Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 5, 2013

A Follow Up, by David Bower

A Fair Question

The question was posed about my speculation on the timeline and the sequence of events involved in Genesis 3:1-6. I wrote the response and thought there might be others that would be interested in my reasoning. I hasten to add that much of this is my speculation and in class I always tried to distinguish between the clear revelation of Scripture and my speculation on the missing parts.

Those of you who have been in any of my classes know how I tend to try and fill in the blanks where the Bible is concerned; in other words I love to speculate on the missing information. The Bible is a marvel of brevity and focuses on its message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing this many details are omitted as extraneous to this focused message.

I’m sure we have all had areas of special interest that were left unanswered by Scripture about which we had promised ourselves to ask when we get to heaven. The first six chapters of Genesis fall solidly into that category for me; there is so much in every one of those six chapters that fascinates me and leaves me wanting to learn more.

The Question

“I have a question about this new post on death.  What makes you believe that there were several days, or possibly weeks, in between Eve’s conversation with Satan and actually eating of the fruit of the tree?  That is so different from what I’ve been taught all these years where Adam and Eve are both with Satan and then she eats of the tree and offers some to Adam and then he eats. ” 

My Answer to the Question

The Bible simply does not say and the delay is my speculation based on my 60 years of marriage, the language in some of the verses, and my knowledge of human nature. I believe there was a time gap between verses 5 and 6. I think it unlikely that the conversation with Eve would have gone the way it did if Adam had been there. Had Adam been with Eve and the serpent it is unlikely that he would have remained silent when such a vital subject was under discussion. In verse 1 it is written that the serpent said to the woman, not the man and the woman. Again in verse 4 the serpent speaks to the woman with no mention of the man. I doubt very much that Adam would have been totally ignored if he had been part of that conversation.

I believe it is reasonable to believe that the Biblical account is a brief summary of what happened. In verse 6 it says, and when the woman saw it was good for food how did she know that? Satan had not said it was good for food, only that she wouldn’t die and would be as God. I think it is reasonable to assume that Eve had seen animals and birds eating the fruit with no ill effects and concluded it was good for food by observation.

One has to understand that the Bible is telling the story of man’s fall and God’s solution to the fall. There is no intention of filling in too many details as this would only muddy the water. The same principle applies to Cain who goes out and finds a wife; there is no mention of any girls having been born to Adam and Eve until Genesis 5:4 but we know girls too must have been born all along for the human race to exist. In Genesis 5:5 the age of Adam when he died is mentioned but Eve’s age is not.

I do not know of any source for this other than my own study. Fortunately I don’t have a scholastic reputation to preserve so I can enjoy myself speculating on areas where the Bible is not specific. Most commentaries of my acquaintance only address those topics spelled out in the text, which is the safe thing to do; there is enough argument over those sections without bringing in speculation.

By way of summary, when it is mentioned, the serpent is only speaking to the woman suggesting the man is not there. Human nature, being what it is, I suspect Eve pondered the information the serpent had presented and checked it out against what could be observed about the tree. When she chose to tell Adam, the shocker was probably that she had been eating the fruit for weeks and felt fine and had watched animals and birds eat the fruit with no harm. Information like that could have shaken Adam and been instrumental in his decision to eat the fruit.

The bottom line is this level of detail is not critical and I simply enjoy speculating on what might have happened that could fit in with what information was revealed in Scripture. I think my conclusion, although unprovable, is logical and consistent with human nature. When we get to heaven, if we still care, we can, perhaps, get all of the details filled in.

My next blog will be on a considerably lighter note, Abby Cat meets Tomboy, see you then.


Responses

  1. David, In reading your post, I tend to agree with your speculation regarding Eve being alone and likely having eaten the fruit for a while indicating some time had passed.

    Another “kicker”. Note that it was not until Adam ate that “both of their eyes were opened”. Note also that it was not until Adam ate of the fruit and God addressed him did God say the land had been cursed because of what he had done indicating a fallen world. He punished Eve and womankind because of “what she had done”. As I read Genesis literally, the command to not eat the fruit and consequences if Adam ate it was given to Adam before Eve was created. I tend to believe this command/consequences was to Adam only and not to Eve. If so, her sin was enticing Adam to eat which she knew was against God’s command.

    We have a lot of questions once with God. And we will know all of the answers in a blink of an eye, no longer bound by time, space, and matter.

    tony

    Like

    • Tony:

      The focus on the centrality of Adam in this tragedy is reinforced by Romans 5:12-14 where we read, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.”

      Notice in those verses the topic is Adam alone, not Adam and Eve; I agree the command had been given to Adam and not to Eve.

      David

      Like

  2. Sounds logical to me. Thanks. D. Subject: [New post] A Follow Up, by David Bower

    davidbowerkingwood posted: “A Fair Question The question was posed about my speculation on the timeline and the sequence of events involved in Genesis 3:1-6. I wrote the response and thought there might be others that would be interested in my reasoning. I hasten to add that much o”

    Like


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