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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?"


The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;


it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"


But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die!


1 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."


The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.


Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.


2 When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.


The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"


He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself."


Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"


The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me - she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it."


The LORD God then asked the woman, "Why did you do such a thing?" The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."


Then the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.


3 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."


To the woman he said: "I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master."


To the man he said: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, "Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life.


Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field.


By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return."


4 The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.


For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments, with which he clothed them.


Then the LORD God said: "See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever."


The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken.


5 When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.



1 [5] Like gods who know: or "like God who knows."

2 [8] The breezy time of the day: literally "the wind of the day." On most days in Palestine a cooling breeze blows from the sea shortly before sunset.

3 [15] He will strike . . . at his heel: since the antecedent for he and his is the collective noun offspring, i.e., all the descendants of the woman, a more exact rendering of the sacred writer's words would be, "They will strike . . . at their heels." However, later theology saw in this passage more than unending hostility between snakes and men. The serpent was regarded as the devil ( Wisdom 2:24; John 8:44; Rev 12:9; 20:2), whose eventual defeat seems implied in the contrast between head and heel. Because "the Son of God appeared that he might destroy the works of the devil" ( 1 John 3:8), the passage can be understood as the first promise of a Redeemer for fallen mankind. The woman's offspring then is primarily Jesus Christ.

4 [20] This verse seems to be out of place; it would fit better after Genesis 3:24. The Hebrew name hawwa ("Eve") is related to the Hebrew word hay ("living").

5 [24] The above rendering is based on the ancient Greek version; that of the current Hebrew is, When he expelled the man, he settled east of the garden of Eden, the cherubim.

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