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6. "Paradise Lost" (Genesis 3:1-7)

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Now I would venture to say that in your mind there is the image of an egg…right?1 Why? There is nothing in the nursery rhyme that mentions an egg. The one who wrote it probably did not have an egg in mind. Someone probably picked it up from the old New England Primer. Many of those in colonial days learned their grammar from that very familiar book. I also want to suggest that the child picked up his idea from the couplets used in that primer for the letters A and X. In the primer it reads, “In Adam’s fall we sinned all; Xerxes the Great did fall and so must you and I.” In a subtle fashion, that little couplet teaches not only the letters A and X, but also a very significant spiritual truth. That is, in the fall we sinned all. You see the one who wrote that little nursery rhyme was not talking about an egg that fell, but a man. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (the soldiers of all the kings throughout history) could not repair what had been lost when this man fell. Of course, it was Adam who fell. He sat on a great wall of love and fellowship from which he had a great fall. And no one, from king to servant, could possibly put him together again. His name was not Humpty Dumpty, of course. It was Adam.2

Genesis 3:1-7 records the account of Adam’s sin.3 By studying this passage, we will learn how sin entered the world and how we can overcome our sin. Let’s first set the scene: At the end of Genesis 2, life is perfect. Adam and Eve are naked in a lush and plush garden enjoying fellowship with the Lord and each other (2:25).4 Then something happens that forever changed the world.

1. The Serpent’s Scheme (3:1): Our story begins with the following description: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (3:1a). Mankind’s first temptation comes through the mouth of “the serpent.” The creature here is a literal serpent that Satan5 embodied to carry out this temptation.6 The Hebrew word for “serpent” carries the idea of bright and shiny.7 This describes its general appearance as beautiful and pleasant to be around. The serpent made a good pet and was probably constantly around Adam and Eve. In fact, it is also probable, that for this reason, Satan chose to use the serpent as his disguise to deceive Eve.

The serpent is called “more crafty than any beast of the field.” The Hebrew word for “crafty” (arum) sounds like the word for “naked” (arumim, 2:25).8 While Adam and Eve were naked in innocence, the Serpent was crafty in deception.9 The word “crafty” is not primarily a negative term in the Bible. Rather, it often suggests wisdom.10 The description of the Serpent as “crafty” is in direct contrast to the foolishness exhibited by the first man and woman. In man’s quest to be wise like God (3:6), man made a most foolish decision. Instead of enjoying all that was “very good” (1:31) man went after that which was clearly forbidden (2:16-17).

In 3:1b, the Serpent speaks to the woman and asks the first question recorded in Scripture: “Indeed, has God said, ‘You11 shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’” This is not an innocent conversation starter. The Serpent reduces God’s command to a question. Satan is so subtle. He does not directly deny God’s Word, but introduces the assumption that God’s Word is subject to our judgment.12 Notice how Satan spins the question. He does not say, “Why would God keep you from eating the fruit of one tree?”

It was couched in more deceptive words as he implies that God, who has forbidden one tree, has forbidden them all. However, the issue was one tree, not “any [every] tree of the garden.” The Devil’s words were misleading, and that is the way temptation always comes.13

Satan focused Eve’s attention on God’s one prohibition. He suggested that God did not really want what was best for Adam and Eve but rather was withholding something from them that was essentially good. He hinted that God’s line of protection was actually a line that He drew because He was selfish. The Serpent wants God’s Word to appear harsh and restrictive.14 Satan is cleverly attempting to plant a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind concerning God’s Word and God’s goodness.

I have a few rules in my family. Don’t play with our knives. The blades are razor sharp and you can easily cut yourself. Don’t run around in the kitchen. Our kitchen island has sharp corners and you can crack your head open. I have these rules because I am a killjoy that wants to rob my kids of good clean fun, right? No, I have certain rules because I want to preserve my kid’s lives. God has the same intentions for us when He makes rules that prohibit us from doing certain things.

Do you believe God is holding something back from you? Is He preventing you from attaining something that is rightfully yours? Satan does not wish us to ponder the grace of God, but to grudgingly meditate upon His denials. We are to understand that denials (doing without, prohibitions) come from the hand of a good and loving God: “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11). When temptation comes, stop to think before you take and eat.

