[The Classic Christian Network] WEDNESDAY is WORD DAY: "Genesis 3 Bible …

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized






12 Bible Study Guides Weekly


-David Guzik-

David Guzik

Study Guide for Genesis 3



A. The temptation from the serpent.

1. (1) The serpent begins his temptation.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

a. The serpent: The text here does not, by itself alone, clearly identify the serpent as Satan, but the rest of the Bible makes it clear this is Satan appearing as a serpent.

i. In Ezekiel 28:13-19 tells us that Satan was in Eden. Many other passages associate a serpent or a snake-like creature with Satan (such as Job 26:13 and Isaiah 51:9).Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 speak of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan.

ii. The representation of Satan as a serpent makes the idea of Moses saving Israel by lifting up a bronze serpent all the more provocative (Numbers 21:8-9), especially when Jesus identifies Himself with that very serpent (John 3:14). This is because in this picture, the serpent (a personification of sin and rebellion) is made of bronze (a metal associated with judgment, since it is made with fire). The lifting of a bronze serpent is the lifting up of sin judged, in the form of a cross.

iii. Ezekiel 28 tells us Satan, before his fall, was an angel of the highest rank and prominence, even the “worship leader” in heaven. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan’s fall had to do with his desire to be equal to or greater than God, to set his will against God’s will.

b. The serpent was more cunning than any beast: Satan’s effectiveness is often found in His cunning, crafty ways. We can’t outsmart Satan, but we can overcome him with the power of Jesus.

i. It was the craftiness of Satan that made him successful against Eve: as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness(2 Corinthians 11:3).

c. And he said to the woman: Apparently, before the curse pronounced in Genesis 3:14-15, the serpent was different than what we know today as a serpent. This creature didn’t start as a snake as we know it, it became one.

i. “The creature that tempted Eve became a serpent as a result of God’s judgment on it, and it went slithering away into the bushes to the intense horror of Adam and Eve.” (Boice)

ii. Demonic spirits evidently have the ability, under certain circumstances, to indwell human or animal bodies (Luke 8:33). On this occasion, Satan chose to indwell the body of a pre-curse serpent.

iii. Poole says the woman wasn’t surprised at the serpent’s speaking because Adam and Eve had free conversation with angelic beings that often appeared in the form of men. If this is true, it wasn’t so strange to Eve that an angelic being might appear to her in the form of a beautiful pre-curse serpent.

iv. Perhaps Satan made the voice supernaturally seem to come forth from the serpent, or perhaps Satan “said” this to Eve in her thoughts. What Satan said is more important thanhow he said it.

d. To the woman: Satan brought his temptation against the woman because he perceived she was more vulnerable to attack. This is because she did not receive the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil directly from God but through Adam (Genesis 2:15-17).

i. Perhaps Satan knew by observation Adam didn’t do an effective job in communicating to Eve what the Lord told him. This failure on Adam’s part made Eve more vulnerable to temptation.

ii. Satan will often attack a chain at its weakest link, so he gets at Adam by tempting Eve. The stronger ones in a “chain” must expect attack against weaker links and support them against those attacks.

iii. It was also in God’s plan to allow Satan to tempt Eve this way. If Adam would have sinned first, and if he had given the fruit to Eve, she might have a partial excuse before God: “I was simply obeying the head of our home. When he gave me the fruit, I ate of it.”

e. Has God indeed said: Satan’s first attack is leveled against the Word of God. If he can get Eve confused about what God said, or to doubt what God said, then his battle is partially won.

i. From the beginning, Satan has tried to undermine God’s people by undermining God’s Word. He can undermine just as effectively by getting us to neglect God’s Word as by getting us to doubt it.

f. “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Satan took God’s positive command (Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [Genesis 2:16-17]) and rephrased it in a negative way: “God won’t let you eat of every tree.”

2. (2-3) Eve’s reply to the serpent.

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “

a. And the woman said to the serpent: Eve’s first mistake was in even carrying on a discussion with the serpent. We are called to talk to the devil, but never to have a discussion with him. We simply and strongly tell him, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

b. We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: Eve’s knowledge of what she should not do is partially correct, but what she doesn’t seem to know makes her all the more vulnerable to deception.

i. Eve does not seem to know the name of this tree; she only calls it the tree in the midst of the garden, instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).

ii. Eve misquoted God’s command to Adam. Her words, “you shall not eat it” and “lest you die” are close enough, but she added to the command and put words in God’s mouth when she said, “nor shall you touch it.” Of course, it was a good idea to completely avoid the temptation; no good could come from massaging the fruit you’re not supposed to eat. But it is a dangerous thing to teach the doctrines of man as if they are the commandments of God (Matthew 15:9).

