A Critique Of Genesis
A Critique Of Genesis
Let’s take a look at Genesis. As well as being the Jewish creation story, it also explains how mankind found itself in its current position of having to work hard to make a living, why woman have painful childbirth, and why the animals all have names. I want to look at it from that perspective, but at the same time, this book has a lot of other information which while it does not all jibe with current knowledge, tells us a great deal about the minds of the people who created these stories.
It tells of a God that creates a flat earth. It also tells of water being above and below the universe. Why would they have thought there was water above them in the heavens? The probable answer may surprise you.
These people were simple and uneducated, and some would say it shows in their model of the world. But it also shows a great deal of thought and deduction, even if their conclusions were wrong due to a lack of real knowledge.
So lets begin.
GEN 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
By heaven they probably mean everything above the earth, not the Christian heaven, as according to them god doesn’t live in this universe, but outside of it, and to the Christian heaven is where god lives.
But he isn’t creating a universe here, just a sky and the earth.
GEN 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
What waters? It says that the earth was without form and void. Then it is
said that the spirit of god moved upon the face of the waters. Not the waters of earth because it was void and shapeless. So what waters? Did mankind believe the pre-heavens were composed of water? It seems so. In fact, many religions have creation myths and many of those involve the "pre-heavens" being composed of water. A lot of them predate this one. Is it a revision of earlier stories? Not always. It seems to be something that we are led to imagine in some way.
The Maori believed that water is the structure of the heavens, as did the Maidu Indians of California, the Yauelmani Yokuts of California, the Maya, the early Egyptians, and the Mesopotamians to name but a few.
Many of these cultures predate Judaism. The American Indians could not have had any contact with Judaism as such. They came to America some 30,000 years ago during an ice age, so unless the stories of Judaism come from very ancient mythology that predates them by some 75,000 years or more, these stories could not come from the same source.
While we already know the Jews inherited these stories from the Sumerians possibly as early as 3000 to 4000 BC, there is no way to link the Sumerians to the American Indians unless the idea of water composing the heavens is an idea that is older than both groups. In a way I think that is the case. But it need not have been passed on all that time. It may be something that seemed obvious to different groups at different times. In other words, there may be a common reason for people from such diverse cultures to all come to the same conclusion.
I'll let you read on and we will come back to this interesting phenomenon a little farther along.
GEN 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
GEN 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Light comes to us from the sun and stars through the emission of photons. How can the light be divided from the darkness? The rotation of the earth? Distance from a sun or light source? But this isn't talking about that, it speaks as if light and darkness were separate "things". Darkness is only so as seen through our eyes in the absence of a photon light source that our eyes can perceive.
With different spectrum equipment we have seen that the heavens are alight, we just can't see it with the naked eye. Our eyes are incapable of seeing anything but white light without aid. So it is our biology that separates the light and dark, but he hadn't created us yet. He hasn't even created a sun yet, so where is the light coming from? God himself ? Well if god is light, then he wouldn't have had need to create it, would he?
GEN 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Here we are told how man believed things were named. By now society had forgotten where names for things came from. It had already been too long back in our evolution, and no records were kept of who developed language or how or when, so we assumed that a god had given us language too.
But why would a god need to name things? Doesn't he know what they are? In what language did he name them? What does a god need with language?
GEN 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Webster’s defines Firmament as: "The whole vault of the sky with its myriad stars." So the universe is encased in water? And then god lives outside all of that? Very interesting idea, and I'll tell you where that idea might well came from. The reason for this assumption is simple.
As I said before, I wondered what water would be doing in a pre heaven. Why did mankind think there was water above us? Water was very important to early humanity, it meant life itself. But that wouldn't have been enough to make them all believe the universe was encased in it. I wondered if it might have something to do with the womb. Ancient pagans might have had the idea that the earth was born out of a womb. (Some do, many of the female gods were connected to a womb myth) Or maybe it was a remnant memory of the primordial sea? I was really reaching.
Any number of reasons or perceptions could have conceived this idea, but none are as convincing as the simplest answer of them all; the common eliminate that all cultures share.
I pondered it for some time and was about to start looking up pagan creation myths again when I flippantly asked my 16 year old daughter why she thought mankind would believe there was water above the earth? I didn’t even expect an answer.
To my utter shock, she answered me in a heartbeat: "Duh! Because the sky is blue, dad."
Need I say more? Could it be that simple? Could it have been another one of mans first "empirical" observations, misunderstood; just as gravity was? Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one.
