In the last episode we discussed Adam and Eve’s eyes being opened, and what that entailed, as well as God’s questioning of them both. We discussed how both Adam and Eve placed the blame on someone else, and that neither of them took responsibility for their actions.
In verses 12-13, God is questioning Adam and Eve, and we hear their responses. 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Again, we discussed this in the previous episode, and so now we pick-up the scene here in V14, where God now turns his attention from Adam and Eve to Satan
V14-15 – 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
V14 – It is interesting that God questioned Adam and Eve, and gave them an opportunity to respond and to explain. But with Satan, he did not. He gets straight to the punishment.
Notice how God tells the serpent that as part of it’s punishement that “on its belly it shall go, and dust it shall eat. Some people take this to imply that prior to his punishment that the serpent did not go around on it’s belly, meaning that it may have walked upright, and that the serpent was not always a snake. Some even say that prior to this punishment that the serpent was actually more akin to a dragon, and they say that is perhaps where we get tales and legends of dragons.
“On your belly you shall go, and dust shall you eat” – Psalm 44:25 says that “For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.” And in that Psalm, just as here in Genesis chapter 3, it is speaking of abject or complete humiliation. Absolute and total defeat.
In ancient societies, “dust in the mouth” was also a reference to the grave, as dirt and dust fills the mouth of the corpse, and so we should perhaps take this “dust shall you eat” as referring to an absolute state of humility, as well as death
Another consequence that cursing the serpent may have had was to dethrone the serpent as a deity. The serpent was worshipped in many pagan societies, such as Egypt, where the serpent was actually represented on the headdress or crown worn by Pharoh, and so this was another way for God to sort of dethrone another God of the ancient world.
Incidentally, in Exodus, where God sends the 10 plagues upon Egypt, have you ever noticed that, I think, 9 out the 10 plagues, God uses the gods of Egypt as His instruments of judgment. For example, when we look at the diseased cattle, this was to demonstrate that the Egyptian gods associated with bulls and cows were, in fact, not gods. The same with the ninth plague, the darkness, was to demonstrate that the Egyptian Sun and Moon gods were not God. Again, if you look at the 10 plagues of Egypt, 9 of them were associated with Egyptian nature gods. And all of that reinforces the idea taught in Genesis that God alone is God, and that He alone created and rules over nature
So here, with the humiliation of the serpent, we see once again that God demystifies nature, or an object of nature, and removes it from an object of worship, humbling it to its rightful place in the created order. Making the point once again, that He is the one true God
Isa 45:5 – “5 I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God;
And that brings us to V15, one of the most discussed and important verses in all of scripture.So let’s re-read V15-” I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Enmity, if you look it up in an English dictionary, simply means to be actively opposed or hostile to someone. But in the Hebrew, this word is “ay-vah”, which means to be an advesary or enemy of someone, to persecute them as an enemy, to hate them.
“Between “you” and the woman. Who is the “you” here? Remember who God is talking to here, Satan. He is telling Satan that there will be “ay-vah”, “hate” between Satan and the woman, and between who else??? His offspring and her offspring.
“he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The “He” here is referring to the eventual offspring of the woman, a reference to the Messiah, which is Jesus Christ.
And so here we have the plot of the rest of the Bible. The battle between good and evil. Between the offspring of the woman, and the offspring of Satan. Even though Christ will overcome Satan, as referenced by the bruise to the head, Christ will also be wounded, as referenced by the bruise to the heel. However, one of those is a fatal wound, the other is not.
Some feel that the most important thought is not the ultimate victory that would come, but the long, continued struggle. And this is what we see in the rest of the Bible. A long and continued struggle until at last God’s word would come to fruition in the person and victory of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection. The triumph of good over evil.
This verse describes two offspring, or two descendents, the descendents of Satan, and the descendents of the woman. Humanity is now divided into two communities; those who love God, and the reprobate, who love themselves. So how do we identify who is who?
