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The Beginnings of History

The Beginnings of History

Genesis

When the Lord God made earth and heaven, there was neither shrub nor plant growing wild upon the earth, because the Lord God had sent no rain on the earth; nor was there any man to till the ground. A flood used to rise out of the earth and water al the surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a manfrom the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus the man became a living creature. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden away to the east,   and there he put the man whom he had formed. the Lord God made trees spring from the ground,    al trees pleasant to look at and good for food; and in the middle of the garden he set the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There was a river flowing from Eden to water the garden,   and when it left the garden it branched into four streams. The name of the first is Pishon,   that is the river which encircles all the land of Havilah,   where the gold is. The gold of that land is good; bdellium and cornelians are also to be found there. The name of the second river is Gihon; this is the one which encircles all the land of Cush. The name of the third is Tigris; this is the river which runs east of Asshur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and care for it . He told the man,   ‘You may eat from every tree in the garden,   but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for on the day that you eat from it ,   you will certainly die. ’then the Lord God said,   ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will provide a partner for him. ’So God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them,   and whatever the man called each living creature,   that was its name. Thus the man gave names to all cattle,   to the birds of heaven,   and to every wild animal; but for the man himself no partner had yet been found. And so the Lord God put the man into a trance,   and while he slept,   he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh over the place. The Lord God then built up the rib,    which he had taken out of the man,   into a woman. He brought her to the man,   and the man said:

‘Now this,   at last - bone from my bones,   
flesh from my flesh!-
this shall be called woman,  
for from man was this taken. ’

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife,   and the two become one flesh. Now they were both naked,   the man and his wife,   but they had no feeling of shame towards one another.

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