The serpent asked this question in Genesis 3:1.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” M54
The following was the response from the woman in Genesis 3:2-3.
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the garden; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You will not eat of it, nor will you touch it, or else you will die.’” M55
If we reread the above passage, but this time very slowly and carefully, we will notice that the response given by the woman was not correct.
But before we get into those details, I would like to highlight something that was said by both the serpent and the woman that confirm that even both of them, in the beginning, acknowledged that Jesus the Lord God is God.
In both the question and the response, we can see that they both acknowledged that the Lord God is God.
We know from Philippians 2:5-11, that Jesus being in the form of God, took on the form of a man and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. M56
In Jeremiah 32:26-27, we learn, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying:
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me? M57
These words in Jeremiah are what confirms what the Lord God did in Genesis 2:7.
Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. M58
The Lord God is the God of all flesh. We see this when He made the woman from the rib of Adam and then covered the place up with flesh as recorded in Genesis 2:21.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. Then He took one of his ribs and closed up the place with flesh. M59
In Psalm 100:1-5, we are reminded that the Lord is God, and He was the one that made us.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. M60
Now let’s look at the response the woman gave the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3.
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the garden; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You will not eat of it, nor will you touch it, or else you will die.’” M61
If we pay meticulous attention to the response given by the woman, we can identify the following statements made by her, which were incorrect.
- but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You will not eat of it
- nor will you touch it
At first glance, it may appear to be correct that the Lord God said not to eat the fruit from the midst of the garden, but that is not precisely correct.
The Lord God said in Genesis 2:16-17.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M62
The Lord God permitted the man to eat of every tree in the garden and a command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil; then one will surely die.
In Genesis 2:9, it states.
Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. M63
From this verse, we learn that in the midst of the garden, there was every tree that was good for food, and with each of those trees, the tree of life was also there. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was among the tree of life and every tree that was good for food.
Of all the trees that were in the midst of the garden, only one tree brought death through disobedience, and one tree brought life, the others did not take or give life but were good for food.
It is imperative to understand that the tree of knowledge of good and evil did not in of itself bring death. Just knowledge of both good and evil. Death was a result of the sin of disobedience.
The woman paraphrased what was said, and because of the loose general terms, she was open to being deceived. The response was a result of the seed of doubt working on the mind to create possibilities.
As it says in Hosea 4:6.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest.
And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. M64
We see the lack of knowledge the woman had. She did not know that she could eat of every tree in the garden. The only tree she and the man were not permitted to eat was the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
It was when they would eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That act of disobedience would introduce sin into the world, and with sin came death.
The knowledge was obtained by breaking the commandment not to eat fruit from that tree. Sin was introduced through Adam at this time, but their children did not sin as there was no law. We learn this from Romans 5:12-14.
Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, so death has spread to all men, because all have sinned.
For until the law, sin was in the world. But sin is not counted when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s sin, who was a type of Him who was to come. M65
The reason death reigned from Adam to Moses, even though those after Adam did not sin in the same way, is because the sin (iniquity) of the father is passed down to the children. We find this spoken about in Numbers 14:17-18.
“So now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.’ M66
In Merriam-Webster, the word generation is defined as:
- a group of people born and living during the same time
- the people in a family born and living during the same time
- the average length of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children MW10
How long a generation is debatable based on the definition, and in the Bible, we can see that the length of a generation also varies.
In Genesis 15:12-16.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram, and terror and a great darkness fell on him. Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will live as strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. But I will judge the nation that they serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. As for you, you will go to your fathers in peace and you will be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation, your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” M67
In the above passage, we saw the generation being defined by the birth of parents and the birth of the children. In Genesis 6:3, we can see a generation defined by people born and living during that time.
The Lord said, “My Spirit will not always strive with man, for he is flesh; yet his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” M68
To me, if I look at what a generation is defined as and what the Bible provides us. I would say that anyone born during the time of the first parent would be considered part of the first generation.
Anyone born after the death of the first parent would be considered part of the second generation, and that generation would last until the death of that person. The third generation would follow that, and the fourth likewise.
The response to the sin of the father is passed to the children until the third and fourth generation, even though the sin of the father is forgiven, along with his iniquity and the transgression.
Likewise, the sin of disobedience from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was something that was passed down to all generations as the fruit of that tree brought death.
Throughout the bible, we see various ways in which the use of a question was used to entangle the person by getting them to misspeak or say something, so they doubt what they know even to question who they are.
An excellent example of this can be found in Matthew 22:15-22.
Then the Pharisees went and took counsel to entangle Him in His words. They sent their disciples to Him with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God truthfully, and are swayed by no one. For You do not regard the person of men. Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their wickedness and said, “Why test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” They brought Him a denarius. He said to them, “Whose is this image and inscription?”
They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
Then He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
When they heard these words, they were amazed, and left Him and went on their way. M69
Likewise, we sometimes ask erroneous questions, and that is merely a result of the way we think and what we understand. Our lack of knowledge of the Scriptures leads us to the reasoning and ways of mankind instead of the ways and reasoning of God.
In Matthew 22:23-33.
The same day the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry his wife and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers with us. The first died after he married and, having no children, left his wife to his brother. Likewise, the second and third, on to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.”
Jesus answered, “You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching. M70
WE ERROR IN NOT KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES NOR THE POWER OF GOD
What are the Scriptures?
It is when we understand what the Scriptures are can we first begin to correct our errors and begin to trust in the power of God.
Merriam-Webster defines Scripture as:
- the books of either the Old Testament or the New Testament or of both
- a body of writings considered sacred or authoritative MW11
Scriptures are the books of the Old Testament, New Testament, and any writings that are considered sacred or authoritative.
But Jesus also defined what Scripture is when He said in Matthew 22:31-32.
But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” M71
Scripture, as defined by Jesus, is the spoken word of God that is recorded in written form. The error that the Sadducees made was in not remembering the words of God, and understanding them, even though they have it written down.
The question in Matthew 22:28 was.
In the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. M72
The Sadducees did not know what was spoken by God in the scriptures. They forgot the details and were confused, and as such, their response would be incorrect.
It was the response that Jesus gave in Matthew 22:30 that corrected their erroneous thinking.
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven. M73
It is in the response from Jesus that we also learn who we are. We are like the angels of God in heaven.
WE ARE LIKE THE ANGELS OF GOD IN HEAVEN