Understanding The Bible
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE TEMPTATION (Gen. 3:1-7)
A. The issue
Perfect freedom was accorded the first man excepting to eat of the fruit of the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Two trees are mentioned (Gen. 2:9). This was not a trivial issue. It involved the moral issue of that obedience which a creature owes to the Creator.
The tempter Two views:
Satan was incarnate in an actual serpent.
That Satan incorporated himself around an actual serpent so that he appeared as an angel of light to Eve. He is called a "serpent," being both subtile and malicious (2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9). The true character of Satan and his ability is disclosed in the scene of our Lord's temptation (Mt. 4).
C. Satan's method (W. H. Griffith Thomas)
Excites the woman's curiosity, v. l.
Raises a suspicion of God, v. l.
Injects a threefold doubt of God as to:
His goodness, v. l (note "Ye shall not?")
His veracity, v. 4 (cp. "Ye shall not!")
Satan, the "Father of lies, " makes God out to be a liar.
His holiness, v. 4
This charge attributes envy to God.
Leads to outward disobedience, v. 6.
Satan's attitude toward the Word of God
He distorts it. v. 1.
He casts doubt upon it, v. l.
He denies its validity, v. 4.
Eve listens to Satan, v. 2.
Eve misquotes Scripture, vv. 2-3.
Misrepresented God-given privileges by neglecting to indicate all the trees in verse 2. She neglected to affirm that the blessing of eating was not only a possibility but also a present fact.
Misrepresented the restriction placed by God over man. Nowhere is it recorded that man was not to "touch" the forbidden fruit (v. 2).
Eve saw that the food was pleasant to the eye, v. 6.
Eve craved the food in order to be wise, v.6 (1 Jn. 2:16).
Eve took and ate of the food, v. 6.
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