And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you(si)?” (In Hebrew this “you” is singular) Gen 3:8-9
(See all these singular/plurals for yourself)
Here God calls to Adam and asks him “where are you” which is singular. God was addressing the man, not the woman. As neither one was in sight, why was God not speaking in the plural, to both of them? Maybe God knew if weird behavior was afoot, that Adam was the one to look for.
God was looking for Adam in the garden, because if God couldn’t find either of them it meant it was possible that both their eyes had been opened, which meant Adam must have eaten from the tree. It wasn’t that God preferred the man over the woman, and that is why God called for the man instead of the woman. Rather, just that if they were hiding, He knew Adam was the one He needed to address.
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you(si) eaten from the tree of which I commanded you(si) that you(si) should not eat?” (in the Hebrew all “you” are singular) Gen 3:10-11
Here God asks the man if he ate of the tree that God has commanded him (singular) to not eat from.
Here God confirms that His commandment was to the man, for the man to not eat from the tree, and this command was meant to the man singularly. This is God’s 1st confirmation that His command was to the man only.
The questions here are also interesting. Now, if the woman had her eyes opened, and he did not, do you think he would have understood even if the woman told him he was naked? Would he have hid?
I would venture not! No matter who told him, he would have felt no need to cover himself unless he himself had his eyes opened. Look at infants and children, and you can see this, they have no awareness of it when they are naked. Telling a young child that they are naked, will not produce the desire to cover. Until they are old enough that their eyes open this way, they do not understand this themselves. As such, I would argue the question “Who told you that you were naked?” is rhetorical as to who told him, as no one else could have told him and had it produce him hiding. He must have eaten himself, and this is why God then immediately asks him if he ate of the tree.
Note that God does not ask the woman if she ate of the tree, at any point. And God did not ask her why she was hiding, because God knew that if she was hiding it was probably because the man had eaten from the tree and had his eyes opened, so therefore her eyes had opened also. And so God does not ask her if she ate from the tree, first off because she was allowed to, and secondly because God knew that whether she ate or not, she would only know she was naked if the man had eaten from the tree. The woman is not overlooked here at all, but rather God knew that the man’s sin would have affected her in a cause and effect way, and so God needed to ask if the man had broken the command God gave him. Which is why God looked to the man in all of this, asking him these questions, and did not ask the woman if she ate from the tree nor who told her she was naked. This was not because she was overlooked or less important to God, or because Adam was His favorite.
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen 3:12-13
Here we see the man admits he ate from the tree, and implies fault on the part of the woman and even perhaps fault on the part of God who gave her to be with him.
From what he says here to God, Adam makes it out to seem like this was some sort of accident that he ate, like the woman brought him the fruit and he didn’t notice which kind of fruit it was.
After having lied to her (perhaps out of envy towards her because she could eat and he could not), and having his lie found out, then knowing the woman handed him the fruit believing it was harmless to him, not wanting to admit his lie, not wanting to live if she could do what he could not, then eating the fruit believing he would die by her hand in front of her, and then surprisingly not dying, it was in keeping with his previous actions that the man then tried to blame her and God for his actions, and act like his eating was an accident and more the woman’s fault.
The woman gives the reason that the serpent deceived her. This is also translated as thoroughly deceived, beguiled or tricked. The woman here has just heard moments prior, for the first time clearly, that God told Adam he could not eat from the tree, Adam alone.
And then she hears the man blame her for him having ate, that she ate and gave it to him. She does not deny that she gave it to him. But what was the reason she gave it to him? She believed the serpent, and was deceived by the serpent that 1. Adam would not die and 2. Adam would gain wisdom by eating. She IS NOT saying here that she ate because the serpent deceived her. She IS saying here that she gave the fruit to Adam because the serpent deceived her into giving the fruit to him.
And she also mentions that she ate. There was nothing wrong with her eating, in and of itself. But she had been deceived into also giving the fruit to Adam. And that she gave the fruit to him is what she did wrong, and would be punished for by God.
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
As to why she gave the fruit to Adam, she says the serpent deceived her. She also adds that she ate herself, which God and her and Adam knew God had told her she could eat from all the trees. Although she may have been expressing feeling some doubt about eating, based on her self-admission, from feelings of guilt, fear, and shame… these feelings were truly were coming from her participation in tempting Adam to sin… and the death in her spirit caused by the death in Adam’s spirit from him having sinned and ate. After he ate and she felt the change of her eyes opening, she realized that there had been some truth to what the man had told her. While the man had lied to her that she could not eat or she would die, and she could gather that God had in fact not said this to him about her… at the moment Adam ate she had felt a change in herself that told her what Adam had said was true for him, that he could not eat. And she saw that it affected her. And so feelings of fear and guilt for tempting him to eat would have made sense. But also her self-admission of eating may have possibly been expressing to God confusion as to why it seemed she could eat, and Adam could not eat, and even irritation that God had not given her the whole picture here, preventing her from being lied to or deceived.
