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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 3

Verses 1-19

God would have been very pleased if he had never needed a remedy for sin. However, man chose the path of sin. Satan's grand lie caused him to transgress God's will. Jesus called Satan "a murderer from the beginning" and the father of lying ( Joh_8:44 ).

Satan's Lie

Satan denied the reality of the curse of death and God's veracity ( Gen_3:4 ). God told Adam in the day he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would surely die (2:17). It should be noted this lie involved the addition of only one word to what God had actually said. Man was seduced into believing he would not be punished for sin (Compare Ecc_8:11 ). Today, there are those who are evidently deceived into believing they will never die. They live as if they will not die ( Luk_12:16-21 ; Heb_9:27 ). We need to live so as to be prepared for death ( Isa_38:1 ; Mat_25:13 ).

It should also be observed that Satan used one of God's creatures to bring about the fall of man ( Gen_3:1 ). Even now, he works through men to persuade us to follow some false teaching, thereby joining his side ( Mat_16:21-23 ; 2Co_11:14-15 ; 1Ti_4:1 ). Sometimes God's truthfulness is denied by saying God does not mean "whosoever" in Mat_19:9 . His truthfulness is also denied by those who say a Christian cannot so act as to be lost eternally. Compare this with 1Co_9:27 and 2Pe_2:20-22 .

Denied God's Loving Kindness

Satan denied God's loving kindness by saying he kept back something good for man ( Gen_3:5 ). We know God is good, and loving, and will not hold back anything good for man ( Psa_135:1 ; Joh_3:16 ; Rom_8:31-32 ). Jesus told his disciples to ask, seek and knock to receive find and have it opened to them. "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" ( Mat_7:7-11 ).

Modern day feminists have said God is unfair because he denies them roles of spiritual authority ( 2Co_11:3 ). Ironically, the very reason for such denial is from the account of the fall. Paul tells us Eve was deceived and sinned ( 1Ti_2:13-14 ). Because God said Adam had listened to his wife, we know he sinned in yielding to her instead of to God ( Gen_3:17 ).

Said Nothing of the Positive

Satan said nothing of the positive side of God's commands. Adam and Eve could eat of all other trees in the garden. Satan emphasized the negative side of God's command and distorted the truth. He said God did not want them to eat because 1) their eyes would be opened and 2) they would be as God, knowing good and evil (3:5). These two assertions were actually partially true (3:7, 22). Man's eyes were opened to their nakedness. They did become like God in the sense that they knew the difference between good and evil.

Three Basic Areas

Satan tempted Eve in the three basic areas to which man is susceptible ( 1Jn_2:15-17 ). The lust of the flesh is any uncontrolled appetite of the body. Eve "saw that the tree was good for food." Her desire for it was uncontrolled in that it caused her to ignore the danger to her relationship with God. The lust of the eyes is anything excited by sight. Eve saw "that it was pleasant to the eyes." The pride, or vainglory, of life is the seeking of worldly rewards and praise of men above that of God. Eve saw that it was "to be desired to make one wise."

Eyes Opened

Having sinned, Adam and Eve's eyes were now opened and they were ashamed (3:7-10). The simple innocence of the garden had now been shattered (2:25). They tried to hide from God but discovered such was impossible ( Psa_139:1-24 ; Jer_23:24 ; Heb_4:12-13 ). In response to God's questions, both Adam and Eve tried to pass the blame on to someone else (3:12, 13). The consequences of sin, however, remain with the one who has committed the sin ( Eze_18:4 ; Eze_18:20 ; Gal_6:7-8 ). The serpent, Satan, Eve and Adam all faced punishment because of their wrongs (3:14-19).

The special fellowship of the garden was brought to an end by man's sin (3:22-24). From that point forward, God set in motion his plan for man's salvation. Sin had now entered into the world. All men, unconditionally, received the sentence of physical death ( Rom_5:12 ). What man lost unconditionally in Adam, he regained unconditionally in Christ ( 1Co_15:20-22 ). All will overcome the grave. The place in which they will spend eternity depends upon their own actions ( Joh_5:28-29 ). Only in Christ can the special relationship of the garden be restored.

Conclusion

God chose to bring the Savior into the world by woman, thus taking the stigma of sin away from her (3:15; 1Ti_2:15 ). Since men usually trace their lineage through the male parent, it is plain "the seed of woman" refers to Christ. Mary was the only woman to bear a child without a man being involved ( Mat_1:18-25 ; Isa_7:14 ). The seed of the serpent would be all those who follow after Satan ( Mat_23:33 ; Joh_8:44 ; 1Jn_3:10 ). Enmity between the followers of Christ and the world is natural because good lives and teachings expose the bad ( Joh_15:18-19 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 3". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-3.html. 2014.