Expulsion from Eden. 1Now the snake was the most cunning#Cunning: there is a play on the words for “naked” (2:25) and “cunning/wise” (Heb. ‘arum). The couple seek to be “wise” but end up knowing that they are “naked.” of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’?” 2The woman answered the snake: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3#Gn 2:17; Rom 6:23. it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.’” 4But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die!#Wis 2:24; Sir 25:14; Is 14:14; Jn 8:44; 2 Cor 11:3. 5God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know#Like gods, who know: or “like God who knows.” good and evil.” 6The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.#Gn 3:22; 1 Tm 2:14. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
8When they heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day,#The breezy time of the day: lit., “the wind of the day.” Probably shortly before sunset. the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.#Jer 23:24. 9The Lord God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? 10He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” 11Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat? 12The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” 13The Lord God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, “The snake tricked me, so I ate it.”#2 Cor 11:3.
14Then the Lord God said to the snake:
Because you have done this,
cursed are you
among all the animals, tame or wild;
On your belly you shall crawl,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.#Each of the three punishments (the snake, the woman, the man) has a double aspect, one affecting the individual and the other affecting a basic relationship. The snake previously stood upright, enjoyed a reputation for being shrewder than other creatures, and could converse with human beings as in vv. 1–5. It must now move on its belly, is more cursed than any creature, and inspires revulsion in human beings (v. 15). #Is 65:25; Mi 7:17; Rev 12:9.
15I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
They will strike at your head,
while you strike at their heel.#They will strike…at their heel: the antecedent for “they” and “their” is the collective noun “offspring,” i.e., all the descendants of the woman. Christian tradition has seen in this passage, however, more than unending hostility between snakes and human beings. The snake was identified with the devil (Wis 2:24; Jn 8:44; Rev 12:9; 20:2), whose eventual defeat seemed implied in the verse. Because “the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8), the passage was understood as the first promise of a redeemer for fallen humankind, the protoevangelium. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. A.D. 130–200), in his Against Heresies 5.21.1, followed by several other Fathers of the Church, interpreted the verse as referring to Christ, and cited Gal 3:19 and 4:4 to support the reference. Another interpretive translation is ipsa, “she,” and is reflected in Jerome’s Vulgate. “She” was thought to refer to Mary, the mother of the messiah. In Christian art Mary is sometimes depicted with her foot on the head of the serpent. #Rom 16:20; 1 Jn 3:8; Rev 12:17.
16To the woman he said:
I will intensify your toil in childbearing;
in pain#Toil…pain: the punishment affects the woman directly by increasing the toil and pain of having children. He shall rule over you: the punishment also affects the woman’s relationship with her husband. A tension is set up in which her urge (either sexual urge or, more generally, dependence for sustenance) is for her husband but he rules over her. But see Sg 7:11. you shall bring forth children.
Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.
17To the man he said: Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You shall not eat from it,
Cursed is the ground#Cursed is the ground: the punishment affects the man’s relationship to the ground (’adam and ’adamah). You are dust: the punishment also affects the man directly insofar as he is now mortal. because of you!
In toil you shall eat its yield
all the days of your life.#Gn 5:29; Rom 5:12; 8:20; Heb 6:8.
18Thorns and thistles it shall bear for you,
and you shall eat the grass of the field.
19By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.#Gn 2:7; Jb 10:9; 34:15; Ps 90:3; 103:14; Eccl 3:20; 12:7; Wis 15:8; Sir 10:9; 17:2; Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 9:27.
20The man gave his wife the name “Eve,” because she was the mother of all the living.#The man gives his wife a more specific name than “woman” (2:23). The Hebrew name hawwa (“Eve”) is related to the Hebrew word hay (“living”); “mother of all the living” points forward to the next episode involving her sons Cain and Abel.
21The Lord God made for the man and his wife garments of skin, with which he clothed them. 22Then the Lord God said: See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil! Now, what if he also reaches out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life, and eats of it and lives forever?#Gn 2:9; Rev 22:2, 14. 23The Lord God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. 24He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life.
