3 1The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 2The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. 3It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’ ” 4The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. 5God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” 6When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. 8When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God. 9God called to the Man: “Where are you?” 10He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” 11God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” 12The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.” God said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?” 13“The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.” 14God told the serpent: “Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed, cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals, Cursed to slink on your belly and eat dirt all your life. 15I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.” 16He told the Woman: “I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth; you’ll give birth to your babies in pain. You’ll want to please your husband, but he’ll lord it over you.” 17He told the Man: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree That I commanded you not to eat from, ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’ The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you’ll be working in pain all your life long. 18The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, 19sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.” 20The Man, known as Adam, named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living. 21God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them. 22God said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree–of–Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!” 23So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. 24He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel–cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree–of–Life.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About