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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Between Adam and Moses

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Joined: 2009/10/26
Posts: 2

 Between Adam and Moses

So my wife and I have been going through the Bible, beginning from Genesis, and have run into a couple of BIG questions.

So, I'm going to begin with a question from Romans 5, dealing with the book of Genesis (and Exodus until the Law).

Question #1: What does it mean when it says death reigned from Adam to Moses, even those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam? Specifically what does "death reigned" mean?

Question #2: Why does it seem that God overlooks the sins of man after Adam? (i.e. all the pluralism in marriage, Genesis 29 why God blesses Leah even through Sin of Jacob having multiple wives)

Question #3: Does God just not care about the wickedness of Abraham's offspring?

Question #4: Does God just have His way with the people regardless of what they do? It seems that He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah for being "wicked," but basically everyone in Genesis seems to be deceitful, why not punish them?

Any help with these, or further explanation to clear things up for me would be great.


 2009/10/31 22:15Profile

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

Question #1: What does it mean when it says death reigned from Adam to Moses, even those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam? Specifically what does "death reigned" mean?

Answer: In verse 12 and 13 is the answer. Paul is pointing out that death reigned from Adam to Moses because of the "Law of Sin" The law of Moses came to make sin "exceedingly" sinful.

To the other questions I am going to give a simple, yet probably unsatisfactory answer. The human race was like a giant newborn child. Then from Moses on, human race became a teenager then grows up through the prophets. Now with Jesus the human race is viewed as full adult.

In Acts 17:30 it says, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:"

Now even though God "winked" at it He did still discipline them and judge them when He decided.

I'm sure others on SI can give better answers than I have on this.
God bless,

 2009/10/31 23:01

Joined: 2009/1/11
Posts: 98

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

1. It means even though the Law had been given, all men still died because of sin. Officially they hadn't broken commands of God. They hadn't eaten the fruit like Adam did when told not too and had not the commandments. But death reigned, because of inborn sin.

2. Romans 3:23-27 "23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, >>>>because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

He passed them over because Christ was coming.

3. God cares about all wickedness.

4. Yes and no. We're not supposed to talk about Calvanism here ;) But I believe God is sovereign. As for Genesis, they got it the worst. Remember the flood? He wiped em all out and started again. As for Covenant people, they seemingly got by with their wicked because of the promises and were later vindicated by Christ as per the Romans passage up there ^. But depending on the situation they did have small prices to pay along the way. The consequences are just woven into the narrative so it seems different. Like Judah's sin and losing his firstborn blessing.

 2009/11/1 0:58Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1438
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

Welcome RHGray.

The period of time between Adam and Moses is, obviously, pre-law. The point Paul makes in Romans 5 is this. He says that it was by one man that sin entered the world, and the result of that sin was death to all men, spiritually and physically. Then he makes this statement. Even though sin was in the world, it was not held to the account of the sinner since there was no law yet given. Nevertheless, the physical consequence of sin, death, reigned even before there was a law under which the transgression could be imputed. It is interesting that Paul says that sins were not imputed before the law. Recall the attitude of Lamech in Gen. 4:23 and 24. Instead of lamenting his own sin of murder, he points to God's protection of Cain and boldly states that God will protect him seventy and seven fold. Paul says in Galatians 3:9 that the law was added because of transgressions until Christ should come. The law made sin exceeding sinful. It both made us painfully aware that we were sinners and hopelessly so, and it also restrained sin in the earth because of the severity of the consequences of breaking the law. So Paul is basically saying that although there was not a law given at this time, yet sin was still sin and was evident by the consequence of death that reigned over mankind.

As to God's apparent oversight of the sins of many of the patriarchs in the Old Testament, I am not sure I can give you an entirely satisfactory answer, but I can share some thoughts that I have had on the issue. We as born again believers have something that none of the men and women of who lived either before the law or under the law had, although some like Abraham and David had a revelation. We have righteousness and right standing with God through Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. This prompted Jesus to say this in Luke 7:28 "For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." Me, greater than John the baptist??? According to Jesus YES!!! Now look at Acts 17:30. Paul tells the gentiles at Athens that at one time God winked at their ignorance but now calls men everywhere to repent. Before the law, there was great ignorance of the ways of God. Noah and his sons had known God, but much of that knowledge had been abandoned. {This is extrabiblical, but my opinion. Noah still had, I believe, the writings of Adam, Enoch, etc., but very few had access or regarded these things. } The law brought in a standard and through His dealings with the Jews and the statements of the prophets, God showed the world who He was and what He was like. It is not that God has changed. There is just a different level or degree of revelation now than then. It was a difference in how God dealt with man.

Hope that helps brother.


 2009/11/1 7:42Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 2729
East TN (for the time being)

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

You may like to listen to this, I've found these very helpful.

Zac Poonen's [url=]Verse by Verse Bible Study[/url]

Zac Poonen's [url=]Topical Bible Studies[/url]

God bless your studies!


 2009/11/1 10:26Profile

Joined: 2009/10/26
Posts: 2



Nevertheless, the physical consequence of sin, death, reigned even before there was a law under which the transgression could be imputed.

This makes sense. I guess my follow-up question to this would be; Was there knowledge of Heaven at this point (between Adam and Moses)? I can't recall a mentioning of Heaven, besides the creation account. Because when God curses man, he says "to dust you shall return." Does that mean that there wasn't a Heaven men went to?

Other than Enoch being "taken up" I don't really remember a mention of a Heavenly realm.

Another follow-up question is this:

If God "winked at" sin previously committed. Or God "passed by" former sin, does that bring into question His justice? I know that God is not subject to our view of His justice, but it seems like it's out of His character to just pass by sin.

