Genesis 3:11

And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you that you should not eat?
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Where could you have got the knowledge of this, he says, and be covered in such confusion, unless you have been so intemperate as to despise my command? Notice, dearly beloved, the excess of God's goodness, how, in this manner of one friend communing with another and remonstrating with him over transgression of his instructions, he enters into dialog with Adam. "'Who told you that you are naked unless you have eaten from that one tree I told you not to eat from?'" Even the phrase, "that one tree," bears a slight nuance: Surely I didn't inhibit your enjoyment? it is saying. Did I not relieve you of every need, give you authority over everything in the garden, and only instruct you to keep away from that one thing so that you might be in a position to know that you are subject to direction and required to show some obedience? So what kind of terrible in difference is this that, despite your having such great enjoyment, you could not bear to keep away from that one thing but rather hastened in that manner to violate the command given you by me and envelop yourself in so many excesses? What good was that to you? Hadn't I warned you of that in advance? Wasn't it my intention to check you be forehand with fear of punishment and so make you more cautious? Didn't I tell you what would be likely to happen? Didn't I for that reason forbid your eating that fruit so that you wouldn't fall victim to those faults? Who could consider you deserving of excuse now that you've proved to be so unresponsive despite so many directions? (138d) didn't I thus instruct you in every detail, like a father to his own dear son, and teach you to keep away from this tree while being free to taste all the others lest it wreak havoc with all your endowments? Perhaps, however, you have thought advice from an other quarter acceptable and to be preferred to my command, and followed it in the expectation of gaining greater advantages, and out of scorn for my command you were bold enough to eat from the tree. See what you suffered through that experiment: you discovered the disastrous effect of that advice. Do you see the loving kindness of the judge? Do you see his mildness and longsuffering? Do you see his considerateness stretching beyond all thought and imagination? Do you see how through his question and the words, "Who told you that you are naked unless you have eaten from that one tree I told you not to eat from?" he wanted to open to you the doors to excuse so that even in regard to such a sinful person he might show his characteristic love? So let us listen to the accused as well, and hear what he has to say in reply to this question. "Adam said," the text goes on, "The woman you gave me as my companion gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it." [ Gen 3:12 ] Pitiable words and full of much pity, and capable of moving the Lord to clemency, He who is so gentle, overcoming our sins by his goodness. For when he had shaken his disposition by a great display of tolerance and had shown him the magnitude of his sin, Adam all but preparing his own defense, said to Him, "the woman you gave me as my companion." In other words, how could I have ever expected that I would have been so covered in confusion through the one you created with the very purpose of bringing me consolation from her person? You gave her to me, you led her to meet me. She I know not under what impulse in her turn gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it. While this explanation seems to offer some excuse, it is in fact devoid of all defense. I mean, what defense can you lay claim to, he says, for forgetting my commands and judging the bauble given by your wife more important than words spoken by me? After all, even if your wife did give it to you, still my command and the fear of punishment were sufficient to dispose you to avoid tasting. I mean, surely you were not ignorant? Surely you weren't unaware? With this in mind, out of care for you, I spoke up with the aim of preventing your falling victim to these faults; and so, even if your wife prepared the way for your transgressing my command, nevertheless you were not without guilt: you should have regarded my command as more worthy of trust, and, beyond dissuading yourself alone from eating, you should have demonstrated the gravity of the sin to your wife as well. After all, you are head of your wife, [ I Cor 11:3 ] and she has been created for your sake; but you have inverted the proper order: not only have you failed to keep her on the straight and narrow but you have been dragged down with her, and whereas the rest of the body should follow the head, the contrary has in fact occurred, the head following the rest of the body, turning things upside down. Hence, since you have reversed the proper order completely, you now find yourself in that desperate situation after being clad previously in such wonderful splendor. So who could adequately lament the loss you have sustained of such great benefits? But, all the same, even if all these things have befallen you, put the blame on no one else but yourself and your own neglect; after all, if you had not been willing, your wife would have been unable to bring you to this disastrous state. I mean, surely she didn't urge you? Surely she didn't inveigle you? Surely she didn't deceive you? She merely gave you the fruit, and in an instant with such ease you were prevailed upon to taste it, without a thought to my command; instead, you thought you had been taken in by me and had not been permitted this food for this reason, lest you happen upon greater blessings. What grounds would you have for thinking you were deceived by me, the donor of such acts of kindness to you? What great kindness did this indicate, to take early precautions and clearly outline what you must abstain from so as not to fall into the excesses in which you have now immersed yourself? All these warnings, however, you gave no heed to, and so, behold, you have found out for yourself by experience the seriousness of these sins; so at this point don't lay the blame on your wife alone, but on your own indifference as well

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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