I now revisit the narratives relating to temptation in Genesis 2 and 3.
Genesis 2:7-9 records: “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
After the creation of man, “out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” According to this verse, every tree was pleasant to the sight and good for food, including the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
However, “the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Even though the tree of knowledge of good and evil was originally pleasant to the sight and good for food, God’s command to man prohibited man from eating of it. However, if man was disobedient and wilfully ate of it, then not only man but also the whole of humanity would perish and die, for all humankind may be said to be residing in this one man. This seems to be the implication in the Septuagint, as the word for ‘you’ in ‘you shall not eat’, ‘you shall eat’ and ‘dying you die’, in Genesis 17 quoted above, is in the plural, while the ‘you’ in Genesis 16 is in the singular. The Hebrew Masoretic Text, however, has the ‘you’ in the singular emphasising the personal, though the consequence would include all humankind.
Herein is the first introduction and communication in Scripture of the dynamics of action and consequence, cause and effect, sowing and reaping.
The harsh take concerning God’s relationship to man and man’s relationship to God seems to be unequivocal: Disobey God’s command and the consequence is death. There are no two ways about it.
The serpent came into being after God this gave command to Adam. However, being more “crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made”, it must have gotten an inkling or some knowledge pertaining to the command given. How else would it have been able to initiate the temptation of Eve with the opening words of “Did God actually say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
The Septuagint and the Masoretic Text record the ‘you’, in Genesis 3:3, as plural, in Eve’s reply, “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
“4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Although the serpent was speaking to the woman, Adam was with her. As such, I suspect that the writer was inferring that the serpent was also surreptitiously addressing Adam, hence, the plural ‘you’.
Eve responded on her own, and “saw that tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise”.
The tree was indeed good for food, except that God had commanded that it was not to be eaten.
The tree was a delight to the eyes as God grew it to be pleasant to the eyes.
The tree was to make one wise? That could have been Eve’s presumption, or sensing in her spirit. Or, was it her personal understanding and take of the tree, being the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
But, how far wrong or right was Eve?
 Genesis 2:16-17 ESV
 φαγεσθε ‘eating’ Greek second person plural
 φαγητε ‘eating’ Greek second person plural
 αποθανεισθ ‘you die’ Greek second person plural
 φαγη ‘eat’ Greek second person singular
 Ezekiel 18:4 “The soul who sins shall die” ESV
 Subtle, cunning
 Genesis 3:1
 φαγητε ‘you eat’ Greek second person plural
 Greek second person plural
 Genesis 3:2-3 ESV
 Greek second person plural
 Greek second person plural
 Genesis 3:6
 Hebrew שָׂכַל sakal – to be circumspect, intelligent, to have insight Strong’s H7919
For, just by being able to discern between good and evil does not necessarily make one wise. Wisdom is much more than this. Wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement”. Eve’s consequent choices of eating the fruit from the tree, giving the fruit to Adam and blaming the serpent for it, on hindsight, definitely exhibits a lack of wisdom, prudence, circumspection and good judgement.
It is my understanding, that in so doing, Eve was seduced by, and succumbed to, her lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and her pride of life, written of, in1 John 2:15-17: “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.”
It was the combination of being seduced by all of these elements,
1.Good to eat – lust of the flesh
2.Delight to the eyes – lust of the eyes
3.Make one wise – pride of life
That inevitably led her to succumb to her temptation, fail her testing of fidelity to God, and disobey God’s command.
According to Paul, the serpent deceived Eve but that did not mean that she was without fault. For Eve allowed herself to be seduced by and to succumb to her lusts and pride. She chose, freely and willingly. Eve is accountable.
Eve always had an alternative. For in all choices there is always one or more alternative choices. When she was tempted, Eve could have chosen the path of obedience, instead of disobedience.
She could have chosen to set her mind and heart on Yahweh 'elohiym, which would have resulted in her tasting and seeing that Yahweh is truly good, in comparison to the fruit of the tree that was good for food that she took and ate.
Eve could have set her eyes on Yahweh 'elohiym and make Yahweh her delight and Yahweh would have granted the desires of her heart, rather than act on her own, without Yahweh, and be left unfulfilled.
Instead of merely becoming wise without Yahweh, she lost acquiring true and genuine wisdom from Yahweh. For it is only Yahweh Who gives wisdom.
There were other trees in the garden, pleasant to the eyes and good for food. Why suddenly, the ignition of soaring flames of consuming desire and passion to eat from this particular tree at that moment? I believe that it was in that moment that her desires metamorphosed into lust. For, I believe, in that moment Eve made the choice to disobey God’s command, to satisfy all her desires, solely for herself, without thought of consequence that would follow, without consideration for God or Adam, who was beside her. That was also the moment, I believe, when self-deception came into being within her, and her pride of life, without God, reared its head, that Eve was self-seduced, resulting in her succumbing to her lusts and pride.
Eve could have chosen not to act at that moment. She could have chosen to verify or clarify all that the serpent had spoken of. She could have deferred from acting until she had consulted with either Adam or God or both. Her choice might have been different, if it had been a more informed choice.
These, however remain unrealised possibilities, matters and events, after the fact. The fact of the narrative is that Eve chose to eat the fruit, in that moment.
