TEI International Leadership School

Outline: Class 1: Genesis 1-3

(September 25, 2018)

TEII Class 29:1:1



  • The radical reality of the level playing field for all ideas to be heard equally, from the original heavens and earth, to the Garden of Eden, to the Garden of Gethsemane, to the new heavens and earth.
  • Genesis 1:1 is the most succinct and comprehensive political statement in the Bible (to which we will turn shortly).
  • Matthew 1:1 introduces the most political of the four Gospels:


1:1:                  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abram.


  • The son of David means the son of the founding king of Jerusalem, and in the face of a pretender, Herod. Leverage question for the whole Gospel.
  • Jesus, in the face of his enemies = the trajectory started in Genesis 1-3 and is the key to the mission of the church.


21:1-3:                        And as they came near Jerusalem and came into Bethphage on the Mount of

Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village opposite you,

and you will find a donkey bound there, and her colt with her. Loose them and

lead them to me. And if anyone speaks to you, say to him that the Lord himself

needs to have them, and he will immediately return them.”


  • Jesus has always had this timetable in view, Passover Week in Jerusalem (e.g., Luke 9:51).
  • Contrast king Herod’s pretense on a war stallion and a cohort of soldiers; with the humility of King Jesus riding the foal of a donkey too young to be ridden without its mother leading the way.


21:4-5:                        This happened in order to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:


“Say to the Daughter of Zion,

‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and aboard a donkey,

and on a colt, the son of a donkey.’ ”


  • First messianic quote: Zechariah 9:9.


21:6-9:                        The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They led the donkey and

the colt, and laid their garments on them, and he sat on them. A large crowd

spread their garments on the road, while others struck branches from the trees and

spread them on the road. And the crowds that went ahead of him and those

followed cried out, saying,


“Hosanna to the Son of the David!”


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”


“Hosanna is the highest!”


  • 300,000 pilgrims flooding Jerusalem (pop. 80,000) for Passover Week.
  • Reputation of Jesus across three-and-a-half years of ministry + Lazarus just raised from the dead.
  • Second and third and fourth messianic quotes: Psalm 118:25 and 118:26.
  • The Son of David is the key question.


21:10-11:        And as he came into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is



The crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


  • The reputation of Jesus is not made by elitist political, religious and media approval, but by his heavenly Father and the common people.


21:12-13:        And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all who were buying and selling in the

temple. And he overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of

those selling doves. And he said, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house

of prayer, but you are making it a cave of robbers.”


  • Speaking first person of Yahweh incarnate in quoting the fourth and fifth messianic quotes: Isaiah 56:7 + Jeremiah 7:11.
  • This violent act by Jesus is against the stolen property of people via violent economics, not against persons or animals, and no one criticizes him. In fact, the poor rejoice.


21:14-15:        And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But

when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things he did, and the

children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were



  • Elitist fury against violation of their “ritual purity” of the temple – allowing the blind, the lame and the little “urchins” into the temple courts (!).


21:16-17:        They said to him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?


And Jesus said, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and

suckling babes you have perfected praise?’ ”


And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and he spent the night



  • Elitist sarcasm, and Jesus’s wise response.
  • The Son of David is the key question.
  • The sixth messianic quote: Psalm 8:2, but only first half of the sentence.
  • In their minds, they finish the sentence …
  • Face to face: the strength of childlikeness versus the pretension of elitist pride.
  • Can you imagine yourself inside the storyline?
  • Invitation to filibuster.




21:23-25a:      And he entered the temple, and while he was teaching, the chief priests and the

elders of the people came to him. They said, “In what sort of authority are you

doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”


Jesus answered, “I will also ask you one word. If you tell me, I will tell you by

what authority I am doing these things. The baptism of John – where did it come

from? Was it from heaven or from men?


  • What is the nature of true authority? By God or self-aggrandizing human institutions.
  • The nature of rabbinic teaching, where questions answer question in search for a honest definition of terms.
  • The freedom of the level playing field and the power to ask hard questions.


21:25b-27:      They debated it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will

say, ‘Then why did you not believe him’? But if we say, ‘From men’ – we fear

the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”


And they answered him, “We do not know.”


And he said, “Neither will I say to you by what authority I am doing these things

(cf. Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8).


