18 And the LORD God said: 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.' 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them; and whatsoever the man would call every living creature, that was to be the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.
No, DUH! Parade the elephants and the sheep around and ask the guy if there isn't anything that catches his fancy. LOL.... God's a real joker. Guess there weren't any rules against bestiality on the first day. Lucky Adam held out for something a little less hairy. lol...
When I first read the Bible, I didn't think of it that way since it's so ridiculous. But I did wonder why it has God acting like he thought there would be a human female just somewhere in the parade. Or as if it didn't occur to God that Adam would want a mate too since that was the point - he was showing him all these animals and I figured they were paired or at least male and female. Was it just to show him how things worked and get Adam to want someone like himself?
Of course, now I realize many men wouldn't care if it was an animal - NOT ALL MEN, I didn't say NO man cares.
Still, I never figured why it's phrased as if God was clueless. So I assume it's to show that Adam was being shown how that part of nature works.
I think this is an interesting question - did the animals have mates? There is no mention of mates, but many assume them. God made Adam of the ground, He made animals from the ground. Then He separates a part of Adam, and makes that into another person, with a consciousness of its own. Perhaps He did so for all the animals as well. Just a thought. Myself, I think this is a story not so much about "where did this world come from?" as "Where does this division of the world into genders come from?" Originally, each type of creature was one, then God divides each into two parts, male and female. Remember that movie line "You complete me"? Makes sense if we used to be one being. But I am getting poetic here....
Yes. The first part of Gen says "Male and female created he." But when it comes to Adam he has to take her from a rib?
I don't read the original language, but what I've read is that the meaning of the word traditionally translated "rib" is far from clear. Some scholars think it would be better translated "side," but even that is an unusual use for that word. I read one book which discussed this issue at length, and said that that particular Hebrew word usually wasn't used to describe a body, it usually described something like the "side" of a structure.
I don't think the story is compelling for the sake of these details (does it say rib or side?), but because it speaks to our experience in relationships.The story expresses the idea that originally there was one human, then God divided the original into two, male and female. There are other creation myths with this same idea - the original human separated into two parts. Perhaps the message of these stories is more about the feeling of fusion two people feel when they fall in love, and when they build a life and family together.
I searched high and low for another meaning of the word rib and haven't found one. I usually like a Jewish translation rather than any Christian ones and there is often a lot of difference. But even in the verbatim translation it says god took a unit from his ribs. We can assume that to mean one of the ribs.
"and YHWH of Elohiym made a trance fall upon the human and he slept and he took a unit from his ribs and he shut the flesh under her, 22&and YHWH of Elohiym built the rib which he took from the human for a woman and he made her come to the human, 23&and the human said this time is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh for this she will be called out woman given that from man this was taken,"
I like your divided theory. It sounds almost like a reference to when what was to become a human were single celled creatures who divided in order to reproduce. But of course the bible isn't saying that.
I wish I could see it as you do, representing a fusion between man and woman, which surely there is in reality. But what I really see in an unmistakable way is Jewish male culture imposing dominance over woman. She is not made in the image of god. She is made in the image of man, for man, to serve man as man serves god.
I just did a hub on this today: The Bible and the Oppression of Woman.
Woman are goddesses. They should never be oppressed.
Well, thank you for calling us goddesses. That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me all day
Many people see it as you do, that the Bible oppresses women, and that Jewish and Christian culture oppress women. I can certainly see what you mean. I have also been a Christian for many years, and experiencing God has been the best and sweetest thing in my life, and i have experienced this through Christianity. (So I am biased.) Because the Bible does address deep issues, (I am not one who thinks the Bible is straightforward, I think it is very complex) I think it is a text which is particularly prone to people reading their own hangups into it. After all, those who wish to oppress women and promote slavery were convinced the Bible supported them. John Calvin felt justified in executing men who taught a somewhat different theology from himself regarding predestination. There really is no end to the self deception humans can fall into, as any student of history learns. -My own opinion: don't let religion (or the church) get in the way of experiencing God in this life. That would be letting the chauvanists and bigots win.
About the rib thing. I got that from a book I read some ten years ago. I think it is still on my shelf, and i'm going to go dig it up & see if I can shed some light....
