See also The Messiah's Blog: God acting in History, The Perennial Tao
The First Adam and the Fall from the Garden
The Old Testament made significant changes to the Sumerian story of Adapa who was tricked out of immortality by the gods telling him the bread and waters of life were those of death, in a way which introduces key themes of conflict between the genders.
Adam ('adam man) is claimed to mean "man of blood" (Walker 8), but "dust" (Thompson 14) is consistent with 'adamah, earth (Armstrong 1996 20, Fox R 17)). There is however an ironic twist to Adam's very nature as pointed out by Miles (44). The Hebrew sopek dam ha'adam ba'adam damo yisapek - 'shed man's blood, by man your blood be shed' illustrates the close relationship between man adam and blood dam. Although Adam was originally made from menstrual blood and clay, in the Yahwistic Genesis 2 account dating from around 900 BC, Yahweh makes Eve out of the rib of Adam. We thus see the generative principle transferred from woman to man, consistent with the primacy of male Yahweh, and before him Enki, who through his fertility, brings abundance to all Sumer, and with the patriarchal view of man's sperm as the true seed, while woman is merely the receptacle:
This is with some irony because in Sumeria there is a myth of Enki God of Wisdom and the primal Earth Goddess Ki. Enki eats the forbidden plants from her sacred garden and gets sick. The Goddess gathers eight nymphs to care for each of the diseased organs, and Ninti was Goddess of the Rib the Lady of Life who also fashioned babies bones out of their pregnent mothers' ribs (Walker 728). The Yahwistic myth seems to have intentionally reversed this much earlier one to 'turn the tables' on the female. There are further precedents in the myth of Utnapishtim and the plant of rejuvenation.
The Bible has two discordant creations accounts, Genesis 1 being a much later work of 6th century BC work by the priestly author and the Yahwist one of Genesis 2 and 3 being earlier, probably 8th century BC, although "some interpreters still look fondly back to an origin c 930-900" (Fox R 21). This is roughly contemporary with Hesiod's story of origins, through the Fall caused by Pandora releasing all the afflictions of the world (Fox R 21).
There is also a brief Elohistic account of the Creation at Genesis 5. This is different again from the later priestly account of Genesis 1. In this account God, 'Elohim creates Adam alone male and female in our likeness. This suggests an almost androgynous origin. It confirms however a different idea of God existed, of the sort the priestly author has described:
This God or 'Elohim is different from the Lord or Yahveh-'elohim we see in the Eden myth. This God creates man in our image, male and female, but strangely both in the name of Adam and they begat a son. This account suggests we should look behind the priestly account to suggest that there too was an ancient 'Elohistic tradition in which God said be fruitful and multiply. This 'Elohistic Northern Kingdom aspect has been substantially over-written in the Bible because it is a compiled Judean account. By contrast the Yahwistic generations of Adam 4:1 stress the beginning of sexuality "Now Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived"
The Kabbalah, which follows a strongly elhoist view of creation, sees Adam and Eve created by cleavage from a single androgynous being, whose male and female faces could not turn to look at one another until they became separated.
What is singular about the Eden creation myth is that Man is created first in archetype, then the plants and finally the animals. This is the eternal or spatial creation, which 'divides space' while Genesis 1 temporal creation 'divides time' into its seven epochs (Fox R 18). In Eden, it is as if the creation process has a divine destination of mankind and that hidden in the eternal aspect of space-time, despite the endless weaving of evolutionary change, a feature of the catastrophe landscape of the cosmos, pre-figured in the mind of God, is the anthropic archetype, the noosphere species - humankind.
This creation is also distinctly psychic. God does not act to produce the heavenly bodies as in Genesis 1, but simply stoops to the ground and picks up some dust. His very breath becomes the spirit of conscious existence: Notice also that he is now YHVH 'elohim the 'LORD God', a Lord as distinct from the 'Elohim or plural God of Genesis 1 (Miles 30).
God then founds a garden, strangely not a cosmic one, but in an eastward locality. This suggests that Yahweh could have been a local deity. The garden is his female counterpart, his Asherah. Kaballists see the garden as both a physical mystery of sex and a mystery of transcendence of the "indwelling glory" or Shekhinah. All aspects of the garden are thus female (Waite 262).
The plant world is now created, after creating Homo sapiens. Notice here the duality between the Tree of Life and immortal wholeness is clearly declared as a counterpoint to the Tree of binary division Knowledge of Good and Evil:
The myth then describes the four waters, like the four directions:
And then we see clearly the divine purpose of man revealed. As this is the eternal creation, this remains forever his eternal purpose. It is this purpose we should consider in this very era as our guardianship of nature in immortal continuity.
God then plays the classic Sumerian trick on Adam with a double irony. He honestly tells him not to eat the Tree of Division, but doesn't reveal the existence of the Tree of Life at all, so either way Adam loses. Unlike the simple command of Genesis 1 to be fruitful and multiply, we now have a prohibition (Myles 30):
God began to lose touch with Adam. He could see that Adam was lonely despite being close to himself. (Armstrong 1996 23). The LORD God is different from God. God has only a command "be fruitful and multiply" but the LORD God has a prohibition (Miles 30).
We finally reach the creation and naming of the animals by Adam, long after the creation of man. "Every thing that creepeth on the earth" is conspicuously absent. It was later said that this naming is what made Iblis jealous of Adam and led to the Heavenly Fall, so we have two Falls in one in this myth:
Now the patriarchal imperative begins to bite. The female, even before original sin, is assigned the mere role of help meet, a domestic utility, although also a partner. Worse still, the female is a mere rib, an outgrowth of the male seed line, one step further from God's creation, which in the Malleus Maleficarum became the contrary twisted rib that symbolized woman's contrary evil nature:
At this point, in the midst of the oneness of the flesh, which itself is a poetic expression of sexual union, we see the patriarchal imperative enshrined. She is flesh of 'his' flesh and the bearer of 'his' seed line. But notice that, unlike the woman, the man still leaves his family to cleave unto her suggesting a continuing matrilocal custom, despite the patriarchal rhetoric. Since they were "not ashamed" it would appear that they did have a sexual relationship and that sex is not the origin of death after all, but the knowledge of good and evil is, although the Kaballah marks "flesh of my flesh" as the origin point of original sin. Adam is delighted, but does not express gratitude or acknowledgement towards the YHVH 'elohim (Miles 31).
The serpent now asks the woman "Has God forbidden any fruit?" The woman also does not know of two trees but only the taboo on "the tree in the midst". She is thus even more subtly deceived than Adam by God's 'forked tongue'. Is the serpent's ability a reflection on God's power, (Miles 33) or are the serpent and YHVH 'elohim mutual deceivers in this interrogation? Hermes, the messenger of the caduceus serpent, was a known liar. When people fell into silence and communication was broken, Greeks said "Hermes is passing" (Willis 145).
In noting that neither Eve, nor the Serpent were party to God's prohibition against Adam, for Eve was not then even created, Robin Lane Fox (26) quotes John Donne:
"If the serpent is a liar, YHVH gets a sympathetic treatment: By planting the tree of life in the garden and not prohibiting its use, God apparently intended to give man the option of immortality, but man missed his chance by electing to eat of the other tree, which God had warned him not to touch under pain of immediate death: "for in the day that thou eatest thou shalt surely die." This suggests that the forbidden tree was really a tree of death, not [merely] of knowledge. ... Humanity, misled by the serpent, ate of the wrong tree and so forfeited the immortality which [the] benevolent Creator had designed for him." (Tribble 1973, 1978, Christ and Plaskow).
Karen Armstrong (1996) however highlights a different perspective, noting that the snake communicates well, suggesting in a sense he is humanity itself, questioning and rebelling, and suggesting hat Eve's unsolicited comment that they were "not even supposed to touch the tree" suggests she is developing her own creative interpretation of God's command. Certainly the serpent asks the archetypal question of natural inquiry "are any fruit forbidden?"
Hieronymous Bosch - Eden
The wise serpent of course suggests Yahweh is hiding something from the pair and recommends they take the hidden fruit of knowledge which will make them even as gods. Eve is thus the "emblem of the human desire to embrace the world and ingest experience without restraint" (Armstrong 1996 29). This is the only way to affirm the ultimate relationship between the transcendent and the manifest And the serpent was wise and true for Adam, despite God's immediate death threat and his subsequent mortality, was to live for another thousand years (Gen 5:5).
And the serpent is also true about this - at first Adam and Eve were allowed to eat all the other trees, including the Tree of Life. So in a completely fulfilling universe of the sort that Eve sought after Adam and Eve would have been able to have both knowledge and immortality, just as the cosmos has both substance and consciousness. What is the point of God denying immortality in exchange for knowledge? Thats a tragic dilemma. Why not make the creation complete?
"Armstrong (1996 29) poetically exclaims "The knowledge she sought was thus sensual as well as intellectual. Eve was striving to achieve blessing to gain a fuller experience of life in its entirety". The Kabbalah suggests these words are the first union: "She consented originally to union as a result of her reflections on the value of conjugal relations and by reason of that pure affection and tenderness which united her to Adam" (Waite 282). Fox (1992 18) notes wryly "The couple eat and are enhanced and God does indeed go back on his warning". Miles (35) invokes self-consciousness - awareness of their desire, which had already been previously consummated in innocence - the very hallmark of the human state! Oscar Wild comments "Disobedience: man's original virtue" (Fox R 25).
Notice that Eve asks for wisdom, Sophia rather than the analytic "knowledge of good and evil". Poor Eve was sadly tricked because the knowledge of good and evil - the competitive spermatogenic principle is the male's strategy, hers was of the tree of life, synthesis sustainability and wisdom. The Kabbalah says "The tree of life is over the female principle in the state of sacramentum ineffable (Waite 269). However one could also say the male turned the Gatherer Queen's knowledge into the male combat myth of God and Satan in the final Armageddon.
It has been suggested (Rosenberg and Bloom, Fox R) that some aspects of the writings of the Yahwistic author J are consistent with this person being a female authoress, who was a member of David's court and may have had a critical view of Bathsheba's influence. Bloom sees her as miscivous, ironic and totally irreligious, becoming an even greater irony of historical fate at the hands of subsequent interpreters. There is potential substance in this idea for it is through J that many of our early myths of the strong matriarchs come down to us. We have to be grateful for J for these slants of protrayal which do give us insights which would otherside be impossible. There is thus another quite contrary view of the Yahwistic Eden as clipping satyrical commentary on the very gender issues it describes. If so, then perhaps Yahveh Adonai's character is truly ironic.
Phyllis Tribble (Christ and Plaskow 1979 74) has consistently with this advanced an analysis which portrays the roles of Adan and Eve as far less sexist, claiming Eve's creation is as divine as Adam's because both required an act of God. She uses the Hebrew text to justify reference to adamah as the ground (androgyny) and 'flesh of my flesh' as sexuality. She questons the man naming woman as authority and sees them as 'equal in responsibility, judgement, shame and guilt'.
She furthermore sees Eve as the more powerful and resourceful: "Why does the serpent speak to the woman and not to the man? Let a female speculate. If the serpent is "more subtle" than its fellow creatures, the woman is more appealing than her husband. Throughout the myth, she is the more intelligent one, the more aggressive one, and the one with greater sensibilities." Perhaps the woman elevates the animal world by conversing theologically with the serpent. At any rate, she understands the hermeneutical task. In quoting God, she interprets the prohibition ("neither shall you touch it"). The woman is both theologian and translator. She contemplates the tree, taking into account all the possibilities. The tree is good for food; it satisfies the physical drives. It pleases the eyes; it is esthetically and emotionally desirable. Above all, it is coveted as the source of wisdom (haskil). Thus the woman is fully aware when she acts, her vision encompassing the gamut of life. She takes the fruit, and she eats. The initiative and the decision are hers alone. There is no consultation with her husband. She seeks neither his advice nor his permission. She acts independently. By contrast, the man is a silent, passive, and bland recipient."
Another Kabbalah tradition suggests the tree of knowledge was the vine and that, like Noah, Eve produced wine and through their inebriation they perceived the ills of the world (Waite 284,291). The mushroom has similarly been associated with the Tree of Knowledge as in the fresco (Fig 5.12:). Both apply more appropriately to the Tree of Life.
Karen Armstrong (1996 26-7) comments: "Men and women want to live creatively, intensively and successfully in the world. They long to fulfill the potential of their nature ... What Adam and Eve sought from the tree of knowledge ... was the practical wisdom that would give them blessing and fulfillment". The LORD God also appears to be lonely for company, suggesting the sovreignty of his his perfection has been compromised (Miles 37).
