Animals... or people?
Another old - and often obscured - viewpoint of Scripture involves another
possible misinterpretation of the original Hebrew. In our "politically
correct" societies, today, the mention of the following below may be
quickly greeted with hostility and/or closed ears. Those alive in our ancient
history, however, might not have thought the same way we do.
The translators of the Bible's original Hebrew and Greek languages tried to
do so with the best of intentions. They also went by the best of their
abilities, as well as preconceived notions. When we see references to
"birds" and "beasts" in English versions of the Bible we, naturally, might
assume the obvious. Yet, we have ancient written evidence, however,
from other texts, that these references might be a little more than animals.
Even the Bible may suggest that these references could actually be
individual groups of people.
As some may not know, some of the writers in ancient times might have
referred to people, of which they did not particularly like, as "animals." Not
to single out anybody in particular, but the ancient Israelites, of whom
scribed the words of the Bible, often thought in much of this same way. In
consequence, those who, later on, attempted to translate the Bible into
other languages may have made some errors. Not knowing these may have
actually been human beings, they could have tried to translate these
references with an "animal" in mind. As we'll see, there could be a lot more
to a number of passages of the Bible, because of it.
This practice of labeling someone an "animal" is still done today, only on a
smaller scale. Men, sometimes, brag about being a "dog;" a person
overeating might be called a "pig;" a woman may refer to a cheating man
as a "beast;" etc. There are also a number of examples of this occurring in
the Bible, as well: "Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile
in your sight (Job 18:3 KJV)?"
The Hebrew word, translated as beasts in the above, is the word behemah.
This word is one of these early translators, often, could have mistaken as
some type of animal. And again: we are not out to point fingers at anyone,
here, by the following examples; we just want to show how all of this
could have really panned out.
Note an ancient Jewish text:
There are many kinds among Israel that are called cattle and beasts.
One is from the side of the serpent and another from the side of
idolatrous nations, who are like animals and wild beasts.
- Zohar 2 Beresheet A29
Interestingly enough, modern-day dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster
(m-w.com) also seem to shed light on this. A lesser-known (or archaic)
definition of the word cattle is "human beings especially in masse (i.e in a
Another closely related word to the English word cattle is the word chattel.
Chattel could also be defined as a "slave," or a "bondsman." Apparently,
some cattle - as they're now called in the Bible - could have once been
actual people; designated to help Adam in the Garden of Eden.
As one could guess, words such as beast might also have negative
connotations to them; but not always. According to the same dictionary,
above, a beast could also be thought of as "an animal under human
control, or a contemptible person," or "something formidably difficult to
control." What this means is that, beyond being designated as one-time
helpers to Adam in the Garden, the were members of ancient societies who
were also looked upon as "wild," or idolatrous, depending on their lot in life.
Even though English translators may have thought all of these were
animals, we'll soon see how clear it is that some of the Bahemah (among
other words) actually mean something more:
For before those days there was no hire for man, nor hire for beast
(Bahemah)... - Zech. 8:10 (KJV)
...but, what kind of animal out there actually gets hired, or paid?
But let man and beast (Bahemah) be covered with sackcloth, and cry
mightily unto God: let them turn every one from his evil way.
- Jonah 3:8 (KJV)
...but, what animal knows that he's evil, and cries out to God?
There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot
through; whether it be beast (Bahemah) or man...
- Ex. 19:13 (KJV)
...but, what kind of animal has hands, except human beings?
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast (Bahemah) shall
pass through it... - Ex. 29:11 (KJV)
...but, what kind of animal has feet?
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD they God; in it thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy
manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle (Bahemah), nor thy
stranger that is within thy gates. - Ex. 20:10 (KJV)
...as we see, this verse seems to be referring only to people.
...Let neither man nor beast (Bahemah), herd nor flock, taste any
thing... - Jonah 3:7 (KJV)
...if we notice, humans and animals seemed to be grouped together.
Something truly strange is going on here, in regards to these verses. Could
these beasts, or bahemah, said to be created sometime around the time of
Adam, be other groups of human beings? Would that also mean that Adam
was not the father of everyone, here on earth? As we've seen in Untold
Garden of Eden, there could have been more than just Adam and Eve
working in the garden. These other groups of people have been referred to,
in the past, as the Pre-Adamites.
There were references to the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air
around this early time of Adam. The proper Hebrew words, translated in
beasts and fowl are chay and owph, respectively. So, based upon much of
the ancient written evidence, we could conclude that there could even have
been up to five different groups of people on the earth at this early time!
These are (in their original Hebrew):
- the "Chay (or beast) of the Field"
- the "Bahemah" (also translated as beast)
- the "Owph (or fowl) of the Air"
- the "Remes (or creeping thing) that Creepeth"
- the "Adam" (the Adamites - the group of people Adam belongs to)
Could these be actual names of actual groups of people, present since the
formation of Adam? They seem to continue to reappear, again and again,
throughout the King James Translation! If these groups were people,
indeed, then the Garden of Eden, and the entire world of Genesis, might
actually be able to take on a whole new look! As well, the interpretations
of many of the stories throughout the Bible could be able to take on a
whole new meaning!
The beasts (Chay) of the field shall honor me...
- Isa. 43:20 (KJV)
...again, what kind of animal knows how to honor?
Clearly, these references seem to point to something beyond only members
of the animal kingdom.
The following set of verses, also, seem to refer to how the ancient
Israelites, at least in the Old Testament, needed to separate themselves
from groups of neighboring people around them. This was, of course,
necessary to fulfill the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 (see Cain: Seed of The
Serpent). Yet, we see some of the same groups above:
22 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and all my judgments, and do
them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you out
23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out...
24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it
unto you to possess it... I am the LORD your God, which separated
you from other people.
25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts (Bahemah) and
unclean, between unclean fowls (Owph) and clean: and ye shall not
make your souls abominable by beast (Bahemah), or by fowl (Owph),
or by any manner of thing that creepeth (most probably, the Remes) on
the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have
severed you from other people...
How can being near animals make one's soul abominable? Only people can
do that, if we really think about it. In the context of the above, these other
groups (the Owph, Bahemah, and Remes) seem to be nestled entirely
within a conversation about people. Why?
We know, since the Prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled, and Jesus'
sacrifice "crushed the serpent's head," the need to separate groups of
individuals in this way, above, was not as big an issue as before. What is
important to understand, however, is that these other groups of people
might have existed. And, if they indeed existed, then we have another
reinterpretation of early Genesis!
What if Adam truly wasn't the father of everyone on earth? How could
that change our whole perception of the ancient world? What if there were
truly other groups of individuals alive during the time of Adam, and even
beyond - known as the Pre-Adamites? And, what kind of role could they
have been able to play in the affairs of our world, ever since?
We will see that the Bible mentions these same groups of individuals just
before the flood, as going on board of Noah's ark, and also coming off (as
we'll see in Other Flood Survivors). That leads us to believe: could there
have been significantly more people around in the days of Noah who might
have survived the flood? What changes could this make in our
interpretation of Noah's flood?
But first, to continue along our current time frame, we need to move a little
further along, beyond the Garden of Eden, beyond the Pre-Adamites; and
take a look at the times just before Noah's flood. To find out what their
world was like, as well as what may have helped to bring on this flood,
please go to Giants of Scripture.
Copyright 2010, Brett T., All Rights Reserved