employed. It appears that the original form of the ancient tablets was considered to be so sacred that future copyists and translators left it embedded in their new texts.

Adam's and Noah's histories (and probably those of other antediluvian Patriarchs, such as Enoch) were preserved in the Ark and were then taken into the post-diluvian world by the sons of Noah, who, according to the sources compiled by L. Ginzberg, had books [315].

These sacred histories, undergoing translation and possible transliteration, were brought from Mesopotamia by Abraham and his family and remained in Canaan during the years of sojourning there. They were added to by each successive generation. Finally, when Jacob migrated to Egypt, he would have carried the histories with him; copies of which almost certainly found their way into the Egyptian archives to which Joseph would have had access. Later Moses, too, had access to these same archives and to all the wisdom of Egypt (Acts 7:22).

The Compiler

The compiler [320] would have summarized the histories of his forefathers, making textual notes for the sake of his contemporaries. For instance, the names of some of the locations in Canaan had changed since the time of Abraham and so the compiler had to indicate the new name of an ancient site. There are some examples in Genesis 14 of the compiler's identifying for his contemporaries some of the ancient place names of Abraham's time. We have:

"Bela (which is Zoar)", in verses 2 and 8;

"Vale of Siddim (which is the Salt Sea)", verse 3;

"En-mishpat (which is Kadesh)", in verse 7;

"Hobah (which is to the left of Damascus)", in 15;

"Valley of Shaveh (which is the King's Dale)", in verse 17.

Furthermore, it seems that the compiler greatly edited the texts of his ancestors. Doubtless, the original series of Isaac, for instance, or Esau, would have been much longer than has come down to us in Genesis. The compiler retained only what he considered to be fitting and beneficial to his people. This does not mean that the texts that he had before him were necessarily fragmentary, but rather that he found little that he considered to be relevant to the book that he was editing, that we now call "Genesis" [325].

Nowhere in the Scriptures is there any statement suggesting that Moses actually wrote the narratives and genealogies of Genesis. Not even in Genesis itself do we find any statements referring to Moses in the same way as, or similar to, those so often repeated in the remainder of the Pentateuch, "The LORD said unto Moses ..." Wiseman claimed that the nonoccurrence of this phrase in the book is surely a clear indication that when it is used in the remaining Books of Moses, it is likely to have been used authentically and accurately, the text being preserved in a pure state [330].

New Testament Witness

The New Testament method of referring to the Books of Moses is also worthy of note. "It is a significant example of the accuracy with which references to authorship are made in the Bible", wrote Wiseman [335]. Though the Messiah and the apostles repeatedly quote from Genesis, "they never actually say that Moses wrote or spoke the statement quoted".

But when we read references or quotations taken from the beginning of Exodus and onwards to Deuteronomy, "it is then we begin to read in the New Testament, 'Moses said ...'" [340].

The World's Oldest Books

In conclusion, I would like to say that Genesis, as we now know it, is composed of a series of some of the world's oldest books. Dr. Charles Taylor has identified the following "nine volumes" of which he claims the Book of Genesis originally consisted [345]:

I: "God's Book, an account of his activities at the beginning of things. (Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a)"

II: "Adam's Diary, some of it parallel to Vol. I. (Genesis 2:4b to 5:2)"

III: "Noah's Family Tree and Diary. (Genesis 5:3 to 6:9a)"

IV: "Noah's Sons' File on the Deluge. (Genesis 6:9b to 10:1)"

V: "The Dispersion and Shem's Table of Nations. (Genesis 10:2 to 11:10a)"

VI: "Terah's Family Tree. (Genesis 11:10b to 27a)"

VII: "Isaac's Biography of Abraham, with Ishmael's Family Tree as Appendix. (Genesis 11:27b to 25:19a)"

VIII: "Jacob's Biography of Isaac and his Descendants, including Jacob's Autobiography; with Esau's Family Trees in two Appendices. (Genesis 25:19b to 37:2a)"

IX: "Moses' Biography of Joseph and his Brothers. (Genesis 37:2b to 50:26)".

It is to be hoped that future biblical students will greatly advance humanity's knowledge of the Book of Genesis, by humbly and patiently studying its Toledoth histories. [350]


[01] Wiseman, Percy John, (1888-1948), New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis, Marshall, Morgan & Scott (1936); Clues to Creation in Genesis, Marshall, Morgan & Scott (1936); Die Entstehung der Genesis, Wuppertal (1958); Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis, Thomas Nelson (1985). As far as the Hebrew word "toledoth" is concerned, it is already the plural form, there follows no "s" to make it plural.