The other thing that comes to mind about the above passage is: If god had already made light, what was the need for stars? It is as if mankind didn’t see the connection between light and a light source.
So here we have a universe filled with water and newly created light. God then divides the water from above and below. He creates a layer of waterless space. Above is water and below is water. In the center is a void. No sides are mentioned so we now may assume that these waters stretch to almost infinity and that the universe is flat. Kind of a universe sandwich. We now we have a picture of a flat universe with water above and below.
But did mankind see it that way? We don’t really know. Could have been that most people thought there were sides.
As it happens science has recently discovered that the universe is indeed probably flat. But as yet we have not found any indication of water. It is easy to understand why early humans may have thought it was flat, because the earth for them was flat. But most of us these days were expecting to find a round universe, like our earth. How things change, and stay the same.
GEN 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Before this, we were given a picture of a flat universe with water on top and below. Now we have a layer of water, the universe, and below it, the new flat earth that springs up out of the water. Well, after all, were the earth round all that water would just fall off, wouldn't it? So would we if we got too close to the tipping point. We get to idea that the ocean is pushed to the side to reveal this land.
GEN 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good.
God talks to himself a lot doesn't he? He saw that it was good? Didn't he know it would be in advance? He is god, after all, isn't he? Was he worried it would not be good? How can god create something that is not good? It seems to be a foregone conclusion.
But where did the earth come from? It sounds like it was under the sea all the time. All god had to do was collect the water together in one place. He didn’t just create the earth, he seems to have uncovered it. It was already there. Nothing here says he created the earth itself. It says that god created light. Then he divided the waters and thereby created a bubble of space in the pre-existing water. Then he gathered the water on the bottom of the bubble and let pre-existing dry land rise up out of it. Presumably the length of the universe.
Well, it was a relatively small universe to them, compared with what we now know.
GEN 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Not a bad attempt. Flora would have likely developed before fauna. One point
for the imagination of mankind.
GEN 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Well, so much for Webster’s definition. It seems a firmament can exist without stars. But what light did god create in the beginning then? We still don’t know. Light itself? Wild photons running amuck in the universe without cause?
God even has a use for all those billions of stars: signs and seasons and
such. Now this is getting a little more toward mans actual observations and away from imagination. We had learned to count days and nights and seasons and years by the stars and sun. We assumed that this is why god put them there. The fact that these lights in the sky were stars like our sun, surrounded by other planets, didn't even occur to them.
GEN 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Well, an accurate observation and deduction, for the most part. There are, indeed, stars in the sky and they do shine upon the earth. But except for the sun they don’t provide a lot of light. We see that.
GEN 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
The sun is a star. All stars are suns. The moon only seems to shine at
night. We know that the light is coming from the sun, and that the moon does not shine, but reflects the sun light coming from the other side of the earth back toward us. An easy mistake to make for man, but not for a god.
At first we were told he created lights in the firmament and now we are told he also created stars. What is the difference? Yet here a difference is being made. Or are the story tellers just going back and forth at random?
GEN 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
So he didn't even make them in the firmament, but placed them there
afterward? Did he do that for all the stars? Or just the sun and moon? Again this suggests god is not in the firmament but outside it on the other side of the water.
GEN 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
GEN 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Here Genesis almost agrees with common science again. Life began in the sea. But what were the birds doing there? Did man think birds were born out of water? We know that dinosaurs came before birds. In fact, we know that some of them probably became birds. But where are the dinosaurs? We won't find them here at all.
But earlier god had created grass and trees. We know that all life started in the sea including plant life, which migrated to the land. So the sequence is wrong after all.
GEN 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
If these people had known about dinosaurs, they would surely have mentioned
them. Thler lack of presence here shows that no one even suspected that they existed before birds and other animals. Again, an easy omission for early man who could not have known about them, but inexcusable that a god wouldn’t have told us about them. And sure enough, birds emerge from the water.
GEN 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Obviously mankind believed we were made to rule the earth. The survival instinct had served us so well that we could master almost any beast. We were the rulers of the earth in our own eyes and made it so. Is it that that man felt we had to justify our cruelty toward other animals? After all, it's much easier to kill an animal if it is not your equal.
I wonder if all carnivorous animals have the idea that they are superior?
One would almost have to have that idea in order to be able to kill. Violence is a sure sign that one creature values it's need above those of all others. Survival demands this attitude from a flesh eating creature.
GEN 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
In this passage god has created man kind in his own image, male and female at the same time. It says so right here. He created all creatures male and female, including mankind.