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The snake tricked the woman
1God made lots of animals, but the snake was the animal that had the most brains. He was really smart. One day, the snake went to the woman and said to her, “Did God say, ‘You can’t eat fruit from any of the trees in the garden’? Is that true?”#Revelation 12:9; 20:2
2The woman said, “No, that’s not true. We can eat fruit from those trees there in the garden. 3God said that there is only one tree that we can’t eat from. We can’t eat any fruit that comes from one of the trees that is in the middle of the garden. God will not even let us touch that tree. He said that if we eat fruit from that tree, we will die.”
4The snake said to the woman, “You will not die. 5God knows what will happen if you eat fruit from that tree. He knows that if you eat fruit from that tree, you will know more things, like God himself. You will know if the things you do are good, or if they are bad.”
The man and the woman did the wrong thing
6The woman looked at that tree. It was pretty, and the fruit on that tree looked really good to eat, and she reckoned that if she eats some of that fruit, she will think properly. So the woman got some of that fruit, and she ate it, and she gave some of it to her husband, and he ate that fruit too. 7Straight away, the man and the woman knew more things. They knew that they were naked, and they felt shame. They wanted to make clothes to cover up their naked bodies, so they picked some big leaves from a tree and sewed the leaves together to make some clothes.
The man and the woman tried to hide from God
8Later on, in the cool part of the day, the man and the woman heard God walking in the garden. So they got behind some trees in the garden to hide from God.
9God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
10The man said, “I heard you walking in the garden and I was frightened, because I’m naked. So I hid from you.”
11God asked the man, “How do you know that you are naked? Did you eat some of that fruit from the tree that I told you not to eat from?”
12The man said, “Yes, but it was the woman that you put here with me, she gave me fruit from that tree, so I ate it.”
13Then God said to the woman, “Why did you do that bad thing?”#2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14
The woman said, “That snake tricked me. That’s the reason why I ate that fruit.”
God judged the snake
14Then God said, “Snake, you did the wrong thing, so I will curse you. I will not curse the other animals, but I will curse all you snakes. From now on, you are going to crawl around on your bellies. You will always be down on the ground in the dirt. 15The woman’s kids will hate you, and so will all their kids, and all the people that will be born later on. People will always be your enemies. And Snake, your kids will hate the woman’s kids, and so will all the snake mob that will be born later on. You snake mob will always be the people’s enemies. They will hit your heads, and you will bite their feet.”#Revelation 12:17
God judged the woman
16Then God said to the woman, “I’m going to give you a lot of trouble. You are going to have a lot of pain whenever you have a baby. It will hurt you a lot. But you will really want to have a husband, and your husband will be your boss.”
God judged the man
17-18Then God said to the man, “I told you not to eat any fruit from one of the trees in the middle of the garden, but you listened to your wife, and you ate that fruit. So I will curse the ground and make it bad for you. It will never be easy for you to get your food from the plants in the ground any more. The ground will have lots of rubbish plants and prickles in it.#Hebrews 6:8 19You will work very hard to get your food, so you will get hot, and you will sweat a lot. And later on, you will die. I made you from the dirt, and after you die, your body will turn back into dirt.”
God hunted Adam and Eve out of Eden
20Adam’s wife was the first woman, and all the people in the world came from her. So Adam gave her the name Eve. That name means somebody that gives life. 21God made some clothes from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
22After that, God said, “These people are like us now. They know what things are good, and what things are bad. We have to stop them, so they will not eat fruit from the other tree in the middle of the garden, the tree that makes people stay alive. If they eat that fruit, they will live for ever.”#Revelation 22:14 23So God hunted them out of the garden. To get food, they had to dig the ground and grow plants. You know, God made that man out of the ground, and after they left the garden, that man had to dig that same ground.
24After God hunted them out of the garden, he made sure that they couldn’t get back. He put some of his angel workers to be guards just outside the east side of the garden in Eden. Their job was to stop anybody from getting near the tree that makes people stay alive. They had long knives that were on fire, and they waved those long knives everywhere, to keep everyone away.
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