Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"
"Of course we may eat it," the woman told him.
"It's only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die."
"You won't die!" the serpent hissed.
"God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil."
The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.
At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.
Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.
The LORD God called to Adam, a "Where are you?"
He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."
"Who told you that you were naked?" the LORD God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"
"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it."
Then the LORD God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."
So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly.
From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, b he will be your master."
And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."
Then Adam named his wife Eve, c because she would be the mother of all people everywhere.
And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Then the LORD God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!"
So the LORD God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings d to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)