Adam and Eve

Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This is the very first sentence in the Bible. God wants us to know that this world is not just an accident. He made it, and everything it contains. Even man. There are more details on how God created man and communicated with him in the next chapter.

Genesis 2:7-9, 2:15-18, 2:21-25

7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."

18 Yahweh God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."

21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

When God made the first man, Adam, He gave him a good environment. He placed him in a garden that was pleasant, and full of good fruit. Then He made a wife for him to share it with, and I'm sure they had a wonderful relationship. They were naked, physically and relationally. There were no secrets they kept from each other. Neither had anything to hide! They were naked, and unashamed.

There were no physical dangers in their environment. They did not have to fear death. It had not yet entered into the world (see Rom 5:12).

There were not a lot of rules and regulations they had to follow. God gave them just one command, "Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." It should have been easy enough for them to keep the commandment. But as we see, they weren't able to do it.

Genesis 3:1-24

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really 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 middle 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 its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 The eyes of both of them 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, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall 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 bear 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 It will yield thorns and thistles 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."

20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.

22 Yahweh God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..." 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam and Eve's idyllic life in paradise comes to an abrupt end when they listen to the serpent in the garden. This was no ordinary snake. It spoke to Eve. How it spoke, I don't know. Maybe it spoke audibly, or maybe it was able to projects thoughts into Eve's mind somehow. Of course, no ordinary snake or any other animal is able to speak either way, so there must have been something else behind it. Another power must have possessed it. There is precedence in scripture of demons possessing the bodies of men and animals. For example, in Luke 8, we see a man possessed by many demons. When Jesus casts them out, he allows them to enter into a herd of swine.

We don't need to wonder what was behind the serpent. Rev 12:9 explicitly says that the serpent of old is the Devil and Satan.

But Eve didn't know that. She doesn't seem to be alarmed when the snake talks to her. That may seem strange to us, but Eve was probably only days old. Everything was a new experience for her.

The devil shows his character from the beginning. He opposes God, and the first words out of his mouth are designed to make God look restrictive. "Has God really said 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?"

Eve quickly corrects him, explaining that only one tree is forbidden. "Of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" In her zeal to obey, she even went beyond what God had commanded, and added the additional restriction against touching the fruit, though God had never actually forbidden it.

Then Satan blatantly accuses God of lying."You won't surely die, 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."

Doubts creep into Eve's mind. Maybe it's true. Maybe God is holding back on them. She looks at the fruit. It is good-looking fruit. It looks like it would taste good, just like the fruit from other trees. Maybe it will make them wise. She eats, and she give some to Adam and he eats as well.

In one sense, what Satan said was true. Their eyes were opened, and they became like God in the sense that they knew good and evil. They had now experienced both. But it's obvious that what Satan said was very deceitful. He made them think that knowing good and evil would be a good thing. It wasn't. I think that they immediately regret what they have done. Both are ashamed of themselves, and they are ashamed one another. They associate the shame they feel with their physical nakedness, but what they are really feeling is the guilt of their sin. They don't like it. They try to assuage their guilt the only way they know how, by covering themselves with fig leaves.

Fig leaves may cover the body, but they can do nothing for the soul. When the Lord comes to the garden, they are still ashamed. They know they are not fit to be in the presence of God. They have covered themselves with fig leaves, but the guilt of their sin is still weighing them down. They know that God can see past their flimsy leaf garments right into their souls, and He will know that they have disobeyed Him. They are scared, which is only natural. After all, God had said that in the day they ate from the tree, they would surely die. Sin has broken their relationship with God. Now they see Him not as a friend, but as someone to be afraid of.

Maybe you can understand how Adam and Eve felt. If you have ever done anything that you know is wrong, I don't think you would want God standing next to you either. Like Peter, we would say "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord" (Luke 5:8). Malachi asked "Who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears?" (Mal 3:2). Truly, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31).

So instead of facing God, Adam and Eve try to hide in the trees. It's futile, of course. The God who made them knows exactly where they are. He calls out to Adam asking "Where are you?", not because he doesn't know where Adam is, but because he wants to give him a chance to explain why he is hiding. Adam acknowledges he is hiding, but he doesn't voluntarily admit what he has done. He says he is afraid because he is naked, even though he has never been afraid to be naked before, and even though he actually has a covering of fig leaves on now. God then asks him directly "Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" He has to admit he has, but even then he casts blame away from himself. "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" He partially blames the woman, partially blames God for giving her to be with him.

Eve is also quick to cast blame. When God asks her "What is this you have done?", she tells him "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Then God pronounces judgment.

To Adam, He said "Cursed is the ground for your sake." Instead of producing an abundance of good crops, it will produce thorns and thistles. Getting enough food to eat from the ground will become hard work. He also said "You will return to the ground." In other words, you will die. The serpent lied when he said that they would not surely die. On the day they disobeyed, they began to die.

It was true then, it is still true today. The punishment for disobeying God is death. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Adam began to die, and all of us are dying as well. But physical death is just the beginning. Our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). We have become dead in transgressions and sins (Eph 2:1). In that condition, we are without hope, and without God in this world (Eph 2:12). After we die, we will face God's judgment (Heb 9:27). Then, we face a second death. "For the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."(Rev 21:8).

