So far we’ve been able to identify a meaningful alignment with the most significant events recorded in the annals of earth and human history – Creation (Part 1), the Fall and the Curse (Part 2), the Flood (Part 3), and the post-Flood era (Part 4). The last of these is the world-wide Dispersion.
In the beginning, God blessed the first inhabitants in order that they might fill and discover His glory and provision throughout the perfect primordial landmass (Gen.1:28-31). After Creation’s canvas had been purged by the Flood, God similarly blessed Noah. The purpose of Noah’s replenish commission was to facilitate the reconciliation through the “Seed Remedy” (see Scripturosity article “The Gospel Message”) and the restoration of Edenic fellowship. The command to “replenish” the earth was to ensure that the promised seed would be far less vulnerable to the certain assaults that would come from heaven’s archenemy and nemesis of mankind – Satan (see Scripturosity article “The Dark Cherub”).
When a vast majority of the growing populous chose (or were perhaps forced, in some cases) to follow Nimrod (see Scripturosity article “The Tyrant of Babel”) in defiance of God’s order, the Judge of heaven took preemptive action by confusing the languages at Babel and forcing the smaller language groups to strike out on their own in search of new and suited regions for settlement (see Scripturosity article “Human Diversity” – Part 1 & Part 2).
Notice in one of Job’s answers, a reasonably inferred reference to the Babel Dispersion (12:17-25). Job seemed to be aware of a divinely directed judgment that overturned the purposes of the powerful and influential through a language and understanding barrier (v.20). “He maketh them to stagger like a drunken man (v.25).” Try to picture the scene in and around the rising Babel Empire when God introduced the tongues.
It is worth noting that a number of the tribal names mentioned in Job are first encountered in the Genesis Table of Nations.
Uz (Genesis 10:23 w/ Job 1:1)
Sheba (Genesis 10:7,28 w/ Job 6:19)
Ophir (Genesis 10:29 w/ Job 28:16)
Ethiopia (same as Cush; Genesis 10:6 w/ Job 28:19)
Seba (same as Sabaeans; Genesis 10:7 w/ Job 1:15)
Another interesting association is in the mention of the hostile tribe from Chaldea in Job 1:17. In Genesis 11 (vv.28,31) Abraham’s childhood is connected to a place called Ur of the Chaldees. Some scholars speculate that Ur may be the satellite kingdom of Nimrod – Uruk called Erech in Genesis 10:10.
Concerning the limited mention or absence of some of the family tribes historically beyond the Table of Nations, Henry Morris gives this speculative assessment (The Remarkable Record of Job; p.32).
“In addition to the tribes and nations named in the early chapters of Genesis and those known from ancient secular history, many, for some reason (perhaps lack of ability or industry, degenerate habits, or disease), could not compete successfully and eventually died out. These most likely included ‘cave men’ and others now identified only by fragmentary fossils and crude artifacts and often mistakenly classed as evolving hominids or ape-men.”
While we will commit article content to the topic of cave men and the anthropological interpretations of evolving hominids at a later time, it is relevant to our introductory overview (and particularly the Dispersion) to note that Job makes mention of nomadic, and sometimes degenerate, cave dwellers during a couple of his responses.
“He (God) taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way (12:24).”
“They were driven forth from among men…To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in the caves of the earth, and in the rocks (30:5,6).”
Indeed, when we start with Scripture and assign the proper historical designation to discovery, the mysteries of science and nature are drawn more clearly into focus.
The evolutionary history of humanity is told as a fortunate yet unspectacular blip on our 4 billion year old earth. Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA and acclaimed author, constructs such a context in his book The Third Chimpanzee.
“To place human evolution in a time perspective, recall that life originated on Earth several billion years ago, and that dinosaurs became extinct around sixty-five million years ago. It was only between six and ten million years ago that our ancestors finally became distinct from the ancestors of chimps and gorillas. Hence human history constitutes only an insignificant portion of the history of life.”
The author of a July 2006 National Geographic article entitled “The Downside of Upright,” Jenifer Ackerman, depicts the rise of mankind this way.
“Scientists are the first to admit that much work needs to be done before we fully understand the origins of bipedalism. But whatever drove human ancestors to get upright in the first place – reaching for fruit or traveling farther in search of it, scanning the horizon for predators or transporting food to family – the habit stuck. They eventually evolved the ability to walk and run long distances. They learned to hunt and scavenge meat. They created and manipulated a diverse array of tools. These were the essential steps in evolving a big brain and a human intelligence, one that could make poetry and music and mathematics, assist in difficult childbirth, develop sophisticated technology, and consider the roots of its own quirky and imperfect upright being.”
The Bible represents a far different history of humanity; one that has reflected a clear favor from the beginning. It is a detailed history of primal intelligence and development with a record of immediate communication, sovereign delegation, and absolute volition at the start (Genesis 2:15-17). The record is one of exponential inventive development from discoveries of first causation. The survivors of the Flood had the benefit of starting civilization afresh with this learned and applied knowledge from the lost world.
400 years later, Job offers some insights that reflect the advanced scientific appreciation of the world in which they lived. Interestingly and counter to secular anthropology, this was during a time when some men were still choosing to live in caves and whose remains have been misinterpreted as pre-human.
The evolutionary narrative requires that the cave dwellers of European and Middle Eastern paleoanthropological fame (aka Neanderthal) were a hominid convergent species that evolved separately from the modern humans arising from Africa (see Scripturosity article “Out of Africa”). Just as Johannes Kepler embraced a heliocentric model of earth’s movement because of the simplicity of motion and beautiful order, so is the biblical model human history superior to evolution’s tortuous tale of impossible probability. You really have to admire the faith of its proponents who insist, beyond reason, that a disregard of the sacred chronicles is somehow necessary for their intellectual credibility.
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge (The Creator – Job 38:2)?”