"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)


Volume Five, Number Two Summer 1997


"...Even To The Tenth Generation..."

Jerry D. McDonald

In a later issue of The Skeptical Review Mr. Till complained because no one had responded to his article: "No Bastards Allowed": "Despite various challenges we have issued for someone to write an article in response to "No Bastards Allowed" (TSR, Spring 1994, pp. 7, 12, 16), no one has yet accepted the challenge" (The Skeptical Review, Spring 1995, p.8), as though no response had ever been given to the so-called Biblical error. Well, that's not entirely true, and Mr. Till knows it. Although the response was not printed in The Skeptical Review, a response was given to this argument long before Mr. Till ran his original article in the spring of 1994. This response was given in my written debate with Farrell Till.

In Mr. Till's third affirmative he brought this objection up and I responded to it in my third rebuttal by informing him that he was trying to delete the word "to" and make it say: "even the tenth generation." His response was: "To is a word that has been added by the English translators. Hendrickson's Interlinear Bible gives this word-for-word translation of the statement: 'Not shall enter a bastard into the assembly of Jehovah; even (to) the generation tenth none shall enter of his into the assembly of Jehovah.' The word to is enclosed in parenthesis to signify that it is an addition that was not in the Hebrew text."

My response was this: "The words 'even to' in the sentence above were translated from 'hehos' (spelled ews) and when it is used as a temporal conjunction it is 'to denote the end of a period of time, till, until" (A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature, p. 334) When it is used as a preposition of time it means: 'until, up to' (Ibid). Also notice: 'as a prep., of time, until" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, p. 180)." I later pointed out that he was wrong for stating that the translators put the word "to" in brackets to show that it was not part of the Hebrew text. I said "(h)e enclosed it in parenthesis to show that there was no separate word in the Hebrew for it, but that it was included with the word 'even." I even gave an example for such: "Having chastised therefore him will I release [him]" (The Englishman's Greek New Testament, p.233) [Lk. 23:22]. There was no separate word for "him" in the last part, but it was understood as being part of the word "release".

His only two responses to this was that [1] I should not be using Greek to show what Hebrew words meant, but that theory was exploded when he ran an article by atheistic professor Dr. Robert Countess (in the Summer '93 issue of The Skeptical Review) who did exactly that in his attempt to prove a point in the article: "Sexual Conduct Pentateuchal Style." I pointed out the fact that the meaning of words did not change with translation. Whatever a word meant in Hebrew is what its corresponding word would mean in Greek. To date, I have heard "zip" from him concerning this.

[2] He produced Hendrickson's translation of Deuteronomy 19:7, 9 and showed where the words "and" and "the" were in parenthesis and then retorted: "surely McDonald will not argue that the Hebrew had no words for and the both of which have been enclosed in parenthesis in the translations." I found this debate rather amusing, because I thought it funny to meet a man who would debate a language he apparently had absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever. My response was: "Well, if the book The Essentials Of Biblical Hebrew by Kile M. Yates, Ph.D. is any authority on the matter, the Hebrew has no separate conjunction. The only conjunction that the Hebrew has is like the preposition, it is part of the word itself: 'The conjunction 'and' is always written as an inseparable prefix' (p.26). I then pointed out that the Hebrew definite article was also written as an inseparable prefix. I then pointed out that prepositions in the Hebrew (prepositions like in, by, with, as, like, to, for at" were also written as prefixes as there were no separate words for them. To date, I have heard "zip" from him concerning this.

In view of all this, we can see that the word "to" is a legitimate translation. Thus the passage should be rendered, "even to the tenth generation." This would allow David (who was the 10th generation from Perez to then enter into the congregation of the Lord. Is it possible that this is why David said: "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD" (Psalms 122:1)? I believe it to be entirely possible that Jesse's offspring was to be the first generation since Perez that could hold office in Israel. David was to be Israel's 2nd king.

After he made these arguments in his fifth affirmative, I believe that he saw that his position was falling apart. So in a desperate attempt to shore up his flimsy position he made the same argument that he made in his article: "No Bastards Allowed." In the article he told his readers that because we would insist that David would be of the 10th generation and would be allowed into the congregation of the Lord that, "(f)or the sake of argument, we will concede them the quibble...". Well, I believe that he conceded the point because there was no place to turn to. He could not argue the point any further in the debate because he had been stripped of anything to maintain his position with. So he had to turn to another argument. Usually when one uses this line of argumentation he is going to use another argument which will explode that one all to pieces. However, he leaves the argument concerning David and goes to a completely different argument. He says: "...and then ask them to explain why the descendants of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel, were not banned from the assembly 'up until' the tenth generation."

