A Day of Reckoning: Genesis 3:9–13

day of reckoning (2)

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b) Gen 3:9–13: Genesis 3:9–19 forms a chiasm. This type of parallelism takes the form A–B–C–B–A. First, God addressed the man, then the woman, and finally the serpent. The penalties for their rebellion occur in the reverse order.

In a chiasm, the most important point usually comes at the center, as it does here (Gen 3:14–15).

The passage opens with the Lord calling Adam to account, just as a pharaoh later demanded an explanation from Abraham (Gen 12:14–20).[1]

Afraid to answer the question but not daring to lie, Adam explained that he hid because he was naked, even though he had covered himself (Gen 3:6–8).[2]

Ironically, we can translate “I heard (shama) your voice in the garden” as “I obeyed your voice in the garden.”[3] That is precisely what Adam failed to do.[4]

The Lord gave Adam an opportunity to confess his transgression. He asked, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen 2:16–17).[5]

Adam exhibited the divisive effects of rebellion, instead of acknowledging his sin. God’s silence indicates that he rejected this explanation.[6]

Eve also failed to express contrition. However, she blamed neither God nor her husband.[7]

Nevertheless, sin obliterated the harmony between God and humanity, between men and women, and between people and animals (Gen 1:26–31; Gen 2:18–25).[8]

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Read Gen 3:9–13. How did Adam’s evasive answer indict him? Who did Adam blame for his actions? How did Eve explain her behavior? Why do people tend to exhibit this pattern?





Go to Falling for Deception (2 Cor 11:2–4)

[Related posts include Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); The Lord Provides Food (Gen 1:29–30); God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); Forbidden Fruit (Gen 2:16–17); Not Good! (Gen 2:18); A Parade of Animals (Gen 2:19–20); An Equal and Adequate Partner (Gen 2:21–23); Naked and Not Ashamed (Gen 2:25); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); Succumbing to Temptation (Gen 3:6); Their Eyes Are Opened (Gen 3:7); and Hiding from God (Gen 3:8)]

[Click here to go to Women and Marriage Throughout Redemptive History; or to Chapter 6: A Serpent in the Garden (Genesis 3:1–13)]


[1] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 76.

[2] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 193.

[3] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “שָׁמַע” (shama), BDB, 1033–4, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/1032/mode/2up.

[4] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 93.

[5] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 194.

[6] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 77.

[7] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 194.

[8] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 78.