God now goes into more detail about the sixth day, which is incredibly decent of him. He creates man by forming dust from the ground and breathing into it. Original, to say the least. Notice that “man became a living soul.” It doesn’t say “man had a soul”, it says man was a soul.
God creates a garden and puts the man in it. Even though earlier he said he created male and female, at this point there is no mention of the female.
God now tells man that there is one tree in the garden that he must not eat from, on penalty of death. But, since the man was the only human around and had never witnessed death, I’m not sure this threat would have meant much to him.
“All by myself…” was the man, so god created things to keep him company. In an almost-admirable blatant contradiction, god now decides to create the animals, even though earlier he said he created the animals before man. Either way, god brings the animals to man so he can name them. There are over a million different species of animals, not including subgroups (for instance there are over a quarter of a million known types of insect, and over 250,000 kinds of beetle alone!), so this naming process must have taken the first man a very very very very very long time. (Perhaps this explains why the age of man is hundreds of thousands of years old, and not just a few thousand like the bible says.)
God created all the animals (before or after man, depending on which story of god’s you believe), so that man would have a “help meet”. Unfortunately, after Adam had finished naming them all, there was still not a help meet for him. Didn’t god see this coming though? Did god expect one of the animals to be just what Adam was looking for?!
Not daunted by this apparent waste of time, god now finally creates a woman. He could have formed her from the dust and breathed into her, of course, but god chooses a slightly different approach. He knocks Adam out, takes a rib, and makes a woman from it. (Despite this, men and women do have the same number of ribs).
God finishes (himself) off by saying that a man should leave his parents and stick to his wife and they’ll be as one. This doesn’t seem to have stopped god’s followers in later times from having dozens of wives though.
At this point, one of god’s creations (which he forgot to mention earlier), makes an appearance: the talking snake. God doesn’t give his reasons for creating a talking snake. I can’t quite see the logic behind it myself. God simply says that it was more subtle than any other creature he’d created, which presumably included language skills. Quite a feat for a creature with a long forked tongue.
The snake asked the women what god had said about eating from the trees, so the woman (apparently unfazed by talking to a snake) explained that they could eat from any tree, except the one that god forbade, on penalty of death.
The snake now tells the woman that she won’t die! Not only a talking snake, but a lying one too! The snake explains that if the woman eats from this tree, she will become like god, and have the knowledge of good and evil. So presumably evil did actually exist at this point, (although man and woman didn’t know what it was), but where did it come from??
The woman eats from the tree and gives some fruit to Adam. At once their eyes are opened and they realised they were naked. This must mean that god preferred them in their docile ignorant state. Since the knowledge of good and evil made them realise their nakedness too, I guess this means that being naked is either good, in which case they wouldn’t have wanted to cover themselves up, or being naked is evil, in which case why did god create them naked in the first place?
The pair made for themselves aprons. Perhaps they were in the kitchen at the time.
Now god comes along, walking in the garden. But Adam and his wife hide themselves from god. So although god created everything in the entire earth, he has to ask where Adam is because he can’t find him.
Adam explains that he hid himself because he was naked and god wants to know who told him that he was naked! A fair question.
Adam stands up and like any good man, passes the blame squarely onto his missus. The woman explains that the talking snake told her to do it. (We’ve all been there.)
God now turns to the snake (which was conveniently nearby, probably playing scrabble or something), and curses it. The snake is to crawl on its belly from now onwards and eat dust. One wonders how snakes got around before the curse! The curse wasn’t very lasting as the snake soon learned to feed off a variety of substances, which funnily enough didn’t include dust.
Because Adam listened to his wife (his own stupid fault apparently) God punishes him by making him toil the ground all the days of his life until his eventual death. God curses the woman by making her a crap driver.
Adam names the woman Eve (if you hadn’t guessed by now), and god makes skin coats for them both. So nakedness must be bad then, even though that’s how god initially created humans.
The moral of the story apparently is: if you’re a woman, don’t listen to talking ophidians, and if you’re a man, don’t listen to your wife.
Man and woman now know the difference between good and evil (just as the serpent said they would) so god drives them out of the garden so that they won’t keep living forever.
He also places angels at the entrance of the garden to stop them going back in. Curiously, god also places a flaming spinning sword in the way too. This is very impressive, since man wouldn’t go on to invent crafted tools of metal like swords for a few hundred years at least. Presumably, god looked into the future, saw that man would invent swords and thought “hey that looks good, I’ll use that here.”
Man and woman now go on to have kids and populate the earth. Despite what god says about them positively dying on the day they eat from the tree, they don’t. In fact, Adam goes onto live 930 years. On the other hand, everything the snake tells Eve was true: their eyes were opened, they would gain knowledge of good and evil, and they would not die in the day they ate from the tree. So, who was the liar really?
Also, eating of the tree gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, it told them what was good and what was bad. Presumably obeying god was good, and disobeying god was bad. But since they didn’t have this knowledge until after they ate, the concept of good and bad would have been meaningless to them! God punished them for choosing wrong over right, although he knew they didn’t have a clue what right and wrong was. Basically, god screwed them over.
What happened next will be looked at tomorrow…