The Genesis Chronicles: A Proposed History Of The Morning Of The World
Chapter 8: ADAM AND EVE
This chapter covers the following topics:
Male and Female
The second chapter of Genesis gives us more details about what happened on the sixth day.(1) Here we learn that Adam was formed out of the dust of the ground, and that God put him in the Garden of Eden to take care of it, with one proviso: he must not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Then God brought the animals to Adam so he could name them. This in itself required more intelligence than most of us have, since nobody told him what would be the proper name for each, nor had he observed their behavior long enough to give them names which reflected their actions.
I suppose the theistic evolutionists would be happy if the next verse said that Adam found an orangutan to be his mate, or a gorilla. But here is what happened: "And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helpmate for him." God's response was to declare that something more was needed: "the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helpmate for him.'" Adam was not only able to name an animal just by looking at it, he also realized that there was only one of him, and two or more of everything else. Adam was alone in a crowd of critters.
Verse 21 tells us that "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'"
Nonbelievers often make fun of the idea that God created the first woman from Adam's rib. Sometimes they point out that today's men and women have the same number of ribs, and claim that would not be the case if the Genesis account was true. Not necessarily so: I pointed out previously that injuries do not change one's genetic structure; if you cut off your foot you would not expect to have amputee children later. In fact, this is one of the most scientifically accurate passages in Genesis. God was not only performing a surgical operation; He was growing a tissue sample into a full-fledged individual. In other words, He produced Eve by cloning.
We have done experiments like that over the past few decades. In one of the first, a scientist took the nucleus from a frog egg, replaced it with the nucleus of a frog's skin cell, and that egg produced a frog. In early 1997 came the news that a healthy lamb was grown from a single cell taken from an adult sheep's udder. This means that every cell in our bodies has the blueprint needed to produce a person; it's not done that way normally because only our reproductive systems have the other equipment needed. The rib provided the necessary sample of flesh and bone, and once the Y chromosome in each cell was replaced by a duplicate X chromosome, God had the template from which to create a female.(2)
Judging from Adam's reaction, he knew right away that Eve was a part of him. That, in fact, was why God made Eve from Adam, so they would be compatible and attracted to each other. One of the sillier Hebrew traditions explained that by claiming that originally God created the first woman from the ground, the way he did with Adam. Her name was Lilith, and she was even more beautiful than Eve. But she did not want to be dominated by man, so she ran away. Adam complained to God that the wife He had given him had deserted him, so God sent three angels to bring her back. They found Lilith in the Red Sea, and they warned her that if she did not return, a hundred of her demon children would die every day. But Lilith preferred this punishment to living with Adam. Therefore, God decided to avoid repeating His "mistake" by creating the second woman from the body of the first man, for "only when like is joined unto like the union is indissoluble." The legend ends by stating that many demons descended from Lilith still lurk in the world today (it doesn't say how she got the children, though).(3)
In the story of Eve's creation we have yet another reason why the stories of creation and evolution are totally incompatible: they disagree on the origin of sex. Evolutionists believe that sex originated when a single-celled organism was produced with some of its chromosomes missing. It met another cell with the same problem and they merged to form one complete cell. This turned out to be better than simple reproduction by division, because it produced genetic variety. Eventually organisms evolved which always recombined their genes before reproduction, so that varied offspring would be produced that had more ways to cope with a hostile environment.
God says this did not happen; Jesus likewise says "No." When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Him about marriage, Jesus began by declaring, "Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female?" (Matt. 19:3-4) Any type of evolutionary development requires that the first man be born of a female ape, a female ape/human, a female something. But God says that He created man before woman, and He did not create them asexual at first. Nor did He create two individuals of the same sex; if God was in favor of same-sex marriages the names of the first couple would have been Adam and Steve. He created them male and female for a specific purpose.
According to the evolutionists, one supposed side effect of sex is that it created a need for natural death. Normally asexual organisms like the amoeba do not die; they split into two new organisms that are carbon copies of the previous one. By contrast, because the offspring of sexual reproduction are always different in some way, evolutionists believe that it became necessary for the older generation to die and get out of the way. The Bible says otherwise; it declares that death came into the world by the sin of one man, namely Adam (Romans 5:12).
