There are many interesting things in the early chapters of Genesis, which I have been pondering of late. Of course, it is easy to let your imagination run wild when ‘fleshing’ those early centuries out. Think about this: the first eleven chapters of Genesis covers about as much time (+/- 2000 yrs) as Genesis 12-Acts. Still, i believe it is beneficial to exercise our minds in these chapters. This post is just food for thought.
You may have heard people say that the Bible blames Eve for bringing evil into the world. That is patently untrue. Paul wrote in R0mans 5:12 that it was by the actions of one man (Adam) that sin and death entered the world. Did Eve play a part? Certainly, but the onus is place squarely on Adam’s shoulders. Eve was deceived according to Paul in 2 Timothy 2:14. I take that to mean that Adam was not; therefore, he sinned knowingly–which is worse than doing so in ignorance.
Let’s consider a couple things. First of all, we know that Adam was created before Eve. We also know, according to Genesis 2, that Adam spent some time alone with God before she was made from his flesh. In fact, the commandment not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was given to Adam and then he named all the animals. Only after this was the woman made for him. These are the facts.
Now for some speculation. Considering again what Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthains 11:3, that the head of woman is man, I often wonder if God did not give the commandment to Adam so that the man could then relay it to his wife–God put Adam in the role of leader and guide. Imagine Adam on the second day showing Eve around the garden and telling her what he had named the animals, what they could eat and so on. Eve would immediately have learned to heed Adam’s voice and let him guide her. Imagine what this did for Adam’s self-confidence.
Then, perhaps, they come upon the Tree. I can picture Eve asking her husband if they can eat that fruit. After all, everything else was fair game. Knowing myself well enough I can almost guess what happened then. If you look at Genesis 3:3 (Eve’s response to the serpent’s question) and compare it with God’s command to Adam in Genesis 2:17, you will notice that Eve has added something to God’s words: “nor shall you touch it”.
Remember the reference to Romans 5 above? Did Eve ‘put’ these words in God’s ‘mouth’? What if Adam did, thinking it the ‘safest way’. I mean, if they were not to eat of the fruit, maybe it would be best not to touch it! I can see myself doing this (because I make mandates like this all the time). Maybe Adam told Eve not to touch it in order to protect her. Keep in mind, Adam was her head and the more experienced one–we can’t devalue those precious hours that Adam shared with God. What else did God tell him and what else did they share that Adam was then to impart to his mate? It is impossible to know of course, but it seems obvious to me that God set it up so that Adam could teach his wife and she would defer to him. Perhaps, ‘for her own good’ Adam told her that she should not touch it and in Eve’s mind it was as if it were direct from God–assuming Adam played that role for her, which I believe is plausible, verging on likely.
Look further in Genesis 3 when Eve examines the fruit for the first time. The fruit is ‘good for food’ (did Adam tell her it was not?), ‘pleasant to the eyes’ (did Adam tell her not to go near it?) and ‘desirable to make one wise’ (was Adam as forthcoming with what God had shared with him as he should have been?). When I read the passage I can’t help but wonder if Adam did not leave the tree too much of a mystery. Eve looks at the fruit as if it is a brand new thing. What might have been different had they took the mystery out of the tree before? By this, I am assuming that Adam told her to stay away from it and that, perhaps, things may have gone differently for them had Eve been allowed to inspect it before–making it more mundane and ordinary. Who knows? God knows–and everything happened as it was bound to.
Also, it seems to me that Adam could and should have stepped in at some point and halted the conversation between his wife and the serpent. At least, he should have kept her from eating the forbidden fruit. He was right there with her according to 3:6. Adam, when he ate, understood that he was doing wrong. He not only failed to lead his mate, but he also failed to follow his conscience. This failure of leadership and conviction is acknowledged by God, I think, when God curses Adam, in part, for ‘heeding the voice of his wife’–as opposed to compelling his wife to heed his (hard to do when you stand aside mute and dumb by choice).
Just a few thought for consideration. I look forward to your comments and feel free to ask any qustions. God bless.