6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
There was not the slightest reason why [man] should sin, but he could if he so desired. God had made him perfect and placed him in a perfect environment, with every need fully supplied. He did not have an inherited sin nature, as we do now; so he was fully capable of resisting any external pressure toward sin.
The tragic fact, however, is that he did sin, and thereby brought sin and death into the world. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin;and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12. “In Adam, all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
As the tendency toward death is inherited by all men, so also is the tendency toward sin. No descendant of Adam has ever lived to an age of conscious awareness of right and wrong without actually choosing wrong. He has become a deliberate sinner because he has inherited a sinful nature, which leads him to sin in practice. thus, “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Each person continues under the divine judgment of death, not only because of Adam’s sin, but because of his own deliberate sin. — Morris, pages 112-113.
It is remarkable that the particular attributes of this fruit that seemed so tempting are the same as the overt characteristics of practically every type of temptation which man faces today.
To [Eve], it seemed that the tree was: (1) “good for food” (that is, something appealing the the physical, bodily appetites); (2) “pleasant to the eyes” (that is something appealing to the emotions—the esthetic senses); (3) “desired to make wise” (that is, appealing to the mind and spirit, and to one’s pride of knowledge and spiritual insight).
This threefold description is perfectly parallel to the outline of 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Temptations thus may be directed against either the body, soul, or spirit—or, as in Eve’s case, against all three at once. The source of the temptation is said by James, again stressing all three aspects, to be “earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:15).
On day, of course, the Second Adam would come into the world, and He would also have to be tempted in all points like as we are (Hebrews 4:15). At the very beginning of His public ministry, He was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). The temptation again was of the same threefold scope: (1) appeal tot he physical appetite, offering bread when He was hungry (Luke 4:3-4); (2) appeal to the covetous and esthetic emotional desires, offering possession of all the world and its kingdoms (Luke 4:5-8); (3) appeal to spiritual pride, offering world-wide recognition as the one of highest intellectual and spiritual eminence, under the special protection of the holy angels (Luke 4:9-12).
It is significant that the Lord Jesus overcame the wicked one (1 John 2:13-14)) by reminding both Himself and Satan of appropriate instructions and promises in the Word of God. — Morris, pages 113-114.
Many have suggested that [Adam ate the fruit] out of love for Eve, choosing to share her sin and guilt rather than leaving her to face God’s judgment alone. … However, this motive would almost make Adam appear noble in sinning, and the Bible never implies such a thing. His sin was deliberate, wicked, and inexcusable, In fact, it was not by Eve’s sin, but by Adam’s that “sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” All future human beings were “in Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:22) and even Eve herself had been formed “of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:8). He was the true federal head of the race and it was “through the offence of the one [that] many be dead” (Romans 5:15). — Morris, pages 114-115.
… Biblical “wisdom,” in its most fundamental sense, concerns not the amount of one’s knowledge, but rather the ability to “divide” or “distinguish” our knowledge into the proper categories of what is morally and theologically good and bad, right and wrong. Adam and Eve at this point do not have this knowledge—or, rather, they are just beginning to acquire it; they are truly in a state of almost absolute “innocence.” In order, therefore, to acquire and develop this ability, they have only one of two recourses: God, who is the source of all truth and moral distinction, or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, by the eating of whose fruit this ability would be immediately and fully imparted. The temptation and potential sin in this instance is thus to take a “shortcut” around God—to remove ourselves from dependence on God. By eating from this tree the couple would immediately gain that knowledge/ability that they could otherwise only acquire over time through constant recourse to and interaction with their divine Father. — Wechsler, page 97.
[Comparing the temptations of Adam and Christ] … in Adam’s case, his yielding to temptation results in the depravity of all mankind, since all mankind is inevitably linked to him through descent, whereas in Christ’s case, His victory over temptation ensures the success both of His own ministry and hence results in the justification (i.e., eternal salvation) of all those who are linked to Him by faith. It is precisely this clear and compelling contrast that stands at the core of the discussion in Romans 5:12-21, “for just as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous” (v.19). — Wechsler, page 98.
Still thinking this through … Were Adam and Eve capable of sinning before the fall—Eve misquoting Scripture, both of them reaching for the fruit prior to eating it—but not held accountable for that sin because they didn’t “know” it was sin?