Genesis 3: The Fall

1a Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

-The word used for serpent is the Hebrew word “nachash” which means snake/serpent and is used this way elsewhere in the bible including when Moses through down the rod and it turned into a snake. That word can also mean bronze but it would be reaching to claim that “nacash” means a “shiny bronze-like creature” because its used nowhere else. There is every reason to believe that this is really saying that some kind of serpent-like reptile was talking and he is later identified as Satan. He is referred to as a dragon in Revelation so its possible a magnificent dragon-like creature could be here since “serpent” is a vague term to describe any reptile-like creature. A possible explanation for why “nachash” could mean bronze is Moses in the Book of Numbers was instructed to put a bronze snake on a pole to prevent death from bites from fiery serpents and there have been many archaeological findings dated pre-Israel in Canaan of bronze snake statues so it is possible it was cultural to associate a snake with bronze. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_%28Bible%29

1b He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

-Here we begin to see Satan’s method for tempting us into sin. By asking this question he knows the answer to, it forces Eve to answer in a way that gets her thinking about the limitation. He is calling attention to something that we want. We human beings are naturally curious and want to learn, it is not sinful to want to experience this wonderful world God has created for us. Adam and Eve likely wondered why God would have put a restriction on this one tree. Satan has made Eve think about this by bringing it up.

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.’”

-Eve seems to add here that they aren’t allowed to even touch it when that is not what God said to Adam. We aren’t told why she added this so there are many possibilities but we do know at this point there has not been a sin yet so we can say for sure that she was not lying and so she either interpreted what she was told in this way or was told this by God or Adam at some other point.

4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

-After isolating the desire in Eve he then puts a doubt in her heart by lying to her and giving her conflicting information.

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.”

-Now he is trying to bring God down to a level below a human, claiming God to be jealous and insecure and that He is holding back on them. Satan has now taken a desire, put doubt to its source, and completely changed the situation around to the exact opposite of the truth.

6a 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,

-Now that doubt was in her heart she decided to discern the conflicting information by using her own intuition since she did not know which source to believe. She used her own judgment and decided that it looked good, it did not look dangerous, and if it would make her a better person and more wise, how can it be bad? This was how the fall of man happened, relying on ourselves to decided the truth using our own judgment and intuition. This is why only faith can save because we can never fully rationalize our way to the truth because we are limited based on our physical existence to see all that there is. The only way to know the truth is to trust God. It was a free will decision to choose not to trust God that brought sin into this world.

6b and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

-This half of the verse implies Adam may have been with her the whole time through the conversation with Satan and stood by and did nothing. This would be a sin of omission in failing to do his duty as her husband and protecting her however this is not identified as the original sin and Adam was not tempted by Satan to do so beforehand that we are told. Therefore, Eve must have been alone and met up with Adam later before eating the fruit. Adam did not stop her from sinning but we are not given enough information to suggest Adam’s failure as a husband was the original sin. Before Satan spoke to Eve,there was no such thing as temptation yet either. Satan is the “father of lies”, he brought the concept into the world when he spoke to Eve. Adam may have had no understanding of what was happening before eating the fruit because he hadn’t yet been exposed to the concept of doubting God and temptation as Eve had. Eve ate of the fruit first and then handed it to Adam who ate it. This was the original sin. Does that mean its all the woman’s fault as Adam suggested? No of course not because Adam still chose to disobey God and Satan could have come to Adam and did the same thing but chose to come to Eve to further distort the divine order God had set up in husbands and wives. In the original sin, not only was there disobedience and pride, but the woman took the lead, the exact opposite of the roles God established. Satan’s aim is to defy God as much as possible and tempting Eve did more to spit in His face than would tempting Adam.

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.

-As mentioned last chapter, there was no need for clothing because there was nothing to cover up and no desire to be ashamed of. Now that they had the knowledge that they can disobey God and live for there own desires, they felt ashamed. Now they had something to hide.

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.

-Was God the Father really walking around the garden? As far as we know, God has no physical body yet He is described here as “walking” like a man would. We know from later in scripture that “no one has ever seen God”. The most anyone has ever done was Moses who saw the “back” of God. This being walking is identified as God not an angel or some other heavenly being. Therefore, the only person this can be is God the Son, Jesus, in pre-incarnate human form. Jesus was the one who walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and as the voice of God He did the Father’s will and gave them their punishments.

