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Echoes of Eden—Preflood Developments

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Tamarajo is an avid Bible Studier who loves nothing more than to seek out the treasures in God's Word and share them with others.

"The first leaf of the Mosaic record has more weight than all the folios of men of science and philosophers" -Jean Paul

"The first leaf of the Mosaic record has more weight than all the folios of men of science and philosophers" -Jean Paul

Introduction

The "Beginning" narratives of Genesis contain the genetic code that finds its expression and fruitful development in the rest of Scripture and throughout the history of human experience.

These early chapters are the template for the subsequent events detailing God's relational advancement with fallen humankind. Every chronicle will echo these beginning accounts and reveal applicable facets drawn from the episodes in the first chapters of the Bible. Each account will also contain Messianic themes that point forward Jesus.

It's a messy story, to say the least, but that's just the backside of the tapestry view. As we follow the common threads through the fabric of these Biblical accounts, a much bigger picture comes into view. We shall see how the genius of God beautifully weaves His eternal plan through the warp of rebellious humanity who resists Him at every turn.

This article will study the pre-flood connection with the events of Genesis chapter three. Seeing, desiring based upon subjective good, and taking once again lead to disastrous results for all of humanity. Good and evil defined by desire inevitably ends in chaos.

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". . . Til There Was No Remedy"

Genesis chapter six one through seven records the pre-flood developments that precipitated God's Messianic necessity to wipe the slate clean. Humanity was not yet ripe for a savior, but with only one God follower left, something had to be done before nothing was left to save.

. . . the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry (grieved) that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. . . Noah was a just man, perfect (sincere and undefiled) in his generations. Noah walked with God.

— Genesis 6:5,9

A similar scene that follows much later in Biblical history illustrates this setting with its "times-up" message addressed to Judah's last king. God expressly withholds a calamitous judgment until 'there is no remedy."

. . . he (king Zedekiah the last king of Judah) stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. Moreover, all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.

And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

— II Chronicles 36:13-16

We also see this same pattern in the "Sodom and Gomorrah" narrative. Sodom and Gomorrah had become so depraved that God heard the cry of its inhabitants.

But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.. . . the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave (heavy and dense), I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know

— Genesis 13:13, 18:20-21

Like the Noah narrative, there is one God walker in the Sodom and Gomorrah story. Just as Noah was set apart to carry on the Messianic mission, Abraham was called out from Ur of the Chaldees, Nimrod's alternate anti-God urban development project. Noah was called out because he was undefiled in his generation. Abraham similarly was called out because he would keep God's commands and order his household accordingly.

Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.

— Genesis 18:18-20

Abraham learns that God is about to destroy the nearby region and its inhabitants because of its depravity. He, therefore, makes an extended intercession to God for the sake of his nephew Lot, who dwells there.

Abraham negotiates with God about sparing the region by asking Him to pardon them for fifty righteous that dwelled there. He bargains six times, lowering the number of righteous until he gets down to ten.

Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” . . .

. . . Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there? And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.

— Genesis 18

Once again, God's mercy extends until the very last believer. Meanwhile, as humanity continually stumbles over itself, the Messianic plan of a promised Savior "seed" in Genesis chapter three continues.

So the Lord God said to the serpent: . . .

. . . I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.

— Genesis 3 15

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Consequential Seeing and Taking

The remainder of this study will include a more precise breakdown of the connections in Genesis chapter six verses one through seven with the earlier narratives of the Bible.

The following developmental events that led up to the deluge depict some controversial characters and topics that have been the source of debate among Biblical scholars throughout the entirety of Biblical history.

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful (good); and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

— Genesis 6:1-2

Rather than debate who the "sons of God,' noted in the above text, were, human or divine, I would like to draw attention to some hyperlinking phrases in this story's telling that connect us with Genesis chapter three and the great fall of humanity at the forbidden tree.

The key phrases in the above portion of Scripture that link the two stories are " . . . the Sons of God saw . . . that they were beautiful (good) and they took . . .for themselves . . . "

The word translated "beautiful" in the above verse is the same word most often translated "good" in Hebrew, including the forbidden tree's name. From a word consistency perspective, translating the word "good' would be a better choice as this creates a valuable and more precise textual link with the first story.

In both accounts, there is a hint of humanity playing God in declaring what is good. God judges what He has made as good seven times in the creation narrative of Genesis chapter one. In these events, humanity is defining "good" based on their desire.

Along this same line of thought, the sons of God's actions mirror Eve's at the forbidden tree.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good . . . she took of its fruit

— Genesis 3:6

Whether human or divine, the sons of God saw and took something that did not belong to them. Like the strictly forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They, like Eve, used their desire to interpret what was "good" for themselves and therefore took what they wanted. As with the first story, the consequences were sure to follow.

One more statement from the Genesis chapter six verse two-portion "they (Sons of God) chose," gives us some insight into the Adam and Eve incident. Without the overlay of the pre-flood scene, it might be tempting to think that the two accidentally stumbled into sin without thought or intention. The pre-flood story makes it clear that the partaking of the forbidden thing was deliberate. They consciously chose.

Connected with this thought, the Sons of God in this story, like the nachash (shining being /serpent) in the garden scene, are the defiling elements in each event. The female in each account is approached—Eve at the tree and the pre-flood daughters of men.

