Who was/is Satan?
We read at the close of the first Tablet that God declared all creation to be 'very good.' This indicates no angels had yet rebelled. There is a common belief that Satan and some angels, at least, were created before the six days of creation listed in Genesis. However this goes against Exodus 20:11. Here God is speaking the Ten Commandments to the Israelites in His own Voice. 'For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.'
Was heaven, as in God's abode, there before creation? The Bible indicates no. The word for 'heavens' in Genesis 1:1 and Exodus 20:11 is 'shamayim.' The 'im' ending is a plural meaning three or more, as in elohim, cherubim, seraphim, etc. Checking through the Old Testament, we find reference to three seperate meanings of 'heaven.. First, there is the heaven where the birds fly and where rain comes from, our atmosphere: But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. (Deut. 11:11) Second, there is the heaven where the stars and sun are, or 'outer space:' The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isaiah 13:10). And, third, is God's dwelling place: ...then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that al the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel... (1 Kings 8:43). It should also be noted that in 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul speaks of being caught up to the 'third heaven,' indicating he was in the presence of God. The reason this is important is that the angels themselves, being part of creation, were not created before Genesis 1:1. Nor was there any destruction of the earth between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 by 'fallen angels' -- for they had not yet fallen. We cannot understand about 'where' God was (or even if there was any such thing as 'where') before creation. We only know THAT He is and was and always will be. In the meantime we, and the angels, live in this time/space/mass continuum while this creation lasts.
Therefore the biblical evidence is that the angelic rebellion, led by Lucifer/Satan took place sometime between the close of Creation Week and the opening of chapter 3 of the Bible. We have no idea of the amount of time involved here. The only possible indication would be that Adam and Eve were told to procreate and they would have obeyed in terms of having sex. However Eve did not conceive until after she and Adam disobeyed regarding eating the fruit. This is a possible indication that the time between the close of Creation week and the advent of sin into the world was not long. It was, however, during this time that one third of the angels rebelled against God, led by one special angel. It is that particular angel we want to talk about now.
In Ezekiel 28, there is a fascinating passage, going from verses 11-19. Ezekiel is addressing the King of Tyre. However it is God speaking through Ezekiel and since the King of Tyre was never in Eden, it appears that the person actually being addressed is the person behind, or possibly possessing, the King of Tyre. This section thus appears to be God through Ezekiel to Satan through the King of Tyre. If this is what was going on, then there are some strong indications that Satan, or Lucifer (which means 'light bearer'), was the guardian cherub of Eden and, even more, as indicated in the temptations of Christ and Ephesians 6, possibly of the entire planet earth. See what you think.
Ezekiel 28: 11-19
NIV -- The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the King of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
[note: in the NIV passage, the last section is all in the past tense. Watch the following translations and you will see that the last section of the passage is in the future tense in them.]
KJV -- Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
LXX -- And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for the prince of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God; Thou art a seal of resemblance, and a crown of beauty. You were in the Delight of the Paradise of God [literally: in Eden, the Garden of God] ; you have bound upon you every precious stone, the sardius, and topaz, and emerald, and carbuncle, and sapphire, and jasper, and silver, and gold and ligure, and agate, and amethyst, and chrysolite, and beryl, and onyx: and you have filled your treasures and your stores in you with gold. From the day that you were created you [were] with the cherub: I set you on the holy mount of God; you were in the midst of the stones of fire. you were faultless in your days, from the day that you were created, until iniquity [literally: ‘the iniquities’] were found in you. Of the abundance of your merchandise you have filled your storehouses with iniquity, and have sinned: therefore you have been cast down, wounded, from the mountain of God, and the cherub has brought you out of the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart has been lifted up because of your beauty; your knowledge has been corrupted with your beauty: because of the multitude of your sins I have cast you to the ground, I have caused you to be put to open shame before kings. Because of the multitude of your sins and the iniquities of your merchandise, I have profaned your sacred things; and I will bring fire out of the midst of you, this shall devour you; and I will make you ashes upon your land before all that see you. And all that know you among the nations shall groan over you: you are gone to destruction and you shall not exist anymore.
