The serpent is to blame for Eve’s sin.

In previous posts, I ask if Eve is culpable for her sin. Was she formed second to provide a way for Jesus to be born of Adam, yet without Adam’s sin? The first reason why I question her culpability is that the nature of her sin is different than Adam’s. The second is that the serpent is to blame for her sin.

In the past, I’ve been taught, and taught myself, that Adam and Eve excused and blame-shifted their sin to others. But here is a different idea. What if Eve was telling the truth?

 And he [God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

 Who deserves the blame?

Adam, who knows God intimately, not only blame-shifts; he distorts the truth. He blames God through Eve, and never mentions the serpent. “The woman YOU put here with me,” he says. This shows his heart had rebelled. His loyalty has shifted. God does not deserve the blame. Adam chose to eat for his own reasons. By placing God as the source of his own sin, God becomes his enemy.

But if you accept that Eve was totally deceived, and ate out of ignorance and in good faith, her answer is truthful. “The serpent deceived me!” Its true. Eve believed eating was for the best because of Satan’s lies. Satan deserved the blame. Without his slick words, Eve would have continued in obedience. By placing Satan as the source of her sin, the serpent becomes her enemy. And rightfully.

Eve tells the truth.

God confirms Eve’s answer is true. To the serpent He says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman; and between your offspring and hers. God recognizes that in naming the serpent as the reason for her sin, Eve had declared war against the source of evil, Satan. Eve is not God’s enemy. She is Satan’s enemy. Enmity occurs because one party is resisting another. They are at odds. They want differing things. The “woman” fights back. She is Satan’s curse.  The woman’s descendants would be at war with Satan’s children.

God nowhere says that Eve’s sorrowful and oppressed part is “because” she has done anything. Rather, from the highly honoring words regarding Eve the Almighty has just addressed to the Serpent we have sufficient reasons for concluding that all this might result to Eve because God has elevated her to the honorable position of an enemy of Satan and progenitor of the coming Messiah. (Katharine Bushnell, God’s Word to Women, paragraph 94.)

Whereas Adam, in pointing at God, distorted the truth and joined the devil in opposing God. Unlike Eve, he protected the serpent. He never mentioned the snake’s part! Instead, Adam showed his contempt for God and threw his wife under the bus. He became like his new father, a liar.

Conclusion

God tells the serpent that his enemy, Eve, will be the source of his ultimate demise. This declaration marks the difference between Adam and Eve. Adam as firstborn of the human race, will father humans like himself: liars and cohorts with Satan. Woman will alone mother One full of truth to oppose and defeat the snake.

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26 thoughts on “The serpent is to blame for Eve’s sin.

  1. [The first reason why I question her culpability is that the nature of her sin is different than Adam’s. The second is that the serpent is to blame for her sin.]

    Wow! You’ve come a long way, baby! To the point that Eve is no longer responsible for her direct disobedience to the truth she knew God had said (3:2-3), and was also not culpable because she, in ignorance, believed Satan’s deceptive twist on truth and acted upon it.

    How does this line up with God’s “ruling” concerning sins of ignorance – as found in Lev. 5:17?

    “And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; THOUGH HE WIST IT NOT, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.” (emphasis mine)

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  2. “Eve believed eating was for the best because of Satan’s lies.”

    Hmmmm…”for the best”….let’s see what Satan sold Eve, and what she believed. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    Whose best? Not God’s. HERS. She rebelled against God, whether she was deceived or not.

    God’s response to all 3 players reveals that they all 3 shared the blame. (with Adam ultimately responsible for passing death and the sin nature to mankind, as is revealed in later revelation)

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    1. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. ” This is what she believed to be true.

      1 Timothy says she broke the law-transgressed because she was thoroughly deceived. A deceived person believes something to be true that isn’t. She did not rebel. That requires intentionality. She did not purposefully break the law. Adam, who was not deceived, broke the law on purpose.

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      1. I agree, there was a difference in the severity of the sin. Eve was deceived, Adam was willful. But, I’m just saying that the REASON Eve sinned was because she bought the lie that she could be like God – and that God was holding out on her. Those are wicked things to believe!

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    2. “Eve believed eating was for the best because of Satan’s lies.”

      Hmmmm…”for the best”….let’s see what Satan sold Eve, and what she believed. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

      Whose best? Not God’s. HERS. She rebelled against God, whether she was deceived or not.
      ———————————

      I don’t understand WHY the upset over this. Its plain as day. YES when you are deceived you believe it is the best. Isn’t that part of the definition of deceived?

      Let’s see: 1. (of a person) Cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.

      Was it not to the serpent’s personal advantage that she was deceived?