What this means is that if you accept theistic evolution, or any other form of evolution, you are accepting the idea that death was in the world before Adam, when the Bible tells us it was the other way around. Paul should have known better. If Paul can make an error as critical as that, than how can we trust what he says about sin and redemption in the rest of the epistles? What would be the point of Jesus coming to die for our sins, if nature (and not our actions) has condemned to death anyway? If the Bible is really that far off the mark, we might as well give up being believers and go join some other religion!
"When Mankind was first created,
Another tablet gives the name of the first woman as NIN.TI, which means both "The lady of the rib" and "The lady who makes live." According to Professor D. J. Wiseman, this recalls that Eve, the mother of all living, was fashioned from Adam.(4)
The Sumerians used a rolling-pin like device called a cylinder seal to sign agreements on clay. These cylinder seals not only had the owner's name carved onto them, but also popular scenes from mythology. Some of these scenes show early men carrying burdens, rowing boats, presenting offerings to the gods, etc.; their primitive state is shown by portraying them naked as jaybirds. The most interesting of these seals may be an actual rendition of the Eden story: it shows a woman (Eve) with a girdle of leaves around her loins, surrounded by serpents, while to the left a deity with a horned headdress (God) looks on with astonishment, and a still-naked man (Adam) stands to the right.
Many cultures have legends of the first people living in some kind of paradise. One that is remarkably similar to the Adam and Eve story comes from Sulawesi, in Eastern Indonesia. In the jungle-covered mountains of that island's interior live a tribe called the Saluan people, which has resisted all foreign customs and ideas because they exclude the worship of their ancestors. They may have the right idea, for in a typical Saluan village years go by without a single case of theft, divorce, wife-beating or adultery; they are proud that they don't live the corrupt lives of the "civilized" coastal people. In fact, when two Christian missionaries, Bob and Cecillia Brown, went to them in the 1980s, they got nowhere for the first three years, until they learned that the Saluan story of Creation has very close parallels with ours. Look at this and see if it doesn't sound like a story you have heard before:
"The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers had made a beautiful place. When he made the man and woman he told them that they could live in that beautiful place. So, they lived there, and their fire never went out, and their water flasks never went dry. The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers said that he was going away and that they must not eat the fruit of one tree while he was gone. Then he left. While he was gone, the snake came. Now, the man and the snake were brothers. The snake told the man that the fruit was good and that he should try some. The man did eat the fruit. Then he was afraid of The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers. When The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers returned, he knew right away what had happened. He chased the man away from the beautiful place and said, "From now on the water won't come by itself, and the food won't come by itself. The sweat will drip off your jaw and your fingernails won't get long because you will have to work to get food."(5)
Perhaps the most remarkable extra-biblical creation story is that of the Miao people.(6) The Miao are an ethnic minority in southwest China, close cousins of the Hmong in Laos. Originally they lived on the south bank of the Yangtze River, in Jiangxi province; they were driven into the less desireable mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan when the Chinese migrated across the Yangtze, after 1000 B.C. Their creation story is in the form of poetry, which is kept accurate by reciting it frequently, especially at weddings and funerals. Look at all the details it shares with the first eleven chapters of Genesis:
On the day God created the heavens and earth,
On the earth He created a man from the dirt.
These did not God's will nor returned His affection.
So it poured forty days in sheets and in torrents.
Lo-Han then begat Cusah and Mesay.
The Patriarch Jah-hu got the center of nations.
A lot of speculation has taken place concerning the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most of the suggestions (the sensible ones, anyway) place it somewhere in the Middle East, since two of the rivers mentioned as flowing out of it, the Tigris and Euphrates, are clearly in Iraq. We could pinpoint the location with more accuracy if we knew which rivers were once called the Pishon and Gihon; paradoxically, the harder it is to identify a stream, the more the Bible has to say about it! Some believe the reference to the Tigris and Euphrates does not mean the Iraqi rivers by those names, and have come up with theories limited only by their imaginations. The first twelve possible sites listed below were taken from The Book of Lists 2, and they are followed by three I have heard of more recently.
