There is no recorded family history of the Hebrew tribe other than the one we find in the
scriptures. No other descendent of Noah... from the other branches of this tribe... relates
the story of their family, nor tells us about the dispersion of these tribes as they settled
throughout the world. No other descendent kept the line of genealogy from one chieftain
to the next.
It would seem that history-keeping was singularly the duty of the line of the
chiefs of the tribe... who were the inheritors... the judges...
the deciders... the omnipotent leaders.
If it's true that Joseph set about to gather all that he could find of his tribe's history
in order to document and preserve it... then this could be one explanation of why
Genesis has so many pieces. Esau's family history was even put into the text.
Nevertheless, it is most certain that Jacob inherited a written record of his ancestors.
At some point the genealogy and surely even some of the stories were written down.
There could be no other way to remember so much information and still trust its accuracy.
And, because this history was written down in order to pass it along for many
generations... it could only have been written on something quite permanent...
something like stone or clay tablets. These were most likely clay which
could have been easily inscribed with an instrument, rather than stone that must
be artistically chiseled. These tablets, then, would have been passed from chieftain
to chieftain. These would be the most precious and protected possession of this tribe.
Upon considering "stone tablets" as the vehicle for the passing along of the tribe's
history... it is hard to ignore the fact that it is said that the law of Moses was written
on two stone tablets. But... on close inspection... it is not exactly clear... what was really
written on those tablets.
See the essay:
"The Ten Commandments"
Exodus 20:18 As the story is told... ten laws were spoken by God
directly to the people. But they became so terrified that they called up to
Moses to speak for God lest they die. God then continues his imparting of
many more laws to Moses, which Moses was to relate to the people. Exodus
says that it was Moses who wrote the set of laws that contained
what we now know as the ten first commandments.
Ex.20:1 -- (lists the first ten laws) and then continues for three more
chapters of laws
Ex.24:4 -- "And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord."
It was on Moses' next trip up the mountain that the stone tablets were given
to him. This is the same time that the instructions for the ark of the covenant and
the tabernacle were given.
Ten is an odd number of laws to have been said to be written in stone, when there
were really many more laws given to Moses... and when the two tablets were also
described as "having writing on both sides."
Ex.32:15 -- "And Moses turned and went down from the mount, and the two
tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides;
on the one side and on the other side were they written."
It is at Deuteronomy 10:4, in what is a "re-writing" of the story of Exodus...
that scripture specifically names "The Ten Commandments" as the only laws that were
written on the tablets. This is not so specified in the original writing of the story.
However, the number "ten" IS of interest here. The number "ten"
emerges elsewhere and in a possible conjunction with other "stone tablets."
There were ten generations from Adam to Noah,
and there were ten generations from Noah to Abraham.
Two tablets of laws... two sets of ten generations. An odd coincidence.
See: Chart of the Clan Chiefs
The importance of "stone" tablets takes on new meaning when there is a possiblity that
the original history of the tribe of Adam... written by the ancient patriarchs of
the tribe... was recorded and still may exist somewhere in stone. And to add even more
curiousity to this possibility... the same word is used for Noah's "ark"... the "ark" of Moses...
and the "ark" of the covenant.
Surely Joseph considered the chance that family stories might be excerpted or altered
as they were passed down to future generations, especially if they were in a form that
required the copying of long strings of information. And the loss or destruction of the
precious original tablets through hazard or war was a real possibility. And so the
preserving and safe-keeping of the original record would have been very important.
Joseph wouldn't have passed down the original stone tablets. He would have made a
copy of them... which, according to the scriptures... also happened to the tablets of Moses.
It makes more sense for such precious tablets as the original history to be locked
up and safe-guarded in a secure "ark"... than it does for a record of the laws that the
people needed at hand... laws that they needed to see and to live by... to be locked away
in a place that could not be touched.
It can be stated that this tribe of Adam was a royal line... of power and wealth... because the
record of chieftains was kept so diligently. Noah surely was wealthy before he built the
ark. This massive boat-building project required supplies and technical knowledge.
