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Adziilii's Pulpit

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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:15-17 . .The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for in the day you eat of it, you shall die.

Q: Why on earth would God plant a hazardous tree in an otherwise perfect environment? Was that really necessary? What real purpose does a tree serve that has the potential to alter human consciousness? Why even create such a tree in the first place?

A: Although the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unfit for human consumption; it wasn't necessarily a bad tree. When God finished creating, He looked over His work on the 6th day and pronounced it all not just good, but "very" good.

Take for example light. God pronounced it good; but in practice light has the potential to burn your skin and/or cause permanent eye damage.

I don' t know what that tree's purpose in the garden might have been but I'm confident it was no more intrinsically evil than toad stools, poison ivy, lightening, rattlesnakes, scorpions, avalanches, gravity, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, cactus needles, tsunamis, the solar wind, earthquakes, electricity, fire, lava, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and hemlock are evil in and of themselves. Those things are hazardous, yes, but they all fit into the natural scheme of things.

Gen 2:15-17 is a favorite among Bible critics because Adam didn't drop dead the instant he tasted the forbidden fruit. In point of fact, he continued to live outside the garden of Eden for another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth (Gen 5:4). So; is there a reasonable explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

The first thing to point out is that in order for the threat to resonate in Adam's thinking; it had to be related to death as he understood death in his own day rather than death as modern Sunday school classes construe it in their day. In other words: Adam's concept of death was primitive, i.e. natural rather spiritual.

As far as can be known from scripture, Man is the only specie that God created immune to death by natural causes just so long as he included fruit from the tree of life in his diet. The animal kingdom was given nothing like it.

That being the case, then I think it's safe to assume that death was common all around Adam by means of plants, birds, bugs, and beasts so that it wasn't a strange new word in his vocabulary; i.e. God didn't have to take a moment and define death for Adam seeing as how it was doubtless a common occurrence in his everyday life.

Anyway; the apparent discrepancy is resolved by the wording of the threat: God said "in the day" rather than the very day. In other words; the day of Adam's death began the moment he tasted the forbidden fruit and it was only a matter of time after that before his body gave out and he passed away.

In point of fact everybody's day of death began at the same time as Adam's and we've all been passing away ever since: some at birth, some in infancy, some in childhood, some in adulthood because Adam's day of death isn't over yet.

"Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam." (Rom 5:12-14)

The Greek word for "world" in that passage is kosmos (kos'-mos); an ambiguous word that sometimes refers to the entire universe with all of its forms of life, matter, and energy; but much of the time it's speaking of only the human sphere; viz: death came to all men rather than death to all life.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:18 . .Yhvh God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary; I will make a fitting helper for him.

That is a curious statement considering that God had given His creation an evaluation of "very good" back in Gen 1:31.

Well; the evaluation was based upon "every thing that He had made" so Adam's construction came out exactly as God wished; which means that Adam's creator deliberately made the man reliant upon a suitable companion right from the very get-go; i.e. Eve wasn't a "fix" to address an unforeseen problem like the many that plagued NASA during the Apollo program.

"fitting helper" is from two Hebrew words. "Fitting" is from neged (neh'-ghed) which means: a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate. The word for "helper" is from 'ezer (ay'-zer) which means: aid.

Note that aid isn't spelled with an "e" as in aide; so that Eve wasn't meant to be the man's Girl Friday, rather; someone to strengthen him. In other words: woman's true role is a supporting role rather than a leading role; i.e. domineering women are out of sync with humanity's creator. The same goes for masculine women-- viz: so-called strong women.

I suspect that Adam didn't really have it all that easy in his world, and that Eve's companionship made his life a lot more tolerable and worth the living. The helper that God made for Adam would be both his counterpart, and his crutch. In other words: wives are really at their best when they strengthen their men to go out that door and face the big, bad, mean world.

In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that human beings were not intended to live a celibate life. If male human life was packaged in a box of software, one of its system requirements would be Female Companion.

Woman's potential for companionship is the primary reason that God made her-- not for her sex appeal nor for her reproductive value; no, for a man's companionship; which is commonly expressed by cordiality, friendliness, friendship, goodwill, kindness, civility, concord, harmony, rapport, charity, generosity, compassion, empathy, sympathy, chumminess, intimacy, affection, devotion, loyalty, fondness, and love.

