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Many believe that God spoke directly to Eve concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is no wonder, because most assume that God explicitly spoke to Eve about it. But I believe this may be based on a faulty assumption -- a speculation in which God spoke directly to Eve when we are never explicitly told that He did:

Genesis 3:3b: "God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

If Eve's is relating a face-to-face encounter with God, and if touching the tree produced lethal consequences, then what would have prevented Adam, who received a different message from God before Eve was ever created (2:22), from being killed if he touched the fruit as Eve stated?

It will be remembered that "the man" received his commandment directly from God (2:16-17):

Genesis 2:17b: "[For] in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

How then is Eve relating a personal encounter with God if she doesn't relate the same message given to Adam in Genesis 3:3?

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  • How? Because she was deceived. See my answer below for something else to consider. Note, also, in the resurrection, there is no marriage, but rather, both the male and the female spirits are distinctly separate spirits as the angels in heaven are distinctly individual spirits. Neither the male nor the female will be in in subjection to the other (Luke 20:25, KJV) – Bill Porter Apr 17 at 16:03
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Did God Ever Personally Warn Eve?

At no point did God ever labor under any illusions that Man and Woman would not immediately be lulled by the cunning of the serpent. Indeed, He paved the way for everything to occur as it did in order to hasten the Fall (Refer to my commentary on The Trees of Life and Knowledge). This was necessary for individual human beings to be allowed to make a conscious decision to choose the life that God intended.

There are several reasons to believe that Eve may never have received the same direct message from God as Adam. And this is important because Woman has borne the burden of the deception by the serpent for thousands of years. Let us examine some of the evidence why Eve’s culpability in the affair may be exaggerated:

  1. Note the wording in Genesis 2:15-17: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man [only], saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die’” (emphasis added). Why not wait and tell both the man and the woman at once?
  2. Of course, the reason there is no mention of Eve in the previous passages is that she had not yet been created. Her physical origin occurs five verses later in Genesis 2:22.
  3. Why would God make this declaration to Adam alone, before Eve was ever formed, especially since her creation (based on the text of verses 2:18 to 2:21) appears so integrally connected? Why not wait until both were present before this vital proclamation was issued?
  4. It seems quite plausible that Eve may not have misquoted God at all since we never read that God told Eve: “Do not touch [the Tree] or you will die.” In fact, we never read that God warned Eve about the Tree whatsoever. We merely assume as much based on Genesis 3:2-3.
  5. Adam must surely have fervently related to his wife: “We must not eat of the Tree, nor should we even touch it lest we die!” This underscores Adam’s concern that his wife should never disobey this sober warning. In modern vernacular: “Eve darling, that Tree in the middle of the Garden is ‘hands-off!’
  6. This all makes sense if Eve’s decision was based, not on what God told her, but on what her husband related. Adam’s warning would never carry the weight of God’s imposing Character regarding this abomination directly in the middle of the Garden.
  7. Had Eve been told directly by God never to eat of the Tree, it seems exceedingly unlikely that she could have been deceived by the serpent so easily. It is one thing to be warned by a person; it is quite another to be warned by Almighty God. Such an encounter with deity would surely have been deeply etched in Eve’s consciousness.

If correct, Eve was likely evaluating whether the serpent was more astute and reliable than her husband in the matter. Weighing the warnings of Adam against the promises of Satan, Eve may never have grasped the gravity of the circumstances. She may even have felt that her husband was mistaken, which seems to be one of the points the serpent is making (although he throws God into the mix for good measure). God’s words would surely have instilled much greater fear and trepidation than anything spoken to her by another human being.

It seems that God expected every human being to be just as accountable as every other beginning with Adam and Eve. His Plan was to ensure that each of us has the same culpability and the same avenue for redemption. The apostle John describes Eve’s vulnerability, as well as our own, quite succinctly (with bracketed notation):

1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world [the Tree], the lust of the flesh [fruit good for food] and the lust of the eyes [a delight to the eyes] and the boastful pride of life [to make one wise], is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

While these thoughts are admittedly speculative, they are grounded in Scripture, as well as logical congruity. There will always be those who disagree: some adamantly so. One of the reasons for that is that there is a similar instance where we read of another woman, Manoah’s wife (Samson’s mother), in the Book of Judges. There, “the woman” somewhat inaccurately tells her husband Manoah of the Angel of the LORD, and the Nazirite vow that Samson would be commanded to honor:

Judges 13:7: “But [the Angel of the LORD] said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son [Samson], and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

Here, as before, the text does not state that the Angel spoke “to the day of his death” to Samson’s mother. However, if a woman is being given a promise by this “Angel of the LORD” that her son “shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb,” it hardly seems a stretch for her to conclude that such must be a lifelong pledge. In the First Book of Samuel, we read of Hannah and her pledge before God if only she might be allowed to bear a son:

1 Samuel 1:11 “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

Hannah understood that to have a son (she too was barren just as Samson’s mother), she might need to “sacrifice him to God” (as a lifelong servant). As well, it seems likely that Manoah’s wife would easily understand that her son would be a Nazarite for life. Adding the words “to the day of his death” is not believed to be inconsistent with the words: “from the womb.” In other words, “from life until death” – something analogous to a marriage vow.

However, this is a far cry from Eve misquoting God on something as crucial as that which would require the death penalty: “God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” Note these words carefully: “God has said…” Why would Eve not simply tell the serpent: “God told me? or God told us?” If Adam had related what God had said, then that may well have been exactly the way Eve construed its meaning. Let us contrast what God spoke to Adam, with what Eve claims that God said because they are each constructed somewhat differently.

I) The LORD God to Adam
a. “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
c. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,
d. for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17);

II) Eve to the Serpent
a. “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
b. but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it
c. or touch it, or you will die.’” (Gen. 3:2-3).

