The Temptation and Fall of Man
1Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden.
9Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
16To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”
17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”
20And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
22Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
The serpent was the most cunning of animals in the Garden. I find it very interesting that:
- The serpent could talk.
- The Devil was in the garden.
What made the serpent so much more cunning than the other animals? How / why was the Devil able to inhabit this serpent? I’m sure these questions will be answered through other scriptures later on in the study, but for now it’s an open-ended conversation.
I also don’t completely understand why the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life existed in the garden. Why were these available to the humans? Later on, God kicks Adam and Eve out of the garden so they couldn’t get access to the tree of life (so that they wouldn’t live forever). So if God wanted them to have access to it, why would he have kicked them out?
I think this ties to the fundamental principle of obeying the Word of God. There is blessing in obeying His Word, and curse in disobeying. This is clearly displayed here. Though we may think we are doing the thing that’s in our best interest, we don’t understand God and His ways.
“And their eyes were opened” - The eyes are often referenced as the opposite of faith. When you don’t know the consequences of an action, you are acting in faith. If you know the consequences of your actions, then you know what you should be doing (and have the ability to decide what you do). Prior to eating the fruit, Adam and Eve only did what God instructed, and did so without question.
It’s fascinating that God was walking around in the garden. And when Adam is asked “Where are you?” He replies with: “I heard Your voice in the garden…”. It seems that God was in constant fellowship with the other members of the Trinity. Later he references that Adam and Eve have become like one of “Us”.
The dialog between God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent still rings true today. People don’t want to own up to their faults and shortcomings, and unless corrected they tend to blame their actions on others. Ideally, we as Christians are to resist the enemy. By preventing him from deceiving us, we are able to live without sin and as more than conquerors.
The definition of enmity is “the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.” That’s what was put in place between the woman and the serpent (which still exists today).
“In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband…” These statements also hold true today. How many women do you see stick with a deadbeat Husband/Boyfriend? Their desire is stronger than that of a Husband to a Wife.
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread ‘till you return to the ground…” What a damning statement. Essentially, man was banished from maintaining the garden, to being forced to work for everything that we need (in the world).
It’s only at the end of this chapter that Eve gets her name. Once again, the whole naming thing is interesting.
“Behold, the man has become like one of Us…” This concept I have always found fascinating. The fact that as humans we are like one of “Us”. Because we have the knowledge of good and evil, we are in control of our own destinies. It’s up to us to decide if we will obey the Word of God, or if we will reject it and fall into the world’s trap.
“And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” Had Adam and Eve eaten from the tree of life, they would have lived forever. I wonder what would have happened had that been the tree they ate from? Something tells me it would have been a similar experience, except they wouldn’t have clothed themselves.