if Adam had obeyed the command, assuredly his inner knowledge and understanding would have increased when, later on, God had removed the prohibition in due time, and he would then have come to the knowledge of evil in such a way that he would not have been injured by it. Otherwise, as came to pass in Adam's case, through disobedience he became immersed in the sea of evil and ruined his own happiness and honour. Thus that tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and consequently what was signified thereby was obedience or disobedience, not merely a tree and its fruit.

Finally, about the serpent mentioned in Gen. iii, where it is said, 'Now1 the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made,' we know that it became Satan's instrument of deceiving Eve and leading Adam astray. Hence in the New Testament he is called 'The2 great dragon, the old serpent, the Devil, Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.' And the Lord Jesus Christ says of Satan that 'he3 was a murderer from the beginning and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father thereof.' Engaging, therefore, in his own evil work, he then, through the instrumentality of the serpent, said to Eve, 'Yea,4 hath

1 Gen. iii. 5.
3 John viii. 44.
2 Rev. xii. 9.
4 Gen. iii. 1.

God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?' When she heard these words, she heard what to her was new and contrary to God's commandment. For up to that time Adam and Eve had heard no voice but God's, and were aware of no will or desire but His. Satan now tempted them with deceitful words: nay more, he desired in this manner to instil into Eve's heart the doubt whether God had really forbidden them to eat of the fruit of that one special tree, or whether they had correctly understood God's commandment, or to implant the thought that, if God had really forbidden it, then He evidently did not love them as they thought, and did not desire their perfect happiness, and that He had for that reason prohibited them from eating the fruit of the tree. Thus, therefore, did Satan strive to instil doubt into Eve's simple mind regarding God's love and truthfulness, and to make her wish something contrary to the will of the Most High God. On hearing such words as those in Gen. iii. 4-5, Eve did not become perplexed at all, and she failed to understand that by these deceitful words Satan had instilled into her heart the poison of disbelief and disobedience. She paid no heed and began to converse with the serpent. Then he, taking advantage of the opportunity, began to speak falsely and said to her about the tree, 'God1 doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and

1 Gen. iii. 5.