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Archive for the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ Category

I love learning, but much that is called “knowledge” is either incomplete or false, and even that which is true is often misapplied. Greater knowledge and endless data won’t solve all our problems (1st Corinthians 8:1-2). Adam and Eve would tell us that today, but we wouldn’t necessarily believe them.

Sometimes we are simply unable to do that which we know should be done. I know that my family needs more money coming in than we have going out, but that knowledge doesn’t help me. Organizations that know more about making money than I do are stealing my lunch money. What can I do about it? The devil can keep us so busy swatting at flies that it can become our way of life. Regardless of what I know, try, or pray, I’m living on the verge of simply reacting to the next crisis. The future depends upon the intervention of God.

There is some truth in the saying that it takes money to make money. Instead of striving to make necessities as affordable as possible, the focus of most of those with money is on the greatest return on investments. This means trouble for the “working poor.” It means trouble for our country, for money goes where money is to be made, whether it in the best interest of our neighbors or not. Knowledge doesn’t prevent greed; it only makes it smarter.

Misapplied knowledge is hurtful, but so is a lack of knowledge. Partially conceived doctrines, chiseled into law, can prevent us from understanding the real reasons why the world is as it is. That is true of secular doctrines as well as religious. Man’s abuse of God-given freewill, along with a quest for knowledge and fulfilment apart from God, creates an environment where many evil things happen unforeseen. The Bible says that “time and chance” happen to all of us (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Calling the consequences of all of humanity’s wrong choices “God’s will,” keeps people from understanding the goodness of God.

In many cases, laws intended to counteract evil come to stand in direct conflict with God, even to the point where God and truth are criminalized. Jesus was “counted” with the transgressors (Mark 15:28, Isaiah 53:12). Laws don’t always work out the way they were intended. Just as knowledge fails us, so does the rule of law. At their heart, both knowledge and law can be said to be good, yet both fail due to problems of the human heart, and ultimately the only thing that can pull us through is the grace of love (“God is love,” 1st John 4:16).

Since “God is love,” it follows that a doctrine that isn’t tempered by love can never be purely “Christian.” Doctrines that lift their bearers above question are almost always questionable, and doctrines devoid of love can’t express the character of the inventor and creator of love. Such doctrines can inhibit a real understanding of God, of ourselves, and our fellow human beings.

While I’m on the subject, no human being has ever mastered the art of consistently being sensitive to the feelings of others. That is something that every Christian, on every day of the week, could repent of.

Unfeigned love for others is critical in communicating truth and doctrine. If we “have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…, and have not love,” we are nothing (1st Corinthians 13:2). It is possible to be versed in correct doctrine without possessing the thing that really counts. Without love our doctrines can become a clanging symbol just as incomprehensible as any unknown tongue (1st Corinthians 13:1).

Some parts of the Bible are “hard to understand,” and can be interpreted in a destructive way (2nd Peter 3:15-16). It follows that if we destroy someone spiritually with our “strong meat” (Hebrews 5:14), then according to Romans 14:15, we are not “walking in love.”

It is so easy to miss the trail when we speak of “walking in love.” Love rejoices in truth, thinks no evil, and seeks the good of others before its own. We often “miss it.” That is what the word sin means; a missing of the mark (ref. the Hebrew word “chata,” and the Greek “hamartano”). Sin is a lack, or an abuse, of love. Other people use the fact the we “miss it” as an excuse to embrace “no religion,” or to invent new religions, or new denominations, but Jesus died for us, and the reason that Christianity exists is because all human beings miss the mark.

Forgiveness must exist because we all fall short of perfect love. By our hand, love is sacrificed, but love is sacrificial. That is what the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is all about. Knowledge branches out on all tangents, but can never quite explain the sacrifices of love. According to 1st Timothy 1:5, the goal of the commandment is love, but no law can make us love anyone. The chain of the law can’t bind our heart to the heart of God.

Romans 10:4 says that Jesus is the end of the law for the believer. The broken link between Heaven and Earth is drawn together in the crucifixion of Jesus, one hand holding yours and mine, and the other in the hand of the Father of love.

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On a wooded hilltop overlooking a farm where my family once lived is an abandoned graveyard. Most of the markers are just flat stones with nothing written on them, dug up from some field nearby. Trees had already grown amongst them when I was a boy. I remember looking at the dates on a few of the stones which are carved, but I have no recollection of reading anything else.

