Seizing vs. Receiving Power • Firstborn Ep. 2

[Music] Welcome to the second episode in a new Theme study called the theme of the Firstborn In the ancient world power was handed Down to the firstborn son didn't matter Your credentials didn't matter your Character it's just were you born first But the god of the Bible has a habit of Choosing the second born or the Latecomer the least expected choosing That person to have power to rule these Are lights that do the thing that God Did they separate day from night he is The ruler but now there's these mini Rulers who are given responsibility for The thing that God did and they are Called symbols a symbol is something That stands to represent something Greater than itself this theme shows up First in the Bible in a surprising place In Genesis 1 where God creates rulers of The sky and rulers of the land the Rulers of the sky they come first and in Genesis 1 they're called lights the Human rulers come last in the sequence They don't come first they come last Even the animals are before them the Last Comer is the one who is given the Authority to rule over the land but Isn't interesting as you read through The Hebrew Bible it's consistently the Late Comer that God elevates to places Of rule and Authority

Rulers represent God They are the host of Heaven what we Would call Spiritual Beings or Angels They're powerful they're magnificent and Glorious and they're first but then on Day six God creates a new creature a Creature of the land a creature of the Dirts man and woman together are his Image to rule over the Earth these Readers of the Garden of Eden narrative In the second temple period knew their Hebrew Bible was way better than most Any of us do And they saw within the Eden story God Elevating the late Comer the second born As it were over the firstborn of the Seven day creation narrative this Authority given to humans to rule the Earth as an elevated position and so When you get to the story of this Mysterious creature in the garden a Devious snake whose goal is to keep Adam And Eve from embracing their identity to Rule on his behalf you're meant to Wonder who is this snake why is it Trying to screw things up and as we read This story of the Fall In the Garden of Eden alongside other stories in the Hebrew Bible and some commentary from Other second temple texts we're gonna See the sibling rivalry here in the Creation accounts I'm John Collins and You're listening to Bible project Podcast thanks for joining us

Here we go Okay [Music] [Applause] So we're continuing this conversation in A new theme called the firstborn the Firstborn the theme of the firstborn yes Yeah and we did a big overview looking At the whole story of the Bible and how This theme shows up how basically There's this cultural assumption yep That in a family the person born first The is usually the son born first Gets a special right Double portion of inheritance more Authority they're the new patriarch so This cultural practice that because they Were the first fruit of the womb the First one in line yeah like they get This position of power Yep this is a Cultural assumption That's in the background of the whole Biblical story meaning it was a assumed Practice In ancient Israel and all of its ancient Neighbors but then you showed us how Throughout the entire biblical story What we get are story after Story Of God Subverting yeah this cultural norm That's right that's right and giving the Favor or the blessing yeah the Responsibility over future inheritance Or authority yeah God consistently and By consistently in the first goal of the

Hebrew Bible in Genesis every generation It's like every generation and it's one Of the main prominent themes of many Generations is this inversion of the Right of the firstborn and this really Becomes a poignant moment when we get to David being appointed as the next king Of Israel that there's a moment where God says look You're looking at the outward appearance And you're looking at who's first yeah What I care about is what's in the heart Yeah and I'm choosing David who's the Last he's the runt yeah because of What's in the heart so there's so this Theme kind of comes to a head and this Idea of I'm gonna give Authority and Power to someone who can actually handle It yeah or or not but then he does it Yeah all right I mean David can't handle It okay and neither do most of the People that he inverts The firstborn practice and gives it to Some younger sibling but they Consistently you know blow it too but You're right in that the portrait for Why God is doing this and opposing this Institution is that it's some opposition To humans Are constantly valuing prioritizing Things that are based on shallow External Like factors and they are constantly After power I'm saying they as if I'm

Not one that the demons the we the Human Family is constantly after power Privilege prestige And we'll do almost whatever it takes to Get ourselves or you know our children Will cause chaos it Causes Chaos and Immense pain and ruin in the human story And so when God opposes this it's You know thematized in Proverbs like God's opposed to the proud but he gives Favor to the humble Or in Hannah's poem that she's the Beginning of first Samuel that God Brings down rulers from their Thrones And he elevates those who sit in the Dust to sit on the throne of princess Yeah God loves to overturn abusive human Power Systems in his Providence and this Theme of the inversion of the firstborn Is what this is about and it comes to Its climax in Jesus who's portrayed as You know a an outsider yeah from a poor Status yep yep and who then through his Obedience death and Resurrection all of A sudden you realize There's something incredible about this Man yeah you know I guess we didn't Highlight this in the last conversation But not only is Jesus's own Origins Are shown to be from poor humble kind of Circumstances but then also the people Who he prioritizes oh yeah in announcing Their arrival of God's kingdom are the Same types of people the sick the poor

The Outsider and he says they are the Ones who are God's Royal emissaries Being invited to join the Royal party First yeah and that's his crew right the Kingdom of God upside down kingdom that Kind of the kingdom of God as a kingdom Of the low status yeah low status and Then he epitomizes that as the king of This new royal family by going to Jerusalem on a packed holiday weekend And poking the bear On purpose in order to provoke a Conflict with the leaders the religious And political leaders of Jerusalem and It ends up getting him killed which Seems like it's what he planned on Having happened and in being crucified As a criminal And trusting which is a low super low Status yeah the lowest the lowest of the Low yeah He trusted that his father would Vindicate and exalt him even beyond the Grave and it's because he believed in a Status that he had that was yeah pretty Much bigger that preceded his birth yes Yeah which then Paul the Apostle Paul Will Riff on and call the status of Being the first the first the firstborn Over all creation or in the Revelation Jesus says that he's the firstborn from Among the dead he is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end he Transcends our categories of first and