Though the truth was, she made a choice of what she wanted, which was Adam over God. To Eve, at no point had the possibility been removed from the table that God had told the man that he could not eat. And in fact, the serpent did not deny that God had said something to Adam. The serpent only contradicted that they both would die if they both ate, but not that God had said something to Adam about not eating.
The reason she ate from the tree was because it seemed good, to make one wise, pleasant to touch and eat, and because what the serpent said matched what God had told her, unlike what Adam had said. In her defaulting back to what God had told her (with the serpent as a second witness) it seemed there was no longer a reason not to eat from the tree. God said she could eat, the serpent seemed to agree she could eat, only Adam had said she could not. But however, this implies that she likely had always had some doubt and reservation about what Adam had “relayed” to her, which was rightly based on the Fact that God had told her she could eat from all the trees, with Adam right there as a witness. (Gen 1:29)
But she could have guessed, sorting through all this confusion, that Adam might have been telling the truth that God had said he could not eat, before she was made, and the serpent had not denied that God said something to Adam, before she was made. So in a way, she had one active witness telling a partial truth, and one passive witness who did not deny this same truth: that God might have told Adam to not eat from the tree before she was made. Even with her believing Adam would not die, this was still the case.
Once he had eaten and their eyes were open, Eve realized that Adam had told her some truth along with the lie. And she may have realized that what the serpent told her did not deny that God had said something to Adam before she was made about him not eating.
And so when she gave him the fruit, she was ignoring a possibility that God had told him to not eat. Even though she believed he would not die from eating, as the serpent had deceived her, she still was aware there was some possibility that God had told him (for some reason) to not eat from the tree. And because she ignored this possibility and, in wanting him to have wisdom, gave the fruit to him, this is why she was culpable and punished, even though she had been deceived by the serpent.
The woman states that the serpent deceived her, not that he “lied” to her. So what was the “deception”?
When the serpent said ‘you(pl) will not die’ Eve made the assumption that Adam had lied about everything he had said, and that they both would not die, as what the serpent told her implied such. However, the serpent was deceptive. The serpent said “you(pl) will not die”, but this was only true if she alone ate.
Changing you(plural) to “you both”, let’s see how this reads:
(the serpent) And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You both shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
(the woman) God has said, ‘You both shall not eat it, nor shall you both touch it, lest you both die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You both will not surely die”…
What is the “deception” here? In his answer to the woman, the serpent is negating her claim that if they both eat or touch, they will both die. What the serpent said could be taken 2 ways, one of which was true and the other which was false. The truth was that they both would not die if she ate or touched the fruit.
The truth was that if “you both” ate it or touched it, they would not both die. If Adam ate, they would both die, and if she ate, neither of them would die. Another way to put this is that if “either” of them ate of it, they would not both die, in her case. And this was the deception. What the serpent said to Eve led her to believe that he was denying that either of them would die if either of them ate. What Eve understood by “you both will not surely die” was “if either of you eat, that individual will not die.” In fact, what the serpent said was that it was not true that they would both die if either one of them ate, if the one was her. Also, the serpent said the truth that they would not both die if either one of them touched the fruit. The part which the serpent left out, was that they both would die if Adam ate, and neither one would die if she ate. This may seem a minor point… but it is not! Eve must have later understood that the serpent tricked her, as there was a double meaning to his words, and she had understood the wrong meaning. She thought he meant that neither would die if either one of them ate, her or Adam. We know this because she states that he “deceived” her. Not that he “lied” to her. The deception, in context, is that what the serpent said was partially true, and had a double meaning.
And so this is how what the serpent said was a deception, not a just a blatant lie. What happened here was NOT that the serpent spoke a lie and the woman believed him. She was, in fact, thoroughly deceived, by the double-meaning of the words the serpent chose.
Oftentimes it seems people look at this chapter of Genesis and ponder, “How is it that Eve is so gullible that all you have to do is tell her a lie, and she will jump at believing it?” And I think this implies to people that the woman was just evil, or incredibly stupid. This is not the case. If you understand how complicated all of this actually was, it becomes clear that the woman was thoroughly deceived by a very intelligent deceiver, Satan. And that, in the midst of probably being confused and emotionally hurt by a lie from the man. She really was thoroughly deceived, not just lied to, as 1 Tim 2:14 and 2 Cor 11:3 also confirm,
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived became in the transgression(singular)”. 1 Tim 2:14
“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:3
Another question is did Adam understand what the serpent actually meant? Yes, as “Adam was not deceived” (1Tim2:14), it seems likely that he did understand to a far greater extent. When the serpent said what he said, in context, it is likely that Adam understood that the serpent meant they would not both die if they both ate, but rather that just he would die if he ate. However, it seems very likely that Adam did not know that he and Eve both would die if he ate, but rather just that he would die if he ate.
And so what would seem to be the likely reason Adam said and did nothing as the serpent deceived the woman? Because if he spoke up to contradict the serpent, he was going to have to admit that he lied to the woman. He could not contradict the serpent’s statement without getting caught in his own lie to the woman. This seems the most likely reason he said and did nothing. And if this is the case, then it is an important piece of proof that Adam’s lie to the woman was intentional, and done knowingly, which he was fully aware of, and not a misunderstanding.