OK, I'm back. The book is "Fashioned For Intimacy" by Jane Hansen, published 1997. I just checked Amazon, and the book appears to be out of print, though I see a bible study that may be based on the book. Like i said before, I know no Hebrew, so i depend on what i read for any insight into original languages. I'm going to quote directly the passage I was thinking of:
"We are told here that God took one of Adam's ribs to make the woman. It is interesting to note, however, that this reference in Genesis is the only time the Hebrew word sela is translated as "rib." This particular word is used many times in scripture as "side" or "side chamber" and is generally an architechtural term, refering to the side of an object. In 1 Kings 6:34, this word refers to "two leaves of a door." (KJV) Concievably then, according to The Theological Wordbook Of The Old Testament, this means that when God created the woman by taking a rib, He took a good portion of Adam's side."
When I read the first 2 chapters of Genesis it sounds to me as if women are made just as much in the image of God as men, so i think this is an example of people reading themselves, or their experiences, into the text. My own reading of this is that God removed some physical matter from Adam, but also a part of Adam's nature. That "other side" of Adam then became another person. What this means is that neither male nor female is a full representation of God: only together do they have all the attributes of the divine nature. It means humanity is interdependent: we need each other to understand God. I also think that patriarchal societies which devalue the feminine are devaluing some of the attributes of God, though they often think they are doing God a favor but suppressing femininity.
But anyhow, this is long enough, I'm writing a book here. I want to go read your hub, sounds interesting.
"Well, thank you for calling us goddesses. That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me all day"
And it should go without saying
"My own opinion: don't let religion (or the church) get in the way of experiencing God in this life. That would be letting the chauvanists and bigots win. "
Well that's the funny part of all this. I'm an atheist who has experienced god, so to speak and experience it all the time. I say it because to me it is the process of existence itself. I see a unity in all things and I can show it to be so through science. I am a Pantheist. To me, god is not a conscious being, it is the totality. How much more personal can a relationship get? There is nothing but god, in a metaphorical yet real sense.
I think most people mistake numinous feeling and the sense of natural unity with the totality, for this strange relationship with the mythical Jewish god and his son. It is the same relationship, but without the anthropomorphism or dogma.
Yes, an atheist can have a world view that some call religious.
"Fashioned For Intimacy" seems to be an interesting take, But really, two leaves to a door or taking a portion of Adam's side instead of a rib, still makes woman made of man, not god. At least the way I read it. I think other passages a few lines in concerning man being woman's master back me up.
That's the problem for me. Would you have to reach so far for an interpretation of any other book? Probably not. You would accept the word on the page. And you are right. People do read in to it what they want. That includes believers, and think more so than people reading it as they would read any fiction novel or any other ancient text. for that matter.
There are implications of not being created the same way at the same time. Eve is like a female version of Adam, cloned from him. Now you can take cloning one of two ways. One is the way you see it, as an exact duplicate though in the feminine. Or you can see it as the fact that the clone is not exact. Each time you clone from a previous clone, the pattern degenerates a bit. The quality decreases. Same as when people used tape instead of CDs. Each copy of a copy got worse, and it happened quickly.
A woman made from a man would be a lesser position than had god made them at the same time. And again, god made MAN in his image. He only made one human. That elevates him as being unique. Something taken from him to make another being would be lesser than he. Woman are less physically strong and often smaller in stature. It's obvious to the ancient Jew that she is less than a man.
As to your other point. I think the name of god in Hebrew does have both male and female connotations which some scholars have remarked on. But this would only natural since he is the creator. Even so, it may be an indication of a much earlier pagan influence.
I do like your interpretation. Though I don't agree with it, I think it's better than what I think is the original intent of the story.
Interesting that you say that. I seem to recall a Greek(?) myth about people starting out having a male half and a female half, each being having four legs, four arms, and two heads.
Then something happened, and people were literally split into two halves, and had to spend their lives looking for their "other half."
Sorry if this seems kind of incoherent; I'm up pretty late, and kinda slap-happy. I'll be turning in after I hit [submit].
I see nothing odd about the fact that Adam was created with some common sense.
But I do find it odd that some of his descendants show so little of it.