Last he just is he is the one who is so This this intuition I suppose that we Have as humans that there's something Special about being the firstborn is not Completely wrong in the sense yes yeah That there is a firstborn overall Creation Some being someone with actual Authority And power and Rule because of being the First yeah although to put it to say First is already to fit it into our Concept of time yeah sure sequence and The claim The classic you know claim about the Identity and nature of God in Jewish and Christian tradition is that God isn't Just first in time because then time Would be first [Music] [Laughter] But rather that what we mean by God is The one in whom all existence and Reality is so God has to be first to be God is to be the one who is it's the one From the burning bush oh yeah I am the One I am I am that I am the being whose Existence depends on nothing else they Are reality in reality is encompassed Within that one and so that's what it Means to say I'm the alpha and the Omega The beginning and the end Yeah so when Jesus is called the Firstborn it's using a metaphor of a Human Institution to describe the status

Eternal status and so we'll talk about This more when we get in our later Episodes to focus on those New Testament Passages more but we're just right now In the how this theme works in the Biblical story there's this surprise Yeah yeah that you thought Jesus was the Late born of low social rank but in Reality he is the one Who is the first and the last the Beginning and the end and then he's the One who is starting a new type of family Yeah and we are called to be part of That family and so he's the first born Amongst many brothers that's right Paul Calls Jesus the firstborn among many Siblings any siblings yeah yeah not just Brothers not just brothers yeah and that We are being made into his image and so This idea of wanting to be the image of God to have God's authority to rule in a Way to be important and Powerful yeah Hmm it's not a bat it's the right Calling yeah it is in fact the identity Of the Human family on page one of Genesis but the problem is is how are we Going to go and get that yeah that's Right and then the scheming of who's Going to be first and how am I going to Get a firstborn that's going to be for My family and that whole then that just Causes all the problems exactly right And so then you have Jesus who is the Firstborn in this Meadow Way than saying

Now become like me [Music] Which means to be first you actually Yeah need to become less you need to Become less yep and this is again Anticipating you know probably our final Conversation in this series but this is For Paul in his letter to the Philippians in the poem in chapter two That's how it begins he was in his very Nature God but he didn't treat his Equality with God as something to be Grabbed for his vegan self-advantage Rather he emptied himself of that Power and privilege to give up his life And so you win by losing kind of thing By losing four others so that's the Medicine that's the meta theme yep and Then you left us on a cliffhanger and You said you know you would think this Theme begins with Cain and Abel they're The first two brothers yeah Keynes the Older Abel's the younger God favors Abel And so the sibling rivalry happens and The theme of the firstborn kicks off yep Now you said it starts earlier yeah I Think the idea starts earlier yes that's Right so what we're going to do is focus On the role of humans in relationship to The rest of creation as it's portrayed And the first two narratives of Genesis Okay the seven day creation narrative And the Garden of Eden narrative And if you pay close attention to the

Literary design Of these stories That invite you to focus your meditation On certain relationships In the story Some really fascinating things unfold And I've mentioned this over the years In the podcast but I'm convinced that This is a part of the meaning of the Story And I learned I wasn't crazy as I found Lots of other second temple Jewish Literature that showed that people were Tracking with these ideas before Cain And Abel so all that's today let us turn Our attention to the relationship of the Sky rulers and the land rulers in Genesis 1. shall we let's do it Foreign [Music] So we probably more than any other part Of the Bible have focused our attention On the early pages of Genesis so I will Do my best to be brief But some people are going to be Listening who have no idea that's true That's right okay so I'll try and do a Summary but we do have a video on the Seven day creation narrative that does a Better job than I could right now of Explaining the design and message of Genesis the visual commentary Genesis One that's right the seven day creation Narrative

Begins and ends with a prologue and Epilogue and in the middle of those are The six days of God working yep so it Begins with the land it begins with a Summary statement in the beginning God Created the skies in the land how did That happen what did it involve The Narrative proper begins It begins with a statement talking about The pre-creation state which is Described in two ways two words tohu Vavoho Uh is usually translated formless and Void in the main English main translations main Translation tradition what it means is Unordered and uninhabited tohu unordered Uninhabited that's right yeah or as Everett fox in his a Jewish scholar Produced a translation of the Torah that I love he translates it wild and waste He uses the W alliteration to capture The the rhyme of the Hebrew words So what God does is address those two States states as it were in order So days one through three are all about Bringing order to the wild unordered Bringing order to the unordered bring Honor to the unordered days four five And six are about filling the Uninhabitable Wasteland with inhabitants So the separation there's three Separations on the first three days Light and dark

