Genesis 3:6

Translation

וַתֵּרֶא הָֽאִשָּׁה כִּי טוֹב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַֽאֲוָה־הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם־לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַֽל

And the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and delightful to the eye, but also [was] desirable for reasoning. So, she took fruit from the tree and ate it and she also gave some to her husband who was with her; and he ate it.

Commentary

desirable for reasoning: in biblical Hebrew there is fine, but important distinction between intellect and wisdom and this phrase, often translated as wisdom, conflates the two. A person who is wise exercises prudence and good judgment out of common sense or, more biblically, from a fear of the LORD. In the biblical view, adhering to the laws and will of God is the source AND proper expression of wisdom. By contrast, a person characterized as having or gaining reasoning skill, הַשְׂכִּיל (haskil) as found in this verse, is not necessarily virtuous.  To be sure, a person described as haskil may thought to be insightful, successful, and/or prosperous, but also to be shrewd or clever. For example, in Daniel 8:25, haskil is used to describe a king, skilled in intrigue who, by his treachery (NET), shall make deceit prosper.

In general, haskil suggests the ability to use one’s intellect in order to bring about one’s own ends — whether good or bad.

who was with her: this phrase is left out of a number of English translations, notably the RSV, and its absence has resulted in the idea that Adam was not present when Eve ate of the fruit. In fact the Hebrew is quite clear.  After eating the fruit, she turns to her husband who is with here and he eats also.

Preliminary Translations

My translation conventions can be found here.

Mechanical

And-saw the-woman that good [was] the tree for-food and-that delightful [was] it to-the-eyes and desirable the-tree [was] for-reasoning; so-she-took from-the-fruit-of-it and-ate and-she-gave also-to-her-husband with-her and-he-ate.

Literal

And the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was delightful to the eye, but also desirable for gaining reason. So, she took from the tree the fruit and ate and gave also to her husband with her and he ate.

Commercial Bible Translations

  • (nas) 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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
  • (kjv) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
  • (niv) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
  • (nlt) The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too

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