The punishment

For their disobedience, Yahweh God would hand out a punishment in Genesis, chapter 3:14-23. Human perfection came to an end.  The snake was first, but everybody got punished.  Yahweh cursed the snake.  Thus, the snake would have to crawl on his belly and eat dirt, considered an abomination for the Hebrews.    Snakes never had any legs anyhow.  Further, the offspring of this woman and the snake would be enemies.  Someone, either a Jewish messiah or Jesus Christ for Christians, would crush his head.  This woman would get revenge on the snake in the future.  Then, Yahweh turned to this woman.  She would have to bear children in pain.  Women would also be subject to their husbands.  This punishment set the roles of women for thousands of years, the dutiful child bearing woman became the ideal existence and position for women.  The patriarchal system was in place and considered to be the normal way of things, because God wanted it so.  The consequences of this woman’s actions explained why women had to endure painful childbirth and obey their husbands.  Finally, this man had to work hard.  His ground would be cursed, not him.  He would have to diligently toil the soil until he was tired.  In the end, he would return to dust at death, where he came from.  The idyllic Garden of Eden happiness concept did not last a lifetime without some bumps along the road in this valley of tears.  We all share a flawed human nature on our life long journey.  We have both a limited freedom and a limited responsibility.  Thus, we need to work and be productive in this created world.  We share in the creative enterprise by working in God’s creation.  At the end of this punishment, the man and the woman got names.  The man was simply called Adam, הָֽאָדָ֛ם (haadam), Ἀδὰμ (Adam), the Hebrew word for man.  However, Adam then gave, וַיִּקְרָ֧א (wayyiqra), ἐκάλεσεν (ekalesen), a name, שֵׁ֥ם (sem), τὸ ὄνομα (to onoma), to his wife, אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ (istow), τῆς γυναικὸς (tas gunaikos), Life or first woman, חַוָּ֑ה (ḥawwah), Ζωή (Zoa).  Yahweh gave them clothes, where ever they came from.  This man, Adam, named his wife Life, because she was the mother of all living people.  Notice that the man has become like God, but not the woman.  The two, the man, called in English “Adam”, and the woman, called in English “Eve”, were driven from the garden and lived east of Eden, where cherubim guarded the garden gate with a burning flame.  Nearly everyone has heard this story of Adam and Eve.  While the Hebrew name for man or Adam appears over 552 times and the word for woman or wife appears over 781 times in the Hebrew Bible, the word for Eve or Zoa only appears twice, both here in Genesis. A capricious Yahweh was the overlord of the garden and punished these first two humans because they wanted to be like him.  Two minor characters were the talking wicked animal serpent and the good spiritual cherubim with a flaming sword.  The cherubim were somewhat like the winged animals that guarded other ancient Mid-eastern buildings.  This was an attempt to show how human good and evil came to be.  What do you know about Adam and Eve?


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