Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tree of Life vs. Tree of Knowledge of Good & Bad


In the parable of the Garden of Eden, we are told that the two key trees around which the story of Eden is all about are the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad (Evil).

God tells Adam that he could eat ‘freely’ of any of the trees of the Garden “but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Bad you must not eat thereof, for on the day you eat of it, die, you shall die.”

What is so terrible about partaking of a fruit that will provide a person with knowledge? Shouldn’t that fruit be in fact a ‘must eat’ fruit?

It turns out that there is nothing wrong with the tree itself but among the things that was wrong was man’s ideas of what to expect he could achieve by partaking of the fruits of that tree.

We learn from the Bible that the snake led Eve to believe people who would eat from that tree would then become special as gods themselves. That meant women could avoid the pains of childbearing, the struggles of men to produce food would be minimized, and people would have what they had always sought for and that is immortality.

But the true tragedy of partaking of that tree was to be that the people who did it had disobeyed God. In Proverbs 3:7, King Solomon warned us against such behavior and he admonished “Do not be wise in your own eyes….” In our vernacular, this simply means that no person knows better than God what is best for oneself. The wisdom that Adam and Eve gained by eating from that tree was that they learned their beliefs and expectations were wrong and that they should have obeyed God.

One requirement for understanding a parable is to understand the vernacular expressions of the time. The threat of instant death is also part of the parable requiring interpretation because instant death did not follow after Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit and God had the people of the parable leaving the Garden and continuing with life. From II Samuel 12:5 we learn that the threat of death was actually a threat of punishment.

Nachmanides, one of the great Sages who was also a physician, had noted that man has to die eventually and death would have followed Adam even if he had not disobeyed God. We know that death had always followed all life and no one had been immune from this biologic process.

Even more mind boggling is the intriguing puzzle of how could both of those 2 trees be located in the same spot in the very center of the Garden?


How could both trees in question be in the same spot and where is the Garden of Eden?


Solve either puzzle and you’ve solved both.

Where Are The Answers:

The answers are found at the end of chapter two of the book and they will amaze you. The chapter also offers a detailed explanation and analysis of each verse of the Garden of Eden story. Order your copy now and walk a new path to the understanding of the Bible.

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