What are the "generations" in Genesis 2:4?

Genesis 2:4:

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.(ESV)

(BHS) אֵ֣לֶּה תֹולְדֹ֧ות הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם וְהָאָ֖רֶץ בְּהִבָּֽרְאָ֑ם בְּיֹ֗ום עֲשֹׂ֛ות יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶ֥רֶץ וְשָׁמָֽיִם׃

I’m wondering what “these are the generations” refers to. Is it meant as a summary of what precedes it or as an introduction to what follows it?

I’m also not sure what תֹולְדֹ֧ות (tolədôt; ESV, “generations”) refers to in this context. Other translations use “account,” which is clearer but makes me feel like I’m not quite understanding the plural sense of
אֵ֣לֶּה תֹולְדֹ֧ות (ēlleh tolədôt) nor the connection with the basic meaning which apparently has something to do with descent/ancestry.

Who are "all" in 1 Timothy 5:20?

1 Timothy 5:20 (ESV) reads

“As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all,
so that the rest may stand in fear.”

My readings leads me to believe that “all” represents an entire congregation and “…

Did Abraham meet Jacob as alluded in Hebrews 11:9?

Hebrews 11:8

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of pro…

Differences in Genesis creation stories

It is sometimes depicted that the basic argument to read “the creation story” (Genesis 1) as a non literal story are modern science and the evolution theory. But I believe that the biggest problem with a literal view is in the text itself. More specific in the differences between the “creation stories” in Genesis 1 and 2.

Order of Gen 1

Vegetation created:

God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: plants yielding seeds
according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it
according to their kinds.” It was so. The land produced vegetation –
plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing
fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God saw that it was
good. (1:11)

Human created:

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our
likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the
creatures that move on the earth.” (1:26)

Order of Gen 2

No vegetation:

Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of
the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain
on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. (2:5)

Human created:

The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living
being. (2:7)

Vegetation created:

The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he
placed the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees
grow from the soil, every tree that was pleasing to look at and good
for food. (Now the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil were in the middle of the orchard.) (2:8-9)

All quotes are from the NET Bible.


Is there a way to make a strong argument that both those stories are to be read literally (as if it was written by a modern historian)? How could those different accounts be merged?

Could there have been a threshold-god associated with 1 Samuel 5:5

Among the Romans there were three gods which made up the entrance of a door – “Cardea (Hinge-goddess), called after hinges, and Forculus (Door-god) after doors, and Limentinus (Threshold-god) after the threshold, and Janus himself (Gate-god) after the gate” – Tertullian

Was there a Philistine, Canaanite, Summarian, or Ugaritic equivalent for the Roman Threshold-god, Limentinus, that could have been associated with or given a different significance to the passage of 1 Samuel 5:5?

1 Samuel 5:4-5
But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.<

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Why did the magi seek a king?

In Matthew 2:1-3 (NET), the author states:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Why would the Magi have automatically associated a star with kingship? Was the a historical/religious basis for doing so?