Collecting animals would also require knowledge and be very time-consuming. Noah
may have built the ark, but it seems more likely that it was built like you or I
would build a house... we would hire someone to do it.
We are given various clues that Abram was a "king." When Abram migrated from Ur,
he was not a poor shepherd. He came to Canaan with a household numbering in the
many hundreds. We can deduce this because we are told Abram's age when he entered
Canaan, and later when Ishmael was born.
Scripture also says that Abram was a very wealthy man.
12:4 -- "And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed
out of Haran."
14:14 -- "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive,
he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and
eighteen and pursued them unto Dan."
16:16 -- "And Abram was fourscore and six years old when Hagar bore
13:2 -- "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."
We also know that Abram had married a woman of presence and beauty... Sarah.
Kings sought out her beauty. Because of the drought in Canaan when Abram first arrived
there, he kept moving on to Egypt. Once there, he protected himself by claiming that
Sarah was his sister... but the king heard of her beauty, took her into his house, and then
made plans to marry her. Sarah had to reveal the truth. Many herds had been given to
Abram as Sarah's "brother," but Pharaoh allowed him to keep them and to leave Egypt
peacefully... enriching him even moreso. It may also be true that a friendship was
formed between Abraham and the king of Egypt.
14:1 The men who had made war with the cities of Canaan and kidnapped
Lot's family were called "kings." These "kings" had defeated the "kings" of those cities.
When Abram chased them to rescue Lot, he defeated them and drove them away.
And so... for all intents and purposes, Abram had become the most powerful "king" in
all the land.
While creating a chart of the named chieftains of the tribe of Adam, and doing the math
on the ages given in the scriptures... it became apparent that Noah was still alive until
Abram was 55.
See: Chart of Chiefs-Abram
A connection, then, can be made directly to Abram... to his father Terah's intent to go
to Canaan... and to the continued directive to go to the land of Canaan... as possibly
originating from Noah. Noah had spoken a curse against the son of his son,
9:24 -- "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger
son (Ham) had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants
shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan
shall be his servant."
10:15-19 -- "And Canaan begot Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth, And the Jebusite,
and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the
Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the familes of the
Canaanites spread abroad. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest
to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim,
even unto Lasha."
It is not difficult then, to conclude that Abram was fulfilling a directive of Noah... the
chieftain... the king and the judge of the tribe. If Noah's words were to mean anything...
if his statements and judgments were to mean anything... his judgment upon Ham's
son, Canaan, needed to be fulfilled. The land of "Canaan" had been settled by Canaan's
tribe. Abram would take power over it and inherit it to his own sons... in the name of
the legacy of Adam.
Abram... it could well be said... was fulfilling Noah's direct order. He inherited kingship...
he also inherited wealth... and he became "as Noah" and "as Adam" in
the continuity of the tribe of Adam. Word... was truth.
And... just what was this "tribe of Adam"?
Adam's tribe originated in Mesopotamia... in the "garden of Eden." From these
descriptions, the location appears to be in the Ararat Mountains or plateau... at the
headwaters of four rivers. The author of Genesis gives directions to its location. And,
upon leaving Eden, they must have gone East.
2:10 -- "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from
thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison;
that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the
gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the
second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia."
3:24 -- "And he [God] placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims
and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life."
Outside of Eden where the rivers parted... there was good gold and precious stones.
Now... gold that is washed down in rivers often comes from a "source" or a motherlode...
and settles at the forks of streams. This makes Eden a candidate for being such a source.
But... the garden east was blocked so they could not return... or no one could
It would make an interesting story if Eden was the location of a motherlode of gold.
And to make the story fit the scenerio... perhaps its location was hidden so that no one
could find it. Too much gold would only mean trouble... but just enough gold and
stones to sustain them would be much better. But, this study will not explore this scenerio further.
Moses was told that it was God's intention for the tribe of Israel to become
priests among nations.
