Genesis – Beginnings: The Creation and Fall of Humankind

“Despite its familiarity, the creation story from Genesis is as invisible to us as air, or as our own personality. It surrounds us too closely. We cannot stand back in order to see it better.” ~ Roger Shattuck (Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography)

“What does the call of the author of Genesis require of us readers? Not, as some might insist, a leap of faith or a commitment in advance to the truth of the biblical story, but rather, only a suspension of disbelief. Being awake and thoughtful, we cannot help but note the difficult questions regarding both our beginning and the beginning, but we will, at least for now, put them aside and plunge right in. We will suspend our doubts and suspicions and accept the book’s invitation to take a walk with the biblical author keeping our eyes and ears open and our judgment keen, to be sure. We will proceed in the hope that we might have our doubts addressed and our uncertainties resolved. If we allow ourselves to travel its narrative journey, the book may reward our openness and gain our trust. Who knows, we may even learn who (or Who) is speaking to us, and why.” ~  Leon R. Kass (The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis).

“Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
Imparadis’t in one anothers arms
The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill
Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill’d with pain of longing pines;
Yet let me not forget what I have gain’d
From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call’d,
Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd’n?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord
Envie them that? can it be sin to know,
Can it be death? and do they onely stand
By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,
The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with designe
To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?”
~ Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost – Book 4

NOTE: The Hebrew word for man (adam) is the generic term for mankind, or humankind, and becomes the proper name Adam.

The Creation of Humankind

Then God said, “Let us make man [humankind] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man [humankind] in his own image, in the image of God he created him [humankind]; male and female he created them [humankind].

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Gen. 1:26-31).

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:15-17).

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Gen. 2:24-25).

The Fall of Humankind

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,b she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen. 3:1-7).

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The LORD God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen. 3:8-24).

NOTE: Eve sounds like the Hebrew for life-giver and resembles the word for living.

Understanding the Creation and the Fall of Humankind

As we saw above, God created humankind in his own image: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:26-27).

Notice some of words that are found in the above passage: “Let us”, “our image”, “them”, “his own image”, “male and female”, “him”, “them”.

Many (most) people do not take notice these words, which, when we think about them, can raise many questions, such as: Who is the us and the our that God is referring to here, when he says: “Let us make man in our image”? Understanding this passage in the context of Genesis is important. Throughout Genesis, and the entire Bible, we discover that there is only one God, and we also find that the one God exists in three distinct persons, whom we refer to as the holy Trinity. This passage refers to God in the plural form of the Hebrew word: El (singular) which is Elohim (plural) and this gives rise to the plural forms of the words used in the “Let us make man in our image” passage. I think it safe for us to assume that God, here, is speaking within the eternal union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some believe God is speaking to the angels here, but it’s clear, from the entire passage, that humankind is not created in the image of the angels but in the image of God himself (the one God in three persons). In other words, we image the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, together, as one.

Likewise, in my thinking, it is humankind as male and female together that images God, and not simply man and woman separately and individually. This is clear from the passage: “So God created man [humankind] in his own image, in the image of God he created him [humankind]; male and female he created them [humankind].” (Gen. 1:26).

God is neither male nor female, yet he is a person, with emotions, who exists as three eternal three persons; and no one person, alone, can properly image God. As a person, God has thoughts and emotions, and God’s emotions are sometimes what we think of as male emotions, and sometimes what we think of as female emotions, which is why only male and female together properly image God.

We refer to God as he because, firstly, the biblical text refers to God as he, and not as she, or it; and, secondly, because the masculine aspects of God’s personality are more prevalent throughout the biblical text in his dealing with humankind, although he often exhibits the feminine aspects of his personality as well.

There is another account of the creation of man and women, which describes the first couple as having been created separately, and differently – Adam first: created from the earth; and Eve second: created from a bone (rib) of Adam – yet this account does not mention the first couple (humankind) as having been created “in the image of God”:

“[T]hen the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2:7-9).

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit fore him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.”

“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Gen. 2:15-25).

NOTE: The Hebrew words for woman (ishshah) and man (ish) sound alike.

This second creation account is much different than the first account, found in Genesis chapter one. Personally, I prefer the first creation account, because the order in which God created all things is logical, man and woman having been created last, or finally, as the crowning achievement of God’s creation, and because Adam and Eve are created and declared to have been made “in the image of God” together, which certainly makes sense, logically, to me. And it was not until humankind – man and woman together – were created in the image of God that God was finished with his work of creation (see: Gen. 2:1).

This in not to say that this second creation account is uninspired, or unimportant; it’s simply different, and somewhat contradictory, concerning the order of creation. God did not dictate these accounts of the creation to the author of Genesis; rather the author wrote down what he understood to be the story/stories of creation as it/they had been handed down to him, which included the differences and (minor) contradictions.

