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Eastwardtreein Eden...
See: A A Biblical Structure of HistoryBiblical
Structure  of  History
See also:
The Genesis Prologue
A headwater-garden specially prepared for human education to know life and God,
located upstream of where a single parent river split into four, two of which were the Tigris and Euphrates (Genesis 2:10-14),
to the north of modern Syria and Iraq, in the east of modern Turkey if their river-beds did not change too much at the World Flood.
The sole entrance/exit of this prepared place faced eastward (Genesis 3:24) where this parent river split into these four.

ויטע  יהוה  אלהים  גן־בעדן  מקדם  וישׂם  שׁם  את־האדם  אשׁר  יצר
 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed" 
Genesis 2:8 Jewish Publication Society translation
If at all possible, please read the relevant part of Holy Scripture before or when reading this commentary.
Καὶ ἐφύτευσεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς παράδεισον ἐν Εδεμ κατὰ ἀνατολὰς καὶ ἔθετο ἐκεῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ὃν ἔπλασεν. (LXX)
Genesis One . . .  
The Bible
does not include the origin of the universe in its Six Day summary overview in Genesis One. Nor does the Bible preclude the evolution/variation within species either by controlled animal breeding or by natural selection.
Note Christ's understanding
of 'victims of circumstance'
in Luke 13:1-5.
Instead, it actually places human origins within the same context as animal origins (both created on Day 6, and both from the earth/ground, Gen.1:24; 2:7), except for their very special human role. This is – that (apart from species propagation) God commands the humans to rule, control, manage their environment as His 'image'His representative.
In other
arum lilly
words, they are specifically commanded to take charge of their environment! They are instructed not to be victims of their circumstances but to subdue and rule over them (Gen.1:28).
It is within this textual context that the phrase "image of God" is to be understood. It is not their human shape or size, or as some have fancifully claimed that humans are three-in-one because God is such. It has nothing to do with Trinity! It simply means what it meant to the people to whom it was written when it was written! It is the human representation of God's rule over His world (equally of both male and female, Gen.1:26 b'tzelem Elohim).
They directly represent God to their world!
Note therefore, the vital
importance of understanding Christ's favourite reference to Himself as "son of man" (not as messianic title, nor a reference to His deity).
It is His singular greatest purpose – to fulfil this design of humanity. This, and this alone, is why He alone is found worthy among all humanity (dead or alive) to open the seven-sealed Inheritance–Deed (in terms of Roman law) of God's kingdom rule!
It is Christ's humanity–fulfilled which makes Him worthy to inherit the rule of God over all the earth (Rev.5:5) and nothing else.
explanations of the word 'image' (1:27) in this context have been attempted, but it must be remembered that as the granting of 'dominion' (1:28) is subsequent to this, this 'image' is creation-facing and not God-facing. In other words 'image' does not refer to spiritual qualities or moral capacity in relation to God, but to humanity's designated relationship to creation. For instance, the angels of God also worship God and communicate, but they were not created in the 'image of God'. This 'image' factor is a uniquely human intrinsic design of God in creation which remains even in humanity's fallen state after Noah's flood (Gen.9:6).
use of the plural ('us', 'our') by God concerning the decision to create humanity is neither a reference to the Trinity (as some Christians believe) nor is it simply a reference to His audience of angels in Heaven (as some rabbis believe). The Bible explains the use of the plural by God through the example given to us in Isaiah's vision of Heaven's Court.
 "And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'..."  Isaiah 6:8.
Genesis One plural 'us' and 'our' in verse 26 refers to the authority of this Court. It is the same authority that is referred to in Daniel 4:17 as the decree of the holy ones, the watchers. These beings are presented in Revelation as twenty-four crowned-elders/seniors (they are not the church). They are real beings although their appearance is symbolic. They are the judicial assessors in God's Court, and decisions of this Court always involve them. Thus the plural is a reference to the authority of God's Court.
So, the authority of God's Court (centred in God the Father upon the central Throne) is thus to be fully represented in God's design and purpose for all humanity.
authority is therefore – a delegated authority for the welfare of all that God has made. This is not a carte blanche for exploitation of resources, as some have alleged, for as the Creator's representatives they are to treat His property according to His character.
The Genesis Prologue

must also be remembered that the Seven Days of Creation are not given to us in Scripture because the infinite God needed six days to do the job and was tired at its end. The Seven Days presentation of God structuring and filling of this world with life is to set the norm for human activity/behaviour from the beginning. It is an instructive message addressed to human beings. God designed biological life for a cycle of labour and rest. This is the primary purpose of the planet's preparation being divided into a time-structure of Seven Days. God did not need it. It is a message to us that we need it.
God – our Role-Model

