|2 years ago :: Sep 26, 2011 - 9:58AM #21|
More from #20
But why on earth would God put a deadly tree into an otherwise perfect environment? Was that really necessary? What real purpose does a tree serve that has the potential to kill? Why even create such a tree in the first place? Was that tree a bad tree? No, it was not a bad tree. When God finished creating, He looked over His work on the 6th day and pronounced it all not just good, but "very" good.
The tree of the knowledge of good and bad wasn't a bad tree per se; any more than toad stools, poison ivy, lightening, rattlesnakes, scorpions, avalanches, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, cactus needles, tsunamis, earthquakes, and arsenic and hemlock are bad in and of themselves. Those things are hazardous, yes, but they all fit into the natural web of life. When people willfully cross over boundaries, ignoring the dangers, and start messing around, then they get hurt and it's really no one's fault but their own. For example :
San Francisco was once destroyed by an earthquake related to the San Andreas fault; but where did they rebuild San Francisco? Right back in the same place.
Los Angeles is at risk of the same San Andreas, and are even now as I write this preparing for a major quake. Are there plans to evacuate Los Angeles and relocate the city? No. They plan to ride out whatever the San Andreas and/or any of the other faults throw at them and city planners and disaster control specialists have already calculated the body count because the Andreas is overdue for a massive slip and so is one known as the Puente Hills Blind Thrust System,. City officials know big quakes are coming but nobody is getting out of the way.
All around the island of Japan are ancient monoliths, some as much as 600 years old, with the inscription : Do not build your homes below this point. The monoliths testify to past tsunamis. People back then set up those monoliths to warn future generations; but do future generations listen? No; they don't. 25,000 Japanese are listed as dead and/or missing from the tsunami of 2011 because they settled in communities below those ancient water marks.
The below-sea-level city of New Orleans was flooded by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Did city planners wise up and relocate the city to higher ground? No; they rebuilt right back in the same place.
On the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo rumbles two-mile high Mt. Nyirangongo; one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The city of Goma, consisting of something like one million people, will be pelted with falling rocks and lava splatter, and buried by molten rock and pyroclastic flows of superheated dust just as sudden as the city of Pompeii if that mountain should ever decide to get serious about its business. Past eruptions bear this out.
And as if the volcano itself isn't threat enough, 2,590 hectare Lake Kivu nearby conceals an enormous underwater concentration of carbon dioxide and methane which could be released by a major eruption, spreading a lethal cloud across Goma that would spare no one.
Are Gomites concerned? No. Thousands of homes— shacks constructed of hand-hewn eucalyptus boards and sheet metal roofs —have been built right on top of the solidified lava of past eruptions. In other words; the Gomites are knowingly living at ground zero; right in Mt. Nyirangongo's known kill zone.
Adam was given fair warning what would happen if he ate from the tree. It was just as fair a warning as parents give their kids not to poke paper clips into wall sockets or lean over a dog too close with their face when they pet a strange one. Consequences for spurning a parent's rules in those cases can be very terrible.
†. Prv 22:3 . . A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Sep 27, 2011 - 12:20PM #22|
†. Gen 2:18 . .Yhvh God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary; I will make a fitting helper for him.
"a fitting helper" is from two Hebrew words. "Fitting" is from neged (neh'-ghed) which means: a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate. The word for "helper" is from 'ezer (ay'-zer) which means: aid.
Note that aid is not spelled with an "e" as in aide; so that Eve wasn't meant to be Adam's servant, but rather, his assistance— in other words; his aid as in first aid. Note that assistance is not spelled the same as assistant nor are the two words synonyms. An assistant does what they're told, while assistance is support.
You know what that suggests to me? It suggests that Adam didn't really have it all that easy in his world, and that Eve's companionship made his life a lot more tolerable and worth the living. The helper that God made for Adam would be both his counterpart, and his crutch. In other words; wives are really at their best when they strengthen their men to go out that door and face the big mean world.
Webster's defines a counterpart as: 1) one of two corresponding copies of a legal instrument: a duplicate, 2) a thing that fits another perfectly, 3) something that completes or complements, 4) one remarkably similar to another, and 5) one having the same function or characteristics as another.
In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that human beings were not intended to live a celibate life. If homo sapiens were packaged in a box of software, one of his system requirements would be Companion. Woman's potential for companionship is the primary reason that God made her— not for her sex appeal nor for her reproductive value; no, for companionship.
Before God introduced the man to a woman, He first gave the man an opportunity to seek companionship from among the beasts of the animal kingdom. That route was futile.
†. Gen 2:19-20a . . And the Lord God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts;
It was Adam's right to name the various species because God gave him dominion over everything in Gen 1:26 and Gen 1:28. So God wasn't doing Adam any favors; no, He simply allowed Adam to exercise his God-given authority; which I've no doubt extended to all the other species of life on earth— all birds, all fish, all bugs; all vegetation, all everything.
More than 200 years ago, Carolus Linnaeus began counting and classifying the world's species, and today biologists still cannot say how many there are. However, on two things they all agree: they are nowhere near a complete count, and the final tally will fall somewhere between 3 million and 100 million species. Taxonomists identify and categorize roughly 13,000 new species of life every year. At that rate, it could take centuries to complete the census.
I'm sure Adam loved animals. I guess just about everybody does. But as cute and cuddly as creatures are, they just don't have what it takes to be the kind of companion that a human being really needs.
†. Gen 2:20b . . but for Adam no fitting helper was found.
After permitting Adam to see for himself that he had very little in common with beasts; God put the man to sleep and manufactured a companion for him— not from the dust as before, but from the man's own already-alive organic tissues.
