FOUR GENERATIONS BEFORE THE CREATION OF ADAM


One bad effect of every religion to the adherents is this blatant rejection of any opinion/suggestion raised by another. Hardly is there a particular religion that assigns value to another, it does not matter how the latter may contain certain element of truth in them. That is why Karl Marx described religion as opium of the masses. Often times I have found it very impossible to convince people that the earth had lived for generations before the days of Adam and his subsidiary, Eve. Especially brethren from the Christian religious belief find it out rightly very difficult to accept any view related to this. At times I ask if Moses was in his historical account or that people chose to ignore certain aspects of the creation account. As Moses puts it to us in the Genesis, the earth existed alongside the heavens from the beginning of things (Genesis 1:1). By this time, there was no generation for everything that was created in the beginning lay without productivity. The word, generation, made a headline in the account of creation after the world had lasted for years. At that, it referred to the generations of creation (Genesis 2:4-6).
The calculation of the period estimated as a generation had been very difficult to historians, but from certain indications it was possible that generations can be actually estimated. One finds it very difficult calculating periods of generations when he pays attention to numbers. Generations are not arithmetical and cannot be understood numerically. From the observation of Dan Brown, a generation is a period of twenty years. This figure was achieved as a credible point that benefits his analysis of the human nature as related to the supreme beings. The assertion in the Bible faults this claim. To prove this, let us consider the scripture below. 

And He said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full (Genesis.15:13&16).

Now, by arithmetic, four hundred years should be equivalent to four generations since the Israelites were to stay for four generations. And by such position, one may easily divide four hundred years by four generations to get the exact figure that describes the number of years in a generation. I believe such a division would give us a hundred years as a generation. This directly faults the calculation of Dan Brown as indicated above. Yet, a hundred years is still not proper for a generation as the definition of the term claims. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a generation is

a: a body of living beings constituting a single step in the line of descent from an ancestor
b : a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously
c : a group of individuals having contemporaneously a status (as that of students in a school) which each one holds only for a limited period

From the definitions above, it is apparent that generations are periodic, not figurative. Generations are measured by the period of time a person or a group of persons, an institution or a set of institutions, a worker or a set of workers etcetera has lasted. A generation can only be figuratively estimated when it is based on a stipulated time for a change to occur particularly in a particular archive. Creation, for instance, is an archive and it can only be measured accurately by generations. In the book of Matthew 1:17, it is discovered that, to God, a generation is significant with fourteen. Invariably, fourteen generations is a complete cycle and forms an archive in the human history. Significant with the birth of Christ, three complete cycles were achieved in the human history from the days of Abraham. We may follow this assertion to say that the world had lasted for five complete cycles at AD 0001. And according to Matthew 1:18, “the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise”. 

The world lasted for fourteen generations before the destruction of its contents in the days of the Noah flood. After the flood, the generation of man did not have a complete cycle until the calling of Abraham. Abraham opened a new stage in the archive of God. Therefore, from his days the ministry of fourteen resumed. Going from this view, Afigbo may be considered to have asserted that the earth had lasted for four generations before the creation of Adam. And to him, the first generation was glorious nevertheless, but the fourth generation was much more glorious. His assertion aligned with the records in some ancient sacred books when he stated that the fourth generation was highly kingless and perfect. There is a clear indication here about the interwoven relationship amidst the inhabitants of the earth and God the creator. God had been involved in the business of creation, recreating and refurbishing the earth with the primary intention to achieve a perfect world. The mystery behind the shift of God’s intention in the fourth generation which led to the creation of Adam and the complication revolving around the difficulties in understanding the story which Moses told in Genesis shall be considered in progress.
       
(1) The Generation of the Sons of God.

