Hierarchy And The Disorder Of Separation In The Bible

1447 words - 6 pages


January 29, 2000

Proper Hierarchy and the Disorder of Separation

Throughout the text of the Bible, and especially evident in Chapter 3 of Genesis, there is a system which God has set up to denote the proper relationships each of his creations share with each other and with Him. An analysis of this reoccurring theme will help to establish that God’s intended system is a hierarchy in which there is an apportionment of “servants” and “masters,” with God having the final authority. This motif is first introduced in chapter 1 of Genesis where God sees that His creations are “good,” already establishing a higher standard, ...view middle of the document...

When Adam responds to God’s inquiry, instead of accepting any form of responsibility, he tells God of how Eve had handed the fruit to him - “It was the woman you gave to be with me who gave the me the fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12) Adam, instead of accepting the responsibility for his actions, blames both Eve and God for his unfortunate actions. Likewise when Eve receives the blame, she attributes her poor judgment to the serpent, which she claims “deceived [her] into eating it.” (Genesis 3:13) And when it comes the serpent’s turn, the blame cannot be shifted to another since according to the two humans he is the source for their lapse of judgment as a tempter. In addition, God attributes the least credibility to him because of His apparent favoritism towards humankind. Through this show of favoritism, the author(s) reveals a set structure that the Lord has already assigned to each of his creations.

While God had warned Adam that the tree would bring him death, He did not mean actual physical death, but rather He meant spiritual death, for as soon as he ate of the fruit his innocence was lost and his relationship the Lord, which had been one of fulfillment and reward, had been violated. Moreover now that “the eyes of both of them were opened…” they viewed their God with fear. But what lead Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge was a lack of judgment at the moment and curiosity. Yet while Adam should bear the most responsibility for the crime rather than the serpent (it merely told the literal truth, and never told either humans to eat the fruit) the severity of the punishment is reversed according to God’s hierarchy. God begins by designating the proper positions for each of the three. The serpent was put in the most submissive position; it was fated to crawl on its belly and eat the dirt of the ground. God also created a natural enmity between the serpent and Eve. Yet in God’s hierarchy Eve in addition to Adam is set above all living creatures, which is hinted by the fact that the snake can only strike at the heel, while Eve and her brood will strike at the serpent’s head, the heel being lesser than the head. Because Eve had persuaded Adam to eat the fruit, her pain in childbirth was dramatically increased as punishment. In addition, for her wrongly taking authority over Adam who had superior knowledge to her own, and making the decision for herself and her husband that she would eat, she is made subject to Adam for the remainder of her life. As for Adam, he was made to toil the landscape “until [he] return[s] to the earth.” (Genesis 3:19) And these punishments apply not only to the first man, woman, and serpent, but all their generations to follow. In humankind’s alienation from God, they are given new roles and instructions to follow as they are banished from Eden. While Adam and Eve still follow the word...

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