Genesis 3

3:1 Now the serpent [selected by Satan as his instrument; cf. Rev. 12:9; 20:2] was more crafty [cunning; deceptive; Satan chose to use the craftiest of God’s animal creation] than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said [misquoted 2:16-17] to the woman [humanity’s first encounter with evil], “Did God [generic name for God] really say [introduction of doubt rather than request for information], `You must not eat from any [distortion] tree in the garden’?”

3:2 The woman said [corrected serpent’s distortion] to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3:3 but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch [not a part of God’s instructions] it, or you will [omitted the word “surely”] die.'”

3:4 [the serpent’s counterclaims to God’s command: 1] “You will not surely die [denial that God will punish sin; direct denial/contradiction of what God had said in 2:17; planted doubt in Eve’s mind; cf. Jn. 8:44 re: Satan as “the father of lies”],” the serpent said to the woman.

3:5 “For God knows [implication: God is selfish and does not want to share His wisdom] that when you eat of it [2] your eyes will be opened [and thus gain knowledge], and [3] you will be like God [divine status], knowing good and evil [or “everything”].”

3:6 When the woman saw [unfortunately Eve failed to see the destruction her actions would bring] that the fruit of the tree was good for food [appealed to physical appetite] and pleasing to the eye [aesthetically appealing], and [appealed to human vanity] also desirable for gaining wisdom [sight, insight, success], she took [decisive act] some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it [by eating, Adam and Eve no longer believed God, which is the essence of sin; cf. 1 Tim. 2:14].

Note: When were you recently tempted to disobey God? How did you respond to Satan’s tactics? What made the fruit so tempting to Eve? What are some specific ways Satan makes sin look good to us today? If sin is so fun and great, why must Satan disguise the consequences of sin?

3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened [immediate consequence of their sin], and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Note: What kind of “fig leaves” do we try to sew together in an attempt to cover our sin?

3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day [perhaps reference to particular time of day when they met with God for fellowship], and they hid [one sign of sin is the attempt to hide our sins and ourselves from God] from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

3:9 But the LORD God called to the man [God asked four questions (like the proceedings of a court session)], [1] “Where are you [God knew where they were geographically; question was intended to cause them to consider where they were spiritually; first step in God’s search for the lost]?”

3:10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

3:11 And he said, [2] “Who told you that you were naked? [3] Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

3:12 The man said, “The woman [Adam blamed Eve] you [Adam, by insinuation, also blamed God; Adam saw the good gift God had given him as the source of his trouble] put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I [made a personal choice] ate it.”

Note: Can you describe a time when you played the blame game? What was God’s purpose in questioning Adam and Eve?

3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, [4] “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent [Eve blamed the tempter] deceived me, and I ate.”

3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust [punishment for tempting the woman to eat fruit; represent humiliation and subjection; an expression that carries the meaning of total defeat (cf. Isa. 65:25; Mic. 7:17)] all the days of your life.

3:15 [cf. Rom. 16:20] And I will put enmity [intense hostility] between you [Satan] and the woman [representing the human race], and between your offspring [Satan’s followers] and hers [Christ; cf. Gal. 3:16]; he will crush [lethal blow; cf. Rev. 20:7-10] your head, and you [Satan] will strike [nonlethal blow] his heel.”

Note: Genesis 3:15 has been called the protoevangelium, a Latin term meaning “first mention of the gospel.”

3:16 [benefits Satan promised did not materialize, only the consequences of sin; sin may give you what you want, but it will take what you have] To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase [implies that childbirth otherwise would have involved little or no pain] your pains in childbearing; with pain [pain in childbearing was the punishment] you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband [to control him], and he will rule over you.”

3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife [instead of God] and [in addition to this, violated a specific command from God] ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed [consequences of human sin extended to creation itself] is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles [plants that offer no nutritional benefit although they rob the soil of nutrients and destroy crops] for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground [phrase refers to physical death], since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

3:20 Adam named his wife Eve [that is, “life”], because she would become the mother of all the living.

3:21 The LORD God made [indicates God’s intention to continue to love and care for humans] garments of skin [to replace the fig leaf coverings (3:7)] for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

3:23 So the LORD God banished him [Adam and Eve banished; they became “like” God (3:22), but would no longer be “with” God in the garden; a reminder that sin is costly] from [in order to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (3:22)] the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

3:24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [suggests that this is where the entrance to the garden was located] of the Garden of Eden cherubim [winged angels who functioned as guards (3:24) and attendants (Ezek. 10:3-22)] and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Note: Reflect on a specific occasion when you chose to disobey God. What consequences did you experience? How did your decision affect other people?

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