Hebrew -- And was the word of Jehovah to me saying, Son of man, lift up a lament over the King of Tyre and say to him, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: You sealed the measure full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. In Eden, the Garden of God, you have been; every stone precious was your covering, the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx and the jaspers, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald and gold. The workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes in you – in the day you were created they were prepared. You [were] the cherub anointed that covers, and I had put you in the height of holy God [where] you were. In the midst of the stones of fire you walked up and down. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until was found iniquity in you. By the plenty of your trade they filled your midst [with] violence, and you sinned. So I cast you profaned from the height of God, and I destroyed you, O cherub covering, from among the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted for your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. To the ground I have cast you. Before kings I will put you, that they may see you. by the host of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trade, you have profaned your holy places; thus I brought a fire from your midst; it shall devour you, and I will give you for ashes on the earth in the sight of all who see you. All who know you among the peoples shall be appalled at you, terrors you shall be, and you will not be forever.
NIV -- How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
KJV -- "How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.
LXX -- How has Lucifer, that rose in the morning, fallen from heaven! He that sent orders to all the nations is crushed to the earth. But you said in your heart, I will go up to heaven, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven: I will sit on a lofty mount, on the lofty mountains toward the north: I will go up above the clouds; I will be like the Most High. But now you shall go down to hell, even to the foundations of the earth.
Hebrew -- How you have fallen from the heavens, O shining star, the son of the morning! You are cut down to the ground, who weakens on the nations. For you have said in your heart, to the heavens I will go up; above the stars of God I will raise my throne. And I will sit on the mount of meeting, in the sides of the north. I will go up over the heights of the clouds; I will be likened to the Most High. Yet to Sheol you shall go down, to the sides of the Pit.
The word the NIV translates as "morning star" and the Hebrew called "shining star," is "heylel," meaning not only "brightness," but was the word which became the reference to Lucifer. It is from a primitive root, haylal, meaning "to be clear."
With this in mind, the most accurate translations of this passage appear to be the King James and the Alexandrian LXX. The indication is that Lucifer, like all the angels, was created on the first day of creation. From Ezekiel we understand that overweening pride caused his rebellion. The Isaiah passage is full of Lucifer's declarations of "I will" regarding his aspirations for himself. And yet, what we get from both Ezekiel and implied in Isaiah, is that this angel was the guardian cherub not just of Eden, but of the entire earth. The LXX states he "sent orders to all the nations." In Christ's third temptation, Satan (Lucifer) offers to give all the nations to Christ if Christ will worship him (Matthew 4:9). They are his to give, evidently. In Ephesians 6:11-12 we are told to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (From the Greek: "Put on the whole armor of God, for to be able you to stand against the wiles of the Devil. Because not is to us wrestling against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world's rulers of the darkness age of this, against the spiritual powers of evil in heavenlies."
So this is Lucifer, aka Satan, known as the devil. Originally the most stunningly beautiful, he may have been the highest created being next to God. It appears he was given charge over the jewel of God's creation, the Earth. Evidently the angels also have been given freedom of will, for a third of them followed Lucifer and rebelled against God, becoming the demons who have plagued earth ever since.
In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was. He responded that it was to love the Lord God with everything in us and to love our neighbor as ourselves. On this, He said, hangs all the law and the prophets.
If love were an emotion, a feeling, it could not be commanded. Feelings and emotions come and go. They are reactions -- followers, and should not be leaders. In the English we have only one word, but in the Greek there are four words that mean different types of love. There is sexual love, friendship love, brotherly love, and 'agape' -- or unconditional love. In John 3:16 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. When Christ was hanging on the cross, the Father did not feel good. The kind of love being talked about here is not a feeling; it is a decision to commit and to care for someone else. A lot of feelings come along with it, and not all of them are pleasant! A mother getting up to a sick child in the middle of the night is not feeling good, but her choice is to put her child's welfare above her need for sleep. That is love.
No one always feels good about themselves, but they always take some amount of care of themselves. They eat, they seek shelter and warmth and clothing. They are commited to caring for themselves. People defend themselves when accused of wrongdoing (whether or not the accusation is correct). So if we are to love God, then we are to CHOOSE to COMMIT to standing up for Him in the world and following Him in our lives. If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we are to CHOOSE to COMMIT to the welfare of the people God has put in our lives. Love is a choice. You cannot command emotions. You can command choices.
In John 14, in both verses 15 and 24 Jesus says that if a person loves Him, then the person will obey Him; and if a person does not obey Him, then the person does not love Him. There is a simple equation Jesus is presenting there. Love = obedience where God is concerned. And obedience is also a choice.
So why did God create man? To allow him to love and be loved. It's that simple. That is what will finally conform us to the image of Christ. But love is a choice, as obedience is. And we see in the Garden of Eden that every tree but one was there for the delight of Adam and Eve and to eat from. But one tree had to be there which was forbidden if there was to be a choice. Without that choice, there is no chance to choose to obey, or choose to love. Love requires a choice -- for all of us.
