Sermon on the Mount, The Emmaus View

Emmaus View,

Eden’s curse and its covenant cure. (Version 1.5)

Eden’s curse and Eden’s cure

Learning from the lesson of Eden

To be unclean, was to be out of step with the divine assessment of what was good. Thus, as Matthew’s chapters unfold, the intertwining of Christ’s curse removing mission and the issue of cleanliness become ever more apparent. Yet, restoring personal cleanliness was only part of Messiah’s ministry, for the land itself could also become unclean. Just as Genesis records the foundational judgements that gave rise to Moses cleanliness rules, so it also introduces God’s two greatest commandments and the penalty for those who arrogantly break them. Embodied in the curses that enact this sentence of death are the characteristic symptoms of an unclean land. However, Genesis not only introduces them, it also provides a first glimpse of their cure.

Moses’ laws later enshrined the Genesis precedents, expanding upon the earlier commandments, instituting precautions to preserve the cleanliness of Israel’s holy place and clarifying the curses that follow disobedience. However, at the heart of all those rules lay the desire to learn from Eden’s lesson, to ensure the cleanliness of Israel’s land and to avoid the devastating outcomes experienced by Adam and by Cain.

Forbidden fruit and figgy garb

Law existed from the beginning1, for throughout Genesis’ first chapter, God exhibits a foundational attribute of deity, repeatedly defining what is good. Therefore, whilst Adam continued to agree with God, his every inclination was good. This attitude kept the garden a clean place, holy in its devotion to God. Even the geography of the garden reflected the purpose of its holiness, for out of it flowed rivers (i.e. living water) and at its heart was the Spirit of wisdom, a tree of life (Prov 3:13-18, esp. 18).

God created Eden as a clean place amidst the dusty wilderness, an oasis of life amidst a desert of death2. However, the serpent’s deception, that being your own arbiter of good and evil carried no consequences, was about to change all that. When Adam chose to reject God’s opinion, following his wife’s example instead of correcting her error, sin began and uncleanliness entered the holy place, bringing with it the sentence of death. Moreover, as humanity’s God-given leader sinned, his subjects shared in the outcome (cf. Rom 5:12).

The Serpent’s inference whilst quite true, eating the fruit would grant mankind god-like stature, however it played upon humanity’s unwillingness to listen to God’s opinion concerning the consequences. Thus, instead of conferring the god-like status and security that they presumably expected, the immediate outcome of knowing good and evil was the decision that they were insignificance and vulnerability3. Having rejected God’s wisdom in favour of another’s food, they found only fear. Thus, in Genesis 3:7 they set about trying to improve their lot by fashioning clothes and girdles4.

To any ancient reader familiar with barkcloth, the couple’s choice to use the leaves of the fig, rather than its bark, would have seemed absurdly naive. Many ancient cultures were versed in this widespread prehistoric technique, which produced clothes from the bark of trees and primarily used the fig family as its source5. Such barkcloth garments were usually of a single piece and worn toga style, at times with a girdle.

Adam’s day of judgement

When God reappears, most translations liken the deity’s demeanour to that of a middle-eastern potentate enjoying a cool breeze as he walks in his garden. Yet, the sense here is that God was walking amidst a wind (or spirit) of the day6. Given its context, i.e. mankind’s disobedience, this language foreshadows the later nomenclature of judgement7. Having offended God, mankind heard the sound (or voice, or thunder) of the Lord amidst the tempest of the day. No longer able to survive a face-to-face meeting, they fled into hiding, a move that Isaiah would later advocate as the only reasonable response (Isa 2:10, 26:20).

The couple’s admission of sin from their place of refuge prompted a series of ‘curses’, or judgements, that encapsulate God’s wisdom by taking the crime and serving up a related consequence. Because the serpent was more cunningly manipulative than all the free animals of the field, God cursed it more than all the manipulated (i.e. captive domestic) animals. Because it advocated exalting yourself to be like a god, it would live in abject submission, on its belly and eating dust8. Because it had crushed the head of the Woman by ensnaring Adam under its influence, the Woman and her seed would crush its head by placing it beneath their feet, leaving it powerless to do anything except snap at their heels9. Because Adam ate bad fruit, it would become harder to eat good fruit. Because God created him from the dust, his disobedience would see him returned to the dust10. The Woman would not escape the implications of Adam’s actions, but I will come back to that later.