Instead of rebuking the Serpent for its craftiness and calling Adam in for spiritual assistance, Eve listens. Eve’s first mistake was to listen to teaching that did not come from either God or Adam. Her second mistake was to listen to teaching that was contrary to God’s previous instructions. Eve placed herself in a vulnerable position by accepting dialog with the Serpent.15

One of the questions you may have is: why did the Serpent talk to the woman? Why didn’t he talk to Adam or both of them as a couple? I believe Satan attempted to put a wedge between husband and wife to conquer by dividing, thus to capture their minds and cause them to act in disobedience to God’s Word. That’s why God puts such a high premium on the oneness of husband and wife and why, as husbands and wives, we need to encourage one another and build up one another. The minute Satan’s wedge is in, we are candidates to be chewed up by Satan and spit out in little pieces.16

2. The Woman’s Response (3:2-3). Instead of shunning the Serpent, Eve obliged him by carrying on a conversation. Rather than running from this one who dared to mock God’s character, she stays to debate. This is never wise. The Devil is not reasonable so there is no point in trying to reason with him. Not to mention, it is always dangerous to flirt with temptation. The moment Eve detected the Serpent insinuating something suspicious about God’s goodness, she should have kicked dirt in his face and made tracks. But instead, she stayed to argue. There are many Christians today that think they can counter the Devil. So they talk trash to him, stomp him under their feet, and make light of his power. How very stupid! Satan laughs at us and could eat us for breakfast if he wanted. We must always remember to have a healthy degree of respect for Satan. He is powerful. We are no match for him apart from Christ’s power working in and through us.

Let’s take a close look at Eve’s reply in 3:2-3: “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God17 has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it,18 or you will die.’” In her reply to the Serpent, Eve attempts to defend God’s honor but in the process distorts His Word. First, while God said, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely” (2:16), Eve said, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat” (3:2). Eve omitted “any” and “freely,” the two words that emphasized the generosity of God (cf. Rom 8:32). Eve subtracts from God’s Word.

Likewise, Eve had a distorted impression of the severity of God in prohibiting the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She expressed God’s instruction in these words: “You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die” (3:3). But God had said, “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (2:17). Eve magnified God’s strictness—“Just touch the tree, and zap you’re dead!” Her comment suggested that God is so harsh that an inadvertent slip would bring death.19 Here, Eve adds to God’s Word (see Prov 30:5-6).20

While exaggerating the prohibition to the point where even touching the tree was evil, Eve had unconsciously downplayed the judgment of God by omitting the word “surely,” and by failing to report that death would come on the day of the offense. In other words, Eve emphasized God’s severity, but underestimated the fact that judgment would be executed surely and soon. Satan’s first attack on the woman was that of a religious seeker, in an effort to create doubts about the goodness of God and to fix her attention on what was forbidden as opposed to all that was freely given. In this final example, Eve softens God’s Word.


Original Command (Genesis 2:16-17)

Eve’s Reply (Genesis 3:2-3)

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely.”

“From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat.”

“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

“But from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”


Satan’s scheme was quite diabolical. Had he begun to challenge the rule of God or Eve’s faith in Him, her choice would have been an easy one. But Satan erroneously stated God’s command with a question so as to appear that he was misinformed and needed to be corrected. Few of us can avoid the temptation of telling another that they are wrong. And so, wonder of wonders, Eve has begun to walk the path of disobedience while supposing that she was defending God to the Serpent.21

3. The Serpent’s Kill (3:4-5). In 3:1b, Satan operated as a sly ole dog, but now in 3:4-5 Satan unleashes his beastly self. Moses records, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (3:4-5). In the first question (3:1b), Satan tiptoed up to Eve on her blindside, but now he steamrolls over her on the broadside with a bald-faced lie. The Hebrew places the word lo (“not”) in front of God’s declaration: “Not—you shall surely die!” Take that God! It’s the Serpent’s word versus God’s Word—an absurd juxtaposition.22 It’s crucial to understand the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44) is so saturated with lies that he even attempts to make God out to be a liar!

Satan’s strategy began rather innocently by introducing and encouraging doubt. His strategy quickly culminates in a blatant denial of God’s Word (cf. 2:17). In denying it he imputed motives to God that were not consistent with God’s character. God’s true motive was the welfare of man, but the Serpent implied it was God’s welfare at man’s expense. This added suggestion seemed consistent with what the Serpent had already implied about God’s motives in 3:1. Having entertained a doubt concerning God’s Word, Eve was ready to accept a denial of His Word.

