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.

  • +1, because how did she already know she was beguiled? I've always wondered this.
    – Matt
    Oct 4, 2013 at 0:15
  • Perhaps the fruit actually gave her knowledge? Interesting, that could be a whole other question.
    – SunSparc
    Oct 4, 2013 at 5:06
  • 1
    Maybe a better fit on hermeneutics.stackexchange.com
    – user3961
    Oct 4, 2013 at 23:53
  • 1
    @SunSparc Yeah my list too... You don't need to learn it, but there are tools you can use to familiarize yourself. An example is Strong's Lexical Concordance: biblehub.com/hebrew/5377.htm
    – Andrew
    Sep 11, 2016 at 20:59
  • 1
    @Matt, it looks to me like she was at that point aware that she had not turned into a "god" as she expected but was still a human and now stood condemned in front of their creator (or a spirit being representing their creator) together with her husband Adam. Her problem was that she had been willing to take something that did not belong to her (i.e. steal) in order to gain a supposed benefit that then did not materialize.
    – x457812
    Apr 14, 2018 at 4:13

6 Answers 6


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.


The Masoretic Hebrew word being used here is נָשָׁא (nā·šā), which means to deceive or delude. Another example where it is used is:

2 Kings 18:29

Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand:

The word appears a little over a dozen times in the Masoretic Text. In all other cases, it is translated as "deceive" in the KJV, but in Genesis 3:13 it is translated as "beguile".

In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), Hellenic Jews translated the word here as ἀπατάω (apataō), which means more or less the same thing. It is the word, for example, that Paul uses when he writes to the Ephesians (5:6):

Ephesians 5:6

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Another answerer has made the connection with 1 Timothy 3:14:

1 Timothy 2:14

καὶ Ἀδὰμ οὐκ ἠπατήθη, ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἀπατηθεῖσα ἐν παραβάσει γέγονε·

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Paul is using the same Greek word here that appears in the Septuagint version of Genesis 3:13.


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.


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).

  • The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives as synonyms for the English word "beguile" the words "charm" and "enchant", but I don't think that the underlying Hebrew (or, in the case of the Septuagint, Greek) carry these same synonyms along.
    – guest37
    Apr 14, 2017 at 19:58

By 'beguiled' I would say 'charmed'or 'mesmerized'; unable to look away. She listened intently. Also,the serpent was probably upright because the Lord cursed him to crawl on his belly. I am suggesting theoretically that the serpent came as the devil in the form of a man, much like God did when he came to the Earth in the form of a human being, Jesus. The fact that Eve was 'beguiled' by the devil may be the first time in history that a woman chose a man that had a 'dark side'. Remember, Adam was her mate in the Lord's planning. In essence, she chose someone else not only over the Lord which was disastrous enough but she also chose another 'man' over a man given to her by God. I understand that the implications for the world were serious because both Adam and Eve sinned. However, the implications of Eve's sin may have set in motion certain mind-sets that affect women exclusively. Is it possible that some women select men with a dark side because Eve did?


This is the true meaning of the Word “Beguiled”, like our word "devour" in original text both in the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament. Strong put it in its proper perspective and Bullinger in his appendix to the companion bible, describe the serpent as the "shiny one" fascinating and commanding presence.

Gen 3:13 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.

Strong gives us this:-

ðùÑà (pardon the Hebrew text display. Will try to fix this if possible).



A primitive root; to lead astray, that is, (mentally) to delude, or (morally) to seduce: - beguile, deceive, X greatly, X utterly.

Did you see it? It is a primitive root which means to lead astray, MENTALLY, to delude (MORALLY) to seduce. Deceived greatly and UTTERLY.

Brother Branham said it means To Defile! It carries the meaning of a young innocent girl who is inquisitive and the male adult, destroy her by taking her virginity. That is the meaning of Defile. Yes Beguile!

Let us look at the Greek word from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.

(2Cor 11:3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.




From G1537 and G538; to seduce wholly: - beguile, deceive.

See the same interpretation! To SEDUCE wholly. Totally and utterly seduced! Physically, mentally and morally and that my friends, is the true meaning of the word translated “Beguiled”.

You may want to know that these two words, the Hebrew and the Greek pertaining to the beguiling of Eve by the Serpent are the true translation for SEDUCE wholly.


This article had the same explanation with this reference; According to Hebrew scholar Dr. Nehama Aschenasy the word translated as " beguiled" does not mean what we think it does. As I explained in my essay " We Are Each Eve": "Dr. Nehama Aschenasy, a Hebrew scholar, said that in Hebrew the word which is translated as beguiled in the Bible does not mean "tricked" or " deceived" as we commonly think. Rather, the Hebrew word is a rare verb that indicates an intense multilevel experience evoking great emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual trauma. As Aschenasy explained, it is likely that Eve's intense, multilevel experience, this " beguiling" by the serpent was the catalyst that caused Eve to ponder and evaluate what her role in tbe Garden really was." (The Gift of Giving Life: Re-discovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth, pgs. 2-3)

As we can see the Hebrew word does not mean "deceived or tricked"..

To understand better the Hebrew meaning naw-shaw' and the wordings of Eve in Gen3:3...Let's ponder the added words of Eve 'by touching we shall die too". This is a defensive stance of Eve rejecting the serpent's suggestion to touch the FRUIT first something God has not commanded.The serpent is seducing or trapping Eve to just touch the FRUIT first,so Eve told the serpent NO! even touching is prohibited.This added words of Eve clearly pictures Adam & Eve original holiness & justice is working by intellectual reasoning leaning to OBEDIENCE to God's command.The perfection of virtues were working.

So, what happened? Satan/Serpent don't have a virtue and getting IMPATIENT seeing Eve won't do his bidding,tricked Eve introduced the word "TOUCH" and confusingly asked Eve "How about touching the FRUIT"...the Serpent dared Eve that he can touch the fruit but will not die(this Action of the Serpent Touching/Defiling the Fruit First constitute God's punishment) ...This action of the Serpent DEFILED the Sanctity of the Fruit and Eve seeing the serpent did not die allows & follows the serpent suggestions.

The result Eve was stripped with Sanctifying Grace, she was naked spiritually and Adam noticed the changed in Eve appearance but instead of upholding the Sanctity of the Fruit, Adam DEFILED it by consummating the act or eat the fruit too.

This reflections is validated by God punishment to the serpent, "The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;(Genesis3:14)

The serpent OVERDONE the temptation limits set by God, and the word "Beguile" means the FRUIT was DEFILED...taken the context of the strong meaning of the Hebrew word. This is further validated in the Book of Job where Satan now appeared TAMED and would only act according to the clear limits set by God, or else another severe punishment or curse will be sentence.

Brother Branham said it means To Defile! It carries the meaning of a young innocent girl who is inquisitive and the male adult, destroy her by taking her virginity. That is the meaning of Defile. Yes Beguile!


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