Genesis 3

GEN 3; ISA 50:2
The order of this chapter is interesting. After the temporal judgment of death we have Eve, or life, first brought in; faith recognizes life above and beyond death, and judgment of death. Then Jehovah clothes man through death, and takes away nakedness, and then prevents access back to the tree of life-to nature's place in blessing-which, indeed, now would be perpetuated curse. Abel's is another element; he comes- approaches God by the slain lamb. In Noah we have another- the deliverance by executed judgment out of the old thing into the new. This is death and resurrection as baptism figures it.
NOTE.-Before Satan began to introduce, or could introduce, lusts into the heart of man, he produced distrust of God, and when that was brought in man was easily a prey-all was really gone. As to the way of grace, see then with what infinite goodness, and surpassing grace God attracts, and warrants confidence in the chief of sinners, in Christ.
6. It was dreadful-so deliberate and bad-yet how graciously met by Christ's being the woman's seed.
NOTE.-"Where art thou?" is the first great question. It was the first visit, and, as I believe, the first day. God was walking about in the garden-visited man-it was natural for man to be with Him.
Adam is addressed, and speaks alone; he is the responsible man. So the woman here takes her place again, sad as the excuse was, "to be with me."
9. God however called to the man-Ha-Adam; it is a terrible scene, and a terrible confession, an unnatural thing so to speak-" I heard thy voice, and I was afraid "; but the fig-leaves and the skins, long noticed by others-man's and God's covering-is most instructive and beautiful.
NOTE.-The Lord does not say in coming into the world, as in the garden, " Where art thou? "
In Isaiah 50 we have indeed, " Wherefore when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? " but He came with the full knowledge of the state of man, as he was, in full, ripened sin, and utterly evil and wretched, in the state in which the full development of the fall, in all its effects here, had set him; and then in the very midst of this, and as taking his nature, without sin, but exposed to all the suffering, He says, in perfect grace, " Here I am among you." What a truth this is! No doubt atonement was needed to bring us to God-impossible without it-but at least God was with us here, and with us such as we are.
13. Query: the force of hish-shi-d-ni " cause me to be false or wicked "?
Elohim asks nothing of the serpent; with man and the woman he draws out the fact, and the conscience as with interest-with the serpent, it is only " because thou hast done."
It is to be noted too Elohim gives no reason to the conscience of the woman. He assigns her her lot. With Adam He enters into the cause, he had listened to his wife's voice, and slighted God's-the first was his excuse. So in verse 12.
14. It is remarkable how every part of this, to the end of the chapter, is external-government as respects this world; internal or eternal relationship with God is not touched upon, whatever may be implied or involved in it. The exclusion from the tree of life was de facto from living forever in this world only.
15 is an exception, yet even that is accomplished in the earth.
The question of eternal life or heaven is not raised, separation from God, death in trespasses and sins, left to a divine appreciation of evil; only that man fled from God's presence, and God drove him out from the place of blessing, and there is no way back. Only we have the blessed parenthesis of verses 20, 21, faith in life, and divine clothing.
Why enmity between the woman and the serpent? Was Adam qua Adam held for overcome? and that it was in the hope of the seed that any resistance or hope began?
16, 17; and that Eve understood; how perfect all this is! The coming of Christ from heaven has brought out other light, but all this is earthly and governmental; the prophets and psalms had no doubt lifted up the corner of the veil into another scene of life.
I have noticed that all the judgments are temporal, or rather government on the earth, for the bruising of the head will be final; at any rate the conflict, and bruising of the serpent's head was not in Adam.
It is remarkable how God owns the superiority even in fallen Adam, he had to say to God, though the woman brought the mischief. So indeed Adam, " I heard," though indeed the history says " they heard." He was the image and glory of God—wonderful place—yet in the woman, the fall and the enmity; in the woman's seed, the conflict and victory. Eve then gets a name, not from Adam but from her children Khav-vdh (life), not Ish-shah (woman). It was not her proper title, I think, but still a title of life and blessing, for death was come in.
