Statesboro, GA, USA
Hope you have a good time out of town, Stephanos.
Thank you, Ess. I did. Those mountains in Colorado are really beautiful. And we got to spend some time with some really good friends of ours, which was a blessing. I also went snow skiing for the first time (miserable failure ) But at least I can say I did it.
But your taking it from the wrong angle Stephanos. I didn't mean a mouse is like a human. But that specifically Adam and Eve are like a mouse considering how little knowledge, judgement, control they seem to have in comparison to Almighty God, and the snake that is called "more subtil than any beast of the field"--that seems to know the territory already, and also have the advantage of knowing good and evil. If the snake is the devil, doesn't that mean he does have the knowledge of good and evil, from formerly being an angel? Adam and Eve may be like God in frame before eating from the tree, but they seem far from being like God in ability to make moral judgements and choices.
But Essorant having all the knowledge of God, and having enough sense to choose the right path, are two different things. That was really the point of the whole episode, to reiterate that Adam and Eve had the capacity for simple obedience ... and enough knowledge to know that taking the forbidden fruit would result in calamity. God communicated this in no uncertain terms. Their problem (much like our own) is that they did not retain an implicit trust in God. They didn't retain the belief that God was essentially good and had therefore given them good and perfect advice.
Not if the setter of the mousetrap is a devilish snake, Stephanos.
Oh, I misunderstood you. I thought that earlier you were suggesting that God "set the moustrap".
But even so, Karen was pretty much correct when she said that Adam and Eve were punished "by their sin". Everything God did was a necessary result, of what they had done. Losing immortality, getting put out of the paradise, inheriting pain and turmoil, represent the "hammer" of the trap you are describing.
So God wasn't unduly adding anything to their natural consequences. God's judgement WAS the consequences of their action, and the serpent knew this beforehand.
What protection did they have against the snake, if:
1) they didn't have knowledge of good and evil by which to make what they know is a good judgement and choice?
2) Didn't have any warning--spiritual--protection against the snake? (did you ever hear the saying "forewarned is forearmed"?)
3) Didn't have any physical protection against the snake (Since they were naked and apparantly without physical defense couldn't the snake just as easily bite them and wound them physically if he wished? Perhaps that was God-like mercy on the part of the snake?)
4) Were alone, without someone more knowledgeable and stronger directly to help guard them from snake, their own weaknesses, and from going to the tree.
5) The tree itself was unguarded and seemingly easily accessible. Why wasn't the tree guarded or blocked in some way from access to make sure Adam and Eve didn't go to it? If a poisonous tree were in your backyard and your childeren were going back there, wouldn't you make sure that the childeren couldn't get to that tree?
1) The "knowledge of good and evil" was not required to make this choice ... it was rather the very thing forbidden. As I mentioned before, such knowledge represents the arbitrary human determination of what is good and evil, not a reliance upon the mentorship of God who is able to give right knowledge. The text very plainly states that God made it clear that it would be "evil" for Adam and Eve to partake of this particular fruit.
So your claim that they were without sufficient knowledge, is not supported by the text. The real story seems to be that they acted contrary to the sufficient knowledge they had.
2) Even if we grant that Adam and Eve had no preliminary knowledge of the snake, they had such knowledge concerning the forbidden fruit, and a direct experiential knowledge of the goodness of God. They also had ample opportunity, I suppose, to inquire of God concerning the serpent and the strange things he said.
3) For whatever reason, they did not seem to be physically threatened by the snake. Nor did their nakedness seem to be a disadvantage. Rather their simple nakedness is presented as a boon that was lost, not a weakness to be rectified. They were "naked and unashamed", and clothed, as it were, in the very glory of paradise and the blessing of God. So textually speaking, your points here do not apply.
4) God was a constant source of guidance in the garden. And though they did seem to have time apart from his immediacy, he walked with Adam daily in the garden. He also gave very clear instructions about the fruit.
