The Bible is the very oldest and the only consecutive history of early mankind that is known. The oldest of the exhumed historic annals of Chaldea or of Egypt, of India or of China, are but the débris of history — the mere dust of long vanished records, with no present coherence with little reliability. Gods and demigods are the burden of their themes. For well-nigh three thousand years of human history, the Bible bears its own unattested and yet uncontradicted [sic] story of the origin of mankind and of the doings of a few men. Is its story reliable? If not, man has no certain records of his beginning and his early years. It does not matter into the purpose of this present work to discuss that question. We proceed upon the assumption that the Biblical story is historic and reliable. A witness whose testimony has been invariably corroborated by those to whom any knowledge of like character is possible, may safely be believed when he testifies concerning things of which he alone has knowledge. Such a witness is the Bible.
The Bible is the only ancient historic book that teaches the creation of the world. In the fragments of other ancient annals that are known to men, there are found accounts of the beginnings of earthly things, but always from previously existent matter; and those who suppose the Biblical narrative to have been derived from Chaldean or any other creation epics would do well to study and compare them. Such study can only result in the conviction that the Genesis account stands unique, alone, and underived [sic] from any yet known human source, or sources.
The present writer also holds that the first woman was not one of the Pithecanthropoids — ape-like women — of Professor Haeckel’s twenty-first stage of evolution, but was a direct creation of Deity as stated in the Genesis record, and we therefore seek by it to know what was the condition of woman in those far-off ages.
There was much of human history in those old-world times, for there were great events. But of them, the barest hints only remain to us. For instance, seventy verses (Genesis IV to VI:12), more than half of which consists of names and ages of the chieftains of the antediluvian peoples, tell all that historians know of man during a period probably as great, if not hundreds of years greater, than has elapsed from the birth of Christ until now. Yet how much of human history has been crowded into our nineteen centuries of the Christian Era! How many volumes it takes to even faintly tell it! But those seventy verses are absolutely the only records left us of twenty centuries of human life. And then, too, for nearly a thousand years longer, men must continue to go to this ancient book — the Bible — for any certain records that are left them of their kind.
Certain incidental statements appear in those old brief Bible chronicles, that shed more or less light upon the condition of the woman. For example, we are told that the first son of the first woman the world ever knew, “builded a city and called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch,” and that he was a farmer or “tiller of the ground.” Hence we infer that his mother, the first woman, could not have been that gentle savage of our modern wise men, who, they tell us, was wont, stone hammer in hand, to go bone hunting for marrow. Nor did this first woman live in tents. Not until hundreds of years later, in the seventh generation from Eve, do we meet with one Jabal, who is said to have been the father, i.e., founder, of that style of life, he being a herder or cattle raiser.
These records also inform us that during the lifetime of the first woman, Eve, musical notes and harmony are known, the herder’s brother, Jubal, being “the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.” Mining and foraging were also known in those days, Tubal-Cain being “the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron.” Even the fine arts, as poetry, were in use, Lamech’s speech to his wives being the oldest fragment of poetry known.
And in this poetic chieftain, Lamech, of the fifth generation from Adam, we meet with the first polygamist of the world; a departure from the previous condition of woman so radical, that the names of his wives are recorded; they, together with Eve and one other (Tubal-Cain’s sister Naamah), being the only names of women preserved in the bible for the first twenty centuries. This frantic poetic appeal of Lamech to his wives for justification seems to contain a romance, as well as to recite a tragedy. Did Lamech rob that “young man” of a sweetheart or a wife?
It further appears from this ancient chronicle, that the husband of the first woman possessed much knowledge of animal life and gave names descriptive of their natures to the whole animal world, and doubtless imparted his knowledge to others also, for Noah, of the tenth generation from Adam, was thoroughly posted as to what were “clean” and “unclean” animals and birds.
Adam and the antediluvian peoples were able to distinguish “seed-bearing herbs” and also every “tree in which is a seed-bearing fruit,” and “every green herb” of non-poisonous kinds; a necessity for them to know, as mankind were then vegetarians.
It would also seem that they were acquainted with minerals, for “gold” and “precious stones” were then known. It is therefore safe to assume that woman in those ancient ages had both the comforts of life and some of its luxuries.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.