Genesis 3

The man and the woman turn away from God

1 The Lord God made many wild animals. But the snake was the most clever of them all. The snake asked the woman, ‘Did God say, “You must not eat the fruit from any tree in the garden”? Is that really true?’

2 The woman replied, ‘We may 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. You must not even touch it. If you do that, you will die.” ’

4 Then the snake said to the woman, ‘No, you will not die. 5 God knows that when you eat the fruit from this tree, you will understand things. You will become like God himself. You will know about good things and evil things.’

3:5The snake did not want the woman to trust God. He wanted the woman not to obey God. The woman told the snake that they must not touch the tree in the middle of the garden. But God did not say this. God told the woman that she must not eat the fruit from that tree. The snake told a lie when he said that the man and the woman would not die. The snake told the woman another lie: if she ate the fruit she would be like God.

6 The woman looked at the fruit on the tree. She saw that it would be good to eat, and it was beautiful to look at. She wanted to eat it because it would make her become wise. So she took some fruit and she ate it. Then she gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her. He also ate it.

7 Then they understood what they had done. They realized that they were not wearing any clothes. So they took some leaves from fig trees. They tied them together to cover their bodies.

3:7When the man and the woman ate the fruit, they could then understand what is good and what is evil. That is how they became like God. When God made the man and the woman, there was nothing bad in them. So they did not know the difference between good things and evil things.

8 In the evening there was a nice cool wind. The Lord God walked in the garden. The man and the woman heard the sound of the Lord God. They hid themselves behind some trees, so that God would not see them. 9 The Lord God called out to the man. He said to him, ‘Where are you?’

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

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

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

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘Why have you done a thing like that?’ The woman replied, ‘It was the snake. The snake deceived me with a lie. So I ate the fruit.’

14 The Lord God said to the snake,

‘Because you have done this, I will curse you.

3:14When God cursed the snake, it means that he punished the snake. Because he is God, what he says will certainly happen.

Among all the farm animals and wild animals,

you are the one that I will curse.

From now on, you will move across the ground on your stomach.

You will eat dust from the ground.

You will do this for your whole life.

15 I will cause you and the woman to become enemies.

Your descendants and her descendants will always be enemies.

One of her descendants will attack your head.

3:15God is speaking of a human descendant who would destroy the power of the snake. When God sent Jesus into the world, a woman gave birth to him. By his death on the cross, Jesus destroyed Satan's power.

You will attack his heel.’

3:15‘heel’ is a part of the foot. It is at the back of the foot.

16 God said to the woman, ‘I will cause you to have great pain when you give birth to children. You will want to please your husband. But he will rule over you as your master.’

17 Then God said to Adam, ‘You listened to your wife and you did what she said. You ate fruit from the tree after I told you, “You must not eat fruit from this tree.” Because you did that, I will curse the ground. You will have to work very hard to make plants grow in it for your food. It will be like this for your whole life. 18 Thorn bushes and thistles will grow in the ground. But you will eat plants that grow in the fields. 19 You will have to work hard for a long time before you have any food to eat. You will do this for your whole life until you die. Then you will return into the ground. That is where you came from. I made you from the soil of the ground, and you will become soil again.’

3:17Adam is the name of the man. In the Hebrew language, Adam means ‘man’.
3:18God cursed the ground. Thistles and thorn bushes are not food plants. They are weeds that grow quickly. They stop food plants from growing. Because God has cursed the ground, Adam's descendants have to work very hard to grow plants for their food.

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

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

21 The Lord God made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. He used the skins from animals to make them.

22 The Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us because he understands good and evil. So we must not let him take fruit from the tree that gives life. If he eats that fruit, he will live for ever.’

23 So the Lord God sent Adam out of the Garden of Eden. To get his food, Adam had to dig the ground that God had used to make him. 24 Then God put cherubs to be guards for the garden. God put them on the east side of the garden. There was also a sword of fire that moved quickly from side to side. As a result, nobody could go near to the tree that gives life.