As promised, Eden revisited part 2, about the apple.
Using the New King James Version because it turns out to be better, this is Genesis 3
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
See, now why did this wildly intelligent serpent pick Eve? Was it random? I doubt it was because Adam would be better at resisting temptation, a simple ‘here honey’ was enough, as we see later on. Was it because the serpent knew she’d be the one who desired to gain wisdom? If Eve was in the same position women have been in for thousands of years, why would he talk to her and not to Adam, who would be the one calling the shots? Apparently Eve was her own person, and Eve called her own shots. And Adam meekly followed? He was THERE. He did not question her, he did not stop her, he did not open his mouth, other than for eating the fruit. Up to this point things were as God intended them, and apparently Eve was not intended to be a mere follower. Maybe Paradise Eve was the one thinking, while Adam was simply doing as he was told. Up till now, I haven’t seen any own initiative from Adam, but I’ve seen Eve make her decision and taking risks.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Why call Adam first? I don’t know why God did it, I know why I would. God knew what happened. The weaker one is always easier to tackle first, and the one that followed along is never the leader. Also; Adam needs to understand that he’s guilty as well. Talking to Eve first would put all the blame on her, but she’s not alone in this. Adam took no responsibility, and then points his finger at Eve AND at God because He put Eve there. Dude, you were THERE. She did not force it down your throat. And she has a name, you know.
Eve keeps it simple: The serpent deceived me and I ate. She could have said ‘That serpent You put in the garden deceived me and that man you put here did nothing to help, so I ate it’. Simply put, the Serpent deceived her and she acted on it.
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
16 To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”
There could not have been a worse punishment for Eve. Given that these things are Eve’s punishment, none of this were inherently Eve. We see here the result of the Fall from Grace, the consequences of evil and sin that had just entered the world. Being a woman means pain. Eve’s body has been turned against her. And trust me, that reproductive system isn’t just problematic when actually in the birthing process. I tried to look up if ‘conception’ in this case means something else than a fertilized ovum, but I failed. In this we also see emotional turmoil (Hah. Even that ‘weakness’ is part of the punishment’. ) And our longing for a man. Contrary to the explanation of grey-haired men, I as a woman can tell you that ‘desire’ is not just about sex. I doubt it was intended as sexual desire in the first place… sexual desire must have been part of the original plan because Eve was a woman in the original plan. And Adam was a man, not a eunuch. No. The punishment of God is the desire that causes us trouble. We crave love and affection more than we crave sex. We crave approval. That’s the thing: we can’t see how it was in Paradise very well, but we can see how it is AFTER the fall.
I do find it interesting that, as a punishment, Eve would have more children than intended at the first place. I am not surprised that grey-haired men use this part of Genesis to reduce women to nothing more than their sexuality and ability to reproduce. They do make a mistake by saying that’s how God intended women to be, that’s their special calling. It’s not. God never said ‘it was good’ and rested after the fall from Grace. This was the punishment for sin. And I know God has a master plan, but I see nothing that makes me believe it’s a plan in the same way men make plans. God’s plan is not that straight forward, and must be flexible. Dear men, God is NOT a man. His mind does not work like yours, and can not be explained by yours.
The last part of the punishment crushed her. She was to be ruled by three-legged-chromosome over there. The one that did a shitty job in preventing all this from happening from the beginning… and thousands of years of male rule later, we can conclude that three-legged-chromosome didn’t do a very good job. Grey-haired men explaining Genesis as summarised above is a perfect example of how being ruled by men is a punishment. If our bodies and our ‘hysteria’ didn’t keep us from being who we once were as God intended us, men did.
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
Adam got off the easiest it seems. Now before the men get all offended: this punishment applies to all people. Women also turn to dust after death. Fair? No comment. Eve apparently did the sin with the most consequences. I think Adam’s punishment is hidden in Eve’s punishment: because Eve’s punishment has reduced her ability to do what she was intended for, be a helper like Adam because he can not do it alone, Adam has to do what he can’t do. Yet, the fall from Grace also must have lead to the development of male ego, as a consequence of being the boss of Eve. Or maybe male ego is HOW he was to be the boss of Eve.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 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.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming swordflashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Gender inequality is the result of the Fall from Grace . God’s initial creation had Adam and Eve being equals, but male and female. It was good in God’s eyes. After the Fall, it was no longer good.
I am a Christian, and the New Testament teaches us about the Ultimate Grace. God Himself died for our sins. We are forgiven, but we are not yet in the New World yet, where ‘It will be good’ again. We’re still hindered by the Fall. Jesus has died for Eve’s sin, taking that punishment on Him as well.
We are all so full of sin, we all do things that go right against how it was ‘intended’. I sometimes want to shake people: do you not SEE? If I am to live more like God intended me, I am to be more like Paradise Eve. If I am to live in faith and love and harmony and purity, like Paradise, I can not tolerate any doctrine teaching me otherwise. There is no harmony in oppressing oneself, but there is faith, love and harmony in using my Eve-ness to be a helper.
Jesus himself was a massive feminist. We know that women in the society He dealt with were pretty low, and only had worth by terms of the man they’re married to. As were the women in the Greek societies, they were property, cattle. The New Testament made men responsible for their families, by stating that they were inseparable. (Apparently, in the time Paul wrote about the man being the head of the household, understanding of the human body wasn’t far enough for them to know the head was the rational, thinking part. They thought they thought with their torsos. They did know that if you separated the head from the body it meant death. How powerful is that? And…. we saw in Genesis that men were to be bonded to their wives and become one flesh. Inseparable. Amazing.). Jesus talked to women, Jesus helped women, Jesus went in against the culture of disrespect for women. Jesus never once saw women as mere sexual breeding machines, he saw the person behind the hooker, the widow and the slut.
So how can one be Christian and NOT be a feminist?
Note: I’m not here to discuss the scientific proof of the Bible, or whether or not the world is literally created in a week. The Big Bang theory is a theory, and being scientifically schooled I know that science is no more ‘definite’ than faith. The Bible is the word of God, and it’s foolish to imagine it would fit in any of our mindsets. Genesis sketches some things, and to me it’s not about whether or not it’s the literal truth, it’s about the truth of the Word. Sometimes I feel my ADHD is a gift from God, with a human label. Especially since it’s paired with what may be a Mensa level processor. I don’t think in the box, and I don’t think in words, and my IQ can keep up with my ADHD if necessary. In my mind I paint pictures with all my senses, rather than creating boxes. Almost like looking at something and being able to combine several light settings to see it more clearly. That’s how it works, also when reading the Bible or even in prayer.