Genesis 3:22
(22) As one of us.--See Note on Genesis 1:26. By the fall man had sunk morally, but grown mentally. He had asserted his independence, had exercised the right of choosing for himself, and had attained to a knowledge without which his endowment of free-will would have remained in abeyance. There is something painful and humiliating in the idea of Chrysostom and other Fathers that the Deity was speaking ironically, or even with insult (Augustine). All those qualities which constitute man's likeness to God--free-will, self-dependence, the exercise of reason and of choice--had been developed by the fall, and Adam was now a very different being from what he had been in the days of his simple innocency.

Lest he put forth his hand.--Adam had exercised the power of marring God's work, and if an unending physical life were added to the gift of freewill now in revolt against God, his condition and that of mankind would become most miserable. Man is still to attain to immortality, but it must now be through struggle, sorrow, penitence, faith, and death. Hence a paradise is no fit home for him. The Divine mercy, therefore, commands Adam to quit it, in order that he may live under conditions better suited for his moral and spiritual good.

Verse 22. - And the Lord God said. Verba insultantis (Augustine); ironica reprobatio (Calvin). But "irony at the expense of a wretched, tempted soul might well befit Satan, but not the Lord" (Delitzsch), and is altogether inconsistent with the footing of grace on which man was placed immediately upon his fall. Behold, the man is become as one of us. Not the angels (Kalisch), but the Divine Persons (cf. Genesis 1:26). It is scarcely likely that Jehovah alludes to the words of the tempter (Genesis 3:5). To know good and evil. Implying an acquaintance with good and evil which did not belong to him in the state of innocence. The language seems to hint that a one-sided acquaintance with good and evil, such as that possessed by the first pair in the garden and the unfallen angels in heaven, is not so complete a knowledge of the inherent beauty of the one and essential turpitude of the other as is acquired by beings who pass through the experience of a fall, and that the only way in which a finite being can approximate to such a comprehensive knowledge of evil as the Deity possesses without personal contact - can see it as it lies everlastingly spread out before his infinite mind - is by going down into it and learning what it is through personal experience (cf. Candlish, in loco). And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. On the meaning of the tree of life v/de Genesis 2:9. Neither

(1) lest by eating of the fruit he should recover that immortal life which he no longer "it possessed (Kalisch), as is certain that man would not have been able, had he even devoured the whole tree, to enjoy life against the will of God" (Calvin); nor

(2) lest the first pair, through participation of the tree, should confer upon themselves the attribute of undyingness, which would not be the ζωὴ αἰώνιος of salvation, but its opposite, the ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον of the accursed (Keil, Lange, T. Lewis, Wordsworth); but either

(3) lest man should conceive the idea that immortality might still be secured by eating of the tree, instead of trusting in the promised seed, and under this false impression attempt to take its fruit, which, in his case, would have been equivalent to an attempt to justify himself by works instead of faith (Calvin, Macdonald); or

(4) lest he should endeavor to partake of the symbol of immortality, which he could not again do until his sin was expiated and himself purified (cf. Revelation 22:14; Candlish). The remaining portion of the sentence is omitted, anakoloutha or aposiopesis being not infrequent in impassioned speech (cf. Exodus 32:32; Job 32:13; Isaiah 38:18). The force of the ellipsis or expressive silence may be gathered from the succeeding words of the historian.

3:22-24 God bid man go out; told him he should no longer occupy and enjoy that garden: but man liked the place, and was unwilling to leave it, therefore God made him go out. This signified the shutting out of him, and all his guilty race, from that communion with God, which was the bliss and glory of paradise. But man was only sent to till the ground out of which he was taken. He was sent to a place of toil, not to a place of torment. Our first parents were shut out from the privileges of their state of innocency, yet they were not left to despair. The way to the tree of life was shut. It was henceforward in vain for him and his to expect righteousness, life, and happiness, by the covenant of works; for the command of that covenant being broken, the curse of it is in full force: we are all undone, if we are judged by that covenant. God revealed this to Adam, not to drive him to despair, but to quicken him to look for life and happiness in the promised Seed, by whom a new and living way into the holiest is laid open for us.And the Lord God said,.... The Word of the Lord God, as the Jerusalem Targum; not to the ministering angels, as the Targum of Jonathan but within himself, or to the other two divine Persons:

behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; which is generally understood as an irony or sarcasm at man's deception by Satan, who promised man, and he expected to be as gods, knowing good and evil; behold the man, see how much like a god he looks, with his coat of skin upon his back, filled with shame and confusion for his folly, and dejected under a sense of what he had lost, and in a view of what he was sentenced to; yet must be understood not as rejoicing in man's misery, and insulting over him in it, but in order the more to convince him of his folly, and the more to humble him, and bring him to a more open repentance for affecting what he did, and giving credit to the devil in it: though I rather think they are seriously spoken, since this was after man was brought to a sense of the evil he committed, and to repentance for it, and had had the promised seed revealed to him as a Saviour, and, as an emblem of justification and salvation by him, was clothed with garments provided by God himself: wherefore the words are to be considered either as a declaration of his present state and condition, in and by Christ, by whose righteousness he was made righteous, even as he is righteous, though he had lost his own; to whose image he was conformed, now bearing the image of the heavenly One, though he was deprived of that in which he was created, having sinned, and come short of the glory of God; and was now restored to friendship and amity with God, favoured with his gracious presence, and having faith and hope of being with him for evermore; the eyes of his understanding were enlightened by the Spirit and grace of God, to know the good things which God had provided for him in Christ, and in the covenant of grace, a better covenant than that under which he was made, and which he had broke; and to know the evil nature of sin, its just demerit, and the atonement of it, by the death and sacrifice of the promised seed: or else the words are a declaration of man's past state and condition, and may be rendered, "behold, the man was as one of us" (o); as one of the Persons in the Deity, as the Son of God, after whose image, and in whose likeness, he was made; both as to his body, that being formed according to the idea of the body of Christ in the divine mind, and which was not begotten, but made out of the virgin earth; and as to his soul, which was created in righteousness and holiness, in wisdom and knowledge, and was like him in the government he had over all the creatures: and besides, he was in many things a type of Christ, a figure of him that was to come; especially in his being a federal head to his posterity, and in his offices of prophet, priest, and King; and being created in knowledge, after the image of him that created him, and having the law of God inscribed on his heart, he knew what was good and to be done, and what was evil and to be avoided: but now he was in a different condition, in other circumstances, had lost the image of God, and friendship with him, and his government over the creatures; and had ruined himself, and all his posterity, and was become unholy and unwise; for being tempted by Satan to eat of the forbidden fruit, under an expectation of increasing his knowledge, lost in a great measure what he had:

and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life; as well as of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; which some take to be a continued sarcasm; and others, that it was in pity to him, that he might not live a long life of sorrow; and others, as a punishment, that having sinned he was justly deprived of the sacrament and symbol of life; or else to prevent a fresh sin; or rather to show that there could be no life without satisfaction for the sin committed, and this in no other way than by Christ, the antitype of the tree of life:

and eat, and live for ever; not that it was possible, by eating of the fruit of the tree of life, his natural life could be continued for ever, contrary to the sentence of death pronounced upon him; or so as to elude that sentence, and by it eternal life be procured and obtained; but he was hindered from eating of it, lest he should flatter himself, that by so doing he should live for ever, notwithstanding he was doomed to die; and very probably the devil had suggested this to him, that should he be threatened with death, which he made a question of, yet by eating of the tree of life, which stood just by the other, he might save himself from dying: wherefore to prevent him, and to cut off all hopes of securing life to himself in this way, it is suggested that something must be done, which may be supplied from the following verse, let us send him out of the garden.

(o) "fuit", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt. So Abarbinel. apud Abendana in Miclol. Yophi in loc.

Genesis 3:21
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