A Parallel With David and Bathsheba

The taking for himself of Bathsheba by King David provides us with a parallel to the Sons of God taking the daughters of men for themselves. The links to the King David event interestingly weave through the warp of Scripture in an unsuspecting way.

The exact phrase in Hebrew, "took for themselves," as is used in the Genesis chapter six case with the Sons of God taking the daughters of men for themselves, is only used in one other place in Scripture.

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

— Exodus 12:3

The taking of a lamb in the noted Scripture was a protocol regarding the first Passover observance. The connection here is not apparent until the taking of a lamb in the above verse hyperlinks us to the taking of a lamb in the David and Bathsheba story. Before discussing the connection, let's look at the narrative background and look for similarities in the "see, distinguish good based on desire, and take for oneself" pattern discovered in Genesis three with Eve and the Sons of God in Genesis eleven.

It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, (also the time of year that the Passover was observed) that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

David, the shepherd king, is missing from the ancient near eastern norm of leading his army in the spring wars, leaving the duty to his nephew Joab. Like Adam and the Sons of God, David deserts his mission of serving and protecting sacred people and spaces.

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful (good) to behold.

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

And David sent messengers, and took her . . .

— II Samuel 11:1-2

Like the Sons of God and daughters of men story, the Hebrew word "good" gets translated as "beautiful in the above portion of Scripture. All essential elements are present in the text. David saw something that looked good based on what he wanted but was forbidden, and he took it.

Consequently, offspring born from these unholy forbidden unions result in destruction and death.

The Nephilim (fallen ones) were upon the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God went into the daughters of humankind, and they bore children to them . . . Yahweh regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart. And Yahweh said, “I will destroy humankind whom I created from upon the face of the earth

— Genesis 6:6-7

. . . she (Bathsheba) came to him (David), and he lay with her . . . and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child . . . And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” (same phraseology as the Genesis two warning about eating forbidden fruit)

— II Samuel 11:4-5

In an attempt to cover his scandal, King David's fig leaf scheme is to have Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, killed in battle so that he can take Bathseba for a wife and legitimize the pregnancy.

God uses the prophet, Nathan, to confront the king through a relatable parable. The confrontation story includes a rich man who steals a poor man's pet lamb treated like a family member.

Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich (David/Sons of God) and the other poor (Uriah/men muliplying on the face of the earth). The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb (daughters of men) which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

— II Samuel 12:1-4

David unwittingly judges himself while issuing a familiar sentence for the crime of the rich man who took the poor man's treasured pet and killed it.

So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”

— II Samuel 12:5-6

David's judgment directly connects with Genesis chapter two's partaking of the forbidden with its consequences.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

— Genesis 2:16-17

As quoted by the prophet Nathan, David's position is also equated to Adam as a king in his garden. God provided Adam with everything he could want or need, but King Adam and King David desired the one thing they couldn't have.

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.

— II Samuel 12:7-9

The Passover Lamb selection connects with Nathan's parable. The precious ewe lamb relates to the lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.

John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

— John 1:29

Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth discusses the New Testament application and fulfillment in Christ. Like Nathan's parable confrontation with David, Paul's letter concerns the sexual immorality of one of its congregants. His discourse includes the discussion of good and evil put forth in terms of leavened and unleavened bread. Christ, a perfect, spotless lamb

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness (evil), but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (good).

— I Corinthians 5:1-8

Paul has seamlessly woven these beginning elements together with their fulfillment in Christ. The "delivering of such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh and salvation of the Spirit" is exactly how God dealt with Adam. Adam's death sentence was for humanity's salvation through the perfect, spotless lamb of God.

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Reshaping Good and Evil

Back to Genesis chapter six, with seeing and defining what is good and or evil, our study's next verse discusses what God saw and how he defined it as evil. The last time we heard the phrase "God saw" was in Genesis chapter one, when God declared seven times all He made and how He designed it to function as good.

And Yahweh saw that the evil of humankind was great upon the earth, and every inclination (formation, fashioning and framing) of the thoughts (purposes, plots, devices, inventions, comuputing, forecasting, fabricating, and artificial work) of his heart was always only evil.

— Genesis 6:5

In the pre-flood development, we see humanity forming, fashioning, and framing its own alternate world of purposes and plots through invention, computing, devices, and forecasting based on its own definition of good, but, in the end, Yahweh judges it as evil. The above-expanded definitions of inclinations and thoughts in the Scripture above not only traces back to the original pattern but also unmistakably describes the look forward to what we are currently observing in humanity's zest to save itself and the earth that God created while excluding Him. Humanity's departure from God includes fabricating its own Magna Carta of what defines good and evil.

Conclusion

The pattern is undeniable. The pre-flood developments inevitably rehearse Genesis chapter three within the framework of developing humanity. Interpreting good and evil through the eyes of personal desire rather than the laws that govern functional and purposeful systems will always result in taking and partaking in what isn't ours to our demise. Chaos and destruction are sure to follow.

However, God's plan of salvation is also in view with every catastrophic scene then and now. Oh, how He loves us!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

— Psalm 118:1

© 2021 Tamarajo

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