The Garden of Eden
(Genesis 2:7-9,15-22, 25;3:1-13, 21-24, GNB)
Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed. He made all kinds of beautiful trees grow there and produce good fruit. In the middle of the garden stood the tree that gives life and the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad.
Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it. He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” So he took some soil from the ground and formed all the animals and all the birds. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and that is how they all got their names. So the man named all the birds and all the animals; but not one of them was a suitable companion to help him.
Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh. He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. The man and woman were both naked, but they were not embarrassed.
Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
“We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden,” the woman answered, “except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die.”
The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that because he knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”
The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it.
As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves.
That evening they heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. But the Lord God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?”
The man answered, “The woman you put here with me gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
The Lord God asked the woman: “Why did you do this?”
She replied, “The snake tricked me into eating it.”
And the Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them.
Then the Lord God said, “Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad. He must not be allowed to eat fruit from the tree of life, and live forever.”
So the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden and made him cultivate the soil from which he had been formed. Then at the east side of the garden he put living creatures and a flaming sword which turned in all directions. This was to keep anyone from coming near the tree of life.
From the Good News Bible [GNB] (American Bible Society: 1976)