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Genesis 3:11-13 ESV

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Sometimes, I have read this passage and thought to myself, “What might have happened if instead of making excuses and pointing fingers, the man and the woman took responsibility for their actions, and repented?”

Genesis 3:14-15 ESV

The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

Here we have the first Messianic prophecy.

Remember, this serpent was not a snake. This was that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan. The Hebrew called him a Nachash, a “shining one,” an angel.

This is not a just-so story about why the snake crawls on its belly. However, it does take advantage of the serpent/angel double-meaning of the original Hebrew to frame the devil’s defeat in a powerful way. Even now, God is confident of victory.

God was not cursing a snake, He was cursing the arch-demon. Satan’s fate was sealed in the garden. One day, the offspring of the woman, Jesus Christ, would crush his head.

Genesis 3:16 ESV

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

Probably not the most popular verse about women in the Bible. Even so, it’s in there. I’ll leave it at that.

Genesis 3:17-19 ESV

And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

The curse on the man was not work. God hade created the man to work, to till the plants of the field in the garden of Eden.

The curse had to do with the ground that the man had worked from the beginning. Now the work would be hard and painful. The man would continue to work the ground, but now it would work against him. He would have to fight thorns and sweat just to eat. Life on earth became harsh and uncertain.

Genesis 3:20-21 ESV

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Adam and Eve were not called by name until after the fall. (I’m not really sure what the significance of that is.)

Genesis 3:22-24 ESV

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

When God had given Adam the commandment, He warned him, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Genesis 2:17, ESV). Adam and Eve clearly did not die biologically; they died spiritually. Their sin separated them from God.

Some Young-Earth Creationists argue against Day-Age Creationism by protesting that it places the curse of death before the fall. However, the Scripture never indicated that the creation was to retain physical life forever. He had commanded the animals and humans to be fruitful and multiply. Had they done so with every creature possessing eternal biological life, it would have been quite a mess.

The death that Adam and Eve suffered was spiritual, and the life offered by the Tree of Life was also spiritual. Humans had to be right with God before they could eat of the fruit of eternal life again.

2,000 years ago Jesus Christ hung on a tree so we could eat of the Tree of Life again. The prophecy has been fulfilled!