Why did Adam and Eve make garments of fig leaves to cover themselves?

How did they sew the fig leaves together?

Genesis 3:7

NKJV - 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 04 2016 Mini Anonymous

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B8c746f3 63c7 43eb 9665 ef7fba8e191b Kelli Trujillo Supporter Minister, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Musician
The verse the questioner mentions, Genesis 3:7, tells us that after eating the forbidden fruit the eyes of both Adam and Eve were opened, they now knew they were naked, and immediately after this they made coverings for themselves. This verse gives us some idea as to why they decided to sew fig leaves together for clothing: They understood their condition, which was both "spiritually naked" and physically naked, and they made a vain attempt to cover what they had done by fabricating some rudimentary clothes out of materials that were readily available to them.

Looking back at the previous chapter, Genesis 2, we find these verses:

"Then the man said, 
'This at last is bone of my bones 
and flesh of my flesh; 
she shall be called Woman, 
because she was taken out of Man.'

"24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed."

In most cultures, there is an inherent compulsion to cover oneself with clothing and a degree of shame or embarrassment in being naked. Even among people groups that don't seem bashful about baring some of their private parts, some amount of covering is usually customary. 

Why is this? Because as fallen human beings, nakedness opens the door for a host of issues related to the flesh. First and foremost, we're more affected by lustful desires and sexual temptation when people around us are nude or scantily clad, especially men. On the other side of the spectrum, people are often embarrassed of what they look like compared to others--naked or not--so they do their best to hide their true appearance. Whatever the situation, before sin entered the world, lust wasn't a problem, and neither was the insecurity that comes from comparison. Sin changed everything, including how we relate to each other and view each other based on appearances.

It's interesting to note that Adam and Eve made themselves coverings from fig leaves, but when God confronted them and dealt with their sin, he killed an animal--the first blood sacrifice to occur in our history--and made them coverings out of the skins of the animal. 

The killing of this animal to take the place of the fig coverings is a "shadow" of future events in the OT and NT: The regulations of the OT, which were given by God but performed by humans, was insufficient to completely and permanently bridge the gap between God and man. Therefore, God sent His Son as the perfect blood sacrifice to atone for our sins once and for all. Just as human effort was insufficient to cover the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden, human effort was insufficient to cover the sins of the rest of mankind. In both cases, God provided the only blood sacrifice that would sufficiently cover the sins of mankind.

The questioner asks one more thing: How did Adam and Eve sew the leaves together? The scripture doesn't specifically tell us, but I can think of a couple suggestions:

First of all, fig leaves are generally pretty big leaves, and it's possible that these leaves were so large that one would cover a significant area of the human body. Also, the technique of using plant materials for sewing (such as vines, thin grass blades, and stems) has been around for thousands of years, and it's likely that Adam and Eve employed these methods, or similar.

January 05 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Hector Rios
I always wonder if the forbidden fruit was perhaps a fig tree. But now the more I think about it maybe they used fig leaves to cover themselves because their eyes were open within seconds and they would have to grab the first thing in front of them to cover themselves. So maybe the same tree that opened their eyes was the same tree that covered their nakedness. It’s just a thought that came to mind.

July 23 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini William Coats
In Genesis 2:24, God uses the transliterated Hebrew word 'arom' for naked. It is good naked ("they were naked, yet felt no shame"). In Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve 'knew' they were naked--'erom' which is 'helplessly naked'--something to be ashamed of. It is important to note the difference between 'arom' and 'erom' because in Genesis 1:31, God said everything He had made was 'very good.' That means that God declared Adam's naked male body and Eve's naked female body both "very good." But in Genesis 3:10 Adam tells God that he was afraid to be seen by God because he was helplessly, shamefully naked (erom). But God asks Adam in verse 11: "Who told you that you were naked (erom)?" Since God never used the word erom for naked, then it came from somewhere other than Himself, and that was part of God's point to Adam. That they 'knew' they were naked (v 7), wasn't knowing the truth. It was believing the lie that their naked bodies were shameful and bad. 

Probably not a good idea to say something is bad when God said it is 'very good.' That will cause a myriad of problems.

Anecdotally, I'm thankful I wasn't brought up to be ashamed of my male body in any way. But many are brought up to believe that the naked body is shameful and it being seen is morally wrong. Our laws are becoming increasingly severe against the naked body that God said is very good. And it appears that the more laws passed against the naked body which God says is very good, the more sexual sins increase. This is serious because God says sexual sins are against the body (1 Corinthians 6:18), and since we are created in His Image (Genesis 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 11:7), then sexual sins are against Him. Laws implemented without seeking God and His wisdom are "doctrines of men" that have no "value in curbing self-indulgence" (Colossians 2:22-23). In fact, they do the opposite. Satan is having a blast in our society by continuing to offer fig leaves (laws="doctrines of men") that promise to curb sexual sins. 

I conclude with my anecdote that I grew up believing my naked male body was 'arom,' very good. I was not ashamed to be seen naked nor was I afraid to see another naked body. The female body was certainly a mystery I wanted to solve, but I was able to wait to sexually experience my wife on our honeymoon. Our sons were able to wait until their respective honeymoons, too. And after 40 years of marriage, I still feel like I'm on my honeymoon because I still believe what God has made is "very good" (i.e., arom).

September 02 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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