Bible Studies > BibleJourney > Genesis
> Issue 10
Forbidden Fruit: Part TwoGenesis 3.8-24
Winn Griffin, D.Min.
The Key to the Story
in Chapter 3. Remember, the popular version of this story in (Genesis
3.1-24) is to answer questions about how the fall occurred, or to try to
identify the serpent as Satan, or to teach about the first blood sacrifices
(i.e., the provision of skin to replace the fig leaf is believed to have come
from God by sacrificing an animal). There is one thing that seems perfectly
clear for this story and we need to assert it at the beginning of the lesson:
The main thrust of the story is not to identify who's who in the garden, but to
demonstrate the care and concern of the Creator God for his creation, even when
they disobey him.
Time Travel: A Review
probably tells this story, as the others before it, in Genesis to the
Israelites against the backdrop of
He instructed them as they sat at
Sinai, having left a polytheistic society in
], and journeying toward a polytheistic society in Canaan, that
there is but one God and he is the one who had delivered them from Egypt and
was moving them toward the land he had promised their forefathers. This is
where the tale of the serpent comes into the picture (see below for fuller
discussion). In the ancient world of this time, the serpent was believed to be
divine and was often worshipped because of his ability to bring health,
fertility, immortality, and wisdom. It is likely that the storyteller was
giving Israel yet another reason to worship the one and only God, and not any
I know this is tough territory for Evangelicals who
have somewhat been given a steady diet of Creationism and Satanism from these
early chapters of Genesis. I trust that you stick in here and listen to the
text and the background into which is was originally given and hear what the
text is saying, even if it runs counter to what you have "always been
Overview of Genesis: A Review
The stories before in Genesis demonstrate a loving God
and an obedient creation. The story is about to change. This story (Genesis
3.1-24) is about how humankind decided to disobey God and the consequence
of such a decision.
The following is a quick overview of the chapter that
we are studying in this and the following two lessons. The narrative section of
3.6-8 is book ended by two exchanges of dialogue that involve the four
actors in this account (God,
Eve, and the serpent).
The first book end is the serpent and the woman
The second book end is the questioning of the man and
woman by God (Genesis
The next sections of the story are about man's
reaction, the naming of Eve, and the skin garments (Genesis
The present story ends with a divine monologue (God is
talking to himself) that determines the couples' expulsion and the execution of
the decision (Genesis
The former story (Genesis
2.4b-25) is the near background for understanding the snake's challenge of
the first human couple. In the previous story we are told about the life of
this first couple in the garden, which demonstrates to the hearer of the story
what will be lost by the human couple for a poor decision. Without the previous
story we would simply have no way of knowing what was lost by the bite taken
from the fruit.
The next story (Genesis
4.1-26) demonstrates the aftermath of the regrettable deed that is recorded
in our present story. Therein Cain murdered his brother Abel and the
disobedience that spreads from Adam and
to Cain spreads through his descendants.
3:1-7: An Overview
As these verses open, Adam and Eve heard the
thunder (the word translated sound is often connected with thunder in the Old
Testament) of the Lord moving about in the garden in the wind of the storm
(cool of the day).
God begins the conversation with a question. Where are
you? We may note that God is not ignorant of where Adam and Eve are; he is
simply drawing them out of their hiding.
Adam's response demonstrates the two things he did
wrong: first, he hid and, second, he blamed his spouse and God (12)
for his present predicament. Eve fairs no better and blames the serpent (13b).
What the first couple had in common was their refusal to accept responsibility
for their actions. (Sounds familiar, huh?)
God interrogated Adam, Eve, and the serpent. His
questions were designed to bring them to confession, not to gain him
information. He knew what they had done.
The serpent is condemned to crawl and be in constant
warfare with humankind. As Israel first heard this it was a word of comfort.
They were being told that as they moved forward to conquer the land, they would
have both victories and defeats. This story prepared them for such events that
would happen in their future. The serpent would eat dust. Dust as food was a
typical description of the world of the dead in the ancient world. Dust filled
the mouth of a corpse. This was a metaphor for death. While the serpent would
ultimately win some battles over humankind, humankind would ultimately crush
his head. Keeping the serpent down on his belly is in contrast to the serpent
raising its head to strike. The serpent on its belly was non-threatening. To
tread on the serpent's head simply means to defeat it.