  • The pretension of ignorance – the weakest form of moral argument in history.
  • See Cain in Genesis 4; and the hinge point of the 1973 Roe Wade decision “legalizing” human abortion.
  • Rejection of the freedom of the level playing field and the power to love hard questions.
  • Strike one.
  • No answer.
  • [Seventh messianic promise = 21:21: mountain of Isaiah 45:2; eighth = 21:42: capstone of Psalm 118, 22-23.]


22:15-17:        Then the Pharisees went out and took council to trap him in his words. They sent

their disciples to him along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know you

are a man of truth and that you teach the way of God in truth. You aren’t swayed

by men, because you pay no attention to their faces. Speak to us then, what do

you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”


  • The religious and political hatred between the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians – “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
  • The tender egos of self-appointed elitists (who cannot sway Jesus) and their desperate use of flattery.


22:18-22:        But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying

to test me? Show me the coin used for paying the poll-tax?” They brought him a

denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose likeness?”


They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Ceasar’s

and to God what is God’s.”


When they heard this, they marveled. So they left him and went away.


  • Show me the facts – informed choice is based on an accurate definition of terms.
  • Genesis 1:26-28 and the image of God is the interpretive leverage point.
  • The religious idolatry of the disciples of the Pharisees is exposed; the political idolatry of the party of Herod is exposed. “Two birds with one stone.”
  • A false son of god exposed by the true Son of God.
  • Strike two.
  • No answer.





22:23-28:        In that day the Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection, and they

asked a question, saying,  “Teacher, Moses said to us that if a man dies without

having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.

Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and

having no children, he left his wife to his brother; likewise for the second, the third, and to the seventh. Afterward all died, and also the woman. Accordingly, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them had her?  


  • The Sadducees hate the Pharisees, and now take their opportunity at one-upmanship.
  • Heretical theology, richest of the elitists, and contrived question from the apocryphal book of Tobit, where all the men are killed by the “wicked demon ”


22:29-33:        Jesus answered, “You are led astray because you know neither the Scriptures nor

the power of God. In the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in

marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But concerning the resurrection

of the dead – have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham,

the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the



And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching (cf. Mark

12:18-27; Luke 20:27-39).


  • (Willful?) lack of true biblical literacy in not knowing the nature of angels, marriage and the resurrection.
  • If there is no resurrection, then God is not their god.
  • The power of Jesus’s answer, and the “crowds.”
  • Strike three (but in church softball, sometimes there are four strikes).
  • No answer.




22:34-40:        But the Pharisees, hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, got together.

One of them, skilled in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is

the greatest commandment in the Law?”


He said, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and

with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is

like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all

the Law and the Prophets.”


  • Jesus is the Teacher, the Rabbi of all rabbis, and even his enemies cannot avoid this tangible reality.
  • “Silenced” by Jesus again, yet it is a self-censorship in the inability or unwillingness to answer a hard question.
  • Three secondary but valid questions, and now the most important of all.


22:41-46:        While the Pharisees were still gathered together, Jesus questioned them. He said,

“What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose Son is he?” They said, “The

Son of David.”


He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him

‘Lord’? For he says,


“The Lord said to my Lord:

‘Sit at my right hand

until I place your enemies

under your feet.’


“If then David calls him ‘Lord,” how can he be his Son?” No one was able to

answer a word, neither from that day on, no one dared to ask him any more



  • Returning to the key question of the Son of David.
  • The rabbinic power of Jesus in guiding te debate toward this conclusion point.
  • Hebrew language: Yahweh said to my Adonai.
  • First explicit use by Jesus of “enemies” as it is fulfilled.
  • Self-censorship of the elitist enemies and plotters in their fear of freedom and the power to love hard questions – they dare not ask him any more questions.
  • Thus, Jesus employs the power of the level playing field to prove himself blameless in the face of his enemies and the Enemy, and thus qualified as the blameless Lamb of God, die for our sins, rise again and come again.
  • The wisdom of this theology in the whole mission of the Gospel, rooted in Genesis 2, and in particular, for the most ill-served mission field of all – politics.
  • Strike four, and you’re out.
  • No answer.




(Parallel text) Mark 12:28-31:


                        One of the scribes came and heard them disputing. Knowing that Jesus answered

well, he asked a question, “Of all the commandments, which is first of all?”


Jesus said, “First of all is this, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

And love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with

all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor

as your yourself.’ There is no greater commandment than these.”