iii. Clarke on nor shall you touch it: “Some Jewish writers . . . state that as soon as the woman had asserted this, the serpent pushed her against the tree and said, ‘See, you havetouched it, and are still alive; you may therefore safely eatof the fruit, for surely you shall not die.’”

c. God has said: Eve’s ignorance of exactly what God said was really Adam’s responsibility. He did a poor job of relating to his wife the word God gave him.

i. We can almost picture Adam telling Eve, “See that tree in the middle of the garden? Don’t touch it or God says we’ll die!” While this is better than saying nothing, what Adamdidn’t explain made a vulnerable place where Satan could attack.

d. Lest you die: This may seem like a small thing to hinge the destiny of the human race and all creation on. But the tree was nothing more than a restraint on Adam and Eve. It reminded them they were not God, that God had a legitimate claim on their obedience, and that they were responsible to Him.

3. (4-5) Satan’s direct challenge to God’s Word.

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

a. You will not surely die: Satan effectively laid the groundwork. He drew Eve into a discussion with him and planted the seed of doubt about God’s Word, and he exposed Eve’s incomplete understanding of God’s Word. Now he moves in for the kill, with an outright contradiction of what God said.

i. Satan can only effectively work when he has established a foothold. No one falls like Adam and Eve will fall, “all of a sudden.” A foundation has been laid.

ii. This is why we are called to never give place to the devil(Ephesians 4:27). This shows how remarkable it is that Jesus could say, “Satan has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30)

b. You will not surely die: Satan first wanted Eve to forget all about what God said about the consequences of sin. When we know and remember the consequences of sin, we are more likely to give up the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25).

i. In Satan’s direct challenge, he tries to get Eve to doubt the goodness of God. If God lies to her, how can He be good?

ii. In Satan’s direct challenge, he tries to get Eve to doubt the badness of sin. If this fruit is something good for her, why doesn’t God want her to have it?

iii. Satan wants us to see sin as something good that a bad God doesn’t want us to have. His main lie to us is “sin is not bad and God is not good.”

iv. “Satan and the flesh will present a thousand reasons to show how good it would be to disobey His command.” (Barnhouse)

c. In the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened: Satan’s temptation was all the more powerful because there was truth in it. It was true your eyes will be opened, and this was fulfilled (Genesis 3:7). But their eyes were instantly opened to their own sin and rebellion.

i. It is as if a deaf person was promised to be able to hear again, but all they could hear was screaming.

ii. Their eyes were opened, they did know good and evil, but not as gods. “Pure lie” is rarely effective in temptation. If Satan doesn’t couple it with some truth, there is little power in his temptation.

d. You will be like God, knowing good and evil: The final enticement is the most powerful, because it was how Satan himself fell, wanting to be equal with God. Eve tried to become a god herself by her rebellion against God.

i. Jewish rabbis embellish on Satan’s temptation to Eve: “Nothing but malice has prompted God’s command, because as soon as you eat of it, you will be as God. As He creates and destroys worlds, so will you have the power to create and destroy. As He does kill and revive, so will you have the power to kill and revive. God Himself ate first of the fruit of the tree, and then He created the world. Therefore, He forbids you to eat of it, lest you create other worlds . . . Hurry now and eat the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, and become independent of God, lest He bring forth still other creatures that will rule over you.”

ii. The goal of becoming God is the center of so many non-Christian religions, including Mormonism. But in our desire to be gods, we become like Satan (who said, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the Most High [ Isaiah 14:13-14]) instead of being like Jesus, who came as a servant (Matthew 20:28).

iii. The New Age movement and the desire to be “god” are just as strong as ever. According to a 1992 survey, as many as 12 million Americans can be considered active participants in the New Age movement, and another 30 million are avidly interested. If all these people were brought together in a church-like organization, it would be the third largest religious denomination in America. More than 90% of the subscribers to New Age Magazine are college graduates, compared to half the general population.

iv. In 1995, New Age influence made it all the way to the White House. New Age author Marianne Williamson (writer of A Course In Miracles), guru to many of Hollywood’s spiritual seekers, spent a night at the White House as the personal guest of Hillary Clinton. And Anthony Robbins, motivational guru and king of late-night infomercials, consulted with President Clinton at Camp David. Robbins is also recognized as a leader in the New Age movement.

