Did Adam and Eve realise they naked after they sinned because they were previously clothed in the Glory of God?

I havent developed a better wording for the question…i hope the above is adequate.

The bible talks extensively about God’s glory and our separation from Him as a result of sin.
We see examples of the effect of God’s presence in stories about Moses coming down from the mountain after spending time with God:

Exodus 34
> 29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.d 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.
*> *
> 34 Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

> 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 …He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,a with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.

and finally at the Second Coming…

2 Thess 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

and Revelation 6

> 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slaved and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Given the numerous Biblical examples of us not being able to look upon God and live (because of Sin), what are the views of this forum on what happened to Adam and Eve such that they realised they were:

  1. naked; and
  2. hid themselves from God when he came walking into the garden in Genesis 3:8

> 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the coolc of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

I am developing the idea that in fact sin removed from us that layer of glory that clothed Adam and Eve in the garden prior to the fall.
The loss of this layer of protection has been substituted with sin and at this point, even Adam and Eve could not look upon the Father without being stuck down

If we consider the request of Moses to God in Exodus 33

> 18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

Indeed if we look to a New Testament example of the effects of the glory of even Jesus…Saul (later the apostle Paul) is a good one…
Acts 9

> 1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

then finally the bible talks around us being able to come boldly before the throne…i believe this is because Jesus has wrapped His cloak of righteousness around us and we are therefore judged righteous and not as filthy wrags.

I wonder, if although we were created perfect, when the separation from God happened at the fall, we lost that layer of righteousness that Christ is going to restore to us in the judgement and we shall be deemed sinless again.
I also put it to the forum that this layer of Jesus righteousness is the very same transformation that will happen to all those who are saved in the resurrection (not that we lose our physical bodies completely and take on only spiritual ones).
I also put it to the forum that this is also the reason why after Jesus own resurrection, he was not recognised by his followers (Mary Magdalene at the tomb or the two disciples on the road to Emaus). Although strangely enough Peter recognised him from the boat when he was standing on the shore…I’m trying to work out this one as its uniquely intriguing…why was it only Peter who recognised the risen Christ and at a distance?

Interesting ideas, I have not read these before. They do not seem to rise directly from what has been written, there is a need to interpret the passages in a particular way so that they would support the hypothesis.

I agree that the ‘cloak of righteousness’ of Jesus makes us able to come boldly before the throne. In some parts of the NT, it is written that the believers are ‘in Christ’, which can be compared to your expression.

The state of Adam & Eve before their sin is something we can only speculate. According to the story, Adam was made of soil and Eve from cultured soil. There is not much more information in the story.

In addition, there is the question of how much in the story is allegorical teaching and how much is something else. The more I have tried to understand the story of Eden, the more I lean towards the interpretation that the story is an allegorical teaching with the message that we humans were created by God, He wants us to live in contact with Him, and rebellion against His commands destroys our life and future.

The story of Eden includes also a protogospel of the coming savior, the seed that will crush the head of the snake. It is great that we now know more about this seed that came. Happy Christmas!

And whether they pigs have wings.

What is your source for this belief?

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  1. I interpret the story as 100% allegory, and I believe that however wrote it, had an insight into human psychology way ahead of their time. So basically Adam and Eve became self aware, same way as suddenly human children do. A small baby is perfectly happy playing around completely naked and not bothered whatsoever by people who may see them. Don’t know at what age, but then it suddenly changes. So it can be interpreted at individual level. Or at the level of entire population, you could say that perhaps human sexuality became corrupt as result of sin, ‘carefree frolicking’ came to an end and the need to cover up emerged. Although I’m not sure where does it leave modern nudists, after all they’re fallen people like the rest of us, but don’t seem to have these hang ups. (It’s a serious question)
  2. Same what happens when children don’t want their parents to see them naked anymore (interestingly, this vary by country)

My personal interpretation is that’s a metaphor, we sometimes say that when someone looks very happy or excited about something

Well, they were in the dessert after all, I’ve heard it’s very practical to protect your face like this

Now just to be clear, are you proposing that Adam and Eve weren’t in fact naked, but rather were wearing some kind of clothes, even if they weren’t clothes as we know them? Or perhaps they were naked, but their bodies were ‘perfect’ as a result of union with God?
And would latter option mean they covered up because…they weren’t ‘hot’ anymore?