Adam of course blames his own choice on the woman, and the woman in turn is portrayed as weak-willed, beguiled by lust and heresy:
And Yahweh, ever the patriarch, exerts his vengeful punishment. God doesn't make good his immediate threat of death but condemns them to mortality. Thus we see as in the Sumerian myth that the supposed fruit of knowledge is actually the fruit of eventual death:
He is particularly harsh on the woman causing her whole life to be travail and subjugating her to the rule of the man for beguiling him:
The death penalty, which has failed for all time to act as a deterrent (Fox R 18) is now communted to mortality and pronounced on the male, Adam. It is interesting that God does not pronounce this on Eve, recognizing that through child birth she is in fact immortal in phenotype, Adam's mortality perhaps also reflecting commentary on the dying and resurrected sacred king. However in other respects, Adam, who of course shares his mortality with Eve in real life, has a significantly lighter punishment, a pioneering life of physical endeavor to feed his family while struggling against the wilderness: the cursed ground of Adam.
Finally, almost in passing, as a concession by the mortal Adam who named the beasts, we discover that the earthly Eve has all along been the great Earth Goddess, the immortal Mother of all Living who has been denigrated to a mere "fair woman which is without discretion" (Proverbs 11:22):
In paradoxical kindness, after his immature outburst of anger, the YHVH 'elohim, in addition to their fig-leaves, almost as a sin-offering for what he is about to do, and of course emphasizing the social taboo against nakedness, with his own 'handiwork':
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
Now we reach the nub of the plot, the jealous God, who could not tolerate his creation becoming truly divine, which Gnostics were later to identify with the demiurge rather than the creator. Why on earth steal the tree of life he had already given them just to prevent them having knowledge? What they needed was the balance. Why steal half of creation off the female? The blade has stolen the heritage of the chalice! This means the cup of blood!:
Mankind's ancestors usually appear being driven forth in their nakedness, their arms raised to protect themselves from the angel's sword ..., or hands clasped to their genitals and breasts, ... the loci of their misdeed. In their wake trail all the horrors and chaos of existence, sin and death, which will replace the primal innocence and felicity they enjoyed in the Garden (Haskins 69).
Like the Sumerian myth, there are two trees in the garden, one of life and one of the "knowledge of good and evil". These two trees form a binary division between wisdom - the understanding of immortality and analytic knowledge - science, judgement and morality. In the Biblical myth, a falling out of balance occurs, the knowledge of good and evil without the wisdom of life leads to mortality, being cast out of the garden and the road to Armageddon, because the unity of the tree of life is overwhelmed by the divisive knowledge of opposing realites good and evil, light and dark - the male bifurcation principle. The Kaballah notes: "When Adam ate of the Tree of Good and Evil he provoked the separation of woman from man" (Waite 284).
Yahweh specifically instructs Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil just as Ea did, while the tree of life is distracted from their view. One could consider this the same trick of Ea. It certainly leads directly to a the binary division of tabu and mortal tragedy. Eve follows the advice of the serpent and she and Adam eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Their eyes become opened and they cover themselves - become civilized. A chauvinistic Yahweh then banishes them from the garden, lest they also eat the fruit of immortality, and become like him, setting fiery angels to guard the entrance thus condemning them to misery on earth, mortality and the sexual guilt of original sin. The fall from divine immortality to carnal knowledge, and the retreat of the Shekhinah and her spirit of matrimonial concord from imminent immediacy in this schism.
Right: Adam and Eve in the Garden - Cranach (Pagels)
Adam, Eve, Firstness and the Fruit -Jane King
There are here two intertwined themes : the schism of the genders and the downfall from nature. Instead of chaos or tohu vu-vohu complementing order in the unfolding of nature, this has set off a chain of events, where man is set against nature, light is set against dark, order against chaos, and Yahweh and his own "light-bearer", Satan are in endless opposition until the final catastrophic Christ-Antichrist Armageddon. The balance between intuition (wisdom) and analytic knowledge (good-evil) has become upset. The mindless application of order, the analytic knowledge of good and evil - the male bifurcation - at the expense of the female fertility principle - the enclosed chalice of unity - is at the centre of the downfall.
