God said He would provide for all the needs of Adam and Eve in the paradisaical Garden of Eden. The responsibilities that He gave to the first couple included being fruitful and multiplying, keeping the garden, and to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Immediately after this divine prohibition, God creates Eve. It is very significant that there is no record of God having a conversation with Eve, so we must assume that the understanding that she soon reveals concerning the prohibition of what has come to be know as “the forbidden fruit,” is something related to her by Adam.
Eve is soon confronted by the serpent whose very first tactic in engaging a human being is to question the Word of God: “Yeah, hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1) Eve’s response is most interesting:
“And the woman said unto 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 hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”
It seems apparent to me that the first realization that came to the serpent was that Adam had misrepresented the directive of God. God never told Adam not to TOUCH the tree, but only not to EAT of it. THIS, as I see it, is the first sin: Adam lied to Eve!
So what does the “subtil” serpent do with this opportunity? The Bible doesn’t specifically make the link. BUT, since he had early on represented his intent to be the questioning and discrediting of God’s Word, I think it is a very safe if not the obvious conclusion that the serpent saw an opportunity to capitalize on Adam’s deception, and said, “Eve, look: you can touch the tree, you can touch the fruit, and I will show you that you will not die.” Taken by the beauty of the fruit, Eve very likely did just that, AND SAW THAT HER HUSBAND HAD DECEIVED HER! Now understanding that the warnings he had shared with her were not true, what would be the logical next step for Eve? Of course . . . She ate the fruit!
The Jewish Midrash, the rabbinic commentaries on the Old Testament suggests that the serpent who was “more subtil than any…” took full advantage of Adam’s deception to lure Eve into disobeying God. But it was ADAM who gave the serpent the perfect opportunity that made Eve’s action possible!
Independent Fundamentalists Christians have long relegated women to an inferior role in life, and withheld trust and respect from the fairer sex largely on the basis of their belief that women were principally responsible for the “original sin.” Unfortunately for them, that is not the way the Bible expresses it.
“Wherefore, as by one MAN sin entered into the world,”