Chapter 2 is a flash back of sorts. Remeber, in the last blog that I mentioned that on the seventh day he rested? I think, if I were to be the believing type, that we are all currently in the “resting God” time. Seriously, in god years, we are still in that seventh day, where God is resting. If the Christians are to be believed, we can see his goodness everywhere, but when was the last time you saw a direct influence of the diety? Lets all just agree that it has been a while. Sure, you see the occasional visage on a slice of toast or in some water damage, but really, its been a while since I have heard of direct divine contact. I did, however, walk into a giant spider web. If a spider is one of God’s creatures, and God was reaching out to me that way, I wouldn’t have heard him over my own screaming. I’m stubborn that way.
Anyway, flashback. On the sixth day, God created mankind. (I would believe, as Douglas Adams says, that this was generally looked on as a mistake) The weird thing is, and I have been asking around, because this doesn’t make a lot of sense. I did get one plausible reasoning, but we shall see what you think. If you read my last submission, you will see that God created the plants on the third day and man and woman on the sixth day. The discrepancy lies in the following chapter which reads:
Now no shrub had yet appeared on earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
So, the second day is the day that God split the water from the water, and the fourth day was when God created plants. Man was created on the sixth day. But this says that man was created before plants. I have asked about this, and have yet to get an answer. Tomorrow is church, so maybe one of you can as about this, because I just don’t get it when reading it. I am taking this word of God to be literal, as some profess it to be. I am also attempting to read between the lines as allegory. So, ladies and gentleman, I come to the first point I can’t make sense of. Was man created on the third day, or the sixth.
I suppose that is a minor detail, but it is in the details where we split truth from rumor. It seems that the details of the passage, in how God created man from dust and breathed life into him, this could be more of a symbolic meaning. Our bodies are comprised of mostly water. We are carbon based life forms. The dust that God is forming humans out of could feasibly be the elements of which we are put together ie. carbon, oxygen, hydrogen etc. As for the breathing life into us, I have no idea how that works. I know I need air to make me live. I breath it uncontiously. What makes a baby go from breathing amnionic fluid to air? The need to breathe is inate, and we take it for granted. Why do we breathe? We just do! Everything does. But this is not a true explination. We know how we breathe, we know what, we even know the purpose behind breathing. But what made it so that living creatures actually do breathe? I have no answer, yet here is one explination. It was breathed into all living creatures by a higher power. Is it the truth? I have no idea. But it certainly explains things in a nice neat package given with a bow.
Moving on. Immediately after making the first dude, God planted the Garden of Eden somewhere in what is thought to be Mesopatamia. This garden had ever kid of tree in it. Lets just think about that for a minute. Mesopotamia is a barren wasteland of desert, am I right? This is where such lush and bountiful agricultural hubs such as Iraq, Quwait, Turkey and Syria are located. For sake of argument, I am going to assume that the world was much different then, and perhaps the perfect garden was able to be. In the middle of this garden was the Tree of Knowledge of good and Evil. Then God took the man, and commanded him (Not asked nicely mind you. Perhaps things may have gone much different if the dude was just asked nicely instead of commanded.) to tend to the garden. To be completely fair, dude was allowed to eat everything he wanted in the garden. Anything, that is, except from the Tree of Knowledge. To be fair, God did tell dude that he would be poisoned and die if he ate the fruit. So he did warn him.
Poor man, tending this garden all alone. Eating all the fruit he could eat. God made birds, fish, and all the other animals, and had man name them. So now, dude is tending the garden, and naming all the animals alone, and God feels pity for him, so one night while dude is sleeping, God reaches into his chest and removes a rib, and makes some chick out of it. (If these people were formed, did they have belly buttons? Just a thought.) Now, because God used a part of the man to make the woman, they are of one flesh. Like the woman that man chooses is an extension of himself. Honestly, I wish more men on this planet would see their wives as an extension of themselves. Maybe then the instances of spousal abuse would be less frequent. Selfishness in this world would go down. Just thinking.
Anyway, so God finally gives dude a name, and that name is Adam. It doesn’t say when, the Bible just begins to refer to dude as Adam.
This is the end of Chapter 2. I have found some interesting discrepancies that I am having a hard time explaining away. The breath idea supports the Bible, because I have no other explanation nor have I seen any scientific explanations of why we breathe. The days thing is also baffling, yet was explained to me to be taken more as allegory. This is hard for me, because I stuck up for the first chapter, only to have the explanation shaken up by the second chapter. We still have the Tigris and the Euphrates, so that seems ligit. As does the human form being made of “dust” which to God could just be the elements we are made out of.
Woman came after man, which is fine, because even God needs a rough draft. Having woman made from a bit of man is also a nice way to look at the soul mates concept. Everyone has a mate. And God only made one mate for Adam. So that supports the idea of one man and one woman, however, Adam didn’t have anyone else to choose from, so, well, who knows!
One thing that I think gets glossed over is the last sentence of the chapter. “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” God made the human form, and he let them wander without shame. The body was not disgusting, or dirty. Sexual organs were not hidden away behind fig leaves. Why do we find such shame in our bodies, and such scandal in anothers? I know we find out in the following chapter, but wouldn’t the first step to returning to the Garden and getting back into the favor of God be to not show shame for the naked form? Why do humans dictate what kind of dress is “proper” when it is the humans themselves, not God which gave the decree to shame the flesh God gave? HUMANS did that, not God. Humans put that on themselves, and forced it on others! I think the message I am trying to get out this chapter is to love more people, and the shame you feel is brought upon yourself, it was not given to you by God. Stop shaming people. It keeps you out of the Garden.
It’s easy to get stuck in our own little world of ours and forget that the world is a pretty big place, full of billions of people with their own little worlds going on. Just because there may not be any miracles in your life or the lives around you, doesn’t discount the billions of others. Also you aren’t going to see or find certain things if you aren’t looking for them. Or view things in a certain light if you aren’t open to viewing them in a different light. Amazing, miraculous, unexplainable things happen everyday. God is constantly at work through the Holy Spirit, but you aren’t going to connect the events to God, if you don’t believe. But sometimes the miracle is so great, you don’t have anywhere else to go except to the thought of it being God.
As for your confusion on timeframe of plants and man being formed… Genesis 2:4 starts to retell the account of God creating man, but sporadically, which makes it seem out of order I agree. It says there were no plants yet because there was no water. So God made water. And then here I’m guessing the author wants us to naturally assume plants came next just like in Genesis 1. Then he made man to work the ground and take care of the things he created. Then he made the Garden of Eden and put man there.
Maybe Pragmatist can explain the whole breathing life thing and why animals breathe into more detail. To me it just seems very basic. I’m having trouble understanding how deep you are making it to be lol. To me God breathing life into Adam was more spiritual then anything else. And we breathe because we need oxygen to survive. Not sure what kind of answer you are looking for.
The latest update on the location of the Garden of Eden I believe, is under the Persian Gulf believe it or not. Geologists are saying that there is evidence of two ancient rivers that connect to the Tigris and Euphrates there. And they say that the sea level there was once much lower. Pretty cool.
Lastly, I love your final comments on the naked body and shame. I love how you understand that it is something we have done to ourselves, not something that God has done to us. That is a HUGE thing that I will probably make a point of many times.
Is that to say I should never feel shame for a skirt or shorts being too short? Or if I were to go sunbathing in the nude? Women have been forced to wear burkas and veils, long skirts and blouses to our chins, all because of God. We must be covered or else we are whores. Dear Prophet, you have seen my shorts and skirts. I am not, nor will I ever be, ashamed. I may not have the perfect body, but what I have I don’t mind showing. This chapter emphasizes that I am not wrong. Do you agree?
Absolutely agree. God is not going to deny you into heaven because you are wearing booty shorts. Jesus could care less about what we wear. I wore a baseball cap to church once, and I was told to take it off by the older folk. Out of respect I took it off with a smile. Though in my mind all I could think about is how Jesus could care less about me wearing a hat…… God says in the old testament that he doesn’t see what man sees. He doesn’t see outward appearances. He sees and knows our hearts.