9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

-God obviously knows where they are but this is a teaching moment for Adam an Eve. We often play dumb for children when we teach them something and that’s what’s going on here. God wants to show them what they are doing at that their behavior is foolish.

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.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

-“Who told you…”, God asks. Again, He knows the answer but this shows that we would not have even understood the concept of nakedness had we not been exposed to it. This goes along with the claim I made in the first chapter about mankind being totally incapable of creating anything new. We can’t “invent” the idea of nakedness or anything else. Since it did not exist in the physical world and was not revealed by God, “someone” must have told them about it.

12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

-It’s all her fault! Wherever there’s pride, there lacks humility. Now that Adam has this sinful nature, he refuses to admit himself a sinner and blames his wife. How horrible! Yet we do it all the time, don’t we? We do it with everything. We refuse to see our disgusting, sinful nature and everything is always because of some other reason. Might Adam not have taken the fruit if Eve had not been with him and handed it to him, probably not unless Satan came to him with the same temptation. But does that change the fact that he chose to do it? Of course not, Adam was compelled to was given temptation. We as mankind are completely incapable of resisting sin apart from the help of God, namely the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, we would always give in, always sin, and always avoid responsibility for our actions afterwards.

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.”

-God pays along for now and asks Eve who does the same thing. It’s the serpents fault! Notice how God asks Adam first and not Eve or the serpent first even though He knows everything that transpired. Why did he not go up to the serpent and ask him, “How dare you tempt my creations, curse you!” first? God is going in the divine order of His creation but asking the man first, then the woman, and then the beast. Satan went the opposite direction as the beast asking the woman who then lead the man astray with her.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

-Could this be the origin of why snakes crawl on their bellies and have no arms or legs? Doubtful since worms and many creatures do this and we aren’t given their origins. Not only that, if this is a punishment and everything God created was good, wouldn’t that mean its bad that other creatures crawl on their bellies? God is not talking to snakes but is talking directly to Satan. Why would God punish an animal being controlled by Satan because of what Satan did? God placed a “curse” on Satan which doesn’t necessarily mean its something that happens right away. We are cursed to die, but that does not mean we drop dead this instant, it just means that we will die at some point. Satan is cursed to be defeated in the future. In the Book of Revelation, we see the fate of Satan. He will be thrown out of heaven and cast down to Earth (crawl on his belly) and will ultimately burn forever in the lake of fire (eating dust). That is a worse curse than all livestock and animals who simply experience one death, and that it’s. He will feel pain for eternity.

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

-This is known in theology as the “Protoevangelium” or “The First Gospel” because this is the first prophesy of Jesus. In a culture that is always about the seed of a man, God says “her offspring”. Throughout the bible, the genealogies rarely even mention the woman unless it has some relevance. Why wouldn’t God tell Satan it will be a seed of Adam? This is in reference to the virgin birth. Jesus was born of Mary and the Holy Spirit as being both 100% man from Mary and 100% God from the Holy Spirit. Satan strikes at Jesus’ heal by killing Him in the physical sense on the cross but gives Satan a mortal blow to the head by providing a way for our sins to be forgiven. This mortal blow to the head will ultimately defeat Satan once and for all and cast him into hell, destroying him just as a crushed head would kill someone. A bruise is nothing but a pain that goes away. The pain Jesus suffered by taking on the punishment for our sins and being temporarily severed from God while unimaginable to us was only a bruise, He was not defeated. Satan will be.

16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

-I can only think of two instances where “pain” is not the direct result of sin. Childbearing and work. All pain is caused by something relating to sin, even disease. We would not have disease if not for sin corrupting the world. We would not have war, death. We wouldn’t even have indigestion if not for glutinous eating or eating unclean foods that are themselves diseased or a result of the corruption of sin. We would not have pain from aging because we would not age and be pulled towards death. We would not even get injured because no one would take a game to far or take great risks out of a desire for something. This to me is proof that these curses are real. Assuming a married couple who waiting to have sex until marriage and then conceived, there is no sin in the process so why have all the pain of something so beautiful as bringing forth life? Aren’t we doing what we are told by being fruitful and multiplying? This to me is a proof of the truth of this account. I don’t think God “made” childbirth painful at this point but was really telling Eve that these were the natural consequences of sin. You are bringing a sinner into a “good” world, its going to hurt. Not only that but even though Adam was already created to lead his wife (as shown in the verse below) but because of sin, men will now dominate over women and treat them like slaves rather than equals. This was also a natural consequence of sin.

