Genesis 3:1-3:24 – Observations

Observations

  • 3:1 – aroom (cunning) – Wordplay with arumeem (naked) in 2:25.
  • 3:1 – Structure ABXB’A’ – Serpent → was cunning → all the creatures of the field → had made → LORD God
  • 3:1 – af (also, nostril)
  • 3:1 – Is this a leading question? Does the serpent already know the answer? If so, how would he know it?
  • 3:3 – Escalation of verbs with negative connotations. You will not eat → You will not touch → You will die.
  • 3:3 – Rewording of what God said in 2:16-2:17. Original regulation said nothing about touching it and emphasized the death (surely die).
  • 3:3 – Tree referred to by location, not by name or function. “Tree in the midst of the garden” compared with “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (2:9,17)
  • 3:4 – lo moth thimuthoon (you shall surely not die) – Serpent takes the line of death to the other extreme. Surely die (2:17) → die (3:3) → surely not die (3:4).
  • 3:5 – Serpent rewords the warning into a temptation by making the additions “Your eyes will be opened” and “You will be as God.” Is he lying, exaggerating or false advertising?
  • 3:5 – Serpent knows all about the fruit. Question in 3:1 was simply a leading question.
  • 3:6 – Three consecutive positive descriptions of the fruit, each aspect appeals to a different need: physical (good for food), intellectual (wisdom), beauty (good to see). Were all three rationales influenced only by the serpents one argument? Or was this already in her mind?
  • 3:6 – Four active verbs in rapid succession, took…ate…took..ate.
  • 3:6 – imah (with her) – Was the husband standing next to her during the dialogue with the serpent?
  • 3:6 – Amount of time given to Man deliberating and eating is insignificant compared to woman.
  • 3:7 – There eyes were opened and they saw they were naked. Did they not realize they were naked before this?
  • 3:7 – They both get their sight simultaneously, not at the moment of eating the fruit.
  • 3:6b-7 – The verbs flow together in simple phrases. Took…ate…took…ate…opened…knew…sew…made. However, the first set are singular, the second set are plural.
  • 3:8a – in the breezy time of day → most likely afternoon. At what time of day did they eat the fruit? And how long were they hiding from God and from each other?
  • 3:8b – vayithchabay (hid himself) – Since this is singular it indicates the man hid himself and his wife. Was it only the man who did the hiding?
  • 3:9 – Question directed to the man.
  • 3:8-9 – God pacing about and seeking Man indicates a sense of helplessness and anxiety.
  • 3:10 – Three first person pronouns in successive verbs. I heard…I saw…I hid.
  • 3:11 – New name for the tree…”the tree which I commanded you not to eat”
  • 3:11 – Asking who told you that you were naked implies that even God knew they weren’t naked before.
  • 3:9-11 – Are these three questions leading or rhetorical?
  • 3:10-11 – Repetition of ayroom (naked)
  • 3:12 – New name for Woman → “The woman which you gave to be with me”. As opposed to the earlier references of “flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone” and “complimentary helper.”
  • 3:12-13 – In both arguments, long description of being tricked followed by a quick “I ate.” Contrast this with 3:6 which shows the rationale in eating.
  • 3:13 – Was she really tricked?
  • 3:14 – No opportunity for defense is given to the serpent. Instead an extended curse.
  • 3:15 – vehayvah (hostility)
  • 3:15 – Hostility between the future generations of woman and serpent. Why them? Strong emphasis given both to the scope and the extent of the hostility.
  • 3:16 – harbah arbeh (greatly multiply) – Emphasis on the multiplication.
  • 3:16 – ..behzehv (your pain…in pain) – Repetition and emphasis on the pain.
  • 3:16 – vehayronayk (groanings, labor) – Bearing children is painful.
  • 3:16 – thishuqathek (longing/urge) – Desire for or desire to possess/control. Vav is “And” or “But” he shall rule depending on the understanding of the desire.
  • 3:16 – Was Man ruling over Woman before this moment?
  • 3:17 – Contrast is created between hearing the voice of his wife and following God’s command. Emphasis is not on the tree itself.
  • 3:17 – Ground is cursed because of Man. Repetition of pain/toil. Producing food is painful.
  • 3:17 – New name for the tree – Tree of which God commanded not to eat.
  • 3:17 – Man is given a clear rationale for his punishment. No detailed reason for judgment described for Woman and Serpent. Serpent is only told “because you have done this.”
  • 3:18-19 – Extended emphasis on the toil of Man.
  • 3:18 – Man now eating herb of the field filled with thorns and thistles contrasts with eating of every tree in 2:16 and every herb and tree with fruit in 1:29.
  • 3:19b – Structure ABB’A’ – You return → to the ground → because from it you were taken → because dust are you → to dust → you return. Emphasis is on the fact that Man is nothing more than dust.
  • 3:20 – New names for Woman → “Havva” and “the mother of all living”
  • 3:21 – God made clothes and clothed them.
  • 3:22 – cehachad mimehnu (as one of us) – Who is the group of people God is speaking to? The same group as in 1:26 when God created Man. Why is this group only involved in the discussions concerning the fate of Man?
  • 3:22 – Successive verbs in Man’s actions. Send his hand…take…eat…live.
  • 3:22 – Is it “knowing good and evil” or being “like one of us” that necessitates preventing Man from living forever?
  • 3:22 – The serpent did not lie in 3:5. God acknowledges that Man has become like him. Eve was not tricked by the Serpent.
  • 3:22 – Only reference to the tree of life other than its creation. Was Man and Woman taking from this tree all along? There was no regulation against this tree.  Now it seems a regulation will be instantiated.
  • 3:22b-23 – God’s stated sentence concerning Man eating the tree of life doesn’t actually end. It begins with the condition (protasis), but no consequential action (apodosis) is stated. The action in 3:23 is implied to be the apodosis.
  • 3:23 – Man is now forced to work the ground contrasting with the fact he was taken from it.
  • 3:24 – vagaresh (drove out) – Contrast with vashalkhayhu (and he sent him out). Combined with the cherubeem with the flaming sword, this indicates a much stronger emphasis on the aggression of God.
  • 3:24 – Structure ABXB’A’ – Drove out the Man → Dwell at the entrance → Cherubeem and flaming sword → Turn side to side → Guard the way to the tree of life. Emphasizes the huge separation between man and the tree of life. The Garden itself is not the concern so much as the tree of life.

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