Adam and Eve and the Forbidden Fruit
Is Eve more guilty than Adam?
By Jean Jantzen
In our modern twentieth century perspective, most people within the Christian community suppose that Mother Eve was totally responsible for the fall of humanity and the dire consequences that followed her actions in the Garden of Eden. The origin of mankind’s trouble begins with the encounter between Eve and the beautiful serpent in the Garden. It is in this garden where Eve succumbs to the temptation to partake of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Was only Eve then responsible? What was Adam’s role or accountability in this major historical event? If Adam and Eve were put on trial for their part in “the forbidden fruit episode”, what would be the outcome? It is the popular view that I would like to explore and see if there is any validity to the accusations.
First, the initial steps leading up to this critical crossroads for all future humanity are important in determining the motivation and responsibility not only of Eve, but her husband Adam. Let’s pick up the story in Genesis 2:7. It is Adam who is first formed personally by the Creator God out of the clay of the ground. The Master Potter lovingly forms His masterpiece, with His own hands, out of red clay. Adam was then appointed by God to an executive position over the Garden of Eden. Adam alone was given this responsibility of leadership. However, before these responsibilities were given, Adam was fully informed by God of his obligations in the Garden domain. His job was not only to name the various animals, but also to dress, cultivate, maintain, and preserve the garden. He seemed happy to do so.
Adam was also given explicit instructions in Genesis 2:17
” but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
When these vitally important instructions were given to Adam, Eve did not exist. It wasn’t until after Adam named all the animals in the garden that God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam. Adam was made deeply aware that he was alone on the earth. There was no one quite like him. No one he could talk to. The animals were not capable of fulfilling his human need for companionship. It states there was not found a “help meet” for him. “Meet” is described as suitable, fitting, proper, or appropriate. In other words, Adam needed someone more like himself. When Adam was asleep God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Adam was deliriously happy as can be demonstrated by his words when he first beheld Eve,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).
She was entirely different from any of the animals that Adam had named. He knew he had something very special, something unique, in this woman that God had provided for him. She was beautiful and she was a part of his very flesh. Eve must have had a profound effect upon Adam, because his judgment from this point on seems to be rather faulty.Soon after becoming Adam’s wife it is apparent there is no in-depth instruction given to Eve about the tree of good and evil before her encounter with the beautiful serpent in Genesis 3:1 which says:
Let’s understand the definition of deception and what happened to Eve. Deception consists of using a lie to promote something that is not of value. Someone that deceives is a scammer. The intent of deception is to exchange something of inferior value for something that is of value. We deceive ourselves and others when we value temporary, material things over spiritual things. Deception leads us away from God. (AcessJesus.com)
Eve relied primarily on purely scientific observation to determine her decision on whether to eat of the fruit. Eve saw or observed that “the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6). I am sure she reasoned how could something that looked so good be unfit to eat? We do know, however, that Satan was the world’s first con artist. The job of the con is to first isolate, then divide and conquer, or “To swindle (a victim) by first winning his or her confidence; dupe.” He waited till Eve was alone and then he put on the charm. Eve understood intellectually about what God said for she tells the serpent:
“We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
The serpent then puts doubts about God in Eve’s mind. The serpent is calling God’s Word and motivation into question and appealing to Eve’s vanity. Satan is the father of all liars. (John 8:44) Listen to his words:
“For God does know that in the day you eat thereof. You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4,5).
If Adam and his wife had talked earlier and at any length about the consequences of eating of the tree of good and evil, I think she would have thought twice, or at least consulted her husband, before she ate of the fruit. Otherwise, how was she so easily persuaded? We need to comprehend and recognize the real power of persuasion the devil exerts over the human mind. The Apostle Paul was aware of this very real power when he warns the Corinthian brethren:
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2Cor11:3)
Paul tells us that before our calling and even afterwards we still may be deceived by this super being who is the prince of the power of the air.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others”(Ephesians2:1-3)
Like Eve, we could be deceived by this powerful spirit being with hardly being aware of it. She was convinced in her mind that the fruit was good, so she ate it, and then gave it to her husband. This was not a premeditated act. She did not decide in advance to go against God’s specific instructions about the tree. She was not in the leadership role. She was, in fact, deceived by the first great con.
Adam had been given the responsibility of leadership earlier, before Eve’s existence. Obviously, it was Adam’s responsibility to instruct his wife about God’s commands concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was of utmost importance! It was one of God’s first instructions to Adam. lt meant life or death! The Genesis account does not tell why Adam neglected to stress the magnitude of God’s commands to Eve. Nevertheless, it was neglected and with catastrophic consequences.
Did Eve twist her husband’s arm after she ate the fruit? No. It states plainly she ate and ” gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”(Gen 3:6). No sign of a struggle here! No sign of an argument! Adam knew all along what the consequences of his actions would be. His actions were premeditated. Eve’s were not. Adam was not deceived, (1Tim2:14) Eve was. A crime had been committed. God was certainly aware of that. He just wanted to hear what his disobedient children had to say for themselves. I think it is evident God knew beforehand that this would happen. He was not surprised.
Take note that after the deception in the garden, God did not confront Eve first about her part in the affair, nor did He confront them both simultaneously, but the ” Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him … “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3:9-11). It seems Adam had an abundance of human nature because he said “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Did you notice that Adam puts the blame on God and the woman but takes no responsibility for his own actions. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Why would God direct this question to Adam? It was Eve who took of the fruit and gave it to her husband; so why didn’t God approach Eve instead? This action taken by the Creator clearly reveals that God held Adam responsible for what happened. When God asks Eve her part in it, He does not ask her the same question as he did Adam. God only asks her, “What have you done”? (Genesis 3:13). Eve does not take responsibility for her action either, but realizes it was the serpent who beguiled her.
Further evidence of Adam’s accountability to God’s command about the tree of good and evil is found Genesis 3:17.
This account is quite specific in the fact that, in keeping these vital instructions, it was Adam that was held responsible by God, not only for himself, but his wife as well.
Regardless of what Adam or Eve’s motivations or responsibilities were, they both had to suffer the consequences of their actions. To conclude, in the original creation account it is without question that the main responsibility for the whole unfortunate incident lies on the shoulders of Adam, not Eve. If their actions were compared to a murder trial, Eve would be tried for manslaughter and Adam for first-degree murder as his act was premeditated and Eve’s was not. God’s sentence on them was just and promptly carried out. So, in the twentieth century, women can now relax about their role in the fall of mankind and realize that the husband is the head and takes the brunt of the guilt for this unfortunate incident in the Garden. But no one should ever relax in their Christian journey, but be forever on guard against this wily con artist known as the devil.