Gen. 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen. 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen. 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
This chapter causes many questions. First, there is the serpent. It is described as “more subtil” (cunning, crafty, shrewd) of the creatures that God had made. Then, the serpent is able to talk to the woman, and she understands him. He also has knowledge of God’s commands to the humans. Later in the chapter, he/it is punished by being cursed to crawl on its belly and eat dust. Yet we know that this serpent was Satan’s tool.
Next, it is interesting that the serpent approached the woman. God had given the command to the man before the woman was on the scene. It’s obvious that the command had been communicated to her—but (as usual when things are given 2d and 3d hand) the facts were altered or she altered them herself. She added to the command by saying that they weren’t even to “touch” the tree, let alone eat of it.
Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen. 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen. 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
The serpent then calls God a liar—and she decides to trust this creature rather than her Creator. Reading through this again, I thought of the serpent Kah in the movie “Jungle Book” and how he lured Mowgli, singing the song “Trust in Me.” How appropriate that it is the snake; I wonder if the Bible influenced this depiction.
I’ve heard all the sermons, so I know it doesn’t matter who the first woman was, the results would have been the same. It’s just hard for me to imagine being that stupid. There are so many things we don’t really know about that time that I’m sure would at least help explain why she would even consider believing an animal. Since God created us with an ability to make our own choices, there had to be a degree of knowledge and awareness upon which to base those decisions. I can really relate to the desire to understand/know something that is unknown by you but known by someone else. I don’t think she had a true concept of the difference in good and evil; everything in her life had been good. Would one really choose to know about evil and all its consequences?
The woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food. I think it is possible that the serpent ate some of it in front of her to show that it was good and that nothing would happen to her. (First she desired, then she took, then she looked for company for what she was doing. The desire came through seeing. It is important to be careful about what we allow before our eyes.) So, she took some of the fruit and ate it and gave it to her husband who was with her. Again, if Adam was with her, why was the serpent talking to the woman? Why wasn’t the man stepping in to intercede?
(10/05) There are some enlightening verses in Paul’s letter to Timothy regarding this issue.
1Tim. 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Both the man and the woman disobeyed God, but the Holy Spirit is clear to make a difference in the sin of the woman vs. the sin of the man. Eve was deceived; Adam was willfully, knowingly disobedient.
Gen. 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
They could see before; now they saw with new understanding. It’s interesting how the perspective changes when you are looking at things from a sinful position. Sin always makes something ugly of what should be beautiful (e.g., our bodies, the marriage act, etc.) They were feeling guilt and wanted to hide themselves, so they tried to “cover up” the evidence of their sin/disobedience. (There could be no guilt without an understanding of what was right/good.)
The fact that they knew how to sew fig leaves together is a good example of the fact that the man and woman were created having a knowledge base and possessing the skill to act using that knowledge.
Gen. 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Gen. 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Gen. 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
The man and woman recognized the sound of God’s voice as He walked in the garden. It was familiar; they had heard it many times before. So they hid---they knew He would be unhappy with them. They were ashamed of their nakedness (v10); they never had been before. Sin always separates and puts a wall between us and those we love/admire/respect. It’s obvious that God had expected to fellowship with man as He called out His question. Again, He didn’t force the interaction; He gave man the choice to respond to Him. Because of established relationship, the love of God won out over the fear of man—as it always will when rooted in a faith relationship.
Gen. 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Gen. 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Gen. 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
The questions are rhetorical; God knows the answers. The point is made that the only thing that produced this knowledge and shame was man’s disobedience to God’s instructions. Then comes the first example of “blame shifting.” The example of the man is quickly picked up and used by the woman. (Our example always impacts others, especially those closest to us, either for good or bad.)
Gen. 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The serpent must have been nearby gloating; he has marred God’s perfect creation. Immediately, we see where the power and authority lie. God passes judgment on the serpent. Satan had used the serpent just like he tries to use each one of us, and just like the serpent, we will be cursed if we choose to ignore God’s provision for us. By verse 15, God is speaking directly to Satan. He is promising a lifelong hatred and conflict between Satan and “her seed”—Jesus, the Son of God. (All other men that ever lived were from the seed of man or fallen angels.) The result will be that Jesus will suffer (a bruised heel) but Satan will be conquered (a bruised head). This is also a prophecy, a statement regarding God’s knowledge of the future. None of this was a surprise to God; His plan/provision was already in place waiting to be revealed. It is also the first promise of the Messiah.
