It has taken me over a week to figure out how to proceed on Genesis 3. Lots of prayer, lots of study, lots of thinking. I wanted to find a way to talk about the Fall of Man that would be pleasing to God and interesting for readers. One morning during my prayer time, a thought came to me to write several posts on Genesis 3…dealing with each of the “players” in this human/supernatural drama individually, and “in order of appearance.” So, starting with the 30,000-foot view, this post will simply introduce each of the four beings who populate the Garden of Eden at this point in the Bible.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. (Genesis 3:1a)
There is a lot of speculation regarding the serpent. I have heard that the serpent originally had legs, hence the curse that the serpent would crawl around on its belly. I have also read (in Matthew Henry’s commentary for example) that the serpent may have been a “flying serpent,” and may even have been mistaken by the woman for a heavenly being, adding to the deception of the temptation. Some believe that the serpent was simply a run-of-the-mill serpent that had been possessed by Satan.
Whatever the serpent looked like, though, we can be confident that this was a manifestation of Satan (see Revelation 12:9). More on the serpent in the next post.
The woman said to the serpent… (Genesis 3:2a)
The woman is she who was taken out of man in Genesis 2. Interestingly, she does not have a name until after the events that caused the broken relationship between God and humanity (see Genesis 3:20). In our post on the woman, we’ll talk more about Eve, and why I think she gets a pretty bad rap in this story.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:6b)
Adam was familiar with the serpent. After all, in Genesis 2, he meets and names every kind animal one at a time. He was given dominion over every fowl of the air, cattle of the field, and every “creeping thing.” One wonders if Adam knew of the serpent’s cunning, and if he ever shared that information with his wife. In our post on Adam, we’ll see if we can figure out where Adam was when the serpent started his conversation with the woman, and what made him take the fruit and eat it.
But the Lord God called to the man… (Genesis 3:9a)
Do we need any more proof of God’s desire for relationship with us than this one verse? “But the Lord God called to the man….” There was God, walking around in the Garden in the cool of the day, seeking the man. But did God really not know where the man and woman were? Did He not know already what had happened? Were His questions those of the ignorance of a God who does not know all, or was there something more behind His questions? We’ll explore God’s part in the story (apart from the fact that He wrote the story) in another post.