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123. Eve was, then, the first woman to forsake her (heavenly) kindred for her husband. She reversed God’s marriage law,—”Therefore shall a man forsake his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife.” Had Eve remained steadfast with God, Adam might through the double influence of God and Eve, have returned to God. Marriage might have been consummated by Adam, the husband, forsaking the devil, his father, and cleaving to his wife, thus returning, like the prodigal he was, to the heavenly Father’s home.

124. God spoke warningly to Eve at this time, telling her that she was inclining to turn away from Himself to her husband, and telling her that if she did so her husband would rule over her. The correct rendering of the next phrase of Genesis 3:16 is this: “Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,”—not as it has been rendered, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband.”

95…… Now please rub your eyes carefully, search the latter end of chapter three of Genesis, and point me the place where the Bible teaches that Eve was expelled from Eden. I cannot find such teaching. I find that the one whose duty it was to “till the ground,” was expelled; the one who was “taken out of the ground” was expelled; but I find no account of the sex which was to bear children “in sorrow,” in the story of the expulsion; and I choose to believe that something of the odors of Eden have enveloped motherhood ever since creation. Yet Eve must soon have abandoned Eden to follow Adam (see pars. 122, 123, 137).

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LESSON 12

BIBLE INSTRUCTION AS TO ADAM’S AND EVE’S CONDUCT.

90. After the fourth chapter of Genesis, Eve is never referred to again in the O. T., and Adam is mentioned only twice,—in Job 31:33, “If I, like Adam, covered my transgression, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,” and Hosea 6:7, (R. V.), “They, like Adam, transgressed the covenant.” But when we come to the N. T., there is a striking contrast between the estimate put upon Adam’s and Eve’s conduct. Of Adam it is plainly said that his conduct brought sin into the world. Theologians infer disastrous results to the world from Eve’s conduct, but there are no clear statements to that effect in the Bible. We presently discuss the lawfulness of these inferences.

91. We will place all passages referring plainly to Adam and Eve in the N. T. in parallel columns:

ADAM.

EVE.

1. “,Adam was not deceived,”
                                   
—1 Tim. 2:14.

1. “The woman being [thoroughly] deceived was [literally, “became”] in the transgression.” Weymouth renders this, more accurately, was thoroughly deceived, and so became involved”                   — 1 Tim. 2:14.

2. “In Adam all die,”  —I Cor. 15:22.

3. “By one man [person] sin entered into the world,”             —Rom. 5:12. 

4. “Through the offense of one many be dead,”                        —Rom. 5:15.

2. the serpent beguiled [literally, “thoroughly deceived”] Eve through his subtlety.” —2 Cor. 11 :3.

5. “—it was by one that sinned,”
                                      —Rom. 5:16.

Both these passages employ the same verb in the Greek original,—”to deceive,” with a prefix meaning “thoroughly.” The verb itself is the same one which is used of Adam in our first quotation regarding him, excepting that in Adam’s case there is no prefix, as in Eve’s case We give the sole references to Eve in the Bible, after the Genesis story. Nor is Eve even remotely referred to elsewhere in the Bible.

6. “The judgment was by one to condemnation,”                   —Rom 5:16.

7. “By one man’s offense death reigned,-“

8. [death reigned] “by one,”
                                       —
Rom. 5:17.

9. “By the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation,”
                                      —Rom. 5:18.

10. “By one man’s disobedience-
                                   “
—Rom. 5:19.

 

11. “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.”—Rom. 5:14.

 

Eight times over, Paul declares “one person” alone was accountable for the Fall, and twice mentions that person as “Adam.”

92. Some one may claim that “Adam” and the “one” spoken of in the Roman passages means “mankind.” But anthropos, not “Adam” is the Greek, or the N. T. equivalent for “mankind.” Besides, Paul’s argument is this: “What one did of mischief, another One [Christ] is well able to undo;” and if we conceive, that, after all, Paul means “two,” we reduce Paul’s forceful statement to inanity. The Bible here teaches that “one person,” whom it explicitly states to be Adam, caused the Fall, or else no meaning can be found for its words. All the teaching of the N. T., in which Adam and Eve are mentioned, is to the effect that Adam was the chief offender, as the one “not deceived,” when the forbidden tree was partaken of. The greater culpability of Eve as causing the Fall is taught by tradition only.

