Genesis 2 - Creation Completed; Adam in the Garden of Eden
A. The completion of creation.
1. (1-3) The seventh day of creation.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
a. And He rested on the seventh day: God did not need rest on the seventh day because He was tired. He rested to show His creating work was done, to give a pattern to man regarding the structure of time (in seven-day weeks), and to give an example of the blessing of rest to man on the seventh day.
i. The seven-day week is permanently ingrained in man. Though some through history tried to change the seven-day week (a ten-day week was attempted during the French Revolution), those attempts have come to nothing. We are on a seven-day cycle because God is on a seven-day cycle.
b. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: God sanctified the seventh day because it was a gift to man for rest and replenishment, and most of all because the Sabbath is a shadow of the rest available through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
i. Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11 make it clear that Christians are not under obligation to observe the Sabbath today, because Jesus fulfilled the purpose and plan of the Sabbath for us and in us (Hebrews 4:9-11). Yet Christians do not lose the Sabbath; every day is a day of rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Every day is specially set apart to God.
ii. Though we are free from the legal obligation of the Sabbath, we dare not ignore the importance of a day of rest. God has built us so we need one. But we are also commanded to work six days. “He who idles his time away in the six days is equally culpable in the sight of God as he who works on the seventh.” (Clarke) In our modern world of four or five day workweeks and generous vacation time, surely more “leisure time” can be given to the work of the Lord.
c. In it He rested from all His work: Though God rested on the seventh day of creation, He did not institute the Sabbath or show us His rest for His own sake. God does not take the Sabbath off. Jesus Himself said, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17). God does not need a day off, but man needs to see the rest of God and know he can enter into it by the finished work of Jesus.
i. The description of each other day of creation ended with the phrase, “so the evening and the morning were the…day.” However, this seventh day of creation does not have that phrase. This is because God’s rest for us isn’t confined to one literal day. In Jesus, God has an eternal Sabbath rest for His people (Hebrews 4:9-11).
ii. “God, having completed His work of creation, rests, as if to say, ‘This is the destiny of those who are My people; to rest as I rest, to rest in Me.’ ” (Boice)
2. (4-7) The history of the heavens and the earth.
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
a. This is the history of the heavens and the earth: This probably ends the “genealogy” of the heavens and the earth, a history given directly by God to either Moses or Adam, recording the history of God’s seven-day creation. This was something no human was present to witness.
b. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens: This is the first use of Lord (Yahweh) in the Bible. Our English word Lord comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for bread (as does our word loaf), because ancient English men of high stature would keep a continual open house, where all could come and get bread to eat. They gained the honorable title of lords, meaning “dispensers of bread.”
c. Before any plant of the field was in the earth: This history begins before there was any vegetation on the earth at all (back to Genesis 1:1), a time when there was only space and a watery globe we know as the earth.
d. The Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth: When God first created vegetation (on the third day of creation, Genesis 1:11-13), man was not yet been created to care for the vegetation of the earth, and there was no rain. The thick blanket of water vapor in the outer atmosphere created on the second day of creation (Genesis 1:6-8) made for no rain cycle (as we know it) but for a rich system of evaporation and condensation, resulting in heavy dew or ground-fog.
e. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground: When God created man He made him out of the most basic elements, the dust of the ground. There is nothing “spectacular” in what man is made of, only in the way those basic things are organized.
i. When the Bible speaks of dust, it means something of little worth, associated with lowliness and humility (Genesis 18:27; 1 Samuel 2:8; 1 Kings 16:2). In the Bible, dust isn’t evil and it isn’t nothing; but it is next to nothing.
f. And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being: With this Divine breath man became a living being, like other forms of animal life (the term chay nephesh is used in Genesis 1:21, 1:21, and here). Yet only man is a living being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
i. The word for breath in Hebrew is ruach - the word imitates the very sound of breath - is the same word for Spirit, as is the case in both ancient Greek (pneuma) and Latin (spiritus). God created man by putting His breath, His Spirit, within him.
ii. “The implication, readily seen by any Hebrew reader, [is] that man was specially created by God’s breathing some of His own breath into him.” (Boice)
iii. The King James Version reads: man became a living soul. This makes some wonder if man is a soul, or if man has a soul. This passage seems to indicate that man is a soul, while passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12 seem to indicate that man has a soul. It seems that the Scripture speaks in both ways, and uses the term in different ways and in different contexts.
B. Adam in the Garden of Eden.
1. (8-9) Two trees in the Garden of Eden.
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
a. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden: Eden was a garden specifically planted by God; it was a place God made to be a perfect habitation for Adam (and later, Eve).
b. There he put the man whom He had formed: The details in the creation of Adam and Eve teach us something. After reading Genesis 1, we might have assumed that man and woman were made at the same time, but the text doesn’t specifically say so. We assume it. We don’t know the details about man’s creation until Genesis 2.
c. Out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow: The rest of Genesis chapter 2 does not present a different or contradictory account of creation. Rather, it is probably the history of creation from Adam’s perspective. This is Adam’s experience of creation, which does not contradict the account of Genesis 1:1-2:7 - it fills it out.
i. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus refered to events in Genesis 1 and to events in Genesis 2 as one harmonious account.
d. The tree of life…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: These two trees were among all the other trees God created and put in the Garden of Eden.
i. The tree of life was to grant (or to sustain) eternal life (Genesis 3:22). God still has a tree of life available to the His people (Revelation 2:7), which is in heaven (Revelation 22:2).
ii. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the “temptation” tree. Eating the fruit of this tree would give Adam an experiential knowledge of good and evil. Or, it is possible that it is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil not so man would know good and evil, but so God could test good and evil in man.
