Thoughts on an “Amorous” reading of Moses 4

Joe & I (and others in our study group) have been trying to think of a good word to describe a study of scripture that looks at the differences in the genders and what it means to live in relation to the truth of gender, or to live in love. For now, we are using the word “amorous” – when we mean “looking at the truth of gender when studying texts.” Here are a few thoughts on Moses 4 from that perspective.

7 And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)

Ye shall not eat of every tree – it seems inclusive, like he’s asking if they can’t eat of any of the trees, if God has said don’t eat from all of them. Has God said you can’t eat from every tree? He doesn’t say, “Has God not said ye shall eat of every tree of the garden?” either. How might this play into Badiou’s notions of male/female ways of thinking – the all and the not all? (From Lacan?) How would Satan mean this and how would Eve hear it?

8 And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;   9 But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Neither shall ye TOUCH it! Interesting! Why touch?

Ye shall die – ye will have to experience opposition, including death

The tree is set off as the one exception, the one thing outside the all.

10 And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;

This is a lie. You will know opposition, but not that one? I realize opposition isn’t really mentioned in this version, though. Of course maybe he planned to get them to eat the tree of life right after?

11 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.

12 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

This seems to be the first positive thing she has heard about the tree. Suddenly she realized it wasn’t poison or something – it was good for food, or actually edible!

It became pleasant to the eyes – had it seemed ugly before, since it meant death? Or did they think in those sorts of terms yet? Does it become pleasant, let’s see, pleasing, to the eyes, since it is good for food, or because of the next phrase: make her wise?

A tree to be desired to make her wise – “A tree to be desired” – is this a desiring to desire? Is she taking up Satan’s desire? He presents it as desirable and she gives in?

She took the fruit – touched it and ate.

For God doth know – why pin this on God? Why bring Him up?

The trees seemed to be under categories of “eat” and “don’t eat” – or “food” and “not food.” Now that distinction is changed for her. Now they all become “food” and she has to decide what to do. The “not all” has become an “all” suddenly.

I wish I could write about the temple drama too, but of course I don’t want to do that. Much to think about, especially in the differences between the sexes as Badiou suggests. (A few random things from Badiou on sexual difference: “What will have been true is that we were two, otherwise we were no”tsays the woman. Humanity does not exist without love, according to the feminine position. It is what guarantees the universality of truth. Females are structured by this love, and their desire actually is literally to their husband. They desire and live in one encounter of love, where there are actually two – a male and a female – and give themselves to this. It is what guarantees their existence. All other truth procedures only have meaning within the truth of love. But for a male, love is only one kind of love among many. Even if they are not “in love” they can still seek truth and do not question their existence or the existence of humanity. Truth is still universal. They seek the truth of love, but it is one among many truths. Hence, Eve’s desire will be to her husband is actually setting her up in the very relationship that is best suited for her own feminine position.)

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