As 3:4 reveals, the first thing Satan wants to deny is the doctrine of God’s judgment. He denies the penalty for sin. He says in effect, “You won’t reap what you sow.” Here is the lie that has allured the human race from the beginning: There is no punishment for disobedience. But the Bible again and again makes it clear that no one can get away with sin (Gal 6:7-8). Disobedience brings death (Rom 6:23).23 It is imperative that we recognize there are consequences for sinful actions. To imply or suggest otherwise is to undermine God’s holiness, justice, and wrath (Hab 1:13).

To make this direct contradiction of God’s Word seems reasonable; Satan invents a false motive for God. God, he says, has really invented a nonexistent penalty to keep you in your place. He is afraid you will rise to His level. If you knew as much as God knows, you would become a threat to Him. Eve’s response is fatal. She divorces her God-given reason from God’s Word and relies on her own limited experience.24

This constitutes the great sin of man: to live independently of God. That is the root of sin. As Burger King says, “Have it your way.” I read this past week that among the unbelieving population, Frank Sinatra’s song, My Way is in first place as a funeral favorite. The chorus is frightening: “But best of all I did it my way.” But the truth is, My Way is the dirge of death, marking the imploding of autonomous self. But what a deadly magnetism it carries.25

It is interesting to note that what the Serpent said about Eve’s being as God was a half-truth. Adam and Eve did not die immediately, and their eyes were opened. Ironically, she was already as God, having been made in His image (1:26). She did become like God in that she obtained a greater knowledge of good and evil by eating of the tree. However, she became less like God because she was no longer innocent of sin. Her relationship with God suffered. Though she remained like God she could no longer be with Him. The consequent separation from God is the essence of death (2:17). The first doctrine Satan denied in Scripture was that sin results in death (separation from God), or we could say, the doctrine that God will not punish sin. This is still the truth he tries hardest to get people to disbelieve.

Also interesting to note is that the Serpent only speaks twice (3:1b, 4-5). That’s all the talk that was needed to plunge man downward into the spiral of sin. The success of the Serpent can be attributed to his cunning ability to question the goodness of God. The central theme of Genesis 1-2: God will provide the “good” for human beings if they will only trust Him and obey Him, is challenged by the Serpent. He cleverly suggests that God is indeed keeping “good” from His creation. The Serpent’s claim directly contradicted the main point of Genesis 1 and 2, namely, that God would provide what is good for man.26

[Again, Eve should have run buck-naked, streaking through the garden, but she stays to tease temptation.]

4. The Man and Woman’s Sin (3:6-7). In 3:6a: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate.”27 In 3:1-5, the Serpent initiated the first two steps. But in 3:6, he let Eve’s natural desires carry her into his trap. This is why we can’t follow Flip Wilson and claim, “The Devil made me do it!” James countered this argument 2,000 years ago when he wrote, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (Jas 1:14).

Eve’s basic needs and desires fell into three categories that share parallels with 1 John 2:15-17. First, physical: “good for food.” This parallels “the lust of the flesh”: the desire to do something contrary to God’s will (i.e., “eat the tasty fruit”).28 “It will feel good.” The desire for food was a part of what drew Eve into sin. The body exercises a pull on us and sin can use various physical appetites. There are various desires of the body, the desire for ease, laziness, appetite, greed for physical pleasure, sexuality. All of these are channels down which we may be drawn into sin.29

Second, emotional: “delight to the eyes.” This parallels “the lust of the eyes”: the desire to have something apart from God’s will (i.e., possess the beautiful fruit). “It looks good.” The power of eyesight has an amazing ability to stimulate the desire for sin. It is stronger in this than any other of the body’s senses. Seeing it will heighten our appetite for something. There is an added desire that comes by looking—enticements that come through the imagination, stirred by something seen. If sinless Eve could be pulled down, how much more those who are born sinful.30

Lastly, intellectual: “desirable31 to make one wise.” This parallels “the boastful pride of life”: the desire to be something apart from God’s will (i.e., as wise as God). “It will make me better.” “I need something I don’t have to be happy.”32 Here is the essence of covetousness.


