In the beginning (Bereshit)

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

This week we are back at the beginning in the parshah readings*. This week’s Torah reading is Bereshit (‘in the beginning’), reading the first chapters of Genesis. In the above text, Paul warns about a corrupted mind, pointing back to the beginning, to our ancestors in the Garden. In the history of the Fall, as recorded for us in Genesis 3, it may not be apparent at first sight that the Fall revolves around our mind. If we only read this text literally, we miss the spiritual depth that His Word wants to teach us.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 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 3:5-7

Literally, the text is about opened eyes that can see. The woman ‘saw’ that the tree was good for food, that it pleasant to the ‘eyes’. As a result of eating of the tree, the ‘eyes of them both were opened’. It also says that the woman desired to be made ‘wise’, and that eating of the tree would lead to ‘knowing’ good and evil. So the spiritual depth of this text refers to the mind. And that is why Paul uses this history to warn us about our mind. Seeing in the Bible means not only literally seeing with our physical eyes, it means seeing and understanding spiritually.

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

What man became to ‘see’ by eating of the tree was the ‘wisdom’ of the world, which is foolishness (1 Corinthians 3:19). By eating of the tree, man traded the Wisdom of YHWH (Proverbs 8), that gives Life (Proverbs 8:35), for the wisdom (good and evil) of the world. Man traded Truth for lies and delusions of the world.

Before the Fall, life with YHWH was simple. Man walked with Him in the Garden, and although they were naked, they felt no need to hide from Him (Genesis 3:8-10). When the knowledge of good and evil, the wisdom of the world, entered the mind of man, life became complicated. It is the lies and delusions of the world that make our lives difficult. But Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that this simplicity is still there in our mind, it is in Yeshua the Messiah. In the Word that is Life, that was in the world but was not known by the world, that is full of Truth (John 1:1-14). If we do not allow our mind to be ‘corrupted’ by the wisdom of the world, the evil of the world nor the good of the world, then we will return to that simplicity that is in Him. Then we walk with Him again, and we no longer feel the need to hide. In His truth is where we should be, where we should walk. In the world, but not of the world.

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:16-17

Where are you (Genesis 3:9)? Who reigns in your mind?

* The parshah is the traditional Bible reading schedule, read weekly by Jews, Messianic Jews and other Shabbat observers.

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I have posted numerous blogs on this website, explaining the deeper meaning of Biblical words and parables. To prevent blogs from becoming too long, I do not always repeat the explanation of words and parables that I use, but refer to other blogs where the reader can find the explanation. As the number of blogs on the website grows, the references become more and more. That is why from now on, I would like to refer the reader to the search function on this website, where all the blogs can be found where I use the relevant words or parables. More explanation can be found there. The reader will find more explanation in my book, which is available for free download.