Why were Adam and Eve "afraid" of being naked after they sinned?


a. The reason

This is an interesting question, especially since both Adam and Eve felt no shame of being naked before they sinned.

Gen 2:25 “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”  NIV

However, as soon as they were not in God’s will, something horrible happened.

Gen 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”  NIV

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves?  Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden?  Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

The reason is given in Gen 3:10 when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."  NIV

Adam and Eve were afraid because they were naked.  Could this be a mistranslation?  Ashamed I would understand, but why would they be “afraid”?

The original Hebrew word for “was afraid” is “waa'iyraa’” from the verb “yare'” (yaw-ray') which means “to fear”, “to frighten”

They were afraid because they were naked!

This came as a fulfillment to what God earlier said to them in the book of Genesis, in 2:17 “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."  NIV

The moment they were not in God’s will, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear. 

It is interesting that it is God who makes the first sacrifice after their disobedience, in order to clothe them properly:  Gen 3:21 “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”  NIV

It’s also interesting that all other creatures had coverings.  Animals had fur, fish had feathers and fish had scales or shells.  But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn't need it before his fall.  Why?

The answer is found in Ps 8:5 “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”  NIV

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” here is “tª`aTreehuw”, from the verb “`atar” (aw-tar'), which means “to encircle”, “to surround”.  In other words this text says that Adam and Eve were surrounded by glory.  They had been clothed with the glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing.

Naturally, once they were not in the center of God’s will, that glory was evaporated and they found themselves “naked”.  Good reason to be scared!

b. The glory of God

To really understand this better, we need to define what the glory of God means.  The only proper way to do this, is by consulting God’s Word itself.

Ex 40:34-35 “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”  NIV

First, “the glory of the Lord” is not a cloud.  It is true that often times in the Bible a cloud is associated with God’s glory.  Why?  Because God hid Himself in the cloud.   Otherwise all humankind would be consumed by His countenance and immediately die!

Ex 33:18, 20 “Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." ”But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  NIV

No one can approach the Lord in all His glory:

1 Tim 6:15-16 “The blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen.”  NIV

The Book of Hebrews shares with us that Heb 12:29 "God is a consuming fire."  NIV and 1 John 1:5 God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”  NIV

To better understand God’s glory we need to use some analogies.  When it’s dark and someone shines a flashlight in your face, what is your first reaction?  You squint.  Can you look at the face of the person shining the flashlight in your face?  Not at all.  The light blinds you from looking at his/her face.  However, when the flashlight is directed somewhere else, you can see the light emanating from the flashlight.

Now, have you tried to look at the sun directly?  You can do it, although you can’t really contemplate the sun, as its brightness is a bit much for your eyes.  Right after looking at the sun, you see spots of lights in your vision.

These two are no comparisons to the brightness that God reflects around Him!  Flashlights and suns contain darkness within the pathes of their light.  But in God, there is no darkness at all!

The apostle Paul could talk about experience in this as He experienced first hand Jesus’ appearance on the road to Damascus:

Acts 26:13 “About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.”  NIV

Jesus was “brighter than the sun”.   God’s glory is brighter than the sun!

Now God reveals to Moses what His glory consists off:

Ex 33:18-20 “Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.  I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  NIV

What is the glory of God?  The glory of God is everything that makes God, God. 

c. The glory of God surrounded in His angels

Now notice the reaction of people when an angel appears to them.

Judg 6:22-23 “When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD!  I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"

But the LORD said to him, "Peace!  Do not be afraid.  You are not going to die."  NIV

Luke 1:11-13 “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid.” NIV

People who have seen angels in their glory are gripped with fear.  Every time the angel has to reassure them “Do not be afraid.”  These celestial beings are in contact with God, and His glory is surrounding them, making it hard for humans like us to contemplate.

d. The glory of God reflected in Moses

Notice the reaction of the Israelites when Moses came down from Sinai after having been with God.

2 Cor 3:7-8 “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?”  NIV

They could not even look at Moses!  Why?  Because Moses’ face was reflecting God’s glory.  He had a little taste of God’s glory that had surrounded Adam and Eve.  Moses had been in the presence of the Lord and his countenance was reflecting that. 

e. Conclusion

It’s no wonder that if you were to be surrounded with such a glory from God, and that through your actions that glory was removed instantly, you would feel naked and afraid!  I can understand now why Adam and Eve hid.  I can understand why they were afraid.  They had died spiritually.  Inner peace had been replaced with fear.

However you don’t need to remain in that fear.  Jesus died for your sins, so that fear can be replaced with His inner peace.  Glory will surround you one day, if you have accepted Jesus into your heart.  The promise holds true: 1 Cor 15:51-54 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  NIV

Would you like to be part of those experiencing this?  It’s not too late to do so.  Why don’t you answer Jesus’ call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html Come enjoy God’s inner peace in your life.  It’s only possible though Jesus Christ.  Thank you Lord for saving a wreck like me!  Hallelujah!

Rob Chaffart

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We have a child who up till the age of 7 or 8 would go naked at any opportunity. I recall one visit to the beach when he was 7 years old and before we had got the stuff out of the car he was stripped naked and heading for the waves!

Then he got to the age where he felt embarrassed because others were not so happy at his or their own nudity and he began to stay covered up.

He like Adam and Eve had then lost their "innocence" and discovered pride, vanity, shame and envy. Whilst they did not know any different they were happy to be as they were but once they found there was "another way to live" they choose that way.

Whilst they had no choice they had no problem but once they had to make a choice then their problems started and they knew no better way.

God has made the one error of letting Man choose his own way of living. Whilst it is good to have freedom to choose the more Man has to choose from the further he gets from God.

Before boot fairs, Sunday trading, and car washing Churches were full now that there is more choices and Man thinks he has every thing the pews get less and less full. It is only when God takes away do people remember God you only have to look at the death of Princess Di to see the effect of losing something special can have on us all.

Regards Les

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Genesis 3:1-1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' " 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, a knowing good and evil." 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10He said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." 11He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

In verse 7 it tells us that they gained wisdom that they shouldn't have by eating the forbidden fruit. They didn't even know they were naked until they sinned. Then because of their sin they realized their nudity and became ashamed.

DeeDee

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I believe the answer is found in Romans 3:19,20.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

Our first parents had broken and disobeyed a direct command of God not to eat from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Throughout the Bible, nakedness is a sign of sin.

Because of Calvary, yours, Delmer G. Lawson

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They were afraid of revealing their sins and having broke their close relationship with God.

Betty King

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Adam and Eve were afraid of being naked because they were given knowledge by God immediately they ate the forbidden fruit .In this specific case they were given special power that enhanced them to understand themselves better. This categorical empowerment made them to differentiate what is morally good and evil. They too could tell what pleases God and that which He hates. These two persons found themselves in new surroundings, their animals, plants and other phenomena relationship took a perspective totally deferent from their expectations( it notable that the Satan who is several folds wiser than human beings had cheated Eve who in turn convinced her companion to sin too. They were afraid of God's reaction about their transgression

David Matumbi



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