93. But remember, we are now discussing the conduct of Adam and Eve at one point-in one incident only-of their lives. But that incident is the sin which has been held to have produced the Fall of the entire world of human beings. We again assert: The Bible nowhere holds Eve accountable for this particulate deed; and it does, in the plain, definite language we have just quoted from the N. T., hold Adam accountable for that deed. 

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32. …“Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”

33. …“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

36. We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”

37. That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.

68…… Eventually they both ate of the tree, and God came in the cool of the evening to deal with them. He asked Adam: “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” and the reply was, “The woman that THOU gavest to be with me, SHE gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” God then questioned the woman, and she replied: “The SERPENT beguiled me, and I did eat.” Please note the words we have put in capital letters.

69. I think we are warranted in drawing a contrast between these two answers, for in them we find a clue to what follows. Both confess, “I did eat,” and both tell truthfully the immediate influence that led to the eating. So far they are equal. But Adam is led on to say more. There was a remote cause for his downfall, through Eve,—Satan. But Adam does not, like Eve, mention Satan; and yet he does not remain silent as to a remote cause; he accuses God to His face of being Himself that remote cause,—in giving the woman to be with him. And the worst feature of the case consists in the fact that Satan was present, or near-by, at the interview, and could not have been overlooked, excepting wilfully, if a remote cause was to be mentioned at all. Satan must have rejoiced as much in Adam’s attitude towards God in charging Him with folly, as in Adam’s attitude towards himself, the tempter, in shielding him from blame. Is it not this scene, this conduct on the part of Adam, to which Job refers (31:33) when he complains, “If, like Adam, I covered my transgressions by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom?” Dr. Lange says (see par. 36), “Adam must watch and protect” the garden from an “existing power of evil.” Is not this the reason why Adam does not mention Satan, who has been let inside?

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LESSON 9.

EVE’S CHOICE, AND ADAM’S.

65. In a helpful course of lectures on “The Spiritual Criticism of the Bible,” Dr. A. T. Pierson said: “In the intellectual sphere man believes a thing because it is true; in the spiritual, a man knows a thing to be true because he believes it.” If, having the Spirit with you to convict you of the truth, you believe what is said in our Lesson today, then accept the truth and live by it, and teach it to others, though it may completely overturn previous instruction which you have received, and preconceptions which you may have imbibed.

66. Let us repudiate, once for all, in our Lessons, any desire to discuss, “Which is the greater in the kingdom of heaven, man or woman?” as an unworthy question to raise. But, as women, we are interested, and should be, in woman’s destiny. It was fixed in the Garden of Eden. What is it?

67. Please read Genesis 2:17, 18. Just previous to the separation of the sexes, when Adam had reached maturity, and was accountable for his conduct, God forbade him to eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Eve had not been “builded” yet, as shown by verse 18; the command was given in the second person singular. Precisely what this “tree” was, we are not told. It is allowable to think the expression “good and evil” is practically equivalent to “pain and pleasure,” as it is in such passages as 2 Samuel 19:35, Job 2:10, Isaiah 7:15, 16, Jeremiah 42:6, etc. The result of Adam’s disobedience of such a law would be, first, the discovering of a marked contrast between “pain” and “pleasure;” and, second, a strong temptation, as to the future, to seek pleasure, and to avoid even wholesome “pain.” Perhaps God wished to fix Adam’s attention on higher motives and principles of conduct than mere “pain and pleasure.” This prohibition, if we so interpret it, had peculiar significance, as just preceding God’s providing Adam with a wife. Above all things, the avoidance of the pains of responsibility in the relation of the sexes is to be discountenanced. It means the deterioration of the individual, and eventual deterioration of the race; and it must inevitably entail suffering and undue burden bearing, on the part of the mother-sex.

68. Eve was not “builded” until after this prohibition was uttered, and we are not informed whether she heard it afterwards from the Almighty, or merely heard of it through Adam. So far as the testimony goes, it is to the effect that she had only heard of it through Adam, when Satan beguiled her into disobeying the commandment; for in repeating the story she elaborates the language, making the statement of the law stronger at one point and weaker at another,—and these are the characteristics of a repeated story, not a first-hand account. Eventually they both ate of the tree, and God came in the cool of the evening to deal with them. He asked Adam: “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” and the reply was, “The woman that THOU gavest to be with me, SHE gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” God then questioned the woman, and she replied: “The SERPENT beguiled me, and I did eat.” Please note the words we have put in capital letters.