When the clothing by redemption comes in it is individual, for Adam and for his wife. It is remarkable that here this thought, with others as to man's condition, of Elohim, recurs as in the making—not in the present temporal judgment -only here it is Jehovah Elohim, not simply Elohim, " as one of us." It is not properly counsel, not even when He says " let us make," but it is association with others; others are addressed when " the man is become as one of us." It is the statement of a fact—but a statement in community of thought with others called " us "—but there is community of act in the other, and consultation, not of doubt, but together, " let us make," or " we will make," and " now lest he put forth," therefore Jehovah Elohim sent him forth, and " He drove out the man." Man becomes a Gershom as to the earthly paradise, his natural seat. This was definitive exclusion, more than the earthly judgments. These are the whole of man's relationship to God as such. Then he is the head of a race.
20, 21. This is wonderful grace of faith in life, and divine clothing; and it was present judgment before the driving out comes, which is a distinct announcement.
22, 23. It seems to me also that herein Adam was kept from the sin of presumption; it was mercy in the midst of judgment. Not that this is the only consideration; it was the arrest of presumption, as defeating God's plans.
I have often remarked that this chapter presents only the earthly, or governmental consequences of sin; but the truth is, whatever were the developments of this relationship, or the experiences of godly saints, which necessarily savored of this truth, the full separation from God which sin causes, and is, was only brought out when He Himself was revealed, and indeed, could only then be. Indeed it is what is in Rom. 1:1818For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18).
NOTE.—Though I do not say historically, as they are separate statements, yet in the Spirit's mind, as presented by God; Eve's being the mother of all living where death had come in, and Jehovah Elohim clothing them with coats of skins, before they are driven out of Paradise, grace met their need by God's act, before they were driven from forfeited natural blessings (which they could indeed no longer so enjoy) by judgment.
It is carefully to be noted (I have already partially done so) that the sentences pronounced on the serpent, the woman, and Adam do not go beyond present earthly results, for even the bruising the serpent's head is his whole power over man which is on the earth; the whole question of the soul is behind. More may be intimated in the distinct statements that come at the end of the chapter.
The first thing I notice in the end of this chapter is, there is no confession. Adam and Eve tell the truth as to fact, and God pronounces judgment accordingly, as He sees fit, but there is no moral action in their hearts apparent. The serpent is not asked, his judgment goes first by itself—enmity and final destruction by power through Him who had the heel bruised. We then get the present effects in this world on to death (where, note, death is pronounced on the man only as representative of the race, as before the life—breath of life—was communicated); but then we find faith on man's part as to life, Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living—this, after death was pronounced. Then God clothes them both. Life is not from Adam, so to speak, it is the woman's seed; but clothing, and putting away nakedness (the witness of sin, verses 7-10) is Jehovah Elohim's act; this is full of instruction—grace first brought and fully. Man is then driven out from the place of blessing, and all recovery of life naturally. This is the judgment, and blessing of man, as man before God; the history of the race comes in chapter 4.
NOTE.—Death also is a part of the personal temporary judgment of man here, which in certain aspects is an important point. The relations of a soul with God do not come in here, unless by mere analogy. Adam's calling his wife's name " Eve " is clearly a new thing, for he had, as united to himself, originally called her Ish-shah (woman) a supplement to Ish merely—now he (the sinful man) is wholly laid aside. The woman's seed is what God has recognized as that in which the original mischief was to be set aside. Sovereign grace for the remedy comes in the place, and origin of the sin and evil -man, as man, and Adam has no part in it—only he gets the good of it as having faith, as Adam, had here—he is clothed—here it is individual—there is neither man nor woman.
God then drives out the man, still the representative man, Ha-Adam—of course Eve with him—but in all this Ha-Adam is the representative man before God—the head of the race.
Even in chapter 4 it is " Ha-Adam knew."
