Asimov's Guide to the Bible : Two volumes in one: The Old by Isaac Asimov

By Isaac Asimov

In Asimov's consultant to the Bible, Isaac Asimov explores the historic, geographical, and biographical facets of the occasions defined within the previous and New Testaments. Asimov's makes an attempt to light up the Bible's many imprecise, mysterious passages end up soaking up studying for a person attracted to faith and historical past.

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Extra info for Asimov's Guide to the Bible : Two volumes in one: The Old and New Testaments

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W smaller states were allowed to establish themselves. , began expanding again, an independent Aramaean kingdom nevertheless maintained itself north of Canaan until 732 B,C. To the writers of Genesis, then, it deserved notice as an independent son of Shem. Lud is much more controversial. The similarity of sound gives rise to the thought that Lud is the eponym of Lydia, already mentioned in connection with Magog (see page 46). Lydia, in western Asia Minor, maintained its independence against Assyria although it paid tribute at times.

In the early days of civilization, the use of metals was introduced and the new material became exceedingly important both in ornamentation and in the manufacture of weapons for hunting and warfare. Men who could prepare the metals and work them into the necessary shapes were important and highly regarded artisans. To be a smith and be called one was a matter of honor, and to this day "Smith" is a common surname among the English and Americans. This meaning of Cain seems clearer in a later use of the word, in the same chapter, as part of the name of a descendant of Cain: Genesis 4:22.

Here we seem to have a second strand incorporated into the ancient tale. Now we are dealing not with Cain the fanner and smith, but with Cain the nomad. If Eden is taken to be Sumeria, then the region "east of Eden" would be that known as Elam. Elam, in what is now southwestern Iran, GENESIS 35 developed a civilization quite early, borrowing no doubt from the Sumerians. Its early history is very dim but there seems to have been intermittent warfare between Elam and whatever power ruled the TigrisEuphrates for three thousand years.

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