†. Gen 2:21a-22a . . So the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman;
The Hebrew word for "rib" is tsela' and Gen 2:21-22 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side"
Actually God didn't take just a bare bone out of Adam's body. He took some of his side along with it. Like a tasty cut of prime rib, God took a big ol' hunk of meat out of Adam right along with bone and blood.
God constructed a woman from organic tissues freshly amputated from the male's own torso. Woman is a human being not formed directly from the Earth, but formed indirectly; from another human being. God transferred the human life thriving in Adam's body to his wife's body. They were truly one flesh in every sense of the word but gender. Her flesh was his flesh and her life was his life. The woman completed the creation of Man; so that Man is actually a composite unity— a male part and a female part.
Note : Why wasn't Eve given a chance to fit in with the animals before introducing her to Adam? Well, I think it's because men can make do with a soccer ball named Wilson if they have to; but normal women, as a rule, can't. Men and Women share a lot of similarities; but the resolve to go it solo, to be a rugged individual— to live alone and unloved in the world —is not one of them.
†. Gen 2:22b . . and He introduced her to the man.
Adam's response; after meeting the woman and getting to know her a little?
†. Gen 2:23a . .Then the man said: This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
Eve was Adam's own kind: manufactured from his own flesh and bones. Since she was just as much human as himself; she was therefore someone Adam could easily relate to— an impossibility with other kinds of nephesh. Eve's primary purpose in life was to be her man's best friend; and that is precisely why God made women: to be their husband's buddy. Therefore wives who aren't their husband's buddy are seriously maladjusted; and can only be accepted as cheap goods rather than top-of-the-line in quality.
The one who designed a man said it is not good for a man to live alone. And if it's not good for a man to live alone, then it goes without saying that it's not good for a woman either. If men are supposed to be happier with a woman, then women should be happier with a man. Of course when couples mistreat each other, then the Creator's purposes are frustrated.
I believe the war between the sexes is symptomatic of a serious malady within the human race. The Bible says in Isa 53:6 that Messiah had to be crucified for the sins of the world because everybody went astray like sheep, each going his own way. Deep within the feminine mystique, and also within the male ego, is the desire for autonomy: to be independent not only of the opposite sex, but also independent of the Creator's design. However, mankind's designer didn't intend men and women to function independently of each other. They were created to be together; as couples.
The expression "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" makes it obvious that Adam had the most perfect friend possible— another human being. Not a clone of himself, but very much like himself and with enough of a difference to make things interesting.
So Adam saw in Eve his true counterpart— a blood relative who was just as human as himself; and one who could truly relate to him, be sensitive to his feelings, and understand his thoughts; something no other creature ever yet has been able to do.
Pop Quiz : How many friends do people need to dispel feelings of isolation and loneliness? Answer : Just one— if that one is a friendly spouse. They say dogs are Man's best friend. No they aren't; dogs are beasts. A human being's best friend is a spouse that loves them.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Sep 28, 2011 - 11:42AM #23|
†. Gen 2:23b . .This one shall be called Woman, for from man was she taken.
The Hebrew word for "woman" is from 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which is the feminine form of 'iysh (eesh) which means a human being as an individual or as a male person. So 'ishshah doesn't indicate another species of homo sapiens (e.g. Lilith) it just simply means the opposite of the same species; viz: it's mate.
†. Gen 2:24a . . Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife,
At first glance it appears that Adam was the speaker of Gen 2:24, but according to the Lord, it was man's creator who spoke it rather than Adam.
†. Mtt 19:3-6 . . Haven't you read? he replied; that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man split apart.
Oddly, there is no specific Hebrew word for "wife". The word for wife comes from the very same word as woman. What makes a woman somebody's wife? The possessive pronoun "his" So Eve became Adam's woman; and Adam of course became Eve's man. They quite literally owned each other. New Testament marriage retains the Old Testament's concept of possession.
†. 1Cor 7:1-5 . . The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
Adultery is very serious not only because it's immoral, but also because it's an act of theft. Spouses that cheat on their partners are no different than carjackers taking an SUV that doesn't belong to them and selling it to a chop shop.
An important point in Gen 2:24 is the clinging. There comes a time in every young man's life when it's time for him to grow up; to stop depending on his parents, sever the apron strings, leave home, leave the diversions of youth, and take up residence with a woman— his own woman.
†. Gen 2:24b . . so that they become one flesh.
Adam and Eve were the same species; so their joining was a joining of the same flesh rather than cross-breeding the flesh of two different critters like a coyote and a basset hound.
Bible marriage isn't a political arrangement like the marriages of feminism where couples retain their independence. In Bible marriage, the two individuals lose their independence and become, no longer two autonomous individuals; but one. People who regard their spouse as an associate rather than their own body, have got the wrong attitude about marriage.
In Bible marriage, opposite genders are fused together and the half each brought to the union forms one whole human being. They may appear on the surface to be two separate individuals but in marriage they aren't; no they're an organic unity— one body, one person —and all other loyalties take second place; especially loyalty to parents. If married people are still putting their parents first, marginalizing loyalty to their spouses, then they have not really cut the apron strings yet, and they surely don't think very much of their spouse either.
If a boy and a girl are not prepared to shift their loyalties to an intended spouse, then their marriage would be an evil union. They dishonor their spouses; and they spurn their maker's wishes regarding the marriage relationship. Marriage isn't for people who are incapable of running their own life; and it is absolutely not for children who cannot put loyalty to their spouses ahead of their parents.
In the movie "Moonstruck", Loretta Casterini's fiancé comes over to the house and wishes to speak with her in private. Loretta responds by saying she needs her family around her. Well, guess what? A guy in that predicament needs to get out NOW, while he can; before it's too late, because he will always be marginalized in his own home by the meddling of his best girl's family.
