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Genesis 3

The Fall
1Now the snake # 3:1 The Hebrew word for “snake” (serpent) is nachash, a very elastic term in Hebrew. It can function as a noun, a verb, or even as an adjective. When nachash functions as a noun, it means “snake”; when nachash serves as a verb, it means “to practice divination [deception].” When nachash has the definite article attached to it (as in this verse—“the snake”) it can be translated “the diviner [deceiver].” When nachash serves as an adjective, its meaning is “shining” or “polished” (i.e., “shiny”). By adding the definite article to the word, ha nachash can then be rightly translated “the shining one.” Angelic or divine beings are described elsewhere in the Bible as “shining” or “luminous,” at times with this very word, nachash. “The shining one” is the literal meaning of Lucifer. See Isa. 14:12. was the most cunning # 3:1 There is a wordplay here on the words naked (in the previous verse) and cunning. They both come from the same triliteral Hebrew root. of all living beings that Yahweh-God had made. He deviously asked the woman, “Did God really tell you, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree of the garden—?’ ”
2But the woman interrupted, “—We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, 3except the tree in the center of the garden. God told us, ‘Don’t eat its fruit, or even touch it, # 3:3 There is no mention of God forbidding touching the fruit tree; Eve was adding to God’s command. or you’ll die.’ ”
4But the snake said to her, “You certainly won’t die. 5God knows that the moment you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, # 3:5 Or “like gods [divine beings].” See 2 Sam. 14:17; 2 Cor. 11:3. knowing both good and evil.”
6When the woman saw that the tree produced delicious fruit, delightful to look upon, and desirable to give one insight, she took its fruit and ate it. # 3:6 See 1 Tim. 2:14. She gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he also ate it. # 3:6 Man’s sin began with a tree and ended on a tree. See Rom. 5:12, 17–19. 7Immediately, their eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked, vulnerable, and ashamed; so they sewed fig leaves # 3:7 The fig tree was the only thing Jesus cursed while on earth (see Matt. 21:19). Fig leaves are a picture for whatever we hide behind to cover our spiritual shame. This is the first attempt of man to cover his nakedness. Our works are never enough to cover our sinfulness. The robe of righteousness that Jesus clothes us in is perfect. See 2 Cor. 5:21. together for coverings.
God Manifests in the Garden
8Then Adam and his wife heard the sound # 3:8 Or “voice.” of Yahweh-God passing through # 3:8 Or “going [walking] back and forth repeatedly.” That is, the sound or voice of God was heard from all directions. It was the voice that “walked” back and forth, back and forth, repeating the sound over and over. God has no feet, nor a body. His voice came into the garden as if it were everywhere at once. The Hebrew text could also be translated “God caused his voice to travel through the garden.” the garden in the breeze of the day. # 3:8 Or “walking in the spirit of the day” or “moving in the breeze [breezy time] of the day.” The implication is that God had been doing this daily, wanting friendship and intimacy with his newly created couple. So, they hid among the trees concealing themselves from the face of Yahweh-God.
9Then Yahweh-God called Adam’s name and asked, “Where are you?” # 3:9 When Adam first sinned, he should have gone immediately to God to beg for mercy and forgiveness. Instead he did just what millions are doing today: he ran and hid from God so that God had to come and look for him. God knew where he was hiding but wanted Adam to admit his sin. The first question God asked in the Bible—“Where are you?”—shows that we belong to God. He longs for each of us to examine our own lives, be honest with him, and come out of hiding. The first question of the New Testament is “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people?” (Matt. 2:2). And the first question Jesus asked was “What do you want?” (John 1:38–39). Our answers to these three questions hold the keys to understanding the need of our hearts, our life’s passion, and God’s plan for our lives. See Matt. 6:33.
10Adam answered, “I heard your powerful presence moving in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11“Who told you that you were naked?” God said. “Did you eat the fruit of the tree that I commanded you not to eat?”
12Adam pointed to the woman and said,
“The woman you placed alongside me—
she gave me fruit from the tree,
and I ate it.” # 3:12 Blame shifting was the beginning of marital disharmony. Only the love of Christ can heal the wounds between men and women.
13So Yahweh-God said to the woman,
“What have you done?”
