Darrow Miller and Friends

Naked and Not Ashamed

  1. Naked and Not Ashamed
  2. Naked and Afraid

God created humans naked

In a recent post we discussed the wonder of the first woman, Eve, mother of all the living. We saw the profound truth of female as a mother, the “life giver.” The man gives the sperm, but it is in the astonishing womb of a woman where the sperm and egg kiss and a new human life is conceived. And it is in this sacred space where a woman becomes a mother.

In this post we want to note something else of wonder and beauty: the concept of human nakedness.

The Divine Romance

Gene Edward’s beautiful poem, The Divine Romance, captures the moment in the creation narrative when Adam sees Eve for the first time. (You may want to read this passage out loud to hear the wonder, power and beauty of this moment.)

Now holding her beside himself, he glanced quickly around, then raised his hand toward the heavens.
Creator, Lord.
Hear me!
Angels, hear me!
Seraphim and cherubim.
Creatures of the deep,
       upon the land
       and in the sky,
I am one once more.
Behold, my counterpart!
More beautiful, more glorious
       than all realms combined.
At last!
Bone of my bone,
       Flesh of my flesh.
And I … Man!
       your earthen Lord … I …
I … am … no … longer … alone!
Hear me,
       Realms seen,
Hear me,
       Realms unseen,
The aloneness is broken
And now, my Lord
       my God
       my Creator
It was not good for
To be alone.
All things are good.
‘There remains but one thing, the ultimate completion of all oneness … first …You in me, now … I …in you!’
So it came about, there in the serene beauty of the Garden of Eden, a place more beautiful than heaven and earth, he embraced her again, and while angels rejoiced in that primordial age of innocence, the ruler of earth and his counterpart became, once more … one flesh.”

These beautiful words describe the intimate communion of ידע – yada- the personal, intimate knowledge of the first couple in all their innocence, naked and not ashamed.

Naked and Not Ashamed

Genesis 2:25 records this blessed state: “the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

This passage indicates a harmony at creation between God and His creation, and between the man and woman.

To put it differently, there was transparency and peace in creation and thus between the man and woman. There was no evil. They gloried in their innocent nakedness and in the wonder of their union. Sadly, though, this would not last long.

Verse 25 includes two key words: “naked” and “unashamed.”

Naked is the Hebrew עָרוֹם (ʿā·rôm): adj.; naked, i.e., pertaining to being unclothed and bare-skinned. They were both naked, not just the woman. They were in a state of innocence and transparency. They enjoyed yada – intimate, face-to-face knowledge. There was transparency between Adam and Eve and between the couple and their Creator. There was nothing hidden, nothing they did not know about one another.

Because of this they “felt no shame” – בּוֹשׁ (bôš): v.; ashamed, i.e., to have a painful feeling and emotional distress (sometimes to the point of despair), by having done God created humans nakedsomething wrong, with an associative meaning of having the disapproval of those around them.

No guilt, no shame, in the garden

Note: the Hebrew word meaning “felt shame” deals with emotions; there is pain for having done something wrong. This is what we feel when we are morally guilty. But in the Garden of Eden, the man and woman were naked, yet there was no moral guilt. The word לֹא (lō(ʾ)): adv. modifies the statement, they are naked and without shame. They felt no shame, and there was no shame, no moral guilt. Their nakedness was as beautiful and proper as the flowers and trees around them and the sun and stars above.

At this point in human history, clothing would have comprised a strange and clumsy accoutrement. God made our human bodies as naked as a light bulb. They are both beautiful and good. He called each aspect of His creation “good,” and the creation of the binary (complementary- spiritually, emotionally, physically) human pair “very good.” There was only glory and joy.

– Darrow Miller

… to be continued

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).