And that was the first day #E100
Genesis 1 is a great panning shot of creation. It reminds me of the opening scene of “The Lion King” – although it’s not ‘The Circle of Life’, or even a new king that is being introduced, but the Creator God. It has huge sweeping statements of power and beauty and order and, for us, familiarity: “Let there be light”; “And God said”; “evening passed and morning came. That was the first day…”; “And God saw that it was good.” (Turns out you can start sentences with ‘And’…)
The bit that jumps out at me is when God refers to himself in the plural:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Not only does God come across as plural, he also contains masculine and feminine. I’ve posted before on the gender of God here.
So, these male and female are sent out to “be fruitful and increase in number” – then chapter two takes the zoom lens and we get to see the remarkable life of Adam.
Adam’s pre-Eve existence is fascinating – as picked up in Andrew Marvell’s poem “The Garden”:
Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walked without a mate :
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share
To wander solitary there :
Two paradises ’twere in one
To live in Paradise alone.
This is before Eve, before the Fall – and Marvell wonders what it would have been like, noting that Adam was not yet mortal. Where Marvell thinks it would be doubly blissful to be there alone – and complete and solitary – God says “It is not good for man to be alone”.
This in turn reminds me of the end of Paradise Lost when (I’m getting ahead of myself here…) Milton suggests:
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate
With dreadful faces thronged, and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
So, the pair of them end up solitary together – but they are solitary because of Chapter three which I haven’t read yet this time round.
The other bit that jumped out at me was the two named trees in the garden of Eden, There was the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And Adam wasn’t to eat of the second tree because he would die. I just wonder why they weren’t just called the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death.
It’s an interesting relationship between knowledge of good and evil and culpability – that if you “know” something is wrong, you shouldn’t do it. It also raises the question as to whether or not ignorance is an excuse. The older I get, the less validity ignorance seems to have, as an excuse.
That was the first day.