The midrashim tell a frankly phallic story of Eden, which also illustrates Muhammad's familiarity with Jewish texts, for Samael the archangel became jealous of Adam, who despite being made of dust surpassed the angel in wisdon and understanding. Adam pronounces the secret names of the animals. Samael refuses to pay gomage to Adam and leads the fall of the angels, as recounted also in the Qur'an. God in another midrash then makes Lilith from filth and sediment. Adam tries to force her but she will not lie under him and rises up uttering God's magic name (Thompson 16). The next creature made of blood guts and hair is too physical. Only after several attempts by God to construct a partner to satisfy Adam do we arrive at Eve who has been described as so beautiful that she could not be looked upon. After the fall another midrash relates Adam tried to abstain for 130 years and was tormented by the spirit of Lilith as a succubus at night (Thompson 19).
Eve is also identifiable with Maha-Kali the mother of time, the fearsome Aztec Lady of the Serpent Skirts and goddesses such as Cybele and the snake goddess of Crete. She is a sexual entity who relates to sexuality directly in the form of the snake and sacrificially in a fearsome manner which has included ritual castration. One can thus see a dark and fickle side of her which has caused the male gender consternation and paranoia. For her life and death are phases of one immortal cycle and not opposing principles. Another aspect of Eve's evil portrayal is in the guise of Pandora who was blamed by the Greeks for releasing disease into the world (Phillips).
The delicate relationship between the Moon God and the Queen of Heaven, his astral and fertility counterpart became a central theme of conflict throughout the Old Testament. While the astral Moon God as the Lord of Knowledge retained a complementary realtionship with the Great Goddess of fertility, in which the immortal fertility of the garden was preserved. Subsequently the resurgent descent of the Queen of Heaven and the lightweight role played by her sacrificial Adonai or Lord as resurrecting lover came to be an anathema to Yahweh when he rejected his cosmic lunar nature to become a male tribal patron deity.
The Queen of Heaven and her sacrificial role thus stands as the very mortality for which Adam suffered, the hieros gamos or sacred marriage and the ritual sexual licence which accompanied such fertility worship - the very act of sex leading to sacrificial death. It is this tortured historical episode of the Old Testament that we should turn to if we want to understand the true import of the sexual struggle portrayed in the Biblical Fall from Eden.
The reviled snake also figures in a multiplicity of ways. The snake was believed to be the sexual intruder who was the first cause of menstruation (Briffault v2 664) also associated with the moon (Briffault v2 572). However the phallic snake represents the essential male fertility principle which eternally regenerates as the primal male substance. It also has some parallels with the chaos monsters, such as Tiamat who opposed Marduk (Miles 32).
Christianity also inherited, and manipulated, other notions of the origins of evil found in later Jewish writings, many of them extra-biblical, written during the five centuries before Christ's birth. Of these, two concern Adam and Eve in that the source of evil is seen as the inherited sinfulness derived from the Fall; and the idea that mankind had also been corrupted by this sin came from folklore which told of Eve's physical pollution by the serpent or Satan (Samael) (Haskins 70, Waite 288).
The serpent also represents both realms of structured knowledge and immortality. The "Hippocratic" snake represents at once the knowledge of science and medicine, as expressed on the one hand by the wise serpent Nabu and on the other by the immortality of the snake which sheds its skin and resurrects like the phoenix, with Hermes' caduceus somewhere in the middle. The serpent could thus be considered guardian of the two sacred trees.
However the serpent's role in Eden is to retain the fruit of the tree of life. The first phase in this story comes from Gilgamesh. "He and his friend Enkidu seek immortality through fame, but when Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh finds fame hollow. Unable to accept the finality of death, he goes to Utnapishtim, the Babylonian counterpart of the biblical Noah, to learn the secret of his immortality. Utnapishtim explains that he received it due to the unique circumstances of the flood. After failing to stay awake for seven days to discover the secrets from the gods, he is granted as a consolation, the boon of miraculous plant of rejuvenation. But when he finds it and stops to bathe, from the bottom of the deep pool rises a serpent who seizes the plant and eats it first, thus becoming the snake who sheds his skin. He finally returns home, reluctantly accepting death as inevitable" (Grollier, Thompson 205).
