Two Kinds of People - an Article
I would like to discuss on this page something that is very well known to many people. In fact I suspect that so many people are aware about this topic and its interpretation that I could try to label is as common knowledge. At the same time the interpretation provided on this page is controversial to some and possibly inflammatory to others. Maybe this is the reason why it never is presented to the general public.
The point is that there are two descriptions in the Genesis referring to the creation of man. They are similar but differ in small points, and may be difficult to reconcile because of that. The first one refers to the creation in general terms. It mentions creation of male and female, and it does that in such a manner as to suggest that they have been created concurrently. When one reads this passage one may try to imagine that the pair of humans appeared together as already formed entity. There is no sequential element to this description of creation.
Moreover, there is no mention of forbidden fruits here, no tempting serpents, but also no breathing of the breath of God into the created man.
The second description of man's creation is different in all of the above mentioned points. Firstly, the man is created first. Secondly, God breaths his own breath into the man. Moreover, the female form is created later and the act involves taking part of the man's bone as the material used for such act. Thus, there is a marked time difference between the creation of the man and the creation of the woman. There is also the serpent, the forbidden fruit and the fall in this part of description.
It is natural to ask why we have those two markedly different descriptions, and do they describe the same event or maybe two separate ones.
If we assume that the two descriptions refer to the same event then we are left with a long list of questions related to the events described later in the text. For example, subsequent verses suggest that the pair removed from Eden has been placed among a large group of people. If we assume that there was only one creation of humanity, then we do not know where those people came from.
It is much more rewarding to assume that the above citations refer to two independent acts of creation. They could be separated in time by a large margin and may even relate to different spatial locations. In fact what I would like to assume is that the first mention of the creation refers to the ordinary humanity, when the second one does not.
The creation of the human pair as described in the first citation could have happened at any time. Meaning, that if the scientists find some human bones that are thirty thousand years old, it does not contradict the notion of creation. Such find only suggests that the creation happened in the ancient time. Moreover, as the fist description is a natural part of the description of the creation of the material world, it would be natural if the humans were environmentally bound and oriented.
The second creation is different in nature. Most importantly in this second description God himself breaths his own breath into the man. That breath becomes a founding part of the man's soul. The breath must be something that we now call "God's Spirit". In other words, God breathed his own Spirit into the shell that was to become a man, and a part of that Spirit formed the soul of the man. If this is the case then the soul of the man would possess the intrinsic elements of the God's Spirit.
Please recall what happens when a couple conceives a child. The genetic material passed from the parents becomes visible in the features of the offspring. We see it by looking at the external features of the young person. He or she resembles the parents by the similarity of the eyes, mouth, and other facial features.
The same may be expected in the case described above. If God breathed his Spirit into the man in order to create his soul, then some of the features of the parent would be visible in the son. Now, I intentionally say son and not just 'a man' because the act of breathing into the man may be compared to the act of passing of genetic material from the parents to the offspring. That newly born person is a natural descendant of the parents.
Thus, it is possible to assume that the two descriptions of creation refer to two independent and markedly different acts. Moreover, the persons resulting from those acts may differ in some important aspects. One of them would be that the second type would naturally possess the personal features of the parent/creator.
Let us return to the text and see what happened next.
Later on the second description involves the so called 'fall'. The man and the woman consume some form of fruit and become separated from the creator. They open they eyes in a different manner than before and are able to see independently from the Creator.
One may compare this act to the transformation young people subject themselves to in order to become adults. Look at a child in its infancy. At the age between birth to some ten years old, a child collects information only. Very young children take object into their mouths in order to learn about them. The child is not critical or judgmental, rather it accepts any explanation provided to it by the parents and the guardians. However, an adult is completely different. An adult person is judgmental and analyzes any information that is presented to him or her. Adults do not take thinks for granted, and do not accept explanations without prior critical analyzes of them.
Between the age of unconditional acceptance of information (that an average child displays), and the age of independent thinking (that an adult presents), there has to be a transition time. This is the time of adolescence, when the child becomes judgmental and challenging to any information accepted so far. It is the necessary transition one has to undertake in order to become independently thinking. During this time one challenges the information already gathered in order to distinguish the truth from the false, the valuable from the rubbish, that the mind gathered while playing in the sand with other kids. This is the time when a young person consumes the fruit of knowing the good and bad. It is also the time when most of the persons are subject to dangers of committing serious sins.
