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"Eat MY Dust!" (Genesis 3:8-24)

This past Christmas morning (2004), a 22-year-old man robbed a Chevron station and then led Poulsbo, Washington police on a high-speed chase.1 After cleaning out the cash register, the robber and a passenger took off in a red Honda and soon cops from four towns were in pursuit. The caravan zoomed at speeds up to 100 mph through the winding roads of western Puget Sound, where twists and turns can leave even locals disoriented. After a while the fugitives managed to lose their pursuers in the darkness but they had no idea where they were. That’s when the robber pulled his Honda into a Chevron station to ask for directions to Seattle—unaware that it was the very same establishment he’d just robbed. Police caught up to the Honda soon afterward.2

Sometimes, playing hide-and-seek doesn’t work out so well. Have you ever played hide-and-seek with God? Have you ever sinned and then tried to run away from Him in shame? If so, you’ve probably realized that no matter how good you are at hiding, you can’t hide from God. Fortunately, God doesn’t play hide-and-seek, He plays “seek and hide.” He is the great pursuer that always tracks down His man or woman. Today, if you’re feeling far away from God, I have a word of hope for you. It is found in Genesis 3:8-24.

[In 3:1-7, we learned how to win over sin by overcoming temptation. Now in 3:8-24, we will learn how to recover from sin by confessing our sins and learning from discipline. How can I recover from sin? In this narrative, we will be able to see two clear prescriptions.]

1. Confess your sin without blaming God or others (3:8-13). In 3:8, Moses records: “They [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the LORD God3 walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”4 “The sound of the Lord God” represents the grace of God reaching out to man in a crisis situation. The “cool” of the day can be translated, literally, the “wind” or “spirit” of the day. In the Bible, the wind/spirit is the symbol of God’s presence (see 1:2).5 God came to Adam and Eve in this wind.6 He began to seek them; yet our text records that they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”7 A more complete transformation could not be imagined. The trust of innocence is replaced by the fear of guilt. The trees that God created for man to look at and enjoy (2:9) are now his hiding place to prevent God seeing him.8.

In the midst of this game of hide and seek, God calls out to the man because he is the one in authority, the one first created (1 Cor 11:3). He is responsible for where they are and why.9 The Lord says, “Where are you?” (3:9). The Lord’s question carries the force of “why” are you there. God asked, “What’s the problem? What’s going on?” Of course, the Lord knows, but is demanding that man give an account of his actions. He wants Adam to take personal responsibility for his actions. This is all grace. Even in Adam’s sin, God lovingly woos Adam back to Himself. He is seeking a confession.

In 3:10, Adam answers the “why” question with these words: “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” As soon as Adam heard God’s presence, he remembered about spiritual life and relationship with God. He now realized that the attempt to cover up his disorientation to Eve had been in vain. He realized that it was the loss of spiritual life that was the cause of his disorientation to Eve and that there was nothing he could do about either. That’s why he still viewed himself as naked, even after covering up. And that’s why he was afraid. It was “spiritual” nakedness that was the real issue. The only solution he could devise was denial and avoidance. He hid himself, but of course it didn’t work. Because the human race is naked, there is no end to their attempts to avoid the truth of God’s grace. Denial and substitution has been the evidence of man’s nakedness all throughout history.

In 3:11, God answers Adam in the form of another question. He says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” God is being specific to make certain they understand exactly what happened. Eating from the tree of which God commanded Adam not to eat was the only way he could become alienated from God and Eve. God is making it perfectly clear that the failure was in not obeying the Word of God. Yet, bear in mind, God took the initiative in seeking out the sinners to re-establish a relationship with them. Evidence of God’s love is His unwillingness to abandon those He loves, even when they failed to do His will. He is a compassionate and gracious God.

Adam responded to God’s question by saying, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate” (3:12). Remember Adam’s ecstasy when he first laid eyes on Eve? “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (2:23a). Now he turns on her like a wild banshee! What infamous treachery! Here, Adam implies that a good God would not have given him Eve.10 He makes excuses for himself and plays the blame game.

A woman was walking along the beach when she stumbled upon a Genie’s lamp. She picked it up, rubbed it, and a Genie appeared. The amazed woman asked if she got three wishes. The Genie said, “No. Due to inflation, constant downsizing, and fierce global competition, I can only grant you one wish. So, what’ll it be?” The woman didn’t hesitate. She said, “I want peace in the Middle East. See this map? I want these countries to stop fighting with each other.” The Genie looked at the map and exclaimed, “Lady, these countries have been at war for thousands of years. I’m good but not THAT good! Make another wish.” The woman thought for a minute and said, “Well, I’ve never been able to find the right man. You know, one that’s considerate and fun, likes to cook and helps with the housecleaning, is romantic, gets along with my family, doesn’t watch sports all the time, and is faithful. That’s what I wish for—a perfect husband.” The Genie let out a long sigh and said, “Let me see that map again.”11

After hearing Adam’s response, the Lord God moves on to the woman and asks, “What is this you have done?” (3:13a). “And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived12 me, and I ate’” (3:13b). The Lord’s question has the sense, “What in the world have you done?” or “Do you realize what you’ve done?” Instead of taking responsibility for her actions, the woman blamed the serpent. Can you see the progression? Adam blamed the woman, and then blamed God for having given her to him. Eve blamed the serpent. This is typical of human nature. The sinner blames everyone but himself. It’s been said, “To error is human; to blame it on others and upon God is more human.”

Adam and Eve are guilty of “passing the buck” and blaming others. Mankind has been guilty of this behavior ever since. We sometimes blame God for placing us in circumstances that we regard as too much for us. Some students cheat, rationalizing that God is to blame for giving them a difficult professor and a busy schedule. Some thieves steal, blaming God and life for their stealing. “God, you know my weaknesses, but there it was. Why did you allow it?” Consider the adulterous man who blames God for the ingredients that led to his sin—his depression, his poor self-image, that woman, his loneliness.13 Mankind loves to find someone or something to blame for their behavior (e.g., spouse, parents, siblings, children, co-workers, the boss, the weather, the neighbor’s dog).

Yet, if you’re going to “pass the blame,” why not pass it on to Jesus? The Bible tells us that the Second Adam took all the sins of the world upon Himself and died to cover the penalty for sin (Rom 5:17). Have you stopped passing the buck? Have you humbled yourself before God and others and said the guilt for your sin is yours alone? And then, have you passed it on to Jesus?14 When you come to the realization that you have sinned and there is a penalty for your sin, if God is drawing you to Himself, you will also recognize your need of a Savior. The moment you trust in Christ, you enter into a relationship with God that can never be lost. What hope! What blessing!

[Whether you are a pre-Christian or a Christian, you can recover from sin by confessing your sin to your loving Father. The second prescription for recovering from sin is to…]

2. Trust in God’s care as you face the consequences (3:14-24). The consequences of sin are detailed in 3:14-19. First, God deals with the serpent. Then He deals with the woman, and finally, the man. God’s judgment on each trespasser (the snake, the woman, and the man) involved both a life function and a relationship. In each case the punishment corresponded to the nature of the crime. In 3:14, Moses writes, “The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life.’” The snake had been “crafty” ('arum), but now it was “cursed” ('arur). In the Bible, to “curse” means to invoke God’s judgment on someone, usually for some particular offense.15 It is the opposite of “bless.” The text says the snake had to move on its belly. Some commentators take this literally and conclude that the snake had legs before God cursed it. Others take it figuratively, as a reference to the resultant despised condition of the snake. I opt for the latter. I believe snakes did not originally walk upright on their feet. This was just a way of saying that the serpent’s downfall would be certain.16 This is confirmed by the phrase “and dust you will eat all the days of your life.”17 In the Bible, this describes humiliation and total defeat.18 To boil this down, recognize that even Indiana Jones feared snakes. Since the fall of man, snakes continue to keep the revolting image of Satan before our eyes. While God cursed all animals and the whole creation because of the fall (Rom 8:20), He made the snake the most despicable of all the animals for its part in the fall.

In 3:15, we have one of the most important verses in the entire Bible: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;19 He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” The word “enmity” means “hostility and antagonism.” There would be antagonism between the Serpent and human beings (3:15a). This obviously exists between snakes and people, but God’s intention in this verse seems to include the person behind the snake (Satan) even more than the snake itself.

The “seed” of the Serpent refers to natural humanity whom he has led into rebellion against God. The “seed” of the woman refers to her descendants.20 Eve’s descendants were the Jewish people. However, the “seed” of the woman in 3:15 also refers to one particular individual, not a whole group of people.21 It is referring to the Messiah, who would come forth from the Jewish people.22 The moment the Serpent delivers a blow to the heel of the Messiah is the same moment in which his head is crushed (cf. Gal 3:16, 19; Heb 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8; Rev 19:1-5).23 The Bible connects the death of Jesus Christ with the defeat of the Devil (John 12:21-33). Satan would strike His heel, but the wound would mean that the Son would strike a deathblow to Satan. Jesus suffered a terrible but temporary injury (John 12:31; Col 2:15). Satan only crippled Christ. Christ would deal Satan the fatal blow. The forces of Satan did not realize that the plan of God would actually be promoted and fulfilled by the death of Christ. God’s curse upon Satan meant that His own Son would one day become a curse for us. Grace is rooted in Christ’s victory.24 This first judgment on sin is tinged with hope, something that recurs throughout Scripture (cf. 6:5-8), as God’s mercy outweighs His wrath (cf. Exod 20:5-6).25

Now in 3:16, God turns His attention toward the woman. He says to the woman, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth,26 in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” God speaks to Eve about her role as mother (3:16a) and as wife (3:16b). Biblically speaking, these are the two points where a woman experiences her highest fulfillment. And at these two points there will be pain and servitude.27 The “pain in childbirth” refers to the whole process from conception to birth. This includes anxiety about whether she will be able to conceive a child, anxiety that comes with all the physical discomfort of the pregnancy, anxiety concerning the health of the child in the womb, and anxiety about whether she and the baby will survive the birth process.28

God also speaks of the woman’s “desire” for her husband. Desire is a source of conflict between husbands and wives, just as sin desires to dominate and control (4:7).29 This is the first battle of the sexes. Each strives for control and neither lives in the best interest of the other (Phil 2:3-4). The woman’s role and the man’s role both become perverted. The woman tends to want to subtly control the man. The man tends to dominate and tyrannize.30 Partners become competitors. It has been this way ever since the fall.

Wives, in what ways do you attempt to usurp your husband’s authority? Do you nag? Are you critical? Are you cynical? Do you use your emotions to dominate him and get your way? While this behavior is one of the consequences of the fall, you are not to use this verse as an excuse to justify your behavior. Rather, you are called to recognize that your husband is your spiritual head, therefore, you must exhibit a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet 3:4).

In 3:17-19, God directs His final words to Adam. The judgment on Adam is given last because, as the one who sinned without being deceived, having all the facts, he bears the greater responsibility. The Lord says, “Because you have listened31 to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”32 God’s punishment or discipline fits the crime. A form of the word “eating” is used no less than five times in response to Adam’s sin of eating.33 It is also worth noting that, in each of these three verses, God says to Adam, “You will eat.” The food produced by the man would sustain the lives produced by the woman, and it would sustain their lives as well.34 Even in His discipline, God manifests grace.

God speaks to Adam about his role as a worker. Here is where the male experiences his highest fulfillment. And for him, too, there will be pain. Romans 8:20 explains that creation is subject to vanity. This is the law of entropy. The second law of thermodynamics demonstrates that there is an innate tendency towards decay and disorder in the universe. We are currently experiencing this consequence of the curse.

In these three verses, man’s natural or original relationship to the ground—to rule over it—is reversed; instead of submitting to him, it resists and eventually swallows him (2:7; Rom 8:20-22).35 In the Old Testament, in particular, the ecology of the earth is partly dependent on human morality.36 Sin always puts a wedge between things or people in Genesis 3. It puts a wedge between God and humans, between man and woman, between man and himself, and now between man and the soil.37 These are the consequences we must face.

In 3:20-21, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Adam expressed confidence in God’s promise about the “seed of the woman,” as he calls his wife “Eve,” which means “the mother of all living” or “she who gives life.” I do not think this name means merely that the whole human race will descend from her. That may be true, but that is not the point of the name. Surely, it is an expression of faith in the promise of Genesis 3:15. Adam believes that somehow, through Eve’s seed, life will come to the human race.38 Here is hope in the midst of judgment.

