The Fall of Man
3 Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And [a]the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from [b]any tree of the garden’?”(A) 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die!(B) 5 For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness], and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.” 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband [c]with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the [d]presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten [fruit] from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled and deceived me, and I ate [from the forbidden tree].”(C) 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all the cattle,
And more than any animal of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And dust you shall eat
All the days of your life.
“And I will put enmity (open hostility)
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed (offspring) and her [e]Seed;
He shall [fatally] bruise your head,
And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”(D)
16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth;
In pain you will give birth to children;
Yet your desire and longing will be for your husband,
And he will rule [with authority] over you and be responsible for you.”
17 Then to Adam the Lord God said, “Because you have listened [attentively] to the voice of your wife, and have eaten [fruit] from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’;
The ground is [now] under a curse because of you;
In sorrow and toil you shall eat [the fruit] of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you shall eat the plants of the field.
“By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread
Until you return to the ground,
For from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
20 The man named his wife Eve (life spring, life giver), because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made tunics of [animal] skins for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
22 And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent Adam away from the Garden of Eden, to till and cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So God drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He [permanently] stationed the [f]cherubim and the sword with the flashing blade which turned round and round [in every direction] to protect and guard the way (entrance, access) to the tree of life.(E)
- Genesis 3:1 The relationship between Satan and the serpent is not made clear, but Satan is identified with the serpent later in Rev 12:9, 14, 15, and 20:2. It seems difficult to believe that Eve would not have been suspicious of a talking creature, but at this point in time Eve probably knew next to nothing about animals; and in any case, the serpent, as it existed before the curse (v 14), was a very different creature from the reptile that is familiar to us today.
- Genesis 3:1 Or every.
- Genesis 3:6 This may have been sometime later. Jewish tradition said that Adam was absent at the time of Eve’s conversation with the serpent (according to the Talmud).
- Genesis 3:8 Lit face.
- Genesis 3:15 Many consider this verse the protevangelium, the first announcement of the gospel. This is the first prophecy about the Messiah (Christ), who through His death on the cross and resurrection would ultimately defeat Satan, the power behind the serpent, with a death blow. See Is 9:6; Matt 1:23; Luke 1:31; Rom 16:20; Gal 4:4; Rev 12:17.
- Genesis 3:24 Cherubim are ministering angelic beings who avenge assaults on God’s holiness.