Exodus 19:5 -- "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep
my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the
earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These
are the words which thou shall speak unto the children of Israel."
Such a plan isn't inconsistent with their beginnings... that of mankind living in a perfect
garden close to God. That story is a picture of learning about the world...
knowing God... and knowing what perfection would be. It is also a picture of realizing
that they were higher than the other creatures... they were creatures of intelligence...
"made in the image of God." This same term was used to refer to Seth, when he was
born to Adam... "in his image." 5:3
Adam and Eve's directive was just to multiply and to be masters of life.
1:28 -- "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."
The line of Adam seemed to keep what few laws it knew from what had occurred
before... or in this case, using those standards as excuses for violence.
4:24 -- "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy
Men were becoming violent. The need to have standards and laws became imperative.
The covenant God made with Noah is a clear beginning of the establishing of a standard
for civilized behavior amongst men. Part of the covenant with Noah was for mankind
to create laws for men to live by. In this covenant, God is answering Cain's question
"Am I my brother's keeper?" God is saying, "Yes, you are."
6:18 -- "But with thee will I establish my covenant;"
9:9 -- "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed
after you; and with every living creature that is with you."
9:4 -- "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, you shall
not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast
will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I
require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be
shed: for in the image of God made he man."
Violence was shown to be abhorent to God... so abhorent that he regretted making
mankind at all. Noah was singled out surely because he had not chosen violence.
The covenant made with Noah was a milestone in the evolution of the tribe of Adam.
Noah's clear directive was... that there was to be no violence.
Although Abram had a household with men who were trained to fight, there is no instance
where we read that he ever took anything by force. When he first entered Canaan, he
avoided the Canaanites... even though he had been given Canaan by the words of God.
12:7 He traveled away from the plains of Northern Canaan and found
nothing but drought. Abram settled far away from the site where God had first spoken
to him to give him the land "before him."
And when Abram rescued Lot and all the people and their belongings, he was made a
hero by the kings of the cities. They offered Abram and his men a reward... which
Abram refused for himself, saying:
14:23 -- "I will not take from a thread, even to a shoelatchet, and
that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made
Abram rich: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion
of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their
Isaac, too, was wealthy and had a large household. 26:13 When
Abraham died, the Philistines covered up all of Abraham's wells. Isaac then set
about opening them back up. 26:15-22 As soon as he would reopen
a well, the Philistines came and took it. Isaac moved on again and again... until
he reached a well that the Philistines did not contend for. He then says:
26:22 -- "For now the Lord hath made room for us; and we shall be
fruitful in the land."
It seems most likely that part of the inheritance of being chieftain was the learning of
the skills of business and the acquiring of wisdom. As chief of the tribe, the inheritor
would also serve as judge among the tribes and their households. This royal designation
required that they be "men of truth" and "men of righteousness." Only this would
There also appears to be a standard among the tribe of Adam... that a man has only one
wife... a wife that he loves. It is always the children of their love that becomes the
inheritor. This is what posed such a problem with Abraham.
Sarah, his beloved... had no children. In fact... this became the central issue
of his discussions with God... how would he inherit if he had no children with Sarah?
We can very much conclude that LOVE and one wife... was part of the directive
in the line of the chieftains and judges of the tribe of Adam.
The rule that "the firstborn son inherits" did not apply to this clan. Although much is made
of a cultural tradition of inheriting to the firstborn, this clan inherited to whomever the
reigning head of clan gave it to. The continuation of the legacy could only be preserved
by the worthy son being named chieftain... not risked by the haphazard
nature of inheriting to the first born.
If you look at the
Chart of the Clan Chiefs
you will see that a father's age when begetting the inheriting son is often at a progressed
age. Thus, it is not likely that the inheritor was a "firstborn son." It is not always written
what other children were born to the father, but when other sons are mentioned
it is not a rule at all that the inheritor is the firstborn. The term "firstborn" is hardly used.
Jacob institutionalized this procedure of inheritance for all time... he would pass
his blessing to whom he chose. He named his second-born grandson.