40 Days – Day 4: Heroes of Old, the Men of Renown

Day 4: Cycling: 3 miles in 13 minutes; Eddington Number = 2.

Day 4: Weights: 22 minutes. 20 sets, 149 reps, 16,270 lb. Eddington Number (tons) = 4

I woke up with a terrible headache and thought moving around would make it go away—it didn’t. Gym was really tough as a result.

Day 3: Bible (Genesis 5-6)

Adam’s lineage—boring—until Genesis 5:22-4, where Enoch walked with God for 300 years, and then “he was no more, for God took him.” It first calls to mind God “moving about in the Garden during the breezy time of day” in 3:8, both being a time when God was strolling around, not up in the heavens, not sitting on throne, but out and about with folks. Second, this line seems to waver on the point of spiritual existence—it’s as if the language doesn’t exist to describe what happens at death. Everyone else so far is mentioned as having died, but this is the first elaboration. First, “he was no more”—which means Enoch’s body is not Enoch. Then, “for God took him”—which means God took the Enoch that was the true Enoch, which is not his body. So, is there a spirit? Or, if “he was no more”—does it mean that by taking him, he was truly no more, he lacked existence, both of body and spirit. I think the argument could go either way, except that there’s no previous evidence in the text to support the existence of a soul. Rather, it’s more like God breathed life into the dust to form man, and then inhaled it back out—the spirit being nothing more than the exhalation of God.

While I was waiting for Mincha to begin, it occurred to me that I’d read it entirely wrong—Enoch only lived about one-third of the length of those before him. He walked with God, and then God took him; Enoch never died. God simply made him disappear by taking him. It’s a reasonable misreading though, I think, because his life is still measured in days, which would lead me to guess that if the days of one’s life stop progressing, then he’s dead! Rather, he’s been lifted out of time, and since God creates time (the alternation between day and night) in Genesis 1, then here we have more evidence that God lives outside time, and once he took Enoch, Enoch also was outside time.

This, along with God’s reference to himself in the plural, is the sort of mystical writing I’d love to learn more about, things that average people long ago were comfortable with to the extent that elaboration was unnecessary. Plenty of names here, I’m under the assumption are names representing groups of people or places—I used to know the word for this…eponym! So, Enoch perhaps meant more at one point, and, further, stories about him and corresponding mysticism was likely more widely understood.

In Genesis 6 we reach another one of these mystical questions, being the divine beings of 6:2 and the Nephilim of 6:4. I’m not going to question either of these, since there’s no conclusive view on the subjects. In short, either angels mated with humans and produced a race of giants, or the children of Seth (being divine) mated with the children of Cain (being cursed). I guess it doesn’t make much difference, because in the end someone made the giants. And they, being called the “heroes of old, the men of renown” remind me of those same heroes of Greek mythology, who, as far back as we can trace, were always heroes from long ago, when humans and gods spent more time together.

I find it interesting that God feels regret (7:6), which is only possible within time. That is, if God had the foresight to know man would become wicked, he would not later feel regret when it came to pass.

Lastly, Noah also walked with God—like Enoch—and what that means, I have no idea, except there’s one other parallel: while Enoch escaped death, Noah escaped the fate of the rest of the wicked world. The flood, perhaps, was the equivalent of the watery void that was the world in Genesis 1, where time doesn’t exist.

Day 3: Vitamins

Makes me feel sick.

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