Monday: The Woman and the Serpent
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Read Genesis 3:2-3. How did the woman respond to the serpent? What

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

mistakes did she make?

Though Eve clearly knew the command of God, which shows her culpability, she does make a statement that goes beyond what God had said, at least as recorded in the Bible. God had clearly instructed Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree; nothing was said about not touching it. Because we don’t know what prompted her to say that, it’s best not to speculate about its origins. No question, though: by thinking she shouldn’t touch the fruit, she would have been less inclined to eat it, because she couldn’t eat what she couldn’t touch.

How often do we face the same thing today: someone comes with teachings that, on most points but not all, are in harmony with Scripture? It’s the few points that aren’t that can ruin everything else. Error, even mixed with truth, is still error.

Read Matthew 15:7-9. What reproof did Jesus give the scribes and Pharisees concerning the addition of human thinking to the Word of God? Compare this with Revelation 22:18 and Colossians 2:20-23. What dangers arise from making up rules that we think will protect us against sin? Vs. 23.

The problem with sin is not a lack of rules but a reprobate heart. Even in secular society, we often hear calls for more laws against crime when there are already sufficient laws in existence. We do not need new laws so much as we need new hearts.

In what ways might we be in danger of following the things warned about here? Standards based on biblical principles are crucial. The question is, How can we be sure that the standards and rules we apply aren’t going to lead us astray? Bring your answer to class.

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Monday: The Woman and the Serpent — 47 Comments

  1. It is interesting to note that Eve was not called Eve until after sin. The Bible called her the The Woman, I will have to go back and read the account from Patriarchs and Prophet's to get an illumination of that statement made in our Sabbath School yesterday.

    In our household when you put food on your plate. you eat it all.

    Sin is doing what you are told not to do.

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  2. Now what can we do with this today's lesson. Deuteronomy 30:19,20 tells us. " I call heaven and earth witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your children may live;
    that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey his voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
    Where may we dwell if we chose life and obey His voice? Someday heaven, then the earth made new through out eternity.

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  3. Concerning Eve's "addition" to the word of God, let's look at the evidence a little closer. Eve was not confronted by God for anything but eating and sharing the fruit. He did not ask her about any lies or adding to His instructions. We must understand from her remark that there must have been further communications from God and/or angels sent to warn them with greater detail of the dangers in even approaching or touching the tree. In her yet innocent condition she states clearly "God has said...". Had she been guilty in this I believe scripture would have pointed this out as Jesus did centuries later towards men much less holy than Eve at that time, when they taught for doctrine the commandments of men. Even after eating the fruit they were very truthful when God inquired of their actions and did not lie to God, though they did try to place the blame elsewhere.

    There is great danger in flirting with temptation and eating would be more likely if hanging around the forbidden tree, picking the fruit "just to see it closer" or any other reason, as one might try to see how close to the flame they could get before feeling it burn.

    Ps 1:1 brings us further light on what Eve's reply reveals about was shared with the holy pair before they actually sinned. Sin is a process of gradual acceptance, much like the way some would enter cold water, a little at a time. I believe they were given every possible warning and admonition, and Eve's reply confirms this to me. (see also PP chapter 3 which Eve's statement in Genesis 3:3 confirms.)

    Unrelated:
    Why do all the illustrations show them uncovered before they sinned? Just asking.

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    • Robert, we know from the Spirit of Prophecy that Adam and Eve were not totally naked but had a covering of light. I think a lot of artists either forget that or don't know about it. It would be good though to have some nice art work with our understanding of how things really were.

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      • I agree William, but we also can understand from scripture that they were covered in this light if we read it correctly. Psalm 104:2 tells us of God's "garment" of light, and man was made in His image and likeness, and had no physical covering, yet without shame. After sin they saw they were uncovered and were ashamed. It wasn't sin that made them ashamed, it was the fact of being uncovered. I'm not an expert in Hebrew, but the word "naked" before and after sin are not the same original word, whatever that means. I think the evidence might give a clue. Perhaps a Hebrew scholar could share some insight.

