The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

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Eve in Genesis

The purpose of this article is to show by looking at the example of Eve in Genesis how important it is to know and apply accurately what the Bible, the Word of God, says.

We are in the second chapter of Genesis. God had already created man, (Genesis 1:28), putting only one restriction to him:

Genesis 2:16-17
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

This is what God said i.e. this is the word of God. Let's now go to Genesis 3.

Genesis 3:1
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

In this verse, the serpent, which is another name for the devil, tempted Eve. As we can see, he did not reveal his true face right from the beginning. Instead, he started with a question: "Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Did he not know what God said? Of course he did. However, by asking the question, he tried to put doubts in Eve’s mind about what God had said. This strategy hasn't changed at all. Indeed, how many people have come through the centuries that have spent their lives trying to challenge God's people about what God said, exactly as the devil did? And they will always succeed as long as the people of God, exactly as Eve in Genesis, don’t pay close attention to what the Bible, the Word of God, says. That's why it is needed to rightly divide, to know and to apply, what the Word of God, the Bible, says. Unfortunately, Eve did not do that. See her answer in verses 2 and 3 of Genesis 3:

Genesis 3:2-3
"And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."

At a first glance, what Eve said seems pretty accurate. However a simple comparison to what God said can easily prove that it is not. Indeed, while Eve said: "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:2), God said: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat" (Genesis 2:16). Evidently, she omitted the word "freely". Now you may say "Oh that's nothing. It does not matter". But if it does not matter then why God said it? Everything that God says matters. Every word of the Bible is there because God wanted it so and therefore it is equally word of God. Returning to Eve, her omission was just the beginning. In Genesis 3:3, Eve, supposedly reciting God, said: "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said "You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die." Is this really something that God said? No! He never said "nor shall you touch it". Moreover, He did not simply say "lest [probably, sometime] you die" but He stated emphatically that "in the day [in that very day] that you eat of it you shall surely die." Since God is right in everything He says, something had to die that day, and we deal with this in the article “Body, soul and spirit”. But see here what Eve did: she initially omitted a word, then she added a phrase, and finally she took away the emphasis from what God said. Therefore, what she said, though it looked similar to what God said, it was really not what He said. I also believe that indicates that though she knew the Word of God, albeit not accurately so, this Word was not as much as part of her heart as it should have been. Her actions confirm this. It is after seeing Eve’s handling of the Word of God that Satan revealed his true colors: "Then the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). See the contradiction to what God said: God said: "you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17). The devil said: "You shall not surely die". Isn't it interesting that it takes just the addition of a small word, the word "not", to arrive to such a contradiction with the Word of God? You may think that this has changed today but it hasn't. For example, for thousands of years God says in the Bible: "For by grace you are saved through faith; .....not of works lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, for millions of people it is the exact opposite: "by works". Guess who is the one that made this "not of works" of Ephesians 2:8-9 non-existent for those millions of people? The same one who spoke to Eve and added the "not" in Genesis 3.

To conclude: in Genesis, Eve was tempted by the devil, exactly as Jesus did in Matthew 4. However, whereas Jesus respected, knew and applied the Word of God, Eve mishandled it. What God had said carried, perhaps, certain weight for her, but much less than what it should have carried. This was shown by her reply to the devil in Genesis 3 where she was adding and omitting phrases, words and emphasis to what God had truly said. Only after the devil saw this, he showed his true colors. This example shows how important is to know and apply accurately the Bible, the Word of God. The Word of God is the sword of the panoply that God gave us “to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). If you don’t know the Bible, the Word of God, and if you have not put it in your heart, then how are you going, without sword, to stand against him? You will have no chance, exactly as Eve had no chance. Knowing bits and pieces or just having some head knowledge of the Word is not going to help. You have to know what God has said and this has to be part of your heart. Only then you will be able to reply in the way our Lord Jesus Christ replied to the devil in Matthew 4 i.e. with a strong “it is written” and not with a “oh well, let’s see… I think…” like essentially Eve did in Genesis. The example of Eve in Genesis is an example to be avoided and in the article “The temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4)” we will show the example to be followed: the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou