Gen 3:4-7a But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked(...)
(vv.22-24)Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (ESV)
I was in Starbucks yesterday before meeting an old friend for coffee. At the table next to me were you young men - one of the still quite young, either in middle school or early high school. The other one was a bit older, maybe college age. They were reading Scripture and taking notes. I asked them what they were studying and the older one looked at me, duh. "the Bible." Okay...yeah. What part of the Bible? They were reading through Genesis and Psalms. Cool.
That side-note from yesterday over, I've noticed a couple of things from Genesis 3.
- Did sin enter the world through Eve? She played a part, certainly. But Scripture does NOT say, "the woman ate, her eyes were opened, she gave it to the man and his eyes were opened. Either it was a total joint effort (the time involved not being defined) or...their eyes were NOT opened until after Adam ate because (a) Adam was the only one who was given the direct command by God and/or (b) Eve was deceived, but Adam rebelled.
Question: if sin entered the world after Adam ate (and not after Eve ate), does that mean that Adam truly is the "federal head" of the human race, since when Eve ate it did not effect their "eyes being opened" until after Adam ate?
- Were Adam and Eve punished for eating the fruit? Yes. What was the punishment? Read the curse...pain in childbirth, subjugation to the husband...sweat of the brown, weeds (and I'm thinking mosquitoes) and so forth.
Was being sent from the garden of Eden part of the punishment? A plain reading of the text says...no. That surprised me. My answer (before reading verse by verse) would have been, "of course."
Being driven from the garden of Eden was not part of the spoken "curse". It was not part of the punishment, it was a preventative measure: "lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever...the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden."
Question: Why did God not make being driven out of the garden part of the spoken curse? (from a philosophical standpoint and not reading into Scripture that which is not there)
- Were BOTH Adam and Even driven out, or just Adam?
I have heard egalitarians argue that it was only the man who was driven out of the garden and that the woman followed out of choice, since it is אדם who was driven out.
I have also heard egalitarians argue that we should have gender-neutral language in Scripture because אדם also means "human race".
If אדם means "human-kind" then it is certainly a proper reading to say that "human-kind" (אדם) were driven out of the garden...both of them.
If it was only the male-type-person (אדם) who was driven out of the garden, that argues against gender-neutral language anywhere else in the Old Testament were אדם is used, unless there is a gender-specific name to go along with it.
Question: Which is it? Does אדם mean the only male-type-person was driven out of the garden, or that or human-kind was driven out of the garden?