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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Naked Adam & Eve

I'm reading at mass this week. Hopefully I'll be the one to read the following:

Gn 3:9-15, 20
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”
The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

There are many perspectives and interpretations about the nakedness of Adam and Eve. God did not clothe them. The roamed freely amongst the garden naked and never thought anything about it. When they ate the forbidden fruit they suddenly were ashamed of themselves and hid behind the covering of plants. Many interpret this as a sign that nakedness equals sin. If that is so then why would God have them running around naked in the first place? One explanation I've heard and tend to agree with, is that Adam and Eve were ashamed of their sin of disobedience by eating of the fruit that God had told them not to eat. So they hid themselves and their shame. Nakedness was not so much a concern about being unclothed but more about being exposed for their sin of disobedience to God. So they hid themselves with plants to cover their shame, not necessarily to cover their bodies.