2. (10-14) Rivers in the Garden.
Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
a. Now a river went out of Eden: The whole feel of this account gives the sense that it was written by an actual eyewitness of the rivers and surroundings. Adam probably wrote this himself.
b. The name of the first is Pishon: These rivers are given specific names which answer to names of rivers known in either their modern or ancient world. However, the names of these rivers can’t be used to determine the place of the Garden of Eden because the flood dramatically changed the earth’s landscape and “erased” these rivers.
i. We know modern rivers today such as the Tigris or Euphrates because some rivers in the post-flood world were named after familiar pre-flood rivers by Noah and his sons.
3. (15-17) God’s command to Adam.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.”
a. Put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it: God put Adam into the most spectacular paradise the world has seen, but God put Adam there to do work (to tend and keep it). Work is something good for man and was part of Adam’s perfect existence before the fall.
i. “The ideal state of sinless man is not one of indolence without responsibility. Work and duty belong to the perfect state.” (Leupold)
b. Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat: The presence of this tree - the presence of a choice for Adam - was good because for Adam to be a creature of free will, there had to be a choice, some opportunity to rebel against God. If there is never a command or never something forbidden there can then never be choice. God wants our love and obedience to Him to be the love and obedience of choice.
i. Considering all that, look at Adam’s advantages. He only had one way he could sin and we have countless ways. There are many trees of temptation in our lives, but Adam had only one.
ii. God made this command originally to Adam, not to Eve; God had not yet brought woman out of man.
c. In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die: God not only made His command clear to Adam, but He also clearly explained the consequences for disobedience.
C. God creates the first woman.
1. (18) God declares He will make a helper comparable to Adam.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
a. It is not good that man should be alone: For the first time, God saw something that was not good - the aloneness of man. God never intended for man to be alone, either in the marital or social sense.
i. Marriage, in particular, has a blessed “civilizing” influence on man. The most wild, violent, sociopathic men in history have always been single, never under the plan God gave to influence men for good. This is not good!
b. I will make him a helper comparable to him: God’s “blueprint” for creating this companion to Adam was to make a helper comparable to Adam.
i. Different versions of the Bible translate this idea in a variety of ways, but the idea is essentially the same in each of them:
· Helper meet (suitable, adapted, completing) (Amplified)
· A companion ... a helper suited to his needs (Living)
· A helper such as he needs (Beck)
· A helper correspondent to himself (Septuagint Bible)
· A helper suitable (NIV, NASB)
· A help meet for him (KJV)
c. A helper comparable: In reference to the marriage relationship, God created woman to be a perfectly suitable helper to the man. This means God gave the plan and agenda to Adam, and he and the woman together work to fulfill it.
i. The phrase “in reference to the marriage relationship” is used because God has not ordained women to be helpers to men in authority (instead of being in authority themselves), except in marriage and in the church (1 Timothy 2:12-13).
ii. God gives to man the responsibility (and the accountability) to be the leader in the home and gives to the woman the responsibility and the accountability to help him.
iii. This does not mean there is to be no help from the man to the woman (though in many cases this is sadly true). It means when God looks down from heaven upon the family, He sees a man in leadership, good or bad, faithful or not, to the calling of leadership. A true leader will, of course, help those helping him.
iv. We only see “helping” as a position of inferiority when we think like the world thinks. God considers positions of service as most important in His sight (Matthew 20:25-28).
d. A helper comparable: Not only was the woman to be a helper, but also she was made comparable to the man. She should be considered and honored as such. A woman or wife cannot be regarded as a mere tool or worker, but as an equal partner in God’s grace and an equal human being.
2. (19-20) No helper was found comparable for Adam among the animals.
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
a. Brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: If Adam had the capability to intelligently name all the animals, it shows he was a brilliant man. Since at this time Adam’s intellect had not yet suffered from the fall, he was probably the most brilliant man who ever lived. Adam was the first and greatest of all biologists and botanists.
b. So Adam gave names: Adam did not name any other animal after himself, calling any other animal “man” or “human.” By this, we see he understood that he was essentially different from all the animals. They were not made in the image of God.
i. Mark Twain had a joke where he described Adam coming home to Eve after naming all the animals. Eve looked at an elephant and said, “What did you name that big animal?” Adam replied, “I called it an elephant.” Eve asked, “Why did you call it an elephant?” Adam answered, “Because it looked like an elephant!”
c. But for Adam there was not found a helper: It was obvious to Adam that the animals came in pairs and he had no mate. Since God deliberately had Adam name the animals after seeing his need for a partner (Genesis 2:18), God used this to prepare Adam to receive the gift of woman.
