Previously we learned about the origin and character of the serpent introduced into the narrative of Genesis 3:1. In this verse the serpent directs a question to Eve about God’s instructions regarding fruit trees and their consumption. The serpent turns God’s ample provision of fruit trees into a negative statement that all fruit trees were forbidden.
Eve responds with the following:
ESV Genesis 3:2-3 And the woman said to the serpent, “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.'”
Is Eve accurate in her statement to the serpent? In part, yes. She is correct that God only banned one tree’s fruit, but she doesn’t specify the tree by name, only location. Plus, she adds to his command that it shouldn’t be touched. Eve also states that disobedience to this command will result in death.
Compare what Eve said with God’s statement:
ESV Genesis 2:16-17 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.” (Also see Genesis 2:9).
God states the name of the specific tree that is banned from consumption. God also said, “you shall surely die”. That’s a much stronger statement than “lest you die.” Further, God never said they couldn’t touch the tree, just not to eat its fruit.
The serpent got it completely wrong. Eve was both vague in response to the serpent regarding which tree and the consequences while also adding to the command given.
How well do you know God’s word? If someone grossly misquoted God’s commands to you would you be able to accurately correct them? Have you ever embellished God’s commands?
These questions are to encourage both my readers and me to ponder, confess to God if needed, and to study God’s word so we can respond accurately when someone questions us about His commands.
Share some comments about your journey in this area on my blog or email me. I’d love to hear from you.
Next time we’ll look at Genesis 3:4-5.