Continued from yesterday…

We begin with the backdrop to the story, because otherwise this tale of trees in the Garden of Eden can be pretty depressing. Before the Hebrew writers (who had been slaves and were now in exile in Babylon) share the story of trees, they want future generations of Jewish people to know that in spite of what they had experienced, they believed in the goodness of humanity.

They begin their story by saying that creation is inherently good, created in the image and likeness of God, who “breathes” the essence of divine life into visible matter, and makes man and woman living souls. And that is very good. But somehow a tree gets in the way and changes the course of their history.

Resembling narratives of other traditions, the Hebrew story of the Garden of Eden is about a talking snake, a man and a woman, a god who is out for a morning stroll in the woods, and (of course) two trees. The story seems bizarre, but as many myths told throughout history, it has a deeper meaning.

To be continued tomorrow…

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