What Happened in the Garden of Eden?

2 09 2012

What happened in the Garden of Eden at the beginning of time impacted everything else after that.  God had pronounced curses for men, women, and even creation itself.  However, there seems to be some differences spoken as truth as to what happened during the fall of Adam and Eve.  I began to ponder this as I was “unknowingly swallowing the red pill”.  I mean, the creation and fall of mankind only covers three chapters of the book of Genesis.  Man and Woman are created – God tells them not to do this one little thing – they do it – sin enters the world – they get cursed…end of story, right?

It was a little over six years ago when I started premarital counseling with a pastor.  At this time, a little more depth of what had happened in the Garden of Eden was made known to me and applied to the marriage relationship.  It was an “Oh, I never thought of it that way” kind of moment.  It made a lot of sense and I have since heard it by other pastors and teachers.  They do not all give all of these conclusions.  I may be mingling teachings together from several teachers.

The scenario goes a little like this:

The one sin – After the creation, God tells them to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (2:!6-17)

The serpent comes to Eve – The reason for this is that Adam is the head of the relationship.  The serpent goes over the authority of Adam to tempt Eve. (3:1-5)

The temptation of Eve. – Eve was tempted just like Jesus and as all of us are in accordance with 1 John 2:16.  She was tempted and saw the tree was good for food (desire of the flesh), delight to the eyes (desire of the eyes), and could make one wise (pride of life) (3:6)

The fall – After hearing the serpent, the woman takes and eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She then gives the fruit to Adam, who is right next to her while she is tempted and sins, and he eats it. (3:6)

The call – They both hide and God calls out to Adam.  This is, again, becasue he is the head of the relationship and brings him to account for what has happend. (3:8-9)

The curse – This seems self-explanatory.  The serpent is cursed by slithering on the ground and is given a Messianic promise.  The woman is cursed with painful childbirth, a “desire” for her husband, and the husband will “rule” over her.  The man and nature are cursed together.  The man will now work harder to get any food and return to the dust in which he was formed. (3:14-19)

…and they lived sinfully ever after with a promise of a Redeemer, right?

While most of what is commonly preached and portrayed from the first three chapters of Genesis is obviously correct, there are issues to be dealt with.  These issues are not minor ones either because they have to do with how we, as Christians, view each other, our marriages or relationships with the opposite sex, and everyday life itself.

We don’t know every little detail of what happened back then in the Garden of Eden.  However, what we do have at this time is what God has decided to reveal to us.  The problems come when we try to think too deep on what MIGHT have happened and try to make doctrines out of it and ignoring what we need to learn about what HAS been revealed.  Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what IS revealed and add or replace it with our own thoughts and ideas of what COULD have happened, it still affects the way we live and think about life.

Here are some things that seem to be an issue with the common thought of what happened in the Garden of Eden.  Study it for yourself and correct me if I am wrong.  I could wish that none of these things matter much.  Some may not seem like a big deal.  However, some of these points may just link into other points or even different areas in life that have a major affect on our thinking.

– God doesn’t command both Adam and Eve directly to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God tells ADAM not to eat of the tree.  He tells this to Adam before Eve was even formed (Gen 2:16-22)  So what, right?  Maybe it isn’t a big deal.  Yet, we cannot read into the Scriptures what is not there.  How did Eve come to know the command?  Did God tell her or did Adam?  No one really knows the answer except God and, for some reason, He did not decide to reveal that to us.  What we DO know is that Eve knew the command and she decided to disobey it.

– Do we really know when Adam was “with her” during the fall?  Many would like to give this verse (Gen. 3:6) for the justification that the sin of Eve was really the sin of Adam because he was there all along and didn’t do anything to protect Eve.  After all, it was “though one MAN sin entered the world” (Romans 5:12).  Indeed sin entered the world through one man.  The man was given the command directly from God and he disobeyed.  Not only that, but Eve was formed from the man.  Adam was “with her”, but it doesn’t say Adam was “with her” until AFTER she ate the fruit (Gen. 3:6).  Scripture does not tell us that Adam was there during the temptation nor while she was eating the fruit.  Again, this may not seem like a big deal, but what you think the Bible says will affect how you live.

– God is very specific to Adam as to his sin.  To those that would say that Adam’s sin was letting Eve be tempted and fall because he was not assuming his “headship” or “leadership” responsibilities by not “protecting” her, I can only clearly point them to Genesis 3:17 where God tells Adam,

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you…”

Those are the two ways God says that Adam sinned.  Adam listened to the voice of his wife instead of what God had commanded.  We do not know what Eve may have said or done or nagged.  Whatever she did, Adam disobeyed the command to not eat of the tree that God directly gave to him.  If God made it a point to let Adam what his sin was, would it not have made sense for God to also tell him, “Because you have not protected Eve and have let her eat of the tree…”?  But this was not the case.  Eve sinned on her own accord as did Adam and they were both cursed individually.

