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The Book of Genesis, Chapter 3

1  Now the serpent[3] was more subtlef[6] than any beast[9] of the field[12] which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman[24] , Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

The Bible makes no attempt to explain how a serpent was able to speak. Some scholars feel this story is the remnant of early myths.

[3] 'SERPENT'

5175. nachash, naw-khawsh'; from H5172; a snake (from its hiss):--serpent.

[6] 'SUBTLE'

6175. 'aruwm, aw-room'; pass. part. of H6191; cunning (usually in a bad sense):--crafty, prudent, subtil.

[9] 'BEAST'

chay:H2416

[12] 'FIELD'

sadeh:H7704.

[24] 'WOMAN'

'ishshah:H802

2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

The woman does not appear to be surprised that the serpent can talk.

How did the woman know about this commandment? It was given to Adam before Eve had been created. It seems that Eve was included in the commandment.

3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

The woman claims that they are not to touch the tree, something that does not appear in Gen 2.

4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5  For God[2] doth know[4] that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened[17] , and ye shall be as gods[23] , knowing[24] good and evil.

The serpent claims that what God has said is not true. It claims that eating the fruit will produce wisdom and understanding, such as God has.

[2] 'GOD'

'elohiym:H430

[4] 'KNOW'

3045. yada', yaw-dah'; a prim. root; to know (prop. to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, fig., lit., euphem. and infer. (including observation, care, recognition, and causat. instruction, designation, punishment, etc.) [as follow]:--acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, [un-] awares, can [-not], certainly, for a certainty, comprehend, consider, X could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be [ig-] norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to, let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have [knowledge], (be, make, make to be, make self) known, + be learned, + lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, X prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have [understanding], X will be, wist, wit, wot.

[17] 'OPENED'

6491. paqach, paw-kakh'; a prim. root; to open (the senses, espec. the eyes); fig. to be observant:--open.

[23] 'GODS'

'elohiym:H430

[24] 'KNOWING'

yada':H3045

6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good[10] for food, and that it was pleasant[17] to the eyes, and a tree to be desired[26] to make one wise[30] , she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband[45] with her; and he did eat.

There is nothing in this verse to indicate that Eve tricked or coerced Adam, or concealed the identity of the fruit. Notice also that Eve thought things out, and made a conscious decision to eat the fruit because of several reasons, including the obtaining of wisdom. Adam, on the other hand, simply eats whatever Eve offers him.

[10] 'GOOD'

syntax similar to Gen 1 (ki towb - "that it was good.")

[17] 'PLEASANT'

8378. ta'avah, tah-av-aw'; from H183 (abbrev.); a longing; by impl. a delight (subj. satisfaction, obj. a charm):--dainty, desire, X exceedingly, X greedily, lust (ing), pleasant. See also H6914.

[26] 'DESIRED'

2530. chamad, khaw-mad'; a prim. root; to delight in:--beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, ( X great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing).

[30] 'WISE'

7919. sakal, saw-kal'; a prim. root; to be (caus. make or act) circumspect and hence intelligent:--consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent (-ly), (give) skill (-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand (-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise (-ly), guide wittingly.

[45] 'HUSBAND'

'iysh:H376

7  And the eyes of them both were opened[8] , and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons[25] .

Apparently, eating the fruit produced some change to both Adam and Eve. Their perception of things are now different. They surely realized before this that they had no clothes (neither did the animals); however, after eating the fruit, they become ashamed, and decide to clothe themselves. (See verse 11)

God originally told them that they would surely die if they ate the forbidden fruit. What actually happened was that they were changed in some way. Some believe that Adam and Eve were immortal before this point. Others believe that they were able to walk and talk with God before this, but not able to do this afterwards. That Adam and Eve didn't die as soon as they ate the fruit is sometimes explained by stating that it was a spiritual death, or that by becoming mortal after eating the fruit, they were now able to die. God did not say that they would die immediately upon eating the fruit, just that they would "surely die."

The text does not attempt to explain exactly what happened here, or how it happened, just that it did.

[8] 'OPENED'

paqach:H6491. See verse 5.

[25] 'APRONS'

2290. chagowr, khag-ore'; or cha-gor, khag-ore'; and (fem.) chagowrah, khag-o-raw'; or chagorah, khag-o-raw'; from H2296; a belt (for the waist):--apron, armour, gird (-le).

