The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
I''m re-reading the Bible. Not for any particular reason, except that I can, and I feel it will legitimize my nonbelief. The first time around it led me out of faith. Who knows? Maybe the second time around, I'll be led back into it ...
I'm on Chapter 6 of Genesis.
When I left off last time I was at Chapter 3, where God plays hide and seek with Adam and Eve, and later punishes the both of them for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and even admits there are other gods (see the last note).
Adam and Eve ate the fruit and became ashamed. When they heard God WALKING and TALKING in the garden, they hid and God couldn't find them. God called unto Adam, and said unto him, "Where art thou?"
Keep this version of God in mind because Yahweh changes later on in the Bible. He becomes more ephereal and not so limited to the physical realm. At this stage of the Israelite evolution, the God of the Bible is nothing more than one god out of many - a myth with concepts borrowed from previous Canaanite/Sumerian myths like the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Enuma elish.
Chapter 4 is similarly filled with problems. To summarize, Adam has sex with Eve, presumably for the first time, and they have kids. Cain and Abel. Cain is an agricultural kind of guy, and Abel is an animal herder. When they give a sacrifice to God, God likes Abel's sacrifice (presumably because God likes the smell of blood and gore). Cain is then jealous of Abel, and so he kills his brother. After coming to the conclusion that Cain murdered his brother, God banishes Cain.
Here's where it gets weird - Cain is actually worried that other people will find him and kill him! First of all, how many people are there in the world? At this point, I just thought three - Cain and his parents. Even stranger, God is just as worried that someone will kill Cain, so He puts a mark on Cain and then sends Cain packing eastward (the land of Nod).
And then Cain "knew his wife". Where the hell did he get the wife!!???!! After knowing his wife, Cain's wife gives birth to Enoch and they built a city. A CITY FOR ONE FAMILY!!??!!
Okay, so Chapter 4 is pissing me off. I must have glossed over this stuff the last time I read the Bible.
Chapter 5 fares no better. It's just a list of Adam's offspring, from Cain's son Lamech and Adam's other son Seth. These people live to be 900 years plus. Holy crap! At the end, the infamous Noah is born.
And that leaves me at Chapter 6. There's a lot of things happening in Chapter 6, so I'm going to leave that for the next note, or blog (whatever). Tune in next time as I try to tease out some meaning from this turning point for mankind, when God kills off almost all of humanity, and then feels bad about it afterwards!