NOTE.—Adam after that disappears; Eve expresses her thoughts and faith; the mistakes, but thoughts with Jehovah or God, are hers. The race is in its fallen—Adam—state; we have no Ish-shah any more, the whole scene is changed.
I have already noticed—lust was not the first thing with Adam, but distrust of God which opened the door to lust -and Christ's restoring confidence in God in the vilest of sinners. But there is more than this as regards Christ Himself. In Adam's case Satan got between Adam and God; the creature's place is dependence in confidence, from this Adam turned and got into sin. Satan insinuated that God had kept back, through jealousy, the forbidden fruit, because if man ate of it he would be like Himself; (Note: this is just what grace does with us, in wondrous mercy, in Christ before God.) Thus dependence was lost, and man acted for himself, for his own happiness—this was will—so that when dependence on and trust in God goes, necessarily will and lust follow. Now Christ, when tempted of Satan, was just the contrary; Satan tried to get Him to distrust God, and act on His own will for His happiness, to lead Him from dependence. The Lord met it by dependence, " Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God shall man live." This was dependence on God (as for the manna every day). So as to trust, " Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God "—not try whether He will be as good as His word, which is distrust. Thus the wicked one could not get between God and Christ so as to interrupt dependence—could not touch Him, nor introduce it into His soul. When he tried it was in an open way and profitless, and he was rejected as an openly detected Satan, and that was all.
In the first instance, the most legitimate want, connected with will, would have been departure from God—taking the world by will without God.
Dependence is a special claim in a world departed from God, more than even Adam in Paradise, though every creature is dependent. Christ trusted God perfectly, so as to wait for His will; then, on the pinnacle of the temple, He trusted God enough to wait till the occasion came for the accomplishment of promise, and would not try it in His own time to see whether he was.
NOTE.—That God became a God of judgment is the consequence of sin; sin has turned Him into this; and man's knowledge of good and evil—He is holy, He is righteous—hence if evil comes in He must judge.
But with innocent man there was no judgment; He was blessed, with unfallen angels. Blessed be His name, He is love revealed in Christ—that is what He is. A child may know his father to be a judge, but he does not know him as such. In fine sin has made God a Judge.
As to Conscience and the Fall, it is, in one point of view, the result of the Fall. Man is set in an anomalous state, they are " as gods," " as one of us," in one sense; they have the knowledge of good and evil, but with this immense difference—God knows good and evil, but is as Supreme over it all; man, as a sinner, knows good and evil, but as a creature, in owning it, is subject to evil, he knows good and evil by being subject to it, by having sinned. God, moreover, the source of all good, knows all evil as something without, not of, Himself; man, the receiver of all good, knows it as in himself, subject to it in himself:
The first man was the failure of the creation under evil; the second man was, under God, the supremacy over evil. So the resurrection was the great point of evincement, for as death was the head and full power of evil, resurrection was the full triumph over it in man, even Jesus; hence Jesus became the second Adam after His resurrection; the power of manifested life in man, that is properly and fully, when He was manifested to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. He, previously to that, proved His competency in His human state, and became it, as having overcome evil—overcome evil with good—instead of being overcome of evil, when all natural good was made His, He overcame with good when all natural evil was made His. He had all quickening power in Him indeed while living in the flesh, but He was not the head as having been made perfect through all. But Adam sinned in Paradise, or Eve individually, and, as ejected, became the head of the fallen race. Christ acted faithfully in the world of sin, and as risen out of it, became the Head of the saved race—the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. He was not subject to, but overcame evil; Adam in good and Paradise became subject to evil—such was the contrast.
The analogy of the first and last Adam seems carried very far, if we take our portion in Adam as excluded, and in the Lord, the last Adam, as risen, and gone in within the veil; for our position in one and the other is largely in fact and morally fully correspondent. Just as we have seen in the circumstances which made way, laid the ground, for their respective characters elsewhere, in the sin of Adam, and the obedience of Christ unto death, and taking the two together as in the opposition of final results, it is most instructive.