Note that the serpent here is not Satan or the Devil. Genesis 3:1 records that this serpent was a beast of the field that God had made: “And the serpent was cunning above every animal of the field which Jehovah God had made.” Furthurmore, Genesis 3:14 records: “The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the cattle, And more than any animal of the field; On your belly you shall go, And dust you shall eat All the days of your life.”
As such, any allusion whatsoever to Satan or the Devil being the serpent in this narrative, to my mind, is therefore untenable and insupportable. For to take that position would imply:
So why did the serpent do it? What could possibly be the motive to, intention of and benefit for the serpent doing this? What did the serpent hope to gain from all this?
I believe that the answers will reveal themselves as we examine the original and initial fundamental relationship between humankind and the serpent.
In Genesis 1:26-28 it is recorded, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness! Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the land.” God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land, and conquer it. Rule over the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the sky, and over every animal that crawls on the
Adam and Eve were created to rule “over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the land.” The serpent was under their rule.
If they died and had no descendants, then human rule over the serpent would end. Should such an event happen, I believe the serpent would have achieved its primary objective of obtaining freedom from human rule. And, “being cunning above every animal of the field which Jehovah God had made”, probably, through its cunning, subsequently rule over all the other creatures, in place of human rule.
God’s commandment to Adam was very simple and strict – “ of the tree…you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, dying, you will die.” It does not matter whether you were deceived into eating of it, or was careless, that you ate of it. Your intentions are irrelevant and are not mitigating factors should you eat of it. For, “in the day that you eat of it, dying, you will die.” God’s stringent and unyielding command was clear.
Hence, for the serpent, whatsoever means, underhanded or otherwise, to get Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, were to be utilised to achieve the serpent’s goal of freedom from human rule.
If so, I believe, the serpent’s motive, intention and benefit in this temptation narrative may be grasped with clarity.
The serpent’s motive was first to deceive the woman, by telling her that by eating of the tree, “you(both she and Adam-plural you) shall not dying die”.
The serpent’s intention was to kill both Adam and Eve. It was somehow aware that if Adam and Eve were to eat of the tree, according to God’s commandment, they, within the day of the occurrence, dying, shall die. As far as it was aware, what God has said, God will and must do, for God must keep his word.
The serpent’s benefit, to be gained, was freedom from human rule, to which God had subjected it. What a goal, what a prize, Freedom! For freedom, even today, for many, no sacrifice, price or means is too much. For the serpent, its goal, freedom, justifies all means, even manipulating and seeking, through its cunning, Yahweh 'elohiym’s command, to advance its own purposes, objectives and goals, at the expense, suffering or death of others, in this case, humankind.
I believe that Jesus was alluding to when he used the expression “You serpents, you offspring of vipers” on the Scribes and Pharisees in his rebuke of and woes on them on their conduct, when they should know better: “For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them.” Jesus also identified the Pharisees and Sadducees, at his baptism, as, “You offspring of vipers,” implying that they manipulate and used Yahweh’s commands for their own advantage at the expense of others.
But Eve took of the fruit and ate. Then, she gave the fruit to her husband, Adam, who was with her, and he ate. The serpent’s plan seemed to be bearing fruit.
And the serpent would have succeeded, if God had not stood firm and honoured “the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ”, “God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom once hidden, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”
For Yahweh(יְהֹוָה)'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) honoured this mystery in Christ, by exercising mercy, grace and love, over His commandment, towards Adam and Eve. In place of death, arising from the sin of disobedience, Yahweh(יְהֹוָה)'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) forgave, in mercy, grace, love and gave life.
Such has always been the Nature and Being of Yahweh(יְהֹוָה) 'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים), Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, that I have seen in Genesis Revisited.
I see this too, in the Person of Christ Jesus whom I have encountered, Incarnate Son of and in Yahweh(יְהֹוָה) 'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים),Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit.
Yahweh 'elohiym Triune God’s blessing rest on you today.
 Oxford Dictionary
 2 Corinthians 11:3
 1 Timothy 2:14
 Psalm 34:8
 Pslam 37:4
 שָׂכַל sâkal - to be prudent, be circumspect, to be insightful Strong’s H7919
 Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - חׇכְמָה chokmâh Strong’s H2451 See Proverbs 2:6
 Proverbs 2:6. Contrast with Luke 2:52 where Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. 2 Chronicles 1:9-12 Yahweh granting Solomon wisdom.
 Green’s Literal Translation
 Amplified Bible AMP
 Genesis 3:1
 Please refer to my previous post genesis Revisited (3)
 See footnote 18 and 19
 Genesis 3:4
 See my previous post Genesis Revisited (3) on the Sadducees and Pharisees at his baptism. Matthew 3:7
 Matthew 23:33 WEB Jesus also used the phrase “You offspring of vipers,”
 Matthew 23:1-33
 Matthew 23:4 WEB
 Ephesians 1:9 AMP
 1 Corinthians 2:7
 Exodus 33:19, Exodus 34:5,6 See also my previous post Genesis Revisited (3)
 John 1:16 literally “grace anti grace” – Greek :”χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος – charis anti charistos”
 I John 4:9 By this God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. WEB World English Bible