And the Lord
God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any
tree in the garden; but you
must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
When the woman saw that the fruit of the
tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also
desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and
he ate it
The Bible provides very little detail about the lives of
Adam and Eve, especially where it concerns the
event we call “The Fall of Man”.
For example there is no reference that let's us
see how soon after their creation it took place, or what
sort of life they may have had together previously.
And we don't know why Eve felt comfortable in a
conversation with a serpent, or even what the serpent
might have looked like.
The Hebrew word translated serpent in Genesis
3:1 comes from a root that means enchanter, one who
practices divination. This is an ability, not a physical
description, and while Genesis 3:1 implies the
serpent was part of the animal kingdom, we don't
normally think of animals as having abilities like that.
Most people assume Satan had indwelt the serpent and was
manipulating it, but the way God pronounced a curse upon
it tells us the serpent was not just an innocent victim
of circumstances, but was a culpable participant.
It's also interesting that the prophecy of
Satan's ultimate defeat by the “seed of the woman” (a
Messianic reference) was contained within the curse God
pronounced upon the serpent (Genesis 3:15).
There were all kinds of trees in the garden that were
pleasing to the eye and good for eating, but Genesis
2:9 makes specific reference to two of them, the
tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil. Before Eve was created, God warned Adam against
eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Since Eve explained
this rule to the serpent (Genesis 3:2) she had
been told as well.
Somehow the fruit of the tree of life sustained their
immortality while eating the fruit of the knowledge of
good and evil made them mortal, subject to death, and
that's why it was forbidden.
Man was not created to be merely a mortal, but to
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, after eating
the forbidden fruit, to prevent their access to the tree
of life. In
their fallen state they were not allowed to regain their
When God stationed cherubim at the entrance to guard the
way to the tree of life, He was saying their banishment
was not permanent (Genesis 3:22-24). The way back
is being protected so that one day man can become
There is a thought, both in Hebrew tradition and among
early Christians, that the Garden was in a different
dimension and that those who died believing in a coming
redeemer went there to await Him.
Some say this is the paradise Jesus spoke of from
the cross (Luke 23:43). (Paradise is a word of
Persian origin that means garden).
That would mean the believing dead entered the
garden by means of a dimensional gate protected by
cherubim, to eat from the tree of life and regain their
Whether that's true or not, I think you'll agree that
there was much more going on here than we're able to
understand from the Biblical account.
Because of that most people are content to take
the Genesis narrative at face value and don't give it
too much thought.
But when someone recently asked me what would
have happened if Adam had refused the apple, the
comments I received about my answer caused me to think a
more comprehensive treatment of the question is in
Could You Repeat The Question?
Just to put us all on the same page, here's the question
I received and the answer I posted.
What would have happened if Eve had eaten of the apple
in the Garden but Adam had refused?
In 1 Tim. 2:14
Paul said Adam was not deceived, it was the woman who
was deceived and became a sinner. The Bible doesn't come
right out and say this, but here's what I think. Had
Adam refused the "apple", which he could have chosen to
do, Eve would have been eternally lost because there
would have been no human race from which the redeemer
could come to save her.
Adam loved her so much that he
chose to join her in her fallen state so they could both
be redeemed rather than to spend eternity without her.
In that narrow sense Adam became a type of Jesus in that
he gave his life for his bride so she could live forever
with him. In Romans 5:14 Paul said Adam was a
pattern of the one to come.
Now, I'll respond to other questions and comments I
received to give us a more complete view of what was
going on than the Q and A format permits. One of the
most frequent questions I've been asked is why did God
create Adam and Eve in the first place, if He knew what
Of course, the Bible offers no answer to this, and when
I've been asked in the past, I've usually ducked behind
Paul's “potter and pot” analogy.
He wrote, “Shall what is formed say to Him who
formed it 'Why did you make me like this?' ” (Romans
But in my studies, I've come across several opinions and
the one I like best came from Hal Lindsey.
that at his judgment Satan hurled 2 accusations at God:
"You're not just and You have no love."
(I can't help reminding us that just about every child
has hurled these accusations at his or her earthly
father, although with less maturity.
In an emotional reaction to the pronouncement of
some punishment or discipline they cry,
“That's not fair!
You don't love me!”)
In response to these accusations God did four things.
The first two demonstrate perfect justice and the
last two show His perfect love.
He created man, a being
vastly inferior to the angels but sharing with them the
properties of intellect, agency (power of choice) and
eternal life, and gave him dominion over Planet Earth.
He gave man a set of
rules to live by, and ordained that obedience to them
was a requirement for life. Any violations (sins), even
those committed only in the mind, would be punishable by
death. There were no loop holes, and no one would escape
judgment. Perfect justice.
He sent His Son to live a
life in total compliance to these rules, the only man
ever to do so, granting Him the right to govern the
universe and receive all its worth as His inheritance in
He gave His Son's life to
purchase a pardon for all whose sins would require
judgment, decreeing that by accepting His death as
payment for their sins they would also receive eternal
life and share in this inheritance as His adopted
children. Perfect love.
