As a child of 10 or so I had been presented with a KJV edition of the Bible which I read avidly during the Sermons that Fr Moore ( Very high Church)offered us. I read it and pondered the Creation stories that I read over and over again. I wondered where Eden was or had been besides..
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of iHavilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the jTigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Many Biblical Scholars have sought the concrete Eden, whether from curiosity or for proof of Scripture. The Cherabim with the Flaming Sword would surely have given it away – if there was ever any such place.
As I have said before it is a story with a message, geography is incidental because the Jewish Priests and Historians who wrote it had an agenda, to confirm that present sins and practices were, I suppose Abel’s fault.
Cain wasn’t Abel( to)
3 Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. version NIV Cain and Abel
How unfair it is of God to reward Abel who just happened to have made the correct career choice, yielding the correct offering. Just how did Abel know or was it a fluke, or perhaps something to do with this ”
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.””( Genesis 3:16b,17) and this “And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22 NIV)
So Abel knew right from wrong and rightfully offered the right sacrifice
Cain also knew right from wrong and wrongfully offered the wrong sacrifice. Was this because the Adams family had become as gods knowing good and evil, therefore Cain knew that his sacrifice would be unacceptable and chose to offer it anyway? Did Cain ask Abel for some of the fat of the firstlings of the flock in order to offer the right sacrifice or did Abel offer Cain the same things?
NYA, it makes absolute sense to me to offer the fruit of our labor no matter what that is. What! Is God unfair that he rewards Abel for an accident of vocation. That he refuses Cain’s honest toil on a whim since Cain had chosen to work the soil. Cain wasn’t abel to offer what he did not have.
Next time I place my offering on the plate do I give money or meat!
The way I see it now, this is the beginning of the deamonising of God and it is Abel’s fault because he planted the idea for us, that God needs to be placated, (kept on side) which made Cain angry enough to kill Abel because Cain had been rejected by God.
Cain is marked by God to protect him and goes off to the land of Nod for a wife. Hey, aren’t the Adams family the only folk around so where did the land of Nod come from? Well it was East of Eden and its name meant wandering.
O and there was no incest required to populate the world.
In crude terms Abel was the first to offer animal sacrifice to God, blood in place of blood.
And I dare to say that Cain, a vegetarian put Abel to death because he offered the beasts of the field, sentient beings, as sacrifcial offerings to what now appeared to be a frightful god.
So forget the myth of Eden which infers that the only humans in the world were the Adams family, the world was already populated and the Story of Eden just wanted us to get the message that wrongdoing came into the world through disobedience. That for their shame they were expelled from the presence of God. Along with all the others they were to meet by the way.
God may have been Awesome but now he had become Aweful.
Here the writers get the chance to reveal the roots of the famlies of the Nations by inventing family histories containing humans, such as Methuselah who lived to 969, with a name meaning ” when he dies it shall come”.
It is concocted, false and has no bearing on the supposed descent of Man into wrongfulness, which as it grew, the wrongfulnes, resulted in the ages of Mankind growing shorter and shorter. And yet we say that only the good die young.
These stories, written by historians of the Elohist bent from the time of the Divided
Monarchy (~850 BC) attempted to provide a lawful/less history of Judah.
When I do wrong does my life expectancy decrease? Abel’s certainly did in the right wrong saga of his life. And Cain was a good creation, loved by God and did not die because God is Aweful or Frightful or seeking vengence but because God is LOVE.
When Seth, son of Adam and Eve, became a father, in the time of his son Enosh people began once again to call on the name of the Lord.
“It is concocted, false and has no bearing on the supposed descent of Man into wrongfulness, which as it grew, the wrongfulnes, resulted in the ages of Mankind growing shorter and shorter. And yet we say that only the good die young.”
And we also teach the bible is inerrant and infallible and keep God from connecting. Thank you for a thought provoking post.
Thank you Paul for giving me an ending, or middle as it may be. I intend just to touch on the other key incidents in this book of beginnings, with the shared mythology offered by other Nations or Tribes.
Thank you Paul
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