It's ordering light from dark covering Light from dark day two is about the Separation of the waters below from the Waters above so you got the chaos Waters God separates them and now you've got Ocean and Sky yep that's right and then Day three the dry land is separated from The waters okay yep so now you've got a Little snow globe You've got the yes ancient cosmology Which is the snow globe yeah Cosmos yep So the source of the light on day one Is you know a classic kind of puzzle in The story to let there be light light Yeah and it's the question of where did That light come from yeah as you read on Through the rest of the Hebrew Bible the Primary way the presence of God within Creation is described is as fire or a Source of bright light yeah which makes You go back to day one and see that God Is confronting the darkness with his own With his own presence Enlighten however On day four we return to the topic of Light and dark and what God does is Appoint Lights or lamps it's the Hebrew word Maor And he a delic means lamp or lamp or Light yeah but something that has been Lit okay and what those are to do is They are now delegated to do the thing That God did on day one so God's light That showed up to order the void

Now God is delegating that power to the Lights to the lights that's right so on Day four Genesis chapter 1 verse 14 God Said let there be lights In the Dome of the Skies what Translation is that Uh this is just you well I'm already Translating my translation I think it Might be the name Two translations deep here I'm just Wondering if it is that let there let There be lights in the expanse of the Skies I'm curious what interview is yeah I got it all right Genesis 1 14. ah well Depends on what date of the NIV you're Reading okay so the most up-to-date one As of 2022 reads let there be lights in The Vault of the sky okay but it is Lights so let there be lights yep let There be lights yep okay two in order to Separate the day from the night And let them be And day and night were already separated Yeah day one God God did it personally Separated day from light that's right so Now they're being separated again in a Way The thing that God has already Established is now being delegated so That they will now have that same Separation power that happened yeah God's saying like now here's some lights That are going to do the same thing they Will do it and this is part of the

Biblical imagination for what are the Stars So they're going to be called at the end Of this chapter the host of Heaven which Is the same name given to the Luminous Angelic beings yeah the spirit beings Yeah Spiritual Beings so the stars are Imagined as creatures Who do God's will they dance their dance Or bring they show God's order they show And they display the order of time Through their yeah through their Movement through their movement which is Regular It's ordered it's the structure of time Yeah but there's a few that don't quite March to the same order Morning Star and They are called the planetes The Wanderers the Greek word planeto means To wander oh yeah and so the planetes is The wandering one is where we get a red Planet because there's a handful of Lights that seem like they're not in Coordination yeah they got their own Thing going they have their own pattern Yeah but it's a different one than the Other one they've got a rogue yeah so God made the two great lights the big Light to rule so we're using royal king Language to Rule the Day and the small Light to rule the night the Moon the Moon and also the stars and also the Star yep God placed them in the Dome of The Skies to give light on the land and

To rule The day and the night and to separate The night from The Darkness God solid It's good now to designate day from Night that makes sense but to rule Yeah that's like what how is this how is This Yeah the ruling they have a realm of Responsibility yeah which is to order Time God hands over oh sorry one detail In verse 14 that we left out is they are To separate the skies and let them be as Signs to Mark the sacred festivals And also days and years yeah so you know When to have Passover Passover yeah Sacred festivals how would you know you Look up where the Stars doing in older Versions of the NIV and many other English translations it says let them be As signs for the seasons making you Think of Like the Four Seasons and that's not What this word means it refers to the Sacred festivals that you're going to Read about in two Scrolls which Correspond with our you know sense of Seasons that's right yeah that's right But yeah but primarily it's referring to The seven festivals you'll read about in Exodus and Leviticus and numbers and so Another key is these lights are called Signs which is the Hebrew word oat which Is simple So they symbolize something they stand

In the place of something greater that's What a sign does okay right and the Thing they stand in place of is well it Leaves that to your you have to meditate On that what can you meditate for me So these are lights that do the thing That God did Yeah yeah they separate day from night So God was the ruler of day and night Yeah implied he is the ruler he is the Ruler but now there's these mini rulers Who are given responsibility For the thing that God did and they are Called symbols symbol is something that Stands to represent something greater Than itself now we're going to come back To this idea with a new word which is Image correct yeah is that a synonym or Is it a different idea it's a different Word it's a related word okay yeah I Don't know if it's so close to say a Synonym but it's definitely a related Word one thing that stands as a symbol Or representing another thing and that's What an image does but yeah they are Images of God's light they are little Lights little lights and so the question Is where did they get their light from By what power are these little lies by What Authority do they get to have Authority a threat and here is where It's important to see day four as a Parallel In relationship to day one so they are

Symbols of God's light They Are Spiritual Beings Whose in some aspects of their nature And being Point to the greatest spiritual being of All Lights pointing to the little the big Light So that's the lights and what's Significant is they're called rulers They're called symbols and they are due In the skies what God was doing yeah so What's interesting is that in the Structure literary design of Genesis the Seven degration narrative days one two And three have an important Relationship just under themselves it's A little Triad and day one matches day Three in some really important ways just In the repetition of keywords the Easiest one is that on day one we've got Orders time And he saw that it was good okay day two Separates Waters from the waters there's No pronouncement that it's good day Three God separates the waters from the Land and God saw that it was good okay So there's all these repeated words and Phrases in day one and three that mark Them as the beginning and the conclusion Of a little Triad unit days one two Three Similarly days four five and six have The same design where day four

