How did the animals know? The serpent said, “Did God really say that you should not eat…”

He knew about the command. But no animal was around when God spoke to the first human in Gen.2:17. Animals arrived much later in Gen.2:19. So, how did the snake know about any command given to human beings?

Did the man tell him? Or was it because all the animals had heard God speaking to the man and the woman about the tree at some point.

Gen. 1:25-30 makes the latter argument more plausible.

Gen 1:25  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind…

Gen 1:27-29  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…And God said {to them}, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat

Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 

This is the sixth day when animals and humans were made. God calls a meeting where He speaks to all animate beings. He talks about what each group is allowed to eat. humans know what animals should eat, animals know what humans should eat…and not eat.

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Another possibility I explore is whether what the woman said was just her personal interpretation of the command. It is not out of place to sometimes impose on ourselves personal ‘laws’ as measures to ensure our adherence to the actual instructions of God.  However, it is never okay to refer to these personal interpolations as the very word of God. That is where it would all go wrong, because that would tantamount to adding to God’s word, and that would be sin

Quite noticeably, the speech of the woman includes a direct quote of Ĕlōhîm’s actual words.

This is what I mean. Notice, that the woman did not say, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, we shall not eat from it, neither shall we touch it, lest we will die.

Instead she said, [first her own words] We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: [now a direct quote of God’s word] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Ĕlōhîm has said, “Ye shall not eat from it, neither shall you touch it, or you will die.”

She quoted God directly. She said, Elohim said. And ‘You’ was in plural (ye). She quoted an instance where God speak to more than one person. Gen. 1:25-30 comes to mind.

As we already discussed in yesterday’s post, according to the Lord Jesus’ testimony, the only one who told a falsehood in the beginning was the devil, not the woman (or the man). This quote cannot be interpolation, then. The woman must have in fact been speaking truth and God must have indeed said what she quoted Him to have said.

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Lastly, I consider the orderly and organised nature of God. I think that a good number of our common assumptions about what might have transpired between God, the first woman and man is as a result of not being fully conscious of how deliberate and orderly God is. That, to me, might be where the trouble lies.

This is my line of thought. No employer brings in a rookie and leaves it to chance that such a person would be well furnished with the rules of the company. There is always some system consciously put in place to ensure that new intakes are well orientated on all that they needed to know about the company. If humans, being sinful and imperfect, take time with such organisation, then I doubt very much that God, the Creator of humans himself, and on such a matter as important as death, would have done any less with the first woman and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I doubt the possibility that God would have just assumed that the man would definitely tell her when He had not specifically told him to instruct her. What if the man had even assumed that the command was only meant for him? What if it did not just occur to him to tell her about it? Who knows, the command might have been just for one person and the man would have been being presumptuous to go ahead and impose same on another person.

I think that concerning the commandment, God would have done more deliberately than we like to imagine. I think that God would have made sure that the woman got to know on the very day she ‘arrived’, before she went into the garden to take her first meal, so that she would eat from the right tree. That, to me, rules out any possibility that the instruction got to the woman by hearsay, independent of a deliberate move on God’s part, which would have been to either tell her Himself or specifically tell someone to tell her.

Now, for the possibility that the man was told by God to inform his wife of anything there exists absolutely no scriptural evidence. Just silence. Not one verse. Nothing in Genesis or in any other portions of scripture in the remotest way corroborates the possibility of such a happenstance. Jesus never alluded to any such occurrence. Paul never did. Not Peter or James. Or John. No one mentioned the first man having taught his wife anything or been saddled with the responsibility of teaching her anything. Not even in Chapter 3 when God was assigning judgments did He blame anyone of the two for the deeds of the other. At no point was the man blamed for not taking responsibility for his wife. The only thing God blamed the man for was for listening to his wife over Him, (not for listening to her at all). God never said the man was being punished for not teaching her the command properly or not ensuring that she adhered to it.

But…for the possibility that God Himself might have at another unrecorded instance spoken to the woman and the man about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, there exists two scriptural references. Gen. 1:25-30 and Gen. 3:3.

The woman’s testimony is more believable than it is doubtful. 

Women are not spiritually or intellectually less competent than men. Women are not easily deceived or confused.

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The worlds were framed by the word of God. It is what God said that is law. God did not at any time, in The Beginning, single out males to lead. God at no time, by His word, put females in the care of males. God never told females to follow males, nor did he tell males to lead females, within or without the context of marriage.

In the Beginning, God said men and women will rule the the earth and all animals. By His word, He put all things in the care of humans. If God wanted to put females in the care of males, He had opportunity to say so. But He did not say so and no other scriptures tell us that He did. Gen. 1  tells that God said the two should rule together. Gen. 2 tells us that God said the two shall be one. Gen. 5:2 says God called male and female, adam (humans).

CONCLUSION; As we can already see, even with the old narrative, one could still prove equality between man and woman from The Beginning. But, I find gaping holes of inconsistencies in the old narrative. I feel the story we work with now is incomplete. I feel that there is more to see and that there is yet another story told in Genesis.

Why do chapters one and two of the Book of Genesis seem contradictory of one another? Is one a continuation of the other?

Was the first human, the ’ā-dām, really a male?  Κ means male, while ’ā-dām means human. ’Ā-dām is used for an individual who exists as a prototype; a form from which many others like it would be made. Christ was called the last ’ā-dām . Paul referred to him as anthropos. That is, the human, Christ Jesus. Not the man, as in a male, like most English translations suggest. Though in human flesh He identified as a male, Christ was primarily a prototype human. Was the first ’ā-dām also a prototype?

These questions and more, I will try to answer in the coming days.

 

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