The woman pointed to the snake and said,
“The shining snake tricked me,
and I ate.”
14Yahweh-God then said to the snake,
“Because you have done this,
you are cursed above every wild animal,
condemned above every creature of the field!
You will slither on your belly
and eat dust # 3:14 Adam was made from dust, and now the snake was cursed to feed on dust (see Isa. 65:25). Whatever we withhold from God becomes food for the enemy. We choose to make our dust-life the dwelling place for the demonic or the divine. all the days of your life!
15And I will place great hostility between you and the woman,
and between her seed # 3:15 Or “offspring.” The seed of the woman is Jesus Christ. The male carries the seed, but Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman, for there was no human father to conceive him. See Rom. 16:20; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 12:1–5. Christ has sown himself as the seed into our hearts. We have been born again, not by a corrupting seed, but by an Incorruptible Seed, the living and abiding Word of God (see 1 Peter 1:23). and yours.
He will crush your head
as you crush his heel.” # 3:15 Or “He will batter your head, and you will batter his heel.” However, the structure of the sentence (subject before the verb) implies a synchronic action, making the second clause concessive. This is the Protoevangelium, God’s first announcement of a Savior, and presents a preview of Jesus Christ, who would be wounded by the snake/sin on his heel but bring a death blow to Satan by the power of his cross and resurrection. See Isa. 53:10; Col. 2:14.
16Then God said to the woman,
“I will cause your labor pains in childbirth to be intensified; # 3:16 Or “I will multiply your pain and your pregnancies,” a likely hendiadys.
with pain # 3:16 The Hebrew word for “pain” (’etsev) is a homophone that can also mean “creativity.” God will use our painful situations to birth and express his beautiful creativity through us. Many works of art, compositions of music, and powerful acts of kindness have been birthed through the “labor pains” of our sometimes-troubled past. Pain can be the incubator of creativity and beauty. you will give birth to children.
You will desire # 3:16 Or “your craving” (noun). There is no verb in this clause; it is borrowed from the next. to dominate your husband,
but he will want to dominate you.” # 3:16 Sin brought a painful conflict and power struggle into the home. This clause is not a statement of God’s ideal (that either husband or wife dominate) but a result of the fall of humanity (arguing over who will be first place in the home). Husband and wife are both meant to reign and take dominion, for they are one. The thematic context is that of pain/conflict: conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the snake, conflict (pain) in childbirth and child rearing, and conflict in marriage. God’s ideal for marriage is a mutual submission, deference, and sacrificial love that places the other above ourselves. See Eph. 4:32–5:2, 18–33. See also Susan T. Foh, “What is the Woman’s Desire?” Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1975): 376–83; Irvin Busenitz, “Woman’s Desire for Man: Genesis 3:16 Reconsidered.” Grace Theological Journal 7.2 (1986) 203–12.
17And to Adam he said,
“Because you obeyed your wife instead of me,
and you ate from the forbidden tree
when I had commanded you not to,
the ground will be cursed because of you.
You will eat of it through painful toil # 3:17 The irony of the narrative is hard to miss. Because they ate what was forbidden, pain enters the world. The man will produce food to eat through “painful toil,” and the woman will experience “pains in childbirth.” Additionally, the ground (and all creation) now labors with painful contractions waiting for the unveiling of God’s sons and daughters (see Rom. 8:19–21). all the days of your life.
18It will sprout weeds and thorns, # 3:18 Thorns are part of the curse brought about by the sin of man. Jesus wore a crown of thorns (see John 19:2) because he took our curse and set us free. For the topic of thorns, see also the footnote on Song. 2:2; Matt. 13:3–9, 18–23; 2 Cor. 12:7; Heb. 6:4–8.
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19You will painfully toil # 3:19 This is the same word used for the woman having “pain” in childbirth. The cause of pain in our human experience is sin. and sweat
to produce food to eat, # 3:19 Or “eat your bread.” Work is not a part of the curse, for Adam was given responsibility for working and tending the garden before the fall (see Gen. 2:15). The punishment of the woman touches her identity as a wife and mother; the punishment of man touches his identity in his activity of work and being a provider.
until your body—taken from the ground—returns to the ground.
