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Noah and the Vineyard
Video 5 of 21
But of course there's another view provided by Google, and it's actually Google Earth. In Google Earth those kinds of divisions are still there, but they sort of recede into the background, and you just see the massive earth. If you think, what divides the earth, right over here you see that same sort of area, Pennsylvania, and if you kind of move through this in Google Earth, about three, four thousand feet above the ground, what do you see? You see rivers. Actually interestingly, the political division sometimes go along the boundaries of rivers. So the division between Pennsylvania and between Maryland, will often go through the rivers. But over here is the Susquehanna River and you could see everything else sort of pales, it's the rivers that actually divide the land. Here's little islands and rivers too.
So what I want to suggest to you is, is that there's actually two ways of thinking about divisions, how the earth is divided. In the world of G-d, in the worlds of heavens and earth, where terrain is primary, where environment is primary, well in that world it's the rivers that divide up the land. There's one river from which everything else diverges, and those create the division, the way the land is naturally organized. It does two things, not only does it - do the rivers divide up the land, but what else do the rivers do? Why is that if you look at mankind's world, so you can see the little cities are always next to the rivers? How come the cities are always next to the rivers? The answer is because what is the river? You see all these cities over here and after that there's nothing. The reason is, is because rivers convey life. It's water and water comes to the world and you always have to be near water. The source of life is going to be water, so mankind congregates there. Everything congregates there.
So rivers do two things. They divide up the world naturally and they also convey life to the world naturally. It's as if all of life comes out of Eden and through the rivers water brings life to the world.
Well now think of it, what's the analog to rivers in the world of re-creation, the world of mankind? Instead of generations of heavens and earth, what do you have? You have generations of the sons of Noah; M'eileh nifredu iiyai hagoyim b'artzotzam - Begoyeihem - and from there divide up all the world. From where? The nations, the children become nations, and from there all the nations diverge. What rivers are to the world of creation, the children of Noah and the nations they create are to the world of re-creation. What are the nations? Well back to regular Google Maps. In the world of mankind, nations create the political borders that divide up the world. The rivers recede into the background and how we, how human beings divide up into the world, are political boundaries, are roads, these are the things that divide up the world. These are how we see the world divided.
So literally, fascinatingly I think, the generations of heavens and earth are paralleled by the generations of the children of Noah, and the islands of nations parallel the sort of rivers out of world number 1. They're both the same thing, they're both the way the world divides and the way that life comes to the world. What kind of life? Human life comes to the world through the three sons of Noah dividing up into the nations, where there's not just teeming masses of humanity from these children, there's life, but that life organizes itself, organizes itself according to national boundaries and according to the way that the roads that men create take people from place to place.
So what I think we're beginning to see is that the world of Noah does continue to parallel the world of creation in these generations, but it's a different world. It's a world of men rather than the world of G-d.
Just by way of clarification, I just want to take a minute to explain what do I mean really when we talk about man's world and G-d's world? We've been throwing around these terms, but it's one thing to throw around terms, it's another thing to actually understand what we mean by this. Let me explain what I don't mean. For example, there's a popular theory, the watchmaker theory, the idea that G-d might have made the world but doesn't really care about it anymore and went off and lived somewhere else and just kind of left the world to run by its own devices. I do not mean to suggest that when I talk about the world of re-creation, the world of Noah being man's world. I don't mean to suggest that G-d is not involved in any kind of way. Clearly - at least from the Biblical perspective, that G-d is involved in the world, continuously involved in the world, there's miracles that happen in the Exodus from Egypt and other times, and that's clearly after the flood. G-d can be just as involved in man's world as G-d is in G-d's world.
So what do I mean when I talk about man's world as opposed to G-d's world? What I mean really again is that there are kind of like three phases of existence. You might view the ultimate G-d's world to be the Garden of Eden, and that's what we talked about before, in the Garden of Eden the role of man was really to serve and to protect. That notion about the Armed Forces what it originally comes from, to serve and protect, those words come from the Bible talking about man's role vis-à-vis the Garden of Eden. Again, what I want to say is that there you see how central the environment is, well the whole role, what we're supposed to do in the world is to serve and to protect the garden. What's so special about the garden? It's G-d's garden.