3. (21-22) God makes the first woman from Adam’s side.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
a. God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam: This is the first surgery recorded in history. God even used a proper anesthetic on Adam.
b. The ribe which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman: God used Adam’s own body to create Eve to forever remind him of their essential oneness. As Adam came to know Eve he would see many ways that they were different, but he must never forget that they are essentially one and that they are made of the same substance. They are more alike than they are different.
i. We don’t really know exactly what God took from Adam’s side to make Eve, and it doesn’t really matter. Modern research into cloning and genetic replication shows every cell in our body contains the body’s entire genetic blueprint. God took some of Adam’s cells and changed their genetic blueprint in the creation of Eve. Nevertheless, the story that women have one more rib than men because of the way Eve was created is a myth.
ii. We also know the Bride of Christ comes from the wound made in the side of the second Adam, Jesus Christ.
iii. There is a beautiful Jewish tradition saying God made woman, not out of man’s foot to be under him, nor out of his head to be over him, but “She was taken from under his arm that he might protect her and from next to his heart that he might love her.” (Barnhouse)
c. He made into a woman: It is important to realize that there are not two beginnings to the human race, one in Adam and one in Eve. There was one beginning of the human race in Adam.
d. And He brought her to the man: God brought Eve to Adam and created Eve out of Adam. He was first - the source and the head. She was created to be a helper perfectly suited to him. Thus the subordinate relationship of wives to husbands is found before the curse, not only after it.
4. (23) Adam’s brilliant understanding of who Eve is and how she is related to him.
And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
a. This is now bone of my bones: Adam recognized that Eve was both like him (bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh) and not like him (woman…taken out of man).
b. Flesh of my flesh: Adam understood the essential oneness in his relationship with Eve. This point is so important that it is referred to several times in the New Testament, including the great marriage passage in Ephesians 5:28-29: so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:28-29).
i. No one walks into a room and seeks the most uncomfortable seat. The natural concern we have for ourselves causes us to take care of ourselves. In a healthy marriage relationship the husband realizes the essential union he has with his wife, that he cannot bless her without blessing himself and he cannot mistreat or neglect her without mistreating or neglecting himself.
c. She was taken out of Man: Adam recognized that though he and Eve were one, she was not the same as him. He understood that two different people were becoming one. 1 Peter 3:7 tells husbands to recognize that they are one with someone different, someone whom they must understand: Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel.
i. If men and women are different, are they equal? Elisabeth Elliot, quoted in Boice: “In what sense is red equal to blue? They are equal only in the sense that both are colors in the spectrum. Apart from that they are different. In what sense is hot equal to cold? They are both temperatures, but beyond this it is almost meaningless to talk about equality.”
d. She shall be called woman: “Woman has been defined by many as compounded for wo and man, as if called man’s wo because she tempted him to eat the forbidden fruit; but this is no meaning of the original word, nor could it be intended, as the transgression was not then committed.” (Clarke)
5. (24-25) The marriage of Adam and Eve.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
a. They shall become one flesh: The marriage principle stated here is based upon the dynamic of oneness yet distinction. A man and wife can truly come together in a one-flesh relationship, yet they must be joined. It is a spiritual fact, but the benefits of that oneness are not appropriated by accident or by chance.
b. They shall become one flesh: This passage forms the foundation for the Bible’s understanding of marriage and family. Both Jesus (Matthew 19: 5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) quoted it in reference to marriage.
i. “The institution of monogamous marriage, home, and family as the basic medium for the propagation of the race and the training of the young is so common to human history that people seldom pause to reflect on how or why such a custom came into being.” (Morris)
ii. Many want to believe that the monogamous, two-parent family was invented in the 1950’s by American television icons Ozzie and Harriet, but Adam and Eve are the original family. This is God’s ideal family. This isn’t polygamy. This isn’t concubinage. This isn’t the keeping of mistresses. This isn’t adultery. This isn’t homosexual co-habitation. This isn’t promiscuity. This isn’t living together outside the marriage bond. This isn’t serial marriage. This is God’s ideal for the family, and even when we don’t live up to it, it is still important to set it forth as God’s ideal.
c. One flesh: The idea of one flesh is taken by many to be mainly a way of expressing sexual union. While sexual union is certainly related to the idea of one flesh, it is only one part of what it means to be one flesh. There are also important spiritual dimensions to one flesh.
i. Paul makes it clear the sexual union has one flesh implications even when we don’t intend so, as when a man has sex with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:16). Husband and wife become “one flesh” under God’s blessing. In extramarital sex, the partners become “one flesh” under God’s curse.
ii. In this sense, there is no such thing as “casual sex.” Every sexual relationship at least begins a one-flesh bond. The bond will either be something beautiful (like the beautiful dancing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) or it will be something grotesque (like Siamese twins).
iii. It depends on whether the bonding takes place in a relationship with the right conditions: committed love, demonstrated by the marriage commitment, and a pursuit of true intimacy. Just because sex is taking place in marriage doesn’t mean it is truly fulfilling God’s purpose of bonding together a one-flesh relationship.
d. They shall become one flesh: Though an initial bond in a one flesh relationship can be formed at the first sexual relationship a couple has, the fullness of what God wants to do in the one flesh relationship takes time. It has to become.
e. They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed: Before the fall, Adam and Eve were both naked ... and not ashamed. The idea of “nakedness” is far more than mere nudity. It has the sense of being totally open and exposed as a person before God and man. To be naked…and not ashamed means you have no sin, nothing to be rightly ashamed of, nothing to hide.
i. Adam and Eve knew they were physically naked - nude - before the fall. What they did not know was a sinful, fallen condition, because they were not in that condition before their rebellion.
ii. We often feel uncomfortable when someone stares at us. This is because we associate staring with prying, and we don’t want people to pry into our lives. We want to remain hidden and only reveal to other people what we want to reveal.
iii. When we want to be most attractive to someone else, we do the most to change our normal appearance. We have the thought, “If I really want to impress this person, I have to fix myself up.” None of this feeling was present with Adam and Eve when they were naked…and not ashamed.
