From Genesis 1-3
Adam and Eve start off well. They trusted and obeyed the LORD. But the serpent enticed them to eat of the tree of knowledge. Wanting to grow in wisdom and make decisions for themselves ate of the tree.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
God created Adam and put him in the garden of Eden. Adam is given one command. He may eat of every tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Soon afterward God creates woman. Her name is Eve and we have the first marriage (Gen 2.18-24).
At this point the man and woman are naked and unashamed (Gen 2.25).
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3.1-5)
‘Crafty’. Among many other animals, God made the serpent. In the ancient world the serpent was viewed as possessing mystical wisdom and as a demonic and hostile creature. The serpent was more ‘crafty’ than any other beast God had made. Crafty suggests devious and clever. Given the context, the serpent is in part demonstrating his craftiness by speaking to the woman, not the man.
‘He said’. The serpent speaks (as serpents do in stories like this) to the woman. The woman is not surprised the serpent speaks to her.
The serpent questions her on the LORD’s command on what they may eat. I assume the man passed on this information to the woman.
‘Neither shall you touch it’. On careful inspection the woman added an instruction not to touch the fruit in addition to not eating it (cf. Gen 2.16-17).
The serpent lies (“You will not surely die”) and tells the truth (“you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”). They will eventually die.
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen 3.6-7)
‘Husband was with her’. Adam was standing right next her and said nothing all along. He could have told the woman not to eat as the LORD commanded. Instead he follows her lead and eats.
‘Eyes opened’. They both gain new knowledge. Their eyes opened and they knew they were naked.
This is a problem for them because they cover themselves up with fig leaves.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen 3.8-10)
‘I was afraid and naked’. For the first time they are afraid of the LORD. Guilt? Shame? They have broken the LORD’s command, and are naked and ashamed.
‘Naked’. Their nakedness could suggest a newfound sexual awareness.
11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen 3.11-13)
When are you most likely to blame another for something you have done wrong?
‘Have you eaten?’ Breaking the LORD’s command gave them new knowledge. They found out they were naked. This was also the first time they experienced guilt and shame.
Once they knew they were naked they felt the need to cover up. They attempt to cover up their nakedness with fig leaves.
God soon afterward confronts them with their sin and curses them and all creation. The LORD provides a covering for them of animal skins (Gen 3.21). Adam and Eve did not trust the LORD and his command. Initially they were like children, depending on the LORD. But they wanted to gain their own independence from Him. And so they ate. Adolescents rebel from their parents. Soon afterward they will be exiled from the garden.
Their story echoes what happens to Israel. They to struggled to obey the LORD. They broke his covenant and turned to other gods. At the heart of it, they wanted to be free of the LORD and try and live their own way.
Jesus encourages his audience to return to a similar childlike state that Adam and Eve were in before they ate the fruit. That was when they had child like dependence on the LORD.
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mt 18.1-6)
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