The Bible tells us that God's character is love: in 1 John 4:7-8 we read "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
Now go to Romans 8:28-30: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
The main point for the purpose of this part of the discussion is that believers are to be conformed to the likeness of Christ Jesus. We are to be images of Him in the same way a mirror images you. The image is not you yourself, and we will never be little Christs! But the purpose of the Holy Spirit in us is to change us until we are true reflections of our Lord. Our characters will show Him. Philippians 1:6 says He will not stop until He has completed the good work He has begun in us. Hebrews 12 reminds us that those of us who are His will be disciplined -- because we are His. So the final purpose of our lives is to be conformed to the image of Christ. Couldn't God have just made us that way to begin with? Not if we were to love, and God is love.
[Note: Romans 8:28-30 has often been used as a support for Calvinism. A close look at it denies that claim. The first mention of believers is 'those who love him,' and that comes before all else. God knows who they will be, but their choice was always free. The predestination clause is that those who love him are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. There is no indication here that the believers themselves are predestined to be believers.]
In 1 John 2:15-17, we read, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. for everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
We were created to love -- first God and then those God has put in our lives.
So that is why we are, and above, that is who Satan is. Now we can go into Genesis 3.
NIV -- Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
KJV -- Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
LXX -- (the LXX at this point marks verse one as the last verse of the previous chapter, so this is, in its figuring, verse 2. However we will put it with the similar verses in the other translations.) Now the serpent was the most crafty of all the brutes on the earth, which the Lord God made, and the serpent said to the woman, Wherefore has God said, Eat not of every tree of the garden?
Hebrew -- And the serpent was cunning above every beast of the field which had made Jehovah God. And said he to the woman, Is it so that has said God, not you shall eat from any tree of the garden?
The word for serpent is ‘nahas,’ from a root meaning to hiss or whisper, as in a magic spell. The root also implies to foretell, with the implication of a divine enchanter or enchantment. Related words mean ‘enchantment.’ Interestingly, the word is related to the Chaldean word for ‘copper or brass.’ A variant of ‘nahas’ spelled the same way with different pronunciation, means divination, to interpret an omen, or learn by divination or sorcery. The root word also means to learn by experience or diligently observe.
It is interesting that the Greek word used for the serpent (in reference to Satan) in the Alexandrian LXX also does not mean ‘snake’ at all, but refers to sharpness of vision, a cunning or malicious person. What does need to be said is that the snake, or serpent, has been used as a type for this for a very long time, possibly since before the Flood.
In many ancient and pagan cultures, the serpent is the source of wisdom.
The word translated "crafty" or "cunning" is an interesting word. “Arum” is used eleven times in Old Testament, and eight times translated as ‘prudent.’ It is 6175 in the Strongs: cunning, crafty, prudent, subtle. Related to the word meaning ‘cunning’ is a word meaning ‘to make bare, smooth, to be cunning, to take crafty counsel, be prudent, deal subtly'.
The meaning is the serpent – or the hisser or whisperer – is being extremely careful about what he is doing. In terms of the understanding of the ancient Hebrew scholars who translated the paleo Hebrew to classical Greek, the meaning included the characteristic of maliciousness on Satan’s part.
This whisperer’s first words recorded are a challenge about what God has said, an attempt to raise doubt. It should be noted that a challenge to God's word, or what someone knows is right, will always be the first part most temptations today. It can be disguised as “Is it really right that….?” or “Do you think it is fair that….?” Remember Proverbs 1 and other places: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” An appeal to ‘right’ or ‘fair’ is simply one step down from an appeal to God, since it is He who has pronounced what is right and fair and just.
NIV -- The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
KJV -- And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
LXX -- And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
Hebrew -- And said the woman to the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden had said God, Not you shall eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.
Eve answers with the correct answer, but then she adds to it. Adam was told not to eat of the tree, but Eve states they also must not touch it. Did Adam tell her that to try to keep her safe? Did she add those words on her own? We don’t know. But there is a theme which runs through the Bible and is very explicit in Matthew 23 – people keep trying to add to God’s laws, whether it is detailing them or simply adding extra laws. Perhaps we see it starting even before sin, in the Garden. People want boundaries, and when the boundaries don’t seem clear enough, they add to them. Watch children playing games. When a rule does not seem to exist to cover a situation, they will make one up. We desire orderliness.
