The Second story of creation Mist, Adam and Truth and Tree of Life

If we read carefully the first two chapters of Genesis we will find there are two stories of creation. The first story, which is known to every schoolchild, is a fire story beginning with ‘Let there be light’ and goes on to describe the six days of creation and in which God rested on the seventh days after all that he made was completed.

The second story is the water story and begins with the phrase ‘a mist rises off from the Earth and watered the whole face of the ground’. (Genesis 2: 6) and goes on to describe how God formed man (Adam) of the dust of the ground, and then planted the Garden of Eden; and then in the midst of the Garden planted The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And a river went out from Eden to water the garden; and from there it was divided, and became four rivers (Genesis 2:10). It then goes on to describe the story of Adam and Eve, where Eve is beguiled by the serpent leading to Adam eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil upon which they both realise they are naked and cover themselves with a fig leaf.

Many people attribute the two stories of creation to two authors of the text and in particular relate to the fact that in the first story the term for God is persistently denoted as ‘Elohim’ whereas in the second story of creation the term for God is ‘Lord God’ or ‘Adonai Elohim’. The determination of ‘Who wrote the Bible’ (see external hyperlink book who wrote the bible) is an interesting and intricate study in itself undertaken by many scholars, but let us for the moment take it at its face value and that there are two stories of creation in the Bible.

Let us examine the second story of creation in more detail.

The word for ‘mist’ in Hebrew is ‘ed’ spelt aleph-daled אד and is assigned the numbers 1-4. This 1-4 format is represented in the physical form of the river flowing from the Garden of Eden and dividing into 4 rivers. Effectively this brief description alludes to God, the Power of the Universe represented as the aleph with a value of 1 and his the creation of the physical universe and phenomenal world represented by the letter daled with a value of 4.

The relationship between 1 and 4 is further extended with the creation of man, Adam[1]. Adam, meaning ‘man’ in Hebrew, is spelt aleph-daled-mem and has the numerical value 1-4-40. Thus man is effectively the ‘mist’, i.e. the universe in its physical form, with its source from the Power of the Universe, to which a 40 has been added.

The Hebrew alphabet progresses in three levels from units (1-9) to decanes (10-90) to centanes (100-400) (see hyperlink origins of Gematria). So whereas 4 represents the phenomenal world, so 40 represents the mental or conscious capacity of man.

Hence man or ‘adam’ with the numerical form 1-4-40 comprise the one God, the unity and singular force of the universe (1); the phenomenal world - flesh and bones (4); and the power of intelligence or consciousness (40).

To extend this argument further we can make the assumption that the purpose of man’s life on this Earth is find truth (or, more in accord with the story of Adam eating the apple – to re-find truth) and to align him/herself ultimately with God.

‘Truth’ is emet in Hebrew, spelt aleph-mem-taf אדת with the numerical values 1-40-400. So once again we see the number 4 reappearing and taken to the third level of development, the 400, and being the last and highest value in the Hebrew alphabet and where 400 indicates the highest plane of spiritual development within the confines of the physical universe.

The word ‘truth’ therefore means, that through the through God, the pervading force of the universe (1), emanated through the intelligence (40) man can reach the highest level of spiritual consciousness (400) that is possible in this physical plane on Earth.

This is further emphasised through the word for death, met in Hebrew and spelt mem-taf מת (40-400) where the aleph has been subtracted from the word emet אמת. Hence should one attempt to find truth through application of intellectual, technological advancement or even spiritual learning, but without the acknowledgment of God, it will only lead to death. Thus unless knowledge is related and linked to the original power of God, it is not truth; it is death.

Similarly, the word for ‘blood’ in Hebrew is dam דם and is spelt daled-mem with numerical values 4-40. It is adam אדם without the aleph א , meaning that man, who does not recognise God as part of his essence is no more than blood and flesh.

The tree of knowledge

The 1-4 ratio is pervasive throughout the first five books of the Bible and its importance is further seen in the story of the ‘Tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil’.

As we know from the story in Genesis (Gen 2:9): there were two trees in the Garden of Eden, one ‘the Tree of Life’ and the other ‘the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil’.

The numerical value of the phrase ‘Tree of Life’Ets ha Haim’ עץ החיים spelt: ayin-tzadek-heh-chet-yod-yod-mem is 70-90-5-8-10-10-40 = 233

The numerical value of the phrase ‘Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil’ ‘Ets hadaat tov ve raa עצ הדעת טוב ורע spelt ayin-tadek-heh-daled-ayin-taf-teth-vav-beth-vav-resh-ayin is 70-90-5-4-70-400-9-6-2-6-200-70 = 932

Hence the ratio of the tree of life: tree of knowledge of good and evil is: 233/932 = 1/4

1:4 exactly!!

The interpretation of which is as follows:

We have (or had) two choices in life in which to follow: the option which Adam chose not to take – the course of the ‘1’, or the course which he was seduced into taking and that is the course of multiplicity, the 4. It is a choice which all of us are caused to make in our lives.

There is the world of ‘four’, the world of development and duality that is never-ending; it is a path which unless undertaken in the context of God (the one) may be considered the path of death (See above). It is the world requiring us to respond to change, evolution, technology and progress, associated with its excitement, challenge, pain and pleasure. Or we may select the course of the ‘one’, with the realisation and expansion of the inner self as related to God in the search for truth.

The Fig Leaf

After Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil:

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (Genesis 3:7).

What is the significance of the Fig? In accord with Jewish tradition there are seven fruits mentioned in the Bible (See hyperlink Seven fruits the spies and Adam and Eve). The fourth fruit is the Fig. It is therefore associated with the ‘4’ of the world, the world of development, just as ‘the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’ represents the world of development. Similarly clothes are associated with the fig and are a covering of nakedness. Clothes in Hebrew is begged spelt בגד = 2+3+4. The sequence 2,3,4 relates to the process of development from duality to multiplicity to the phenomenal world. (See hyperlink Joseph and Potiphar)

As Laotse states: first there is the ‘one’, then the ‘two’, then the ‘three’ and then there is everything. The manifestation of the opposites of duality allow multiplicity. From the male and the female the child is produced (See hyperlink First story of creation)

[1] As we know from the text in the Bible Adam אדם was created from the ground or soil. The word of ground/soil in Hebrew is Adama אדמה, it is for this reason the Hebrew word for ‘man’ is Adam.


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