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Romans 5:12

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned

Romans 5:12 states sin came into the world through one man, however, we all know that Eve sinned first.

Genesis 3:6

6 So 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 also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

So if Eve sinned first, yet sin did not come into the world through her but come it did when Adam sinned, does this indicate that somehow Eve's sin didn't, on its own, count?

What I mean is did Adam's relationship with God as the son of God (Luke 3:38), cover (shield from consequences) the sin of Eve until God's human firstborn image himself transgressed the relationship?

Note: This question is a compliment to Rom 5:12 - Did death come to Eve through Adam?

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  • In Rom 5:12, the word, anthropos is "person" whether male or female.
    – Dottard
    Aug 14, 2022 at 9:21
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    @Dottard, do you have an example where anthropos in the masculine singular form referred to a historical person and that person was a woman?
    – Austin
    Aug 14, 2022 at 10:04
  • No, but the word regularly refers to a person generally, eg, 1 Cor 4:1.
    – Dottard
    Aug 14, 2022 at 12:03
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    @Dottard, but isn't that true for all masculine singular nouns used in a proverbial sense, such as brother or man (anēr)? James routinely uses the word man in such a sense but it could just as easily be substituted substituted as person for virtually none of what he says is unique to the male gender.
    – Austin
    Aug 14, 2022 at 14:46
  • could you elaborate on what you mean by "cover"? E.g. that God couldn't see Eve's sin because Adam was covering it? Or cover in the sense of shield from consequences somehow?
    – Robert
    Aug 17, 2022 at 15:58

2 Answers 2

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Yes, Eve sinned first because she was the first to disobey God's clear command.

No, this does not "indicate that somehow Eve's sin didn't, on its own, count", as you ask.

Of course the woman's sin 'counted', for all sin is disobedience to God, whether witting or unwitting. With her, it was witting. "All that is not of faith is sin", Romans 14:23. She did not do what she did in faith of God, but in faith of the deceiver whose temptation she was attracted by. Her sin certainly counted in God's eyes, and it counted against her insofar as she suffered the penalty for her disobedience - death.

However, Adam chose to then follow the woman into the same sin, for himself. He need not have done that. He could have decided that, come what may, he would remain faithful to his Creator and not partake of what was forbidden. He would know that the woman would die for her sin, but his faith in God could have surmounted the thought of such a dreadful loss, trusting in God to bless in some way or other. That is why Adam is culpable for sin entering into the world. It only entered into the woman with her disobedience, but once it also entered into Adam, and the two sinners remaining together would produce offspring, thus sin would spread to all men [i.e. people, not just the male of the species] - Romans 5:12.

Until sin entered into the world (as opposed to just one female) the rot could have been stopped. The sinful woman would have been banished and she would have died. Adam chose not to lose his partner, but cast in his lot with her. His act of solidarity with her was an act of faithlessness as well as disobedience against his Creator, so it was sin upon sin.

That is why the first Adam is culpable. He, not the woman, is accountable for the consequences of his decision that led to the whole world being lost in sin, and not just humanity, for the whole of creation groans due to sin (Romans 8:20-23).

The first woman's sin was never 'covered' for any length of time by the first Adam, nor could it ever be covered until God's plan of redemption was worked out in the fulness of time. Yet God, in love, covered the first couple with tailored animal skins before casting them out of Eden. He gave them hope that he had a plan in place to deal with the consequences of their sin, notwithstanding the physical death that was bound to come. And the covering of clothes dealt with their new-felt shame (sense of guilt). The woman would give birth to 'seed' - and that would result in the 'serpent's head' being crushed under that one's bruised heel. God gave them hope by assuring them that children would be birthed and, in faith, Adam then named the woman 'Eve' - mother of all living.

Not until the promised 'seed' came, dying faithful to God in unspoiled, unbroken relationship, could his spilled blood serve as the only 'covering' for sin there has ever been, to those who believe.

So, the answer to your question is, "No, Adam did not 'cover' Eve's sin until he sinned by transgressing his relationship with God."

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    Yes, Adam's temptation wasn't eating the fruit, it was choosing between his own flesh and bones, Eve, or God. Eve was the temptation of Adam, and this (IMO) is why a mythology of sex evolved from the fall, together with the idea of woman as temptress. Adam would not have been deceived by the serpent as he named it and understood its nature, but he did not name Eve until after the fall.
    – Robert
    Aug 17, 2022 at 16:04
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Although Eve was first to disobey the Lord's command, but she was not sinned first.

The Lord gave the command to Adam (Genesis 2:17), before Eve was created. When the serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam was by her side. Genesis 3:6 read

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (NIV)

Adam was the Watchman of Eve. As he was the one the Lord's command was given. Similar to the prophets watched over the Israelites. Ezekiel 33:7-9 has clearly stated the responsibility of a Watchman

7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

Since Adam did not dissuade Eve from taken the fruit, Eve died for her sin, but Adam would be held accountable for her dead. In this sense, Adam was sinned first for not fulfilling his responsibility as the Watchman of Eve.

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