Genesis 3:8-15

Genesis 3:8-15
Ordinary B28


They heardA the soundB of the LordC GodD

Notes on verse 8a

A “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
B “sound” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
C “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
D “God” = Elohim.

walkingE in the gardenF at the timeG of the evening breeze,H

Notes on verse 8b

E “walking” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
F “garden” = gan. From ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden in that it is fenced in. It can also be an enclosure.
G “time” = yom. Usually translated day.
H “breeze” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.

and the manI and his wifeJ hidK themselves from the presenceL of the Lord God amongM the treesN of the garden. 

Notes on verse 8c

I “man” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
J “wife” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
K “hid” = chaba. This is to hide, hush, harden (like water freezing), or secret.
L “presence” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
M “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
N “trees” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.

9 But the Lord God calledO to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 

10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid,P because I was naked;Q and I hid myself.” 

Notes on verses 9-10

O “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
P “was afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
Q “naked” = erom. 10x in OT. From ur (o be made naked, exposed, or bare) OR from arom (being shrewd or crafty, cunning; properly, being or making bare). This is nakedness or nudity.

11 He said, “Who toldR you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commandedS you notT to eat?”U 

Notes on verse 11

R “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
S “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
T “not” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.
U “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

12 The man said, “The womanV whom you gave to be withW me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”X

The woman said, “The serpentY trickedZ me, and I ate.” 

Notes on verses 12-13

V “woman” = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v8. See note J above.
W “with” = immad. From im (with, against, before, beside); from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is along with, against, from, mine.
X “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
Y “serpent” = nachash. Perhaps from nachash (to practice divination, learn by experience; to hiss as in whispering a spell). This is a serpent or snake. Used for the Serpent in the garden of Eden.
Z “tricked” = nasha. 15x in OT. This is to deceive, lead astray, trick, or delude.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you among all animalsAA
    and among all wildBB creatures;CC

Notes on verse 14a

AA “animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
BB “wild” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It is used to mean wild like a wild animal.
CC “creatures” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

upon your bellyDD you shall go,EE
    and dustFF you shall eat
    all the days of your life.GG

Notes on verse 14b

DD “belly” = gachon. 2x in OT. Perhaps from giyach (to break, gush like water, give birth). This is belly, used particularly for reptiles or other creatures.
EE “go” = halak. Same as “walking” in v8. See note E above.
FF “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
GG “life” = chay. Same as “creatures” in v14. See note CC above.

15 I will put enmityHH between you and the woman,
    and between your offspringII and hers;JJ

Notes on verse 15a

HH “enmity” = ebah. 5x in OT. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is hatred or hostility.
II “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
JJ “hers” = zera. Same as “offspring” in v15. See note II above.

he will strikeKK your head,LL
    and you will strike his heel.”MM

Notes on verse 15b

KK “strike” = shuph. 4x in OT. This is to gape, bruise, overwhelm, snape at, or cover.
LL “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
MM “heel” = aqeb. 13x in OT. This is heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, or usurper.

Image credit: “Eve” by Marc Chagall, 1958-1968 at the Cathedrale Saint-Etienne in Metz, France.

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