These 2 meanings associated with divinity play out in the Eden story. In the ancient Near East, being divine entailed having 2 qualities: The 2 trees in the Eden story represent these 2 prongs of divinity, because Adam and Eve sought to become like gods. The TKGE represented the wisdom prong, and Adam and Eve indeed achieved a godlike degree of knowldege, so much so that they had to be prevented from accessing the tree of life, lest they fully become like gods, hence that tree becoming guarded by Yahweh's cherubim and the expulsion from the garden.
The story's author wanted to draw a line between the earthly and the divine, between humans and God. I think he was also using this tree and the serpent as foils to polemicize against veneration of the goddess Asherah, which was still rampant at the time.
For your further reference, I have summarized this more fully at https: The NET translation appears to be one of only a few translations where it can be implied these two particular trees might have been created separately, but the evidence is underwhelming. God made to grow every tree, which would include the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
They are mentioned separately only because they are significant to the narrative; additionally indicated by their position 'in the middle' in some translations, while others simply use the phrase 'in the midst'. According to Eve's observation, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was also pleasing to look at and at least seemed like it was good for food, just like the other trees.
The Knowledge of Good and Evil
And despite instructions that they mustn't eat it or they would die, becoming wise like God simply by eating from a tree would be pretty cool. What did it mean to die anyway? Adam and Eve had no concept or experience of death - they had no fear of it to stop them from following their own desires.
They ate plants, trees, nuts and fruit Genesis 1: And even if they had, they had no awareness of good and evil, no understanding that death was something to be feared. All of nature, the life and death, destruction and decay of animals and plants, was simply part of God's creation. If everything God made was 'very good', then what is death to Eve that she should avoid it? The serpent invites Eve to doubt what she doesn't understand or cannot see, and to trust only what she sees and feels instead. This is not evil - this is the law of nature, the basis of science.
Worship With Us
This is what drives humanity to push the frontiers of knowledge at the expense of universal life: So it appeared as if God was withholding this knowledge in order to maintain the pecking order. But what is this 'knowledge of good and evil' anyway? If it were knowing the difference between good and evil, then we wouldn't have to teach this to our children - they would just know. The primary definition of knowledge - as 'facts, information and skills acquired through experience or education' - describes a process of gaining knowledge. But the secondary definition of knowledge - as 'awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation' - fits more accurately with what happens in the narrative:.
This description of Adam and Eve acquiring the 'knowledge of good and evil' shows that what they gain is a deeper perception of the world - a realisation or awareness. But it's not just of good and evil. This awareness is what separates Adam and Eve from all other animals: And the first thing they realise about themselves is that they are naked.
Being naked in front of someone else is the most vulnerable a person could ever be. No barriers, no shield, no interface, no pretence. And no weapons, either. Nakedness exposes us to every potential danger that we know: When we are naked, we have nothing to help us deflect or absorb the injury - we must bear it all, physically and emotionally. In science, we know that humans are just like other animals in most respects. When an animal senses danger, it responds instinctively by preparing to fight or to flee.
But an animal is aware of danger only as a stimulus. It has no concept of self , so it cannot be afraid, and therefore it has no awareness of good or evil. Like the serpent, all it knows is what it sees, feels, tastes, hears, etc. So the serpent encourages Eve to respond according to her physiology: In eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve acquire the knowledge or awareness of themselves interacting with life.
By knowing ourselves to be participating in each interaction, we are no longer confined to 'fight or flee' in response to threatening stimuli - we can also apply change to ourselves. Covering the body with fig leaves is different to a chameleon who changes colour to hide from predators. We are able to learn and adapt how we interact with life in a way that changes how life interacts with us.
And even though it has so many other, much more productive applications, we mostly apply it to try and protect our vulnerable, naked selves from potential danger. So despite what God said, Adam and Eve didn't die. But what they gained was an awareness of the potential for death, as well as pain, fear, despair and shame. Can you imagine what life would have been like for Adam and Eve if they had continued to see the world only as good, with the level of protection that only God could provide?
As parents, we do our very best to keep an awareness of pain, heartache, death and despair from our own children for as long as possible. What words could one use to explain to an innocent child what it means to fear death, and why they're better off not being aware of it just yet? This is the dilemma being explored in Genesis 3.
The difference between God's knowledge of good and evil and Adam's is one of perspective. God sees His creation in its entirety, is aware of every tiny part of it and the role each part plays in perpetuating the whole and maintaining a perfect balance. Everything He sees is good because He knows exactly how everything works and interacts with each other to benefit the whole, not just at this moment but from before Creation and forward into eternity.
There is nothing 'evil' when Creation is viewed and understood as a universal, purposeful whole. Adam's perspective is significantly limited in comparison. He has no idea how anything works. All he knows are the names he has given to everything, and what little he has experienced so far. He has barely grasped the concept of day and night as a continual cycle, let alone a million years or the delicate balance at work even in his own body.
So Adam's knowledge of good and evil is equally limited. What Adam sees as 'good' would be anything that is pleasing to him, such as beauty and taste, or that offers direct or indirect benefit to himself. What he sees as 'not good' or 'evil', therefore, would be anything that is potentially harmful to this newfound awareness of his vulnerable, naked self interacting with everything. More than simply fighting or fleeing to avoid potential harm, he constructs coverings from fig leaves, hides himself, and then tries to blame Eve for his transgression, who in turn seeks to protect herself by blaming the serpent.
God does not label anything as 'evil' - that word is ours alone. He created everything and declared all of it to be 'very good'. Just as Adam "gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field;" RSV Genesis 2: Even the 'wickedness' God saw in the world came directly from the hearts and imaginations of humanity.
