Was Adam with Eve when she was deceived?

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A number of critics continue to point to the fact that Ellen White said Adam was not “with” Eve when she was tempted while the bible says he “was” with her. The quote they refer to is the following:

“The angels had cautioned Eve to beware of separating herself from her husband while occupied in their daily labor in the garden; with him she would be in less temptation than if she were alone. But absorbed in her pleasing task, she unconsciously wandered from his side. On perceiving that she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger… She soon found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration upon the forbidden tree.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 53 & 54)

Now here is the verse used to prove Ellen White wrong:

Genesis 3:6 [ESV]
(6) So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

We admit that this seems like a direct contradiction. Let’s take a second look at this verse, this time from the NIV:

Genesis 3:6 [NIV]
(6) When the women 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.

Again we find these verses saying he was with her.

We want you to notice something here. The verses used here are being quoted from versions of the bible that are translated “thought for thought” rather then “word for word.” Let’s look at a version that is more literal; that translates it word for word:

Genesis 3:6 [KJV]
(6) 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.

Notice that the words “who was” is not there. To remove all doubt, let’s go to the Hebrew. The following is a literal translation of this verse by the Interlinear Scripture Analyzer:

And-she-is-seeing [uthra] the-women [eashe] that [ki] good [tub] the-tree [eotz] for-food [lmkal] and-that [uki] yearning [thaue] he [eua] to-eyes [loinim] and-to-be-coveted [unchmd] the-tree [eotz] to-make-intelligent [leshkil] and-she-is-taking [uthqch] from-fruit-of-him [mphriu] and-she-is-eating [uthakl] and-she-is-giving [uththn] moreover [gm] to-man-of-her [laishe] with-her [ome] and-he-is-eating [uiakl]

Some other versions like the RV and the LITV also agree that the words “who was” do not belong there because they were not there when they were writing originally in Hebrew. Does this change a lot the meaning of the entire verse? Of course it does. If the words “who was” were originally there, this means he was literally by her side at that moment. But because they are absent, it simply means he was with her “in that place,” as in, in the Garden. An example would be if a husband and a wife go to the mall, but they depart, he goes to the sneaker store, and she to the clothing store… her husband is still “with her” because he is at that same place… the mall. Yet, he is not with her at the very location she is which would be the clothing store.

If he was literally with her at that very moment the serpent spoke those deceptive words to her, there are a couple of questions that should be considered:

-Why didn’t he intervene and stop the snake?

Adam was to be the head of his home. As the head and protector, and the ruler of all creatures, Eve was to be his “help meet” –Genesis 2:18. Would not have Adam put a stop to the snake? Would he have been as easily deceived as Eve was? Wouldn’t he have protected his bride?

-Was Adam that ignorant?

The bible says that God told Adam, not Eve, not to eat of the tree (Genesis 2:15-17). Then after this command is where God decides to make the women (verse 18). This suggests that it was Adam who passed along to his wife the teachings God taught him. Was Adam, while at the tree with Eve, so ignorant as to not know, or even forget, that God himself told him not to disobey?

-Why did Adam blame Eve and not the serpent?

Genesis 3:12 says, “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” If Adam was with her at the tree, wouldn’t that mean that he was deceived as she was and therefore would have logically accused the serpent as Eve did? Furthermore, verse 17 says that Adam “harkened unto the voice of thy wife.” Notice it does not say he harkened unto the voice of the serpent. It would have said this… if he was with her at the tree at that moment, for there it was the serpent’s voice doing the deceiving.

-Why did the women say she was the one deceived?

In verse 13, we read, “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.” If Adam was with her at the tree, wouldn’t she have rather said, “The serpent beguiled us, and we did eat”?

In light of all this, along with the fact that the Hebrew does not contain the words “who was,” we conclude that Adam was indeed with his wife in the Garden, but not at the tree.


We found a similar response by our friends at ellen-white.com. To this response, our critics Robert K. Sanders and Sydney Cleveland submitted a rebuttal. We are concerned with a couple of things they said, and would like to respond here.