  • Hebrew shema.


(Parallel text) 12:32-37:       


He said, “Well done teacher. You are truthful in saying that God is one and there

is no other but him. And to love him with all your heart, with all your

understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself

is more abundant than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.


When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far

away from the kingdom of God.” And no longer did anyone dare ask him



And Jesus spoke to them, teaching in the temple. He asked, “How is it that the

Scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?”


“David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, said:


“The Lord said to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand

until I place your enemies

under your feet.’


“David himself says he is the Lord, so how can we be his son?”


The large multitudes listened to him gladly.


  • An honest Pharisee. Among the Pharisees in Matthew 12:1-8 and Mark 3:1-6?
  • “Not far away from the kingdom” …
  • Trinitarian question.




TEII Class 29:1:4


Genesis 3:1-5:            Now, the serpent was more crafty than all the living of the field which

were made by Yahweh Elohim. And he said angrily to the woman, “When did

Elohim say not to eat from any tree in the walled garden?”


The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit from the trees of the walled

garden we may eat. But from the fruit of the tree in the midst of the walled

garden, Elohim said we may not eat from it, and we may not touch it, lest we die.”


And the serpent said to the woman, “In dying you shall not continually die. For

Elohim knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will become like Elohim, knowing good and evil.”



  • Serpent in post-biblical Jewish understanding.
  • “Angrily” – history; thus 1:1; 2:1 and 3:1 (anap and ap).
  • “Do not touch it.”
  • “In dying you shall not continually die” – reversal of 2:17; false definition of terms.
  • Purpose of the serpent to break trust in the marriage relationship, by getting Eve to act independently of both Yahweh and Adam.


3:6-10:                        And the woman saw that the tree was good for food because it was a boundary to

the eyes, and a desirable tree for prudence. She took some fruit and ate it, and

gave moreover to her husband with her, and he ate it. And the eyes of the two

were opened, and they knew that they were naked. So they sewed together two fig leaves and made for themselves loin coverings.


Then they heard the thunder of Yahweh Elohim as he marched into the walled

garden in the storm of the moment. And the man and woman hid themselves from

the face of Yahweh Elohim in the midst of the trees of the walled garden. But

Yahweh Elohim called to the man saying, “Where are you belonging?”



  • “Boundary” or “desirable.”
  • “With her …”
  • Trust is broken from Adam’s side toward Yahweh and Eve.
  • [Jesus restores this vertical and horizontal brokenness.]
  • Radical translation of v. 8.
  • Nature of an oncoming tornado of judgment.
  • “Belonging.”


3:10-13:          And he said, “I heard the thunder in the walled garden, and I feared because I was

naked, and I hid myself.”And he said, “Who declared to you your nakedness?

From out of the tree which I commanded you not to eat from – have you eaten?”

And the man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave to me

from the tree, and I ate.” And Yahweh Elohim said to the woman, “What is this

you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me and caused me to




  • Adam’s hides from the oncoming freight train of the tornado …
  • Blame-shifting of Adam toward his woman.
  • The woman’s honesty.


3:14-16:          And Yahweh Elohim said to the serpent, “Because you have done this:


Cursed are you more than all the cattle

and more than all the living of the field.

Upon your belly you will crawl

all the days of your life.


And I will put enmity

in the interval between you and the woman.

and your seed and her seed


He will bruise you head

and you will bruise his heel.


To the woman he said,


I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing,

in pain you will beget sons

And towards your man you will have desire

and he will rule over you.



  • Nature of the serpent crawling.
  • War between the seed of the woman and the “seed” of the serpent.
  • The Messiah comes from the woman, and the ancient serpent wars across biblical history to destroy the Messianic lineage, an especially through political evil.
  • The reality of the cross as Jesus crushes the head of the serpent, being the Second Adam to fulfill what the first Adam failed in doing (cf. 2:15 and shamar).
  • Nature of woman’s satisfying work v. the added pain of broken trust.
  • The nature of “desire” (shuq) and rule (mashal).


3:17-19:          And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your woman,

ate from the tree which I commanded, saying, “Do not eat from it”:


Cursed is the ground,

with painful produce and with toil

you will eat of it all the days of your life.


And thorns and thistles will sprout up for you

and you will eat from the herbage of the field.


By the sweat of your anger you will eat your bread

until you return to the ground.

