Genesis 3:7
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) The eyes of them both were opened.—This consciousness of guilt came upon them as soon as they had broken God’s commandment by eating of the forbidden fruit; and it is evident from the narrative that they ate together; for otherwise Eve would have been guilty of leading Adam into sin after her understanding had been enlightened to perceive the consequences of her act. But manifestly her deed was not without his cognisance and approval, and he had shared, in his own way, her ambition of attaining to the God like. But how miserably was this proud desire dis appointed! Their increased knowledge brought only shame. Their minds were awakened and enlarged, but the price they paid for it was their innocence and peace.

They sewed fig leaves together.—There is no reason for supposing that the leaves were those of the pisang (Musa paradisiaca), which grow ten feet long. Everywhere else the word signifies the common fig-tree (Ficus carica), one of the earliest plants subjected to man’s use. More remarkable is the word sewed. The Syriac translator felt the difficulty of supposing Eve acquainted with the art of needlework, and renders it, “they stuck leaves together.” But the word certainly implies something more elaborate than this. Probably some time elapsed between their sin and its punishment; and thus there was not merely that first hasty covering of themselves which has made commentators look about for a leaf large enough to encircle their bodies, but respite sufficient to allow of something more careful and ingenious; and Eve may have used her first advance in intellect for the adornment of her person. During this delay they would have time for reflection, and begin to understand the nature of the change that had taken place in their condition.

Aprons.—More correctly, girdles.

Genesis 3:7. The eyes of them both — Of their minds and consciences, which hitherto had been closed and blinded by the arts of the devil; were opened — As Satan had promised them, although in a very different sense. Now, when it was too late, they saw the happiness they had fallen from, and the misery they were fallen into. They saw God was provoked, his favour forfeited, and his image lost. They felt a disorder in their own spirits, of which they had never before been conscious. They saw a law in their members warring against the law of their minds, and captivating them both to sin and wrath; they saw that they were naked — That is, that they were stripped, deprived of all the honours and joys of their paradise state, and exposed to all the miseries that might justly be expected from an angry God; laid open to the contempt and reproach of heaven, and earth, and their own consciences. And they sewed, or platted fig leaves together — And, to cover at least part of their shame one from another, made themselves aprons — See here what is commonly the folly of those that have sinned: they are more solicitous to save their credit before men, than to obtain their pardon from God!3:6-8 Observe the steps of the transgression: not steps upward, but downward toward the pit. 1. She saw. A great deal of sin comes in at the eye. Let us not look on that which we are in danger of lusting after, Mt 5:28. 2. She took. It was her own act and deed. Satan may tempt, but he cannot force; may persuade us to cast ourselves down, but he cannot cast us down, Mt 4:6. 3. She did eat. When she looked perhaps she did not intend to take; or when she took, not to eat: but it ended in that. It is wisdom to stop the first motions of sin, and to leave it off before it be meddled with. 4. She gave it also to her husband with her. Those that have done ill, are willing to draw in others to do the same. 5. He did eat. In neglecting the tree of life, of which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree of knowledge, which was forbidden, Adam plainly showed a contempt of what God had bestowed on him, and a desire for what God did not see fit to give him. He would have what he pleased, and do what he pleased. His sin was, in one word, disobedience, Ro 5:19; disobedience to a plain, easy, and express command. He had no corrupt nature within, to betray him; but had a freedom of will, in full strength, not weakened or impaired. He turned aside quickly. He drew all his posterity into sin and ruin. Who then can say that Adam's sin had but little harm in it? When too late, Adam and Eve saw the folly of eating forbidden fruit. They saw the happiness they fell from, and the misery they were fallen into. They saw a loving God provoked, his grace and favour forfeited. See her what dishonour and trouble sin is; it makes mischief wherever it gets in, and destroys all comfort. Sooner or later it will bring shame; either the shame of true repentance, which ends in glory, or that shame and everlasting contempt, to which the wicked shall rise at the great day. See here what is commonly the folly of those that have sinned. They have more care to save their credit before men, than to obtain their pardon from God. The excuses men make to cover and lessen their sins, are vain and frivolous; like the aprons of fig-leaves, they make the matter never the better: yet we are all apt to cover our transgressions as Adam. Before they sinned, they would have welcomed God's gracious visits with humble joy; but now he was become a terror to them. No marvel that they became a terror to themselves, and full of confusion. This shows the falsehood of the tempter, and the frauds of his temptations. Satan promised they should be safe, but they cannot so much as think themselves so! Adam and Eve were now miserable comforters to each other!Their eyes were opened. - Certain immediate effects of the act are here stated. This cannot mean literally that they were blind up to this moment; for Adam, no doubt, saw the tree in the garden concerning which he received a command, the animals which he named, and the woman whom he recognized as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. And of the woman it is affirmed that she saw that the tree possessed certain qualities, one of which at least was conspicuous to the eye.

It must therefore mean that a new aspect was presented by things on the commission of the first offence. As soon as the transgression is actually over, the sense of the wrongfulness of the act rushes on the mind. The displeasure of the great Being whose command has been disobeyed, the irretrievable loss which follows sin, the shame of being looked upon by the bystanders as a guilty thing, crowd upon the view. All nature, every single creature, seems now a witness of their guilt and shame, a condemning judge, an agent of the divine vengeance. Such is the knowledge of good and evil they have acquired by their fall from obedience - such is the opening of the eye which has requited their wrong-doing. What a different scene had once presented itself to the eyes of innocence! All had been friendly. All nature had bowed in willing obedience to the lords of the earth. Neither the sense nor the reality of danger had ever disturbed the tranquility of their pure minds.

They knew that they were naked. - This second effect results immediately from the consciousness of guilt. They now take notice that their guilty persons are exposed to view, and they shrink from the glance of every condemning eye. They imagine there is a witness of their guilt in every creature, and they conceive the abhorrence which it must produce in the spectator. In their infantile experience they endeavor to hide their persons, which they feel to be suffused all over with the blush of shame.

Accordingly, "they sewed the leaves of the fig," which, we may suppose, they wrapped round them, and fastened with the girdles they had formed for this purpose. The leaves of the fig did not constitute the girdles, but the coverings which were fastened on with these. These leaves were intended to conceal their whole persons from observation. Job describes himself sewing sackcloth on his skin Job 16:15, and girding on sackcloth 1 Kings 20:32; Lamentations 2:10; Joel 1:8 is a familiar phrase in Scripture. The primitive sewing was some sort of tacking together, which is not more particularly described. Every operation of this sort has a rude beginning. The word "girdle" חגורה chăgôrâh) signifies what girds on the dress.

Here it becomes us to pause for a moment that we may mark what was the precise nature of the first transgression. It was plainly disobedience to an express and well-understood command of the Creator. It matters not what was the nature of the command, since it could not be other than right and pure. The more simple and easy the thing enjoined, the more blameworthy the act of disobedience. But what was the command? Simply to abstain from the fruit of a tree, which was designated the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. We have seen already that this command arose from the necessity of immediate legislation, and took its shape as the only possible one in the circumstances of the case. The special attraction, however, which the forbidden tree presented, was not its excellence for the appetite or pleasantness to the eyes, since these were common to all the trees, but its supposed power of conferring moral knowledge on those who partook of it, and, according to the serpent's explanation, making them like God in this important respect.

Hence, the real and obvious motive of the transgressor was the desire of knowledge and likeness to God. Whatever other lusts, therefore, may have afterwards come out in the nature of fallen man, it is plain that the lust after likeness to God in moral discernment was what originally brought forth sin in man. Sexual desire does not appear here at all. The appetite is excited by other trees as well as this. The desire of knowledge, and the ambition to be in some sense, divine, are alone special and prevalent as motives. Hence, it appears that God proved our first parents, not through any of the animal appetites, but through the higher propensities of their intellectual and moral nature. Though the occasion, therefore, may at first sight appear trivial, yet it becomes awfully momentous when we discover that the rectitude of God is impugned, his prerogative invaded, his command disregarded, his attribute of moral omniscience and all the imaginable advantages attendant thereupon grasped at with an eager and wilful hand. To disobey the command of God, imposed according to the dictates of pure reason, and with the authority of a Creator, from the vain desire of being like him, or independent of him, in knowledge, can never be anything but an offence of the deepest dye.

We are bound, moreover, to acknowledge and maintain, in the most explicit manner, the equity of the divine procedure in permitting the temptation of man. The only new thing here is the intervention of the tempter. It may be imagined that this deciever should have been kept away. But we must not speak with inconsiderate haste on a matter of such import. First. We know that God has not used forcible means to prevent the rise of moral evil among his intelligent creatures. We cannot with reason affirm that he should have done so; because, to put force on a voluntary act, and yet leave it voluntary, seems to reason a contradiction in terms, and, therefore, impossible; and unless an act be voluntary, it cannot have any moral character; and without voluntary action, we cannot have a moral agent. Second. We know that God does not immediately annihilate the evil-doer. Neither can we with reason that he ought to have done so; for, to lay an adequate penalty on sin, and then put the sinner out of existence, so that this penalty can never be exacted, seems to reason a moral inconsistency, and, therefore, impossible in a being of moral perfection.

