Like with Creation, get ready, this is going to be a wild ride.
We’re all familiar with how it goes. Life in the garden is good, there are two trees, but don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Stop. That’s important. It’s not the Tree of Knowledge. It’s the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s quite specific on that point. I’ve looked at half a dozen translations, twice that number of commentaries, and that point is never abridged: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Again, it’s very important.
Okay, we can go on.
No, we can’t. Sorry for the knee jerk. There were two trees. But the second tree isn’t mentioned by name right here. Instead it’s named at the end of the story when cherubim are called down to guard it: the Tree of Life. Again, this is important. How many trees were forbidden? One. Was it the Tree of Life? No. This means that Adam and Eve could, and most likely did, eat from the Tree of Life.
All right, moving on now
So there’s Adam and Eve, and they’re pure and innocent. Again, we need to stop. They are pure and innocent, yes. They are unspoiled, untainted, and unburdened by evil. Absolutely. They have to be since they haven’t partaken from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet. However, they’re not clueless. They’re not idiots that know nothing.
First, they have language. God handed down the prohibition about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil verbally. Adam and Eve knew how to speak and understand. They are intelligent and capable of speaking as well. This is also verified because Eve understood the Serpent’s words and spoke back to him. Likewise, Adam was responsible for naming all of the animals in the garden, which required the use of language.
Next, they knew about, and likely had, sex. Okay, stop calling me a blasphemer. And I’m not joking. I’m quite serious. They have language; they have intelligence; they have curiosity. They also have a commandment by God to multiply and replenish the earth. They have observational skills, as well. None of the animals ever ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet they knew how to make more of themselves by having sex. Sex is a natural phenomenon, and there is nothing evil about it. It can, however, get messy, but that’s another discussion. So even if—and it’s a big if—Adam and Eve had no urges on their own, even if they had no instincts about how it was done, they could still see the animals, and knew about sex.
Okay, we’re on the same page again.
Now we come to the big one: the serpent. Again, this word is very specific. Not snake, serpent. Lucifer/Satan/Asmodeus/Samael/Bob may in fact be shifted into the form of a serpent, or possess the serpent, or influence the serpent, but we don’t have any direct evidence of that in this story. All we know at this point is serpent. In fact, we could probably link the serpent to the Leviathan more easily than we could Satan because it is a monstrous sea serpent.
So the serpent is a serpent, and it’s clever. The most clever animal. So clever, in fact, that it can talk. Did it have legs? I don’t know. That’s another one of these popular stories because of the curse later in the story. I don’t know, and I don’t really think it’s material. For all I know it could have had wings (like Native South American serpents/dragons) or had the ability to levitate (Asian dragons). Like I said, I don’t think this is truly material for the story to come.
What’s next? The Garden itself. The Garden is not the end all and be all of the earth. There is a place outside of the Garden. It’s a wilderness, which is about all the description we get for it. There are animals and plants outside; it’s not featureless landscape like the Sahara. It’s just not the lush paradise that is the Garden.
God. God comes and goes in the Garden. He has conversations with Adam and Eve, though we don’t know how many. God also doesn’t see a need to put guards, fences, and alarm systems around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is an important aspect of what will come.
Stay tuned for when we actually go through what happens.