What is the Misery of that Estate Whereinto Man Fell? (Part 1)

Question 22a- What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” – Gen 3:8 ESV

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, She being near the tree, and perhaps just at it when the serpent first attacked her; wherefore looking more wishfully at it, she could discern nothing in the fruit of the tree which showed it to be bad, and unfit to be eaten, or why it should be forbidden for food; but, on the contrary, had a most promising aspect to be very delicious, nourishing and salutary, as any other fruit in the garden:

and that it was pleasant to the eyes; of a beautiful colour, and very inviting to the taste:

and a tree to be desired to make one wise; which above all was the most engaging, and was the most prevailing motive to influence her to eat of it, an eager desire of more wisdom and knowledge; though there was nothing she could see in the tree, and the fruit of it, which promised this; only she perceived in her mind, by the discourse she had with the serpent, and by what he had told her, and she believed, that this would be the consequence of eating this fruit, which was very desirable, and she concluded within herself that so it would be:

she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; she took it off of the tree, and not only tasted of it, but ate of it; what quantity cannot be said, enough to break the divine law, and to incur the divine displeasure: so Sanchoniatho says, that Aeon (the same with Eve) found the way of taking food from trees:

and gave also to her husband with her; that he might eat as well as she, and partake of the same benefits and advantages she hoped to reap from hence; for no doubt it was of good will, and not ill will, that she gave it to him; and when she offered it to him, it is highly probable she made use of arguments with him, and pressed him hard to it, telling him what delicious food it was, as well as how useful it would be to him and her. The Jews infer from hence, that Adam was with her all the while, and heard the discourse between the serpent and her, yet did not interpose nor dissuade his wife from eating the fruit, and being prevailed upon by the arguments used; or however through a strong affection for his wife, that she might not die alone, he did as she had done:

and he did eat; on which an emphasis may be observed, for it was upon his eating the fate of his posterity depended; for not the woman but the man was the federal head, and he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and died in him; through this offence judgment came upon all to condemnation; all became sinners, and obnoxious to death, Rom 5:12. If Eve only had eaten of the forbidden fruit, it could only have personally affected herself, and she only would have died; and had this been the case, God would have formed another woman for Adam, for the propagation of mankind, had he stood; though since he fell as well as she, it is needless to inquire, and may seem too bold to say what otherwise would have been the case. [Gill]

And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.'” – Gen 3:10 ESV

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, The voice of thy Word, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan: this was not the true cause of his hiding himself; he had heard his voice in the garden before, when it did not strike him with terror, but gave him pleasure:

and I was afraid, because I was naked. This also was not the true reason; he was naked from his creation as to his body, and it caused no shame in him, nor any dread to appear before God; he conceals the true cause, which was sin, that made the nakedness of his body shameful, and had stripped his soul of its native clothing, purity and holiness; and therefore it was, he could not appear before a pure and holy Being:

and I hid myself; among the trees of the garden, and his wife also; or therefore “hid myself”; through fear of God, his wrath and displeasure, which he had justly incurred by his disobedience, and because of his sin which had made his soul naked, though he was not as yet ingenuous enough to confess it. [Gill]

“He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” – Gen 3:24 ESV

So he drove out the man, Being unwilling to go out upon the orders given, some degree of force was used, or power exerted, in some way or other, to oblige him to depart; the word it is expressed by is used of divorces: there was a conjugal relation between God and man, the covenant between them had the nature of a matrimonial contract; which covenant man broke, though he was an husband to him, by committing idolatry, that is, spiritual adultery, not giving credit to him, but believing the devil before him; wherefore he wrote him a bill of divorce, and sent him away; drove him from his presence and communion with him, from his house and habitation, from his seat of pleasure, and garden of delight, and from all the comfortable enjoyments of life; an emblem of that separation and distance which sin makes between God and his creature, and of that loss which is sustained thereby:

and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims; the Septuagint version is, “and he placed him, or caused him (Adam) to dwell over against the paradise of pleasure, and he ordered the cherubim.” But the words are not to be understood either of placing man, or placing the cherubim, but of Jehovah’s placing himself, or taking up his habitation and residence before the garden of Eden, or at the east of it: while man abode in a state of innocence, the place of the divine Presence, or where God more gloriously manifested himself to him, was in the garden; but now he having sinned, and being driven out of it, he fixes his abode in a very awful manner at the entrance of the garden, to keep man out of it; for so the words may be rendered, “and he inhabited the cherubim, or dwelt over, or between the cherubim, before or at the east of the garden of Eden”; so the Jerusalem Targum, “and he made the glory of his Shechinah, or glorious Majesty, to dwell of old at the east of the garden of Eden, over or above the two cherubim;” or between them, as the Targum of Jonathan; and very frequently is Jehovah described as sitting and dwelling between the cherubim, 1Sam 4:4 by which are meant not flying animals or fowls, whose form no man ever saw, as Josephus (r); nor angels, which is the more generally received opinion; for these were not real living creatures of any sort, but forms and representations, such as were made afterwards in the tabernacle of Moses, and temple of Solomon; and which Ezekiel and John saw in a visionary way, and from whom we learn what figures they were: and these were hieroglyphics, not of a trinity of persons, as some of late have stupidly imagined; for these were the seat of the divine Majesty, and between which he dwelt: and besides, as these had four faces, they would rather represent a quaternity than a trinity, and would give a similitude of the divine Being, which cannot be done, and be contrary to the second command; to which may be added, that the word is sometimes singular as well as plural: but these were hieroglyphics of the ministers of the word, whose understanding, humility, and tenderness, are signified by the face of a man; their strength, courage, and boldness, by that of a lion; their labour and diligence by that of an ox; and their quick sight and penetration into divine things by that of an eagle, which are the forms and figures of the cherubim; see Gill on Ezek 1:10. Among these Jehovah is; with these he grants his presence, and by them signifies his mind and will to men; and these he makes use of to show them the vanity of all self-confidence, and to beat them off of seeking for life and righteousness by their own works, and to direct them alone to Christ, and point him out as the alone way of salvation; and of this use the hieroglyphic might be to fallen Adam, now driven out of Eden:

and a flaming sword, which turned every way; a drawn sword, brandished, and which being very quick in its motion, as it was turned to and fro, glittered and looked like a flame of fire: this is not to be understood as by itself, and as of itself, turning about every way without a hand to move it, nor as with the cherubim, or as in the hands of angels, as in 1Chr 21:16 or as being they themselves, which are made as flames of fire; but as in the hand of the Lord God, that dwelt between the cherubim; for so it may be rendered, “he inhabited the cherubim and that with a flaming sword”; that is, with one in his hand, an emblem of the fiery law of God now broken, and of the fire of divine wrath on the account of that, and of the flaming justice of God, which required satisfaction; and this turning on all sides:

to keep the way of the tree of life; showing, that life and salvation were not to be had, unless the law and justice of God were satisfied; and that they were not to be expected on the foot of men’s works, but only through Christ, the way, the truth, and the life; that no happiness was to be looked for from the covenant of works, now broke, nothing but wrath and vengeance; and that there must be another way opened, or there could be no enjoyment of the heavenly paradise. [Gill]

Answer – All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under His wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

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