[05] Ardley, Gavin, Aquinas and Kant, Longmans, Green & Co. (1950), p.5.

[10] Ibid., 6.

[15] Ibid.

[20] Wiseman's findings have captured the imagination of, for instance, the renowned Old Testament scholar, Professor R. K. Harrison.

See e.g. his Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdmanns (1969), in which he summarizes Wiseman's "Toledoth" theory on pp. 545-553. Also, the linguist, Dr. Charles Taylor, who -- on the basis of the same theory -- wrote The Oldest Science Book in the World, Assembly Press (1984). It is also worth mentioning here that Percy John Wiseman's son, Donald J. Wiseman, who wrote the Foreword to Ancient Records (see footnote 1), is one of the preeminent Assyriologists of our time. [See also: Wiseman, D., "Alalakh" in Archaeology and Old Testament Study, Oxford, 1967]

[25] "In 1753 Jean Astruc, a French Catholic physician of considerable note, published a little book, Conjectures sur les memoires originaux dont it parait que Moise s'est servi pour composer le livre de la Genese, in which he conjectured, from the alternating use of two names of God in the Hebrew Genesis, that Moses had incorporated therein two pre-existing documents, one of which employed Elohim and the other Jehovah. The idea attracted little attention till it was taken up by a German scholar, who however, claims to have made the discovery independently. This was Johann Gottfried Eichorn...Eichorn greatly developed Astruc's hypothesis." [Catholic Encyclopedia, pp. 492, 493.]

"Yet it was a Catholic priest of Scottish origin, Alexander Geddes (1737-1802) who broached a theory of the origin of the Five Books (to which he attached Josue) exceeding in boldness either Simon's or Eichorn's. This was the well-known 'Fragment' hypothesis, which reduced the Pentateuch to a collection of fragmentary sections partly of Mosaic origin, but put together in the reign of Solomon. Geddes' opinion was introduced into Germany in 1805 by Vater." -- [Idem, p. 493. Vater, Johann Severin (1771-1826) German theologian and philologist.]

[30] "Jehovah" being German for "YEHOVAH". The word ALHIM (Elohim) as a technical term of the law of the Torah incontrovertibly means "judge" (Exodus 22, 8 et passim), and hence may refer to Moses, who was the first supreme judge (Shofet) and commander-in-chief after establishing a system of inferior courts, parallel to the military command structure (Exodus 18, 1327). Both Rashi and the King James Version translate Elohim in Exodus 22 with Dayanim (English "judges"). The word Elohim on the Tablets of the Law occurs in the same legal context (Exodus 20, 214), and means "supreme judge". It is a contraction of El ha-Elim "highest leader" as in Eley Mo'av "the leaders of Moab" (Exodus 15, 15), with a superlative comparable to Eved Avadim "lowest servant" (Genesis 9, 25) or Melekh Melakhim "king of kings" (Ezekiel 26, 7). Saying it another way, Undoubtedly YEHOVAH God was also known as El [Genesis 33:20; "And he (Jacob) erected there an sacred stone (alter), and called it 'El-elohe-Israel']." This was the sacred place where Jacob affirmed his faith in YEHOVAH God to continue the promise to Abraham making Abraham the father of a great nation. Therefore Jacob called the altar 'El'elhe-Israel' meaning in Hebrew: 'El is the god of Israel!' In using 'Israel' -- to the vast majority of readers; the true meaning of this word is this: In Hebrew 'Israel' is written as 'Ysra'el'.' The first part, 'Ysra', means `he who fights or persists with God' with a possible meaning of 'prince' and the second, 'El' means God rules! So the correct translation is: "God is the Prince of Israel". Jacob, now called Israel, did not intend to aggrandize himself by so naming the altar, for YEHOVAH God told him soon afterwards to erect another `altar unto God who appeared to thee' at Bethel and called the altar `El-beth-el' (God of Bethel called formerly Luz), Genesis 28:19; 35:7.

