Anthropology, Origin, and End

My definition of typology is eschatology embedded in origins. In theological anthropology, male and female are two types, marking consummate union and communion with the triune God of Scripture in different ways. Though they share much in common, their differences ultimately tell a divine story, who He is and what He is doing in time and space. God has seen fit to mark us with His story. Our beings proclaim His glory and the glory of His covenant,  “And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.’ ” (Ez. 37:26-27).

This author of the Pentateuch does not dwell on sexual differentiation in Genesis 1. In the first chapter of the Hebrew Scriptures, the unity and parity of humankind is emphasized. Man and woman, commensurate in dignity, icons of the Creator God, are called into communion with God and given dominion over the lesser creatures. 

Genesis 2 gives us a different angle. Distinction comes into view. It opens with eschatology. God enters his Sabbath rest on His holy mountain, the seventh day, and from there beckons his co-regents installed in Eden to enter his rest through obedience. In other words, Genesis 2 builds on Genesis 1, by giving mankind a task and a goal. It tells us that our creation is not only or ultimately about two kings ruling and subduing a probationary order, but about God and all He has prepared for those who love Him beyond our testing. 

In Genesis 2, Adam is created first and from the earth. In this sense, he represents the creature of probation pressing toward his goal. He is sub-eschatological, straining forward to be confirmed in righteousness and true holiness.  The woman, created second, is from his side. Portrayed as second and not of the earth, she uniquely typifies the heavenly order, both its people and the glory realm where God is enthroned. In other words, the woman typifies the goal and the man represents the means to achieve that goal. 

Adam is formed or molded, a creature of the earth.  In Genesis 2:15, Adam is to “work and keep,”  verbs used for the priestly work of the Levites, protecting both Aaron and the sanctuary (Numbers 3). Not only is Adam installed as a priest, but as the covenant head of the first order of humanity. He was charged with spearheading the ascent of all who would come from him extraordinarily, Eve, and ordinarily, their descendants. In this, he specifically fails.

At his side to help him, God built the woman as the glory creature, an eschatological marker to help Adam pass through probation and enter God’s rest. By her presence, she evangelizes Adam. She represents to him life beyond the garden, a Sabbath city and temple, where union and communion with God will reach its consummation. She speaks to him of the Mountain of the Lord in the heavens. Garden, city, temple, and mountain all portray the realm of Sabbath rest where God is enthroned and worshiped. Her words match her being. She does the work that no other creature can, she speaks his language, and her message is “Come” (Rev. 22:17). In this, she specifically fails.

Adam fails in his priestly task of guarding the garden-sanctuary from the crafty serpent. Eve speaks not with Adam but with the snake. And though Eve is to help Adam enter God’s rest, she instead offers him the alien glory of the unclean serpent by bringing him the fruit. Instead of beckoning him heavenward with “Come,” she is conspicuously silent. Finally, instead of ascending, Adam eats, and they, and all humanity with them, fall back and into sin. 

What is remarkable is that God reinstates and recommissions both Adam and Eve.  The Seed of the woman, a second Adam, is promised. He will succeed where Adam failed by overcoming the serpent, faithfully guarding his charge, and sealing their ascent to Sabbath rest.  Eve is recommissioned as the glory creature, which Adam recognizes by naming her “the Mother of the All-living.” It is quite fascinating to see. In 3:19, God says to Adam, “To dust you shall return.” In essence, Adam is told that he and all those united to him will die.  And yet, in the very next verse, Adam names his wife the mother of the all-living, the meaning of “Eve.” She will continue to represent the city-garden-temple-people of God. 

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