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Archive for the ‘GWTW Lesson 5’ Category

32. …“Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”

33. …“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

36. We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”

37. That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.

68…… Eventually they both ate of the tree, and God came in the cool of the evening to deal with them. He asked Adam: “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” and the reply was, “The woman that THOU gavest to be with me, SHE gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” God then questioned the woman, and she replied: “The SERPENT beguiled me, and I did eat.” Please note the words we have put in capital letters.

69. I think we are warranted in drawing a contrast between these two answers, for in them we find a clue to what follows. Both confess, “I did eat,” and both tell truthfully the immediate influence that led to the eating. So far they are equal. But Adam is led on to say more. There was a remote cause for his downfall, through Eve,—Satan. But Adam does not, like Eve, mention Satan; and yet he does not remain silent as to a remote cause; he accuses God to His face of being Himself that remote cause,—in giving the woman to be with him. And the worst feature of the case consists in the fact that Satan was present, or near-by, at the interview, and could not have been overlooked, excepting wilfully, if a remote cause was to be mentioned at all. Satan must have rejoiced as much in Adam’s attitude towards God in charging Him with folly, as in Adam’s attitude towards himself, the tempter, in shielding him from blame. Is it not this scene, this conduct on the part of Adam, to which Job refers (31:33) when he complains, “If, like Adam, I covered my transgressions by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom?” Dr. Lange says (see par. 36), “Adam must watch and protect” the garden from an “existing power of evil.” Is not this the reason why Adam does not mention Satan, who has been let inside?

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40. The separation of Eve from Adam was, then, an exceptional instance within the human race of what is well known to take place in lower orders of life. Professor Agassiz, the naturalist, in describing gemmiparous or fissiparous reproduction, says: “A cleft or fission, at some part of the body, takes place, very slight at first, but constantly increasing in depth, so as to become a deep furrow. . . . At the same time the contained organs are divided and become double, and thus two individuals are formed of one, so similar to each other that it is impossible to say which is the parent and which is the offspring.” Each human body retains still abundant traces of a dual nature, in almost every organ and part.

41. The Bible is not a treatise on science, but wherever rightly translated it is found not to contradict science. Nothing could be more unscientific than the representation that Eve was made from a single bone taken from Adam’s body. We have already (par. 24, and Additional Notes thereon), commented on the possible original bisexual nature of the human being,—the androgynous, or hermaphrodite state, which persists, imperfectly, to the present time within the human family.

44. We pass on to Genesis 2:24. Here is something most interesting. God seems to interrupt the ancient history, as given by Moses, and steps forth, as it were, in His own person, to address humanity directly and impressively in the words, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife.” Some have attributed these words to Adam, who was speaking in the previous verse, or to Moses, but Jesus Christ speaks of them as God’s own language, in Matthew 19:4, 5, saying “Have ye not read, that He which made [no “them” in the original] at the beginning, made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.” Many commandments are promulgated in masculine terms, though meant equally for both sexes, but in this instance the case is different: One man and one woman stand before the Almighty, on the very occasion of their differentiation into two sexes, and God enunciates a law as lying between those two just formed, which indicates for all time the duty of husband to wife, not of wife to husband. And then, in the Hebrew original expression, “for this cause ought the man,” the word for “man” is not the generic term meaning “man-kind,” it is ish, “husband,” corresponding to isha, “wife, in the expression “his wife” of this verse. When man and woman marry, there must be created a line of cleavage, on the part of one or both, between parent, or parents, and children. This Scriptural marriage law declares that the line of cleavage shall separate the husband from his parents rather than the wife from her parents. We will continue this subject in our next Lesson.

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39. … the ‘rib’ seems to be a mistranslation. The Hebrew word translated ‘rib’ in both the Authorized and Revised versions, occurs forty-two times in the O. T., and in this instance alone is it translated ‘rib.’ In the majority of cases it is translated ‘side’ or ‘sides,’ in other places ‘corners’ or, ‘chambers,’ but never ‘rib’ or ‘ribs,’ except in these two verses describing the separation of Eve from Adam. In the Septuagint version, which was the Scripture quoted by our Lord, the word is pleura, which in Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus is used for ‘side,’ not ‘rib,’ and in the Greek of the N. T. is invariably translated ‘side.’ There is a word in the O. T. the true translation of which is ‘rib’ and nothing else, and it occurs in Daniel 7:5, but this is a totally different word from the word translated ‘rib’ in the passage before us.

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36. We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”

37. That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.

94…. God asked Adam, “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?” and He lays no such charge of express disobedience at the door of Eve. And also note that whereas the Almighty told the Serpent that his creeping gait, dust for his food, and his final mortal injury were to be “Because thou hast done this;” and whereas the Almighty told Adam that his drudgery, his fight with thorns and thistles, and his final return to the dust out of which he was made, were to be “because” Adam has done thus and so, God nowhere says that Eve’s sorrowful and oppressed part is “because” she has done anything. Rather, from the highly honoring words regarding Eve the Almighty has just addressed to the Serpent we have sufficient reasons for concluding that all this might result to Eve because God has elevated her to the honorable position of an enemy of Satan and progenitor of the coming Messiah. William Law says that Adam’s sin, which brought ruin to the world, “is not to be considered as that single act of eating,” but “his express open, voluntary act and deed” of “refusing to be that which God created him to be.” On Romans 5:14, where “Adam’s transgression” is spoken of as causing death to the entire human race, that high authority, Bengel’s Gnomen says, “Chrysostom on this passage shows exceedingly well, what Paul intended to prove by his argument, ‘that it was not the very sin of the transgression of the law [Eve transgressed it, under deception], but that of the disobedience of ADAM, this was what brought universal destruction.”‘ (The capitals are ours.)

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