“Afterward She Gave Some Also to Her Husband”
WAS Adam present when the serpent talked to Eve and deceived her into rebelling against God? The Bible does not indicate this. Genesis 3:6 reports that Eve “began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her.” However, some Bible translations give a different impression. The King James Version renders the text as follows: “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
The Hebrew verb translated as “gave” is in the imperfect tense and is associated with a special form of the conjunction “and” [Hebrew, waw], thus indicating a temporal or logical sequence. Therefore, the New World Translation translates the several occurrences of waw, which connect the chain of events at Genesis 3:6, not only with “and” but also with other transitional words, such as “consequently,” “so,” and “afterward.” The New World Translation thus has a solid basis for the above rendering.
Would Adam have passively observed the conversation between his wife and the serpent, listening to the lies and slanderous talk of the invisible rebel behind the serpent? Interestingly, German Bible scholar J. P. Lange rejects this idea and comments: “The presence of the man during the act of temptation, even his keeping quiet, is hardly imaginable.” And in explaining the phrase “with her,” Jewish commentator B. Jacob mentions that it does “not [mean] who was standing with her (during the previous act or while she ate).”
Eve’s conversation with the serpent revealed that her husband had informed her about God’s command not to eat from the tree. (Genesis 3:3) So as Eve’s head, Adam had fulfilled that responsibility. The Devil ignored God’s arrangement of headship and cleverly took advantage of the fact that Eve was alone. She later replied: “The serpent—it deceived me and so I ate.” (Genesis 3:13) Eve was deceived because she believed a lie, but this did not justify her transgression. This warning example illustrates that we can never have an excuse to do something wrong in Jehovah’s eyes.—1 Timothy 2:14.