So begins the saga of Abram, the next big-hitter name in this book of all books. God tells Abram to “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee” (12:1). This three-fold separation of Abram rhetorically singles him out for greatness as the chosen one, a parallel to Noah. Abram ‘hero’s journey’ is as old as storytelling itself, so we also know, at best, he will struggle greatly; at worst, it won’t end well.
Genesis 11 introduces the story of the Tower of Babel, the mythos behind the world’s many languages. While I am familiar with this story, as a secular person and 90’s kid, I must admit that I also associate this phrase with the Tower of Babble, the desert hideout in Carmen Sandiego Word Detective. (Wow, now I know why I grew up to be an English teacher. I identified parts of speech for fun.)
As an English teacher, I also know that failure and/or inability to communicate is one of the most frustrating aspects of life. So what exactly did humanity do to warrant this scattering of a previously monolingual culture? Continue reading
Remember earlier when I said that, since God promised a harsher punishment for Adam and Eve than he actually delivered, “the child’s respect for the parent’s word of law could erode”? Well, apparently that happened.
This chapter includes another classic story: Cain and Abel. Cain’s story not only parallels his own parents’ casting out of Eden, but begins the solidification of God’s teachings, besides “do what I say or else.” At the same time, though, this chapter introduces how God’s teachings could be manipulated to serve one’s own selfish interests—a warning, perhaps.
So I’m only three chapters in and I’m already mad at this book. That didn’t take long.
As one of the most famous chapters in the Bible—Adam and Eve eat fruit from tree of knowledge and get cast out of Eden—I know I have more biases and prior knowledge here than other chapters. But in looking closely at the text itself, rather than a fable-ized version, I found both surprises and interesting parallels.