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The Evening Breeze
Genesis 3:8 in the King James Version:
"3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8 KJV)
The "cool of the day" in that verse seems like a plain statement. Whether that in turn means early morning, before the highest temperature of the day comes, or later in the day when the maximum temperature for the day has been passed, is debatable (but answerable, as we shall see). But "cool" was not originally written in that verse! What was actually written there, that the King James Version (and others) translated as "cool"? It's the Hebrew word, pronounced roo-awkh, which means breath, or wind - not "cool." Consider that the same verse is accurately translated in Young's Literal Translation as "the breeze of the day":
"3:8 And they heard the sound of Jehovah God walking up and down in the garden at the breeze of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the face of Jehovah God in the midst of the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8 YLT)
So which is it? "Cool" or "breeze"? Another translation, from the Complete Jewish Bible:
"3:8 They heard the voice of Adonai God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Adonai, God, among the trees in the garden." (Genesis 3:8 CJB)
"Thou hearest the sound thereof"
From the example shown above, we have a lesson in the importance of looking to more than one translation of God's Sacred Word. If we read only a single version, such as the King James, would we know that "the cool of the day" was actually written as "the breeze of the day"? No, we wouldn't have known. Further, would we know that the "cool of the day" meant evening, not early morning? No, we wouldn't have known that either.
But there's more.
That actual Hebrew word, pronounced roo-awkh, which means breath, or wind, is the very same word that is translated as "spirit." It was that "breeze," the "Spirit" in "the Spirit of God" that created the universe:
"1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit [i.e. roo-awkh] of God moved upon the face of the waters. 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:1-5 KJV)
While some people of Bible History did actually see the LORD God, when He chose to appear to them (e.g. Moses, Jacob and others - see 'The God Of The Old Testament'; also 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), Adam and Eve did not see Him in that incident. As recorded in Genesis 3:8, we discover the dual meaning of the "breeze" that Adam and Eve heard, not saw. It described not merely the time of day, but the Spirit of the LORD God that they could hear, but not see i.e. "3:8 And they heard the sound of Jehovah God walking up and down in the garden at the breeze of the day" (Genesis 3:8 YLT).
Are there other verses that describe the same situation? Yes, there are. Christ's very famous "born again" teaching (see Born Again, How and When?) uses the very same terminology as used for Adam and Eve i.e. "thou hearest the sound thereof" but cannot see it:
"3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who did The Father send to do the work of Creation?