Did Adam and Eve know they were doing wrong when they ate the fruit?

by Matt Slick

Given what we find in Scripture we can see that Adam and Eve had been made aware that they were not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...

"The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die," (Genesis 2:16-17).

We see later that Eve repeated the command to the serpent. However, it's worth noting that she added three words, "or touch it." Most probably since God gave the instruction to Adam, Adam then gave it to Eve.  Eve then repeated it to the evil one.

"The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die,'" (Genesis 3:2-3).  

So when they chose to eat the fruit, we must conclude that they knew they were doing wrong.

But some might say that Eve was deceived and that she did not intend to do wrong, so she may not have known she was doing wrong by eating the fruit. This might be the case, but we know that she quoted God's prohibition against eating the fruit to the serpent. Therefore, she knew what God had said, and she went against it, deceived or not.  Being deceived about eating the fruit does not automatically mean she was guiltless.

Adam, on the other hand, apparently made a willful choice to rebel against God because there was no apparent deception on his part. Eve gave him the fruit, and he willingly partook. So, Adam, without a doubt, knew he was rebelling against God and was doing wrong.




About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.