It is interesting that when Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, He gave just two, and they both had to do with love: first of God and then of those near you. The Constitution of the United States is quite short, but there are hundreds of thousands of laws that have been added since it was written. Yet, when Jesus gave us two commandments, He said that covered everything: all the law and the prophets are based on those two.
This can make it difficult for people who want to approach life legalistically. If there is not a prescribed action to take, they feel uncomfortable. Yet, as Christians, we are to follow the Holy Spirit inside of us, not the plethora of rules and regulations people keep adding. The Holy Spirit will not lead us into disobedience. But how much easier is it to listen to man and follow – or attempt to – all the little laws that govern our daily lives!
NIV -- “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
KJV -- And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
LXX -- And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not die by death. For God knew that in whatever day you should eat of it your eyes would be opened, and you would be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Hebrew -- And said the serpent to the woman Not surely you shall die, for knows God that in the day you eat of it, then shall be opened your eyes and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
Eve has simply said ‘die,’ but the whisperer repeats God’s exact wording, repeating the word for ‘die.’ Literally, the whisperer is saying “you will not die in dying.” The word we have ‘surely’ does not exist in the original. This was the interpeter’s conception of what seemed to be an emphatic, when, in fact, it was speaking of two deaths.
So after Eve listened to the doubt that the whisperer had expressed, he followed up the doubt with a lie. This lie is a direct contradiction of God’s law. The whisperer then appeals to God! “For God knows…..” And what the whisperer then says here is 95% truth! They WILL learn about evil and that will make them, in that sense, like God – knowing the meaning of both good and evil.
If the original word was "elohim" referring to "you shall be as....." then the LXX is the more correct in using 'gods.' The word "elohim" is a generic word in the plural, and means god, authority, or judge. It is translated in all those ways in the Bible, depending on the context. If the original reference here was in the widest sense, it would have included the angels who, at this point, had also learned about evil due to Satan's rebellion.
Note the reference to their eyes being opened. The euphemism of light and seeing being the same as understanding is a very ancient one, and seems to be in almost all cultures. Do you see?
NIV -- When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
KJV -- So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
LXX -- And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes to look upon and beautiful to contemplate, and having taken of its fruit she ate, and she gave to her husband also with her, and they ate.
Hebrew -- And saw the woman that was good the tree for food, and that was pleasant it to the eyes, and that desirable the tree was to make wise, and she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
At this point, Eve decides to depend on her own judgment. This is a fruit, and therefore it is good for food. It looks pretty, and there is the benefit of wisdom to be gained. When this is weighed against God's clear word, and presented by the cherub who is the guardian, whom she probably has been aware of and has learned to trust, -- at this point, she trusts Lucifer and her own judgment.
Why did Adam eat it? It was to him God had given the direction. We presume he told Eve. We know from what Paul says in Romans that Eve was deceived and sin entered the world through Adam. Did he refuse to be separated from her? Did he think he could save her? We don’t know Adam’s reason.
Note here: The Bible indicates that God judges those who are deceived differently from those who know better. This is interesting when applied to people we love who may be in cults or otherwise deceived. It is reassuring that those who honestly think they are being obedient to God and trying to honor Him will be judged differently from those who are doing the deceiving. The Bible does tell us Eve fell into transgression. She sinned. There is no doubt, no question about that. But the Bible is also very clear that she was deceived and indicates that, because sin entered the world through Adam, that he wasn't.
This three-fold appeal to Eve’s own thinking rather than paying attention to God’s direct command can also be seen in Christ’s three temptations in Matthew 4:1-11.
Satan again began with a doubt 4:3 “IF you be the Son of God…” you need to do something to prove it – satisfy your hunger - “command that these stones become bread.” Satan never got any further with Christ than the” IF”. Christ responded immediately with the statement from God in the Bible (Deut. 8:3), which settled the matter for Him. Here is the physical temptation.
Satan tried again in 4:6 “IF you be the Son of God…” do something to prove it and make a display of yourself – “Throw yourself down (from the Temple).” Again Satan never got further than the “IF” as Christ again responded immediately with a statement from God in his Word (Deut. 6:16). Here is the mental temptation, to prove Himself.
Satan tried a third time in 4:9, but the mask is now off “If you fall down and worship me – I will give you all these things [kingdoms of the world].” Christ again responded from God’s word as the final authority (Deut. 6:13 & 10:20). Here is the spiritual temptation, to shortcut the plan of God and escape the pain to come.
