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Don Stewart :: What Did the Serpent Promise Eve?

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Don Stewart
In the biblical account of the Fall we are told that Satan promised Eve that she would become as God, knowing good from evil, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. What exactly did Eve understand by that promise of the Devil?

Satan's Lie

Though Satan's words were literally true, it meant something very different from what he promised. God knows evil only to hate it. He does not know evil experientially. Innocent humanity could only know about evil by being able to participate it in. This discovery would cause their ultimate demise.

Doubt The Word Of God

Satan cast doubt on God's Word and character. He denied that God had Eve's best interest in mind. According to the serpent, God was holding something back from Adam and Eve that eating from the tree would provide them. The irony is that Adam and Eve were already like God in the sense they were created in His image (Genesis 1:26).

Become Deity

The serpent told Eve that she would become like God in some manner if she ate from the forbidden tree. Some have interpreted this to mean that Satan promised Eve that she would become a god if she ate of the fruit - that is she would actually become Deity.

God Or gods

The Hebrew word used here (Elohim) is plural and can mean either God or gods. Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Eve may have thought she could become exactly as God - in all His ways - once she ate the forbidden fruit.

Wisdom Apart From God

It is also likely that Eve believed that by eating the fruit she could gain wisdom apart from the wisdom God had given her. Though she would not necessarily have the attributes of God, she would attain wisdom apart from that which God had provided. Therefore the temptation was a desire for wisdom apart from God.

Did Not Trust God

Whatever Eve's motivation was, she did not trust God about what He had told her concerning the wisdom and good He had provided. She simply did not believe God.

Act Independent Of God

The logical result of eating the forbidden fruit is that Eve thought she could somehow become independent from God. She would no longer have the need for God once she understood good and evil as He understood it.

Summary

There are several possible answers as to the type of knowledge the serpent promised Eve that she would receive if she ate the forbidden fruit.

1.She may have thought that she could actually become divine.

2.The temptation may have been that Eve could gain a certain type of wisdom, becoming Deity.

3. Eve assumed that once she ate the fruit she would have an independence from God that she did not previously have.

Whatever the case may be, Satan was casting doubt on God's Word and character by telling Eve that God did not have her best interest in mind. Unfortunately, she believed him rather than God.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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