Genesis 3:6—"With," not "with"

Pastor Harris brought us to Genesis on Sunday, reading through the creation account and the Fall.  I noticed a little note I placed in the margin of my Bible from Hebrew class you may find interesting.

Genesis 3:6 reads, "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate."

I've heard a few messages on how men should protect their wives that come down to this verse for inspiration.  There's Eve, chatting it up with the deceiver, and Adam is apparently standing idly by.  Maybe he was thinking about that fruit, as well, but he certainly wasn't defending Eve from this spiritual onslaught.

While there may be some truth to that, we cannot know that from this verse.

There are two Hebrew words that roughly translate "with." If I understand the vowel pointings, the one found in this verse is im and denotes general proximity.  For instance, my wife is with me right now in this house as I type, though she is in the other room. 

Contrast that to et, which denotes close proximity.  As I type right now, my Bible is with me.  That is, I can read from the Bible, it's so close. 

Now, that the Holy Spirit employs the word for general proximity Genesis 3:6 rather than the one for close proximity indicates Adam was not smelling Eve's hair while she was contemplating rebellion against her Maker. 

I know, we could still make similar sermons, but let's just be accurate in how we try to evidence our sanctified theories.


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