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Genesis 3

3
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.
3
The Man and Woman Sin
1The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
8When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man#3:8 Or Adam, and so throughout the chapter. and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
11“Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
12The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
13Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
14Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike#3:15 Or bruise; also in 3:15b. your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16Then he said to the woman,
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.#3:16 Or And though you will have desire for your husband, / he will rule over you.
17And to the man he said,
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”
Paradise Lost: God’s Judgment
20Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.#3:20 Eve sounds like a Hebrew term that means “to give life.” 21And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
22Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings#3:22 Or the man; Hebrew reads ha-adam. have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.