Has all of this language that's uniquely Echoed not in day five but in day six Okay So let's go through days fourth we just Went through day four yeah day five is Where so God just filled the inhabitants Of the sky so the day one ordering of Day and night is now filled with Inhabitants yep so day one corresponds To day four yeah in a way yeah that's Right this is a lot of Correspondence It's a lot of Correspondence yeah that's Right um okay days one through three are A little sandwich their own little unit Yep and then what happens day four five And six go back and they're their own Little sandwich that map onto days won't Do that but they also match in a row Yeah the days one two three so day one Light and dark day four the inhabitants Of the sky are now the rulers of light And dark okay day five Matches day two so on day two God Separated Waters from above from the Waters below day five God appoints Inhabitants for the for those both of Those Waters so the birds in the air fly Against the face of the waters above And the fish in the sea swim in the Waters below and the face of the waters Above is that I mean water comes from The sky Where does that water come from yeah and So in ancient imagination there's water

There's a lot of water up there that's Right that comes down that's right yeah There's like a whole like ocean up there So there's like the Heavenly ocean yeah That's right the is drawn upon for Dew And rain and then the clouds mediate That down onto the land yep that's in The biblical imagination right and so God now puts inhabitants in those two Realms of the waters so in that way day Five matches day two okay when you get To day six What's interesting is our attention Turns back to the land yeah Which was exactly the focus of day three Day three God separates the land from The waters that's right and so day three Is now matched by day six but what's Fascinating okay so remember you had two Triads yeah yeah days one and four yeah Light and dark days Two and five Waters above much below Days three and six for folks on the land Yeah but then when you're if you're just Zeroing in on days four through six as a Little sandwich what you'll notice is The topic of rulers and representatives Comes back up again yeah so now you're Meditating on the relationship of the Sky rulers To how they relate are similar different From these land rulers of day six So the first thing we're told on day six Is Elohim where God said let the land

Bring out living creatures According to their kind cattle creepers And beasts of the land So And we're told God made the beasts of The land the cattles and the creepers so The land produces animals What's a creeper Oh anything that's low to the ground Okay Bugs snakes Okay marmots Weasels bunnies bunnies yeah okay yeah Yeah things that go low on the ground Could go low yeah that's right so Beasts Of the land are Non-domesticated kind of wild I think Quadrupeds you know Lions Bears yeah Panthers Um cattle referring domestic Domesticated animals and then creepers Or you know the little little guys so First of all you have the interesting Way to like categorize delineate all the Animals yeah yeah yeah this is all about The kosher food laws oh things are being Categorized with an eye towards the Israel okay kosher food loss of Israel In Leviticus in your or the Rabbit hole so you got the animals they Come first Yeah they come first The living creatures living creatures Then verse 26 then Elohim said let us Make human

In our image according to our likeness And let them rule over The fish of the sea The birds of the sky The cattle over all the land and over Every creeper that creeps on the land so All the creatures but they came before Them yeah the land the water and the sky Creatures the birds I don't typically Think of The ruling yeah when I see an eagle I'm not like on its own schedule totally I did not rule that thing however There was and still is an awareness that We are more powerful than noodles and That we can't affect them in a positive Or negative way and that's certainly True yeah but we're not out in the ocean Like telling the sturgeon what to do Well until we capture them and farm them Yeah that kind of thing so what's Interesting here is the relationship of Humans to fish and land creatures feels Pretty intuitive yeah But to the sky the sky creatures that's Interesting okay so human authority Reaches up to the sky even yeah well Into the Depths I think that's not I Think that's also not as very intuitive Like the only way do I rule the whale Yeah or the Leviathan no oh right dude Dude No this is wild uh this was an article In The Oregonian organ newspaper there

Was a couple kayaking this didn't happen This summer but I think previous summer But it became a viral video I don't know How I didn't see it when it happened a Few years ago they're kayakers around These big humpback whales feeding off The Oregon coast yeah and a couple Straight up Get swallowed no yes like a big humpback Mouth open what comes up it's on video And yes closes his mouth around it spits Them out it spits them out a little bit Later like the full Jonah moment they Survived oh my gosh but they spent I Don't remember how long getting jostled Around inside the huge mouth of a Humpback whale before it spit them out Can you imagine goodness can you imagine Yeah you're not ruining that thing I just Astounding it's astounding it's a Terrifying thing to watch and I love Kayaking like I love kayaking but anyway So yeah definitely not ruling over that So that's what's interesting about this Portrait of the human images Is that you think our domain's just the Land yeah and the Beast that we can like Domesticate but that everything else is Like you know don't mess with the bear Don't mess with and then of course not The birds like they're on their own yeah Level like they can cruise up into space That you're have no access to and think

And in the ancient context right so 2500 Years ago 3000 years ago and this is Written at that point in human history Agriculture obviously is really Developed yeah animal cultivation yeah Like that's all develop and you know I There were homing pigeons And like maybe you know people would Train some Hawks you know that kind of Thing yeah but like and obviously Fishing yeah have you seen the Mongolians who hunt with Hawks no oh oh Man that's a full thing totally tame Hawks and hunt with them or Eagles so Maybe it's that kind of thing that's Imagined by that humans Have this capability to use their minds I see yeah to bring a level of order and Rule over any creature that it meets yes Even the most wild ones but not humpback Whales well you know But you know at some point they're out There spearing whales you know exactly Totally but what's fascinating is this Portrait it's this is an exalted Portrait yeah of human responsibility Yeah certainly exalted over most normal Certainly over my experience you know What I'm saying yeah like it's realistic But also it's fairly exalted to most People's experience like I don't depict Myself as a ruler of the sky and the Creatures in it I just don't think of Myself that way

