The Fall Part II

Michelangelo’s Original Sin and Banishment from the Garden of Eden 1475-156

Genesis 3: 7-8 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden (ASV 1901).

The result of the Fall was that death entered the pristine earth and more specifically the Garden of Eden where Jehovah God has placed Adam and his wife. Even though the earth became corrupt as sin entered and caused death to reign over the creation (Romans 5: 14, 17, 21) the more serious result was spiritual death. All physical matter became a prisoner to the Laws of Entropy. Decay began at the point of their Fall. Immediately after eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil the “eyes of both of them were opened.” This means that their awareness expanded but not what the Devil had led them to believe. The duping by the Devil did not lead to divine enlightenment as promised. Instead it led to a sense of shame. They also suddenly realized that they were naked. The very fountain of procreation, their genitals that the Lord God had given them to enjoy, became a source of self-consciousness and shame. Their relationship was permanently altered for the worse. They became uncomfortable with each other, which was manifested through mistrust and alienation. Satan promised wisdom, which he cannot provide. Only the fear of God can bring wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). The world seeks Satan’s promises and they always fail. Disobedience of God’s Word will never bring any benefits only grief and lack of spiritual blessings.

Interestingly, the Hebrew words before (Genesis 2: 25) and after (Genesis 3: 7) the Fall for nakedness are two different spellings. Even though they have the same root and are essentially the same meaning the different spellings clearly embrace the fact that there is a different sense of nakedness after the Fall.  Lust entered the arena of healthy sexuality.

עֲרוּמִּ֔ים                                                      עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם

eiroomeem (Genesis 2: 25)                                           aroomeeme (Genesis 3: 7)

In order to compensate for the awareness of their nakedness they sewed the large leaves of the fig tree together to cover themselves. In this they made themselves an apron to cover their genitals, which would be the means by which the sin nature would pass from generation to generation. Procreation would now beget sinful creatures as one Psalm of David extolled.

Psalm 51: 5 Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me (ASV 1901).

David realized as a man of God that sexual intercourse, which is God’s design, is not in itself sinful but the procreation process now would transmit the sin nature and spiritual death from one generation to another. So Adam and his wife hid their nakedness from each other but they could not hide from God. Nobody can. It is important to realize that God realizes what we think even before we have a thought. Nobody can hide from God. Humans have a tendency to think in our horizontal relationships with each other that others cannot see what I am thinking so therefore God can’t either. This is an unenlightened view of God. God is omniscient (Gen 6: 5; Exodus 3: 7; 1 Kings 8: 39; Isaiah 44: 7-10 46: 9-11; Romans 11: 33; etc.). This shamefulness they experienced transmitted to other generations as shame in nakedness before someone other than one’s mate. This is brought out in Genesis 9: 23; Exodus 20: 26; and Revelation 3: 18. The Bible teaches that clothes are worn in Heaven (Revelation 19: 14). Their shamefulness is an indication that there was hope for their salvation. If there is no fear of God and shame in wrongdoing then the individual is hopelessly lost. We see this in the great tribulation where men are scorched with great heat and plagues unto massive pain and only blaspheme God and will not repent or give Him Glory (Revelation 16: 8-11). God’s Word can bring comfort but it can also bring conviction of sin (Romans 3: 20; II Timothy 3: 16).

God presented Himself probably as the Shekinah Glory in the Garden on a continual basis to Adam and his wife. Before the Fall they communed with Him on a daily basis as the Hebrew verb form describes for walking. It is a hitpael verb form, which indicates a continual repetitive action. So they saw Him regularly in the late afternoon (mid-eastern time for the cool of the day). Now when they heard His voice they hid themselves. The fellowship they previously had with Him was now impossible. The new relationship they had was gone and the new one was negative even adversarial. They were now not only shameful but also riddled with guilt and fearful of punishment so they tried to hide from God. It is important to realize that the affects of sin are punishment. Whereas they had life, now only death; whereas pleasure, now pain; whereas abundance, now a meager subsistence by harsh work; whereas perfect fellowship, now alienation and conflict. Allan P. Ross summed up the crux of the situation exquisitely.

The motifs in chapter 3—death, toil, sweat, thorns, the tree, the struggle, and the seed—all were later traced to Christ. He is the other Adam, who became the curse, who sweats great drops of blood in bitter agony, who wore a crown of thorns, who was hanged on a tree until He was dead, and who was placed in the dust of death.[1]

 The Confrontation


Genesis 3: 9-13 And Jehovah God called unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat (ASV 1901).

The confrontation begins with God asking a question “Where art thou?” God who knows everything was well aware what happened and where they were. He wanted Adam and his wife to admit their sin. The same situation exists throughout Scripture when God asks a question. He already knows the answer; he simply wants man to come to the realization of what he has done and repent of his sin. Adam answers a different question than what was asked. Adam says that he “heard His voice in the Garden.” This he follows by stating that he was afraid. So his relationship with the Lord God almighty becomes one of fear, which he did not have before. Adam follows with he as an individual was naked and hid himself. Actually by this time he had made the fig leaf apron and was not naked any longer. But the shame and guilt continued.  God asked him “Who told you that you were naked?” There was no answer to this and God immediately followed it up with a third question: “Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you to not eat from?”  God was pushing for a confession as it were in a police interrogation. Adam responds by blaming both God and the woman. He says: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me.”

Herein is a revealing answer to God by Adam. He assigns blame away from himself. First he blames the woman then he says that it was God that gave her to him. So in sin the natural response is to blame someone else; anyone else even God. But he did not take personal responsibility for his actions. Such is the nature of sin when it is first uncovered. Some would say that the evildoer becomes the victim to attempt to hide and evade personal responsibility.

Finally Adam admits his sin by saying to God that he did eat. God then questions the woman. He says; “What is this thou hast done?” She too filled with sin wants to transfer her responsibility in sinning. She says; “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” She finally admits that she is responsible. She knows that she was deceived in which she says that she too did eat of the tree. One fact of this sin entering the world is the blaming of each other. This too has been passed from generation to generation. We know what happened and we must stop all personal blaming in our marriages and learn to live together in harmony.

The Bible provides us with a rich assortment of commandments primarily directed to the husband to produce the best relationship possible.

  1. Love your wife as Christ loved the Church.”(Ephesians 5:25) Risk your life to help or save your wife. Christ’s love for the church is without limits, nothing is held back. He gave His life for the church – before you loved Him (Romans 5: 8). His love does not depend on your love for Him. Under God’s authority – love your wife unconditionally – as He does us.
  2. “Love your wife in the same way you love your body and your life.”(Ephesians 5:28-33) You care for your body daily to be as well fed and keep it as healthy as possible. You quickly take care of any needs or desires. Feel your wife’s pain and illness and rejoice in her health as if it were your own life. A husband must see his wife’s desires and make efforts to meet those needs too. Basically, her needs or desires whether financial, physical, emotional or spiritual in your relationship must receive your full effort. Only in this way can you love her and provide for her just as well as you do for yourself.
  3. “Be considerate as you live with your wife, with respect.”(I Peter 3:7) The Bible says that if we neglect this command, our prayers will be hindered! To be considerate. When she needs help do it! Show your love to her with all consideration. Pray to see where you may be inconsiderate
  4. “Do not be harsh with your wife.”(Colossians 3:19) When a wife is sensitive realize that harsh answers, angry looks, irritated tones of voice and impatience will deeply affect your wife. Rejoice that she is a lady and isn’t like you – remember that she is a precious gift God has given you. Do not speak ill of her to others, even when you are having a disagreement. This will cause others to believe that you do not appreciate her.
  5. “Rejoice in your wife all your life. Let her breasts satisfy you always. Be captivated with her.”(Proverbs 5:18-19) No man should stare at other women or pictures of other women when he has a wife on whom he can gaze daily. A husband should become fully satisfied with his wife’s body. No matter what the size, age or shape, a man can truly find his wife to be the most attractive woman in the world. This is the true spirit of being captivated with your wife. Your wife will feel sexy, attractive, and most of all, loved and cherished.
  6. “Call your wife ‘blessed’ and praise her.”(Proverbs 31:28-29) Tell her that she is special and is greater than any other woman on earth. Don’t just mention her physical beauty, but her care for you, her hard work, and her other attributes. Your wife needs to be and longed for and treasured.
  7. “Honor your marriage; keep it pure by remaining true to your wife in every way.”(Hebrews 13:4) Jesus says, “Lustful looks are adultery.”(Matthew 5:28) Do not treasure such lustfulness in any area of life, but deny it access to you heart. Keep your marriage pure by training your heart and eyes to be true to your wife. Your marriage will reap huge benefits if you do!
  8. “Be thankful for your wife and realize the favor you have received from God.”(Proverbs 18:22) Just think of how lonely you would be without a wife. Adam was alone and it wasn’t good for him to be alone, so God gave him a wife. You have a lifetime companion, a friend, and a lover to enjoy every day. What a blessing! Thank God and pray for her daily. She is a tremendous “prize” from God.
  9. “Be one flesh with your wife in every way.”(Matthew 19:5) Enjoy life with her as if you were inseparable, but live your life thoughtfully. Long to be with her like you did when you first met. Learn as a couple to agree: be like-minded. Enjoy intimacy often. You should have physical intimacy as often as is necessary to meet the desires of whichever spouse has the stronger sex drive, and as schedules and health permit. Spend time just talking and sharing. Your wife is more important than anything or anyone but Jesus Christ. After Him, God designed our relationship with our wives to be the primary and strongest relationship during our time on the earth. Be as one with your wife.
Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.

[1] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary: An exposition of the scriptures (Genesis 3:8–13). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.