From all that, I think we can safely conclude that a woman who tears her man down instead of building him up is a broken woman; i.e. maladjusted.

Now; before God introduced the man to a woman, He first gave the man an opportunity to seek appropriate companionship from among the creatures of the animal kingdom. The results were unsatisfactory; and no surprise there seeing as how critters aren't equipped to relate with humans on a high enough level.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:19-20a . . And the Lord God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts;

Adam's task would have been overwhelming if as many varieties existed in his day as ours; which I honestly don't think did because, for one thing, prior to the existence of humans, the earth underwent some mass extinction events.

I'm sure Adam loved animals; I mean look: he gave them all names; which is something that people who make their living in animal husbandry try to avoid because the practice can lead to attachments; thus making the situation very difficult when it's time for sale and/or slaughter.

My wife's kindergarten class visits a working dairy farm every year where all the cows and the calves have number tags stapled in their ears. On the books, those numbers are the bovines' names; but in a matter of minutes, my wife's kinders give the little calves real names because it's just in human nature to do that. (I named one White Shoulder because it had an epaulette of pale hair on its right shoulder)

But as cute and cuddly as some critters are, they just don't have what it takes to be the kind of companion that a human being really needs

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:20b . . but for Adam no fitting helper was found.

That's telling me that people who prefer a pet's companionship to a human's are out of kilter because pets, even as soothing as they are in some situations, are unbefitting-- they're a lower form of conscious life than people; and God didn't create them to be people's personal companions anyway, no, according to Gen 1:26-28 He created them to be people's servants.

I think that even to this day, were most normal people given a choice between human companionship and that of a pet; they would opt for the human because people relate to each other much better than they relate to critters; either wild or domesticated.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:21a-22a . . So the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman;

The Hebrew word for "rib" is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-22 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side" which is really how it should be translated because according to Gen 2:23, the material taken from Adam included some of his flesh.

The woman didn't complete the creation of Man-- God wrapped all of creation back in Gen 2:1-3. And in point of fact, it's said in Gen 1:27 that the male and the female were both created at the very same time on the very same day.

Q: So; where was the woman all the time between Gen 1:27 and Gen 2:21-22?

A: She was existing in Adam's body.

That's not a new idea. For example: Heb 7:9-10 says that Levi existed in Abraham's body.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:22b . . and He introduced her to the man.

Why wasn't Eve given a chance to fit in with the animals before introducing her to Adam? Well, I think it's because men can make do with a soccer ball named Wilson if they have to; but normal women, as a rule, can't. Men and Women share a lot of similarities; but the resolve to go it solo, to be a rugged individual, is not one of them. There are exceptions, of course; but as a rule, women do not care to live alone and unloved in the world. It's curious, but when we think of hermits; our minds typically think of them as male because female hermits just seem so contrary to nature.

Upon seeing Eve for the very first time, Adam didn't exclaim: Hot diggity dog! Now I can get lucky! No he didn't say that at all.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:23a . .Then the man said: This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

In other words: finally somebody Adam could really relate to; and the expression became a colloquialism. (e.g. Gen 29:13-14)

Eve's primary purpose in life was to be her man's best friend; and that is precisely why God made women: to be their husband's buddy. Therefore wives who aren't their husband's buddy are seriously maladjusted; and can only be accepted as cheap goods rather than top-of-the-line quality. Married men shackled to a maladjusted woman aren't really in a marriage; they're in a cold war.

The one who designed a man said it is not good for a man to live alone. And if it's not good for a man to live alone, then it goes without saying that it's not good for a woman either. If men are supposed to be happier with a woman, then women should be happier with a man. In other words: mankind's designer didn't intend men and women to function independently of each other. They were created to be together; as couples.

So Adam saw in Eve his true counterpart-- a blood relative who was just as human as himself; and one who could truly relate to him, be sensitive to his feelings, and understand his thoughts; something no other creature ever yet has been able to do.

It's said that dogs are Man's best friend. No they aren't; dogs are domesticated beasts. They might bring a man his slippers, guard his property, and lick his face; but a dog lacks the capacity to be concerned that a man isn't eating right and getting enough rest and/or sympathize with a man when his job is outsourced to cheap labor in India. How many dogs shared their master's alarm when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and Wall Street fell off a cliff resulting in thousands of people all over the globe to suddenly find themselves unemployed and losing their homes? Had one do so, that would be a very unusual dog.