Genesis 3 - Man’s Temptation and Fall
A. The temptation from the serpent.
1. (1) The serpent begins his temptation.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
a. The serpent: The text here does not, by itself alone, clearly identify the serpent as Satan, but the rest of the Bible makes it clear this is Satan appearing as a serpent.
i. In Ezekiel 28:13-19 tells us that Satan was in Eden. Many other passages associate a serpent or a snake-like creature with Satan (such as Job 26:13 and Isaiah 51:9). Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 speak of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan.
ii. The representation of Satan as a serpent makes the idea of Moses saving Israel by lifting up a bronze serpent all the more provocative (Numbers 21:8-9), especially when Jesus identifies Himself with that very serpent (John 3:14). This is because in this picture, the serpent (a personification of sin and rebellion) is made of bronze (a metal associated with judgment, since it is made with fire). The lifting of a bronze serpent is the lifting up of sin judged, in the form of a cross.
iii. Ezekiel 28 tells us Satan, before his fall, was an angel of the highest rank and prominence, even the “worship leader” in heaven. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan’s fall had to do with his desire to be equal to or greater than God, to set his will against God’s will.
b. The serpent was more cunning than any beast: Satan’s effectiveness is often found in His cunning, crafty ways. We can’t outsmart Satan, but we can overcome him with the power of Jesus.
i. It was the craftiness of Satan that made him successful against Eve: as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness (2 Corinthians 11:3).
c. And he said to the woman: Apparently, before the curse pronounced in Genesis 3:14-15, the serpent was different than what we know today as a serpent. This creature didn’t start as a snake as we know it, it became one.
i. “The creature that tempted Eve became a serpent as a result of God’s judgment on it, and it went slithering away into the bushes to the intense horror of Adam and Eve.” (Boice)
ii. Demonic spirits evidently have the ability, under certain circumstances, to indwell human or animal bodies (Luke 8:33). On this occasion, Satan chose to indwell the body of a pre-curse serpent.
iii. Poole says the woman wasn’t surprised at the serpent’s speaking because Adam and Eve had free conversation with angelic beings that often appeared in the form of men. If this is true, it wasn’t so strange to Eve that an angelic being might appear to her in the form of a beautiful pre-curse serpent.
iv. Perhaps Satan made the voice supernaturally seem to come forth from the serpent, or perhaps Satan “said” this to Eve in her thoughts. What Satan said is more important than how he said it.
d. To the woman: Satan brought his temptation against the woman because he perceived she was more vulnerable to attack. This is because she did not receive the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil directly from God but through Adam (Genesis 2:15-17).
i. Perhaps Satan knew by observation Adam didn’t do an effective job in communicating to Eve what the Lord told him. This failure on Adam’s part made Eve more vulnerable to temptation.
ii. Satan will often attack a chain at its weakest link, so he gets at Adam by tempting Eve. The stronger ones in a “chain” must expect attack against weaker links and support them against those attacks.
iii. It was also in God’s plan to allow Satan to tempt Eve this way. If Adam would have sinned first, and if he had given the fruit to Eve, she might have a partial excuse before God: “I was simply obeying the head of our home. When he gave me the fruit, I ate of it.”
e. Has God indeed said: Satan’s first attack is leveled against the Word of God. If he can get Eve confused about what God said, or to doubt what God said, then his battle is partially won.
i. From the beginning, Satan has tried to undermine God’s people by undermining God’s Word. He can undermine just as effectively by getting us to neglect God’s Word as by getting us to doubt it.
f. “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Satan took God’s positive command (Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [Genesis 2:16-17]) and rephrased it in a negative way: “God won’t let you eat of every tree.”
2. (2-3) Eve’s reply to the serpent.
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “
a. And the woman said to the serpent: Eve’s first mistake was in even carrying on a discussion with the serpent. We are called to talk to the devil, but never to have a discussion with him. We simply and strongly tell him, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9)
b. We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: Eve’s knowledge of what she should not do is partially correct, but what she doesn’t seem to know makes her all the more vulnerable to deception.
i. Eve does not seem to know the name of this tree; she only calls it the tree in the midst of the garden, instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).
ii. Eve misquoted God’s command to Adam. Her words, “you shall not eat it” and “lest you die” are close enough, but she added to the command and put words in God’s mouth when she said, “nor shall you touch it.” Of course, it was a good idea to completely avoid the temptation; no good could come from massaging the fruit you’re not supposed to eat. But it is a dangerous thing to teach the doctrines of man as if they are the commandments of God (Matthew 15:9).
iii. Clarke on nor shall you touch it: “Some Jewish writers ... state that as soon as the woman had asserted this, the serpent pushed her against the tree and said, ‘See, you have touched it, and are still alive; you may therefore safely eat of the fruit, for surely you shall not die.’”
c. God has said: Eve’s ignorance of exactly what God said was really Adam’s responsibility. He did a poor job of relating to his wife the word God gave him.
i. We can almost picture Adam telling Eve, “See that tree in the middle of the garden? Don’t touch it or God says we’ll die!” While this is better than saying nothing, what Adam didn’t explain made a vulnerable place where Satan could attack.
d. Lest you die: This may seem like a small thing to hinge the destiny of the human race and all creation on. But the tree was nothing more than a restraint on Adam and Eve. It reminded them they were not God, that God had a legitimate claim on their obedience, and that they were responsible to Him.
