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East of Eden: Cast out by cherubim bearing flaming swords

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.)

God was just getting warmed up yesterday as he brings down sentence upon the first couple…

Genesis 3 King James Version (KJV)


17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 3 New International Version (NIV)

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.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 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 of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

No please, God, say it isn’t so. We have to eat what we grow? And we have to wear clothes? And we will live and die while having to work for a living, and while knowing the difference between good and evil? Well, such is life. At least, that’s what it was like before this damn plague.

Now that we’re nearing a month confined to quarters, things are beginning to change, aren’t they? We see it here and there. On Facebook, the people we follow are starting to lose their minds. Not in big ways, but in little ways. Here at home, it’s becoming a chore to do the smallest things. We practically have to talk ourselves into walking across the room. Is it like that for you, too?

We may have another two months of this, and then things may remain somewhat restricted for a lot longer. How long before we can reach out and shake a stranger’s hand? A year? Two?

Anyway, today’s passage from this Biblical fable only reminded us of how good we had it before the pandemic, not how tough we have it as human beings. And what a weak attempt it is to explain life’s difficulties by making up a story to explain things after the fact. Sure, God, we have it tough, and it’s all that woman’s fault for listening to the serpent. Are you buying this?


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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 4, 2020 at 12:00


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