Brilliant Ancient Problem Solving
Chris Brady over at Targuman has been posting on some of the problems in interpreting Genesis “They saw that they were naked” and sexy? and Genesis of Evil. In his second post Genesis of Evil he points to an interesting interpretive problem.
Most of you probably know the story. God puts Adam and Eve in the garden and tells them to eat the fruit of every tree except one, and adds if they do eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that “surely they will die that very day.” However, the serpent says to Eve, ““You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Now here’s the problem: Adam and Eve do not die the day they eat the fruit, so the serpent was telling the truth, and apparently, God lied!
Chris is not the first reader to notice this problem. A long time ago the author of Jubilees noticed several problems inherent in the story of Genesis. He was a good reader whomever he was, and actually had a brilliant resolution to the problem of Adam and Eve not dying on “that very day” built on Ps 90:4 and the ancient belief that one day is like a thousand years to God in heaven.
Adam died. . . and he lacked seventy years of one thousand years [that is, he died at the age of 930]. One thousand years are as a single day in the testimony of heaven; therefore it was written concerning the tree of knowledge, “On the day that you eat of it? you will die.” Jubilees 4:29-30
So there you go, because Adam did not live to a thousand years, Adam died on that very day in “God-time”!