No; a man's true BFF is a loyal woman that looks out for him.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand

But if you love him, you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him, oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man.

Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely.
Stand by your man, and show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can.
Stand By Your Man,
Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill, Epic Records, 1968
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:23b . .This one shall be called Woman, for from Man was she taken.

The Hebrew word for "woman" is from 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which is the feminine form of 'iysh (eesh) which means a human being as an individual or as a male person. So 'ishshah doesn't indicate another species of human life (e.g. Lilith) it just simply indicates the opposite side of the same coin.

The word "taken" is accurate enough but in my estimation, "extracted" would be better because the woman was in Adam all along; same goes for all the rest of us too. We weren't created the day we were conceived; rather, we were created the day that Adam was brought into existence. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:24a . . Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife,

Clinging implies need. Most people don't care much for needy spouses because they're so high maintenance; but I don't think Genesis is talking about that kind of clinging. It seems to me more like reliance and dependence; and if a man can't rely and/or depend upon his wife; who can he rely and/or depend upon?

You know, people who indulge in starter marriages have got the wrong idea about what it means to hook up with somebody.

There are no specific Hebrew words for "wife". The word for wife in that verse comes from the very same word as woman-- 'ishshah. What makes an ishshah somebody's wife? The possessive pronoun "his" So Eve became Adam's woman; and Adam of course became Eve's man.

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys.

The lyrics of that song-- originally recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963 --depict a defiant girl standing up to a possessive boyfriend. Well; those lyrics may be true for temporary lovers; but are very contrary to God's thinking when it comes to marriage.

Anyway; there comes a time in every youth's life when it's time for him to grow up, sever the apron strings, leave home, become his own man, and take up residence with his own woman.

Sometimes it's difficult for a young man to accept that his mother is another man's woman. When my son was around 29 years old and home for Christmas one year, his mother and I were having a disagreement and he stuck up for her. I had to take my son aside and school him that it is a serious breach of male etiquette to come between a man and his wife. I let him get by with it that time; but in another man's home his meddling just might cost him a broken nose. He never did it again.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:24b . . so that they become one flesh.

The term "one" indicates unification. According to Matt 19:6 and Rom 7:1-3, this particular unification is permanent till death, which, according to 1Cor 6:15-16 isn't limited to marriage; it takes effect even when people sleep around; ergo: when a man sleeps with a woman, any woman, he becomes bonded to her for life, and she with him. Whether they agree to it or not makes no difference because God's decree trumps His creatures' feelings about it.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 2:25 . .The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame

They were naked at first, but there's really no reason to believe that they would've remained that way. I mean, after all, human skin is not all that tough. They would need to protect themselves from dirt and grime, and from sunburn, cuts, bruises, and abrasions.

Webster's defines shame as: 1) guilt, or disgrace, 2) a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, and 3) inhibition.

I think we could probably add self consciousness to that list; defined as uncomfortably aware of one's self as an object of the observation of others.

In other words, there was absolutely nothing in early Man's psyche restraining him from parading around in full frontal exposure; and actually, neither was there anything in his psyche encouraging him to. Adam was a product of nature; hence he was comfortable au naturel. They weren't exhibitionists by any stretch of the imagination because in their innocence, Adam and his wife simply were neither proud of, nor humiliated by, their appearance in the buff.

Adam and his wife felt neither naughty nor perverted by frontal exposure at first, nor were they self conscious in the slightest respect because as yet they knew no cultural boundaries, nor were they infected yet with a guilt complex about sex and the human body; and concepts like vanity and narcissism had no point of reference in their thinking whatsoever. They had absolutely no natural sense of propriety, nor were they even aware of any because their creator hadn't taught them any proprieties yet at this point.

That was an interesting time in early human development. They had neither intuition nor conscience as yet to moderate their dress code. Had somebody criticized the first couple's appearance, they would no doubt have stared at their critic like a man taken leave of his senses.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:1a . . Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

Probably no other creature in the Bible provokes so much skepticism as the Serpent. It just smacks of mythology.

But this particular serpent was no ordinary reptile. It was indeed a remarkable creature. Not only was it capable of language, and able to communicate on a very sophisticated level with human beings, but it had an exceptional IQ too. It grasped the significance of a supreme being, and totally understood the workings of human nature and the human mind. No mere animal is capable of that degree of insight, cognition, and communication.