†. Gen 2:25a . .The two of them were naked, the man and his wife,
It's very difficult to believe that God fully intended for people to always live without clothing. So how come early Man didn't need protection for his skin? Nobody really knows for sure; maybe because human beings had fur, or that human skin was a whole lot tougher and thicker than now; and far more resistant to abrasion and sunlight.
Still; nudity seems so impractical. And I would imagine that Adam and his wife needed to bathe pretty often too. Without clothing to protect their skin from dust and grime, in no time at all they would be as funky as two pigs in a puddle.
†. Gen 2:25b . . yet they felt no shame.
Webster's defines shame as: 1) guilt, or disgrace, 2) a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, and 3) inhibition.
In other words, there was absolutely nothing in early Man's psyche restraining him from parading around in full frontal nudity; and actually, neither was there anything in his psyche encouraging him to. They weren't exhibitionists by any stretch of the imagination because in their innocence, Adam and his wife simply were neither proud of, nor humiliated by, their appearance in the nude.
Adam and his wife didn't feel naughty about frontal nudity at first, nor were they self conscious in the slightest respect because as yet they knew no cultural boundaries, nor were they infected yet with a guilt complex about sex and the human body; and concepts like vanity and narcissism had no point of reference in their thinking whatsoever. They had absolutely no natural sense of propriety, nor were they even aware of any because their creator hadn't taught them any proprieties yet at this point.
That was an interesting time in the first couple's development. They had neither intuition nor conscience as yet to moderate their behavior. Some expositors label this era in the human experience as the age of innocence; which implies not just an ignorance of ethics; but primarily a lack of common sense. Had you spoke with the first couple about morals and such, they would no doubt have stared at you like a man speaking a foreign language.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Sep 29, 2011 - 10:42AM #24|
There are people upset with creation's God for not stepping in and preventing the so-called original sin. But they need to remember that He made man in His own image and likeness; viz: man holds the rank of a king on this earth and has the God-given authority to conduct his own affairs as a sovereign. (Gen 1:26, Gen 1:28, and Ps 82:6). Besides; does anybody really want to live in a micro managed big-brother society? I don't think so.
†. Gen 3:1a . . Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
Probably no other creature in the Bible provokes so much skepticism as the Serpent. It just smacks of mythology. But this particular serpent was no ordinary reptile. It was indeed a remarkable creature. Not only was it capable of language, and able to communicate on a very sophisticated level with human beings, but it had an exceptional IQ too. It grasped the significance of a supreme being, and totally understood the workings of human nature and the human mind. No mere animal is capable of that degree of insight, cognition, and communication.
The final book in the New Testament confirms the Serpent's true identity, and it is none other than the dark spirit being well known to everyone as the Devil and Satan.
†. Rev 20:1-3 . . And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the Dragon, the Serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss, and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
According to the Lord, Mr. Serpent was in the world from the very beginning; and his stock in trade was murder and deception right from the get go.
†. John 8:44 . . He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and a liar's father.
Since Rev 20:1-3 has not yet come to pass, then the Serpent remains at large and very active in today's modern world. It is highly skilled at mental suggestions: secretly guiding mankind along a road to self destruction. It is the source of much of the world's political tensions, and certainly the impetus behind all large scale anti-Semitic agendas.
I have never seen the Serpent myself; nor would I care to. But I know from Mtt 4:1-11 that the Lord saw it, and spoke with it. From that passage it's obvious that the Serpent is capable of human speech, understands human needs and weaknesses, believes in the existence of the Bible's God, understands the concept of worship, understands the Bible, and understands the advantages of manipulating human minds, and world power.
The Serpent certainly wasn't squeamish about tempting the Son of God to sin; so it should come as no surprise that it wouldn't hesitate to entice a little nobody like Eve. But Eve was extremely strategic; she was the high ground in the battle for men's minds, because Eve was destined to be the mother of all subsequent human beings. If the Serpent could get to the root of humanity, it would surely gain control over the entire human race; and it did. (Eph 2:1-3)
The Serpent seems possessed with a strange, criminal mentality: beyond comprehension. But then, so are pedophiles, serial killers, uni-bombers, terrorists, and men like Son of Sam and Jack the Ripper. Those kinds of criminals are psychopathic prisoners of dark minds clouded with unnatural inclinations. The Serpent, though surely an incredible genius; is nonetheless an evil genius; not unlike the nefarious masterminds in action comics.
Five elements of psychopathy are evident in the Serpent's behavior.
(1) Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.
(2) Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.
(3) Reckless disregard for the safety of others.
(4) Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying and conning others for profit.
(5) Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.
If those elements sound familiar it's because they're the all-too-typical management practices of corporations the likes of ENRON, Nike, Nestlé, Bechtel, Union Carbide, Shell Oil, and Monsanto. Wall Street is especially brutal. I watched a trader interviewed in a documentary who said that his first reaction— upon seeing the Twin Towers aflame in 2001 —wasn't concern for the families and friends of the 2,300 killed and missing; but rather: Oh m' God! What will that do to the price of gold?
The garment industry in particular, stands out as the poster child of psychopathic management practices: a veritable jewel in the Serpent's crown.
What we see in human nature often mirrors the Serpent's own dark personality. But the origin of the Serpent's twisted mind is really puzzling. How did it get that way? Was it a birth defect? Did it bump its head? One thing is for sure though: the Serpent's activities are living proof that angels are not mindless robots created to obey the will of God without thought or question. No; they too have a mind of their own, and the freedom of choice between good and evil— the very same choices that Man is at liberty to exercise. Satan chose poorly, and his human counterparts oftentimes do too.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Sep 30, 2011 - 2:03PM #25|
†. Gen 3:1b . . He said to the woman:
A characteristic of Eden's world was not only a lack of human death, but also a lack of fear. Man feared neither himself, nor the other creatures, nor the dark, nor the boogie man.