(6/07) I was reading through the Complete Jewish Bible in Revelation and came across a reference to this verse that I thought was enlightening.
“I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman [Eve], and between your seed [all who sin and rejoice in the sin of others, whether angelic (Ephesians 6:10-13) or human (Romans 1:32)] and her seed [her descendants, i.e., humanity; but more particularly, the unique “seed” spoken of in Galatians 3:16, Yeshua]; He [the Hebrew is singular, referring to Yeshua, not plural] will bruise [or crush] your head, and you will bruise their heel [the Hebrew is plural; humanity can be injured, Yeshua cannot].
Gen. 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Sin always has consequences. (9/06) Conception is not possible without the pain associated with menstruation. It is interesting to note that the word sorrow in this verse is two different words in the Hebrew. The first refers to “worrisomeness and pain.” It made me think about the fact that except for sin, there would be no worry or pain associated with childbirth. God meant the whole process to be a wonderful, joyful experience. The sorrow includes concern about the health of the baby as well as concern about what his/her future will hold. The second word is a reference to the actual labor and pain that is part of the birthing process.
The man and woman had been functioning as a content unit. Now the woman would struggle with her assigned position as helper (the submissive partner); she would rather have her husband’s position as leader.
Gen. 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen. 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen. 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Man is now destined to struggle for his survival. He is also reminded that this dust he must struggle with for food is exactly where he will find himself when life is over. The effort to get food would require hard work (sweat). He was created from dust and will return to dust. The emphasis was made that the reason he was being punished was because he had given someone else the position of “god” in his life—his wife. He had decided to please her rather than obey God.
Gen. 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Eve – Chavvah in Hebrew – life-giver, first woman
The point is made that she is the mother, life-giver, of ALL living. We are ALL descended from Adam and Eve.
(9/06) I read an article recently at Chuck Missler’s website by a molecular biologist named Wendy Wippel. In it she explained how science is again affirming the truth of scripture. Following is an excerpt from that article.
The field of genetic anthropology, which allowed man’s history to be studied with DNA, first gained public awareness in 1987 with the announcement that mitochondrial DNA analysis had demonstrated that every human being on the planet descended from the same female. Similar analysis of Y-chromosomes found that every human male was also descended from a single individual human male. Scientists involved (gleefully) proclaimed that, since this identified male lived considerably after the female, the Bible had been officially repudiated, with headlines across the globe declaring “Adam and Eve Never Met!”
The scientists may need to review their Sunday School lessons. What “mitochondrial Eve” and “Y-chromosome Adam” really represent are really statistical entities called the Most Recent Common Ancestor, or MRCA, meaning the last shared relative. As such, they exquisitely confirm the Biblical account. Since the males on the ark were Noah and his sons, all should have had identical Y-chromosomes. The four women, however (Mrs. Noah, Ham, Shem, and Japheth), ostensibly not related, would therefore trace their maternal lineages back to the Biblical Eve. The MRCA of the men, then, was Noah, but the MRCA of the maternal lineage was NOT Mrs. Noah, but Eve—who did (according to both science and the Bible) live considerably before her statistical counterpart, Noah.
Genetics has confirmed the Bible’s (long discredited) claim that Noah’s family populated the entire world, putting to rest the widespread theory that humans evolved simultaneously in several places. Analysis of Y- and mitochondrial chromosomes also confirm after Noah, the population grew, dispersed into northeast Africa and the Levant, and gathered in the Middle East shortly before dispersing into the rest of the world, also matching the Biblical account of events between the times when eight people exited an ark and when the entire human population, 70 families strong, gathered at a plain in Shinar to build a tower.
Gen. 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
God makes them coverings of skin to replace the leaves. The coverings of skin were obtained by the sacrifice or shedding of blood of an innocent creature to provide a covering for their sinful condition. This is already providing a picture of Jesus having to die and shed His blood to “cover” our sins from the eyes of the Father. Again, our sin impacts others.
Gen. 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen. 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen. 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Then God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to protect them from eating from the tree of life. That seems to imply that if they had eaten of that tree, they would have lived forever in their sinful condition with no hope of redemption. Man has been judged and must now suffer the consequences of his disobedience; he is sent out to work the ground and grow his own food. God doesn’t take any chances, so to speak; He places Cherubim (a special order of the angels) and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
(1/11) “man is become as one of us” – This phrase stood out to me this time through. It also took me back to the words with which the serpent tempted Eve. It would seem that “gods” (verses 5&22) referenced those who could differentiate between good and evil. Before their sin, they had only known good.