Saturday, March 24, 2018

Genesis 3:1-24

The snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lᴏʀᴅ God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really tell you that you shouldn’t eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 The woman replied to the snake, “We’re permitted to eat fruit from any of the trees -- 3 except for fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘Don’t eat from it. Don’t even touch it. If you do, you will die.’”

4 The snake said to the woman, “Come on… You won’t die! Quite the opposite! 5 God knows that as soon as you eat fruit from that tree, you’ll become all-knowing gods. You’ll understand everything, ranging from that which is good to that which is evil.”

6 The woman started looking the tree over and saw how beautiful it was -- loaded with obviously delicious food -- and on top of that, it would dispense wisdom. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was there with her at the tree. And he ate the fruit, too. 7 They were instantly enlightened -- and realized that they were shamefully naked. So they sewed some fig leaves together and covered themselves.

8 Late in the afternoon, the wind kicked up and the couple realized that the Lᴏʀᴅ God was moving about in the garden. The man and his wife hid themselves from him amongst the trees there.

9 The Lᴏʀᴅ God summoned the man, “Why are you hiding?”

10 The man replied, “When I heard you moving through the garden I hid. I was afraid because of my nakedness.”

11 The Lᴏʀᴅ God replied, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that tree -- the tree from which I told you not to eat?”

12 The man immediately shifted the blame to both God and his wife -- “The woman YOU gave me, SHE handed me some of the fruit from the tree. So I ate it.”

13 The Lᴏʀᴅ God, in exasperation, said to the woman, “What have you done?”

And she replied, shifting the blame to the snake, “That snake tricked me into eating it.”

14 So, the Lᴏʀᴅ God said to the snake, “Because of your role in this catastrophe, I am separating you out from all the other animals -- domesticated and wild. You alone will have to slither instead of walk. For the rest of your days you are condemned to eat dust.

15 Furthermore, your and your offspring’s relationship with the woman and her offspring will be characterized by ongoing hostility. They will crush your head, while you strike at their heels.”

16 Then the Lᴏʀᴅ God turned to the woman, “I’m going to make the whole childbearing process more painful. It will be laborious to have children. Furthermore, your relationship with your husband will be a source of stress, too. While you are trying to direct him, he will be controlling you.

17-18 Then the Lᴏʀᴅ God spoke to the man, “Because you let your wife lead you into eating fruit from the tree that I specifically commanded you to avoid, the otherwise fertile land you farm will be cursed with weeds and thistles. Living off the land, once easy, will be a pain for the rest of your days. 19 So, you’ll be sweating to put food on the table. This will be the case until you die and your body returns to the ground. You were made from soil and in the end you will return to the soil.”

20 The man named his wife Eve, which means “life-giver,” for she is the mother of everyone who lives (in contrast to the pagan claim that Hawwat, a goddess in the form of a snake, is the mother of life). 21 The Lᴏʀᴅ God then made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife -- and dressed them.

22 The Lᴏʀᴅ God said, “The human beings have now become like us in that they have experiential knowledge of good and evil.”

Lest they’d make their fallen condition permanent by also stealing and eating fruit from the tree that gives life, the Lᴏʀᴅ God exiled them from the garden of Eden. 23 He sent them to farm the fertile land from which Adam had been formed. 24 When he drove the people from the garden, the Lᴏʀᴅ God stationed sentries -- angelic cherubim armed with a revolving sword of fire -- to guard the east access pathway that leads to the tree that gives life.