The Lord God had planted a garden eastward in Eden and he put the man he had formed there. Out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A river went out of Eden to water the garden and from there it split into four heads. The name of the first is Pison, which flows though the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is pure, and there is also bdellium and the onyx stone. The second river is Gihon, which flows through the whole land of Ethiopia. The third river is Hiddekel which flows east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and maintain it. The Lord God gave the man this command:
You may freely eat from every tree of the garden, except that from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.Then the Lord God said,
It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.From the ground the Lord God had formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them and whatever Adam called each living creature became it's name. Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field, but no helper suitable for Adam was found. Then the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept He took from his ribs and closed up the wound. From the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, He made a woman and brought her to the man. Then Adam said,
This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Although they were both naked, the man and his wife, they were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any other animal of the field which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman,
Did God really say, "You will not eat of every tree of the garden?"And the woman said to the serpent,
We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden: But not of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, 'You will not eat of it nor touch it, or else you will die.'But the serpent said to the woman,
You will surely not die: For God knows when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired for wisdom, she took of it's fruit and ate, and also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
But when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, Adam and his wife hid from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God called to Adam, saying,
Where are you?And he said,
I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.And he said,
Who said that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?Then the man said,
The woman, whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.The Lord God said to the woman,
What is this that you has done?The woman said,
The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.So the Lord God said to the serpent,
Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. On your belly you will go, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.To the woman he said,
I will greatly increase your pain in childbirth. I pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire will be toward your husband, but he will rule over you.To Adam he said,
Because you listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you saying, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It will grow thorns also and thistles for you and you will eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread until you return to the earth, for out of it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you shall return.Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. For Adam and his wife the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said,
Look, the man has become like us, knowing good and evil. Now, he must not be allowed to put forth his hand and also take from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden, to till the ground from where he was taken. He drove out the man and placed Cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the path to the tree of life.
2. what he would call them: How did language begin? Did it come into existance over centuries as ape like calls turned into more sophisticated sounds? I think not! The complexity of language, and the modern concepts that all languages are related and come from one 'proto language', lend support to this Bible story. God created Adam with the ability to speak (a substantial language which could distinguish ideas such as "except that from the tree..."). Adam had his part, as he gave the words which became the names of the animals.
It is a matter of trivial importance what the original language was, although some ultra-orthodox Jews claim that Hebrew was the original tongue. [return]
3. they will become one flesh: A lot of institutions are set up here! Jesus, thousands of years later, would quote this verse to show that God's original intention was for the marriage bond to be one man to one woman, and a permanent bond (till death do us part). The becoming one flesh includes sexual, emotional, and spiritual unity which forms the basis for a family. [return]
4. You will surely not die: The serpent cast doubt on God's word. Did God REALLY say? Then Eve misquoted God, saying that she could not even touch the tree.
Apparently death started with the eating of the forbidden fruit. It was not the fruit, but the disobedience to God (called SIN) that caused death. The Bible story has the point of view that God who created man has the right to make the rules! Spiritually they died immediately. The death of the body started, but this death is a process. Were they immortal before? If so, they became mortal. Disease, old age, aches, pains, the struggles of life started.
In one sense, like God, they understood Good and Evil, and could say this is good, this is evil.
In another sense, they knew Good and Evil in a way that God does not - that is, the experiencial sense. God never did evil or became evil as man has. Mankind has since been under the command of SIN, he is a fallen creature. [return]
5. He shall bruise your head: This is the 'first gospel', that the offspring of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. The ultimate offspring would later be revealed to be Jesus (this is NOT clear from this story). The serpent was controlled by Satan. Satan's goal was the death of man through sin.
To give a way out, Jesus said in the book of John (3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." When Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, he defeated the power of sin and death. This was victory over Satan. For us, by putting our faith in Jesus we are freed from the POWER of Satan, sin, and death. [return]
6. Your desire: What was the desire of the woman? "Your desire shall be toward your husband?" I believe this means that the woman will desire to dominate or control her husband. Contrarily, the husband will "rule over her" in perhaps a harsh manner. We see this curse active in many families. In the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul states that both the husband and wife are to "serve one another in love". [return]
7. cursed is the ground: The curse was not work. After all, the man was put in the garden to tend it. The curse was the frustration of work. For instance, weeds in the field, thorns. By HARD work (sweat of the brow) we earn a meager living, and the sin infested personal relationships between boss and worker lead to frustrating careers even for 'desk' workers who do not physically toil. [return]
8. a flaming sword: The first weapon was a flaming sword. The story of Adam presents us with many features of civilization present from near the beginning of man, such as language, clothing, and even a weapon not designed over millenia of improvement over clubs and discovery of metal, but created by God. [return]