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Last week I spent some time looking at a new timeline book we purchased. I was sad as I flipped through page after page of misinformation about the beginning of the history of the world.

Here is a summary of beginnings from the Bible, the only book that can teach us what the very beginning of history was like after God created the universe.

The First Family

Eve gave birth to a son, Cain. Later she gave birth to another boy, Abel. Adam and Eve were the first married couple and the first parents. Cain and Abel were the first offspring, the first sons, and the first brothers. Together Adam, Eve, and their sons were the first family.

In God’s perfect plan, a man and a woman marry for life. When Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 about a man leaving his father and mother to marry a wife, He added these words:

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
Matthew 19:6

The First Farmers

Many world history books teach that the first people were hunters and gatherers and that farming began thousands of years after the first people lived on Earth. However, before Adam left the Garden of Eden, God told him that he would eat bread by “the sweat of his face” (Genesis 3:19). Adam became a farmer. Cain was a “tiller of the ground” like his father; Abel was a “keeper of flocks” (Genesis 4:2).

The First Worshipers of God

The first people who lived on Earth recognized that God cared for them, and they acknowledged His blessings. After Eve gave birth to her first son, Cain, she said, “I have gotten a man child with the help of the Lord” (Genesis 4:1). The first people also worshiped God. Genesis 4 teaches that Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to Him.

The First Sinners

Adam and Eve disobeyed God and became the first sinners. Their son Cain also committed a grievous sin against the Lord. When Cain and Abel offered sacrifices, God preferred Abel’s sacrifice. Cain became angry and acted out his anger by killing his brother. After Cain killed his brother, God asked him where his brother was. Cain responded with a lie, “I do not know,” and added, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God punished Cain, but He also showed him mercy. After Cain murdered his brother, he went “out from the presence of the Lord” (Genesis 4:3-15).

The First Grandchild

The first grandchild mentioned in the Bible is Enoch. Sometime after Cain murdered Abel and left the presence of the Lord, Cain became the father of a baby boy, Enoch.

The First City

Cain built a city, naming it Enoch after his son.

The First Man with Two Wives

When God spoke of marriage in Genesis 2, He spoke of one man and one woman. However, throughout world history, many men have had more than one wife. The first man we know about who did that was Lamech. He married Adah and Zillah.

The First Person to Live in Tents

Lamech’s wife Adah gave birth to a son, Jabal. He was the father of people who dwelt in tents and who kept livestock.

The First Musician

God created people with senses. They could see, hear, taste, touch, and smell the other creations God had made; and they began to use them. God is creative. Therefore, people made in His image are creative, too. The first people used things God made to invent new things. Their descendants have continued to do that until the present. Musical instruments are among the first inventions mentioned in the Bible. Lamech and his wife Adah had another son; his name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.

Shepherd in the Jordan Valley, c. 1925. Courtesy the American Colony collection of the Library of Congress.

The First Person to Forge Metal

Lamech’s other wife Zillah had a son named Tubal-cain. He worked with metal, making tools out of bronze and iron.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Psalm 8:3-8

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