I’ve begun to write about the “Call of Abram” and its’ backstory in a form which I hope will be a compelling read for people who’ve struggled digging into some of the early pages of Genesis. I believe the deeper truths found in these ancient stories lay the groundwork for what is coming on the earth in these days. So here begins a retelling of the biblical backstory leading to the call of Abram from ancient Mesopotamia. This adaptation is couched in the oral tradition as it was likely passed down to Terah, Abram’s father. If there is interest, I will continue to post additional chapters as I complete them.
Chapter 1 – Heaven on Earth
Ur was bustling metropolis. It was one of the most civilized cities in the land of ancient Mesopotamia, but a restlessness was beginning to settle over the family of Terah. Terah and his three sons made their home in Ur, but it seemed as if darkness was slowly creeping into the fabric of life. Although the city was modern and civilized, the people were steeped in idolatry and pagan ritual.
Terah and his family began to talk and ponder what was happening to their homeland. During the conversations they recalled what had happened to Babel five hundred years earlier and before that the great flood and even further back in their history was the mysterious story of the garden. As they pondered these events great concern, almost a fear overshadowed the family. One of the sons almost muttering imperceptibly under his breath, “Father, could our family somehow be connected to those ancients’ stories”. “What did you say”, snapped Terah, but he quickly caught himself and began to collect his thoughts. Then he began to recite the stories which had been passed down by his ancestors. The family listened in awe and amazement. But the awe and wonder would not last long.
Terah began, the earth and skies which we live under were made by a loving and benevolent God. In fact, he planted a garden not far from here. It was a magical and wonderful place, truly heaven on earth. You see the mountain of God was there and where God’s home is all his attendants share his dwelling place. It had mighty rivers, gold and silver, a rich diversity of habitat with trees and plants of every kind. In fact, our own ancestors lived in this place that is until…. oh, what a dreadful day. I weep just thinking about it explained Terah as he shuddered.
But let us think about the happier days for now. God, whose name is YHWH wanted a family who could share all he had made in that wonderful place, even sharing his own nature and character. So, after all the preparations had been made, he reached down into the soil and began to fashion a man. Strong, muscular with a beautiful head of hair and altogether handsome. But the man did not move or animate himself at all, so YHWH leaned in close and breathed into his lungs – gasp! The man opened his eyes to behold his creator YHWH.
The sights, sounds, rivers, mountains, and strange creatures of all sorts. As the first man, Adam surveyed his surroundings. It began to dawn on him that nothing in his vicinity was like him. YHWH had the creatures present themselves to Adam who observed their behaviors, their speech if one might call it speech and the way they maneuvered about. He gave each of them a name to honor them in keeping with their traits. YHWH was the closest being in similarity to Adam – but there was something “other worldly” about him. Adam thought, I’m like him but then again, I’m not like him. I love him, but I fear him at the same time. It was not a fear like I think he will hurt me, rather a humble recognition of being in the presence of a great king.
As Adam was thinking back on all the myriads of animals and the goodness of YHWH, he slowly became aware of an emptiness, no it was more of a longing for something or maybe someone to share all these experiences with. No sooner had his mind began to wander down this path that he became very drowsy falling into a deep sleep.
For Adam, it seemed but a few moments but when he awoke, he was speechless as now standing before him was not one of the creatures he had named but a fellow human. She looked like a human but not exactly like Adam-she was exquisite in every way imaginable. Her eyes were riveting, speech sweeter than the song of the birds, and her form more captivating than the mountains to behold. Indeed, Adam was blessed as he named her Eve. YHWH with great pleasure and satisfaction stood aside to behold this holy encounter.
The days in Eden were a delight. Not only was there plenty of food to eat, a never-ending source of things to investigate and adventures to pursue, and YHWH was never far away as the three of them shared sweet times of fellowship together until.
Terah continued, you see YHWH had put them in charge of everything; and they were to make the rest of the earth look like the garden of Eden. You might even say they were Gods’ priesthood or representatives on the earth. But there was one who was not thrilled with this arrangement. This was not a low-ranking member of God’s divine family; no this was in fact one of the guardian cherubs – he was a throne guard to the very presence of the Most High.
But dad, one of the boys asked; “why would one so high rebel against such a loving God?” Well son, Terah continued, this is a sad tale, and it is a lesson for us all. You see the cherub known as Nachash was most gifted, he was extremely talented musically, beautiful to behold, wise in the administration of heavens affairs and wielding great influence among YHWH’s other creatures. His name provides a clue about his nature; but first you should understand that names of people, places and events often have spiritual significance. And it is no different with Nachash.
His name, Nachash is a triple entendre. Depending on how his name is used as a noun, verb, or adjective –provides insight into the nature of this cherub. Nachash in its simplest form refers to a snake or serpent but as a verb it means to practice divination or deception. And finally, as an adjective Nachash is the shining or bronzish one.