As a woman you should be ashamed to believe in such chauvinistic drivel.
But I am not ashamed of how God created Adam and Eve.
The only shameful thing is when people try to switch the roles.
You would. So bow down to me then, the superior male. You don't have an opinion being a woman, according to your bible. No back talk now. lol....
I was gonna say sure, just as soon as you become the last man on earth; but I decided Nope not even then.
But your bible tells me your will is irrelevant.
and for their sin God let there be amnity between them.....
and I see it is stil so in this thread.....lololol
Slarty, You are too funny. I couldn't help but laugh. No, I will not bow down to men. I understand God did not create man to be superior over women. We are all equal. Lastly, I only bow down to the creator of this world. I hope that clear things up.
Well, thank goodness that's not an opinion held by the majority. I have no problem with women who want to be led, I'm sorry it appears you aren't liberal enough to give those of us intelligent enough to realize we don't need a leash the same courtesy.
A leash, huh?
Well, that does go back to the original post of this thread, doesn't it?! If God wanted Adam's mate to be on a leash, He would've told Adam he had to pick an animal as his mate. You and Slarty are the only ones who seem to think that's even a choice, and that mankind doesn't have common sense! LOL
I think you overstate the number of people Slarty, or myself, consider to be lacking in common sense. I couldn't speak for him, but I wil tell you anyone who thinks it is shameful for women to assume whatever role they are ready, willing or able to falls into that category of lacking common sense.
You must have little self worth and low self esteem. I feel sorry for you
You are doing here what many do, and applying modern standards to a text from the ancient world. By modern I don't mean the year we live in, I mean the "modern" worldview. The "modern" mindset is usually understood to have begun around the time of the Enlightenment, and includes using the findings of science, and the application of logic to understanding the world.
Before you say, "But that's the right way to understand the world! The way anyone who is not stupid understands the world!" please realize you are a creature of your time and culture. The people of the ancient world had no such standards. They did not see an obvious divide between the material world and the spiritual world, they had no doubt miracles happened, that supernatural powers affected their lives in ways that were sometimes inexplicable. They did not think that "logic" was the only, or even the best, way to arrive at truth.
Quoting an ancient text, then pointing out how it does not meet modern standards, is similar to what anthropologists call ethnocentrism. People who are ethnocentric look at other cultures according to the standards of their own culture. Of course, other cultures are going to come up lacking: an Eastern culture has a different mindset and different values.
Pointing out how the Bible, or any ancient text, does not meet modern standards, and is therefore foolish, is akin to a Westen person saying something like, "Asians think the collective is more important than the individual! LOL! How ignorant! And they can't even see how dumb they are! Cracks me up!"
Few modern people would say something like this, as almost evryone accepts that cultures can have different values, and see the world from different perspectives. In fact, most people think that looking at the world from the perspective of another culture is a positive thing. This has always been one of the incentives to travel: to broaden one's mind and transcend narrow limitations, both intellectual and social.
For some reason all of this gets thrown out the window with the Bible. I suppose the Bible is such a fixture of Western culture many forget the Old Testament dates far back in antiquity, and the relatively young New Testament is a bit less that 2,000 years old. Who would expect it to meet the standards of the last 200 years? Why would anyone expect an ancient wrting to be immediately accessible, with no consideration of history, context, culture, ect.?
The Bible has been around for millenia because it speaks to people on a deep level. Dismissing a sacred text found valuable in the lives of so many shows a disinterest in understanding one's fellow human beings. Whether you beleive it or not yourself isn't the question.
For someone who is claiming rationality is not the be all and end all, you are very rational and refreshing, Grace. I agree with most every word you have said. One can not view other cultures by our own standards. However, one can see what people's intent is.
I can not judge people from 3000 years ago as evil because they went on a rampage through the desert slaughtering every man woman and child. They had their fears and their reasons and it is ancient history. The Jews of today are not inclined to that again. Also I know they were a patriarchal society, so woman were property. Similarly they still are under Islam, and they were for centuries in the West as well. We are not talking about or judging another culture. We are talking about our own.
What strikes me is that people of today who do not share those values, hold a book dear that does, and they often try to imitate its message.
