Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 1

The Aeon Eye with Alexander Rivera looks also at the very beginning of the Bible and the Torah where we are presented with the idea of the origins of mankind in the Primordial Garden of Eden that we first see in the Book of Genesis, the Bereshith.

Alexander Rivera remarks:

The traditional Orthodox reading of this story, of course, presents the age-old legend as literal evidence for the claim of mankind’s original sin and subsequent fall from primordial perfection and divine grace, as if God was still holding an eternal grudge against mankind for eating a fruit that he created in the first place, and still cursing mankind and the world for a multitude of generations after the fact. From this disobedience to God, alienation was given rise from the creator and humanity was once again condemned under the Law that God later gave to Moses at Mt. Sinai. In this reading, humanity is specifically condemned because of their inherently wickedness due to their rebellion and disobedience. And so the story goes, God had to send his innocent Son to die a cruel death to shed his blood to atone for the transgressions of a sinful and destitute humanity. Yet, beneath this callous, misanthropic reading lies a deeper layer of spiritual truth.

English: Adam and Eve were both naked & were n...
Adam and Eve were both naked & were not ashamed, as in Genesis 2:25: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (KJV) illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous Readings from the Scriptures we could see how the female got tempted to get to know more about good and evil and how there was a delight to the eyes, the tree to be desired to make one wise. When she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat she wanted her partner also to be part of her disobedience to the Elohim. She lured him into eating of it as well, though God had prohibited them to touch the tree.

By eating of this tree of the forbidden fruit the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Suddenly the innocence of nakedness made place for an uncomfortable feeling. Their discomfort being so naked for each other and for the rest around them gave them a bad feeling.

Throughout history the story of the beginning of sin got merciless made in a weapon to unconscionably  threaten people with demons, un-heavenly creatures who would damage the human soul and torture the human beings who got tempted by their words and actions. Their living quarters being deep under the ground in the burning alcoves of the underworld.

In the Bereshith, the Tanakh, the Holy Jewish and Christian Bible the adversary of God, could be any tempter, but people wanted to see not themselves in it but preferred to see an extra-terrestrial being in it, giving the noun satan (adversary) the surnames Satan and Lucifer. We do not know if it is like Alexander Rivera thinks that this interpretation would have come into the picture much later with the Book of Wisdom (2:23-24) revealing in this version:

For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.

Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyons, writes in Against Heresies 5.23, which started the ball rolling for the Orthodox exegetic interpretation:

But that God was true, and the serpent a liar, was proved by the result, death having passed upon them who had eaten. For along with the fruit they did also fall under the power of death, because they did eat in disobedience; and disobedience to God entails death. Wherefore, as they became forfeit to death, from that [moment] they were handed over to it.  

Originally the serpent was the metaphor for the creeping evil, the danger that could come up to man, and by moments could have been very beautiful and attractive, very cunning. In life we can encounter slyness and man has found ways to use subtlety and tricks to bring deceit, not always playing clever or subtle games.

In the Revelation of John 12:9, the serpent is equated with a dragon, a devil or satan, which many people take to be a specific figure with the name Satan or Lucifer:

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

In the Book Wisdom is told that God created man unto His own likeness without corruption. Nevertheless through envies of the devil, the inner-thought of man going against the given purity of the Master Creator, came death into the world. Everybody in the creation of the Most High has elements of Him in him or her and by this gift of God has the possibility to feel the essence of the Creator in themselves. It are the wicked thoughts which separate from God and do come into the mind of those who think themselves wise or want to test God. Eve clearly wanted to test the Elohim. Therefore the Power of Jehovah had to come to her to condemn her. It was His Spirit Which filled the world but has all the right to give and take and man doubted His rights.

Wis 1:1-7 WEBA  Love righteousness, all you who are judges of the earth. Think of the Lord with a good mind. Seek him in singleness of heart,  (2)  because he is found by those who don’t tempt him, and is manifested to those who trust him.  (3)  For crooked thoughts separate from God. His Power convicts when it is tested, and exposes the foolish.  (4)  Because wisdom will not enter into a soul that devises evil, nor dwell in a body that is enslaved by sin.  (5)  For a holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and will depart from thoughts that are without understanding, and will be ashamed when unrighteousness has come in.  (6)  For wisdom is a spirit who loves man, and she will not hold a blasphemer guiltless for his lips; because God bears witness of his reins, and is a true overseer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue:  (7)  Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all things together knows what is said.

Wis 2:21-24 WEBA  Thus they reasoned, and they were led astray; for their wickedness blinded them,  (22)  and they didn’t know the mysteries of God, neither did they hope for wages of holiness, nor did they discern that there is a prize for blameless souls.  (23)  Because God created man for incorruption, and made him an image of his own everlastingness;  (24)  but death entered into the world by the envy of the devil, and those who belong to him experience it.

For to the light of day succeeds night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail (Wisdom 7:30) Adam and Eve having had evil thoughts of God by giving heed to their wish to know as much as God knows. They were not  not ashamed concerning their soul and now it was to late to hide for God. Sirach 7:1 tells us not to do evil so will no evil overtake you. Now the relationship between God and man got disturbed and they knew very well that they had done wrong.

That satan and lucifer are not wicked beings, can also been seen in other places in Scriptures where the evangelist John equates Jesus Christ with Lucifer, the Latin word for “light-bearer” which stems from the “Latin Vulgate” Bible, produced by Jerome, commissioned by Pope Damascus in 382 A.D. In Revelation 22:16, “Jesus” proclaims that:

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

In the verses about the penalty coming over the man and female, the 1° Adam and Eve, the Creator offers a solution and talks about the evil being crushed by the foot of the send one, the darkness eliminated by the light. The ‘Light” spoken off in the Bible refers then to the promised one, who got born in Bethlehem out of the tribe of God’s servant King David.

Of course, the Latin “Lucifer” (“Lux Ferre”) was associated with the planet Venus, which is called “Phosphoros”, the “morning star” or “dawn-bringer”, who was both a minor god in Greece and Rome, who according to the Greek Historian Diodorus Siculus, was a:

…son of Atlas, who was fond of astronomy, and once, after having ascended Mount Atlas to observe the stars, he disappeared. He was worshipped with divine honours, and regarded as the fairest star in the heavens. (Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.) {Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 1)}

We have goodness in us but there is also badness which “lies in wait to turn things that are good into evil” (Sirach 11:31). When Jehovah’s Word came into the world everything got created and out of chaos came order, but that does not mean that disorder would have gone for ever. In the Plan of God everything should stay in good order, but man got the right to order things themselves as well. Jehovah God is a God of order. Normally man had to be the seal of full measure, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.  Man was placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden, the Garden of God.

To dwell in the awesome presence of a perfect and holy God, many would agree that those being there in the Garden of God had to be perfect. What went wrong is seen in the reaction of the woman ignoring God’s commandment. there was light that made an end to darkness, which was set up on the holy mountain of God.  This light is also called “Lucifer” in Scripture who also fitted the name, ‘Son of the Morning’ being perfect in its ways from the day that it was created, until unrighteousness was found in it.  (Ezekiel 28:2-19)

A "Son of Light" bad and good. Lucifer the evil one.
A “Son of Light” bad and good. Lucifer the evil one.

Man got its insides filled with badness, a violence against the Will of God, and this the Bible calls sin. We come to hear in the Scriptures that splendour and beauty did not last forever. It is told that Lucifer while ministering, began to consider his own position of prominence and became prideful, believing that he deserved more than what he already had. He wanted to become like the Most High. This is the main problem of what went wrong in the Garden of Eden. This is also still the problem of today. There were those who wanted to be like God in a bad sense of having the same power as God, wanting to be God. This became the reason to cast them out as ‘wrongoers’, ‘wrongdoers’ or sinners as profane ‘out of God’s mountain’.

Lucifer was also known by the Greeks as the Titan Prometheus, the son of Iapetus. (As a side-note compare this description of Phosphoros with Isaiah 14: 13-14: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high”). {Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 1)}

Man was stripped of his beauty, his position, and his rights to heaven. The lucifer got his light dimmed. Lucifer’s name, ‘son of the morning,’ was given to a far more deserving individual, the Son of God. He is the seed of the New Generation, the beginning of the New World. Jesus Christ is called the ‘Bright and Morning Star’ (Revelation 22:16).

