Ok, so just an explanation for those who may not be familiar - The Fall of Man refers to that instance where everything just went downhill. You may have heard the story of Adam & Eve: Eve gets tricked by a snake to eat the forbidden apple, shares it with Adam, God finds out and banishes them from the Garden of Eden. From that day forward Man is cursed. It feels like everyone always blames Eve. Adam represents men and Eve represents women, so we've been fighting for ions, lol.
I am recapping a great discussion we had tonight. Above is the abbreviated version that we are used to hearing about Adam and Eve. But let's just look at this a little bit further. Some of what I learned tonight was pretty surprising, because I had never looked at it that deeply.
So God creates the world. He makes light, water, animals, you name it. When you get to Genesis 1:27 (NIV version)
So God created man in his own image
God creates man. He doesn't yet have a name, but we later find out it's Adam, so I will call him Adam. God tells Adam
"I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground - everything that has breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
So Adam has it made. He can eat anything he wants. He's the only human around. Him and God are chillin.' God then made the Garden of Eden and he put Adam there to work it and take care of it.
And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
The establishment of rules and boundaries. Now where was Eve? This was an interesting question that was asked. Because I guess I assumed that Eve was around when God originally said not to eat the forbidden fruit. But nope, Eve hadn't even been created yet. Eve does not come into existence until Genesis 1:22. Moving right along to the next chapter we are hearing the conversation between the serpent and Eve.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden' ?" The woman said to the serpent "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.' "
Ok, a lot just happened right there. First of all there is no text surrounding how Eve found out the rule about not eating the forbidden fruit (fruit, not necessarily an apple by the way). We almost have to assume that Adam told her because God never said she couldn't touch the fruit. Adam might have added that in - he's like, hey don't eat from that tree, matter of fact, just don't touch it. Sometimes we just want to get our two cents in when we should just leave it be. Next Eve is talking to a serpent, not a snake slithering on the ground. It wasn't strange to her that she was having this conversation so the serpent probably resembled her or something that could comfortably hold a conversation with an upright person.
So then the serpent is trying to trick Eve. See, he's already playing on the fact that she is tempted to taste the forbidden fruit. It's the human instinct - as soon as someone tells you don't touch this or don't do that or don't EAT that, that is exactly what you want to do. Even though they had EVERY other fruit and tree in the world.
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 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. Then the eyes of both of them were opened...
The serpent is manipulating what Eve says that God said to make her doubt herself. He may have touched the fruit to show that it didn't kill him and if one part of her statement was false, then probably the other part is as well. He's trying to get her to see the unfairness is not being able to have that knowledge. He is prodding her temptation. She wants to taste the fruit, c'mon who wouldn't want to know what the one thing in the world you are not allowed to have tastes like? And where is Adam? The text says that he was with her. Why did he know stop her from talking to the serpent? Or why, oh why, did he taste the fruit? Because he also wanted to know what this fruit tastes like and he just saw his wife taste it. What's the harm, right? Even though God who has given them everything and directly told him not to. He is going to listen to his wife, who was being tricked by a serpent.
And as soon as Adam eats the fruit they realize that they have done something wrong - this is their eyes opening. The begin to know the difference between good and evil. Before they were living in pure utopia, where they didn't have a care in the world. And so the curse begins. God is furious and he calls for Adam - Where are you? Adam tells Him he was hiding. God asks him if he ate from the tree. And he says
The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Talk about throwing under the bus! Not only does he just put it all on Eve, he blames God too - 'if you hadn't put that woman with me . . .' So if you continue reading the rest of Chapter 3 you will see that God curses the serpent and makes him crawl on his belly (now he is a snake). To the woman he increased pains in childbearing. And to Adam man is cursed to work the land.
"...By the sweat of your brow will you eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; from dust you are and to dust you will return."
(Where we get the expression 'ashes to ashes' that they say at funerals.)
God creates the world and then makes man. He puts man in the Garden of Eden and tells him to take care of it, only not to eat from the tree in the middle; everything else was his choosing. God creates woman from man. Man apparently tells Woman about the rule with the tree. Serpent asks Woman if she can't eat anything in the garden. Woman says, "no we can eat everything but from that one tree. " "That one tree? Really? Why is that?" Woman says "if we eat or touch it we will die." Serpent convinces her that that's not the case. Woman eats fruit from tree and gives to Man. Man, knowingly, eats the fruit. God finds out and it's a wrap. Cursed is the serpent, Woman, and finally Man. Man and Woman kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and from reaching the Tree of Life. This is the Fall of Man.
Ultimately it looks like God blames Adam a bit more because he was the one He had directed on eating the fruit. He still holds the serpent and Eve accountable, but from that day forward Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and never allowed to eat from the tree of life.
There's lots more that could be discussed, but I just wanted to share some of the interesting points we discussed. Hope you enjoyed!
Image taken from http://www.socksoff.co.uk/walls05.html