B. The sin of Adam and Eve and the fall of the human race.

1. (6) Adam and Eve both disobey God in their own way.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

a. So when the woman saw: Eve surrendered to this temptation in exactly the way John describes in 1 John 2:16. First, she gave in to the lust of the flesh (saw that it was good for food), then she gave in to the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes), then she gave in to the pride of life (desirable to make one wise).

i. Jesus was tempted in the same three-fold way: an appeal to the physical appetites, an appeal to covetous and emotional desires, and an appeal to pride (Matthew 4:1-11).

b. The woman saw that the tree was good for food: Eve’s perceptions were partially true and partially false. The tree wasnot really good for food, though Eve was deceived into thinking it was so. The fruit probably was pleasant to the eyes, though that shouldn’t mean much. And it was only true in Eve’s mindthat the tree was desirable to make one wise.

i. We can see the total truth of Paul’s statement in1 Timothy 2:14, that Eve was deceived when she sinned. In her mind, she thought she was doing something good for herself.

c. She took of its fruit and ate: Satan could tempt Eve, but she didn’t have to take it. The taking was all her doing. Satan couldn’t cram the fruit down her throat. Eve was responsible. She couldn’t rightly say, “the devil made me do it.”

i. As with every temptation, God had made for Eve a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). She could have simply run from Satan and the tree, but Eve didn’t take God’s way of escape.

d. She also gave to her husband with her: Not only did Eve sin, but she became the agent of temptation for Adam. But when Adam ate, he was not deceived as Eve was. Adam sinned with his eyes wide open, in open rebellion against God.

i. Therefore, it is Adam, not Eve, who bears the responsibility for the fall of the human race and for the introduction of death into the created order (Romans 5:12;1 Corinthians 15:22). Eve was tricked into sinning; Adam knew exactly what he was doing (1 Timothy 2:14).

ii. Many have speculated that Adam sinned because he didn’t want Eve to be alone in the fall, and he ate of the fruit out of a romantic impulse. This may well be true, but it makes Adam’s sin not one bit less rebellious. Rebellion against God is not “better” when motivated by a romantic impulse.

iii. “Take and eat” will one day become verbs of salvation, but only after Jesus had lived in the world of Adam’s curse and surrendered to death.

2. (7) The nakedness of Adam and Eve.

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 coverings.

a. Then the eyes of both of them were opened: Seemingly, it was only after the sin of Adam that they knew of their sinful state. They knew they were naked, in the sense of having their shame exposed to all creation.

b. They new that they were naked: Psalm 104:2 andMatthew 17:2 suggest that light can be a garment for the righteous. It may be that Adam and Eve were previously clothed in God’s glorious light, and the immediate loss of this covering of light left them feeling exposed and naked.

i. “It is more than probable that they were clothed in light before the fall, and when they sinned the light went out.” (Barnhouse)

c. The eyes of both of them were opened: The way they saw themselves changed, but also the way they saw the entire world was now different. After the fall, everything looked worse.

i. Was it good or bad that Adam and Eve saw their nakedness and felt terrible about it? It was good, because it is good to feel guilty when you have done something wrong.

d. They sewed fig leaves together: Their own attempt to cover themselves took much ingenuity, but not much wisdom. Fig leaves are said to have a prickly quality, which would make for some pretty itchy coverings.

i. Every attempt to cover our own nakedness before God is just as foolish. We need to let Jesus cover us (Revelation 3:53:18), and put on Jesus Himself as our covering garment (Galatians 3:27). The exhortation from Jesus is for us: Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. (Revelation 16:15)

ii. Obviously, they covered their genital areas. In virtually all cultures, adults cover their genital areas, even though other parts of the human body may be more or less exposed from culture to culture.

iii. This is not because there is something intrinsically “dirty” in our sexuality, but because we have both received our fallenness and pass it on genetically through sexual reproduction. Because of this, God has implanted it in the minds of men that more modesty is appropriate for these areas of our body.

3. (8-9) Adam and Eve hide from God; God calls out to them.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

a. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: Adam and Eve knew that when they heard the Lord coming, He would want to be with them. This was how the Lord had fellowship with Adam and Eve, in a very natural, close, intimate way.

i. Leupold on walking in the garden in the cool of the day: “The almost casual way in which this is remarked indicates that this did not occur for the first time just then . . . There is extreme likelihood that the Almighty assumed some form analogous to the human form which was made in His image.”

ii. We can assume this is God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, appearing to Adam and Eve before His incarnation and birth at Bethlehem, because of God the Father it is said, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18), and no man has ever seen God in the Person of the Father. (1 Timothy 6:16)

iii. “Cool of the day” is literally “the breeze of the day.” From Hebrew geography and culture, we might guess this means late afternoon.

b. Adam and his wife hid themselves: This shows that Adam and Eve knew that their attempt to cover themselves failed. They didn’t proudly show off their fig-leaf outfits; they knew their own covering was completely inadequate, and they were embarrassed before God.

c. Where are you? This is not the interrogation of an angry commanding officer, but the heartfelt cry of an anguished father. God obviously knew where they were but He also knew a gulf had been made between Himself and man, a gulf that He Himself would have to bridge.

