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What’s really original here

A poem on Genesis 2:15–17, 3:1–7 for the First Sunday in Lent (A).

Photo by explorenation # on Unsplash

The Lord God governs by the seat of his pants

In this passage, or so it seems.
He creates the man, and then
Has the idea to put him in the garden.

Why didn’t he create him in the garden in the first place, and save a step?

He commands the man that he may eat of every tree.
Oh, wait, he thinks. Maybe not.
Scratch that idea of eating from the tree
Of the knowledge of good and evil.

So why did he start out with “every,” anyway, so he had to backtrack?

God comes up with the brilliant punishment
Of death, not just someday, but on that day,
The day when the man might eat from the tree
That’s now forbidden.

What kind of God issues idle threats, anyway, unless he’s just making it up?

The text doesn’t absolve God from responsibility, either:
He’s the one who made a crafty wild animal.
Plus (before the invention of Dr. Doolittle),
One who talks! And is understood!

Why create a talking, crafty animal in the first place?

Apparently, God is protective of his place in the scheme of things.
At least (if the serpent knows the score)
God would prefer the man not be like him,
Which means, knowing good and evil.

Okay, the obvious, now: So why make that tree in the first place?

Now, before she has the knowledge of good and evil,
The woman sees that the fruit is good for food
And was a delight to the eyes
And was to be desired to make one wise.

Does she have any say in the matter? Whence delight? And who is the subject of that last passive phrase—unless it’s God?

Apparently, the man, not quite as quick-witted, didn’t see the things the woman did.
He was with her, but maybe he was wondering
How all of a sudden he got to be this woman’s husband,
Without benefit of clergy, and all.

And how could he be a husband (and she a wife?) if they didn’t know a good thing when they saw it yet?

They eat the fruit, and their eyes are opened.
And all of a sudden they get the concept of nakedness!
And sewing! And metaphor!
(I mean, presumably, nobody had woven loincloth yet!)

There are way too many questions here.

Why do we have to do backflips to make sense of this tale?
Why spoil it with something nowhere to be found in the text?
Why not call it original relationship? Because, really.
Isn’t that what this new, astonishing God wants with you and me, a little give and take?

A little, well . . . love?

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