James Frazer (v1 50) brings out this theme further in the biblical account, pointing out that we should look to the serpent to find the tree of life we have lost: "The story of the fall appears to be an attempt to explain man's mortality, to set forth how death came into the world. In this account everything hinges on the tree of knowledge of good and evil : it occupies, so to say, the centre of the stage in the great tragedy, ... but when we look closer we perceive a second tree standing side by side with the other in the midst of the garden. It is a very remarkable tree, for it is no less than the tree of life, whose fruit confers immortality on all who eat of it. Yet in the actual story of the fall this wonderful tree plays no part. Unlike the tree of knowledge, it is hedged about by no divine prohibition, yet no one thinks it worth while to taste of the luscious fruit and live for ever. "
The tree of life is thus taken by the subtle serpent, ensuring his own immortal life through the resurrection of shedding his skin." The idea that the snake has the fruit of the tree of life has a prophetic significance in the context of Quetzalcoatl the bearer of Wasson's 'divine mushroom of immortality . The theft of the immortal skin is also hinted at in a tale that after eating the apple, Adam and Eve lost all their scales except for their fingernails.
This tale has one final surprising twist to it. The trick Yahweh played is a two-fold one. Yahweh was also represented by the serpent. Yahweh is above all things the father god of Jewish male fertility and paternity. It is in their whoring that the Jews let Yahweh down the worst. We know that Moses carried Nehustan the serpent of brass. Just such a serpent was found at a Midianite shrine from 1100 BC at Timna near Aqaba, along with phallic teraphim.
Nabo the wise serpent of Babylon is an ancient phallic deity also called Rimmini - pomegranate. He is thus 'the serpent of the pomegranate', about as close as you can get to 'the serpent of the fruit' of Eden. Nabo and Hermes both share the serpent, and along with Thoth, share the role of scribe of the Gods, bearer of the tablets of the law. Hermes is an ithyphallic primal sperm god consort of Hekate, worshipped at wayside Herms simple four-square stone shrines. Hermes represents the indestructible core principle of male fertility as the divine substance complementing the Goddess. Abram moved from Sin to Nabo in leaving Ur and Harran and fathering 'as the stars in the sky', calling on 'god' - El, who in his Canaanite grandfather aspect is the same deity. Moses similarly journeyed from Mt. Sin to Mt. Nabo.
There are also parallels with the old Zoroastrian myth of the Garden of Yima with a perfect shepherd king and an epoch with no death or old age, in the mysterious Mountain of the North, a title reminiscent of the Myserty of the North at Harran. The four rivers and the avenue of jewel-lined trees are reminiscent of Ezekiel's vision: 28:13 "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." These are later echoed in the description of Muhammad's night flight to heaven.
The sabbatical creation in Genesis 1 in some senses reads much more realistically as a cosmic creation in time, followed by the animal species and finally man. Of significance is the plural nature of the Godhead in this version, as God in the plural - 'Elohim, which permits Adam and Eve to be made in "our" likeness, implicitly the likeness of both genders of the Heavenly Host. Although Elohim is male plural as "in the image of God he created he him", this is just the conventional male grammatical form "man and God", whose form is collectively male and female, as Adam and Eve are 'in the Elohim's likeness' and they are both 'male and female'. In one midrash they are in fact cleaved by God from an adrogynous unity so that they can turn and face one another (Thompson 23, Fox R 20).
The Elohim is even more ancient than Yahweh. The most ancient biblical passage, Jacob's blessing is with a fourfold Elohim: the God of thy fathers, the Almighty, the breasts and the womb (fecundity) and the deep (the abysmal), thus inferring two female entities (Gen 49:25). Now the Elohim appear to be giving a similar blessing here in "fruitfulness" and "multiplication". Sex would thus appear to be a central aspect of the creation, not the cause of the Fall:
Note also that Yahweh gives man "dominion over" nature to "subdue it", terms which already imply domination and conquest, rather than complementary coexistence, unlike the original commandment of Eden to dress it and keep it. However one could note the fact that the Priestly author was a vegetarian:
The rift between the father Sky God and Mother Nature deepens even further as we move further from the garden. "After the flood, God gave humans a renewed, but more oppressive authority over the animals. In Genesis 9:2 God says "The fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you" (Corballis). This position has become frighteningly prophetic.
The father God thus, without regard to the needs of eternal nature to be preserved or protected from fallible or greedy human domination in mankinds own interests, commits nature to human domination., without even imposing the condition of responsible stewardship - simple slavery is all that is stated!
Part 1: Archetypal Myth
and Human Destiny
Part 2: The Eden of Genesis - Adam and Eve in the Garden
Part 3: The Crucifixion, Gnosticism, and the Millennium
Part4: The Follow-through
Return to Genesis of Eden?