A Daily Genesis

Genesis 3:5b-6

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:5b . . who know good from evil[/B].

Why anybody in Eve's circumstances would have the slightest interest in knowing good from evil defies reason. I mean, in her circumstances, in the garden of Eden; who would even have a use for that kind of information? But we all know that's about; don't we. Yes; human nature's curiosity is never satisfied. The desire for information, even trivial information, is common to all of us. I'd imagine that after observing Adam and his wife for a while, the Serpent figured that out all by himself in no time at all.

The Serpent was correct about one thing though. Eve would know good from evil after eating from the tree alright; only he didn't tell her it would be an instinctive knowing rather than an enlightened knowing. In other words; man wasn't designed to be a god; but rather, the student of a god.

"I know, O Yhvh, that a man's way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps." (Jer 10:23)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:6a . . When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating[/B]

By watching what birds and animals eat, people can often tell what's safe for human consumption. That's not always true of course, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb. So the woman could safely assume the tree wasn't poisonous if there wasn't a growing pile of sick and/or dead critters at the base of the tree.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:6b . . and a delight to the eyes,[/B]

Most fruits and vegetables are appealing-- just look at bananas and pears and apples and oranges and watermelon and cantaloupe and grapes and carrots, and radishes, and plums and mangoes and strawberries and whatever. God doubtless made them that way so Man could not only nourish himself, but also enjoy his food; viz[B]:[/B] not only eat because he has to, but also because he'd like to.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:6c . . and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom,[/B]

The "wisdom" available from the tree was in the form of "instinct" which can be defined as 1) a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned, 2) a natural predilection and/or proclivity that makes you want to act in a particular way, and 3) something you know without learning it or thinking about it.

Some folks, insulted by being thought of as no more sophisticated then a bird or a beast, prefer to have their instincts labeled "intuition". Well; that's okay by me. In my mind's eye there's no difference, so what the hay; let the Wookie win one.

Anyway, Eve probably figured that a fruit as attractive to the eye, and appealing to one's mind, as that of the forbidden tree couldn't possibly be as bad as God led them to believe. I mean, if it at least had some sharp needles like cactus pears, or maybe a prickly surface like a pineapple, then it would at least have been a bit intimidating; but the forbidden fruit was nothing like that; no, it looked very benevolent.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:6d . . she took of its fruit and ate.[/B]

You can just see Eve's eyes brighten from the sugar rush as she realized the Serpent was right after all-- she didn't drop dead. So the woman brought it home and convinced her man to try it too.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 3:6e . . She also gave some to her husband, and he ate.[/B]

Did Eve first deftly dice the fruit and camouflage it in a tasty parfait so her husband wouldn't know what he was eating? No. Adam knew exactly what he was doing. He went into it with eyes wide open.

"Adam was not the one deceived" (1Tim 2:14)

I have to wonder why the husband followed his wife's lead and did something he knew full well to be breaking God's commandment and putting himself at risk of death. Genesis doesn't reveal why Adam chose to eat the fruit. I suppose he had his reasons, but apparently God didn't think they were sufficient to excuse the man's disobedience.

I think Adam was cautious at first, and kept a wary eye on Eve for some time waiting to see if she would get sick; and when she didn't, he surely had to wonder if maybe God was wrong. I think most husbands would sympathize with Adam. I mean: here's your wife sitting right beside you happily munching away on something that you were led to believe was toxic, and she's still healthy, lucid, and exhibiting no ill side effects: how is a man supposed to argue with that?

Adam was told by a competent source that the forbidden tree was lethal. Though he could see for himself that Eve was experiencing no ill side effects; he should have refused to taste it until at the very least he consulted with somebody who knows what they're talking about: which in his case was the maker of the fruit.

There's a useful lesson to be learned from it. In other words: Faith believes what's revealed to it rather than only what makes sense to it. Eve's apparent immunity to the fruit's toxins wasn't really reason enough to assume that God's instructions were unreliable. But even had they been unreliable; it was still wrong of Adam to brush them aside and do as he pleased. He was told not to eat the fruit. Whether it was actually toxic or harmless is unimportant. This episode was primarily about the quality of Adam's attitude towards authority rather than about the quality of the fruit.

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