The first man
God creates the universe and man:
God said, "Let there be light," and "Let there be an expanse to separate water from water. And let the dry land appear, and let the land produce vegetation." God made two great lights and the stars. And God said, "Let the water and the land teem with living creatures, and let birds increase on the earth." Then God said, "Let us make man and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth." And God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Then God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and took one of his ribs and made a woman from it. Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant to be your food." God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. So on the seventh day God was content with all his work. (Genesis 1: 3 - 2: 3)
Putting the Man in the Early Garden:
Now God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2: 8-14)
Only one forbidden tree:
And God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2: 16-17)
Q : What do we learn from God creating a tree which he forbade Adam to eat from?
That man's free will is one of the most important gifts from the Creator to mankind. That is because it doesn't please God to receive automatic worship from a person who doesn't have his own will to decide and to come with a real desire to meet his Creator.
God Founds the Idea of Marriage
God made Eve from one of Adam's ribs:
God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2: 18-22)
Q : What do we learn from God creating Eve?
God made His work complete by creating Eve, providing the means of carrying on the human race, and giving continuity to the universe. God created first the inanimate objects (non-living things). Then He created the animals (flesh and soul). Lastly He created man (Adam then Eve) with flesh, soul and spirit. Man's spirit is what distinguishes him from animals and makes him able to communicate with his Creator.
God initiates marriage and commands reproduction:
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:28, 2: 23-25)
Adam & Eve Oppose God
The tempter (the serpent or Devil):
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?" (Genesis 3: 1)
Q : What is the meaning of sin and why was eating from the fruit of that tree counted as sin?
Sin is going in the wrong direction which is not God's way, which expresses the non-submission and the inner rebellion. Some people say that Adam and Eve's sin was a kind of rebellion (Kofr) against God and against His Word. So eating from that forbidden tree was a silent expression of all these things.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’" “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."(Genesis 3: 2-5)
Q : Did God create Adam & Eve infallible? Give reasons for your answer.
Only God is infallible, and if He made a man infallible, that would mean that He had withdrawn man's free will so that he would only do what God wants. Such action would contradict God's most important gift to man. God wouldn't be pleased by worship that's presented by a man with no free will.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3: 6-7)
Q : What was Eve's part in the sin and Adam's responsibility?
Eve reached out her hand to the forbidden tree, and Adam couldn't resist the temptation. Both sinned against God.
Passing the blame:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of God in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from God among the trees of the garden. But God called to the man. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3: 8-13)
The Result of the Rebellion
For the serpent:
So God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3: 14-15)
For the woman:
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3: 16)
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. So God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3: 17-24)
Q : How did God punish Adam and Eve?
God cast them out of the garden, where they had been enjoying His presence.
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. (Genesis 4 & 5: 1-5)
Q : What do we learn from God casting out Adam and Eve from the garden, even though He is the one who created them and knew their weakness from the beginning?
We learn that God is holy and there is no place in the garden of His presence for those who sin, even inadvertently, irrespective of their religious or social position.
Q : Did God forgive Adam and Eve after that? What do we learn from His refusal to return them to the garden?
The fact of us not being born in the garden is clear evidence that they weren't returned to it, in spite of the suggested confession and repentance that they would have admitted to God. Anyway, the end of the story is yet to come !