I often criticize other books of scripture for not agreeing with historical or archaeological data. It hit me as somewhat of a surprise today as I was studying supposed natural disasters on prehistoric earth. As one might think, I began researching the flood, which supposedly took place anywhere from 4000-4600 years ago.The problem I found was not in the Biblical account of the flood, but in the genealogy leading up to the flood story.
Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. -Genesis 4:22 ESV
Here’s the dilemma. If Tubal-cain worked with Iron, then he would have had to be alive after people started working with Iron (the Iron Age which began around 1200 b.c.). This genealogy takes place before the great flood in scripture (roughly 2600-2000 b.c.). That is more than 1000 years before Iron was worked with. Furthermore the historical timeline places the Exodus around the time that Iron work became prominent. Moses would not have used the word “iron” unless he was already familiar with it. This suggests that the books of Moses were written much later than claimed. In light of this, is it even possible for us to trust the earliest Biblical accounts?
It is possible that Moses wrote this part of Genesis and that Tabal-Cain really did work with iron within the timeline. It is said that early Mesopotamia had iron-working capabilities before the Iron Age. They took the iron deposits from meteor rock and formed weapons. Since these weapons had a high amount of carbon in them (unlike iron found on earth) they would often shatter in combat. This claim can be supported by references in Hammurabi’s Code to shattering weapons.
This reference is dated to 2500 b.c.
Why would Moses have been familiar with such a metal? Moses would have been familiar with this meteorite iron because Egyptians used it to make much of their jewelry.
It also makes sense that Tabal-Cain would forge both bronze and iron tools/weapons because this iron would not have been stronger than bronze. When people began forging out of iron found on the earth, bronze almost lost in place in humanity’s way of life.
So, the lesson for today is this: Don’t just rely on what you’ve been told or on timelines that have been made for easy information access. It’s important that even the Christian community does research. We have to know that we can trust what we read and are being taught!
Thumbs up for study!
Thumbs up for the Word of God!
Thumbs up for Jesus Christ!