1 John 2:16 Parallel

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

lust -epithymia Gk1939From epithumeo means a longing (especially for what is forbidden) – concupiscence, desire, lust (after). (SEConcordance) (HELPS Word-studies: “passionate desire”–properly, passion built on strong feelings (urges) that can be positive or negative).
boastful pridealazoneia Gk212From alazon; braggadocio, i.e. (by implication) self-confidence — boasting, pride. (SEConcordance) (alazon Gk213 (a masculine noun) – properly, a wandering vagrant (vagabond), boasting to anyone who is foolish enough to take him seriously! This kind of person claims many things he can’t really do, so he must always keep moving on to new, naive listeners. [As a masculine noun, 213 (alazṓn) tends to focus on the source of the empty boasting, i.e. the sinful arrogance that drives it.] Helps Word-studies)

1 John 2:16 is often quoted as the New Testament’s parallel to the woman’s reasoning in Genesis 3:6. She ‘…saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was a delight to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (boastful pride of life)…’ as explanation for her fall…

Though it may appear a strikingly good ‘fit’ in the traditional understanding of the fall events, it doesn’t do so well with the Hebrew meanings underlying our English translation. We have to remember there is no mention of her having been ‘tempted’ to go against the command. She was ‘deceived’ – there is a difference. To succumb to temptation is to yield to your own desires as opposed to God’s way being the right way. There is a choice involved –God’s way or my way. To choose thus would be an act of disobedience, but again scripture three times repeats itself clearly –she was deceived, the New Testament revealing her as being ‘hoodwinked or tricked’ – ‘thoroughly deceived’ – disobedience only ever in scripture attributed to Adam. She transgressed the command, but it was not an act of disobedience – scripture is very clear on this. It was not a case of the serpent tempting her to sin but rather tricking her into doing what she did not want to do.

In my last post (Desiring His Likeness) I make mention of Genesis 2:9 where scripture describes the trees YeHoWaH Elohim Himself made, as being ‘…pleasant to the sight and good for food…’ , these trees being absolutely legitimate for their consumption – ‘desirable…a delight’ with the sense of ‘to covet or lust’ in its meaning of ‘pleasant’ (neḥ-māḏ Heb2530). Food specifically designed to engage the ‘desire or lust’ of our appetite and fleshly eyes –so we would eat of them. His command to Adam was to ‘eat eat’ of these trees –ie to eat to satisfaction – no limit given (the woman did not have this understanding of ‘largesse or open-handedness’ in her version of God’s command). The Garden of Eden also confirms this in it’s underlying Hebrew meaning of ‘pleasure –delicate, delight’ coming from the primitive root word adan Heb5727, meaning to ‘delight self’to be soft or pleasant, to live voluptuously. (SEConcordance) NAS Exhaustive Concordance has for this root word of Eden – ‘to luxuriate’. This is the setting God made in which He placed Adam, and shortly after, the woman. A place designed for the ‘pleasure’ of one’s ‘self’. This would also have been included in the pronouncement of ‘very good’ in Gen 1:31. So her reasoning in Genesis 3:6 of seeing the tree was good for food and a delight to the eyes really isn’t anything too out of the ordinary in the setting God had placed her. The serpent’s version of the command appears no different at this point to what she knows of God’s provision for them and  Adam’s giving of the command has been demonstrated as doubtful. Please note: the translators addition of ‘one’ into the Genesis 3:6 text helps to keep the reader focused on the woman as being self serving, coveting or lusting after the forbidden fruit because as ‘common knowledge’ says she was tempted by the serpent and ‘fell’ because of the ‘lust of her eyes and flesh…’ 

Where 1 John 2:16 does not parallel Genesis 3:6 is the ‘boastful pride of life’ coupled with ‘wisdom’ as it is knowledge that ‘puffs up’ – but wisdom begins in the fear of YeHoWaH. If it is accredited to anyone it should be the Serpent who moreso fits the description given in the meaning of ‘boastful pride‘ of life (given above) and who offers the woman knowledge (not wisdom) to be like God. Her desire to be like God – in gaining wisdom -shows her heart for God. Proverbs 9:10 says ‘knowledge of the Holy One‘ is in the way of wisdom -it is never found in the knowledge of good and evil nor anything else apart from God.

Yes she had mistaken ‘knowledge of good and evil’ with ‘wisdom’ and ate the forbidden fruit, but scripture says it was ‘wisdom’ that she desired…to be like God. Please read ‘Desiring His Likeness’ for explanation. She never saw the trap – she was set up -as the meaning of ‘deceived‘ in 1 Tim 2:14 and 2 Cor 11:3 both declare.

1 John 2:16 is also used to parallel the devils tempting of Yeshua in the wilderness… but Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges in it’s commentary of 1 John 2:16 gives a warning:

‘… in all these cases (various other examples given), whether of parallel or contrast, it will probably be felt that the correspondence is not perfect throughout, and that the comparison, though striking, is not quite satisfying, because not quite exact. … Forced analogies in any sphere are productive of fallacies; in the sphere of religious truth they may easily become profane.’

And this I believe this is the case also concerning Gen 3:6. 1 John 2:16 has been forced to  ‘fit’ as a parallel, with assumptions made of the woman that are not backed up in scripture.

One last observation concerning the woman’s traditionally supposed action of guilt…

 ‘… she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.’ Gen 3:6 NASB

In Genesis 3:12 Adam says to God ‘…she gave me of the tree and I did eat.’ The word translated ‘me of’ (min Heb 4480)means properly – a part of (from or out of – in many senses), and comes from an unused root meaning to apportion (4482.men). To apportion means to divide out, distribute, ‘divvy up’ – ‘dish out’ not unlike what the vast majority of women do today for their loved ones. Selecting and preparing food that is deemed good for food, pleasing to the eyes, but most of all being beneficial for their wellbeing. Shared out –not coveted for oneself – actions to benefit all in her care. She was the very first ‘test bunny’. No harm came to her in the eating of the fruit. She gave some to Adam and he ate. Totally unaware of the trap set for her, totally walking as God designed her – as an ‘ezer kenegedo’ to aid and protect Adam, as far as she is aware -helping him to walk more fully in the image and likeness of his creator by obtaining ‘wisdom’ for him also.

Heavenly Father, YeHoWaH Elohim, You alone see clearly, as our hearts are never hidden from you. Have your way in us to Your glory. Amen.



4 thoughts on “1 John 2:16 Parallel

  1. Christine, this is by far the best exposition of this I’ve ever seen. You have been incredibly thorough in sticking with what Scripture actually says, rather than what tradition says. I am impressed!


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