Thus, in the description provided in the Genesis, the man and the woman became independently thinking adults. At the same time they became "independent", that is separated from their parents. They were given the skins (which may mean bodies) and they were sent to live among the humans already occupying the Earth. Even so, they were still the children of they parents. This form of transition does not negate that fact, in the same manner as the growing up of the children into the adults does not negate their family roots.
At those ancient time it must have been obvious to the population of the Earth as to who originated where. This may be seen in the subsequent descriptions provided in the text.
The above text suggest that there were two kinds of people living alongside each other on Earth. The first was called 'men' which may refer to the descendants of the first creation. The second is called 'the sons of heaven' which seems to refer to the descendants of the second creation. However, there is more to it than just the notion of being a descendant. This is because the Lord suggests that his spirit is present within the man. It would be most natural to interpret this as meaning that every one of the newly born 'sons of heaven' went through the process of birth and descent as described in the case of the first two.
However, this process stopped at some stage as described in the passage quoted above. It possibly may suggest that the sons of heaven stopped coming to Earth at this stage.
The next step that is relevant to this discussion is provided in the dream that Jacob had. The dream with the ladder and 'messengers' or Angels of God descending and ascending along it.
(In the original Hebrew the word 'malachei' (מלאכי) is used. That word means either 'messengers' or 'angels'. The root of the word is based on 'message' or 'messenger' therefore it is more natural to translate it in this manner. Some translations use the word 'angels' in this place.)
In order to understand the above passage one needs to recall the circumstances in which the dream occurred. Jacob was on his way to his uncle Laban. There he was to marry and beget his children. The nation that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was to begin there. The dream describes who is to constitute the members of that nation. The practice involving 'the sons of heaven' coming to Earth was to be reestablished again, and those persons were to be the members of the nation that Jacob was supposed to initiate at that step.
It is the only sensible interpretation of the above dream that fits to the particular stage of Jacob's life. When he was returning from Laban an angel changed his name to Israel. The new nation was established at that stage, including its name, protoplasts and the definition of its members.
A natural description of the process leading to the birth of a person belonging to this nation is as follows. God repeats the creation of the man as described in the second creation citation. He breathes his Spirit into the newly formed soul. Part of that Spirit becomes a constituent element of the soul of that person. Thus, the soul just begotten displays some of the features of the original Spirit. Then, the soul (messenger/angel if you like) descents into the body of just conceived Israeli fetus. The person who is born originally comes from God, but lives within human body.
Now comes the most difficult question of that process. How to recognize such person, and who those people are at the current time? One needs to observe that the above description is not religion centric. That is, at that time there was no religion called Judaism. Those persons (even though very much religious) were not associated with any form of established doctrine. They believed in God and God talked to them for some reason.
However, when the nation underwent the process of growth and became mature, a religion has been introduced to it. This religion is currently called Judaism, and is based on the law provided by Moses. The nation and the religion became interwoven. To make things even more complicated the religion allowed for acceptance of converts. This by definition means, that a person who does not belong to the nation may become a part of this religion. Even more, a person who is a part of the nation (because of his or her spiritual progeny) may for some reason lapse in religious participation. The actual resolution to the problem of finding out who is who in the particular Judaism-Israel combination is as complicated as it only could be.
Even so, the membership within the nation always relates in some manner to the closeness to Judaism.
One may wish to compare those two kinds of people and see some differences. The only citation that I am aware of that would directly compare them is in Luke.
Thus, according to Jesus, the human race is smarter than the sons of heaven. What is obvious in that citation is that Jesus was able to clearly distinguish between them. Moreover, he saw both of those kinds of people walking around him. It would be natural to suspect that he had chosen his disciples from among them. Why? Because he himself was one of them. This is clearly stated in the following passage:
It would be natural to expect that Jesus would be selecting his disciples from the nation he himself belonged to. Thus, the Apostles could be a representation of it. However, Jesus introduced another method of spiritual procreation accessible to God. This is represented in the form of descending Spirit. In this manner a person who is not originally a part of the nation of the 'sons of heaven' may be introduced to it in the spiritual manner. Actually this is John the Baptist who introduced this method. The baptism was provided to all, regardless of their origins or prior national or religious affiliation. Moreover, the baptism accommodated the descend of the spirit on the person who was baptized. Therefore the notion of adopted sons of God has been introduced.