The story of Adam and Eve is probably known by most people who have read the Bible. What the majority of people remember is the role that Eve played during her time in the garden, which has been one of the major facts that has kept women in a second-class position within society. Unfortunately, in this story, major symbols and images have been hidden from the reader. I hope that these new views will demonstrate that the blame for the failure within the garden rests on the actions of both original parents and not solely on account of Eve actions; as theologians like to portray.
As we continue to study Genesis, we see that God put the man that “He had formed” into the garden He had created in Eden.[i] I find that the use of the word “formed” intriguing. The word “made” or “created” could have been used, especially since Adam was seen to be the only person who existed at that time according to the Bible. At first glance, the written word “formed” would seem to suggest; to create a shape, a body. But, what if the word “formed” was used to suggest a formation, to establish a manner of doing or saying something? Used in that sense, Adam, then would have been instructed, formed by God, with a specific knowledge in order to do a particular job. This would then change the passage in Genesis and suggest that the breath of life that Adam received was really enlightenment. A direct connection with God, something that had been lost with the fall of Lucifer, and would have differentiated Adam from the other fallen spirits who roamed this vast planet in humanoid form. The lost souls, who were forbidden to have any knowledge of the true God, incurred this punishment for rebelling against their Creator thousand of years earlier.
The next question to be asked would be, what was the need for God to connect with man? After being expelled out of Heaven, the Creator could have simply forgotten about these rebellious souls. The answer: That because of His immense love, for God is LOVE, He felt pity for these souls, His creations, that were suffering due to their ignorance. Not being born of God, as Jesus was, meant that these souls within these human forms, were not a finished product. That was the reason why Adam was sent into the garden. He had a particular job to do and that was why he had been formed, enlightened by the Lord.
Now what was in the garden, that the Lord God needed to place Adam there? In the first chapter of Genesis, it is written that on the third day of creation, God said, “let the land produce vegetation: seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruits with seed in it according to their various kinds.”[ii] On the sixth day he created man and woman.[iii] In the second chapter of Genesis everything becomes confusing. Man has just been formed from the dust and there is no vegetation anywhere. [iv] Then, we have God creating a special place that was called a garden, in which He placed the man He had formed and enlightened with the breath of life. There, in this garden, God created more trees ‘that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.’[v]
Here is where I believe a hidden symbol lies. The concealed meaning is found in those trees that were specifically created in the garden. Remember, that Christ thanked his Father for hiding the meaning of His images from the wise and learned of this world.[vi] What if the trees were symbols for something else, like people? Here are some of my reasons that brought me to this theory. It is specifically mentioned that these trees, that where in the garden, grew out of the ground, like Adam, who had been created from the earth. There is no mention of any other kind of vegetation being created in this garden. Even today, the image of the tree is often used when tracing a family’s ancestry line. The roots are the ancestors, such as grandparents, the trunk the parents, the leaves the children, grand-children and other descendance.
In the Bible, trees are often used in images to instruct humans. In Luke, Jesus mentions about making a tree good to bear good fruit. Then a little further down he talks about the good man brings out the good stored in him. [vii] Was he, Jesus, making a correlation between the two? In Mathew, Jesus talks about the false prophets and “that by their fruits you will recognize them.”[viii] He could have used the word action or speech instead of the word fruit. Four verses later, he says that “every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. ̶ Thus, by their fruits you will recognize them.”[ix] In Mark, the first thing that the blind man saw after Jesus spit in his eyes, was that the people looked liked trees walking around. [x] If these particular trees were a hidden symbol for people, then the garden takes on a radical new look as a secure place for a chosen group learning about God. If they were there to form a connection with God, then He would find them pleasing to observe and that their fruits, both in action and in their descendants, would be good.
As we continue a little further down in the chapter we read, “The Lord God took man (Adam) and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”[xi] Now, if God had made this garden why would it need physical tending and how could one person physically do all that work? Besides, since God is Nature and perfection it would have been perfect. So why was Adam there? It was because of his formation. Having received the breath life, he, Adam was placed in the garden to administer to the trees, which were in reality people. This group of people were there to learn about the Creator and bring forth not children of rebellion but children of God. That was Adam’s job. It also explains why there were two specific trees in the middle of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of the latter, man was commanded by God himself not to eat or absorb within himself the fruits of this tree. [xii] These two trees were symbols for the two doctrines that were now on the planet. That of God, which stood for life and the other the evil of the devil. Both could be seen as a form of spiritual food for the people. That is why Adam was commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He was not allowed to be tainted by the devil’s view of things and then corrupt the people who were under his tutelage.
As a priest, a teacher, Adam’s reason for being was to educate the people in the right way to live. His job was to enlighten them. To enable people to find the right path to God, for on the path is one of the meanings of the word paradise. Another proof of his position as a priest, was that both his sons sacrificed on altars. [xiii] Anything to do with altars and offerings was and is a job usually reserved for priests and as his sons, they would have continued the tradition.
Therefore, an enlighten Adam was placed in the garden where the word of God could flourish. Eden was a shelter for the elected people who were under the Lord’s protection from the rest of the world. A world full of rebellious individuals who had followed Lucifer down from Heaven. A place where they could learn from Adam about the true God. Unfortunately, as the story reveals, we see that because Adam was not vigilante and was sleeping on the job, the snake (or snakes), those people with fork tongues who support Satan in this world with their half lies, were able to infiltrated the garden. Consequently, the garden, the people and the divine teaching was lost or corrupted by other teachers, all due to Adam’s negligence which ultimately resulted in Eve’s adultery*.
*To be developed in a future article.
[i] Bible, Genesis 2:7 [ii] Bible: Genesis 1:11 [iii] Bible: Genesis 1:27 [iv] Bible: Genesis 2:4-7 [v] Bible: Genesis 2:8-9 [vi] Bible: Luke 10:21 [vii] Bible: Luke 6:43-45 [viii] Bible: Matt 7:15-16 [ix] Bible: Matt 7:19-20 [x] Bible: Mark 8:24 [xi] Bible: Genesis 2:15 [xii] Bible: Genesis 2:16-17 [xiii] Bible: Genesis 4:3-4