The judgment given to Eve was that she would have pain
in childbirth and that her husband would rule over her. Childbirth pain world
be a constant reminder of sin. Some believe that
3.15 is the first mention of Jesus in the Old Testament. It is often called
the protoevangelion. At best this text suggests to the first listeners that
evil will not always dominate human beings.
Adam had to toil in his work as a constant reminder of
sin. The entire purpose for the gods to create people was to relieve the gods
of their toil, unlike the biblical account, in which people were to rule and
became burdened with toil only as a result of their disobedience to the Creator
God. In the ancient world, marriages were sometimes arranged. These arranged
marriages downplayed the role of romantic love which was so prevalent in the
modern age. In a labor poor society like the ancient world, men and women had
to work together as a team. Pregnancy and childcare periodically restricted a
woman's work in the field or in the shop. But for the couple's survival they
had to share labor and produce many children to help. Husband and wife had
their roles, but they worked together as a team for survival. In the garden
they were created co-equal. In the fall, they lost their equality.
The description of God "walking" in the garden is
anthropomorphic and suggests that he enjoyed fellowship between himself and our
first parents. "In the cool of the day," or "the breezy time of the afternoon,"
or "at the time of the evening breeze" forms a picture of comfort and
relaxation. It was toward sundown that the first couple heard God walking in
"Walked with God" is an expression that was a
favorite of the storyteller in Genesis. It pictured the righteous conduct of
the heroes of Israel including Enoch, Noah, and Abraham. When the first couple
heard God, they hid in fear. They did not anticipate a cordial time of
fellowship with their God. The couple who had previously hid their nakedness
from each other by making aprons of fig leaves were now attempting to hide
themselves from God in the trees of the garden. The storyteller does not
comment on exactly how one can camouflage him or herself with trees and escape
detection by God.
The presence of God is also noted by his "walking" in
the camp and Tabernacle (Lev.
23.15). Here we see another comparison between the garden in which the
first couple lived and the Tabernacle in the wilderness where Israel was first
hearing this story. The Hebrews recognized that God demanded holiness and
obedience if God were to continue to "walk" among his people.
The next scene is an inquest by God. The actors are
addressed in the opposite order to their appearance in the preceding scene
(now: man, woman, snake-before: snake, woman, man). In this section the sins of
the various characters are summoned from them. There is a certain kind of
gentleness about the questions. The Creator God is now pictured as the
Missionary God who was seeking the disobedient and fallen. The storyteller
reverts back to the term "Lord God" as a hint that God was still man's covenant
partner as well as his creator and judge.
The phrase "the Lord God called" would have been
understood by the Hebrews at Sinai as an enraged suzerain who was calling his
covenant partner for an explanation of his or her acts. The storyteller exposes
the couple as somewhat naïve and childish in their game of hide and seek.
If God had asked, "why are you hiding?" instead of "where are you?" his
question would have drawn attention to the futility, silliness, and stupidity
of the couples' attempt to hide from their maker. God's question is directed
only to the man even though both were hiding. Just like a parent, who might see
where his children are hiding, might call out for them, "where are you?" trying
to get them to show themselves. We can assume that this is what happened here,
because the couple emerged from their hiding place. They replied, because they
understood God's question as an invitation to come out and explain their
The man is not willing to tell a lie to his Creator. He
comments only on his behavior, "I hid myself," not on the behavior of the
woman. The answer Adam provided to God does not answer the question God asked
but answers another question: "Why are you hiding?" This seems characteristic
of fallen humankind; we seem to answer questions that are not being asked in
order to avert attention away from our situation.
The next two questions in the conversation are not those
of an ignorant questioner. The formation of the questions suggests that God, as
the detective, is prodding his creation to confess their guilt. The response of
Adam produces a further inquiry from God. The first question, "who told you
that you were naked?" may sound somewhat strange to the reader/hearer. Being
naked is not something about which one is ignorant. But rather than pausing to
give Adam an opportunity to answer, God asked a second question. This question
is a prosecutor's question. We may note that God did not charge the man with
transgression but rather allowed him to acknowledge his disobedience. The
question urges a confession rather than a condemnation.