Previously, Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (3:7). That was their attempt to solve the immediate consequences of their sin. God provided special clothing for them instead of their fig leaves. He used “garments of skin”39 and clothed them.40 So with the sentence given, God does for the couple what they cannot do for themselves. They cannot deal with their shame. But God can, will, and does.41 God’s provision of clothes is a way of expressing the fact that, when we believe, He clothes us with garments of salvation (2 Cor 5:21).42

In 3:22-24, the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever—therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east43 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 author uses irony to demonstrate that when the human race, who had been created like God (1:26), sought to “be like God” (3:5-7), they found themselves, after the fall, no longer with God. Their happiness does not consist of being like God so much as it does their being with God.44 The goal must always be, to be “with God.” There is nothing better than enjoying the presence of God (cf. Ps 16:11).

The phrase “like one of us” probably means like heavenly beings (God and the angels; cf. 1:26).45 Cherubim, in the Old Testament, surround and symbolize God’s presence. They are similar to God’s bodyguards. Moses pictured them here defending the Tree of Life with a flaming sword.46 The cherubim47 at Eden kept man from eating the fruit from the Tree of Life. This was critical because the Tree of Life perpetuated physical life in the perfect environment of the garden. When man acquired a sin nature in the physical body, he started the process of physical deterioration, which would lead ultimately to physical death. If he were to eat of the Tree of Life at this time, it would perpetuate his physical life forever with the presence of the sin nature. And even though man is now back in relationship with God, through faith in the promise of a coming savior, perpetuation of physical life with the sin nature, would perpetuate soul distortion and deny access to the fullness of fellowship with God. Therefore, God forbade man to eat from the Tree of Life and removed him from its presence.

The cherubim also guarded man from the Tree of Life to remind him that his legacy was death, caused by sin.48 And if he considered the cherubim his enemies, it was only because he had forgotten that his own worst enemy was himself. As the late cartoonist Walt Kelly used to express it through one of his characters in the comic strip Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”49

So how can we go on? This passage provides several applications:

1. Humble yourself and take responsibility for your sin (3:8-13).

2. Prepare for the pain of discipline (3:14-19).

3. Live by faith in spite of your failure (3:20).

4. Trust in God’s ability to remove the shame (3:21).

Trust in God’s loving protection against unseen consequences from your sin (3:22-24).50

Parallels in Genesis 1-3 and Revelation 20-22

 

Genesis

Revelation

In the beginning (1:1)

I am. . .the Beginning and the End (21:6)

God created the heavens and the earth (1:1)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth (21:1)

Let there be light (1:3)

God gives it light (21:23)

The darkness He called “night” (1:5)

There will be no night there (21:25)

The gathered waters He called “seas” (1:10)

There was no longer any sea (21:1)

God made the two great lights (1:16)

Does not need the sun/moon (21:23)

He also made the stars (1:16)

The Morning Star (22:16)

Subdue [the earth]. Rule over (1:28)

And they will reign forever (22:5)

God blessed the 7th day (2:2-3)

7 angels, 7 bowls, 7 last plagues (21:9)

[God] made it holy (2:3)

The Holy City (21:2, 10; 22:19)

Tree of Life (2:9)

He must not take from the Tree of Life (3:22-23)

Tree of Life (22:2)

God will take away His share in the Tree of Life (22:19)

A river watering the garden (2:10)

River of the Water of Life (22:1)

The free gift of the Water of Life (22:17)

There is gold (the gold of that land is good) (2:11-12)

A measuring rod of gold (21:15)

The city was. . .pure gold (21:18)

The street. . .was pure gold (21:21)

The bdellium stone (pearls) (2:12)

Pearls, each gate made of a single pearl (21:21)

Onyx (2:12)

Sardonyx (21:20)

You will surely die (2:17)

Or you will die (3:3)

No more death (21:4)

A man will. . .be united to his wife (2:23-25)

The bride of the wife of the Lamb (21:9-10)

The serpent. . .was crafty (3:1)

The Devil, who deceived them (20:10)

Shown a garden into which sin entered (3:6-7)

Shown a city into which sin will never enter (21:27)

The Lord God. . .was walking in the garden (3:8)

Nations will walk by His light (21:24)

Walk of God with man interrupted (3:8-10)

Walk of God with man resumed (21:3)

I was ashamed [naked] (3:10)

Anyone who does what is shameful (21:27)

Initial triumph of the Serpent (3:13)

Ultimate triumph of the Lamb (20:10; 22:3)

Cursed. . .cursed (3:14, 17)

No longer. . .any curse (22:3)

Eve’s offspring (3:15)

The Offspring of David (22:16)

I will greatly multiply your pain (3:16-17)

No more. . .pain (21:4)

