A Daily Genesis

Genesis 3:1b-5a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:1b . . He said to the woman,[/B]

A characteristic of Eden's world was not only a lack of human death, but also a lack of fear. Man feared neither himself, nor the other creatures, nor the dark, nor the boogie man.

The woman displayed no recorded astonishment whatsoever when the Serpent spoke to her; which suggests it had conversed with the Adams on other occasions before this incident; and possibly had become a close family friend. Before making its move to wreck their life, the Serpent more than likely spent some time in advance nurturing a rapport with the Adams so the woman would have no cause for alarm when it approached; and would. therefore not suspect its intentions.

That's actually a pretty effective sales approach. Many years ago I sold vacuum cleaners for a little while. I was trained to engage potential customers in chit-chat, a.k.a. small talk, to break the ice and get them to let their guards down. In other words; to build some trust before I got down to the predatory business of talking them into buying something expensive that they could easily get by without.

Being an innocent who had never been exposed to evil, the woman would certainly never suspect one of God's creatures to be anything but honest and truthful. Up to this point, Eve wasn't even aware that something called a lie existed. And actually, she didn't even know what honesty was either because nobody had taught her anything about it yet.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:1c . . Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?[/B]

Catching the woman alone, away from her husband's oversight, the Serpent began subtly introducing a concept which neither she nor Adam had even imagined before: it is actually possible for a creature to question its maker. However; that is not a particularly good idea.

"Shame on him who argues with his Maker, though naught but a potsherd of earth!" (Isa 45:9)

"All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account. [God] does as He wishes with the host of heaven, and with the inhabitants of the earth. There is none to stay His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" (Dan 4:32)

Why didn't the Serpent attempt to trick the male before turning to Eve? Well, Adam was a tougher nut to crack because he got his intel straight from the horse's mouth and knew the truth very clearly and without ambiguity. But the woman quite possibly was instructed second hand, in conversations with her husband; who was, in effect, her personal rabbi. So it would be fairly easy to convince Eve that maybe she didn't hear her husband correctly; or worse; that he didn't know what he was talking about. I mean: isn't there more than one way to interpret the Bible? How do you know your way is the right way?

Of course it was ridiculous to suggest the humans were forbidden to eat of "any" tree. But the Serpent was slowly sneaking up on the woman with subtle suggestions. Probing for weak points, the Serpent tested her understanding of God's instructions by asking a question that she should have been able to answer with relative ease. In response; the woman bounced right back and quoted God like a pro (or so she thought).

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:2-3 . . The woman replied to the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.[/B]

oopsie! Where did God say Adam couldn't "touch" the fruit? He didn't. (cf. Gen 2:16-17)

The woman adulterated God's instructions by reading something into them that He didn't actually say. She fell prey to a very human weakness-- not only of adulterating God's testimony, but of a tendency to make the laws of God more cumbersome and more strict than they really are.

Adulteration changes the meanings of God's sayings and inevitably leads people into error. While often containing a kernel of truth, adulterations are nevertheless not pure truth, but amalgams of truth and human error that falsify God's teachings and direct people off in the wrong direction; leading them to believe, and to repeat, things that aren't true. Adulterations are also very useful for manipulating people to favor the Serpent's wishes rather than the Lord's. Thus, without their knowing it, they fall in line and become the Serpent's sheep instead of Christ's.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:4 . . And the serpent said to the woman: You are not going to die,[/B]

Here we have the beginnings of what's known as a half-truth; which Webster's defines as[B]:[/B] a statement that is only partly true and that is intended to deceive people. In other words: a half-truth contains a kernel of truth but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Having already tested the woman's interpretation of God's instructions, and found it in error, the Serpent was understandably encouraged to push on and attempt to introduce some additional bogus concepts. The woman's fall is typical. First she adulterated God's instructions. Then she listened to someone refute them. Next, she will accept the refuter's argument, and then she will break with God.
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[/SIZE][B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] Something that believers have to be constantly on guard against is sophistry; which Webster's defines as subtly deceptive reasoning and/or argumentation. Quite a number of cults are built on sophistry; which of course they call "reasonable" and/or "sensible". But faith isn't built upon only what makes sense to it; but rather, faith is built upon what's revealed to it. So be careful out there; most especially with door-to-door missionaries.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 3:5a . . but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings[/B]

The Hebrew word for "divine beings" is [I]'elohiym[/I] (el-o-heem') which is the very same word for man's creator in Gen 1:1. If someone presented you with an opportunity to be a god; wouldn't you take it? I think so; especially if you didn't know any better.

The thing to note is that the Serpent's prediction wasn't altogether untrue. In time they did become gods (Gen 3:22, Ps 82) but his prediction was a half-truth. In other words; he withheld a very important aspect of god-ism; and that is there is only one true god (John 17:3) so that by default, Eve and her husband became false gods since in the Bible there is no intermediate layer of gods sandwiched between the true and the false.

Anyway: the Serpent insinuated that their creator was withholding the tree, not because it was poisonous or anything like that; but to keep the humans in check: much in the way that some of the world's despots utilize illiteracy, control of radio and television programming, and limited internet access to keep their subjects in check. In effect, the Serpent was saying that God got His wisdom from that very same tree and that's why He didn't want to share the fruit with them; because then they might become savvy enough to go out on their own without depending so much upon their maker.

In her defense; the woman was inexperienced, and certainly no match for the Serpent's intelligence nor his powers of persuasion. But her defeat wasn't inevitable. She could have easily resisted the Serpent by simply sticking to her guns and parroting God's instructions over and over again until the Serpent got disgusted and gave up. But no, she dropped God's instructions early on; and thus set the stage for the utter ruin of her own posterity.

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