A cursed land

By implication, Genesis 3:17’s curse meant that Adam’s land would oppose its divinely adjudged good purpose (e.g. by causing plants to wither instead of yielding seed and fruit for food). Thus the soil of Eden, like the one who tilled it, became unclean (Gen 1:11, 29). This curse on the ground was specific in its action, for the Hebrews distinguished between two primary types of terrain, the occupied and cultivated lands over which mankind exercised delegated rule (’adamah) and the wilderness places where God alone ruled (midbar). The curse was upon the man-ordered ’adamah. Thus, it only rendered unclean the ground upon which people had imposed their authority. Remove Mankind’s authority and ’adamah reverted to the rule of God and became midbar. Conversely, let human’s fiery wrath clear the wilderness (by burning off the scrub) and midbar became like ’adamah. The same sort of principles applied to clay and stones. Bake the clay of the wilderness in a furnace and it can then be defiled like ’adamah, cut a stone with an iron tool, as one would cut the ’adamah with an iron tipped plough, and it could then become unclean. Israel considered altars extensions of the ‘ground’, hence the need to construct them from uncut stones (Deut 27:5) or afford them a special status as ‘ground’, as with the later altars of bronze and gold11.

Wilderness regions, their stones and ground, remain clean despite the uncleanliness of people or the presence of unclean animals dwelling in them. Similarly, because no human authority controlled them, it was impossible to taint the waters of wells, springs and the sea. One may reasonably assume that the same logic extended to rain, frost and snow (Ps 147:16-18), and to the ‘wild’ versions of other primal elements such as the wind, upon whose wings God rode, and consuming fire, as fell from heaven and came out from God (2 Sam 22:8-15).

In an unclean land, the cultivated ground opposes the life of mankind, the creatures of the air consume the sowings, drought shrivels the young shoots and thorns choke the crops. In clean soil, crops reward a person’s efforts with abundant life. Furthermore, the dust of an unclean land contaminated anything that stood upon it and prevented its occupants approaching God. Hence, the Rabbinic habit of shaking the dust off their feet when they left a gentile nation (cf. Luke 10:10-11)12, the Jewish emphasis on foot washing and Naaman’s strange request for the relocation of two mule loads of Israel’s ‘ground’ (’adamah) into Syria (2 Kgs 5:17).

Just as life and death are in the disposition of a king, so the amount of life something has depends upon God’s attitude concerning it and His gift of His Spirit to it (Prov 16:14-15, Deut 32:39, Jer 38:16, Neh 9:6). Psalm 104 expresses it thus “You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.” (Ps 104:28b-30, NASB95). Thus at one extreme lay the life of a luxuriant forest like Sharon and the noisy worship of people enjoying the light of God’s face, at the other lay the death of an empty salt waste like Sodom and the silence of those in the darkness of the grave. The difference depended entirely upon the activity of God’s Spirit.

Between enjoying fullness of life and being fully dead lay a spectrum of states. Thus, whilst Adam did not suffer the instantaneous death one might have expected, from the moment he sinned he began the walk to the gallows, dragging everything under his authority with him. His actions precipitated a creeping decay that would usher him through shades of existence, ever closer to the dust from which he came. Fortunately, it was to be a long walk, for his merciful judge sought repentance rather than revenge.

The role of women when men rebel

The threat of exile hung over Adam, for God created him from dust that lay outside Eden and to that he would return. However, God was not finished with Adam yet. Rebellion motivated Adam’s transgression, but the Woman was trying to achieve God’s objectives at least as far as she understood them, i.e. to be like God. She was deceived into sin (1 Tim 2:14) and therefore, in a foundational judgement, the Lord confirmed that the Woman deserved mercy and the way to save humanity lay with her and her seed.

Once again, God fitted the consequence to the crime. Because Adam had sought to exalt human authority over God’s, he would have to accept God’s authority through a human. Thus, in the curse upon the serpent (Gen 3:14-16) we see the Woman coming to occupy the position that Adam forfeited, for God gave authority over this ‘beast of the field’ to her and her seed, rather than to Adam and his seed, and effectively instructed her to keep Adam under control. God intended the Woman to help Adam multiply the ‘image of God’, however this process included both childbirth and child rearing. Therefore, henceforth it would become painful. The physical pain of childbirth becomes a metaphor for the spiritual pain involved in replicating the image, for although she would seek to control Adam, he would dominate, overruling her and frustrating the process (Gen 3:16).