The final book in the New Testament confirms the Serpent's true identity, and it is none other than the dark spirit being well known to everyone as the Devil and Satan. (Rev 20:1-3).

According to Christ, Mr. Serpent was in the world from the very beginning; and his stock in trade was murder and deception right from the get go. (John 8:44)

Since Rev 20:1-3 has not yet come to pass, then the Serpent remains at large and very active in today's modern world. It is highly skilled at mental suggestions: secretly guiding mankind along a road to self destruction. It is the source of much of the world's political tensions, and certainly the impetus behind all large scale anti-Semitic agendas.

I have never seen the Serpent myself; nor would I care to. But I know from Matt 4:1-11 that Christ saw it, and spoke with it. From that passage it's obvious that the Serpent is capable of human speech, understands human needs and weaknesses, believes in the existence of God, understands the concept of worship, a master of sophistry, understands the Bible, and understands the advantages of manipulating human minds, and world power.

The Serpent certainly wasn't squeamish about tempting the Son of God to sin; so it should come as no surprise that it wouldn't hesitate to entice a little nobody like Eve. But Eve was extremely strategic; she was the high ground in the battle for men's minds, because Eve was destined to be the mother of all subsequent human beings. If the Serpent could get to the root of humanity, it would surely gain control over the entire human race; and it did. (Eph 2:1-3)

The Serpent seems possessed with a strange, criminal mentality: beyond comprehension. But then, so are pedophiles, serial killers, unabombers, ISIS extremists, terrorists, and men like Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka, Ted Kaczynski, and Jack the Ripper. Those kinds of criminals are prisoners of dark minds clouded with anti-social inclinations. The Serpent, though surely an incredible genius; is nonetheless an evil genius; not unlike the nefarious masterminds in action comics.

Psychopaths are a cunning breed of predators who lack empathy, remorse, and impulse control; readily violating social rules and exploiting others to get what they want. Curiously, psychopaths are often so charming and manipulative that they are well-concealed behind a mask of normalcy sometimes for years and even their entire lives.

Five common elements of psychopathy are evident in the Serpent's behavior.

• Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

• Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

• Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

• Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying and conning others for profit.

• Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

If those elements sound familiar it's because they're the all-too-typical management practices of corporations the likes of ENRON, Nike, Nestlé, Bechtel, Union Carbide, Shell Oil, and Monsanto.

Wall Street is especially brutal. I watched a trader interviewed in a documentary who said that his first reaction-- upon seeing the Twin Towers aflame in 2001 --wasn't concern for the families and friends of the 2,300 killed and missing; but rather he inwardly exclaimed: Oh m' Gawd! What will that do to the price of gold?! In that man's mind, a catastrophe isn't a tragedy, no, it's an opportunity. Futures traders are very attuned to things like that; and in their world: nice guys really do finish last.

The garment and textile industry in particular, stands out as the poster child of psychopathic management practices: a veritable jewel in the Serpent's crown.

What we see in human nature often mirrors the Serpent's own dark personality. But the origin of the Serpent's twisted mind is really puzzling. How did it get that way? Was it a birth defect? Did it bump its head?

I don't know; but one thing is for sure though: the Serpent's fondness for deceit is living proof that angels are not mindless robots created to obey the will of God without thought or question. No; they too have a mind of their own, and the freedom of choice between good and evil-- the very same choices that Man is at liberty to exercise. Satan chose poorly, and his human counterparts oftentimes do too.

The event recorded in this third chapter is a bit of an enigma. The reason being that not only can God see the future as if watching a video recording, but He's also fully capable of manipulating it. In other words; the event in this chapter wasn't unexpected; and God could have, had He wished, easily prevented it.

People get upset with humanity's creator for not stepping in and preventing the so-called fall of man. But they need to remember that humanity holds the rank of a king on this earth and has the God-given authority to conduct its own affairs as a divine sovereign (Gen 1:26, Gen 1:28, and Ps 82:6). Besides; does anybody really want to live in a micro-managed Big Brother society? I don't think so. But that's the logic behind just about every product liability lawsuit.

Rather than taking the bull by the horns and doing something to cure humanity's propensity to destroy itself, product liability lawsuits go after suppliers who provide the means for humanity to destroy itself.

