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Translation - Genesis 3

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Genesis 2:25-3:24

A Translation and Commentary

Frank A. Shirvinski, Ph.D (ABD)

225And the two of them, the man and his wife, were naked (œárûmmîm), yet they were not ashamed. 

31The serpent was the shrewdest (œärûm)[a], of all the animals of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’”  2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of trees of the garden we may eat.  3But from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, 'You shall not eat from it and you must not touch it, lest you die. ’”  4The serpent said to the woman, “You will not certainly die.”[b]  5For God knows that on the day when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you (pl) will be like God knowing good and bad.  6The woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate, and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate.  7Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked (œêrümmïm); and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves coverings.

8They heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden at the breezy (time) of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God among the midst of the trees of the garden.  9And the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”  10He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid since I am naked, so I hid.”  11The he said, “Who told you that you were naked?  Did you eat of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?  12The man said, “The woman which you placed with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.”  13The Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done!”  And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  14The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are more cursed than all cattle and all animals of the field; on your belly you will go and you will eat the dust of the earth all the days of your life.  15I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring.  He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.”  16To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; in pain you will bear children, yet your longing will be for your husband and he shall rule over you.”  17To the man[c] he said, “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and you have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it,’ cursed be the ground because of you!  In pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.  18Thorns and thistles it shall sprout for you and you shall eat the grasses of the field.  19By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, because from it you were taken.  For dust you are and to dust you shall return.” 

20The man named his wife Eve[d], because she was the mother of all the living.  21The Lord God made garments of skins for the man and his wife and clothed them.  22Then the Lord God said, "Since the man has become as one of us, knowing good from bad, now what if he stretches out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!"  23So the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to till the land from which he was taken.  24He drove the man out and stationed to the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the flaming, ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.


[a] Note the play on words in Hebrew.  œrm is translated as both 'shame' and 'naked.'

[b] The Hebrew construction is ambiguous as the English translation.  Does this strange construction mean, 'You will certainly not die!' or 'It is not certain that you will die?'  Perhaps, the serpent is giving a different interpretation to the Divine punishment.  i.e. "Not 'certainly die', but…"

[c] Or Adam.

[d] Heb. Chavah, 'living.'

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