      When deception happens in other circumstances doesn’t it work the same way?

      I personally don’t understand all the upset over this. No one is saying being deceived is good. Why do people act like that part of the definition when it isn’t – and in this case isn’t even hinted at?

      People also claim Eve was cursed, and yet Genesis does not state this. Curses went to the serpent and the ground. Neither Adam nor Eve were cursed. Does that mean they had no consequences? Nope. Doesn’t that mean it was good then? Hardly.

      I don’t understand the assumptions people make when pointing these items out. If you point them out it automatically means, ‘its good’. No one said that. The assumptions meter is the only one that did.

      God did acknowledge the deception, and yet some people don’t wish to. We all pay for what happened. The endless search for WHOM is more to blame, etc – its silly. Its not a contest. We all are in sin, and we are all saved if we accept that gift.

      She said she was ‘deceived’ by the serpent. God acknowledged that was true. Did she whine that she shouldn’t be held accountable due to that statement? Nope. She didn’t. Yet it is taught she was trying to. That’s playing blame where God didn’t even place it.

      Sigh. We need to take off the lenses of what man teaches, and read what it is said without all the assumptions.

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  3. People seem to think that understanding Eve this way implies a spiritual superiority of women. Not so! I remind your readers that they are descended from the REBEL as well as the deceived one. We are all descended from Adam post Fall, as well as Eve- with the exception of Jesus (as you have noted in previous posts in this series). Cheryl has some visuals of this: Click Here

    Personally, it was very healing for me to realize the undeserved harshness of the way Eve is painted and judged, and to have a new respect for her.

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    1. Its probably the way I set it up that is causing the problems. Maybe a better angle would be: Why didn’t Eve’s sin cause the fall? Is there another reason beside assuming federal headship upon Adam?

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  4. People seem to think that understanding Eve this way implies a spiritual superiority of women. Not so! I remind your readers that they are descended from the REBEL as well as the deceived one. We are all descended from Adam post Fall, as well as Eve- with the exception of Jesus (as you have noted in previous posts in this series). Cheryl has some visuals: Click Here

    Personally, it was very healing for me to realize the undeserved harshness of the way Eve is painted and judged, and to have a new respect for her.

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    1. Charis, thanks for the link to Cheryls Article. Her visuals were amazing and really help to explain the situation better. I agree with you about having a new respect for Eve after understanding what the scripture “really” says.

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  5. Well, it pleases me that you call Eve’s action a sin at least [in your last post]. One who commits sin is culpable for that sin -death (Ez. 18:20). WHY he/she sinned is a reason for the degree of judgment, but there still HAS to be judgment for sin.

    See Numbers 15:28: And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.

    If only Eve had sinned, she would have died; she herself knew the consequences of her actions (Gen. 3:3). In fact her statement of God’s truth of death for disobedience was in direct contradiction to Satan’s “truth” in Gen. 4:4. Eve simply chose to believe Satan because of the pleasure of the fruit (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life all came into play here – I John 2:16) as described in Gen. 3:6.

    I do find one thing interesting: Although Eve ate the fruit, it almost seems that her “eyes weren’t opened” until she had given to her husband, and he ate. (Gen. 3:6-7) Now, either her husband was standing right there by her, saw her eat, then took and ate when she offered it to him, OR indeed the federal headship was in place, and the consequences of sin occurred only when Adam sinned (could have occurred a few hours later, maybe). I guess I lean more toward the scenario that Adam was very near by, but maybe didn’t hear the serpent as he spoke to Eve.

    I do believe, as you, that there was a difference in the gravity of their sins.

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  6. The passage says Adam was right there with her. “She took [the fruit and]. . . also gave to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.” Gen 3:6. This is important, because when Jerome translated the scriptures into Latin (the Latin Vulgate) several centuries after Christ, he changed it to make it look like Eve acted on her own and only involved Adam later. But that’s not what the text says.

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    1. Does the Hebrew say the temptation and the eating happened simultaneously? Because, I think the English leaves room to stretch out the time period. Adam was there when she ate – is what the verse said, but couldn’t the devil have been working on her outside of his presence? That’s what my husband wants to think. 🙂

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  7. It’s a handy excuse for all of us to say, “I was tricked” by the Father of Lies (John 8:44) or the Great Deceiver (Rev. 12:9), who is STILL actively deceiving and tricking people, twisting God’s very words to do so. But the truth is that Eve fully KNEW God’s command (Gen. 3:3) and CHOSE to disobey it; she majored on the pleasure and promises of the forbidden fruit rather than the pleasure of obedience and fellowship with God. Yes, Eve’s reasons for disobeying were different than Adam’s, but I think one steps too far when one supposes Eve was believing she would PLEASE God in her actions to disobey Him. The serpent merely gave her a clever excuse to do what she probably had been tempted to do beforehand. After all, temptation is not a sin and perfect people can be tempted (as Jesus was).

