Genesis 3

The Fall

The Snake

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made (Genesis 3:1)

No indication is given of the kind, color, or size of the serpent in the garden of Eden. The Palestinian viper, also known as the Levantine viper, is a venomous snake native to the Middle East. It is characterized by its distinctive triangular head, pale coloration, and venom that can cause severe symptoms in humans. This one was photographed at Yad HaShmonah.


The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat” (Genesis 3:2).

There evidently was a fig tree nearby when Eve spoke these words, since Adam and Eve subsequently made loincloths out of fig leaves (v. 7). The Jewish commentator Rashi suggested that the forbidden fruit actually was a fig, although it may be considered unlikely that they would have used leaves from the forbidden tree to cover themselves. This fig tree was photographed at Neot Kedumim.


He will bruise you on the head, and you will bruise him on the heel (Genesis 3:15).

A standard messianic interpretation of this verse is that Satan bruised Jesus on the heel at the cross, and Jesus bruised Satan on the head. At Gethsemane, Jesus pleaded with the Father to take this cup from Him, but He submitted to the Father’s will, “so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb 2:14-15). This American Colony photograph of the traditional Garden of Gethsemane at night was taken between 1934 and 1939.


It will bring forth thorns and thistles for you (Genesis 3:18).

The familiar phrase “thorns and thistles” appears elsewhere only in Hosea 10:8. Although it could include plants with stickers or other hurtful elements, it more likely refers to weeds and un-useful plants in general, in contrast to those which bear fruit or edible seeds. This understanding seems to be reinforced by uses of the first word (Heb. qotz) in passages like Exodus 22:5, Jeremiah 4:3, and Jeremiah 12:3. This photo shows a plowed field in the hills of Samaria that has sprouted a variety of useless weeds.

Clothed in Skins

Yahweh God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).

Although it is often assumed that the animal skins first given to Adam and Eve would have been from a clean animal like a sheep, the text does not actually indicate what kind of animal the skin came from. This Roman statue depicts a man, probably representing the god Heracles, wearing the skin of a lion. It is thought to be a mid-2nd century copy of a Greek original from about 200 BC. It was discovered along the Via Appia Antica in Rome and was photographed at the National Museum of Rome.

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