(And the story seems to imply that Satan carefully chose words which were not fully lies, but still were tricky and misleading with double meaning, perhaps so as to claim innocence and not be punished for lying to these innocent humans who were like children. God is just, and it is possible that the woman would not have been held culpable if in fact Satan had clearly told her that “if either of you eat, that individual will not die”. Satan’s ability to deny malicious intent “oh, she just misunderstood me” may explain why he was still entering the presence of God even in the time of Job, as he still had not gotten caught in outright rebellion against God by that point in time.)
Being deceived, Eve trusted the serpent, who she seemed to think was helping her to stop being fooled by Adam, telling her and him how to get wisdom. And her desire for them to have wisdom, outweighed the possibility that she knew existed, that Adam had been told to not eat of the tree. She didn’t believe he would die, but still knew there was some possibility that existed that God had told him to not eat before she was made. Which means it must have mattered to her more for Adam to get wisdom, than the possibility that God might have told him to not eat. The question is, why was it so important to her that the man get wisdom, so much so, that she would disregard a possibility that God might have said the man should not eat of the tree?
I would think the answer is in what Eve did not say to God.
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
She does not say that the man lied to her, confusing her, before the serpent deceived her. Why does she not mention that the man lied to her, which set her up to be tricked? The man seemed more than happy to blame her for why he ate. Why does she not tell God that the man lied to her and this confused her? Why does she, knowing the man lied to her, which set her up to be deceived by the serpent, why does she not say anything to God about it? She could have said,
“The man lied and confused me, the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” But she does not.
She could have said, “I wasn’t told by Adam that only he couldn’t eat, he lied and said neither of us could eat, and then the serpent used that to deceive me, and also I ate.” But she does not.
If the reason she gave the fruit to the man was because she wanted him to have wisdom, because he hurt her, because he lied to her, so she thought he was foolish to lie, so he needed more wisdom so he wouldn’t hurt her, so she could feel loved… then it would make total sense that she would tell God, if she was being honest, that she wanted the man to gain wisdom, so he wouldn’t hurt her, so she would feel loved by him. Why does she not tell God this?
Because in fear she did not want to admit the reason she ignored the possibility that God had commanded him to not eat, in which she now knew was true, was because of her desire to be loved by the man, and towards this she wanted him to have wisdom. She cared more about him gaining wisdom, so he wouldn’t do dumb things like lie to her (and get caught in it by a snake) than she did about the possibility of disobeying God. She was guilty of that wrong choice, and seems to have known it. Like the man, she does not admit her guilt. But she does more than this, she does not admit the man’s guilt either, or blame him for deceiving her. Why?
She does not tell God this because she STILL wants the man to love her. He is blaming her, and she is taking the blame he lays on her, like she thinks if she does that he will love her for it.
Why does she take the blame the man puts on her?
She assumed that he lied to her because he was dumb, which is why she wanted to give him the fruit so he could get wisdom. So last we checked, she believed he lied to her about her dying from eating and touching the tree, because he was dumb. She gives him the benefit of the doubt. But even after hearing that God had only given the original command just to the him, the man… the woman now assumes that he was dumb and didn’t understand God right when God gave this command to Adam the first time, instead of assuming he lied out of any malice. She goes from believing he lied to her, just making it all up cause he was dumb, to believing he was dumb when he heard God the first time, and that he misunderstood God. She really just assumes he meant her no malice, and that he ate of the tree having been deceived like she was, thinking it was harmless. And so rather than trying to tell God about the man’s part in confusing her by lying to her, rather than tell God that the man never told her clearly that he alone had been told that he could not eat, the woman accepts the man’s blame on her and does not defend herself… because she STILL really wants to believe the man loves her, and is not intentionally lying to hurt her, but is just dumb. He lied to her, and she was confused, but as he only partially lied to her, she blames herself and gives him the benefit of the doubt, as to why he is blaming her before God for what he has done.
In giving him the benefit of the doubt… it seems she thinks that the man was also deceived, and that he thought the tree would not harm him. It seems the idea does not cross her mind that the man was trying to kill himself in front of her, for any malicious reasons. It seems the idea does not cross her mind that envy or pride or anger are why he ate, knowing he would die. Remember, WE know “Adam was not deceived”, but SHE did not know this (1 Tim 2:14).
She likely thought that he also believed it was safe, because she did not die. When he blames her, she thinks he is being honest, that he really did just eat because she wanted him to, to gain wisdom, in innocence of any danger, and that he originally bungled sharing with her God’s original command because he must have been dumb and just misunderstood God in the first place. The idea that he would kill himself in spite of God, and out of envy or resentment towards her being able to do what he could not do, doesn’t seem to cross her mind. It seems she really cannot fathom that he resents her, let alone enough to kill himself and leave her alone, and at that, alone and having handed him the instrument of his death.