For you are from dust,
and to dust you will return.” # 3:19 See Job 10:9; 34:15; Ps. 103:14; Eccl. 12:7. Jesus experienced all the effects of the curse. He sweat and labored in prayer and in carrying the cross; he was crowned with thorns and left in the dust “for dead” (Ps. 22:15). It is true that our bodies will return to dust, but we have been lifted out of the dust and have been seated in the heavenly realm (see Eph. 2:1–6). Death no longer has victory over us because the resurrection of Christ is also our resurrection (see Rom. 6:5).
20The man named his wife Eve—“Life-Giver,” # 3:20 Adam changed her name from “Woman” to “Eve,” the first of many name changes in the Bible. The Hebrew contains a pun, or paronomasia, with the name Eve, for her name Havvah is very similar to the word for “life” (khayah, or “living one”). God gave the woman the ability to not only have babies but to also release life in a variety of expressions. Eve brought life into the structure of Adam’s world. What does the Scripture tell us about the woman? First, she is God’s chosen ’ezer (see Gen. 2:18), a protector, a provider, and a source of strength for a man. Second, she was taken from man, equally a partner under the Lord and perfectly matched for reunion as one. Third, she is the carrier of life for all humanity. A woman enfolds all three roles in one person. because she would become the mother of every human being.
21Yahweh-God made garments # 3:21 This could also be translated “coats,” “robes,” or “tunics.” from animal skins # 3:21 Their first sight of death was an innocent sacrifice, killed for them. to clothe # 3:21 Father God did what any good father will do when a child fails. He wrapped his love around them and did not degrade them. This verb (“to clothe”) is mostly used for kings who clothe others with robes (see Gen. 41:42), or for priests who are clothed with sacred garments (see Ex. 28:41; 29:8; 40:14). When God clothed Adam and his wife, he did more than cover their nakedness. Moved by love, he clothed them to cover their shame. The role of Adam and Eve as rulers on the earth was not erased by their fall. They were still commissioned as a priest and priestess by God himself. God’s love shines through this episode, for he was the One who, as an act of grace, caringly provided adequate covering for their bodies. For God to use bloodstained animal skins as royal robes to clothe his beloved Adam and Eve meant that animals had to be sacrificed to provide their covering. See Ezek. 16:8. Adam and Eve. 22And Yahweh-God said, “The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. And now he might take in his hands fruit from the Tree of Life, and eat it, and live forever.” 23Therefore, Yahweh-God expelled him from Eden’s paradise to till the ground from which he was taken. # 3:23 Taken from the earth, the man was now given the earth to till. Turning over the soil is a picture of how man must guard his heart, his life. We must become those who have been loosened and opened to the rain of God. The Tree of Life must be planted in the soil of the human heart. When God charged man to till the ground, it meant that the soil of his heart must be broken up and prepared for this beautiful Tree to come into him and branch out through him. See John 15. 24He drove them out of the garden, and placed # 3:24 This is the Hebrew word from which we get “shekinah.” fearsome angelic sentries # 3:24 Or “cherubim,” from the masculine word kerub, translated “one who intercedes” or “one with knowledge,” borrowed from the Assyrian language from a root word meaning “to be near.” See 1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chron. 13:6; Pss. 18:9–10; 80:1; 99:1; Isa. 37:16; Ezek. 10:1–22. east of the garden of Eden, with a turning fiery sword # 3:24 This is the first reference to the sword in the Bible. In Heb. 4:12 and Eph. 6:17–18, the sword is a metaphor of God’s Word as it judges the intentions of the heart. We still must pass through the ministry of the flaming sword to return to the place where God desires us to dwell. This sword was “awakened” (see Zech. 13:7) against the Lord Jesus Christ as he paid the full price to redeem us to God. The cherubim embroidered into the fabric of the veil of the Holy of Holies were like sentries, guarding the way to the Life within. When the veil was torn in two from the top to the bottom, it was as though the cherubim parted and granted access within the veil for every believer to come and feast upon the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ. See Ex. 26:31–35; Mark 15:37–38; Heb. 10:19–23. to guard the way to the Tree of Life. # 3:24 The way to the Tree of Life is Jesus Christ. See John 14:6; Heb. 10:20.

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Genesis 3: TPT





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