8  And they heard[3] the voice[5] of the LORD God walking[10] in the garden in the cool[16] of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence[29] of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

This verse presents the image of an anthropomorphic (human shaped) God. He is described as walking in the garden while a cool breeze is blowing. He appears to enjoy the same comforts as humans. Also, Adam and Even appear to believe that they can hide from God.

Notice the double meaning in ruwach:H7307, which can mean either "wind" or "spirit" (see Gen 1:2).

[3] 'HEARD'

8085. shama', shaw-mah'; a prim. root; to hear intelligently (often with impl. of attention, obedience, etc.; caus. to tell, etc.):-- X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.

[5] 'VOICE'

6963. qowl, kole; or qol, kole; from an unused root mean. to call aloud; a voice or sound:-- + aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (+ out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, + hold peace, [pro-] claim, proclamation, + sing, sound, + spark, thunder (-ing), voice, + yell.

[10] 'WALKING'

1980. halak, haw-lak'; akin to H3212; a prim. root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, lit. and fig.):--(all) along, apace, behave (self), come, (on) continually, be conversant, depart, + be eased, enter, exercise (self), + follow, forth, forward, get, go (about, abroad, along, away, forward, on, out, up and down), + greater, grow, be wont to haunt, lead, march, X more and more, move (self), needs, on, pass (away), be at the point, quite, run (along), + send, speedily, spread, still, surely, + tale-bearer, + travel (-ler), walk (abroad, on, to and fro, up and down, to places), wander, wax, [way-] faring man, X be weak, whirl.

[16] 'COOL'

7307. ruwach, roo'-akh; from H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; fig. life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extens. a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (includ. its expression and functions):--air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

[29] 'PRESENCE'

paniym:H6440

9  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Does this verse imply that God didn't really know where Adam and Eve were, or was he giving them a chance to admit what they had done?

10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

The Peshitta reads "And when I saw that I was naked ..."

11  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Apparently being naked was a concept that Adam and Eve did not understand before this. YHWH immediately assumes (or already knows) that some one (or thing) had to tell them about being naked, or at least that they should be ashamed because they were naked.

12  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

One way to read this verse is that Adam immediately tries to shift the blame for his eating of the fruit on to Eve. On the other hand, it could be a simple statement of how he came to eat it.

13  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled[22] me, and I did eat.

As with the above verse, one could read this as Eve trying to shift the blame to the serpent, or a simple statement of fact.

[22] 'BEGUILED'

5377. nasha', naw-shaw'; a prim. root; to lead astray, i.e. (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce:--beguile, deceive, X greatly, X utterly.

14  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed[16] above all cattle[19] , and above every beast[23] of the field[26] ; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust[34] shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

The serpent certainly gets the blame for the transgression. Some people think that the serpent travelled differently before this event. Others regard the story similar to Ovid's "Metamorphosis," which attempts to explain how certain things came to be.

Notice that nowhere in this story is the serpent identified with the devil. Furthermore, the serpent is never presented as being (or representing) anyone or anything else.

[16] 'CURSED'

779. 'arar, aw-rar'; a prim. root; to execrate;-- X bitterly curse.

[19] 'CATTLE'

behemah:H929

[23] 'BEAST'

cjau"J2416

[26] 'FIELD'

sadeh:H7704

[34] 'DUST'

'aphar:H6083. See Gen 2:7

15  And I will put enmity[5] between thee and the woman, and between thy seed[14] and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel[28] .

[5] 'ENMITY'

342. 'eybah, ay-baw'; from H340; hostility:--enmity, hatred.

[14] 'SEED'

2233. zera', zeh'-rah; from H2232; seed; fig. fruit, plant, sowing-time, posterity:-- X carnally, child, fruitful, seed (-time), sowing-time.

[28] 'HEEL'

6119. 'aqeb, aw-kabe'; or (fem.) 'iqqebah, ik-keb-aw'; from H6117; a heel (as protuberant); hence a track; fig. the rear (of an army):--heel, [horse-] hoof, last, lier in wait [by mistake for H6120], (foot-) step.

16  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow[11] and thy conception[14] ; in sorrow[16] thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire[24] shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule[33] over thee.

The Peshitta uses the word "pain" instead of "sorrow" in both places, and the word "dependent" instead of "thy desire."

The Hebrew text doesn't indicate if it were possible for Adam and Eve to have children before this incident. Some religions claim that the fruit represents sexual intercourse. There is nothing in the Hebrew to support or deny this interpretation.

The story reads as if it is recording an actual incident of Adam and Eve eating a forbidden fruit. It is also not clear if God has imposed these changes because they ate the fruit, or if the eating of the fruit inherently caused the changes.

