New insights into the oldest story in history.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). Thus begins the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden, but to get a better understanding some observations from Genesis 2 will be helpful.
Whose Story is This?
First, some scholars point to differences between chapters 1 and 2 that hint of inconsistency in the creation account but there’s a simple explanation. The Book of Genesis consists of 10 sections, each the account of a different patriarch but all brought together by a single author, the Holy Spirit, working through the hand of Moses. Each section begins with the phrase “these are the generations” (KJV) or “this is the account” (NIV). Only God was around for chapter 1 but beginning with chapter 2 Genesis describes events from the perspective of Adam and his descendants. Some even assert that Moses had possession of written accounts from Adam and others and drew upon them in compiling the book. Since archaeologists have discovered great libraries from pre-flood times, this view has merit.
Then there’s the comparison of the Hebrew words translated naked in Gen. 2:25 and 3:10. In the Interlinear Bible, a direct Hebrew to English translation, the root of the word translated naked in 2:25 literally means to be empty or poured out, or figuratively, naive or child-like. In 3:10 a different word is translated naked. It comes from a root meaning crafty or cunning, and is used in 3:1 to describe the serpent. Interesting. In their desire to become like God as the serpent had promised, Adam and Eve actually became like the serpent.
Did God Really Say …
The startlingly obvious fact that Eve was okay conversing with a serpent tells us more was going on than we realize. The word translated serpent literally means enchanter so what we know about a serpent’s appearance was learned after its judgment. I can’t imagine any man or woman being comfortable talking with a snake today. The serpent’s first question formed the basis for all man’s disobedience ever since. It sounds so reasonable but think of all the undermining of His word that begins with that phrase.
Did God really say that life begins at conception? (Eccl. 11:5) Did He really say there’s no other God but Him? (Isa. 46:8-9) Did God really say we’re saved by grace alone? (Ephe. 2:8-9) Or that we must be born again? (John 3:3) The list goes on. Get the idea?
There Is A Way That Seems Right To Man But In The End, It Leads To Death (Prov. 14:12)
When the woman saw that the fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it (Gen. 3:6). Her reasoning was good but her logic flawed.
By the way, why did the serpent approach the woman instead of the man? The passage clearly states he was with her. Most of the popular opinions have been offered by men trying to bolster Adam’s excuse that it was the woman’s fault but here are two reasons, both theologically sound.
1. To bring about the complete fall of man, the woman had to sin first. Had Adam taken the fruit and then given some to her, Eve would have had a plausible excuse before God. “You told me to obey my husband. I was just following your rules.” By approaching Eve first, the serpent accomplished the utter fall of both.
2. This is the Bible’s first model of the Messiah. Just as the Lord loved you and me so much that He became one of us and gave His life to pave the way for our redemption, so did Adam love Eve. Stop and think. He was there with her and watched her commit the sin. He could have refused the fruit and remained sinless, but then he would have lost her forever. In joining her in her fallen state he literally gave his life for her and paved the way for her redemption, for from her seed the redeemer would come. From 1 Tim 2:14 we learn that “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” So Eve was tricked, but Adam committed a sin of volition, and in doing so chose a path that would make possible her redemption, and ours.
Who Told You That You Were Naked?
Then the eyes of both were opened and they realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Gen. 3:7). Here is the first act of religion—sinful man’s vain attempt to cover himself before a Holy God. But God showed them a better way. The Lord made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). It was by the shedding of innocent blood that they would be covered. This event initiated the sacrificial system for setting aside man’s sin, another Messianic model. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God (1 Ptr. 3:18).
Now you know the adult version.