After the flood, man’s actions produced a balance sheet of his own accounting.
After all, he ate of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Surely he had the
sense and good judgment for moral decency. But instead of judging his own
actions, he was always more inclined to mete out “justice” and punishment to
others. Law and government soon followed in the pre-civ dawning of civilization.
Pre-civ is a new term that must be explained. We cannot jump from the
Neolithic stone age to civilization. Pre-civ is an important interim stage that
began with agriculture and evolved to include everything except writing. With
an agricraft base, pre-civ societies began simple manufacturing, metallurgy,
and trading. People were organized for building and for irrigation projects.
They usually had a remarkable oral tradition in this pre-dawn of civilization.
Man became so enamored with his dawning civilization that it was doomed
before it started. In the Tower of Babel story the people of Shinar said,
(Mesopotamia to the Hebrews) “’Come let us make bricks…Come let us
build ourselves a city, with a tower.’ And the Lord came down to see the
city and the tower which the sons of men had built” (Gen11:3–5, RSV).
God was displeased. He confused their language and scattered them over
the earth. Again and again this would happen. It is the Leitmotiv of the Bible.
While the main theme is to know God, the recurring theme that wraps
around the main theme is the rise and fall of people, nations, and civilizations
as man loses closeness to God and His creation. For it is the arrogance
with which man builds and worships his city-civilization—which also separates
him from God’s creation—that dooms civilization to fall. Thus, the dawn-
doom, rise-fall pattern of civilization came into being.