Recently, when some of my family revisited our old farm, we stopped by the graveyard, but a particular epitaph yet went unnoticed. For some reason however, I took some digital photos of the markers. Looking through them later, I noticed the writing and was able to read it. It is on the marker of a child who was born in 1866, and died in 1872. The dates are etched very deep.

There is no name, for the top of the stone has broken off, but in faint, weathered writing below the dates are the words, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.”

That saying is from a song by Thomas Moore (1816). David Crowder does a modern revision of the song. Leaning against this marker, setting upon what is probably the fragment with the missing name, is the broken top from another stone. All I can read from this stone is, “Born Sept. 2, 1846.”

The stones are shaped the same, and I have to wonder if someone has set the top from the marker of the mother, or another family member, against that of the child. The dates would be right for that. The good Lord knows. Life is not always good, and death is not good, but God has not forgotten those graves on the hill.

There was a time when death did not exist, but the possibility existed, for God warned the first humans of it. Now, it may appear as if there is no escape from it, but according to the Bible, Jesus holds the keys. God was telling the truth in Genesis 2:17, when he warned Adam, and he is telling us the truth in Revelation 1:18.

If we could experience life and creation without the devolution that has since occurred in this world, it would be easier to understand that God is good. Genesis 1:31 tells us that God made everything good. Then, according to Genesis 3:1-5, the first humans believed the lie of a fallen angel (ref. all posts in my Dec. 2011 archives).

The lie was that we would not “surely die,” but that by knowledge we could “become like gods,” interpreting all knowledge, and answering all moral questions for ourselves. The implications were that man would no longer need God, and that God should not be trusted to make all moral judgments. This rethinking of all things has progressed to the extreme that “educated” people can now believe that life evolved from lifeless matter, which in turn evolved out of absolutely nothing.

These two incredible points, usually lie buried and ignored beneath countless pages of evolutionary propaganda, but if “something” existed to begin with, where did that “something” come from? An atheist may as well admit the existence of God, as to think that in the beginning, “something else” existed. The idea that “nothing” must suddenly have become “something,” is equally inconceivable. It’s certainly no more difficult to believe the Bible than to believe in evolution, unless you just don’t like thinking about God.

The theory of evolution allows human beings to view themselves as gods, the highest form of intelligence in existence. Man was created with freedom of will. So were the angels, and the possibility of the creation of a lie would inherently exist in the mind of intelligent creatures. Freedom is good, but the abuse of freedom is not. The deception was framed in such a way that Adam and Eve did not think it all the way through.

How could they? The tree of knowledge continually grows, and only God could foresee the consequence of each thought and action. Adam didn’t suddenly “just know” all right from wrong, but he began to think that he could make that determination. Eve, of course, didn’t always agree with Adam’s every moral judgment, and argument was born.

If that sounds like a stage that all cognizant human beings now go through, I think that it is. Life, with all its moral struggles, now forces us into that state. Not everyone may remember making a conscious decision, but when I was around 11 years old, I clearly remember thinking, “this is my life. I will decide right and wrong for my own self.”

That sounds fair, but the problem is that we make many mistakes which involve other lives around us. Ripples from the wake of our lives flow onward affecting events that we may not see. I don’t think this would have become a forced issue if it were not for man’s original choice, but now we must decide what is good, and who is good. We must decide between things which we hardly know anything about, and that are much bigger than we are.

Who is lying? Who is mistaken? Is John 8:44 true? Are we really as smart, and as good as we think? Does science possess omniscience? Who, or what, are we going to believe?

We don’t have forever to make these decisions. I think it’s wise to call on the good Lord to help us. If the good book is telling us the truth, all the enemy must do to defeat us is cause us to wait out the clock. If we had forever to “make up our minds,” wouldn’t most of us take forever? Wouldn’t most of “forever” be wasted?

Though we turn it into an endless struggle, our freewill is actually evidence that God is good. He wants more for us than a robotic existence. He must eventually judge our abuses of freewill, but God is not the tyrant that man is. It is a good thing for God to be fair, and to establish justice in the earth. Rulers like Hitler can’t hide in death and escape judgment (Isaiah 28:18&20).

We encounter a problem there because none of us are always good, not even those who live the most sacrificially, and sometimes terrible tragedies stem from small indiscretions. We should also take into account the fact that some people are born into more difficult circumstances. Some lives are not as easy as others. It is a good thing that God is merciful, because ultimately, justice cannot save us. Though we may not yet understand or admit our need for forgiveness, God’s offer of mercy is evidence of his goodwill toward us.

