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Eden is a paradise, well, except for that big, fat trap laid in the middle of it

 
Australian fires. African locusts. Worldwide plague. Do we live in Biblical times or what? If the world really is ending, we thought it was time to prepare properly for Armageddon. By, you know, reading the damn thing. The Bible, that is. (Go back to the beginning here.)

 
Continuing the Creation do-over, with our narrator starting things from scratch again and putting man on the scene before plants or other animals…

Genesis 2 King James Version (KJV)

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8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 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. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2 New International Version (NIV)

8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “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.”

 
We’re not feeling too sure about the travelogue inserted here — uh, thanks for the hot tip about about gold prospecting in Havilah — as if that were nearly as important as that big red flag planted right in the middle of Eden, for crissakes.

Sure, eat anything you want, hang out in this cool zoo enclosure, er, pretty garden that’s been made for you, but whatever you do, don’t eat from this one special tree right in the middle of it.

Well, you know how that’s going to turn out. It’s pretty much the same setup as when medical experts started telling us a few weeks ago, whatever you do, don’t touch your face. And so what did you do, right?

It’s just impossible to keep your hand from rubbing your nose, isn’t it? And when some genius astrophysicist tried to design a device that would keep us from that constant touching, he ended up in the hospital with magnets wedged up his nose. And if this is what happens to a genius scientist, what hope do the rest of us have?

Anyway, getting back to God’s little prank here, we note that this is the first point in our narrative that something like a literary device has been introduced. After all, what the heck could a “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” be? Seen one growing around your house lately?

Here we are only two chapters into this thing and it’s starting to lose its verisimilitude. Not a good sign.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on March 31, 2020 at 12:00

 

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