The primordial recollections of the most ancient primitive tribes preserve in their folk stories and artwork, the 'original' Man and Woman as the progenitor of the "human race." Among this created "pair" was a mysterious snake or serpent who enticed the female of the pair or the couple themselves. And thus, Pandora's Box was opened and all sort of plagues were unleashed upon an innocent world, but what does the Bible have to say about all of this?
Genesis 2: 4, 7a, 8-9
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day [undefined interval] that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground. The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow, that is (1) pleasant to the sight and (2) good for food. The "tree of life" was also in the midst of the garden, and the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil [Heb. "rah"-trouble, wickedness, wrong, bad, evil, misfortune, disaster]."
Genesis 2: 16-17
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Out of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, "but of the tree of 'the knowledge of good and evil [Heb. "rah"-trouble, wickedness, wrong, bad, evil, misfortune, disaster] you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 2: 18, 21-22
And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man [Adam] should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam [man] and He took from one of his sides/ribs [Heb. tzalelot] and closed up the flesh [Heb. basar] in its place. Then the rib [Heb. tzela-side, chamber or cell] He made into a woman [Heb. isha] and brought her to the man.
Genesis 2: 25
And they were naked [Heb. arummim-"naked ones"], the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3: 1-5
Now the serpent was more cunning ["wise"] than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman. Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die,' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. "For God knows that in the 'day' you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil [Heb. "rah"-trouble, wickedness, wrong, bad, evil, misfortune, disaster]."
Genesis 3: 6-8
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was a pleasure to the eyes, and a tree desirable ("coveted") to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked [Heb. eirummim-"naked ones"]; and they sewed "fig leaves" together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the voice [Heb. kol] of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid from the "Presence" of the LORD GOD [Cp. Exodus 16: 10; 33: 9, 14-15; 34: 5] among the trees of the garden.
NOTE: Why was it the narrative doesn't state Eve's eyes were opened at the very instant she ate of the fruit but it is only when her husband Adam ate that "both" of their eyes were opened? Afterward, instead of them gaining the "knowledge" of good and evil, they 'knew' they were naked/uncovered in some way; and interestingly, a different word is used for their nakedness here ("eirummim") as opposed to the earlier ("arummim").
Genesis 3: 9, 11, 21
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked [Heb. "eirom"]? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics [Heb. kesones] of skin [Heb. 'ohr'-light, lightning or skin] and clothed them.
COMMENTARY: There is quite a lot to cover, so, starting with the fact that all the trees in the garden were pleasant to look at and the fruit was suitable for food and nourishment but two trees were located in the midst of the garden, namely the tree of life and the tree of the "knowledge" of good and evil. It is interesting to consider how the trees appeared and what they provided, as far as sustenance was concerned, considering all the trees were able to give the same; so what made these "other' trees centrally placed in the garden so appealing that they drew such interest? Why wasn't there a tree of good [leading to "Life"] and a tree of evil [leading to "Death"] as opposed to the singular one of "life" and another, the "knowledge of good and evil?" It seems that the one thing which lured Eve to sample the fruit of the tree of the 'knowledge' of good and evil was that of acquiring "wisdom." Coincidentally, the ancient symbol of the snake has always represented 'wisdom' and even the Greek word is 'Sophia' as portrayed in the feminine gender as well as in Proverbs 1: 21-22. Even Jesus [Yeshua] said in Matthew 10: 16b, "Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless [gentle] as doves."
So, the 'sin' of Adam and Eve was not really about rebellion against God's commandment as it was choosing "Life" which proceeds from God, or to obtain 'earthly' or Satanic [worldly] wisdom imbued [symbolically??] in the tree of the 'knowledge' of good and evil. This is the main reason why mankind is destroying this planet because of this very thing. You notice that "sin" is not mentioned in the book of Genesis regarding this act but what their choice did was doom the rest of humanity to death [spiritual and physical], which is nothing more than separation from the 'Presence' ["Shekhinah" cloud] of the LORD God. Sin is the flower that springs from the seed of Satan [earthly wisdom as opposed to the wisdom from above] as stated in James 1: 5; 3: 15-16.
Man thinks that he can control nature, solve all of the world's problems, explain the origin of the universe, reality and the concept of time, and believes that one day he will be able to understand the nature of God; but as it says in 1 Corinthians 3: 19a-For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. As a final thought, Eve is usually depicted as handing Adam an apple, from which both of them ate and/or engaged is some sexual act. It seems more likely than not the 'fruit' they partook of was figs, as they used the leaves to cover their nakedness [Cp. Genesis 3: 7b]. Also, in the Middle Eastern culture, especially Egypt, figs are one of the fruits considered as an aphrodisiac. Of course, the most famous mention of fruit in the Bible [Old Testament] specifically used as an aphrodisiac or fertility drug was a 'mandrake' [Cp. Genesis 30: 14-16]; which is called by some in the ancient Near East as, 'Devil's apple' or love apple.
ADDENDUM: If the account in Genesis 1: 26-27 is taken into account then ADAM [male and female] were gloriously created in God's image and likeness, and therefore had spiritual essence of some kind and this pair are given dominion over everything on the Earth. This second part or another Creation account [Cp. Genesis 2: 5b, 7-8, 18, 20b-23] doesn't involve a divine council but rather that the LORD God forms man [Adam] from the ground and breathes into him the breath of life. Later, the woman is built from the side (or rib) of the man and the LORD God brings this creature to Adam where he names her "out of man" or 'woman.' It seems that the stronger evidence favors the first Creation narrative because the penalty for Adam and Eve's transgression makes more sense, especially since they are to be stripped of their glorious spiritual bodies of light and be consigned to live and be clothed in a mortal shell of flesh and blood; to experience sweat, toil, pain, frustration, weakness, sorrow, hunger, sickness, disease and finally, death.
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November 11, 2011
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