Thankfully, we do have this second account of creation, because this account also contains the prohibition against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; whereas the first creation account makes no mentions of this important prohibition:

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17).

The LORD commanded the first man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but there is no mention of this prohibition as having been given to the first woman, although, from the following passage, we can see that she was well aware of it; and she states this prohibition as it was given to them, by God: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

The Fall of Humankind

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Gen. 3:1-7).

The original sin of our first parents was to disobey God by violating his prohibition against partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of all other trees in the garden, they could partake; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they were not to eat. The many questions this naturally raises: Why? What was it about this tree that made it so different? Why was this tree alone: off limits? What’s wrong with knowing good from evil? Isn’t this a good thing? Why would God prohibit the fist man and women from eating of this tree?

It’s often (always?) said that there was no sin, no evil, in the Garden of Eden, which was a perfect and ideal place; and that had our first parents not sinned, by violating God’s prohibition in partaking of this tree, they would have been established in this perfect, relational state of grace, with God, forever. But is this what the biblical text, here, is actually telling us?

According to Genesis 3: 1-5,

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Gen. 3:1-5).

The question that first arises in my mind, when I read this passage is: “What is this lying serpent doing in the garden?!”

God had told the first man: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17), so the serpent is certainly lying when he says to the woman: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Notice that the first woman, when she responds to the serpent, tells him: “God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden’”, but she also adds another prohibition, which we have not heretofore heard: “‘neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

The question, as I said above, is: If the garden was so perfect and so sin-free, then what the was a lying serpent doing there to begin with?

Obviously, according to Genesis, sin had entered the world in the form of the serpent, which is usually thought to be Satan, in the form of a serpent. Sin had not entered into the human race, by the time of Genesis chapter one, but it had certainly entered the world.

The first woman was subjected to the greatest tempter of all: Satan, whose temptation – to be like God by knowing good and evil – proved too much for her to resist:

“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen. 3:4-7).

Three things, in particular, attracted her to the tree, once she began to entertain the Tempter’s idea of no longer keeping her distance from the tree: 1) the tree was good for food; 2) the tree was a delight to the eyes; and 3) the tree was to be desired to make one wise.

Apparently, she had never, until this time, allowed her gaze to linger upon the tree; to look at it closely; to study it carefully.

The tree was, as the text says: “a delight to the eyes”, and was certainly a pleasure to behold; perhaps it was even difficult for her to turn her eyes aways from, once she began to look at it. The tree was also “good for food”, which, again, is, apparently, something that she had not noticed, until the Tempter’s arrival. But most of all, I think, it was the fact that this tree could make her wise, as the Tempter said, which drew her to the tree and this, more than anything else, is what caused her to want to eat from the tree which God had forbidden the man and the woman to eat of.

The first human sin – the first woman’s taking and eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – was, I think, a desire to know more than the fist human should know. A desire, not to disobey God, as in rebelling against his command not to eat of this tree, but a desire to to improve herself: to become wise. She was curious. She wondered what more knowledge she could have that she didn’t already have. She wanted to make herself better than she was which, if anything, is envy: she wanted the wisdom of the knowledge of good and evil, which belonged only to God, yet which was within her reach, if only she would reach out and take it for herself. As the Tempter told her: “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We can only imagine what she must have been thinking, and what else the serpent may have said to her, in order to entice her to eat of this tree: “What knowledge and wisdom does this tree hold which I could possess if I simply eat of its fruit, which is good for food?” “How could a tree, which is so beautiful, possess a wisdom that is not good for me? “Perhaps God has prohibited eating of this tree because he doesn’t want me to be as wise as he is; and why should I not be as wise as he, especially since this wisdom is well within my own power to reach out and receive, simply by partaking of the good fruit of the tree…?”

Envy, like all of the seven deadly sins, is something that is not, in itself, evil, but is a good thing that becomes evil when it is taken beyond the limits of where it’s permitted to go.

The seven deadly sins are: pride, greed, lust, envy, sloth, anger, gluttony; and when we examine these seven sins, we find that none of these, originate, in bad, or evil, feelings or actions:

Pride is the healthy self-image, which is then taken too far: into arrogance and hubris. Greed is the healthy accumulation of goods and money, which is taken to the extreme of hoarding these for the sake gaining personal pleasure. Lust is the healthy sexual drive and desire, which runs amok in a never ending pursuit of fleeting personal sexual pleasure. Envy is the healthy ambition to improve one’s own condition, which goes beyond ambition into a resentment of those who have what we want yet cannot, or have not yet, attained. Gluttony is the desire to make one’s body feel good, such as by eating and drinking in order to remove the pangs of hunger and thirst, or of enjoying the pleasures of food and drink by taking pleasure in them, which are healthy desires, that has removed these healthy limits by pursuing food and drink to an excess of pleasure, even to the point of being in bondage to them, in the form of the habitual abuse of these things, which goes far beyond what these good things are intended for. Sloth is the good of rest and sleep taken to the extreme of laziness and the loss of the desire to work. Anger is our natural sense that justice has, somehow, been violated, which is allowed to go too far; ending up in the fury of violence and vengeance.