1. Iraq. This is the one most scholars gravitate to. They simply take the literal interpretation that the Bible really meant the Tigris and Euphrates. Pishon and Gihon are viewed as either tributaries of the two main rivers, or streams which no longer exist. In fact, they may have been irrigation canals. Islamic tradition agrees; it puts the garden right outside Baghdad!
2. Armenia. Other Bible scholars point out that if the four rivers flowed out of the garden, then the garden must be at or near the headwaters of the Tigris & Euphrates, namely Armenia in the Caucasus highlands. Most of them do not identify Pishon and Gihon, though.
3. Israel. There are those who say (John Sailhamer is the most recent) that since the rest of the Bible focusses its attention on the Promised Land, it would make sense for God to put the garden in it. Followers of this theory propose that the Jordan was the original river of the garden, that once it was much longer than it is today, and that for it to flow into the other four rivers the Jordan valley was once at an elevation above sea level, rather than below sea level like it is now. The four rivers become the boundaries of the Holy Land in this scenario, with Gihon being another name for the Nile. Some go further, and state that the Temple Mount (Mt. Moriah) marked the center of the garden and that it included Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Mount of Olives.
4. Egypt. Those who want Egypt as the cradle of the human race point out that the rivers in Genesis 2 were watered not by rain, but by a daily mist that came out of the ground. The Nile is the only modern river that does not get any rain (except at its sources in the African highlands), and proponents claim that it runs underground on part of its journey before it surfaces permanently around the first cataract. The four rivers branching from it are merely the four largest streams that it fans out into between Cairo and the Mediterranean; the names Tigris and Euphrates on two of them are nothing but a coincidence.
5 & 6. East Africa and Java. These are the favorites of full or part-time evolutionists. They reason that since the oldest human fossils (Australopithecus and Homo Habilis), were found in East Africa, and since Adam and Eve are the names given by the Bible for the first humans, Africa must be the birthplace of the human race. The Javan claim stems from the first discovery of Homo Erectus there in 1891.
7. Northwest China. In 1914 Tse Tsan Tai wrote a book called The Creation, the Real Situation of Eden, and the Origin of the Chinese, which makes a case for the garden being in Xinjiang, China's northwestern province. He claimed that the river flowing through the garden was the Tarim, which has four tributaries flowing eastward.
8. Lemuria. In the 19th century fans of the Atlantis myth decided that it was unfair for the Atlantic ocean to get all the mysterious stories, so they proposed a sunken continent named Mu for the Pacific Ocean, even though no evidence for its existence was ever found. A few years later British zoologist P. L. Sclater noted that those rare primates known as lemurs are only found in three widely scattered places: Madagascar, southern India, and the islands of Southeast Asia. Sclater concluded that they came from one place in the Indian Ocean, which he called Lemuria; Mu enthusiasts immediately decided that Mu and Lemuria were the same. Other scholars suggested that Lemuria must have once been the cradle of the human race, so logically the garden must be there as well.
9. The Seychelles Islands. A 19th century British general, Charles "Chinese" Gordon, subscribed to the theory that Africa and Asia were once part of the same continent. While on a survey expedition of the Seychelles, he came upon Praslin Island. He found the island so enchanting, particularly in the Vallée du Mai region, that he decided this unspoiled paradise was the Garden of Eden. The clincher for Gordon was the coco-de-mer, a rare tree that resembles the coconut palm but produces 40-lb. seeds. This tree is only found on one other island besides Praslin; Gordon thought this was a perfect candidate for the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10. Mars. In his book The Sky People, Brinsley LePoer Trench argues that Adam, Eve and Noah all lived on Mars. He states that a river flowing through a garden and then splitting into four smaller streams just does not happen in nature. Only canals can be made to flow that way, and Mars (supposedly) has canals. So the garden must have been the home of a space-going people on Mars. Eventually the Martian polar caps melted and flooded the planet, forcing the descendants of Adam and Eve to take refuge on Earth.
