Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #5: The Fall of Satan and his angels

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You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God…
…You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.
You were blameless in your ways

From the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.
By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, and you sinned.
Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God…
…Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you;
it has consumed you.

Lucifer's fall from Heaven in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, illustrated by Gustave Doré (1866)

—Ezekiel 28:11-19

How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
But you said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.”

—Isaiah 14:12-13

While the above verses tell of God’s judgement against foreign Kings who oppose Israel (i.e. the King of Tyre in Ezekiel and the King of Babylon in Isaiah), later Jews and Christians interpreted them as referring to Satan (2 Cor. 11:14Luke 10:17-20; Rev. 12:9). The tradition of Satan as the cosmic enemy of God and his fall first appear relatively late in Judaism (post-exile), explaining the figure’s large absence in the Bible. Thus, later writers felt the need to embellish his story.

I plan on writing a more comprehensive article dedicated to the historical origin and evolution of Satan in the near future, but for now I would like to share some fascinating Jewish and Christian myths that expanded upon Satan in relation to Genesis. Here we’ll deal with those relevant to Creation and the Fall of Adam and Eve.

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Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #4: Angels helped with creation

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Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

—Genesis 1:26

The persistent suggestion that angels were created on the first day with a multitude of responsibilities subsequently lead some writers to believe that they helped God with creation, especially that of man. It is said that before creating him God first consults with his heavenly hosts about the endeavor: Continue reading

Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #3: Creation and nature of angels

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The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their hosts.

—Genesis 2:1

Of the many questions people are often left with after reading Genesis 1-2, one has to do with the noticeable absence of angels. The first indication of their creation is in Gen. 2:1 quoted above. “Hosts” (“army” in Hebrew) is understood to refer to the angels, though that’s about all we get until 3:24 when God stations a type of angel known as cherubim to guard the east side of the Garden of Eden. So on what day were angels created and how? What were they made of? What were their roles? Later writers sought to answer these questions. [3]

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Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #2: God created prior worlds

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See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.

—Isaiah 65:17

The above verse from Isaiah along with a few others lead some rabbis to believe that our earth wasn’t the first God had created. This Jewish thought is expressed explicitly in the Zohar (14th century writings of Jewish mystical thought). Continue reading

Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #1: Adoil and Arkhas, primordial beings controlled by God to create Light and Darkness

deleted scenes fire ARTSTOR_103_418220011239991 In the Second Book of Enoch (a.k.a. The Book of the Secrets of Enoch or Slavonic Enoch) God reveals to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, the secrets of creation. At one point God explains to Enoch how he created the higher foundations of the cosmos using light from the belly an invisible being called Adoil and the lower foundations using the darkness that comes out of an invisible being called Arkhas – both of whom release their designated element under the command of God. Continue reading

Genesis 1-2 Parallels #3: Ninti, “Lady of the Rib”

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Because Adam is lonely and lacks a helper as his partner, Yahweh puts him to sleep and makes a woman out of his rib (Gen. 2:21-23).  Again we return to a story of the deities Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga, starting with Enki’s attempt to win the love of his great granddaughter, Uttu; he does so by finding a gardener to help him grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Upon accepting Enki’s gift, Enki takes her by force until Ninhursaga arrives – removing Enki’s semen from Uttu’s body and planting it in the ground where eight plants then grow. Later, Enki comes across the plants and asks his page Isimu if he should eat them to “find out their nature.”[1]  Isimu says he will name each one and give it to Enki to eat. Doing so he becomes pregnant, but suffers great for being unable to give birth as a male. Ninhursaga decides to help by placing him in her vulva and gives birth to eight deities, each of which is created from a different part of Enki’s body. As you may have already guessed, one is from his rib:

“My brother,
what part of you hurts you!”
“My ribs hurt me!”
She gave birth to Ninti out of it. [2]

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Genesis 1-2 Parallels #2: Paradise Motif

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Paradise Motif

In the second chapter of Genesis we read how God establishes a celestial garden in Eden and places man there to till and cultivate it. The motif of a once heavenly paradise is prevalent in the ancient world and was more than likely borrowed by the Israelites from the preceding cultures of Near East. Evidence of this is in the word eden itself, which is Sumerian in origin and to whom it meant “plain.” the Sumerians occupied the Tigris-Euphrates valley no later than 3000 BCE

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Dilmun

The oldest parallel to the biblical image of Eden is a land called Dilmun, often identified with modern Bahrain. We are given details about this country from a number of Sumerian texts, including the Epic of Gilgamesh as well as Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga. In these narratives we read how Dilmun is a place located “in the garden of the sun…at the mouth of the rivers”,[1] where disease and pain are nonexistent, people do not grow old, and animals do not kill.[2]  In Gilgamesh Utnapishtim (the Babylonian Noah) is placed there after the flood to live forever. In other mythological inscriptions we read how the god Enki along with his wife were placed there to institute “a sinless age of complete happiness”: Continue reading