Posted in Creation, Torah

Gen 2:8-9

Gen 2:8 NKJV – The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
Gen 2:9 NKJV – And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life [was] also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

An interesting piece to not throughout these passages is the change to the use of the term “LORD God”

LORD: Lots of stuff in this word. This is a VERY loaded word to use, and there have been books and whole lives spent wrestling with this. Since verse 4, this is the reference term for the creator. Until this point, only the term God had been used.

LORD

This word can appear in scripture many ways, with subtle difference, and yet those subtle things make ALL the difference. Literally right here, whole religions differ about this, primarily Jews and Christians. They may both use the term in their bibles, however they will not say the actual word.

In case anyone is reading this, and they are coming from the traditional, rabbinic  Jewish practice, this might be VERY offensive/shocking

יְהֹוָה

 

This simple string of 4 Hebrew letters has been the cause of turmoil, reverence, and death for people over close to 2200 years. Why?

This is a NAME (in Hebrew “shem”), not a title. This is the NAME of the Creator. Later in Torah/Tanakh we will read that the creator reveals this to someone, and it is very profound.

In rabbinic practice, the word Adonai, or Hashem is substituted for this word. They simply WONT say this name out loud, and when they write it, if they ever do, it is done in such a way (in their opinion) as to keep from making it common or profane in any way.

At this point in my studies, I can only encourage you to stop and pray and seek about this very issue. There are things to be learned and to be experienced that come simply from this one word, this name of the creator. Here are some basic things:

  1. Pronunciation: The best approximates are Yehovah (Yah-Ho-Vah) or Yahweh (Yah-Way/Yah-Vey). The knowledge of how to say this name has been lost since 200-300 BCE. The term Yah is a poetic reference to the name Yehovah, kind of like a special way to say it.
  2. Name vs Title: God is a title, Yehovah is a name. Its one thing to worship “a god” or someTHING and it’s a whole other thing to worship someONE. Names meant something in Hebrew culture, they still do. The whole idea of using your name, or giving your name, carries with it the idea of YOU.
  3. Meaning:  There are lots oe people debating this still. I think the best summation is the term “I Am”. To go slightly deeper, with the interpretation of the verbs etc… it could be “I was, I am, I will be what I Am”. This is a profound, multi-layered context for the Creator.

***In my limited experience, the best resource you can get is to watch and read work done by Nehemia Gordon, as well as Keith Johnson about this topic. There is a mix of resources, but as you learn (prayerfully!)  I hope you will have the same profound experience as I have had the last few years.

How does the person telling the creation account know this name?  Why the change? We don’t know (at this point). It implies that this is retrospective. As well, the tone is different. The narrator changes from just the title, to the name once the story talks about making humanity.

Garden: This has an interesting element of being enclosed, a wall around it. As well, it can be used as a term (figuratively) of a bride, or a virgin/chaste woman. This is a place of purity, holiness, and life.

Eastward: Keep this direction in mind as we progress through scripture. The East is a significant direction in regards to several things coming.

Eden:  This means pleasure and something special

Man was NOT created IN the garden, but in Eden, an area. Mankind was created outside it, then placed inside it after mankind was formed. This garden  that was in Eden was a place to live, grow, develop, but wasn’t the “womb” itself, or the place where mankind was literally formed. Mankind was formed from/in the earth, the “dust”, and then placed in a luxurious sounding lace.

From this ground, meaning the garden, God caused every pleasing tree to spring up. These things are characterized as being pleasant to the eye, and good for food. Interestingly, Yah cause this to spring up from the “ground”, the adamah, same word and substance of mankind itself. I believe this can easily point to a metaphorical connection. Yah intended to do with mankind what had been done in Eden. A pleasing delightful creation. To go even further, is there a connection to mankind (metaphorically) being a source of food/nourishment in some way?

There are 2 specific trees mentioned here

Tree of Life: The words are literal and direct. Life, living, expressive etc…

Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil: Knowledge here is literal understanding, perception, awareness.  Good is the same as good a few words earlier. Pleasing, Agreeable, Glad, Agreeable… truly an overall picture of good things. Evil is literal, bad, displeasing, disagreeable, no value etc…

The key here is the KNOWLEDGE of it. The awareness of it.  Apparently until someone eats these thing, what they describe isn’t a component of humanity.