Exodus 2:8-11 ESV.
So, it is within this context then that God's role, in addressing and correcting the תּהוּ (tohu) and בּהוּ (bohu) of Verse Two (the 'formlessness' being structured and the 'emptiness' being filled in a previously dark but Spirit-anointed world), is given as the model for human behaviour. This is why, in establishing a social–order norm among the freshly freed captives of Israel's exodus from Egypt, God explains, in what we call the Ten Commandments –
the sabbath [rest] day, to keep it holy [separate].
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath [rest] to the LORD your God.
On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant,
or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.
Therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day
[rest-day] and made it holy [separate]."
was not a commandment about being 'religious' on this day (not a worship day), anymore that it is for 'livestock' to go to church! Nor was this a 'new' command to Abraham's descendants. It was a traditional practice that had been passed down from the beginning.
is a command to 'remember' by their behaviour what they already knew, and to therefore follow the pattern of God's own behaviour in their conduct. This principle, from this first chapter of the first book of the Bible expresses the human responsibility to now carry out their function as God's direct representative-authority in His world, His image, in their personal and social behaviour.
that human beings are commanded by the Creator of all things to 'כּבשׁ' ('kâbash'/subjugate) the earth, that is subdue everything-in-it. This indicates that in human-beginnings even before their Fall, nature must not be assumed to have been a naturally comfortable environment for humans, as some have fancifully imagined. The fact that, even with this 'subdue' command (literally 'tread-down'), the first humans were also given a separate specially prepared single-entrance mountain valley* in Eden (Eastern Turkey) to live indicates the seriousness of this challenge to humanity to be prepared to subdue its environment beyond this garden.
Instructed to
subjugate all things!
*We know this because its drainage fed the Tigris & Euphrates rivers and, when it was closed to them in Chapter Three, the angelic guard was placed only at its eastern end to prevent their re-entry.
the male-gender term used here for God does not mean that God has a sexual gender identity. God is infinite spirit. But in the biological pattern of God's Creation, the male carries primary (not sole) responsibility for leadership. Secondly, the revelation in this chapter therefore spoke to its hearers within the framework of their own experience, for God is a good communicator, using forms of words and concepts that they would understand. So, 'He' and 'Him' are part of the concept of leadership, and so indicate this and only this when used of God.
Genesis Two See:
Interplanetary Migration
This chapter
is the close-up view of human origin, emphasizing the uniqueness of human identity, in three ways –
1.  the special breath-of-life gift of spirituality/moral capacity from the Creator;
the special level of oneness (bonding) through the sexual relationship between man and woman; and,
  [Concerning Woman (Isha): echat mitzelotav means she was made from 'one side' (not 'rib'), i.e. the woman is made from one half of Human (Adam), therefore the man (Ish) calls her 'flesh of my flesh'.] This perspective is what Christ referred to in confronting the Pharisees' teaching on divorce: that is – sexual union of marriage is indissoluble by any court unless its sexual essence is violated.
Note also: Adult Adam's exclamation on seeing his woman (Isha) for the first time "This now at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh" (Gen.2:23 Literal Translation) in its context (after recognising the characteristics/'naming' of all the animals), prior to his estrangement from his Creator, ought to be understood as a natural sexual response in the innocence of his spiritually childlike state. Woman, being generally more delicate than the male and all that goes with it was for more than making babies. Woman was designed by God to be loved!
the special annulment of natural ageing and decay through continued eating from the non-replicating "Tree of Life".
Marriage Indissoluble!

The Essence of Marriage.
other words, animals and plants were naturally subject to the processes of ageing, death, and decay before humanity distrusted God and disobeyed. Freedom from death through the Tree of Life was an exemption given to humanity because of its unique representative relationship to God.
Death was and is built into the cell structure of all biological organisms. In other words, it is a design feature and not simply a mechanism failure. Death later came to represent the penalty of sin/disobedience to God because this is what it is in the human race, but it is not right to extend this to all creatures when the Bible indicates otherwise. Idealism and the Bible do not fit together in spite of some claims in so-called 'creation science'.
Please Note
The idea that there was no disorder, no decay, no aging process, no suffering, and no death before Adam sinned, does not fit with the need for the Tree of Life or with the separation of the Garden from what was outside of it!
The abused New Testament statement, about death coming in Adam, only has application to the descendants of Adam as it itself says: 'for all have sinned' (Rom.5:12).
That is, although our universe is out of gear because of human sin, sin did not invent death. It was designed into all biological life from the beginning.
Humanity was exempted by its access to the 'tree of life' because it is the designated representative of God's rule within His creation.
Garden in Eden has often been treated as purely symbolic or an exaggeration of some place in lower Mesopotamia whose canals were taken for rivers, but this does violence to Holy Scripture for two of the four rivers which flowed from the Garden are given clearly known geographic names (Tigris and Euphrates) at that time.
these four, the Euphrates (פרת) alone is given no further description, certainly because it was the most readily known to the people of Israel in Moses' time.