GEN 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
GEN 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
So god gets tired? How? Is he a physical entity then? How does a spirit get tired and in need of rest? How human of him.
And now we are about to read the detailed version of the same creation story. But is it the same story?
We have to remember that there were 12 tribes of Israel originally. Ten of them were taken by the Assyrians and “dispersed.” (whatever that may mean). That left two tribes that would later write the Torah. All the tribes did not have exactly the same creation myth. Some scholars have suggested that this first version of the story in which men and woman were created at the same time just as every other creature had been, is a tribute to the beliefs of at least some of the other tribes.
It is also the reason for the Lilith story. She was supposedly Adam’s first wife according to some stories. She was created at the same time Adam was and was his equal. But things just didn’t work out. She wanted equality and he want to master. She got frustrated and uttered the real name of god, and instantly became a wind demon who lived near the Red sea and would go on to have hundreds of demon children.
The next passages contradict the idea that man and woman were created at the same time.
GEN 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
GEN 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
Plants do very well without men to till the ground. It is also well known that farming was not the first thing mankind did. We were nomadic, following herds for food. There are enough pictures in caves of this. Man did not till the soil until much later and we have found the archeological sites that show this clearly. That means that this was written quite a while after man was already on the scene. In fact, it was handed down by word of mouth for many years before man even learned to write. It was certainly a story which was written long after mankind learned to farm. Long enough to seemingly forget that we were not farmers from the beginning.
Who did god tell this story to? No author is mentioned. And there couldn't be because no one knew who heard that story anymore by the time they decided to write it down. Some say Moses wrote it, but that is hardly likely considering the writing styles of the Torah are so very different from book to book. And besides, Moses never says he wrote it, I would think there would be a reference to that event. There is not. Look for it.
GEN 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Only seven days after the earth had risen from the sea? It should still be sopping wet. So why does he need a mist to come up from the earth to rain on all the land?
Perhaps we can find the answer in what some Christians say: god’s days are a thousand years. But that would mean he took 6 thousand years to make the earth, and then took a thousand year break.
It would also mean the earth was dry as a bone with seeds buried in it by god for thousands of years before they came forth after the rain.
I doubt that’s what the ancient Hebrews thought when they told the story to each other.
GEN 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Many of us were taught that we were brought forth from clay. Why is that when the bible says dust? It seems the word dust in Hebrew can refer to sand dust or clay dust or in fact dirt.
It is interesting to note, however, that this idea seems to originate in ancient Sumerian myth, and is later restated by other old African creation myths, whereby it states that the gods fashioned each race from different colored clay
At least the Sumerians tried to figure out where other races came from. Not a word is mentioned in this book of the Torah regarding other races. But much later Noah’s sons create the races.
Some fundamentalists argue that the tower of Babel is the point where races were created. Everyone was Hebrew and then suddenly, not only is language mixed up, people are transported to other lands and their features are changed. Isn't that odd?
No mention is given in the Bible of that event. Nor is there any story telling us how these people reacted after suddenly finding themselves transported, and waking up Chinese. Were all their goods transported as well? Or did these people have to fend for themselves? Discarded by God? But the tower is another part of the Bible.
The Fundamentalists seem to be forgetting about Noah who’s kids created at least some of the races, if not all.
GEN 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Here god creates a garden and puts man in it. One man, not a pair. Why? We were told in the beginning that he made all things male and female. Not: except humans. And actually there are creatures that are not male and female. Some salamanders clone themselves.
And where are the genderless single celled animals, viruses and bacteria here? Like dino’s, nowhere to be found. Apparently all that creepeth were made male and female.
GEN 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
So this is the purpose of life according to the Bible? Man is here only to dress the land and keep it? This is not the idea Christians have of a god who made us for fellowship. It states clearly here that we are created to dress the earth and keep it. Is this the purpose of life according to Christianity? No other reason is given. Even the reason for creation itself is not revealed. Odd, isn't it?
Well maybe not. Sumerian gods created us to dredge the rivers for them. Most creation myths have us around for doing work for the gods in one way or the other. But we were not made to be company for god or as his children according o this.
GEN 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
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.
It is good to note that he says this to Adam, not Eve. She’s not around yet.
GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: an whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
This is an interesting passage. God thinks man should not be alone, so what does he do next? He creates beasts for Adam to choose a mate from. Had he not already made male and female things? Had God not decided the mechanics of how animals were going to breed? I had thought a god would have had all this planned out in advance, but this shows a god that doesn't quite know what to do next. A confused God? Or more likely two different versions of the same story fused together.
