Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.” 6 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
11 Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 Then the man replied, “The woman You gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
13 So the Lord God asked the woman, “What is this you have done?”
And the woman said, “It was the serpent. He deceived me, and I ate.”
14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent:
Because you have done this,
you are cursed more than any livestock
and more than any wild animal.
You will move on your belly
and eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.
16 He said to the woman:
I will intensify your labor pains;
you will bear children in anguish.
Your desire will be for your husband,
yet he will rule over you.
17 And He said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’:
The ground is cursed because of you.
You will eat from it by means of painful labor
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow
until you return to the ground,
since you were taken from it.
For you are dust,
and you will return to dust.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.
22 The Lord God said, “Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.”23 So the Lord God sent him away from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove man out and stationed the cherubim and the flaming, whirling sword east of the garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life.
After reading Genesis 3 a few times I read through the Moody Bible Commentary and it gave me some insights. Here are some that struck me:
- Although Americans think of themselves as individuals, the text teaches that all mankind fell through Adam.
- The text shows steps of temptation which often lead to sin.
- The command regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was given to the man, Adam. The serpent worked on Eve. This may have been because she had not heard from God directly concerning the command.
- The couple are described as inseparable by the commentator.
- The serpent addresses Eve but uses plural pronouns which shows he is talking to both people. In only addressing Eve he marginalizes her husband.
- The rephrasing of the command by the serpent focuses on God’s restriction rather than his bounty.
- The serpent questions God’s motives in giving his command. He implies God is keeping godhood from Adam and Eve.
- Seeing the tree and pronouncing that it is good mirrors how God has looked at Creation and made his pronouncement, “It is good!” in Genesis 1.
- Eve assessed the “good,” or appeal of eating the fruit in three distinct ways: it was practical, being useful for food, it was aesthetically beautiful, and it had the possibility for wisdom. These three areas preyed upon the woman’s physical, emotional, and spiritual desires. Some have seen these same three categories of temptation reflected in “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 Jn 2:16).
- Keeping silent, like Adam did, is tacit approval.
- The death that the couple immediately experienced was separation. the ideal experience of relationship with each other and with God was broken.
- The word for naked includes shameful and guilty nakedness resulting from sin, not just the simple fact of being undressed.
- The leaf coverings try and hide the guilty parties in more ways than one.
- The death they have died can be called division and disruption.
- God ‘strolls’ in the garden. The couple was meant to stroll with him.
- Woman becomes vexed by Adam’s role of initiative.
- The condition of humanity is like God but not with God.
- To be sent East means to be sent farther from God.
Thank you that those who work at Moody have taken the time to study and to share their insights on the passage. Help us to discern which of these insights is helpful and which should be left behind.
- When you read the passage what do you think is the main idea?
- Is the serpent, Adam, or Eve to blame for the fall?
- Which of the Moody insights is new to you?
- Which one speaks to you the most?
- How has your community been broken because of sin?