Genesis 3:1-24 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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When God's Love is Doubted
Comments for Study 4

Genesis 3:1-24
Memory Verse 15


After God created man, it now only remained to test man's love expressed through obedience to God; to see if man would return God's love and to prepare him for yet higher and greater privileges than those which he already enjoyed. But evil was already in this world for Satan and his angels had rebelled against God and been put here. (See below for the verses referring to Satan.)

I. The Fall of Man (1-13)

>1. How is the serpent described in 3:1? In Job 1:6-7, 2:1-2; Zech. 3:1-2; Mark 4:15; Luke 13:16, 22:31; John 8:44; and 2 Corinthians 2:11, 11:14; Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4; and Revelation 12:7-9, 20:2,7? Why is it important to know of the truth of Satan?

Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?'"

* "Now" -This is a continuation of chapter 2 in that it is from the same viewpoint. This doesn't mean that Satan/serpent tempted them on the same day that they were made.

* "the serpent" -In Hebrew serpent is "nachash." It means: a snake (from its hiss). Its Hebrew root word is a prime root meaning "to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; gen. to prognosticate."

* Verses about the serpent are as follows:

Job 1:6-7 "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.""

Job 2:1-2 "On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

Zech. 3:1-2 "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

Mark 4:15 "Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them."

Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

Luke 22:31 ""Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."

John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

2 Corinthians 2:11 "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."

2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."

Jude 1:6 "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day."

2 Peter 2:4 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"

Revelation 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

Rev. 20:2 "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."

Rev. 20:7 "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison"

* Snakes (wgucg are serpent like) look beautiful, but can be deadly. I also note that the devil's purpose is to separate men and women from God and each other and so destroy their life and God's work. I also note that Satan is condemned already. Satan and his kind are spiritual with authority and they have a free will just as man did. The chose to rebel against God and all who rebel are his children.

* "was" -Not that he isn't anymore. It is just stating the fact, looking to the facts surrounding the event.

* "more crafty than any" -"crafty" in Hebrew is "aruwm." It means: "cunning (usually in a bad sense):-crafty, prudent, subtle."

The serpent made himself sound caring and smart. But he craftily lies to destroy, just as the above verses say. Therefore we humans, especially Christians need to understand how crafty he can be for he can deceive anyone into sinning against God and man.

* "of the wild animals" -The Hebrew word here "chay" is the same one as used in 2:19 and 1:25. Obviously Satan entered the serpent (snake) in the same way as his kind (demons) entered the pigs in Matthew 8. The question is, was the serpent crafty before Satan entered him? Or did the serpent become crafty when Satan entered him and Adam and Eve didn't know what his state was before Satan entered him? The first suggestion seems the best interpretation; both the serpent and Satan were crafty.

* "the LORD God had made" -God made Satan and the serpent.

>2. What did the serpent say to the women? (1b, 4, 5) How did he plant doubt in the woman's heart? How did he lie? What did she begin to doubt as she listened to him? Why did he want her to eat the fruit which God had forbidden?

* "He said to the women" -Satan could talk as well as the snake.

* "Did God really say" -With Satan's lead the animal questioned God's word, love, wisdom, truth and authority. He was even mocking God's word and Eve's simple acceptance of it; she did not question it nor run away from the tempter.

* "you must not eat from any tree in the garden" -Satan twisted and diluted God's word. He tempted her to doubt God's love and goodness. (1, 4, 5) He was subtle and crafty in his temptation.

Genesis 3:2 "The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,"

* "the women said to the serpent" -Her mistake was not walking away as I have wrote above.

* "We may eat" -She did not say, "God said that..."Thus she focused this part, even though it was truth on herself.

* What Eve said was truth, they could eat fruit from the trees in the garden and they must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. However she greatly misquoted God's words even showing discontentment for what she was given, which was all she needed. Eve wasn't happy with all that God had given her, she wanted more.

>3. What did the women say to the serpent? (3-4) What was her attitude toward God's word and his blessings? What did she think when she looked at the fruit? What was her attitude toward the serpent's words? Why did she eat the fruit? What can we learn here about the root of sin? (Romans 1:20-21)

Genesis 3-4 "'but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'' 'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman.'"