Jesus gave us a hint in John ch 8, when he said “42 “If God were your Father, you would love me, …43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
I would love to tell you that I could add to what Jesus said here. To make it more clear. But I can’t. (rehash verse).
I cannot make it any clearer than Jesus did right here in distinguishing the children of God from the children of Satan.
And the harsh reality is that every one of us has to determine, for ourselves, are we a child of God or not? Your family cannot choose for you. Your friends cannot choose for you.You must make that decision for yourself.
John 1:12 – “But to all who receive Jesus, who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
V16 – “ To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
Notice that God didn’t tell Eve that he would cause pain during childbirth, but that he would multiply it, suggesting that childbirth would have involved some level of pain already. Just as Adam will now endure physical pain over his toil of the land, so Eve’s pain and sorrow in childbirth will be muliplied. But that sorrow is soon forgotten once the baby has arrived. John 16:21 “ When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”
Interesting, there is great pain in delivering life. I am sure Jesus can relate to that!
The brilliant philosopher and theologian, Anselm, had a brilliant insight when he wrote that “ it is extremely appropriate that, just as the sin of mankind and the cause of our damnation originated from a woman, correspondingly the medicine of our sin and the cause of salvation should be born of a woman”. And in saying this he was obviously referencing Mary, the mother of Jesus
“The second part of God’s punishement to Eve says that “her desire will be contrary, or towards, your husband, and he shall rule over you”
In our modern society, which is so focused on equality, this part of the verse garners a lot of attention! There seems to be at least two different takes of this verse. One option is that God simply punishes Eve and has her now submissive to Adam because she was the one who was deceived. Adam is to be the leader.
Another option is found in doing a word study on the Hebrew word used here for “desire”, when God tells Eve her “desire” will be to her husband. The problem is that this Hebrew word for desire is only used two other times in the entire OT. But the bottom line, it can also suggest that a woman’s desire, which renders her dependent upon man, is her maternal instinct. IOW, her desire to have children, will make her more vulnerable and dependent upon the man, who does not have that same level of paternal instinct
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Just as Eve will endure pain, so will Adam. The ground is now cursed, and only through pain will Adam eat of it.
What does it mean to say that the ground is now “cursed”? It does not mean putting a hex or a spell on it or anything. Think of it as simply being the opposite of being blessed by God. To be blessed is to be under God’s protection and favor. So the result of the ground being removed from God’s blessing, it will now yield produce only through hard labor. So even though food will still be available, it will be much more difficult to produce.
Thorns now become a symbol of the cursed ground. Interesting that before Jesus was crucified, while he was beaten and mocked, he had a crown of thorns placed on his head. Paul tells us in Romans 8 that “21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage…..I wonder if the crown of thorns was just a…coincidence?
Just an observation, but in response to Adam’s sin of eating, so to speak, God mentions eating 5 times in these three verses where he explains Adam’s punishment! This definitely one of those cases where the punishment seems to fit the crime.
So rather than submitting to him under God’s blessing, the ground will now resist Adam, and will eventually swallow him up, as he returns to the ground from which he was taken, for he is dust, and to dust he shall retun

V20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Adam names his wife Eve – “life, or life giver”. Tells us that Adam believed in the promise of God concerning the offspring of Eve
V21 – read again. This verse is one we need to pay special atttention to, because we can simply read it, assume we know what is being communicated, and then pass right on by without understanding the deeper meaning
There are a couple of ways to read and interpret this verse. The first way is the way that is probably employed by almost everyone who reads the verse, and that is that God saw that they were nake, and made for them coats made out of animal skins to prepare them for the realities and harsher environmental conditions outside of the garden. As well as providing them a remedy for their newly developed shame. That’s it. Nothing more complicated going on here.
However, there is another, deeper way to interpret this verse.
And that is to interpret this verse as understanding that when God provided Adam and Eve coats of skin, it meant that an innocent animal would have to be killed, or sacrificed, in order to provide for them. In order to cover them
Remember, Adam and Eve have already made for themselves fig leaves to cover themselves. So from a shame due to their nakedness standpoint, they have already taken care of that. They have already covered themselves
But here, what do we see God doing? What does God do with their attempt to cover themselves? He dismisses it. He rejects it. God here is teaching Adam and Eve that it is only through the shedding of innocent blood that they would be adequately covered. I am going to say that again so you don’t miss it, because I think it is extremely important.
In verse 15 we saw the promise of a descendnt who would defeat Satan, and now we see that the only method for having sin covered is through the shedding of innocent blood.
This is important to understand, because as I mentioned before, we may not have literal fig leaves today to try and cover our sin and separation from God, but we certainly have our versions of fig leaves. Church attendance, volunteering, giving of our time and money, trying to be a good citizen, philanthropy, hoping our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, and the list goes on. But we need to pay attention to the lesson God is teaching us right here in the early parts of the first book of the Bible, that it is only through the blood sacrifice of an innocent substitute that you can be covered.
There is only one way to be covered. There is only one way to heaven. There is only one way to have sins forgiven and be reconciled to God, and to fix our separation from God, and that is through the sacrifice of God himself, God incarnate, the sacrificial lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
In the Garden of Gethsamane, just prior to his arrrest and crucifixion, Jesus prayed, three times, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”.
Well, it didn’t pass. Which tells us that there is no other way by which man can be reconciled to God. As Jesus plainly told us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; No one comes to the Father except through me”
And so, as we look here at the lesson for Adam and Eve, and the coats of skin that God made for them, perhaps you will view this scene differently than you did before, and realize that what God is teaching Adam and Eve, what He is teaching us, is that it is only through the shedding of innocent blood that we can be truly covered. And this shedding of innocent blood is pointing to the one who would shed his innocent blood on a wooden cross to cover you and I. His name is Jesus. I pray you know Him.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
God said, “the man has become like one of us”…One of us? Who is “us”? Some believe that by saying “us”God is referring to himslef and the angels. But I believe this is yet another illusion to the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For what it’s worth, early church fathers Augustine and Justin Martyr also took this view
Back in Gen 1:26, God said, “let “us” make man in our own image”. God wasn’t talking to the angels. We aren’t made in the image of angels.
So why did God drive Adam and Eve from the garden? It tells us right that they would not reach out there hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever”
We are so caught-up sometimes with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which Adam and Eve ate from, that we forget about the other named tree in the garden, the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life apparently would have enabled Adam and Eve to live forever.
So being banished from the Garden of Eden cuts off their access to the Tree of Life, which becomes, in essence, how their death penalty is carried out. IOW, without the antidote to aging, death becomes inevitable
What we sometimes don’t realize however, is that this was actually a blessing from God. God loved Adam and Eve too much to allow them to live forever in their new sinful state and separated from Him. God doesn’t want you to live forever in your sinful state either.
So death is both a judgment, and a release from living in a state where we are separated from God
So when God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden, he placed the Cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life
Cherubim are supernatural creatures, a rank of angel. They usually function as gaurdians of God’s prescence, and are seen flanking God’s throne. But here they have the responsibility to prevent sinners from grasping at immortality.
When Adam and Eve left the Garden, seeing the Cherubim guarding the way, there would be no doubt that they could not get back to the Tree of Life and live forever.
I will leave you with this thought. It has been suggested that when Adam and Eve looked back, they would have looked back on a bloody sacrifice that their covering required, and they would have also seen exactly what God had Moses put on the mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, which was two Cherubim looking down upon the blood that was there.
And that brings us to the end of Chapter 3. In the next episode we will begin Chapter 4, which begins Adam and Eve’s life outside of the Garden, in the real world as we would say, which soon introduces the first murder recorded in scripture. I hope you will join me. Until next week, thank you so much for taking the time to listen. God bless.