Really? The Bible talks about creation being good, it isn’t the same as perfect. I don’t believe humans were ever created, or meant to be perfect. Good is good enough.

I don’t know but I am fascinated by that, I hope someone more knowledgeable can come up with the answer.
I’m not an expert by any stretch of imagination, but it’s quite fascinating how mechanisms of recognising people work. Some don’t recognise faces whatsoever, to the point they wouldn’t even recognize themselves!
Some people are utterly unrecognisable with some make up on, it could be similar thing. Not that I’m suggesting resurrected Christ wore make up of corse lol


It wasn’t Peter.

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Clothing/covering metaphors in the OT are repeatedly used in two ways. Either the clothing is symbolic of protection because it covers vulnerability, shame, dishonor, weakness, etc or the clothing demonstrates state or status and communicates something like honor, mourning, royalty, readiness, celebration, etc.

I think in this case, the mental model is that the clothing God provided covered their shame. Before their sin, the text states explicitly that they were naked and unashamed. I don’t know why “naked” would make anyone jump to “clothed in God’s glory.” That’s not what the text says.

The reason given for needing protection from the clothing in the text was their own nakedness and shame, not needing protection from God. To read that into the text is eisogesis.


Hello @adamjedgar
I see you’re around so this is just a gentle reminder of this question, thanks!

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My understanding is, and I believe that it also consistent with most Christian theology, Adam and Eve were clothed in something like garments of light…i think we could probably imagine the Glory of God or something like this.
It could very well be that they were simply stark butt naked and simply had no self consciousness about what they looked like?

The problem I have with the second [self conscious] option above, if they were known to each other as a couple for a period of time prior to the fall, I would think they would have surely been sexually active as God had said “be fruitful and multiply”. If they were cuddly (so to speak), I doubt the sudden noticing of the other partners awesome looking bits would have been embarrassing. I think the fact they went and hid themselves from God suggests it is more likely that the Glory of God surrounding them had disappeared. Perhaps it was something of a similar manner that which Moses face shone whenever he came out of the tent after having spoken with God, or indeed even Jesus when he was transfigured?

The bible talks about the way in which Lucifer fell from heaven. He was an angel of light prior to his downfall. However, after that event, terms such as darkness, evil, serpent, dragon, fire, death… clearly he [Lucifer] also must have been quite shocked at what he looked like once he was cast out of heaven.

I think the point is, those “coverings” that Adam and Eve wore so to speak prior to the fall, they seemed to have a strong relationship to their creator. Once that connection was broken by their disobedience, they sought to avoid God and hid themselves from Him. That suggests to me that even they realised something very very bad had happened to them physically. Indeed whilst they had not experienced death according to the bible account, they were clearly afraid to go near God. It is my view that this must have some relationship to His Glory because we know that God very specifically said to Moses “no man can look at my face and live”. I know I know…Moses spoke with God face to face in Ex 33:11 (this dilemma is resolved in Numbers 12:8)

Sorry, but I find the “covered with glory” idea rather odd and not supported by the scripture. I think the significance of the story and their nakedness is the association of “naked” and “unashamed.” Shame follows from a sense of guilt, and guilt follows from knowing you have done wrong. This highlights their innocent state of not having sinned, and having nothing to hide, with the following verses in which they hid from God. Now, you can either take that as a literal, historical, event, or take it as being representative of humanity before becoming morally aware and culpable, but it winds up being about the same meaning wise. I believe some Jewish scholars take it as going from a pre-adolescent state of childlike innocence, to adolescent or young adult sexual maturity and lustful actions, which fits as well, but I suspect the story is meant for a broader application than just sexual activity.


I’ve read a lot of Christian theology, and this is the first time I’ve heard of Adam & Eve being clothed with “garments of light.” My honest reaction is, Huh?

The “Glory of God” isn’t to be confused with God’s “shekinah” glory that settled on the tabernacle/temple. As at the Transfiguration, that’s more often described as a cloud than dazzling light. Perhaps we should imagine a little fog on the private parts rather than garments of light?

If you want a reasonable interpretation of God’s glory, it’s nothing more than God’s presence. The garden imagery suggests the presence of God with early humanity. By the end of the Garden narrative, the man and the woman have been cast out of God’s presence and barred from re-entry. I’m reminded of the rabbis’ question: What was the difference between the first temple and the second? Answer: God’s glory didn’t descend on the second.


perhaps a more in-depth reading of the transfiguration might shed some "light " on this for you as I think you have missed an important part of the event…I will post the passage again.

Matthew17: 2 There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

When we refer back to Moses after coming out of the tent in which he met face to face with God

Exodus 34:34
34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would remove the veil until he came out. And when he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 and the Israelites would see that the face of Moses was radiant. So Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

When in doubt, one should seek other texts to confirm one’s interpretation is consistent. When we cross reference Mathew 17 with Exodus 34, it is very clear that the interpretation is not a cloud of dazzling light!

oh whilst on this point…i note something interesting I found about the way in which one should read the book of exodus (and it comes from the book itself). Note Exodus 17:14

14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua, because I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

How that very definite statement can be read as an allegory? (its pretty clear that is absolutely not the intended way of interpreting this book of Moses)

Take a closer look. The shining face isn’t God’s glory. When did Peter, James and John hear the voice of God? After they were enveloped by the cloud.

Mark 9:7
Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Matt. 17:5
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Luke 9:34-35
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

To make myself clear, when humanity reached maturity and we chose to go our own way, God granted us our independence and withdrew his presence. That’s why God seems “hidden” in the world. It’s no more complicated than the story of the Prodigal Son, which applies to every child of God. All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. The “reappearance” of God’s presence is Immanuel – God-with-us. You should know the rest.

Great point! They didn’t need protection from God. “Their eyes were opened.” To what? Their own shame at being “naked” (exposed) before the community (“shame” in ancient cultures). Within the narrative, the only “other” in the community is God. They tried to hide their shame from God, and when it was exposed, they tried to shift the blame. Every parent of an adolescent recognizes the pattern. That part of the story is universal, regardless of culture.

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your quotes do not support your interpretation.
a bright cloud covering the disciples is completely different to the disciples seeing Jesus face shining like the sun.

If they are in a bright cloud, why then the completely separate statement? It simply doesn’t read correctly.

Next, the voice in the cloud at Jesus baptism…the glory of God descended upon Him like a dove. That is nothing like a bright cloud sat above his head.

Finally, if we go back to the time of the exodus, whilst in the desert, the cloud provided light on the camp of the Israelites at night time…it is likely that the cloud did this until they entered into the land of Canaan.

You statement about “when humanity reached maturity and we chose our own way”…where on earth in the bible do you obtain such a reference. The account in Genesis does not even closely align with that claim and neither do other books that talk about the fall of man and our redemption and salvation. The bible universally maintains the position that Adam and Eve were adults…they were fully mature individuals who were given a very specific command by God “do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The were told specifically what the consequences of disobedience would be.

It is not an allegory along with the other books of Moses as claimed by TEism…especially given that Exodus 17 very clearly states that Joshua is to record the wiping out of the Amalekites from history such that the only record of that race of people would be in the Biblical record!

I’m wondering, do you have any extant historical evidence of the Amalekites?

So therefore we have a dilemma, either Moses is lying and the entire Bible is false (thus Christianity is an incredibly elaborate fabrication) or, we simply must read Exodus 17 literally! Those are the only two choices.