I have given a lot of evidence for God in my writings, but it would do us little good to prove the existence and identity of God if we didn’t also understand that God is good. I hope to find time to write a little more about this.

We must not allow a world that is devolved from the perfection of its created state to fool us. “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.” Except for the precious hope of heaven, the lives of the mother and father of that child may have been utterly ruined in the year 1872. Someone who loved that child yet believed in the good Lord, or that writing on the stone would not be there. God has given us this hope.

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If you have ever been in a situation, or a relationship, where you have felt continually compelled to prove yourself, then you’ll know that it doesn’t work very well. I honestly believe that God deeply desires to prove himself to man, but how is the best way to do so? The ways in which we attempt to test him are shallow, and unfair. Our “tests” for God are usually ultimatums requiring him to cater to us in some way.

Before the fall, nature would have been a good witness for God, but now it seems to tell two stories. Nature yet testifies of God, but it is also shows evidence that something is very wrong with our world. Besides knowing that God exists, we also need to understand that he is good. Knowledge can be misunderstood, and it can be abused and used in deceptive ways.

Except for the authority to judge all knowledge, with its infinite facets relating to good and evil, God gave the world to Adam and Eve. He gave them practically everything, only withholding something infinitely harmful. Don’t let anyone con you with the shallow idea that this was about sex, for God had already told Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27-28) to “multiply, and fill the earth.” The forbidden fruit has something to do with the interpretation of all knowledge.

Adam and Eve took from the tree of knowledge, and the harm that God warned them of has befallen us. Now, the world blames God for it. The world can’t go on forever in this condition. How is God supposed to prove his love to a misguided world that cannot be sustained forever in its current state? What if he were willing to die with us, assuring those who will trust him of resurrection and paradise?

According to the Bible record, that’s what God has done. His sacrificial suffering, and death on the cross, proves his love to us in a way that nothing else would, and his resurrection shows us that death is not the end. God is offering us a new world (Luke 23:39-43). By the way, the word “world,” (werald, or weralt) means “old man.” According to the dictionary, it comes from the old English words “wer,” which meant “man,” and “eald,” an ancient spelling of “old.” By the same token, the word “werewolf” simply means wolf man.

Getting back to the subject, this present world is harsh, and unfair in the greatest extremes. It is the contribution of created beings, primarily man, to God’s creation, but this isn’t the final state of things. Whether we accept it or not, God has revealed himself to man (John 1:1-4, and 1:14). His appearance in this world (Christmas) shows us what God is really like. He proves his existence, and the truth of the Bible, by fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies. The remaining prophecies will be fulfilled upon his return to Earth.

Christmas (the sending of Christ) means that someday there will be peace upon the earth. It means that God yet holds good will toward mankind. That was God’s greeting to us in Luke 2:13-14. Christmas means that God isn’t just out there somewhere, but that he is with us. That’s what the term “Emmanuel” means (Matthew 1:22-23, and Isaiah 7:14).

The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Old Testament, was translated in the centuries preceding the birth of Jesus. That is a matter of historical record, and the prophecies concerning the coming Christ were already written there. Christmas celebrates a coming salvation, freedom, and life in an incorruptible paradise. Our loved ones are not gone forever, but we can be reunited with them. This is all real, and has nothing to do with “religion,” That is what Christ’s advent into this world means.

I’m wishing you every good thing, and a whole new world, when I wish you Merry Christmas. Please don’t let any of a million things keep you from receiving Christ. When Jesus was born into my life, he entered a place much more unpleasant than a dirty stable.

Whatever we say in this life must be said in few words, and this post is already long. I hope you had a Merry Christmas. Happy New Year

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Prejudice is always an injustice, and we should not misjudge the Bible’s stand against it. The tint of our skin is never justification for prejudice. Miriam, the sister of Moses, displayed prejudice against his Ethiopian (Cushite) wife, but God rebuked Miriam (Numbers 12:1-15) allowing her skin to temporarily become “white as snow.”

The Bible’s teachings regarding marriage between “believers,” and “unbelievers,” do not reflect prejudice, but were given for the sake of children, and as a safeguard for marriage. The differing viewpoints of believing and unbelieving spouses can create extra conflict within the close confines of marriage, and turn children against God. God knows there will be enough stress without those differences, and doesn’t want families fighting over everything under the sun. The Bible is promoting peace, and not prejudice.