        Believers of other faiths also understand they were covered in light, without having read Ellen's writings. The fact is they were only uncovered briefly until they made the fig leaf aprons.

        I have found so far that all the additional details we might find in Ellen's writings (which are relevant to the Bible) are always confirmed in scripture.

        I find it interesting that only man, a moral being, was created with a covering they could lose through sin. All the other creatures retain their coverings.

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  4. But how did God let Satan live to this date when actually he knew that he will deceive his children. Satan is an angel and not a human being, right? If Satan was a human being I would think God wanted him to repent.

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    • Now, Nellie listen, first look at Jonah 4:2 & Exodus 34:6-7a.These are practical characters of God and in one of her books Sister White shows clearly that satan was given the chance to confess until the probation closed at the cross after Jesus death. Remember also that God is all knowing but he gave satan this chance to prove to all beings that satan was the evil one. God knows that we will not all follow him, that's why he gives us time till when we die/Jesus comes for the end of our probation period {bearing in mind investigative judgement too}.

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      • This is what you said Brother Josphat that: Sister White shows clearly that satan was given the chance to confess until the probation closed at the cross after Jesus death.
        Can you please give me the reference of what book of Sister White this statement was stated. It is because as far as I read the great controversy,the chance of Satan to repent was before he was cast out from heaven.
        Please, give me some answer because I am also confused about this. Thanks....

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    • Nellie, Satan can deceive no one without their consent. God has allowed sin to reveal itself for what it really is. Had God eliminated Satan before this the rest of creation would not have understood the justice. We can now because of the evidence. God has a purpose and all who would avoid being deceived have the promise of God's leading and protection. Satan is powerless against those who trust God with all their heart and obey His commandments. Had Eve simply trusted God and obeyed she would have never been deceived.

      Angels are not a species, it is a position or occupation. They are a higher order of creatures like men who are "messengers". (Daniel refers to "the man Gabriel.") Satan became proud and finally rebellious. Many believed him (1/3 of the angels!) and many still do. God wants all to see the folly and sinfulness of sin, and has let it continue for that purpose, but soon God will bring it to an end. We have that promise and believe it won't be much longer. We have many others to share the truth with still.

      Regarding Satan's repentance, we would have to conclude that what God has provided for man's salvation from sin was also provided for Satan (Lucifer). Jesus taught that by observing the care of God for even the sparrow, we can see His care for us. And if for us, also the highest of all creatures, including the angels of God, of which many fell into sin. I have to believe that God offered His grace toward Satan and those who followed him. But once this grace is finally rejected, God can do no more.

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      • Excellent point Robert Whiteman,about Angels not being a species but a station or occupation. I'm not sure many folks are aware of this, I had to take a moment to fully comprehend what you said.

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    • Satan did have the opportunity to repent but his pride prevented him from doing so. Now had God destroyed Satan the whole universe would think of him as a martyr and think that he was right in his rebellion against God and that God had something to hide, they all would have served Him out of fear and not love.

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  5. God was so clear when he commanded them never to leave each other, as husband and wife they supposed to stick to each other .n therefore we have seen the church sifting away from the doctrine (husband) there by falling in the tempters snare

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  6. I had never given thought to the additional information that the Bible records Eve gave to the serpent.
    I do however recognize that like all of us, Eve's proximity to the forbidden was her initial mistake.
    How many times do we undermine our own ability to resist sin when we put ourselves directly in the tempter's way? We actually assist him in presenting temptations to us.
    Getting too close to sin, like standing too close to a fire, puts one at far greater risk than standing afar. It is not necessary to stand so close to a fire that its heat can be felt and its smoke inhaled. The consequence of the fire can be seen from a safe distance.
    I believe had Eve not ventured near the tree, the serpent could not have so easily engaged her. Perhaps from a safe distance she would not have heard the tempter, would not have put forth her hand, and not allowed herself to sin.
    Deliberately standing in sins way, invites disaster and does not strengthen our will.
    Satan presents enough opportunities for us to sin and to fall without our help!

