Gen31213 Parallel Commentaries
And the man said, etc. - We have here some farther proofs of the fallen state of man, and that the consequences of that state extend to his remotest posterity. 1. On the question, Hast thou eaten of the tree? Adam is obliged to acknowledge his transgression; but he does this in such a way as to shift off the blame from himself, and lay it upon God and upon the woman! This woman whom Thou didst give to be with me, עמדי immadi, to be my companion, (for so the word is repeatedly used), she gave me, and I did eat. I have no farther blame in this transgression; I did not pluck the fruit; she took it and gave it to me. 2. When the woman is questioned she lays the blame upon God and the serpent, (nachash). The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Thou didst make him much wiser than thou didst make me, and therefore my simplicity and ignorance were overcome by his superior wisdom and subtlety; I can have no fault here, the fault is his, and his who made him so wise and me so ignorant. Thus we find that, while the eyes of their body were opened to see their degraded state, the eyes of their understanding were closed, so that they could not see the sinfulness of sin; and at the same time their hearts were hardened through its deceitfulness. In this also their posterity copy their example. How few ingenuously confess their own sin! They see not their guilt. They are continually making excuses for their crimes; the strength and subtlety of the tempter, the natural weakness of their own minds, the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed, etc., etc., are all pleaded as excuses for their sins, and thus the possibility of repentance is precluded; for till a man take his sin to himself, till he acknowledge that he alone is guilty, he cannot be humbled, and consequently cannot be saved. Reader, till thou accuse thyself, and thyself only, and feel that thou alone art responsible for all thy iniquities, there is no hope of thy salvation.
And the man said,.... Not being able any longer to conceal the truth, though he shifts off the blame as much as possible from himself:
the woman whom thou gavest to be with me: to be his wife and his companion, to be an help meet unto him, and share with him in the blessings of paradise, to assist in civil and domestic affairs, and join with him in acts of religion and devotion:
she gave me of the tree, and I did eat; she first ate of it herself, through the solicitations of the serpent, and then she persuaded me to eat of it; and accordingly I did, I own it. By this answer Adam endeavours to cast the blame partly upon his wife, and partly upon God; though in what he said he told the truth, and what was matter of fact, yet it carries this innuendo, that if it had not been for his wife he had never ate of it, which was a foolish excuse; for he, being her head and husband, should have taught her better, and been more careful to have prevented her eating of this fruit, and should have dissuaded her from it, and have reproved her for it, instead of following her example, and taking it from her hands: and more than this he tacitly reflects upon God, that he had given him a woman, who, instead of being an help meet to him, had helped to ruin him; and that if he had not given him this woman, he had never done what he had: but at this rate a man may find fault with God for the greatest blessings and mercies of life bestowed on him, which are abused by him, and so aggravate his condemnation.