A Walk in the Garden: Biblical Iconographical and Literary by Paul Morris, Deborah Sawyer

By Paul Morris, Deborah Sawyer

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Extra info for A Walk in the Garden: Biblical Iconographical and Literary Images of Eden (JSOT Supplement)

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The animals do not ask the why of things, but human beings are both dignified and burdened by such questioning. The attitude revealed to the acquisition of knowledge is accurately expressed in Eccl. 18, 'For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow'. The punishments in the Genesis myth are to be read in the light of this sentiment. In both works, successful material labour is detached from, even opposed to, the acquisition of knowledge. 22 In Eccl.

Her initiative and her freedom vanish. 16—Therefore. . a man shall cleave to his wife and they shall become as one flesh' and 'To your husband shall be your desire, and he shall rule over you'—are both projected into our world, and coexist there. They represent the poles of innocence and experience. 7 There remains one further estrangement that arises out of the eating of the fruit—namely that between Adam, or the couple, and God. There are many ways of reading the source of this. What is God doing in giving them special instructions about the forbidden tree?

Agur does achieve, as do Adam and Eve, the ability to contrast good and evil although, again like Adam and Eve, the penetration of all knowledge is beyond him. Interestingly, two matters that he cites as quite beyond his comprehension are the way of a serpent on a rock and the way of a man with CARMICHAEL The Paradise Myth 53 a woman (Prov. 19). In Genesis, the serpent is given an incomprehensible role in the myth,20 and the attraction between the sexes is a major theme that is presented less in terms of understanding—the statement about why a man leaves his father and mother to cleave to a wife is the exception, and even that statement stands out from the rest of the material—and more in terms of observations about their roles.

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