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    • I agree completely with Bobbie B.
      Look at what we find in Patriarchs and Prophets page 55.3

      The tree of knowledge had been made a test of their obedience and their love to God. The Lord had seen fit to lay upon them but one prohibition as to the use of all that was in the garden; but if they should disregard His will in this particular, they would incur the guilt of transgression. Satan was not to follow them with continual temptations; he could have access to them only at the forbidden tree. Should they attempt to investigate its nature, they would be exposed to his wiles.

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  7. If everything evil comes out of the heart, then was Eve caused to after the devil entered her heart or when did Satan enter Eve's heart? Help guys, basing on Matthew 15:7-20

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    • Lovemore, Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." This means good or evil. Eve had no evil in her heart and spoke no evil to the serpent. She simply chose to disregard God's commandment. If sin exists in our heart, we have chosen it. Like Adam and Eve, all have a choice.

      If you read the verses just before the one I quoted above, you will find Jesus telling His listeners that they need their hearts "fixed". He came to "fix" our hearts since we are corrupt from birth since Adam's transgression. (Yes, I say Adams since if he had not sinned none of this would have resulted from Eve's sin. See also Romans 5.) The choice is left to each individual whether to have an evil heart or a pure heart. Psalm 40:3 tells us that God gives us a new heart. Yes, it says "a new song" in our mouth, but according to Jesus in Matthew 12, it means a new heart! Only by God's grace if we have faith.

      Eve was formed with a pure heart, after the Image of God, but chose to believe a lie and became a sinner. We are left to chose righteousness since we are not born that way, BUT, we are given the choice. It's available to all who desire to be made again in the likeness of God through His offered Grace. (See Titus 2:11-14)

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  8. I hundred (100%) agreed with the fifth comment, that talks about seperation. By that Madam Eve was deceived. If they were togather as husband and wife, then Mr. Adam would've said no my wife, my this is forbiden. No go area, nor even touch it. So my brothers in Christ, we should learn how to stay togather as husband and wife. May the Almight God blesses us all.

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    • Alex its not 100%; you can be with your partner even carry her/him on your back and yet lustfully look at other women/men passing by and you would have easily sinned. Matthew 5:28. Its not the actual eating of the fruit which was wrong,nor it wasn't the fruit which was poisoners but OBEDIENCE OF THE WORD OF GOD.As one reader has posted;I agree"Sin is a process of gradual acceptance" but when does sin become sin?

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    • Michael, what exactly is your question with those verses? If you read them they tell us that Paul is speaking of the commandments of men (not God) and that it is self-imposed and false. So this is not about the regulations God has given, but from men. Or are you thinking of something else?

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      • Adding to what you have said, Robert, since there is a parallel verse roughly saying the same thing, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8 NKJV) the entire chapter is speaking of man's traditions rather than what God commanded. That is important because this chapter has been used a lot to condemn Sabbath worship and we in an effort to defend the Ten Commandments have said that it was speaking of the law of Moses, particularly the sanctuary services that ended at the cross.

        I think, However, there is more to it than that. "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Col. 2:23 NKJV). Paul is therefore restating what he presented in Romans and Galatians that our salvation depends on a free gift from God as a matter of Grace and that we cannot clean our selves of sin nor can we hope of doing right without that free gift (Jer 13:23). That was the pharisaical problem. They were trying to be saved by doing something themselves through a multitude of manmade regulations which is an impossibility since we have already broken the law and can't attain to righteousness on our own. Therefore the necessity of the gift of justification rather than righteousness through a works oriented religion.

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  9. Brothern I do not comment: but I have a question which i was asked but I could not answer:What coused Eve to leave Adam and where was Adam when Eve went alone into the gardern? the secord question: What could happen if Adam could not eat the fruit which was brought by Eve?