11. The Florida Panhandle. Elvy E. Calloway (1889-1981), a Baptist pastor and retired lawyer, claimed that the Garden of Eden was on the banks of the Apalachicola River, one mile from Bristol, FL. Despite his background, he was no fundamentalist (he took Clarence Darrow's side during the John Scopes trial); he got his ideas from metaphysics, numerology, and libertarian politics as well as the Bible. In the early 1950s Calloway set up a Garden of Eden park on the site, and in 1971 he wrote a book, In The Beginning, to promote his theories. He believed Bristol marked the spot because there are only two river systems in the world with four tributaries, and the Apalachicola is one of them (the other is in Siberia); and that onyx, bdellium, and gold are found in the area. Finally, because the Apalachicola River runs through a ravine, while most of Florida is flat, the Bristol area is home to several rare plants; the Torreya tree, which Calloway thought was the source of gopher wood, Noah's building material, grows nowhere else. The state of Florida must have liked the Eden idea, because after Calloway's death, the hiking trail from his park became part of the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, and another park, Torreya State Park, was established nearby.
12. Galesville, WI. In 1886 the Rev. D. O. Van Slyke published a small pamphlet which declared that Eden was an archaic name for the land between the Rockies and the Appalachians and that the center of the garden was on the east bank of the Mississippi River between LaCrosse, WI and Winona, MN. According to him Noah was living in Wisconsin when the deluge began, and the floodwaters carried him and the Ark across the Atlantic to Mt. Ararat.
13. Bahrein. The ancient Sumerians and the people of the city of Ebla believed in an ancient paradise, and called it Dilmun. According to one of their myths, The Epic of Enmerkar:
"The land Dilmun is a pure place,
The Sumerians and Eblaites thought Dilmun was Bahrein, an island in the Persian Gulf. We'll come back to that in Chapter 12 of this work.
14. Southern Arabia. Some have pointed out that Aden, the Arabian Sea port of Yemen, has a name that looks a lot like Eden, especially if you leave out the vowels the way pre-Greek writers did. In this theory Havilah is another name for Hadramaut, the classical term for south Yemen.(11) The Pishon and Gihon must have dried out long ago if the Arabia designation is correct, for that searing peninsula is not a paradise today, even though it is blessed with mineral wealth (gold & oil).
15. The Mediterranean basin. This one is also popular with those seeking a compromise with evolution. Nearly all of the fossils identified as belonging to early Homo Sapiens (especially Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man) have been found within a few hundred miles of this historic sea. The Mediterranean also has one of the world's most pleasant climates (not too hot, not too cold, for most of the year), so its shores have been settled, used, misused and abused continually since the beginning of history. According to Richard Attenborough's First Eden, it also had plenty of interesting plants and animals in the beginning, and still does, though man has succeeded in driving many of them, like the local lions and the Sicilian pygmy elephant, to extinction.
16. South Africa. In Chapter 5 we discussed the theory that drastic climate changes caused a genetic "bottleneck," killing off most of the human race a few thousand years ago, and that everyone alive today is descended from the handful of survivors. A new twist to that theory was added in 2010, when Professor Curtis Marean of Arizona State University proposed that a spot along South Africa's coast was the only place where humans could have survived during the ice age. This area, about 240 miles east of Cape Town, is called Pinnacle Point. Several caves have been found here, which contain evidence of human habitation (Professor Marean says the artifacts in the caves are at least 164,000 years old). There is rich vegetation nearby, and a combination of warm and cold ocean currents provided plenty of seafood. Finally, we have discovered quite a few hominids in South Africa, from Australopithecus to Boskop Man. South Africans have enthusiastically accepted the idea, to the point that they now sometimes call their country the "Cradle of Humankind."
Since I have given you sixteen possible locations, you're probably asking at this point, "Well, those are fine, but where do you believe it was?" This may not satisfy everybody, but I am not convinced beyond a doubt that one of them is the site. However, I have narrowed it down to a zone in the Middle East ranging no farther south than Jerusalem and no farther north than Armenia. Here are my reasons for that:
1. The Tigris and Euphrates is too obvious a name to pass off as belonging to any other rivers than the ones which go by those names today. Therefore, the garden has to be in the Middle East.