3. (4-5) Satan’s direct challenge to God’s Word.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
a. You will not surely die: Satan effectively laid the groundwork. He drew Eve into a discussion with him and planted the seed of doubt about God’s Word, and he exposed Eve’s incomplete understanding of God’s Word. Now he moves in for the kill, with an outright contradiction of what God said.
i. Satan can only effectively work when he has established a foothold. No one falls like Adam and Eve will fall, “all of a sudden.” A foundation has been laid.
ii. This is why we are called to never give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). This shows how remarkable it is that Jesus could say, “Satan has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30)
b. You will not surely die: Satan first wanted Eve to forget all about what God said about the consequences of sin. When we know and remember the consequences of sin, we are more likely to give up the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25).
i. In Satan’s direct challenge, he tries to get Eve to doubt the goodness of God. If God lies to her, how can He be good?
ii. In Satan’s direct challenge, he tries to get Eve to doubt the badness of sin. If this fruit is something good for her, why doesn’t God want her to have it?
iii. Satan wants us to see sin as something good that a bad God doesn’t want us to have. His main lie to us is “sin is not bad and God is not good.”
iv. “Satan and the flesh will present a thousand reasons to show how good it would be to disobey His command.” (Barnhouse)
c. In the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened: Satan’s temptation was all the more powerful because there was truth in it. It was true your eyes will be opened, and this was fulfilled (Genesis 3:7). But their eyes were instantly opened to their own sin and rebellion.
i. It is as if a deaf person was promised to be able to hear again, but all they could hear was screaming.
ii. Their eyes were opened, they did know good and evil, but not as gods. “Pure lie” is rarely effective in temptation. If Satan doesn’t couple it with some truth, there is little power in his temptation.
d. You will be like God, knowing good and evil: The final enticement is the most powerful, because it was how Satan himself fell, wanting to be equal with God. Eve tried to become a god herself by her rebellion against God.
i. Jewish rabbis embellish on Satan’s temptation to Eve: “Nothing but malice has prompted God’s command, because as soon as you eat of it, you will be as God. As He creates and destroys worlds, so will you have the power to create and destroy. As He does kill and revive, so will you have the power to kill and revive. God Himself ate first of the fruit of the tree, and then He created the world. Therefore, He forbids you to eat of it, lest you create other worlds ... Hurry now and eat the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, and become independent of God, lest He bring forth still other creatures that will rule over you.”
ii. The goal of becoming God is the center of so many non-Christian religions, including Mormonism. But in our desire to be gods, we become like Satan (who said, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God ... I will be like the Most High [Isaiah 14:13-14]) instead of being like Jesus, who came as a servant (Matthew 20:28).
iii. The New Age movement and the desire to be “god” are just as strong as ever. According to a 1992 survey, as many as 12 million Americans can be considered active participants in the New Age movement, and another 30 million are avidly interested. If all these people were brought together in a church-like organization, it would be the third largest religious denomination in America. More than 90% of the subscribers to New Age Magazine are college graduates, compared to half the general population.
iv. In 1995, New Age influence made it all the way to the White House. New Age author Marianne Williamson (writer of A Course In Miracles), guru to many of Hollywood’s spiritual seekers, spent a night at the White House as the personal guest of Hillary Clinton. And Anthony Robbins, motivational guru and king of late-night infomercials, consulted with President Clinton at Camp David. Robbins is also recognized as a leader in the New Age movement.
B. The sin of Adam and Eve and the fall of the human race.
1. (6) Adam and Eve both disobey God in their own way.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
a. So when the woman saw: Eve surrendered to this temptation in exactly the way John describes in 1 John 2:16. First, she gave in to the lust of the flesh (saw that it was good for food), then she gave in to the lust of the eyes (pleasant to the eyes), then she gave in to the pride of life (desirable to make one wise).
i. Jesus was tempted in the same three-fold way: an appeal to the physical appetites, an appeal to covetous and emotional desires, and an appeal to pride (Matthew 4:1-11).
b. The woman saw that the tree was good for food: Eve’s perceptions were partially true and partially false. The tree was not really good for food, though Eve was deceived into thinking it was so. The fruit probably was pleasant to the eyes, though that shouldn’t mean much. And it was only true in Eve’s mind that the tree was desirable to make one wise.
i. We can see the total truth of Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:14, that Eve was deceived when she sinned. In her mind, she thought she was doing something good for herself.
c. She took of its fruit and ate: Satan could tempt Eve, but she didn’t have to take it. The taking was all her doing. Satan couldn’t cram the fruit down her throat. Eve was responsible. She couldn’t rightly say, “the devil made me do it.”
i. As with every temptation, God had made for Eve a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). She could have simply run from Satan and the tree, but Eve didn’t take God’s way of escape.
d. She also gave to her husband with her: Not only did Eve sin, but she became the agent of temptation for Adam. But when Adam ate, he was not deceived as Eve was. Adam sinned with his eyes wide open, in open rebellion against God.
i. Therefore, it is Adam, not Eve, who bears the responsibility for the fall of the human race and for the introduction of death into the created order (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22). Eve was tricked into sinning; Adam knew exactly what he was doing (1 Timothy 2:14).
ii. Many have speculated that Adam sinned because he didn’t want Eve to be alone in the fall, and he ate of the fruit out of a romantic impulse. This may well be true, but it makes Adam’s sin not one bit less rebellious. Rebellion against God is not “better” when motivated by a romantic impulse.
iii. “Take and eat” will one day become verbs of salvation, but only after Jesus had lived in the world of Adam’s curse and surrendered to death.
2. (7) The nakedness of Adam and Eve.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
a. Then the eyes of both of them were opened: Seemingly, it was only after the sin of Adam that they knew of their sinful state. They knew they were naked, in the sense of having their shame exposed to all creation.
b. They new that they were naked: Psalm 104:2 and Matthew 17:2 suggest that light can be a garment for the righteous. It may be that Adam and Eve were previously clothed in God’s glorious light, and the immediate loss of this covering of light left them feeling exposed and naked.
i. “It is more than probable that they were clothed in light before the fall, and when they sinned the light went out.” (Barnhouse)
c. The eyes of both of them were opened: The way they saw themselves changed, but also the way they saw the entire world was now different. After the fall, everything looked worse.
i. Was it good or bad that Adam and Eve saw their nakedness and felt terrible about it? It was good, because it is good to feel guilty when you have done something wrong.
d. They sewed fig leaves together: Their own attempt to cover themselves took much ingenuity, but not much wisdom. Fig leaves are said to have a prickly quality, which would make for some pretty itchy coverings.
i. Every attempt to cover our own nakedness before God is just as foolish. We need to let Jesus cover us (Revelation 3:5, 18), and put on Jesus Himself as our covering garment (Galatians 3:27). The exhortation from Jesus is for us: Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. (Revelation 16:15)
ii. Obviously, they covered their genital areas. In virtually all cultures, adults cover their genital areas, even though other parts of the human body may be more or less exposed from culture to culture.
iii. This is not because there is something intrinsically “dirty” in our sexuality, but because we have both received our fallenness and pass it on genetically through sexual reproduction. Because of this, God has implanted it in the minds of men that more modesty is appropriate for these areas of our body.
3. (8-9) Adam and Eve hide from God; God calls out to them.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
a. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: Adam and Eve knew that when they heard the Lord coming, He would want to be with them. This was how the Lord had fellowship with Adam and Eve, in a very natural, close, intimate way.
i. Leupold on walking in the garden in the cool of the day: “The almost casual way in which this is remarked indicates that this did not occur for the first time just then ... There is extreme likelihood that the Almighty assumed some form analogous to the human form which was made in His image.”
ii. We can assume this is God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, appearing to Adam and Eve before His incarnation and birth at Bethlehem, because of God the Father it is said, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18), and no man has ever seen God in the Person of the Father. (1 Timothy 6:16)
iii. “Cool of the day” is literally “the breeze of the day.” From Hebrew geography and culture, we might guess this means late afternoon.
b. Adam and his wife hid themselves: This shows that Adam and Eve knew that their attempt to cover themselves failed. They didn’t proudly show off their fig-leaf outfits; they knew their own covering was completely inadequate, and they were embarrassed before God.
c. Where are you? This is not the interrogation of an angry commanding officer, but the heartfelt cry of an anguished father. God obviously knew where they were but He also knew a gulf had been made between Himself and man, a gulf that He Himself would have to bridge.
C. God confronts Adam and Eve with their sin.
1. (10-12) Adam tries to explain his sin.
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
a. I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid: Sin made Adam afraid of God’s presence and afraid of God’s voice. Ever since Adam, men run from God’s presence and don’t want to listen to His Word.
i. We are still made in God’s image, so we want to be in the presence of God and hear His voice, while at the same time, we are afraid of Him.
b. Who told you that you were naked? God knew the answer to this question. He asked it because He allowed Adam to make the best of a bad situation by repenting right then and there, but Adam didn’t come clean and repent before God.
i. We all sin, but when we sin, we can still give glory to God by openly confessing without shifting the blame onto others (Joshua 7:19-20).
ii. There is often nothing you can do about yesterday’s sin (though in some cases you may be able to make restitution). Yet you can do what is right before God right now by confessing and repenting.
c. Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? God confronted Adam’s problem squarely. This wasn’t primarily a wardrobe problem or a fear problem or a self-esteem problem. This was a sin problem and Adam’s wardrobe, fear, or self-understanding could not be addressed until the sin problem was addressed.
d. Then the man said: Notice that to this point, God has not addressed Eve at all. Adam, being the head, is the problem here.
e. The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate: Adam’s attempt to blame Eve is completely consistent with human nature. Few of us are willing to simply say as David did, I have sinned against the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13)
i. Significantly, if there is any blame, it is on Adam, not Eve. Not only does Adam unjustly accuse Eve, but also he refuses to accept proper responsibility for his part in her sin.
ii. By saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me,” Adam essentially blames God for the sin saying, “You gave me the woman, and she is the problem.” Adam wasn’t content to blame Eve; he had to blame God also.
2. (13) Eve’s reply to God.
And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
a. The serpent deceived me, and I ate: When confronted by God, Eve doesn’t necessarily shift the blame when she admits the serpent deceived her and then she ate. This much was true, she had been deceived, and she did eat.
b. Deceived me: The only problem comes when we fail to see that being deceived is sin in itself. It is sin to exchange the truth of God for the lie (Romans 1:25).
D. The curse and its aftermath.
1. (14-15) God’s curse upon the serpent.
So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
a. And the Lord God said to the serpent: When God spoke to Adam and to Eve, He asked them each questions. God didn’t ask Satan (the being animating the serpent) any questions, because there was nothing to teach him.
b. You are cursed more than all cattle: The first part of the curse is directed at the animal that Satan used to bring the temptation. God commanded the serpent to slither on the ground instead of walking on legs like any other animal.
i. Adam and Eve must have been terrified as this once-beautiful creature called a serpent was transformed into the creeping, slithering, hissing snake we know today. They must have thought, “It’s our turn next!”
ii. I will put enmity between you and the woman: In addition, there is a natural aversion between mankind and serpents, especially on the part of women.
c. You shall eat dust all the days of your life: This was true of the serpent as an animal, but it is also true of Satan. To eat dust has the idea of total defeat (Isaiah 65:25, Micah 7:17). God’s judgment on Satan is for him to always know defeat. He will always reach for victory, but always fall short of it.
i. Satan was, in his own thinking, majestic and triumphant over Jesus on the cross, but he failed. In attacking Jesus, Satan made his own doom certain.
ii. In Jesus, we share in the victory over Satan: And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. (Romans 16:20)
d. Enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed: The second part of the curse is directed against Satan himself. God placed a natural animosity between Satan and mankind. Enmity has the idea of ill will, hatred, and a mutual antagonism. Satan’s hatred of Eve was nothing new; it was already present - but now man will, generally speaking, have antagonism towards Satan.
i. The “friendship” Eve and the serpent seemed to enjoy earlier in the chapter is finished. There is now a natural fear of Satan in the heart of man.
ii. If we are born naturally rebellious against God, we are also born cautious and afraid of Satan. One must be hardened to willingly and knowingly serve Satan. Instinctively, we don’t serve God or Satan; we serve ourselves (which is fine with Satan).
e. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel: In this, God prophesies the doom of Satan, showing that the real battle is between Satan and the Seed of the Woman.
i. There is no doubt this is a prophecy of Jesus’ ultimate defeat of Satan. God announced that Satan would wound the Messiah (you shall bruise His heel), but the Messiah would crush Satan with a mortal wound (He shall bruise your head).
ii. The heel is the part within the serpent’s reach. Jesus, in taking on humanity, brought Himself near to Satan’s domain so Satan could strike Him.
iii. This prophecy also gives the first hint of the virgin birth, declaring the Messiah - the Deliverer - would be the Seed of the Woman, but not of the man.
iv. Genesis 3:15 has been called the protoevangelium, the first gospel. Luther said of this verse: “This text embraces and comprehends within itself everything noble and glorious that is to be found anywhere in the Scriptures.” (Leupold)
f. He shall bruise your head: For God to see the defeat of Satan at Satan’s first flush of victory shows God knew what He was doing all along. God’s plan wasn’t “set back” when Adam and Eve sinned, because God’s plan was to bring forth something greater than man in the innocence of Eden. God wanted more than innocent man; His plan is to bring forth redeemed man.
i. Redeemed man - this being who is greater than innocent man - is only possible because man had something to be redeemed from.
2. (16) God’s curse upon the woman.
To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
a. I will greatly multiply your sorrow: God first cursed the woman with multiplied sorrow. Men and women have each known sorrow throughout history, yet the unique sorrow of women is well known.
i. Under Jesus, some of the effects of the curse are relieved, and it has been the Christianizing of society that brought rights and dignity to women.
ii. “It is difficult for women in Christian lands to realize the miseries of their hundreds of millions of sisters in pagan lands, where the lot of women is little above that of cattle. Where the gospel has gone, the load has been lifted, and woman in Christ has become the reflection of the redeemed Church, the bride of Christ.” (Barnhouse)
b. Your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children: The first curse upon women is a broad one. It has the idea that women would experience pain in regard to their children in general, not just in the act of giving birth. God ordained that the pain with which women bring children into this world be an example of the pain they experience more generally in life.
i. It has been observed that women bring forth children with more pain than just about any other creature.
c. Your desire shall be for your husband: This is true of women in a way that it is not true for men. “This verse will be understood better when it is realized that the desire of man toward his wife alone is solely by God’s grace and not by nature.” (Barnhouse)
d. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you: The idea is to contrast the woman’s desire and the husband’s rule over her. This speaks of an inherent challenge in embracing the husband’s role as leader of the home and family.
i. This same word for desire is used in Genesis 4:7 of the desire of sin to master over Cain. Because of the curse, Eve would have to fight a desire to master her husband, a desire that works against God’s ordained order for the home.
ii. The principle of Adam’s headship as a husband was established before the fall (see Genesis 2:18 and 2:22). Now the curse on Eve makes it much harder for her to submit and flow with God’s institution of male headship in the home.
iii. “As a result of the fall, man no longer rules easily; he must fight from his headship. Sin has corrupted both the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the husband. The woman’s desire is to control her husband (to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if he can. So the rule of love founded in paradise is replaced by struggle, tyranny and domination.” (Susan T. Foh, cited in Boice)
3. (17-19) God’s curse upon the man.
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
a. Because you have heeded the voice of your wife: It wasn’t just as if Adam took Eve’s advice. He chose to be with Eve intead of obeying God. There is a sense in which idolatry of Eve was an aspect of Adam’s disobedience against God.
b. Cursed is the ground: Because of Adam, there is a curse upon all creation. Before the curse on man, the ground only produced good. After the curse, it will still produce good, but thorns and thistles will come faster and easier than good fruit.
c. In toil you shall eat of it: Adam worked before the curse, but it was all joy. Now work has a cursed element to it, with pain and weariness a part of work. Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, and like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages (Job 7:1-2).
d. Dust you are, and to dust you shall return: The final curse upon man promised there would be an end of his toil and labor on the earth - but it was an end of death, not not an end of deliverance.
i. The curse of death shows that the result of Adam’s sin extended to the entire human race. Because of Adam, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12), death came to all mankind (Romans 5:15, 1 Corinthians 15:22), death reigned over man and creation (Romans 5:17), all men were condemned (Romans 5:18), and all men were made sinners (Romans 5:19).
ii. The principle of Galatians 3:13 is established as we consider that Jesus bore each aspect of the curse upon Adam and Eve in its totality: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.
· Sin brought pain to childbirth, and no one knew more pain than Jesus did when He, through His suffering, brought many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10)
· Sin brought conflict, and Jesus endured great conflict to bring our salvation (Hebrews 12:3)
· Thorns came with sin and the fall, and Jesus endured a crown of thorns to bring our salvation (John 19:2)
· Sin brought sweat, and Jesus sweat, as it were, great drops of blood to win our salvation (Luke 22:44)
· Sin brought sorrow, and Jesus became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, to save us (Isaiah 53:3)
· Sin brought death, and Jesus tasted death for everyone that we might be saved (Hebrews 2:9)
4. (20) The naming of Eve.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
a. Adam called his wife’s name Eve: Up to Genesis 3:20, the woman has never been called Eve. We are so used to saying “Adam and Eve” that we assume she already had her name. But to this point, she was called a female (Genesis 1:27), a helper comparable (Genesis 2:18), a woman (Genesis 2:22, 23), and a wife (Genesis 2:24, 25; 3:8). This does not mean God did not have a name for Eve, but we are told what the name is in Genesis 5:2: He called them Mankind.
i. The idea that the woman takes her name from the husband, and the idea that both genders are encompassed in terms like mankind, humanity, and chairman. Our use of these terms is not merely cultural, it is Biblical.
ii. A woman gains more of her identity from her husband than the man does from the wife. For this reason, women should take special care in which man they marry.
b. Because she was the mother of all living: Adam named her Eve, even though she was not a mother at all at the time. She was not even pregnant yet. Adam named her in faith, trusting God would bring forth a deliverer from the woman, because God said He would defeat Satan through the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).
5. (21) God clothes Adam and Eve in the skins of animals.
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
a. The Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them: God wanted Adam and Eve clothed, not naked. “God gave His approval of the sense of shame which had led our first parents to cover their nakedness.” (Leupold)
i. The world’s oldest profession is not prostitution, but the clothing business (Genesis 3:7).
b. Tunics of skin: In order for Adam and Eve to be clothed, a sacrifice had to be made. An animal had to die. Without shedding of blood there is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)
i. There are only two religions; there is the religion of fig leaves and there is the religion of God’s perfect provision through Jesus.
ii. Covering ourselves with our good works is like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves. Our good works are like monopoly money - great for monopoly, but not legal tender. Your good works are essential to what it takes to live out your life, but they are not legal tender before God.
iii. Adam and Eve were clothed in a garment that was purchased with the life of another. We are clothed with a garment of righteousness that was purchased with the life of another, Jesus Christ.
c. And clothed them: This indicates that Adam and Eve were saved. Adam had faith in God’s promise of a Savior, and God provided a covering for them through a sacrifice. We will see Adam and Eve in heaven.
6. (22-24) God sets cherubim to guard the Tree of Life.
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”; therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
a. Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil: The idea behind this phrase is difficult to understand. Perhaps there is a note of sarcasm by God here (as Elijah used in 1 Kings 18:27), regarding Satan’s empty promise to become like gods. Or, perhaps the idea focuses on man’s greater knowledge (though in a bad sense) now that he has the experiential knowledge of evil.
b. And take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: In mercy, God protected Adam and Eve from the horrible fate of having to live forever as sinners by preventing them from eating from the tree of life.
c. The Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden: We don’t know if Adam and Eve wanted to stay in the garden of Eden. Perhaps they felt if they left the garden, they might never see God again because it was the only place where they met Him.
d. He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden: Cherubim are always associated with the presence and glory of God (Ezekiel 10, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4). When cherubim are represented on earth (such as in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:10-22), they mark a meeting place with God. Though Adam and Eve and their descendants were prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life (by God’s mercy), they could still come there to meet God. This was their “holy of holies.” Therefore it was important to send a cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
i. “Any angel of the lowest rank could have dealt with Adam. The flaming sword was pointed against Satan to keep him from destroying the way of access to the altar, which God had set up.” (Barnhouse)
ii. This is the last historical mention of the garden of Eden in the Bible. We can speculate that God did not destroy it, but left it to the effects of the curse and suppose that it generally deteriorated from its original condition, blending into the surrounding geography.
- The Book of Genesis