[11] 'SORROW'

6093. 'itstsabown, its-tsaw-bone'; from H6087; worrisomeness, i.e. labor or pain:--sorrow, toil.

6087. 'atsab, aw-tsab'; a prim. root; prop. to carve, i.e. fabricate or fashion; hence (in a bad sense) to worry, pain or anger:--displease, grieve, hurt, make, be sorry, vex, worship, wrest.

[14] 'CONCEPTION'

2032. herown, hay-rone'; or herayown, hay-raw-yone'; from H2029; pregnancy:--conception.

[16] 'SORROW'

6089. 'etseb, eh'-tseb; from H6087; an earthen vessel; usually (painful) toil; also a pang (whether of body or mind):--grievous, idol, labor, sorrow.

6087. 'atsab, aw-tsab'; a prim. root; prop. to carve, i.e. fabricate or fashion; hence (in a bad sense) to worry, pain or anger:--displease, grieve, hurt, make, be sorry, vex, worship, wrest.

[24] 'DESIRE'

8669. teshuwqah, tesh-oo-kaw'; from H7783 in the orig. sense of stretching out after; a longing:--desire.

[33] 'RULE'

4910. mashal, maw-shal'; a prim. root; to rule:--(have, make to have) dominion, governor, X indeed, reign, (bear, cause to, have) rule (-ing, -r), have power.

17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened[9] unto the voice[12] of thy wife[15] , and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed[34] is the ground[37] for thy sake; in sorrow[42] shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Two different Hebrew words are translated "sorrow" in this and the previous verse, but they are both from the same root word.

[9] 'HEARKENED'

8085. shama', shaw-mah'; a prim. root; to hear intelligently (often with impl. of attention, obedience, etc.; caus. to tell, etc.):-- X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.

[12] 'VOICE'

6963. qowl, kole; or qol, kole; from an unused root mean. to call aloud; a voice or sound:-- + aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (+ out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, + hold peace, [pro-] claim, proclamation, + sing, sound, + spark, thunder (-ing), voice, + yell.

[15] 'WIFE'

802. 'ishshah, ish-shaw'; fem. of H376 or H582; irregular plur. nashiym, naw-sheem'; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H582):--[adulter]ess, each, every, female, X many, + none, one, + together, wife, woman. Often unexpressed in English.

[34] 'CURSED'

779. 'arar, aw-rar'; a prim. root; to execrate;-- X bitterly curse.

[37] 'GROUND'

127. 'adamah, ad-aw-maw'; from H119; soil (from its gen. redness):--country, earth, ground, husband [-man] (-ry), land.

[42] 'SORROW'

6093. 'itstsabown, its-tsaw-bone'; from H6087; worrisomeness, i.e. labor or pain:--sorrow, toil.

18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb[16] of the field[19] ;

There is no mention of eating meat at this point. Perhaps Adam and Eve were vegetarians at first (see Gen 1:29).

[16] 'HERB'

6212. 'eseb, eh'-seb; from an unused root mean. to glisten (or be green); grass (or any tender shoot):--grass, herb.

[19] 'FIELD'

7704. sadeh, saw-deh'; or saday, saw-dah'ee; from an unused root mean. to spread out; a field (as flat):--country, field, ground, land, soil, X wild.

19  In the sweat of thy face[6] shalt thou eat bread, till thou return[13] unto the ground[16] ; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust[25] thou art, and unto dust[30] shalt thou return.

This verse contains a chiasmus: return ... dust ... dust ... return. See Gen 2:23.

[6] 'FACE'

639. 'aph, af; from H599; prop. the nose or nostril; hence the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire:--anger (-gry), + before, countenance, face, + forbearing, forehead, + [long-] suffering, nose, nostril, snout, X worthy, wrath.

[13] 'RETURN'

7725. shuwb, shoob; a prim. root; to turn back (hence, away) trans. or intrans., lit. or fig. (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); gen. to retreat; often adv. again:-- ([break, build, circumcise, dig, do anything, do evil, feed, lay down, lie down, lodge, make, rejoice, send, take, weep]) X again, (cause to) answer (+ again), X in any case (wise), X at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call [to mind], carry again (back), cease, X certainly, come again (back) X consider, + continually, convert, deliver (again), + deny, draw back, fetch home again, X fro, get [oneself] (back) again, X give (again), go again (back, home), [go] out, hinder, let, [see] more, X needs, be past, X pay, pervert, pull in again, put (again, up again), recall, recompense, recover, refresh, relieve, render (again), X repent, requite, rescue, restore, retrieve, (cause to, make to) return, reverse, reward, + say nay, send back, set again, slide back, still, X surely, take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again, self again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw.