God’s ruling enabled the Woman to step into her husband’s former role and become the means by which he could continue to live. In recognition of which, Adam changed her name from Woman, i.e. ‘out of Adam’ (Gen 2:23), to Eve, i.e. ‘life’ (Gen 3:20)13. Because Adam chose his own way, his sanctification, together with that of their children, would now depend upon his wife, the ‘Mother of all living’ (cf. 1 Cor 7:14). God’s wisdom had guarded ‘the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall’ (Wis 10:1, KJV14).

The account of Sisera’s defeat confirms the precedent from Genesis 3:14-20a, that when a man in authority ignores the word of God, God gives his glory to a woman (Judg 4:6-9, 14, 21). When Barak disregarded God’s instruction, to take only Naphtali and Zebulun, and insisted that forces from Issachar accompany him, Deborah prophesied that the victory’s glory would no longer go to Barak, but to a woman. Thereafter, we find Jael, wife of Haber, ‘crushing’ their enemy’s head with a tent peg. Jael, a ‘Mother of Israel’ had arisen15, allowing the nation to throw off their oppressor and liberating them from the curse of subjugation.

The theme of Eve’s role, together with the title ‘Mother of Israel’, recurs when the foolish men at Abel of Beth-maacah give shelter to the renegade Sheba (2 Sam 20:16-19). A wise woman, besieged in that Beth-maacah (‘house of pressure’16), recognized her Eve-like role, as the ‘mother of Abel’ seeking salvation for her family. Having assured herself that Joab did not intend destroying a ‘mother in Israel’, she thencrushed’ the head of rebellious Sheba by having it thrown over the wall.

Such gender based role reversal provides a key for interpreting a number of other biblical scenarios, including various covenant renewals (see Appendix T), together with the accounts of Tamar and Bathsheba, and Esther (dealt with in later chapters).

Eden’s covenant, origin of an offering

In the curse upon the serpent, pain of childbirth and the re-naming of the Woman, we get the briefest of glimpses of God’s provision for dealing with the fallout from Adam’s crime, a foundational Edenic covenant upon which all later covenants were laid. God’s statements concerning the serpent (Gen 3:15) guaranteed that mankind would never lack someone with the righteousness to exercise authority over creation. The merciful judgement upon the Woman ensured that she and her seed (singular) would always have the access to Heaven required to intercede for another’s sin. Thus, mankind would never lack an individual whose immunity to uncleanliness held the key to removing it. That God would later give similar assurances, to Abraham (Gen 22:17-18) and then to David (Ps 89:28-29), begins to suggest why Matthew emphasised Jesus descent from those particular ancestors.

In Genesis 3:21, we find Eve stepping into the role of priest, for, to the mindset of early Israel, the gift of skins, with its need for slaying animals, implied a sacrifice. Moses’ Law provides a commentary on this verse, for it commands the priesthood to emulate their Lord and give the skin of a burnt offering to the priest who offered it17. Thus, the Mosaic Law confirms that the Woman overcame the serpent’s deception by means of a burnt offering that returned a surrogate life to the dust.

The Woman’s burnt offering was clearly acceptable, for the Lord took it and used it to deal with vulnerability, both physical and spiritual. It provided an effective replacement for the inadequate fig leaves of human wisdom18. Furthermore, the skin thus obtained conferred significance, for it was a badge of office for this priest who served an unclean land. As priesthood originated, the Woman (and her seed) had become its nucleus and the burnt offering its tool.

Although Adam’s crime merited death, his submission to Eve’s authority acknowledged the guilt that arose from ignoring the law, whilst ensuring that he could still approach God and live. Thus coming under Eve allowed him to make his own offering and also receive a skin as a priest’s portion. As long as he remained her faithful servant, he could continue to benefit from God’s promise and enjoy freedom from the curse of death. Just as leather gave protection where fig leaves gave none, serving the priesthood of Eve gave salvation, where attempting to evade God gave none.

An end to Eden

Adam confessed his sin from his hiding place amidst the trees, humbled himself by recognising his wife’s new role, and committed to serving God’s chosen one, as implied by his participation in her priesthood. Moreover, God’s acceptance of his sacrifice declared him clean. With the serpent under Eve’s heel and Adam’s sin atoned for, Eden had returned to being a clean place, which suggests that for Adam, as for a fugitive in a city of refuge, returning to the dust was no longer inevitable.

