|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-5 Satan assaulted our first parents, to draw them to sin, and the temptation proved fatal to them. The tempter was the devil, in the shape and likeness of a serpent. Satan's plan was to draw our first parents to sin, and so to separate between them and their God. Thus the devil was from the beginning a murderer, and the great mischief maker. The person tempted was the woman: it was Satan's policy to enter into talk with her when she was alone. There are many temptations to which being alone gives great advantage; but the communion of saints tends very much to their strength and safety. Satan took advantage by finding her near the forbidden tree. They that would not eat the forbidden fruit, must not come near the forbidden tree. Satan tempted Eve, that by her he might tempt Adam. It is his policy to send temptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that have most influence upon us. Satan questioned whether it were a sin or not, to eat of this tree. He did not disclose his design at first, but he put a question which seemed innocent. Those who would be safe, need to be shy of talking with the tempter. He quoted the command wrong. He spoke in a taunting way. The devil, as he is a liar, so he is a scoffer from the beginning; and scoffers are his children. It is the craft of Satan to speak of the Divine law as uncertain or unreasonable, and so to draw people to sin; it is our wisdom to keep up a firm belief of God's command, and a high respect for it. Has God said, Ye shall not lie, nor take his name in vain, nor be drunk, &c.? Yes, I am sure he has, and it is well said; and by his grace I will abide by it. It was Eve's weakness to enter into this talk with the serpent: she might have perceived by his question, that he had no good design, and should therefore have started back. Satan teaches men first to doubt, and then to deny. He promises advantage from their eating this fruit. He aims to make them discontented with their present state, as if it were not so good as it might be, and should be. No condition will of itself bring content, unless the mind be brought to it. He tempts them to seek preferment, as if they were fit to be gods. Satan ruined himself by desiring to be like the Most High, therefore he sought to infect our first parents with the same desire, that he might ruin them too. And still the devil draws people into his interest, by suggesting to them hard thoughts of God, and false hopes of advantage by sin. Let us, therefore, always think well of God as the best good, and think ill of sin as the worst evil: thus let us resist the devil, and he will flee from us.
Verse 4. - And the serpent said unto the woman. "As God had preached to Adam, so Satan now also preaches to Eve... The object of Satan was to draw away Eve by his word or saying from that which God had said" (Luther). Ye shall not surely die. Lo-moth temuthun (the negative 16 preceding the infinitive absolute, as in Psalm 49:8 and Amos 9:8; its position here being determined by the form of the penalty, Genesis 2:17, to which the devil's language gives the direct negative. Vide Ewald, 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 312). Thus the second step in his assault is to challenge the Divine veracity, in allusion to which it has been thought our Savior calls Satan a liar (cf. John 8:44: ὅταν λαλῇ τὸ ψεῦδος ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων λαλεῖ ὁτι ψεύστης ἐστιν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ). "Here, as far as we know, is his first begottten lie" (Bush).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the serpent said unto the woman,.... In reply to her answer:
ye shall not surely die; in direct contradiction to the divine threatening, and which he would insinuate was a mere threatening, and which God never intended to put in execution; so that they had nothing to fear from that, God would never be so rigid and severe, and beat so hard upon them as to put them to death for such an offence, if it was one; he only gave out the menace to frighten them, and deter from it: however, at most it was not a certain thing they should die, and they might safely conclude they would not.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Ye shall not surely die—He proceeded, not only to assure her of perfect impunity, but to promise great benefits from partaking of it.
Genesis 3:4 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 3:4 NIV
Genesis 3:4 NLT
Genesis 3:4 ESV
Genesis 3:4 NASB
Genesis 3:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible