Genesis 3

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1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?

2 And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.

4 And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.

5 For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.

8 And when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise.

9 And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou?

10 And he said: I heard thy voice in paradise; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.

11 And he said to him: And who hath told thee that thou wast naked, but that thou hast eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?

12 And Adam said: The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the Lord God said to the woman: Why hast thou done this? And she answered: The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.

14 And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and the beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

16 To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee.

17 And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life.

18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou eat the herbs of the earth.

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.

20 And Adam called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living.

21 And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, garments of skins, and clothed them.

22 And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.

23 And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.

24 And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 3      

Napsal(a) Emanuel Swedenborg

Here are some excerpts from Swedenborg's "Arcana Coelestia" that help explain the inner meaning of this chapter:

AC 190. The third state of the Most Ancient Church is treated of, which so desired its Own as to love it.

AC 191. Because from the love of self, that is, their own love, they began to believe nothing that they did not apprehend by the senses, the sensuous part is represented by the "serpent;" the love of self, or their own love, by the "woman;" and the rational by the "man."

AC 192. Hence the "serpent," or sensuous part, persuaded the woman to inquire into matters pertaining to faith in the Lord in order to see whether they are really so, which is signified by "eating of the tree of knowledge;" and that the rational of man consented, is signified by "the man that he did eat" (verses 1-6).

AC 193. But they perceived that they were in evil; from which remnant of perception, signified by their "eyes being opened," and by their "hearing the voice of Jehovah" (verses 7, 8), and from the fig-leaves of which they made themselves girdles (verse 7), and from their shame or hiding in the midst of the tree of the garden (verses 8, 9), as well as from their acknowledgment and confession (verses 10-13), it is evident that natural goodness still remained in them.

AC 234. The subsequent state of the church down to the flood is here described; and as at that time the church utterly destroyed itself, it is foretold that the Lord would come into the world and save the human race.

AC 235. Being unwilling to believe anything that could not be apprehended by the senses, the sensuous part which is the "serpent," cursed itself, and became infernal (verse 14).

AC 236. Therefore to prevent all mankind from rushing into hell, the Lord promised that He would come into the world (verse 15).

AC 237. The church is further described by the "woman," which so loved self or the Own as to be no longer capable of apprehending truth, although a rational was given them that should "rule" (verse 16).

AC 238. The quality of the rational is then described, in that it consented, and thus cursed itself, and became infernal, so that reason no longer remained, but ratiocination (verse 17).

AC 239. The curse and vastation are described, and also their ferine nature (verse 18).

AC 240. Next, their aversion to everything of faith and love; and that thus from being man they became not men (verse 19).

AC 280. The Most Ancient Church, and those who fell away, are here summarily treated of; thus also its posterity down to the flood, when it expired.

AC 281. Of the Most Ancient Church which was celestial, and from the life of faith in the Lord, called "Eve," and the "mother of all living" (verse 20).

AC 282. Of its first posterity, in which there was celestial spiritual good; and of its second and third, in which there was natural good, signified by the "coat of skin which Jehovah God made for the man and his wife" (verse 21).

AC 283. Of the fourth posterity, in which natural good began to be dissipated, and which, had they been created anew or instructed in the celestial things of faith, would have perished, which is meant by, "Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live to eternity" (verse 22).

AC 284. Of the fifth posterity, which was deprived of all good and truth, and was reduced to the state in which they had been previous to regeneration, which is meant by his being "sent forth out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken" (verse 23).

AC 285. Of the sixth and seventh posterities, in that they were deprived of all memory-knowledge (scientia) of what is good and true, and were left to their own filthy loves and persuasions; this being provided lest they should profane the holy things of faith,-which is signified by his being "driven out, and cherubim being made to dwell at the garden, with the flame of a sword, to keep the way of the tree of lives" (verse 24).

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