Human Need

Genesis 3:6 Temptations

1 John 2:15-17 Parallel


“Good for food”

The lust of the flesh


“Delight to the eyes”

The lust of the eyes


“Desirable to make one wise”

The boastful pride of life


The next phrase is absolutely devastating: “and she [Eve] gave also to her husband with her, and he ate” (3:6b).33 Not only did Eve sin, but in her distorted thinking and her false sense of accomplishment, she also gave the fruit to her husband. When Eve brought the fruit to Adam, she was acting contrary to the “helper” principle (cf. 2:18). Instead of benefiting and aiding Adam, she is contributing to his downfall. She is actually inviting him and pressuring him to accept that which is contrary to divine viewpoint.

What sin have you invited a loved one to talk you into committing? Disobedience of God’s Word almost always affects someone else. Most tragically, it affects those we love the most. Eve’s disobedience affected her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, and every descendant since. The problem of sin doesn’t stop with the choice. Choosing to sin leads to consequences.34

The word “with” is what is so devastating about this verse. Adam was with Eve while this tempting dialogue with the Serpent was going on. Sadly, Adam did not say a word and then he sinned willfully by eating of the fruit.35 Make no doubt about it; although the woman was deceived, the man was not (see 1 Tim 2:13-14). Adam passively watched everything. He sinned willfully, eyes wide-open, without hesitation. His sin was freighted with sinful, self-interest. He had watched Eve take the fruit, and nothing happened to her. He sinned willfully, assuming there would be no consequences. Everything was upside-down. Eve followed the snake, Adam followed Eve, and no one followed God.36

It is analogous to Lori (my wife) and I sitting in our family room watching the Super Bowl. All of a sudden the doorbell rings. Lori gets up to answer it while I keep on watching the Super Bowl. I can overhear Lori letting in a vacuum cleaner salesman and listening with increasing interest to his sales pitch. I do not want to stop watching the game, so I let the conversation continue, even to Lori signing a contract. If she were then to come into the room and say to me, “Here, you have to sign this, too,” it will come as no shock if I sign it without protest. By default, I have allowed my wife to make a decision and I have chosen to go along with it.37

In this biblical account, the man chooses to obey his wife rather than God (cf. 3:17). Adam sees and hears her in a fallen condition, spiritually dead and different, and having all the facts, he must decide to embrace her or to embrace God. With all the facts, Adam rejected his relationship with God and embraced Eve. He said no to the Creator of all his blessings, and said, “Yes,” to a created one. He turned down the divine design of Gen 1:28 and turned it over to Satan.

Husbands and fathers, if you don’t lead your family, Satan will. Ladies, please don’t take this personal; this is not intended to cause offense. It is a statement of biblical truth. God has set up the home so that the man leads. If the man doesn’t lead, pray that He will but don’t assume his role.

Our passage closes in 3:7 with these tragic words: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” For the first time in Scripture, the word “then” is portrayed in a negative sense.38 The moment Adam and Eve sinned, they received the knowledge of good and evil. As a result, they “knew that they were naked.” Up until this point, their sexual organs were like their hands, feet, and mouth. Their nakedness was beautiful. But when sin entered the world, nakedness became shameful outside of the marriage relationship (cf. 2:25).

Having committed the sin themselves, and now living with its immediate consequences, they attempt to alleviate the problem themselves. Rather than driving them back to God, their guilt leads them into a self-atoning, self-protecting procedure: they must cover themselves.39 This is the tendency of mankind when it comes to a relationship with God. Yet, the Bible makes it clear that man can only have a relationship with God through simple faith. God has orchestrated this plan so that no man can boast before Him (Eph 2:8-9). Today, will you stop trusting in yourself and believe in Jesus Christ as your substitute for sin?

How can we boil this down? I would suggest knowing and applying the following information.

Satan’s Strategy:40

1. Satan attacks the family. He didn’t concern himself with Adam until he was married.

2. Satan attacks new believers and those that aren’t in relationships with other believers. They are usually easy prey.

3. Satan attacks when you least expect it. He loves the element of surprise. When you are at ease, relaxed, off guard, or secure, watch out! Eve was in a perfect environment, without a care in the world, when Satan attacked.

4. Satan attacks our trust in God.

5. Satan poisons truth with lies.

6. Satan appeals to our pride.

7. Satan makes promises that won’t be kept.

Your Response:

1. Realize your vulnerability.

2. Strengthen your weakness. Beware of sowing “wild oats” and then praying for a “crop failure”!

3. Deepen your faith.

4. Know and utilize God’s Word (2 Tim 2:15). “It is written” (Matt 4). Ignorance or disregard of God’s Word makes one very vulnerable to temptation (Ps 119:11).

