After clothing Adam and Eve with some kind of animal skin to “make atonement” or cover their sin, He then makes a very interesting comment. Genesis 3:22 begins, “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.’” Through eating the forbidden fruit, they somehow became “like” Elohim. I use the word “Elohim” because, as Constable points out, “Verse 22 shows that man’s happiness (good) does not consist in his being like God as much as it depends on his being with God ‘Like one of us’ may mean like heavenly beings (God and the angels).”[1] The heavenly beings also know the difference between good and evil. Some of them chose evil and fell under the leadership of Satan. Some of them chose good and remained with God in Paradise, possibly under the leadership of Michael, the leading archangel.

Becoming like the heavenly beings is defined in only one way. Man is not like the heavenly beings in every way. And he is surely not like God. Like them, man now knows “good and evil.” Considering the use of the word “know” in the early chapters of the Bible we can surely glean that there is a special kind of intimacy involved in that knowledge. Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived. This obviously involves more than just intellectual knowledge. There is an intimacy assumed. After eating the fruit of the forbidden tree, they were now intimate with good and evil. Before the fall mankind only knew life in an intimate relationship with their Creator. But afterward, he became intimate with evil as well. Moller says, “God knows good and evil, because He Himself is good while evil is in revolt against Him. However, man cannot apprehend good and evil like that. While God knows evil from a position of triumphing over it and condemning it, man got to know it as a power that enslaves and destroys him. That happened when he committed that which God had forbidden him to do. By so doing man came into rebellion against God. The consequence of this was that man came under the power of death and judgment. Through his fall into sin, the law of God was obscured in him, although not totally obliterated.”[2]

Original sin put us all at odds with our creator and we know “good and evil” and are slaves to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the pride of life. The only way for us around that is, as Jesus says, “You must be born again.” We must be, as Paul says, “A new creation.” We can’t cover our own sin. We need something drastic to happen. Lucado says, “Real change is an inside job. You might alter things a day or two with money and systems, but the heart of the matter is, and always will be, the matter of the heart. Allow me to get specific. Our problem is sin. Not finances. Not budgets. Not overcrowded prisons or drug dealers. Our problem is sin. We are in rebellion against our Creator. We are separated from our Father. We are cut off from the source of life. A new president or policy won’t fix that. It can only be solved by God. That’s why the Bible uses drastic terms like conversion, repentance, and lost and found. Society may renovate, but only God re-creates.”[3]

[1] Constable, Tom. 2003. Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible. Galaxie Software.

[2] Möller, F. P. 1998. The Wonderful Christ and the Meaning of Humanness (Christology and Anthropology). Vol. 2. Words of Light and Life. Pretoria: Van Schaik Religious Books.

[3] Lucado, Max. 1997. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God: Book of Genesis. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Dallas, TX: Word Pub.