Do you think woman are property? I highly doubt it. Do you think it is morally correct to see or treat woman as property? I would doubt that too.
Woman's rights were gained by fighting people who used the bible to see they didn't get any. Slavery was abolished in the US after fighting a war with people who used the bible to try to keep their slaves.
So the book does not conform to present day ideas of morality which have evolved to a higher level. In the minds of man, if not always in practice. I think todays moral standards ARE higher and we are closer to a just morality than we were. So I think it is right to point out the wrong that others do not see in the bible. Not against their culture, but for ours.
It is about evolution. These books while educational and relevant to the times they were written, are no longer relevant to the people of today and they actually hinder our progress toward a more empathetic society if we take them literally.
The other thing is I like to pint out how people cherry pick what they like and do not like about their religion. To me, if you can decide what is right and what is wrong with your religion and believe on your terms, you have no basis for a religion at all.
Christians do not even realize they do this. Even the fundamentalists do it, and apologize for things that don't sound right in the bible, making excuses and interpretations for passages that are clear as day. And yet if we took everything literally, (excluding the obvious parables) our world would be a lot less just and lot rougher. Much like during the ongoing Catholic inquisition.
So people need to be confronted with this.
I wrote a hub about my history with the Bible. This forum was making me reflect about how I interact with scripture, and the place it has in my spiritual journey, but I had so much to say it turned into a hub.
Here it is: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Bibles-Plac … itual-Life
Slarty - I am thinking of writing a hub about Lilith, and wanted to do a little more research. Could you recommend any good books? (I would like to stick to print at least at first, rather than internet.)
It's funny how that part of the story is never mentioned by Biblical literalists who believe the Creation story verbatim. Given some of the other smut in the Bible I suppose we can be relieved that the story never has Adam choose an animal and try to lie with it.
It is just story telling by the sinful scribes; it never happened literally.
How can I say this is not even worth a comment, without actually commenting?
Glad you could both make a non-comment. lol.... Does it bother you when your bible is shown to be absurd?
People making absurd comments about the Bible (should) bother me, BUT
considering the source, I understand. I truly do.
I mean, what else should I expect from a nonbeliever?
On second thought, maybe a little respect for others. But I guess that's too much to ask.
Oh well, I will keep on "not posting".
You do that. lol... Like a train wreck you can't look away from, eh?
How about you actually read the words and what they say instead of making excuses for your bible and pretending it says something else? I can read and comprehend what I read. Can you?
I see, you certainly can.
Go right ahead, read and comprehend to your little heart's content.
Don't let me interrupt the fun you are having.
Nothing to add, I see. Why DO you bother posting? lol....
I'm not posting. Remember!
That's why it's empty.
If you really want to have an intelligent discussion, we can.
That is if you consider me at all intelligent enough. Dunno?
Oh yeah, Slarty...you just proved it...Wow!
You can't read either? Is this an affliction all Christians have?
Must be, Slarty...Dang...you got everything figured out. It is really impressive how you display your intelligence!
So explain it then the way you read it. Or are you just all about criticizing others but have nothing to add?
Slarty, No, the bible is mostly absurd to those who are spritually dead. I am not here to bicker and argue. Have a good day.
Why are you here then? You must want your faith tested. Probably because you don't have as much as you think. What do the words on the page say, and don't lie.
There is nothing you can say that wiill knock my faith.
I liked the question until you had to stupify it with your own comment.
Woman was not first on the list for obvious reasons, that reveals itself further on in scripture.
Bestiality has always been and will always be on the list of sins because it defies the 'natural' order and its just plain gross, God did not need to be reminded of that. The act of naming the animals was among others things a deterrent or distraction from Adams 'pity party'.
I think that a tamed lion would be a terrific pet, all of the animals in the garden were pettable.
The word is help (to assist) mate (companion) the words are not 'for a sex partner'.
Yet shortly after he makes a woman. For what? A help partner? lol... come now. It is obvious what the text says. God got him to check out all the animals to see if there was anything he liked. It's there in black and white. Why are you guys always so willing to make excuses for your bible? Read what it actually says instead of how you were trained to read it.
What was the reason woman was not first on the list?
