Is Eve Responsible?

snakeoil

Familiarity with the first three chapters of Genesis is critical as it is here that we see God’s original plan, how we messed it up and the first hint that He has had a solution from the beginning.  In my post in April we looked at the fallacies that have been put forth about the creation of human beings in Genesis 1 and 2.  Today we will start to explore the events recorded in Genesis 3 on the temptation and fall.

We have all met the father of lies, the problem is that often we don’t recognize him for who he is.  What have we traditionally been told or taught about how we fell into sin has been touched and twisted over the centuries by the master of lies.

Words are how we communicate, but words in English do not always convey the understanding that we would have if we knew Hebrew.  Translation is affected by tradition and culture so it is important to check out key words to get a more complete definition in the original language.

Genesis 3:1 says,  “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'” NKJV 

 The very word serpent deserves a closer look.  Serpent is the Hebrew word nahash which means to hiss and whose root word means divination, sorcery or enchantment indicating the occult.  It is followed by the word cunning (aruwm), also translated subtle, indicating crafty and shrewd.  This is no common snake.

What is the tempter doing here? Adam was told in Genesis 2 to “keep” the garden.[1] The word keep in the Hebrew, (shamar), means to hedge about, i.e.–guard, protect, attend to, indicating that there must have been something from which it needed to be protected.  The same word is used in Genesis 3:24 when it refers to the Cherubim keeping the way to the tree of life.

Genesis. 3:2  “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;’  In addition to using “we” the text throughout this section uses the plural form of “you” in Hebrew indicating the presence of more than one person.  So, we know Adam was there.  He does not seem surprised at the creature talking with the woman and it seems unlikely that he would decide to disobey God’s command as a spur of the moment move.  Many theologians believe that Adam had begun something of a “slip” from fellowship with God before the fall.  A confirming reference from the Old Testament is found in Job 31:33: “If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom.” [2]

Gensis 3:3 “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “

Although scripture tells us that the woman was created at the same time as the man, she was not formed until Genesis 2:22. The command was given in Genesis 2:17.[3]  Was the essence of woman aware of the commands prior to being formed?  We don’t know.   We do know that she adds to God’s words. Why? Was it because she had not heard directly from God?  Taught wrong? To add stress? Exaggeration? We don’t know—the Bible does not say thus all we can do here is speculate.  However, the actions of Satan are clear: as he proceeds he calls God a liar.

Genesis 3:4  “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’”

Gensis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan insinuates that God is trying to keep something from them.  He states what we know to be his own desire to be like God[4] and tempts them to have those same desires.  He does the same thing today, using subtle strategy to lead us into disobedience.

Genesis 3:6  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate….

The woman was tempted in body (good for food), soul (pleasant to the eyes) and spirit (make one wise)  We are easily deceived by allowing our natural senses rather than God and his Word to be the standard by which we make decisions.

Genesis 3:6 (continued) …she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Adam knew what was happening and he chose neither to warn the woman nor to stop her from eating and he chose to eat himself.  Gilbert Bilezikian[5] says the words “with her” are the saddest words in the Bible.

Adam was told to keep = guard the garden yet he let the tempter come in and made no move to make him leave.  Adam heard the whole conversation. He never said a word to stop Satan. Scripture says he was not deceived.  He knew exactly what Satan was doing, yet he allowed his wife to eat. Then he ate. Did he watch to see what happened before he ate? We don’t know. We do know that Adam ate fully knowing that what he was doing was against the command of God.

Who is responsible for the fall of humankind? The Bible lays the responsibility entirely on Adam.  In the New Testament Paul says Adam was not deceived and places the full responsibility on him in Romans 5:12-19, 1 Timothy 2:14 and 1 Corinthians 15:22)[6]   So why is the woman blamed for the fall? Up until around 200 or 300 B. C. she was not.  We’ll take a look at what happened in our next session.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. (NAS)

[2]  Transgression = rebellion and iniquity = vanity and perversion of spirit.

[3] Had you ever noticed that it says commanded the man. Just what was it that was commanded? “May freely eat” sounds like giving permission but in the Hebrew there is a different connotation.  “Neither the words may or freely indicate God was leaving the ‘if, when, or how much to eat’ to Adam’s own discretion. Adam, having free will, could choose not to eat of the provision God had made, but it would be in direct disobedience to the command.” Spiritual food was available from the tree of life, the very life of God, yet Adam evidently did not choose to partake of this provision for “keeping” the garden.  It is a principle of Scripture that God offers provision before He gives us a job. The ability to “keep” the garden would come from partaking of the tree of life.

[4] [4] Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”
See also Ezekiel 28 first to the prince and then differentiated to the king

[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Bilezikian

[6] [6] Romans 5:12-19 (NKJV)  12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned  13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  15 But the free gift is not like the offense.  For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.  16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned.  For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.  17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)  18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.  19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

1 Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Tim 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

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