Genesis 4 vs. 9-16 with Betty

 9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

When the Lord comes to Cain and asks the whereabouts of Abel, Cain asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  We hear people paraphrase this today by saying something like, “Since when is it my job to fill the ice bin?”

 Of course, the Lord already knew what had happened to Abel and he was disappointed that, rather than rule over the sin that lay in wait for him, Cain had chosen to give it to it.  Cain will now be punished by having to move on to a harsher environment and struggle with ground that does not easily yield up its crops.  He will also be sent a little further away from the land of Eden.

Cain feels his punishment is too great.  He fears being killed as he wanders the earth.  Yet the Lord places a mark on Cain that will protect him so no one will kill him.

Here I wonder if the Lord wanted Cain to live out his punishment.  Had he been swiftly killed, he would not have endured the full penalty.  It would seem that even though Cain had sinned greatly, the Lord had hope for his redemption.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 4 vs. 1-8 with Betty

Cain and Abel

  And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

True to his word, the Lord sent Adam and Eve away from the Garden of Eden and out into the world.  As He had decreed, Eve conceived and had first child, Cain, and later another son Abel.

As the brothers grew, they went in separate directions.  Abel, the second-born, kept flocks while Cain worked the soil.  Each in turn brought offerings before the Lord.  The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offering but not with Cain’s.  Cain was angry over this.

The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry?”  He tells Cain to do what is right because sin is “crouching at your door” and “it desires to have you.”

Cain is warned by the Lord to rule over the urge to sin, but instead, Cain gives in to his anger and lures his brother Abel into the field and kills him.

I noticed as I read verse 3 that Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil,” as an offering to the Lord and Abel brought fat portions of the “firstborn” of his flock.

Perhaps the Lord knew that Cain brought an offering without a true spirit of generosity.  Had he given of the very best of his produce while Abel gave the scrawniest runts of his flock, the Lord may have looked with favor on Cain rather than Abel.

Cain did not try to do better.  He blamed his rival, instead of looking to rule over the sin within his own heart.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 3 vs. 20-24 with Betty

 20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

Eve, the first woman—and the first fallen woman—was given her name by Adam because “she would become the mother of all living things.”

Because the man and his wife listened to the serpent (evil) instead of obeying the instructions of the Lord while in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve now know the difference between good and evil.  They know they are naked. The Lord is compassionate enough to clothe them in garments of skin.

Within the Garden of Eden lies the tree of life. The Lord cannot permit them to eat of that tree and live forever.  He can no longer trust them to obey his instructions.  They are sent out of the garden and banned from ever returning.

I wonder: is that beautiful garden where the Lord walked alongside the first man and woman is the place where our immortal souls will go when our bodies return to dust?

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 3 v. 16-19 with Betty

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

Starting in verse 16, The Lord God follows the chain of sin.  He has already chastised and punished the serpent.  Now the woman, who was beguiled by the serpent, is also reprimanded and sentenced.  No more living forever in innocence and plenty.  The woman has tasted of sin and will pay for it.  She now must answer to her husband and in pain give birth to his children.

Adam, who also broke the Lord’s commandment when he took the fruit from his wife and ate of it, is now stripped of the boundless fruits of Eden.  The Lord tells him he must now produce through painful toil what he needs in order to live.  His food will no longer be provided for him.  He must now eat food grown by the “sweat of his brow.”

The Lord also reminds Adam that He fashioned him from dust and he will someday return to the ground from which he was taken.  Back in verse 4 the serpent said, to the woman.  4 “You will not certainly die.”  The Lord reminds us here that we MUST obey his instructions for He is sincere in every word.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 3 vs. 8-15 with Betty

  8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

Guilty, ashamed and naked.  That was how the Lord God found Adam and Eve after they turned away from his instructions.  Like all sinners, they thought they could hide their inequity from the Lord.

Right away, the Lord knew they had sinned.  He knew they had eaten from that tree, but while Adam and Eve were no longer innocent, they were not particularly sophisticated in their defense strategy.

Adam :  The woman made me do it.

Eve:  The serpent deceived me.

The Lord God, going back to the source begins his reprisal with the original source of evil—the serpent himself.  He tells him he will crawl on his belly forever. Sin is embodied in this serpent and all who follow him even today could be said to be, “crawling on their belly.”

When the Lord says he will put enmity between the serpent and the woman, does this mean that due to this first sin, the woman will forever battle the serpent, or put more simply, the force of evil?

