“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” – Genesis 2:8-9
The first book of the Bible is a fascinating document. On one hand, it is the basis for many religions around the world – either as a matter of faith or one of historical precedence. While simultaneously, it is a complete history spanning eons, yet capable of telling unique stories of various individuals. In the original Hebrew it is considered masterpiece of Sacred Geometry, wherein it incorporates the Geometry of Alphabets while recreating the story of mankind, all subjected to a massive number of interpretations, and even misinterpretations. In retrospect, it is a puzzle wrapped in an “enigma.”
As an example the King James Version makes a distinction between “God” and the “Lord God.” Chapter one it is exclusively the province of “God,” the creator of heaven and the earth, yet beginning with Genesis 2:4, the Lord God is supposedly in charge. It is almost as if “God” was the universal creator, while the “Lord God” was an earth-based deity. For example, when God was rested on the “seventh day” the Lord God began the “generations” on a whole new regimen. Then God created man in his image, and the Lord God used a dusty clay model. It’s possible they’re the same being, but the evidence is not strong in that regard — to the contrary.
There are the paradoxes, the apparent contradictions, the strange twists and turns of first one thing, and then, curiously, the seemingly opposite. Consider one of the most obvious passages in the Bible, Genesis: 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Does it really say “In OUR image, and OUR likeness?” Yet Genesis 1:27 continues this subject with, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Both men and women!
Why the plural tense? Are we talking about the “royal we”? If so, then why was the proposal to make man in the plural tense, but the actual act, in the singular? Basically, we must ask, “What do you mean, “we”? All of which lead us to Genesis 3:22 – “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Forever!
Become one of us, become a God? Man? Eat of the Tree of Life and live forever? It might be justifiable as punishment to send Man packing, but why bring up the tree of life thing? Obviously the tree’s fruit was an eye opener for the naked couple, but...”And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, [and presumably to do long division as well] and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” – Genesis 6: 1-2
I can appreciate the daughters being fair, but “the sons of God” is not at all clear – at least in the context of there being only one god. But if there were two or more . . . Then the “us” is clear, even if only one “he” was the final version of created man. Then if more than two, why not have sons of God? (As well as daughters.) A pantheon!
Biblical scholars, including the Jesuits of the Catholic Church, have reluctantly had to admit that there must have been at least two gods in the story of Genesis. In fact, if the role model for Genesis was the Sumerian Epic of Creation, then it’s pretty much of a done deal that there was a whole flock of Gods and Goddesses in the time before man: not necessarily before the Chapter One Creator God, but by the time of the Garden, Adam and Eve, and so forth. This group of “lesser” gods and goddesses, as distinct from the Creator God, may indeed have been troubled by the possibility of man inadvertently joining their ranks by eating of the Tree of Life. They might have also been concerned about man’s attempts to build new and wondrous things, such as:
“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” – Genesis 11: 6-7