What Does The Bible Really Say About Eve’s Participation In The Fall?
Jane McNally wrote this article below. It is definitely an eye opener. I would love to hear your comments about Eve and what you deem to be truth.
In Genesis 1:1 God describes his Creation as “very good.” Both man and woman were created in God’s image and were together instructed to multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and to have dominion over all living creatures.
Adam was to tend the Garden of Eden, which had been prepared for him, and to keep or guard it (Heb. shamar, the same word as in Genesis 3:24 where cherubim and a sword guarded the way to the tree of life). This implies that some evil power was seeking to enter the Garden.
God told Adam that he could eat fruit of every tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil that was in the center of the Garden. The tree was there to remind him that God the Creator was sovereign, and that he, Adam, was God’s creation, dependent upon and answerable to God. If he were to eat of the forbidden tree, the disobedience, an act of independence from God, would separate him from God, the source of life, and he would die. All this was not spelled out, for obedience was not to be through compulsion or fear, but by voluntary choice, responding to the Creator’s love and goodness.
Adam had the pleasant occupation of looking after a beautiful garden-park with animals to enjoy and train if he wished, and he had fellowship with God. Yet God saw that it was “not good” for him to be alone, and formed woman from his side, drawn out and molded from the same physical and soul-stuff as he – a mate, his equal partner and counterpart, of the same essence, but different.
Commenting on the statement that God found Adam’s condition now to be not good, Katharine Bushnell says we are not told what were the signs of this change, “… but the following points should be weighed:
- Adam was offered freely the tree of life (2:16) but did not eat of it (2:22);
- Was made keeper as well as dresser of the Garden (2:15), but Satan later enters it…”
She quotes early commentators:
William Law, a learned theologian and one of the most accomplished writers of his day, declares:
“Adam had lost much of his perfection before his Eve was taken out of him, which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total.”
The German philosopher Jacob Behman taught that
“There must have been something in the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, while Adam was yet alone in Eden.” [John Wesley had his entire Methodist preachers study Behman’s writings.]
Eve was created [Bushnell: he should have said elaborated,] to help Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.
Adam’s devious reply to God’s questioning after the pair had eaten the forbidden fruit shows that something had gone wrong. Further evidence of the beginning of a fall was in his not protecting his young wife from the temptation she was going to face. He was a silent observer.
The Genesis account does not say what Adam may have been told about the tree of life, which also was in the center of the Garden (2:9). But for it to come down to us in Scripture, he must have known of it and spoken of it to his offspring. Both trees are symbolic, the tree of life symbolic of commitment to obedience and dependence upon the sovereign Creator-God, the source and giver of life.
The woman was to be a strong help, Adam’s female counterpart. Gilbert Bilizekian notes that the word helper (Heb. ezer) “is used in the Bible as a designation for someone who rescues or saves from difficult situations rather than for a subordinate assistant, which the word suggests in English.” Nineteen of the twenty-one usages in the O.T. concern God as help or helper.
Satan, who as a mighty angel had thrown off dependence upon God (Isa.14:12–15), used the serpent as a tool; hence, the creature’s craftiness and subtlety. The evil one had slipped into the Garden. The serpent’s appearance must have been more pleasing to the woman before God’s curse was pronounced upon it. Paul could have had this in mind when he wrote: “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).
The serpent addressed the woman, possibly because she was the newcomer, not yet in existence when God commanded Adam concerning the tree. Another view is that she was seen as the stronger of the two, and if she fell, Adam would fall too. Using the plural ‘you’ (‘ye’ in the King James Version of 3:1, 4-5) because the man was “with her” and could be targeted also (v. 6), the tempter asked:
“Has God [really] said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
The woman responded directly that they could eat of every tree except one designated one, adding emphasis given to her by Adam, or her own imagination, “… neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
The tempter then made the attack. “Ye shall not surely die: for God knows that in the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:4–5).
Now, was the woman to believe Adam’s report or to believe the clever serpent?
The fruit looked good, and to gain wisdom also was good. Satan was projecting on her his own fantasy, “to be like God,” which had caused his downfall (cf. Isa.14:12 ff). The account does not indicate whether the woman shared that particular wish. She was a recent arrival with much yet to see and learn, and did not necessarily buy the tempter’s entire package. The account reads: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate” (v. 6).
Eve felt free to reply to the tempter without consulting her husband. There was no hierarchy, no male dominance, before the fall. It would, however, have been good for the two to have talked together about the matter. The oneness, which had been God’s intention for them, was not yet their experience. Apparently this relationship also would be achieved by right choices in a growing fellowship and love.
If You Would Like To Read More Of The Story CLICK HERE!
What Lessons Can We Learn From Eve?
Don’t Get Into A Debate With Satan – Get Out!
We can’t stop the Adversary from whispering in our ears, but we can refuse to listen, and we can definitely refuse to respond. No arguing, no debating! Like Eve, we’ll come out the loser. Let’s stand and resist. “Just Say No.” If he doesn’t flee, we can take off running for the safety of the Lord’s arms.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 (NLT)
Know God’s Word So You Won’t Be Fooled
When the serpents in our lives say, “Did God really say…?” Let’s be the first on our block to declare, “No, God did not!” Because Eve didn’t remember the words of God’s one commandment accurately, she left herself wide open for temptation to rush in. Studying, even memorizing, verses from the Bible gives us the strength to say no because we know.
I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11 (NLT)
Watch Out For The Big Three
Women are physical, emotional, and spiritual in nature, and all three areas have their weak spots. In Eve’s case, the serpent sank his fangs into all three, by appealing to her physical appetite for food, her emotional appreciation of beauty, and her spiritual desire to be like God. Satan uses exactly the same tactics today. He’s not creative in the least, just persistent. By identifying our weaknesses in all three areas, then arming ourselves with biblical defense methods, we can keep from experiencing our own daily (hourly!) reenactment of the Fall.
All the things the world can offer to you—the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority—do not come from the Father. These are the rotten fruits of this world.
1 John 2:16 (VOICE)
Let’s Avoid The Blame Game
Shifting blame is practically a pastime.
So whom shall we blame for our proclivity to sin?
Want to go all the way back to Eve?
Or take a page from Adam’s diary and blame God – “It’s your fault, Lord. You made me this way!” No. God gave us his Spirit to empower us, his word to strengthen us, and his Son to catch us when we fall. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we choose to sin. And no want to thank but our Creator when he chooses to save us from our sins… again.
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)
Excerpt taken from the book, “Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn From Them.”
The Freedom Of Choice
The early chapters of Genesis are presented as the account of our first parents, but they also tell the reader that human beings, meant to live for the glory of God by obedience to and in dependence upon him, have freedom to choose. If they choose wrongly, there can be forgiveness and reinstatement with the loving Creator-God through repentance and turning to him with faith in his mercy and provision of salvation.
We have quoted men and women whose diligent study is leading to lessening of the blame that traditionally has fallen on Mother Eve. The worldwide abuse of women and girls in our day is enormous and tragic. Satan is still the archenemy of the woman, and in different ways, of the man. The woman is vulnerable through an acquired inferior status and through her nurturing nature. Christ was invariably her champion and encourager in his days on earth; and through his servants marked change in attitude and conduct has, and is continuing, to take place in many cultures. God haste the day when His Church will fully demonstrate the equality and mutual love of its sons and daughters for all the world to see.