The Lord God made garments of skins and clothed them (3:21)

Blessed are those who wash their robes (22:14)

God banished him (3:23)

They will see His face (22:4)

He drove the man out of the garden (3:24)

I saw the Holy City (21:2)

Cherubim. . .to guard the way (3:24)

With 12 angels at the gates (21:12)

A flaming sword (3:24)

Fiery lake of burning sulfur (21:8)

 

The Significance of the Parallels in Genesis 1-3 and Revelation 20-22

1. Immutability: While we are prone to change, God does not change (Mal 3:6a). Even when we are faithless, He remains forever faithful (2 Tim 2:12). In His first dealings with mankind, He provided the sacrifice to meet the needs of the fallen Adam and Eve (i.e., animal skins, see Gen 3:21). In later events, He provided the sacrifice for the needs of His people (i.e., the Lamb, see 1 Pet 1:18-19).

2. Restoration: The world as we now know it is not what God intended. Rather, our world is a result of man’s fall (Gen 3:1-24; Rom 5:12-21). Yet, Revelation 20-22 promises us that God’s original plan for mankind will one day be fulfilled.

3. Progress: The new heavens and the new earth are actually an improvement over the garden of Eden in that there is no sea, no night, no sun, or moon, etc. (Rev 21:1, 23-27).

4. Triumph: God’s purposes are never thwarted by anyone or anything (Rom 9:6-29). Although things may have looked bleak in Genesis 3, Revelation 20-22 proves that God ultimately and forcefully triumphs over the Serpent. Eventually, the big three (sin, suffering, and death) will be forever dealt with. This is one of the reasons the book of Revelation is so crucial. Without it, we would be left hanging. But fortunately, God relieves our apprehension and shares with us His glorious future.

5. Beginning and End: In Revelation 21:6, God says, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Any comparison of these two passages corroborates that He is the controller of all things from eternity to eternity. As Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last” (Rev 1:17). We can relax in our great God’s sovereignty.

6. Unity of God’s Plan: Genesis 3:15 points out the plan that God has to defeat Satan through the offspring of the woman. Revelation points to the consummation of that plan in the finished work of the Lamb (5:6-14). Thus, if God has a plan from the beginning and is able to actually carry it out at the end of history, then He must be in control of human history. And He must be who He claims to be!

7. Unity of Scripture: By these extensive parallels (both similar and contrasting), we see that there is very close literary connection between two biblical books, written centuries apart, by different human authors, who were recording the words of a greater, overseeing author, God. Only God Himself could have orchestrated this unity of the Scriptures.


1 Copyright © 2005 Keith R. Krell. All rights reserved. All Scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, and 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, and are used by permission.

2 Jan. 7 Fox News story.

3 Sailhamer writes, “The expression ‘the sound of the LORD God’ (qol yhwh 'elohim) is common in the Pentateuch, especially Deuteronomy (5:25; 8:20; 13:18; 15:5; 18:16; 26:14; 27:10; 28:1, 2, 15, 45, 62; 30:8, 10) where—along with the verb ‘to hear/obey’ and the preposition b (shama` beqol yhwh 'elohim)—it is the common form of expression for the Lord’s call to obedience. It can hardly be without purpose that the author opens the scene of the curse with a subtle but painful reminder of the single requirement for obtaining God’s blessing: “to hear/obey the voice of the LORD God’ (lishmo` 'eth -qol yhwh 'elohenu; cf. v. 8).” John H. Sailhamer, Genesis: EBC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), Electronic ed.

4 Ross writes, “There is no indication in the narratives of Genesis of long delays between events. It appears that the temptation and fall occurred immediately after Adam and Eve’s being created and placed in the garden, possibly on the seventh day, and immediate after the sin there was the presence of the One who knows how to ask questions. The pace makes it hard to substantiate the popular idea that humankind enjoyed a long period of unbroken fellowship with the Lord God in the garden.” Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002 [1988]), 143.

5 Bruce K.Waltke, Genesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 92.

6 God came in a wind earlier in creation (Gen 1:2) and later to Job (Job 38:1), Israel (Exod 20:18-21; cf. Deut 5:25), and Elijah (1 Kgs 19:11).

7 This is as foolish as Jonah who thought he could actually run from the presence of the Lord (Jon 1:2-3). Yet, as the psalmist declared, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Ps 139:7-8).

8 Gordon Wenham, Genesis 1-15: WBC (Waco, TX: Word, 1987), 76.

9 It is interesting to observe that when this sin is referred to throughout Scripture, it is not referred to as the sin of Eve—but rather as the sin of Adam! The phrase in 3:6, “with her,” seems to suggest that Adam was at Eve’s side when Satan tempted her. As God’s theocratic administrator, and as the appointed head of the family, it was Adam’s responsibility to safeguard Eve and to assure that she remained in submission to the command of God. But Adam failed in his God-given responsibility and permitted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Adam, however, was not deceived (1 Tim 2:14). He sinned with his eyes wide open (3:6b). Eve’s was a sin of initiative whereas Adam’s was one of acquiescence (Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, 191). Too much aggressiveness by a woman and too much passivity by a man still are sinful tendencies of the respective sexes. Death “passed unto all men” (Rom 2:14) when Adam sinned because Adam, not Eve, was the head of the human race under God’s administration. Please consider the following passages: “Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, And kept silent and did not go out of doors?” (Job 31:33-34). Notice also what the prophet Hosea writes “ For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam [Ephraim & Judah] they have transgressed the covenant; there they have dealt treacherously against Me” (Hosea 6:6-7).

10 R. Kent Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 79.

11 Preaching Now Vol. 4, No. 5 2/8/05.

12 Constable writes, “The Apostle Paul wrote that Eve was deceived (1 Tim 2:14). This does not indicate that women are by nature more easily subject to deception than men. There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that the woman was inferior to the man in any way or more susceptible to temptation than he was. The tempter addresses himself to the woman, probably not because she is more open to temptation and prone to sin, for that is hardly the conception of the Old Testament elsewhere. The reason may have lain in this, that the woman had not personally received the prohibition from God, as Adam had. Eve may have been deceived because God had given the prohibition to Adam (2:16); she may have received God’s word through Adam. Perhaps Satan appealed to Eve because she was not only under God’s authority but also under her husband’s authority and, therefore, more inclined to think God was withholding something from her.” Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Genesis ( http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdfhttp://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/genesis.pdf, 2004), 50.

13 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 80.

14 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 81.

15 Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 78.

16 This is like the rainbow. It was created “In the beginning” (1:1) but after the flood, it became a sign (9:13).

17 Isaiah 65 pictures the whole of creation delivered from the effects of the fall, except for the serpents, which lives in perpetual degradation, fulfilling the sentence “all the days of your life”—and therefore prophesying the fate of the ultimate Serpent from whom there will be no deliverance.

18 Cf. Ps 44:25; 72:9; Isa 25:12; 49:23; 65:25; Mic 7:17.

19 Walton writes, “Some have thought it odd (or prophetic) to speak of the woman’s seed because women are not the ones who provide the seed. The ancient world was unaware of the details of the fertilization process and knew nothing of the egg produced by the woman. The process was believed to involve a man planting his seed inside a woman, who provided nothing but the incubator. Nevertheless, once the seed was implanted, it could be referred to as the woman’s seed, as Genesis 16:10 and 24:60 demonstrate.” John H. Walton, Genesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 225.

20 Waltke writes, “Humanity is now divided into two communities: the elect, who love God, and the reprobate, who love self (John 8:31-32, 44; 1 John 3:8). Each of the characters of Genesis will be either of the seed of the woman that reproduces her spiritual propensity, or of the seed of the Serpent that reproduces his unbelief.” Waltke, Genesis, 93-94.

21 In the Greek Old Testament the neuter noun “seed” is treated syntactically as masculine to refer to the Messiah. William J. Dumbrell, The Search for Order (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994), 27.

22 Most interpreters have recognized this verse as the first biblical promise of the provision of salvation (the protoevangelium or “first gospel”). The rest of the book, in fact the whole OT, proceeds to point ahead to that seed.

23 Sailhamer writes, “The snake, for the author, is representative of someone or something else. The snake is represented by his ‘seed.’ When that ‘seed’ is crushed, the head of the snake is crushed. Consequently more is at stake in this brief passage than the reader is at first aware of. A program is set forth. A plot is established that will take the author far beyond this or that snake and his ‘seed.’ It is what the snake and His ‘seed’ represent that lies at the center of the author's focus. With that ‘one’ lies the ‘enmity’ that must be crushed.” John H. Sailhamer, Genesis: EBC (Grand Rapids, 1990), Electronic Ed. See also Mathews, 246-48.