Christ trusted implicitly in God’s word as His final authority – contrasts Eve and Adam. He overcame Satan’s tempting on that basis. Notice the three tests were in the areas of Christ’s body (hunger), his soul (personal display), and his spirit (worship Satan). They were in turn economic (supply of bread), political (make a name for yourself), and religious (worship the Devil).
We, also, are tempted in the same three areas. But we are reassured in the New Testament: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
NIV -- Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
KJV -- Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
LXX -- And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they perceived that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons to go round them.
Hebrew -- And were opened the eyes of both of them and they knew that naked they were; and they sewed leaves of the fig tree and made for themselves girdles.
Their eyes ‘were opened.’ This is simply the meaning we still use today when we tell someone “Open your eyes!” It means “Understand!” So they both now had an understanding and with it came the realization they were naked. Does this mean they did not know they didn’t have clothes before? Probably not. Remember when Moses went up on the Mountain to talk to God? He was there for over a month. When he came back down after that close time with God, his face was glowing with a brightness that had to be hidden from the Israelites until it had faded. Was this same brightness – this sharing of God’s glorious light – what ‘dressed’ Adam and Eve before sin? It would have departed immediately upon the advent of sin and thus they would have seen themselves as ‘unclothed’ or ‘naked.’
As for sewing the fig leaves….
There may be a lot of tradition here which does not seem to be in the original Hebrew!
The word translated ‘sew’ in the Hebrew means “forge, manufacture, put together,” It is not the usual Greek word for ‘sew’ in the Alexandrian LXX.
Even more interesting is the word for 'fig:'
The difference between the two words is one letter ‘yod.’ It looks like an apostrophe. Yod is in 8386; it appears maybe it was dropped in later versions. In the Hebrew Bible it is 8386, but all other references (like Strongs) it is 8384.
In the ancient LXX, the word is ‘fig.’ So we have the possibility of a very ancient change there.
If this is what happened, then Adam and Eve realized they were without God’s brightness and naked, and they manufactured, or put together, mourning for themselves. They lamented. From their responses to God later, it does not look like repentance was part of it, at least at this point. We know they noticed a difference and that they reacted with fear.
NIV -- Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking (up and down) in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
KJV -- And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
LXX -- And they heard of the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the afternoon; and both Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden.
Hebrew -- And they heard the sound of Jehovah God walking up and down in the garden at the breeze of the day, and hid themselves the man and his wife from the face of Jehovah God in the middle of the trees of the garden.
The word for ‘sound’ is ‘qol’ and is translated most of the time as ‘voice.’
‘Cool’ is ‘ruah’ which is only translated ‘cool’ this one time in the Bible although it is used 379 times. The most common translations are “spirit, wind, breath” and related words. Was the LORD Himself walking in the Spirit during the day?
However it was, Adam and Eve knew He was there and they hid. They had never hidden from Him before. We are the same way. We do something we know is wrong and, instead of going to God and confessing, we attempt to hide – usually behind excuses instead of trees.
NIV -- But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’
KJV -- Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
LXX -- And the Lord God called Adam and said to him, Adam, where are you?
Hebrew -- And called Jehovah God to the man and said to him, Where are you?
‘called’ is exactly the same word as when Adam ‘called’ the animals by their names.
Did God not know where Adam and Eve were? Of course He knew! It was an opportunity for them to come to Him on their own. And, evidently, they did –
NIV -- He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
KJV -- So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
LXX -- And he said to him, I heard the sound of you walking as you walked in the garden, and I feared because I am naked and I hid myself.
Hebrew -- And he said, Your sound have I heard in the garden, and I was afraid, for naked I am and I hid myself.
It is interesting that fear is connected to losing God’s shining covering. Through much of the Bible, one of the reactions we see many times is fear when confronted with an angel or God Himself. We sin, we hide, we are afraid. It's a rotten way to live life.
NIV -- And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
KJV -- And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
LXX -- And God said to him, Who told you that you are naked, unless you have eaten of the tree concerning which I charged you of it alone not to eat?
Hebrew -- And He said, Who told you that naked you were? Of the tree of which I have told you not to eat from have you eaten?
God immediately connects cause and effect for the man. God is faithful to do this throughout the Bible. God is faithful to do this in our lives, as well, both historically and personally.
NIV -- The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
KJV -- Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
LXX -- And Adam said, The woman whom you gave to be with me -- she gave me of the tree and I ate.
Hebrew -- And said the man, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she has given to me of the tree, and I ate.
