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OF INTEREST TO WOMEN: “desire” in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7 Gen. 3:16 What is the “desire” that a wife will have for her husband? “The way to a proper understanding of this passage is through making a comparison of Genesis 3:16 and 4:7. These Hebrew texts are precisely the same except for appropriate changes in person and gender.” (Laney, Answers to Tough Questions)
Gen. 3:16 What is the “desire” that a wife will have for her husband? “Yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Gen. 3:16 “And its [sin’s] desire is for you, but you [Cain] must master it.” Gen. 4:7 “A comparison [of these verses] suggests that the wife has the same sort of desire for her husband that sin has for Cain – a desire to possess or control” (Laney)
Toledoth of Noah: Genesis 6:9 “These are the generations of Noah.” This statement, like those at Genesis 2:4, 5:1a, 10:1, 11:10, 36:1, 36:9, and 37:2 seem to mark the end of an historical account. Toledoth means ‘generation.’
Gen. 2:4 “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Gen. 5:1a “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Gen. 6:9a “These are the generations of Noah.” Contrary to modern writing practices, these colophons are found at the end of a text, not the beginning.
THE TABLET THEORY During his tour of duty in Mesopotamia, where much of the earliest Bible activity took place, Air Commodore P.J. Wiseman became interested in the archaeology of that area, and especially in the many ancient clay tablets that had been dated to long before the time of Abraham. He recognized that they held the key to the original writings of the early Bible, and especially to the Book of Genesis.
THE TABLET THEORY He published his book in 1936. More recently his son, Professor of Assyriology D.J. Wiseman, updated and revised his father’s book: P.J. Wiseman, “Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1985)
He found that most of the old clay tablets had “colophon phrases” at the end; these named the writer or owner of the tablet; they had words to identify the subject, and often some sort of dating phrase. If multiple tablets were involved, there were also “catch-lines” to connect a tablet to its next in sequence. Many of these old records related to family histories and origins, which were evidently highly important to those ancient people. Wiseman noticed the similarity of many of these to the sections of the book of Genesis.
Many scholars have noticed that Genesis is divided into sections, separated by phrases that are translated “These are the generations of ... ” The Hebrew word used for “generation” is toledoth, which means “history, especially family history ... the story of their origin.” Wiseman, op.cit., pg.62. Wiseman took this quotation from the pioneer Hebrew lexicographer Gesenius.
Most scholars have recognized that these “toledoth phrases” must be important, but they have been misled by assuming incorrectly that these are the introduction to the text that follows. (Several modern translations have even garbled these phrases.) This has led to serious questions, because in several cases they don’t seem to fit. For example, Genesis 37:2 begins, “These are the generations of Jacob. ...” But from that spot on, the text describes Joseph and his brothers, and almost nothing about Jacob, who was the central character in the previous section.