It said before that the foul was made in the sea and that it came from the sea. Now it suddenly appears from the earth? Go back and read that passage again and
tell me this is not a direct contradiction. And don't tell me that birds have two different origins. This makes no sense in light of what was said before. It is a direct contradiction. What is even more contradictory is that in the first part of this, all the other animals were created way before man. Now the story back tracks and contradicts itself by saying man was made first.
GEN 2:20 And Adam 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 an help meet for him.
This is the passage I was talking about previously. Adam can't find a mate from among the animals. No kidding! They already had mates of their own kind anyway. He even offered Adam a chicken. Well a bird, anyway. Really? Doesn’t this strike anyone as being a little absurd?
So now god decides to make him a mate. Finally. But does he take her from the earth and breath in to her like he did to Adam? No. This again contradicts passages that say man and woman were created at the same time.
GEN 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
So why did God not simply make another being out of earth and call it something other than woman? Why make her from Adam's rib?
Clearly this myth was created to subjugate woman.
GEN 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Again, he made her in his secret lab and brought her to earth.
GEN 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Need I say anything here? Chauvinism at its utmost political. Not only is she made for man, out of man, but she is named by man. This passage would set the tone for woman, for millennia.
GEN 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
GEN 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
This is a crafty set up. It is little wonder we took our letters from the Romans and our numbers from the Arabs. It is little wonder we took our religion from the Jews. Here we are about to be told how we came to consciousness and how we first experienced shame. This strikes at the heart of mankind. He has wondered about the mechanics of guilt and consciousness. Now this wonderment is about to be played upon for more political gain, and to explain cause and effect. They called it, Good and Evil.
GEN 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
GEN 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
GEN 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
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.
It is obvious god does not want man to be "as him" It is obvious the serpent is meant to represent temptation and a lust for power, or just plain curiosity. But there is so much more going on in these lines. They are saying that Adam and Eve didn't have the knowledge needed to sin. One must have the knowledge of good and evil if one is to have the power to sin. You have to be intentionally guilty. And you can’t be that if you have what amounts to no concept of right and wrong.
The snake was not lying either. They did not die from the fruit, they became self conscious and self aware. This even though Adam and Eve seem to be conscious before this, they are blissfully unaware of evil and good.
GEN 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
If she had no knowledge of wisdom. Was that a bad thing? How was she to know, not knowing good from bad? I guess someone had to take the blame for all the hardship of the world, and it was thrust upon woman. It says she desired knowledge and wisdom. But did she have enough information to make such a choice; to desire such a thing? And why is that bad?
How does one know what wisdom is unless they have at least some? They have to have a concept of what wise and stupid are. A person with some wisdom may want more. A person without any doesn’t think about it.
This is not so much a story about learning about good and evil as it is a story about how mankind came to self awareness and feelings of guilt. The tree represents a secret knowledge we did not have. In the state of being pre-eating of the tree and gaining knowledge of complex discernment, which is what wisdom is: the ability to make informed judgments and choices between negative consequences and positive consequences which may come from potential actions, we would have been like the other animals. We would have lived by instinct alone.
For those who believe in free will, god did not give it to us, we took it and paid the price.
GEN 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
So this is the coming of guilt. The opening of the eyes. But they were naked and ashamed. We know that mankind wore skins for protection from heat and cold. We know that if you walk in the jungle naked, you stand a good chance of being bitten and whipped with twigs. Protection was why we took clothes, not shame. Shame came later. Cause and effect said that sex was easier without clothes, But clothes entice the mind to see what is beneath. It is our need for protection from the environment that led to clothing, and it is clothing that led to shame of nakedness.
Nudists are not ashamed of their nakedness, and they do not run around aroused all day. Nor is a society of nudists in a state of constant orgy. If nudism is what you are used to, then you see no shame in it. Shame is only born when someone tells you it is a dirty or a wrong thing to do. Society and its quest for peace through morality has made the body a shameful thing in some people’s eyes, but it is not so inherently.
There was a time men took woman at will. When fathers and mothers started
opposing that tradition, there came a need for a moral code in order to avoid a great deal of violence and conflict. We created such codes and have been working on them ever since. But when that human code was transferred to the will of a god, it became sinful to fornicate, not just morally wrong.
Remember that sin is decreed, it has nothing to do with natural human morality, or our social contract.
GEN 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
GEN 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
If God were all knowing, then he would surely not have had to ask. But it makes for a more interesting story, I suppose.