The woman displayed no recorded astonishment whatsoever when the Serpent spoke to her; which suggests it had conversed with the Adams on other occasions before this incident; and possibly had become a close family friend. Before making its move to wreck their life, the Serpent more than likely spent some time in advance nurturing a rapport with the Adams so the woman would have no cause for alarm when it approached; and would therefore not suspect its intentions.
Being an innocent who had never been exposed to evil, the woman would certainly never suspect one of God's creatures to be anything but honest and truthful. Up to this point, Eve wasn't even aware that something called a lie existed. And actually, she didn't even know what honesty was either because nobody had taught her anything about it yet.
†. Gen 3:1c . . Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?
Catching the woman alone, away from her husband's oversight, the Serpent began subtly introducing a concept which neither she nor Adam had even imagined before: it is actually possible for a creature to question its maker. However; that is not a particularly good idea.
†. Isa 45:9 . . Shame on him who argues with his Maker, though naught but a potsherd of earth!
†. Dan 4:32 . . All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account. [God] does as He wishes with the host of heaven, and with the inhabitants of the earth. There is none to stay His hand or say to Him: What have You done?
Why didn't the Serpent attempt to trick the male before turning to Eve? Well, who says he didn't? To assume otherwise is cave to the logic of what's known as an argument from silence; which essentially attests that if something isn't clearly stated in the biblical record, then it's inferred from the silence that there was nothing to state. But Adam was a tougher nut to crack because he got his intel straight from the horse's mouth and knew the truth very clearly and without ambiguity. But the woman quite possibly was instructed second hand, in conversations with her husband; who was, in effect, her personal rabbi. So it would be fairly easy to convince Eve that maybe she didn't hear her husband correctly.
Of course it was ridiculous to suggest the humans were forbidden to eat of "any" tree. But the Serpent was slowly sneaking up on the woman with subtle suggestions. Probing for weak points, the Serpent tested her understanding of God's instructions by asking a question that she should have been able to answer with relative ease. In response; the woman bounced right back and quoted God like a pro (or so she thought).
†. Gen 3:2-3 . . The woman replied to the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said "You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die."
oopsie! Where did God say Adam couldn't "touch" the fruit? He didn't. (cf. Gen 2:16-17)
The woman adulterated God's instructions by reading something into them that He didn't actually say. She fell prey to a very human weakness— not only of adulterating God's testimony, but of a tendency to make the laws of God more cumbersome and more strict than they really are.
Adulteration changes the meanings of God's sayings and inevitably leads people into error. While often containing a kernal of truth, adulterations are nevertheless not pure truth, but amalgams of truth and human error that falsify God's teachings and direct people off in the wrong direction; leading them to believe, and to repeat, things that aren't true. Adulterations are also very useful for manipulating people to favor the Serpent's wishes rather than the Lord's. Thus, without their knowing it, they fall in line and become the Serpent's sheep instead of Christ's.
†. Gen 3:4 . . And the serpent said to the woman: You are not going to die,
Having already tested the woman's interpretation of God's instructions, and found it in error, the Serpent was understandably encouraged to push on and attempt to introduce some additional bogus concepts. The woman's fall is typical. First she adulterated God's instructions. Then she listened to someone refute them. Next, she will accept the refuter's argument, and then she will break with God.
†. Gen 3:5a . . but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings
The Hebrew word for "divine beings" is 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which is the very same word for man's creator in Gen 1:1. If someone presented you with an opportunity to be a God; wouldn't you take it? I think so; especially if you didn't know any better.
The Serpent insinuated that creation's God was withholding the tree, not because it was poisonous or anything like that; but to despotically keep the humans in check. In effect, the Serpent was saying that God got His wisdom from that very same tree and that's why He didn't want to share the fruit with them; because then they might become savvy enough to go out on their own without depending so much upon their maker.
The woman was inexperienced, and certainly no match for the Serpent's intelligence. But her defeat wasn't inevitable. She could have easily resisted the Serpent by simply sticking to her guns and parroting God's instructions over and over again until the Serpent got disgusted and gave up. But no, she dropped God's instructions early on; and thus set the stage for the utter ruin of her own progeny.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Oct 01, 2011 - 11:22AM #26|
†. Gen 3:5b . . who know good from evil.
The serpent finally convinced Eve that the tree was not just a path to enlightenment, as if there are many paths; but rather, the path to enlightenment.
†. Gen 3:6a . . When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating
By watching what birds and animals eat, people can often tell what's safe for human consumption. That's not always true of course, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb. So the woman could safely assume the tree wasn't poisonous if monkeys weren't falling out of its boughs.
†. Gen 3:6b . . and a delight to the eyes,
Most fruits and vegetables are very appealing— just look at bananas and pears and apples and oranges and watermelon and cantaloupe and and grapes and plums and mangoes and strawberries. God doubtless made them that way so Man could not only nourish himself, but also enjoy his food.
†. Gen 3:6c . . and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom,
The "wisdom" available from the tree was in the form of intuition; which Webster's defines as: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.In other words: intuition is a kind of insight that knows certain things without having to be either told or taught.
†. Gen 3:6d . . she took of its fruit and ate.
You can just see Eve's eyes brighten from the sugar rush as she realized the Serpent was right after all: she didn't die. So the woman brought home a sample and convinced her man to try it too.
†. Gen 3:6e . . She also gave some to her husband, and he ate.