2. Genesis 2:8 says that God planted the garden "eastward." Traditionally, what continent has always been associated with the east? Asia. This means the garden has to be somewhere in Asia. If you believe in continental drift this makes sense, too, because the center of the original Pangaea supercontinent was Africa, and all of the pieces that would someday become part of Asia were east, northeast, or southeast of Africa.
3. However, the continental drift theory also states that the earth's Middle Eastern crustal plate was originally joined to the African plate, but not to the other Asian plates. This means that the only part of Asia the garden can be in is the Middle East.
4. Of the sixteen proposed sites, I found the arguments for #2 and #3 (Armenia and Israel) to be the most convincing. Syria also becomes a possible site, because it is between the other two. Iraq is out because I believe it is really the land of Nod, where the Cainites lived; I'll talk about that in the next chapter.
Then Satan, disguised as a snake, messed up the whole picture.(12) He twisted the truth and added an outright lie, telling Eve that if she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she would not die; she would become like God. That got her curious, so she tried the fruit, and took some to Adam so he could eat it, too.
The devil is always full of tricks. Up to that point, Adam and Eve did not know what evil was, because Satan was the first evil thing they had met (God pronounced everything on His created world good). We think of the devil as appearing in long red underwear, with horns, hoofed feet, a pitchfork and a long black moustache; a "Snidely Whiplash" type of character who would yell "Curses!" if his scheme failed. He knows most of us wouldn't fall for that, so he shows himself as an angel of light, or in any other smooth disguise that might work. And then, like now, his favorite approach is to cast doubt on the word of God, by putting it up against human reason. Adam and Eve did not drop dead when they ate the fruit, but they suffered spiritual death. By spiritual death I mean they could no longer have an intimate relationship with God, and would have surely been destined for the second death (Hell) if God had not introduced the concept of atonement by sacrifice. Physical death became inevitable, too, since death (and entropy) came into the world because of that sin, but it took much longer, 930 years in Adam's case.(13)
What came next was a classic case of passing the buck. When they ate the fruit, their glory was immediately gone, they noticed they were naked, and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God asked Adam about this and Adam said, "The woman which you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I did eat." (Gen. 3:12) Eve then tried to put the blame on the serpent. It didn't work back then, but ever since then men have tried to blame women for their problems ("It was the chick that got us in all this trouble!"). I wouldn't be surprised if Eve used her charms to persuade Adam the way women do today ("If you don't eat it you might lose me."), but the trouble would have stopped had Adam not given in to temptation. This was a cooperative effort involving a woman who did not know a slick line when she heard one and a guy who couldn't keep his mouth shut!
Some people also claim that they are smart enough to know better; had they been in the garden the trouble wouldn't have started. This is pointless, too. It's part of human nature to want something which has been forbidden, even if it is bad for us; we call it "the forbidden fruit syndrome." If you don't believe this, put a kid in a room with a bushel of beautiful apples and one old wormy apple. Tell the kid that he can eat as many of the good apples as he wants but he must not touch the bad apple. Then go away for a few minutes. When you come back, you will find that the good apples have not been touched, but there will only be half a worm in half a wormy apple. The rest will be in the kid. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Why are we so willing to listen to snake talk, rather than God talk? It's because we have all been sick in the head since then (Isaiah 1:5). We think we know a lot, especially if we score high enough on an IQ test to qualify for Mensa membership, but even if we have ten doctorate degrees we are dummies compared to what God knows. We call ourselves Homo Sapiens, meaning "wise man," but by God's standards a more appropriate name would be Homo Ignoramus! Try to use reason without faith, and you'll think up all kinds of goofy ideas. Until the brain is debugged and reprogrammed by God, the function it performs best is that it keeps the ears from flapping together. Until that happens, the less we rely on it, the better off we are. You don't have to take drugs to blow your mind; a blown mind is standard equipment when you're born.
