Adam and Eve
(Greatly expanded. Added summary and commentary sections.)
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[[Category:in the Bible]]
Revision as of 16:50, 22 March 2007
In the second creation story in the Bible, in Genesis 2:4-25 through Genesis 3 , God plants a garden "east of Eden", and creates the first man, Adam there. He tells Adam that he may eat from any tree in the garden except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or else Adam will die.
God then creates birds and animals as companions for Adam, but none is suitable. God then puts Adam to sleep, removes one of his ribs, and creates a woman, Eve, from the rib.
One day, the serpent tells Eve that contrary to what God has said, she and Adam will not die from eating the forbidden fruit, but rather that they will know good and evil, just like God.
Eve eats the fruit and gives some to Adam as well. After eating, they realize that they are naked and fashion clothes for themselves from fig leaves. Their sudden shame of nudity arouses God's suspicions, and they eventually confess that they have eaten the forbidden fruit.
God curses the serpent, saying that henceforth it will crawl on the ground, and that there will be enmity between its offspring and Eve's. He curses Eve with painful childbirth, and condemns her to be ruled over by her husband. He curses Adam, saying that he will now have to work the land for food.
Finally, God realizes that Adam might also eat the fruit of the tree of life and live forever. To prevent this, he banishes the two humans from the garden and places a guard to prevent them reentering it.
Adam and Eve proceed to have children and become the ancestors of all humans.
This story is the origin of the phrase "forbidden fruit".
Although the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is often depicted as an apple, this is never specified in the text.
Although it is common to associate the serpent with Satan, the text says no such thing.
Contrary to popular belief, the serpent in the story never lies: Adam and Eve do not die from eating the fruit, as God had said: Adam is said to live 930 years (Genesis 5:5 ). And just as the serpent said, they learn what good and evil are, thus becoming a little bit more like God.
Genesis 2:22-24 makes it clear that Adam and Eve are not banished for disobeying God, but rather because God fears that Adam might become immortal.
It seems unjust for God to punish Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit: before they learned what good and evil were, how were they to know that disobeying God was wrong?