Today, the one promised in the Garden of Eden, who was in the dark for a long time, has become the light of the world again and is now back close to God, seated at the right hand of the Most High Divine Creator. The 2° Adam is now dwelling in the presence of the Almighty. Christ’s words hold true, even ‘in the account of Satan’:

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

In what has happened in the Garden of Eden we have an example which we should seriously take at heart. We shall have to look deep in our heart and question ourselves which position we do want to take in. We should see and understand what the 1° Adam and Eve did wrong and how we can avoid falling in the same trap as they did. We should come to understand that recalcitrance and aversion to God will make us weaker and defenceless. The rebellious attitude will bring us only in the dark, like it did with Adam and Eve being brought in a grim world.

We should know that still today the adversary of God is willing to control the world, therefore it is also said that ‘Satan’s attempt’ to control this world system is nothing to take lightly.

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Preceding articles:

The very very beginning 2 The Word and words

Genesis – Story of creation 5 Genesis 3:1-12 Eating of the fruit-tree of knowledge

Genesis – Story of creation 6 Genesis 3:13-24 Enmity and curse

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Additional reading:

  1. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  2. Satan or the devil
  3. Messenger of Satan
  4. Satan the evil within
  5. Lucifer
  6. Listening and Praying to the Father
  7. The Soul confronted with Death
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  10. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  11. Heavenly creatures do they exist

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  • Vos on Creation (greenbaggins.wordpress.com)
    If the creation history is an allegory, then the narrative concerning the fall and everything further that follows can also be allegory. The writer of the Pentateuch presents his work entirely as history (Reformed Dogmatics, volume 1, p. 161).
  • Imagination: What does the Bible say? (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward
  • Did Plato influence the Book of Genesis? (lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com)
    the belief among Orthodox Jews is that the book of Genesis is very old, but as the web page points out, there are no outside historically dated references to the book of Genesis until the second century B.C., which is two hundred years after the founding of Plato’s Academy.
  • We Will Always Be Tempted (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    The devil is as dangerous to us as he was to Adam and Eve. Peter refers to him as “a roaring lion…seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet.5:8). According to Jesus, he is the prince of this world (John 12:31). We must remember, however, that the devil rules as a usurper.
  • Servants of God (christopherjmoorewriter.wordpress.com)
    if we choose to put ourselves above God, then ultimately we will join Satan in the eternal fires of hell. It’s our choice. Jesus, in allowing himself to be crucified for our sins provides another way.All we have to do is repent of our pride, put Christ as the centre of our lives and be his servant – feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, comfort the sick and dying. These charitable acts provide us with the opportunities to be servants of God. And we don’t have to travel to distant lands to perform them, just look around you, the area where you live. There are plenty of God’s children who need and deserve your help.
  • Where Are You? (psychologytoday.com)
    God doesn’t rage or leave. God simply responds by asking the first question of the Torah: “Ayeka?”Translated literally, Ayeka means, “Where are you?” and upon first pass, that question seems silly for a Higher Power to be asking. First, why does it matter where they are hanging out? Second, shouldn’t God “know” anyway?
  • By Faith? (hiwaychristian.wordpress.com)
    Take note as to how all the creatures involved in creating what is creation, did not hear the reason until some distance into the building.  And even while salvation among men is in full swing, the angels still long to look into these things.  Unless the translation is wrong, I noticed that Peter did not use the past tense of the word “long”.Remaining obedient though  we have no clue, is not only essential now, it is a pattern of behavior for all God’s creatures for eternity.  And this ought to renew our devotion to serve without full understanding.  Frankly folks, that will be our state of affairs forever.
  • Psalm 80 (embodiedtorah.wordpress.com)
    The theology of this verse reminds me of the comment on the first verse of Genesis by the medieval French commentator Rashi, in which he explains that the purpose of beginning Torah with creation, rather than with the first mitzvah given to Israel in Exodus 12, is to remind us that the world belongs to God. In this Psalm, God is a gardener and the world is God’s garden.
  • The Fear of Man is a Trap (codybateman.org)
    Nearly everyone has heard of Abraham and his faith in God. What most do not realize is that he struggled with Fear. You see, Abraham had a drop-dead gorgeous wife and he knew it too. Because of her beauty, he feared that the wicked ruler of the land they were passing through, might kill him in order possess his wife.
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    Today, the whole world remains blessed by the faithfulness of God toward Abraham. How so? Because our Savior, Jesus Christ, eventually came from that same line of Abraham and his beautiful wife!
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