Your Eyes Shall Be Opened, And You Shall Be As God, Knowing Good and Evil — Post by Michael J. Findley

adam and eve cylinder

Eve was deceived. Adam chose his wife above the Word of God and rebelled. God never intended Adam and Eve to experience evil. He desired they only know Him and enjoy Him forever. God wanted them, as He wants us, to fully and intimately know and experience good without the knowledge and experience of evil. Instead of the promised freedom, they had knowledge of the bondage of death.

Adam and Eve now had the full knowledge of good and evil. And the eyes of them both were opened. Nothing externally changed with them. Yet they knew that they were naked. “So what?” They were naked before they ate the fruit and they were still naked. There were no other humans to see their nakedness. Except perhaps for the serpent, the animals did not care. The Lord God had created them and understood them intimately. So why was their first reaction to make aprons of fig leaves? There in the garden, what was wrong with being naked?

The Scriptures do not say, they felt they were naked, but that they knew they were naked. Though they certainly felt shame, the important fact was not the change in the way they felt. Rather it was a change in their understanding.

“Upon this they perceived that they were become naked to one another; and being ashamed thus to appear abroad, they invented somewhat to cover them; for the tree sharpened their understanding; and they covered themselves with fig-leaves; and tying these before them, out of modesty, they thought they were happier than they were before, as they had discovered what they were in want of.” Josephus

The most important point in understanding this passage is not available in English. The Orthodox Jewish Bible contains a number of transliterations of critical words.

And they were both arummim (naked ones), the adam and his isha [woman, wife], and were not ashamed. Now the Nachash [Serpent] was more arum (cunning, crafty, wiley) than any beast of the sadeh … And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were eirummim (naked ones); Bereshis 2:25-3:1& 7 Orthodox Jewish Bible

Now the man and his wife were both naked (nude) and were not ashamed. Now the serpent was more crafty (shrewd) than any beast of the field …Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; (nude) Genesis 2:25-3:1 & 7 (NASB)

I added the words “nude” and “shrewd” to point out that in Hebrew this is the same word in all three places. In the LXX (Septuagint) they are different words, so we know that the English translations are correct for meaning. The LXX and the various translations have the correct meaning, but they miss the important word play. The serpent was also naked (nude) and Adam and Eve were also crafty (shrewd). The serpent was crafty in the sense of naked. We use the word “naked” or “candid” the same way today, as in “the naked truth,” meaning complete and unembellished. Now the serpent was more naked (secondary meaning) than any beast of the field. Yet what he told Eve, though designed to sound honest and truthful, was completely dishonest. This word play also explains the embarrassment of Adam and Eve. They understood that they were tricked, deceived.

English poetry uses rhymes and meter to create images and convey meaning. This is illustrated in the above use of “nude” and “shrewd.” To a lesser extent it uses homophones, words that sound alike but have different meanings, such as road and rode. In the Romeo and Juliet example above, “a grave man,” the word “grave” meaning both “serious” as in seriously injured, and “dead” or in a grave. Hebrew poetry relies much more heavily on wordplays and homophones and the original Hebrew words are a strong example of that.

“Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.” (Hebrews 10:33)

From ISBE “In Hebrews 10:33, ‘gazingstock’ is the translation of theatrizo, ‘to bring upon the theater,’ ‘to be made a spectacle of,’ ‘made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions’; compare 1 Corinthians 4:9, theatron ginomai, where Paul says the apostles were ‘made a spectacle unto the world,’ the King James Version margin ‘(Greek) theater.’ The reference in both instances is to the custom of exhibiting criminals, and especially gladiators, men doomed to death, in theaters. ‘In the morning men are exposed to lions and bears; at mid-day to their spectators; those that kill are exposed to one another; the victor is detained for another slaughter; the conclusion of the fight is death.’ (Seneca, Ep. vii, quoted by Dr. A. Clarke on 1 Corinthians 4:9). We are apt to forget what the first preachers and professors of Christianity had to endure.”