To bring all of this to a summary:  In the days when I just took in what was preached and agreed with most of what those that I trusted taught, I came across what was being taught about the relationship between a man and a woman, especially in marriage and it seemed to make sense.   What happened in Genesis is sometimes brought up when fundamentals of marriage are taught since Adam and Eve are considered the first marriage.

There are some that want to teach that Eve’s sin was Adam’s fault because he didn’t do his job properly.  They want to take this along with other Scriptures to blame men for what women decide to do.  Eve decide for herself to eat the fruit and so did Adam and were both held accountable to God individually.

That is all I’ll say for now.  I will go more into this some other time.

I’ve heard this quite a few times and just went along with it until I got to the point where it was just not making sense.  The questions of “What are you doing to make her do that, or not do this, etc.” are just old now.  Men and women have their own roles and they will both be held accountable by God individually for them.  Nobody can make you sin and one is not required to keep the other person sinless.

With that said, someday I plan on tackling Ephesians 5 since this seems to be a tension point with people as well, and mingles with what I’ve brought up in this post.

Remember, Jesus said to follow Him.

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7 responses

2 09 2012
Missy

Chris, You hit this nail on from what I can see and from what we have talked about. Missy 🙂

3 09 2012
supashmo

I heard once that the original Hebrew said that Adam was right next to Eve, but even if that was wrong, I’m pretty sure Adam had seen the fruit before, and like you said, God punished Adam for a sin that he knew was wrong.

5 09 2012
Father Knows Best: Summer’s End Edition « Patriactionary

[…] Quit Playing Church: What Happened in the Garden of Eden? […]

8 09 2012
White Raven

The best interpretation of this story that I’ve found so far is this:

Eve’s sin was that she allowed herself to be fooled by the serpent and ate the fruit even though doing so contradicted what she knew to be right. That is, she relied upon her own understanding rather than doing what she had been told. She fell into the relative truth trap and believed she was in the right to eat it.

Adam on the other hand sinned by allowing his wife to lead him. She talked him into eating the fruit, but he wasn’t fooled. He knew that eating the fruit was wrong but did it anyway and in doing so he abandoned the word of God to follow after Eve.

It’s a very subtle difference but hugely important. I believe that this story shows why in the new testament women were forbidden from teaching men. Women are by their nature much more likely to be led astray from the absolute truth by emotional arguments and fall into relative truths. And men have a hard time saying no to a woman, so they allow things to continue that they know aren’t correct just to avoid rocking the boat.

No Ma’am has some good stuff about absolute vs. relative truth.

6 10 2012
Jacob Ian Stalk

@White Raven

I think you’re out on a limb with this interpretation, although the “relative truth” argument is interesting. Firstly, how is it possible that Eve “allowed herself” to be fooled by the serpent? Such a claim implies she had the power to resist but couldn’t, which is contradictory.

Secondly, the statement “she relied on her own understanding rather than doing what she had been told” sounds like a rationalisation of Eve’s behaviour, which itself was a rationalisation. A double rationalisation doesn’t make truth, just as two wrongs don’t make a right. Eve’s desire ought not be called truth, nor her feelings of ‘rightness’. I suspect it means just as written – Eve’s selfish desire, rationalised.

Thirdly, Adam’s sin wasn’t an abdication of leadership (Eve was a helpmeet, not a follower). His sin was that he himself didn’t obey God. Twisting this around puts us on the same slippery slope that allowed feminism to proliferate – i.e. the notion that Adam’s sin somehow excuses Eve’s.

Fourthly, I don’t believe it’s a woman’s susceptibility to be led astray by emotional arguments that make her unsuited to Christian leadership (men are emotional beings too). Rather, I think this is because women as a class are more at the mercy of their biological imperatives than men are to theirs, which makes women less emotionally consistent and less reliable.

Lastly, your statement “men seem to have a hard time saying no to a woman”, is a variation of the idea that Adam’s sin excuses Eve’s. I want to turn the statement on its head and say in the age of feminism women seem to have a hard time receiving “no” from men.

27 01 2013
Father Marker

Eve also got herself into trouble by virtue of the fact that she added to God’s word. God said “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Eve quoted God “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

See the addition “neither shall ye touch it”

The bible has a curse that applies to anyone who takes away or add to God’s word Rev 22:8.

Obviously Eve got herself into trouble before she even took up the fruit.

5 09 2013
Isabell

From the garden of Eden man has turned over leadership ability to the
woman. Men sit down in Churches while woman take over. God did not call
woman to be Pastors she cannot be the head over a MAN.

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