Tigris (חדּקל) needed only the description 'east of Assyria'.
East Turkey
But the Pishon (פישׁון) needed the description 'flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there' [indicative of a rocky environment, and not an alluvial plain such as Mesopotamia as some have imagined];
and the Gihon (גיחון) needed 'that flowed around the whole land of Cush' to identify it to Israel.
• Unfortunately, because 'Cush' has been traditionally identified with the 'Cush' of Ethiopia, the impossible geography has been cited to indicate that the Bible's description is either purely' symbolic' or ignorant error. A little humility among scholars however would have reserved opinion in the face of this difficulty, for East of Assyria and this headwater-garden of Eden, East of the Caspian Sea, lived an Indo-European people (the Kushan) whose land was then known as Kush/Cush, and referred to in ancient Parthian/Persian as the Kušanxšaθr. The text of Holy Scripture deserves to be understood within its own context, not ours!
However, the general location of Eden today as the Bible describes, with its surrounding states (although its topography would certainly have been affected by the World Flood/Tsunami), is shown to the right in the upper reaches of the Euphrates
"The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
The description 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' has been frequently misunderstood, such as in the logo of Apple computers as referring to 'knowledge', whereas it is actually a reference to conscience (feeling guilty), as the consequence of take from it in disobedience to their Maker, just as the Tree of Life is also so-called from the consequence of eating from it in its neutralizing-effect on the natural process of aging and death.

Genesis 2:15-17.
Please note:
keeping the seventh-day (sabbath / שׁבּת) separate from other days in Eden (made 'holy' simply meaning separate) did NOT mean reserving the worship of God for that particular day. It simply meant doing as God had done on the seventh day of His creative work, for the word 'sabbath' just means to "interrupt" their normal daily activities.
Eve was not provided
until Adam was ready
to appreciate her!
manner in which the process is described which led to the provision of a wife for Adam is very significant. First –
"Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him'."
Then we are told that God brought every animal and bird to this first man –
"And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name."
– this was done with the provision of a mate in mind. In Biblical Hebrew, a 'name' is more than a sound used to call something. It is a description which expresses the qualities of the object. So, this naming exercise for Adam is actually a psychological preparation of Adam for him to appreciate the difference and therefore the special provision of a suitable mate by God, a mate to be appreciated!

Why wild-life?
It is also very likely that, in the long term, this use of Adam's experience of the wide variety and types of animals and birds went further than simply his preparation for Eve. There is an educational opportunity in this direct acquaintance with the behaviour of animals and birds. which gives further significance for their existence, which needs to be respected in this sense even today.
The Lord
This was Jesus, that
aspect of Divine Infinity
who limited Himself
to space and time, as
at Mamre to Abraham
(Genesis 18:10; John.8:56).
Himself met with the man and woman at the end of the day, probably every day, in the "cool of the evening" (Genesis 3:8). The sabbath was meant to be simply a day-of-rest as God had 'rested' on that Seventh Day of Creation as our human role-model. The later Jewish tradition of synagogue attendance on the sabbath developed during Israel's Babylonian captivity and has no earlier origin. The Christian Sunday is also not in its place either, for the earliest Christians met specially as a group on the first day of each week (1 Corinthians 16:2) in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week. The sabbath, as God designed it before the Fall, has never been changed by God or replaced in any sense.
The Sabbath Day
Genesis Three  
The walking-serpent was the most subtle/intelligent of God's creatures: נחש – nâchâsh – serpent.
Inasmuch as by this association Satan is later referred to in Revelation as that Great Dragon (Rev.12:9), it is probably what we would today call a dinosaur.
Trust In God Seduced...
Fossilized dinosaur egg
compared to chicken egg.
The moral fall, described in this chapter, is really the violation of humanity's trust-relationship to their Creator, which affects all three of the above 'uniquenesses' presented in Genesis Two.
Hence, the eventual future fall-back of human identity to its common biological root (Genesis One), when the final ruler of our fallen history is termed the Animal in the prophecy of Revelation chapter 13.
(It may be of interest to some that the use of the word 'animal' in the English language, instead of its earlier used English term 'beast', arose directly as a reaction to the use of the latter to indicate the Antichrist of the book of Revelation).
When in the New Testament the Bible says –
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived,
but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
(1 Timothy 2:12-14).

To resist this Fall required:
In Woman – 
To trust God more than what seemed good and right (the quality of the forbidden fruit);
In Man – 
To trust God more than the fear of loosing his only partner (who had already eaten the forbidden fruit).
See: God's Mind on Marriage
The Gender
of Leadership
– it is saying that God's original design of humanity is to be recognised in church/congregational conduct.
Adam as male was specially responsible to lead. He abandoned this responsibility when, after discovering his wife had taken the forbidden fruit, and, rather than loose his wife he had abandoned this special responsibility and followed her lead.
This special male leadership responsibility is restored in the Christian community/church if it is Christian!
This does not mean oppression of the female. The Bible even takes the trouble to let us know that in the inter-personal relationship within marriage a wife owns the body of her husband just as much as the husband does of his wife (1 Corinthians 7:4) but, in the social structure of leadership responsibility, God original design remains!
it should be remembered that the Expulsion from the Garden was not unkindness but simply to prevent their access to the Tree of Life which would have neutralised aging and death in their fallen state. This expulsion, though a consequence of their distrust and disobedience, was God's mercy in the long-term, for death places a limit on human disobedience, and for the believers of all ages the loss of the Tree of Life opens the door in Christ to a better body, an intergalactic resurrection body rather than simply a restored biological body.
society now migrates eastward (3:24) from the region that was known as 'Eden' in the time of Moses.

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See also: The Genesis Prologue


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