* "but" -By saying "but" she began showing that she had took Satan's bait.

Eve began to doubt God's love. She even seemed upset that she couldn't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was in the middle of the garden. Why? Because she didn't have a thankful heart. She did not accept God nor his word. She did not glorify God. A right heart is needed for all of these. Thus the fruit of a thankless mind is futile thinking.

* "God did say" -Now she would lower God. Rebellious in nature.

* "in the middle of the garden" -Eve didn't identify the tree of life which was also in the middle of the garden. The tree of life was probably a symbol and pledge of a higher life, which we should have inherited if our first parents had continued obedience to God. But Eve did not see nor say this.

* "you must not touch it" -This is again where Eve did not fully know and therefore repeat God's word. She didn't pay attention to the details of the word of God. She added to the word. (Compare 2:16-17 to 3:4-5) Her Bible study must have been relaxed. She did not meditate on it well enough. She had a light attitude toward the word of God, even a negative attitude.

One could say that God did not say the right words to Eve, only to Adam. But Adam probably taught her it. Or she was there when God said it but the Bible did not include her name. In any case later Paul wrote in Romans 1:20-21, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." The less word of God we have in our hearts the less control we have.

Why did she say "not touch it"? Maybe she was legalistic. But mostly, she interpreted God's words from her point of view not God's. In short, she took Satan's bait and began to doubt God which lead to sin.

* The women began to doubt God's word, God's love, God's goodness, and God's authority. These lead her to sin.

Genesis 3:4-5 "'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'"

* "You will not surely die" -Satan lied. He denied the threatening of God, and deceived her as to the real consequences of eating the forbidden fruit.

* "Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God" -He made disobeying God appealing.

Eve was naive, but not stupid. She could have thought about Satan's words from the right perspective, God's. She could have used her brain by completely avoiding someone who questioned God. But she didn't.

So Serpent twisted the facts and made it appealing to disobey God. In truth Satan was right. Their eyes would be open and they would know the difference of good and evil. But this would not make them like God or even the same as God as he suggested in verses 4 and 5.

In his temptation to Eve, Satan implied that God was restricting them, when God was actually protecting them. He used God's words of truth to do this; using it incorrectly. From this I can see that it is important to know God's words in the Bible as it is written.

First because so many people follow Satan's example and twist the word of God. That is how false religions are made. Sometimes this twisting of God's words is deliberate. Sometimes it is done in ignorance and pride. For example: in the past certain Bishops would not look into the telescope of Galileo because they wanted to hold on to their interpretation of the Bible; i.e. that the earth was the center of the universe. But their interpretation was wrong and thus caused many to fall away from the Bible. They fell away because they believed the Bishops interpretations without checking it out for themselves. Therefore for this reason also, Christians need to study the Bible for what it says; not just taking someone's words for it.

In Satan's temptation I see that slowly and sadistically he tore down Eve's defenses. First Satan suggested. Then he told a blatant lie. From this I see that in the pure hearted, Satan works slowly with half truth's to cause them to sin.

* Why did Satan want Eve to eat the fruit? He wanted Eve to eat the fruit which God had forbidden because:
    1) She would disobey God.
    2) So her relationship with God would be broken.
    3) So she would be cursed.
    4) So her life would be miserable.
    5) So she would be killed.
    6) So, as he thought, he would win something over God.
    7) He did it out of hate and jealousy.
    8) In the past his place was to serve man.
    9) Misery loves company.
    10) Sinners want company and approval of other sinners.

* "for God know that" -This is a lie implying God was holding something back from Adam and Eve.

* "you will be like God" -In our hearts we want to be like God. But what Satan was saying was, "You can be like God by doing it my way. God really doesn't want you to be like him. He is afraid that you can be like him and even better than him. He is afraid of this because you will be able to unseat him and be God. You can be god of your own life." But by obeying Satan Eve would not be god of her own life. She would be subject to Satan's lies.