So she accepts his blame, and does not defend herself. Again, she probably just thinks he was dumb, and misunderstood what God told him when God originally commanded him, and therefore probably never meant to intentionally lie to her in the first place. And so she believes she should have not stopped trusting him, and was wrong to have trusted the serpent instead. The man was dumb and didn’t hear God correctly, but he did try to warn her, so she goes right back to believing he is just dumb, and does blame herself for not believing him when he lied to her, because he at least tried to warn her, even if he was dumb and relayed the message incorrectly. She gives him the benefit of the doubt. She believes it would have been better to have followed his half-truth, and faults herself for just not understanding he was dumb. It seems she is in absolute denial that he lied intentionally, and insists on believing he is just dumb and got confused, but meant her well!
And so instead of putting blame back onto the man for confusing her and lying to her, in what she says to God, she assumes he did not mean to lie to her, but being dumb misunderstood God’s original command to him in the first place, and only accounts blame to the serpent, giving the man the benefit of the doubt. Again, because she really wants to believe that he loves her, she assumes he is stupid, not that he had evil intent towards her. This seems very likely.
And so this is what can be seen in what she did not say to God.
And then God punishes the serpent, not asking the serpent if this was true or not, because God knew what the serpent had done.
Just to pause a moment on this, if anyone wants to know where marriage problems came from, this is it. It was not from the man or the woman, but from the Devil. The book of Revelation teaches that Satan was that serpent of old. (Rev 12:9, 20:2) Before the serpent came along and attacked this marriage, it had been surviving and neither had eaten from the tree. It was a precarious balance but it was functioning. The problem was that once this marriage was attacked, it did not defend itself. Nor, being innocent of Good and Evil, that the truth was good and lies were evil, were they understanding of this attack. They were clueless that their own internal beliefs, lies to themselves, self-delusions, were evil. They were clueless that believing what makes you feel good, if it is a lie then it is evil. Even though it may not be disobedience to God, a sin, it is still evil. That your emotions, your heart’s beliefs, and the thoughts of your heart, the thoughts of your emotions, can lie.
And Jesus Christ taught this concept repeatedly: that what is in the heart and mind does matter, not just your actions, and that out of the heart come evil thoughts and all evil actions. And this all explains why the Bible repeatedly says “thoughts of the heart” and not “thoughts of the mind”, because since the beginning, people’s thoughts and logic have come from the heart, from emotion.
Still, neither man nor woman had fallen of their own accord up to this point in disobeying God’s command. It was only the interaction with Satan which brought about the fall. Without that interaction, there is every reason to think the marriage and innocence would have continued on in bliss and peace, and with no one eating from the tree. It may have been an accident waiting to happen, like a house of cards, but it took an outside influence which was the serpent, like a hand lifting a foundation card piece, in order for it all to fall down and for sin to be committed.
Yet, God knew the marriage would come under attack, and had forearmed them to be safe from it, if they obeyed God. And in Adam eating from the tree, and in the woman tempting him to eat from the tree, neither of them obeyed God’s singular command for Adam to not eat from the tree.
So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this,
The “you” here is plural. As such this “you” seems to be directed at the serpent and the woman.
What had they done together? Tempted the man.
Next comes the consequences to the serpent and the woman,
You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. (the other “you” are singular)
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
To the woman He said: “Multiply, I will multiply your pains, and your conception in pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” Gen 3:14-16
The only place in which the woman seems to be told “because you did this, then this” is in the plural “you” directed to the serpent in God’s opening statement. The woman’s crime is not stated to be eating from the tree, rather her only crime was specifically in her participation in tempting the man to eat the fruit of the tree. While she was gullible, deceived, she should not have offered the fruit to the man, even if she had eaten it herself already. In the consequences of the fall, the woman is not specified to have been in trouble for eating from the tree, and the consequences on her are not specified as from disobedience to a command God gave her, but rather for what she did with the serpent in tempting the man.
Now, God knew everything that had been taking place in both of their hearts, and all that had happened. And God found it fair to punish the woman for tempting the man. Why? Because Adam said God had ordered them to not eat from the tree, or they would die, before she was made. The serpent who was also around before she was made said they would not die, and the serpent did not deny that God had said they should not eat of the tree. God told her and him directly that they could eat from all the trees, so it is understandable that she believed God and thought Adam to be a liar when she touched, and ate, and did not die. But Adam said God had told him not to eat it before she was made, and the serpent did not deny this. She had two witnesses that seemed to confirm something happened before she was made, and it’s not like she was unwilling to believe something had happened before she was made.
Even believing that she was permitted to eat, Adam still might have been told to not eat it, and even the serpent did not deny this. She knew it was possible Adam had been told not to eat from the tree, even though she believed the serpent that he would not die from it. And so on one hand she knew there was a possibility that God had told Adam to not eat before she was made, and on the other hand it seems she wanted him to eat, likely to gain wisdom, so he would not do dumb things like lie to her, which hurt her, and made her feel unloved, so he would change, so she would feel like he loved her. So she was culpable because she chose wanting Adam’s love over God and obeying Him.
