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EXEGESIS > Old Testament > Pentateuch > Genesis > Gen. 3:7, 21

The Nakedness of Adam and Eve
Gen. 3:7, 21

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Also for Adam and his wife
the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them.

Textual Consideration

    “they knew that they were naked” – Adam and Eve Needed Clothing

To be naked is to be in need of clothing; the need is to be covered; spiritually it means they the two of them did not have what they needed to appear before God; their physical nakedness was indicative of a greater and more profound nakedness.

They knew that they were not acceptable to God, so they hid themselves; their sense of predicament was great; they hid in order to escape God; but they learned that such an escape from God is impossible.

Their awareness of nakedness brought to them humiliation, shame, and guilt; they were afraid of God; they feared His presence.

Though they had no desire to face God, He took the initiative and confronted them; He confronted them and asked them: “Who told you that you were naked?” (Gen. 3:11); God then pressed the issue: “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen. 3:11).

    “sewed fig leaves together” – Adam and Eve Tried to Provide Clothing

Adam and Eve made garments of fig leaves in order to cover themselves; their covering was their own product; it was the best they could do; it was a vain attempt and they did not perceive the emptiness of what they were doing.

Adam and Eve attempted to provide clothing for themselves, but it was not sufficient; they did not have the ability to produce garments that were acceptable to God; it was not within them.

In addition to the fig leaves, when God appeared they hid themselves; in addition to the guilt they felt, they were condemned by their consciousness; they could not face God.

    “God made” – God Provided Clothing

God provided the clothing He deemed proper; the provision of God is Grace; what the couple could not do, God did; God must provide because man cannot provide.

    “garments of skins” – God Provided a Specific Clothing

God provided a covering of skins; for there to be skins an animal or animals had to die; through the death of the animal the covering was provided; for Adam and Eve to be properly covered sacrifice was required; the shedding of blood provided a covering.

    “clothed them” – God clothed Adam and Eve

The clothing of Adam and Eve was the doing of God; they could not clothe themselves; they were dependent on God to act; He did act.

Theological Thoughts

* Man needs clothing; man is naked before God, in need of clothing; man in his sin is spiritually exposed before God; he has no goodness and is unacceptable to God; he cannot appear before God; he must hide himself; and the hiding only adds to his sense of shame and guilt.

* Man tries to provide clothing for himself; he does this in order to cover his spiritual nakedness before God; man seeks to do something to be accepted by God; he offers sacrifices, he tries to worship, he reforms himself, he confesses faults, he repeats rituals, he denies himself and lives as an ascetic, he attempts to live the good life, a life devoted to the Good; all of these things and more comprise the various religions of the world; all are really vain attempts by man to cover himself.

* God provides covering for man; God’s provision for man is His Grace given to man; Grace is God doing for me what I cannot do for myself; Grace is God giving to me what I cannot get for myself; Grace is about God not about me; the initiative is always with God.

* God provides a specific covering, the righteousness of Christ; to provide that righteousness Christ came to this earth, lived and died in order to provide salvation, a covering for man; the believer must be identified with Christ; for Paul it is to be “in Christ”; Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to God but by Him; salvation is Christ—He is the covering.

For they [Israel] being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:3-4).

* God applies the salvation He provides; salvation is of the Lord; He covers, He saves, He redeems; He is the author and finisher of our faith; see: Sovereignty in Salvation.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothes me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10).

See: Gen. 5:1-32 - And He Died

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