A new program had been booted in Adam. He looked for
someone to blame for his sorry condition. The closest one to him was the woman
given to be his helper. She received the full force of his blame along with
God, who is faulted for giving the woman to Adam in the first place. The
effects of sin could not be more observable: Adam turned against his companion
and is alienated from his all-caring Creator. She was a mistake and God was
mistaken for putting her in Adam's life. By shifting the blame Adam may have
hoped to evade being accountable for his autonomous actions. Through
rationalization the criminal becomes the victim. People are often given to
justify their own poor conduct by pointing to the fate that God has given them
God now turns his attention to the woman and asked her to
explain by questioning her actions. Adam's partner who was blessed to tend to
the garden with him was now a partner in his crime. She responded no
differently than Adam. She shifted the blame to the serpent. While she shifted
the blame to the serpent, she does not blame God as Adam did by saying
something like, "the serpent whom you made and the man to whom you gave me."
She openly admitted that she was tricked or deceived. The serpent fed her a
line, presented an attractive proposition, and she bought the goods.
3.14-19: An Overview
The judgment oracle of God assigned
judgment to the serpent first (14-15),
then to the woman (16)
and finally to the man (17-19).
In each citation the punishment will correspond to the nature of the crime.
Each oracle consists of a penalty that is followed by a description of the
consequence. The serpent is not given an opportunity to reply.
- For the serpent the penalty is humiliation (14a)
and the consequence is his defeat by the woman's seed.
- For the woman the penalty is painful labor in
and the consequence is conflict with her husband (16b)
- For the man the penalty is painful labor in
and the consequence is conflict with the ground.
There are only words of condemnation for the serpent.
The man and woman receive God's continued concern and provision even in the
midst of their punishment. It is important to note that curses were uttered
against the serpent and the ground, but not against the couple. The order of
the narration of the sin and the sinner is the reverse of the order in which
each comes under God's judgment. The sin of the man (9-11),
the sin of the woman (12),
and the sin of the serpent (13)
are a chiastic arrangement with the judgment of the serpent (14-15),
the judgment of the woman (16)
and the judgment of the man (17-19).
It looks like the following:
Sin of Man
Judgment of Woman
A chiastic arrangement refers to an inverted
parallelism or sequence of words or ideas in a phrase or clause, sentence,
paragraph, chapter, or an entire literary work. This was an often-used literary
poetry. It was used in both writing and speaking.
The first occurrence of a divine curse appears in the
curse of the serpent. The root of the word curse, which is used here appears
fifty-five times in the Old Testament, mostly in the Pentateuch with eight of
the occurrences happening in Genesis. It is also in
27-28 in the list of blessings and curses of the covenant. The idea of
curse would be of particular interest to the Hebrews at Sinai as they had just
received the Lord-Servant treaty with its blessings and curses.
The punishment of the serpent has three aspects:
- It is consigned to crawl on its belly
- It is given a diet of dust
- Its ultimate destruction will be from the seed of
The food laws of the Mosaic covenant declare that
animals whose locomotion is on the ground are to be treated as unclean and
should be avoided (Lev.
The eating of dust is a common reference to personal
humiliation found elsewhere in Scripture (Micah
49.23). This is not to say that snakes live on dust, rather it is
figurative for humiliation. Thus, the snake will live a life of humiliation in
the natural world. It is obvious that snakes do not eat dust and no ancient
writers believed that they did. It is fruitless to see in this particular verse
an etiology for why snakes no longer walk on legs or why they lost their legs.
If a change in locomotion is what occurred and the story is told to help the
hearer to understand that purpose, then to be consistent one must also allow
the decree to eat dust to be a change in the snake's diet. The writer clearly
intends crawling on the belly and eating dust to carry symbolic recognition.
The end result: the snake will never improve its stature. It will bear the
curse all the days of its life.
This verse is one of the most famous in Scripture.
Interpreters fall into two categories:
- Those who see in the decree a messianic
- Those who see nothing of the kind
There are at least three difficult issues that await
those who try to interpret this part of the story:
- The meaning of the verb that describes what the
seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent will do to each other.
- The understanding of "offspring."
- The identification of the "it" who is to crush the
Other than that, no problem!
So let's dig in. The final destruction of the serpent
will come at the hands of the woman's descendant. The hostility between the
snake and the woman's seed is clearly instigated by God. The serpent was
instrumental in undoing the woman and in turn the woman will ultimately undo
the serpent. The serpent has a life expectancy that will come to a violent end.
