A Daily Genesis

Genesis 2:8-9

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:8a . .Yhvh God planted a garden in Eden,[/B]

The remainder of Earth's flora was planted in a large scale, landscaping manner. But the garden was specially prepared for Man like someone might build a home for their family. It's true that Man is a creature and Yhvh isn't his actual biological kin. But Man is much more than just another nephesh like as if he were a pet canary or a gerbil. No, human beings were given the honor of God's image, and are as close to being God's kin as a creature can possibly get in the natural world.

The Hebrew word for "garden" is from [I]gan[/I] and means: a garden as fenced. So the garden wasn't just a nondescript parcel of acreage with apricots and turnips growing wild on it. The garden (which very likely was a full-blown farm complete with orchards) was meant to be tended.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:8b . . in the east[/B]

"east" in that verse was an east that the author(s) of Genesis understood. Out west here in Oregon, we consider east to be New York and Chicago; while the world considers the Orient to be east. For the purposes of modern navigation, everything towards sunrise from the meridian of Greenwich England around the world to Samoa is East longitude, and everything towards sunset around the world to Samoa is West longitude. So if you were standing in Mexico, then Greenwich would be to the east; but if you were standing in Iran, then Greenwich would be to the west. It's all a matter of perspective.

For Bible purposes, the State of Israel is oftentimes regarded the geo-political center of the Earth. Its position is spiritually elevated too. So whenever you go to Jerusalem, you go up. And when you leave, you go down. It was from the east (east of Jerusalem) that magi came to pay their respects to the young Jesus. (Matt 2:1)

Just exactly where "the east" was in Adam's day is hard to tell. But the garden itself is not to be confused with Eden. The garden was located "in" Eden; an ancient pre-Flood unspecified geographic region. Some people think Eden was somewhere in Africa but that's just a shot in the dark.

The word "Eden" is from [I]'eden[/I] (ay'-den) and/or [I]'ednah[/I] (ed-naw') and means: pleasure, and delight. So Adam's farm was in a very nice location and we could, if we had a mind to, name his spread Happy Valley or Pleasant Acres.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:8c-9a . . and placed there the man whom He had formed. And from the ground Yhvh God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food,[/B]

The exact site where God did the work of creating Man is unknown but there's no reason to doubt he wasn't created right there in his intended home. And I think we can safely assume the garden was already viable and productive when Man arrived. God didn't just throw him in the water to sink or swim. He gave the man a suitable habitat right from the get go. Adam wasn't a hunter-gatherer like some sort of rootless nomad; no, he had a place to settle down and call home.

So Man's first impression of his maker was one of caring, providence, and support. Adam was in no way a desperate cave man struggling to survive in a hostile world by courage, daring, and ingenuity. Man came into being by the designs of a Superior Intelligence who looked out for the unique little creature made in His own image right from the first, and got him off to a good start.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:9b . . with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,[/B]

The tree of life doesn't give life; but rather, according to Gen 3:22 has something in it that sustains life: indefinitely. Exactly how the chemistry of any plant could be so rich in nourishment as to stop the human body from getting old and falling apart is currently unknown. A very active field of modern scientific research in our own time is gerontology-- the study of the phenomena of the aging process. As yet, gerontologists have no significant understanding of the aging process, and therefore no clue as to what treatments, or nutrients might be employed to stop it.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:9c . . and the tree of knowledge of good and bad.[/B]

The Hebrew word for "good" in 2:9 is from [I]towb[/I] (tobe). It's an ambiguous word and isn't restricted to morals, ethics, or scruples. Even a tasty meal or an entertaining movie can be towb.

The word for "bad" is from [I]ra'[/I] (rah) It's another ambiguous word; and includes anything that's bad for us like poison ivy, playing with matches, E[B].[/B]coli 0157-H7, toxic chemicals, salmonella, eating without washing your hands, bungi jumping, investing in penny stocks, walking on train tracks, pimples, a sore throat, and going to bed without brushing your teeth.

From the gist of upcoming verses, it's readily apparent that the knowledge of good and bad implies an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Though Man was created intelligent; he was basically ignorant. A sense of right and wrong wasn't programmed into his intuition. He was supposed to learn right and wrong via Divine tutelage; not by trial and error nor by self initiative-- and certainly not by doing something stupid like eating from a tree known to be toxic to humans.

I mean, how smart is it to use Meth after you've been adequately instructed that it will ruin your skin, permanently damage blood vessels in your brain possibly causing a stroke, rot your gums and loosen your teeth, and make you look old, ugly, and repulsive?

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