Third. We know that God does not withdraw the evil-doer from all contact with other moral agents. Here, again, reason does not constrain us to pronounce that it is expedient so to do; for the innocent ought, and it is natural that they should, learn a holy abhorrence of sin, and a salutary dread of its penalty, from these waifs of society, rather than follow their pernicious example. The wrong-doers are not less under the control of God than if they were in the most impenetrable dungeon; while they are at the same time constant beacons to warn others from transgression. He leaves them to fill up the measure of their inequity, while the intelligent world are cognizant of their guilt, that they may acknowledge the justice of their punishment, and comprehend the infinite holiness of the judge of all the earth. Fourth. We know that God tries his moral creatures. Abraham, Job, and all his saints have to undergo their trial.

He suffered the Lord Jesus Christ, the second Adam, to be tempted. And we must not expect the first Adam to be exempted from the common ordeal. We can only be assured that his justice will not allow his moral creatures to be at any disadvantage in the trial. Accordingly, first, God himself in the first instance speaks to Adam, and gives him an explicit command not arbitrary in its conception, but arising out of the necessity of the case. And it is plain that Eve was perfectly aware that he had himself imposed this prohibition. Second. The tempter is not allowed to appear in his proper person to our first parents. The serpent only is seen or heard by them - a creature inferior to themselves, and infinitely beneath the God who made them, and condescended to communicate with them with the authority of a father. Third. The serpent neither threatens nor directly persuades; much less is he permitted to use any means of compulsion: he simply falsities. As the God of truth had spoken to them before, the false insinuation places them at no disadvantage.

Man has now come to the second step in morals - the practice. Thereby he has come to the knowledge of good and evil, not merely as an ideal, but as an actual thing. But he has attained this end, not by standing in, but by falling from, his integrity. If he had stood the test of this temptation, as he might have done, he would have come by the knowledge of good and evil equally well, but with a far different result. As he bore the image of God in his higher nature, he would have resembled him, not only in knowledge, thus honorably acquired by resisting temptation, but also in moral good, thus realized in his own act and will. As it is, he has gained some knowledge in an unlawful and disastrous way; but he has also taken in that moral evil, which is the image, not of God, but of the tempter, to whom he has yielded.

This result is rendered still more lamentable when we remember that these transgressors constituted the human race in its primeval source. In them, therefore, the race actually falls. In their sin the race is become morally corrupt. In their guilt the race is involved in guilt. Their character and doom descend to their latest posterity.

We have not yet noticed the circumstance of the serpent's speaking, and of course speaking rationally. This seems to have awakened no attention in the tempted, and, so far as we see, to have exercised no influence on their conduct. In their inexperience, it is probable that they did not yet know what was wonderful, and what not; or, in preciser terms, what was supernatural, and what natural. But even if they had known enough to be surprised at the serpent speaking, it might have told in opposite ways upon their conclusions. On the one hand, Adam had seen and named the serpent, and found in it merely a mute, irrational animal, altogether unfit to be his companion, and therefore he might have been amazed to hear him speak, and, shall we say, led to suspect a prompter. But, on the other hand, we have no reason to suppose that Adam had any knowledge or suspicion of any creature but those which had been already brought before him, among which was the serpent. He could, therefore, have no surmise of any superior creature who might make use of the serpent for its own purposes. We question whether the thought could have struck his mind that the serpent had partaken of the forbidden fruit, and thereby attained to the marvellous elevation from brutality to reason and speech. But, if it had, it would have made a deep impression on his mind of the wonderful potency of the tree. These considerations apply with perhaps still greater force to Eve, who was first deceived.

But to us who have a more extensive experience of the course of nature, the speaking of a serpent cannot be regarded otherwise than as a preternatural occurrence. It indicates the presence of a power above the nature of the serpent, possessed, too, by a being of a malignant nature, and at enmity with God and truth; a spiritual being, who is able and has been permitted to make use of the organs of the serpent in some way for the purposes of temptation. But while for a wise and worthy end this alien from God's home is permitted to test the moral character of man, he is not allowed to make any appearance or show any sign of his own presence to man. The serpent alone is visibly present; the temptation is conducted only through words uttered by bodily organs, and the tempted show no suspicion of any other tempter. Thus, in the disposal of a just Providence, man is brought into immediate contact only with an inferior creature, and therefore has a fair field in the season of trial. And if that creature is possessed by a being of superior intelligence, this is only displayed in such a manner as to exert no influence on man but that of suggestive argument and false assertion.