Our observations showed that before the birth of Adam, the world had existed for four generations which we cannot accurately estimate in year. Because the number of years in a particular generation is never proportional to another, we cannot assume or project any skeptical record for the estimation of the four generations. The generations from the first to the fourth generation had significant experiences. Of course, there was a little problem in understanding the dominant situations accrued to these generations because of the succinct stories contained in many archives. Above all the controversies in the different creation stories, one thing has remained paramount. All the archives made mention of the generation (or race) of the sons of God. Where they were not thus called, they were referred to as the Kingless race. In some cases they were called the children of the Sun. In The Great Book of the Sons of Fire, for instance, we find issues connected to these earliest settlers on the earth before carnality was invented. From the scroll of “Kerobal Pakthermin” we found the following, 

“The forbears of all the nations of man were once one people, and they were the elect of God who delivered all the Earth over to them, all the people, the beasts of the field, the creatures of the wasteland and the things that grow. They dwelt through long ages in lands of peace and plenty.”

“There were some who struggled harder, were more disciplined; because their forefathers had crossed the great dark void, their desires were turned Godward and they were called The Children of God”.

The major difference between the creation accounts as recorded in the Genesis and the creation account of the eastern Nigeria as presented by Eze Nri bothers on both time and events. Both storytellers tolled the same story but in different forms. One thing remarkable is the difference in their timing. Each person presented a different time for a same story. For instance, while Eze Nri tried to present a serial occurrence of events as they relate to the other, Moses chose to begin with the creation of the mortal man and interlaced it with the events of the sons of God. And rather than being detailed, Moses became concise and particular with his own race. As a result, Moses left few lapses in his story which gave impetus for questions. These parts that open ways for questions I called double entry by Moses. For instance, a curious mind would pause when he gets to the story of Cain and Abel. Here we would ask a question, if not more than one questions. One of the questions one may ask might bother on the population referred to by Cain when he feared that he may be slain as God banished him. Since Moses told us that the inhabitants of the world were Adam and his wife, seeing that the only brother Cain had been slain by his very arm, who was Cain referring to here in Genesis 4:13-14? Even God himself affirmed it in verse 15, showing to us that the earth had populations who probably were older than Adam.

We still find another double entry in the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis. In the sixth chapter Moses told us that that the sons of God eventually came to make possessions of the daughters of men for wives. There was no indication of whether these set of people were on earth earlier or that they descended purposefully for the possession reasons. It is however not our position to question why Moses gave his story this way, neither should one begin to think that these double presentations had made the archive of Moses untrue. No! Our part here is to see things to our own selves and think alongside all these to understand that oral tradition is not different everywhere in the world, although the perspectives may vary with respect to names, time and events as acquired or inherited by any people from whom each storyteller emerged. I call them double entries because Moses appeared to carry two sets of stories together, trying to contain them within the same spectrum of expediency; he blended the other and fused it into the one he considered more important. This is always the case when a historian wants to discard certain information that is connected to the more esteemed one to him. To achieve this, he short-cuts one to favour the other, in which case he leaves lapses for questions. But when the historian chooses to be detailed, he carries all information along. Achebe1 puts it straight thus, “The writer is often faced with two choices—turn away from the reality of life’s intimidating complexity or conquer its mystery by battling with it. The writer who chooses the former soon runs out of energy and produces elegantly tired fiction.” Where neither of these is the case, then Moses had refused to acknowledge the history he acquired from the bulk of information in Pharaoh’s palace.    

Eri, father of Nri, and Nnamaku, his wife, were sent down by Chukwu, a sky God. When Eri came down from the sky, he had to stand on an ant heap as all the land was then a morass. He complained to Chukwu, who thereupon sent him an Awka blacksmith to dry up the land. While Eri lived, he and his descendants were fed by Chukwu and their food was Azu Igwe, Fish from heaven.

The first generation I called the generation of creation. As the first set of beings to occupy the earth, they saw the water that covered the deep, what Egyptian sacred books referred to as the water of chaos. As the first persons to inhabit the earth, Eri found no space to land except for the indomitable anthill. To be properly positioned, Eri complained to God who sent the Awka blacksmith to help dry up the water of chaos after which dry land emerged. Eri and his wife did not live alone on the land. There were other people whom were referred to as the Umudiala. These latter groups may be taken as the autochthon. With these people mentioned we have the view of three set of people already present, each representing a generation. In all, we have three generations already, or three races as anyone may choose to call them. 
   