There are three observations to make. First, let's
look at the verb crush/strike (sup). It will sup your head and you will
sup its heel." In such close quarters it seems likely that the word should be
translated by the same English word in both places. There is no evidence in the
Hebrew text to support a divergent reading. The NIV translates the first sup as
curse and the second sup as strike at. This translation creates the impression
that the blow struck by the serpent is fatal; its head is crushed, while the
blow unleashed by the serpent against the woman's seed is painful but not
deadly. The seed just comes away with a bruised heel. Such a shift in the
translation is not only artificial, but it places on the text a focus that is
not naturally there.
The precedent for translating sup in these two
different ways comes from the
The Vulgate used a Latin word which meant "to crush, grind, bruise for the
first occurrence, but used another Latin word which means "to lie in wait, to
lie in ambush, to watch" for the second occurrence. The
(LXX), on the other hand, chose to translate both occurrences of sup by tereo
(to watch, guard).
Second, let's observe the word "offspring or seed."
The hostility ordained by God is to take place between the seed of the serpent
and the seed of the woman. In the vast majority of cases where seed
(zera) appears, it refers to an individual child, an immediate offspring
rather than a distant descendant.
However, in a number of passages seed is a collective
noun referring to a distant offspring or a large group of descendants (Gen
In these passages a term like "posterity or offspring" would capture the
collective sense of seed.
Finally, we can look at the "it." The question is
whether one translates the "it" as "he, she, or it." The ancient versions give
various alternatives. The Vulgate suggests "she." (go figure!). The LXX has
autos (he) even though the antecedent is spermatos, which is neuter in Greek.
The LXX would appear to have had a messianic understanding of the verse. The
independent personal pronoun (hu) in Hebrew appears more than 100 times in the
Old Testament, but only here does the LXX translate it with autos (he). The
Targums, Jewish Pseudepigrapha, and later rabbinic commentators, however,
generally viewed the "seed" as collective for humankind. Christian interpreters
- Paul identified Christ as the "seed" ultimately
intended in the promised blessing to Abraham (Gal
- Justin and Irenaeus interpreted the woman of
3.15 as the virgin Mary by drawing a parallel with Eve
- Greek Fathers, such as Chrysostom, viewed
3.15 as a depiction of the struggle between Satan and humanity
- Others interpreted "seed" as the church
- The Latin Fathers such as Augustine with others
allegorized or moralized the verse, indicating a collective use
- Other Latin Fathers saw in the verse a specific
reference to the virgin birth
- Ambrose first quoted
3.15 as not "her seed" but "the woman's seed"
- Luther took "her seed" as reference to both
humanity in general and Christ in particular Calvin demurred such a view and
applied it as a collective, not to all humanity, but rather to the church under
the headship of Christ, which would prove victorious (quoting
Israel at Sinai might understand this phrase as "from
time to time you will lose battles, but the ultimate victory will be yours."
For the Hebrews who had just left the captivity in Egypt, hostility began with
a purge of Hebrew children from which Moses was delivered. It climaxes with
God's tenth plague against the house of Pharaoh and the Egyptian's firstborn.
The Christian tradition has referred to
3.15 as the first protevangelium. Historically interpreters have come to
different conclusions about whether "her seed" refers to an individual or a
collective community (see above). While a messianic interpretation may be
justified in the light of subsequent revelation (NT), it would perhaps be wrong
to suggest that this was the narrator's own understanding for the first hearer.
There is no "curse" that relates to the woman's suffering
unlike the penalties announced against the serpent and the man (ground
17). There is much controversy in regards to the interpretation of this
verse. It is almost as famous as the verse above. There are four basic
- Hierarchy is a creation ordinance, but it was
distorted by sin
- Hierarchy is a creation ordinance and judgment
includes a blessing restoring it
- There is no subordination before the fall, but
3.16 is a description, not a permanent prescription for the man-woman
- There is no subordination before the fall and
3.16 prescribes a new pattern
Traditionally the woman's submission to her husband
has been accepted as a part of the created order, man first, woman second.
Others see the submission as a new state of affairs for the woman resulting
from sin. Luther, in the Reformation Period, read the woman's submission as a
consequence of the fall, not a part of the created order.
The penalty given to the woman impacted her in two
- Her relationship with her husband.
First, the "painful labor" literally "your pain and
your childbearing." The couplet is to be understood as a hendiadys (where two
words no longer describe two discrete parts of a pair but a single unit). Her
punishment nurtures hope since it assumes that she will live to bear children.
While it signals hope, it also is a perpetual reminder of sin and the woman's
part in it.
Second, her sin tainted her relationship with her
husband. The word "desire" (NIV) appears two more times in the Old Testament
of Songs 7.10). The meaning of "desire" in this verse is highly disputed.
It has been explained in the following ways:
- As sexual desire based on the passage in the Song
of Songs (7.10)
and the reference to childbirth in
- A contention that Eve's submission is a penalty
only when her husband takes advantage of his position and mistreats her
3.16 is not part of the judgment on the woman. It is a description of the
inherent consequences of sin
4.17 is a close companion to our verse here at
and may have something to say about its meaning here. In
4 "sin" is like an animal that, when stirred up, will assault Cain. Sin's
"desire" is to overcome Cain and Cain's responsibility is to exercise "rule" or
"mastery" over sin.
"Desire" and "rule" are closely related in
3.16 just like they are in
4.17. The woman's "desire" is to overcome him while he "rules" over her.
This is a condition of the fall. We cannot understand the divine word "he will
rule over you" as a command to impose dominance any more than verse
3.16b is an exhortation for the woman to suffer as much as possible during
childbirth. It is a distortion of the passage to find in it justification for
There is a close relationship in the first chapter of
Genesis where we are told that the "larger light" will "rule" over the day and
the "smaller" light will "rule over the night. The word "rule" there (Gen.
1.16-17) is in the same family as the word "rule" here. This may provide us
another picture of what it means to "rule" over. The basic concept is not power
but light giver. The word in more inclined to bear the mark of "giving to"
rather than "power over."
The final judgment is directed against the man (Genesis
3.17-19). It is the longest and fullest of all the judgments. His penalty
fits his crime also. The ground is cursed on his account and will produce a
harvest of thorns and thistles. In the garden the ground was under the man's
care and was a source of joy. It is still under his care, but it will now turn
to a source of pain and man wearily ekes out his existence.
Many commentators believe that in this verse we have
the first instance of Adam being used as the man's name.
"Because you obeyed your wife," was man's fundamental
mistake. Literally it reads, "listened to the voice of," which is an idiom that
Five times in three verses eating is mentioned. Man's
offense consisted of eating the forbidden fruit and he is punished in what he
will now eat. The toil that lies behind the preparation of every man's labor to
produce food for his family is a constant reminder of his judgment and is made
more painful when it is set against what was lost in the garden.
Work is not a punishment for sin. Man was placed in
the garden to cultivate it. He had a vocation before the fall. It is rather the
hardship and frustration that will attend his work that constitutes the curse.
Relief from this toil only comes when man dies. (There
is not anything about retirement in Scripture). Death was exactly what God had
forewarned and what the serpent had denied. Death is the reversal of man's
God-given state of being a living being. This reversal is the deterioration of
the body that will return to the dust from which it was taken.
3.20-24: An Overview
Subsequent to their sin, the humans
experienced the penalty for their disobedience. Their ease with one another is
shattered, for they cover their nakedness. Their communion with God is broken,
and they hide from the one who created them in his image. Their grasp of truth
is weakened as they blame others for what they each have done. Fractures in
friendship, fellowship, and integrity are all causalities of sin.
Sin begins with mistrust of God and includes a craving
for what harms one's self. Sin neglects revelation of truth and ultimately
concludes in destruction.
At the conclusion of the pronouncements by God, Adam
names his wife "Eve." The word "Eve" is connected with the word for "life or
living." It is a name of dignity. Here is hope in the midst of despair.
The last act of God before the couple is expelled from
the garden is one of care and concern. He provides for them clothes. There is
no mention of sacrifice in the text. The text is simply silent. To say more
than the text is to say more than God was ready to reveal. There are some items
that God simply leaves unsaid because they need not be said.
Finally, God banished Adam and Eve from Eden and
restricts their reentry.
Two events signal the continuing hope for the couple
following the pronouncement of judgment:
- Adam names his wife Eve. Her name
means living and is traditionally rendered Eve Her name occurs sparsely in
Tim 2.13). Adam explains why she is named Eve. She is the mother of all
living for all human life will have its source in her body.
- God's provision of animal skins for
garments. Although the text does not specify that animals were slain
to provide these coverings, it is a fair implication and one that likely would
be made in the Mosaic community, where animal sacrifice was pervasive. Since
the garden narrative shares in tabernacle imagery, it is not surprising that
allusion to animal sacrifice is found in the garden also. Though an oblique
reference to animal sacrifice, the garden narrative paints a theological
portrait familiar to the recipients of the Sinai revelation who honored the
tabernacle as the meeting place with God. Sacrifice renewed and guaranteed that
special union of God with his people. A tunic was the basic garment worn next
to the skin. It was a long shirt that reached to the knees and sometimes to the
ankles. The human couple could only produce an inadequate loincloth made of fig
leaves. God provided them with proper attire. It is probably reading too much
into this verse to see in the coats of skin a hint of the use of animals and
blood in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.
These two events indicate that the couple will survive
through the gracious intervention of their God.
No one really knows what prompted Adam to name his
wife at this juncture of the story. As of this point she has not mothered any
children. But she was going to have a son in the near future. The text says
that Eve was the mother of all living. But she has yet to give birth to a
second generation. Sometimes the Hebrew language uses a perfect to express
future action. Such usage is called a prophetic perfect, for the use of the
perfect reinforces the certainty of the distant fact.
This is the seventh and final scene and it matches the
first. In scene 1 the garden was planted for man. He was allowed to eat of the
tree of life. His job was to till and guard the garden. The storyteller goes
into great detail to describe the lushness of the garden so the reader/hearer
understands the garden as man's perfect home where he enjoyed peace with his
In this the seventh scene, man is expelled from the
garden. He no longer will have access to the tree of life. Instead of Adam and
Eve guarding the garden, an armed cherubim is stationed there to keep them out.
Adam who was appointed to till the garden will till the cursed land instead.
The exile of Adam and Eve from the garden is decisive,
definitive, and swift. This passage continues to share the imagery of the
Tabernacle by allusion. The cherubim at the "east side" of the garden parallel
the direction the Tabernacle and Temple were entered. Entrance to Eden's garden
was guarded by the cherubim who are known from the Old Testament as winged,
composite beings associated with the presence of God (Ps
18.10). Their golden images formed the covering of the ark (Exodus
25.18-22) and decorated the curtains of the holy of holies (Ex
Since man became like God (one of us) knowing good and
evil, God must move to keep him from staying in the garden. God had hardly
finished speaking before man is exiled from the garden.
The cherubim were to "guard the way to the tree of
life." The golden candlestick in the Tabernacle represented both the tree of
life and the presence of God.
These features in the story combine to suggest that
the Garden of Eden was a type of sanctuary where God was uniquely present in
all his life-giving power. The Tabernacle was now the garden for the Hebrews.
It was the presence of God that man forfeited when he ate the fruit.
- What in our disobedience makes us think that we can
hide from God?
- How does answering a question that is not asked
avert attention away from your present situation?
- What have we been taught about God's character
that when we disobey we believe that God is going to be angry and judgmental?
Try to discover God as one who receives confession rather than first handing
- How often do you think of yourself as victim when
in fact you are the causation of a problem?
- What about the story of the disobedience of Adam
and Eve makes us want to take the props of the story and make them literal?
- How does this approach damage the text and the
meaning of the text for the first hearer?
- Could it be that the "rule" of a husband over a
wife is a characteristic of the fall, but in the redemption of Jesus that this
has been removed? (One must note that the story is about a husband and wife,
not men and women in general, thus it is a fallacy to think that this story
teaches male domination over females.)
- Where is your garden?
Read the following Dictionary Articles from
Easton's Bible Dictionary, or the International Standard Bible
Encyclopedia. Easton's is about a century old, therefore, some of
the information is not current with newer Bible Dictionaries. ISBE is
about seventy-five years old. You might read the articles off-line in a number
of different Bible Dictionaries. If you do not own a Bible Dictionary, I would
Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. If you like lots of color pictures, try
The Revell Bible Dictionary now out of print but still
can be ordered from amazon.com. One of these should suit your personal
Copyright © 2002-2019, Winn Griffin.
All rights reserved. BibleJourney: An Almost Weekly Bible Study is a service of
SBL Ministries. Unless otherwise stated, scripture quotations are from the
International Standard Version (ISV) of the Bible®. Copyright
© 2001 by The ISV Foundation, 2200 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA
92705-7016. Used by permission of
Press, Inc. All rights reserved internationally.