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    • Rox, it's those are very interesting questions you were asked, and we simply can't answer them without speculating since that is not what happened. We don't know if there was any reason they parted, and it could have been a simple matter of each being absorbed in what they were doing and without noticing it, were separated. Once they realized they were separate it would have been wise to seek each other. We only know that Eve was alone at the tree and it did not go well.

      Had Adam not disobeyed, He would still be enjoying the Tree of Life, and Eve would have found Grace with God and been offered forgiveness, but Jesus would still have needed to die. We can't say beyond this without guessing.

      But we can be sure of what has been revealed to us, and we will one day soon eat again from the Tree of Life and talk face to face with God!

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  10. My bible tell me as a MAN think so is HE.Why do men argue over things and what the Bible says. To your on self be true. The bible said woman came from man and man came from God and it was good.Jesus said Love the Father and the Son and One another as the son has Love you.and HE is the answer to the SIN problem and any other problem we might have.

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  11. This interesting part of the lesson as it puts a mark in the relationship between man and God. My question is that why there was no opportunity for Adam to refuse the eating of the fruit?

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    • Winston, Adam did have a choice. Eve offered the fruit, as Adam told God, and he ate it. He was not forced or tricked, or he would have not been guilty. Paul tells us Adam was not deceived and therefore was guilty for eating.

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  12. Not to eat or touch the fruit is mentioned in The Story of Redemtpion - 24, 32, 55. Eve knew and expressed it. In eternity there will be lots of time to study what isn't revealed to us here.

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  13. Good Morning All,
    As I study today's lesson I have concluded that the events occurred somewhat differently than how the author has presented them. Please feel free to guide me in the correct direction if I am wrong. The author has stated that Eve added to the command that God had given her. I then look to see where God had given her the commandment. Read Genesis 2:15-25. The command was given specifically to Adam prior to Eve’s creation. This led me to conclude that Eve was not on the scene when God originally gave the command. However, I had to resolve that Eve was given the instructions sometime later but it is not documented when “she” was instructed and by whom. I decided to read what Spirit of Prophecy had to say. The Story of Redemption page 32 paragraph 2 midway through the paragraph states, "She saw it was very lovely, and was reasoning with herself why God had so decidedly prohibited their eating or touching it." It does not appear to me that she added to God’s commandment; and it appears that proximity to sin makes us more susceptible to sin. So if I'm not close to it I won't touch (or part take of it) and if I don't touch it I won't eat it. There is no way you can eat the forbidden fruit without touching it.

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  14. Eve, failed because she opened a door for conversation with the serpent, we also give room for the devil for we allow a discussion with sin. We need to stay away from sin.

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  15. Adam and Ever were meant be inseparable. It was a very big mistake for two to separate hence the result. I thank God for Jesus.

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  16. Genesis 3:6 in the ESV, along with more current translations, reads: "...she also gave some to HER HUSBAND WHO WAS WITH HER, and he ate." [emphasis mine] This may explain both the complicity and responsibility of Adam in the Fall.

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    • To me it really doesn't matter whether Adam was physically with Eve or not. Scripture states that Eve ate first then gave the fruit to Adam. Paul makes a big distinction between Adam's sin and Eve's which is what I think we should be focusing on (1 Tim. 2:14). In fact Adams sin seems to be somewhat special. "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come" (Rom. 5:14 NKJV). The fact that Eve was tricked into sinning while Adam deliberately sinned makes Adam's sin much more serious than Eve's for he knew exactly what the situation was and yet chose to rebel against God with that knowledge.