You suggest that Adam and Eve were isolated from God. But again, the text doesn't even begin to paint that picture. Essorant's version perhaps, but not the original.
5) For whatever reason, God thought it best to put no physical barrier to the forbidden fruit. We certainly don't place all things out of reach of our children. And though it may be argued that the severity of the consequences would warrant an absolute prevention on God's part, it must be remembered that Adam and Eve are not presented as the direct equivalent of children. The advantages they had, are notable. Also, though death is certainly severe from a creaturely perspective, to a God who may raise the dead, it may not be quite the monstrosity that we assume it to be. Not to mention that God himself, through a literal incarnation, suffers the very death that Adam brought upon himself.
But the bible directly says that God said "the man is become as one of us" after eating from the knowledge of good and evil. That doesn't seems a little or unmagnifying thing. This seems to imply that man is become something more not something less. And is expressed as as the reason for banishing Adam and Eve: "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden" The words of the bible almost seems to potray God as afraid that Adam and Eve may become even more and become too much like God, threatening God himself, and therefore they are removed from Paradise.
You're interpreting the story from the Serpent's perspective, it seems. Wasn't it his suggestion that God did not want Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit, out of a guarded desire to protect his own authority, and to withhold something of value from them? If we believe that, then it would be natural to say that God carmudgeonly put them out of the garden, out of a feeling of base jealousy and insecurity.
But if we take the story in context, the serpent is wrong. The "Knowledge of good and evil" represents something that is only God's prerogative to possess, as a proper authority. When God laments that "the man has now become like one of us", he is in effect saying that man has taken upon himself something that is only God's responsibility. Self appointed responsiblity without ability, is not a greater state of being, but a lesser. He has become like God in office or position, but unlike God in heart. As I mentioned before, Satan's deception that they would be "like" God, did have a twistedly ironic fulfillment. But it was not at all true in the way they had imagined. I too can be "like" a bird, by jumping off of a cliff. But in another sense, I am most unlike a bird. Thus, is the Judeo-Christian interpretation of the "fall" of man.
Treating your childeren severely from what I understand, was part of culture back then, wasn't it? Do you think that may come off in the bible's portrayal of God?
Chronological snobbery? No, I don't think that cruelty to children was any more a part of ancient Near Eastern culture, than it is in our culture. Just call your local DFCS, and ask them.
But even if that were the case, the story in Genesis, ipso facto, does not present cruelty on the part of God. Justice, perhaps is there in a fullness that we are not used to. But then again, so is mercy.
Couldn't the snake have deceived them a lot worse too by giving them fruit from the tree of life, which would make them even more like God?
If that is what defines mercy, wasn't the snake Godlike with mercy? It feels very ironic to refer to eating from the "trees" and "fruits" of things that are good and better "knowledge of good and evil" and "life" and what make us more like God, as evil and worse.
The fruit from the tree of life was never forbidden them. In fact this would have made them more and more "like God". But the whole point of the story, is that the serpent directed them to an improper likeness of God, through a false autonomy. So Yes, if the serpent were so inclined to direct them to this tree, he would have been merciful. But he was not merciful, in that he decieved them, and led them to something that had been forbidden by God.
The whole problem with your interpretation, is that you are failing to recognize the qualitative difference between the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as presented in the text. And even if the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was a good tree, it's fruit did not represent something good for Adam and Eve at this time.
I have no doubt that God makes just sentences Stephanos. But that doesn't stop me from being judgemental about what things men write and attribute to God. If it were that easiy, then you as well should be bound to accept things written under the name Zeus, or Thor, as being ideal and perfect, just as you accept things written under God.
I don't ask you not to assess what is written. I am merely holding you to the context, of what IS written. Judging a text on it's own terms, means not ignoring textual clues about the nature of what is written. So far you fail to accept that these things are established textually: 1) The essential goodness of God, and his integrity toward Adam and Eve. 2) The qualitative difference between the forbidden fruit, and other legitimate fruits.