There is however a little sense of confusion here about who was the first set of people. In another hand the existence of these generations of people had been wrongly interpreted by many writers. In the record of Jehovah Witness, these generations were referred to as the fallen angels, but this is not true. If we believe and accept the records in the Christian bible, except that many had the problem of understanding the time of the events they learnt from the Bible, we will understand easily that the fall of Satan took effect after the creation of the mortal man, Adam. Of course, John made us to understand it better in the Revelation when he lamented thus, 
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12).

From this it becomes apparent that their time was different from the periods when the devil transgressed. In The Great Book of the Sons of Fire these generations were referred to as people who lived in “The Land of the Little People and the Land of Giants, the Land of the Neckless Ones…” Here the three races or generations were classified according to their natures, not necessarily the time of their appearances. 
Another confusion still abides about whom the Awka are. From the consideration of some historians like Onwuejiogwu, Afigbo, Catherine Acholonu and others, the Awka were suggested to belong to the first generation. They saw the Awka as people who had existed before Eri descended from the sky. It may not be true. Even a layman can see the situation clearly and decipher the generations of the earliest inhabitants. Therefore, the matters concerning which set of people occupied the respective generations are not supposed to still confuse us because the story was straight. From the account as cited above, the first generation was the Eri. It was his struggle to gain balance on the morass earth that led to the coming of the Awka. The same God who sent Eri knew already that the earth was morass and had ordained the Awka to respond to the task at the appointed time. Therefore, their functions had to wait for Eri to complain first. So when he did, the Awka had to come. We did not get the story anywhere saying that the Awka ascended to the sky after their assignment. They remained behind to form the second generation or race. Meanwhile Umudiala takes the third race or generation.

To understand who the Awka were, there is need to understand the way creation is conceived in the east. The Igbo of the east are not so specific about Chukwu’s (God’s) role in the creation generally. Rather than subscribe to the absolutism of the almighty in the act of creation, the Igbo suggested a relatively delegation of power by Supreme Overlord to a lesser divinity. This sense had a profound influence on the accounts kept by Nag Hammadi. The only difference is that the Igbo appear to see the case of every act of creation as the work of a separate and individual agent, chi; a personified and unique manifestation of the creative essence. The Awka is clear here from all indications as the creative personalities of God. The Awka were exceptionally technocrats, they were craftsmen who were instrumental to the activities involved in the acts of creation. As the creative personalities of the divine creator, they were the people through whom creativity was born to the human world. Vested with the power to create, the Awka possessed greater energy than the first generation.

Another significant group of the sons of God were the composite of the third generation. You may call them the third race if you prefer that. These were the Umudiala (the ground sons or people of the soil). Umudiala were significant with the formulation of moral tenet and the tradition that was dominant in the east. They were custodians of the divine norms, culture and tradition here on earth. They were assigned to the sole function of peopling the world. They set Ordinala, the sacred principles that enforced obedience on the earth as obtained in heaven. Onwuejiogwu remarked thus:

Chukwu (Chi-ukwu) is the Great Creator of all beings, forces and things both visible and invisible. The Great Creator has four major aspects which are manifestations of his existence. First, Chukwu is Anyanwu, which symbolically means the sun. As the sun’s light is everywhere so Chukwu is everywhere; as the sun is powerful so Chukwu is all-powerful; as the sun is the light that reveals things so Chukwu is the source of all knowledge. Secondly Chukwu is Agbala (Ani/Ala) which is manifested in the fertility of the earth and beings that inhabit it. Thirdly Chukwu is chi which is manifested in the power and ability of living beings to procreate themselves from generation to generation. Fourthly, Chukwu is Okike, that is creation, and is manifested in the creation of everything visible and invisible, which is a never-ending process. Chukwu as Okike created the laws that govern the visible and invisible. (Nri Hegemony. 31).
The first and most sacred law in heaven is obedience. For the world to meet God’s purpose for creating it, the Umudiala became instrumental towards forestalling obedience on earth as it was in heaven. They had the task of making the earth another abode of Chukwu. Of course, it should be a surprise to anyone that had conducted a research in the east before the advent of the missionaries to find that, ever since creation, the Igbo of the east had been naturally patterned by the same rules and taboo contained in the Christian Bible. At least it is not farfetched for anyone who had had encounter with the Igbo to understand that circumcision of every male child had taken place on the eight day from birth. It was rather the fall of Adam and the destruction of the world that led to the retreatment of the circumcision topic to Abraham. Even without the afore explanation, every prim mind should understand that the dominance of this same moral trait among these nations shows that there was probably a deviation somewhere among a people that shared common historical origin.