They said:

“The Bible writer was telling us that it was Eve that accepted the serpent’s challenge and ate the fruit. Eve told the serpent that “WE” may eat, and not “I can eat”, which shows that Adam was with her at the tree. “The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,”(Gen 3:2 NIV) “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen 3:6 NIV). ”

The word “we” can be used in both ways. He could have been there, and therefore that is why she said “we.” Or, she could have simply been speaking on behalf of both of them. For example, if in a privet conversation with a friend I tell him in regards to my wife and I that, “we enjoy going out for dinner Saturday nights,” does that mean that she was there with me when I told my friend what I do Saturday nights? Or was I just speaking about both of us? Taking into consideration the above questions, its likely that the reason why she said “we” was simply because they were both warned not to eat of the fruit of the tree, and she, knowing this, included him in her conversation with the serpant by using the word “we.”

There is another point to take into consideration. Returning back to the original Hebrew, literally translated, the word “we” is not really there. This Hebrew word is “no where” to be found in Genesis 3:2 or in Genesis 3:6. That part of the verse literally begins with the word “eat.” One can simply look at there Strong’s concordance and notice that the English words “we may eat” is translated from just one Hebrew word which is “akal” meaning to “eat.” This Strong’s number is 398. Now some might feel that, read like this, the verse makes no sense. However we remind our readers that to the Hebrew student this makes perfect sense.

They said:

“The question seems to be what does “with her” mean? The Hebrew makes it clear that “with does not mean apart. “With” in Hebrew; ‘im, eem; Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines ‘im as: “with, beside, by, among, accompanying. …It expresses the concept of inclusiveness, togetherness, company. … The basic conception conveyed is that of fellowship, companionship, common experiences.” —pp. 676, 677. The Hebrew-English Lexicon defines ‘im as in the “society of, or in the “company” of someone. —p.196. ”

While we agree with the definition of this Hebrew word, we do not deny that Adam was indeed “with” her, we simply see, considering the context, that he was “with” her in the Garden, and not at the tree at the moment the serpent beguiled her. The definition of this Hebrew word still allows for these two options, that he was with her “at that moment at the tree” or with her simply “in the garden.” How do we arrive at the second option? By considering questions like the ones mentioned above. Like that rather then using words like “me” and “I” she would have said, “the serpent beguiled us, and we did eat.” And Adam, in his perfect state, would have certiantly recognized that the serpent was doing the deceiving and in turn would have blamed him rather then blaming her (verse 12).

Rather then basing this belief on one simple Hebrew word, one should consider the entire context… and the above questions.

They said:

“The apologist contends Adam was not present at the tree because “Eve doesn’t say “the serpent beguiled us, and we did eat” but rather, ” the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (verse 13). This is simply an admission by Eve that she was the one that was beguiled/deceived by the serpent. She was accepting full responsibility for the sin and did not blame Adam who was “with her”. The fact is that the Bible says, “she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” This is also in full agreement with 1 Timothy 2:14 which tells us “Adam was not the one deceived, it was the woman who was deceived.” But then, EGW contradicts this Scripture as well (see #3 below). ”

It is certiantly possible that she did in fact accept her sin and did not blame Adam, but the point that she says, “The serpent beguilded ME” still proves that, if he really was with her, she would have used the word “us.” Our critics base this point on 1 Timothy 2:14, but, have they really considered what Paul was really trying to say? Click here to find out.


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About The Author

Edwin Cotto

With over 13 years of experience in apologetics, evangelism and youth directing, Edwin has worked with various ministries both in English and Spanish. Having had the opportunity to travel to various states in the USA, and also to Venezuela and Mexico, he has enjoyed the privilege of conducting evangelistic meetings and apologetics seminars. His education includes training in the Medical Field, Adult Education at Valencia College, Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, and Evangelism with Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He is furthering his academic studies in theology while also working as a bible worker for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Ordained as an elder, Edwin's passion for ministry begins first at home with his wife and kids.

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