Pronouncements in Eden
by Alison Rowan
I wish here to outline all the places where it is recorded that God did speak before and in the garden of Eden, to see what was said to whom and why. There is a very good reason why doing this is important.
As both God and Creator, all authority and power and majesty belong to Him over all that he created through speaking His Living Word. From Romans 9:20-21, it is clear that God, the Potter has absolute authority over the thing formed from the clay -- Adam, then Eve from the same substance. We know that God passed on some authority to mankind, but when and how? Through what He said! Knowing this is vital, since authority is both exercised and delegated through WORDS! No permission, prohibition or commission is given without WORDS, so exactly what were they? Since recognising these statements is very essential, then they MUST be recorded. If they are not recorded, THEN THEY WERE NOT SAID!! It is deceitful, presumptious and manipulative to ‘put Words in God’s mouth’ that He did not say.
In Genesis one, Elohim ‘says’ (amar) words and their creative power cause the thing described to materialise. The persons of the Godhead also said (amar) to each other in Gen 1:26 “ “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over …..” At this point, Mankind was not the one being addressed, but those words initiated our existence, our calling and our purpose. Gen 1:27 describes what the image and likeness of God IS in which Mankind was created. It is not described as ‘love’ nor ‘spirit’, both of which in the NT describe what God is. No, the image of God that is described is ‘male and female’.
This is our purpose -- to BE the image of God in all His facets. To display His attributes and character and in that compatibility, to have perfect fellowship with Himself and each other. Both male and female expressions are required to accomplish this.
Our calling is to spread the knowledge of the glory of the Lord throughout the earth, through righteous dominion over all the works of his hands. It is seen in the following words of commission.
Gen 1:28 God blessed (barak) them saying (amar) “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God has not revoked this call, either! For a more thorough examination of our Purpose, Calling and Role, please see the linked article.
Next come words of permission in Gen 1:29-30 regarding what we and the animals may eat.
All of the words in Gen 1:28-30 are a delegation of the Creator’s authority equally to the Man and the Woman, yet the patriarchalists ADD subliminally to God’s words ‘as long as the man is leading’. It is NOT written, but that is what they teach.
Genesis 2 fills in the detail between Gen 1:26 and 1:27 and introduces the Garden of Eden to be our home for us to tend/cultivate and keep/watch/be a doorkeeper/guard. Initially the Potter formed one male body from the dust into whose nostrils he breathed the breath of life. This one He commanded (tsavah) in Gen 2:16-7 giving permission and prohibition. God was here exercising HIS authority as Creator over his handiwork, but also granting authority (permission) regarding diet to Adam along with a strict prohibition regarding that fateful Tree.
There is no expression of Adam’s hierarchy over Eve to be found in God giving this command to Adam alone. God's specific command to Adam in verse 17 is simply because the Woman was not there, nor yet formed. How can he have authority over someone who does not exist?
Similarly, Thomas, who saw Jesus after the others, was not outranked by them. And, Paul, who became an apostle well after the 12 (who had heard all the instructions of Jesus), was not outranked by them, but became an equal brother. Also, Andrew, having “found the Messiah” ahead of Peter, had no rank over him. The Samaritan woman at the well had no authority over her town that came to Christ, despite her hearing first.
We are equally responsible to the commands given by Jesus as those who first heard them. Once we have heard God's word, which is alive and of equal weight as when He first spoke it, we are as responsible as the first who heard it. Therefore, when Eve heard via Adam the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was as good as if God had personally told her. And, she was as responsible to keep that command as he was.
Adam did not outrank her for having heard first any more than Nicodemus could be said to outweigh Priscila. Being the first to receive information or instruction is not a sign of hierarchy being established.
Should Mary Magdalene outrank the eleven because she believed first and was the first to be commanded by Jesus to share the good news? Of course not! But, this is how this logic is being used against Eve.
This command over what to eat is the first SPOKEN giving of authority to Adam. This is before God’s later blessing to BOTH male and female mankind to have dominion over all the works of His hand. God gave Adam no command to tend the garden nor to name the animals - these was not a commissioning, but tasks to be done, under God’s authority. The Lord at this point STILL had all authority over all that he had made. At this point, he had not delegated it to Adam AND his wife. Think of this as him being allowed to drive another’s car on their licence. He neither possesses the car nor the legal documents, nor is he ‘the registered keeper’ at this point. (God handed over ‘the car and the legal documents’ to both when man and wife stood before Him later on.)
ADAM HAD NO AUTHORITY OVER ANYTHING HE NAMED, INCLUDING HIS WIFE. GOD HELD ALL AUTHORITY AS THE CREATOR.
Gen 2:18. God said it was ‘not good’ that Adam should be ‘alone’. Why? ‘Alone’ (le-bad-dow) is derived from ‘bad’ (separation, a part) and in this form occurs 37 times. Examples of its uses are:
Gen 30:40 his own herds ‘apart’
Ex 22:20 The Lord ‘alone’
Deut 8:3 Not by bread ‘alone’
2 Sam 18:25 A man running ‘by himself’
Job 9:8 Who ‘alone’ stretches out the Heavens
Is there any conceivable way that this word means lacking a companion for emotional support?
Or that her being created ‘for’ him, was for his use to satisfy his personal needs?
When the Patriarcalists and Complementarians insist that THIS definition is applied through 1 Cor 11:9, that the Man was not created for the Woman, it flings wide open the door for spousal abuse, by those who are hard-hearted enough to ignore the instructions to love and honour and give themselves up for her.
Eve was NOT created for Adam for that reason, but for procreation and more importantly because Adam could not fulfill his purpose to be the image and likeness of God without her expression of God’s feminine characteristics when ruling Creation together.
So, FOR THIS PURPOSE, Eve became Adam’s ezer kenedgo -- the one who supplied active intervention on his behalf where he was unable to fulfil his purpose ’alone’, perfectly compatible and matching him as a mirror image, each mutually supplementing their strengths to the other.
Their perfect companionship was a happy by-product, but not the reason for her to be ‘for’ him.
Please see this link where I look in more detail at the meanings of these words and how they apply to ezer kenedgo.
The KJV seventeenth century English translation of ezer kenedgo reads as ‘an help meet for him’ comprising the words, ‘an help’ = helper and ’meet’ = suited to or comparable to. The patriarchalists pervert this phrase and coin the word ‘helpmate’ to emphasise the aspect of companionship, procreation and subordinate assistance that they would have us believe was the reason for Eve’s creation. This is deceitful and manipulative, spoken by a forked tongue.
After the one with the forked tongue queried God’s integrity and perfect purpose, fooled Eve, caused the destruction of the perfect image of God through Adam’s rebellion, and tricked him into handing over the ‘car and documents’, God had stern words to say. Since I am looking at the delegation of authority in this post, I will not look at God’s interrogation here but will concentrate on these words which are the next authorisations that God gives.
Gen 3:14-5 God said (amar) to the Serpent many things that were both creative (lost its legs) and prophetic (the Woman’s Seed) as well as granting permission for there to be enmity between her kind and his. The serpent’s kind are still persecuting women, but that permission was annulled through the crushing of the serpent’s head.
Gen 3:16 God said creative words about greatly increasing her sorrow and pain in conception and childbearing. He prophesies her unrequited desire to continue in the sweet mutuality as one flesh with her husband, but God grants permission for patriarchy instead.
THIS IS WHERE PATRIARCHY BEGAN.
It was also annulled in the resurrection to a new creature, no longer to be regarded according to the flesh, where all are one in Christ Jesus, regardless of race, social class or gender. All are equal as the new temple made without hands and dividing walls. The Spirit of God fills all and anoints all according to his calling, being no respecter of persons.
Gen 3:17-19 God’s creative word puts the beautiful Creation under a curse into bondage to futility. It groans together, waiting for the ‘sons’ of God in male and female bodies, to come into their own glory and to once again rule as the wife of the Second Man when He returns. God prophesies that Man will labour and toil and grants permission to till the ground and then return to the dust. There is the promise in Christ that one day, out of that dust, a new and glorious body, like unto his own will arise.
The final pronouncement in Gen 3:22, was to send Adam and Eve away from the Tree of life, lest they become eternally sealed in their fallen state.
I hope all can see how evident it is that God granted no permission to Adam to have a ‘leading role’ while his wife supported him. This is a fabrication of patriarchal imagination and any such assertion is ADDING words to God’s decrees.
It is deceitful. It is wrong.
There was NO PATRIARCHY IN PARADISE!
Shalom to all,