BIBLE: Genesis Chapter 3 – Headline “Only the Shadow Knows” [Shadows, Types, Patterns and Symbolism]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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What should I learn from this chapter?

Genesis chapter 3 gives the overview of God’s plan for man from the beginning to the end. It contains the first prophecy in scripture given from ~4,000 BC to 31 AD and then on to the Antichrist, the Millennium, and on to the destruction of Satan when his power is utterly destroyed.

Here: Genesis chapter 3 Shadows, Types, Patterns and Symbolism
See: Genesis chapter 3 Trees
See: Genesis chapter 3 Marriage
See: Genesis chapter 3 Satan the Serpent/Leviathan
See: Genesis chapter 3 Wisdom
See: Genesis chapter 3 Prophecy

See: Genesis chapter 3 Sayings
See: Genesis chapter 3 Directions
See: Genesis chapter 3 Hebrew Word Study

See Bottom of Positing for the meanings of all the symbolism in this chapter.

It is the shadow of things to come and packed with symbolism. Some of the symbolism is explained in other Genesis chapter 3 postings.

Genesis 3

  • The Bible begins with just one commandment “Do NOT eat of the tree of good and evil”, and ends with just one commandment “Do NOT take the mark of the beast.”
  • The consequences of both are eternal damnation.

The Temptation and Fall of Man

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent (Satan/the Devil) was more cunning (crafty, manipulative) than any beast of the field which the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God (Elohiym) indeed said (Did He really really say?), ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
  • See Genesis 3 Symbolism of Trees
  • See Genesis 3 Satan the Serpent/Leviathan
  • Those whom Satan indwells are all referred to as reptiles: snakes, serpents, crocodiles, sea monsters, dragons, leviathan; any reptile that coils or twists (twisting truth or reality).
    • Isaiah 27:1 In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea (of people).
      • This “leviathan” is the coming Antichrist.
      • The sea is a sea of people.

– – – – –

Genesis 3:2-3 And the woman said to (answered) the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God (Elohiym) has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
  • The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is in the “middle” of the garden. Being in the “middle” in scripture is a dangerous place:
    • Jesus was crucified between two thieves.
    • Jesus was in the tomb between two angels.
    • For other examples see: Jesus in the Middle
  • The first commandment in scripture is “Do NOT eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.” All other fruit in the garden was a virtual buffet.
  • We know Adam and Eve sinned and ate the fruit, but the story wasn’t over.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  • Before Adam and Eve sinned, even before God created the heavens and the earth, God already knew all that would happen. The Father already had a solution: the death of His only begotten perfectly sinless Son. There is a plan for the resurrection of the dead.
  • Numerical Statistics: One out of every one person will die.
  • ►”How often God is blamed for all the suffering in the world. It’s like praising Satan for allowing all the good that happens.” ~E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,
  • ►Why should God stop all the suffering in the world? Every time He does, man uses God’s blessings in immoral ways. God does not want to be an enabler of evil. ~Barbara Grover
Genesis 3:4-5 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God (Elohiym) knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God (Elohiym), knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:6-7 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
  • The definition of true Wisdom is comparing the value of one thing with the value of another thing, and knowing which one is the more valuable; then making a choice in favor of the most valuable. A bad choice is devoid of wisdom.
  • Sin as a metaphor: It is any indulgence or pleasure that is considered illegal, immoral or self destructive. Only God, who exists in all dimensions, can determine what is good or what is bad for man and his environment, what is right or what is wrong. Only God can see the consequences of choices, especially in the spiritual realms. Wisdom can ONLY come from God. The beginning of wisdom is the acknowledgment of God.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
  • Ironically, having one’s eyes opened means to see “Truth” as it really is, and yet it is this “eye opening” event of sin that brings about man’s spiritual blindness.
    • Isaiah 44:18 They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
    • Jeremiah 5:21 ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not:
    • Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
    • Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
  • Don’t ask a physically blind man to explain the color wheel or a spiritually blind man to explain truth.
    • Luke 6:39
      And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?
Genesis 3:7b and they knew that they were naked (vulnerable); and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
  • Fig leaves cannot cover man’s sins, only the blood of the Lamb of God.
  • See the parables of the Fig Tree: one which didn’t bear fruit, was cursed and died, the other which foretold the end of the age.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) walking in the garden in the cool (literally: Spirit) of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
  • ►The separation between God and man has begun. They distance themselves from God in shame.
  • ►Hiding themselves:
    • They hid because they knew their nakedness made them vulnerable; it was their weakness. To be naked is to be ashamed of one’s weakness. To be clothed is to hide one’s shame. Mankind is now a “prey” for predators looking to destroy him. To be covered is to cover one’s sins (weakness) and be protected.

      Man now needs a covering of protection. God provides a blood offering by killing an animal to temporarily cover their sins (and bodies). By 31 AD God provides a permanent solution: the blood offering of His own Son, Jesus.

