Monday, May 23, 2016

Adam-Eve - Conflicting Commandments?

As an LDS member (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints™), I was taught that Adam and Eve were given conflicting commandments. They were told to "multiply and replenish the earth," yet were also told not to eat the fruit of the tree that would give them the physical ability to have children. This catch-22 by God was divinely inspired for some reason.

Well, I have begun reading the Inspired Version of the Bible. It is a reprint of the 1867 edition. I got it at the Restoration Bookstore.

First thing I noticed (which I had noticed before) was that God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree. He didn't tell Eve because she was not created yet. The second thing I noticed was no mention of multiplying and replenishing the earth, anywhere in the garden in Eden.

This is the scripture about the fruit:
And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it; For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Then God gets busy and makes the animals, then Eve.

I also noticed that God essentially said, "Don't eat it. If you do, you'll die, but I want to be clear here: you have the freedom to make your own decisions. Just know that eating that fruit is not a good idea."

When God created Eve (I don't know if she was literally a clone, minus the Y chromosome or if the creation of Eve is an allegory), this is what is said immediately after God "brought her unto the man."

And Adam said, This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Then God explains to Moses how the devil came to be, points out that the devil had drawn many after him (implying that the serpent was one, hence some of the animals here may follow the devil, not God), and gets on with the story of eating the fruit and being kicked out.

There is no command to multiply and replenish the earth (which they apparently cannot do in the garden, in their innocence*). There are no conflicting commandments.

One thing I find interesting is that Adam knows what a father and a mother are. That strongly suggests (to the point of being a no-brainer) that Adam knew what a mother and a father was. The only way he could know this was to have one of each, in my opinion. I also think that the reason Eve was created after the animals was because it was possible that Adam's mother gave birth like mothers on planets usually do. That takes time. So Adam had animals to keep him company until Eve was born. (Heck, most of the story may be an allegory. I mean, they had to have been at least teenagers or adults, physically, when they got kicked out, in my opinion. I can't see two children the physical maturity of a 5 and 7 year old being out on their own in a lone and dreary world, and having sons and daughters (Genesis 4:2).)

Anyway, the Inspired Translation solves the problem of why God was such a creep as to give two commandments that conflicted, then make it impossible for them to keep both without sinning. (Answer: He didn't.)


*And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
2 Nephi 2:22-23

2 comments:

  1. What do you make of Moses 3:20, 23? That timeline has Eve created after God rested on the 7th day.

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  2. That is a really good catch. I never noticed that before. That throws a few ideas on their ears, doesn't it?

    Moses 3:2 says: "And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work . . . and I rested on the seventh day from all my work[.]"

    Moses 3:4-5 says: "these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth ... and every plant of the field before it grew . . . . For I, . . . created all things . . . spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.

    Then a mist waters the ground, then Adam is created, then God plants a garden and puts Adam in it, then animals are formed, then Eve is created, and so on.

    Not a mention of a second (physical vs spiritual) sabbath.

    Thank you for pointing that out. That really gives me something to think about (and, hopefully, others who may read this blog).

    Toni

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