by Bruce C. E. Fleming, Tru316 Foundation (

  • 1:28, 2:25 Creation order. United in image and likeness of God, naked and unashamed
  • 2:18 Human relations. Equal partners – husband and wife.
  • 3:12-13 Attack & responses. Two levels of disobedience – 1st degree and 2nd degree
  • 3:14-19 Judgment & punishment. Curses for the rebels, promise & news for the woman
  • 3:20-4:1 Three responses. The man, God, the woman – rebellion, expulsion, worship

Creation order. Have you noticed Genesis chapters 2-3 uses a bell-shaped literary pattern called a chiasm? A high point of this pattern is often in the center. It is numbered in our Bibles as Genesis 2:25. This was a commentary after the completion of God’s creative activity. God judged his work to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). There were two relationships. The horizontal relationship with one another. The vertical relationship with the Lord God their Creator.

Human relations. Have you noticed the Hebrew words, ‘ezer kenegdo? God created both the man and the woman in Eden in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-28). Creation was not yet complete while the man was yet alone on Day 6 of creation. When God created the woman from the same material as the man they were equal partners, male and female.

Attack and responses. Have you noticed who was to blame for what happened at the tree in Eden? The two were attacked by the rebellious serpent enemy, the one Jesus called a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). The two humans responded differently. Yes both ate. The punishment for eating was death. But one ate intending it for good. The other chose to purposefully disobey God’s words (2 Cor. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2:14). When the man was questioned by God, he blamed the woman, and even God shook his first at God, while not even mentioning the enemy. When the woman was questioned she revealed she had been deceived and named her attacker.

Judgment and punishments. Have you noticed that in response to the woman’s words God confirmed what she said and confirmed her as the enemy of the serpent? God went further and judged the serpent enemy based on her testimony, “Because you have done this.” Notably there is a six-point parallel pattern recounting God’s words of judgment given to both the rebellious enemy and the rebellious man. None of these six points is given to the woman. Instead, God confirms she will conceive offspring who will defeat the enemy serpent. God’s opening words to her are two-fold: I will certainly multiply (1) “your sorrowful-toil” (‘itsabon) in fieldwork and (2) “your conception” (heron). In the rest of the verse God takes no further action but gives her news. “Grief” (‘etseb) will be part of being the mother of children who will follow suit in sin. Her affection (teshuqah) was still for her husband but he desired to rule over (mashal) her, usurping God’s rightful place.

Three responses. Have you noticed? (1) The man. The Lord God had warned the woman that the man’s heart had changed toward her and he desired to rebelliously take God’s place to rule over her (3:16). What was the man’s very first act after God’s judgment? The man presumed to rule over her as he had the animals by naming her using the same naming formula he had used when God told him to name them. (2) The Lord God. God clothed them both shedding blood to cover their sin and shame. Then the Lord God drove the man out of Eden. Outside the guarded Garden they would work the soil the Lord God had cursed because of the man. (3) The woman. When she gave birth to her first born, she credited God. Her words in Genesis 4:1 in Hebrew can be read in one of two ways. Both showed her faith in the Lord. Either, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” Or, “I have gotten a man – the Lord.”

Go Deeper? Read The Book of Eden. Listen to The Eden Podcast. Enroll in The Eden Workshop. (

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