Adam is the individual responsible for the fall of the human race. Because Eve was created from him, humanity could have been saved even if Eve had sinned, if Adam did not sin, too. Apparently the seed of the woman carries the genetic perfection that Adam once had, while our sinful nature is passed on through the male. That is why Jesus had to come into the world by a virgin birth, so He could be a "second Adam." The Holy Spirit provided the missing genes which normally come from the father so that the child of Mary would be returned to the original state of perfection. It was His sinless life, and death on the cross, that solved the genetic problem man has suffered since the fall. (Romans 5:12-17)
With God's judgments, behind every cloud there is a silver lining. Man had to learn responsibility, since now he had to work for a living. He also was forced to leave the garden, to keep him from living forever by eating from the tree of life.(14) Finally, time, entropy and mutations started their inevitable decay of everything. This may seem cruel on the surface, but if the earth and man lived forever without suffering the consequences, there probably would have been no limits to how evil the human race would become. God wouldn't need to create Hell for "the devil and his angels"; we would do it here on Earth! We'll talk more about this when we cover how God further limited the spread of evil at the time of the Flood and at Babel.
The last thing God did before they left the garden was give them some animal skins to replace the fig leaves that they were trying to wear without much success. At least one animal had to be killed to provide those skins, so with this God introduced sacrifice. Later Noah, Abraham, Job and Jacob made sacrifices to mark their meetings with God, and the laws given at Mt. Sinai codified how they were to be carried out. This was a short-term measure to atone for one's sins, until Jesus could come and provide the permanent living sacrifice for us. With this God taught that (1) the penalty for sin is death, and that (2) every sin will either hurt the sinner or someone else (the animal in the case of the sacrifices).
Since God didn't give us the details, all we can do is look at existing evidence and try to figure out what happened. In the 1990s John Morris looked at the carnivore question,(15) and suggested that the true answer involves more than one of the possibilities below:
1. God knew all along that if He gave man free will, trouble would result, so maybe He prepared the animals for this, with characteristics they would need in the sinful earth. These features could have had more benign functions originally (e.g., claws help bears when they gather berries).
2. God may have given the animals genes that were dormant before the fall, but in the harsh world afterwards they activated and changed the physical characteristics of many species. Genetic variation, adaptation and natural selection took care of the rest, and quickly approached their limits, so that today it is no longer possible for animals to change their characteristics much.(16)
3. Or could something more sinister be involved? Remember that the earth had been Lucifer's domain previously. After he was defeated and cast out of heaven, he may have tried to ruin God's creation, first by tricking Adam and Eve into following him, then by perverting the environment. Could he have done breeding experiments to achieve this? If so, we have a real-life version of that old mad scientist story, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Maybe even some of the ancient myths of creatures that were half-man, half-animal, like the Greek satyrs, might have come from somebody who saw the results of such genetic engineering.
Whatever the direct cause, drastic genetic changes came and put the curses of Genesis 3 into action. The serpent had to crawl on its belly, plants produced "thorns and thistles," and childbirth became a painful and dangerous experience; all these things require major DNA modification. From that time on, death became a testimony to the awful consequences of sin. Whenever Adam saw an animal kill another animal, he must have regretted what he had brought upon creation.
That is why Paul wrote that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain" (Romans 8:22). Although they cannot say it to us, animals, plants and rocks look forward to the day when God will redeem the earth, because then there will be no more sin, no more death (Revelation 21:4).(17)
In the 1980s, former Orlando Sentinel columnist Bob Morris declared that the forbidden fruit was his personal favorite: the mango. His logic behind that conclusion was completely off the wall (as are most of his writings), but it will do until a better candidate comes forth. Briefly, Mr. Morris called the mango the forbidden fruit for two reasons:
1. The only description of the fruit is that it gave knowledge of good and evil. That applies to the mango. The outer skin of the mango contains a sap that gives many people an allergic reaction, an evil thing. Once past the skin you come to the good part, the delicious flesh of the fruit. Finally, one arrives at the pit, which contains traces of cyanide; an evil thing if ever there was one!
2. The other reason comes from what God said after Adam ate it: "MAN! GO!"
This is the End of Chapter 8.
The Genesis Chronicles
Other History Papers