10 Ways Genesis 3 Focuses on Adam

Genesis 3 is a chapter with the actions of several characters recorded, but Adam again and again receives special focus.  He is the representative of the human race (cf. Rom 5:12-19), and the focus on him in Genesis 3 bears out this truth. There are at least 10 places where Adam receives special attention.

(1) Adam ate the fruit after Eve (3:6), but only after his eating were their eyes opened (3:7).

(2) The man hid himself, and his wife joined in the hiding (3:8). The English translations make it seem as if they both hid themselves, perhaps by agreeing together to hide, but the verb is singular. The sense, then, is something like, “The man hid himself, along with his wife…” The focus is on Adam’s action.

(3) When the Lord walked in the garden after the couple disobeyed him, he called to Adam (3:9). The serpent deceived and Eve transgressed first, but Adam was the representative, the head of mankind. Thus God called for him.

(4) The man received the longest of the judgments (3:17-19 in the judgments found in 3:14-19).

(5) Though Eve tasted the forbidden fruit first, God cursed the ground because Adam listened to her voice and ate the fruit (3:17).

(6) When God alluded to his previous command given in 2:16-17 about not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he said to Adam, “I commanded you” (3:17). Eve should have obeyed the command as well, of course, but Adam heard it directly from God before the creation of woman.

(7) The promise of physical death is couched in language referencing the man’s creation from the dust of the ground (3:19). Eve was made from Adam’s side, but she would not return there at death. Adam, our representative, was from the ground, so that is where we go at death.

(8) After the judgments are administered in 3:14-19, the next verse reports Adam’s response. He named his wife “Eve” (3:20).

(9) Though the eyes of the couple were opened after eating the forbidden fruit (3:7), God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil” (3:22a). According to 3:7, Eve’s eyes were open as well, but the focus in 3:22a is on Adam.

(10) In order that Adam could not also eat fruit from the tree of life, God sent him out of the garden to work the land outside it (3:22b-23). Of course Eve was exiled also, as indicated in 4:1 when she and Adam conceived and bore their first son. As her covenant head, his exile meant hers too.

Do you see other places in Genesis 3 where Adam is highlighted?


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