The Berean Expositor
Volume 7 - Page 29 of 133
Index | Zoom
The Creation.--The Fall of Adam (Gen. 3:).
pp. 132-136
The first dispensation (see Vol. 6:, page 136) ends with the fall of Adam. There
seems no reason to doubt but that this first dispensation was the briefest of all. A
Rabbinical interpretation of Psa. 49: 12 refers it to Adam, who "abode not a night", but
who, on the tenth day from the commencement of the creation week, fell, thereby
necessitating the day of atonement to be observe on the tenth day of the month. To read
Gen. 2: 8-25 one is not impressed with a sense of a long period. The description given
of the garden planted in Eden is limited to the trees, and the river that watered the garden.
Of the many trees wherewith that garden was planted two only are given names. One is
the tree of life, the other is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to eat of which
meant death. Much has been written concerning this tree of knowledge of good and evil,
and the penalty that followed transgression, yet much seems to be but the guesswork and
imaginings of men, who have introduced into the subject themes that belong to another
sphere. Adam was told not to eat of this tree, for in the day that he ate he should surely
die. The word are simple, and were easy of comprehension. Something connected with
the knowledge of good and evil involved death, just as the eating of some poisonous
berry might have been prohibited for similar reasons. That God should plant a tree
bearing such fruits is only explainable by the fact that He had a great purpose. We may
safely assume that up to the time of eating of this tree neither Adam nor his wife had a
knowledge of good and evil. Spiritual enjoyments and aspirations are never mentioned in
relation to Adam before the fall. Adam, so far, lived in a realm of types and symbols.
The true paradise of God with its river of life and tree of life was unrevealed, yet how
many have spoken of Adam's shadow as though it were the true substance!
In considering the teaching of Scripture as to the purpose that God had in view, we
must remember that there were already, unseen and probably unknown by man, fallen
spirits. Gen. 3: 1 is proof enough of this. Scripture does not speak of the purpose of
redemption as something which God had to bring in to remedy the evil introduced by
Adam's disobedience. Redemption was planned before man was created, for Christ was
foreordained as the Lamb before the foundation of the world. The great outstanding
feature of the command to Adam is its simplicity. All that Adam has to do is to abstain.
He is not under a law of positive precepts, the keeping of which involved a great care,
labour, and watchfulness. He was under the easiest of conditions. Surrounded by
everything that was good and pleasant, he simply had not to take of the forbidden tree. It
was a passive obedience. Human nature was put upon the simplest of trials. Another
feature of the trial it is important to remember is that no promise was attached to
obedience. There is no alternative made to Adam. Some teach that had he continued
obedient to the divine prohibition he would have been transferred to heaven and have
received eternal life, but that is pure speculation. What was this knowledge the attaining
of which was fraught with such consequences? The references to "good and evil" in this
passage are four. Gen. 2: 9 and 17 speak of the tree itself, its position in the garden, and
the prohibition regarding its fruit, Gen. 3: 5 and 22 speak of the consequences of eating
of it: "Ye shall be as gods" (or God), and "Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to
know good and evil". The tempter mingled truth with his lies at the beginning as he has