A friend and I were discussing Biblical issues, and my friend asked an interesting question. Did Adam and Eve know that Satan was in the garden prior to God giving the choice of trees? If both of them were created good, would they have known what evil is, or did God tell them? If they didn’t know what evil is, then offered the choice between the tree of life or the tree of good and evil, they wouldn’t be able to make an informed decision and therefore easier to be manipulated, right?


Whether or not Adam and Eve knew that the serpant was in the garden seems to not be particularly relevant to the story of Adam and Eve. Here is why. If we take the Genesis account at face value, the first couple did not have knowledge of good and evil. Therefore they would not have been capable of understanding that the serpent was “evil.” What they DID know is that God had told them not to eat the fruit or they would die. Their sin was in disobeying God. It was when they sinned that they had knowledge of evil and acquired a sinful nature. I assume that after they had sinned and been kicked out of the garden, it dawned on them just how “evil” the serpent was.

Why did God not tell them? Perhaps they would not even have understood if he had told them because they had not eaten of the fruit. God told them enough. He told them not to eat the fruit if the tree. Their decision to eat the fruit was definitely an “informed decision.” They had no excuse whatsoever. It is similar with us. If we want, we can always say “The Devil made me do it.” The problem with this is that God definitely will not accept this excuse. Satan’s technique is to use our own evil desires to tempt us. If we did not have selfishness, pride, greed and so forth, he would have nothing to work with. This is what God told us in James 1:13-15. “No one undergoing a trial should say, ‘I am being tempted by God.’ For God is not tempted by evil, and He HImself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire hasd conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” This statement applies to us and it applied to Adam and Eve.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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