Tuesday, December 27, 2016

But you got it all wrong!

It is clear in Genesis 3 that in eating the forbidden fruit and becoming like ʿelōhîm the man and the woman had transgressed a very significant boundary between the human and divine spheres. In the Mesopotamian pît pî and the Egyptian wpt-r, however, the opening of the eyes, which signified the image’s (re-)birth and the transformation of the image into a living manifestation of an ʿel (Akkadian ilu), was precisely the goal. Although there is a notable difference between the opening of the eyes in Gen 2:5–3:24, which signified the acquisition of illicit wisdom, and the opening of the eyes in the mīs pî pīt pî and wpt-r, which indicated the image’s vitality, it does seem that the Eden author is playing with the idea of the “opening of the eyes” as a means to life. In his story, however, the outcome is reversed. The man and the woman, who were created and animated prior to the opening of their eyes, now faced banishment, exile, decay, and eventual death.—The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, page 42

<idle musing>
They already were alive and animated—before they ate the fruit! They had no need of it, unlike the images of the gods, who were inanimate until the opening of their eyes when the spirit of the deity entered them, thus animating them. By trying to add to what God had already done, they reversed the process. Sound familiar? We're still doing the same thing...
</idle musing>

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