5. Stand strong. Refuse to yield (Eph 6:10).

6. Resist Satan (Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-9).

7. Trust in God’s provision (Ps 16:11). Express gratitude to Him for all that He has done for you.

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 David R. Anderson, The Meaning of Soteriology: The Terms: Theology 404, Soteriology Class Notes (Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998), 17.

3 The structure of Gen 3 is laid out like this: The Temptation (3:1-5); the Fall (3:6-13); and the Judgment (3:14-24).

4 Genesis 2 anticipated God’s gift of the Promised Land to the original readers, and Genesis 3 anticipates their exile from it. John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 81-82. cf. 12:1-3, 7.

5 In view of the instructions to “keep” the garden (Gen 2:15), it is probable that Adam and Eve were warned about the nature and appearance of Satan.

6 This is why Satan and the Serpent are connected in New Testament passages such as 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 12:9 and 20:2.

7 The Hebrew word for “serpent” is nachash. It is the same root as another Hebrew word, nechoshet, which means “bronze.” In Num 21:9, where God told Moses to make a bronze serpent, the Hebrew words used for “bronze serpent” are nachash nechoshet. Later, in 2 Kgs 18:4, it was called Nechustan because of that same connection. The serpent’s connection with bronze indicates that the snake appeared as a shiny luminous one similar to the way Satan appears as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). That is the meaning of the word nachash as a noun. As a verb, the word means “to practice divination” and “to observe signs” (Gen 30:27; 44:5, 15; Lev 19:26 and Deut 18:10). Also, as a noun, it has the meaning of “divination” (Num 23:23 and 24:1), showing the very close connection between the occult world and Satanism.

8 Wenham aptly observes, “The choice of the term ‘shrewd’ here is one of the more obvious plays on words in the text; for the man and his wife has just been described as ‘nude’ (2:25). They will seek themselves to be shrewd (cf. 3:6) but will discover that they are ‘nude’ (3:7, 10).” Gordon Wenham, Genesis 1-15: WBC (Waco, TX: Word, 1987), 72.

9 In other words, in Gen 2:25, before the fall, human nakedness was not something that was problematic, because there was no lust involved. Now, the integrity of humanity became the target of Satan’s attack. Their nakedness means that they were oblivious to evil, and they did not know where the traps lay, but Satan, of course, did. The same word used of Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness is used of the Serpent’s craftiness, because he will use it to take advantage of their integrity.

10 The Hebrew term occurs elsewhere in the Scripture in a total of ten passages: Job 5:12; 15:5; Prov 12:16, 23; 13:16; 14:8, 15, 18; 22:3; 27:12. Only the two passages in Job link a negative sense to this term. By contrast, all eight occurrences in Proverbs emphasize the positive attributes of the term.

11 Satan convinced them (the “you” in Gen 3:1-5 is plural).

12 Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1975), 67.

13 David Hocking, The Rise and Fall of Civilization (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1989), 90.

14 Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 91.

15 But this was not sin. Sin did not happen until she placed spiritual value on the false teaching and acted upon it by eating from the tree (see Gen 3:6).

16 Richard Mayhue, A Christian’s Survival Guide (Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1987), 38.

17 It is also worth noting that the Serpent avoided the use of God’s covenant name “the Lord” (Yahweh). In Gen 1, Elohim (signifying God as Creator) was used in every instance to refer to God, but in Genesis 2-4 the title Yahweh Elohim is everywhere employed except here in the deadly dialogue of 3:1-5. Satan was careful not to mention God’s personal covenant name but stuck to Elohim, the more remote designation. Ominously, Eve followed his lead as she too only used Elohim in their dialogue.

18 Some see Eve’s response of adding to the words of God’s command (“You shall not eat from it or touch it.”), as the first sin. Yet, Scripture suggests that the sin was eating the fruit (Gen 2:18; 3:11).

19 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 68.

20 When we do not retain God’s Word precisely, a distorted concept of God is the result. One natural tendency that we have when we do not understand or recall God’s Word precisely is to make it more restrictive than He does. This is a form of legalism.

21 Deffinbaugh, Genesis, Lesson 4: The Fall of Man (Genesis 3:1-24),, 2.

22 R. Kent Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 68.

23 Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002 [1988]), 135.

