Genesis 3
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1  Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that Hashem had made. He said to the woman, “Did Hashem really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?”

א  וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן׃

2  The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden.

ב  וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ מִפְּרִי עֵץ־הַגָּן נֹאכֵל׃

3  It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that Hashem said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.’”

ג  וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ־הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בּוֹ פֶּן־תְּמֻתוּן׃

4  And the serpent said to the woman, “You are not going to die,

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לֹא־מוֹת תְּמֻתוּן׃

5  but Hashem knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.”

ה  כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טוֹב וָרָע׃

6  When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

ו  וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טוֹב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה־הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ וַתֹּאכַל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם־לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַל׃

7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.

ז  וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת׃

8  They heard the sound of Hashem moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day; and the man and his wife hid from Hashem among the trees of the garden.

ח  וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶת־קוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּגָּן לְרוּחַ הַיּוֹם וַיִּתְחַבֵּא הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ מִפְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים בְּתוֹךְ עֵץ הַגָּן׃

9  Hashem called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

ט  וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶל־הָאָדָם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַיֶּכָּה׃

10  He replied, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

י  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶת־קֹלְךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי בַּגָּן וָאִירָא כִּי־עֵירֹם אָנֹכִי וָאֵחָבֵא׃

11  Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?”

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר מִי הִגִּיד לְךָ כִּי עֵירֹם אָתָּה הֲמִן־הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לְבִלְתִּי אֲכָל־מִמֶּנּוּ אָכָלְתָּ׃

12  The man said, “The woman You put at my side—she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר הָאָדָם הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּה עִמָּדִי הִוא נָתְנָה־לִּי מִן־הָעֵץ וָאֹכֵל׃

13  And Hashem said to the woman, “What is this you have done!” The woman replied, “The serpent duped me, and I ate.”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לָאִשָּׁה מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂית וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה הַנָּחָשׁ הִשִּׁיאַנִי וָאֹכֵל׃

14  Then Hashem said to the serpent, “Because you did this, More cursed shall you be Than all cattle And all the wild beasts: On your belly shall you crawl And dirt shall you eat All the days of your life.

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ כִּי עָשִׂיתָ זֹּאת אָרוּר אַתָּה מִכָּל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּמִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה עַל־גְּחֹנְךָ תֵלֵךְ וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל־יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃

15  I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your offspring and hers; They shall strike at your head, And you shall strike at their heel.”

טו  וְאֵיבָה אָשִׁית בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין הָאִשָּׁה וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ וּבֵין זַרְעָהּ הוּא יְשׁוּפְךָ רֹאשׁ וְאַתָּה תְּשׁוּפֶנּוּ עָקֵב׃

16  And to the woman He said, “I will make most severe Your pangs in childbearing; In pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

טז  אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אָמַר הַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה עִצְּבוֹנֵךְ וְהֵרֹנֵךְ בְּעֶצֶב תֵּלְדִי בָנִים וְאֶל־אִישֵׁךְ תְּשׁוּקָתֵךְ וְהוּא יִמְשָׁל־בָּךְ׃

17  To Adam He said, “Because you did as your wife said and ate of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ Cursed be the ground because of you; By toil shall you eat of it All the days of your life:

ul-a-DAM a-MAR KEE sha-MA-ta l’-KOL ish-TE-kha va-TO-khal min ha-AYTZ a-SHER tzi-vee-TEE-kha lay-MOR LO to-KHAL mi-ME-nu a-ru-RAH ha-a-da-MAH ba-a-vu-RE-kha b’-i-tza-VON to-kh’-LE-na KOL y’-MAY kha-YE-kha

יז  וּלְאָדָם אָמַר כִּי־שָׁמַעְתָּ לְקוֹל אִשְׁתֶּךָ וַתֹּאכַל מִן־הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ אֲרוּרָה הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ בְּעִצָּבוֹן תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃

3:17   Cursed be the ground because of you

The land is cursed ba’avurecha (בעבורך), translated here as ‘because of you.’ However, according to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, a prolific writer and leader of Orthodox Jewry in 19th century Germany, ba’avurecha means ‘for your sake,’ in order to rectify man’s actions. Following Adam’s sin, the land’s prosperity became a means of measuring man’s adherence to Hashem; for the Jewish nation, this means following the commandments and keeping God’s Torah. When they do so, Hashem shows His approval through the land’s flourishing. This is especially true in Eretz Yisrael. Scholars and historians alike note that while the Jews were in exile, the Land of Israel lay fallow and uninhabitable until they returned, and in just a short time the Jews of Israel, following the commandments set out in the Torah, have turned a wasteland into a blooming, prosperous country.

 11 comments

18  Thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you. But your food shall be the grasses of the field;

יח  וְקוֹץ וְדַרְדַּר תַּצְמִיחַ לָךְ וְאָכַלְתָּ אֶת־עֵשֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶה׃

19  By the sweat of your brow Shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground— For from it you were taken. For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

יט  בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל־הָאֲדָמָה כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ כִּי־עָפָר אַתָּה וְאֶל־עָפָר תָּשׁוּב׃

20  The man named his wife Chava, because she was the mother of all the living.

כ  וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ חַוָּה כִּי הִוא הָיְתָה אֵם כָּל־חָי׃

21  And Hashem made garments of skins for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

כא  וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתּוֹ כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם׃

22  And Hashem said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad, what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!”

כב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ לָדַעַת טוֹב וָרָע וְעַתָּה פֶּן־יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם׃

23  So Hashem banished him from Gan Eden, to till the soil from which he was taken.

כג  וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִגַּן־עֵדֶן לַעֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח מִשָּׁם׃

24  He drove the man out, and stationed east of Gan Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

כד  וַיְגָרֶשׁ אֶת־הָאָדָם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן־עֵדֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִים וְאֵת לַהַט הַחֶרֶב הַמִּתְהַפֶּכֶת לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־דֶּרֶךְ עֵץ הַחַיִּים׃

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Comments ( 23 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • I think that the land being cursed for us to bring about rectification in man is a new truth for me. It shows the grace of God from the beginning for us in our fallen nature.

    • The land was cursed and rectification because of Adam disobedience; because he chooses knowledge of life eternal. Now everything we do is a struggle from the moment we wake up until we close our eyes because we inherited the weak genetics from him. The way of eternal was lost and what is left is the way of knowledge that will lead us to pride that will lead us to destruction. As a result we are now fighting each other even within ourselves and so everything around us. But YHWH gave us a way to go back to the path of eternal life by sending the Messiah for us that we might see the way back to the way of LIFE. That being kind, love, humility, peace, honesty, patience, love others and love one another through him. Through Faith in him we will know the Father through the obedience of his commandments to the Jews and to all the people.

  • Yes I agree. I have always taken that text In the negative sense….the ground was cursed because of our disobedience….but.to think of G_ds creation that surpasses all beauty and wonder. He’ created with love, and I can imagine His excitement as He was creating during those days getting everything prepared for his man. Then when sin entered the world having to curse the ground so that what man had done He can rectify…..it really is a time for reflection…..

  • Serpent spoke to woman first, tempting her while man was not there, giving her false information or giving her thought to doubt man. Serpent also gave Eve – Chava – the knowledge that she will ‘Live’ – Mother of Life, also that she will become like unto God. But God created man to the image of God himself. I also think that God wanted earth and all on it to become purified. How? It is only through sinfulness that man becomes aware. Good from Bad. Light from Darkness. God goes one step further by taking animal skins and clothing man and woman when they had sinned. God gives mankind grace to purify His Great Works. However God drove out the man from the Garden of Eden using His Cherubim to keep the way to the Tree of Life.

    • The scripture does not say Adam was not present while Eve & the serpent spoke if anything it alludes to his being present but silent. When the Lord asked Adam where he was He was referring to his spiritual presence .The Lord knew where he was physically. He was giving Adam A chance to repent for not stopping Eve and correcting her poor judgement. None of this was A surprise to the Lord but in His mercy He always gives the opportunity for us to repent for our poor choice and to be brought back into fellowship with our creator.

  • When we read that G-d said to Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” we are ourselves pricked by the sharp point of G-d’s word. We are aware that we are somewhere in the background, in the audience, and are also somehow being addressed as we listen to G-d speak these words to Adam. Jewish sources, such as the Zohar, help us to understand that when a husband and wife are one flesh, in their intimacy they have no shame of being naked, but here the first husband and wife, due to their sin, their reliance upon their own intelligence instead of having obedient trust in the commandment of G-d, made them mistrust one another and seem like strangers to one another, so that they were ashamed to be naked in one another’s presence. Only sin has the power to create alienation between a husband and wife and between all people.

    What is G-d’s true remedy for this? Where can the repentance be found that leads to the rectification of all things? Jesus was a teacher in Israel and there are many people throughout the world who have been influenced by him to study the Scriptures of Israel to find the answers to these questions. Rambam takes note of this and comments on it. However, there are many who would dismiss Israel as the witnesses of the one true G-d and replace Israel as a whole with Jesus. One cannot imagine that Jesus himself did anything like this.

    However, Israel has suffered greatly through many ages on account of such ideas that have claimed authority in his name. Even today these kind of ideas provide some of the background for the oppression of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel. When people post comments in discussion of the texts of a Bible devoted to Israel and to the Land of Israel, therefore, it seems appropriate that great sensitivity be shown toward these issues. Such a great alienation there has been between the Jewish People, the people of Israel, and the majority of the followers of Jesus! The owners and moderator of this site should be highly commended for their tolerance and willingness to engage in such open dialogue.

    • As a Gentile Christian who loves the people of Israel my heart resonates with the sadness you express about the alienation between the people of Israel and all other people, especially many Christians. Yet at the same time I know that one of Hashem's purposes in having a Chosen people is for them to be different from all other people so that they can be a light to the world and a witness for Hashem. I know that some, but thankfully, not all Christian Ministers have said that Christians have replaced the people of Israel as Hashem's Chosen people. I am angry at those ministers because in the Christian Scriptures, Saul, says in Roman's 11:29 when talking about Israel's election as God's Chosen People, that Hashem's elections are irrevocable," So, Saul is specifically saying that the People of Israel were then, are now, and will always be, God's Chosen People.

  • It hit me quite suddenly since I have read these passages fifty or sixty times, the serpent “SPOKE” to Eve. This never hit home as it did today. The serpent spoke. I wonder if all the animals in the Garden were able to speak I know that today we have people who have special relationships with animals through thought process but it is very rare.
    It sounds almost like C. S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles.

    • Not only does the snake talk but he seems to walk upright as well, since he is given the following punishment: “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (verse 14). The commentators debate whether there was a qualitative difference between snakes before and after the sin, or if the snake in this story is really a reference to the evil inclination using human terms.

      • Nor does Eve seem surprised that the serpent talked to her which infers it was a common occurrence for animals to speak.

      • Obviously the Serpent is a figure of speech for Satan. Satan has already been condemned to hell and he wants to seduce people to disobey Hashem and His commandments so that we will go to hell also. God told Eve that if she ate the Fruit of the tree in the center of the Garden she would die. I don't know whether God meant Spiritually die as in go to hell or whether humans as originally created by Hashem were designed to have their physical body live forever in perfect health. In any case, Satan lied to Eve by saying that God lied to her and that she would not die.

        It seems to me that although this tree is sometimes called the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil that it cannot give the knowledge of good and evil. This is because only Hashem knows what is truly good and truly evil because only he can see the end result of our actions. That is why He blesses us by giving us commandments. If we follow HaShem's commandments we will act in the way that Hashem knows will bring us our greatest good in the long term.

        Satan is a liar and told Eve that if she ate of the fruit she would know good and evil by herself and be like "the God's". To me, what Satan is saying that we humans can know what is good and what is evil by "thinking about it" rather than reading the Tanach and obeying God's commandments. In fact, that is what Eve did, she disobeyed God's commandment to not eat the fruit of that particular tree.

        We hear that lie all over society today. That we humans can know what is good and what is evil by thinking about it and therefore don't have to obey HaShem's commandments in the Tanach. I thank Hashem with all my heart for telling us what the truth is in His Tanach, so that when we hear the lie of Satan that we don't have to obey God's commandments if we disagree with them, we will know Satan's lie for the horrible lie it is.

  • “…cursed is the ground for thy sake…” – Interesting that you say that God did not place a curse upon the ground BECAUSE of Adam’s sin, but rather FOR ADAM’S BENEFIT. I had never looked at it from that angle. As I gave consideration to this view, I arrived at the following argument:

    Due to Adam’s rebellion, his willingness to adhere to God’s commands was no longer at full strength. His loyalty to his Maker was now weakened. God thus needed a means by which to manage man’s free will if He was to at all salvage man and redeem him in the long run.
    This God did by making the ‘ground’ a barometer of man’s obedience to his Creator. By blessing or cursing the fruit of the ‘ground’ man would be reminded of his duty to obey the Lord.

    Recall God’s famous invitation to His people Israel to humble themselves before Him (2 Chronicles 7:14). And in doing so He would then heal their land making it produce again. Thus, by controlling the land, God was able to keep His people in check, as they needed the land to produce food in order to survive.

    God gave mankind (Adam’s posterity) a means by which to measure whether they were pleasing God or not. Later, His means of using the land in such a manner was refined to a specific lineage of mankind — that lineage would come through Abraham (which reached back through Noah to Adam). Such is why we see the connection of Israel’s obedience to Yahweh and the prosperity of the land of promise (the Holy Land) specifically expressed to the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

  • I agree with Rabbi Hirsh when he said, “the land’s prosperity became a means of measuring man’s adherence to God…” It’s another example of Hashem drawing us closer in communion with Him, in this case through repentance for straying from His Torah (sin). I see another view I think harmonizes with Rabbi Hirsh. Our text says, “for thy sake”. My NKJV version says, “for your sake”. However, the KJV says, “on account of”. Moshe used the word, “abur”, which means “on account of”. Truly, it was for Adam’s benefit. Yet, it is also “because of” the sin he and his wife committed that caused the action of Hashem. In this, I am reminded of the account of Moshe and mountains of Gerizim and Ebal in Devarim 11. If we guard His Torah, we will be blessed. If we don’t, we will be cursed. The word, “abur”, also suggests “in order that”. Could this come full circle back to the view of Rabbi Hirsh, that it was for Adam’s sake so he could repent and once again have communion with Hashem?

  • Hello

    My interest over the last few days has been on Gen 3 vs 15.
    The Hebrew seems to indicate to me an entirely different translation than that which has been proposed in the past, as in:
    “I will set a hostile mind between you and between the woman
    He will fall upon you Rosh (head) seeing you will fall upon him, namely Akev (Heel)”

    Here are some of my notes and proofs:
    The pronoun suffixes cannot be possessive from my reading in the lexicons and grammars of Gesenius and also Brown Driver and Briggs and also the basic grammar book by Pratico and Van Pelt. Also the meaning of “shuf” seems to indicate attacking/falling upon and not bruising. The “namely” comes from interpreting “Akev” in apposition to the accusative pronoun “him” and likewise “Rosh” as being in apposition to “you”. The “seeing” is to translate the waw as indicating a “circumstantial clause ” which is also seen in the grammars/lexicons.

    I would be interested in what comments others can make on this translation.

    Regards.

  • Please help me to understand if God has created everything and calls it good, how is so that the serpent is not as described in chapter 3 verse 1. Thank you.

    • I believe that "the Serpent" is a figure of speech for Satan. Satan was created as good and at that time his name was Lucifer. The name Lucifer means light bearer. After Lucifer who was a Cherubim angel disobeyed God his name was changed to Satan. You can read about this in Ezekiel chapter 28. Chapter 28 starts out talking about "the king of Tyre" who was a "type" or personification of Lucifer/Satan. As Chapter 28 progresses it becomes more clear that it is talking about Satan and not some Earthly King. The angels were given "free will" just like us humans were. Lucifer was created the most beautiful, the most powerful, and the most intelligent angel. His pride got to him and he wanted to be worshipped and obeyed instead of Hashem. He convinced 1/3 of the angels to also rebel against Hashem and follow Satan.

      I hope this is helpful to you.

  • I've thought long and often about Eve and the eating of the forbidden fruit, something which we all ponder on I'm sure. When the serpent told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would become like God, knowing good from bad, I wonder if Eve's thought was not to be like God or to be God, but to have His nature. You see Eve knew God as a loving creator, she had no reason to be afraid of Him at all. Have you ever thought that you'd like to have the nature or charateristic of someone you love? Perhaps that's what Eve was doing. I know that I would love to have the very nature of God, not be Him, but to love as he does, be forgiving as He is et al.

    • Interesting thoughts on this. I have, as you pointed out, wondered myself what Eve was thinking when she took the fruit. On the other hand, I cannot understand Adam at all.

      But to be like God, that is an awesome thought. Not to be over or equal to God but to even today, we strive to be like Him, as He is Holy, we should be holy.

  • Genesis is an amazing book of knowledge ….AS more you read and think as more new cam up,thanks for opinions its really helping me see Bible more wonderful

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Genesis 3

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