Genesis 2

Who placed that chapter marker? Why move the seventh day of the seven day song into the start of chapter 2?

The day of rest is a profound and strange thing. Gods capacities are not limited. Presumably he doesn’t rest because he is tired. Rest is part of his nature. So rest is part of our nature as creatures in the image of God. We are not machines. Animals sleep, but rest is a uniquely human concept: of a cup of tea at the end of the day, sharing a quiet moment with someone, of celebration, of time to smell the roses.

Pray that I won’t feel guilty about relationship time. Be mindful, be humble.

I forget that there are two creation stories. I wonder what literalists make of that. I mean in the first one it starts with water, then god forms the land. In the second one it starts with land and the water bubbles up through it and forms rivers.  Man comes after plants but before animals, and woman is last. Different order.

There is no “aha” moment here. The assemblers of genesis surely were comfortable with the inconsistencies. The message is obviously that it is not to be taken too literally. Well to me, anyway.

In both of them, god is the creator and it is abundant and good.

The four rivers are an odd mix of literal and mythical. Two still exist. Tigris and Euphrates. Two no longer do, and there is a lot of intense speculation about where and what they are.  The names have suitably abundant meanings, and surely to the readers would have conjured up an iconic verdant and great place to live that they has heard of but never visited.

The story is all about relationship. In part it is sort of like an early version of cat Stevens “father and son”: advice to a young man about to launch out into the world. At the end of the chapter it answers a question you went aware had been asked… ” that is why a young man leaves home and finds a wife.”

The creation of plants and the garden is to support the man, the animals are a backdrop to the quest to find a companion. Lots of arguments have been made for the subservience of eve because she is created second and comes from Adams rib. And the story is clearly told through male eyes with female as the “other”.

But the force of it is about her suitability. She occupies the place which in the last creation story was the apex of gods work. The rib detail unites her and Adam uniquely, and is a symbol for sexual union. We’ve already been told they were both made in the image of God in the story where they were created at the same time.

The last story has the rhythm of days and god speaking. This has the theme of dust as the pre-creation state, with gods creativity coming up through the ground. Water, plants, dust forming man and animals. Everything is formed from dust except woman: they are formed of each other’s flesh.

Pray, may I value Kelly, and the family. My flesh and blood.

This chapter marker is perfectly placed. They are naked and not ashamed. Perfectly innocent (nice to think that marriage, couple-hood can return us to this Eden like state?). Nothing could go wrong, could it?