Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Genesis Chapter 2 (V.1 to 25)

Quote: "he rested from all the work"

WHEW!! What a TASK creating a world! Even for a divine being (I suppose). But all the stuff god did, he liked very much. It never says where god decides that the week should have 7 days, the author just assumes that everyone's on the same page there. This seventh day--of the week--is made holy. So it's a holy day. And it has been inferred that we people should also keep the day holy and rest, but this isn't explicitly stated. Now, I've seen calendars in Europe that start with Monday, thereby making the 7th day Sunday, but not here in America. So I'm not sure we should rest at all, and I'm also confused as to WHAT day we should rest.

Also, here's the first contradiction of sorts: in verse 4 the author begins to tell the creating story. Again. Were we not paying attention to the first? Did the first one go into too much detail? Is the author giving us a summary of the first chapter?

Here we go: So when god made the earth and heaven, and before there was any rain or plants, but there was land that was watered by some mechanism (the water cycle?) god made a man out of dirt. So whereas in chapter 1 god makes man on the 6th day, after making fish and birds and oceans and PLANTS, in this chapter, man predates plants. Hmm.

Quote: "In the middle of the garden was the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

God plants a garden in a place called Eden and sticks the man he created there. There are things in the garden to eat and look at that are nice, as well as these two trees that are in the middle, that god decides to put there for whatever reason.

The author mentions that the spring that waters the garden splits into 4 headwaters, and gives their names, and even mentions that the first one runs through a land full of gold--

Quote: "(The gold of that land is good;"

I like this quote. Cause you can't trust bad gold. Bad gold is for suckers.

So god places man there in that garden. And tells him to take care of it. God wanted to have a gardener, or a landscape guy, so THAT'S why we are all here, people.

And god says to the still unnamed gardener, hey there's lots of stuff here for you to prune, etc. But if you eat off of the tree of knowledge, you'll fall down dead. Seems simple.

Here I must insert that surely there were many other plants in the garden that weren't so good to eat, that in so eating, the man would fall down dead. But god doesn't think he needs to mention this. Nightshade?. . . . uuuh. Go ahead! Boy it LOOKS tasty. . .

This will be lie number 1 that god tells man. Oh, I'm sure there are people that like to say, oh well, the first man was immortal, and the tree of knowledge dealt mortality to the man, and that's what god meant. God meant, eat this fruit, and you'll die EVENTUALLY.

But that's not what's written. And the same people who like to wax symbolic in this part of the bible love to take chapter 1 as an entire and literal truth. If there is no truth to things that are not found in the literal scripture (evolution?) then this whole, 'well, the first dude was immortal and THAT's what god meant' shit needs to stop.

Now for another contradiction. In this version, god creates animals because he thinks the man he made needs a helper. He fashions them exactly like the man, from the dust, and everything, and lets the man name them.

Quote: "But for Adam no suitable helper was found."

None of the animals' resumes were very good. By the way, there is no mention in this part, as in chapter 1, of procreating. Also, this is the first mention of the man's name. So maybe he named himself when he was naming the rest of the animals.

When Adam turned out to be a picky bastard, god made him fall into a deep sleep (possibly by the swift application of a large, blunt object) and took out one of the dude's ribs. Wha?

Yeah, this ALWAYS confused me. Even as a child.

So god is creating and creating, and all these animals and plants and things spring up, and poof! Or, he says something and his speech causes them to come into being. Or he uses hands (?) to fashion things out of dirt, and there you go!

But he's scratching his head on this 'helper' thing. He needs to take a piece of man in order to fashion a helper that Adam will tolerate as being okay.

Quote: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"

So the first woman was created from the first man. Which is. . . almost. . . incestuous sounding. I'm wincing as I'm typing this, but I can't help how stupid it sounds to me! And then the author goes on to say that THIS is why men must leave the nest of their parents and find his own woman at some point. The logic doesn't add up to me. Let's recap.

God made man. Man needed a helper. God made animals. Man didn't like them. God took a piece of man and made an animal out of that. Man liked this--it was like he was and he's a narcissist. It CAME from him. He was the provider of the rib, therefore he gave rise to woman. And because god made woman, and woman comes from man, men must get married.

Oh, okay. I get it. Because god went to the trouble for this first guy, all subsequent guys better make damn sure they take advantage of the opportunity. That sounds reasonable. Besides the glaringly misogynistic side to it, that woman only exists on the planet to help man, there's the question of why birds leave the nest, why stallions leave the herd to start their own. . . WE have a reason for coupling and starting families, but in this version of the creation story, the animals are neither given a reason to multiply nor told to do so.

So the two chapters complement each other and contradict each other, like two different eye witness accounts of something. I always wanted to believe that there was a divine being that wrote some shit down to help us poor mortals, but if this is the book he wrote--or even inspired--it's off to a stupid start.

Then, as an afterthought, the author mentions that these first people were naked, but they didn't care. This is seen as an example of innocence, because people nowadays are ashamed of being unclothed. Of course, there were no other people around. So the jury's still out on whether they were unashamed because they were alone or because they were 'innocent.'

1 comment:

Ishie said...

Awesome! I love the major deviation between Gen 1 and 2. It's so... compiled.

But you guys are gonna have to update more frequently, I'm afraid... I'm TRYING to procrastinate on studying here! What up?