Adam and Eve were therefore made aware that they were exposed, nude, to the entire spiritual world. Possibly spiritual beings, such as Angels, had been observing them all along, and those in rebellion with Satan were already jealous of their relationship with God and lustful over them, watching them the way wild beasts and gladiators in the arena sized up their future prey or opponents.

Graham Hancock (In Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind) has a different point of view which actually might support this. In His book Supernatural, he believes that the fruit Adam and Eve ate “sharpened their understanding” (Josephus) through a psychotropic effect. In some way it gave them what we would call a “high” that opened doors to spiritual understanding.

There is an anthropological and archaeological theory, briefly outlined in Chapter One, that seems to offer at least a partial answer to this question. According to this theory prehistoric rock and cave art around the world expresses mankind’s first and oldest notions of the supernatural, of the “soul”, and of realms of existence beyond death – notions that took shape in “altered states of consciousness” most likely brought on by the consumption of psychoactive plants.

It allowed them to “see” things that our material eyes cannot see, such as angels with them in the garden. This position also believes that it required personal discipline, and a level of maturity which they did not have yet.

One example of this is when the king of Aram sent troops to Dothan to capture Elisha and surrounded the city. “Horses and chariots and a great army” arrived at Dothan “by night and surrounded the city. Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So [Elisha] answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:14-17 NASB

Real is not the same as material. Elisha and his servant could see very real horses and chariots of firs. There were real, but not material. The dreams of Pharaoh, Joseph and Nebucadnezzar were all real, but not material. Each of these dreams predicted events that came to pass.

When God finished creating the heavens and the earth at the end of the sixth day, everything was “very good.” Psychotropic plants and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were created “very good.” Cars and aircraft are good but we do not want four year olds driving or piloting them. Adam and Eve were not yet ready for these experiences.

The Book of Enoch is not considered inspired but it is believed to have been written in ancient times. It speaks about spiritual beings who observed Heaven and also Earth, and could look at God’s and man’s activities there. It also hints at what may have been Satan’s original rebellion.

From Chapter 2

1. “All who are in the heavens know what is transacted there … without transgressing the commands, which they have received.”

2. “They behold the earth, and understand what is there transacted, from the beginning to the end of it.”

From Chapter 5

“But you endure not patiently, nor fulfill the commandments of the Lord; but you transgress and calumniate his greatness; and malignant are the words in your polluted mouths against his Majesty. You withered in heart, no peace shall be to you!”

5. “Therefore your days shall you curse, and the years of your lives shall perish; perpetual execration shall be multiplied, and you shall not obtain mercy.”

If this is correct, that fallen angels observed and lusted after Adam and Eve, then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. Genesis 3:7 NASB means that Adam and Eve for the first time understood lust. The inadequate sewing of fig leaves together shows their feeble attempt to control lust.

God not only agreed that Adam and Eve correctly understood the situation, but showed them that there was nothing they could do to atone for their sin. The LORD God killed an animal, an animal they had been able to talk to, but which had to die to provide an adequate covering. This leather covering was necessary to atone for their sin as well as to hide their nakedness.

Also, they knew that they were naked the same way that later Adam knew his wife Eve and she bore children. The word “knew” is the same word in both instances. Adam understood lust.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:13-15

The immediate result of Adam eating the fruit was the understanding of sexual lust. The overwhelming desire to cover their nakedness is explained by the tradition of other spiritual beings walking in the garden. These other beings had already seen Adam and Eve naked, but Adam had just unleashed lust on the universe. Perhaps Adam opened a pathway or at least a means of communication between our universe and this nonmaterial world of evil. Perhaps this gives us the real identity of the “Ancient teachers of mankind” Graham Hancock speaks of.

Excerpted From Conflict of the Ages, Part Two The Origin of Evil in the World That Was  (Coming soon from Findley Family Video Publications).

Image from Wikimedia Commons: An artifact known as the “Adam and Eve Tablet” was excavated from Iraq in 1846 and is now part of the British Museum collection. It is dated to be from 2200 BC and is identified as a Sumerian seal tablet. It includes a man and a woman seated on either side of a tree, with a serpent also present in the image.

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