Was the fruit an apple? I have a brief analysis of "apple" in the Bible (with a couple omissions from the Song of Songs, sorry). I'm curious when the adoption of the apple in the artwork of the Garden of Eden occurred -- as Wikipedia informs me, the Latin words for "apple" and "evil" are similar: malus and malum.
- Compare what God says in Genesis 2:16-17 with the snake's quotation in Genesis 3:1. How does the snake misquote God? What is the effect of the snake's misquotation?
The snake speaks as if God forbade the eating of any fruit from any tree. This puts Eve "on the defensive", and she replies by saying that they are allowed to eat of the fruit of all trees but one, the tree in the middle of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In describing the tree, Eve explains the penalty for eating the fruit of that tree, and in doing so, she gets it wrong...
- The woman does not quote God exactly either (Genesis 3:3). What does she add? What effect does her addition have on the picture of God that she conveys?
- Why would the woman believe what the snake says in Genesis 3:4-5?
- Genesis 3:6 describes how the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil appears to Eve. How is this fruit different from the fruit of the other trees (see Genesis 2:9)? If the fruit of the other trees is also pleasant and nutritious, why is Eve now especially attracted to this one?
God said From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die. (Genesis 2:17b) Eve says that they cannot even touch it.
She is probably seeking some rationale for why they were told not to eat the fruit, apart from "God said so".
Like the fruit of other trees, it was delightful to look at and good for food, but it was also desirable for gaining wisdom. That's a pretty peculiar statement to make about a fruit.
- Has something ever become more attractive or interesting to you because it was forbidden? What did you do? What did you learn?
- Describe a situation in which a temptation seemed attractive and reasonable at the time but later was shown not to have made as much sense as you had thought.
- Who do you tend to blame for your sins?
- When have you faced a moral choice in which it was crucial to trust that God had your best interests at heart?
- When do you find it most difficult to trust in God's care for you? What can you do to express your trust in him?
Well, that's the nature of temptation. As a child, once you're told something is off-limits, you often end up wanting the object all the more. When I succombed to the temptation, it might have seemed "worth it" at the time, but I've learned that it's not.
Sometimes other people (such a person who provokes me), sometimes myself.