The relationship between Umudiala, the composite of the third generation and the two generations was dependent on the idea of their sources. All were god-men possessing similar energy for different functions in the creation act. Therefore, their relationship was glued via intermarriage. According to the creation story in the east, a god-man of the third generation married the daughter of Eze Nri. This unification conferred on the Umudiala the traditional right pertinent to the coronation and burial of Eze Nri. According to John Oriji, “Hence, up until the present time, Umudiala have continued to serve as the leading palace officers, playing key roles in the crowning and burial of Eze Nri”. After these three generations or races, there was the fourth generation of the sons of God.      

According to The Great Book of the Sons of Fire, the fourth generation of the sons of God was described as people who lived in “the Land of Marshes and Mists, the Lands of the East”. They were called the kingless generation because they had no king over them. Nag Hammadi spoke of this generation thus:

Then the saviour created […] of them all – and the spirits of these [are manifestly] superior, being blessed and varying in election – and also (he created) many other beings, which have no king and are superior to everyone that was before them. Consequently, four races exist. There are three that belong to the kings of the eighth heaven. But the fourth race is kingless and perfect, being the highest of all. (PP. 124-5).

Nag Hammadi puts it straight for us to understand the position of the fourth generation or race above the first three generations. They were the most glorious generation among the sons of God. At another page the position of the fourth generation was restated.
There are four generations, three generations belong to the kings of the eighth heaven, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal. (p. 219).
They were differentiated from the previous generations because they were kingless. The first three generations belonged to the eight heavens. This attracts the sense of a stratified heaven as maintained in the Egyptian mystery books. Also, in the cosmology of the Dogon, it was established that the human race has eight ancestors. This, perhaps, may have certain relation to the kings of the generations that lived before the fourth generation. On page (277), The Nag Hammadi says that,

The Kingless Generation was glorious and without number, they are designated the generation over whom no kingdoms exist. And all the beings of the realm with no kingdom over it … are designated the children of the un-conceived Father.
Although it is not in my position to identify this race among men, but certain characters are obvious from various ancient records (including the Bible) which tend to point at the inhabitants of the Igbo in the east. The Igbo, for instance, refer to themselves as chi (god). The Igbo believes that he is a chi (god); first to himself and transcendently, to another person. The Igbo has the saying, “Nmadu bu chi Ibe ya” one is his colleague’s god. Drawing reference from this, it is apparent that the view by Eze Nri as explained above is reflected, not only in the historical conception of the Igbo, but also in their life generally Igbo-Ukwu, for instance, asserts through various evidence that the Igbo race begun with them. They derived the impetus for such assertion through the eminent discovering made by the archaeologist, Thurstan Shaw in the village of Oreri. Oreri originally belonged to Nri kingdom but was captured by Igbo Nkwor (also called Igbo Ukwu) in the era of inter communal wars. 

Of course, they did not claim that the world begun with them, but that the known race, called the Igbo, was fathered by them. Earlier before the art of writing was developed in Egypt, researches proved Oreri to have had a system of writing. Succeeding chapters shall clarify us about this. They adopted symbols as mediums for expressing certain mystic inferences. Populous among these symbols is the two concentric chalices (an “X” shape) which have philosophical principles drawn forms the Igbo pillar of existence. According to Nnaji, the number ‘four’ forms the Igbo pillar of existence with empirical concept drawn from the creation myths. It embodies the concept of life and existence in the Igbo cosmology.”  
                      
The idea raise by The Nag Hammadi that “the Kingless Generation…are designated the generation over whom no kingdoms exist” appears to speak of the reference the Igbo use to refer to their race. The Igbo speak of their race as “Igbo enwe eze”, translated to mean a generation with no king, or a kingless race. Nag Hammadi also clarifies the whole thing beyond possible imaginary constraint when it remarked about the fore-existed generations thus,

“A people among whom the three entities Father, Mother and Child exist as perceptible speech having within it three names abiding in three nnn” (P.722).
NNN, as in Nne, Nna and Nwa. On the other hand, trying to represent these entities’ sexes, NNN still fits in thus: Nwoke, Nwanyi and Nwata. The NNN forms the Nag Hammadi Trinity. The Nag Hammadi calls this people the First Sons of the true God, and says of them, “the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect.” Any researcher can go on to trace of all the languages of the world where nnn is realized as a perceptible speech having within it three names; all beginning with N. NNN is the principal of the Igbo axiomatic concept which holds its relevance on the survival of the Igbo race. The Igbo believe that everyone is a king. The Nag Hammadi affirmed thus, “They are kings” (P.219). The Igbo have self confidence inherent in them. They do not prostrate before anyone in a bid to show respect or subordination of any kind. They are self dependent. Discussing the lifestyle of the four generations of the sons of God, The Great Book of the Sons of Fire, made the following remark,

“There were some who struggled harder, were more disciplined; because their forefathers had crossed the great dark void, their desires were turned Godward and they were called The Children of God”.

These are the descendants of the fourth generation. The Igbo have a pet theory that the reason why an Igbo can never grovel and roll on the ground before a fellow human being, it doesn’t matter how highly placed, is that every Igbo man feels in his marrow that he is a king. This character is peculiar to them above every tribe in Nigeria. The reading of Wole Soyinka’s The Interpreter, one finds a character who was misunderstood by his master who would want him to prostrate on the ground before an elder but he could not. From the boy’s name and explanation of his home, he is from Igbo land. Then, his master Soyinka explained to be of the Yoruba descent. The Nag Hammadi actually proves us right here. The Igbo happen to be the only tribe in the world whose kingless attitude is part of their identity, their genealogy, their cosmology and their philosophy.

The Igbo have a curious religious practice of self-worship or self-deification, where an individual’s first god is himself and his very first shrine is a shrine constructed and dedicated to his personal spirit, his chi, whom he personally conjured to descend from the sun at a certain period of the day. We have discussed this in the first chapter. He venerates this god (whose physical manifestation is himself) along with his ancestors. This personal shrine is the only one at which he performs rights of worship. He may visit some other shrines at some points, but only to consult, never to worship, for the only god deserving of an Igbo man’s veneration is the god that he himself is. This shrine is tended through such acts as libation, incantations, prayers and petitions and feeding with food, without which the individual would be expected to fail in his life’s endeavours. This is the highest expression of individuality and is viewed by the Igbo as a fundamental aspect of Igbo ontological belief in the god-man.

Remarkable also is the concept of Umudiala as explained above. The Igbo call themselves Umudiala. An Igbo of the east believes that he is integral and complete, bearing the complete blood of his ancestor, especially when his father and his mother are of the Igbo origin. Always there is a struggle, even in this modern time when an Igbo makes up his mind to take a wife from other tribes. They believe that the person does not know what he is doing because his children will be cross-bred thereby denying them the completeness of children of the soil. The Igbo call themselves Nwa diala, Nwa Afo referring to the person as a son of the soil. This idea is detailed in the paper, “The meaning of the word Igbo” in www.ajuede.com. In chapter three below, we have taken time to identify the various Igbo communities that descended directly from the four ancestors discussed here as the people upon whom the foundation of life was laid before the creation of Adam. 

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