Genesis 3:5

5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Genesis 3:5 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 3:5

For God doth know
Or "but F11 God doth know", who knows all things, and has foreknowledge of all future events; he foreknows what will be the consequence of this event, eating the fruit of this tree, that it would be so far from issuing in death, which he has threatened, that the effect of it would be a clearer understanding, and a greater degree of knowledge of things, which he is unwilling should be enjoyed, and therefore has endeavoured to prevent it by this prohibition; suggesting hereby, even in God, hatred of the creatures he had made, and unwilling they should be as happy as they might: that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened;
not the eyes of their bodies, as if they were now blind, but the eyes of their understanding; meaning, that their knowledge should be enlarged, and they should see things more clearly than they now did, and judge of them in a better manner; yea, even together with the light of their mind, the sight of their bodily eyes would receive some advantage; and particularly, that though they saw the nakedness of their bodies, yet it was as if they saw it not, and were unconcerned about it, and heedless of it; did not see it as unseemly and indecent, and so were not ashamed; but now they should see it as it was, and be filled with shame and confusion: and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil:
as "Elohim", which word is sometimes used of civil magistrates, sometimes of angels, and sometimes of God himself, and of the divine Persons in the Godhead: the Targum of Onkelos seems to respect the former, rendering it "as great personages", princes, judges, civil magistrates, who ought to know the difference between good and evil, or otherwise would be unfit for their office; but this cannot be the sense here, since there were no such persons in being, to whom the reference could be made; nor could it convey any proper idea to the mind of Eve, unless by them are meant principalities and powers, or "the mighty angels", as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases the word; and so it intimates, that upon eating this fruit they should be as wise and as knowing as those intelligent creatures: though perhaps Satan might mean, such angels as himself and his were, and that they should by sad experience know the difference between good and evil, as they did: but rather it is to be understood of that Elohim that made the heavens and the earth, for as yet the word had never been used, but of the true God, and of the divine Persons in the Trinity: and this agrees with what is ironically said, ( Genesis 3:22 ) "behold the man is become as one of us", as the devil told him he should, and as he believed he would: this was the bait laid for than, suited to his intellectual mind, and to the ambitious desires of it, not being content with finite knowledge, but aiming at omniscience, or something like it: now the temptation began to take place and operate.


F11 (yk) "sed", Piscator; "quin", Schmidt.

Genesis 3:5 In-Context

3 but God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' "
4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die;
5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.