Genesis  ◦   Chapter 3

1The serpent was a beautiful flying creature, more cunning than any of the other free ranging animals the Creator God had made. Satan, speaking through a serpent, said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are forbidden from eating from any tree in the garden’?”

2Startled, the woman replied to the serpent, “Of course not! We may eat the fruit from all the trees in the garden except one. 3What God said was, ‘You must not eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not even touch it, for if you do, you will decay and die.’”

4“You most certainly will not decay and die!” the serpent said to the woman. 5“God knows that when you eat of its fruit, your understanding will expand, your awareness will increase, and you will become like God and know good and evil.”

6The woman allowed the serpent’s words to undermine her trust in God who created her, and she looked at the tree in a new way: she now saw the fruit as healthy food, beautiful and appealing, and desirable for gaining wisdom; so she took some and ate it. She also found her husband, who was with her in the garden, and gave him some, and he ate it. 7Then their awareness changed: the pain of fear and selfishness was opened to them, and they immediately focused on self and knew they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and tried to cover themselves.

8Then the man and his wife, hearing their Creator God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, ran and hid from their Creator God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Creator God, not wanting to frighten them, called out gently, “Where are you?”

10Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked; so I hid.”

11God gently said to him, “Adam, who told you that you were naked? You haven’t heard that from me... Have you eaten from the tree that I charged you not to eat from?”

12Adam said, “It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t go near that tree – it was the woman that you put here with me: she gave me some of its fruit and I ate it.”

13Then their Creator God said gently to the woman, “What happened? What did you do?”

The woman answered, “I was tricked… The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14So their Creator God said to the serpent, “Because you were used by Satan to deceive, all the animals now groan under the curse of sin, but your curse is greater: you are cursed to remain a symbol of Satan, therefore you will no longer be a beautiful flying creature, but you will slither on your belly, with your face in the dirt, all the days of your life. 15And I will cause you (and all that you represent) to be reviled by the woman and her offspring; and one of her offspring will crush your head, while you, like the snake you are, are striking at his heel.”

16To the woman he said, “Because my design of love has now been replaced with fear and selfishness, having and raising children will be very hard and filled with sorrow. Fearful, you will seek protection from your stronger husband, but he will dominate you.”

17To Adam he said, “Because you chose loyalty to your wife (instead of remaining in harmony with me) and you ate from the tree I charged you ‘not to eat of it,’ the earth is now contaminated by the curse of sin (it is infected with selfishness, which is antagonistic to my methods of love – my design for life), and so your portion will now be filled with pain and sorrow all the days of your life.18Thorns, thistles and noxious plants will now spring up, and you will eat bitter herbs and vegetables.19You will work hard, sweating and laboring just to feed yourself, until you die and disintegrate back into the soil from which you came; for you were built out of dirt, and you will disintegrate back into dirt.”

20Adam, the father of humanity, believing the promise of their Creator God – that his wife would have a descendant who would break the curse of sin and save the world – called her Eve (which means ‘life-giver – the mother of all the living’).

21Their Creator God produced coverings of skin for Adam and his wife and put them on them. 22And the Creator God said, “Look! Humanity, who was created in our image, to be united in love just like us, is now infected with selfishness and knows good and evil – how sad is their condition now! They must not be allowed to eat of the Tree of Life and thus avoid decay and aging, and thereby suffer in sin perpetually.”23So, in order to limit the suffering of sin and ensure there would not be immortal sinners, the Creator God expelled them from the Garden of Eden to toil in the dirt from which they were created. 24After he expelled them, he placed at the entrance of the Garden of Eden cherubim and the fiery radiance of heavenly light to prevent anyone from approaching the Tree of Life.