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Noah and the Vineyard
Video 17 of 21
So let's take a look, I want to show you the garden story is a long story, it's going to span the entire last two-thirds of Chapter 2; here we are in Genesis Chapter 2 going all the way into Chapter 3. So just follow along with me. I can't put all the text up on the screen because it's too big. But I'm going to king of toggle between the two of them. So I think it begins over here in Genesis Chapter 2, verse 7, and you might want to by the way just look at this yourself and see if you can find any of the chiastic elements before I actually get to it. But ready or not, here I come, I'm going to share with you what I came up with and let's see if it jives with anything that you found on your own.
So Genesis Chapter 2, verse 7. Vayitzhar Hashem Elokim et ha'adam aphar min ha'adamah vayipach b'apav nishmat chayim vayehi ha'adam l'nefesh chayah. This is the story of G-d creating man, G-d forming man out of the dust of the ground and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. Then placing him into the garden. Vayitah Hashem Elokim gan b'Eden mikedem - G-d then plants a garden. Vayasem sham et ha'adam asher yatzar - and He places there the man that He created.
Okay so let's think of these two ideas here, G-d creating man from the ground and then planting this garden and placing him in the garden, does that play off of any idea at the very end of the story? Think about the very end of the story of the tree of knowledge, what happens at the end of the tree of knowledge that would you say it's like a mirror image of that idea of G-d having created man out of the ground and then placing him in the garden?
Okay let's talk about what happens here, we're now at the very end of the story, Chapter 3, and take a look at these verses. What happens? At the very end of the story mankind is banished from Eden. Vayeshalcheyhu Hashem Elokim m'Gan Eden, la'avod et ha'adamah asher lukach misham - and he is banished from Eden to work the ground from which [we've/he was 2:42] taken. So at the beginning of the story he is placed in Eden, at the end of the story he's banished from Eden. Now the truth is, if you take these verses, the idea of Adam being created and placed in the garden at the top of the story and the idea of mankind being banished from Eden at the bottom of the story. If you actually map the verses out, you'll find that there's actually a very intricate interplay between these two verses at the very beginning and end of the story.
So I'm going to go onto PowerPoint now to show that to you. Hold on. Okay, so let's map these two verses here. Here is verse number 1 that we were talking about at the beginning of the story, here is verse number 2 that we were talking about at the end of the story. What I've done here is I've reproduced them in Hebrew because it's going to be a lot easier to see the interplay between them in Hebrew, so if you don't speak Hebrew I'll translate and I'll show you - I'll actually color code the parts of the verses I'm talking about, to try and make it as clear as possible.
So going to verse 1, just to read it in Hebrew, this is the verse about Adam being created and being put in the garden. Vayikach Hashem Elokim et ha'adam vayanicheyhu b'Gan Eden le'ovdah ule'shomrah. G-d took man and placed him in the garden to watch over it and to serve it. Now the pair I'm arguing, number 2, the verse which pairs with this is; Vayeshalcheyhu Hashem Elokim m'Gan Eden - G-d sent man out of the garden; la'avod et ha'adamah - to work the ground; asher lukach misham - from which he was taken.
So you can even see actually that not only are we talking about entering Eden and leaving Eden, but we're also talking about something else, which is that what was mankind doing, what was his purpose in here? Well in verse number 1 over here, his purpose is to work it. What is it? The answer is, it's to work the garden. He was created outside the garden and he was put in the garden in order to work the garden. But what's man going to do after he leaves? He's also going to work, same word La'avod in Hebrew, but what is he going to be working? He's going to be working something else; La'avod et ha'adamah - he's going to be working the ground; Asher lukach misham - the ground from which he was taken.
Now the interesting question also is what does it exactly mean the ground from which he was taken? So here there's an interesting sort of ambiguity, what does it mean that he was taken from the ground? Well there's two possibilities. One possibility is of course, mankind was created from the ground - we actually saw this in the verse right before this, man was created from the ground. So it could be that he was taken to work the ground from which he was created from. He was created from the ground. But there's another interesting possibility also, which is that if you look over here, G-d had taken man from the place from which he was created and then put him into the garden. Now mankind is being put back into the place from which he was created, so the other possibility is that he is actually working the ground - in other words the place, the earth - from which he was taken. Because Eden was not originally his home.
Let me just erase the ink on the slide here and color code it, it will maybe become a little bit clearer what I'm talking about. Take a look at these words over here. These words, these verbs Vayikach and Le'ovdah. Vayikach - and G-d took man. G-d took man from wherever he was and then placed him into the garden to serve it. So these verbs are going to reappear here in the verse that pairs with this at the bottom of the story, which is over here, G-d has banished man from Eden to do what? To work the ground. Which ground? The ground from which he was taken. Again, supporting this idea that over here G-d took man and put him in Eden and now G-d is taking man out of Eden and placing him back where he came from before. It's exactly the same words over here and over here. The yellow and the pink.
So if we think what's happening here, at the very top of the story, G-d is planting a garden of Eden, placing there the man that He forms, and I put in italics, the bottom, G-d banishes mankind from Eden to instead work the land from which he was taken. So he was working something else this time, he's working the land from which he was taken. Again, like I talked about before, G-d forms man outside of Eden using dust from the ground, only later is he placed in Eden. So what that means is that Eden is not man's native home, it's G-d's garden, and he's called upon to watch and serve it. Then he gets banished from the garden, so G-d sends man out of this special garden, back to his native home, the place from which he was created and now, mankind also has to serve but he's serving this land, the land from which he was taken, not the land of G-d's garden.
What that means is that the idea that man must now serve the land from which he was taken now has this really kind of intriguing double meaning. What does it mean that he's serving the land from which he was taken? It means kind of two things. One thing it means is, G-d had taken man and then had placed him in the garden, and now he is going back to work the land from which he was taken. There's that same word. But now there's another meaning and the other meaning is that he serves the earth from which he was created, right? Because in the verse before this; Vayitzhar Hashem Elokim et ha'adam aphar min ha'adamah - G-d had created man from the ground. Over here, he's going back to serve the ground from which he was taken, might mean the ground from which he was created. So two possible meanings interestingly, that kind of emerge from the top and the bottom half of this chiasm.
Okay, so now what we've got is sort of the top of the chiasm over here, we have G-d creating man, planting a garden of Eden, and then placing man in the garden to work it. Then we have sort of the opposite, the mirror image. Now what I want to do is create a little space between these two and ask ourselves is there anything over here and over here - going inside on the verses a little bit - which mirror each other? In other words, if we're going to view this as A and A', so then is there a B and a B'? We're going to look for something which would be right after G-d having put man in Eden to work and to guard it, mirroring something right before G-d banishing mankind from Eden. So I want to challenge you to see if you can find that pair and let's come back and discuss it.
1. The Generations of Heaven and Earth
2. Before the Rain and After the Flood
3. Splitting the Garden
4. Generations of What?
5. Of Rivers and Nations
6. The Vineyard, Introduced
7. God Begins; Noah Begins
8. The Vineyard and the Garden
9. Conflict of Interest
10. Two Hands at the Piano
11. What Cham Did
12. Why Cham Did It
13. The Vineyard's Center
14. What You Know Might Hurt You
15. Why the Drunk Walks the Line
16. The Big Picture
17. Chiasm in the Garden?
18. Chiasm in the Garden II
19. The Center of the Garden
20. The Mysteries of Imperfect Chiasms
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