It's well known among sales managers that consumers are more likely to buy from a friend or a relative, especially from a spouse, than from a stranger. No doubt Eve ate some of the fruit right then and there in front of her husband to demonstrate that it was tasty, nourishing, and perfectly safe— as anyone could plainly see.
Did Adam die the instant he ate the fruit as predicted in Gen 2:17? Answer: Yes, and No.
His heart didn't stop the instant he ate the forbidden fruit, but rather; quite a few decades later (Gen 5:5). However, Adam's body actually really did die the instant he ate the fruit. How so? Answer: That's when his body lost its perpetual youth and began to age.
I have a can of Bush's Grillin' Beans in the pantry whose expiration date is Nov 2013. It'll no doubt be safe to eat for a good while beyond that date, but will no longer be considered fresh. And that's how it is for man. He's fresh only up to a point, then begins to spoil.
One morning years ago as I was looking in the mirror shaving getting ready for work, I noticed that my once-thick hair was thinning; and upon closer examination, I also noticed that my face was beginning to sag a bit and there was the slightest hint of bags under my eyes. And then it hit me like a freight train that my youth was over and the aging process had kicked in. I was 32.
Death then, includes one's gradual debilitation. Man enjoys a relatively brief period of freshness before he begins to fall apart; and from then on his remaining time on this globe can be defined as the throes of a living death for which there is no known treatment except one: the tree of life.
Did Eve first deftly dice the fruit and camouflage it in a tasty parfait so her husband wouldn't know what he was eating? No. Adam knew exactly what he was doing. He went into it with eyes wide open.
†. 1Tim 2:14 . . Adam was not the one deceived
†. Gen 3:7a . .Then the eyes of both of them were opened
Eve ate the fruit first; but her eyes weren't opened until after the rootstock of the race tasted it. That incident introduced an important biblical absolute that regulates even the scope of the Lord's crucifixion. (cf. Rom 5:12-19)
Although Eve was tricked, she wasn't innocent.
†. 1Tim 2:14b . . the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.
I have to wonder why the husband went along with his wife and did something he knew full well to be breaking God's commandment and putting himself at risk of death. Genesis doesn't reveal why Adam chose to eat the fruit. I suppose he had his reasons, but apparently God didn't think they were sufficient to excuse the man's disobedience. But when your wife is sitting right beside you happily munching away on something that you were led to believe was deadly poisonous, and she's still healthy, lucid, and exhibiting no ill side effects; how are you supposed to react to that?
I think Adam was cautious at first, and kept a wary eye on Eve for some time waiting to see if she would get sick; and when she didn't, he surely had to wonder if maybe God was wrong. (The Serpent was pretty smart. It somehow knew that Eve was immune to the fruit, and that nothing would happen to either of them until Adam ingested some.)
†. Gen 3:7b . . and they perceived that they were naked;
Shazaam! Their newly acquired moral compass kicked in with an intuitive sense of propriety. In other words; Adam and his wife found themselves prisoners of a natural sense of right and wrong so powerful that had even Almighty God himself told them it was okay to remain in the nude; they would not have believed Him.
†. Gen 3:7c . . and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.
I seriously doubt they had a needle and thread. The word for "sew" is taphar (taw-far') which just simply means to fabricate clothing. If taphar were used to strictly mean needle and thread; then it would appear that Job stitched fabric directly to his own skin (Job 16:15).
Why didn't they cover their whole bodies? Whey just their pelvic regions? Well, obviously Adam and his wife were experiencing a guilt complex over sex and the human body; where before, they didn't feel naughty about that at all.
Some attest there were no agents in the fruit to cause the changes in human nature that occurred in the Adams. But I'm not so sure. It's well known what happens to kids when they move into adolescence. Hormonal chemicals kick in, and their childish innocence vanishes; right out the window. They lose interest in kid's toys and begin to take an interest in things more appropriate for their age; including a very noticeable interest in themselves, and in the opposite sex; and most especially in what others think about them. In other words; they become self-conscious; which Webster's defines as uncomfortably aware of oneself as an object of the observation of others.
Those adolescent changes aren't miraculous changes— they're totally natural, hormonally induced, organic changes. So if kids undergo a natural kind of change because of the chemicals generated by the glands in their own bodies, then there is good reason to believe that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually did contain something that caused Adam and his wife to morph and develop a natural sense of propriety.
At any rate, the pending dialogue, between God and Man in the next few verses, implies that God himself had no hand in making those two people change. On the page of Scripture, their new personalities are directly related to the fruit and to nothing else. So instead of stretching our imaginations to construct a spiritual explanation, I think it would be better to stick with the biological one and let it go at that.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Oct 02, 2011 - 10:01AM #27|
†. Gen 3:8a . . They heard the voice of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day;
The breezy time of day is a bit difficult to figure out without really knowing the climate condition under which Adam and his wife lived. The breezy time may have been a routine part of their day when the mist was gently blown around to irrigate the garden.
The word of the Lord God may have conducted school for the Adams every day at just about that time; so His arrival was likely expected. It was an opportunity to share their experiences and ask questions about things in nature that they didn't fully understand. And maybe they even talked about life on other planets, and how to make hot cocoa and pop corn.
Can you imagine the incredible advantage of being in a classroom with the undisputed expert on everything? You would never need a second opinion, nor go away wondering if your speaker really knew what He was talking about.
†. Gen 3:8b . . and the man and his wife hid from Yhvh God among the trees of the garden.
Well, that's understandable. They usually met with God in the buff; but now, the Adams were no longer comfortable with frontal nudity and the voice of the word of the Lord God would surely notice their unease.