While these two accounts essentially convey the same meaning, they are distinct enough to raise some further questions. Why, for example, did Eve not tell the serpent that “the tree which is in the middle of the garden” was, in fact, “the Tree of Knowledge?” Why not identify this “Tree” if God explicitly warned her about it? One wonders whether Eve knew the name of the Tree at all. It probably doesn’t take any leap of faith to believe that Adam, a master taxonomist who had named all the cattle, the birds of the sky, and every beast of the field (Gen. 2:19-20), surely recognized the identity of every tree and plant in the Garden as well.

Eve’s account sounds suspiciously like someone relating a narrative that was conveyed to her secondhand. And, lest we forget, someone had to commit the one disobedient act that would inexorably follow. The stage was set: Eve was the perfect choice to fall victim to circumstance as the more vulnerable party, and all of this according to God’s expectations.

The point of this exercise has been to demonstrate that while God obviously spoke to Adam (Gen. 2:16-17), we cannot conclusively state that He also warned Eve. Her actions would suggest that He (God) did not do so. And, we simply never read any account of such taking place anywhere in Scripture. Further, we know that the man is responsible for his wife (Eph. 5:22-23), and it seems plausible that Adam assumed this role by relating God’s severe warning to Eve. It is exceedingly unlikely that God would deliver a different message to Eve if He ever spoke to her about the matter at all.

Assuming that God did so is really conjecture, although it is certainly not unreasonable. Such naturally follows from Eve’s own words “God has said... lest we die.” Since God told Adam, He must surely have expected Adam to clearly instruct his new bride that God has said never to eat of the Tree – nor even touch it, in case Eve entertained any doubts. Those who insist that God also spoke to Eve just as He did to Adam may be making unwarranted assumptions.

But in the larger scheme – no less than The Fall of Man, this assumes great significance. If the events unfolded in the manner that we have suggested, Woman has been bearing a load for thousands of years that is not entirely her fault. That is because, in this scenario, it should be fully understood that Eve, or any other person, could easily be misled by such a superhuman being. In fact, were the circumstances reversed and Eve warned Adam never to touch the Tree, Adam might have just as easily been duped into believing Satan’s lies; the proverbial shoe would be on the other foot.

When Eve approached Adam with the forbidden fruit in hand, Adam may well have reasoned that, although God strictly commanded them against eating it – declaring that such would surely bring death, Eve was perfectly alive with no apparent ill effects. He must have been wondering why God told him (Adam) that eating of the fruit would cause what he surely believed to be instant death. To Adam, the damage was done. Eve’s disobedience occurred without any immediate lethal consequences as Adam would have understood them. Unsure why that was the case, Adam needed no deception to fall victim to the same disobedience which condemned the first couple and all their posterity.

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    You say.. “Eve was perfectly alive with no apparent ill effects.”, but the Bible says differently. You say “Woman has borne the burden” for thousands of years, but the Bible says differently. So are you inviting us to respond to your personal interpretations? – Dave Apr 14 at 3:25
  • Agreed that Eve most likely was not told directly by God not to eat from the tree. But, for me, there is even a more compelling story in the Apocryphon of John of the Gnostic writings. – tblue Apr 14 at 4:00
  • I would suggest that Eve never knew God's Commandment IF....she never walked with God in the cool of the evening. Since she did, then she knew what Adam knew, although God's Command was specifically addressed to him. Eve is a Co-heir of Salvation; furthermore,she is the Mother of all the faithful, because God's Promise of a Seed(singular) was explicitly addressed to her, and not Adam. Eve could not have seed; the seed is in Adam. Yet the Promise was made to her, that her 'seed' would redeem mankind from the Fall. That makes her a "co-heir" of salvation. – Tau Apr 14 at 4:40
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God did indeed speak directly to the female when He gave the commandment to Adam, but not to Eve. It is important to understand that God created man, but did not create the woman--Eve. Eve was formed by being taken out of Adam after Adam was initially created as a living spirit "in the likeness of God"--a plurality spirit--male and female. Following the creation of the spirit of man, God named him "Adam"--not Adam and Eve. YET, That created spirit was both male and female, as we find conclusively in Genesis 5:1-2: KJV:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (My emphasis)

Genesis 1 shows the creation of that spirit of man out of nothing. However, Genesis chapter 2 deals with that part of man that is of the earth--earthy--party of the "generations of the earth", as specifically singled out in Gen 2:4:

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, ... .(My emphasis)

And, As buttressed in Gen 2:7:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And again in 1 Co 15:47:

The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (My emphasis)

Notice especially that "their" name originally--as to their "created spirit"--was Adam, not Adam and Eve.

"They"--Adam--both verbally named the animals and the fowl.

"They"--Adam--both heard and spoke with the WORD of God--a person of the duality of God.

"They" both heard and received the commandment.

All the above happened before the Woman was formed. After naming the other creatures, they--Adam--was still without a help meet (2:20). Only after all this, was the Woman--Eve--taken out of the created, made, and formed male-and-female man named Adam. Gen 2:21-22 Informs:

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Perhaps the "female spirit portion" of the male-and-female Adam was assigned to the woman. Nevertheless, genetics may prove otherwise unless scripture provides an explicit answer to that complex question.

Notwithstanding, All this happened before the Woman was formed, as solidly affirmed by 1Ti 2:13:

For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

Nowhere do you ever see that Eve--the woman--separate from Adam--was ever created. There is a huge difference between the words, ""created", "made", "formed", and "established".

THEREFORE, the cognizant female spirit of Eve was indeed informed of the commandment right along with the male spirit of Adam--both being jointly given the commandment at a point in time when Adam was both male and female (Gen 2:16-17)

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