Posted in Creation, Uncategorized

Genesis 2:7

Gen 2:7 NKJV – And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

 

Yah formed man, and formed man from the dust (more on this later), and once Yah “breathed” into man, man became a living being.

 

Formed: Interesting that the form of the verb used here points to the start of something, not just the act of something. It is used when referring to man or God, and it also implies a plan, or to pre-ordain. Its more than just making an object, it is creating (not modifying) an object, and putting a plan together about it.

Dust: The dust here is literally the debris of the ground. It can also mean mortar or even ore.

Breathe: This is the blowing OUT. Small detail but clearly Yah doesn’t breathe. This was an action FROM Yah TO the man, carrying LIFE to it. Similar to the idea of light in previous verses. When Yah supervised the creation of light, there was no source (i.e. stars etc…) for a time. The light was coming FROM Yah TO the created thing until other light sources were generated.

The Breath of Life: Breath here is used 24 times in Hebrew, it isn’t a common term. It points to not just the air going in and out, but implies life, and spirit of man. Life, as an adjective is green, flowing, active, reviving. It isn’t Life in general, or some kind of idea, it is the aliveness of a thing.

Soul/Being:  I think there is far more to this than is easily understood, but important parts to put in context are this is describing more than just a being, this idea of living soul is something operating in life. Appetites, emotions, passions, activity, desire, passion. This didn’t exist until the breath of Yah came FROM Yah, and INTO mankind. Once there, it was seated in mankind.

We don’t see Yah breathing into animals. Perhaps Yah did, but it isn’t stated. Yet in reference later everything with the “breath of life” in it meant more than mankind. However we don’t see scripture explaining other parts of creation like this where God directly breathed into them

Remember Man here isn’t a MALE. It is Mankind. All of humanity. Without the breath of Yah, we aren’t a living Soul. Our ability to have emotion and desire and passion COMES from the breath of Yah. How we direct it, what we do with it etc… is our stewardship.

So therefore we realize Yah has desires, emotions, intention etc…  while it seems obvious, think about the implications. God has a motive, a desire, an “internal” feeling about what God does. That part of Yah was given to us, and animated us. It isn’t the desires themselves, but the ability to desire. It’s the framework of desire and passion and emotion. To disregard this, objectify it, or attempt to remove it (i.e. pursuing  something like Zen, or disconnecting) is actually anti-God. Its as dangerous and wrong to try and reject these things as it is to use them in a wrong context.

One of my favorite examples of this is people who come out of an addiction. Sexual addiction or disordered sexual behavior is very overwhelming. The desire is to simply have it removed, because trying to organize or direct something that is so powerful, yet shattered or twisted, can feel like way too much. However the real intent of Yah isnt to have no sexual desire or intention. It is to HAVE it, and for it to be experienced in a healthy context.

Leanne Payne details this in one of her books. Praying for someone coming out of unwanted same sex attraction, the temptation of the individual is to simply not deal with sexual desire at all. But the real preayer is for it to be bounded and directed into appropriate things until it can have its full, real, authentic expression. Thsi requires far more, yet is more consistent with what Yah did when Yah breathed into mankind and gave them life.

Posted in Creation, Torah

Gen 2:4-6

Gen 2:4-6 NKJV – This [is] the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown.

For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and [there was] no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

The chapter from this point to verse 15 is like a retelling with more details in some cases, and less in others. Simply at face value this is describing a state of existence of the creation with some interesting points that might bring clarity to the previous chapter.

The main description here is that the waters on the earth did not come from precipitation. Water came from under the earth, connecting back to the idea of the separation of the waters, above and below. Water was under the surface of the earth, and came up from under. Rain is something God would cause, not incidental. This is the initial method of hydration of the earth, as well as how things grow.

There is an implication here of the role of man. Mankind was the key part of the creation that coordinates plants, herbs growing things etc…