“Where art thou?” God asks (Gen 3:9). Did he not know?

He knew. He was entering into conversation with Adam, and not discovering the location of Adam, but rather discovering himself to Adam, and thereby forcing Adam to face his own sin before his judge. This has been called an arraignment—a formal accusation. In the next chapter, he will follow a very similar procedure with Cain (Gen 4:9); like father, like son.

The hiding described at (Gen 3:8, 10) is not the only instance of fleeing from the very sound of God, is it?

Indeed, the people kept well away from Mount Zion as they heard God uttering the Ten Commandments (see Ex 20:18), as they were told to do. Similarly, after so many had died directly at the hand of God, when he was revealing himself during the exodus and the wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites have come to associate hearing the mere “voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire” with the risk of death (Deut 5:26). In the same way we are enjoined to fear the Lord; if you actually hear his voice, tremble.

Why does God ask, “Has thou eaten of the tree?” (Gen 3:11)

Not because God does not know of Adam’s sin or because he needs evidence for a case against him. It is because, as with us, God expects both an instant admission of guilt as well as sincere repentance. From them, he receives neither—an offense perhaps worse, but certainly on a par with, the original sin itself. Adam and Eve might now be “wise” about the coming evils of life, but they are certainly not yet wise about the importance of redemption. Job does better, when he says he has not “covered my transgressions like Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom” (Job 31:33).

Adam blames Eve at Gen 3:12. If he had admitted his guilt and repented, might God have forgiven him?

So it seems. Many other places in the Bible say God is greatly forgiving; also, however, in many places in both OT and NT, this requires admission of guilt and repentance. So Adam’s sin is greatly compounded by his lack of repentance. Even if he were not culpable for knowingly eating of the tree (see above), he is culpable for this grievous sin. This is even worse because his role is to care for and protect Eve, and to act as head of the family. Instead, he puts her in peril.

Does Adam really go so far as to try, in Gen 3:12, to put some blame on God, for giving him Eve?

Perhaps not explicitly, but he comes close; why else should it be relevant to point out that God gave him Eve, if doing so does not further removes blame from Adam himself? Notice that Adam is actually not incorrect when he implies that Eve did not perform her function, as his help meet, properly. Indeed, she did betray Adam. But she was the one responsible for her own failure, through the exercise of her free will, just as Adam was; God could not be saddled with their failures. To blame God for Adam’s own sin is something that one can imagine the serpent whispering to Adam.

If Adam is so wrong to blame Eve and God, why does God not say so immediately?

He will do so shortly, at sentencing: “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of they wife” (Gen 3:17). In short, Indeed; instead, he responds by asking Eve to speak on her own behalf, at Gen 3:12. He will do so shortly, at sentencing: “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of they wife” (Gen 3:17). In short, the blame rests squarely on Adam because he listened to Eve, which he should not have done. But the arraignment is ongoing and God sticks to that.

Is Eve not correct, at Gen 3:13, that the serpent beguiled her?

She certainly is. She was taken in by the serpent’s charming words, in her naivete. But this does not excuse her. She is the one who decided to set aside God’s law and to eat the forbidden fruit. She also placed her husband in danger, her husband whom she was supposed to help, not deal treacherously with.

What does the Garden story—particularly when Eve realizes the serpent has “beguiled” her (Gen 3:13)—say about how the serpent operates?

Not by force, but by deception; not by threats, but insincerity; not by commands, but by manipulation; not by leading into action, but by changing minds. The result is that, though he shares in the blame for his deception, we still bear our own guilt entirely. Not for nothing is he called the “Tempter” and “Adversary.” Similarly, as we will see later, his undermining machinations, that cause us to stumble, make it possible for him to accuse us for being corrupt—and he is right, because even if he plays a key hand in our corruption, we bear our own guilt.