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Genesis 3

Table of Content

Verse 1- 5 Now the serpent was the craftiest among all the beasts of the field, which the LORD God had made; and he said to the woman: Is it really true that God has said, You may not eat of all the trees in the garden? And the woman said to the serpent: Of the fruit of the trees in the garden we may eat, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You must not eat of it, nor touch it, or you will die. Then the serpent said to the woman, You will certainly not die. But God knows that, on the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and [that] you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

  • The serpent is mentioned first, suddenly. Evil has not even been mentioned yet.

  • That the serpent speaks is not surprising because Bileam's donkey also spoke. It may have been a little strange for the woman.

  • The animals were of a lower order than man but here the serpent exalts himself.

  • The serpent exaggerates by saying that she may not eat from all the trees. Not "all" trees.

  • In verse ??? it is still Lord God but the serpent uses the designation 'God'. 

  • The woman replies that one tree may not be eaten from but.... also not touched. This is not correct.

  • The serpent tries to reassure the woman with 'You will certainly not die' and '; you will be like God'. That sounds nice. There is some truth to it. But is the great CONFUSION and therefore a lie.

Verse 6- 8 And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat of it, and that it was a delight to the eyes, yea, a tree desirable to become wise by it; and she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave [some] to her husband, who was with her, and he ate [of it]. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they perceived that they were naked. They plaited fig leaves together and made aprons for themselves. And they heard the voice of the LORD God, Who walked in the garden, by the wind in the afternoon. Then Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the LORD God in the midst of the trees in the garden.

  • The wife gives in to temptation because of covetousness (good to eat, tasty) , the senses, (pleasing to the eye), the intelligence (desirable to make wise, promising). 

  • Sin begins in the "thinking"(thought world) and is manifested in the act. Whereas it should be enough that the prohibition to eat is 'expression of the will of the loving Creator'. 

  • By the way, the serpent only suggests, does not give an order.

  • The woman then gives the fruit to the man, who does not participate but was presumably there.

  • Shared sin is double sin.

  • God himself is missing from this conversation.

  • Consequence: man gains greater knowledge: knowledge of what really happened, knowledge of himself and a sense of alienation from each other, as husband and wife. The beginning of the sense of guilt.

  • Man and woman hide from God when they had heard the voice of God.

  • The appearance of God (theophany) the is garden suddenly terrifying. God will not have appeared in a human form, is the idea. Although "walking" may point in that direction.

Verse 9 -13. And the LORD God called Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I became afraid, for I am naked: therefore I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou art naked? Didst thou eat of that tree of which I commanded thee not to eat? Then said Adam, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of that tree, and I ate [of it]. And the LORD God said to the woman, What have you done there! And the woman said, The serpent has deceived me, and I have eaten [thereof].

  • The Creator calls His creature to account and will judge.

  • From Him there is no hiding, which can be both frightening and comforting.

  • Adam comes up with an escape argument': his nakedness'. 

  • And he admits that he is fearful. Guilt, in other words.

  • Apparently the fig leaf or the apron of fig leaves is not enough. Adam hides himself.

  • The man (Adam) shifts the blame to the woman. And God then questions the woman. 

  • The woman then then refers to the serpent. 

  • What the man and woman do NOT do is confess guilt!

  • No questioning of the serpent follows by the way. 

  • The serpent (Satan - devil) is the source of evil.        

  • Reading 1 Tim 2 : 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman, when she was deceived, came to transgression.

  • Read Rom. 5 : 12 -21 Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death came upon all men, in whom all have sinned. For until the law [came], there [was] sin in the world. Sin, however, is not imputed when there is no law.   Yet death has reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned with the same offense as Adam, who is an example of Him Who was to come.  But [it is] not with the gift of grace as with the transgression. For if by the transgression of one many have died, much more has the grace of God and the gift by [the] grace that is there through the one man Jesus Christ, been abundant over many.   And [it is with] the gift not as [it was] through the one who sinned. For condemnation [did] as a result of one [transgression] lead to damnation, but the gift of grace in the case of many transgressions led to justification.   For if by the transgression of the one death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, [namely] Jesus Christ.  As therefore by one transgression [guilt came] upon all men unto perdition, so [also] by one righteousness [grace came] upon all men unto justification of [life]. For as by the disobedience of one man many are counted as sinners, so also by the obedience of the One many are counted as righteous. The law, however, was added so that transgression might increase, but where sin has increased, [there] grace has been more than abundant, that just as sin reigned unto death, so grace also might reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Verse 14 - 21 Then the LORD God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed among all the cattle and among all the animals of the field! On your belly you shall go and dust you shall eat, all the days of your life. And I will bring about enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; That shall crush your head, and you shall crush It the heel. To the woman He said, I will make thy trouble in thy pregnancy very great; with pain thou shalt bear children. To thy husband shall thy desire be, but he shall rule over thee. And to Adam He said, Because thou hast listened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of that tree of which I commanded thee, Thou must not eat thereof, the earth is cursed for thy sake; with toil thou shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall he raised up before thee, and thou shalt eat the crop of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the earth, because you were taken from it; for dust you are, and you shall return to dust. And Adam gave his wife the name Eve, because she is mother of all the living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife clothes of skins and clothed them [with them].

  • God as Judge passes judgment....'because you have done this'. 

  • There follow 3 judgments that first deal with one's own existence/life and then deal with relationships.

  • The man was questioned first but receives his verdict last.

  • The serpent is the first to receive his condemnation and is cursed.

  • Crawling on the belly from now on is a curse. Humiliating. Low. Low to the ground. And therefore becomes vulnerable.

  • Eating dust means utter humiliation.

  • From Revelation we know that with this condemnation is meant not only the animal but precisely also the evil power, Satan.

  • Verse 15 has been called the Proto-gospel (prot evangelium) or the mother promise.

  • From salvation history we know that this has had a fulfillment. It is an implicit reference to Christ.

  • The woman shall give birth to children with difficulty, and the man shall eat his bread with sweat. 

  • For dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return. The breath of life is no longer mentioned. Man is not cursed, but the earth is!

  • Man does not die immediately, but is given some time to live. 

  • God makes clothes from skins and provides man with them. God seems to act independently, God does. Whether animals were slaughtered 'on the spot' is a premature assumption. Doesn't have to be.

Verse 22 - 24 Then the LORD God said, Behold, man has become like one of Us, because he knows good and evil. Now therefore, let him not put forth his hand, and take and eat also of the tree of life, that he may live for ever! Therefore the LORD God sent him away from the garden of Eden, to work the earth's soil, from which he was taken. He drove out man, and placed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim with a flaming sword, which moved to and fro, to guard the way to the tree of life.

  • Very special verse.....as 1 of Us. Man has indeed become like God in some respects, in knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, God deliberately intervenes so that man will not continue to live indefinitely in a kind of self-deification. God sets new boundaries through the expulsion from paradise and through death.

  • Man has sought to put himself in God's place and has come to stand in opposition to God.

  • Us ...is plural form...see 1 : 26 : And God said, Let Us make men in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth, and over all the creeping animals that creep over the earth!

  • Cherubim are placed. Probably a group of angels. They are always associated with the presence of God.

  • A flaming sword...pretty special...where did this sword suddenly come from? Was there already iron? And a sword you associate with war, strife, enmity?  Or maybe it's figuratively a flaming thing with a sword shape? Either way, the Garden of Eden is secured.

Lesson: what we have read here is a model of what people repeatedly do: listen to wrong whispers and then choose evil. Subsequently there are physical and psychological consequences. Fortunately, God has THE plan of redemption for humanity through Jesus Christ.