Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Genesis: Falling Down

OK, when last we left our hero, God, he’d just finished making man. So the next thing he does is plant a garden, stick the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (we’ll call it Tokogae for short). Then he plops Adam down in the garden, and tells him he can eat the fruit of any tree but Tokogae (could he have eaten the bark or leaves or roots, if he’d been a rules-lawyering type?) “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Gen-2:17)”
I wonder how much value that warning had for Adam. Apparently nothing had ever died before this, so it couldn’t have seemed very meaningful. Kind of a nonsense word, at that stage of the game.
“Do not eat of the mandrake root, or else you will gnarfle.”
And at any rate, this phrasing seems mostly like a friendly warning. “Hey, Adam, that shit’s poisonous. Don’t eat it.” Seems to me like a lot of trouble could have been avoided if it had been named something like “The Tree of Death and Misery For Anyone Who Eats it and All Their Descendants.” Who would want to eat that?
Moving on, God wants to give Adam a helper. So he brings him all the animals to name, which he does, and they decide none of them are quite what Adam needs. So God puts him to sleep, takes out a rib, and uses that to make Eve. Dunno why clay wasn’t good enough like it had been for Adam – maybe equal forming methods might have implied equal standing, which the Bible is pretty down on.
Now since Chapter 1 says man and woman were both formed on the same day, we’ve got a pretty fucking busy day here. Get up in the morning, name every living thing on the damn planet and evaluate it for fitness to be your companion. Adam gets more done in a day than all of the taxonomists of every generation since can do in thousands of years of trying, and still has time to undergo major surgery and get hitched!
Anyway, I’m sure you know what comes next. The serpent (btw, text reads: “3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made,” which strongly suggests we’re talking about a literal snake, not Satan as is popularly put about) talks Eve into eating the fruit of Tokogae, and she talks Adam into eating it too. Now, supposedly, they have knowledge of good and evil. So of course their first thought is “Fuck! We’re naked! We need to make clothes!” rather than “Oh, shit, we disobeyed God, and now we’re royally fucked for all eternity!” Guess nekkidness is the highest order of evil.
God comes looking for them, and when he catches them trying to hide their naughty bits he realizes they’d eaten the fruit. They play the blame game: Adam says Eve tricked him, she says the serpent tricked her. God curses all three of them, and boots Adam and Eve out of the garden.
Weird shit in the curses: one of the curses on Adam to eat bread?! Wtf? I LIKE bread. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t. Bread is fucking awesome! Got any more curses like that one I could sign up for?

Oh, here’s a fun line:

“3:22 Then the Lord God said ‘Behold, then man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-‘ 22. Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.”

God kicks man out of the garden to prevent him from eating from the tree of life and becoming immortal. Then he sets a cherubim with a flaming sword outside the garden to make sure nobody else ever can either. If you’re picturing a winged baby with a flaming sword, drop that image – cherubim in the Bible are badasses. The winged baby thing is a later invention.
I gotta wonder, though… what the hell was the point of all that? Why would God have a Tokogae and a Tree of Life anyway? If he’s all powerful, eternal, and all knowing, he sure as hell doesn’t need them himself, and nothing else is allowed to eat them. They’re useless constructs. Of course, the most likely explanation IMO is that they’re just a plot device in a piece of fiction.
I read on to the Cain and Abel story. We all know it – God plays favorites with Adam’s kids, one gets pissed at the favoritism and kills the other. God finds out, and curses Cain to be a fugitive and a wanderer. Of course, Cain then goes and founds his own city, which kinda torpedoes that curse.
But that brings up another wtf moment. Cain “knew his wife” and she bore a son. Where the fuck did this nameless wife come from? Either Cain is nailing his own sister, or Biblical wives were like quantum particles just randomly popping into existence whenever a man needs to conceive a son.
Hmmm… Quantum Wife Theory. That may bear some investigation.
Anyway, that’s enough for today. Damn I’m getting long-winded already. Gotta work on that. Next up: Noah and the Flood!

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