But that's the portrait here yeah and Such a being that has such an exalted Place is said to be an image of God So the same idea of God created these Symbols Sky rulers to represent him in The way that he had authority over time And day and night and ordering the Cosmos in that way yeah here are the Humans on the land yeah being given the Authority to rule over the creatures of The creatures of the land yes that's Right so as God's image that's right so The literary design of days four through Six as a Triad And the repetition of image and symbol And ruler makes the rulers of the sky And the rulers of the land kind of match Each other yeah as the outer parts of a Little sandwich that is days four Through six right and that's interesting Because it's comparing that God has Delegated the rule above and the rule Below God's delegated rule yeah this is The god who wants to share Yeah Power and responsibility and the Thought that's the fundamental portrait Of this being yeah called Elohim is it The being who sustains order And then within that order wants to Share power and privilege and Responsibility and we share that in Common with Angelic beings correct yeah That's right yeah and over distinct Realms these Sky rulers have their Realm

You know they govern time and the Structure of time in the order which is Viewed as like foundational to The Weave Of creation and then the humans have Their responsibility the terrestrial Which is the land Yeah and the blessing of reproduction Right be fruitful and multiply fill the Land rule over it that's profound man to Say whatever Beautiful Mind is at the Heart of the universe Is a being that wants to share existence And responsibility With created partners [Music] [Music] So That's the portrait here yeah so let's Notice that there's that relationship Between the sky rulers and the land Rulers it's the land rulers who are Given I think the well it depends on Your view of cosmology but they're given A big realm to rule so that's Interesting comparison or contrast Between them and Sky rulers and then Also let's just notice that the human Rulers come last in the sequence of the Six days They don't come first they come last Yeah and even the animals are before Them which is true in this narrative It's also true in the narrative for Example the fossil record you know it

Seems to tell so yeah right but that's Not what this is concerned with no That's true I'm just I'm extrapolating It as I meditate on it so The last Comer is the one who has given The authority to rule over the land yeah The latecomer yeah so you could just do Nothing without observation but isn't Interesting as you read through the Hebrew Bible It's consistently the late Comer that God elevates to places of Rule and authority and you know it makes You go back to Genesis one be like That's interesting because most Intuitively God would have given the Rule of the land also to the Angels or The hosts of Heaven yeah they're up There they oversee it all yeah yeah and In a way like in Greek mythology that's The case yes like they're the ones that They're ruling yeah absolutely and in Ancient Israel's context Babylon Egypt Assyria Canaan it's the forces of nature But definitely the lights in the sky are Viewed as old in Egypt right the Sun Ray I mean these are the ultimate among the Pantheon of deities It's usually the sky Gods that are like at the top and if in Any way maybe some of the humans Represent them yes that's right yeah the Ultimate compliment for a human is to Say they're an incarnation of one of the Sky rulers right correct yeah but here

It's reversed yeah the sky rulers have Power and Dominion yeah that's right but It's separated from then a Dominion that The humans are given that's right They're both called yep well one's Called an oat is that right yeah yep the Lights above the symbol the symbol and The humans are called an image yes Salem Sell them sell them sell them yep yeah That's right And sell them particularly refers to a Carved statue it's the word for statue a Statue that represents whereas the word Sign or symbol can refer to lots of Things I guess my point there was The angels are more powerful and they're More exalted more exalted and they came First and they rule the sky yes why not Also then be the ones that rule the Earth yeah and here's these late comers Who are also like yeah just these dirt Creatures yeah yeah who then God says Actually you're gonna rule that's right The land yeah this is a uniquely Elevated Depiction of human identity and human Dignity In terms of the ancient world yeah this Is a very elevated view that stands in Contrast to how other cultures imagined The heavens and the Earth yeah So that itself is worth observing and Just there you go now let's pause on That let's turn our attention to the

Next narrative which is the Garden of Eden story which depicts creation from Another angle and with a different set Of images that have their own connection To ancient culture and we've done whole Conversations on that what I want to Focus on is just a couple things first Of all that um you're talking about Genesis two Genesis 2 the story of Stories yep the garden but you also have An alternate story about the creation of Order and abundance on the land yes that Um is told not in the sequence of seven Days but in the sequence of just one Yeah long day undifferentiated day and So that begins in Genesis 2 verse 4 this Is the birth account the birth story of The sky guys in the land when they were Created first it focuses on a Wilderness An empty wilderness but God provides a Stream a little spring of water that Pops up and begins to hydrate the land And plants grow up as happens when water When the soil is watered here on planet Earth And what also God does with some of that Mud that hydrated Adama the ground is he Forms Adam human From that ground and then breathes into His nostrils the breath of life and man Human becomes a living being now God Also plants a garden in the east in Eden And there God placed the human that he Had formed so you get this portrait here

Where the humans are put there In this Lush Garden land that God has Provided through no effort or just God Loves to take dirt creatures and Elevate Them to the Thrones of princes and give Them chances to care and have Responsibility so God commissions the Human to work and take care of this Garden so here's God delegating again You work and take care of it so this is A parallel image to ruling in Genesis 1 You put these two narratives now God has Formed a dirt creature Given that dirt creature Divine breath To animate them as a gift and now gives Them A Divine task which is to Steward the Ground yeah it's very similar to the Idea of humans representing God God is The one who provided the garden but now Humans are being given the Responsibility To care for and oversee the garden so Same idea as Genesis 1 just different Language imagery got it so the human Can't do this job alone And so what God does is lead the human On a educational Journey Of discerning what is the best type of Partner and first it's a negative lesson God puts the human in a situation where He gets to meet all the animals just to Meet all the animals and what the human Comes to realize is that these animals

