We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, February 3. 2008
Not from today's Lectionary, but the first reading for our upcoming Lenten study group. I find something new in this every time I read this foundational story of Judaism and Christianity. Genesis 2-3 (King James).
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 4These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3 on continuation page below.
Image: Detail from Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
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Really, I prefer the first creation story in Genesis 1 - 2:3 where man and woman were created contemporaneously on the sixth day, kind of as an after thought. It's like God said to Himself, "Dude, who's going to take care of the cows?" This is my theory at least of where farmers come from....
In version two it's like God took a day and thought up all the ways he would make provision for man. That story, along with the woman as after thought always made man seem too highly esteemed. But... I suppose that's why God stuck temptation into the mix in that story.
Which brings me to the snake. What's up with serpent loathing? I think the snake is a fine symbol of renewal, shedding its skin for a new beginning. It's like our relationship with enduring grace. Also, it has always reminded me of Walt Whitman's O Living Always, Always Dying, which has been inspirational to me.
O living always, always dying!
O the burials of me past and present,
O me while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever;
O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not, I am content;)
O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look at where I cast them,
To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind.
Just one more thing: Kudos on your choice of the 1611 King James Version. It is such a lovely version. You've inspired me... I'm going to have to read it again.
Actually, the woman was the first thought of our Creator but the second brought forth.
"The first shall be last" is an ever production method for the LORD.
He needed some one to take care of His woman brought for from the bone and marrow of His man.
The cows could well take care of themselves after the woman and the man convered and gave them names.
Satan stuck the temptation in the mix as he does with reincarnationists and a moral degenerates like happy pants Whitman.
Snakes are cool but not the Satan who manifested to Eve as a serpent.
She's got that one under her and crushes it's head daily.
LORD God raised the species of snake to glory with Moses staff to reincarnationist Pharoah's chagrin, which staff is a type of His Deliverer, Christ Jesus, Who doesn't leave the corpses behind.
"...moral degenerates like happy pants Whitman."
"The cows could well take care of themselves after the woman and the man convered and gave them names.'
Yes. Yes. But which came first, the man or the cow? I like the first story where the cow came first.
"Snakes are cool but not the Satan who manifested to Eve as a serpent."
"And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shall thou go, and the dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I wll put emnity between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
All snakes are Satan? Shoot. Gotta' buy more .22 shells. I've a score of biblical proportions to settle. Look out snakes.
Thanks for the thoughtful response Leag.
An after thought:
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
This is why I believe Emily Dickenson was lucky to have preferred, in my interpretation of Wild Nights – Wild Nights!, the later “thee”. She believed we were shut out of Eden, but she liked wild nights as a regular gig, rather than as a “luxury”. (If memory serves, she lead a somewhat cloistered life, making her lust for wild nights quite intriguing).
Yep. Again, if memory serves, her Protestant dad did church at home. I mean, she didn't even go to church for a good time.
Couldn't find confirmation of my recollection of Dickinson's upbringing. But you were absolutely right, she never had a wild night in her life, which is why I find the poem intriguing.
I thought this, from Wikipedia, was interesting:
A poem that she wrote after she stopped attending church began with the lines: "Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – / I keep it, staying at Home.
Perhaps that's where I was getting things wrong about her father and church. (In my defense, I haven't looked back at her biography since junior high).
In looking for a place to post this link, I find that I am drawn to this section. Perhaps it is my "tangential nature"
I do believe that the readers of Maggie's Farm will appreciate that this gentleman has just been appointed to head up an important facet of the Gates Foundation:
What sort of idiot God would place flaming swords to guard the way to the tree of life? Gods are supposed to lead you on, even past themselves, to yonder. Or into oneself, where Jesus said the kingdom was to be found. Not lock you out.