Jubilees, a work dating from the Maccabean period, preserves the tradition that Adam was expelled from Eden at least a month after his initial fall (Jub 3:17, 32). Such a passage of time between Genesis 3:21 and 3:22 seems likely, for the Adam who hid amongst the trees was hardly the god-like fulfilment of the serpent’s prediction. The seed of the forbidden fruit had to grow and self-centred arrogance had to replaced the healthy fear of God that prompts confession. However, by Genesis 3:22, Adam had become god-like and the Lord could observe that he would no longer reached out for the godly wisdom and righteousness that were his tree of life (cf. Prov 3:18, 11:30).

With Eden irretrievably ruined by Adam’s attitude, his welfare took second place to preserving the way to life from the garden’s corrupting influence. Because he was too arrogant to reach out (shalach) his hand and take from the tree of life, God sent him out (shalach) to work the ground, leaving the Cherubim to overturn Eden with a flaming sword. Eve’s attempts to control Adam had been unable to prevent his downfall, God had rebuked him and he had become like the whirling dust of Isaiah 17:13, blown away into exile.

The seed of the Woman sprouts

With Eden lost and Eve apparently powerless to prevail, the family’s salvation now lay in her seed19, the single individual with the authority to crush the serpent’s head, even in the unclean place of exile, and the person from which the priesthood derived its authority.

As the promise was to a single ‘seed’, the account of Cain and Abel’s sacrifices (Genesis 4:3-7) concerns itself with which of Eve’s sons could inherit that role. Ancient Middle Eastern culture expected a father’s influence to be strongest upon his eldest son, for he would inherit the headship of the family and the power that went with it. However, for a younger the son, the relative influence of its mother increases. The lifestyles of Adam’s sons reflect that distinction. Cain, the eldest, shared his father’s experience for he was working the ground (’adamah), however Abel showed his mother’s influence and ruled over animals (flocks) in the wilderness (i.e. midbar)20. Of the two, only Abel heeded God’s opinion of his father’s earlier sacrifice. Thus, from Abel came the acceptable offering of obedience, in the form of choice animals and fat portions from which he could derive a priestly mantel. However, from Cain came a worthless fig leaf, in the form of a vegetarian offering.

God’s evaluation of their sacrifices left Cain obliged to serve his younger brother. His angry questioning of the justice in this treatment provides further evidence of his father’s influence at work. God's response (though the Hebrew is difficult and several interpretations exist) seems to imply that doing right lifts up in His presence but not doing what is right opens the door to sin and leaves one lying prostrate and vulnerable. For Cain, doing ‘what is right’ would have involved humbly accepting God’s view concerning his brother, for Abel’s attitude was the key to dealing with sin. The issue for Cain was the motivation behind his sacrifice. He wanted God to look favourably upon him, rather than having the humility to preferred God’s honour to his own.

The rejection of Cain’s sacrifice, the ongoing issue of atoning for sin and the subsequent image of blood crying out from the ground (Gen 4:8), all hint that Cain’s actions were as much about trying to improve his sacrifice as getting rid of a competitor21. However, Cain had missed the point, for it was the attitude with which one offered a sacrifice, rather than its value, which rendered it acceptable. Thus, God called Cain to account for his brother’s absence and once again explained how man’s actions had bought a curse upon the land, with the consequent failure of productivity and necessity for exile (Gen 4:9-12).

The two greatest

The quite-different-but-related crimes of Adam and Cain both left the land unclean. Adam arrogantly exchanged wholehearted worship of God for idolatrous worship at the altar of ‘Me’, declaring ‘I want to live according to my own assessment of good and bad’, or in effect, ‘I want to be my own god’. Cain arrogantly ignored the impact of his actions upon his brother. Adam’s transgression was idolatry and Cain’s was the shedding of blood, the two crimes that the scriptures would later cite above all others as the causes of an unclean land (e.g. Ezek 22:3-4, 36:17-18). Idolatrous practices, with their related sexual activity, defiled the land so that it spewed out the Canaanites (Lev 18:24–25, Ezra 9:11), similarly unjustified bloodshed and idolatry, along with adultery, precipitated Judah’s exile in Babylon (Ezek 33:24-26).

Adam, by failing to set the Lord before all other gods, had transgressed the commandment that Jesus would later identify as the greatest (Mark 12:28). Cain, by failing to consider the welfare of his fellow man, had then broken the law that Jesus considered like unto it. Jesus conclusion, On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.(Matt 22:40, NASB), reflects the foundational role of these two precedents. Any failure to love the Lord with all your heart was like idolatry and any harm done to your fellow man was like murder (1 Sam 15:23, Matt 5:21-22). There are many other deadly serious judgements recorded in Genesis but most seem to build upon these basic two.

