Before the Fall

Before the Fall (Genesis 1-2)

A friend asked me to make a painting depicting both creation stories of Genesis 1 and 2 together. As I read both accounts, I see similarities, and hence the second, lower, image is like a close up of the first, going into greater detail. This “telescoping” of biblical events is found in other parts of Scripture, especially Revelation and the prophets. 

The wings at the top of the painting represent the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. The feathers encircle the entire creation. The top image, Genesis 1, the seven stages of creation, and human beings both male and female. Around both images is an orange zig-zag and dots signifying God’s seal of approval: what He made is very good!

In the lower image, Genesis 2, God forms man from dust and breathes into him. He lives in a garden where there’s a river that separates into four headwaters. The first, on the right, is the Pishon which winds through Havilah where there is gold, onyx, and aromatic resin (essential oils, like frankincense and myrrh). 

The man is warned against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then he names the animals. Finally God makes a woman to be man’s companion. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

A wonderful book expounding this relationship of men and women is God’s Word to Women written in 1910 by Katharine C. Bushnell, MD. She was a medical missionary. biblical scholar, and early feminist who wrote a groundbreaking study of what the Bible really says about women.