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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
Chapter 3
The man and woman turn away from God
1The Lord God made many wild animals. But the snake was the most clever of them all. The snake asked the woman, ‘Did God say, “You must not eat the fruit from any tree in the garden”? Is that really true?’
2The woman replied, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3But God said, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it. If you do that, you will die.” ’
4Then the snake said to the woman, ‘No, you will not die. 5God knows that when you eat the fruit from this tree, you will understand things. You will become like God himself. You will know about good things and evil things.’ #3:5 The snake wanted the woman to stop trusting God. He wanted the woman not to obey God. The woman told the snake that they must not touch the tree in the middle of the garden. But God did not say this. God told the woman that she must not eat the fruit from that tree. The snake told the woman that she would not die if she eats the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is not true. Satan tells the woman that if she eats the fruit she will be like God.
6The woman looked at the fruit on the tree. She saw that it would be good to eat, and it was beautiful to look at. She wanted to eat it because it would make her become wise. So, she took some fruit and she ate it. Then she gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her. He also ate it.
7Then they understood things. #3:7 When the man and the woman ate the fruit, they could then understand what is good and what is evil. That is how they became like God. When God made the man and the woman, there was nothing bad in them. So they did not know the difference between good things and evil things. They understood that they were not wearing any clothes. So, they took some leaves from fig trees. They fixed them together to cover their bodies.
8In the evening there was a nice cool wind. The Lord God walked in the garden. The man and the woman heard the sound of the Lord God. They hid themselves behind some trees, so that God would not see them. 9The Lord God called out to the man. He said to him, ‘Where are you?’
10The man replied, ‘I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I had no clothes. So I hid myself from you.’
11The Lord God said, ‘Who told you that you had no clothes? Have you eaten fruit from the tree that I said you must not eat?’
12The man said, ‘It was the woman that you put here with me. She gave me some fruit from the tree. So I ate it.’
13Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘Why have you done a thing like that?’ The woman replied, ‘It was the snake. The snake deceived me with a lie. So I ate the fruit.’
14The Lord God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this, I will curse you. #3:14 When God curses the snake, it means that he will punish the snake. Because he is God, what he says will certainly happen. Among all the livestock and wild animals, you are the one that I will curse. From now on, you will move across the ground on your stomach. You will eat dust from the ground. You will do this for your whole life.
15I will cause you and the woman to become enemies. Your descendants and her descendants will always be enemies. One of her descendants will attack your head. #3:15 God is speaking of a human descendant who would destroy the power of the snake. When God sent Jesus into the world, a woman gave birth to him. By his death on the cross, Jesus destroyed Satan's power. You will attack his foot.’
16God said to the woman, ‘I will make it much more painful for you when you give birth to children. You will want to please your husband. But he will rule over you as your master.’
17Then God said to Adam, #3:17 Adam is the name of the man. In the Hebrew language, Adam means ‘man’. ‘You listened to your wife and you did what she said. You ate fruit from the tree after I told you, “You must not eat fruit from this tree.” Because you did that, I will curse the ground. You will have to work very hard to make plants grow in it for your food. It will be like this for your whole life. 18Thorn bushes and thistles will grow in the ground. #3:18 Adam did what his wife said. He did not do what God had said. So God cursed the ground. Thistles and thorns are not food plants. They grow quickly, and they stop food plants from growing. Because God has cursed the ground, Adam and his descendants have to work very hard to grow plants for his food. You will have to eat plants that grow in the fields. 19You will have to work hard for a long time before you have any food to eat. You will do this for your whole life until you die. Then you will return into the ground. That is where you came from. I made you from the soil of the ground, and you will become soil again.’
20Adam gave his wife a name. He called her Eve. This was because she would become the mother of all people. #3:20 All humans on earth are descendants of Adam and Eve.
21The Lord God made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. He used the skins from animals to make them.
22The Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us because he understands good and evil. So, we must not let him take fruit from the tree that gives life. If he eats that fruit, he will live for ever.’
23So, the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden. To get his food, Adam had to dig the ground that God had used to make him. 24Then God put special angels to guard the garden. God put them on the east side of the garden. There was also a sword of fire that moved quickly from side to side. #3:24 These special angels were called cherubs. They are God's servants. No one could go past these angels or the sword of fire. No one could ever go back into the garden of Eden. As a result, nobody could go near to the tree that gives life.