Do You Notice Anything Fishy Here?

See if you can spot the differences between these two passages. When God originally placed Adam and Eve in the garden, he said to them:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.”

When the serpent tested Eve, she responded by saying:

We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’

Notice anything fishy here? G.K. Beale does. He says of Eve:

It is more likely, however, that she either failed to remember God’s word accurately or intentionally changed it for her own purposes. The telltale sign of this is that each change appears to have theological significance. First, she minimizes their privileges by saying merely, “We may eat,” whereas God had said, “You may eat freely”; second, she minimizes the judgment by saying, “You will die,” whereas God said, “You will surely die,”; third, she maximizes the prohibition by affirming, “You shall not…touch,” whereas God originally said only,”You shall not eat.” (A New Testament Biblical Theology, pg. 35)

This paragraph hit me like a punch in the gut. Whenever we tamper with God’s word or forget God’s word, we are in serious danger of temptation! Hiding God’s word in our hearts is what protects us from temptation.

  • http://twitter.com/jonelliff @jonelliff

    Great post!

    Also notice another subtlety – God is always referred to as the "LORD God" (Yahweh Elohim) in this part of the OT – with this one notable exception where Satan and consequently Eve refer to Him as, generically, "God" (Elohim).

    Grace!

  • http://www.hankinsfamily.com Elizabeth

    it is amazing what observations come about from lingering over and meditating upon familiar passages! Thanks for the fresh encouragement to not read hastily but rather to savor the Word of God!!

  • http://thesovereigngod.com Pastor Al

    This is something that many of us miss. Nice post. Also missed is the fact that God made His covenant with Adam, not with Eve so when she ate, nothing happened. But watch what happened when he ate..

    "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths." (Genesis 3:6-7)

    God's promise went into full and terrible effect, the likes of which we still see and experience today.

  • Pastor Rob

    I also think it's significant that Adam did not live up to his responsibility as communicator of God's Word. As Pastor Al noted, God gave Adam the charge, and Adam who was standing with Eve when the devil said.. "did God really say…" Adam remained silent. As head of the house, given the responsibility to pass of God's Word, he had failed to do so either effectively or completely, and also remained silent. I still see many men who don't take on the spiritual leadership for their households and families as they should.

  • Rev DR

    Exactly, PR! Eve didn't hear the statement directly from God–she was quoting what the serpent had whispered in her ear. Adam, however (who was "with her") heard the exact correct quote directly from God and didn't correct her when she said it and didn't speak up when she went to eat of that fruit… That's why in the New Testament the Fall is accounted to Adam…