      Furthermore there is no record of a dialog between Adam and the serpent which makes Adam being physically next to her rather unlikely. Then there is the word "with" and the many ways it can be interpreted. Christ said, "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad" (Matt. 12:30 NKJV) and "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me" (Matt. 26:23 NKJV), did they did it together or was it during a certain time period? While in Gethsemane He told his disciples, "Stay here and watch with Me" (Matt. 26:38 NKJV) but in the next verse Matthew says that, "He went a little farther and fell on His face" (Matt. 26:39 NKJV) so they were separated by some distance. So how do we interpret what it means for Eve to be "with" Adam? Was Moses thinking in terms of physical distance or was it a matter of belonging in the same way of being with someone in a decision?

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    • Bing, There are some things to look at so this statement can be understood for what it means.

      First, it's an English translation of a language that expresses differently than we do. The Hebrew does not appear to support "who was with her", but seems to say: "the woman...took fruit and ate, gave also another, her and he ate". (I am no expert in Hebrew, but the source I am relying on states it thus) Perhaps someone else can do better.

      Second, if Adam had been with her, and was not deceived as Paul states in 1 Tim 2:14, we have to believe that Adam would have led Eve away from there. The conversation was between the serpent and Eve, and it's difficult to believe that Adam was there just watching this without some some effort to intervene since he was not deceived.

      Third, when God inquired of what had taken place, Adam said "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree,". This indicates Adam was either not present at the tree which required Eve to give it to him, or that he stood silently watching and took the fruit from Eve. The latter seems highly unlikely given the fact these were sinless creatures with intelligence we can't even understand. Adam's reply to God does not fit the testimony of one who had been at the tree and witnessed the serpents actions, which Adam gives no mention of.

      This is my understanding of the account as given in Genesis 3.

      Adams responsibility is clear when he says he ate the fruit Eve brought him from the tree. He knew which tree it came from, because he was not deceived according to scripture.

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  17. Does anyone notice that when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, everything remained the same. Things only changed when Adam partakes of the fruit. Is it that Eve by herself was only half of the equation, and it would take the participation of her husband for completion. Basically that is what happen, but how should this be viewed today? Are we not complete as one person? The term "become one flesh" should it be viewed literally as one being? What is the significance that Eve action by itself didn't cause any change?

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  18. in our day we need to be careful because Satan use many ways to catch God's people.he may use your wife like how he used eve in conversation,he may also use your husband or whatever to be replace in God place.

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  19. Hi Robert, The Hebrew word used is “iMaH” and is literally rendered “her and he” as you said. This explains why a vast majority of English language Bibles include “with her” and quite a few translations favor “who was with her.” As mentioned, following are the Biblical data:

    Eve spoke with Adam and he ate (but not by deception). Therefore, they conversed after Eve encountered the serpent. Genesis 3:6 indicates that time had passed between Eve’s conversation with the serpent and her eating the forbidden fruit and giving some to her husband. Apparently, there were events that were not entirely recorded in detail, such as this conversation. Regardless, this whole event from the serpent’s deception to when Eve desired the fruit and ate then spoke to her husband, did not take long.

    God said nothing of Adam listening to the voice of the serpent, but only that he listened to Eve. In fact, Adam only blamed his wife, not the serpent, which may indicate that he had no awareness of the serpent’s conversation with her. This may also suggest that Adam joined Eve later after her deception and before she ate the forbidden fruit.

    One thing is clear however, Adam was with his wife when she ate (literally “ate her and he”), so Adam had no excuse for not knowing what he ate. He knew it was fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and knowingly sinned when he ate.

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  20. Think of it in this way, a visit to a departmental store with your wife on a Sunday. You are busy on the gents stuff and she on the ladies stuff. If friends were to ask you where you were on Sunday your response is most likely, "shopping with the wife." To me this only implies Adam was within proximity but engaged in something that interested him, so was Eve - which gave the devil chance to engage her into conversation (like the sales person from the ladies section)

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  21. Gen 3:6 says: “wattitten gam-le'îšah `immah wayyo'kal” (thanks to an avid Hebraist friend):

    Word for Word Translation:

    “wattitten” [“and she gave”]
    “gam” [“also”]
    “le'îšah” [“unto her husband”]
    “`immah [“with her”]
    “wayyo'kal” ["and he ate”; or “and he did eat”]

    Most translations have it this way: “and she also gave some to her husband with her (or who was with her), and he ate.” (This translation is based on the original syntax).

