In a previous post we learned about how an ancient Hebrew god by the name Yahveh created the whole universe in only six days some 6,000 years ago. That also included all life on planet Earth, land, seas, plants, trees, animals, and lastly a pair of humans, both male and female. Not sure what happened thereafter, but on page 2 in my New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, God creates it all over again, this time with focus on a man called Adam, whom he crafted from dust even before the Earth became habitable. The story goes like this:
- Genesis 2:4: This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
I suppose by “heavens” he meant the sky or atmosphere surrounding the Earth. It’s not clear if he recreated the entire universe or only the Earth. I suppose the latter, and if so, what happened to the first version with all its living creatures, including humans?
- Genesis 2:5-7: Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
- Genesis 2:8-9: Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- Genesis 2:10-14: A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Now, this is interesting. While Eden is nowhere to be found on a map, we can certainly locate the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates in the southeastern part of Iraq (formerly known as Babylonia and Mesopotamia) and from the description roughly place the Garden of Eden a little north of the city of Basra. That’s also relatively close to the area where the two oldest cities in the world, Babylon and Ur, are located. Back to the story:
- Genesis 2:15-17: The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
- Genesis 2:18: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
- Genesis 2:19-20: Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
- Genesis 2:21-22: But for Adam [apparently he gave himself a name too] no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
- Genesis 2:23: The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
- Genesis 2:24: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
- Genesis 2:25: Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
So, here we have the very first naturists on Earth, but not for long, as we shall see in the next chapter. Which of the two versions of creation is the most reliable (if any), is impossible for me to say, but I think the second is regarded the de facto one by most religious people. Or perhaps a combination of the two. I won’t spend more time on this narrative, but will return soon with chapter 3 where things get a little more exiting to say the least. See you then.