†. Gen 3:9a . .Yhvh God called out to the man
Why did God call out to the male? Answer: the principle of primogeniture. In other words, the male was created first, and the woman second; ergo: Adam held the rank of the firstborn and also the paterfamilias of his own progeny; which includes his wife who, in a manner of speaking, was his first child. Thus, the male was God's point of contact with the human family; and the one held most responsible for its welfare too.
FYI : the rank of firstborn is always, and without exception, a male position. No woman has ever held that rank in the Bible simply because women are the wrong gender; which explains why the Bible's God has permitted women neither in the Levitical priesthood nor in the Christian pulpit.
†. 1Tim 2:11-13 . . Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
†. Gen 3:9b . . and said to him: Where are you?
Since God is omniscient, "where are you" can be taken to mean: "Adam; come out".
But the importance to note in this episode, is that God took the initiative to seek Man, not the other way around.
†. Gen 3:10 . . He replied: I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.
Now that's interesting. Adam seemed concerned about being punished for nudity; which in his mind was now naughty where before it was completely innocent. Well, if so, it was because of the intuitive sense of propriety he recently obtained from the forbidden fruit; which is a humanistic sense rather than a divine sense. In time the humanistic sense of propriety became a birth defect inherited by every one of Adam's progeny.
†. Gen 3:11a . .Then He asked: Who told you that you were naked?
I'm going to take the liberty to paraphrase the Lord's question like this:
"Who told you that you were indecent?"
That's exactly what Adam implied by his use of the word "naked".
The answer is: Adam's conscience told him. In other words: Adam told himself— he had become his own moral compass; viz: his own God.
†. Gen 3:11b . . Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?
God knew about that forbidden fruit's side effects. Mr. Adam's guilt complex about sex and the human body was a dead giveaway that he had experimented with that tree. (chuckle) Adam was covering up more than just his pelvic region; but God sleuthed it out of him.
Something in the chemistry of that tree's fruit altered Adam's consciousness. His human intuition now "senses" that frontal nudity is indecent; whereas before it sensed no such thing.
That is an astounding revelation. It tells me that man's natural sense of right and wrong is out of whack and cannot be trusted to provide him with absolutes; which is precisely why there are nine justices on the US Supreme Court instead of one, because one justice alone cannot be trusted. In point of fact, it is extremely rare for all nine justices to agree because they don't render absolutes; no, they render opinions; and the majority's opinion is not always right; no, it's just the one we have to live with until such a time as it's overturned by a future majority's opinion.
So why didn't Adam just meet with the voice of the Lord God in the buff that day and try to act as if nothing was amiss? Because he just couldn't do it. Their new conscience was fresh and strong and right off the tree. Nowadays, by the time most people are of age, they've found ways to desensitize their conscience so it doesn't bother them as much. But the Adams hadn't learned how to do that yet in time for the Lord's next visit.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Oct 03, 2011 - 11:13AM #28|
†. Gen 3:12 . .The man said: The woman you put at my side— she gave me of the tree, and I ate.
It appears that Adam didn't want to go down alone on this. And why specify Eve as the woman You put at my side? Was there any other woman in the area? No; at the time, Eve was it. Did Adam actually insinuate that God set him up to take a fall? Like: "This wouldn't have happened if you hadn't imposed that female upon me. Did I ask for a wife? NO! And what kind of person is this woman you gave me anyway? She has managed to ruin my life in very short order. Is this your idea of a suitable aid?
Adam's response is very typical. I hear it all the time from atheists in the form of this question:
"If God created man with a weakness for temptation, then how can He rightly condemn man for only doing what comes natural? In other words: since God made us this way; then it's His own fault when we stray; not ours."
Adam was already beginning to manifest a very common aspect of human nature of which all of us are so familiar— blaming others for the way we act. I once worked in a boatyard with a very hot tempered man. Previous to his employment with us, we had another with just about the same temperament who quit right before the second one signed on. Some time later, the new guy got irate about something or other and said: Now I know why that other guy was difficult. You made him that way. (chuckle) Wasn't that a perfectly natural Adam-reaction?
†. Gen 3:13 . . And Yhvh God said to the woman: What is this you have done? The woman replied: The serpent duped me, and I ate.
Eve's response was essentially a non-answer. God didn't ask her to explain why she took the fruit. No, He asked her to explain why, after tasting the fruit, she took it home to her husband. Where's the answer to that? It's not there because she doesn't want to talk about it. That there is our introduction to the tactic of digression which Webster's defines as going aside. Also to the tactic of evasion; which Webster's defines as equivocation; in other words: a dodge.
Boy, you have to admit, these two would fit right into our modern world; and nobody had to teach them either— blaming others for the way we act, digression, equivocation, and evasion all came natural to the first couple and apparently the effects are genetically transferable because their progeny all display the very same behaviors to this good day.
†. Gen 3:14a . .Then the Lord God said to the serpent:
A marked departure in procedure is very evident here. God demanded the man and the woman explain themselves; but didn't interrogate the Serpent at all. On the page of scripture, the Serpent's hearing was skipped and proceedings went straight to the sentencing stage just like Osama Bin Laden's recent assassination. It's almost as if the Serpent had already discussed with God how it planned to turn the humans against Him; like when it later moved against Job.
One thing for sure about the Serpent; it is an utterly condemned individual. Repentance is out of the question and definitely NOT an option. Its destiny was determined long, long ago.
†. Mtt 25:41 . .Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels
The apostle John saw the Serpent's fate; like a video clip from the future.
†. Rev 20:10 . . And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
It is only too obvious that the Serpent crossed over a line somewhere in the past and now there is no going back. Man is redeemable; but the Serpent is beyond hope. The scary part is: the Serpent is not only doomed, but busy making every effort to take as many human beings down with it as possible— like a disgruntled postal worker coming in one day and cutting loose on everybody with a shotgun.
