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Was Adam with Eve when she spoke to the serpent (Genesis 3:6)?

Adam with Eve audio

The Bible notes that Eve was the first to eat the fruit from the tree after being deceived by the serpent. Where was Adam during that time? Was he with Eve when she and the serpent were conversing?

Genesis 3:6 says, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” The key phrase, in consideration of our question, is “who was with her.” Traditional Jewish interpretation takes this phrase to mean that Adam was with Eve the whole time she was being tempted and that he heard the whole conversation.

This understanding helps to explain the emphasis on “Adam’s sin” in the New Testament (Romans 5:12). Adam was created first and placed in the Garden of Eden to care for it along with Eve. Adam then actively participated in breaking the one prohibition God had given him. If Adam had not been present when Eve spoke with the serpent, it would be more difficult to understand why the first sin is emphasized as being Adam’s.

Another view is that the phrase “who was with her” simply means that Adam was with Eve when she offered him the fruit. In other words, Eve heard the serpent’s lies, believed they were the truth, and ate the fruit. Then she found her husband, and once she had him “with her,” she gave him the fruit, too.

This understanding would explain why Adam did not intervene in the serpent’s deception of Eve and why the New Testament insists that Eve was “deceived” but Adam was not (1 Timothy 2:14). The fact that death came through Adam’s sin instead of Eve’s is explained by the idea that the federal headship of mankind was vested in Adam, as the one first created (1 Timothy 2:13).

Of course, there is a third view, that Adam was in the vicinity of the tree while Eve was being tempted. He was near enough to still be considered “with” his wife, yet far enough away not to hear the conversation.

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Was Adam with Eve when she spoke to the serpent (Genesis 3:6)?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2022