That may be a scandalous title, but let’s think about it:  God told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Adam passed that instruction on to Eve (and he may or may not have been the one who added the extra clause “or touch it”.)  We do not know the exact circumstances under which this first transgression occurred, but we do know that Eve ate the fruit first. 

 

If we read the text without dwelling on the scenario, it reads as if Adam just blindly ate of the forbidden fruit, almost without thinking.  But in reality, Adam knew God’s command just the same.  So once Eve ate, assuming Adam knew exactly what she was eating, he was thrust into a scenario he probably did not want to deal with:  He now had to make a choice – a choice between doing as Eve did, or instead choosing to obey God even though his counterpart had disobeyed.  

 

Even more telling is that they knew of the consequences – “If you eat of it you will surely die” as God put it bluntly.  We have to assume they knew what death was as God’s explanation is not recorded.  So Adam not only chose to follow Eve’s lead, but in doing so he was potentially knowingly choosing to accept death.  How strongly he must have felt for Eve, if he was willing to die with her rather than see her die alone (after all, she was made from him, if she dies, part of him would be dying too.)  I suppose there is the possibility that Adam looked upon Eve and thought “Wait…she’s not dead, and she ate of the fruit.  Was God lying to us?”  Really we do not know how much time lapsed between Eve partaking of the fruit before offering to Adam.  A minute?  an hour?  How long is this death thing supposed to take?  

 

I also cannot rule out the possibility that the overall event happened fairly quickly, with deceit on all levels.  The serpent deceived Eve, we are told, which is her excuse to God.  Then the finger pointing continues as Adam says “The woman, whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”  This raises the question of whether Eve even told Adam the source of the fruit he was about to bite into.  His excuse to God sounds much like Eve’s regarding the serpent.  The original Hebrew seems to indicate that the snake was speaking to both of them, but maybe Adam wasn’t listening. And if there is any significance, the Semitic root for the word “life” (hay) is used elsewhere to mean “snake”.  Perhaps this indicates that Eve was deceptive to Adam and tricked him into eating of the fruit, acting the part of the snake herself.

 

Advertisements