Genesis 3

1 People today often associate the owl with wisdom, and in the same way here the serpent is associated with cunning (Mat 10:16). It is not said how Satan became associated with the serpent, but the connection will last until the end of time (Rev 12:9).

Eve did not find it remarkable that a creature would speak with her. I suspect that in the beginning, humans and creatures may have been able to communicate. The depth of this conversation goes well beyond what we would even expect of the most intelligent animals today (if we could actually understand them). This may just be a special case, and that many details leading up to this conversation are simply not available.

Some scholars mistakenly place the Fall during the sixth day. However, this can not be the case since on the sixth day everything is pronounced good. Instead, this event happens sometime after the seventh day, and before Cain was born. This would have been some years before Adam's third son, Seth, was born when Adam was 130 years old.

Satan's first tactic is tempting Eve is to ask a ridiculous question. The serpent essentially asks, "Did God really tell you not to eat anything?"

2 Eve's reply starts out correctly in that they could eat of any tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but she adds that it should not even be touched. Whatever she knew about the command came from Adam. We do not know if Adam exaggerated the command for effect, or if Eve exaggerated it herself.
4 Satan then contradicts God. This should have shocked Eve, but for some reason, she is persuaded to believe him with little hesitation. Despite Satan's reassurance to the contrary, death would indeed result. Spiritual death would occur immediately, and physical death coming after an agonizing and difficult life.
5 Satan's deception hinges on this statement. Eve's eyes would be opened, but she would not like what she would see. It is also true that God knew the difference between good and evil, but for humans to understand these abstract concepts would not give them the power and majesty of God. Instead, it would drive them away from perfection.

What Eve did not realize was that she and Adam were perfect people. God designed them to be everything that they should be. In addition, He gave them everything they would ever need in a perfect environment. A violin string stretched across the instrument is constrained only because it was designed for a particular purpose. Once it is "freed" from these constraints it can no longer be used to make music. Adam and Eve had "limited" knowledge and ability compared to God, but when they attempted to free themselves from their limitations they harmed themselves.

Eve should have been able to reason that if God was forbidding this tree for selfish reasons, He could have moved either the tree or the people so that they would not access it.

Satan knew that what he said was a lie. He had already attempted to replace God (Isa 14:14). He did not succeed, and was exiled from heaven (Luke 10:18). In fact, it is high treason against God to want to replace Him. People who do things their own way rather than follow God's commands place themselves above His throne. God waits patiently during a person's lifetime for them to turn to Him, but if they do not, they will suffer the same judgement and punishment that Satan will receive.

When a Christian speaks of being "like God," they mean to reflect His characteristic love, patience, etc. It does not mean they seek the divine authority that belongs to Him only.

There are those who believe they can become gods. Some even claim to be Christians. They should consider the verses that speak on this endeavor. They will find that such a pursuit will be unsuccessful. Instead of becoming gods, they will be forever separated from the one and only God.

6 Eve was not interested in thinking about what might go wrong (why be so negative?). Instead she focused on what she would gain. She wanted to have something that God had, so she decided to ignore God's direction for her life and make her own rules.

The tree was pleasant to look at, but God had filled the Garden with all kinds of good-looking trees. The real bait was not the food, but the presumed mystical benefit that would be obtained from eating it. Likewise, it was not the fruit or tree that was evil, but it was the act of disobedience that gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of evil.

We do not know the circumstances under which Adam ate the fruit, but it is apparent from the subsequent punishments that Adam knew that he was disobeying God. He may have done it for the same reason Eve did, or he may have done it to stay with (or please) his wife. Whatever the case, we should not do anything that God has told us not to do.

7 The effects of their newfound knowledge became quickly apparent. For whatever reason, they both realized that they were completely exposed. The first things they experienced were modesty and embarrassment. Their first act was to hide from each other. Evil always causes separation.
8 Their next act is to hide from God. Even today, when we do something wrong we try to hide it from others and from God. We might be able to fool people, but we can not fool God.

It appears that God might have spoken with Adam and Eve on a daily basis. God may have taken on a physical form (a theophany) when He did this. One wonders what their conversations would have been like. They might have discussed the daily work or the various plants and creatures that God had made. They may have even entertained themselves with singing or playing games.

Since there was a cool part of the day, we can surmise that there was a hot part of the day, much like we have today. The cool part would have been necessary to cause the heavy dews at night which would substitute for rain until the time of Noah (Gen 2:5-6).

9 God had never had to "look" for Adam and Eve before. Obviously, He knew their location and what had happened, but He needed to bring Adam and Eve to the point where they recognized for themselves what had happened.
10 Adam felt fear. He knew he was under the death sentence, but he did not know how this would come about since he had not previously seen death. Although he probably knew better, Adam hid himself from the one who would judge his actions and punish him as promised.

Fear was a new emotion for Adam and Eve. Fear is rooted in distrust and uncertainty. First, Satan told them not to trust God. Next, their eyes were opened and they found they could not trust each other. Finally, they recognized that Satan had lied to them and betrayed them for no apparent reason. They were now uncertain how God would react and what would happen next. Lack of trust and uncertainty about the future still cause us anxiety today.

11 God cuts right to the chase. Only one thing in all of His creation would have caused Adam to know this. God wanted Adam to admit his violation of God's command (i.e., to confess his sin).
12 Instead of confessing, Adam starts a rather comical "passing the blame" game. Instead of taking responsibility for his own action, Adam makes himself the victim. On one hand he blames God by saying, "the woman You gave me..." And on the other hand he blames Eve for giving him the fruit. Adam certainly knew that he was responsible for his actions regardless of the circumstances and influences around him.
13 For now, God goes along with the game and asks Eve what she did. Eve follows Adams example and attempts to pass the blame rather than take responsibility for her actions. Eve was indeed deceived, but she should have seen though the lies. Satan did not give her a "satisfaction guaranteed" warranty. Always remember that no matter what it is, do not ever do what Satan asks you to -- it will never benefit you.

Remember the circumstance that Adam and Eve were in: They were part of a failed coupe attempt on God's throne. Now they were standing before God and He was asking them to account for their actions. Adam and Eve will not be the only people in this position. In fact, all people have and will participate in the rebellion against God, and one day each one of us will stand before Him to give an account. When we get there (actually, before that) we must confess that we have done wrong and throw ourselves on the mercy of God.

14 God does not bother asking the serpent. He already knows that Satan is a liar. Instead, God pronounces judgment on the serpent. We do not know under exactly what circumstances Satan came to posses the serpent. Whatever it was, the serpent was responsible and suffered the consequence of losing its legs. Other than making the snake a visible oddity among land creatures, we do not know why losing the legs is related to the crime.

The modern snake uses its tongue to smell the air. Thus, we see it frequently sticking its tongue out. Undoubtedly, this causes the snake to ingest much dirt.

Notice that God mentions there is a curse on animals. People were to be stewards of the earth. Now that Adam and Eve had broken their relationship with God, their relationship with creation would also be broken. Later we see how the ground is cursed. Here, God does not detail the corruption of animals, but it seems pretty clear from today's modern animals that the symptoms include eating meat, violence, and poison.

15 Eve had been friendly with the serpent, but from this time forward they would be enemies. Women and men would share this inborn fear of snakes.

With this curse comes the first promise of the Messiah. Satan's evil seed would wound this Seed of woman, Jesus, but then Jesus would mortally wound Evil.

16 Although Adam and Eve thought they might have passed the blame, God immediately tells them that they are responsible, and will be punished. He could have executed them because of their treason, but He did not. God could have destroyed His creation and started over, but He did not. Instead, He planned to make a way to bring people back to Him. If people would choose to love God, despite the sin-filled world that they lived in, then they would truly be worthy to live with Him forever.

The biggest problem for women would be pain in childbirth. There is no other creature that undergoes such travail during birth as humans (the primary exception seems to be among specially bred cattle, but this is not God's design). Eve did not have a child before this curse, so she would never know what an easy birth would be like. From this time forward, childbirth would be difficult and dangerous for the mother.

The second curse was that she (and women in general) would be dependent on her husband. She would be neither independent nor the head of the household. However, it is important to note that this does not make a woman any less valuable than a man as far as God is concerned, nor is this a license for a man to abuse his wife or other women. Instead, this is God assigning roles for men and women to live in.

17 Adam's curse related to his work. Work was intended to be enjoyable and fulfilling. Now it would include drudgery and difficulty. He was to provide for his family, and it would not be easy.
18 Adam could only look forward to wrestling with noxious weeds. He would have to use special farming techniques to produce food to eat.

Up to this point there were no hurtful or poisonous plants, nor was there a scarcity of food. This curse is a dreadful prediction of what was to happen to him and his children. At this point God either created weeds or genetically manipulated His present creation to cause them to be harmful.

19 Life would be hard, and in the end, he would die. His body would decompose and turn into dust.

Our bodies are incredibly intricate and amazing, but if we take it down to its component parts, we are just a few buckets of water and a few handfuls of dust.

Thus, men are not valuable because their bodies are valuable, but men are valuable because we carry God's image, and He cares for us although we have sinned against Him.

The reason why life is worth living is because God cares for us and has given us a hope for a way out of this sin-ruined world. As the Scriptures unfold, we will see how Jesus conquered the curses to give us hope.

20 "Eve" means "life."
21 God does the first animal sacrifice. Adam's feeble attempt to cover his nakedness was not enough. God had to shed the blood of a perfect and innocent animal to provide a durable covering for Adam and Eve's shame.
22 Now God acts to ensure that Adam's body would die. The fruit from the tree of life apparently supernaturally counteracted the entropy that occurred in creation. By separating people from this tree, they would eventually die of "natural" causes.

Amazingly enough, death is an act of mercy. God's creation, including our bodies, is hopelessly corrupted, and can not be reconciled to God. In order for us ever to be in His presence, it is necessary to shed this corrupt container. Death provides that way of escape from this corrupt world. However, it also takes faith in God to obtain His mercy. Death will provide no benefit to those who reject God in this lifetime.

23 Adam and Eve were banished from their wonderful home in the Garden.
24 The angel and the sword would prevent men from reaching the tree of life from this time until the Flood. This should have been a continual and supernatural witness to the consequences of sin, but people ignored it or misinterpreted it as they sank deeper into sin. The Flood would eventually destroy the Garden and vastly change the shape of the continent.