In Israel, the land of the 10 tribes, "YEHOVAH" was written different compared to its usage in Judah using the Hebrew word elements of "yo" or "yau" as for instance in the name of "Immadiyo" meaning "God is with me" found on a stamped jar handle during the Tell Dan excavations. [BAR, Vol. 20, Mar/Apr 1994, p. 32]

[35]. With R. K. Harrison, I believe that the so-called Deuteronomist source is the only valid one amidst the JEDP "sources".

[40] Wiseman, P. J., Clues to Creation in Genesis, 143.

[45] The "Documentary Hypothesis" came up with four main sources for Genesis, "J" the Jahwist dated to after ca. 900 BC, "E" the Elohist dated to ca. 750 BC, "D" the Deuteronimist whose book is thought to have been found in the Temple ca. 620 BC and "P" the Priestly source dating to the Babylonian Exile. Various "R" "redakteurs" are supposed to have put it all together.

[50] This "butcher like" activity was based on the now debunked evolutionary thinking of these "theologians". It seems to be part of the mystery of iniquity.

[55] Wellhausen, Julius, as quoted by Wiseman in Clues, 144. Wellhausen was a student of Wilhelm Watke who was a student of Johann Gottfried Herder and heavily influenced by George Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831).

[60] Wiseman, Clues, 145. Wellhausen resigned from Greifswald University in 1882. Orthodox Lutherans there were alarmed at the doubts that he had been casting on the inspiration of Scripture (see New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. J. Douglas, The Paternoster Press, Exeter, 1974, under "Wellhausen").

[65] At this point it may be of interest to remind readers that in a 1982 debate Professor Martin charged SDA's this way, "Martin states that many, many sections have been cut out of her writings." We refuse to accept that either. It is the work of the enemies of the spirit of Prophecy to convince the faithful that the best thing they can do is either interpret away the spirit of Prophecy or cut it away, in a similar manner as Modern Protestantism interprets the Bible away, as the German higher-critical school, earlier, cut it away. We show here, here and here that Professor Martin's theology was rather lacking in discernment.

[70] Ibid., 143.

[75] Ibid., 144.

[80] The whole Bible is truly an amazing collection of written records. The plan of salvation is revealed progressively from Genesis to Revelation. There is unity in its themes: The Messiah is promised throughout the Old Testament and declared in every New Testament book to have come in the person of Yeshua the Messiah. (1) Harmony of teaching is reflected in both Testaments. (2) The history it portrays is the oldest history of any people in the world. (3) Hebrew national tradition excels all other in its clear picture of tribal and family origins. In Egypt and Babylonia, in Assyria and Phoenicia, in Greece and Rome, we look in vain for anything comparable. There is nothing like it in the tradition of the Germanic peoples. Neither India nor China produced anything similar. (4) The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any other piece of classical literature -- in spite of attempts to destroy the Bible since Roman times. For example, there are more than 5,000 known Greek manuscripts of the NT in existence. Homer's Illiad is second with only 643 manuscripts that have survived. What is the reason for this phenomena? Divine, holy spirit inspired origin of the entire Old and New Testament books, is the reason. The holy spirit ensured that biblical historians presented an accurate picture, and YEHOVAH God watched over the history and preservation of the Bible.

[85] However, as those involved in a revision of ancient chronologies would appreciate, a full scientific answer to this question cannot be given until a complete and accurate revision of the chronology of the ancient world has been achieved.

[90] Wiseman, Clues, 143.

[95] Ibid., 159.; The Enuma Elish, a Babylonian Creation story.

[98] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 60. [On the question a) if "Why Babylonians did not use the word 'Toledoth' in their tablets, the answer is, they did not write in Hebrew." b) Is "toledoth" a heading? The headings are the "colophon", not the "toledoth" phrases. An important distinction to be kept in mind!]

[100] When was Hebrew first written? Obviously, when Israel left Egypt they did not use hieroglyphs as their choice for writing. Many of them were trained to read and write in Hebrew, the alphabet Moses originated/developed and which he used to write the Toledoth/Pentateuch while he spend 40 years (ca. 1485-1445 BC) as a shepherd in Midian/(Saudi) Arabia. During the Exodus the Israelites where taught to read and write in Hebrew, a logical and necessary convention for a newly emerging nation. That is why the word "write" and "wrote" is first used beginning with the Book of Exodus. Hebrew is the language YEHOVAH God used to write the 10 commandments on those tables of stone. Before Moses invented the Hebrew alphabet, people used cuneiform writing, a method much more laborious and inconvenient to use efficiently. And so it stands that for several centuries cuneiform and Hebrew were used side by side.