You realize the bible contradicts itself here. It says first that man and woman were created at the same time like all the other animals. But then it tells us this fairy tale about a rib, just so woman can be subjugated and less than man.
Woman should be ashamed to believe this stuff. It couldn't be clearer.
The reason for the two versions in the bible is because there were two factions of Hebrews with two competing stories when the book was written. The scribes incorporated both.
The other faction says Lilith was Adam's wife, and that she was created at the same time as Adam. The Hebrew story has been revised to say that Lilith was Adam's FIRST wife. Why did they separate? Because she wanted to be on top from time to time. She felt he was trying to subjugate her. It's an old story and don't tell me it wasn't about sex and sex politics. lol...
Lilith is a much later story, not found until the Babylonian exile. Scholars class Lilith as "folklore," not canon. Christianity has folklore as well, ideas that grow up around the accepted canon, sometimes explaining puzzling things in the canon, sometimes it seems just for entertainment value. The medival tradition that Noah's wife was a drunk seems to be one of the latter.
Sorry. Lilith is much older than Babylonian captivity. You can find her in Sumerian writing dating back to 3000 bce. No it is not official. But that doesn't mean much.
Lilith entered Jewish culture after Babylon.
Canon is an important concept in the study of many religions, important in the history and the development of those traditions. What is and what is not accepted to be canon is important to know if one hopes to have any understanding of the different faith systems.
I don't think so. Again, there are two versions of creation in Genesis. One reflects one faction who said man and woman were created at the same time, the other reflects the rib myth. This is clear in Jewish scholarship. But Eve won out in the end.
The Jews did become reacquainted with their Babylonian past. But the story of Lilith was among the Jews since the beginning. How could it not be since Abraham came from the Sumerian city of Ur?
As for Cannon, yes it is important to the religion itself, but not to the study and history of it. It is just what a few men decided should be there
Congratulations. This is, without a doubt, the funniest OP I've seen in a while. It took a while to stop laughing before I could type the complement.
What I really like is imagining an ancient being shown things he has no idea how to explain in his current words and ideas; what did he see that he described like this? Fast-forwarded evolution (out of the ground, the Lord God formed every beast...)?
I feel sorry for people that need to post such rubbish. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. I hope you recieve your needed attention.
But what I really see in an unmistakable way is Jewish male culture imposing dominance over woman. She is not made in the image of god. She is made in the image of man, for man, to serve man as man serves god.
If Adam was divided into two parts, how is that not still the image of God? I don't see how this means a man is to be dominant over a woman...
Did you read bible verses? They are clear as day.
Look. God creates all the animal in male and female form. But he only creates one man from dust and breathes into it, giving it life. He says MAN is made in his image.
Then he decides Adam needs a mate. Besides showing him animals and not finding one there, what does he do? He doesn't create woman from the ground and breathe into her. He makes a female out of one of Adam's ribs. Adam names her woman, because she is made from man.
She is not Adams equal, she is subservient to him. He is her master. There are plenty of bible verses that say this clearly. There is no other mystical interpretation to be made.
Genesis 3:16: “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Can it be any clearer?
I think Genesis 3:16 is the curse that followed the fall from a state of perfection. I think this is a description of unhealthy relationships with men - the woman wants the man, wants his approval very badly, and he manipulates her because she tries to win his approval more than she tries to have integrity within herself. He "rules over her" not because this is what God wanted for humanity, but because once they are fallen their relationships become twisted.
So I see this not as creation, but as the fall. And Jesus came to set humanity free from the power of the fall - among other things these types of dominating relationships between men and women.
Genesis 3:16: “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Can it be any clearer?
That IS what happens, doesn't mean it's what should happen. Sounds like an "I told you so" to me!
I know Paul said men are better than women because men were made first so they "should" rule. He never explained why animals aren't ruling men since animals were made first.
I see in the verses you have, it says animals were made afterward, I didn't find that in other versions.
Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2 tell the story differently. In chapt 1 the order goes: plants, fish, animals, human beings of both genders. In chapt 2 the order goes: Adam, animals, Eve.
Paul must have been using the chapt 2 version for this particular argument, since if being first makes one superior, according to chapt 1 animals are superior to humans, and plants are superior to both.
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