Troublesome Topic: The Importance of Death in Scripture

Genesis 3:6


When the woman saw that the tree was good for food,

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and that it was pleasant to the eyes,

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and a tree desirable to make one wise,

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she took of its fruit and ate,

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and she also gave it to her husband

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with her

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and he ate.  (See comments below.)

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When the woman considered and understood that this tree was a source of food just like every other tree, and it had a very appealing appearance so it would probably taste really good, and besides that it was able to make her wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he also ate it.  (See comments below.)

The Importance of Death in Scripture

Throughout the entire Bible death is the curse of sin. The curse in Scripture is usually singular in form, and that singular curse is death. Yes, the fall of man into sin did bring on some consequences besides death, such as disease, violence, pain and suffering, but the primary consequence was death. As we have seen, this meant a separation, separation from God and from others and from life in this body. We cannot ignore or forget for one moment the importance of death in the framework of biblical theology. Sin and its consequence have shaped our existence and have shaped how God has responded to our situation.

Why does God allow us to go through suffering and why do loved ones die even if we pray for them? God has chosen to leave the effects of sin in place in order to force us to think about sin and its consequences. If life were easy and always happy, we would not sense our need for God and we would never turn to Him. It is indeed a risk that God takes because a certain percentage of the population will become angry at Him and not turn to Him at all. But the risk would be greater, and the responses to Him much fewer, if He removed the consequence of sin and allowed life to be easy.

The next lesson is: Creation and Evolution in Light of the Fall


1: “good for food”

The emphasis of this statement is that the tree seemed to be like any other tree in the orchard making the prohibition against eating it seem all the more ridiculous.

2: “pleasant to the eyes”

By now she wanted to eat some of that fruit and was looking for any reason that would convince her. Even if the fruit was equally attractive as other fruits are, and its appearance was not truly special, she had convinced herself that it was special and therefore, it had to taste special. Sinful desire has a tendency of making something bigger and better than it is. A wise man once told me, “Sin is always more attractive when we imagine it than when we do it. Good is more attractive when we do it than when we imagine it.”

Was it an apple? See my comments related to Genesis 2:17.

3: “make one wise”

Notice how, in the first statement she is saying that the tree is just like the others around it, while in the second and third statements she is admitting that she thinks it is special. The first statement addresses how unwarranted God’s prohibition was, while the second and third ones point to how badly she wants to do this.

There was no indication as to why they needed more wisdom, or why they needed to know the difference between good and evil. At this point evil was just a hypothetical possibility, not a real-world reality. But the idea that she could become like God Himself had caught fire within her. Also there was no thought about consequences, because the consequence that God had mentioned had already been set aside by the serpent. She wanted this so badly that she convinced herself that the serpent was right and there would be no negative consequences, only good ones. She believed the serpent over God, based not on their authority, nor on their accomplishments, but based solely on her desire.

4: “and ate”

Notice that she did not fall down dead. There was no immediate consequence of physical death, and there may have been no other immediate consequence either. If she did begin to feel shame right away she may have hidden that fact from Adam until after he joined her in the act. She did not want to be suffering the consequence alone so she acted normal in order to convince him to join her.

5: "her man"

In this instance Adam is referred to as her man, i.e. her husband, almost as if he belonged to her, or as if she was now the leader. Perhaps this statement is designed to indicate the complete perversion by Eve of the purpose for which God had made her – to be a helper and rescuer for Adam, not his ruler or leader. By taking the lead she had now become his destroyer.

6: “with her”

The reason for including such a statement appears to indicate that He did not fulfill his role of leader, protector, and spiritual guide. I think the insertion of this statement is intended to tell us that he was with her through the whole process and yet was not able to convince her to refrain from doing it, or did not try to convince her.

Some commentators have trouble believing he was there the whole time, but that is indeed what the text seems to imply. Also, if Adam was not with her the whole time, where was he? It’s not like he had to run errands. Managing the orchard was something they could do together. God had provided him with a beautiful companion created specifically to meet his needs; the logical assumption is that they went everywhere together.

Possibly, he wanted to eat the forbidden fruit as well. I envision this thing being a process that took a few days in which the pull of this temptation grew on both of them. The fact that the serpent spoke to Eve tells me that Adam was a bit more hesitant than she was. Satan knew that if he could get the woman, she would likely bring the man along too. In the end she took the reins and made something happen for both of them.

7: “he ate”

This event redirected the rest of human history. It set in motion everything we call bad, and it started the process of our ruination. In a word this was our self-destruction.