[105] Ibid.

[110] Dr. Samuel Rolles Driver, as quoted by Wiseman, ibid.

[115] R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 543-553, discusses this mistake by some modern scholars.

[120] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 61.

[125] Ibid.

[130] Ibid.

[135] Wiseman, Clues, 35.; As more recent, added information on any books ascribed to Abraham or his period, we would like to point out that the in 1842 published Book of Abraham by the founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, is written on ancient papyri, does not mention Abraham and its contents have no relationship to the Book of Mormon but is merely a burial document common in Egypt written in hieroglyphic writing between the time of about 100 BC to the time of the Messiah. The papyri came to light again in 1967 and was examined by Egyptologists Claus Bear, John Wilson and Richard Parker who could easily determine that it was not of the time of Abraham but is probably part of the pagan Book of the Dead. [See Luke Wilson's the Lost Book of Abraham DVD.]

[138] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 63.

[140] Ibid.

[145] I may have worked out why Matthew's Toledoth 1:1 is at the beginning, not end, based on my friend Bern Sadler's work on the chiastic structure of Matthew, which chiastically connects 1:1 to 1:17 ("generations" appears 4 times). In other words, 1:17 is the Toledoth, and 1:1 is probably just a link, "catch-line". Wiseman missed this, though he noted that 1:1 is about ancestors, not descendants.

[150] Ibid.

[155] Wiseman, Clues, 40.

[160] Skinner, J., Genesis (1929).

[165] Maly, E., "Genesis", in JBC 2:21 (1968).

[170] Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890), as quoted by Wiseman, Ancient Records, 67. To those who might be under the misconception that there were no registers of births and deaths in such distant days, we might suggest that that is just exactly what the fifth chapter of Genesis is. The family records that were preserved in those days were little else but records of births, marriages and deaths.

[175] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 67.

[180] This does not mean that Abraham could not have had his own separate history, or that he had perhaps written part of his sons' records. Again, whilst his sons may have owned the tablets, Abraham may have written them.

[185] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 69. He noted here that all of these ancestral histories could have come into the possession of Moses in the way that family records were normally handed down. A discussion about colophons and catch lines may also be found in C. Bezold, "Some Unpublished Cuneiform Syllabaries" in PSBA, Nov. 1888/89, p. 44-54. A source containing numerous cuneiform texts.

See Alan R. Millard, "In Praise of Ancient Scribes" in BA, Summer 1982, p. 143-153. A source giving examples of colophons.

But see also a re-thinking of the "toleoth" phrases in Damien's most recent paper Tracing the Hand of Moses in Genesis.

Similarly the books of Joshua and Judges were probably compiled from the ancient records of King David according to a clue that reads, "And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host of Shiloh." Joshua 18:9. This scripture gives us a clue how the Book of Joshua at least, was compiled on the basis of studied, written evidence. It is possible that by the time Joshua was written that the source book was deteriorated, so the author filled in the missing parts (the northwest borders of Judah and Asher, Josh. 15,16 and 19:10-13; and the borders of Dan, Josh. 19:40-46) with the position of the Israelite borders of his own day. While the stories of the judges reflect the cultural and historical situation during the days of the tribal confederacy, certain texts suggest that the book itself was not assembled until the monarchy had been well established.

[190] Wiseman, Clues, 77.

[195] Ibid., 42.

[200] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 79.

[205] Ibid.

[208] Ibid.

[215] Ibid., 80, 81.

[220] Ibid.

[225] Ibid., 82. On the subject of date formulas, see Francis R. Steele, "The Date Formulae of Shu-Ilishu of Isin" in BASOR, No. 122, April 1951, p. 45-49. The author cites 10 examples as follows:

01. mu du--l-u lugal-m , "the year Shu-ilishu became king."

02. mu du--l-u lugal-e . . . munadm , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the . . ."

03. mu du--l-u lugal-e , "the year Shu-ilishu the king . . ."

04. mu du--l-u lugal-e . . . mu-dm , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the . . ."

05. mu du--l-u lugal-e gu-za-mah an dinanna mu-ne-dm , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the exalted throne for An and Inanna"

06. mu du--l-u lugal-e bd-gal i-si-in u--l-u ri-im-i-tar mu-d , "the year Shu-ilishu the king built the great gate of Isin `Shu-ilishu beloved of Ishtar"

07. mu du--l-u lugal-e ma-gur-mah nin-urta-ra mu-na-dm , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the dais-throne for Ninisinna."

08. mu du--l-u lugal-e bd-gal i-si-in u--l-u ri-im-i-tar mu-d , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the makurru-boat for Ninurta."

09. mu du--l-u lugal-e gu-za-bra nin-gal-ra mu-na-dm , "the year Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the dais-throne for Ningal."

10. mu s-sa du--l-u lugal-e gu-za-bra nin-gal-ra mu-na-dm , "the year after Shu-ilishu the king fashioned the dais-throne for Ningal."

[228] Ibid.

[230] On the question, "It is unlikely that adversaries would keep records of their rivals genealogy, i.e. Esau keeping Jacob's genealogy" we would like to point out that a reconciliation took place between Jacob and Esau. After a detailed account on how Jacob planned his meeting with his older brother, we read: "And Jacob lifted his eyes and, behold, Esau came...And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept....And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself." [Genesis 33: 1, 4, 9]

[235] Ibid.

[240] Ibid., 128.

[245] Ibid., 129.

[250] Note that "Ur of the Chaldees" is not to be confused with the famous Babylonian city called Ur that Sir Leonard Woolley excavated.

[255] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 129.

[260] Ibid., 132.

[265] Ibid., 133.

[270] The Seven Tablets of Creation were found at Niniveh by George Smith in 1872 and read: "When above were not raised the heavens: And below the earth was not called by name, The primeval deep was the source of both, The chaos of the sea was the source of both, The chaos of the sea was the mother of them all...Their waters were embossomed in one place, The corn stalk was ungathered, the marsh plant was ungrown. Time was when gods had not been made, No name was named, no destiny determined: Then were created the gods in the midst...Lakmu and Lakhamu burst forth. Ages increased. Anshar and Kishar were created, days grew long...Anu,...."

[275] Maly, ibid., 2:16.

[280] Yahuda, A., The Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egyptian (Oxford, 1933), 127. Yahuda further notes, in footnote 3, that: "The argument that ['tehom'] must be identical with tiamat because like the latter it is feminine, is untenable, for the simple reason that in our particular passage the gender of ['tehom'] is not apparent, and further because, there are examples of its being used in the masculine as a poetical expression for sea".

Yahuda also points to Egyptianisms in the Pentateuch: a) the Egyptian "Gold of Praise" is aluded to as "and he (Pharaoh) put a gold chain around his neck" in Genesis 41:42; b) "Pharaoh was wroth with his servants," "...let Pharaoh look out a man...", "Let Pharaoh do this...", Genesis 41:10, 33, 34; compares to the Egyptian "And the head physician spoke before his Majesty: May the person (k-k), beloved of Re, command that there be given me..." [Records, Vol. I, Sec. 238] and other books, i.e. "ends of the earth" (Egyptian "qen-tiu") Ends of the earth 1 or as Ends of the earth 2, according to Budge found in the Papyrus 3024, 97 in the Egyptian documents and in the scriptures in Matthew 12:42, or the Egyptian word "ash" for cedar wood compared to the Hebrew "shittim" wood.

For a book review by J. G. Duncan of Prof. Yahuda's work see Ancient Egypt, Mar 1930, p. 25-29.

Another saying arose from fellah women, when crossing a desert or reedy marsh in a small group would gather their clothing in a bundle on their head to be able to move easier. This way, is thought, a proverb came about, "thou departest from the earth more swiftly (or springing higher) than a girded woman", which is also found in a Pyramid text. [PSBA, Nov. 1897, p. 299.]

[285] Ibid., 128.

[290] It is an eyewitness account.

[295] Wiseman, Ancient Records, 93.

[300] Wiseman, Clues, 170.

[305] Genesis 1:26: "yayyomer Elohim naase adam betsalmenu kidemuthena", 'And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'

[310] The tablets of the Babylonian Creation Series (#4) are published in PSBA, Dec 1886, p. 86-129.

