7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
knew (v.7) — the beginning of the second dispensation, Conscience
Paintings of Adam and Eve always show them with leaves over the parts of their bodies that we would be most anxious to cover. The word “coverings” is from a Hebrew word for “belt,” or “girdle.”
The serpent had promised that they would acquire wisdom and become as gods, knowing good and evil. Instead, there came over them the realization of what they had done and an awful sense of shame enveloped them. As they remembered that the divine injunction had been to “multiply and fill the earth,” they realized that the very fountainhead of human life had now become corrupted by their disobedience and they became acutely aware of their nakedness. Their children would all be contaminated with the seed of rebellion, so that their feeling of guilt centered especially on their own procreative organs. The result was that they suddenly desired to hide these from each other, and from God. (Morris, page 115).
God was “walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” The more or less offhand way in which this is stated indicates that this was a normal event, perhaps a daily appointment time at which the Lord met with them for communion and fellowship. This is no crude anthropomorphism, but a repeated, or even continual, theophany, in which the Word of God, Christ preincarnate, clothed Himself in human form in order to communicate with those whom He had created in His own image. — Morris, page 116.
[Satan] had said, “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”; but he had left out a material part of the truth, namely, that they should know good without the power to do it, and that they should know evil without the power to avoid it. — Mackintosh, page 43.
I think this next quote from Mackintosh is brilliant, especially the second paragraph.
It is well … to know how conscience works—to see that it can only make cowards of us, as being the consciousness of what we are. Many are astray as to this; they think that conscience will bring us to God. Did it operate thus in the case of Adam and Eve? Assuredly not. Nor will it in the case of any sinner. How could it? How could the sense of what I am ever bring me to God, if not accompanied by the faith of what God is? Impossible. It will produce shame, self-reproach, remorse, anguish. It may also give birth to certain efforts on my part to remedy the condition which it discloses; but these very efforts, so far from drawing us to God, rather act as a blind to hide Him from our view. This, in the case of Adam and Eve, the discovery of their nakedness was followed by an effort of their own to cover it—”they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” This is the first record we have of man’s attempt to remedy, by his own device, his condition, and the attentive consideration thereof will afford us not a little instruction as to the real character of human religiousness in all ages. In the first place, we see, not only in Adam’s case, but in every case, that man’s effort to remedy his condition is based upon the sense of his nakedness. He is confessedly naked, and all his works are the result of his being so. This can never avail. I must know that I am clothed before I can do anything acceptable in the sight of God.
And this, be it observed, is the difference between true Christianity and human religiousness. The former is founded upon the fact of a man’s being clothed; the latter, upon the fact of his being naked. The former has for its starting post what the latter has for its goal. All that a True Christian does, is because he is clothed—perfectly clothed; all that a mere religionist does, is in order that he may be clothed.— Mackintosh, pages 44-45.
“Don’t eat of the tree was law” and the law was given to show our inability to achieve salvation on our own. It was given to make us all guilty before God—even Adam and Eve.
These two verses bear out that the death which God warned Adam in Genesis 2:17 would take place “in the day” that he ate was not an empty threat, as Satan had deceived Eve into thinking. The death which they experienced, however, was not that of immediate physical cessation, nor was it that of becoming “subject to death (i.e., mortal), since this was already the case before they ate (their potential immortality being centered in the unrestricted fruit of the Tree of Life, from which they had not yet eaten (cf. 3:22). Rather, as presented in connection with this first occurrence, death as biblically defined is to be fundamentally defined as separation. In this case, specifically, as an experienced separation—i.e., a separation or “break” in the ideal experience of their relationship with God and with each other—rather than, as elsewhere, a positional separation—i.e., a separation in the fact of their relationship. — Wechsler, pages 98-99.
The sense of this … is that their newly acquired knowledge of what constitutes good and evil “opened their eyes” [gave them wisdom] to see that what they had done was evil and had justly left them “naked”—i.e., exposed—to God’s impending punishment. — Wechsler, page 100.
In this case—and parallel to the impact on their spiritual relationship with God—the “death” or “disjunction,” is not in the fact of their relationship (the couple is still married), but in the ideally intended experience of that relationship, outwardly reflected in the barriers that they set up between those parts of themselves that are most representative of physical intimacy. — Wechsler, page 100.
The impact of the couple’s sin on their relationship with God—i.e., “death’ that He warned would occur “in the day” that they ate—is here borne out, just as in their relationship with each other, by a “break” or “separation” in the experience of that relationship. This consequence is presented with especially tragic emphasis by the depiction of “the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Insofar as the verb “walking,” consistent with its usage elsewhere in Hebrew narrative, logically implies the use of feet, it must be concluded that God has at this point taken human form—and if so, as in Genesis 2:7 it is the Son specifically who is here in view. The verb here translated “walking” moreover, is a relatively infrequent form of the verb that indicates not a walking from point “A” to point “B,” with a specific endpoint in view, but rather a “repeated” or “circular” type of walking that is more precisely represented here by the English verb “strolling.” He wants them (and we who read this) to know that His ideal intention was to enjoy fellowship with His human children to the fullest capacity of our created nature, which is both physical as well as spiritual. … The tragedy in this passage is that God’s first children are pushing away this privileged experience of fellowship by using those very things that their divine Father gave them for their good (i.e., the trees of the garden) as a barrier to His presence. — Wechsler, pages 101-102.
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