Faith Seeking Understanding

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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In the book of Genesis, the third and the fourth chapters talk about the fall of man; how the serpent, being crafty than any other creature, deceived Adam and Eve. In regards to the fall man, controversy has erupted in this section of the book of Genesis. The plethora of opinions comes from the rule placed by God on the abstinence from consumption of the fruit of the tree of life. The tree of life was placed at the center of the Garden of Eden. God clearly stated that both Adam and Eve should not eat from the tree of life, this rule was very simple to obey considering that the Garden of Eden had many other fruit trees. It is in human nature which is, as a matter of fact, Gods nature to fall into temptation. Nature dictates nurture, the nature of the life of the first man was that of obedience; disobedience grows where disobedience has already set root. In essence, evil doesnt develop in its absence, the forces of good and evil were already existent. Good at all times outshines evil, it is with the acts of goodness that evil is shunned away, this is where good gets to be good.

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The Bible clearly states that the snake was the most crafty of all the animal in Gods creation, the snake under the influence of the fallen angel (Satan) went ahead to tempt Eve. It is apparently clear that Satan could not communicate directly with Eve due to his existence in spiritual form, he could not present himself to speak with Eve directly due to lack of a physical body. Since the snake could slither its way through the garden despite the thorns, it was the perfect tool for the devil. The snake went ahead and asked Eve if God had stated that they could not eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden. Eve went ahead to state Gods instruction to the snake, which clearly stated that they could eat from any tree in the garden except for the tree in the middle of the garden she goes ahead to state that they should not touch it lest they die (Augustine, Walsh, & Monahan, 22).

The serpent went ahead to inform Eve that if they eat from the tree of life, their eyes would be opened, that they would be like God, the would be able to tell good from evil. Looking into this precept, the devil tempts Eve with a bargain she cannot reject. In essence, this part of the scriptures indicates that the serpent created the impression that God denied Adam and Eve the ability to judge by themselves. It brings the question of free will; God created human beings to be creatures with a high tendency towards obedience, in this case, the devil made it clear that mans obedience was blind obedience. In a way the serpents proposition was tempting, Eve saw that the fruit looked good, it was edible, and on top of it, it came with the withheld wisdom. She made the decision to eat it, after this, she went ahead and gave the fruit to Adam who went ahead to eat it. Sin was committed by both Adam and Eve upon the consumption of the fruit, immediately after they consumed the fruit the truth of what the devil said was unfolded. The Bible says that they actually realized that they were naked. When God was walking around the Garden of Eden, He called out to Adam and Eve, the two hid, they went ahead to collect wigs to cover their nakedness. Adam and Eve had transgressed Gods law, and this act was definitely punishable.

Judgment for the disobedience of Gods command came as a surprise to Adam. When God inquired why Adam and Eve were hiding from Him, Adam went ahead to respond to God that the woman whom you put here with me gave me the fruit and I ate it. These statements actually mean that Adam thought he would be absolved of his disobedience by just pushing the blame to Eve (Augustine, Walsh, & Monahan, 28). When Eve was asked why she did it, she responded that the serpent had deceived her. It is difficult to state if Adam had transgressed Gods command or had Eve did it, Adam did not pick the fruit from the tree but from Eve. Despite his inaction in the plucking of the fruit, it does not absolve him of the crime of disobedience. Adam decided to consume the fruit because he could not help or survive to be separated with his companion, he decided to stick with her even when they were partnering in sin. This means that Adam sinned with a conscious mind, he did not sin based on temptation like Eve did, but by his own accord. It is difficult to say that Adam was not deceived, he actually was deceived by the devil just but through a different mechanism altogether. The devil used Eve whom he knows was much more culpable than Adam, but he also knew in his mind that Adam was culpable to Eve. Going through Eve to made Adam sin was the perfect way to cause a cookie crumble in the Garden of Eden and to Gods grand creation, this was the devils ultimate payback to God having been cast out of heaven.

In a way Adam thought the sin was venial, he goes ahead to explain everything to God, but he receives a response that shook him out of his wits. In regards to the judgment passed Adam can be said to have been deceived, Adam thought that the sin would be forgiven just by apologizing to God. In a saddening turn of events Adam, Eve and the serpent were all cursed. The serpent was cursed to crawl on its belly and to eat dust. Then Eve was cursed to a painful childbirth; enmity was placed between the offsprings of the woman and that of the serpent. The Bible says that Eves offspring would crush the serpents head and the serpent would strike on their heels. Eve was cursed on to desire her husband in whom she will find satisfaction and will always do according to his will. This part of the scriptures clearly describes the common sedentary family setting; the husband leads while women follow. Women desire their husbands through sex, women follow up to the demands of their husbands and give off his offsprings. This curse is a punishment to women for their sin, which is deceiving Adam. As a punishment, a womans free will was eliminated and hence she does as a man commands, this is to pay up for the deceit.

Both Adam and Eve succumbed to the snares of evil through the devil's master plan of taking down Gods favorite creations. The devil was jealous of the special treatment that Adam and Eve received while at the Garden, in a way the devil also wanted to disappoint God after his alleged unfair oust out of heaven. The sins of the first human beings altered completely the course of life, it is confusing to wonder how much of a sin was the first sin, how big was it and why was it punished in the harshest manner possible. The fact is that it is out of the first corruption that we see the and even feel, we experience life and death, all these experiences were null before sin was committed. It is difficult to imagine the life lived by Adam and Eve before the commitment of the sin. It should be clear that this sin was not very big as compared to atrocities committed by human beings currently, but it was the first sin, the sin of disobedience to a direct command. Obedience is the mother of all virtues explains Augustine in his book, with absolute obedience to a command means there is no space for second thinking. Absolute loyalty without question is what God intended for human beings, and that is what he expected of Adam and Eve. The iniquity committed violated all of Gods instructions; funny thing is that the instruction was the easiest to respect since they never lacked while at the Garden of Eden.

Once the sin was committed and God made his judgment, Adam and Eve were drove out of the Garden of Eden. God made hide skins to clothe them on their departure. It is clear that despite all this, God still cared for them. God was obviously saddened by the circumstances that befell Him, his most favorite creation had forsaken him and failed to comply with His instruction. The bible said that God said that man has now become like one of us, he must not eat again from the tree of life lest he lives forever. This statement means a lot, one it could mean that God wanted to retain the power to knowledge access to Himself and the Trinity. Upon mans consumption of the fruit of the tree of life, he became wiser and knew the difference between good and bad (Augustine, Walsh, & Monahan, 55). This indicates that the tree of life contained knowledge of all time. Of evil acts and good acts. The tree of life also contains the power of immortality. God goes ahead to protect the tree of life through the use of Cherubim and a sword of fire that flashed back and forth in the protection of the tree of life. This means that upon mans second consumption of the tree of life, he shall prevail over death. The casting of man and woman out of the Garden of Eden is one way of preventing a man from gaining the power of immortality. It is clear to see that God always wished for complete submission and obedience from human beings, disobedience was punished immediately, this also shocked Adam. God pushed the man out of the Garden of Eden in order to avoid access to a power that would equate man from God. In his likeness were we created, not a replica of Him, so we are not entitled to the power He wields?


Augustine, Walsh, G., & Monahan, G. (2008). The city of God (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press.

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