* "knowing good and evil" -This is something that was not desirable. But through talking Satan made it desirable. In the same way in today's materialistic society, people make undesirable things sound good to have. Thus we are deceived in buying things that we do not need.

Genesis 3:6a "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it."

* "When the woman saw" -Satan had gotten her to look at the forbidden fruit with sinful eyes. Now would be an enticement of her own senses. In other words her own senses now lead her to do the sin that Satan had tempted her to do. Because of this I know that I can not trust my feelings to decide what is right and wrong. Instead, God will help me apply the word of God when making decisions and overcoming temptation.

* "the fruit...was good" -The fruit itself wasn't bad. It was the disobedience that was wrong.

* "for food" -It would not poison her physically.

* "pleasing to the eye" -Sin often looks beautiful.

* "disable for gaining wisdom" -This was in accordance with Satan's lie. She would gain knew knowledge and perspective. But it would not be to her advantage as was implied.

* "She took some" -By this time Eve thought her judgment was better than God's. She had lost respect for God and lost a thankful mind.

* "She...ate it" -There are three parallels in this temptation and Jesus's temptation in Matthew 4:1-11.

In Eve's:
    1) She saw that it was good for food. (6)
    2) She saw that is was pleasing to the eye. (6)
    3) She was that it was desirable for gaining wisdom. (6)

In Jesus' temptation in the desert:
    1) To eat (pleasure).
    2) pleasing to look at (kingdoms)
    3) jump (easy wisdom)

>4. Through the women's failure, what can we learn about overcoming Satan's temptations? (Matthew 4:1-11)

Matthew 4:1-11 says, "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."

From Jesus I learn what I can do to overcome Satan's temptation:
    1) Know God's word.
    2) Apply it to daily life.
    3) Don't compromise the word of God.
    4) Use the word of God.
    5) Resist the Devil and he will flee.
    6) Holding one simple point and bringing out one point is good.
    7) Don't have a casual attitude toward Bible study.

>5. What did the women do after her act of disobedience? Was she being a good helper for man? What was the immediate result of their disobedience? (7) Was the serpent's words true? How?

Genesis 3:6b "She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

* "She also" -one sin lead to another.

* "gave some to her husband" -She lead her husband to sin.

Satan uses people, whether directly or indirectly to cause others to sin. Even those we love can be used by Satan, those we think ware right with God, or even were right with God at one time but have since fallen from grace (backslide) to cause us to sin. Sure, Adam may have been there but was not tempted right away. But the Scripture does not say he was there. In fact it says that Even gave it to him.

* "who was with her" -This does not say "with her in the garden." He seemed to be with Eve when Satan was tempting her. This would imply that Adam knew what was going on and let it happen. Perhaps he was even standing there waiting to see if she would eat it and what would happen to her. If this is the true, then Adam was not a good leader, not a good husband, and not fulfilling his God given relationship with her.

* "and he ate it" -Sin can spread from one person to another.

Genesis 3:7 "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."

* "Then the eyes of both of them were opened" -This part of Satan's words came true. In fact, even though God didn't directly say it, thru calling it the knowledge of good and evil he seem to indicate that they would gain the knowledge.

* "they realized they were naked" -Naked not only physically, but spiritually. They were full of shame.

This shows that because of sin, man and women are separated from the relationship that he intended. Also because of sin, man and man are separated from having a proper relationship as God intended.

* "they sewed fig leaves together" -This act shows that Adam and Eve had intelligence far greater than us for sowers have tried to do this with the tools that Adam and Eve would have had and failed.

* "they...made coverings for themselves" -They tried to hid their sin, cover it up, correct it in their own way. This is similar to rationalization. We build walls between us and God to hid our sins. (John 1:16-17)

* Now their eyes were indeed opened, as the tempter had promised. But only in their own guilty knowledge of sin, which immediately prompted the wish to hide themselves from the presence of God. Thus their alienation and departure from God, the condemning voice of their conscience, and their sorrow and shame gave evidence that the Divine threatening had already been accomplished: "In that will die." The sentence of death which God now pronounced on our first parents extended both to their bodily and their spiritual nature-to their mortal and immortal part. In the day he sinned man died in body, soul, and spirit. And because Adam, as the head of his race, represented the whole; and as through him we should all have entered upon a very high and happy state of being, if he had remained obedient, so now the consequences of his disobedience have extended to us all.

