Genesis 3 The Sin of Man…Adam and Eve
Genesis 3:1-7-The Beginning of Sin
Genesis 3:1-The serpent was more “crafty”…perhaps showing a level of intelligence exceeding the other animals…meaning clever, but not at this point meaning it in a degrading sense. This is not Satan…but an animal that Satan used for his purpose. Maybe Eve did not know that animals could not talk, so she wasn’t afraid of it. The serpent’s question was intended to create doubt in Eve’s mind about God’s goodness…since it would appear that He was withholding something beneficial from them.
Genesis 3:2-3-Notice that Eve adds to what God had commanded…”shall not eat from it or touch it”. We don’t know if this was her own addition, or something that Adam had told her since she was not there (2:17) when God originally told him. At any rate, an additional restraint of their own had now been added to God’s command. This is the root of all legalism. We forget that the law was given to identify what sin us…not to keep us from sinning. We try to enforce laws, and restrictions, and behaviors to inhibit sin. Only grace can do that. Manmade laws just reinforce the very nature that we are trying to prevent…because now not only are we breaking God’s law…but in the process we are saying (1) that God’s law is insufficient, and (2) we wind up breaking both our law and God’s law, as well.
Genesis 3:4-5-Here is the lie of Satan…the same lie that he has been fostering ever since that day. He says that God is lying, deceiving them…trying to keep control over them by not allowing them to find out that they can be His equal…”you will be like God”. The word “knowing” (the Hebrew word is “yada”, :5) means to ascertain, to discern for one’s self independently of God.
Genesis 3:6-7-Suddenly the fruit looked different to Eve. It looked good to eat, it was attractive to the eyes (emotions), and could make one intelligent. Satan had told her that if she at it her “eyes would be opened” (:5)…as if this was a good thing. However, when she and Adam ate there eyes were opened and for the first time they looked at each other differently…with shame and guilt (:7)…each would blame the other for their sin…but they were unwilling to accept personal responsibility (:11-13). Their relationship had been forever altered for the bad. Never again would they have the trust that they had, before. They even tried to cover up the evidence of their sin by making clothing from fig leaves (:7).
Genesis 3:8-24-The Beginning of the Promise of Redemption
Genesis 3:8-Suddenly, not only has their relationship with each other been damaged, they now fear the very presence of God…and they tried to hide from Him.
Genesis 3:9-God calls to Adam. It isn’t that He didn’t know where he was…but He wanted Adam to realize there had been a change not only in their physical proximity, but in their spiritual proximity. God’s question to Adam, “Where are you?” could be intended to make Adam realize that God was fully aware of what he had done and the consequences. Never before had God had to call out to him to find where He was.
Genesis 3:10-When we read this verse it is easy to read the two questions together without stopping after the first. But I think that God asked the first question, “Who told you that you were naked?” in order to convict Adam of his responsibility. I think that Adam did not answer immediately…so God waited, giving Adam plenty of time to come to this conclusion on his own. Could it be that God was convicting Adam so that he would confess what he had done and repent of it? Imagine if Adam had replied, “Nobody, God. I disobeyed You and the result of my sin was that I felt naked before You. I was ashamed of my sinful appearance. And somehow, that nakedness had a physical manifestation between myself and Eve. We felt ashamed of how we appeared to each other. We felt ashamed of each other…of what we had done. As if something bad about us had been revealed. So we tried to cover it up by making these coverings, ourselves.” But Adam did not respond that way. He said nothing. The next question that God asked was more direct. Again, it gave Adam the opportunity to accept responsibility.
Genesis 3:12-Adam did not answer God’s question. Instead, he tried to deflect his responsibility…he blamed God…by suggesting that it was His fault because He was the One who had given Eve to him in the first place and she is the one who had given him the fruit to eat. Is Adam trying to say that since God gave him Eve, and Eve gave him the fruit…the fault is traced back to God? Is this also showing us that already Adam had not been accepting his male role and was allowing Eve to have authority over him by agreeing with her to do something that he knew God had forbidden? The sin of Adam and Eve: 1 Timothy 2:14 tells us that Eve was deceived, but Adam ate knowingly. But for both of them sin was: 1.-disobeying the revealed word of God; 2-believing the lie of Satan; 3-placing their own will/desire above that of God. These are the same as those found in 1 John 2:16. This incident brings several questions to mind: Where was Adam when Eve was tempted by the serpent? If he was there, then why didn't he stop her? Why did he willingly disobey God?
Genesis 3:13-Eve took her cue from Adam…and now she tries to deflect responsibility to the serpent.
Genesis 3:14-15-God pronounces judgment on the serpent. This judgment is also pronounced on Satan. 3:15 is the first direct prophecy of Jesus Christ in the Bible (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:5)
Genesis 3:16-God pronounces judgment on Eve…she will have pain in childbirth as a reminder and warning of the terrible affect that sin brings. 1 Timothy 2:14b-15 reads, “…but the woman being quite deceived fell into transgression. But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint” (NASV). We could paraphrase it, “…Eve was deceived and sinned…resulting in the pain all women experience at childbirth. It is to remind us of the painful consequences that sin gives birth to. So, don’t sin. Instead, be a woman of faith, and love, and holiness, who takes responsibility for her decisions.”
Genesis 3:17-19-God pronounces judgment on Adam. He will “toil” all the days of his life. This is in part because the very earth itself was affected by the sin of Adam…and now it would be difficult to grow crops. Adam worked before he sinned…but it wasn’t toil.
Genesis 3:20-Adam called his wife, Eve (meaning: life or life-producer).