Like other opinions, you can't
find chapter and verse to support this, but of all the
ones I've seen this makes the most sense from a Biblical
perspective. Man was created to demonstrate God's
ability to be both a just God and a loving God. I
believe this is what Paul had in mind when he said,
“His intent was that now,
through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be
made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly
realms, according to His eternal purpose which He
accomplished in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Ephes.
Q. In your answer, you said
“Had Adam refused the “apple”, which he could have
chosen to do, Eve would have been eternally lost because
there would have been no human race from which the
redeemer could come to save her”.
Why was it necessary for Adam to
sin? I mean, if Adam didn’t sin, how is it that
“there would have been no human race”?
Adam and Eve were
created in the likeness of God, but according to
Genesis 5:3 their children were of Adam's
likeness and image.
This tells us that after the fall Adam and Eve
developed a new likeness, that of mortal man.
Had Adam refused the “apple” he would have
retained his immortality.
He and Eve would have been of a different
Had they been able to have children, the children would
have been the product of cross breeding. There would
have been no pure human race.
From Genesis 6 we learn that
one of Satan's early attempts to prevent a redeemer was
to contaminate the human gene pool by having fallen
angels assume human form and take human wives. This
resulted in the Nephilim and by Noah's time he and his
family could have been the only ones who were both
righteous in God's sight and of pure human stock.
(The Hebrew text of Genesis 6:9 indicates
Noah was perfect in his generations, meaning his
genealogy was without blemish, unimpaired.) That's why
only they were preserved through the flood.
From this we see that the coming
redeemer had to be of pure human stock, someone an
immortal Adam and a fallen Eve could not have produced.
Since Adam who was
"with her" (Genesis 3:6) while she ate, and then
gave to him "and he did eat", why did he not stop her
from listening to the Serpent (let alone follow her in
eating of the forbidden fruit) if he loved her so much?
First, let me thank you for pointing out that
Adam was there with Eve during her temptation.
Some have taught that the reason Eve sinned was
that she was alone and not under her husband's
“covering” at the time. This teaching is refuted by
Now to your question. We don't know
why Adam reacted the way he did.
But in Romans 5:14 Paul said Adam was “a
pattern of the one to come”.
This is a reference to the Lord.
He didn't come into the world to prevent us from
sinning by depriving us of our right to choose for
ourselves, but to save us from the penalty of the sins
we commit by making the wrong choices.
He did this by becoming like us. Adam's behavior
consistent with the Lord's, in that he became like Eve
so she could be saved from the penalty of her sin. This
is what makes him a pattern.
In your scenario, Adam would have to have
had foreknowledge of God's plan of redemption. As a
logical consequence of such foreknowledge, Adam
would have to know that a fall from innocence was
forthcoming. It also seems reasonable to conclude that
Adam would share this information with Eve, yet the
Bible states that Eve was deceived. What are your
thoughts on this? Couldn't God (all knowing and all
powerful) have devised an alternate plan of redemption
for the "Eve only" scenario?
Although events recorded in the Old Testament
actually happened, they often unfolded in such a way
that the Israelites were unknowingly acting out
prophecies of the coming Redeemer.
The manna in the wilderness (compare Exodus 16
with John 6:30-35)
and the bronze serpent (compare Numbers 21:4-9
with John 3:14-15) are but two of many examples.
They tell us Adam could have been a pattern of the
Redeemer as Paul said in Romans 5:14 without
knowing it. He could have simply been doing what he
thought he had to do to avoid losing the woman he had
grown to love.
Could God have devised other ways
to meet the pressing needs of His people that didn't
involve having them act out prophecy?
Of course. But one of the reasons we have the Old
Testament is so we can learn more about His plan of
redemption by seeing how He interacts with Israel.
Paul said everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us (Romans 15:4).
He also said the things that happened to Israel
were examples and were written down as warnings to us,
on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come (1 Cor.
That's why the Old Testament has been so accurately and
And remember, God is teaching His
creation that He's absolutely just and absolutely
Starting over with Adam in some alternate plan of
redemption would have left Eve twisting in the wind, the
only human in history with no possibility of being
saved. God could not overlook her sin, and she would
have had no kinsman to redeem her.
That would neither be just nor loving.
In addition, Peter said the Lord
was chosen before the creation of the world to be our
Redeemer (1Peter 1:20).
That means God had already developed His plan for
the Age of Man before He said “Let there be light”
in Genesis 1:3.
What God has determined is not subject to change.
Aren't you glad of that?
So then, seeing Adam as a pattern
of the Redeemer has helped me better understand the
But I wish the Lord had chosen to tell us more
about the life and times of our first parents.
I guess I'll have to learn about that directly
from them. Selah 01-12-13.