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The First Human Beings and The Garden Of Eden

The First Human Beings and The Garden Of Eden

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The First Man and Woman

Adam (“man of earth”), was the name of the first human-being whom G‑d formed out of soil taken from all parts of the earth. Then, G‑d created the first woman, Eve, to be Adam’s wife.

G‑d’s Blessing

G‑d blessed Adam and Eve, saying: “Be fruitful and multiply, cultivate the earth, and control it. Rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth!”

The Garden of Eden

And Adam and Eve lived happily in “The Garden of Delight” (Gan Eden), which was the best part of the entire globe. They did not have to exert themselves to get their food, for everything was aplenty in the Garden of Eden.

The Serpent

But the happiness of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was not to last long. For, together with them, lived also the Serpent which was shrewder than all the other animals. The Serpent begrudged G‑d’s blessing given to Adam and Eve. He envied them the power to rule over the creatures of the world. He, therefore, devised a scheme by which to make the first human beings fall.

The First Commandment

When G‑d gave Adam permission to eat the fruits of all the trees in the Garden of Eden, He warned him not to eat of the fruit of the “Etz Hadaath,” the “Tree of Knowledge” of good and evil, which stood in the middle of the Garden. Its fruits were very beautiful. As long as Adam did not eat of it, he was like an angel who does only good and lives forever. The fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge,” however, had the power to fill a man with the desire for both good and evil.

The Plot

The Serpent, knowing this fact, based his plan on it. He met Eve alone in the Garden and asked her cunningly: “Is it true that G‑d really told you, ‘You shall not eat the fruit of every tree in the Garden?’”

“Oh, no,” answered the woman. “We may eat the fruit of all the trees in the Garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the Garden, G‑d has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor touch it, lest you die!’” But the serpent said: “You will not die. G‑d knows very well that when you eat the fruit of this tree your eyes will be opened, and you will be like G‑d, Who knows both good and evil.”

The First Sin

Eve looked at the tree. Its fruit looked good to eat, pleasant and attractive. But her heart warned her not to give up eternal life for the sake of power and pleasure. She was torn between her desire to eat and her fear of death, and she could not resist the temptation. She not only ate of the fruit herself, but she also gave some of it to Adam, so that he would have to share her fate.

Their Excuse

Suddenly, Adam and Eve heard G‑d’s voice in the Garden, and they were afraid. They hid behind the trees and bushes. But G‑d called to Adam: “Where are you?” Adam replied: “I heard Your voice in the Garden and became afraid.”

“Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat from?” said G‑d. Adam replied: “I am not guilty. The woman You have given me as a companion gave me some fruit of the tree, and I ate it.”

Then G‑d asked Eve why she had done so, and she too had an excuse, saying that the Serpent had tricked her and made her eat of the Tree of Good and Evil.

The Punishment

Then G‑d turned to the Serpent and said: “Because you have done this, cursed are you from among all creatures, and from among all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall walk, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.”

To the woman G‑d said: “Your pain and your trouble will be very great; you shall bear children in pain.”

To Adam G‑d said: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat of, cursed be the ground for your sake; with labor you shall eat of it all the days of your life. it will cause thorns and thistles to grow for you, and you shall eat the herbs of the field. In the sweat of thy face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.”

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

Then G‑d drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden: where they had had everything they needed and desired without trouble. Adam and Eve now had to work; they had to plow the soil in order to get food for themselves.

From Our People by Jacob Isaacs published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society 1946-1948
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Discussion (29)
October 4, 2016
The story of the serpent and Adam and Eve has for all of my life has been a mystery. All my life I have encountered small snakes and have never feared them. Once, long ago, I picked up a snake at a golf course and almost petted it. Mom yelled at me for this from a small distance off the green. I was in my early twenties then and still living with my parents. Recently I found a garter snake in a drawer in my bathroom so I picked it up and let it outside. It bit my finger but there was little harm. I have never encountered a larger snake but my thinking is that I would just clap my hands and yell. "Get away!". Yes, I know several stories of encounters with snakes that have been indeed scary. Buy why should I fear any snake?
Jay Tompkins
Fulton
August 4, 2016
Tamar's alternative reading needs to be considered.
For an alternative reading of Gen 2-3, see Tamar Frankiel reflections. Her interpretation embraces the need to combine conformity and non-conformity with what G-d has commanded. This is refreshing. See full text at /the-tree-of-knowledge.htm.
Aaron Milavec
Cincinnati
July 9, 2016
interesting
It appears the entire story of Adam and Eve is to explain a threshold crossing by humanity into that of sentient beings. It is clearly obvious that humanity evolved from primates and the science trumps any attempt at what holy books try to pass off as science...as in creation.
peter
ny
March 17, 2016
When you steal a small thing(Forbidden Apple),you lose a much much larger thing(Garden of Eden). And you have to work (a divine punishment).

In life also small things trip a man & he loses his sight of the larger rewards waiting for him, so be ethical & obey the God.
Anonymous
February 23, 2016
Adam, and presumably Eve as well, was quite aware of the powers of the Creator, and he had a keen insight to the makings of the Universe. We see this in his ability to name all the creators of the universe based on their spiritual makeup. So while he may not have ever witnessed death in actuality, he could very well have been familiar with the concept.
Eliezer Zalmanov
for Chabad.org
February 19, 2016
My first question was, and is, did they (Adam and Chavah) have any idea what death was? as Gershon below indicated with respect to their awareness in newness of creation. If death were not a part of the earth or Gan Edan, they would have no idea what the word even meant, would they? Like now, if you tell a child *hot*, and he/she has never experienced *hot* ...
And then too, I guess I just have this simple, child-like, fairy tale mind. When I first read the story, I never through of such things as are said with respect to Adam and Chavah. As for Adam, was he not told to *cleave* to his wife, and that he would leave his Father and mother? My mind told me he did what he did because he loved Chavah very much, wanted to be with her, and that he ate because he would or chose to suffer the same fate as she. I guess I really never thought the impact of selfishness (based on their now surroundings) set in until they were expelled from Gan Edan.
Teresa
Indiana
January 13, 2016
Was the fruit off limits to all ?
How did the insects and bacteria know not to eat the forbidden fruit ?
Robert Desiato
UK
June 25, 2015
There must be more to the story
I read a while ago about how the great sages of the past all agreed to hide the real meaning behind the story. If it was so simple of an explanation why would they want to hide it.
Abe
Israel
September 24, 2014
The creation of world and adam may have taken million of years. Adam may have lived many millions of years before his fall. The story of creation is told in days for our human minds to understand. Infinity knows no days; everything is forever.
This is my understanding; Science has yet to prove the big bang theory and many minute details of being a humanbeing. This is a mystery. It is the hand of a master craftsman to create a being like us.
I believe in God Almighty and Everlasting who created this world.
anonymously
png
September 21, 2014
life of adam
How long did Adam live in the Garden of Eden?
Siggy Toback
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