      Something innocent had to die for something guilty.
  • ►Genesis begins with man’s sin. Revelation begins with the “man of sin”.
    • I John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
    • II Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:10 So he (Adam) said, “I heard Your (God’s) voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Genesis 3:11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
  • The tree in the middle of the garden, called the tree of good and evil, could also be called the tree that demands a law. When obedience is broken, the law is demanded; it is a tree that curses those who cannot stay in perfect obedience. Satan, therefore; is symbolic of the Tree of the Law. The Law is perfectly good, and perfectly evil being a curse to men.
  • In contrast, the Tree of Life, bears the fruit of Grace and gives life to all who partake of it. Jesus, therefore; is the Tree of Life.
Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:13 And the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:14-15 So the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
  • The belly is the Hebrew word gāḥôn
  • Lev 11:42
    ‘Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination.

– – – – –

Heads and Heels and Eyes and “Nos”… Eyes and “Nos”…Eyes and “Nos”….

Genesis 3:15 And I (God) will put enmity (war) between you (Satan) and the woman (from the line of Eve all the way to Mary),
And between your (Satan’s) seed (descendants) and her (Eve’s) Seed;

But women do not have “seed”. In scripture only men have “seed”. Therefore; this is the first statement of a miraculous birth; that a virgin will give birth (have the “seed” of a Male Figure).

He (Jesus, Eve’s descendant from the virgin Mary) shall bruise your (the serpent’s) head (a deadly blow), and you (the serpent) shall bruise His heel (non-deadly: vain attempt to kill).”
  • Concerning the heel: It is non-deadly because it is a vain and an unsuccessful attempt to keep Jesus in the grave.
    • Psalm 2:1 Why do the (gentile) nations rage (the Romans),
    • And the people (the Jewish leaders) (consort together to) plot a vain (empty, impossible, useless) thing? (To kill Jesus and keep Him in the grave).
  • Both Eve’s Seed and the Serpent Satan’s Seed appears during Jesus’ visitation (His first advent to earth).
    • The seed of Mary the virgin, is Jesus.
    • The seed of Satan the serpent, are the Pharisees and Jewish leaders who seek to kill Jesus.
  • Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy in scripture foretelling the redemptive plan of God.
  • @Prophecy Fulfillment Alert: Gal 4:4-5, Matt 1:18 (Seed of a woman – virgin birth) (Old Testament prophecy fulfilled by Jesus)
  • Reminder: Women don’t have “seed”. Only men have “seed”. Therefore it speaks of a “virgin” birth for the seed of a woman.
  • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

@Prophecy Fulfillment Alert: Heb 2:14, I John 3:8 (He will bruise Satan’s head) (Old Testament prophecy fulfilled by Jesus)

  • John 8:44 You (Pharisees) are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
  • I John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
  • Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
  • The seed of the woman through the virgin Mary is Jesus and the seed of the serpent is the Jewish leaders but it is also: Judas who betrayed Jesus.
    • Psalm 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
    • John 13:18 (Jesus Identifies His Betrayer) “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
    • The heel of Satan indwelling Judas wounds Jesus’ heel. But the heel of Jesus destroys the serpent’s power and will ultimately cause him to be thrown into the eternal lake of fire.
  • ►Judas and the Jewish leaders were murderers and liars who were like their father, the devil also called Satan.
    • Who is the seed of Satan? It was (and is) those who commit the unforgivable sin. For details describing the unforgivable sin and the seed of Satan Click on Topic:The Unforgivable Sin” ~Barbara Grover
Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
  • Two curses: Pain in birth and pain in marriage.
    • BIRTH: Although the verse addresses a woman in labor, what can bring forth more pain than one’s own family?
    • The pattern of pain during a birthing process is also used to describe God giving birth to the nation Israel who brings pain to God.
      • Isaiah 66:9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. 
    • MARRIAGE: The word “desire” has been interpreted by men as “to manipulate”. Women do not want to manipulate their men, but rather, they desire to please and promote him because her status is reflected by her husband’s. But if men believe women are manipulative then his thought patterns create a union of enmity. The woman becomes his enemy. He will relate to her in an abusive antagonist manner.