Since from it you were taken

because dry earth you are

and to dry earth you will shall return.



  • Nature of man’s satisfying work v. the added pain of broken trust.
  • “Anger” (anap and ap) back to 3:1.
  • Translation example of trying to render it “brow.”
  • “Dust to dust.”


3:20-24:          And Adam called the name of his woman Hayyeh, because she would become

mother of all the living.


And Yahweh Elohim made for Adam and for the woman tunics of skin to

clothe them. And Yahweh Elohim said, “Behold, the man has become like us,

causing him to know good and evil. And now, let him not send his hand and also

take from the tree of life and eat and live to eternity.


And Yahweh Elohim sent him from the enclosed garden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he cast out the man, and settled him east from the enclosed garden of Eden, he set cherubim and the flaming sword, turning every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.



  • Hayyeh (the name of “Eve”): redemption begins – “Living.”
  • “Like us” – “one” or “another.”
  • For man and woman to know “good and evil” is a self-imposed eternal death sentence.
  • Redemptive removal from temptation, suffering as a teacher, and how the cherubim have to do the guarding (shamar).


Summary observations on Genesis 1-3:


Apart from Genesis 1-3, no one can define nor understand good v. evil; freedom v; slavery; life v. death. It is the only universal source for all humanity.


Unique contributions:


  1. Linkage of Genesis 1:1; 2:1; and 3:1 for the origins of the devil.
  2. The definition of nephesh and the status of the unborn.
  3. akol tokel versus moth tamuth as the first covenant, and the basis for the freedom of the level playing field.
  4. The 100-0; 50-50; 100-100 options for marriage.
  5. The paradigm of God → life → choice → sex v, sex → choice → life →/ God.
  6. The 11 (now 12?) positive assumptions as defined.



TEII Class 29:1:2



Genesis 1:1:               In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth.


  • Assumption #1: God’s nature.
  • First pillar: The power to give.
  • The most succinct and comprehensive political statement in the Bible.
  • The domains of the invisible and the visible.
  • Assumption #2: The heavenly court (also anticipating 2:1: “And the heavens and the earth were completed, now in all their armies”:..)


1:2:                  Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was above the face of the

abyss, and the Spirit of Elohim was hovering above the face of the waters.


  • Introduction of Hebrew parallelism that covers 35-40 percent of the Hebrew Bible.
  • The debate of order (the biblical Genesis) versus chaos (the Babylonian genesis); e.g. Jordan Peterson and classical mythologists.
  • Alexander Heidel: The Babylonian Genesis + R.K. Harrison: Introduction to the Old Testament + Duane A. Garrett: Rethinking Genesis.


1:3-5:              And Elohim said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And Elohim saw that

the light was good, and he made separation between the light and the darkness.

And Elohim called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there

was evening, and there was morning, the first day.


  • It is good (x1).
  • The first day.
  • Assumption #3: Communication.
  • Second pillar: The power to live in the light.
  • Logic of sound, light, water, earth – set for life.
  • The days of creation, the nature of evening and morning.



  1. Light Agents of light.
  2. Waters above and below Birds and fish
  3. Land Land Creatures + Humans
  4. Sabbath 7. Yahweh + Image-bearers




(NT parallel text): John 1:1-5:


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He

was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him, without him nothing

was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. And the

light shines in the darkness, but the darkness cannot understand and overcome it.


  • Theology of the incarnation fulfilling the biblical order of creation.
  • Darkness cannot “reach up, grasp, understand, overcome and destrne” the light (katalambano).





1:6-8:              And Elohim said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters to make

separation between waters and waters.” And Elohim fashioned the expanse and

made separation between waters under the expanse from the waters above. And it

was so. And Elohim called the expense “sky.” And there was evening, and there

was morning, the second day.


  • The second day.


1:9-10:                        And Elohim said, “Let the waters under the heavens be collected in one place, and

let the dry land be seen.” And it was so. And Elohim called the dry land “earth,”

and the collected waters he called “seas.” And Elohim saw that it was good.


  • It is good (x2).


1:11-13:          And Elohim said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: seed-producing herbage and

seed-producing trees, making fruit according to their various species. And it was

  1. The land brought forth vegetation: herbage producing seed according to their

species and trees producing seed according to their kinds. And Elohim saw that it

was good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the third day.


