Satan In the Garden of Eden?
Christianity tells us that Satan lied to Eve by convincing her God had lied.
GEN 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
GEN 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.
But working within the myth, god did lie. They didn't die when they ate the fruit, and they became like gods, to know good and evil.
God is quoted as saying:
GEN 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
They were never immortals anyway so unless they died on the spot, god lied. And they didn’t.
Then there is the consideration that unless death is total destruction it isn't death anyway. It's just transformation. Christians say you go to heaven or hell so you never really die. Before heaven was supposedly open the dead lived in limbo or the underworld, like ghosts. The snake told the truth.
The idea that it was Satan in the garden is a Christian addition to the myth. It was a talking snake. The reason it was a snake is because the story is a derivative of an old Sumerian story about a snake in the garden of a goddess. It lived in her tree of knowledge along with another goddess called Lilith.
The Jewish God punished a snake, not Satan. Didn't he know the difference? The OT mentions Satan as god's right hand man in Job. The Jews view Satan as the accuser of men. He is like god’s cop, not his enemy. Jewish scholars have said that Satan represents god’s doubt.
But Christians have a very different view of this Jewish myth. Still, I take it Job was well after the fall, and Satan is walking around in heaven, not trapped somewhere doomed to slither along on the earth as god proclaimed in his punishment for the snake.
GEN 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life
Did god lie again? See how the Christian addition falls apart like a cheep suit? A study of Sumerian myths tells us a great deal about where the Jews got their myths. But most Christians don't want to know about that.
Before 'the fall' Adam and Eve would have been little more than animals. So why would god punish them for disobeying when they could not have known to do so was bad before they ate the fruit? How can you know right and wrong unless you know good and evil? And why would god put such trees in a garden with kids? Sounds like he was tempting them. He wanted them to sin, or god is not all that bright. Are we to believe he didn't know what his new creation was going to do? He didn’t know man kind’s behaviour? He didn’t know the phycology he created in us? Seems a little odd.
Well maybe he didn't. He sure seems surprised by it all, very upset and a little worried. Certainly it isn't an all knowing god by this story.
Ok. So maybe a Christian can say he did want them to eat. So why not just tell them to? Why the games? And why the damage control after the fact? Why punish them for something he wanted them to do? Does that sound like justice to anyone these days?
Had god not taken the tree of life from the garden, they could have eaten from that and been gods. Adam was a real idiot. Why didn't he eat from the tree of life first? It wasn't forbidden. But that wouldn't have fit the supposed moral of the story, would it?
I am always surprised that any modern human being can actually believe the story of Adam and Eve is reality. It's too contrived, too contradictory, and too absurd for words. It can be viewed as nothing more than a metaphoric tale about how a snake lost it’s voice and it’s legs, and about how man kind came to consciousness against god’s will.
It is easy to see why consciousness would seem like a curse more than a blessing to ancient man. Ignorance could be considered bliss if your life is as hard as theirs was. I think these two lines say it all:
Before they ate:
GEN 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
After they ate:
GEN 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
It isn’t about feeling guilty about being naked. That isn’t a sin. If modesty is a concern, why bother? No one was there to see them. This is a mental nakedness. A self-consciousness. They hide from god because they know they did what he told them not to now, and it has opened their eyes to themselves. It is clearly a story of how man kind because self aware and all the pitfalls that brings with it.
As a direct book of knowledge, the bible leaves a lot to be desired. But as a way to look into the mind of our ancestors living 3 to 5000 years ago, it is very useful and enlightening.
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