The Scales of Balance in Genesis
Genesis demonstrates the opposing forces of good and evil and the necessary balance of the two in life. Throughout the text there are constant shifts from one force to the other and God’s inevitable role in bringing stability. Genesis is an effective collection of stories wherein God continually corrects humankind’s transgressions. Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood as well as the Tower of Babel are all tales in which the inherent evil in humankind requires the suppression and intervention of God to return humanity to harmony.
In the story of Creation, God establishes equilibrium. He creates light and dark, sun, moon and stars, in addition to the heavens, the seas and the earth. He then creates life with all kinds of fruitful plants and beasts to roam the earth, seas and sky. When he creates man he is careful to create him in his own image. Throughout the entire passage, God reflects on his work as noted with, “And God saw that it was good. (158).” He then creates woman to sustain man. Man is given dominion over all living creatures and this could be considered a great burden, so woman was given to man to help alleviate his encumbrances.
The first instance where God corrects an imbalance is with Adam and Eve’s misjudgment is in their following the snake’s suggestion to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Good and Evil. This is a direct disobedience to the command that God made concerning the tree and that the fruit should not be eaten. He explicitly forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the tree and warned that they would be punished by death if they did so. Immediately afterward, God is conscious that something has gone afoul as Adam and Eve have become aware of their nudity, are ashamed and have attempted to hide. God then chastises them all for their indiscretions. The snake is condemned to crawl the earth on his stomach and endure the hatred of woman. Eve is afflicted with excessive pain during...
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