(37) Why the woman first touched the tree and ate of its fruit, and the man afterwards, receiving it from her? (#Ge 3:6). The words used first of all, by their own intrinsic force, assert that it was suitable that immortality and every good thing should be represented as under the power of the man, and death and every evil under that of the woman. But with reference to the mind, the woman, when understood symbolically, is sense, and the man is intellect. Moreover, the outward senses do of necessity touch those things which are perceptible by them; but it is through the medium of the outward senses that things are transmitted to the mind. For the outward senses are influenced by the objects which are presented to them; and the intellect by the outward senses.
(38) What is the meaning of the expression, “And she gave it to her husband to eat with her?” (#Ge 3:6). What has been just said bears on this point also, since the time is nearly one and the same in which the outward senses are influenced by the object which is presented to them, and the intellect has an impression made on it by the outward senses.
(39) What is the meaning of the expression, “And the eyes of both of them were opened?” (#Ge 3:7). That they were not created blind is manifest even from this fact that as all other things, both animals and plants, were created in perfection, so also man must have been adorned with the things which are his most excellent parts, namely, eyes. And we may especially prove this, because a little while before the earth-born Adam was giving names to all the animals on the earth. Therefore it is perfectly plain that he saw them before doing so. Unless, indeed, Moses used the expression “eyes” in a figurative sense for the vision of the soul, by which alone the perception of good and evil, of what is elegant or unsightly, and, in fact, of all contrary natures, arise. But, if the eye is to be taken separately as counsel, which is called the warning of the understanding, then again there is a separate eye, which is a certain something devoid of sound reason, which is called opinion.