27 September, 2019

41. The Curse of the Creators

41. The Curse of the Creators

In our last post, we looked at the possibility that Adam and Eve bought into Satan's lie (belief?) that the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil could bestow the ex nihilo power, the power to create out of nothing.

So what was the result...other than their realizing they were naked? God curses them, right?

Actually, no.

God doesn't curse them.

He curses the serpent. And he curses the ground as part of the man's punishment. A curse isn't even involved in the women's punishment.

So what was their punishment?

To the man, he says:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you..."
To the woman, He says:
"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children."
Man is a co-creator with God in bringing forth plants from the ground. Man plants and harvests, but the process is God’s (water and sun leading to germination).

Woman is a co-creator with God in bringing forth children from the womb. The woman’s body produces and delivers the child, but the process is God’s (implantation and embryo developing into fetus).

Eve even says as much in Genesis 4:1.

Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”

Some translators say "with the help of the LORD" or "with the LORD's help." But note the use of italics. Anytime you see words in italics in your Bible, that word did not exist in the original Hebrew and Greek, and are included for readability or what a translator feels is needed clarity.

Thus, as Young's Literal Translation points out, the verse technically reads,
And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, "I have gotten a man by Jehovah."
In the quest to overthrow him and become sole creators by seeking ex nihilo power from the fruit of the tree of Moral Conscience (Knowledge of Good and Evil), their gift of being a co-creator was wrought with pain.

The ground from which Adam would create life with God would work against him.

Pregnancy from which Eve would create life with God would culminate in pain.

The very thing mankind sought—creating without God—would taint with pain their joy of being creators with God.

Swordcraft Tip: Write the references Romans 5:12 and 8:20 (and if your Bible** has it, Wisdom 1:13-14 and 2:23) in the margin of Gen 3:15. If your bible does not have the book of Wisdom, write a brief note that 2nd Temple Judaism explicitly states that God did not create death.

Not many of us are farmers these days, and not all of us are biological parents, but even so, have you ever thought of yourself as a co-creator with God? 
Share your thoughts on the

*Catholic and Orthodox Bibles (as well as the Bibles of the Bereans & early church, and the first Protestants, including the original King James) have the Book of Wisdom.

Photo Credit: The Expulsion of Adam and Eve by Howard David Johnson. Used with Permission.

20 September, 2019

40. The Fall of Man

40. The Fall of Man

You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
—Genesis 3:4

In our last post, we discovered that 2nd Temple Judaism* has Satan telling Eve that the power to create worlds resided in the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Whether or not he believes this himself, he certainly tries to convince Eve:
He ate of this tree and created the world, but to you He says, Do not eat from it, so that you will not create other worlds. Everyone hates his fellow craftsman. Hurry and eat from the tree, before He creates other worlds, that will rule you.
—Genesis Rabbah 19:4 (Jewish Commentary)
In Genesis, we read Eve's response:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate.
—Genesis 3:6
The Hebrew word translated "wisdom" in this verse is also translated "skill" in Daniel 1:17 and 9:22. While the passage in Genesis does not specifically say what skill (other than knowing the difference between right and wrong) makes someone equal to a god, but surely ex nihilo** power ranks at the top of the list.

While one can't be dogmatic about any of this, this Jewish interpretation helps add clarity to why Adam and Eve chose death instead of cake.

Still not convinced?

The curse that accompanies the eating of the fruit sheds even more light on this matter, as we shall soon see.

So what are your thoughts on 2nd Temple Judaism? Do you find it marginally interesting? Or are you geeking out like me, thrilled at the cultural insights it offers, and desperate to know more? 
Share your thoughts on the
Blogging His Story Facebook page.

*Technically Genesis Rabbah was written post-Temple destruction, but it still reflects 2nd Temple thought. Rabbinical (modern) Judaism rejects the notion of Satan as a person. 

**Ex nihilo is Latin for "out of nothing."

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

12 September, 2019

39. Lucifer's Revenge

39. Lucifer's Revenge

"Fear not, only be my vessel and I will speak through thy mouth words to deceive him."
—Apocalypse of Moses 16:5

The ASA often claims there was no connection between Satan and the serpent in the Garden of Eden until Christian sources in the 1st century AD.

But as you can see from the above quote, they've overlooked 2nd temple Judaism.

The following is the oldest text to identify the serpent in the garden with Satan:
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it.
—Wisdom 2:24
In another Second Temple text, Satan sees the Messiah and say,

Truly this is the Messiah, who will bruise me.
—Pesikta Rabbati 3:6
Others describe the actual possession:
He took the serpent as a garment.
3 Baruch 9:7* 
Christianity confirmed Second Temple Judaism
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44
 The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.
Revelation 12:9
He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan....
Revelation 20:2
In an upcoming post, we shall see that the connection between Satan and the prophecy recorded in Genesis 3:15 went back much further than Second Temple Judaism.

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight John 8:44 and Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 in your spiritual warfare color. Write the 2nd Temple Judaism quotes (including the references) in the margin of Genesis 3:15.

Which of the above second temple Judaism quotes about Satan and his connection to the snake in the garden did you find the most interesting? 
Share your thoughts on the 

*3 Baruch has some Christian interpolations but this quote is from the Slavonic version which is known to be Jewish.

Photo Credit: Creation Museum

05 September, 2019

38. The Fall of Lucifer, part 4

38. The Fall of Lucifer, part 4

The demons kept begging Jesus not to order them to go into the Abyss.
"Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"
—Luke 8:31 & Matthew 8:29

“The Abyss...a place demons are terrified of (Luke 8:31) and where they know they will eventually be sent. This likely means it is another name for Gehenna or it is a bottomless pit in Gehenna. According to Rev 9:2-10, this pit is currently inhabited by some sort of scorpion men. Because it seems rather unlike God to randomly create creatures He then locks in an abyss to unleash on mankind during the Tribulation, it is my assumption that they joined Lucifer's revolt, and unlike Lucifer (who was free to wander the Earth), the scorpion men were punished immediately and locked in the abyss.

Perhaps you've heard that Revelation's mythic imagery is symbolic for missiles, nuclear warheads, and other weapons of mass destruction because the apostle John lacked the vocabulary to describe them. And perhaps that is true to a degree.

But as we will see in upcoming posts, the Sumerians KNEW about them. Compare John's description with this creepily accurate Sumerian relief.

"...he opened the Abyss...and out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth...The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions...." —excerpt from Rev 9

What do you think of the John's description in comparison to the Sumerian relief?
Share your thoughts on the
Blogging His Story Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Scorpion Man @ 9Facts.info / Sumerian Relief (public domain)