וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵֽירֻמִּם הֵ֑ם וַֽיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹֽת
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; So, each sewed a fig leaf and made a girdle to cover their loins.
knew they were naked: as described earlier, the verb used here, a form of the Hebrew verb to know, does not mean intellectual knowledge. Rather it always refers to the kind of intimate knowledge acquired from experience. In this verse, Adam and Eve experienced their nakedness, ostensibly through sexual intercourse, as is made explicit in the very first verse of the next chapter, Genesis 4:1 (See the discussion of Genesis 4:1 for details)
Now Adam had known((In this verse, the order of the subject and verb is reversed, indicating a past perfect conjugation.)) his wife, Eve, and she conceived and gave birth… (Gen 4:1)
In other words, Adam and Eve had likely engaged in sexual intercourse after eating the fruit and Genesis 4:1 refers back to that point in time when they discovered the power of eroticism, i.e., shortly after eating the fruit.
a girdle to cover their loins: loins is a biblical euphemism for genitals, which raises the question, why cover just their genitals? Why not a head covering, or leggings, or a vest or shirt of some sort? The answer is that the author wants us to understand that sexual activity is in view.
My translation conventions can be found here.
Then-opened-were the-eyes-of the-two and-they-knew that naked [were] they. So-they-sewed a-leaf-of a-fig-tree and-they-made for-them a-loin-covering.
Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew they were naked. So, they sewed a leaf from a fig tree and made for themselves loin coverings.
Commercial Bible Translations
- (nas) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
- (kjv) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
- (niv) 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
- (nlt) At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.