Curses and the Covenant of Moab

In English, we refer to Eden as a garden, however the original Hebrew (gan) derives from the word for ‘defend’ (gānan), as do the words for a ‘shield’ (māgēn) or the ‘covering’ that God provides (māgan). A ‘garden’ was a safe place and, as such, the scriptures sometimes use that description for sacred enclosures (e.g. Isa 65:3). Hence, as Moses led Israel in the wilderness we may reasonably think of the Tabernacle, with its surrounding curtain, as a moveable ‘garden’.

Moses’ organised the tabernacle to reflect its Eden-like role. Thus, the Levites assumed the role once held by Adam, serving the ‘garden’, preserving the Law and ensuring that the sanctuary remained clean. At Sinai, the Ten Commandments expanded upon the two greatest and a host of cleanliness rules sought to avoid a repetition of an Adam-like situation where, because one unclean individual defiled the Tabernacle, all suffered (Lev 15:31). Similarly, the curses that afflicted Adam’s family expand into the curses associated with the Covenant of Moab, wherein disobedience brings the failure of fertility, vulnerability to enemies and ultimately exile (Deut 28:1-68).

Moses set before God’s people a choice, between life and death, blessings and curses (Deut 30:19). When they chose death, they shared Cain’s experience of lack of peace (Mic 2:10) and agricultural failure (Ezek 36:29). Thus, as one reads the scriptures, the presence or absence of the curses serve as a barometer for national cleanliness. If they ignored such signs, Moses assured them, God would leave the land a waste of brimstone and salt like Sodom (Deut 29:22-23), a place overturned by divine anger. We find a similar depiction in Joel (Joel 2:14-15, 1-3), as he urges his people to repent before they loose their ‘Eden’. The curses acted like a physical pain, revealing when something was amiss and encouraging a trip to the divine physician before things got out of hand.

Messiah’s curse-revoking mission

At the heart of Israel’s problems lay cleanliness, thus Psalm 106:35-39 describes how residual Canaanite influence caused Israel to defile their land. Similarly, Isaiah would later pass the following comment on the moral slide that preceded Judah’s Babylonian exile, “The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, And few men are left” (Isaiah 24:5-6, NKJV). Consequently, it only to be expected that reversal of the Deuteronomic curses lay at the heart of the majority of Messiah’s anticipated achievements, including the likes of restoring national autonomy, bringing health, promoting agricultural productivity, ensuring security, enabling vision, and ensuring freedom and sufficiency.

The words of Ezekiel confirm that the restoration of an Eden-like state involves God turning people to obedience and dealing with the curses (Ezek 36:25-35). The prophet brought the announcement of a day in which God would restore the nation of Judah. It would involve the people receiving a new heart and a new spirit, to dealing with the disobedience, following which God would cleanse them from their iniquities, thereby dealing with the curses and cleansing their land. The outcome would be the return of agricultural abundance and the re-occupation of the land. This, observed God, would cause people to say, “This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden.” (Ezek 36:35, KJV).

For Messiah to rule over a new ‘Eden’ would mean sovereignty over an obedient people whom God had cleansed from their sins, a realm no longer subject to the curses upon the disobedient. In their judgements this people would judge as God judged and would show the world what their Lord is like. For such a nation, the curses would no longer be relevant, the curse of exile from God’s presence and even the curse of death would have lost their power.

Essential steps

The account of Adam and his family reveals the centrality of cleanliness when God deals with men, establishes the two greatest commandments and shows how breaking either of them renders the land unclean. Moreover, it portrays the genesis of priesthood, through the establishment of an Edenic covenant, and the origin of sacrifice, in the form of the burnt offering. It demonstrates that, when men fail to exercise their God given authority, God will transfer it to women. Moreover, that when corporate failure of leadership rendered the land unclean, then the promise to the Woman and her Seed became pivotal to restoring its cleanliness. Should they in turn fail, God brings his people out, allowing chaos to undermine human authority so that the man-formed ground reverts to divine control, becomes a wilderness in the process.

