The Time Quest
Eve's Canopy of Love
Somewhere in the shadowy mists of time, where mankind began, legends tell of the Garden called "Paradise" in which dwelt our first parents, the Adam and Eve that Genesis speaks about. Cultures around
the globe tell essentially the same story about this first couple, their idyllic life, the Interloper who spoils it, and their exile from Paradise to become first tillers of the soil: The first farmers.
But wait. When they lived in that lost Garden, where exactly did they dwell?
We have all heard the story so often we ignore the missing pieces. For it appears none of the legends ever describes these
primal humans living in a house. Why not? Most of us naturally assume that they slept on the ground, where Genesis says were "creeping things" and at least one supposed "serpent" available to spend the night with...
Not likely. Could it be we have really been told what they lived in, but simply overlooked it because it was, so to speak, "hidden in plain sight"?
What about a tree-house? Genesis 2:23-25, for example, tells how Eve was brought to Adam, who had named all the creatures in the Garden, including himself, whom he called "Ish" [See Hebrew].
He then greets Eve with these words:
"Here at long-last is bone-of-my-bone, flesh-of-my-flesh! She shall be called 'Isha' for she was taken out of Ish.
Therefore, does Ish leave his father and his mother and combine with his Isha-ette, and [we] two shall be one flesh!"
And Shem added a note about how they felt after finding a private place away from their parents to make love:
"And Adam and his Isha-ette were both naked, and they were not embarrassed."
But were they simply "naked"?
It happens that the word translated as "naked" has other meanings, and could be rendered other ways. The Hebrew is "g'room" and sounds suspiciously like, "groom," as in "bridegroom" [its Middle English, 'grom,' has no known orign].
Moreover, the same Hebrew spelling has the meaning of "cunning, crafty, clever and subtile": "Now the serpent ('nagash') was more 'g'room' than any other beast of the field..."
So Adam and Eve were not simply naked in leaving their parents to have sex: They were 'clever' or 'cunning' in the way they did it, so that their parents could not see them having sex.
[Now this may sound scandalous, but it was perfectly acceptable in those days of limited DNA variation for a brother and sister to mate. Note that Abraham calls Sarah his sister, and she indeed was his half-sister. Such matings are unlawful by the Exodus, when mutational changes necessitated forbidding unions of brother and sister because of newer genetic diseases that had appeared.]
Okay, but just how clever were they in evading the curious gaze of the parents whose presence they had to leave while still in the Garden?
It happens that 'g'room' is derived from exactly the same root as the word for 'one fig tree' ['g'rmown']. These two words are more similar in Hebrew than it may appear in transliteration.
The reader could be invited, then, to read the text this way:
"Adam and his Isha-ette were both naked-clever-fig-treed, and were not embarrassed [having sex]."
Here we have the lost clue to where they lived in this Garden: In a tree!
We know from many clues that this was a Garden of Trees, or an Orchard, and that "every kind of tree" was there. This certainly included trees sturdy enough to hold tree-houses.
Imagine the couple up in such a tree, shielded from view by the floor of the structure. Here they are being clever, for they may be only a few feet away in the confines of the Garden, yet in this limited walled enclosure they are nevertheless hidden from their parents.
One can even sense the couple giggling quietly as they watch their parents in the shade of the Garden below wondering where they have gone. This captures the ideas of the Hebrew 'g'room' better than the English word 'naked.'
But there is even more evidence that a tree-house is the intended meaning. The text has just referred to the earth of which Adam is made as "Adam-ah"--or "Mother Earth." The "Heavenly Father" is the Creator of Adam in this sense.
So the tree-house is suspended between the earth (Adam's 'Mother') and Him we may call his Father in Heaven. When he 'cleverly' says they "leave his Mother and Father" to have sex, he is saying they will climb above Mother Earth, but yet below the Father in Heaven, to his already-built tree-house, to make love.
Now we can see why there are few homes found in the ancient sediments of the last ice age. When the glaciers swept the land, they severed the trees, and removed the houses of our ancestors. Only a few megalithic stone structures, typically around the ice-free equator, still remain from this lost age, but those structures were, we are told, built by others.