It’s your fault, God. It’s the woman’s fault. It’s not MY fault!
NIV -- Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
KJV -- And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "the serpent deceived me, and I ate."
LXX -- And the Lord God said to the woman, Why have you done this? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me and I ate.
Hebrew -- And said Jehovah God to the woman, What is this you have done? And said the woman, The serpent deceived me and I ate.
Each person is given a chance to accept responsibility before God, and thus to repent. Eve, however, claims deception, despite the fact that she chose to depend on her own judgment rather than God’s command.
So this brings up the question, Why did Eve believe the serpent? That is why the identification of Satan is so important. If Satan/Lucifer were the guardian cherub, then Eve would have been used to him and would have thought he could be trusted. She would have associated him with God’s protection of them.
NIV -- So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
KJV -- So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel."
LXX -- And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this you are cursed above all cattle and all the brutes of the earth, on your breast and belly you shall go, and you shall eat earth all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed, he shall keep watch against your head, and you shall keep watch against his heel.
Hebrew -- And said Jehovah God to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all beasts and more than every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. And enmity will I set between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her Seed. He will bruise to you the head and you shall bruise of Him the heel.
There is an enormous amount here, especially if we go back to the Hebrew. First the simple ones: “livestock” is “cattle,” and “wild animals” is “beasts of the earth.” No problem there – just translator choices.
But ‘crawl on your belly’ may be different. In the same way ‘their eyes were opened’ is a known idiomatic phrase, this one may be one not so well known now. The actual translation is ‘on your breast and belly you shall go.’ The Hebrew word for ‘crawl’ is ‘halak’ and is used 1556 times in the Old Testament. It is normally translated “go, went, come, walk, walked,’ and many other similar words. it is only translated ‘crawl’ this ONE time!
If ‘serpent’ is the Whisperer or Hisser, and he is to go on his belly from thence forward, what is the possible meaning? The ‘go on your belly’ phrase in the ancient cultures was indicative of total subservience, as to a king. People would approach a king lying flat out on the ground, and one of the signs of total dominion was for the king to put his foot on the person who was on the ground. Keep that picture in mind for a moment.
If we are heading in the right direction here, then we are not talking about an actual glorified snake in the garden, but about the glorified cherub who was guardian over Eden (and possibly more) and proud because of his beauty. To this being who deceived Eve, then, God says “you will be totally subservient all the days of your life, on your belly.” He will not be able to challenge God in wisdom or beauty, as he originally wanted to do. He will be severely limited in what he can do. But the rest of the prophesy is also not what tradition tells us.
What does the phrase 'eat dust' mean? There have been so many studies about how snakes 'taste' dust with their flicking tongues. But what Genesis is saying is not about a snake and not about 'eating dust,' if we go back to the early meanings of the words. God is prophesying here about something that will happen in the future -- something they saw before the Flood and something we see today. Satan is devouring the earth. THAT is the meaning of the words so often translated 'eat dust.' The ancient Alexandrian LXX says Satan will 'eat the earth all the days of your life.' The word 'eat' is also 'devour,' and not simply masticating and swallowing. The word so often translated 'dust' is the same word used in Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (eretz)."
Satan will be allowed to work his evil on earth. But God prophesies that Satan will be humbled, restricted, and eventually mocked (Ezekiel 28). But for 'this age' in this creation until Christ comes again, he will have dominion over the earth and will devour it. And then the Messiah, the Christ, will crush his head and kill him.
Again, we are not trying to present salvation doctrine here, so it is not vital that you believe one way or another about Satan in the garden. We simply wanted to present to you what it appears the original may have been saying as opposed to the traditional translations. Either way, Eve was deceived, got Adam to eat, and sin entered the world. That is the important part.
Then God goes on talking to Satan, stating there will be enmity between him and the woman. It is interesting that it is normally the woman who must be talked into doing wrong. Women seem to have more of an instinctive aversion to evil; they seem to draw away more quickly. At least when they are young!
This enmity will continue between the offspring of both, but here God puts in a qualifier: “he will crush/bruise your head and you will strike his heel.” The crushing indicates death, but the bruising indicates Satan will suffer forever. But when we read the prophesy from God, we find it will not be 'offspring against offspring.' The offspring of the woman will turn and conquer Satan himself, not just his followers or 'offspring.' Second, the woman’s offspring is here defined as one man, not a number of people. And, finally, this man will have his heel struck by Satan.
