Genesis Chapter 15

We get ‘back to God’, as it were, in Chapter 15. Most of this chapter is a conversation between God and Abram, though it’s definitely more one-sided: the first sentence of this chapter describes how the “word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision” (1). While the disembodied voice isn’t new, this is the first time I can remember that the word “vision” being used to describe encounters with God. Case in point: there’s none of this with Adam and Eve — God just starts talking to them.

Depending on your previous beliefs, the explanation for this could range from “merely a translation issue” to “proof that religion is just people on drugs making stuff up.” Either way, the nature of this visitation shows that God seems increasingly mystical and abstract, as if he’s distancing himself from this own creation. Perhaps he’s discovering he can be more effective as a ‘mysterious power’ than a human-like entity, like when he caused those plagues in Egypt.

Continue reading


Genesis Chapters 7 & 8

Author’s Note: I decided to combine these chapters because they are part of the same story, and otherwise Chapter 7’s post would have been very short.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Genesis 7 shows the first indications of the importance of the number seven. The “clean beasts” and “fowls” are brought into the ark “by sevens,” as instructed by God, and it was “after seven days” that the floodwaters came upon the earth (7:8-10).

The number seven, of course, is already significant because that’s how many days it took for God to create the earth plus one day of rest. This motif of a single number is a classic literary technique, and I’m sure it’s why seven has been and still is an important number in Western culture. (Harry Potter, anyone?)

Continue reading

Genesis Chapter 3

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.

Continue reading