God gave humanity the liberty to destroy itself; and actually, that's the way many of us prefer it because we want to make our own choices rather than have I-know-what's-best-for-you fanatics limit the choices available to us.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:1b . . He said to the woman,

A characteristic of Eden's world was not only a lack of human death, but also a lack of fear. Man feared neither himself, nor the other creatures, nor the dark, nor the boogie man.

The woman displayed no recorded astonishment whatsoever when the Serpent spoke to her; which suggests it had associated with the Adams on other occasions before this incident; and possibly had become a close family friend. Before making its move to wreck their life, the Serpent more than likely spent some time in advance nurturing a rapport with the Adams so the woman would have no cause for alarm when it approached; and would. therefore not suspect its intentions.

That's actually a pretty effective sales approach. Many years ago I sold vacuum cleaners for a little while. I was trained to engage potential customers in chit-chat, a.k.a. small talk, to break the ice and get them to let their guards down. In other words; to build some trust before I got down to the predatory business of talking them into buying something expensive that they could easily get by without.

Being an innocent who had never been exposed to evil, the woman would certainly never suspect one of God's creatures to be anything but honest and truthful. Up to this point, Eve wasn't even aware that something called dishonesty existed. And actually, she didn't even know what honesty was either because nobody had taught her anything about it yet.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:1c . . Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?

Catching the woman alone, away from her husband's oversight, the Serpent began subtly introducing a concept which neither she nor Adam had even imagined before: it is actually possible that a creature would question its maker.

"All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account. [God] does as He wishes with the host of heaven, and with the inhabitants of the earth. There is none to stay His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" (Dan 4:32)

Why didn't the Serpent attempt to trick the male before turning to Eve? Well, Adam was a tougher nut to crack because he got his intel straight from the horse's mouth and knew the truth very clearly and without ambiguity. But the woman quite possibly was instructed second hand, in conversations with her husband; who was, in effect, her personal rabbi. So it would be fairly easy to convince Eve that maybe she didn't hear her husband correctly; or worse; that he didn't know what he was talking about. I mean: isn't there more than one way to interpret the Bible? How do you know your way is the right way?

Of course it was ridiculous to suggest the humans were forbidden to eat of "any" tree. But the Serpent was slowly sneaking up on the woman with subtle suggestions. Probing for weak points, the Serpent tested her understanding of God's instructions by asking a question that she should have been able to answer with relative ease. In response; the woman bounced right back and quoted God like a pro (or so she thought).

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:2-3 . . The woman replied to the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.

Is that really what God said? No, that's not what God said. He forbad their eating the fruit, yes; but said nothing about touching it. (Gen 2:16-17)

Eve failed to repeat what God said, rather, she interpreted what He said. Apparently, in her mind's eye, the ban on eating the fruit implied not touching it. Consequently; Eve's humanistic reasoning put a spin on God's instructions so that instead of following them to the letter, the woman revised them to mean something that God didn't actually say.

Eve fell prey to a very human weakness-- not only of revising God, but of a tendency to make the laws of God more cumbersome and more strict than they really are.

Revisions in the form of interpretations change the meanings of God's sayings and inevitably leads people into error. While often containing a kernel of truth, revisions are nevertheless not pure truth, rather, amalgams of truth and human error that falsify God's teachings and direct people off in the wrong direction; leading them to believe, and to repeat, things that aren't true.

Revisions are also very useful for manipulating people to favor the Serpent's wishes rather than their creator's. Thus, without their knowing it, they fall in line and become the Serpent's sheep instead of Christ's.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:4 . . And the serpent said to the woman: You are not going to die,

Having already tested the woman's understanding of God's instructions, and found it in error, the Serpent was encouraged to push on and attempt to influence her thinking a bit more.

Hence, we have the beginnings of what's known as a half-truth; which Webster's defines as a statement that is only partly true and intended to deceive. In other words: half-truths contain a kernel of truth but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The Serpent somehow knew that the forbidden fruit wasn't lethal. It was hazardous, yes, but death, though related to eating the fruit, would come upon Eve from a very different direction; one that she apparently never suspected.