Genesis 3:21-Previously, Adam and Eve had made fig leaf coverings…in an attempt to cover the shame of their sin. Now, God makes clothing for them from the skin of an animal. This is significant. When Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin…it was unsuccessful. It was their attempt to right their own wrong. This is the heart of every man-made religion. Only God can cover sin, make a provision for it to be forgiven. Here is the first picture in the Bible of how God does that. In order to make the coverings…there had to be a death. Sin causes death and its cost is inescapable. Each person must pay for their own sin. The only other way for a person’s sin to be forgiven is for someone else (who is spiritually worthy…not guilty of any sin) to pay the price for them, to die in their place. This is a wonderful prophetic picture of what Jesus would do for us. He would die in our place…and become the covering for our sin.
Genesis 3:22-24-This is God’s ultimate act of judgment for the sin of Adam and Eve…He dispels them from the Garden of Eden. Because of the effects of sin on them and its continued presence in them (“knowing good and evil”-living independently of God by making their own decisions as opposed to submitting to His decisions)…they were no longer suitable to live there. Out of His love for them…God determines that He will allow them to die physically. The worst thing that could happen would be for them to live forever, in their sinful state. So, God allows the consequences of sin to take place. Sin’s price will be paid...they will die physically…and they will die spiritually, unless they accept the death of someone else in their place. Though at this time they do not know that this will be Jesus…when they accepted the covering garments that God provided for them it was an act of faith in His provision that would ultimately be made.
Genesis 4-5 The Beginnings of Civilization…Cain and Seth
Genesis 4:1-15-The Beginning of Family Life
Genesis 4:1-2-Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain (meaning: spear) and Abel (meaning: breath, or vanity). Cain grew crops and Able was a shepherd.
Genesis 4:3-7-A time came when they brought offerings to the Lord. Abel brought an offering from his flock and Cain brought an offering from his crops. God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. Notice v. 5 says, “but for Cain and his offering He had no regard.” It wasn’t that the offering from his crop wasn’t an acceptable offering…so far we have seen no restrictions on what can, or cannot be offered. The problem was with Cain’s attitude…how he brought the offering. We don’t know the exact problem…but when it was not accepted, he became angry. This anger might have resulted because he didn’t want to bring an offering in the first place…and now it has been turned down. Perhaps his problem was pride, pride over what he had produced from the ground…and God had said it was not acceptable. He didn’t realize that the reason that his offering was not acceptable was because he was not acceptable. Does God later take away his ability to produce crops because it was a source of pride? (cf. :11-12). Or, this anger might be associated with his feelings towards Abel. Maybe he was jealous of Abel, the younger brother, the baby…he gets everything he wants, can do whatever he wants, and never gets in trouble (sibling rivalry). These feelings affected his attitude when he brought his offering and made him unacceptable to God. At any rate, God told him that he needed to adjust his attitude…because either he controlled it, or it would control him.
Genesis 4:8-Evidently Cain did not heed God’s warning and his anger became worse. He vented this anger with God towards Abel and murdered him.
Genesis 4:9-15-God judges Cain for his sin. He takes away his ability to grow crops and as a result he will have to wander the land trying to find work. Cain says that God’s judgment is not fair and that because he will have to wander that people will not trust him and will seek to kill him. God tells him that He would not let that happen and gives him a sign (we don’t know what it was) to reassure him. Notice that Cain adds to God’s judgment by saying “and from Thy face I shall be hidden” (:14). God didn’t say this. It was Cain…feeling sorry for himself, and trying to make it appear that somehow God is at fault and guilty.
Genesis 4:16-9:29-The Beginning of Civilization
Genesis 4:16-This thought is continued here when it says, “Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD…”. God didn’t give up on Cain…but Cain gave up on God. “Nod” means “wandering, exile”…it means that Cain assumed a lifestyle of wandering, an unsettled, un-established life.
Genesis 4:17-22-Where did the people that Cain fear come from and where did his wife come from? They were other children and descendants of Adam and Eve (cf. 5:4). Here is a list of Cain’s descendants. Verse 18 is the first mention of bigamy…a violation of God’s pattern of monogamy. Always remember when interpreting the Bible…that just because the Bible mentions something, that does not mean that it is God’s will.
Genesis 4:23-24-Lamech brags that if someone tried to kill him, he would take care of himself. He didn’t need help like Cain had.
Genesis 4:25-26-Adam and Eve have another son, Seth (means: the appointed one, or the substitute…the replacement for Abel).
Genesis 5-This chapter lists the generations from Adam to Noah.
5:3 his own likeness. …The longevity of the patriarchs (averaging 912 years, not including scenic he did not die) may have been due to the canopy (see not on 1:7), which is not disbursed until the flood, or simply to the fact that it took some time for the effects of sand to shorten man’s lifespan. If there are no gaps in this chronology, then 1656 years elapsed between creation and the flood. It is possible, however, that the genealogy is selective, resulting in gaps in the list and pushing the date of creation farther back.
Ryrie Study Bible, Genesis 5:5, footnotes
Genesis 5:3-Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth. He lived for 800 more years and had other children. He died at 930 years old.
Genesis 5:24-God took Enoch before he died. “walked” means “walked about, lived” with God. “God took him…”…this same Hebrew word “took” is used of God translating Elijah to Heaven (2 Kings 2:3,5; cf. Heb. 11:5; Jude 14).
Genesis 5:27-Methusaelah lived longer than any other man (969 years).
Genesis 5:32-Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, Japheth.
Did the people listed in this chapter actually live as long as it says? For an interesting article explaining the longevity of their lives see:
Prayer: Father, it is so easy to judge Adam. To wonder how he could possibly have made the decision to sin, against You. But temptation is so deceptive. Please keep me from sin. Don’t let me justify my behavior, or, try to blame it on someone else.