Design By Humans

Friday, 9 March 2012

Genesis 3. God's bluff is called, He makes a sword.

Genesis 3.

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
    I'll investigate what a serpent is later, but whatever a serpent is, should it be talking?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
   
Adam must have told her.

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
    Adam must have added the touching bit when telling Eve but I suppose it's fair precaution. He did fail to tell her that God said that "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" not that you will die some time in the future, but in that very day.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
    The serpent has a contrary opinion, let's see where this goes

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
    The serpent is now saying that if they eat the fruit they will be "as gods". Interesting on two counts: 1 is that gods is plural I think at this point it is useless to deny that God has some friends and 2 the serpent is making the claim that the humans can become godlike. Will any of the gods confirm this claim?

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    OK, let the feast begin. 24 hours until both members of the human race die without progeny and counting.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
    The tree's fruit gave them knowledge of good and evil. Are their bodies evil and need to be covered? I'm wondering what this ashamedness has to do with knowing good and evil.

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
    The LORD God walks about, truly Adam was created in his image, it seems also it is possible to hide from The LORD God

9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
    ...to the extent that he has to ask where Adam is.

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
    Alrighty then, I'm guessing God was singing to himself or something.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
    ...More importantly, who told them that they should be ashamed of being naked?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
    ...It wasn't me Lord it was her...

 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
    ...It wasn't me Lord it was the serpent...

 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
    So is the punishment that the serpent shall go on his belly? Did god create it with legs and then take them away? It must have had a lot of legs, serpents have really long bodies.

   15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
    I think someone is getting kicked in the head here but I'm not sure who, It reads like perhaps Adam is kicking Eve in the head?

 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
    Child-birth is a punishment from God? I thought he said that they'd die the day they ate the fruit, when is Eve supposed to bear children if she's to die really soon?

 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
    His punishment is to eat food made from crops?

 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
    This doesn't seem like a great punishment. I thought God promised Adam death The very day he ate the fruit. God lied and the serpent was telling the truth.

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 
    Bread is a punishment? I like bread.

 20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
    Good good.

 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
    What a nice guy. Did the animals complain? I'm guessing they are all able to talk just like the serpent. Perhaps God put them into a deep sleep like he did with Adam before performing surgery.

 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
    Oh wow! The serpent really was telling the truth. The LORD God (one of the many gods) says to the rest of the gods, Look at this, the man I made is now as one of us. Adam is godlike! I suspect Eve is too since she also ate the fruit.
    So God is a god, the gods he speaks to are gods and Adam and Eve are also gods. This is a good start.

 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
    I guess God doesn't want a god to tend his garden.

 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
    So many things in this line. What is a cherubim? has God just created them along with the concept of fire and swords?


What we have Learned:-

  • God Lied to Adam about the nature of the fruit.
  • The serpent is a bit of a hero here, not only does he tell Eve the truth but he leaves it up to her whether she should eat it.
  • As retribution for calling his bluff God 'punishes' Eve by allowing her to have children and 'punishes' Adam by giving him some land to work (he was already gardening in Eden so at least he has some experience) and by adding vegetables and bread to his diet.
  • Adam and Eve are now like all the other gods (Yay)
  • God invents fire and swords and Cherubim to guard Eden from the newly god-like Adam and Eve.

Corrections.

Never afraid to admit to have read something incorrectly. I've read the thing again and it seems that God made two special trees, not only the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil' but also 'The tree of life' mentioned in line 22.

It seems as though the fruit of this second tree is necessary to become a fully fledged god but god threw Adam and Eve out before they got a chance to eat from it. So in my what have we learned bit, it should read:
  • Adam and Eve are now like all the other gods (Yay) but they don't get to live for ever because they didn't eat from the tree of life. God doesn't like sharing.

    4 comments:

    1. Re: 3:15 - I believe he's still talking to the serpent at this point. Saying that there will be enmity between his children and Eve's (all snakes and humans for the rest of time). We will step on and crush snakes; they will bite (often poison) our feet.

      Also I'm assuming he means that instead of the plants and fruit just being there for easy pickins, man will have to work for it (a much more difficult task in the days the bible was written, at least compared to us middle class folks in the free world. ;) ).

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      1. Ahh, Good call, That seems like a good reading of the text regarding the serpent.

        As regards the punishment of farming, it almost seems as though this is a description of the transition from hunter-gatherer to an agrarian lifestyle.

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    2. > Adam must have told her.

      He told her to eat the /bark/, not the /fruit/. She wasn't listening.

      > not that you will die some time in the future

      About as portentous as "it might rain on you, and thou shalt be wettened" or "something mildly unpleasant shalt happen unto thee a week Tuesday".

      > 24 hours until both members of the human race die without progeny and counting

      24 hours from start to finish. Well, we really showed those dinosaurs. Good job, guys.

      > they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

      Was the tree of knowledge of good and evil a fig tree? Are these the leaves of knowledge of good and evil? Does the apron of knowledge of good and evil bestow any special powers, like a +1 bonus to Cooking Against Evil?

      And what happened to the seeds from the apple core? Is there a grove of trees of knowledge of good and evil now?

      > Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

      Suspiciously Specific Question indicates stress. He works too hard, needs a break. That might explain why he's manifested in his garden and is just slouching around humming.

      > thou art cursed above all cattle

      So... he creates cows and immediately curses them? What did the cow do wrong? "Argh, you crapped on my foot, now I curse you to be... ugly!" Rotten old git.

      > perhaps Adam is kicking Eve in the head

      I'm remembering that bit in sex where you both have to stop for a second to wiggle down the bed so she doesn't keep smacking her head into the headboard.

      > when is Eve supposed to bear children if she's to die really soon

      Don't underestimate the God, if he can make a man out of dust he can probably make a baby out of a corpse. Unless his powers are peculiarly limited.

      > His punishment is to eat food made from crops?

      Ha! Then we shall cultivate the mighty potato!

      > because she was the mother of all living

      Er... what? Who is she the mother of, again? Every possible answer seems utterly wrong.

      > Perhaps God put them into a deep sleep like he did with Adam before performing surgery.

      Must have been some funny looking skinless animals in them days. Still, Halloween is coming up. I wonder if this is the origin of the pinata?

      > the rest of the gods

      I bet this bit comes back to bite us. Now that's portentous.

      > I guess God doesn't want a god to tend his garden.

      If he'd just made a robot instead of a man, he wouldn't have had all this trouble.

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      1. Small correction - the fruit is not specifically named an apple.

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