So then why was the woman punished? It was not because she ate of the tree, but because she participated in tempting Adam to eat of the tree, she was deceived/tricked into doing so, but still she tempted Adam to sin against God, and aware this is what she might have been doing.
As Jesus said, in Matt 18:7
“How terrible it will be for anyone who causes others to sin. Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting.”
This is why the woman was punished, and God said he would multiply her pains and cause her to have pain in childbirth. As for the rest, He did not say that He would do these things, nor was He advocating them, but rather just said they would happen, as negative consequences of the fall.
As to the woman’s punishments, note that the “he will rule over you“ is not God giving permission, but rather just a statement of what will happen. And this is in a list of the negative consequences of the fall, a list of bad things, not good things. And God never gives Adam any authority here to rule over the woman, as He is not even speaking to Adam, but to her. Nor is God saying that He will do this or cause this to happen. God specifies that He will multiply her sorrow and cause her pain in childbirth, and that is all God says that He will do. The rest are just natural consequences that God tells her will follow. Which also include that she will keep returning to her husband, leaving and returning, or that she will argue and debate with him (teshuba), or as some may see it, that she will desire for him to love her (desire). And this while he dominates her, rules over her, which is a negative thing. (See Earlier Chapter)
So, what was likely her Achilles heel? She wanted the man to love her. She chose the possibility of something that would help him love her, over the possibility God had said he must not eat the fruit.
What was likely his Achilles heel? Pride and power. He wanted control over the woman like God had over him, and to be the most important of the two. He chose to disobey God in envy and rebellion and to die, over her being able to do 1 thing he couldn’t do, and not wanting to have to admit it to her.
And it seems likely it was pride, because of the hypocrisy inherit in it, because he already had been shown what might have seemed (to him if he was proud) like some preferential treatment, being made first, naming the animals…. yet could not bear another to even seem to receive any preferential treatment. It was like he had to be the most important and in control, like God was. So I think it was pride, and also power.
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, “she ate from the tree” of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: (In the Hebrew all the “you” are singular) Gen 3:17
A couple of notes on this verse. First, the word “you” here is singular in all instances. God did not say that “they” could not eat from the tree, but here confirms a second time that He said that the man, masculine singular, must not eat of it. On this final occasion, God even makes it very specific that what He commanded He did so by saying: “I commanded you(si) saying “You(si) shall not eat of it.“
For those that seek “2 witnesses” in God’s Word, here you have them.
God Himself witnesses twice as to what He accurately said the first time He said it.
The second point is that the verb “eat” here in “she ate from the tree” is in a third person feminine singular form. This means that it is referring to the woman eating. Most translations render this as the man “hath eaten” from the tree. This is not correct. The verb is in the feminine form and must be referring to the woman. The way it is written above is more accurate. (See and compare esp. 1 Sam 1:18, also 2 Kin 1:10,12, Jud 9:20, וְתֹאכַל) Or perhaps “heeded the noise of your wife as she ate from the tree, of which I commanded you…”
What seems to have happened here is that when the woman ate, she may have told the man “I ate from the tree” and handed him the fruit. Or it could be that Adam only heard the sound she made as she ate from the tree, as this word “voice” also just means sound or noise, and “heeded” it. And once he heard her, the man decided to eat also.
God’s emphasis here is not that it was evil for Adam to listen to his wife, as a matter of principle, but rather that what she said or did should not matter if it directly conflicted with what God had commanded him.
Next we see the consequences of the man eating the fruit of the tree, including death:
Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (in Hebrew all the “you” are masculine singular) Gen 3:17-19
As already discussed in the first part of this series of articles, because the man’s spirit dies, and the woman’s spirit was multiplied from his, she died because he died. And for the same reason her eyes were opened. And for the same reason all his children would die and have their eyes opened to know good from evil. The woman did not die because she sinned, but because the man sinned and died, spiritually. And because of this she, and all the children, would die, sin, and have their eyes opened.
If the woman had tempted Adam, and he had said no… neither of their eyes would have been opened, and neither would have died in their spirits. So this is how Adam could have actually protected her: by obeying God and sticking to His precise Word.
And the woman was designed by God to be as she was… the same trusting nature that led her to follow Adam’s instructions to her in the first place, to not eat from the tree, unfortunately also made her gullible and vulnerable to evil, to eat from the tree. God knew the way that woman had been made could prove to be a double-edged sword, she would trust her husband, and follow him. But maybe also God knew she might trust anything else that might come along. This maybe is why God set things up so that even if she did eat of the tree, it would not do anything to her. In fact, she was entirely safe from death, as long as Adam obeyed God. And this is why God did not put the command on the woman that she must not eat of the tree in the first place, as there was no reason for her to not eat from it, as it would cause no harm in and of itself.
