Archetypes in the Books of Genesis and Exodus.

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Courtney Smalczewski Mr. Reist ENG 4U1 September 15, 2003 Archetypes in the Books of Genesis and Exodus The Bible is by far the book with the largest amount of archetypes. Three of the major archetypes are: the concept of paradise, the serpent, and trees. The concept of paradise represents many things. The paradise of the Christian and Jewish religion is an enclosed garden. However, in other religions paradise may be a city, underwater, or even in a cluster of pearls. No matter what or where it is paradise always encompasses the same meaning: perfect harmony. In paradise God and humans are in perfect unity. So are humans in perfect oneness with animals and their surroundings. In all paradises there are two trees. These two trees are the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.


Some religions believe in a return to a physical place, others believe in the return to a state of being. Going back to paradise gives us hope and returns us to unity with God and with nature. Whether paradise is the Garden of Eden, El Dorado, the Green Isle, or a cluster of pearls it all represents the same thing. The snake, or serpent as it is sometimes called, can represent both good and evil but in the book of Genesis it represents evil and temptation. Jung says, "The snake, like the devil of Christian theology, represents the shadow, and one which goes far beyond anything personal and could therefore best be compared with a principle, such as the principle of evil. It is the colossal shadow thrown by man" (Jung 322).


The only trees that do not go through this are coniferous trees. Trees such as pines and cedars are forever green. These trees represent permanence and immortality. Trees can also symbolize the seen and unseen. Some trees such as the oak have roots that stretch as far as their sprouts. There is a whole other part to trees that are not seen with out delving further. Trees also represent shelter. They provide a shade on a hot day and shelter us from the sun. Trees can also represent connectors from earth to heaven. Trees are tall and seem to reach towards the heavens. It seems as if you can climb them and touch the sky. The Bible is the most sold book throughout the world. It is also the book with the most archetypes.

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