Ge 3:6-9. The Fall.

6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food—Her imagination and feelings were completely won; and the fall of Eve was soon followed by that of Adam. The history of every temptation, and of every sin, is the same; the outward object of attraction, the inward commotion of mind, the increase and triumph of passionate desire; ending in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul (Jas 1:15; 1Jo 2:16).

The eyes of them both. The eyes of their minds and conscience, which hitherto had been closed and blinded by the arts of the devil, were opened, as the devil had promised them, though in a far differing and sadder sense.

They knew that they were naked. They knew it before, when it was their glory, but now they know it with grief and shame, from a sense both of their guilt for the sin newly past, and of that sinful concupiscence which they now found working in them.

They tied, twisted, or fastened, the lesser branches or twigs, upon which were also the leaves of a fig tree, which peradventure was then near them, and which because of its broad leaves was most fit for that use.

Made themselves aprons, to cover their nakedness. And the eyes of them both were opened,.... Not of their bodies, but of their minds; not so as to have an advanced knowledge of things pleasant, profitable, and useful, as was promised and expected, but of things very disagreeable and distressing. Their eyes were opened to see that they had been deceived by the serpent, that they had broke the commandment of God, and incurred the displeasure of their Creator and kind benefactor, and had brought ruin and destruction upon themselves; they saw what blessings and privileges they had lost, communion with God, the dominion of the creatures, the purity and holiness of their nature, and what miseries they had involved themselves and their posterity in; how exposed they were to the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and to eternal death:

and they knew that they were naked; they must know before that they were naked in their bodies, but they did not perceive that their nakedness was at all uncomely, or any disadvantage to them; but now they were sensible of both, that whereas they could look upon it before, and not blush or feel any sinful emotions in them, now they could not behold it without shame, and without finding evil concupiscence arising in them; and it being now the cool of the day, and their spirits also seized with fear of the divine displeasure, they might feel a shivering all over them, and wanted something to cover them: but more especially this may respect the nakedness of their souls they were now conscious of, being stripped of that honour and glory, privileges and power, they were vested with; and having lost the image of God that was upon them, and that robe of purity, innocence, and righteousness, the rectitude of their nature, with which they were arrayed, and finding themselves naked and defenceless, and unable to screen themselves from the curses of a righteous law, and the fury of vindictive justice:

and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons; not to cover their whole bodies, but only those parts which, ever since, mankind have been ashamed to expose to public view, and which they studiously conceal from sight: the reason of which perhaps is, because by those members the original corruption of human nature has been from the beginning, and still is propagated from parents to children. The leaves of the fig tree were pitched upon because of the largeness of them; the leaves of the common fig tree are very large, as everyone knows; and perhaps those in the eastern countries, and especially in paradise, were much larger than ours. Pliny (m) says of the fig tree, that its leaf is the largest, and the most shady. Some think the Indian fig tree is meant; so John Temporarius, as Drusius relates; and so our Milton (n); and according to Pliny (o), the breadth of the leaves of this tree has the shape of an Amazonian shield. And when they are said to sew these together, it is not to be supposed that they sewed them as tailors sew their garments together, since they cannot be thought to be furnished with proper instruments, or that they tacked them together with some sort of thorns, or made use of them instead of needles; but they took the tender branches of the fig tree with leaves on them, as the word signifies, see Nehemiah 8:15 and twisted them round their waists; which served for "girdles", as some render the word (p), and the broad leaves hanging down served for aprons; but these, whatever covering they may be thought to have been to their bodies, which yet seem to be but a slender one, they could be none to their souls, or be of any service to hide their sin and shame from the all seeing eye of God; and of as little use are the poor and mean services of men, or their best works of righteousness, to shelter them from the wrath of God, and the vengeance of divine justice.