Think about that picture of going on his belly and a king putting his foot on the subservient one. In ancient battles in the Middle East, the winning king would put his foot on the supine body of the losing king. We see this in Joshua 10, where he had been victorious over the five kings and put them in a cave. Then, “so it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ “ Afterwards Joshua killed the five kings. It was the victor’s choice to kill or not kill the losing king. The picture now becomes more clear. If Christ’s foot is proverbially on Satan, who is on his belly, Satan can either lie still or try to strike back. The only possible place to strike the victor is on the foot itself. And so Satan does, striking Christ’s heel. Down or not, Satan is going to strike back as much as he is able.
NIV -- To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
KJV -- To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
LXX -- And to the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your pains and your groanings; in pain you shall bring forth children, and your turning shall be to your husband and he shall rule over you.
Hebrew -- To the woman He said, Greatly I will increase your sorrow and your conception, in sorrow you shall bear sons; and your husband your desire shall be, and he shall rule over you.
Again, the traditional translation, as quoted here from the NIV, seems to differ somewhat significantly from the Hebrew words and their meanings. First of all, however, please note that she is NOT cursed. Satan was, and later the ground will be, but Adam and Eve are not. Instead, God is simply declaring to them the consequences of what they have done. And what does 'cursed' mean? It does not mean condemned to hell. It does mean hateful, or despised in the Hebrew. But as we will see later, it does not seem to mean unforgivable when applied to a human being, and if we look to the future when the earth will be restored, during the Millennium, then it also does not mean the condition of 'cursed' cannot be reversed.
Regarding what is said to Eve, the actual Hebrew does NOT say “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing” as all our modern translations say in one form or another. The actual words are “I will greatly multiply your conceptions.” What does that mean? We don’t know. There is the possibility that a woman did not have a ‘period’ once a month, but much more rarely, or that she ovulated more rarely. This in itself would reduce conceptions. Whatever it means, it is not what we are reading in our translations. The second part of it is correct, however, in that ‘in pain you will give birth to children.’ This can mean the birth process itself, which it not as pleasant as we would like, or it can also include the pain of raising children who are rebellious by nature.
Now, about the woman’s desire for her husband. The word ‘for’ was not what the Hebrew scholars chose when translating from the Hebrew to the Greek 300 years before Christ. It is, instead, the word ‘to.’ "Your 'turning' shall be to your husband.” There are a number of possible explanations. In the original, normal course of events, women turned to their husbands for shelter, protection, support and, most importantly, care. But this might also have the implication that in the future marriages will be marked more by striving or competition rather than the unity they were planned to exhibit. However, an alternate translation is “Your husband your desire shall be…” And there is the indication there that it is the woman who will want marriage more than the man. This would give the man power over the woman to some extent. If that is the meaning, then the choice of ‘for’ is an accurate one!
Will the husband rule over the wife? The same word in the Hebrew which is translated ‘rule’ means “to speak in proverbs, or to become like, or compare.” Will the wife end up comparing herself to her husband, or desire to become like him? Will there be a movement in men the other way around, where some, at least, desire to become more like women? Either way, that would result in a ‘war’ between the sexes, which is what we see today, and quite a bit with the ‘feminist’ movement. Since God never changes and Paul wrote in Ephesians that we, as husbands and wives, are to submit to each other, although the husband is still the head of the house, we have some interesting thoughts to put together here.
NIV -- To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
KJV -- Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return."
LXX -- And to Adam he said, Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife, and eaten of the tree concerning which I charged you of it only not to eat -- of that you have eaten, cursed is the ground in your labors, in pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat your bread until you return to the earth out of which you were taken, for earth you are and to earth you shall return.
Hebrew -- And to the man He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife you have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, saying, Not you shall eat from it, cursed shall be the ground because of you, in sorrow you shall eat of it all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plant of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until your return to the ground; for out of it you have been taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
Adam is not cursed, but the ground is. Later, in Romans, we read, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Interesting that in the Garden of Eden they could eat of any tree. That just meant picking fruits and leaves, perhaps. So easy! But now they will be out of Eden and must eat the plants of the field. That means agriculture. And they will have to deal with thorns and thistles. Interestingly, both thorns and thistles are simply hardened bits of stem or leaves. It’s a good picture of what happens to hearts which rebel.
God says that the toil to produce food will be painful. They will find themselves sweating through the work involved and that this work will not cease during life on this earth.
God also states that their bodies will return to the elements which made them up, or the dust of the earth. Does this mean that is not what would have happened before? We know Enoch was directly translated to be with the Lord, so is this a picture of what was intended for our bodies originally?
