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Book of Genesis Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Want more Genesis? Go fetch a copy of an ancient collection of texts known as the Pseudepigrapha, which tells (and retells) more about all of your fave characters. Learn what the twelve sons of Jacob told their own sons before their deaths and what happened to Enoch after "God took him" (4:24). It's biblical interpretation at its most creative.

Genesis isn't the only text of the Ancient Near East that explores surrogacy and all the problems it could cause. The Laws or Code of Hammurabi, which dates back to the 1800s BCE, addresses issues similar to the ones that come up in the aftermath of the Hagar affair (see Genesis 16 and 21).

Many Jews hesitate to utter the divine name YHWH (usually translated into English as Lord) and sometimes even avoid writing it (that's what's going on if you see it written as G-d). That means, when you hear Genesis read aloud, you might hear the word YHWH pronounced as adonai (Lord). Take a listen.

We all love the zillion versions of the Batman story, right? Well, how about another version of the flood, too? That's exactly what you'll find in a text from the Ancient Near East known as The Epic of Gilgamesh, which is nearly 4,000 years old and is among the earliest surviving pieces of literature in humankind's possession. Yeah, it's awesome.