The general contents of this chapter we have Romans 5:12 .
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.More particularly, we have here,
- The innocent tempted, ver. 1 - 5.
- The tempted transgressing, ver. 6, 7, 8.
- The transgressors arraigned, ver. 9, 10.
- Upon their arraignment convicted, ver. 11 - 13.
- Upon their conviction sentenced, ver. 14 - 19.
- After sentence, reprieved, ver. 20, 21.
- Notwithstanding their reprieve, execution in part done, ver. 2 2 - 24,
and were it not for the gracious intimations of redemption, they and all their race had been left to despair.
|3:1||We have here an account of the temptation wherewith Satan assaulted our first parents, and which proved fatal to them. And here observe, |
As to the advantage, he suits the temptation to the pure state theywere now in, proposing to them not any carnal pleasure, but intellectual delights.
|3:6||Here we see what Eve's parley with the tempter ended in: Satan at length gains his point. God tried the obedience of our first parents by forbidding them the tree of knowledge, and Satan doth as it were join issue with God, and in that very thing undertakes to seduce them into a transgression; and here we find how he prevailed, God permitting it for wise and holy ends.|
[1.] We have here the inducements that moved them to transgress. Thewoman being deceived, was ring - leader in the transgression, >1Tim 2:14
|3:9||Where art thou? - This enquiry after Adam may be looked upon as a gracious pursuit in order to his recovery. If God had not called to him to reduce him, his condition had been as desperate as that of fallen angels.|
|3:10||I heard thy voice in the garden: and I was afraid - Adam was afraid because he was naked; not only unarmed, and therefore afraid to contend with God, but unclothed and therefore afraid so much as to appear before him.|
|3:11||Who told thee that thou wast naked? - That is, how camest thou to be sensible of thy nakedness as thy shame? Hast thou eaten of the tree? - Tho' God knows all our sins, yet he will know them from us, andrequires from us an ingenuous confession of them, not that he may be informed, but that we may be humbled. Whereof I commanded thee not to eat of it, I thy maker, I thy master, I thy benefactor, I commanded thee to the contrary. Sin appears most plain and most sinful in the glass of the commandment.|
|3:13||What is this that thou hast done? - Wilt thou own thy fault?Neither of them does this fully. Adam lays all the blame upon his wife: She gave me of the tree - Nay, he not only lays the blame upon his wife, but tacitly on God himself. The woman thou gavest me, and gavest to be with me as my companion, she gave me of the tree.Eve lays all the blame upon the serpent; the serpent beguiled me.The prisoners being found guilty by their own confession, besides the infallible knowledge of the Judge, and nothing material being offered in arrest of judgment, God immediately proceeds to pass sentence, and in these verses he begins (where the sin began) with the serpent. God did not examine the serpent, nor ask him what he had done, but immediately sentenced him, (1.) Because he was already convicted of rebellion against God. (2.) Because he was to be for ever excluded from pardon; and why should any thing be said to convince and humble him, who was to find no place for repentance?|
|3:14||To testify a displeasure against sin, God fastens a curse upon the serpent, Thou art cursed above all cattle - Even the creeping things, when God made them, were blessed of him, Genesis 1:22 , but sin turned the blessing into a curse. Upon thy belly shalt thou go - No longer upon feet, or half erect, but thou shalt crawl along, thy belly cleaving to the earth. Dust thou shalt eat - Which signifies a base and despicable condition.|
|3:15||And I will put enmity between thee and the woman - The inferior creatures being made for man, it was a curse upon any of them to be turned against man, and man against them. And this is part of the serpent's curse.||3:16||We have here the sentence past upon the woman; she is condemned to a state of sorrow and a state of subjection: proper punishments of a sin in which she had gratified her pleasure and her pride.||3:17||Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife - He excused the fault, by laying it on his wife, but God doth not admit the excuse; tho' it was her fault to persuade him to eat it, it was his fault to hearken to her. Cursed is the ground for thy sake - And the effect of that curse is, Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee - The ground or earth, by the sin of man, is made subject to vanity, the several parts of it being not so serviceable to man's comfort and happiness, as they were when they were made. Fruitfulness was its blessing for man's service, Genesis 1:11 - 29, and now barrenness was its curse for man's punishment.||3:19||In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread - His business before he sinned was a constant pleasure to him; but now his labour shall be a weariness. Unto dust shalt thou return - Thy body shall be forsaken by thy soul, and become itself a lump of dust, and then it shall be lodged in the grave, and mingle with the dust of the earth.||3:20||God having named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth, he in farther token of dominion named the woman, and called her Eve - That is, life. Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve of the living soul. The reason of the name is here given, some think by Moses the historian, others by Adam himself, because she was - That is, was to be the mother of all living. He had called her Isha, woman, before, as a wife; here he calls her Evah, life, as a mother. Now, 1. If this was done by divine direction, it was an instance of God's favour, and, like the new naming of Abraham and Sarah, it was a seal of the covenant, and an assurance to them, that notwithstanding their sin, he had not reversed that blessing wherewith he had blessed them, Be fruitful and multiply: it was likewise a confirmation of the promise now made, that the seed of the woman, of this woman, should break the serpent's head. 2. If Adam did of himself, it was an instance of his faith in the word of God.||3:21||These coats of skin had a significancy. The beasts whose skins they were, must be slain; slain before their eyes to shew them what death is. And probably 'tis supposed they were slain for sacrifice, to typify the great sacrifice which in the latter end of the world should be offered once for all. Thus the first thing that died was a sacrifice, or Christ in a figure.||3:22||Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil - See what he has got, what advantages, by eating forbidden fruit!This is said to humble them, and to bring them to a sense of their sin and folly, that seeing themselves thus wretchedly deceived by following the devil's counsel, they might henceforth pursue the happiness God offers, in the way he prescribes.||3:23|| He sent him forth - Bid him go out, told him he should nolonger occupy and enjoy that garden; but he was not willing to part with it.||3:24|| God drove him out - This signified the exclusion of him and hisguilty race from that communion with God which was the bliss and glory of paradise. But whether did he send him when he turned him out of Eden? He might justly have chased him out of the world, Job 18:18 , but he only chased him out of the garden: he might justlyhave cast him down to hell, as the angels that sinned were, when they were shut out from the heavenly paradise, 2 Peter 2:4 , but man was only sent to till the ground out of which he was taken. He was only sent to a place of toil, not to a place of torment. He was sent to the ground, not to the grave; to the work - house, not to the dungeon, not to the prison - house; to hold the plough, not to drag the chain: his tilling the ground would be recompensed by his eating its fruits; and his converse with the earth, whence he was taken, was improveable to good purposes, to keep him humble, and to mind him of his latter end.Observe then, That though our first parents were excluded from the privileges of their state of innocency, yet they were not abandoned to despair; God's thoughts of love designing them for a second state of probation upon new terms. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, a detachment of cherubim, armed with a dreadful and irresistible power, represented by flaming swords which turned every way, on that side the garden which lay next to the place whither Adam was sent, to keep the way that led to the tree of life.|