Genesis 3

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1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat,

3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 The serpent said to the woman, "You won't surely die,

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

6 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 gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.

7 The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.

9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"

10 The man said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

11 God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

13 Yahweh God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel."

16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

17 To Adam he said, "Because you have listened to your wife's voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field.

19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.

22 Yahweh God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..."

23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to 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).