In the fourth chapter of my book under the section “She Analyzed the Fruit,” I quoted Genesis 3:4-6.
“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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.”
I inserted an endnote number after the phrase “who was with her” so I could continue discussing this important element of the biblical account:
“The phrase, ‘who was with her’ implies that Adam was at least in the vicinity. However, since he did not mention the serpent in his reply to the Lord in Genesis 3:12, his response also seems to imply he was not close enough to her to hear the serpent’s queries. My account at the end of chapter 1 says that Adam’s wife left him and traveled toward the north end of the garden. Since the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the middle of the garden, she may have walked only a short distance before encountering the serpent. This would also help explain why Adam was so surprised that his wife returned so quickly when her original intent was to harvest almonds.”
Several reviewers did not see the endnote in the Genesis 3 quote and thought I had overlooked a key point in the passage. I can appreciate the oversight since the number “2” was small and easily overlooked. On reflection, I also wish to expand on my original comments because if Adam was indeed standing right next to Eve during her conversation with the serpent, his actions or lack thereof point to a disturbing flaw in his character and commitment to his wife and the Lord even before he ate the fruit.
If Adam had been close to Eve, why didn’t he say or do something when she stepped forward to touch and eat the fruit? His lack of involvement would make him at least partially culpable for her actions. How could he blame her later when he had been standing there all the time and could have taken steps to intervene?
It also seems odd that when Adam accused both his wife and the Lord for his plight, the Lord did not remind him that he had been standing next to her during the entire episode with the serpent and had done nothing to stop her.
Even more disconcerting was Eve’s response to the Lord. Adam had just leveled a stinging accusation at her that it was her fault for giving him the fruit. Why was her only defense that she had been tricked by the serpent? Why didn’t she rebuff his claim by saying he had been standing next to her the entire time and said nothing. How could he profess his innocence when he neither said nor did anything to alter the outcome?”
In Genesis 3:1 we read: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord had made. He said to the woman . . .” The author of Genesis begins by telling us the serpent was more crafty that any other creature. Then he goes on to say the serpent said to the WOMAN . . . This verse seems to indicate the serpent may have hoped that Adams’s wife might be more vulnerable to his suggestions, and waited until he could address her when she was alone so that Adam would not overhear their conversation or witness her subsequent actions. Had Adam been standing right next to Eve, why did the author bring up the serpent’s craftiness and also state that he only addressed the woman and not both of them?
Finally, if Adam had been next to his wife, you might argue that they were both tricked by the serpent because they both wanted to be more like their heavenly Father. However, if that were the case, then why wasn’t that part of Adam’s defense, that he too had been tricked?
Since neither the Lord nor Eve mentioned that Adam had been standing next to her, and since his defense did not mention the serpent or that he was also tricked, my conclusion was that he was “with her” in the garden but was busy with other things and was not near enough to overhear her conversation with the serpent.