The story of Creation and the Garden of Eden is well-travelled ground for the Christians (and some non-Christians) in the Manosphere. I want to discuss an aspect of it that I have never realized before last night, and have never seen discussed–though I might have just missed it. Each part is a really short bit that isn’t talked about in scripture explicitly, but is unavoidable once you see it between the lines. By unavoidable, I do not mean that I have the answer, but that it is a question that should definitely be asked.
One of the ways in which the stories of the Bible, and the parables of Jesus, are so good is because they are the field in which new treasures are always being found.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
This is part V of a series in digging for what is under the surface. I was going to do several parts, but I have some things I want to say, and I need to get through this so I can build upon it. You can find the other parts here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.
Picking up where we left off:
4 These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Adam knew what the earth looked like outside the Garden of Eden. He knew that it was still desolate. It’s also another view of the provider and protector role–the husband role–that God plays in the life of mankind, even men. He prepares a dwelling for the object of His love, and brings him to it. He doesn’t build it with Adam. He presents it to Adam; as if to say: “You know the life you had before, but I have much better in store for you.”
9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This is the first mention of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, all trees and plants were mentioned inclusively in chapter 1, in the description of the third day.
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land ofHavilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Notice the symbolism that the whole area, perhaps the whole earth, is watered from within the Garden of Eden. Yes, water springs up from the ground to water plants in the same way that all of creation testifies to God’s existence, and goodness. But the water literally pours from the mouth of Eden; as if it is the source of all good things, where God dwells with man.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Man was to work in God’s home–right from the beginning. Adam wasn’t to lounge around all day eating grapes, but to garden and farm, really. Of course God created and gave the home, but it is important that man tend it. It’s one of his purposes. It’s manly housework.
It should also be obvious that famous “curse” in chapter 3 that man works if false. He was working from the beginning, but in perfection, as he was told. As. He. Was. Told.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Why is it even there? Why is there a tree there that has the power to cause death? We know from chapter 1 that God made every seed-bearing tree:
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”
and that seed-bearing trees are made to eat. All of them.
29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
So what is this tree doing here? We have to deduce that this tree bears no seeds, since it is not good for eating. What does that signify? Why does God give no instruction on the Tree of Life? Can man eat of it, or not?
It’s interesting that the forebear to the instrument of Christ’s death was created on the third day. He could have been killed by rocks, or a sword, or hanged, or any number of things, but he was nailed to what is decidedly a very strange, but obvious tree; a tree that bore fruit that was good to eat (the Bread of Life), and yet had no seed (children). It is like the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and mentioned with it, but not it. What is left? The Tree of Life. I’ve never read that anywhere that I know of–it just struck me as I was writing. And as I wrote the previous sentences, it dawned on me that Christ returns on the third day after this sign of the third day–which would make it, significantly, the sixth day, the day man is made.
When I discover symbolism like this, I don’t always know what to make of it: imaginings, or insight? It reminds me of the danger of speaking in tongues*, so take it in that spirit and use your own judgment. Surely other theologians have spoken on this? I don’t read many theologians; any theologians, really.
And where are the angels? And Lucifer? If you told me that Satan had went before God, and demanded that God allow him to test Adam, God might let him. He might say Satan may test him, but it may not touch Adam or his wife. Just like Job.
That’s pure speculation, not even symbolism, but it seems reasonable to me.
*With which I have always had a hard time. I’ve never heard it that I know of.