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Noah and the Vineyard
Video 8 of 21
Well let's go back to Genesis 2 and see. So here's Genesis 2 and here's the Sabbath and if we scroll back a little bit further we get to this part over here; These are the generations of heaven and earth. We continue past that, that's the setting as we talked about before, and then G-d forms man out of the dust of the earth, so what happens after that? Well then you have G-d planting the garden and after a little bit more, so to speak setting, when we talk about these rivers - the rivers coming out of Eden. Lo and behold the next main story that you have is the story of the tree of knowledge. Vayikach Hashem Elokim - the narrative picks up in verse 15 over here. Vayikach Hashem Elokim et ha'adam vayanicheyhu b'Gan Eden le'ovdah ule'shomrah - G-d takes man, puts him in the garden to watch over it. The next thing that happens is that G-d speaks to man and says, you can eat from all the trees of the garden but there's one special tree, a tree that will play with your mind, a tree of knowledge of good and evil. Do not eat from it because on the day that you eat from it, you will become mortal. This is the next story, the story of the tree of knowledge.
So the question is, if we continue reading in re-creation, in the story of Noah and the story of Noah and the vineyard, after the generations and after Noah beginning and after Noah planting, are we going to get to something that is going to sound like the story of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Which by the way if that's true, would really be fascinating because again if we go back to our binocular analogy, what this means is we'll now get sort of binocular vision on the meaning of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you really want to understand the tree - same way that if you understand Sabbath you can understand Sabbath in relation to rainbow, and the two bring you into sharper focus about the ideas of rest and all of those ideas. So too if you really want to understand the tree of knowledge of good and evil, maybe there's a tree of knowledge in Noah world, there's a Garden of Eden story, there's a forbidden tree story in Noah's world which is the complement of the story of the tree of knowledge.
If these intertextual parallels actually continue, then that's really what it would mean, which would really be fascinating. It would mean that we would get a vision of what the story of the tree of knowledge looks like in another kind of world, in Noah's world. That would really be cool.
So let's see if that's actually true. Again, before we go too far, let's just see if the parallels are there, and then we can try to figure out what they might mean. But are the parallels there? Does it look like we have another tree of knowledge story? Again, the next piece we had after G-d creating man and putting him in the garden, is that G-d commands Adam not to eat from this tree that will play with his brains, so to speak, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Let's go back to the story of Noah and the vineyard, anything in that story remind you of it? Well let me ask you, is there anything in that story that reminds you of that idea? Of course I think there is, what is that?
Okay so let's put our little tree of knowledge icon up here on the right side of the screen and we're just going to ask ourselves as we go through the story of Noah and the vineyard what continues to remind us of the story of the tree of knowledge? I think the answer kind of is pretty clear. We're up to verse 21 over here. In verse 21 the next thing we have is; Vayesht min hayayin - that Noah drank from the wine. Hmm. Well there you go, there's a substance with mind-altering quality, sure reminds you a lot of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To bring home the point what happens to Noah after he drinks? Vayishkor - he drinks from the wine and he gets drunk, so all of a sudden he can't tell up from down, his view of things is all sort of discombobulated.
Remember there really is something about the tree of knowledge which is almost like being drunk. If you go back to our understanding of the tree of knowledge as we developed it back in the story of the tree of knowledge - and by the way here's where the payoff comes from having gone through the story of the tree of knowledge, it will really help us, I think, understand the story of Noah and the vineyard. So what about the story of the tree of knowledge reminds you of drunkenness? Let me actually give you that as a puzzle and we'll come back to that. What about the story of the tree of knowledge that when he eats from the tree, what about it is really like being drunk? How is it very similar to intoxication and that kind of way?
Anyway, so what's the next thing that happens after Noah eats from the vineyard? What's the next thing after Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge? Well; Vayitgal - he's uncovered. Well look at that, all of a sudden Noah becomes naked. Then of course a little bit further down what happens? Cham sees the nakedness of his father, does some terrible thing, and Noah wakes up and he realizes it. Vayeida et asher asah lo beno hakatan - what - he looks at himself, he sees he's naked, he realizes, what does that remind you of back in the tree of knowledge story? Well you guessed it, it's Adam and Eve after eating from the tree, knowing that they are naked.
Next thing that happens, Noach says; Orrur Canaan - cursed be Canaan; Eved avodim yihiyeh l'echav - let he be a servant to his brothers. What does that remind you of back in the tree of knowledge? Anybody cursed over there? Well I'll give you a hint; Orrur Canaan - this particular word for curse, this is actually the second time that a person or being has been cursed in the entire Torah, and there is no other time after this that a particular person has ever cursed using this particular language, Orrur. But there's a first time, there's a first time someone was cursed. Who was cursed in the story of the tree of knowledge after Adam and Eve ate from the tree and realized that they're naked? The answer is it is the Canaan-like character. Who is that? Canaan is the instigator of evil and well, who did the sort of nasty thing to Adam and Eve? The answer is it is the serpent. So the serpent is cursed with this exact same language Orrur, which you then have showing up in the Noah story, when Noah curses Cham.
By the way what exactly was the curse of the serpent? The idea was that you will be cursed of all the beasts of the field, so whereas you were once colleagues with all the beasts of the field, now you will be the most cursed among them, you will be subservient to all of the other beasts. What does that remind you of over here? What is Noah saying about Canaan? Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren. He used to be colleagues with his brothers, with Shem and Yefet and Cham, used to all be on the same level, and now all of a sudden he is subservient, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brothers.
So it is a remarkable series of parallels, it really seems like the story of the vineyard is another tree of knowledge story. The tree of knowledge story in the world of Noah. But the question is, why and what does that really mean? Why is this a tree of knowledge story? Conceptually, what is it about this story that is so tree of knowledge like? That really is the great question that we need to struggle with as we go forward, so I'll see you soon.
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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