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 3 vs. 1-7 with Betty

 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

The serpent was crafty!  It occurs to me that he is still crafty today.  We look around and see that the satisfaction of living the way God intended causes the faithful to have a look of peace that is discernible on their faces.  They have faces we can trust.  They are walking in peace with the Lord.

Then along comes that crafty serpent and reminds us of all the “worldly things” we are missing.  So we taste the forbidden fruit and almost inevitably, we lure others—as Eve did Adam—into participating in our inequity.

Whether the serpent convinces us to lie, steal, commit adultery or simply to neglect to live as God would wish us to live, he is tempting us with forbidden fruit.

What we have to remember is that, having given in to that which is not allowed, we will all find ourselves naked and ashamed.  No matter how we try to cover up our “nakedness’ we will still know we are naked beneath our fig leaves.  Lost innocence cannot be regained.

(As a practicing Christian I am grateful at this point that I already know that while innocence cannot be regained, redemption is available!)

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis Chapter 2, vs. 18-25 with Betty

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

    Adam was created to have dominion over the animals and of the earth and the birds of the sky. As he named one animal after another, Adam must have grown close to them. They may have been more like friends to him than pets.  But Adam was superior to the animals.  They could never be “suitable helpers” to Adam.

 For that, Adam would need another creature similar to himself, but other than himself.  By making Adam’s woman from Adam’s own flesh, God created the perfect helper—one with a separate entity from Adam’s but a shared “sameness.”

By separating the maleness of Adam from the femaleness of his wife, the original “Yin” and “Yang” were created.  Both are necessary to the whole.  As the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

It is apparent to me that from the first God meant for men and women to be two parts of a whole.  When married people ignore their “oneness” and live as if they were each two separate beings, they are not fulfilling God’s purpose.

God says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  We should not forget that.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis Chapter 2, vs. 8-17 with Betty

8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

We use the word “Eden” to refer to perfection, and Eden was the perfect place God made for Adam—the place he had waiting to provide habitat and nourishment before Adam was even formed.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam had everything he needed.  God’s only request was for him to take care of and work the garden.  Everything was ready for Adam to be a prosperous farmer with a full belly and beautiful surroundings.

All God asked was that Adam not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

We don’t need to read the rest of Genesis 2 to know that Adam was not content with what God had provided for him. We have all heard the story of his dissatisfaction.

Before I read the rest of the chapter to find out about the seeds of his dissatisfaction, my first thought is this:  God wanted a creature who could decide to behave as he wished. God was all-powerful and Adam was his creation.  God did not need to tell Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If he wanted to do so, God could have made Adam blind to the tree altogether, but God wanted Adam to obey him by choice.

Once again, God behaved like a parent.  Children must have freedom to learn from their mistakes.  God gave Adam this same freedom and with it, like a watchful parent, he gave a warning.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis Chapter 2, vs. 1-7 with Betty

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

So God created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day he rested.

Isn’t that the way of all His creatures as well?   We have a burst of energy, do the job set before us; and then we rest.

I’m thinking of a gardener who plows his soil, makes little holes, plants his seed in the holes, covers them up and then waters the soil. Soon he will have to begin to weed the garden and chase away pests, but right now it is time to rest.

But now I have come to the account of Adam and Eve.  Didn’t God already create human beings? “Male and female created he them,” it said at the end of Genesis Chapter 1.  I have come to a crossroads.  Should I look up what bible scholars have to say on this subject or just muddle on?  I choose to muddle.  It is my purpose to read the bible and understand it in my own way, not to become a learned bible scholar.

At this point I will consider Genesis Chapter 1 as an overall view and read on to learn more details.

– Betty Killebrew

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Genesis Chapter 1, vs. 26-31 with Betty

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

Just as God made all the other creatures of the dry land, the sea and the sky, God created us, but God had a special role in mind for us.

 This makes me think that we were not just an “afterthought” God had after creating everything else.  Like a proud parent anticipating a new child, God created a “nursery” ready for us to dwell in. As a child who is the image of his mother and father, God made us to be images of Him.   And he made us masters of all else that he had made.

God gave us “every seed bearing plant on the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.”  To all the beasts of the earth he gave “every green plant for food.” Whether we believe in global warming or not, God’s perfect plan for us requires us to wisely husband the resources he provided.

God gave all that we need to survive and prosper. Surely we can share it in the way he intended and each be content in our own portion.

– Betty Killebrew

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