>6. How did Adam and Eve react when they heard to Lord coming? (8, 10) What does this reveal about their relationship with God? How did the Lord first deal with them? (9, 11, 13) What does this show us about the Lord? What does Adam's and Eve's conversation in 12-13 reveal about their relationship with each other? What does sin put in men's heart?

Genesis 3:8, 10 "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden..." He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'"

* "heard the sound of the LORD God" -This shows that the LORD God had walked and talked to them before. It was customary for Adam and Even and the LORD God to talk together.

* "as he was walking" -God came in the form of man, walking as we do.

* "in the garden in the cool of the day" -This shows that the garden was a good place to stay.

* "and they hid" -They hid together, which says something about the nature of their broken relationship with God.

Also this shows that man's relationship with God was broken. Although God came to them they hide from him. Why did they hid? They felt guilty and was afraid of condemnation, judgment, and death.

* "from the Lord God" -They feared God and doubted his love. They thought he was coming to kill them; when in fact their sin had killed them. Thus because they initially misinterpreted the word of God, now they fully misinterpreted the word of God. Now our fear of God is why God's doesn't come to us directly. Because of the greatness of sin, if he would come to us we would fall to the ground and die because of fear of judgment alone.

* "He answered" -Adam was afraid, but told the truth of why they were hiding from God.

Genesis 3:9, 11, 13a "But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?'...And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?'...Then the LORD God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?'"

* "But the LORD God called to the man" -God didn't condemn Adam and Even. Instead he was gentle and kind.

* "Where are you" -God knew where they were. He asked this so that they would realize where they were, and thus why they were there. In this way they would realize that his words were right not in the way they though that they would be right.

* "What is this you have done?" -This is a good thing that sinners need to realize. Our sin causes us to be in bad circumstances. God does not put us in bad circumstances. We have only ourselves to blame.

Genesis 3:12-13a "The man said, 'The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'"

* Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent instead of admitting his error.

* "you put here with me" -In this he seems to be blaming God as well.

II. A World Under Curse (14-19)

>7. How did God curse the serpent? What hope for mankind is found here? Why might verse 15 be called the pre-gospel? What can we learn about God's love for mankind?

Genesis 3:14-15 "So the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, 'Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.''"

* "So the LORD God said to the serpent" -The LORD God did not ask the questions to the serpent as he did Adam and Eve because Satan was already judged as guilty way before the creation of man.

* "Because you have done this" -God recognized that Satan was the cause of the act of sinning. Adam and Eve would not have sinned because they did not have the knowledge of good and evil before eating the fruit.

* "Cursed" -In Hebrew arar." It is a prime root meaning; "to execrate:-X bitterly curse."

* "above all livestock" -This seems to indicate that the serpent was just as guilty as Satan was in this act. In other words the serpent accepted to be used by Satan.

* "I will put" -God would do it.

* "enmity between you and the woman" -"Enmity" in Hebrew s "eybah." It means; "hostility, hatred."

There is a continual spiritual battle going on. Hebrews 11:3c says we are spiritual strangers and aliens to the world. The hate of sin is planted in God's children heart, but Satan tempts us to believe it will be good.

* "the women" -This is referring to Eve and all women and all those who come from women. But indirectly it is really to Mary who was pregnant without knowing man.

* "and between your offspring and hers" -The English word "offspring" is singular. In Hebrew it is "Zera" which is also singular. It means; "seed".

This is referring to the Messiah, Jesus. It is true that there is a battle going on between Satan's and Eve's offspring. But Jesus, her offspring, also did battle with Satan. The battle was when Jesus crushed Satan's head by not sinning, dying for man's sins, and rising from the dead.

In Adam all have sinned and fallen as I have said. But, on the other hand, our spiritual relationship to the LORD Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, rests on precisely the same grounds as our relationship with Adam. So "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly," and "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

This phrase in Genesis 3 is the first time the message of the good news of man's salvation through Jesus is proclaimed.