It was never up to Adam to arbitrate whether the woman would live because he warned her, or to die because he did not warn her. Adam was inherently given control by God over the situation and Eve in that If Adam killed himself, he would kill her also, and if Adam lived, she would live also. Adam could not let her die, and himself live. Either they both died, or they both lived, based on Adam’s obedience. Adam had the authority to kill the both of them or protect the both of them by obeying God. But he did not have the authority to let her come to harm while he remained fine. The idea that she could eat and die, while he didn’t eat and was fine, is an illusion and a lie. They were one flesh. What he did to her, he did to himself. How he loved himself, was how he loved her. And on the other hand, she could eat from the tree, and they would both be fine. What she did to herself, she did to him. They were one flesh. They were completely bound to love the other as they loved themselves, in what either one might choose to do.
The bottom line was that even before Adam knew sin, he did wrong, adding to God’s word in saying the woman could not eat, saying she could not touch and putting his word on equal level as God’s to her, and not caring what God had said, and then sinning. And Eve was deceived by the serpent, but also lied to by her husband. This led to her not believing what her husband had told her. He had told her she would die if she touched, but she did not die when she touched, so she ate, and did not die, nor feel any different, and so she was deceived and offered him the fruit as well. And in this she tempted him to sin.
Had he not sinned, though, even while tempted by her, it is questionable as to whether she still would have been punished as severely for tempting him. In any case her eyes would not have opened, and she would not have died. Much of her burden came about because the man had fallen into sin, if he had not, she wouldn’t have had to die. And what the man did before he knew of sin, like adding rules to control her, and adding his rules to God’s Word making his rules equal to God’s Laws… after the man had sinned and knew of sin, the man continued to do the same things…. dominating her, ruling over her, the very same things that had eventually led to his own temptation by her, and his sin. And women still can be easily deceived and gullible, in wanting to be loved.
What was the first way the man “ruled over her”? The first way he dominated her?
He called her a new name, actually a nickname, which he insisted on calling her.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Gen 3:20
Now, just think about this. God has just said that He will cause her pain in childbearing, terrible pain, as a punishment for tempting the man to sin. This of course sounds frightening, something you would dread. The man starts to call her a word that literally means “makes known life” or “life-giver”, a term that the Bible even says he called her because she would be the “mother of all living”.
Her name was already “Woman” which meant “taken out of man” and was a term of endearment and love for her. There was no need whatsoever for her to have a new name, She already had a name! But now he start to call her “life-giver”.
What he did here was to give her a nickname, that he insisted on calling her, as an act of dominating her. It was mean for him to do this, as the name had a double meaning, and he might as well been calling her “child-birther-in-terrible-pain” every time he addressed her. This nickname he gave her was designed to make her think about God’s punishment of painful childbirth that she would endure, every single time he addressed her. And as there was no one else around to call her anything, no doubt the name did stick, and he probably insisted on the children calling her that as well.
Excuse me? His name was “man”, what if she turned around and started calling him “ground-tiller”? So every time she addressed him he was reminded of his punishment of having to work the land?
So Adam went from lying, seemingly to try to control her, likely in envy, to make sure she wouldn’t have something he couldn’t have, wouldn’t do something he couldn’t do, likely making her feel like he was between her and God, without caring how that might affect her, effectively making his rules into God’s commands to her, likely feeling sure in pride that all this was A-OK because he was the first one made and the more important one, even deciding to kill himself in front of her, knowing she handed him his death deceived that it would not hurt him, not caring how him dying at her hand right in front of her might affect her either, and all that was BEFORE he actually sinned.
And after he sinned, God warned the woman “he will rule over you”. And as soon as God is done telling Adam his punishment for his sin, Adam turns around and let’s Woman know that he is going to address her as “life-giver”, her painful punishment, from then on out.
And so the “rule over” her began that God had warned her about.
And I think that at this point, when Adam tried to rename her “life-giver” Eve may have finally realized something. I think this was so obviously mean a name, so obviously cruel a name, that all of her delusions that the man was just dumb fell away. Prior she had been giving him the benefit of the doubt, accepting the blame he placed on her, assuming he had just misunderstood God’s command to him, believing he had no malice towards her. But when he turned around and called her a name, designed to remind her of her dreaded punishment, I think her self-delusions broke down. She could see clearly that the man really just did not love her, and really did have malice towards her. There simply was no other explanation for why he would choose to call her that name, or give her a new name in the first place. She could see clearly that he in fact really did have malice towards her… and whereas she had never felt completely heartbroken before, now she did. She could no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.
Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.
And now, lest he(si) put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the LORD God sent him(si) out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he(si) was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:21-24
Now, let’s not make the same mistake twice. Who does God kick out of the garden of Eden?
Here we see God, in His Mercy, kicks the man out of the garden. Why? So that Adam cannot take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever in this sinful state. And also, so the woman would not also be trapped forever in this sinful state, because if Adam became immortal in sin, so would she also. And the Hebrew here also singularly points to Adam. It does not say “them” and is not plural. It just says Adam got kicked out, as if he the man Adam singularly had eaten, then they both would have become immortal, and in a state of sin, perhaps meaning they could never be redeemed. And conversely, if the woman ate from the tree of life, it would not affect her. As such there was no reason why it was a danger for her to be allowed to remain in the garden. Nothing here indicates that God kicked the woman out of the garden of Eden. From this passage, the clear meaning is that God let the woman remain in Eden, and kicked the man out. Not only that, but God placed a cherubim there with a flaming sword to keep Adam out of the garden.
