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Then they heard the sound

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of YHVH ELOHIM (read Adonai Elohim)  walking

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in the garden at the breath of the day,

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and ADAM and his wife hid themselves from the presence of YHVH ELOHIM (read Adonai Elohim) among the trees of the garden.   (See comment below.)


Then they heard the sound of THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD who is also THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS as he was walking in the protected enclosure when the day breathes in refreshing coolness, and THE RED MAN MADE FROM DIRT and his wife hid themselves from the presence of THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD who is also THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS among the trees of the protected enclosure. (See comment below.)



This word can mean either “voice, or sound.” It is presented in the text as the sound of movement, not that of speech, nor is it sound being made while moving, but rather the sounds of the movement itself. Therefore, it seems best to translate it as “sound” rather than “voice.” It is true that God could have been calling to them as He moved through the enclosure, but that does not appear to be the intent of the text. A handful of translations do render it as “voice” but, if that were the intent, we would expect it to have been expressed as “the voice of God as he walked in the garden,” or clearer still, “the voice of the Lord God calling to them as He walked in the garden.” But the text only states, “the sound of the Lord God moving in the garden.”


“Walking, moving about, going or coming” would all be ways to translate the word used here. There is little difference in this case between “walking” and “moving,” but “walking” seems to be the intent of the passage. “Walking” also fits better than “coming.” So it has been correct for us to think of this as God walking in a literal sense through the garden. The fact that the movement was creating sound points to God in a physical form, not a spirit form.

3: “at the breath of the day”

This word means “breath, wind, spirit (and life).” My translation column shows the most literal translation – “at the breath of the day.” One possible paraphrase is: “at the breathing part of the day,” but my favorite one is: “when the day breathes in refreshing coolness.” A number of translations render it as “in the cool of the day,” while others say something about a “breeze.” If it were just temperature that were in view, the best interpretation of it would be the morning hours, before things warm up. But the picture that is being painted is of a day that heats up and then begins to cool off in the evening as the evening breezes whisk away the heat. Of course we don’t know what weather was like before the world-wide flood, but that is what the Hebrew term seems to indicate.


  1. God wants to be close to us. He enjoys connecting with His creation, especially that part of it that is most capable of accurately reflecting His character – us. Judaism and Christianity are the only religions that have a loving, caring God that wants to enjoy time with us. All others have a god that is angry and must be appeased.
  1. God took on a physical form. Although we are not told this in specific terms, there are several things that point that direction. God’s hands formed man from the dirt; God walked, which implies that he was using legs, and his walking created sounds; such physical elements imply an entire physical body. There was a certain time of day when God usually came and walked and talked with Adam and Eve. If God only came to the Garden in spirit form, they would never know when He was there and when He wasn’t, unless He spoke to them or caused something to happen. It is unlikely that a statement like the one about God “walking in the garden in the breezy part of the day” could be made if God only came to them in spirit form.
  1. It was Jesus. As Christians who believe in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we usually understand all physical representations of God as being Jesus. In the trinity it is Jesus’ role to show what God is like by becoming one of us. This happened several times in the Old Testament. So in the case of the Garden of Eden it appears that God showed Himself in a physical form, which means it was Jesus who walked and talked with Adam and Eve. That’s cool. That makes us feel a bit more comfortable. That is what Jesus does – He became one of us so we could identify with God on a more personal level. We struggle to understand God because connecting with God takes work and experience, but those who were alive when Jesus was on earth could easily connect with Him, and could usually understand Him, except when His sayings did not fit their stereotypes.
  1. Jesus was naked! I apologize for just ruining your day by injecting into your mind a mental image that you may find uncomfortable, but I believe it is true. If you have always pictured God (Jesus) coming to them with clothes on – why? Clothes did not come along until Adam and Eve sinned and became filled with guilt. Jesus had no need for clothes because He had no guilt. What makes us shun this mental image is that we see life through the lens of fallen humanity. We cannot imagine someone so perfect and holy as Jesus walking around in a shameful way, i.e. naked. But that only proves that we have things backwards. Jesus was pure and had no need of clothes. Adam and Eve were pure and guiltless like that too, at first, then came a time when they felt guilt for their disobedience and wanted to cover up.