  • It is good (x3).
  • The third day.
  • No macroevolution of species.
  • No GMOs (!) + question of organic foods.
  • Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.): “Food is medicine and medicine is food.”


1:14-19:          And Elohim said, “Let there be luminaries in the extended surface of the heavens,

to separate the interval of the day and the interval of the night. And let them be for

signs and appointed times for the days and years. And let them be luminaries in

the extended surface of the heavens to become light upon the earth. And Elohim

made the two great luminaries – the greater luminary to govern the day and the

smaller luminary to govern the night; and also the stars. And Elohim gave them in

the extended surface of the heavens to become lights upon the earth; and to

govern the day and night and to separate the interval between the light and the

darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was

morning – the fourth day.



  • It is good (x4).
  • The fourth day.
  • “To govern.”
  • “Extended surface of the heavens.”
  • Assumption #8: Science and the scientific method.



1:20-23:          And Elohim said, “Let the waters swarm with swarming living souls, and let

flying creatures fly about, above the earth, and above the face of the extended

surface of the heavens. And Elohim created the great serpents and all the living

souls that creep, according to their swarming in the waters, according to their

species.” And Elohim saw that it was good. And Elohim blessed them and said,

“Be fruitful and fill the waters of the seas; and the flying creatures to be many in

the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning – the fifth day.


  • “Living souls.”
  • “Great serpents.”
  • It was good (x5).
  • The fifth day.


1:24-25:          And Elohim said, “Let the earth bring forth living souls according to their species

– cattle, creeping things upon the earth according to their species.” And it was so.


And Elohim made the living souls according to their species, and all the cattle

according to their species, and all the creeping things upon the ground according

to their species. And Elohim saw that it was good.


  • “Living souls.”
  • “According to their species.”
  • It is good (x6).



1:26-28:          And Elohim said: “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and rule

the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens, and the cattle, and all

the earth, and all the creeping things that creep upon the ground.”


And Elohim created man in his image

in the image of Elohim he created him

with male and female he created them.


And Elohim blessed them and Elohim said to them, “Bear fruit and be many and

fill the earth and subdue it and rule the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of

the heavens, and the cattle, and all the earth, and all the creeping things that creep

upon the ground.”


  • Assumption #4: Human Nature.
  • Assumption #7: Human Sexuality.
  • Triple parallelism:


Man + his image.

Image + him.

Male & female + them.


Man = image = male and female.

Image = him = them.


  • “To rule” the whole ecology.


1:29-31:          And Elohim said, “Behold, I give to you every herb that produces seed that is

sown that is upon the face of the earth, and all the trees that produce seed that is

sown. They will be yours for food.


“And to all the living upon the earth and all the flying creatures of the heavens

and all that creep along the earth – to all living souls, green herbage is to be



And Elohim saw all that he had made, and it was abundantly good. And there was

evening and there was morning – the sixth day.


  • “Living souls” + green herbage.
  • It is abundantly good (x7).
  • The sixth day.


2:1-4a:                        And the heavens and the earth were finished in all their armies.


And Elohim finished all the work he was doing, and he sabbathed on the seventh

day from all the work he had been doing. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and

made it holy, because on it he sabbathed from all the work of creating he had been



These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.


  • The “armies.”
  • The “sabbath.”
  • The seventh day.

TEII Class 29:1:3


2:4b-6:            In the day Yahweh Elohim made the heavens and the earth – and no bush of the

field had yet become on the earth, and all the herbage of the field had not yet

sprouted; Yahweh Elohim had not yet rained upon the land, and there was no

man to work upon the ground, and a mist came up from the ground and watered

the whole face of the ground –


  • Use of day (yom).
  • Sequence from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2, from the grand design of Elohim, to the first covenant given man and woman by Yahweh Elohim on the sixth day.


2:7:                  Yahweh Elohim formed the man from the dry earth of the land, and breathed into

his nostrils the breath of the living into the man to become a living soul.


  • Assumption #4: Human nature.
  • To “form,” as to build the house.
  • Crucial term: nephesh (etymology in Jacob in TDNT + H.W. Wolff in The Anthropology of the OT): “personhood.”
  • Humanity of the Unborn.


2:8-9:              And Yahweh Elohim planted a walled garden in Eden, from the east, and put the

man there whom he had formed. And Yahweh Elohim caused trees to grow from

the ground, desirable to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life was in the

midst of the walled garden, and the tree of the knowledge of and evil.