And so the word in Genesis 3:16, which is “teshuba“, now has new meaning in context. The word means a repetitive returning. God told the woman that her return would be to her husband, and that he would rule over her.
And so we can picture from this verse that the man was driven out of the garden, and the woman was left alone in the garden. She could eat from all the trees, and had the garden to herself. And as long as she was there, the man could not reach her. It is unknown how long she stayed there, perhaps crying and lonely. After Adam had just nicknamed her “life-giver” which was a name which referred to her punishment of pain in childbirth, she may have not wanted to see the man for a while. She was likely heartbroken, and now had to face many painful truths about why Adam had done the things he had done. She was taking time to pick up the pieces of these recent events, and piece it all together.
God had told her, taking the Hebrew most literally, that “multiply, I will multiply your pains“. But now it becomes clearer as to what was meant. It seems that God meant if she chose to multiply, that He would multiply her pains. In fact, she was alone in the garden soon after, the man kicked out, shows that there was a choice involved here. If she stayed in the garden, the man could not reach her, and so she was effectively given the choice to not multiply. God did not force her to decide to have children with Adam, or leave her unprotected from Adam if he chose to force himself upon her. Adam was gone, and she was protected. She had the choice to stay in the garden, with all her needs provided for, and to not have children, and even to never see Adam again, but it seems she would also eventually die there in the garden. God’s punishment to her was actually only partially a pronouncement, but also partially a warning. If she chose to multiply, then God would multiply her pains. Although it is likely she did start to have pain with menstruation even still while in the garden.
Also, it seems that God was warning her that if she returned to the man, that he would rule over her. Not that she had to return to him, it was her choice. But that if she did, that he would rule over her, and would dominate her. And with her new nickname, his parting blow, she had already had a taste of what that meant.
Alone in the garden, protected, food well-supplied, Eve had everything that she needed to survive physically. She was safe from harm, even if she did have periodical pains. But if she returned to the man, she was warned he would rule over her. And she knew it was also likely or possible if she returned to the man, that she would multiply, and if she did so, that God would multiply her pain. In fact, the woman had many reasons to never leave the garden, and never return to the man. So why did she?
There are several reasons that seem possible, and one I believe is the most likely.
One could say she was hopeful that Adam would change and be nicer to her. On the other hand, she knew God had warned her that he would rule over her, and so far that seemed like a painful thing. She may have still wanted Adam to love her, and have had hope that he would if she returned to him. But she also knew God had said he would rule over her, which she did not think she would like at all, based on what she had already seen.
One could say she hoped to have children and to not be alone and take comfort in love between her and them. This is a possibility. And depending on how long she stayed in the garden, the woman may have seen animal mothers in nature give birth, and have babies, and come to decide she wanted this. On the other hand, she had been warned it would be very painful, and that God would multiply her pain if she chose to multiply. She likely already had menstruation pain, and probably did not like the idea of that pain being multiplied if she multiplied. And she had never seen a human child before, nor did she know what it might be like to have a baby, as she had never seen one. Really, neither the man, nor children, were necessarily a strong enough motivation for her to leave the garden, as both motivations had major drawbacks of pain and being dominated.
I believe the reason she chose to leave the garden was this:
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed,
He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
Woman knew that God had said she would have a seed that would defeat the serpent. She probably wondered about this, and thought about this word that God had spoken. God had said it would happen, that her seed would be victorious over the serpent. God had said it would happen, and she wanted it to. She hated the serpent, and wanted her seed to defeat the serpent. And so I believe this is the reason why she chose to leave the garden. If she did not return to Adam, even though he would rule over her, and if she did not leave and multiply, even though God would cause her pain if she did, then her seed would not live to defeat the serpent, whom she hated.
And so she left the garden, and returned to Adam.
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,
and said, “I have gotten a man from the LORD.
There is proof that this may have been her primary reason for leaving the garden and having children. She did seem to be looking for her seed that God had spoke of who would defeat the serpent. Unlike how most translations read, the Hebrew here does not say “I have gotten a man from the LORD”. The verse in Hebrew does not contain the word “from”. (Compare Josh 24:15, 2x, Deut 6:13)
Rather, the woman said,
“I have gotten a man – the LORD(!)”
She was anticipating the one whom God had spoke of, her seed who would crush the head of the serpent. And at first, she thought her son was the one God had spoke of.
She came to realize this was not the case, as time progressed, and she had more children. Nevertheless I think she accepted this, while still looking out hopefully for the one, her seed, which God had said would defeat the serpent. I believe she was looking for him until the day she died, anticipating the one God had spoke of, and perhaps taught her children to look for him as well.