In the first four chapters of Genesis, we find a pattern that repeats whenever God acts to keep the way of life available. Adam and Cain illustrate how mankind’s arrogant choices, outworked as idolatry and murder, precipitate a sentence of death. The resultant cautionary curses buy time for a change of heart, but render the land unclean. Eve and Abel illustrate the way back to God for those who will humble themselves. However, the destruction of Eden underlines the lengths to which the Lord will go in order to preserve the way. Once a leader becomes arrogant and god-like in their refusal to accept divine wisdom, and once God can see that, even with some female encouragement, they will no longer reach out for the life on offer, then, even though their sanctuary might be as significant as Eden, God will send them out and unleash the Cherubim to overturn it.

The principal of curses worked their way into the Mosaic Law where the Covenant of Moab provides their fullest expression. Similarly, echoes of Eden find expression in the tabernacle and the Levitical procedures, for, ever since Eden, cleanliness and the curses have gone hand in hand. Thus, the coming of Messiah to free his people would require a restoration of cleanliness. That in turn would involve calling people to confess, humble themselves and accept God’s perspective.

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1 Because sin requires Law, the existence of death from Adam until Moses proves Law existed prior to Moses (Rom 5:12-15).

2 Genesis, 2:7-8 describes movement into the garden, whilst 3:23 implies God created Adam outside the garden. 2:5 indicates that Adam’s dust came from a rainless place were (despite the ‘mist’ of 2:6, plants refused to sprout).

3 Nakedness came to epitomise vulnerability and lack of significance (e.g. Deut 28:48, Ezek 16:7, 18:7).

4 A rope could replace the item of clothing variously rendered apron, loin clothing, covering (Isa 3:24). Therefore, the alternative translation ‘girdles’ in the NASB95 seems closer.

5 This felting process required only simple tools, such as axes and hammers, was easier than the production of leather clothing and was widely used before the advent of animal fibre based cloth. It was such a versatile and robust material that Japanese manufacturers even used it for armour. Cultures in various parts of the world still wear it, especially for traditional ceremonies. See Ron Edwins, "Barkcloth and the Origin of Paper," First National Paper Conference in Hobart, May 1987. Cited 27 Feb 2008. Online: http://www.justpacific.com/pacific/papers/barkcloth~paper.html.

6 This has echoes as God passes by in Exod 33:17-23 and 1 Kgs 19:11, as explored in later chapters.

7 E.g. see Hab 1:11, Job 30:15, 37:21, Isa 25:4, 27:8, Jer 18:17, Zeph 2:2, Ps 11:6, see also Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVP Bible background commentary, Gen 3:8.

8 The same imagery is used of enforced subjection imposed by the king of Israel in Psalm 72:9.

9 The naming of Jacob, i.e. heel holder (Gen 25:26), casts light on the intended meaning of striking for the heel. To be placed under the foot was a sign of subjection (Joshua 10:24) and to be at someone’s feet was a sign of submission (as in 1 Samuel 25:24). For one in such a position, the heel represented an area upon which a covert attack might just succeed (as envisaged in Genesis 49:17). Thus striking at the heel was evidence of the rebellion associated with unwilling submission (as in the parallelism of Hosea 12:3).

10 Mankind, whilst created mortal (as the reaction to nakedness testifies), obtained immortality by access to the tree of life. Then, as now, should God withhold that precious God-breathed life a human body became no more than dust (Job 34:14, Ecclesiastes 12:7).

11 Yitzhak Magen, "Ancient Israel's Stone Age: Purity in Second Temple times," Biblical Archaeology Review 24: 5 (Sep/Oct 1998; Logos Electronic Edition, 2002): n.p.

12 D. M. Edwards, “Dust,” ISBE, 998

13 Strong, “2332 חַוָּה,” Concordance.

14 The Wisdom of Solomon was written between 200 B.C.E. and 40 C.E., see Charles, APOT, 1:520.

15 The text is ambiguous and this title, which translators usually apply to Deborah is more fittingly applied to the head crusher, Jael.

16 Strong, “1038 בֵּית מַעֲכָה, Concordance.

17 Reuben A. Torrey, Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1995), Lev 7:8.

18 Coincidentally the Hebrew for burnt offering (`olah) and that for fig leaves (`aleh) use the same vowels.

19 Herein appear to be the roots of Paul’s statement on women teaching (1 Tim 2:14-15)

20 I assume this was the case, for in undeveloped cultures those who keep animals are generally unwelcome amidst cultivated ground as their animals eat the crops.

21 Micah, before explaining that the Lord wanted none of them, placed the offering of members of your own family at the top of a sequence of offerings of escalating value (Mic 6:6-8).