BIBLE INSTRUCTION AS TO ADAM'S AND EVE'S CONDUCT.
90. After the fourth chapter of Genesis, Eve is never referred to again in the O. T., and Adam is mentioned only twice,—in Job 31:33, "If I, like Adam, covered my transgression, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom," and Hosea 6:7, (R. V.), "They, like Adam, transgressed the covenant." But when we come to the N. T., there is a striking contrast between the estimate put upon Adam's and Eve's conduct. Of Adam it is plainly said that his conduct brought sin into the world. Theologians infer disastrous results to the world from Eve's conduct, but there are no clear statements to that effect in the Bible. We presently discuss the lawfulness of these inferences.
91. We will place all passages referring plainly to Adam and Eve in the N. T. in parallel columns:
Eight times over, Paul declares "one person" alone was accountable for the Fall, and twice mentions that person as "Adam."
92. Some one may claim that "Adam" and the "one" spoken of in the Roman passages means "mankind." But anthropos, not "Adam" is the Greek, or the N. T. equivalent for "mankind." Besides, Paul's argument is this: "What one did of mischief, another One [Christ] is well able to undo;" and if we conceive, that, after all, Paul means "two," we reduce Paul's forceful statement to inanity. The Bible here teaches that "one person," whom it explicitly states to be Adam, caused the Fall, or else no meaning can be found for its words. All the teaching of the N. T., in which Adam and Eve are mentioned, is to the effect that Adam was the chief offender, as the one "not deceived," when the forbidden tree was partaken of. The greater culpability of Eve as causing the Fall is taught by tradition only.
93. But remember, we are now discussing the conduct of Adam and Eve at one point-in one incident only-of their lives. But that incident is the sin which has been held to have produced the Fall of the entire world of human beings. We again assert: The Bible nowhere holds Eve accountable for this particulate deed; and it does, in the plain, definite language we have just quoted from the N. T., hold Adam accountable for that deed.
94. It is not by one single verse, such as Genesis 3:16 (the correct translation and interpretation of which is doubtful-see future lessons), that Eve's greater culpability can be established, in spite of clear statements to the contrary, and many other incidental Scriptural proofs. For instance, God asked Adam, "Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" and He lays no such charge of express disobedience at the door of Eve. And also note that whereas the Almighty told the Serpent that his creeping gait, dust for his food, and his final mortal injury were to be "Because thou hast done this;" and whereas the Almighty told Adam that his drudgery, his fight with thorns and thistles, and his final return to the dust out of which he was made, were to be "because" Adam has done thus and so, 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. William Law says that Adam's sin, which brought ruin to the world, "is not to be considered as that single act of eating," but "his express open, voluntary act and deed" of "refusing to be that which God created him to be." On Romans 5:14, where "Adam's transgression" is spoken of as causing death to the entire human race, that high authority, Bengel's Gnomen says, "Chrysostom on this passage shows exceedingly well, what Paul intended to prove by his argument, 'that it was not the very sin of the transgression of the law [Eve transgressed it, under deception], but that of the disobedience of ADAM, this was what brought universal destruction."' (The capitals are ours.)
95. The rest of the story (excepting Genesis 3:16, which we next explain), on the very face of it, bears evidence of Eve's favor with God, through her confession and faith. After the eating, God assigns to Adam his particular vocation (Genesis 3:19). Adam was to earn his bread by tilling the soil, "till thou return unto the ground, for out of it thou wast taken." Eve was not taken out of the ground, in the same sense as Adam; when she became an identity apart from Adam, it was by God's taking her out of Adam (Genesis 2:21). Now please rub your eyes carefully, search the latter end of chapter three of Genesis, and point me the place where the Bible teaches that Eve was expelled from Eden. I cannot find such teaching. I find that the one whose duty it was to "till the ground," was expelled; the one who was "taken out of the ground" was expelled; but I find no account of the sex which was to bear children "in sorrow," in the story of the expulsion; and I choose to believe that something of the odors of Eden have enveloped motherhood ever since creation. Yet Eve must soon have abandoned Eden to follow Adam (see pars. 122, 123, 137).
96. We are taught, in Revelation 22:14, that those who "wash their robes" (the R.V.is the correct reading here), "have right to the tree of life." If this be true for deliberate sinners, much more is it true for a wholly deceived person. We have shown that Eve was a believer. We see no reason why Eve should have found a "flaming sword" between herself and the tree of life. Adam was thrust out of Eden, with a flaming sword between himself and the tree of life, "lest he put forth his hand and take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." But if Eve was already "living" spiritually, the same motive could not have existed for cutting off her access to the tree of life; she already had eternal life.
97. It was not physical death which was to follow, if Adam ate of the forbidden "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." God said: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Yet when Adam ate he did not on that very day fall to the ground and expire. But he did die, spiritually, on that very day, though he lived, physically, for many years. "Death" and "life" are employed of spiritual states, all through the Bible. And since "death" is used here for the first time in the Bible we discover that its primary Scriptural sense is the spiritual one. Then we may lawfully infer the same of the word "life,"—at least as regards human beings, into whom God breathed His Own "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7). Therefore, when Adam faced his doom, to return, eventually to the ground out of which he was made, he understood this to mean spiritual death; and it is but natural to read, as the very next incident, that, marking a contrast between himself and Eve, Adam called his wife "Eve,”—"Living,"—spiritually living.