Genesis 1 divides the animals into swarming things, flying things, livestock, creeping things and beasts of the field.  Interestingly, in Genesis 1.26, where God lists all that mankind is to have dominion over, each of these categories is explicitly mentioned except for the beasts of the field (i.e. the wild animals).  Now of course the verse does say that they are to have dominion over “all the earth,” and later on God commands the man and woman to have dominion over “every living thing that moves on the earth.”  

But I wonder if the dominion that they were to have over the beasts of the field was to have an eschatological character?  The question becomes even more pointed when we remember that according to Genesis 3.1 the Serpent was not always a creeper, but began as a beast of the field: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.”  It was only after his treachery that the serpent was cursed “above all livestock and above all beasts of the field,” to be a creeper and go on his belly.  Eve didn’t talk to a snake, but a dragon.  

Moreover this highlights a central theme of the Adam and Eve narrative.  Adam’s failure was an eschatological failure.  He was made as one who had dominion, particularly over the lesser souls/nephesh (the fish, birds and creepers) and over the helper nephesh (livestock).  But to have dominion over the beasts of the field (the wild nephesh) was part of his work of maturation.  Just as God gave man the fruit bearing plants for food at the first, but waited until he was there to work the ground before the “bushes of the field” and “small plants of the field” came up (Gen. 2.), so God gave the man dominion over the swarmers, flyers, creepers and livestock but intended for the man to go out and mature both himself and creation through the subduing and shepherding of the beasts of the field.  

Unfortunately Adam failed at this task, and instead of taking dominion over the beasts of the field, he allowed his wife and himself to be dominated by one of them.

3/27/2014 04:00:12 am

That is why it is better that you should relevant research before writing.


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