What does “naked” mean and why were Adam & Eve “afraid” and “ashamed”?
In the Garden of Eden, the narrative regarding Adam & Eve was that , before they sinned, they were naked but not ashamed, as in:
Gen. 2:25 ”The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”
The word naked was an English translation of the Hebrew word “arowm”, also meaning “nude”. Whereas, the etymology of the word ashamed is “buwsh”, aka “pale” or “dry”.
In the garden of Eden, they were instructed in:
Gen 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
They then violated God’s command. It was only after sinning did Adam & Eve become aware their “eyes opened” that they were “naked“…. “afraid” and ..”ashamed” as in,
Gen. 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Gen. 3:10 “…I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
They “hid” and “sewed figs for covering” are actions that expressed their “fear” and “shame”.
The origin of the body and spirit.
What do all these mean? To help understand this narrative in the garden of Eden, one has to start from the beginning of human creation, cautiously and precisely.
We can see how man was composed in:
Gen 2:7, “The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Clearly, man is composed of a body that came from the “soil of the ground” plus “breath of life” that came directly from the Creator’s breath, not matter from “soil”, i.e., non-matter or “spirit” from a “spirit-being”(Creator-God).
So man is made up of matter(the whole body from head to toe) and spirit. By itself, the body is lifeless, i.e., dead. And, infused into the body through the nostrils, is a “spirit of man” , aka, the “breath of life” that has intrinsic life, having come directly from a living God. Subsequently, the body + breath of life(spirit of man) ”became a living being”. In other words and strictly speaking, the body, per se, is dead and only the “breath of life,the “spirit of man” has life because it came directly from a living God, not from the “soil of the ground” which is inert. And a living God has to connect or fuse them together(turn them on)to become “ a living being”. It was this connection by God that made it a “living being/soul”.
A living person has to turn it on
This connecting/turn-on mechanism has parallels, although not strictly equivalent to the relationship between body and spirit:
1. Before we see light, there has to be light bulb, electric cord, socket where the cord is plugged in and electric wire towards the switch; all components to bring light. All the preceding elements, by themselves, do not bring on light. Essentially, they are “dead”. Only when one (a live person) turns on the switch or “connects” all these parts that light will come on. Or, some living being, automatically turns it on, as a reflex, using a “timer”.
2. A computer with all its parts are “dead” or not useful unless someone, who is alive, turns on the power.
3. With all the parts of a car, it will not start even with an ignition unless a living person turns it on.
Separation and connection
Connectivity as a step in this mechanism to bring on life is also proven by:
1. Death comes when there is disconnection or separation between the body and “spirit of man/breath of life”, as in:
Eccl.12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
The dead body decays and turns to dust or soil on earth, while the “spirit of man” returns to God who gave it; they separate.
2. A dead body that is “matter-composed” can be restored to natural/physical life when the “spirit of man” is infused back to him/her again.
An example of this is Lazarus, who has been dead,i .e., the spirit left him 4 days already but he was resurrected, as in:
John 11:38-44 “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
3. The same physical resurrection in:
Daniel 12:2: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, …some to shame and everlasting contempt”
Revelation 20:12-13: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
So the spirit that returned to God can then be retrieved back into the physical body, although previously dead will have life, through the power of God.
This “spirit of man” that returned to God at death, is devoid of a physical and matter-composed body. As a parallel, it is like the thumb-drive that has all the memory downloaded from a computer, which represents the body, and can be destroyed. The thumb drive can be inserted into a new computer with all the memories and activities of the previous destroyed computer. In the future, this “spirit of man” maybe given another type of body. This time a spirit-composed body as in the “first resurrection” to eternal life. This is proven by:
Daniel 12:2 “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, …”
Rev. 20:4-6 “...They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ,…”
Notice that, by itself, the “spirit of man” does not have “everlasting life”. It is not eternal until given a new and immortal body,i.e., it and can be destroyed and cease, as in:
Matt. 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul(psyche/breath/spirit). Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul (spirit) and body in hell(Gehenna fire , not hades).”
Essentially, the “spirit-of-man” (while not eternal and can cease or be destroyed) is the living component of man separate from the non-living/lifeless body-component. But God, a living person, caused them to fuse/connect/combine that turned them into “a living being/soul”. At death, they separate, the “spirit-of-man” goes back to the Creator while the dead body goes to the grave/hell/hades to rot.
