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Genesis Trivia Quiz Solutions
By Solomon Golomb '51

1. Lamech (a descendant of Cain) had two wives, Adah and Zillah (Gen. 4:19). The legend that before Eve, Adam had a first wife named Lilith is not mentioned in Genesis. (For Lilith lore, see Hebrew Myths, Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, McGraw-Hill, 1963.)

2. Of the 10 men from Adam (who lived 930 years) to Noah (who lived 950 years), only three failed to exceed 900: Mahalaleel just missed, at 895 years; Enoch, the father of Methusaleh, was only 365 "when God took him"; and Lamech, son of Methusaleh and father of Noah, lived to be 777, perhaps perishing in the Flood. (These ages are given in Gen. 5:5-31). Note that this is a different Lamech than the one in Question 1, and a different Enoch than the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17).

3. There were eight humans in the Ark: Noah; his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and their respective wives (all nameless in Genesis).

4. No name is given in Genesis for this servant of Abraham! In Gen. 15:2, we learn that the chief steward of Abraham's household was one "Eliezer of Damascus," but the mission to find a bride for Isaac occurs some 55 years later (from Abraham being less than 86, before the birth of Ishmael, to being 140 when Isaac meets Rebecca). Nonetheless, all ancient commentators seem to assume that this servant was the same Eliezer!

5. Rebecca had the twins Esau and Jacob by Isaac (Gen. 25:24-26). Tamar had the twins Pharez and Zarah by her father-in-law, Judah (Gen. 38:29-30). (Pharez was an ancestor of King David.)

6. Only seven days separated Jacob's weddings to Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:27-28), though he had to promise his uncle (and father-in-law) Laban that he would work seven more years for Rachel.

7. The 12 sons of Jacob (Gen. 29:32 onward):

By Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun
By Rachel: Joseph, Benjamin
By Bilhah: Dan, Naphtali
By Zilpah: Gad, Asher
(The only daughter mentioned is Dinah, by Leah.)

8. Other men in Genesis with 12 sons:

Nahor, brother of Abraham (Gen. 22:20-24).
Ishmael, son of Abraham by Hagar (Gen. 25:12-16).
Esau, twin brother of Jacob (Gen. 38:10-43). (It takes some effort to reconcile perhaps three different accounts here of the names of the wives and sons of Esau/Edom/Seir.)
There may be some others amid all the begats!

9. In the first 10 and a half chapters of Genesis, only four women are mentioned by name. Adam's wife is called Eve only twice (Gen. 3:20 and 4:1). From Question 1, we had the two wives of Lamech, Adah and Zillah, both of whom had named sons. But Zillah also had a daughter named Naamah, of whom nothing else is said in Genesis. (Like Lilith, she became a subject of negative folklore.)

10. We are told (Gen. 23:1) that Sarah lived to the age of 127. I am not aware of similar information about any other woman (not even queens of Israel or Judah) in the entire Old Testament.

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