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Genesis 3

The man and woman turn away from God

1 The LORD God made many wild animals. But the snake was the most cunning (clever and evil) of them all. The snake asked the woman, ‘Did God really say, “Both of you must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’

2 The woman replied, ‘We can eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But God said, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden And you must not touch it. You will die if you touch that fruit.” ’

4 But the snake said to the woman, ‘You will not die. 5 God knows that when you eat the fruit from this tree you will be like him. You will understand. And you will know good and evil.’

3:5Satan is in the snake. Cunning means that the snake will not always say what is true. Satan wants to stop the woman believing what God said. He wants the woman to disobey God. The woman tells the snake that they must not touch the tree in the middle of the garden. God did not tell the woman this. God told the woman that she must not eat the fruit from it. Satan tells the woman that she will not die if she eats the fruit from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is not true. Satan tells the woman that if she eats the fruit she will be like God.
3:5If the man and the woman eat the fruit, they will be like God. They will understand what good and evil is. That is how they will be like God. When God made the man and the woman, he did not put anything bad into them. So they did not know about evil.

6 The woman looked at the fruit. She saw that it was good to eat. And she thought that it would be good to know about good and evil. So, she took some fruit and ate it. She gave some to her husband who was with her. And he ate it. 7 Then they saw that they had no clothes. And they felt ashamed. So, they joined leaves from fig trees together to cover their bodies.

3:7Fig trees grew in the Garden of Eden. They are fruit trees.

The man and the woman have troubles because they sinned

8 In the evening the man and the woman heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden. They hid behind the trees. They hid because they did not want the LORD God to see them. 9 The LORD God called out to the man. He asked ‘Where are you?’

10 The man replied, ‘I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I had no clothes. So I hid from you.’

11 God said, ‘Who told you that you had no clothes? Have you eaten from the tree that I told you not to eat from?’

12 The man said, ‘The woman that you put here – she gave me some fruit from the tree. So I ate it.’

3:12The man is saying that the woman was wrong to give him the fruit to eat. And he is saying that God was wrong to put the woman in the garden.

13 The LORD God asked the woman, ‘What have you done?’ The woman replied, ‘The snake told me that I would not die if I ate the fruit. So I ate the fruit.’

3:13The woman is saying that the snake told her something that was not true. So, she is saying that the snake was wrong. But the woman was wrong to believe the snake instead of God.

14 The LORD God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this, out of all the livestock and wild animals I will only curse you. I tell you that you will move across the ground on your stomach. And you will eat dust. You will do this for the whole of your life.

15 I will make you and the woman enemies. Your descendant and her descendant will always be enemies. He will hit your head and you will hurt his foot.’

3:15Verse 14 ‘Curse’ means make or ask that bad things will happen to someone or something. God is speaking the curse. So, he does not ask for something bad to happen. He makes what he says happen to the snake.
3:15‘Dust’ is the dry top part of the ground. Many very small pieces of this make ‘dust’.
3:15‘Eat dust’ means that the snake will always have its head low in the dust. And everything that it eats will have dust on it.
3:15Verse 15 God is speaking of ‘the woman's descendant’. He means Jesus. Jesus would come and destroy Satan.

16 God said to the woman, ‘I will make it more painful for you while you are pregnant. And I will make it very painful for you when you give birth. You will still want to be with your husband. He will rule over you and be like a master.’

3:16Pregnant’ is when a baby is growing inside a woman before it is born.
3:16God tells the woman that her husband will have authority over her in the marriage.

17 God said to Adam, ‘You listened to your wife. You ate the fruit from the tree after I said, “You must not eat from this tree.” Because you did this, I will curse the ground. You will have to work for a long time before any food plants grow from it. It will be like this for the whole of your life. 18 Thistles and thorns will grow out of the ground. You will eat the plants that grow in the fields. 19 But you will have to work for a long time before you have any food to eat. You will do this until you return to the ground. This is where you came from. I made you from the ground. And you will return to the ground.’

3:19Adam is the name of the man. It means ‘All people’.
3:19Adam did what his wife said. He did not do as God had said. He ate the fruit. So God cursed the ground.
3:19Thistles and thorns are plants that are painful to touch. They are not food plants. But they grow quickly, and cover up food plants. Because God has cursed the ground, Adam will have to work for a very long time to grow food plants. God lets food plants grow for Adam. But he has to work for them.
3:19Verse 19 ‘Until you return to the ground’ means that the man will work for food for his whole life. Then one day he will die. And people will bury his body in the ground.

20 Adam gave the woman a name. He called her Eve. This was because she would be the mother of all people.

3:20All people on earth are descendants of Adam and Eve.

21 The LORD God made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. He made them from animal skins.

22 The LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us. He understands good and evil. He must not eat the fruit from the tree that lets him live for ever. If he does, he will live for ever. He will not die.’ 23 So, the LORD God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. Adam had to work on the ground that he came from. They could not return to the garden. 24 Then God put cherubim and a sword of fire at the east of the garden. The sword went from side to side. So, no one could go near to the tree that lets him live for ever.

3:24Cherubim are angels. They are God's servants. A sword is like a long knife. God put swords at the east of the Garden of Eden. He made the swords of fire. No one could go past the cherubim and swords of fire. No one could ever go back into the Garden of Eden.