24 Albert H. Baylis, From Creation to the Cross (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 45.

25 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 69-70.

26 Let’s take a moment to flesh this out. In the temptation to have an extra-marital affair, (1) the Devil will tell you God couldn’t possibly expect you to be perfectly content for 50 years with a mate you chose in your twenties. “That’s unrealistic!” he’ll hiss under his breath. No, that’s an assault on your trust in God. The truth of the matter is that God is perfectly capable of helping us to keep our marriage covenant and sustain a terrific relationship for a lifetime. (2) Satan will tell you God wants you to be happy above all else and even if infidelity is wrong, God will forgive you. That’s truth poisoned with lies. God doesn’t mind if we’re happy, in fact He delights in it with us, but not at the expense of holiness. God also graciously forgives, but that doesn’t mean that there are no grievous consequences for sin. (3) Satan will tell you an affair will prove to yourself and others that you are still attractive to the opposite sex. That’s an appeal to your pride. The whole truth is you’ll prove how stupid you are. Proverbs tells us the person who lets himself or herself be led down the garden path of promiscuity is on par with a “loaf of bread” (6:26). Satan will tell you, with a poker face, that an affair will provide the missing piece to the puzzle of your life or will ease the ache of your loneliness. That’s a promise that won’t be kept. Ultimately, the only thing that brings genuine satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy to life is a walk with God that is fresh, vital, and real.

27 Franz Delitzch, the esteemed German scholar, called Gen 3:6 “The Devil’s Communion.”

28 Hamilton writes, “Contrary to popular belief, the text does not specify what fruit the man and the woman ate. The only fruit mentioned in the passage is the fig (v. 7). The time-honored tradition that identifies the fruit as an apple may have originated due to the common sound of the Latin malus, ‘evil,’ and malum, ‘apple.’” Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17: NICOT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 191.

29 Michael Eaton, Preaching Through the Bible: Genesis 1-11 (Kent, England, Sovereign World, 1997), 74.

30 Eaton, Genesis 1-11, 74.

31 The Hebrew word for “desirable” (nechmad) comes from the same root as “to covet.” Eve was coveting God’s position and knowledge. She felt that eating the fruit would give her something she did not now possess. This is always the essence of covetousness – to obtain that which one does not now possess.

32 When everything is said and done, it is this last temptation (intellectual wisdom apart from God) that led Eve to disobey God. What a lesson: We must beware and constantly be on our guard! John H. Sailhamer, Genesis: EBC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), Electronic ed.

Sailhamer, Genesis, 51.

33 Eve saw, took, ate, and gave (Jas 1:13-15). Arnold, Encountering the Book of Genesis, 37.

34 Anne Graham Lotz, God’s Story (Nashville: Word, 1999 [1997]), 82.

35 Walton writes, “Where was Adam through all of this? The text tells us, but for some reason we have been reluctant to accept what the text says: Adam was there with Eve. What else can verse 6 mean besides that he was present at the temptation? If Adam’s being with his wife only means that he is in the cosmos with her or an occupant of the garden with her, it is a nonsensical and unnecessary statement. In addition, the text cannot be construed to simply say that he joined her by partaking of the fruit. If the text wanted to say that, the prepositional phrase ‘with her’ would be in the clause with the verb ‘eat’ instead of where it is, in the clause with the verb ‘gave.’ Finally, it should be noted that all of the verbs in this section are plural. From 3:1 where the serpent addresses the woman but uses the plural ‘you,’ to the woman’s use of inclusionary ‘we’ and the serpent’s description of the results formulated to both, there is every grammatical indication that both are there.” John H. Walton, Genesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 206.

36 Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing, 71.

37 This illustration has been adapted and revised from Deffinbaugh, Genesis, 4.

38 Cf. Gen 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29; 2:3, 7, 15, 18, 21.

39 Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17, 191.

40 There are parallels between Satan’s temptation of Eve and his temptation of Jesus.


Satan’s Strategy

Genesis 3

Luke 4


“Indeed, has God said…?” (3:1b)

If You are the Son of God” (4:3).


“You shall not eat from any tree of the garden” (3:1b).

“Throw Yourself down” (4:9).


“You surely will not die!” (3:4a).

“I will give You all this…for it has been handed over to me” (4:6).