The Fall of Humanity: A Bible Survey for New Christians.

March 1st, 2009

Genesis 3:1–19

Genesis 3 (WEB)

Summary:
The serpent deceives Eve.
Both she and Adam transgress the divine command, and fall into sin and misery.
God arraigns them.
The serpent is cursed.
The promised seed.
The punishment of mankind.

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Yes, has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat,
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won't surely die,
5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 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 the fruit of it, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above every animal of the field. On your belly shall you go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife's voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Comments:
Hey, this is supposed to be a survey of basic beliefs for new believers, and right at the beginning we are confronted with one of those "hard" teachings. A talking snake? Snakes don't talk today, and they most likely didn't have that ability then. Is the snake a metaphor for Satan? Was it an actual snake? You decide. Either way, the weight of sin is all on Eve. If the snake actually uttered words, she didn't have to decide to eat. If the snake didn't talk, that means the idea to eat was already in her, and she wouldn't have needed much prodding.

Is there a Scripture where God told Eve not to eat of the tree of    knowledge? Well, in the previous chapter, Genesis 2:16, God told the man to freely eat of everything, but not the tree of knowledge. It can be assumed that Adam told Eve as well. She must have known, because she had an answer for the snake,if not a clear understanding of the ban on the tree. She even answered back that "God said..." However, she stated the command, then added to it, by saying it wasn't to be touched as well.

Eve's first mistake was listening to a lie. The lie of the misquotation of what God had said, then listening to the lie about death, about becoming a god, about having her mind opened.

Sin creeps in with these little steps. She Saw that it was a delight to the eyes. It was desireable. She took. She ate it. Finally, she shared her sin.

Just as Eve had the choice to eat of the fruit, so did Adam. He had to have recognized it. It even says that he was with her when she ate it.

Ok, OK, I get it she sinned, but over lies about a fruit? Come on now.

The sin was in disobedience. The actual deed is really irrelevant. God said don't, and they did. There are billions of possible other things that could have been done. All it took was to fail in just one thing. That's all God had asked was to keep one little rule.

They sewed aprons of leaves because their minds indeed were opened. A new realization was upon them. They tried to hide among the trees in the garden. They had now become seprated from God, but there is still no place to really hide. 

The blame game starts. Adam blames Eve. She blames the snake. The two both have the chance to explain themselves, but not the snake. The serpent, being the devil, already knew what he had done. Having the two try to explain themselves is a chance to realize just how foolish that sinful behavior was. No argument stands in the face of God.

Why is chapter 3 verse 15 so important? I'll tell you. It is the first prophecy of the Messiah. A future human would come to retaliate, and conquer the snake. Even the virgin birth is indicated here. That promised one would come from the seed of the woman. Normally the seed is in reference to the man's part in the child creation process.

Once the sins have been realized, God lays down some laws. Each are responsible for their own sins. Each have their own unique punishments. The man is supposed to rule over the family. The wife bears children and has sorrow over her sons and husband.

God punished them. He didn't curse them. Eve would experience sorrow, but she was also to "desire" her man. Adam was punished because he didn't take charge and let his wife rule him. Yet he wasn't cursed. The ground was.

Adam's work would continue. Eventually his body would wear out and he would return to the dust which he was created from. The process of death had begun, and has led to the downfall of all humanity.

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