(11) Isn’t your assertion that Eve “coveted” in the garden misleading based on Genesis 3:6 and Genesis 2:9?
[Notice: This is a following up question based on question 10].
Thanks for the question and your concern is appreciated. But the interpretation you’re giving these verses is dangerous because it puts God in a bad position. If he made the Tree of knowledge of good and evil to be desirable like that of the other trees, then some of the blame could be placed upon him for their desiring to eat it. Rather, Genesis 3:6 says… “And when the women saw that the tree was good for food… and a tree to be desired…” The fact that it reads this way shows she did not see it as desirable any time before (and when the women saw…). It wasn’t until the serpent enticed her that she saw it that way.
God did make every tree pleasant to the sight, but notice how Eve saw this tree:
(6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
She did not see it as desirable as she saw the other trees. She saw it as desirable “to make one wise.” Why? Because that was the promise of the serpent. He said if she eats it she would be wise, or in other words, that her eyes “would be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” -verse 5. One must view Genesis 2:9 to mean that God made every tree desirable except the one which he specifically forbade. Why would God forbid her from eating something, and yet make it desirable for her to eat it? The logic must be consistent, for “there is no unrighteousness in him [God]” -Psalm 92:15.
The fact of the matter is that the only way for Eve to get to the point of actually eating that fruit was to first sin in her heart by lusting (coveting) after it. The thought always comes before the act (the act in this case being the grabbing and eating the fruit). James tells us:
(14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
(15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Sin begins in the mind, with our lust (desires), and Eve was no exception. She coveted after that which was forbidden, and then acted upon that sin by eating the fruit. The problem was not the fruit; the problem was in her heart (sin is the breaking of law -1 John 3:4).
Whether you agree she coveted or not, she still took that which was not hers, meaning she stole the fruit (this still makes it necessary for her to first covet it though). It wouldn’t have been stealing, unless it was wrong to steal. And how can it be wrong to steal unless a law had said, “Thou shalt not steal?” Paul said that where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15), therefore there must have been a law in place condemning stealing, otherwise “there was no transgression” in Eve’s case. And if this law existed, so did the rest of the Ten, for James shows that their equal by saying that if we break one we broke them all (James 2:10-11).
The law did not need to exist in written form back then as it was in the time of Israel. The whole of the New Covenant is the writing of the law “into” the heart and mind (Hebrews 8:10). This was how it was in the original design. There was not “thou shalt not…” because it was natural for them to obey their God. The law, which is the very character of God, was already a part of their very being. It was not in existence to “protect them” as you say; it was in existence in their characters as a part of them. In essence Adam and Eve went against their own character, which was the very character of God, when they sinned, and thus replaced their perfect nature with that of a sinful (transgressing) one. The Sabbath, which is what most people have a problem with today, was there as well (Genesis 2:1-3).
Hope this helps.
In Jesus, the Solution,
Edwin M. Cotto