Are cool and he starts to categorize Them but there's no corresponding Ally Or partner among them with whom he can Rule creation yeah and so this all Conversations did you ever see the Adamant dog do you watch that no no what I don't know what you're talking about Is this the movie is it a show it's a Short animated film oh about Adam oh Really meeting Eve but his his Companions is a dog and it's a story About Adam and his dog wow and them like Exploring and meeting the animals and oh And Eve okay it's really cool oh I can't Wait to see it Yeah I think I think it won it was Nominated for an Oscar Dog 2011 short film Made by minky Lee Yeah it was nominated for best animated Short Didn't win didn't win but it did win Best animated short at the 39th Annie Awards huh I'd be really curious what you think of It actually it's been a while since I've Seen it wow oh 16 minutes yeah I want to see this yeah okay thank you Adam and dog Adam and dog okay so oh Okay notice here that the order of Humans and animals is reverse from what It is in the seven day yeah story isn't That interesting yeah God creates the Animals second in this story yeah after

Humans human first Alone human first then animals then God Splits the human into male and female So it's similar ideas Genesis 1 but the Chronological sequence is different and Those are all puzzles that we totally Have aside But what's interesting is once you get The human pair male and female In the garden with their vocation to Work and to care once you reach that the End of Genesis 2 you're like you have Reached now the same point as you were At the end of the seven day narrative You're like sweet all right we've Reached the same point through two Narrative images and you read them in Light of each other and you're like this Pair is a king and queen they're Destined to rule that's great So what is interesting is the next story Features an opponent an antagonist Whose identity is way understated whose Motives are unstated Um But a being and who kind of exists in The biblical World in a way that no Other creature seems to like it's a Creature that's the snake the snake the Snake that's kind of like this conscious Yeah animal oh sure who's talking yeah That doesn't happen exactly that's right And yeah lest we think that ancient People thought animals talked you know

It was no more common in the ancient World than it was in the modern world Yeah animals right they don't speak Human language so that's something the Narrative's way of flagging yeah this is It's not normal not normal something Remember not business as usual yep and What we're told is that this serpent was Tricky It knew how to take advantage of Opportune circumstances So there's a Nissan backstory and you've Got to read on to the Hebrew Bible this Classic meditation literature style Which means the Hebrew Bible will build Puzzles and ambiguities into earlier Stories that will only be clarified as You read on later into the collection Forcing you to reread it day and night Your whole life And so what this snake first does is Question God's generosity And then what the snake says and Trustworthiness yeah then attacks is Trustworthiness no you won't die if you Eat from that tree that God said will Kill you if you eat from it for God Knows that when you eat from it your Eyes will be open and you will be like Elohim Who know good and evil hmm So snake knows something about the Elohim yeah snake yeah snake knows Something about Spiritual Beings which

Is interesting So isn't it interesting that the two Creatures That come before The humans in the seven day narrative Are the sky rulers and the creatures the Animals right and the structure of days Four through six and that is precisely The form Of this creature here a land creature Who we have hunches and that seems to Know about the goings-on of the sky Rulers yeah do you see what I'm getting At here yeah there's something in other Words that little insight that we Thought maybe was interesting in Genesis 1 that the humans are last in comparison To the land creatures of day six and Then they're set in some kind of Contrast relationship or similarity To the sky rulers and then here's a Snake who seems to know the business of Sky rulers and is in the form of a land Creature it is like temptation is to say Don't you want to be like the sky rulers Yeah don't you want to be like okay so This is an ambiguity okay because what The snake says is you will be like Elohim Elohim which is a noun in Hebrew That doesn't mean spiritual being that Could be the plural of Spiritual Beings Or it is also the noun that stands for The singular spiritual being that is the Creator don't you want to be like yeah

We're gone yeah and I think it's an Intentional ambiguity okay don't you Want to be like the ultimate ruler the One whom you image which they should Want to be like and that's the tragic Irony is they are like hello the one Elohim yeah they already represent him And then if you take it the other way That Elohim means Spiritual Beings Plural It's the sad irony of luck but you've Already been given a whole realm to rule Why do you want what hasn't been Apportioned to you which is to Rule the Sky as well So fascinating yeah she's all loaded in Here so obviously there's some motive Here to get the humans D thrown or to Get them get them to eat of the to get Them to do what God yeah it said them Not to do but the motives remain Unstated for this creature but the Deception Works obviously and they end Up doing what God said not to do and so They bring on themselves and Exile out Of Eden that leads unto their death and Then the snake itself gets cursed and Assigned a position of low status in the Dirt you'll crawl on your belly and eat Dust And of to Future defeat from a seed of The woman that will be hostility between The snake and Humanity until the snake Is crushed by a future state of the