Satan also plays no part in the narrative of Genesis. Any parallel drawn between 'the serpent' of Genesis and later references to Satan, 'the satan' who tested Job, or the 'ancient serpent' of Revelation is a contrivance that cannot be confirmed. The 'curse' inflicted here refers not to a specific being but to all ordinary, everyday snakes:. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. This conclusion simply observes the existing opposition or hostility between man and snakes, 'explaining' why we are so keen to blame them for evil.
But the snake is not the only one punished by God in this story. By focusing on the serpent and the woman, we continue to avoid the truth of Adam's culpability in his own downfall. The 'tree of knowledge of good and evil' was created by God, along with 'every tree'.
The serpent was also created by God - both the tree and the serpent are therefore 'very good' as God himself declares. Evil, however, is not a creation of Satan or of God. The only evil in the world is what man has created with 'every imagination of the thoughts of his heart'. We have named the serpent as scapegoat for all the evil we imagine in the world, so we can continue to avoid what we cannot deny: We can only fulfil God's plan once we acknowledge the extent of this responsibility in how we interact with all life, and all matter, and accept that 'evil' is simply a result of our limited perspective, experience, awareness or understanding of everything the universe.
The bible is stuffed with apparently unexplained metaphors, which is one of the reasons why people have speculated over it for thousands of years. Yet it is possible to discover what the tree and its fruit really was with gematria, and thus learn why God made it and what it was doing there. Gematria is the art of assigning numerical values to letters so that words can be calculated as part of a mathematical sum.
The gematria of the Torah was an intrinsic part of the Merkabah, but it became a forbidden topic of conversation for Jewish people after the second century C. Nevertheless some academic scholars that believe there is gematria in the bible, and they trace the origins of the practice to Mesopotamia where it was first used with the cuneiform script.
This diagram is an alpha-numeric logo-graphic arrangement. It contains the letters of the Hebrew alphabet assigned to Palaces similar to sephiroth and Paths, and it allows us to decipher the hidden gematria of the Merkabah :. But in any case the prohibition is against altering the day year in any form because the light of days was divinely decreed to fall to earth. The garden of Eden was situated above the earth in a realm that was before and after manifestation on the cosmos of the Seven Palaces.
Therefore when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge they had to descend with the light of days to earth, and all beings that descended to earth were subject to the cycle of death and reincarnation. Until relatively recently it could not have been appreciated just how many verses of the Tanakh and the NT were not intended to be read, but counted instead.
Frequently the results thrown up by the Merkabah argue against reading the open text of the bible in a literal fashion; either as a historical document or a collection of stories about the ancestors of the Jewish people, because the characters in these stories including Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph and Jesus appear as personifications of natural forces or periods of time.
From yacad; a session, i. Kabbalah came about largely in response to the prohibition upon free study of the Merkabah, and the Seven Palaces was derived into the Tree of Life so that students could discuss the Merkabah in an enciphered fashion. The reason why there are two incidences of the value 3 gimel and shin and 4 daleth and tav is because the number system is logo-graphically keyed to the closed cosmological system of the Seven Palaces and was not constructed as an open number system.
Retaining the Greek word order, the narrative continues with And caused to rise up God yet from out of the earth every tree beautiful to sight and good for food and the tree of life in midst of the paradise and the tree to perceive knowing good and evil.
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Thus, we know that fruit from the tree of life had not yet been eaten. Quotes are from The Apostolic Bible Polyglot. Dieter 1 There is nothing to indicate that it was the serpent who told her the tree was good for food. The text specifically says that she 'beheld' - she saw that it was good for food. The wording suggests that she compared its appearance to the other trees in the garden and found that it looked the same - that is, 'beautiful to sight and good for food'.
So she responded to what information she gained from nature the serpent plus her own observations, and ignored what someone else told her that God had said. This is common human reasoning. This intelligent animal raised the question whether God was telling the truth you will surely die or whether God was trying to withhold divine knowledge from Adam and Eve. The animal accused God of lying with an ulterior motive. Then, Eve may well have made her fateful decision based on the appearance of this fruit, comparing it with the fruit of the other trees.
Introduction This is a Good Question: What is asked is, "Did God create evil? So then, how can God create a Tree that is both "good" and "evil"? Did God Create Evil? To respond to this, we must recite the attributes of God: We understand from Gen. Jesus said in John 6: We 1st encounter Satan in Isa. Conclusion The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a figurative representation of the knowledge that Satan had to corrupt and harm the Purposes of God through man.
But the means by which he tempted Adam and Eve was in the form of a tree which, "and when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise. Tau 4, 4 22 This was the 'right question' for my response. There are a number of steps which I briefly summarized for clarity, and certain steps divinity, pre-existence of Christ, etc which I felt wasn't necessary to elaborate on-there are numerous responses to these in other answers. The "Antichrist" portion can be proved from Gen. The best option is to see the tree as bestowing divine wisdom upon those who ate its fruit.
In the Book of Proverbs—wisdom literature—wisdom is possessed by God Prov. It is never to be sought autonomously. To do so is to act independently of God and with moral autonomy. The result of this autonomous, rebellious act was death because this wisdom was obtained illegally.
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And, as God promised, blatant transgression against the law of God carried the death penalty v. To do so meant death. Later, in Israel and among the Hebrew people, God gave many other laws that were meant to be obeyed. When they were not, Israel incurred divine wrath and were under the threat of death. But at the consummation the tree will appear again: The tree of life gives life—and grows in eternity. Adam was not tempted to partake of the tree of life because he had life. Not much has changed in six thousand years, for man is rarely content with what he has; he just demands what he does not have.