Genesis reveals to us the wonderful story of creation –
But Genesis goes beyond telling us the simple story of creation, it sets the symbols which appear throughout the rest of the Bible.
Heaven/Light = Things of God
Earth/Darkness = Things of men
Sea = Nations
Rain/Dew = Word of God
Eden = God’s Garden/Sanctuary from which water flows to the earth beyond (taking God’s word to the nations)
Adam/Eve – Given morality – Placed in God’s garden to look after it
There are 2 creation stories in Genesis. In chapter 1 man and woman are created in God’s image. In chapter 2 the parable of morality is introduced. Adam is taken from the earth and then split in half to form Eve (no Hebrew word for rib – See ‘Take Away Ribs’) . A serpent deceives – “The serpent was the most cunning of all the Beasts” (Gen. 3:1), sin enters the world, future redemption is via the seed of the woman. The order of the 2 creations is different – In Genesis 2 God creates Adam first and then plants to eat –
Gen. 2:5-7 ‘No shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But springs welled up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.’
When we are told that God made mankind in His image in Genesis 1, it was the creation of lots of people who lived outside Eden including in the land of Nod . When Cain was given a mark and went East, it was to protect him from the people already living there. He didn’t have to marry a sister but a woman East of Eden.
Eden is set as a parable within the creation of Genesis 1 where men and women were made in the image of God, but it was Adam who was given a Law to keep – where there is no law, there is no sin – Romans 5:13 ‘Sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.’
Applying the symbols helps to understand the rest of the Bible. The serpent is the tempter – one of the ‘Beasts’ – more subtle than any other ‘Beast’. The Beasts Kingdoms are the Kingdoms of men without God’s morality –
BEAST of the BIBLE
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was the most crafty of all the beasts on the earth, which the Lord God made. (Septuagint uses the word ‘earth’ rather than ‘field’)
Daniel 7:17 ‘These four great beasts (lion, bear, leopard, terrible beast) are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever—yes, forever and ever.’
Rev. 17:7 “I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
A literal talking snake with legs was no more the literal tempter of Eve than Babylon was a lion with wings, or Persia a bear eating ribs, or the harlot of Revelation riding a Beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, they are all symbols.
A LIAR ENTERED THE GARDEN
When we are told that Eve was temped by a serpent, it was one of the people outside Eden, a liar (deceiver) who had entered the garden. This makes sense of Revelation 21:8 telling us that NO LIAR will enter New Jerusalem – “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who practices an abomination or a lie”. The imagery of Eden is further applied to New Jerusalem with living water and the tree of life.
The Bible continues the symbol of the snake for the lowest of people and those who deceive others –
Micah 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out — that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan
Genesis sets the scene to interpret the rest of the Bible –
For the exciting symbols of Revelation See: Revelation – How it Works