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Genesis 3:12 says:

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

I've heard several people interpret this verse as Adam blaming God and / or Eve ("whom you gave to be with me") for eating the forbidden fruit.

Are there contextual or grammatical clues in the passage that support this conclusion? I'm wondering if Adam was just being matter of fact or truly blaming Eve or God?

Update: I found this question on another StackExchange.

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    My brother when very young dumped his milk all over the table and immediately demanded “Who put milk in my glass?” He knew the mess he made would be blamed on him so he quickly began trying to share the blame with others. Seems like human nature to do this.
    – 007
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 18:59
  • The important part of your quote is not the preamble (whatever its inference) but the conclusion - and I ate.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 21:36

2 Answers 2

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I think the biggest grammatical clue is the existence of the phrase itself.

“The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree" Gen 3v12

We also see Eve's words.

And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen 3v13

I think claiming, "I ate" would have been telling enough however Adam makes it a point to qualify his statement with the additional words. I believe the conversational language in this chapter tells more of the story and that Adam was downplaying the severity of his choice with the additional qualifiers. By doing so it appears that he was blaming Eve. The serpent tried to downplay the severity of the consequences for eating the fruit earlier in the chapter.

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The Scriptures make it clear that no one can lie in the real presence of God. Therefore, it is certain that Adam did not lie to God. When God gave the command to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17 not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Eve had not yet been created (Genesis 2:21-22). The Scriptures do not detail how Eve received the command, whether through Adam or directly from God. However, Eve makes several errors by allowing the cunning Serpent to engage her in a theological discussion about God's command.

Genesis 3:3 presents God's words to Adam:

a) "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, 'You shall not eat it'" (the tree in the middle of the garden being the Tree of Life, as seen in Genesis 2:9)

b) "nor shall you touch it, lest you die" (God did not mention this in Genesis 2:16-17).

After Eve is completely deceived regarding God's command, the Serpent uses the same phrase spoken to Adam but with a negation particle to further confuse Eve: "You will not surely die." Comparing Genesis 3:3 with Genesis 2:17 reveals that Eve was deceived by the Serpent. This is also confirmed in the New Testament Scriptures, as indicated in 2 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2:14.

Eve, having been deceived by the Serpent, encounters an unspecified tree in Genesis 3:6 that "was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise." Without any conscience burden, Eve eats the fruit. It is not reported whether Adam was near the tree, only that he received the fruit from Eve, who is now in the condition of knowing good and evil, akin to the gods (Genesis 3:22).

Thus, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, no creature can lie before the Creator, and therefore, the entire account of Genesis 3:11-14 is true. In Genesis 3:13, Eve admits, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Indeed, the Serpent, with cunning, altered the position of the trees in Eve's mind regarding God's command. Adam's error was listening to the voice of a deceived and divinized Eve, manipulated by the cunning of the Serpent regarding the forbidden fruit, thereby disregarding the order received from God.

Therefore, yes, Adam blames Eve for what happened.

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  • Ultimately Adam blames God for making the woman who got deceived and gave Adam fruit
    – 007
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 2:11
  • Genesis 2:15 NET "The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for it and to maintain it." Heb “to work it and to keep it.”sn Note that man’s task is to care for and maintain the trees of the orchard. Not until after the fall, when he is condemned to cultivate the soil, does this task change. Adam was obliged not to eat the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    – Betho's
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 2:19
  • Eva misleadingly claimed that the fruit was not forbidden. Despite Adam's awareness of the forbidden nature of the fruit, he chose to heed Eva, who asserted that it was an allowed fruit, rather than obeying God's command.
    – Betho's
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 2:24

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