Isolated or Independent?

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”Genesis 2:18

Dear members & friends,

The first time you read that something is “not good” in the Bible is in Genesis 2:18. The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” It’s interesting to note that the Hebrew word for “to be alone” here is bad, which means separation. Bad is from the Hebrew word, badad, which means to be separated or isolated. So, Genesis 2:18 could also be written as, “It is not good that the man is separated.” Separated from whom? At this point, there is no other being except for the Lord God from whom the man – the first human – was separated. But in a way, the first human desired in his heart to be independent from the Creator and have ownership of his own life.  To people living in the 21st century, this might sound like a natural progression just as children desire to leave their parents and have their own lives when they are adults. Consequently, a degree of separation between the Creator and the first human was inevitable. The big difference is that adult children can survive without their parents, yet humans cannot survive without their Creator.

As soon as humans were created, the Creator might have perceived that they might desire their autonomy, which means living away from the Creator. However, the problem was that humans were made in such a way that they cannot feel joy and happiness without being united with their Creator. Yet, acknowledging the necessity of the human journey, the Creator blessed the humans’ desire for separation instead of cursing it. The Creator permitted humans to feel autonomy and ownership of their own lives despite the truth that they cannot exist away from the Creator. The sense of ownership of their lives became essential to their joy and happiness. This is the symbolic meaning of the creation of Eve in Genesis 2, according to Swedenborg. Therefore, Eve does not mean the creation of a female from the rib of the male, but God’s continued love and blessing on humans, who desired to be separated from Creator and to claim ownership of their lives.

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee