The Fall of Man, the Curse of Sin, and the Promised Redeemer
Genesis Chapter 3
The serpent was crafty. His devious plan would cause the fall of man. His scheme to deceive Eve to sin was to first have her question the word of God.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. Genesis 3:1a
The NIV describes the serpent as “crafty,” meaning that he was cunning, shrewd and devious. The King James Version calls the serpent “subtle,” which portrays him as cleverly indirect and ingenious. His devious scheme to deceive Eve was first to have her question the Word of God by perverting what God had said.
He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1b
In Genesis chapter two it states in verse 9: And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In verses16-17 of chapter two God’s restriction is clearly stated: And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” The LORD God gave this command to Adam before Eve was formed from his rib. God did not say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden.” In fact, God had given Adam access to a variety of eye pleasing trees that were good for food. God had only forbidden Adam from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 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 it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:2-3
Eve’s response was not accurate. Actually, there were two trees that were in the middle of the garden – the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. The LORD did say that man must not eat from the tree of the knowledge, but He did not say that if you touch it you will die.
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:32
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:18-19
Both the Old and New Testament warn against adding to or taking away from God’s Word. Eve had done both. God had spoken his command to Adam before Eve was brought forth. Either Adam did not clearly convey God’s Word to Eve or Eve misunderstood it.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
God is first called a liar because the serpent asserts that God will not fulfill His Word and the woman will not surely die. Then the serpent questions God’s motives. God is portrayed as mean and selfish by keeping her from knowledge. The serpent also appealed to the woman’s pride by claiming that she will become like God. The serpent declared that by an act of disobedience, Eve would become like God – knowing good and evil. The Father of Lies knew that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is Holy and set apart from evil. Lucifer sought to be like God through an act of rebellion and sought to deceive the woman into following in his evil ways.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6
Incredible as it seems, Adam was with Eve during the time she was being deceived by the serpent and stood by passively. He did not speak out to correct her misunderstanding of God’s command or reach for her hand to stop her from taking of the fruit. Instead, when she gave some of the forbidden fruit to him, he ate it.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16
The forbidden fruit was good for food – lust of the flesh, was pleasing to the eye – lust of the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom – pride of life. All the other trees in the garden were pleasing to the eye and good for food, but this tree’s fruit appealed to man’s pride.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Isaiah 14:12
As Satan’s pride caused him to fall, so also was man’s pride a major element in his fall from grace.
The King James Version of chapter two, verse 17 reads: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The sentence for breaking God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was to die the very day the act of disobedience took place.
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2
Surely Adam did die spiritually in the very day that he disobeyed God. His iniquities separated him from the LORD and the man and the woman were cast out of paradise. Yet, Adam did not die a physical death until he lived 930 years, “and then he died.” (Genesis 5:5).
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8
The length of our days is seventy years- or eighty, if we have the strength. Psalm 90:10
Not only did Adam die spiritually in the very day he disobeyed God, but he also died physically within one lifetime (70 years) short of a thousand years (1,000 years – 70 years = 930 years).
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked… Genesis 3:7a
After they sinned, the man and woman had died spiritually, were separated from God and realized that they were naked.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. Exodus 34:29
When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD. Exodus 34: 33-35
Before the fall, the man and woman spent time, as did Moses, in the presence of the LORD. As the unveiled face of Moses radiated from the shekinah glory of God, the unclothed bodies of Adam and Eve may have radiated from God’s glory as well. When they ate in disobedience, God’s presence left them, their eyes were opened, and they could see that they were naked.
…so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:7b
The man and woman attempted to cover over their sin by the work of their hands.
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, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:7-8
Darkness is as light to God. He is omnipresent. Although the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” – It was a rhetorical question because God already knew the answer.
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Genesis 3:10
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31 KJV
Before sin entered into the world, there was no fear of punishment.
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:11-12
The man did not confess his sin. Instead, he not only tried to shift the blame to the woman but even suggested ultimately that it was God’s fault.
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13
Likewise the woman did not confess her sin and seek God’s mercy but shifted the blame to the serpent.
So the LORD God said to the serpent, because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
The King James Version of Genesis 3:15 reads: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed.”
This is the first promise given after the Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Theologians call it the protoevangelium–or first gospel because these words spoken by God contain the first promise of redemption in the Bible. A woman’s sex cell is an egg or ovum. It is the male sex cell which is usually referred to as the seed. The seed of the woman is a prophecy of the virgin birth of Messiah. His heal will be struck at the crucifixion when his feet will pierced through by a spike. But Satan will be totally defeated (his head crushed) when Messiah rises from the dead and conquers death and the grave. Also interesting is that the seed of the serpent – the “son of perdition” also known as the Antichrist will seem to have a fatal wound to his head and will have a counterfeit resurrection.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
The word translated “desire” refers not to sexual desire, but desire for control of the relationship. A better translation would be, “Your desire will be for (to rule over) your husband, but he will rule over you.” The battle of the sexes started after the fall.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:17-19
Adam’s act of rebellion brought a curse on both mankind and upon the earth. Adam had listened to his wife who has disobeyed God and instead they both had obeyed Satan.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
The authority and dominion over the earth and its creatures that had been given to man was now transferred to Satan. He is the god (with a little g) of this world and the prince of the power of the air.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— Romans 5:12
Adam’s sin brought both physical death (for dust you are and to dust you will return) as well as spiritual death (separation from God) to all of humanity. The “Fall” resulted in mankind becoming a slave to sin and in need of a redeemer.
Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. Genesis 3:20
The Hebrew name Chava or Chaya is translated As Eve and means, “giver of life.”
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
In order to make garments of skin for Adam and his wife, an animal had to be killed and blood spilled. This is a prophetic picture of the need for a blood atonement to cover sin and also foreshadowed the atoning death of the promised Seed of the woman.
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.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24
God is the English translation of the Hebrew word, Elohim which is a plural verb. The LORD God said that the man has now become like us. The word “us” is the object of the phrase and a plural personal pronoun which is a reference to the Trinity.
And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:22a
How could a holy and righteous God know evil? To know evil means to have experienced evil.
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:8
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus Christ the spotless Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. He became sin for us. Jesus drank from the cup of God’s wrath and knew the evil of sin by enduring the cross as our substitutionary sacrifice. God is love. He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Yet, God knows good and evil for our sake.
The placing of the cherubim and the flaming flashing sword to guard the way to the tree of life was an act of God’s mercy. If sinful Adam had eaten from the tree of life, he would have become an eternally lost immortal with no hope of redemption or participation in the resurrection of the righteous.