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    1. While it is still up to us to resist temptation and fight being led astray (2 Cor 11:3), Eve was thoroughly deceived. Like Paul (1 Tim 1:13), she was a candidate for God’s mercy because of her heart motivation. She did not chose to disobey, she was tricked into disobeying. Deceive means to mislead or deliberately hide the truth from somebody. If Eve had the truth, like Adam, would she have then CHOSEN to disobey? We will never know, because it didn’t happen that way.

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  8. [Deceive means to mislead or deliberately hide the truth from somebody. If Eve had the truth, like Adam, would she have then CHOSEN to disobey?]

    So then did God “deliberately hide truth from Eve” since He gave truth to Adam He DIDN’T give to Eve? I think not! God gave Eve the SAME instructions He gave Adam; Eve even gave testimony to that very fact in her words back to Satan.

    In Steven’s case, did his parent instruct him NOT to make the bargain (even if there was no reason why – something God even gave Eve)? God’s command was very clear – Eve knew it; she just THOUGHT God had kept truth from her that Satan was now telling her. In fact, one could argue that the first human sin was unbelief in God’s goodness and His Word of consequences (seems I read that in someone else’s post, too) – lust conceiving the sin.

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  9. Whether you are tricked into disobeying or not, you are still accountable to God for your actions and the consequences of them.

    Paul in Galatians 3 rebuked his readers by saying ‘foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth’. This verse insinuates being led into disobedience via wicked or evil means. Clearly Paul isn’t giving the Galatians a free pass because of being bewitched, in fact he is pretty worked up about it.

    The Galatians were already given the truth by Paul, in fact he testifies that they started ‘in the Spirit’. Yet they are led away by a lie! Interestingly this is the same chapter where Paul states that there is no male and female in Christ, but we are all one.

    I think being deceived/bewitched is simply the method by which temptation comes to women because we are so easily led away by our own emotions, fears and desires. Our thinking often becomes distorted so we think something is true because we want it to be true. Yet our natues are the same as our husbands and brothers.

    Deception is merely the method by which we are led away, but Paul is very clear about sin, as is James:
    “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16)Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. ….”

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  10. We had this study/debate at our church this past Sabbath and I add another component to the debate by saying that Adam was there with his wife Eve when she was deceived. I got a lot of flack for this from both men and women. Interestingly, one girl that was there as a new convert got what i was saying as she read the scriptures the others who disagree are followers of Christ for years-this may have something to do with certain beliefs. Here are the areas of debate; what does with here means, with in the sense of being beside spacial or with in the sense of unit eg.” I am with the President” obvious i am not at the President side spacial but in agreement with him on an issue. The other area of debate is the devil referred to Eve in the singular ‘you’ and she answered in the plural ‘we’ demonstrating that she was answering not only for herself, but also for Adam. What we can truly conclude is that people are looking more closely at scripture and is giving rise to pertinent questions that may have gone without question.

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  11. Also, I don’t think she was deceived — it was a Catch 22. We are often faced with difficult decisions in which there isn’t a win-win. Sometimes we just have to choose the best of two difficult choices.

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  12. I know I’m coming on pretty late, but I can’t see how one can say that because Eve was deceived she’s somehow innocent. She told Satan what God had said, listened to what a SNAKE had to say, looked at all the personal benefits she would gain from eating the fruit, and chose to disobey. She gained what Satan said she would gain: knowledge of good and evil. God says so Himself. The only way she was deceived is that Satan said she wouldn’t DIE, which she did. She still did what God forbade her from doing. Several commentators have given other good reasons that show that Eve WAS guilty.

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  13. When Eve ate the fruit nothing happened. She did not react to her nakedness and God did not get angry. It wasn’t until Adam ate the fruit that the nakedness was apparent and God got angry. God directed his anger towards Adam when he asked Adam what he had done. Doesn’t this make you wonder if Adam told Eve she couldn’t eat the fruit because he assumed God’s intent. You would think if not eating the fruit was important to God he would have given Eve the same instructions and he would have asked Eve what she had done immediately after she ate the fruit.

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  14. I think we need to make clear the serpent and the Satan.
    They all shifted the blame but God never bothered to ask the serpent why it deceived the woman (and maybe it would have said it was the Satan)
    Why cause the serpent if Satan was responsible?
    You can copy your reply To my email; alexderr007@gmail
    Thank you

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