Thoughts on "Yahweh as Bully".
1. Genesis 1. God says every tree is for food.
2. Genesis 2. God says don't eat the tree because you will die.
3. So the prohibition is temporary.
4. Genesis begins in darkness and moves to light.
5. You're being much to literalistic about death. Genesis isn't. "Death" is the way to new & higher life
a. Adam is supposed to "dress and keep" the garden (beautify and guard)
b. Adam is ALONE, and NAKED. He needs a helper for this task.
c. God shows him all the animals. None is a suitable helper.
e. Adam learns he needs a helper
f. God makes "deep sleep" fall on adam, and takes a chunk out of him
g. This is a form of death, pre-fall. (Hebrew term for "deep sleep" is a different term than "sleep" plus and intensifyier. Comatose.
h. Marital life comes from "death" of old single life.
6. Now adam is supposed to guard the garden, which now includes his wife. But he is NAKED.
7. Biblically, nobody thinks of Knowledge of Good and Evil as a bad thing to have. Repeatendly it is a charcateristic of the mature person.
8. Adam and eve are "newborn", and need to learn patience.
9. Maturity comes through the "deaths" of daily life. Adam and eve can get KoGaE, but it will be by their death.
10. Maturity cannot come instantly by defintion.
11. "instant maturity" is an oxymoron. Even God takes a a whole week to get the world "mature".
12. "evil God keeping Adam and eve from instant maturity" is sophistry.
13. Maturity comes gradually, through daily existence.
14. When Adam and eve eat the tree, they go from being "bone of bone and flesh of flesh" to being alienated from each other. Adam-and-Eve DIE, and have to cover up the wounds of their alienation.
15. Receipt of KoGaE would be the culmination of the little deaths of patient service to God in the Garden.
16. Receipt of a robe of authority is the requisite gift needed from God.
17. Investiture is a prevalent theme in Genesis. (Naked adam, fig leaves, YHWH's animal skins, Noah's robe, Jacob dressing like Esau, Joseph's coat of many colors. Joseph's investiture as Pharaoh's advisor, etc)
18. YHWH drives them away from the previously offered Tree of Life to prevent Adam, now dead from Eve, and Eve now dead from Adam, from living immortal, but seperate lives, and failing to fulfil the mandate of filling the earth and ruling over it.
19. YHWH is not the philosophical power of the Greeks, but he is not the petty tyrant of the Greeks or your imagination either.