(m) Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 26. (n) ----There soon they chose The fig tree; not that kind for fruit renowned, But such as at this day in India known. Paradise Lost, B. 9. l. 1100, &c. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 5. (p) Sept. "perizomata", V. L. "cinctoria", Tigurine version, Fagius; "cingulos", Pagninus, Montanus; so the Targums; "subligacula", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vatablus, Drusius.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they {g} knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

(g) They began to feel their misery, but they did not seek God for a remedy.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. And the eyes, &c.] The serpent’s promise is fulfilled; their eyes having been opened, they have forfeited the state of innocence of which nakedness was symbolical, cf. Genesis 2:25. The knowledge to which they have attained is neither that of happiness, wisdom, nor power, but that of the consciousness of sin and of its conflict with the Will of God.

fig leaves] These leaves would be chosen because of their size. The fig tree is said to be indigenous in Palestine, but not in Babylonia. If so, it is an indirect proof that our version of the story is genuinely Israelite. “Fig leaves are thick, palmately lobed, and often a span or more across” (Hastings’ D.B., s.v.).

aprons] Better, as R.V. marg., girdles: LXX περιζώματα, Lat. perizomata.

The rendering “breeches,” which appeared in the Genevan Bible (1560), caused that version to be popularly known as “the breeches Bible.”Verse 7. - And the eyes of them both were opened. The fatal deed committed, the promised results ensued, but not the anticipated blessings.

(1) The eyes of their minds were opened to perceive that they were no longer innocent, and

(2) the eyes of their bodies to behold that they were not precisely as they had been. And they knew that they were naked.

(1) Spiritually (cf. Exodus 32:25; Ezekiel 16:22; Revelation 3:17), and

(2) corporeally, having lost that enswathing light of purity which previously engirt their bodies (vide Genesis 2:25). And they sewed. Literally, fastened or tied by twisting. Fig leaves. Not the pisang tree (Muss Paradisiaca), whose leaves attain the length of twelve feet and the breadth of two (Knobel Bohlen); but the common fig tree (Ficus Carica), which is aboriginal in Western Asia, especially in Persia, Syria, and Asia Minor (Kalisch, Keil, Macdonald). Together, and made themselves aprons. Literally, girdles, περιζώματα (LXX.), i.e. to wrap about their loins. This sense of shame which caused them to seek a covering for their nudity was not due to any physical corruption of the body (Baumgarten), but to the consciousness of guilt with which their souls were laden, and which impelled them to flee from the presence of their offended Sovereign.

TRADITIONS OF THE FALL.

I. ORIENTAL.

1. Babylonian. "There is nothing in the Chaldean fragments indicating a belief in the garden of Eden or the tree of knowledge; there is only an obscure allusion to a thirst for knowledge having been a cause of man's fall"... The details of the temptation are lost in the cuneiform text, which "opens where the gods are cursing the dragon and the Adam or man for his transgression."... "The dragon, which, in the Chaldean account, leads man to sin, is the creature of Tiamat, the living principle of the sea and of chaos, and he is an embodiment of the spirit of chaos or disorder which was opposed to the deities at the creation of the world." The dragon is in-eluded in the curse for the fall; and the gods invoke on the human race all the evils which afflict humanity - family quarrels, tyranny, the anger of the gods, disappointment, famine, useless prayers, trouble of mind and body, a tendency to sin ('Chaldean Genesis,' pp. 87-91).

2. Persian. For a time the first pair, Meschia and Mesehiane, were holy and happy, pure in word and deed, dwelling in a garden wherein was a tree whose fruit conferred life and immortality; but eventually Ahriman deceived them, and drew them away from Ormuzd. Emboldened by his success, the enemy again appeared, and gave them a fruit, of which they ate, with the result that, of the hundred blessings which they enjoyed, all disappeared save one. Falling beneath the power of the evil one, they practiced the mechanical arts, and subsequently built themselves houses and clothed themselves with skins. Another form of the legend represents Ahriman as a serpent. So close is the resemblance of this legend to the Scriptural account, that Rawlinson regards it not as a primitive tradition, but rather as "an infiltration into the Persian system of religious ideas belonging properly to the Hebrews" ('Hist. Illus. of the Old Testament,' p. 13).

3. Indian. In the Hindoo mythology the king of the evil demons, "the king of the serpents," is named Naga, the prince of the Nagis or Nacigs, "in which Sanserit appellation we plainly trace the Hebrew Nachash." In the Vishnu Purana the first beings created by Brama are represented as endowed with righteousness and perfect faith, as free from guilt and filled with perfect wisdom, wherewith they contemplated the glory of Visham, till after a time they are seduced. In the legends of India the triumph of Krishna over the great serpent Kali Naga, who had poisoned the waters of the river, but who himself was ultimately destroyed by Krishna trampling on his head, bears a striking analogy to the Mosaic story (Kitto's 'Daily Bible Illustrations').

