What were the “garments of skin” with which YHWH covered Adam and Eve after they sinned? It’s not what you might think….
As you all know, ADONAI keeps on opening eyes and revealing more and more of His Word to those who are truly seeking Him and His ways. That is what He recently did for me on several levels, and I'm about to share something that's going to sound really odd. (Some may already know this, but I didn’t until just a few months ago.)
For years now, I’ve been under the erroneous impression that YHWH introduced the sacrificial system in the Garden of Eden on the day He “made skins” for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).
I had always assumed the verse meant that He killed an innocent animal. What else could “garments of skin” have referred to, right? Well, one day it dawned on me that this passage does NOT say He killed an ANIMAL; it simply says: “ADONAI, God, made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
Hmmm. Why would He have had to make garments of skin for them, once they discovered their “nakedness” when, back in verse 7 we saw that they had already covered their nakedness with fig leaves? Why not just put them out of the Garden and let them fend for themselves when it came to “coverings” for their nakedness?
Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So, they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths. (CJB)
SOMETHING clearly wasn’t right here, and I HAD to find out what it was. And so, I decided to do some in-depth research to investigate this matter (which included what the Orthodox Jewish Rabbis were teaching) – and what I found was absolutely stunning: The “skin” to which YHWH was referring was HUMAN skin!
Yes – HUMAN SKIN!
Please stay with me, now as I explain. You see, I’m not saying that Adam and Eve were “skinless”; rather, that they were “different” from us today. WE cannot be in the Presence of YHWH Himself without dying; but THEY could!
How would that have been possible?
Remember in Exodus 34 when Moshe (Moses), returned from Mt. Sinai after spending 40 days with YHWH, and he was “glowing” or “beaming” light so bright that he had to cover his face with a veil? Moshe was in the Presence of the Most High, the Most Holy, a radiance so awesome and powerful that it must have activated the “light force” that glows within us all – a “light force” that receded once Moshe was back among fallen humanity.
I’m not making this up! Take a peek back at Exodus 33:17-23 where YHWH told Moshe the following:
Exodus 33:17 ADONAI said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." 18 But Moshe said, "I beg you to show me your glory!" 19 He replied, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce the name of ADONAI (YHWH). Moreover, I show favor to whomever I will, and I display mercy to whomever I will.
20 But my face," he continued, "you cannot see, because a human being cannot look at me and remain alive. 21 Here," he said, "is a place near me; stand on the rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you inside a crevice in the rock and cover you with my hand, until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand, and you will see my back, but my face is not to be seen." (CJB)
And here’s what happened when he came down the mountain, after spending 40 days and 40 nights in the presence of YHWH:
Exodus 34:29 When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, he didn't realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light as a result of his talking with [ADONAI]. 30 When Aharon and the people of Isra'el saw Moshe, the skin of his face was shining; and they were afraid to approach him. 31 But Moshe called to them; then Aharon and all the community leaders came back to him, and Moshe spoke to them.
32 Afterwards, all the people of Isra'el came near; and he passed on to them all the orders that ADONAI had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 Once Moshe had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But when he went in before ADONAI for him to speak, he would take the veil off until he came out; then, when he came out, he would tell the people of Isra'el what he had been ordered. 35 But when the people of Isra'el saw Moshe's face, that the skin of Moshe's face shone, he would put the veil back over his face until he went in again to speak with [ADONAI]. (CJB)
It also now makes sense that Moshe was not like most people. YHWH met with Moshe "face to face" ("panim el panim", Exodus 33:11); that is, a close relationship of direct communication, while at the same time, no human can "look upon His face" and live ("l'ra'oth et-panai", Exodus 33:30).
With these thoughts in mind, doesn’t it make sense that Adam and Eve had to be VERY “special” somehow, in order to BE in the Presence of the One who created them? While the Torah doesn’t actually say that they ever actually SAW Him, we can only surmise that they did, because on the day they sinned, they knew His Voice and Presence, and “hid themselves” from Him when He came down to admonish them: ….
Genesis 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. 9 ADONAI, God, called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." (CJB)
Genesis 3:21 YHWH, God, made Adam and his wife coats of skin and clothed them. (Schocken Bible, Vol. 1)
Note again that Scripture does NOT say He killed an innocent animal to cover them….
What this means is that Adam and Eve were somehow “different” BEFORE they sinned, until YHWH came down and made for them “garments of skin.” Once they received those, their "light" was doused by … the confinement of human skin – in essence, “earth suits” - which we cannot shed until our earthly bodies die, allowing our souls (or the essence of whatever it is that makes us conscious, living beings) to escape to stand before God on Judgment Day in our “original” state.
The thing is, once those events took place, out in the fallen world in their new “earth suits”, they required sacrifices of various kinds to remain reconciled to God - including BLOOD sin sacrifices. Ultimately, two thousand years ago, YHWH sent His Divine Messiah, who willingly martyred himself to become our “substitute” as the Passover (redeeming) Lamb, thus removing the need for “sin” sacrifices!
This, of course, sheds a whole new light on how Yeshua will probably look upon his return, as well – because we will all be VERY recognizable – an extraordinarily powerful, radiant and HOLY being in human form – with face glowing like Moshe's did. (And it’s doubtful he will be covering his face with a veil!) Mere humans (the myriads who were left behind and managed to survive those chaotic final 3 ½ years) won't be able to get close to him - but those who are "caught up in the air to meet him" just before his return (the dead in Messiah who will rise first and then those true believers who are still living, will be able to join him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where they will subsequently return to earth to help him rule and reign during the Millennium. (See 2 Timothy 2:11-12, Matthew 19:28, and Revelation 3:21.)
(BTW, my opinion concerning our earthly flesh is that it will be left behind, as it is filthy and not needed. Those who are caught up in the air to meet him, will be in their "new, eternal bodies" so that they will also be recognizable to those who were left behind...those who will continue to live until they die, and be resurrected to stand before YHWH Himself after the thousand year reign, to give accounts of their life; and thus, either end up in Eternity with Him, or eternally separated from him. Please see our article containing all the pertinent scriptures.)