And if the Law made sin exceedingly sinful, wouldn't that mean that God's view of sin changed? Because if He's that same yesterday, today and forever, isn't that a contradiction?

Or are all these things just in tension with one another?

Sorry I'm kinda of theological vomiting on everyone, but I'm just curious.

Interested in the replies.

Thanks all.

-R.H. Gray

 2009/11/1 12:05Profile

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

SI was stuck in limbo, two posts.

 2009/11/1 12:38

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

Specifically what does "death reigned" mean?

There was no law. Every man did what he thought was right in his own eyes. The acts of the law brought about a temporary truce between God and man, death was staid to them that performed the law. The same is true in the New Testament. Death is swallowed up in victory through the death of Jesus Christ and by His accomplished work on the cross we obtain justification through faith and not by the works of the law. But in the Old Testament, the performance of the law is what staid the hand of God from killing man. There is a relationship between the Law and Jesus Christ.
Why does it seem that God overlooks the sins of man after Adam?

If there is one thing that God has a hard time doing it's killing anyone that believe in Him yet do stupid things. David was a man after God's own heart and yet God spared David from the law when He committed adultery and murdered a man. I can see God pulling out a loop hole for this man by saying, "Did I not say, touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm"?

I speak as a man.

 2009/11/1 12:39

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

Hello Mr Gray,

Some random thoughts come to mind, after reading your questions. I won't try to organise them too tightly, as I'm sure they will fit in and around some of the other contributors' replies.

First, about 'Heaven'. I guess I know what you mean, but, scripture has many references it, eg Gen 1:1, 8 and Deu 10:14. A word search shows 'heavens' appears 129 times in the KJV (and 'heaven of heavens' a few times), and, 2 Cor 12:2 (Paul's experience), and John's visions in Revelation.

So... I would like to draw to your attention that Adam lived until about 5 decades before Noah was born. Noah's father, and all the other children since Adam, must have known him personally. They all must have known what happened in the garden of Eden, and as the 'world' population increased, and there were more and more mouths to feed, no doubt some of them were incredulous he had given up a life of tending a garden rich in fruiting trees, for the hard graft of digging up brambles and thistles, tilling, planting, watering and waiting, before any kind of harvest appeared, year on weary year. That's why Methuselah's name is significant, and his son called his firstborn 'Rest' (!). How they longed for 'rest'. But what a price. The great Flood [i][b]was[/i][/b] God's judgement. He had not forgotten 'the sin'.

God never saw all the bloodshed from animals under the Law, as sufficient payment (or punishment) for sin Heb 10:4. But also remember that He had promised Eve, that her descendant would bruise the serpent's head. That promise, also, was being passed down the generations - which is one of the reasons God can have no pity on those who rejected Him when Messiah finally appeared. Right from Cain's murder of Abel, it is clear that God intended to take the punishment for the outworking of 'the sin', upon Himself. That's one reason He seems to have been lenient to mankind. But, nevertheless, we see prominent examples (kings, priests, prophets) [i]not[/i] being let off the consequences of personal sins. And, this is why 'the [u]remission[/u] of sins' is [u]the[/u] good good news to the whole of mankind. Matt 5:45. God still knows who is just, and who is 'unjust'. Rev 22:11. But, 'The just shall live by faith.' (Rom 1:17, 10:17.)

About polygamy, it was legal. There is nothing we can do about that. But, a woman could be married to only one man. However, there were differences in status of the women a Jewish man was free to marry, and all the social rules had to be obeyed, according to the scripture. If he defaulted on one of them, God was [i]most[/i] displeased. The pictures in scripture, arising from God's longing to have Israel desire to be His only spouse, provide deep communication between God and man, especially as to our understanding of just how much He longs for us, and has kept Himself for one bride (spiritually speaking), only, (once we are divorced from sin, of course).

God blessed Leah because she succumbed to her father's wishes, and was very much a victim of the circumstance of Jacob falling in love with her younger sister. Leah had soft eyes, but although Rachel was very beautiful, she was an idolatress and a liar, even after having been married to Jacob for many years. Even when it was obviously not Jacob's fault that she had no children, she did not acknowledge God in her situation (which Jacob had done the night he ran away from Esau). Not until Lev 18 do we see in God's word, a clear connection between idolatry and childlessness. Sarai (Abram's wife) had been unbelieving (despite God's word), also, until challenged by the Lord Himself; yet, it seems that when Rebekah had left her father's house to be joined to Isaac, she had naturally adopted his God as her own. Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the bringing of many sons to glory Heb 2:11, there was only 'natural' family. Yet, certain men (such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses) really did have a speaking relationship with God, and they were straightened by it, to believe Him, despite their other shortcomings. All of these men [i]chose[/i] to believe God.

 2009/11/1 13:23

Joined: 2009/1/11
Posts: 98


If God "winked at" sin previously committed. Or God "passed by" former sin, does that bring into question His justice? I know that God is not subject to our view of His justice, but it seems like it's out of His character to just pass by sin.

Not at all and no loopholes are necessary to explain it. The Romans passage I mentioned earlier details it. Rom. 3:23-27. God passed over all sins of His saints, not just David, looking forward to the sacrifice of Christ. Up until then, it could have seemed like God was injust, BUT when Christ became a propitiation (bore the just wrath for those sins and ours as well) God could freely justify the wicked and remain just.

This was His plan from the beginning. No one was ever to be justified by the law but through faith alone ( Gal. 3:11 ). The law exists to reveal sin, man's hopelessness to overcome it, and thereby cause him to look at God for redemption. This is the plan now and was His plan in the Old Testament too. For the just shall live by faith ( Hab. 2:4).

 2009/11/1 18:09Profile

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