24 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 88.

25 D.A. Carson, et al., The New Bible Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity, 1994), Electronic Ed.

26 Eve would experience increased pain in bearing children. There evidently would have been some pain in the process of bearing children before the fall. Eve and her daughters would experience increased pain.

27 Walter A. Elwell, ed., Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), Electronic Ed.

28 Walton, Genesis, 227.

29 Waltke states, “The woman will desire to dominate the relationship with her husband. This view rests on the parallel Hebrew construction in 4:7. The ‘curse’ here describes the beginning of the battle of the sexes. After the Fall, the husband no longer rules easily; he must fight for his headship. The woman’s desire is to control her husband (to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if he can. Sin had corrupted both the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the husband. And so the rule of love founded in paradise is replaced by struggle, tyranny, domination, and manipulation.” Waltke, Genesis, 94.

30 Michael Eaton, Preaching Through the Bible: Genesis 1-11 (Kent, England: Sovereign World, 1997), 90.

31 The word “listened” is a Hebrew idiom meaning “obey.”

32 Gen 3:19 does not attribute the cause of death to the original composition of the human body, so that man would ultimately have died anyway, but states merely one of the consequences of death: Since the human body was formed from the dust of the earth, it shall, upon death, be resolved to earth again.

33 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17: NICOT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 202.

34 Ronald F. Youngblood, The Book of Genesis (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991), 58.

35 Sailhamer observes, “In drawing a contrast between the condition of the land before and after the Fall, the author shows that the present condition of the land was not the way it was intended to be. Rather, the state of the land was the result of human rebellion. In so doing, the author has paved the way for a central motif in the structure of biblical eschatology, the hope of a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ (cf. Isa 65:17: Rom 8:22-24; Rev 21:1).” Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative, 109.

36 See Gen 4:12; 6:7; Lev 26; Deut 11:13-17; 28; Joel 1-2. Waltke, Genesis, 95.

37 Elwell, ed., Evangelical Commentary on the Bible.

38 Eaton, Genesis 1-11, 91-92; Waltke, Genesis, 95.

39 Some commentators believe that this verse looks forward to animal sacrifices as God’s special way of dealing with our sin. At best, this is only implied.

40 The important thing here is garments rather than skins. God provides a covering for this naked couple, but it is a divine covering, not a human covering (v. 7b). Throughout the Old Testament one of the meanings of “to atone” is “to cover.” It is no wonder that God’s righteousness is compared to clothing, as is unrighteousness (“filthy garments”). It is important to note that God covers the couple before he expels them. Here is grace before law. Elwell, ed., Evangelical Commentary on the Bible.

41 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis: IBC (Atlanta: John Knox, 1982), 50.

42 It may be worth noting that the clothing required the death of a substitute. By the death of a sacrifice clothing came from that sacrifice. By the death of God’s Son we come to be clothed with the righteousness of God’s Son.

43 Sailhamer observes, “The author’s mention of the direction ‘eastward’ is not a mere geographical detail. Throughout Genesis, the author carefully apprises the reader of the direction of the characters’ movement. In doing so, he plants a narrative clue to the meaning of the events he is recounting. At this point in the narrative, ‘eastward’ has only the significance of ‘outside the garden.’ Later in the book, however, the author will carry this significance further by showing ‘eastward’ to be the direction of the ‘city of Babylon’ (11:2) and the ‘cities of Sodom and Gomorrah’ (13:11). Moreover, he will show that to return from the east is to return to the Promised Land and to return to the ‘city of Salem’ (14:17-20). John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 110-111.

44 Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative, 110.

45 Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 85; Waltke, Genesis, 95.

46 Later the cherubim guarded the Ark of the Covenant later as they earlier guarded the tree of life in the garden. The laws contained in the ark were a source of life for the Israelites. The golden lampstand in the tabernacle represented a tree of life and the presence of God. Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 86.

47 The cherubim are supernatural creatures that usually function as guardians of God’s presence. They are referred to over 90 times in the OT.

48 The cherubim guarded the Tree of Life prior to the flood. After the flood, the Tree of Life is no longer present on the earth. It was transferred to heaven to be utilized in the “eternal” state (Rev 22:2).

49 Youngblood, The Book of Genesis, 58.

50 Revised and adapted from Ed Underwood, Genesis Sermon Notes (Unpublished, 11/10/1989).