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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Bible does not actually reveal us the origin of evil. We get the first glimpse of it in this text: he is the adversary of God who comes to this world in the form of a snake. Notice that the serpent was not a disgusting reptile as may consider it today but a stately animal. God had given his Word to the man who had passed it on to his woman (2:16-17), but the serpent started ridiculing and attacking that Word.

The origin of evil
  • Why do you think the Bible does not reveal us the exact origin of evil?
  • When you look at verse 1, which of these three explanations do you consider as the best:
    • a) God and Satan have both always existed.
    • b) Both good and evil came from God.
    • c) God made Satan as a good angel, but he fell into sin and changed into an evil creature. Give your reasons to your answer.

  • What happens to a Christian who starts to consider evil as one of God’s qualities, sort of his “dark side”?

    The serpent and the woman
  • Why didn’t the serpent turn first to Adam, the head of the family?
  • Where did the woman get the idea that they shouldn’t even touch the forbidden fruit (3)?
  • In what ways did the serpent try to make the woman doubt God’s word and his love?
  • In which respect/issues did the serpent lie, in which respect/issues did he speak the truth?
  • In which ways do people in our day strive to become like God (5)?
  • Did the woman see the truth about the fruit or was she perhaps mistaken (6)? Give your reasons.
  • Compare your own struggle with sin to the struggle of the first woman. Whose circumstances are harder, whose battle is fiercer?
  • At which point did Adam arrive to the scene (6b)?
  • What does it reveal of Adam that he did not halt/ stop the conversation between his wife and the Snake?
  • Why did the wife want to drag even her husband to the fall with herself?
  • What made Adam grasp the forbidden fruit his wife was offering him?
  • How do you think the forbidden fruit tasted in the mouths of Adam and his wife?
  • What kinds of knowledge and what kinds of experiences belong even today to the sphere of “forbidden fruit” (5-6)?
  • Even when people know that such knowledge and experiences are harmful, why do they still pursue or participate in them?

  • God had threatened that a sinner would “surely die” (2:17). Why didn’t Adam and his wife drop dead at once?
  • What does it mean that “the eyes of Adam and his wife were opened” (7)?
  • Why did nakedness, which had been a positive thing up till then, suddenly become something shameful (7 and 10, cf. 2:25)?
  • What does it show of the man and the woman that they hid themselves from the Lord?
  • Why did God scold the man first, although the woman had locked him into sin (9-11)?
  • What do you think about the answers Adam and his wife gave to their Creator (12-13)?
  • What happened to the great love of the first couple on earth?

  • What were the consequences of the fall a) to Satan and b) to (biological) reptiles (14-15)?
  • Verse 15 has been called the first gospel in the Bible. Try to find as many features as possible what is reveals about the coming Saviour?
  • How do you think would have been the relation between woman and her man on one side, and woman and her child on the other side, had there never been any fall (16)?
  • What was the actual sin of man, and how does it actualize/ materialize/ become visible/ in our day (17a)?
  • How did the fall affect/ what kind of effect did the fall have on creation: animals and plants?
  • Why did the man want to give his wife the name “the mother of all living”, although she had brought death into this world?

    Summarizing questions:
  • What happens to the concept of “God” and to the concept of “man” if the fall is thought to be just a non-historical legend?
  • This question you can answer in your heart: What did this text reveal to you about your relationship to God, Satan and other people?

    THE GOSPEL: “The seed/ offspring of a woman” in verse 15 refers to Jesus, who was born from a virgin. Satan pierced his heels with nails on the cross, but he crushed Satan’s head when he rose from the dead. This is how Jesus repaired everything the fall had broken.

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