GEN 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Logic tells us that if a god exists it made us that way; naked. So what is there to be ashamed of?
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?
Didn't god know? And who had to tell them they were naked? What would that have meant to god? Wasn’t it obvious even to them they were naked even before they ate? It seems that they needed to have a certain wisdom to know they were naked. That just goes to prove the point I was making about them being like the beast in the field as far intellect and self awareness went before they ate.
GEN 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Man claims innocence. The poor "babe in the woods". " She made me do it" he cries. How pathetic.
GEN 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
She, in turn, blames the serpent. She tries the "Devil made me do it" defense, but god doesn't buy it either.
Now, let’s look at this for a moment, who is really at fault here? If god put the tree there in the first place, Why did he do so? To tempt man? To make him chose? This does not sound like an omnipotent, benevolent god. One would think that if he made children, he wouldn't have put a boiling pot in their play pen and expected them not to touch it.
By any stretch of the imagination, this can only be seen as cruelty. Or perhaps it was all part of a deliberate plan to force man kind to eat of the tree, and set in motion a string of cause and effect, culminating in consciousness. What an amazing idea. What an amazing metaphor. But if so why in the world would he then punish them for doing what he wanted them to do? Doesn’t make sense no matter how you look at it.
It points to ancient man's idea that consciousness is a double edged sword. If you know nothing, you are innocent. But the second you make a conscious decision, you risk the wrath of cause and effect/god. You also become aware that you will eventually die.
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:
I assume this means snakes had legs before this time? And that they could talk? This sounds like an ancient Indian legend of : How the snake lost its legs. Notice there is no mention of satan here, only a snake and his punishment. I know some will say it was him as a snake, but god seems to be punishing a snake, not a cast down angel. If that were so, then satan is going about on his belly as a snake for eternity. Does anyone believe this? But we can see how all this got confused, and eventually fused together.
By the way, when did cattle and the beasts of the field become cursed? It says that the snake will be cursed above the cattle. When did god curse them? Why? He didn't have time to curse them, he had just created them. What could they possibly have done to warrant being cursed?
GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Woman will hate snakes and be afraid of them, snakes will be persecuted by woman and killed by them. I know this is not what the religious think it means but it is obvious, to any that wish to look , that that is what it says.
"Enmity between thee and the woman" means he advocates hate between woman and snakes. So the man who wrote this may have noticed that woman don't like snakes, as a rule. But the fact is that some woman have them as pets and they get along quite well together. For that matter, some men do too, so even her seed has developed a liking for snakes. The curse didn't take?
It says nothing about Adam's children, only Eve's. Is there a difference? Are we to believe that by cursing Eve, he did not also curse Adam? Or does Adam not care about his children?
Some would have us look at it as though this passage prophesies the coming of Jesus. A man called Ken wrote to me and explained this idea.
"We cannot repay the debt of Adam and Eve, which is why God had to do something in order to restore our communion with Him. Enter Abraham, a God fearing man whom God would use to bring about what was spoken of in Gen. 3:15. (Provide an individual,
namely, Christ, who would deal a death blow to Satan’s head at the cross.)"
It shocked me that Ken could glean so much from this passage. I had to ask him where he got this idea from. What ensued was an argument over the wording of the passage in my version of the Bible. (An electronic version provided by the Mormons) Apparently, the word "it" should be replaced with the word "he". That, supposedly makes all the difference in the world.
The passage would then read and translate to: "And I will put enmity (hatred) between thee (satan, not snake) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he (Jesus, Eve's future seed) shall bruise thy head, (on the cross by forgiving sin) and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Well, we can surely see the problems with getting the truth out of this Bible. As I said to Ken, if this is what must be done to the Bible in order to understand it, you may as well throw the book away.
With this kind of doctoring, we can make any document say whatever we want it to say. It may also be of interest to note that this interpretation is entirely Christian. They were looking for a way to link Jesus with the old testament, and this is one of the ways they went about doing it.
GEN 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
So god curses woman to have bad pregnancies. "In Sorrow thou shalt bring
forth children." Nice, forgiving god we have here. Not only does he curse her existence, he sells her in to slavery to her husband. "And he shall rule over you." The politics is complete.
GEN 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
So what was he eating of before? The trees, the fruits the vegetables, the herbs. That is what he was already eating. What changed?
What was this curse? He cursed the ground? Well, god then not only punished mankind, but by cursing the ground, he punished all of creation. The plants that had to live off the ground, the animals, Adam's children, his wife. No one would have it easy any more. In other words, god sentenced the world to starvation. If you believe in the Bible then you must believe that world hunger today is a result of this decree. No?