[16] 'GROUND'

127. 'adamah, ad-aw-maw'; from H119; soil (from its gen. redness):--country, earth, ground, husband [-man] (-ry), land.

[25] 'DUST'

6083. 'aphar, aw-fawr'; from H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud:--ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.

[30] 'DUST'

'aphar:H6083

20  And Adam called his wife[5] ís name[7] Eve; because she was the mother of all[15] living.

Notice that the Hebrew name for Eve is chavvah:H2332, which is related to "life". The LXX uses the name Zoe, which is Greek for life.

[5] 'WIFE'S'

'ishshah:H802

[7] 'EVE'

2332. Chavvah, khav-vaw'; causat. from H2331; life-giver; Chavvah (or Eve), the first woman:--Eve.

2331. chavah, khaw-vah'; a prim. root; [comp. H2324, H2421]; prop. to live; by impl. (intens.) to declare or show:--show.

[15] 'LIVING'

2416. chay, khah'ee; from H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong, also (as noun, espec. in the fem. sing. and masc. plur.) life (or living thing), whether lit. or fig.:-- + age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life (-time), live (-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, + merry, multitude, + (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.

21  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats[13] of skins[15] , and clothed[17] them.

Where did YHWH get the skins to make coats for Adam and Eve? Supposedly death had not come to the earth at this point. Perhaps this really meant that human death had not yet occurred. Perhaps when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, death was introduced to the earth, but they themselves were not to die for a while.

[13] 'COATS'

3801. kethoneth, keth-o'-neth; or kuttoneth, koot-to'-neth; from an unused root mean. to cover [comp. H3802]: a shirt:--coat, garment, robe.

[15] 'SKINS'

5785. 'owr, ore; from H5783; skin (as naked); by impl. hide, leather:--hide, leather, skin.

[17] 'CLOTHED'

3847. labash, law-bash'; or labesh, law-bashe'; a prim. root; prop. wrap around, i.e. (by impl.) to put on a garment or clothe (oneself, or another), lit. or fig.:--(in) apparel, arm, array (self), clothe (self), come upon, put (on, upon), wear.

22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man[8] is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever[41] :

The Hebrew word 'owlam:H5769 can mean without end, but can also have a termination (see 1 Sam 2:30, 1 Ki 1:31).

To whom is God speaking? See Gen 1:1.

[8] 'MAN'

'adam:H120

[41] 'EVER'

5769. 'owlam, o-lawm'; or 'olam, o-lawm'; from H5956; prop. concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; gen. time out of mind (past or fut.), i.e. (practically) eternity; freq. adv. (espec. with prep. pref.) always:--always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Comp. H5331, H5703.

23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till[14] the ground from whence he was taken.

[14] 'TILL'

5647. 'abad, aw-bad'; a prim. root; to work (in any sense); by impl. to serve, till, (caus.) enslave, etc.:-- X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.

24  So he drove[3] out the man; and he placed[9] at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims[18] , and a flaming[21] sword which turned[24] every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

The Hebrew word haphak:H2015 could also mean whirling, or turning one way and then turning another.

[3] 'DROVE'

1644. garash, gaw-rash'; a prim. root; to drive out from a possession; espec. to expatriate or divorce:--cast up (out), divorced (woman), drive away (forth, out), expel, X surely put away, trouble, thrust out.

[9] 'PLACED'

7931. shakan, shaw-kan'; a prim. root [appar. akin (by transm.) to H7901 through the idea of lodging; comp. H5531, H7925]; to reside or permanently stay (lit. or fig.):--abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-er), have habitation, inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).

[18] 'CHERUBIMS'

3742. keruwb, ker-oob'; of uncert. der.; a cherub or imaginary figure:--cherub, [plur.] cherubims.

[21] 'FLAMING'

3858. lahat, lah'-hat; from H3857; a blaze; also (from the idea of enwrapping) magic (as covert):--flaming, enchantment.

[24] 'TURNED'

2015. haphak, haw-fak'; a prim. root; to turn about or over; by impl. to change, overturn, return, pervert:-- X become, change, come, be converted, give, make [a bed], overthrow (-turn), perverse, retire, tumble, turn (again, aside, back, to the contrary, every way).


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