69. I think we are warranted in drawing a contrast between these two answers, for in them we find a clue to what follows. Both confess, “I did eat,” and both tell truthfully the immediate influence that led to the eating. So far they are equal. But Adam is led on to say more. There was a remote cause for his downfall, through Eve,—Satan. But Adam does not, like Eve, mention Satan; and yet he does not remain silent as to a remote cause; he accuses God to His face of being Himself that remote cause,—in giving the woman to be with him. And the worst feature of the case consists in the fact that Satan was present, or near-by, at the interview, and could not have been overlooked, excepting wilfully, if a remote cause was to be mentioned at all. Satan must have rejoiced as much in Adam’s attitude towards God in charging Him with folly, as in Adam’s attitude towards himself, the tempter, in shielding him from blame. Is it not this scene, this conduct on the part of Adam, to which Job refers (3133) when he complains, “If, like Adam, I covered my transgressions by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom?” Dr. Lange says (see par. 36), “Adam must watch and protect” the garden from an “existing power of evil.” Is not this the reason why Adam does not mention Satan, who has been let inside?

70. Destiny is an awful word. One’s fate may become fixed for a lifetime by the choice of a moment, and that choice, unless Divine interference be invoked, may become the natural bent of one’s progeny, through succeeding generations. This is the lesson of the Israelites and the Edomites of Scripture. Esau’s life seemed more creditable than Jacob’s up to a certain advanced point in Jacob’s history. But when Esau stood at the parting of two ways, he chose physical refreshment at the cost of his birthright (Genesis 25:29-34). Much later, Jacob came to the parting of two ways, and at the risk of a murderous attack from his brother finding him alone and unprepared, he wrestled all night for the Divine blessing (Genesis 32:24-32), and secured it. God saw, even before the birth of these two, the sort of choices they would make, and made His “selection” according to this foreknowledge. God is now about to make a “selection,” the same one as when, later in history, he chose Jacob as the progenitor of the coming Messiah,—this time on the basis of the choices of Adam and Eve.

71. Adam made an evil choice. Adam advanced to the side of the serpent, in becoming a false accuser of God. But Eve, by her exposure of the character of Satan before his very face, created an enmity between herself and him. What followed was the natural outcome of Eve’s better choice. God proposed to draw the woman yet farther away from Satan. He said to Satan, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman (3:15). In effect, he said: “She has chosen to make the breach; I will widen it.”

Much is made of the glorious promise which follows, but let us pause and consider this one, in which the expositors, for the most part, find no more depth of meaning than that there will be always a natural animosity between men and the lower animal, the snake!

72. We must not forget that at this time God put enmity between Satan and the woman. This will account largely for a whole train of evils prophesied in the following verse (3:16), which tradition says is the result of Eve’s having introduced sin into the world by eating the forbidden fruit, and giving of it to her husband. Satan’s enmity is the cause of woman’s sufferings. More light on this point follows later in the Lessons.

73. “And between thy seed and her seed,” God adds, in these words addressed to Satan, and concerning woman. Despite the popular cry regarding the “universal Fatherhood of God, and the universal brotherhood of man,” which is in part true, we who accept the Scriptures as authority must not forget that Satan, as well as God, has his children–moral and spiritual delinquents—among men. “The good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” John 6:70 reads, “Have I not chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil?” When the Jews declared, “We have one Father, even God,” Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, ye would love Me. . . . Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:41-43). Even the Apostle of love, John, will not admit that all men are children of God, but warns: “Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil. . . . In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil” (1 John 3:7-8, 10). God does not receive, or acknowledge as His, the unregenerated “bastard” children (Hebrew 12:8) of a fallen Church.

74. “It [woman’s seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” The “shall,” in both places, here should have been rendered “will,” for the sake of clearness. They are future tenses, not imperatives. God does not command Satan to bruise the heel of the woman’s seed; He only prophesies that these things will come to pass. The prophecy has special reference to the great enemy of Satan, Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary; but it also refers to all believers, for St. Paul says, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” in his letter to the Romans (16:20). We will continue this subject in our next Lesson.