17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

-Adam committed two sins, listening to his wife into disobedience and eating the fruit. I said before that Adam standing by and doing nothing was not the first sin but rather this was one sin that had two major things wrong with it. Adam did not follow his created purpose and take the lead and prevent Eve from sinning. Because he was lazy, now his work will be painful and unsatisfying. Work in itself is not sinful, in fact, its what we’ve been created to do. But as a natural consequence of sin, man will never be able to get ahead or be satisfied. Because of our sinful nature, we seek to be like God and try to have it all. But no matter how hard we work and how much wealth, success, power, prestige that we obtain, its never enough. Why do you think the rich and famous commit suicide so much?

19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

-This says that we will work hard trying to sustain ourselves only to drop dead in the end, all for nothing. No matter how much we acquire, its all dust in the end. To quote Ecclesiastes, “Everything is meaningless”.

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

-Eve is indeed the mother of all living. If you think about it, Noah and his family were saved in the flood. Noah’s sons were obviously related to him but their wives were not. This means that the most common male all mankind can draw our lineage to is Noah since the children of Noah’s sons and his son’s wives would still be related to Noah but the most common woman we can draw our lineage to is Eve. Were all related to Adam as well of course, but we are more closely related to Noah so it is not as fitting to call Adam “the father of all mankind” but it is proper to give that title to Eve.

21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

-Where did God get the skin? He must have killed some animals to make them. This is the first example of bloodshed being needed to cover sin. The wages of sin is death and animals had to die in order to cover up Adam and Eve’s nakedness and shame. This would be the pattern throughout all time in dealing with sin. Abel’s sacrifice will be accepted by God because blood was shed and not Cain’s, Abraham and those who followed God would make alters for sacrifices, the Israelites will have sacrifice built into their very laws, and Jesus will ultimately shed his own blood to “cover up” our sins.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

-What can “like one of us” mean especially considering God is talking to the other persons of God. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are saying that man is now like them. Obviously it can’t refer to sin since God cannot sin so He must be talking about free will. God has free will to do what He wants so now we have free will now that we know that there is an option to defy him. In our free will, we will choose evil and suffer the consequences. God would never allow us to eat of the tree of life and live forever on this earth in sin without the consequences of death. We would be sinning without all the consequences of sin and that goes against God’s nature as being perfectly just. This was not a matter of compassion, this was a matter of justice, the consequences of sin must be suffered, that can not be ignored. Therefore we have to face death because of it otherwise God would simply blanket over and forgive all sin and there would be no hell. God being perfectly ordered and just can not do that. Either we accept that Jesus suffered on our behalf the consequences of sin or we suffer with Satan in the lake of fire and pay them ourselves for all eternity.

24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

-This is the first mention of any kind of heavenly being besides God Himself in the bible. Cherubim or “Cherubs” seem to be used as guards and soldiers rather than messengers as angels are used. They are described in several places in the bible as having 4 wings, 4 heads, arms like a man, and they do not turn when they move because they have 4 sides like a square and can move in any direction without turning. This is how the cherubim had a sword “turned every way” because it is a being that is facing 4 directions at once. This begs the question that if a guard was placed on this earth, does that mean the garden can be found today? Most certainly not since it would have been destroyed in the flood had it been there. We see Cain and Abel make sacrifices to God and talk with Him so it appears the garden or some kind of connection between heaven and earth remained as it was afterwards. Since the tree of life exists during the millennium it could not have been destroyed. Therefore at some point in time after the last mention of God being accessible like a person before Enoch disappeared but before the flood God took the tree of life away or closed up the link between heaven and earth. But we are not given any of this in scripture, these are conjectures based on the information we do have.

Spanish words:

astuta = sly, crafty, cunning, astute
sino que = but rather, instead
agradable = nice, pleasant, agreeable
codiciable = desirable, covetable
delantal = apron, covering
esconder = to hide
andar = to walk, go, being something
engaño = deception, deceit, delusion
simiente = seed
espinar = to prick with thorns
túnica = tunic
he aqui = here is, here are
alargar = to extend, lengthen, stretch
labrar = to plow, cultivate, carve out
echar = to throw, throw away, pour, fire (job)
escendida = flushed, fiery, passionate, heated

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