†. Gen 3:14b . . Because you did this, more cursed shall you be than all cattle and all the wild beasts:
The Hebrew word for "curse" is from 'arar (aw-rar') which means: to execrate. Webster's defines execrate as: to declare to be evil or detestable; viz: denounce. Synonyms listed for execrate are: hate, abhor, abominate, detest, and loathe.
But what really caught my attention is that God implied cattle and beasts would be cursed too. Up ahead we'll see that even the soil would be cursed. In other words: Adam's progeny would never live on the planet as it was when their ancient grandparents were created. We today exist as cursed beings on a cursed planet. That's a terrible thought.
The third chapter began with a statement that the Serpent was more cunning than any of the beasts of the field, a creature that began with a level of dignity way over and beyond the land animals; but fell to a position of esteem far below them because of what it did to the Adams family. In other words, the Serpent is now lower than the lowest thing on the face of the earth.
†. Gen 3:14c . . On your belly shall you crawl and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.
Ancient Jews thought maybe the Serpent was originally equipped with feet.
T. upon thy belly thou shalt go, and thy feet shall be cut off, and thy skin thou shalt cast away once in seven years; and the poison of death shall be in thy mouth, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. (Targum Jonathan)
It's probably best to interpret Gen 3:14c as poetic language because I have never seen, nor yet heard of, a species of snake that eats soil for its food. True, snakes crawl on their bellies; but they probably always did; because that's the way they're designed. Some snakes live in trees and others live in water. Those kinds don't spend a whole lot of time on the ground so not all snakes are alike. I really don't think snakes crawl because they were condemned to crawl. Nor was every species of snake condemned; just the one snake in verse 14.
A person who crawls and eats dirt is typically someone held in very low regard; in other words: a worm. And "all the days of your life" is saying that God's low opinion of the Serpent will never be rescinded.
Serpents will eat dirt in the kingdom of God; possibly as a perpetual reminder of Man's first great mistake.
†. Isa 65:25 . .The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent’s food shall be earth.
Today, snakes don't eat earth, they eat prey. How serpents will survive on dirt is unclear, unless their digestive system will be changed to that of a night crawler. Serpents in the Bible are never portrayed as beneficial to Man. They are always of the poisonous variety and a serious threat to Man's health and well being. That will all be different in the kingdom of God.
†. Isa 11:8-10 . . A babe shall play over a viper’s hole, and an infant pass his hand over an adder’s den. In all of My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done; for the land shall be filled with devotion to the Lord as water covers the sea. In that day, the stock of Jesse that has remained standing shall become a standard to peoples— nations shall seek his counsel and his abode shall be honored.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Oct 04, 2011 - 9:59AM #29|
†. Gen 3:15a . . I will put enmity between you and the woman,
The enmity was for Eve's own good. If she got all sappy and forgave the Serpent, and kissed and made up, it just might pull another stunt on her; as ruinous as the first. The Serpent was, after all, the father of all con men; and more cunning than any beast of the field.
†. Gen 3:15b . . And between your offspring and her offspring.
The word for "offspring" is from zera' (zeh'-rah) and technically means: seed; but can also mean a product and/or a result, fruit, plant, sowing-time, and/or progeny. Zera' is one of those words that can be either singular or plural, depending upon the context. Other words like that are deer, sheep, Man, and head (as in head of livestock). Every kid in a family can be called the parents' zera' whether there's eight kids or a lone child.
†. Gen 3:15c . . He will pound your head, and you will bite his heel.
From that point onwards the Serpent has made it his mission in life to prevent Eve's seed from doing the very thing God predicted; eventuating in Herod's slaughter of Jewish toddlers and the Lord's murder on the cross.
Who are the Serpent's progeny? Liars and Murderers; for starters (John 8:44). Additional Serpentary seed are people who exist solely to satisfy their passions and desires (Eph 2:1-3). And people given to rivalry and strife (Jas 3:14-15). those kinds of seed are progeny from the aspect of being products of the Serpent's handiwork— in other words, there's some truth to the old saw: The Devil made me do it.
Unfortunately, the Serpent no longer allows itself to be seen in the open like it did that time in the garden with Eve. So it can easily manipulate the minds of its progeny covertly, out of sight, and completely undetected. Since people can't see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, nor feel it; the Serpent's seed are powerless to tell when they're being victimized by one of their master's schemes.
†. Gen 3:16a . . And to the woman He said: I will make most severe your pangs in childbearing;
For many women, the pregnancy stage of motherhood is often characterized by bloating, illness, nausea, depression, anxiety, insecurity, and irritability. For them, pregnancy is more like a curse than the intended blessing of Gen 1:28.
†. Gen 3:16b . . in pain shall you bear children.
It's difficult to imagine childbirth without pain because that's the way it's always been right from the beginning, even with Eve's very first child. Apparently before Man's fall, having a baby would have been no more painful than doing one's business in the ladies room— and just as lacking in danger to mom and baby.
†. Gen 3:16c . .Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
The Hebrew of that passage is very difficult; not even the great rabbis Rashi and Ramban were in agreement how best to interpret it. But it appears to me simply the very first prohibition against adultery.
†. Gen 3:16d . . and he shall rule over you.
That is probably one of the most hated verses in the whole Bible. Eve's daughters do not like to be subjugated to and/or dominated by, men. It really goes against their grain.
That rule isn't restricted to marriage. It regulates women's place in church too.
†. 1Cor 14:33-35 . . As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
†. 1Tim 2:11-15 . . Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.
Incidentally, the worship area of the Temple compound was divided into three sections beginning in front of the altar, which was located at the base of the steps leading up to the Temple itself.
