God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Since Genesis never gives an account of the first couple’s wedding, a fair number of rabbinic writers give us their thoughts of how it went. Below is a condensed version by Howard Schwartz from the midrashic sources. The most entertaining aspects of this story, in my opinion, are the archangels Michael and Gabriel serving as Adam’s groomsmen (I bet the bachelor party was off the hook knowing those two), God’s role as best man and snazzy wedding planner, and the angelic dance party that followed. Continue reading
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.
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.”
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. 11:14; Luke 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.
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
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
The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their hosts.
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.