Getting back to God's judgments in the garden, God said to Eve "In pain you will bear children." The birth of a child should be a joyful occasion, yet it will now be accompanied by pain and suffering. Those are disheartening words for any woman to hear, yet they bring hope as well. Eve will not die before she has borne children. The human race will survive.

To the serpent, God said "On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life." Does this mean that before then, snakes used to walk upright? I doubt it. God is not speaking about snakes in general, but of the devil who had used the snake. Other scriptures hint that he was once an exalted angel. Now, he is debased. Isaiah 14:12 likely speaks of him when it says "How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low." From now on, he will be considered the lowest of the low.

But that isn't all. God also told the serpent "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring." The devil and his angels will be at odds with mankind, the offspring of the woman. But notice that in the next sentence, God refers to the woman's offspring not as a plural "they", but a singular "he". "He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel." One day, a specific male descendant of the woman will totally defeat the serpent, bruising him in the head, though in the process he will be injured (bruised in the heel).

Everything has happened just as God said it would. There is strife between the devil and mankind. He entices men to sin, and they become slaves to it. We can become trapped by the power of sin and continue to do wrong for passing pleasure, even when we can see that in the long run it will destroy us or others we love. This is exactly what the devil wants. He is our enemy, and his mission is to destroy us.

But the good news is Satan has been defeated. A descendant of the woman has bruised Satan with a mortal blow. Who was the descendant? It was Jesus Christ!

God sent his Son, Jesus, into this world as a man, born to the virgin Mary. He is the only man who has never given in to the devil. In everything, He was tempted like we are, yet He never sinned (Heb 4:15). Because He never sinned, He didn't have to die. Yet He did die. He chose to go Jerusalem, where He knew He would be crucified. He even told His disciples exactly what would happen beforehand (Mark 9:31). Satan entered into Judas (Luke 22:3), and incited him to betray Jesus into the hands of the people who wanted to kill Him. He was nailed to a cross, and He died.

Why did He die? Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3). He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:6). He bore the punishment we deserve. He atoned for our sins (1 John 2:2).

Satan thought He would defeat God by putting Jesus to death. He didn't understand the wisdom of God's plan, or he wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor 2:8). In reality, he caused nothing more than a superficial wound, because God accepted the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and Jesus rose from the grave three days after his death.

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus dealt Satan a deadly blow. His power over us is gone. He may still succeed in tempting even those of us who love and trust the Lord Jesus to sin, but it won't separate us from God. When Satan accuses us before God and tells Him that we ought to pay the penalty for our sins, God can say "Those sins are paid for. I've charged them to My Son Jesus, and they are no longer an issue."

But watch out. Though the serpent has been bruised in the head, he is not dead yet. He still prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). He can't defeat us by causing us to sin when Christ has paid for our sin, but he has other tactics. He is still telling lies. He may tell us "There is no God," or "God will not condemn you for your sin," or "God will never forgive a sinner like you." His goal is to keep us from believing in Jesus, because if we will not accept that Jesus died for our sins and turn to Him for forgiveness, we will be judged for them ourselves. Don't listen to the lies. Believe in the Lord Jesus. God loves us so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). But he who doesn't believe is judged because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. (John 3:18).

It appears that Adam and Eve did believe. It is at this point that Adam named his wife "Eve". Eve means "life giver", and Adam called her that because he believed that she would be a mother. The race of man would continue through the children she would bear, just as God said.

Even though they believed, there were consequences for their sin. They did begin to die. But God is a God of mercy. Even though He had said "On the day you eat from the tree, you will surely die," He didn't take their lives away on the day that they sinned Him. Why not? Because He killed substitutes instead. Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them. God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve. The animals died in their place. Animal life doesn't have the same value as human life, but this was a picture of what God would do when Jesus came. Jesus would die in place of Adam and Eve too. Until then, the skins they wore would cover them.

The fig leaf coverings Adam and Eve made for themselves could not hide their shame and make them right with God. They needed the coverings God provided. In the same way, we can't make ourselves right with God by anything we do. All our righteousness is as a polluted garment: and we all fade as a leaf (Isaiah 64:6). Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph 2:9). He is God's provision for our sin. He is the Lamb of God who was slain to take away the sin of the world (Rev 5:12, John 1:29) . On the cross, Jesus was made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21). We need His white garments, that we may clothe ourselves, and that the shame of our nakedness may not be revealed. (Rev 3:18). He freely offers salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:18).

Another consequence of Adam and Eve's sin is that they were driven out of the garden. This prevented them from eating from the tree of life, and living forever. I don't know exactly what the tree of life was. It sounds like it may have been something like the fabled fountain of youth, that would cure disease, heal injuries, and stop the aging process. It would have made Adam and Eve live forever, which is a very long time. Forever in this world with all of its sin a suffering may have been unbearable.

If we believe in the Lord Jesus, our hope is not on this earth. We look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13). God Himself will be with us, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev 21:3,4). There, we will have the right to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God (Rev 2:7). We we will be with the Lord forever (1 Th 4:17). It will be glorious. I hope to see you there.