Woman So here's what's super interesting is That this parallelism this identity of The snake and what I'm just drawing Attention to these little details of the Design That leads you to think that this land Creature somehow connected to the sky Rulers this is the main interpretation Of the snake in all of the earliest Jewish literature that we know of Identifies the snake as a sky ruler in Disguise as a land creature and I think People who Jews who meditated on the Hebrew Bible and saw all these Connections begin to form a portrait of This being and its motives and this gets Explored later in the Hebrew Bible in The prophets and there's poems that Depict land rulers As if they are thinking of themselves as Sky rulers so the king of Babylon in Isaiah chapter 14 Isaiah makes fun of The king of Babylon whose kingdom is Collapsing and he's going to die soon And he makes fun of him And creates this little poem where he Imagines the king of Babylon thinking That he's a sky a God yeah this guy the The morning the Morning Star yeah yeah And then Ezekiel makes fun of the king Of tire And creates this little parody where the King of tire imagined himself to be a

Cherub In the Garden of Eden who rebelled and Was expelled down to the land it's Really fascinating so those represent Later biblical authors Who were tying in stuff about the sky Rulers and the land rulers so that's Within the Hebrew Bible itself yeah but Then second temple literature I've got a Handy dandy resource you just opened a Big book yeah for an easy way for Anybody to get into a resource where you Can see how the Hebrew Bible was being Read and interpreted in the centuries Before Jesus and then the centuries you Know after Jesus this is a scholar named James kugel the big reference book Called traditions of the Bible A guide to the Bible as it was at the Start of the Common Era but he works Through the Hebrew Bible in sequence and He's just collected from second temple Literature so later post Hebrew Bible Literature The ways that all the stories were Interpreted by later Jewish readers so What is interesting was he's collected a Whole bunch of interpretations of the Snake in its motives so there is the Second temple Jewish text called the Wisdom of Solomon that's Super Rad and It's actually included in some Christian Bibles okay Catholic and Orthodox and it Has a little line that says God created

Us that is Humanity for immortality Incorruption And made humans in the image of his own Eternity But through the devil's Envy Death entered the world and those who Belonged to his company experience it This is in a poem that's all about How God has chosen and exalted a special Servant who if that servant trusts and Does God's will is expressed in the laws Of the Torah they will live forever and Even experience life beyond death yeah Because that one is recapturing the Original Eternal life made available to Adam and Eve the tree that was forfeited because They gave in to the devil's Envy do you See that little interpretation yes that Was envious envious the snake is envious Envious of what Exactly This represents The mind of somebody who is thought Through yeah and meditated on these First stories of the Bible and come to The conclusion Which was why didn't God appoint the sky Rulers to also rule the land yeah yeah Like they could have done the job I bet They're qualified and in most of Israel's neighbors that is their role That is their role yeah to rule Heaven And Earth why should these lowly

Creatures get that responsibility and so This is all about the theme of the Firstborn exactly and yes and one of the Things that drives a lot of the problems With the firstborn yeah well can't Enable yeah the first one yeah that We're gonna come to next Envy it's Envy Yes yeah he's angry out of an implicit Envy yeah that his brother has been Exalted over him yeah it's not fair it's Not fair that's exactly right [Music] My hunch is that the author of this text The wisdom of Solomon actually saw a Parallel between the sky rulers and the Land rulers and also a parallel between Snake and Adam and Eve and between Cain And Abel yeah and has meditated on all Of it together And read the Envy of Cain back into the Envy of the snake that is as a disguised Sky ruler Who thinks that the latecomers shouldn't Be exalted over me yeah so the power Dynamics have begun yep okay so here's Another late Jewish text called second Enoch which actually comes from around I'm pretty sure the first century 880. Enoch's in some of the dude okay first Enoch actually comes yeah from about Around the third Century BC okay and it Is in one Orthodox the ethiopic Orthodox Church it's in there it's in there yeah The Christian Bible but the second Enoch

Is a statement that says that one from The order of the archangels Deviated Together with a division under his Authority he thought up the impossible Idea that he could place his throne Higher than the clouds above And above the Earth that he would become Equal to God's power this is kind of What I was taught yeah growing up yeah Totally this is like Satan's origin Story yeah exactly Satan yeah yeah in Another second jumbled Jewish text Called third Baruch it's the devil is Envious and tricks the humans but the Content of the Envy isn't made clear so Here's the Whopper okay so this is a Second temple Jewish text whose time and Origin is really debated it's called the Life of Adam and Eve and it's an Imaginative retelling of the Garden of Eden story But from some ultimate ultimate Hebrew Bible nerd who is reading all the themes And patterns of the later Hebrew Bible Into the Garden of Eden store and it is So fascinating so basically it imagines A conversation between Adam and the Snake Once they're all exiled out of Eden and At a mass the snake why'd you do that Yeah great you know that's the bottom of This like what happened and it's this Long speech from the snake yeah totally

Uh which reads oh Adam All my enmity and envy and sorrow Concerned you Since because of you I am expelled and Deprived of my honor that I had in the Skies in the midst of the Angels When you were created I was cast out From the presence of God and was sent Out from fellowship with the angels when God blew into you the Breath of Life And your countenance and likeness were Made in the image of God Mikhail Michael One of the sky rulers he brought you to Us and bid us all to bow down and give Allegiance to you in the presence of God And he called the Angels saying bow down To the image of the Lord God As the Lord has instructed Saying oh yeah and I answered I do not have to worship Adam I will not Worship someone inferior who came later Than me I am before him in creation before he Was made I was already made he ought to Bow down to me Um that interesting yeah so that's Really fascinating yeah so in a way What you were taught in Sunday school Yeah is the result of a long tradition Of meditation yeah on reading the Eden Story in light of how the themes develop In the rest of the Hebrew Bible yeah So it's not I don't think it's wrong but It's all unstated in the Eden story not

