Alice C. Linsley
Conceptually, the triangle or pyramid was regarded as the structure of the world by the ancient Afro-Asiatics. They were fascinated by the geometric properties of this shape. This is evident in the construction of pyramids and ziggarats. It is also evident in their multi-tiered cosmology which pictured the Creator at the peak of the heavens.
We find the hierarchical concept in the biblical order of creation, with the Human ranked above the other animals and the animals ranked above the plants. Within these tiers are what Genesis calls the "kinds", each reproducing according to its own kind. The Creator's design entails boundaries which are generally recognized in reproductive science. These boundaries were largely honored by the Afro-Asiatics.
Onanism was an unrighteous deed because the seed that should fall to the earth is the seed of plants, which spring forth from the earth. The seed of man should fall on his own type (the womb), from which man comes forth. Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted” (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 A.D. 191).
Bestiality and sodomy are also serious violations of the biblical order of creation. By extension, it was forbidden even to sow two different seeds in the same field, as was the blending of different fibers. The prohibition against mixing types, be they seeds, fibers or blood, upholds the distinction between this side of the boundary and that side, against confusing the holy with the unholy, or blurring the distinction between life and death, as happens when a baby goat is boiled in its mother's milk (forbidden three places in Scripture). Ultimately, the binary distinctions are God's way of ordering our thinking so as to preserve our lives and souls.
Pslam 8:6, which parallels the names Enoch and Adam, provides further evidence of this triangular hierarchy. Kain's first-born son was named Enoch and Seth's first-born son was named Enosh. These are linguistically equivalent names. The name appears later in Numbers as Hanoch, the first-born son of Reuben. The point is that the names Enoch/Enosh/Hanoch stand for the first-born son in the ruling lines. He is the ruler-designate, and an historical figure. He is paralleled in Psalm 8 with Adam, the First Created Man, to whom the mandate was given to "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth." (Gen. 1:28) This is not a mandate to exploit, as is so often misrepresented by secularists. It is an assertion about the uniqueness of Mankind and our place in the order of creation.
It is against this conception of the hierarchy in creation that we understand the nature of Eve's sin. She who represents the queen over the created order submits herself to the will of a creature who slithers on the ground. In this the original hierarchy or order in creation became inverted. Instead of listening to the Creator, Eve listened to the serpent, basest of creatures. Instead of taking from the tree of life, she took from a tree that brought death. Death already existed, as evidenced by the extinction of many species even before humans appeared on the surface of the earth. So Eve's disobedience did not introduce physical death to the world, it brought spiritual death. This is how the Church Fathers understood the Fall. Such death could be overcome only by God acting in time and space.
Related reading: Who Were the Kushites?; The Afro-Asiatic Dominion; The Biblical Meaning of Eve