Sin in the CSER Structure

Adam sin overview CSER (2)

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3) Gen 3:1–7: With Adam acting as the representative for all of humanity, he underwent a time of probation in the garden.

This was to determine whether he would accept his subordinate position as king when presented with what seemed to be an arbitrary command from the Lord his emperor (Gen 2:15–17).

Meanwhile, the serpent sought to forestall the expansion of the kingdom of God through the disqualification of Adam and Eve from serving in Eden.

Capitalizing upon Eve’s faulty understanding of the prohibition, the serpent tricked her into achieving wisdom on her own terms, rather than according to God’s plan. Adam immediately joined her.

a) What did Eve say God had forbidden? How does that differ from Gen 2:16–17? What happened after Adam and Eve ate the fruit?



[Related posts include Forbidden Fruit (Gen 2:16–17); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); Succumbing to Temptation (Gen 3:6); and Their Eyes are Opened (Gen 3:7)]


b) Gen 3:15: While not all snakes are venomous, poisonous serpents tend to be the most aggressive. Thus, people in the Ancient Near East considered an attack by a snake a potentially mortal blow.[1] Indeed, the messiah would be grievously wounded (Isa 53:4–5),[2] even to death. Both adversaries would attack the most vulnerable parts of the other.[3]

Among the translation options for the verb in this verse are “bruise,”[4] “crush,” “snap at,” “snatch at,”[5] and “strike at.”[6]

Since the parallelism employed dictates translating these words the same way,[7] the most suitable option is, “He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” The nature of the wounds implies that they occur simultaneously.

What happens to someone whom a viper strikes on the heel? How did that foreshadow what would happen to the messiah?



[Related posts include The First Good News (Gen 3:15); and A Most Cruel and Ignominious Punishment (Matt 27:26–37)]


c) Gen 3:22–24:  This passage occurs when Adam and Eve lost access to God’s presence in the garden temple.

Consider the John’s vision of the future, when people will long to die but death will elude them (Rev 9:6). Or, perhaps you have known someone who suffered with an illness to such an extent that they welcomed death.

Why did God evict Adam and Eve from Eden? What would have happened if they had eaten from the Tree of Life in their sinful state? How did the Lord act mercifully by preventing that?



[Related posts include Access to the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22); and Driven Out (Gen 3:23–24)]


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[1] Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 3:15.

[2] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 94.

[3] Walton, Genesis, 226.

[4] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “שׁוּף” (shuph), BDB, 1003,

[5] Holladay, “שׁוּף” (shuph), CHALOT, 364.

[6] Woudstra, “Recent Translations of Genesis 3:15,” 202.

[7] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 197.