C. God confronts Adam and Eve with their sin.

1. (10-12) Adam tries to explain his sin.

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

a. I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid: Sin made Adam afraid of God’s presence and afraid of God’s voice. Ever since Adam, men run from God’s presence and don’t want to listen to His Word.

i. We are still made in God’s image, so we want to be in the presence of God and hear His voice, while at the same time, we are afraid of Him.

b. Who told you that you were naked? God knew the answer to this question. He asked it because He allowed Adam to make the best of a bad situation by repenting right then and there, but Adam didn’t come clean and repent before God.

i. We all sin, but when we sin, we can still give glory to God by openly confessing without shifting the blame onto others (Joshua 7:19-20).

ii. There is often nothing you can do about yesterday’s sin (though in some cases you may be able to make restitution). Yet you can do what is right before God right now by confessing and repenting.

c. Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? God confronted Adam’s problem squarely. This wasn’t primarily a wardrobe problem or a fear problem or a self-esteem problem. This was a sin problem and Adam’s wardrobe, fear, or self-understanding could not be addressed until the sin problem was addressed.

d. Then the man said: Notice that to this point, God has not addressed Eve at all. Adam, being the head, is the problem here.

e. The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate: Adam’s attempt to blame Eve is completely consistent with human nature. Few of us are willing to simply say as David did, I have sinned against the Lord(2 Samuel 12:13)

i. Significantly, if there is any blame, it is on Adam, not Eve. Not only does Adam unjustly accuse Eve, but also he refuses to accept proper responsibility for his part in her sin.

ii. By saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me,” Adam essentially blames God for the sin saying, “You gave me the woman, and she is the problem.” Adam wasn’t content to blame Eve; he had to blame God also.

2. (13) Eve’s reply to God.

And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

a. The serpent deceived me, and I ate: When confronted by God, Eve doesn’t necessarily shift the blame when she admits the serpent deceived her and then she ate. This much was true, she had been deceived, and she did eat.

b. Deceived me: The only problem comes when we fail to see that being deceived is sin in itself. It is sin to exchange the truth of God for the lie (Romans 1:25).

D. The curse and its aftermath.

1. (14-15) God’s curse upon the serpent.

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And 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.”

a. And the Lord God said to the serpent: When God spoke to Adam and to Eve, He asked them each questions. God didn’t ask Satan (the being animating the serpent) any questions, because there was nothing to teach him.

b. You are cursed more than all cattle: The first part of the curse is directed at the animal that Satan used to bring the temptation. God commanded the serpent to slither on the ground instead of walking on legs like any other animal.

i. Adam and Eve must have been terrified as this once-beautiful creature called a serpent was transformed into the creeping, slithering, hissing snake we know today. They must have thought, “It’s our turn next!”

ii. I will put enmity between you and the woman: In addition, there is a natural aversion between mankind and serpents, especially on the part of women.

c. You shall eat dust all the days of your life: This was true of the serpent as an animal, but it is also true of Satan. To eat dust has the idea of total defeat (Isaiah 65:25Micah 7:17). God’s judgment on Satan is for him to always know defeat. He will always reach for victory, but always fall short of it.

i. Satan was, in his own thinking, majestic and triumphant over Jesus on the cross, but he failed. In attacking Jesus, Satan made his own doom certain.

ii. In Jesus, we share in the victory over Satan: And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.(Romans 16:20)

d. Enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed: The second part of the curse is directed against Satan himself. God placed a natural animosity between Satan and mankind. Enmity has the idea of ill will, hatred, and a mutual antagonism. Satan’s hatred of Eve was nothing new; it was already present – but now man will, generally speaking, have antagonism towards Satan.

i. The “friendship” Eve and the serpent seemed to enjoy earlier in the chapter is finished. There is now a natural fear of Satan in the heart of man.

ii. If we are born naturally rebellious against God, we are also born cautious and afraid of Satan. One must be hardened to willingly and knowingly serve Satan. Instinctively, we don’t serve God or Satan; we serve ourselves (which is fine with Satan).

e. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel: In this, God prophesies the doom of Satan, showing that the real battle is between Satan and the Seed of the Woman.

i. There is no doubt this is a prophecy of Jesus’ ulti


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