4. The same principle in healing . If dead body can be alive by this mechanism so did people with sick bodies. Notice that these people already have intact “spirit-of-man” but with sick body. Yet they were healed. A living God had to “turn on”or “activate” the “flesh-composed body”. Read the narrative about the crippled (Mark 2:9-12),leprosy (Luke 17:12-16), blind (John 9:6-7),bleeding disorder (Matt. 9:20-2), and every kind of disease and sickness (Matt. 9:35)
Who and where “we” are, the real “us”, the real man?
With that said, what is the true interpretation or rendering of “body”, “naked/nude”, “clothed”? What or where is the “real us”, the “real man” referred to? Before and after separation of body and spirit ?
As words may have different meaning depending upon time-culture, viz. gay which before means happy but now understood to be homosexual, can we be assured of the meaning of these words?
Yes, we can and were given proof of what these words mean today. The true understanding was expressed by Paul in that same time-period, within the first century. These 2 separate components were also understood by Paul, as in:
2 Cor 5:1-4 ” Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are (made) in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked. These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die.”
King James Version with original Greek word translated:
2 Cor 5:1-4
“For we know that if our earthly house (okia/residence/abode)of this tabernacle (skenos/temporary tent) were dissolved, we have a building (oikodome /base of structure) of God, an house (oikia/abode)not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) upon with our house which is from heaven:
If so be that being clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) we shall not be found naked(gymnos/nude). For we that are in this tabernacle (skenos/temporary tent)do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed(ekdyo/sink out/divest), but clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”
Clearly then, the body is a temporary dwelling, a tent/tabernacle. And, that the “we” referred to is the “spirit of man” in this earthly tabernacle ( the temporary body). This, suggestive of our future “immortal spirit-composed body” that we will put on or be clothed into “us”, is the “spirit of man/breath of life” that returned to the Father God, at natural death. The body is considered a cloth, temporary or eternal. Without a body, the “spirit of man” is nude or naked. Real “self” is really the spirit-component of man as the natural/physical body is transient.
Further proof of the above concept that, by usage as understood by Paul, the human spirit is the real “us”/“we” , (the real person), is what Jesus himself said, as in:
Matt. 15:12 “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
What goes out comes from the psyche/spirit or mind determines and defines sinful acts that defile the “us, we”; not the natural body.
Currently, “we”(the human spirit) is in this physical matter/composed body/cloth which is temporary tent. But, also now, Father God gave us the Holy Spirit through Jesus because of our belief in the promises to him, as a “deposit”, an “earnest” for it to grow and guide us into the fullness of the immortal body, as in:
2 Cor 5:5-10 “Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the (earthly)body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away (dead) from the body and at home (immortal body) with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us (immortal body)for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
The Holy Spirit then is “baptized” into “us”( the spirit of man), binds, connects and fuses in “us” for sanctification.
We now know the 2 components of humans when created as explained in the narrative in Genesis at the garden of Eden. The body(soma) is natural, physical, earthy and comes from soil, mud, ground and therefore temporary as a tent/tabernacle. This is the “temporary clothing” that will die a natural death and decay in “hell/hades/grave”, as in:
Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once, to die but after this the judgment”
Whereas, the spirit(psyche/mind) of man is spirit-composed element of man that came directly from a spirit-composed God Creator; heavenly but not yet immortal. This is the component that returns to God, at natural death. It can be killed in “hell/Gehenna fire”. Without the body, it is nude/naked, and needs to be clothed in the future with an “immortal, spirit-composed body”.
Gen. 3:7-10 can now be understood as to why Adam & Eve became aware of their nakedness, were afraid, ashamed, hid themselves and clothed themselves. It is because they knew that they violated God’s command, sinned, and their physical body is temporary and will die in hades but their “spirit“, even if it goes back to the Father at death, can also be destroyed later in “hell/Gehenna fire”. Sin separated them from God. They need to be covered again. Meanwhile, they were driven out of Eden to die a natural death and, because of Jesus’ trust in the promises of the Father, hoping for a future immortal body to clothe them again for eternity.
April 10, 2018