There are special instructions in the Bible concerning marriages where only one spouse is a believer (1st. Corinthians 7:12-17). There are also a few special cases for such marriages (ref. Ester 2:1 through 4:14), though it is never wise to think of ourselves as a special case.

Besides that of Moses, there are other examples in the Bible where marriages between people of different nationalities were not condemned. God is not prejudiced (Acts 10:22-43). Whether we descended from Shem, Ham, or Japheth, is cause for neither pride, nor shame. Actually, we’re all so mixed up that it would hardly matter except for certain genetic diseases and things. Consider this; God, in becoming a man and uniting with us, took upon himself our sicknesses and our sins (Matthew 8:17, Isaiah 53:4,5). He became sin, who knew no sin (2nd. Corinthians 5:21). He did not become a sinner, yet he died because of our sin.

There are many prophecies throughout the Bible hinting that he would do this, thus the genealogies given in the Bible are primarily intended to help us identify the living God in a world of false ideals about God. They establish the bloodline of the God-Man, the Messiah (the Christ), the anointed sacrifice. The Bible genealogies begin in Genesis, and keep branching off until they lead to Jesus, and there they end. Another reason for the genealogies is to inform us that we all descended from Noah.

The Lord chose a family through which he would enter our world. Jesus, the only begotten son of God (John 1:14), was born of the virgin Mary, as foretold in Isaiah 7:14. The lineage of Joseph, his stepfather, is given (Matthew 1:1-16), as well as that of his mother (Luke 3:23-38). The lineages of Mary and Joseph converge at David, the King of Israel.

Jesus was of the bloodline of Noah’s son Shem, but some of his ancestors were not Semitic. Rachab (Rahab), of Matthew 1:5, was the Canaanite woman of Jericho who hid the Hebrew spies. The scarlet line that she hanged from her window to identify her family for protection during the siege (Joshua 2:18,21) is symbolic of her faith in the lifeline of God. She is in the bloodline of Jesus.

The Hebrew word translated as “line,” in these two verses, is in other Bible verses translated as “hope.” Many times in life, hope is the only lifeline that we have. Without hope, life becomes meaningless. Hope often makes the difference between life, and death. This lifeline is something God has labored to make real. Though secularism and false religion have striven relentlessly to hide the fact, the hope of Jesus is affirmed by history, science, and the experience of life. It isn’t an immaterial, empty wish that we grasp for in the mist.

In accordance with the prophecy in Isaiah 53:8 (ref. Acts 8:26-35), Jesus did not marry. He had no physical children. From Jesus forward, the bloodline of God runs in children of faith such as Rahab became.

The genealogies of the tenth chapter of Genesis are a significant part of the history of the nations of the world. I won’t go into detail, but Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, expands upon this historical chapter. He also refers to “secular” historians of other nations, to validate material included in this section of the Bible.

On this subject, as with everything that I have written about in this blog, great and wonderful books could be written. Some good books have been written, of course, but there are none which do full justice to the subject matter of the Bible. I can only attempt to give a reader a little glimpse into them. Mysteries will remain until the Lord returns.

The prophetical genealogies of the Bible lead us not only to the family of the Lord, but to where he would be born, and to the place where he would live his life, and it is the land of Canaan. If there was a “curse” on the descendants of Ham, (ref. My preceding post on Canaan), then it was largely that Canaan chose to settle in an area that would later become a crossroads, trampled by most of the warring empires of history.

It is the land of the cross. Most of the land once occupied by Canaan is held today by the tiny nations of Israel, and Lebanon. Consider this also, that a town called “Cana,” in this land of Canaan, is the place where Jesus performed the first miracle of his earthly mission. Many of the miracles of Jesus took place in Samaria, and Galilee, which were areas of mixed populations. The Lord wants to include everyone in his bloodline (Revelation 5:9).

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Life teaches many lessons that we don’t really want to learn, and tests us at many turns. This is not the way that God wanted things to be (Genesis 2:16-17). James 1:13-14 tells us that God tempts no one, but that we are all drawn by our desires into temptation. One of the lessons to be learned from this is that all humans have shortcomings (Romans 3:23).

That doesn’t excuse us, but is true nevertheless. God allows us to be tested because he must; we live in a world where there’s no escaping it. In all of this, we begin to learn something about our own hearts. God already knows our potential for evil, but it is critically important for us to recognize it. Realizing our faults can be a step toward dealing with them, but more importantly, it can move us to search for the grace of God.