The woman's fall is fairly typical. First she revised God's instructions. Then she listened to someone refute them. Next, she will accept the refuter's argument, and then she will break with God.[/size]

NOTE: Something that Christ's believing followers have to be constantly on guard against is sophistry; which Webster's defines as subtly deceptive reasoning and/or argumentation (Eph 4:11-14). Cults typically sustain themselves by means of sophistry; which of course they call reasonable and/or sensible. But faith isn't built upon only what makes sense to it; rather, faith is built upon what's revealed to it. (1Cor 2:4-5)

So be careful out there; most especially with door-to-door missionaries armed to the teeth with humanistic reasoning, semantic double-speak, and clever half truths.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:5 . . God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

If someone presented you with an opportunity to bring your mind up to the level of God's intelligence, and you didn't know any better, wouldn't you take it? I think so.

The thing to note is that the Serpent's prediction wasn't altogether untrue. In time their eyes were opened and they became conscious of good and evil (Gen 3:7 and Gen 3:22) but as upcoming events will reveal, his prediction was a half-truth; viz: their consciousness of good and evil was humanistic rather than divine.

Anyway: the Serpent insinuated that their creator was withholding the tree, not because it was poisonous or anything like that; but to keep the humans in check: much in the way that some of the world's despots utilize illiteracy, control of radio and television programming, restricted contact with foreigners, and limited internet access to keep their citizens subdued.

In effect, the Serpent was saying that God got His wisdom from that very same tree and that's why He didn't want to share the fruit with them; because then they might become savvy enough to go out on their own without depending so much upon their maker.

In her defense; the woman was inexperienced, and certainly no match for the Serpent's cunning nor his powers of persuasion. But her defeat wasn't inevitable. She could have easily resisted the Serpent by simply sticking to her guns and parroting God's instructions over and over again until the Serpent got disgusted and gave up. She also could've talked the matter over with her husband before deciding what to do. But no, she dropped God's instructions early on and left her husband out of it; thus laying the groundwork for the utter ruin of her own posterity.
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[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:6a . . When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating

By watching what birds and animals eat, people can often tell what's safe for human consumption. That's not always true of course, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb. So the woman could safely assume the tree wasn't poisonous if there wasn't a growing pile of sick and/or dead critters at the base of the tree.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:6b . . and a delight to the eyes,

Most fruits and vegetables are appealing-- just look at bananas and pears and apples and oranges and watermelon and cantaloupe and grapes and carrots, and radishes, and plums and mangoes and strawberries and whatever. God doubtless made them that way so Man could not only nourish himself, but also enjoy his food; viz: not only eat because he has to, but also because he'd like to.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:6c . . and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom,

The Hebrew word for "wisdom" is sakal (saw-kal') which essentially means circumspect, i.e. sensible; which Webster's defines as careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, viz: prudence.

People with a high degree of circumspection make fewer mistakes in life while those of us with a low degree oftentimes fail to do, say, or decide what's best.

Sakal shows up no less than thirteen times in the book of Proverbs alone, and is always depicted as desirable; so it's not like Eve was wanting something that was eo ipso bad for her.

Anyway, Eve probably figured that a fruit as attractive to the eye, and appealing to one's mind, as that of the forbidden tree couldn't possibly be as bad as God led them to believe. I mean, if it at least had some sharp needles like cactus pears, or maybe a prickly surface like a pineapple, then it would at least have been a bit intimidating; but the forbidden fruit was nothing like that; no, it looked very benevolent.

NOTE: Ironically, Eve's first step towards obtaining wisdom was to do something really stupid.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:6d . . she took of its fruit and ate.

The important thing to note at this point, is that Eve was unaffected by the fruit: she went right on naked as usual; experiencing no shame about it whatsoever.

[color=red]●[/color] Gen 3:6e . . She also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

Did Eve first deftly dice the fruit and camouflage it in a tasty parfait so her husband wouldn't know what he was eating? No; according to 1Tim 2:14 Adam went into it with eyes wide open.

I have to wonder why the husband followed his wife's lead and did something he knew full well to be breaking God's edict and putting himself at risk of death. Genesis doesn't reveal why Adam chose to eat the fruit. I suppose he had his reasons, but apparently God didn't think they were sufficient to excuse the man's defiance.

But I think Adam was cautious at first, and kept a wary eye on Eve for some time waiting to see if she would get sick; and when she didn't, he surely had to wonder if maybe he misunderstood God.

I think most husbands would sympathize with Adam. I mean: he was told by a supposedly competent source that the forbidden tree was unfit for human consumption. But here's your wife sitting right beside you happily munching away and she's still healthy, lucid, and exhibiting no ill side effects. How is a reasonable man supposed to argue with empirical evidence as good as that?
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