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In Genesis 3:13 (King James Version) we read that Eve was "beguiled":

And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?
And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

In this context, what does "beguiled" mean?

I am not so much looking for a linguistic explanation. I have looked up the definition and etymology of the word "beguile" and see that there are many different meanings for the word (to charm; fascinate; to delude; influence by slyness; deceit, wile, fraud, ruse, trickery; sorcery, witchcraft).

I really want to understand what it means that Eve was beguiled.

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+1, because how did she already know she was beguiled? I've always wondered this. – Matt Oct 4 '13 at 0:15
Perhaps the fruit actually gave her knowledge? Interesting, that could be a whole other question. – SunSparc Oct 4 '13 at 5:06
This wasn't revealed in Scripture, and all we could possibly do is speculate. While this is certainly an interesting question, the fact that we can only speculate makes it a bad fit for a StackExchange site. Any number of plausible explanations come to mind, none of them provably correct. – David Oct 4 '13 at 5:27
@DavidStratton Are there any Christian denominations with at least some understanding of this then? – Matt Oct 4 '13 at 5:31
You could ask about the meaning of the word in the Hebrew and other early translations to see what perspective later Jews and Christians have had about the text over at BH.SE. But the question would need to be framed to understand the text, not a philosophical question raised by the text. – Dan Oct 4 '13 at 6:13

Eve when she ate of the tree of good and evil instantly became aware of the sin of disobedience and she knew she was in trouble with God when He asked her what she had done. She realizing now what the guilt of sin was, blamed the serpent who truly was the great deceiver he is. Her reply "He beguiled me." He tricked me.

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What does it mean that Eve was beguiled?

The verse that sheds the most amount of light on this is found in the New Testament.

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

While it is currently unpopular to suggest that there are any differences between men and women. The Bible maintains the traditional view that men and women are intrinsically different.

Some attempt to lay the blame for the transgression of Eve at the feet of all women. However, I do not think what is being described is legal culpability but an intrinsic characteristic.

Consider that women were created to be helpers for men;

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

One characteristic of women that makes them suitable to help their husbands is a greater ability to be trusting. This ability also makes them more vulnerable to being deceived and thus dependent on their husbands to protect them from such influences.

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Genesis 3:1 – “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made."

The term ‘subtle’ is often rendered ‘crafty’ or ‘shrewd’. The serpent had a keen intellect and was obviously beguiling to look at – beautiful and mesmerising. We are told that the serpent was cursed to crawl on its belly (Gen. 3:14) – which means beforehand it was not that way.

Isaiah 30:6 – “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent…”

The flying or feathered serpent is a revered symbol amongst many ancient cultures including the Egyptians and ancient South Americans. This idea of a serpent somehow having a keen intellect and cunning is further reinforced in: Matthew 10:16 – “Look, I'm sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.” Lucifer may have chosen the serpent because of its beauty and ‘adeptness in performance’ (cunning: noun).

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