[315] Ginzberg, L., The Legends of the Jews, Vol. V (Philadelphia, 1955), 196-197. The Hebrew word for (Noah's) "ark" is = "tebah", whereas the Coptic word is "THBE", and the closest ancient Egyptian equivalent would be "teba" = box, chest, casket, underscoring the usage of Egyptian words in the Book of Genesis as very anciently compiled by Moses -- a fact not known by the critics of the German school of theologians. Today there is no excuse for schools of theology to continue teaching the erroneous ideas of the Graf-Wellhausen schools.; See E. A. W. Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 827.

[320] In a follow-up article, I shall produce compelling evidence in support of the traditional view that the compiler of Genesis was, in fact, Moses.

[325] While, according to the biblical record, Moses spent most of his first 40 years growing up in the courts of Pharaoh, the next 40 years he lived in exile in Midian tending the flocks of Jethro. We can assume that, while in the courts of Pharaoh, Moses had access to the Toledoth records brought to Egypt when Jacob and his family moved to the Egypt of the days of Joseph. Moses must have taken possession of these records and possibly taken them along on his flight to Midian where he had plenty of time and solitude to compile the Book of Genesis. Before Moses, there was no written revelation of YEHOVAH God, no Bible book and we submit that written records were limited to the type discussed above. Having read these family histories and recognizing by divine providence the need to preserve the knowledge of the time from Adam to his days, Moses was inspired to author Genesis and similarly his later books.

[330] Wiseman, Clues, 66.; The phrase, "And the Lord said unto Moses" occurs 34 times in the Book of Exodus, 2 times in Leviticus, 13 times in Numbers and 2 times in Deuteronomy. Grand Total = 51 times in "The Authorized KJV" of the Bible.

[335] Ibid.

The antiquity of the writings of Moses: We read, "...In view of the extraordinary tenacity of Jewish legal and scriptural tradition, as illustrated by early rabbinic works such as Sifre which collected material extending back in some cases to pre-exilic times, it is decidedly unsafe to down-grade the antiquity of the Mosaic tradition." [The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 36, p. 58. -- title page and author's name missing from my photocopy.] We agree with that statement.

[340] Wiseman, Clues, 66. It was while Moses tended the flocks of his Father-in-Law Jethro (Ex. 3), east of the Red Sea, that Moses was inspired by the holy spirit to put together the Book of Genesis. Since the Bible does not teach "word-", but rather "thought-inspiration", relying on the family histories he was able to compose the entire pre-Flood period up to the time of Joseph.

[345] Taylor, C. (see footnote 5), 20. Additional Comment:

Genesis 1:28: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Illustration: This verse seems to give us permission to (scientifically) investigate creation and to oversee it responsibly.

We also know that Amram and Jochebed, the father and mother of Moses (Ex. 6:20), knew that the time of Israel in Egypt was going to be soon over for YEHOVAH God to fulfill His promise to make their Patriarch Abraham into a great nation. They knew the prophecy of the 400 years (Gen. 15:13) was given in ca. 1850 BC. In 1845 BC when Abraham was 105 years of age and Isaac was about 5 years old they celebrated a feast for Isaac, Gen. 21:8. So Moses parents, like others perhaps, around ca. 1526 BC, may have known that YEHOVAH's time to fulfill His promise was coming closer and they purposed in their heart to raise their son Moses to be faithful to the Creator God. Everything they did from that time on was directed toward that goal and blessed by YEHOVAH God in a wonderful way. Eighty years later, in 1445 Moses led Israel out of Egypt.

The 400 and the 430 year time lines: Let us remember that the 400 years of Genesis are counted from the year of the feast when Isaac was 5 years of age (Gen. 21:8), and the 430 years from Galatians 3:17 are counted from the year when the promise was given to Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation.

[350] Finally the reader ought to have learned from the above that the idea that the accounts of the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood did not appear in Jewish writings until after the captivity is untenable and mistaken. The idea that the accounts in Genesis are later accounts than those of pagan authors is also mistaken, it is the other way around, pagan authors borrowed from Biblical accounts. The idea that the so-called Gilgamesh source predates the Books of Moses, including Genesis, is mistaken. The Gilgamesh Epic is a later write up greatly influenced by pagan thought. [See C. W. Ceram, The March of Archaeology, p. 220. Ceram was a pen name of the German journalist Kurt Wilhelm Marek (1915-1972). He wrote how George Smith (1840-1876), put together the fragments making up the Gilgamesh Epic, and transliterated it. How accurate that work is, is another question.

-- Edited by John D. Keyser.


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