Genesis chapter three begins the second major division of Genesis – The Fall. Chapters three through five contain the story of The Fall of Man. We immediately meet the adversary, the serpent (Genesis 3:1). Then we read about the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-6); and the result of their sin:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7)
Note the difference in this verse and the last verse of chapter two:
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)
In chapter two, God set the stage to reveal man’s fallibility (man’s capacity to sin) – if Grace is withheld. God gave man His Law; but He also gave man a choice. Without the restraint of God’s Grace, man will always sin. (See James 1:13-15.)
Back to chapter three, God is now seeking Adam and Eve. We see the results of sin. God identifies Adam and Eve’s sin and their situation (Genesis 3:10-13). God then pronounces judgment – first on the serpent (Genesis 3:14-15); then on Eve (Genesis 3:16); and lastly, on Adam (Genesis 3:7-19).
Until this point, we have only known Eve as “the woman.” Then in verse 20:
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
Next we see God preaching Grace to man. God clothed Adam and Eve with the bloody skins of animals; the innocent dying for the guilty (Genesis 3:21). After this, God guarded the Tree of Life; and He sent Adam and Eve from the Garden (Genesis 3:22-24).
We will look at two main thoughts to present here:
1) For the first main thought, go to verse 16c: “…thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
The first part of this verse is: “thy desire shall be to thy husband.” According to some scholars of the Hebrew language, the word “desire” is not first sexual, but God placed in a woman an innate need of a man. It is in her makeup to lean on, to have need of, a man as her head; to guide her, to protect her, to appreciate her, to love her, to teach her (truth); and to provide for her both physically and spiritually.
This has been in the very inner fabric of every female, first to her daddy and then to her husband. (See 1 Corinthians 7:25-30.) It first has nothing to do with sex, but it has to do with headship and covering and provision. (Note: the Hebrew word translated “desire” is the same word used in Genesis 4:7; about the right of the first-born: “…and unto thee shall be his (Abel’s) desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”)
Remember Adam was charged by God to dress and keep the garden; have dominion over God’s creation (Genesis 2:5-25); and even to be over his wife, being first and head. (See 1 Timothy 1:10-14.) Therefore, it is natural for a wife to be the help-meet. That is, to help her husband, not to dress and keep the garden. Her thrust; her primary focus is to help her husband do his job and carry out his position. (See Ephesians 5:22-33.)
The second part of this verse is: “and he shall rule over thee.” That is, the husband is to be her head; see Ephesians 5:22-33 for the definition. Also see 1 Peter 3:1-8; the husband is to dwell with his wife in knowledge. He is to represent Christ; and do as Christ does for His Bride, His Body, the Church.
2) The second main thought is found in verse 21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
God reveals His Eternal Purpose in the covering of man’s sin by the sacrifice of the innocent for the guilty; and that covering is applied by God Himself. (By the way, this is the first use of “Jehovah”; which reveals God as Savior, Redeemer, Joshua, even Jesus; Matthew 1:21). So in Genesis 2:21, it was the LORD Jehovah, that sought out the sinners Adam and Eve; not man seeking God. Man’s response was to run and hide from God, and try by his own works to cover his nakedness by sewing fig leaves together for clothing. But Salvation (Reconciliation, Redemption, and Justification) is by God alone – it is called Grace (Hallelujah!)
God taught to the first man and woman that:
1) Grace first is Sovereign.
2) Grace is Unmerited Favor in lieu of their sin debt and curse (Genesis 1:26-27).
3) Grace (or Salvation) is revealed in The Sacrifice for man; which is Christ, The Substitute and Sacrifice, and therefore The Savior. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesian 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; etc.)
God revealed that His Salvation was individual, to whomsoever He chooses (Ephesians 1:4-11; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22); that is, to all the Elect (John 6:37). Man does not seek God; but God seeks His own, His Sheep (John 10:1-31).
“Unto Adam also and to his wife”; the conjunction “and” is so beautiful. Why? Because both Adam and Eve were included in His Eternal Purpose in Christ; both husband and wife were included.