And this is an all wise god of love? Didn't he know what he was doing? If
he did, then its even worse.
GEN 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
GEN 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
GEN 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
"Mother of all living." Remember this phrase? Adam is telling us that they are the first and only people. All claims that there were others is void.
GEN 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
I can't help feeling that mankind has just spoken of the fact that we used to wear animal skins as cloths. As a record of that fact, this is significant. But why would a god kill animals for clothes? Couldn't he just conjure them up from plants? We do, it's not that hard. Adam and Eve even knew how to make leaves into clothes.
GEN 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:
Wait a minute. Up till now man had been allowed to eat from any tree but one. So why did he not eat of the tree of life? He could have avoided this whole curse. But man doesn't think of that. Why? This passage also implies that mankind already had ever lasting life or god could not have taken it from him. Yet later passages contradict everything.
God doesn't seem to want man to live forever. Where does everyone get the
notion of a promise of everlasting life? God says here that we had become one of "them!" So we are as gods, but without ever lasting life. Are we gods children, or play thing?
Why would a god, who was like a father to us, not want the best for us? Why curse us with death for being like him and wanting to be? Do all children not want to be like their father or mother at some point in time?
The Mormons believe that we will all be gods some day. They even believe we will get to rule our own planet. As fundamentalist as they are, the Baptist would have to say that they were sinning just to believe such a thing. The Bible certainly doesn't seem to say god wants us to be like him, in fact, according to fundamentalist Christianity, satan was cast out for that very reason.
So lets get this straight. First he sentences us to die, which means we had ever lasting life before this incident. Then he takes away the tree of life saying that if we should eat of it we would have ever lasting life and be gods ourselves. ( Apparently there would have been nothing he could do about that if we had) Yet if he plans to throw some of us in to the pits of hell, and have some of us in heaven, then we all have ever lasting life anyway. Some get a good, fuzzy, afterlife, and others get tortured for eternity. Where does this death come in?
We will all return to dust. That is the punishment? That is death? Obviously the body dies. So this passage is telling us that before this, our body did not die.
But the whole Christian belief system is hinged on a life in heaven, with a physical body that does not die and does not suffer.
What the Jews believe is that we were cursed with death and that was the end of it, but Christianity wanted more. The Messiah became the way to heaven. He forgave us original sin by letting us kill him. To me, this is very twisted logic.
But this logic launched a whole new outlook for mankind. It tried to do what Judaism could not do. It gave mankind a way out of death. That was its great appeal, and the reason for its success. It played on the selfish side of mankind and at the same time, tried to eradicate selfishness on earth by promising bliss in death, as reward for self sacrifice.
It shows that mankind needed a new world view, and we made ourselves one. Even if the creators of this religion didn't understand fully what they had done, it still does not take away from the fact that they were subconsciously looking for a kinder and gentler society. Nor that they were also looking for a kinder and gentler god.
But on that score, (As we have already been through) they had problems because Christianity's god is still the Jewish god, and his message did not change.
In fact, those who have studied Revelations will understand that the Christians believe, in essence, that they are the true children of Israel. In this way, Christianity sees itself as the real Judaism, not an off shoot. This, I find ironic.
There is yet another question that must be asked: Are we expected to believe that the only requirement to be a god is ever lasting life, and the knowledge of good and evil? That is the criteria? Then we are gods already, by definition. I had thought there was a lot more to it than that; but apparently not.
This just shows the imperfect idea mankind had of "perfection" as well as "Godhood."
This God is not interested in fathering us, he is interested in protecting himself from us. A God with frailty?
GEN 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
GEN 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
This is a very "Dungeons and Dragons" kind of imagery. One wonders where this tree is now? We know where Eden is supposed to be. I wonder how many have gone looking for it? If God wanted us to have a sign that he existed, no better one could be found, outside full visual contact, than to leave a flaming sword and Cherubim guarding a tree of life. But to my knowledge, no one has found this tree.
Trees played a very important part in Sumerian religion as they were at times gods themselves. Easy to see that these trees are borrowed from Sumerian myth.
All in all Genesis is not an accurate account of anything. It is a model that some people created for themselves so that they could explain our existence and why we came to have hard lives. As a sort of diary from the past it is most entertaining and educational from an anthropological stand point. But it obviously is not fact.
Perhaps I will change my assessment when we find a sea of water beyond the universe, or those Cherubim guarding a tree of life … But I won’t hold my breath.