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39. … the ‘rib’ seems to be a mistranslation. The Hebrew word translated ‘rib’ in both the Authorized and Revised versions, occurs forty-two times in the O. T., and in this instance alone is it translated ‘rib.’ In the majority of cases it is translated ‘side’ or ‘sides,’ in other places ‘corners’ or, ‘chambers,’ but never ‘rib’ or ‘ribs,’ except in these two verses describing the separation of Eve from Adam. In the Septuagint version, which was the Scripture quoted by our Lord, the word is pleura, which in Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus is used for ‘side,’ not ‘rib,’ and in the Greek of the N. T. is invariably translated ‘side.’ There is a word in the O. T. the true translation of which is ‘rib’ and nothing else, and it occurs in Daniel 7:5, but this is a totally different word from the word translated ‘rib’ in the passage before us.

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36. We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”

37. That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.

94…. God asked Adam, “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?” and He lays no such charge of express disobedience at the door of Eve. And also note that whereas the Almighty told the Serpent that his creeping gait, dust for his food, and his final mortal injury were to be “Because thou hast done this;” and whereas the Almighty told Adam that his drudgery, his fight with thorns and thistles, and his final return to the dust out of which he was made, were to be “because” Adam has done thus and so, God nowhere says that Eve’s sorrowful and oppressed part is “because” she has done anything. Rather, from the highly honoring words regarding Eve the Almighty has just addressed to the Serpent we have sufficient reasons for concluding that all this might result to Eve because God has elevated her to the honorable position of an enemy of Satan and progenitor of the coming Messiah. William Law says that Adam’s sin, which brought ruin to the world, “is not to be considered as that single act of eating,” but “his express open, voluntary act and deed” of “refusing to be that which God created him to be.” On Romans 5:14, where “Adam’s transgression” is spoken of as causing death to the entire human race, that high authority, Bengel’s Gnomen says, “Chrysostom on this passage shows exceedingly well, what Paul intended to prove by his argument, ‘that it was not the very sin of the transgression of the law [Eve transgressed it, under deception], but that of the disobedience of ADAM, this was what brought universal destruction.”‘ (The capitals are ours.)

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31. After Adam was created, Genesis 1:31 tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Therefore Adam was very good; but this condition did not last. Genesis 2:18 tells us that presently God says: “It is not good that the man [or “Adam”], should be alone.” The “very good” state of humanity becomes “not good.” What had wrought signs of this change? We are not told, but the following points should be weighed: (1) Adam was offered “freely” the tree of life (2:16), but did not eat of it (3:22); (2) was made keeper, as well as dresser of the Garden, (2:15), but Satan later enters it, (read paragraphs. 36, 37). (3) Had God simply meant by the words “not good” that one person alone was not a desirable thing, the Hebrew expression for “one alone” in Joshua 22:20, Isaiah 51:2, etc., would seem more appropriate. This expression means, “in-his-separation,”—and from whom was Adam “in separation” but from God?

32. Attention to some of these matters has been called by more than one theologian, only to be ignored by the generality of Bible expositors. For instance, William Law, a learned theologian and one of the most accomplished writers of his day, declares: “Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”

33. The late Dr. Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh, in his book, Bible Characters, set forth some of the views of William Law, and also of an earlier writer, Jacob Behman, the great German philosopher (whose writings Wesley. in his days, required all his preachers to study). Whyte quotes Behman as teaching,—

“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

34. As to Adam’s need, God said, ‘I will make a help meet for him.” This word for “help” does not imply an inferior, but a superior help, in O. T. usage. It occurs 21 times in the O. T. Here it is used twice of Eve. In Isaiah 30:5, Ezekiel 12:14 and Daniel 11:34 of human help; but in every other use made of the word, it refers to Divine help, as, for instance, Psalm 121:2, “My help cometh from the Lord.” Please notice, further, that the expression is not “helpmeet,” or helpmate, as is often quoted. The word “meet” is a preposition, and Gesenius, the greatest authority as to the meaning of Hebrew words, defines this preposition as often implying, “As things which are before us, and in the sight of which we delight, are objects of our care and affections, hence Isaiah 49:16, ‘Thy walls are before me,’ they have a place in my care and affections.” With this preposition “before,” or “over against,” is coupled the adverb “as,”—the whole meaning “as before him,” (see margin).

35. By the elaboration of Eve, and her separation from Adam, God intended the development of the social virtues, as an aid for Adam. Again William Law says, “Could anything be more punctually [pointedly] related in Scriptures than the gradual fall of Adam? Do you not see that he was first created with both natures [male and female] in him? Is it not expressly told you, that Eve was not taken out of him, till such a time as it was not good for him to be as he then was?”

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