II. OCCIDENTAL.

1. The story of Pandora. According to Hesiod the first men lived wifeless and ignorant, but innocent and happy. Prometheus ("Forethought") having stolen fire from heaven, taught its use to mankind. To punish the aspiring mortals, Zeus sent among them Pandora, a beautiful woman, whom he had instructed Hephaestus to make, and Aphrodite, Athena, and Hermes had endowed with all seductive charms. Epimetheus ("Afterthought"), the brother of Prometheus, to whom she was presented, accepted her, and made her his wife. Brought into his house, curiosity prevailed on her to lift the lid of a closed jar in which the elder brother had with prudent foresight shut up all kinds of ills and diseases. Forthwith they escaped to torment mankind, which they have done ever since (Secmann's 'Mythology,' p. 163).

2. The apples of the Hesperides. These golden apples, which were under the guardianship of the nymphs of the West, were closely watched by a terrible dragon named Laden, on account of an ancient oracle that a son of the deity would at a certain time arrive, open a way of access thither, and carry them off. Hercules, having inquired his way to the garden in which they grew, destroyed the monster and fulfilled the oracle (ibid., p. 204).

3. Apollo and the Pythen. "This Python, ancient legends affirm, was a serpent bred out of the slime that remained after Deucalion's deluge, and was worshipped as a god at Delphi. Eminent authorities derive the name of the monster kern a Hebrew root signifying to deceive." As the bright god of heaven, to whom everything impure and unholy is hateful, Apollo, four days after his birth, slew this monster with his arrows. What shall we say then to these things? This - that the nations embodied in these traditions their remembrances of paradise, of the fall, and of the promised salvation (Kitto, 'Daily Bible Illustrations' p. 67).

"Then the eyes of them both were opened" (as the serpent had foretold: but what did they see?), "and they knew that they were naked." They had lost "that blessed blindness, the ignorance of innocence, which knows nothing of nakedness" (Ziegler). The discovery of their nakedness excited shame, which they sought to conceal by an outward covering. "They sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." The word תּאנה always denotes the fig-tree, not the pisang (Musa paradisiaca), nor the Indian banana, whose leaves are twelve feet long and two feet broad, for there would have been no necessity to sew them together at all. חגרת, περιζώματα, are aprons, worn round the hips. It was here that the consciousness of nakedness first suggested the need of covering, not because the fruit had poisoned the fountain of human life, and through some inherent quality had immediately corrupted the reproductive powers of the body (as Hoffmann and Baumgarten suppose), nor because any physical change ensued in consequence of the fall; but because, with the destruction of the normal connection between soul and body through sin, the body ceased to be the pure abode of a spirit in fellowship with God, and in the purely natural state of the body the consciousness was produced not merely of the distinction of the sexes, but still more of the worthlessness of the flesh; so that the man and woman stood ashamed in each other's presence, and endeavoured to hide the disgrace of their spiritual nakedness, by covering those parts of the body through which the impurities of nature are removed. That the natural feeling of shame, the origin of which is recorded here, had its root, not in sensuality or any physical corruption, but in the consciousness of guilt or shame before God, and consequently that it was the conscience which was really at work, is evident from the fact that the man and his wife hid themselves from Jehovah God among the trees of the garden, as soon as they heard the sound of His footsteps. יהוה קול (the voice of Jehovah, Genesis 3:8) is not the voice of God speaking or calling, but the sound of God walking, as in 2 Samuel 5:24; 1 Kings 14:6, etc. - In the cool of the day (lit., in the wind of the day), i.e., towards the evening, when a cooling wind generally blows. The men have broken away from God, but God will not and cannot leave them alone. He comes to them as one man to another. This was the earliest form of divine revelation. God conversed with the first man in a visible shape, as the Father and Instructor of His children. He did not adopt this mode for the first time after the fall, but employed it as far back as the period when He brought the beasts to Adam, and gave him the woman to be his wife (Genesis 2:19, Genesis 2:22). This human mode of intercourse between man and God is not a mere figure of speech, but a reality, having its foundation in the nature of humanity, or rather in the fact that man was created in the image of God, but not in the sense supposed by Jakobi, that "God theomorphised when creating man, and man therefore necessarily anthropomorphises when he thinks of God." The anthropomorphies of God have their real foundation in the divine condescension which culminated in the incarnation of God in Christ. They are to be understood, however, as implying, not that corporeality, or a bodily shape, is an essential characteristic of God, but that God having given man a bodily shape, when He created him in His own image, revealed Himself in a manner suited to his bodily senses, that He might thus preserve him in living communion with Himself.
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