One more thing…
I think it is important to know the rest of the story…
For instance, in the joy of motherhood, seeing her children grow, and actually living out being the mother of all living, I think the nickname forced onto Eve stopped bothering her so much and took on a new and better meaning for her. While at first this nickname was given with meanness, as she actually became a mother of all the living, I believe she became happy with the name. It was what all her children called her. It honored that all those around her had come through her, she was the mother and grandmother and great-grandmother, etc, etc, for probably 900 years worth of generations. It became a nickname that esteemed and honored her, not hurt her.
And I would venture to say that no one blamed her for what had happened, for death or for sin. She probably told her side of the story to many, and what actually had happened, how she was deceived both by her husband and the serpent, became apparent. I think the people knew, back then, who was responsible for the fall. First off the story was told orally back then, from her to others, so there was no confusion as to the scriptures’ reading. And part of why I say this with some certainty, is because of what the Bible indicates became of Adam.
Apparently people knew what had happened, while he lived.
When I first read this, understanding it, it shocked me. It might shock you too. This is what Job knew… I found this in Job 31:
If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, [and] went not out of the door?
Adam lived for 930 years. And he had many sons and daughters. And as the people grew in number, over those 930 years…. they became a multitude. And people knew who Adam was, the first man, who tried to cover and hide his iniquity in his bosom, which comes from the word “cherish”, that which is cherished, in other words, his wife. He tried to hide his rebellion and transgression in his wife. But obviously Job knew this, which means this attempt failed, and the people knew this as well. In Adam’s day, the people knew who was responsible for the first sin that brought sin and death into the world, and that he was the first to speak a lie. A world of sinful people…. and they apparently hated him, blamed him for death and hardship, and he became terrified of them. So much so, that eventually in fear, he stopped talking and would not go outside of his home. Living over 900 years, he may have lived this way for over 500 years, or more.
To live in that kind of shame, feeling that much hatred, having so much regret, so very much regret, for being the one by whom death and sin came into the world…
It is sad, because he was like a child. He must have looked back at his early time in Eden like one looked back with the understanding of right and wrong of a 3 year old. He was different then, he was innocent, in so many ways he was like a little boy. He did not know good from evil, like a child, neither of them did. And no more than you would hate a 3 year old who ate a piece of fruit you told him not to eat, or envied that his friend could have some…. I mean yes, it’s evil, but he was no different than a child.
You typically don’t have a child, that eats a piece of fruit they were told not to eat, and as a result, everyone on the planet hates him. For someone who was like a child, eating a piece of fruit? Then the world hates you, hates you, and you grow so terrified you will not leave your house, you will not even speak…
It is just heart-wrenching. And who was his help, in this time? Who was the one who probably still loved him, while the rest of the world hated him? That would be Eve. And so I think eventually, he came to appreciate her like God had wanted him to, and they made up. At least I hope so.
But for thousands of years, what became of Adam, has been what women have endured. Today in some countries, women hardly speak nor leave their homes. I imagine women covered in burkas, beaten, isolated, having no rights. Even in Jewish history, this was the case to a large extent. And Adam set the nature of men, all men, that his iniquities would be visited upon men, that they would also try to dominate and rule over their wives, and in many cases, women have been forced into silence and being home-bound, and abused, and hated. And it extended from one wife, to all women.
But still… it just strikes me as true, that really, Adam was just a man. And like any man today, he had some faults, but he really was no worse. We have no grounds on which to judge him, he sinned, we sin, we are all like him. He was just a man. He made mistakes, he disobeyed God, but he was and is only responsible for his sins, not the sins of every other person.
Because the truth is that no one, no man, no woman, is capable of not sinning without God’s help. You or I, without Jesus, probably could have done no better than they did, we are just like the first man and woman, we are like them, and they are like us. We are all sinners, having evil desires before actual “sin” has been birthed, doing wrongs even when we were innocent as like children, and didn’t know.
Adam broke the command, not having been deceived, he just broke it, out of his evil desires.
Eve was deceived by the serpent, lied to by the man, and helped him to break the command, also out of her own evil desire. Yes, she wanted to be loved, but she placed her desire for a man’s love above her desire to obey God. So they both did wrong ultimately because of their own desires, that they put before God and His Word. So there’s no good pointing fingers at either gender of humanity, because like we today would fail, any man or woman, so he also failed, and she failed. Because none of us are good enough on our own account. The Glory is God’s.
Truly, Eden should not be looked at as something that “might have been” but was lost, but rather was a lesson for everyone to learn from. So we could all learn that even if God told 1 person to not do 1 thing, and all else was overlooked, that not 1 person could do this and be good enough. No one could. No one is good but God. That’s why we all need grace, and mercy, and Jesus Christ.
Eve believed in the Savior first, and I think Adam did too, and while they did not know His name, they knew of the 1st prophecy of the Savior who was to come, who would crush the head of the serpent. And Adam and Eve were the first told of him, and I think they believed He would come, and would defeat the one who attacked them and their marriage so that they fell into sin, who was the serpent, Satan. And this Savior to come who would defeat their enemy was and is the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the same is true today, the enemy of all marriages, and all people, is not the man, nor the woman, but Satan, who is our mutual enemy. And it is Jesus Christ who has and does defeat him.