  • Geography of the Garden of Eden, and definition of “walled garden.”
  • Contrast between the trees of life and death, of good and evil.



2:10-14:          And a river was going out from Eden, watering it, and from there it was divided,

and into four heads. The name of the one is Pishon; it surrounds all the earth of

Havilah, where the is gold. The gold of the earth there is good; the bdellium and

the onyx is also there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it surrounds the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs alongside the east of the Asshur. The fourth rive is the Euphrates.


  • Assumptions #8 and #9: Science and the scientific method; verifiable history.


2:15-17:          And Yahweh Elohim took the man and gave rest to him in the walled garden of

Eden, to work it and guard it. And Yahweh Elohim commanded upon the man,

saying to him, “From all of the trees in the midst of the walled garden, in feasting

you shall continually feast. But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it, in dying you shall continually die.




  • Assumptions #5 and #6; Human freedom and hard questions.
  • Third pillar: the power of informed choice.
  • Fourth pillar: the power to love hard questions.
  • “Guard” = shamar, against intrusion of the devil.
  • Giving “rest” versus “put.”
  • First use of “command.”
  • The metaphor and parallelistic grammar of the feast.
  • The level playing field + invitation for evil to be present.
  • The good = freedom = life; evil = slavery = death; a true definition of terms.
  • Is God free to do evil?
  • Freedom is the power to do the good.
  • The first covenant in the Bible between Yahweh Elohim and man = freedom.
  • 1985 Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR).
  • Assumption #10: covenantal law.


2:18:                And Yahweh Elohim said, “It is not good for the man to be separate. I will make a

helper in front of him.”


  • Assumption #7: Human sexuality.
  • “Not good” = progress not yet done; Adam as a separate man does not equal the full image of God.
  • “In front of” = “opposite” = “facing.”
  • Equality and complementarity.


2:19-20:          Now Yahweh Elohim had made – from the land – all the living of the field and all

                        the flying creatures of the heavens. And he brought them to the man to see what

he would call them. And whatever the man called the living souls, he called them.

And the man proclaimed the names of all the cattle, and the flying creatures of the

heavens, and all the living. But for Adam a helper in front of him was not found.


  • Learning curve for Adam.
  • The power in naming.


2:21-22:          And Yahweh Elohim caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while

sleeping, he took a rib from out of his side, and shut up the flesh underneath. And

Yahweh Elohim built from the rib, which he had taken from the man, into a

woman, and he brought her to the man.


  • “Built.”
  • The metaphor of “rib” and “side.”
  • To build the inner architecture and furnishings of the house.
  • MHF #11 Smith College 1994: 100-0’ 50-0; 100-100: “Two choices in life – give and it shall be given or take before you are taken.
  • Power of the man for good or evil …



2:23:                And the man said,


“This anvil here is from my bones,

and flesh of my flesh,

this shall be called woman,

because from the man she was taken.”


  • The first poem in human history.
  • The “anvil” of building the interior home.


2:24-25:          Upon this pedestal, a man shall leave his father and mother, and cling to his

woman, and they shall become one flesh. The two of them were naked, the man

and his woman, and they had no shame.


  • Dynamics of “anvil” and “pedestal.”
  • The two becoming one in marriage is the foundation, the base, the pedestal for all human civilization.
  • Shameless nakedness = vulnerability (nephesh) and trust.
  • The two become one, in the image of He who is Three in One.
  • No monadism, no ontological separateness/individuality.
  • Assumption #11: aggregate of life, liberty and property (stewardship) + the language of unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.


In the Biblical Order of Creation: Eleven Positive Assumptions:


  1. God’s nature (+ good politics).
  2. The heavenly court.
  3. Human nature.
  4. Human freedom.
  5. Hard questions.
  6. Human sexuality.
  7. Science and the scientific method.
  8. Verifiable history.
  9. Covenantal law.
  10. Life, liberty and property = unalienable rights (=good politics).


In Genesis 1-2:


  1. The power to give.
  2. The power to live in the light.
  3. The power of informed choice.
  4. The power to love hard questions.


In the Sermon on the Mount:

  1. The power to love enemies.
  2. The power to forgive.

Thus, the Six Pillars of Biblical Power = the metaethics of the language of loving of God and neighbor.