and so they ate it

Genesis 3



6When 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. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

***

The serpent has persuaded the woman to pay closer attention to the tree and its fruit. She sees that it is ‘good for food and pleasing to the eye’ which is the same phrase used to describe all the other trees in the garden (2:9). In addition, it is also desirable for wisdom. Why is this particular wisdom off limits? Is humanity still too young for it? Is it the kind of wisdom that belongs to God alone? Whatever it is, she sees it as something to be gained.

So, she took some and ate it.

Such a mundane phrase, for such a profound choice. A choice to believe the serpent rather than God; a choice to do what the humans have been told not to do.

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he eats it, too.

The man hasn’t been hanging out in another part of the garden; the implication is that he’s been there all along. Was he listening in? Was he equally intrigued by the serpent’s suggestion? In any case, he puts in no objection at all. He doesn’t even question it. He eats it just as his wife did.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened – an interesting phrase – what does this mean? They notice they are naked, implying it had never occurred to them before. Suddenly, after eating the fruit, they feel the need to cover up. Is it shame that drives them to this? Why is the awareness of their nakedness so important? Is this simply a story of the first fashion show?

They are no longer comfortable with themselves as they are. They choose a dependence outside of God. They seek instead to be like him; to go it alone.

Whatever the change is, it is immediate. This is no ordinary fruit.

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