Genesis 2:7 – 3:9
Have you ever wondered what Adam was up to in the Garden of Eden while Eve was being enchanted by Satan? Was he off husbanding the fields as was his responsibility? Was he hiding, watching from a distance? Or was Adam just as intimately involved as Eve in their despicable deed?
The dates used in this article are from appendix 50 in the Ethelert William Bullenger’s Companion Bible and the commentary excerpt at the end is John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible.
The Bible’s first eleven chapters take us from the creation and through the first 2006 years of history—from the fall, the flood, the tower of Babel, the dispersing of the nations throughout the Earth and all the way down to Abram. Details are scant because the Scriptures are in a rush to get us to the story of Abram and his descendants…both physical and spiritual consisting of Israel and the Church…are the focus of entire remaining 1176 chapters. Abram means exalted father. Later God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, which means father of a multitude. We aren’t given a great amount of detail in those first 11 chapters, just the core truths which gets us to where we are going and where we are today. In Matthew 1:1 the genealogy on Jesus begins with Abraham and in Luke 3:23-38 Christ’s genealogy is traced through Abraham all the way back to Adam, the son of God. [Many teach that in the Old Testament only angels are referred to as “son’s of God.” Obviously, that isn’t accurate]
As the Adam and Eve strolled through the luscious garden on that fateful day, God’s adversary was lurking in the shadows assuring himself that the Divine presence was nowhere to be found. We do not know how long either Adam or Eve had been alive. The devil knowing that Eve was the younger and thus less learned and probably more naive, chose her as his primary target. The Bible doesn’t say that Eve was alone, only that the cunning serpent…that is, snake in the grass…addressed her, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the garden’?” Ah, he planted the hook! Apparently, they must have been strolling in the vicinity of that questionable tree and may have paused to wonder about it.
Notice this: God made Adam out of the dust of the ground, breathed life into him (all life comes from God and God alone) and placed him in the garden. Before Eve, God instructed Adam as to what he could eat and warned him of what he was to avoid. He told Adam, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Then God formed Eve from Adam’s rib. When Eve was confronted by Satan and said to him that God had said to not even “touch” the tree, she may have been repeating what her husband told her, not God. Adam instructed Eve as to the tree and may have told her, “nor shall you touch it.” Or, possibly she elaborated. Either way, in their innocence, that wasn’t a sin. They were not under Law or any law. However, after eating the forbidden fruit they lost all innocence and became subject to conscience, “knowing right from wrong, good from evil.”
We know how strong willed, determined, and insistent women can be! Thus the adage, “The hand that rocks the cradle governs the world.” Adam may have said something like, “Darling, think about this. God said we will die. You shouldn’t.” Truth may be that Adam was probably thinking hard about the whole situation and was just as tempted as his wife, while standing there intently listening to the conversation.
The tree, its fruit and the devil’s arguments were persuasive. Eve just couldn’t resist – like woman considering getting a new pair of shoes. Besides, the devil (not a literal snake, but a snake in the grass – “that old serpent,” (Rev 20:2) was so magnificent, so charming, and so convincing, she had never before encountered a creature anything like him. And the tree. It was so beautiful, leaves flittering in the glow of the sun, strong trunk, powerful limbs. And all those beautiful blossoms giving off a most enchanting fragrance. The fruit, that beautiful fruit. And its so sweet aroma. Everything seemed just too good to resist. And the promise of being like God. Wow! — Just like sin, so attractive, so hard to resist…and so deadly. Adam, the man, was obviously tempted as well, but was still kinda-like, almost trying to talk Eve down from such a rush that even he was sharing.
With great anticipation, Eve takes the first bite. Not instantly fall dead to the ground, she turned to her husband with a sultry smile, hand extended, and a gleam in her eyes. He first thinks to himself, “What am I going to do, spend the rest of my days by myself?” Eve was the most gorgeous creature he had ever seen, and she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. If she was going to die, then he would commit to die with her. He succumbs to temptation and foolishly accepts the deadly fruit from her insistent, sinfully charming hand – her smile broadening encouraging him as she watched Adam take the fatal bite.
As the devil ssslithered away, mission accomplished, they immediately see the righteous glow that had clothed them quickly fading away. Having disobeyed God, His Spirit was no longer with them. The couple find themselves standing naked in the garden. Innocents lost, suddenly – new feelings begin washing over them…guilt and shame!
Then, they hear that awful sound – a gentle voice. It’s God walking in the garden calling, “Adam, where are you?”
John Gill on Genesis 3:6
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, She being near the tree, and perhaps just at it when the serpent first attacked her; wherefore looking more wishfully at it, she could discern nothing in the fruit of the tree which showed it to be bad, and unfit to be eaten, or why it should be forbidden for food; but, on the contrary, had a most promising aspect to be very delicious, nourishing and salutary, as any other fruit in the garden:
and that it was pleasant to the eyes; of a beautiful colour, and very inviting to the taste:
and a tree to be desired to make one wise; which above all was the most engaging, and was the most prevailing motive to influence her to eat of it, an eager desire of more wisdom and knowledge; though there was nothing she could see in the tree, and the fruit of it, which promised this; only she perceived in her mind, by the discourse she had with the serpent, and by what he had told her, and she believed, that this would be the consequence of eating this fruit, which was very desirable, and she concluded within herself that so it would be:
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; she took it off of the tree, and not only tasted of it, but ate of it; what quantity cannot be said, enough to break the divine law, and to incur the divine displeasure: so Sanchoniatho says1, that Aeon (the same with Eve) found the way of taking food from trees:
and gave also to her husband with her; that he might eat as well as she, and partake of the same benefits and advantages she hoped to reap from hence; for no doubt it was of good will, and not ill will, that she gave it to him; and when she offered it to him, it is highly probable she made use of arguments with him, and pressed him hard to it, telling him what delicious food it was, as well as how useful it would be to him and her. The Jews infer from hence, that Adam was with her all the while, and heard the discourse between the serpent and her, yet did not interpose nor dissuade his wife from eating the fruit, and being prevailed upon by the arguments used; or however through a strong affection for his wife, that she might not die alone, he did as she had done:
and he did eat; on which an emphasis may be observed, for it was upon his eating the fate of his posterity depended; for not the woman but the man was the federal head, and he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and died in him; through this offence judgment came upon all to condemnation; all became sinners, and obnoxious to death, Ro 5:12. If Eve only had eaten of the forbidden fruit, it could only have personally affected herself, and she only would have died; and had this been the case, God would have formed another woman for Adam, for the propagation of mankind, had he stood; though since he fell as well as she, it is needless to inquire, and may seem too bold to say what otherwise would have been the case.
The bottom line:
It did not make them know good and evil altogether, as God knows it, but in an experimental sense, as the devil knows it. In point of knowledge, they became like God; in point of morality, like the tempter.
1. Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 34
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