First, we see how the serpent, Satan, sets the scene to deceive the woman by misquoting God's command to Adam found in Genesis 2:15-17:
"And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and guard and
keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, except of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and of blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely
Note above that God presented His command to Adam in a "positive" way -- i.e., that he may freely eat of all trees but one. Satan, on the other hand, subtly turned it around when he spoke to Eve in Genesis 3:1, and presented God's command
in a "negative" way:
"Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, 'Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat of every
tree of the garden?' "
At this point, Eve remembers basically what God had commanded, as well as the essence of its gravity, but it's evident that this first misleading statement from Satan begins to muddle her memory, for in Genesis 3:2,3 she misquotes
God's command, as well:
"And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, except of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither
shall you touch it, lest you die.' "
Eve added to God's original command, adding that they should not touch the fruit as well as not eating of it, which is not what God had said.
Satan used Eve's misquote of God's command
as an opportunity to plant some questioning doubt as to the reality of its consequences, in Genesis 3:4,5:
"But the serpent said to the woman, 'You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day that you eat of it your eyes
will be opened, and you will be as God, knowing the difference between good and evil, and blessing and calamity.' "
The word "serpent" comes from the Latin word serpo, "to creep," which suggests stealth. The way a serpent moves
-- writhing, without the aid of hands or feet -- beguiles and fascinates the watcher; and as such the serpent, or Satan, is the "fascinator" of men. All of his works and temptations are based in deception. Satan watches us for weak spots before
coming to us with temptation. Just as the woman was beguiled, it can be very difficult for Christians living in this age to live in pure devotion to Christ with no contamination, just as Paul warned the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 11:3.
In the case of Adam and the woman, Satan knew which one to approach, which one would be deceived, and either hoped or assumed -- correctly -- that Adam would follow suit, with devastating results.
Watch what happens next in Genesis
3:6. Satan used the same three temptations here with Eve that he continues to use with all mankind:
"And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable and pleasant) for food," (1st temptation, lust of the flesh) "and
that is was delightful to look at" (2nd temptation, lust of the eyes) "and a tree to be desired to make one wise," (3rd temptation, assurance in one's own resources as opposed to having faith in God, Who is unseen, and living according to His will; Dake's
calls this "the pride of life" 1 (see Notes) "she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate."
was baptized by John the Baptist, the fourth chapter of Matthew gives an account of how He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. In Matthew 4:3, Satan tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread to relieve His hunger (lust of the flesh);
in Matthew 4:6, Satan tempts Him to prove He was the Son of God by throwing Himself from a turret of the temple (self-assurance, or "pride of life"); and in Matthew 4:8,9, Satan tempts Him with ownership of the world's kingdoms and with its beauty (lust of
the eyes). Satan knew Jesus was hungry, His not having eaten for forty days. He also knew Jesus had come down from heaven to live on earth in the flesh for a time, and attempted to influence Him to "try" God's power by jumping from a turret, with
reliance on His angels to bear Him up. Lastly, Satan tried to deceive Jesus into worshipping him in exchange for ownership of the world and its splendor. It's noteworthy that in Jesus' case, similar to Eve's, Satan cunningly twisted the Scriptures
and perverted their meaning in an effort to trip Him up. But Jesus was well-versed in scripture and strong in faith, and in each temptation came right back at Satan with God's Word, accurately quoted and with full understanding. He was fully God
and fully man, filled with grace and righteousness, and was unable to be deceived.
Eve, on the other hand, was able to be led astray by Satan's deceptive reasoning. He does the very same thing today, using those same three
temptations. The apostle John explains this in the first of his three letters (1John 2:15-17):
"Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is
not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification], and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]
-- these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes
in his life, abides (remains) forever."
It is comforting to know that when we resist the devil, he will flee from us (see James 4:7), which is exactly what happened in Matthew 4:11 after Jesus had successfully resisted his temptations:
"Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him."