DIG: How can something “good” - the beauty, nourishment or wisdom conveyed by the fruit – be “wrong” when it feels so good? What does this imply for our “if it feels good, do it” society? Why do you think Adam ate the fruit? Could he have resisted? What should he have done? Do you think Adam is more, or less, responsible than Eve? Why?
REFLECT: Can you think of three harder words to say than, “I am sorry?” How easy is it for you to admit you were wrong? To forgive others? If you say you are sorry and are forgiven, does that mean there are no consequences for your actions? Why or why not? What do you believe about God? Is He for you or against you? What do you base your decision on? Experience? Scripture?
Sin always takes you further than you wanted to go, and always costs you more than you wanted to pay (James 1:13-15). Had Eve resisted from the start, she would not have fallen; for it is a universal truth that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). Nothing is more certain than the Adversary powerlessness to overcome us apart from our own consent. If we resist, he runs away; if we give in, he wins. It is this simple fact that points to our ultimate responsibility for our actions.
Once Eve started to doubt Elohim’s goodness and His intentions towards her, it was a very slippery slope to the Fall. Sin starts in the mind, then transfers to the heart, which results in action. The three aspects of the forbidden fruit that seduced her correspond perfectly to those in First John 2:16 and Jesus’ response to the ancient Serpent during His temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13).
First, the fruit of the tree was good for food, which is the lust of the flesh in First John 2:16 NKJ. One day, of course, Messiah would come into the world and He would be tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). During His temptation, the deceiver said to Him: If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. Jesus answered: It is written, “Man does not live on bread alone” (Luke 4:3-4). Unlike Eve, who did not rely on God’s spoken word when confronting the devil, Messiah quotes Deuteronomy 8:3.
Secondly, it was pleasing to the eye, which is the lust of the eyes in First John 2:16. In the wilderness, the Enemy of souls said to Yeshua: I will give You all the kingdoms of the world and all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be Yours. Jesus said: It is written, “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Luke 4:5-8). Again, Christ quotes from the TANAKH in Deuteronomy 6:13.
Thirdly, it was also desirable for gaining wisdom. The Hebrew word for desire or desirable is nechmad, which has the same root meaning as covet. Here is the essence of coveting. It is that attitude that says, “I don’t have this and I need this in order to be content.” This is the boasting of what he has and does which is the essence of pride as seen in First John 2:16. During the Lord’s forty days of temptation, the deceiver took Him to Yerushalayim and had Yeshua stand on the highest point of the Temple (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Bj – Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness) and said to Him: If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: “He will command His angels concerning You and guard You carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. But Jesus answered: It says, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:9-12). Once again, Yeshua ben David confronted the great dragon with Scripture (from Deuteronomy 6:16).
Rabbi Sha’ul warns us that the same thing can easily happen to us today. I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpents’ cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (Second Corinthians 11:3). None of us is immune from the clever wiles of the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (First Peter 5:8).58 So, like Christ, we need to use Scripture when confronted by him. There is power in the Word.
For mankind to be genuinely free, there has to be an option. The choice is to obey or to disobey God. In the case of Adam and Eve, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolized that choice. And to obey God is to love God, but that love needs to be voluntary. You really can’t force someone to love another. And many times by trying to force love on someone, that person ends up hating the other. It is the same with Elohim. He wants us to love Him because we have made a decision to do so. Now the LORD could have created us as little robots. We could throw up our hands and say, “Praise Him, praise Him,” but with no love in it. We wouldn’t want to be loved that way and neither does God. He wants us to love Him because we choose to love Him. So He created us with a free will; free to love Him and have a relationship with Him or free to reject Him and have no relationship. Free to obey His Word or to sin. It is clear then, that ADONAI did not create sin. He merely provided the options necessary for human freedom, options which could result in sin.59
She took some and ate it. The only fruit mentioned in the context is the fig tree in 3:7. The traditional interpretation is that the fruit was an apple. This may have first started due to the common sound of malus, the Latin word for evil, and malum, the Latin word for apple.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (3:6). Eve became to Adam, what the serpent had become to Eve. But incredibly, Adam was with her all along and did nothing to stop her! In fact, he didn’t put up much of a fight at all. Eve doesn’t even need to try to tempt him. She merely gives it to him and he ate it. Adam was supposed to guard and protect the Garden, while Eve was supposed to help him. But there was an unmistakable reversal of roles with the helper leading, and the protector following (see Bf – Your Desire Will Be For Your Husband, and He Will Rule Over You). Furthermore, athough they both seem equally guilty, there was a clear distinction between his sin and hers.
Some have suggested that what Adam did was out of love for Eve, choosing to share her sin and guilt rather than leaving her to face God’s judgment alone. This would be consistent with the typology, suggesting the truth that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). However, this motive would almost make Adam appear noble in sinning, and the Bible never implies such a thing. His sin was deliberate, wicked and inexcusable.60 The Scriptures clearly place the responsibility of the Fall on him. Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), but Adam sinned with full knowledge; for him it was an act of rebellion. Thus, sin entered the world through one man, Adam (Romans 5:12a).
When Adam sinned, all mankind sinned, and because his first sin transformed his body and soul, all mankind’s bodies and souls were transformed. His perfect, sinless body, which would have endured forever if he had not sinned, was changed. Now he had a sin nature, to be inherited down to you and me today. Now all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22). As a result, when we are born (because we are descendants of Adam), we are born with this same sin nature. The world thinks that we are born good. And for an Adolph Hitler, or a Saddam Hussein to kill millions of people, something had to go drastically wrong. But the Bible teaches that when we are born we have inherited Adam’s sin nature, and for us to have a right standing before Elohim, something has to go drastically right; we must accept Messiah’s death on the cross for our sin and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Make no mistake about it, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9b). Therefore, there are only two kinds of spiritual food. There is devil’s food and angel’s food, and if you aren’t eating one, you’re eating the other!
Adam’s sin breaks the Covenant that God had with Adam (1:28-30 and 2:15-17). Speaking of unrepentant Isra'el, Hosea says: Like Adam, they have broken the covenant; they were unfaithful to God (Hosea 6:7). The result was spiritual death.