Steve has an interesting post concerning the coats of skins given to Adam and Eve after they had transgressed the commandment by partaking of the fruit but before they had been thrust out of the garden.
I can picture Jehovah making these coats of skins for the naked, humiliated Adam and Eve; they realize now that their time in Eden is over, and that their relationship with their Father will never be the same. I imagine that those first garments were made for them lovingly, made of sturdy stuff to face that lone, dreary world. Sure, there must have been an instruction to them about what these clothes meant, and I picture them listening, and wondering what it all meant…
Steve develops this idea further and I encourage you to comment on his thoughts over at his post. There is an aspect of the clothing of Adam and Eve that I would like to discuss here, however.
Consider that the coats that they were given were made of skins. We presume that these were the skins of animals. While one could envision the Lord creating animal-skin clothing miraculously through the priesthood command of atomic or subatomic particles, I suspect that the Lord used this as an opportunity to education Adam and Eve in the meaning of death and the meaning of the atonement, as well as to introduce technology.
Until now, Adam and Eve had no comprehension of what death actually was. As a consequence of their sin, the world was now subject to death. And among the first deaths, if not the first, may have been the animals that the Lord himself killed in order to use their skins to make clothing for Adam and Eve. At some point previous to their leaving the Garden, the Lord would have to teach Adam and Eve how to make sacrifices by the shedding of blood. This could have been done in conjunction with the creation of clothing.
Imagine the horror of Adam and Eve as they watch as the Lord demonstrates how to put the animal to death; as they watch the life extinguished; as he cuts off the skin; the blood and gore; as he teaches them how to construct an altar, to make fire, to offer the animal up as a sacrifice; the smell of burning flesh. Suddenly the consequence of their sin becomes sickeningly real. They suddenly know what death is for they have seen it.
The Lord shows them how to tan the hides of the dead animals. He shows them how to cut and sew the skins together to make clothing.
As he clothes them they are starkly aware that they are wearing the death of an innocent–a symbol that they carry throughout their lives as a reminder of the death that should be their fate and of the death that will occur in the future in their stead: the death of an innocent whose sacrifice will cover their sins.
The coats of skins become symbols of the atonement that would be made through the shedding of innocent blood.
Could either Adam or Eve look upon each other, clothed in the remains of their introduction to death, without thinking of their transgression, their punishment, and the atonement that would cover their sins the way these skins covered their nakedness?
The horrifying scene also represents the introduction of skilled craft and technology by the Lord to Adam and Eve. In order to make coats of skins the Lord would introduce cutting tools, the science of tanning, the art of sewing. In order to teach them to make sacrifices, the Lord would introduce basic construction in the form of an altar, he would introduce fire, possibly even cooking.
Their time in Eden was, indeed, over. And their relationship with the Lord will never be the same.