    My additional comment:

    Thus, Calvin's interpretation makes sense as it accounts for most of the available Biblical data. He takes the last part of Gen. 3:6 to mean that Adam joined Eve after she was deceived, i.e. Adam was not present during the deception but came by Eve's side while she was eating the forbidden fruit. So, Adam sinned without being deceived in line with Paul's words but Adam was with Eve while they both ate of the forbidden fruit which is consistent with the original Hebrew syntax.

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  22. I agree with some of the observations made by colleagues on total obedience. just look at how the world is suffereing today: it is clearly an issue of pleasing self and those around us. the story of Eve is pregnant and demands more and closer scrutiny than anything. I pray to God that we remain faithful and obedient in all that God demands us to do.

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  23. If Eve (and Adam) had called upon God at that moment of temptation, and inquired of God what the serpent was suggesting, we would be living in a different kind of Earth right now.

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  24. Apart from the Devil, Eve played the second part towards the fall as she agreed to what the Devil instilled to her. On the other hand, Adam was entrapped by the Devil in the last process to such transgression. In response to that, God started to curse the serpent, Eve in the second place and then Adam at last. Basing on the scenes of the fall, do women being highly exposed to the "fall" (sin) than men? Please help me as you can have some researched facts/evidences on this.

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  25. Just like one writer wrote "we don't fall into sin but rather we crawl into it". Slowly getting into the slaughter house without realizing it, enjoying the the ride that leads to destruction as we are deceived on every step of the way. In the same way he deceived our first parents so is he still deceiving us. Brethrens, let us "be watchful &be Vigilant",Satan may seem friendly but behold "he is like a roaring lion seeking who to devour". Lastly it is also incumbent upon us that we "test every spirit &hold fast to that which is good". God bless you all!

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  26. Genesis 2vs16 God gave a commandment to Adam alone before the woman was created. Now according to my understanding of the bible, Adam and the woman were created on the same day though Adam was older than the woman by some hours on the 6th day of God's creation evidenced in Genesis 2 vs 21-23.
    In Genesis 3 vs 1 the devil takes advantage of the woman because satan knew that the woman was not there at the time God was giving the commandment. If God is said to be all knowing and all seeing my questions are.
    1. Why didn't God wait for Eve to have been created also before giving the commandment of not eating of that fruit because God knew that man was going to fall through a woman who was not there at the time God was giving the commandment. Hence the devil asking Eve that did God REALLY say you shall not eat of every tree of the garden in Genesis 3 vs 1.
    2. Does this mean God just wanted man to fall and suffer from sin?
    3. Just on whom doyou put blame for the fall of man? Also how fair was God on mankind ?
    I'm an adventist youth from zambia please help me understand this.

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    • Clifford, were you and I there when God spoke from Mt. Sinai? Have we heard God's voice at any time? Do you understand His requirements for us?

      Eve was created perfect, with a mind far superior than any we have ever known since, and God is always just. We cannot expect that Eve was left in the dark about this and only need to look at her reply to the serpent to realize she was well informed on the commandment to not eat of this forbidden tree. She quotes God, not Adam in her reply. They had communion with God face to face, and I cannot imagine that the forbidden tree was not a subject of discussion more than once, perhaps while looking at it from a distance, for it was in the middle of their garden.

      The blame is placed on the sinners who ate; both Eve and Adam. Adam is blamed for his sin and Eve for hers. Adam did not have to follow Eve's example and unlike Eve, Adam was not deceived by the serpent's lies, so Adam's guilt was greater, and his sin plunged the whole human race into sin.

      Unbelief is the root of sin, being nurtured by pride and coveting.

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