LoS: Exposition – Genesis 3:6-13

3 6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

We can only wonder what transaction occurred at this tragic moment. Was the fruit as delicious as it looked, or did it taste putrid, providing intimation of what was to come.

7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

This is the moment at which suffering entered the human experience – in shame of their nakedness. In the twinkling of an eye, their attitude had been transformed from innocent and free to defiled and enslaved. The cascade of unexpected, dreadful emotions must have overwhelmed them. One can only wonder that they maintained the presence of mind to create makeshift coverings for the sources of their shame.

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Their reckoning with the LORD God is immediate and inexorable. We sometimes imagine in our folly that ours is not inexorable because it is not immediate.

10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Our relationship with God is now shown to be broken. Whereas once we met Him with the confidence of a beloved child we now cringe before Him in fear. In time that fear will turn to anger and the anger to loathing. The crack will expand quickly into an impassable chasm. Praise be to God that He did not leave unanswered the question that burned so deeply after the fall: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

Domenichino's portrayal of Genesis 3:12

Domenichino’s portrayal of Genesis 3:12

12The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

A more pitiful, shameful response can hardly be imagined. It’s her fault…no; actually it’s your fault, LORD God, for putting her here with me.

13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The woman has the dignity to state with partial honestly what happened and take responsibility.

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