Saturday, June 12, 2010

Waking The Fallen (2003) "Waking The Fallen"

[Reprinted as written by Avenged Sevenfold]

Wake the ones and rise tonight
Fallen souls we shine so bright
Rise now and ever
forgotten memories
No one can touch us

In order to prepare for this poem cycle I needed to review the story of Cain, found in the first book of the Bible, close to the beginning of human history, Genesis chapter 4. Cain's parents, Adam and Eve, had begun their lives in Paradise. But at some point an ancient enemy of God's found an opportunity to undermine Eve's confidence in God's love for her, and the sense of His best intentions towards her and Adam. This enemy's insinuations found fertile soil in her mind and heart.

First Eve and then Adam came to distrust God, putting their trust instead in what they thought was their new best friend, and made a fateful decision that altered the course of human history for all time.

Within a few moments they realized what they'd done, utterly corrupting themselves and the world around them. God put them outside of Paradise before they could make it even worse for themselves by becoming immortal, and thus having to exist for all eternity in their dead and decaying condition.

But now life was no longer the sweet joy it had been. Adam and Eve's decision in Paradise had changed them...deep down, to the core...their very natures became corrupt. They might not have realized it right away, but their corrupted natures were's the only nature Adam and Eve would now be able to pass on to their children, and on down the line to you and me and everybody.

Not only that, their corruption was swiftly infecting the entire planet, so that everything -- life, work, relationships -- would involve blood, sweat and tears. In fact, the very earth itself would groan under the burden of all the death and decay Adam and Eve had ushered in.

Yet God gave them a flame of hope in amongst all the gray haze above the rubble of what their lives had become. Someday, He told them, a rescuer would come who would crush what they now realized was their common enemy with God. When that crushing was accomplished, humanity would be freed from the awful slavery they had sold themselves into. Until then, they would have to live under the heavy weight of corruption, death and decay that they had brought upon themselves.

God left some hints about who that rescuer would be.

"He'll be born of a woman," God said, indicating that neither Adam nor any of his sons would be the father. Only Eve or one of her daughters would be involved.

"He'll be an enemy of the one who deceived you," God continued. That should have been a clue, millennia later, to who God's real enemies were when the rescuer finally did come.

"Our common enemy will make the first strike," God warned. "But in the end your rescuer will crush our enemy."

That brings us to the birth of Cain.

Adam slept with Eve his wife. She conceived and had Cain. She said, "I've gotten a man, with God's help!"

This name is probably to be understood as a play on words. The significance of the name is that it reflects Eve’s faith, it sounds similar to the Hebrew word, Qanah, which means ‘to get’ or ‘to acquire.’ In today’s vernacular this son would probably have been named ‘Gotten.’ Eve literally said, “I have gotten a man, even the Lord,” referring to God’s promise of a rescuer.

Eve understood the rescuer would be conceived by God in a woman, not by way of a human father [literally fulfilled in the conception and birth of Jesus]. She had no idea how long it would be before this promise would be fulfilled. So when her first child was born a boy she must have thought “He’s the one!”

Then she had another baby, Abel.

Not much press on Abel, his name meant “frail, emptiness, nothingness, meaningless.” Adam and Eve saw the difference in their two boys right away. In their eyes Cain was the chosen one; Abel was the also-ran. It would have been natural for them to favor Cain as the firstborn, maybe the one to fulfill God’s great promise. If there was favoritism, it would help explain what happens later in this chapter. It's an easy temptation to favor one child over another isn't it? Looks, talent, personality.... But it's very can tear a family apart.

Now the scene shifts to a much later time,

Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer

Did Adam and Eve tell the boys how wonderful it had been in Paradise? But now Adam and Eve had to work by the sweat of their brows, farming and taking care of domesticated stock, since that was God’s command to them back when they did live in that beautiful garden spot. When the boys grew up they had to support themselves, Cain went into the agricultural end of the family business, and Abel went into the ranching end of the family business.

I don't know if all the poems in this set have to do with Cain, but they could. I'll follow the next part of his story with the next piece.

In this introductory quintuplet the poet references the end of time, when finally all the dead will rise.

Wake the ones and rise tonight

Spirits of those who died in their corruption, rather than accept the rescuer's offer of love and new life, stand out above everything else. They awaken and will stay awake forever...

Fallen souls we shine so bright
Rise now

...bringing back the forgotten memories of those who were lost.

and ever
forgotten memories

Because they are dead, there is not a single person who can place them back into their graves.

No one can touch us

[Many thanks to an anonymous A7X fan whose penetrating insight is borrowed in the paragraph above]

Cain brings in the first generation of those who have only known corruption all their lives. You and I don't really know what we lost, eons ago, at the dawn of human history. But Adam and Eve did. They carried that grief inside them all their lives. Who knows how heavy the weight of their broken dreams and longing expectations for regaining paradise rested on their son's shoulders. His is a tragic story that has carried through time and will continue to until all stand before God at long last on that dark and terrible day of accounting.

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts