From the Fall to the Flood

Discovery for Students

From the Fall to the Flood


Genesis 3:1 through 5:32

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Genesis 3:22-23)


The first two chapters of Genesis describe the perfect world created by God and put under the stewardship of the man, who was created with a moral nature patterned after God’s own. This included the freedom to reason, and to choose between good and evil. The third chapter of Genesis continues the narrative in the Garden, describing the temptation of Eve by the serpent, and the disobedience of Adam and Eve in partaking of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At that point, the nature of human beings shifted from good to evil — the terrible consequence of an event theologians refer to as the “fall of man.” The chapter continues with a description of the punishments meted out to the serpent, the woman, and the man, along with the impact on all of creation. Included in this chapter is the first Messianic prophecy of the Bible, offering an initial glimmer of hope in a reference to Jesus Christ, who would ultimately deliver the death-blow to Satan.

In chapter 4, we read of the births of Cain and Abel, the first two people born into this world. An account is given of their offerings to God, and Cain’s jealous murder of his brother when Abel’s offering was accepted while his was rejected. God ordained that as punishment, Cain would be cursed, banished to a life of homelessness, and driven away from his agricultural vocation. This chapter concludes with a record of Cain’s descendants.

Chapter 5 closes out the history of Adam, giving a list of his descendants. The genealogical record begins with the assertion that Adam’s son Seth was born “in his [Adam’s] own likeness” rather than “in the likeness of God” as Adam was created, thus indicating that successive generations were born with a fallen nature. Notable in this genealogical record is the brief commentary on Enoch, whose testimony of intimate fellowship with God brought about his translation. The chapter concludes with the introduction of Noah, whose account is developed in the following chapters.


  1. Who are the four main participants in the narrative of Genesis 3:1-24, and how would you describe the nature of each?
  2. Genesis 3:1 declares that the serpent (Satan) was “more subtil [cunning, crafty] than any beast of the field.” What question did Satan use to put doubt in Eve’s mind concerning God’s words? What are some ways he attempts to stir up doubts in people’s minds today?
  3. Temptation often seems to follow the progression found in Genesis 3:1-6. Describe this progression and explain how we can use this knowledge to avoid or resist temptation.
  4. In Genesis 3:9-13, how did Adam and Eve respond to God’s probing questions? What did their response reveal about how knowing both good and evil affected their inner nature?
  5. The dire results of sin were immediate and severe. What were the moral and temporal consequences that befell Adam and Eve, and how did those consequences affect subsequent generations?
  6. Genesis 3:15 speaks prophetically of Jesus Christ (the seed of the woman). Why is this verse so important to us?
  7. In Genesis 4, we read about Cain and Abel, the first two individuals born on this earth. What was the difference between the offerings they brought to God? (Genesis 4:3-5) What can we surmise about Cain’s character, based on his subsequent words and actions, as described in verses 8-16?
  8. The final two verses of chapter 4 record the birth of Adam and Eve’s son Seth. In Genesis 5:3, we read that Seth was born “in his [Adam’s] own likeness.” How was this different from how Adam was created, and what does this indicate? Genesis 5:1
  9. Adam and Eve had many children. In the gene-alogical record of Adam’s descendants, given in chapter 5, the refrain “and then he died” closes out the history of each individual — except one, Enoch. How did Enoch’s story end, and why? Genesis 5:24


As a result of man’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, all the descendants of Adam and Eve are born under the consequences that God ordained. Still, these sad chapters of Genesis include a bright note of hope in the person of the “seed of the woman,” the Redeemer who would come to deliver mankind from the bondage of sin.