Was that first house in a fig tree? Although some fig trees are small and unlikely to support the weight of Adam Eve's tree-house, there is at least one species of fig tree that would be sturdy enough for a tree-house: The sycamore.
Genesis tells us that when they were in the Garden around evening--we may assume in their tree--they heard the Lord walking and "hid themselves in the trees" because they were "naked" even though they had already "sewn" some garments of fig leaves.
Now this is revealing: They already had clothed themselves, yet they hid "in the trees" because they were so "naked"? Here is where the alternate meaning makes far more sense: Clever.
They think they can hide from God now that they have become 'wise' by eating the Fruit of Knowledge. God says, "Who told you you were naked/clever?" The serpent/nagash had told them they were wise as gods now, of course. God is making a joke out of this attempt to hide in the trees.
In order to keep His word and deny them the Tree of Life, they must be banished from the Garden, lest they eat of it and live forever.
But notice that reference to them sewing garments of fig leaves. It indicates they knew how to sew, and that they did this while near or in a fig tree. It is possible the fig tree's branches were so close they could grab leaves off it from their perch in a chestnut tree. Or they may have moved from Adam's bachelor fig into a tree-cottage built for two, using a sturdier fig tree.
Women have a nest-building instinct to decorate a home. It would surely be strange if Eve did nothing at all to decorate their first home in the trees. But what might she have made for this tree-house?
Eve's Canaopy of Love
It is not only clear that they knew the rudiments of sewing, but that it was a tree-home they lived in. What would be the first thing a woman in a tree house would want? A roof.
The very same ancient writings that tell us about Eve being taught to sew by the angels also tell us how these same angels became filled with lust from watching Eve and her daughters, who would be in her image and likeness, twins identical to her, if the DNA of Eve had been cloned from Adam.
In other words, the angels lusted to have sex with women like Eve. Later in Genesis 6, we are told seduction of her daughters began "as soon as" daughters were born unto them. This indicates that the very first women were being assaulted by the angels. These angels--or 'Watchers' as they were also called--were able to look down from above on the tree houses, much as King David could look and see Bathsheba on her roof bathing.
We can see in this story a motive to make coverings to keep out the prying eyes of the Watchers: Canopies.
Eve's canopy was probably inspired the first time she looked up and saw a Watcher while she was making love to Adam. We can imagine her words:
"One of them is watching us!"
"Just ignore him."
"I can't. He's looking right at me!
"Oh, Eve, can't it wait?"
We can surmise that when Adam failed to stop and make some sort of roof right away, Eve pushed him aside and started weaving her canopy. Weaving women have been making men nervous ever since. (cf A Tale of Two Cities)
The common fabric of choice for the making of all-weather canopies in the ancient world was linen. Tents were made of linen, as were the sails of ships. So were table-cloths and shrouds... They were treated by applying tree-sap to form water-proof resin on the fabric. St. Paul worked in the tent-making trade.
We may assume Eve would have wanted privacy for many reasons. Weaving a canopy of linen to serve as covering for their tree-house would have been the natural first decoration by Eve.
Today we see this traditional canopy in every Jewish wedding, held or upon posts, as the rabbi gives the blessing. It is significant that one tradition of this canopy, or "chuppah," is that it shielded the couple from the gaze of "the evil eye" of demons, which hearkens back to the idea that Eve may have woven the canopy for the same reason, to keep fallen angels from watching her. These canopies were originally used in outdoor weddings, and were often supported by trees. The fabric appears to have been tent linen treated with tree sap.
Canopies are found on romantic canopy beds of bed & breakfasts, where so many honeymoons, anniversaries, and various other kinds of rendezvous are celebrated.
Ancient canopies evolved to become tents or tabernacles -- most importantly the linen covering of the Tabernacle of Israel, where God symbolically was married to the tribes in Sinai, after a ceremony at the Mount conducted by Moses and Aaron, the Priest, covered by a great, dark canopy of cloud.
Today couples often marry outdoors, with a great tent canopy for guests. We also see the canopy of Eve covering the Great High Altar in St. Peter's in Rome, supported by serpentine pillars, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden.
We have much more to say about this canopy and the tree-houses of ancient time. It will be detailed in our new book, Paradise Found. You can place an order for it at significant savings if you act before publication, using the printable Order Form. Thank you!
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