Sunday, September 18, 2016

Deuteronomy 4 and the Age of the Earth

When did human history start?  A reasonable estimate by mainstream dating takes us to around 2500 BC. [1]  This only goes back to the post-Babel era.  Noah went into the Ark 1656 years after Creation Week.  Thus, a 6K year old world makes sense. 

Let's give thought to Deuteronomy 4: 32-35,

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other.  Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?  Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?  Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?  You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.

Because of the signs and wonders, the Israelites had assurance that the Lord was the true Guardian of the Universe.  How could the Jews verify this?  Look at history, "Ask now about the former days, long before your time."  Is seems most likely that Adam, Noah and the other patriarch's wrote Genesis and then Moses edited their writings.  That is, history goes back to Adam.      

The famous Library of Alexandria was founded around 300 BC and had 200K to 400K books by some estimates.  Did some of these works contain pre-Flood history?  If so, there may have been a number of ancient chronicles that went back to the first human generation.

Christians who hold to a long chronology sometimes put Adam as far back as 150K years ago.  Where is all that history?  According to a report in NewScientist, writing may go back 35K years.  What happened to the missing historical accounts?  Some propose that the Sumerian King List takes us back 7K years before the Global Flood - that's far short of 150K years! [2]

Another problem for old earth supporters is all the millions of years of death and suffering before the Fall.  In Genesis 3 we read of the curse of the Earth.  Death and thorns came after the Fall in a straightforward reading of the text.  And later, the planet itself was destroyed because the world was wicked (Gen. 6:13).  That man's sin can have negative consequences in nature is repeated in Deuteronomy 28:

... if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you ...  You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it.  You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them.  You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. (Deut. 28:15, 38-40)

1)  YES - Young Earth Science by Jay Hall (IDEAS, Big Spring, TX, 2014), pp. 30-33.
2)  Ibid., p. 33.

*illustration:  Sargon of Akkad & the tree of life