      However; when a woman’s only experience is abusive, then a woman will default to manipulation in order to preserve herself. She will also carry it into her next relationship.
Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
Genesis 3:18-19 “Cursed is the ground for your sake (because of you);
In toil (hard work, sweat) you shall eat of it (from it) all the days of your life.
  • Life is now hard for Adam and Eve; if life gets easy man’s sin nature tends to bend toward misusing God’s blessings for his own sin filled purposes.
Genesis 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
  • When Jesus emptied Himself of His Godhead, He became a man and as a man, He endured the curse of the thorns when the Roman soldiers put a crown of thorns on His head.
Genesis 3:18 And you shall eat the herb of the field.
  • Didn’t they eat the herb of the field before they sinned?
    • Genesis 1:29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
    • Before the fall the ground yielded its fruit gladly in the same way Eve yielded to Adam gladly. However, once sin enters, abuse enters. Now, this same herb which gave nourishment becomes a curse, and now, herbs, or vegetables, are used in scripture to symbolize the world and the sin of the world which is “worldliness”.
    • The curse isn’t reversed until Revelation 22:3 when there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
      • Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.
      • Isaiah 65:25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall bet he serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the Lord.
      • Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
    • By contrast, the fruit of the vine, above the ground, is used symbolically of that which is spiritual.
      • Examples:
        • The Jews wanted to return to Egypt (symbolic of the world and worldliness) to eat their leeks and onions.
          • Deuteronomy 11:10 For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden;
        • King Ahab and Jezebel killed Naboth in order to turn his vineyard into a vegetable garden.
          • I Kings 21:2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.”
          • Note: Ahab wanted to convert a spiritual vineyard into a worldly garden, (symbolically speaking)
        • On the other hand, fruit is like the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit brings forth life.Nehemiah 9:25 And they took strong cities and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all goods, Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, And fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and grew fat, and delighted themselves in Your great goodness.
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face (stress) you shall eat bread (literally: bread/meat/food) till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust (red clay) you shall return.”
  • Gen 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
  • In Hebrew the root of “adom” or “Adam” is “dom” meaning “red” for either red wine or red blood. By adding an “A” to “dam or dom” you have man.
    • Example: Jesus would be speaking Hebrew during the Last Supper when He said:
      Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood (dom) of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Jesus, holding the cup, was speaking on two levels. The listener would hear either a cup of red wine or a cup of red blood).
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s (‘iššâ) name Eve (ḥaûâ h2332), because she was the mother of all living.
  • Eve is called the mother of nations.
    • Gen 2:23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman (Isha h802), Because she was taken out of Man (‘îš.”)
      Isha= wife, female
    • Is= husband
    • ḥaûâ=Chavvâh, causatively from h2331; life-giver (breath); Chavvah, the first woman:—Eve.
    • Traditional Jewish exegesis such as Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 38) says that Adam spoke the Hebrew language (making it the global language before the Tower of Babel) because the names he gives “Eve” is Isha (Book of Genesis 2:23) and Chavva h2332 (Genesis 3:20) – which only make sense in Hebrew.
  • Hebrew therefore is the first language of the world, and the Hebrew alphabet is a living language.
Genesis 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed (covered) them.
  • The tunic of “skin” is a shadow of things to come, when Jesus became the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world.
  • The words “white”, “wool” and “snow” all symbolize purity.
Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (plural),
Genesis 3:22 to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim (angels) at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life (vs the tree of good and evil).
  • Thoughts concerning Gen 3:24
    • Before Adam and Eve sinned they had eternal life. The cells in their body continually regenerated without the decay of age.
    • God could not allow them to live forever in this sinful condition.
    • Since God “drove” them out, they did not go willingly.
    • Since angels guarded the eastern entrance, there must have been only one entrance to the Tree of Life. Today the one and only entrance to the Tree of Life is through believing in the identity (name) of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus the Christ who died, was buried, and rose from the dead to cover the sins of men as a sacrificial sinless Lamb of God. The tree of Law (Good and Evil) is satisfied. When Jesus returns to earth at His second advent He will enter Jerusalem through the eastern gate. Perhaps returning men to the Garden of Eden. It is believed Jerusalem is the location of the original Garden of Eden. The “Eastern Gate” is the only way to God, it is through Jesus the Christ. There are no other ways. The Tree of Life is Jesus who satisfied the tree of Good and Evil, the Law.
    • Adam and Eve sinned before they had children because ALL men are born with innate sin. There are no sinless people.
    • Since Adam and Eve sinned before they had children then they must have eaten from the tree almost immediately following creation because they had perfect bodies and were in the prime of life with teeming hormones. Therefore; Cain was most likely born within the first year in a fallen state: See Timeline BC 3999 BC

SYMBOLIC DICTIONARY OF TERMS IN GENESIS CHAPTER 3:

  1. Adam: Man of Blood
  2. Eve: Living
  3. Eyes Opened: See Revelations
  4. Fig Leaves: Temporary Protection
  5. Fruit: From Above,
  6. Ground: World, Worldliness, Base
  7. Herbs: Vegetables, Of the Ground, Worldly
  8. Man: The Physical Representation of Man
  9. Naked: Vulnerable, Needing Protection
  10. Sea: Sea of People
  11. Seed: Fruit of the Parent, Descendant
  12. Serpent: Lying Predator, Satan
  13. Skin: Covering
  14. Thorns: Curses
  15. Trees: Men
  16. To Cover: Top, Above, Over, Hide, Protect, Neutralize Danger
  17. Tree of Life: Giver of Eternal Life
  18. Tree of Good and Evil: Choices, Law
  19. Woman: The Spiritual Representation of a Man (whether good or evil)
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