The bible is too interconnected in its theology to pretend some things are not to be read literally when they are clearly written using literary language that supports literal reading of the text. Even theologically, the books of Moses must be read this way. One simple reason why is the 10 commandments. If they are an allegory, then where the heck did morality come from according to TEism? (might I also remind that TEists are Christians fundamentally)

You post that “the reappearance of Gods presence is Immanuel” is rather unusual given the following:

When Isaiah prophesied about the messiah…i do not believe it was considered a reappearance. I am not sure what you even mean by that?

  • Moses spoke directly with God on numerous occasions
  • God’s presence remained among the Israelite camp for more than 40 years and in the tabernacle for centuries after that (above the mercy seat in the MHP of the tabernacle)
  • a flash of fire shot out from the presence of the Lord…(almost certainly from mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant) and killed Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10
  • the Prophet Samuel talked with God regularly
  • Jacob fought with the Angel of the Lord during the night
  • Abraham talked with the Lord directly before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

there are numerous stories of the presence of God on earth after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…and these examples are centuries before the incarnation of Christ. Might I also add another one…

  • after Jesus was taken up into heaven…6 weeks later the Holy Spirit entered the upper room on the day of Pentecost and alighted upon each of those in the room thus they began to prophesy and speak in tongues (this was clearly not the person Jesus…its was the person - Holy Spirit)

I accept that Immanuel means God with us, however, I think you might be twisting the reality of this in order to facilitate some kind of evolutionary claim about the origins of man?

The normal theology is that God never left us…his presence was always with man after the fall in the Sanctuary among other examples. Now we know that when the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians, it is likely that the Glory of God had been withdrawn from the mercy seat above the Ark of the Covenant by this time (certainly afterwards)…because Jeremiah took the Ark and hid it in a cave and no one has even seen it since.

I do like that you see a relationship between the glory of God and cloud. I think that there could be an argument made for both of these things being the wrapping around us by the Holy Spirit. Having said that, at present i still have a bit of a theological issue to overcome in order to agree with that claim as the New Testament talks about us walking bodly in before the throne of God and are judged righteous BECAUSE we are wearing the cloak of the righteousness of Christ. Thats seems to me to be rather specific in that its Christ’s own cloak we are wearing…not that of another person (ie Holy Spirit).

Also, the usual job of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament seems to be one of “Helper” who convicts those who are willing to accept the Gospel. This Helper was to be sent to us after Jesus returned to heaven. The job of this Helper did not have an end date prior to the Second Coming as far as I can tell from my reading of the New Testament. So at least 1 member of the Triune God, His presence is still very much with us on this earth every day and has been for 2,000 years.

I think you should be able to see now why i have problems with any theology that claims that God withdrew his present from us immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. That is very problematic.

Continue reading to Exodus 40:

33 Then Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and altar and put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses finished the work.
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

From there go to 1 Kings 8:

10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”

Edit: Oops. I forgot to mention Ezekiel 10:4, when the prophet has a vision of the Glory of the Lord departing the temple: “Then the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the Lord.”

Well yes, that’s exactly what I believe. I appreciate it’s very hard for you to picture this, after all we’re not innocent anymore, in fact we’re soo far gone, we cannot even imagine that state of mind.
And another thing, although I don’t believe genesis to be literal history, there must have been time in human history where our skin wasn’t growing animal-like fur anymore, but clothes weren’t invented yet. Fascinating to wonder how clothes originated, unless it was just too cold…

Not all couples are comfortable with seeing each other completely naked. It’s also different being at home and essentially what was wilderness, out in the open and within the sight of God. (Before anyone says God sees you all the time anyway, no I don’t believe that, I think God often grants us privacy).

But of course they were afraid! Same way a child would be afraid of their parents if they misbehaved. No physical changes are needed to being afraid. The change is all psychological, and some would say that’s way more significant than any physical changes.

Thanks for clearing that up!

Having dark clouds following you gains a new meaning :rofl:

The culture of shame is still very much with us, with women bearing most of the brunt, as usual. And coming up with toxic theology only perpetuates it.

So you’re basically saying that because some parts appear to be literal, we have to take everything literally? Where is the literal description of these “hologram clothes” Adam and Eve were wearing?


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