02 September 2008

Eve - Adding to the Word of God?

And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" (Genesis 3:2-3)
I have heard teacher and preacher alike rail against Eve, attacking her for adding to the Word of God in this statement to the serpent. But was she really? And if so, is it her fault?

It is not so much that I am concerned with her supposed addition of words in the matter, but of the blame and guilt laid upon her as if what she had done was both intentional and/or destructive. How is the wording that is added counterproductive to the situation. Are we to think that yes, they can't eat it but it is just fine if they handle, fondle, rub and caress it? Is the idea of not touching it not that much more of a safety net against eating it? Do the added word change the overall effect of what God commanded, or do they just enhance it?

Now obviously, the Jews were notorious for adding extra to the commands which made things not only very strict and legalistic, but over time actually took away the the true meaning of the laws, making them of no effect to their original intent. However, is the addition of these words something that would lead to a contradiction, reversal or a removing of the impact of the command?

I agree, adding to the Word of God is a no-no, but I really don't know if that was the intent here. The biggest issue that most seem to fail to realize, is she might not have been intentionally at fault in either case, considering God didn't tell her anything about the tree (that we know of). Adam was given the command to not eat:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17)
It was only after this that Eve came on the scene:
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." (Genesis 2:18)
So, maybe as a way to bolster the strength of the command against eating, Adam told Eve not to even touch it. Therefore, it is entirely possible that Eve was only repeating what she was told from Adam, who (as far as we can tell from Scripture) is the only one that could have relayed the command to her. Therefore, all of the blame, if there really is any blame worth discussing, would fall on Adam's head.