“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
– Genesis 3:8
God told Adam and Eve that the day they eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they would die. Obviously their physical bodies didn’t die, as they lived for centuries (see Genesis 5:5) after the moment of their disobedience to God. In the Bible the word death means separation. God told Adam and Eve they would be separated from Him. A barrier came between God and His creation.
Before the day they disobeyed, Adam and Eve walked with God in close fellowship: “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). After they ate the fruit, they began running from God. Adam said: “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself” (3:10).
When someone hides from his Creator rather than enjoying Him, a spiritual death has taken place. Adam and Eve were suddenly full of guilt, shame, and fear. They hid from God and were frightened of Him. We can call that emotional death. They were suffering the consequences of death. When they were not alienated from sharing a life with God, there was peace in their minds about themselves and their world.