For example, to give you a sense of that, look at this verse over here, which you have in the middle of the Garden of Eden story, Genesis [2:8/3:8 7:01], when Adam and Eve have sinned and they hear the voice of G-d. Just listen to how it's phrased. Vayishme'u et kol Hashem Elokim mit'halech ba'gan leru'ach hayom - they heard the voice of G-d sort of walking in the garden, as if G-d, sort of a non-physical being, was somehow in this physical space in the garden, so to speak walking there, and they hid from G-d. So what is the garden? The garden is a sort of G-d's ultimate place in the world, it's a place that G-d made for Himself in the world. What we're supposed to do is to the extent that it's such a special place, because G-d is there we protect it.
If you think about the concept of holiness - Kedusha, Kadosh. In Hebrew this word over here. What the word holiness is a tricky word, hard to get your arms around. But if you look in the text, in the Bible, holiness is defined really as a material place where the ultimate non-material being exists, which is G-d. It's that nexus between the complete transcendental existence of G-d, the non-material, sort of wondrous existence of the Master of the Universe, somehow coming to exist in the material world. To put it to you in another way, in the material world you would not expect to find non-material things, you would not expect to find a non-material G-d, a G-d that's beyond space and time. Yet, here's G-d, G-d is here in the garden and that is Kedusha. That is what we call holiness. In the famous story of the Burning Bush, when Moses encounters G-d at the Burning Bush, so G-d immediately tells him, take off his shoes because it's a holy place. Why? Because G-d is there, G-d is manifesting Himself in the world.
So in the original world I want to argue, in the Garden of Eden and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent the rest of the world, in the world of creation, it was G-d's world. In the sense that G-d was resonant in the world, this was His place, as it were. Now mankind was also there, they were sort of - and this is what I've been talking about, sort of like tenants in G-d's world. That man along with animals they were two tenants in G-d's world and there was a certain kind of equality between them, between man and animals. What I want to argue is that in the post-flood world, that sort of changes. We still have a relationship with G-d, G-d can still be very involved in the world, but that sense of G-d being resonant in the world is not so much there. G-d is resonant in the heavens. There's a later verse in Psalms we'll talk about, this idea of the heavens belonging to G-d and the earth being the place of man.
So I want to argue that's a feature of the post-flood world, the idea that the earth is the place of mankind. That wasn't the case in the Garden of Eden, it also sort of wasn't the case, I want to argue, with even the rest of the world in the world of creation, the earth was also the place of G-d. G-d was sort of, so to speak, resonant in the earth. It's one thing to have a relationship with G-d in His palace so to speak, you're in the palace, you're there in the place He's resonant. There's another place that you're there in your world and you relate to G-d outside, G-d is somewhere else. The relationship is still there, G-d's power can be felt in the world and yet it's so to speak your world, in the sense that you're not really a tenant but you have sort of managerial rights. You're like the manager in the post-flood world.
So a lot of ink on the screen, it's really not quite that complicated, but I really just want to clear that up for you. Again, what I think is, is that all this stuff with the generations and with the rivers, you really get a sense of kind of the development of G-d's world on the one hand in the world of creation, as opposed to the development of what we've been calling mankind's world. Where just the focus is different. The focus is on G-d's environment in the world of creation, the focus is on the development of nations in mankind's world, in the world after the flood.
Okay, so after that clarification, again, just so we understand where we are, we've been talking about these parallels between these two worlds, the world of creation and the world of re-creation. We spent a lot of time in these last two videos talking about the parallels in terms of the generations on the one hand in one world and the generations in the other world. The question now is, do the parallels continue as you read the story in Noah's world? The next story we have over here is going to be Noah in the vineyard, is there something like Noah in the vineyard in the world of creation after these generations of heavens and earth? That's the next thing we're going to talk about, I'll see you in our next video.
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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