The first section of the worship area, closest to the Temple, was designated for Jewish men. The second section, behind the men's section, was designated for Jewish women. The third section, behind the women, and thus furthest from the Temple, was designated for non Jews; viz: Gentiles; a.k.a. gowy. The location of the women's section of the courtyard was no doubt in accordance with the rule that "he shall rule over you".
Fun Fact : the tax collector at Luke 18:13 stood "far off"; in other words: way back in the gowy section.
How long the Adams lived together sans the imposition of the subjugation rule isn't stated; but evidently there was no need for it prior to the fruit incident. But the incident aptly demonstrates that manipulative women can quickly lead men to ruin in no time at all because it's all too easy for them to persuade men to behave themselves in ways contrary to their own better judgment; which reminds me of a really cute line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Toula Portokalos complains to her mother: Ma, dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. Ah, the man is the head of the house!
Toula's mom, Maria Portokalos, responds: Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck; and she can turn the head any way she wants.
That's humorous but it's not a laughing matter. Many a man has been led like sheep to the slaughter by women who got them to do things contrary to their better judgment.
Continued > >
|2 years ago :: Oct 05, 2011 - 12:44PM #30|
†. Gen 3:17a . .To Adam He said: Because you did as your wife said, and ate of the tree about which I commanded you; "You shall not eat of it"
God's biggest gripe there is that Adam put a woman's wishes over and above the wishes of man's creator; thus making women one of God's competitors for a man's loyalty.
But you know; Adam probably balanced things out and figured that, all things considered, it was better to disappoint God than to disappoint his wife because, after all, Adam had to live with Eve; he didn't have to live with God. So he put her first, and made her happy rather than make God happy. Lots of married guys can easily identify with Adam's predicament; and I'm sure the majority of us would have made the very same choice.
There is really nothing intrinsically wrong with the influence that women have over their men. After all, that's the way the guys were made from the get-go. It's not as if Adam became inclined to make his wife happy sometime later after he became a sinner. No, he was inclined to make his woman happy right out of the box. So it's okay if woman influence their men; but it's the way women use their influence that makes all the difference. Most guys love to please their best girl; and a wise one will take advantage of that love sensibly so that everything comes out all right, and no one gets hurt.
†. Gen 3:17b . . Cursed be the ground because of you
Not only would Man himself be effected by a curse upon the ground, but every living thing that depends upon the Earth for food would be effected too; from lowly nematodes and earthworms right on up to the top of the food chain. The whole animal world, and all the seed-bearing plant life too, would pay for Adam's mistake.
God somehow manipulated the soil's fertility so that it now no longer produces as well as it did in the beginning. The abundant swarms of life that God created in the beginning would, at that point, begin to thin out as the competition for available natural food-stuffs intensified.
†. Gen 3:17c . . By toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life
Adam was no stranger to work because God already had him tending the garden. But matters worsened with a new ingredient. The word for "toil" is from 'itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone') and means : worrisome-ness. Webster's defines worrisome-ness as : causing distress or worry or inclined to worry or fret; viz : Man became anxious, insecure, and perhaps somewhat melancholy. 'Itstsabown is the very same word used in verse 16 to describe the physical and emotional discomfort women now have to endure during pregnancy.
†. Gen 3:18a . . thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you.
God finished the entire cosmos in six days; and no more creating took place after that: so thorns and thistles already existed prior to the events of chapter 3. But in the beginning, noxious plants doubtless weren't so prolific. Today they're a nuisance because if ground is left fallow, it will soon be covered with dock, mustard, dandelion, chaparral, wild flowers, brambles, reed canary grass, and stuff like that. Those kinds of plants may be okay for wildlife, but Man needs something a little more substantial.
†. Gen 3:18b . . and your food shall be the grasses of the field;
I don't think Man is supposed to graze on pasture like a buffalo or a deer. The grasses God intended for him to eat fall into the food group we call cereals; which are raised primarily for their grain; e.g. corn, wheat, and rice; et al.
†. Gen 3:19a . . By the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat,
Whereas the Adams before had a beautiful productive farm complete with orchards that required minimal maintenance, they became faced with stubborn soil that needs plowing and sowing, and weeding. Very few natural grains exist abundantly in nature. These days; if he wants them in any sizable amount, Man has to farm.
Those of us who live in nine to five, leisure-intensive America really don't appreciate just how laborious and time consuming the work is to grow your own food. Early Man's days were hard. They're still hard in many developing countries. Adam had to get out there with a hoe and a plow to provide for his family. Today, only about 2% in the USA work the ground. Most people make their livings indoors in professions and trades totally unrelated to food production.
†. Gen 3:19b . . until you return to the ground— for from it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
Did God have to kill Adam in order for him to die? No; all He had to do was deny Adam access to the tree of life and let nature takes its course; in other words; it was only a matter of time before Adam died of old age.
†. Gen 3:20 . .The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
The word for "mother" is from 'em (ame) which can mean a mother in an immediate family, or the matriarch of a blood line, or the mother (as the rootstock) of an entire nation.
The word for "Eve" is from Chavvah (khav-vaw') and means: life giver. Some people have a problem with Eve. They just can't believe she's the mother of the entire human race; which would include Jesus too. But Genesis says Adam named his wife Eve because she was the life giver of all the living, not just a portion of the living. According to the Bible, Man wasn't created in groups nor in swarms like the other nephesh. The human race was created in its entirety a singular, solo, male specimen. Every human being since, including the first woman, came from that one male.
†. Acts 17:26-28 . . He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.
Were not every nation of men made from "one blood" then Acts 17:16-28 would have to be revised to read "made from many bloods".
Continued > >