* "he will crush your head" -Jesus' resurrection.

* "and you will strike his heel" -Satan's power death overcame Jesus.

* At this point God helped sinful Adam and Eve thus planting hope in their despairing hearts. From God's promise here I see that God's love for mankind is never ending and long suffering. When our fist parents left the garden of Eden, it was not without hope, nor into outer darkness. They carried with them the promise of a Redeemer, the assurance of the final defeat of the great enemy.

>8. How did God punish the woman? How is her punishment related to her blessing? (1:28)

Genesis 3:16 "To the woman he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'"

* "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing" -Eve's (and all women's) primary mission in Genesis 1:28 became harder to carry out.

* "Your desire will be for your husband" -All girls seek their prince charming.

* "he will rule over you" -Outside of Christ girls aren't happy and don't understand this verse so they reject the Bible as "old fashion." Also, outside of Christ men have misused this statement to justify sinning against their wives.

>9. How did God see Adam's sin? (17a) How did God punish him? How did the consequences of man's sin affect all creation? How was Adam's punishment related to his blessing and mission? (1:28)

Genesis 3:17a "To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,''"

* "Because you" -Adam tried to blame others. God pointed out that Adam's sin was Adam's fault. He was responsible for his own actions, therefore he would receive the blunt of the punishment.

* "you listened to your wife"-This is not saying we shouldn't listen to our wife. What it is saying is that Adam listened to his wife instead of God.

* "and ate from the tree"-not that eating from trees is wrong. What was wrong is that he disobeyed God's direct command.

* "which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it'"-The error was disobedience, not necessarily the act of eating from trees.

Genesis 3:17b-19 "''Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.''"

* "Cursed is the ground" -No job is totally easy and satisfying. All have their thorns and thistles. Even Christian mission is not easy.

All the world was cursed in this act. Work, repair and rebuild will always need to be done because everything will always fall apart and breakdown.

* "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food" -The focus on mission shifted. Before it was to increase in numbers, now it was also to get food from a cursed ground. This would be a fact of life, not a command.

* "dust you will return" -All things in this world become meaningless for it ends.

III. Banished From Eden (20-24)

>10. How did God continue to show his love for and care of fallen mankind? Why did God expel them from the garden? What hope remained for man? (Revelation 22:2, 14, 19)

Genesis 3:20-21 "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."

* "Adam named his wife Eve" -Adam accepted Eve even though she lead him to sin.

* "The LORD God made garments of skin" -God had to kill animals so this was the first sacrifice.

* "for Adam and his wife and clothed them" -God provided.

Genesis 3:22-23 "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken."

* "also" -can't do both.

Genesis 3:24 "After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

* "the tree of life" -This was cut off from man, but not for ever. Revelations 22:2 says, "down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." and verse 14 says, "'Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.'" And verse 19 says, "And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

In this I see that God will restore the spiritual order.

Summery statement taken from Alfred Edesheim:

Here, moreover, we meet for the first time with that strange resemblance to revealed religion which makes heathenism so like and yet so unlike the religion of the Old Testament. As in the soul of man we see the ruins of what he had been before the fall, so in the legends and traditions of the various religions of antiquity we recognize the echoes of what men had originally had from the mouth of God. Not only one race, but almost all nations, have in their traditions preserved some dim remembrance alike of an originally happy and holy state, -a so-called golden age- in which the intercourse between heaven and earth was unbroken, and of a subsequent sin and fall of mankind. And all nations also have cherished a faint belief in some future return of this happy state, that is, in some kind of coming redemption, just as in their inmost hearts all men have at least a faint longing for a Redeemer.

Meanwhile, this grand primeval promise, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent,' would stand out as a beacon-light to all mankind on their way, burning brighter and brighter, first in the promise to Shem, next in that to Abraham, then in the prophecy of Jacob, and so on through the types of the Law to the promises of the Prophets, till in the fullness of time "the Sun of Righteousness" arose "with healing under His wings."