The sin of the man

The sin of the man

We have been looking at Genesis 3 and the fall of man.  In this post I want to concentrate on Genesis 3:22-24 to see what we can understand from God’s words that result in God’s actions and why God judges differently between the man and the woman by bringing sin into the world only through the man.

In a previous post we saw that the original Hebrew reveals that God said “Behold, the man was like one of Us….” There is no justification in the original Hebrew for the translation that man became like God when he ate the fruit.  This is a very significant point.  God said that man was created like God and now he has added to that creation the experience of evil.  In his fallen state his inclination would be to partake of what now is forbidden to him which previously was given freely.  The tree of life was given to Adam to enjoy the fruit but must now be taken away to fulfill God’s word that “in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die”.

Would Adam reach out to take of the fruit of the tree of life in his sinful state?  The actions of God prove that this would be the case.

Genesis 3:23  therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:24  So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

The “sending” of God was for the man to work the ground from which he had been taken.  Adam was sent to work the ground that had become cursed because of Adam’s two failures.  But did Adam go when he was sent?  Verse 24 shows that Adam was not inclined to obey at all.  In fact God’s actions show that Adam was defiant.  God had to literally drive the man out of the garden.  The Hebrew shows an action of force.  It was not Adam’s will to leave the garden.  Adam was forced out because Adam was living in open defiance of God.  Adam was the one who sinned with his eyes wide open and now Adam was the one who was trying to defy God’s judgment by refusing to leave the garden.

After God forced Adam out, God set up a second watchman.  According to Genesis 2:15, Adam was God’s original watchman for the garden of Eden. The Hebrew word translated as “keep” means to guard and keep watch.  This is a designated watchman.  Now God sets up a second watchman after the first watchman morally failed at his watch.  In Genesis 3:24, God sets up the cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life.  Because of the moral failure of the first watchman, God must install a second watchman whose purpose it now was to protect the tree of life from the unfaithful first watchman.

Where does God show a difference between the way that he treated Adam and the way that he treated the woman?  We see that God did not provide a curse because of the woman’s fall into sin.  God said to the serpent “because you have done this” and animals received a curse through the actions of the serpent and to Adam “Because you have listened…and ate….” and the earth was cursed because of the actions of Adam.  Yet the woman did not receive a curse from God nor was anything cursed because of her actions.  We also see that God did not drive out the woman from the garden.  Only the man was driven out.  Only the man was the defiant one who willfully chose to sin and willfully chose to continue to disobey by refusing to leave.  The treachery of Adam is described by God in Hosea 6:7 –

Hosea 6:7  But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

If Adam was defiant and dealt treacherously against God by morally failing because he was silent at his watchman’s post, why has it been a tradition in the church that Adam brought sin into the world because he was an appointed unique ruler of the human race?  Did God set Adam up as sole king of the world?  Or did God show that Adam was tainted with treason because he was the watchman who listened to the deception, he wasn’t deceived but he failed to shout the warning to stop the deception and the one deceived from falling prey to the deceiver?

The silent watchman ate the fruit without being deceived.

The silent watchman blamed his failures on God and his wife.

The silent watchman defiantly refused to leave the garden.

The silent watchman was replaced with God’s faithful watchman.

The silent watchman was unfaithful to God by allowing the innocent to become ensnared on his appointed watch.

The silent watchman then willingly and against his position as a watchman, took the fruit from the hand of his deceived wife and he defied God by eating.

Now some questions for discussion:

1. Why do you think that Eve was not kicked out of the garden?

2.  Why did Eve leave the garden if she wasn’t kicked out?

3.  Why has the church been so focused on trying to prove that Adam alone was a unique ruler over mankind?

4. Was it Adam’s position as ruler that brought sin into the world or was it his treason and open defiance that brought sin into the world?

10 thoughts on “The sin of the man

  1. 1. Because (a) she was “beguiled”, which carries the connotation of more than simply being misled but also very deeply deceived, and (b) because when she was confronted directly by God (which proves she was personally responsible for her own actions and not under Adam in any way) she freely admitted (1) her guilt, (2) the serpent as the cause, and (3) did not blame anyone else. Later, when she began having children, she showed faith in God’s promise of the Savior through her seed. Also note that it was Eve, not Adam, who first named their children.

    2. She wanted Adam. Not his alleged power, position, golf clubs or anything else, just him. Never in scripture is she said to have wanted anything that allegedly belonged to Adam; never is she said to have been guilty of wanting power. In fact, it is Adam who God expressly stated would crave that power; it is Adam who was the one with the desire to rule.

    3. It’s pure pride, “might makes right”, “I got here first” mentality.

    4. Adam had no such rule over Eve or anyone else. He was clearly defiant and wanted to be in charge, even over God. He was the treasonous guard, the spineless protector, the blame-passing coward. Does the Bible ever say much good about Adam? Does it ever say anything about Eve being defiant?

    Hey, I took the quiz first… does that mean I get the highest grade, just for that reason?

  2. Now some questions for discussion:
    1. Why do you think that Eve was not kicked out of the garden?

    She did not need to be kicked out.  Adam was a traitor who did not do his duty as a watchman and he was NOT deceived. He sinned blatently and proudly then blaming God and Eve for his own sin. Eve was deceived and admitted it.

    2.  Why did Eve leave the garden if she wasn’t kicked out?

    Scripture answers this for us in Genesis 3;16. God predicted as a consequence of her transgression that Eve would turn from Him and toward her husband who would rule her. Eve lived out that prediction and followed Adam.
    3.  Why has the church been so focused on trying to prove that Adam alone was a unique ruler over mankind?

    Federal Head? Yeah, this stuff is scary. It is Adam worship. The simple answer is: Pride. Wanting to lord it over others and using Adam to do it.
    4. Was it Adam’s position as ruler that brought sin into the world or was it his treason and open defiance that brought sin into the world?

    Well, Genesis 1 tells us that both were given dominion so there is no scripture that says Adam has a position as ‘ruler’ over Eve. He was given a specific job that he did not do. But that job has nothing to do with being a ruler over Eve. Scripture is very clear that Eve was an ezer to Adam just as God is an ezer to us. She was ‘comparable’ to Adam. Not under him in a chain of command structure.

    It was his treason that brought sin into the world. As a matter of fact, I am unclear how this mysterious position as sole ruler brought sin into the world. God never once says that Adam is in charge of Eve or her ruler. That is a made up position for Adam through misinterpretation of the text. It has to read INTO the text.

  3. 1. Because she had figured out her sin, she was no longer deceived, she knew the truth.  But the man was blaming others.

    Gen 3:22  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–”

    Notice the concern is if HE eats from the tree of KOGAE, he would be stuck in his state.

    2. As Eve’s desire was for her husband, God knew she would follow him.

    3. I do not think it is the church, it is some in the church.

    4. Adam is a bad example, it is dangerous to derive doctrines from bad examples except for why they were wrong.

  4. I have had an extremely busy day so just got to all your wonderful answers.  I will start with the “last shall be first” answers (sorry about that Paula,  but you still get the prize for being the first one up in the morning with a brain worthy of giving logical answers).

    Don,
    Good answers, I especially liked #4 saying that it is dangerous to derive doctrines from bad examples.  Well said.

    Lin,
    I liked all of your answers, especially #3 about Adam worship.  I think we could say that the doctrine should be called Federal sinner not Federal head.  The only one that Adam was the head of was his wife as they are one flesh.  And Adam did not impute sin to his wife so the idea of federal “head” is a misnomer.

    Paula,
    I also liked all of your answers especially #2 where you said:

    She wanted Adam. Not his alleged power, position, golf clubs or anything else, just him.

    Are you sure about the golf clubs??  Very funny!  Also good point about Adam’s craving power.  The battle was not that Eve wanted to rule Adam but that she wanted to not be ruled.  This battle still continues today.  When one person takes rulership over another in marriage, it isn’t a one flesh union as it is supposed to be but a sinful reality of our fallen world.

    Good job everyone!  Everyone gets an A+. 

  5. Ah, yes, that summarizes my good points and my bad points.  I see the best in people but this is not always a good thing.  This last year has been an eye opener, though, with seeing the worst come out in people who should have good fruit in their lives that matches their profession of Christ but who show the signs of bad fruit.  I can still compliment them but it is much harder now that my eyes are opened 🙂

  6. That has sometimes been my problem also. 

    I tend to assume the best, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, esp. when I am Mr. Oblivious (the person in the room who misses the obvious when everyone else can see it).

  7. This articles as all are great. I have two Questions.

    First,

    Why doesn’t Adam blame the serpent, but blames only Gd & The Woman (His wife). Is he using her as an excape goat?

    Second,

    Why are all the animals cursed? Why not just the serpent alone? Some think the serpent had legs,then once cursed God took them away so when one sees one we are reminded of the fall.
    Also did/do animals live forever (have no death in them)before the fall, is it because noone is now allow to eat from the Tree of Life which would include animals. Are/were animal ment to live forever or is that just for Mankind.What does Death entered into the world mean now for the earth/world?Isn’t there a scripture were it said “God cursed everything He made…..but why?Please help me with these few yet deep questions on the curse. Thanks

  8. Hi Michael,
    Sorry to take so long to get to your questions. This one slipped outside my radar 🙂

    1. Why does Adam blame God and the woman but not the serpent?
    The reason is because Adam was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) so he could not blame the serpent. Secondly because he blamed Eve, he chose to blame God who created her. He primarily blames the woman because she gave him the fruit. He was not deceived so he chose to eat the fruit with his eyes wide open. But other than the woman (who gave him the fruit) and God who gave the woman to the man, who else could he blame?

    2. Why were all the animals cursed? I think that there were two reasons for why the animals were cursed. First of all the man and the woman were to be the rulers of the earth and so what happened to the rulers seems to have had an impact on the world. When sin came into the world everything was distorted. Secondly because Adam knew that God was the unique creator and because he saw God create the plants and the animals from the ground God chose to curse the ground that should have been a witness to Adam. After the curse God said that Adam would return to the ground that he (and the animals) were made from. The animals were cursed because they too came from the ground, but also because one of their kind (the serpent) deceived the woman. That is the best that I can do on this one because scripture doesn’t give us any more to go on.

    It appears from the scripture that there was no animal death before sin entered the world, since death entered only through Adam’s sin. Whether they would have lived forever or not we are not told, other than death entered when Adam sinned. Before that there was no death.

    Because God cursed the earth and the animals, this world is in a decay cycle. But one day God will remove the curse from both the animals and the earth and there will be no more death or decay. The lion will lay down with the lamb because the urge to kill will be gone. Perhaps God also gave a curse so that we could have a visible sign of sin. Without the curse, how could we see sin that mostly dwells on the inside? I think also that decay reminds us that we are sinners and that God is the only one who can make things right.

    I hope this helps!
    Cheryl

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