Notes from the Bible study group of August 2009 -- we are also eagerly awating the redemption of our own bodies. We are looking forward to our Resurrection bodies. Will those bodies be different from our bodies now? The point was made that the disciples did not recognize Jesus after His Resurrection. Will our bodies later show our characters more than the physical features we know now?
NIV -- Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all living.
KJV -- And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
LXX -- And Adam called the name of his wife Life, because she was the mother of all living.
Hebrew -- And called the man name his wife's Eve; because she became the mother of all living.
The word “Eve” means “life.” (A possible double meaning here is that life is through Christ, who would be her seed.) Why is this naming mentioned now? Had Adam not named her before? We only know he called her ‘woman’ before, and before this time, that is how she is mentioned in Adam’s narrative. She is not referred to as Eve until this point, after sin.
NIV -- The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
KJV -- Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
LXX -- And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin and clothed them.
Hebrew -- And made Jehovah God for the man and his wife coats of skin and clothes them.
Before they had been covered by God’s own glorious light. Now their covering would demand justice be fulfilled. That would mean blood. So the first sacrifice – that which gave them clothing of leather from God – was accomplished. This sacrifice, as every other after it, would be looking forward to the final sacrifice of Christ on the cross, when justice would finally and completely be satisfied and fulfilled.
One extra note: we have blackberries here in Oregon, and picking them is a 'blood sport.' Trimming the long canes is even worse, and requires leather gloves. Leather protects against the thorns and thistles. When God cursed the ground and said it would produce thorns and thistles, He then also provided a means of protection from them with leather.
NIV -- And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
KJV -- Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. and now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
LXX -- And God the Lord said, Behold Adam is become as one of us, to know good and evil, and now lest at any time he stretch forth his hand, and take of the tree of life and eat, and so he shall live forever --
Hebrew -- And said Jehovah God, Behold! The man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat and live forever.
“one of us” – the Trinity is again implied.
Why? If they were always healed, they would be literally doomed to live forever in sinful flesh. Thus, physical death is not a curse, but a mercy. It is also a severe picture and warning.
NIV -- So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
KJV -- Therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
LXX -- So the Lord God sent him forth out of the garden of Delight to cultivate the ground out of which he was taken.
Hebrew -- Therefore sent him Jehovah God out of the garden of Eden to till the ground which he was taken from.
Man now had to work the ground to get food as Cain did later. Animals were not part of the diet, so tending animals like Abel did later was for other purposes: milk, fleece.....and leather.
NIV -- After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
KJV -- So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
LXX -- And he cast out Adam and caused him to dwell over against the garden of Delight, and stationed the cherubs and the fiery sword that turns about to keep the way of the tree of life.
Hebrew -- And He drove out the man and He lodged at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and flaming the sword whirling around to guard the way of the tree of life.
"placed," "stationed," "lodged" -- shakan -- to lodge, to reside or permanently stay, to continue, to remain
“drove out,” "cast out" – garish – to drive out from a possession, to expatriate, drive away
“the east” – qedmah – “ancient, aforetime, in front of (eastward),” it is the ‘ever’ part of ‘everlasting.’ So the idea of a specific direction may or may not be a correct meaning. The same word is used after the Flood when they journeyed ‘from the east’ in Genesis 11:3, and it could just as easily mean “from ancient times.” In this passage, however, the more accurate meaning may be in the LXX. If they were to dwell 'over against' the garden itself, then they might still have been in Eden.
“cherubim” – in the Hebrew the definite article precedes cherubim here. The only other time we see cherubim in the Bible are when they surround the ‘wheel within a wheel ‘ (literally ‘a whirlwind within a whirlwind’ probably indicating the Shekinah glory cloud) and later in Revelation around the throne of God. Carvings of cherubim overshadow the Ark of the Covenant. Except for the Ark, we find four mentioned. They appear to be always associated with God’s presence. So here we have them guarding the way to the Tree of Life. Was the Lord there also? In Psalm 80:1, Psalm 99:1 and Isaiah 37:16, we see that “He dwelleth between the cherubim.” In the next chapter, we also see indications that, at least for a time, people had direct access to the Lord. Is this our first reference to the Shekinah Glory Cloud itself in the Bible? The words do not contradict that idea and may suggest it.
“flaming” – "lahat" – a blaze, from the idea of enwrapping
“sword” – chereb – a sharp cutting instrument. There may be an intentional association with the word ‘cherub’ here.