Genesis 3:2-3

Translation

וַתֹּאמֶר הָֽאִשָּׁה אֶל־הַנָּחָ֑שׁ מִפְּרִי עֵֽץ־הַגָּן נֹאכֵֽל׃ וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ־הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹֽאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בּ֑וֹ פֶּן־תְּמֻתֽוּן

 

And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. However, from the fruit of the tree which [is] in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘you1)refers to both Adam and Eve should not eat from it nor touch it, lest you become mortal and subject to death.'” 

Commentary

nor touch it: the admonition against touching the tree was not in the original warning (given to Adam prior to Eve’s creation). Here is Genesis 2:16-17 again,

And the LORD God warned the man, saying,  “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, for when you do, you will surely become mortal and subject to death.”

This raises the question, why did Eve extend God’s original warning? Since she was not present when the warning was given to Adam, one of two possibilities arise: the first; Adam simply broadened the prohibition perhaps to emphasize the danger of eating from the tree of knowledge and to prevent Eve (or himself) from getting close enough to the tree to be tempted. Or, perhaps Eve invented the prohibition, perhaps as a strategy to overcome the serpent’s challenge.

An ancient midrash on this theme tells of the serpent pushing Eve into the tree. When Eve sees that nothing bad happens, she believes God’s warning is simple exaggeration. The lesson to be learned, according to the sages is that disaster awaits for those who extend or modify God’s commands (see also, Deut 4:2, Prov 30:5-6).

Preliminary Translations

My translation conventions can be found here.

Mechanical

And-she-said, the-woman, to-the-serpent, “from-the-fruit-of the-trees-of-the-garden we-shall-eat, but-from-the-fruit-of the-tree which [is] in-the-midst-of-the-garden He-said, God, not will-you-both-eat from-it and-not will-you-both-touch-it lest you-both-die.

Literal

And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree which [is] in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘you both shall not eat from it nor touch it, lest you both die.'”

Commercial Bible Translations

  • (nas) And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.'”
  • (kjv) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
  • (niv) The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “
  • (nlt) “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'”

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