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Summary: The pair has already shown their weakness when confronted by temptation; a lack of will-power and a desire to “do their own thing,” therefore the LORD God will act to insure they cannot eat from the tree of life.

September 3, 2013

Commentary on the Book of Genesis

By: Tom Lowe

Lesson I.B.6: The Pair Expelled from the Garden.

Gen. 3.22-24 (KJV)

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned everyway, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Commentary

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

And the LORD God said,

“And the Lord God said,” was not said to the ministering angels, but within himself, or to the other two Divine Persons.

Behold,

The LORD God has something to say and He wants our attention; “behold” means observe, watch, see, consider, and pay attention. The pair has already shown their weakness when confronted by temptation; a lack of will-power and a desire to “do their own thing,” therefore the LORD God will act to insure they cannot eat from the tree of life:

1. For fear that by eating of the fruit he would recover that immortal life which he no longer possessed (Although it is certain that man would not have been able, even by devouring the whole tree, to enjoy life against the will of God.).

2. For fear that the first pair, through the fruit would confer upon themselves the attribute of eternal life, which would not be the result of salvation, but through the sin of disobedience.

3. For fear that man could conceive the idea that immortality might still be secured by eating from the tree, instead of trusting in the promised seed, and under this false impression attempt to take its fruit, which, in his case, would have been equivalent to an attempt to justify himself by works instead of faith.

4. For fear that he would endeavor to partake of the symbol of immortality, which he could not do again until his sin was atoned for and he was purified: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14).

the man is become as one of us,

It is not likely that Jehovah refers here to the words of the tempter: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3.5). Neither is He saying “the man is become” like the angels, but rather like the Divine Persons: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). “In our image, after our likeness” was a unique and distinctive characteristic of man. And in what did this image of God consist? Not in the erect form or features of man, not in his intellect, for the devil and his angels are, in this respect, far superior to man; not in his immortality, since he does not have, as God has, a past as well as a future eternity of being; but in the moral nature of his soul, commonly called original righteousness: “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29 ). God made man upright; Adam was upright in all respects. No one could find a fault in him; he was devoted to God. Man, as he came out of God’s hands, was (as we may say) a little picture of his Maker, who is good and upright. But he was marred, and in effect unmade, by his own foolishness and badness. Man, instead of resting in what God had provided for him, was seeking to better himself, like the prodigal that left his father’s house to seek his fortune. Instead of being for God’s institutions, he was for his own inventions. The law of his Creator would not hold him; he would follow his own desires and inclinations.

to know good and evil:

“To know good and evil” implies an acquaintance with good and evil which did not belong to him while in the state of innocence. The language seems to hint that a one-sided acquaintance with good and evil, such as that possessed by the first pair in the garden and the unfallen angels in heaven, is not as complete a knowledge of the inherent beauty of the one and essential wickedness of the other as that which is acquired by beings who pass through the experience of a fall, and that the only way in which a finite being can even come close to such a comprehensive knowledge of evil as the Deity possesses without personal contact—He can see it as it rests everlastingly spread out before his infinite mind—is by going down into it and learning what it is through personal experience.

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