One of the boys spoke up, was Nachash a friend of YHWH’s? Well son, Terah continued he was for a time, but then pride entered his heart and he thought he would overthrow the Most High and take his place. When the treachery was discovered, he was ejected from serving in YHWH’s court and cast down to the second heavenly realm. As he walked about and considered his plight, “I am the guardian cherub, I walked among the stones of fire. My plan will begin with them – those humans. We’ll see how wise and understanding they are as I turn them against their God.”
Not content to accept defeat he set about to craft a masterful plan. As he flattered himself thinking of his own beauty, wisdom, and various skills his contempt for YHWH only increased as the full weight of his judgment settled in. Seething with anger and revenge, he thought “I will prevail, I will sit on the sides of the North, I will ascend above the Most High, but how? I must not use a frontal attack lest I be defeated in abject humiliation. Ah, I’ve got it. Beguile, deceit, corruption, and the dark arts – these will be my tools until I can muster enough strength for a military coup. I will deceive and corrupt those humans whom YHWH cares so much about. Yes, those humans made in his so-called image, they will be my warriors against the Most High and I will not be replaced. They will be part of my army against YHWH and the host of heaven.”
Sometimes afterward while Adam was tending to his chores, Eve was preparing something to eat. While working apart they often considered how good their lives were, they lived with YHWH in his home, he took them into his confidence, shared his thoughts, taught them about the earth, the heavens even their own humanity. He taught them how to prosper and succeed in the world he had created. In fact, to know him was to be like him; everything about YHWH was good and everything else, well you know.
There was something peculiar in the garden, two trees – now the odd thing is that these trees had names but not like you’d expect. It was not an orange, dogwood or olivetree, rather they were called the “tree of life” and the other was known as “knowledge of good and evil”. But wait a sec piped up one of the lads, “Adam had earlier named all the animals, well then who named these trees – and why do trees have names anyway?” Terah chuckled out loud, my you boys are inquisitive, aren’t you?
Terah continued, While Eve’s thoughts were perplexed about these two trees, Nachash approached. Just like the appearance of Nachash, the tree was beautiful to gaze upon and its fruit appeared tasty and rich in nourishment. But then like a whisper, Eve remembered Adam’s words in her memory, “don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil”. But, like a scammer peddling his tricks, Nachash pressed his case; “you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil”. By this time her mind was confused, and it didn’t dawn on Eve that she and Adam were already like the creator. But then in an instant phase one of the sinister plot was completed.
The Nachash was delighted, but phase two would be a bit more challenging, for YHWH had spoken directly to the man about the tree. Adam implicitly trusted his wife and she him. They would never do anything to harm the other at least not knowingly. In fact, Eve didn’t realize she had violated YHWH’s instruction for there were no consequences of her rebellion, that is until Adam also partook of the forbidden fruit. So even as YHWH had earlier watched as Adam awakened to discover the wonder of Eve, the Nachash now stood in the background as Eve fulfilled the deceivers’ intentions.
At this point, one of the boys spoke up. “Father, it seems that Adams’ choice cancelled all hope for continuing in YHWH’s family”. “That is very perceptive son”, said Terah. In fact, Adam was Gods’ representative on the earth, his viceroy if you will. He stood before YHWH in the place of a priest for all the earth. When Eve was deceived by the Nachash, Adam could have interceded for her but once he succumbed to the same fate there was no priestly intermediary left on the earth. Adam lost his role of priest and prince of the earth. That role shifted to the Nachash as Adam had freely handed it over.
It was a time of great sorrow and mourning for Adam and Eve. They had never known such anguish and grief. They argued and accused each other trying to undo what had been done by them and to them. Meanwhile, YHWH was busy with a lamb. Oh No, what was he doing! YHWH had slaughtered a lamb and skinned it. Both Adam and his wife were absolutely horrified at the skinned animal, all that blood and there was YHWH holding the skin as clothing for his human family. They had never seen such violence; this should not be and certainly not in Eden the home of YHWH. “Oh, dear God, what have we done?” Words escaped them as the weight of their disobedience suddenly came cascading down upon their souls.
Finally, YHWH spoke, “this animal skin is a promise for you and your children that I will provide a way for you to return to me and undo what you have done, but for now you must leave this paradise which I have created. Do not be afraid, for you have my covering and I will watch over you until the end.
Author: Aaron Jewell
Aaron Jewell works as an engineer in the IT field, but his true passion is the pursuit of truth and trying to figure out how things work, connecting the dots so to speak. He bring this curiosity to his theology especially as it relates to world events and helping Christians connect to our Old Testament roots. As the Lord provides inspiration, he also maintains a blog site at Olive Tree in Bloom.