While God is only working to show us what we really need to know, evil is busy presenting everything in a different light. We often miss the point. We wouldn’t need to learn all this if we had not chosen the path that we’re on. We are on the Daath Path by man’s own choice (Daath is a Hebrew word for knowledge, ref. “Man Ets Daath” in my December 2011 archives).

We are caught in the most ironic of all vicious circles. Learning by trial and error causes problem after problem that we must then, by trial and error, try to learn how to fix. It is possible to be forever learning yet never able to arrive at the knowledge of the truth (2nd. Timothy 3:7). The path is continually shifting. It isn’t where it was yesterday.

Practically every word along the path we’re on has come to have multiple meanings and can take us the wrong direction in our thinking. Even legitimate meanings of words can be misleading. Genesis 6:9 says that Noah was “perfect in his generations.” Virtually all Bible theologians will tell you that this doesn’t mean that Noah was sinless, or “perfect” as we would normally think of it, and they are right. Man really doesn’t know what “perfect” is.

The verse before that (Gen. 6:8) tells us, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” You don’t find grace unless in some form or fashion you are searching for it, or at least open to it. If you are open to it, God’s grace will find you. You aren’t open to grace unless you realize that you’re not, “good enough.” We can only walk with God through the grace of God. Grace makes a better person of you, yet in this world we never reach the place where it’s no longer needed.

The trials and tests keep telling us this all our lives. The Hebrew word that is translated as perfect has something to do with reaching the end of something, a work being finished or completed. As far as this world is concerned, grace is the Everest. Human relationships only become their best when we exercise grace, “forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,” as Colossians 3:13 says we should do. We need to do our best to go the extra mile (Matthew 5:41-48), for God extends this kind of grace to us.

Our relationship with God is born of grace, and can only grow by grace (Ephesians 2:8, and 2nd. Peter 3:18). Grace means that someone else makes the sacrifice because we have not. One of the few things that Jesus uttered from the cross is (John 19:30), “It is finished.” A more literal translation might be, “It has been finished.” This could be translated as “fulfilled,” or even “perfected.” Saying that Noah was “perfect,” means that he was covered by the grace of God.

The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins (1st. Peter 4:8, Proverbs 10:12). It’s like the artist adding the last pixel of paint, stepping back and saying, “Perfect.” One meaning of the word “grace,” is “beauty.” We say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Mankind can only be finished by the grace of God.

Noah had weaknesses, as Genesis 9:20-23 reveals. I pray to write more about these verses later. God sees past all this to a time when those found by grace will walk with him in a perfect world.

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Most of my posts on the Script don’t stand alone. It would be best for someone reading this to also read the previous post. This is a complex subject, yet I’m trying to keep my work confined to written communication because of time constraints. The preparation of charts and such would mean staying on this one subject, which I can’t afford to do right now.

I have also noticed a few mistakes and disagreements among the charts that I’ve consulted on this. Some charts also create extra numbers in places where there are none in a particular manuscript. They obtain their number by adding the two other numbers together, but doing so can make the number of differences between the manuscripts appear larger. It would take a careful study to determine which charts are correct.

The numbers given in various manuscripts for chapters five and eleven of Genesis point to one source. That is probably one of the most important points. It means that honest people have attempted to preserve this information for us the best they could. Even where there’s disagreement in the manuscripts on some numbers, you can easily see that most of them are yet related to each other.

To begin with, the total length of the lives of Adam through Mahalalel are the same in the Hebrew, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Septuagint. That agreement is another important point. The Hebrew and Septuagint are in total agreement on Jared, but the Samaritan is different. It gives Jared’s age at the birth of Enoch as 62 rather than 162 (100 less).

Until we get to Jared, the Samaritan agrees with the Hebrew on all numbers; the age of the man when a certain son was born, the years from then until his death, and the total years of his life. The Septuagint has each of these men being 100 years older at the son’s birth, and living 100 years less afterward, leaving the total years of their life the same.

It appears as if the years lived after the birth of the sons may have been adjusted to fit the total years. Each of these numbers being seven hundred and something could be the actual reason this version was called the Septuagint. When we get to Jared, it is the Septuagint that is in total agreement with the Hebrew.

Giving three numbers instead of one or two was a good plan. It makes a number sentence, so that if one number became unreadable, it could yet be determined from the other two. My opinion is that, if for any reason two of those numbers could not be understood, they should never have been guessed at. It looks as if that has happened in some of the manuscripts, but there’s another possible explanation.

If you mistook one of the numbers or symbols from the previous word for something else, you might record that which you thought was the correct number; filling in the blank for the second number would then be more understandable. Two or three other solutions would be needed to solve the mystery of the 100’s. I see several possibilities, but they all basically involve changes in expression, and number order over a period of time.

At times like this, I wish there was an English version of the Bible that actually translated the Hebrew word for word, with no change in the word order. Yes it would be difficult to read, but it would simplify some types of study. If the earliest Hebrew that we now have is true to the original language, Genesis 5:3 would read, “And lived Adam thirty and a hundred years and fathered a son…”

The word “one” doesn’t seem to be there. Numbers seem to have been written with first the one’s given, then the ten’s, and then the hundreds. There may have been some exceptions; the number in Genesis 6:3 is written “a hundred and twenty years,” instead of “twenty and a hundred.” “Hundred,” in that verse is spelled “Mah,” instead of “Mat.” “Mat,” could have originally been “Math,” since the symbol for “t” also represented “th” before the invention of the Hebrew vowel indicators.

Another exception is, the first time 200 is written in Genesis 11:19, it is not written “two hundred,” but “hundred doubled,” with a shortened form of the word “two” attached to end of the word for hundred. Somewhere, in the mind-numbing story of math, there’s a good explanation for the differences in the manuscripts. I am confident that the good Lord will give us the full explanation someday.

Can you imagine the shame that a college professor will feel who has used this sort of thing to undermine some young person’s faith. There’s nothing here that should disturb anyone. The closer I look at the Script, the more confident I am that it can be trusted.

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At first Adam called the woman God created “Ishshah.” We don’t know what language Adam actually spoke, but that’s how it’s been passed to us through the Hebrew. At present, we can’t go back to any older language for information. “Ishshah,” is Hebrew for “Woman.” That name in Genesis 2:23 doesn’t seem to us to be very personal, but to Adam it was. She was the first woman, and they were “one flesh.”

“Ishshah,” with the same spelling, also has another meaning, but it has proved difficult to research. It is listed in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary (#801), but apparently not in Strong’s Concordance, and I can’t spend any more time on it right now. Most English Bible versions translate Ishshah as the phrase, “offering (or sacrifice) made by fire.”

Another word “Eshshah,” (#800) is the feminine form of a Hebrew word (Esh) for fire. I know there are exceptions, but women seem by nature to be more self-sacrificing creatures than men, especially toward their children. They share something special with God in the giving of life. My own mother was the most selfless person I’ve ever known, and others would say the same thing of their mothers. That’s probably the main reason for the Biblical link between the word “woman,” and a “fire offering.”

The name “Eve,” which means “life-giving”, implies being sacrificial beyond simply having a child. Genesis 3:20, and surrounding verses, sound as if Adam gave her this name around the time they left Eden. “Eve,” comes to us from the Greek “Eua,” which in turn comes from the Hebrew “Chavvah.” Genesis 3:20 tells us that Adam called her Chavvah because she was the mother of all human life (“Chay” is “life” in Hebrew). The interpretation of her name is given to us right in the verse.

Genesis 4:1 says, “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…” Various versions of the Script say this somewhat differently, but the meaning is the same. I think the archaic expression “knew,” conveys a broader meaning than more modern wording.

I assume that quite a bit of time passed from the creation of Adam and Eve until Cain was conceived. Genesis 1:27-28 tells us that after creating Adam and Eve, God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth…” Everything that God created was intended to be a blessing. Based on the fact that God instructed them to reproduce, I think it’s safe to say that Adam and Eve also “knew” each other in a physical sense before eating from the Tree of Knowledge, but that Eve did not conceive until afterward.

Contrary to Genesis 1:28, some churches teach the opposite. I think that’s one reason so many fail to recognize that the forbidden fruit had something to do with the interpretation of all knowledge, and not only one aspect of it. That failure allows the serpent a great deal of wiggle room. It gives him more leverage to twist that which was meant for a blessing into something much less. Many times in life, it’s difficult to tell where the blessing ends, and the curse begins.

When questioned about divorce in Matthew 19:3-6, Jesus reasserted the original intention for male and female, “…they are no longer two but one flesh.” Later in that section (19:14) he said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Think of these things in terms of love, and not of laws and rules. God continues to desire the best for us, and the greatest possible nurture for our children.

I’m borrowing these thoughts from the song “One Way,” by the late Larry Norman. God wants to take “children of the land,” raise us out of the dust, and transform us into “children of the sky.” God wanted to allow us to share in the creation of children of heaven.

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