There is no doubt that Aaron married a woman named Elisheba nor is there any doubt that she was a sister to Nahshon or the daughter of Amminadab: " And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar" (Exodus 6:23). However, I will argue with the fact that Elisheba's father (Amminadab) was the Amminadab who was fourth from Perez. When one looks at the genealogies closer one can see that Kohath had a son named Amminadab: "The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son" (1 Chronicles 6:22). It is entirely possible and even probable that this Amminadab had a son named Nahshon and a daughter named Elisheba. They are not listed in the genealogies, but Elisheba is not listed in the genealogies under Amminadab the fourth from Perez either. One cannot say that she was not listed because women were not listed, because they were: "And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam" (1 Chronicles 6:3). As far as I am able to tell, Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. Complete genealogies are not always listed for one reason or another.

It makes more sense to think that Amram's niece married Aaron because she would have been about the same age as Aaron than to think that any daughter of Amminadab (fourth from Perez) would have married Aaron and given birth to his sons. Why? Because Amminadab the fourth from Perez was not even born at the time that Aaron married. Ram (Amminadab's father) was contemporary with Aaron while Amminadab was contemporary with Aaron's sons.

When this was brought to Till's attention he immediately began showing that sometimes older men do marry younger women or visa versa. This is all true, and in today's society, that would work out just fine. Judging from today's standards, I can see that Aaron might have waited to marry until he was an older man and found the young Elisheba and married her. However, such was not permitted in Aaron's day. Yes, older men did marry younger women, but this was true when the younger women were either second wives (simultaneously with the first) or the first had died.

There was a law in Hebrew society which stipulated that the oldest in the family marry first and the one next to him had to wait until the oldest brother married and sired a child, before he could marry. Why? Remember Er and Onan? Er married and died without siring a child, and then the responsibility fell upon Onan to marry Tamar and sire a child and bring him up in Er's name so Er's name would not be taken out of Israel. Remember the story? Also remember the story that the Sadducees told Jesus about the woman that married seven brothers? There was a reason for all that, it was the law of their society.

Now when one looks at it from the viewpoint of the Hebrew society it can be seen that it would be impossible for any daughter of Amminadab to be the wife of Aaron. For example Levi would have had to have married and sired a child before Judah could have married. He marries and sires Gershom. Then Judah marries and begets Er. Er and Gershom grow up as contemporaries. Both marry, Gershom begets children, but Er sins and God takes his life before any children can be begotten. Onan is commanded to go into Tamar (Er's wife) and beget a child to Er. Onan sins and God takes his life before a child is begotten, so the responsibility falls upon Selah (Judah's youngest son). Judah tells Tamar to wait until Er is old enough to get married, so she waits a while. Now all this time Levi has begotten Kohath who has grown to age. Judah renigs on his promise to Tamar so she tricks Judah into sleeping with her and becomes pregnant with Perez and Zerah (both of whom it takes nine months before birth). By the time they grow up, Kohath had begotten Amram and Amminadab who are at least nearly grown. Amram begets Moses and Aaron. Amminadab begets Nahshon and Elisheba and by that time Perez has begotten Hezron, who has to beget Ram. Now Aaron did not wait for Ram to beget Amminadab and then beget Elisheba. It makes no sense for him to wait three generations for his wife. By the time that Moses came back to lead the Israelites out of bondage, Aaron's sons were grown and old enough to become priests in the tabernacle (which is the job they were appointed for when God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai). There is a mention of Nahshon (the fifth from Amminadab figuring prominently as a leader in Judah's line at the time of the 40 year wanderings, but there is nothing said about his being close to the age of Nadab and Abihu.

He couldn't have been very old at the wanderings because anyone over the age of 20 died in the Wilderness, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. According to the book of Ruth, Nahshon begat Salmon and Salmon begat Boaz who married Ruth. This took place during the time of the Judges. If Boaz came in during the second hundred years (of the 356 years of Joshua and the judges) that means that his father (Salmon) would have lived during the first hundred, and his grandfather (Nahshon) would have had to have lived beyond the 30 or so years of Joshua's leadership. For Nahshon to have done that he would have had to have been under 20 years of age at the time of the wanderings (a time which Nadab and Abihu were already priests). To make him 20 or over at the time of the wanderings, means that he would have died in the wilderness, (Num. 14:29) begetting Salmon (before he died), who would have begat Boaz sometime during the first century of the Judges which would mean that his son Obed and Jesse would have had to have filled in the remaining 200 years of the judges (along with another 40 years of Saul's reign). Such is not even reasonable, except to the atheist who has an agenda.

This simply means that Nahshon's sister could not have given birth to Nadab and Abihu. Thus their mother must have been the daughter of Amminadab the son of Kohath. Why would Amminadab ben Kohath name his son Nahshon when Ammindab ben Ram named his son Nahshon? Who knows. Thomas is named after his grandfather (Thomas H[arvey] McDonald. Thomas' name is Thomas H(ardeman) McDonald. There is another Thomas McDonald in our family tree, but in a different line all together.

I believe that this conclusively proves that Elisheba (Aaron's wife) was not the daughter of Amminadab who was fourth from Perez, but was the daughter of Amminadab the son of Kohath. This would solve any problem of Aaron's sons serving in the priesthood.


CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.


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