Interesting I'm saying that your story And it's pretty underdeveloped in the Hebrew Bible Although When you get to Genesis 5 is it and There's the kind of that like the Elohim Oh the sun developed the sons of God Yeah yeah it's it's like another little Window into there's some grander yeah That's right of like the relationship Between humans and the Elohim yep and How it yeah yeah how this works so this All fits into the firstborn and I saved That quote for the last yeah yeah it's Because these readers of the Garden of Eden narrative in the second temple Period knew their Hebrew Bible is way Better than most any of us do and they Saw Within the Eden story A god choosing the lowly God elevating The latecomer The second born as it were over the Firstborn of the seven-day creation Narrative which is the sky rule okay so This seems really maybe crucial is that There's something inherent to the way God rules from the very beginning yes Which is elevating The Humble the lowly The dust elevating the dirt creature and There's something I guess Must be good because everything God's Been doing is good good so it must be Something good about this yeah but then

This becomes the basis of a conflict yes Yeah which then creates Everything bad Right yeah like all of the strife and Violence and enmity and everything is Now coming from this from the Rivalry Yeah that's resulted from God deciding To elevate the lowly yeah yeah that's Right what what is what what is that That's fascinating that's a good Observation yeah it's as if What God God as the source of all who is All being in existence in God's Own Self Yeah And from the beginning wants to share Power and authority but also from the Beginning wants to Define true power and Authority Not as taking for oneself what you think You deserve right but rather receiving Power as a gift And God's way of I guess incarnating That lesson is from the very beginning And he does give it to the angels that's Right yeah but then he gives it to these Lowly creatures and so if you're not Down with that That people yeah the creatures that Don't seem to deserve what I deserve are Getting God's favor it's good if you're Not down with that yeah now begins this God's Gonna really frustrate you this God's Gonna frustrate you but also You're gonna frustrate creation oh yeah

You're going against the grain of Creation dude this is so rad because Like what else does so we're at the end Of summer real time recording this yeah And so I spent a lot of time camping and Backpacking and in the middle of nowhere This summer and you look at nature and You're like the most powerful creature Out here is the king you know oh dude Yeah I saw some Grizzlies this summer Yeah oh my gosh like it's intense so Intense they're clearly like the alpha Predator hmm you know in like you know In the Rockies yeah and just to think in Nature that seems natural to us the most Powerful is the one right the one in Charge and then here in this cultural Practice the firstborn Is designated the most powerful and this Is a depiction of the heart of the Creator of the universe as actually Saying no it's actually the weak ones They are also also also the ones that God wants to elevate to the highest Place along side yeah those who for what A circumstance or whatever have also Been given power and authority and That's so counter To Nature But yet in Genesis 1 it's said to be Woven into the fabric of nature itself Right that's what is so fascinating yeah Thank you for drawing attention to them That's good okay we're gonna stop here

And then we'll look at Cain Abel next Yeah the next instance will be Cain and Abel where the theme of sibling rivalry And firstborn really kick off siblings Kicks off but the language imagery and How it all goes from there is really Built on this earlier set of ideas and Words Here and just notice how this setup in Genesis 1 2 and 3 sets you up we not Only need a human land ruler we need Someone who will take care of that this Rebel Sky ruler too you need a ruler of Heaven and Earth to bring order to What's gone wrong in creation Now and of Course that's what Jesus Claims for himself at the end of Matthew All authority in heaven on Earth has Been given to me the Sun So next to Cain and Abel and onward from There Thank you for listening to this episode Of Bible project podcast next week we Turn our attention to Genesis chapter 4 The story of Cain and Abel Kane is the Older brother and Abel the younger Brother they both come and bring Offerings and for some reason God shows Favor to the younger brother Abel and This makes Kane angry and so I think God's response to Cain is essentially You're assuming that there's no Exaltation for you too just because I Went to the lowest one first and so now

You've got a choice whether you will do Good or not do good based on this moment And be careful because there's an animal At the door moral failure is like an Animal but just like I called your Parents to rule over the animals and They didn't they let an animal rule them You have chance to rule this inner Animal and what you gonna do today's Episode is produced by Cooper Peltz with The associate producer Lindsey Ponder Edited by Dan gummel Tyler Bailey and Frank Garza Hannah Wu provided the Annotations for our annotated podcast in Our app Bible project is a crowdfunded Non-profit and we exist experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus everything that we make is free Because of the generous support of People just like you so thank you so Much for being a part of this with us hi This is Brett from Barcelona Spain hi This is Amanda Harker and I'm from Colorado Springs Colorado I first heard About Bible project from an instructor In a biblical studies course I was Taking in college I used Bible project For work school Ministry but I also use it as a Launching pad to become a true Bible Nerd I first heard about Bible project Through a plan on the YouVersion Bible App I use Bible project as a new way to Explore the Bible visually my favorite

Thing about Bible project is it is Exploratory and takes you on a journey Through the many books of the word of God My favorite thing about Bible project is The podcast that challenge us to grow And really understand what the Bible Holds we believe the Bible is a unified Story that leads to Jesus we're a Crowdfunded project by people like me Find free videos study notes podcasts Classes and more at [Music] Foreign [Music]

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