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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

It was truth that God did know that in the day of their eating their eyes would be opened; and it was also true that they should then become as the Elohim, in the sense of knowing good and evil.

This appears from the testimony of Moses, that when they had eaten "the eyes of them both were opened"; and from the admission of God Himself, who said, "Behold, the man is become like one of us, to know good and evil".

The Serpent's declaration was therefore an admixture of truth and falsehood, which so blended itself with what Eve knew to exist, that "she was beguiled by his shrewdness" from the simplicity of the law of God.

But, how did the Serpent know that the Lord knew that these things would happen to them in the day of their eating?

How came he to know anything about the gods, and their acquaintance with good and evil?

And upon what grounds did he affirm that they should not surely die?

The answer is, one of two ways -- by inspiration; or, by observation.

If we say by inspiration, then we make God the author of the lie; but if we affirm that he obtained his knowledge by observation -- by the use of his eyes and ears upon things transpiring around him -- then we confirm the words of Moses, that he was the shrewdest of the creatures the Lord God had made.

"Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree?

" This question shows that he was aware of some exceptions.

He had heard of the Tree of Knowledge and of the Tree of Lives, which were both in the midst of the garden.

He had heard the Lord Elohim, and the other Elohim, conversing on their own experience of good and evil; and of the enlightenment of the man and woman in the same qualities through the eating of the Tree of Knowledge: and of their living for ever, if obedient, by eating of the Tree of Life.

In reasoning upon these things, he concluded that, if they did eat of the forbidden fruit, they would not surely die; for they would have nothing more to do than to go and eat of the Tree of Life, and it would prevent all fatal consequences.

Therefore, he said, "Ye shall not surely die".

The Lord God, it is evident, was apprehensive of the effect of this reasoning upon the mind of Adam and his wife; for He forthwith expelled them from the garden, to prevent all possibility of access to the tree, lest they should eat, and put on immortality in sin.

The reasoning of the Serpent operated upon the woman by exciting the lust of her flesh, the lust of her eyes, and the pride of life.

This appears from the testimony.

An appetite, or longing for it, that she might eat it, was created within her.

The fruit also was very beautiful.

It hung upon the tree in a very attractive and inviting manner.

"She saw that it was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes".

But there was a greater inducement still than even this.

The flesh and the eyes would soon be satisfied.