The first woman envied the wisdom of God; she, too, wanted the knowledge of good and evil. She wanted to be better than she was, which is not necessarily a bad thing. God had warned the first couple not the eat of the tree, lest they die, but he never explained why they should not eat of the tree except for telling them eating of the tree would cause their death. He never said eating of the tree would make them like himself, knowing both good and evil, he treated them very much as a parent treats her child by warning them not to do something without explaining the details concerning why they shouldn’t do something, because the children, due to their youth and innocence are not yet able to fully understand the reasons why.

The first man and the first woman were innocent, like young children. They knew right from wrong, because they knew it was wrong to eat of the tree and that it was right not to eat of the tree, but they didn’t have a mature knowledge of the evil ways of the world (e.g., the serpent, lying) nor did they have a mature knowledge of the evil ways of the human heart, which such knowledge, upon eating of the tree, would immediately reveal to them about themselves: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”

There is nothing so obvious, in my thinking, as the Fall of Man being a Loss of Innocence. We all think of sex as the initiation into the adult world, and there is little doubt the first couple’s awareness of their nakedness was a loss of innocence. Like a child who is told either to do or not to do something, without being given a detailed, mature explanation as to why, which the child would not be able to understand, the first couple’s disobedience of God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had opened their eyes to the mature, adult world. They immediately began recognizing both the good and the evil alike. Unlike small children, who think nothing of their nakedness, the first couple were now aware, as an older child is, that nakedness should be covered, because seeing nakedness arouses our lustful desires, and being seen naked, when we don’t wish to be seen, causes us to be ashamed.

“He [God] said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’”

Although their disobedience was condemned by God, and although the serpent, the woman, and the man were punished by God for their sin, God most certainly planed for this to occur, although the fault of sin and evil cannot be laid upon him, but is rightly laid upon the sinner’s free will choice.

Immediately after the serpent’s deception, temptation, and seduction of the first woman, her sin, and, lastly, the sin of the first man, in pronouncing judgment upon all three guilty parties, God laid-out to them his eternal plan of salvation, which was to come through the seed of the woman, which was to destroy the serpent and the punishment of death, which was pronounced upon them for their joint disobedience:

The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3: 14-19).

We notice, here, how God pronounced judgment and punishment upon the sinners in the same order in which the sinner’s committed their offenses: first the serpent; then the woman; and finally, the man. God had first asked the man what had happened, and the man blamed the woman, who, in turn, blamed the serpent. God, in pronouncing his judgement, does not dispute this order of blame and the occurrence of sin; nor does he see it as a “blame game” which is being played. He judges all in the same order: the most guilty party – the serpent – first; the who was seduced and beguiled by the serpent – the woman – second; and, last of all: the man; who knowingly and willingly went along in disobedience with the woman.

St. Paul tells us “Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Tim. 2:14) and it was through the first man, Adam, that sin entered the world: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.” (Rom. 5:12-14).

The Serpent deceived the first woman, Eve, into partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the first man, Adam, chose to join the woman in partaking of the fruit rather than choosing to remain, alone, faithful to God.

St. Paul goes on to say that “because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

St. Paul explains further: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:47-49).

Jesus is the second man; Adam is the first man. Likewise, Mary is the second woman; Eve is the first. Mary, the mother of Jesus, obeyed the will of God and became the mother of Christ. Jesus obeyed the will of God and became the Savior of all humankind. God restores to humankind the preternatural gift of innocence, which we lost in the Garden. (In the-world-to-come, we will be like children: innocent.)

In the judgement God pronounced upon Satan, Adam, and Eve in Genesis 3, we see that God foretold the coming salvation of humankind through the obedience of the woman.

To Satan God said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15).

To Eve God said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16).

And to Adam God said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3: 17-19).

Mary and Christ are the Second Woman and the Second Man. A new Eve and a new Adam. Their obedience undoes our first parent’s act of disobedience. Humility overcomes Pride. Love and Grace overcomes Law and Sin. Christ’s eternal life for all who believe overcomes death, which came upon all through Adam.

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

Birth of Jesus Foretold

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be borne will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38).

Revelation 12

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

We turn to you for protection,

Holy Mother of God.

Listen to our prayers

and help us in our needs.

Save us from every danger,

glorious and blessed Virgin.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:16-17

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
This entry was posted in Literary Theory, Religion, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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