What Was The Forbidden Tree?
By Allen Epling
The book of Genesis describes the most traumatic event in man's history in chapter 3, when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is the moment when Man fell from God's grace and was told he would have to survive in the world outside of Eden on his own, without God's help.
Many questions have come up over the centuries as to what really happened in the garden that day and what the tree actually was. Eve was blamed for "the fall", for taking the first bite and causing Adam to follow. Since that moment man has continuously struggled to regain his place with his maker and redeem himself.
The most mysterious part of the story of the Garden of Eden is the part concerning the two trees in the center of the garden. They were called the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" and the "Tree of Life". Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of either of these trees. Even though Genesis doesn't say anything about God instructing them to not eat of the Tree of Life, it is clear after their sin that the Tree of Life was forbidden to them because the reason they were expelled from the garden was the danger that they would take of it.
According to Genesis 3:22, "And the Lord God said 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and live forever': Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, "to till the ground from whence he was taken".
What kind of tree could possibly cause the downfall of man in the manner described and why would God forbid them to eat of it?
Before the "fall" Adam was created as a divine being that was in God's grace, knowing only what God wanted him to know and having no experience with "evil". In other words, Adam knew only of "Good".
Man was created as a free spirit with the ability to "choose" and make decisions on his own. It has been emphasized that God wants man to love Him but will not "force" him to do so, but it must be of man's choosing and free will. If the only experience Adam had was of "good" things in the garden of Eden, he really had no knowledge of anything that could be called evil until the "fall". God did not introduce "evil" to Adam, That could only be done by Satan.
God told Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or he would die.By making the choice to disobey God, Adam sinned against God and all grace and glory fell from Adam, and he knew that he had sinned. As a result of being given the choice that he could disobey God by doing what He said he was not allowed to do, Adam would experience evil for the first time, and all men after Adam would have the stain of this sin. From this time forward, man would have to choose between good or evil.
Before the "fall" that was not true. By giving Adam this "test" to determine if he would sin or not, Adam's failure did result in Adam knowing both good and evil. God's promise did come true. From this point on man would be forced to strive to prove to God his willingness to follow Him and be worthy of saving for His Kingdom.
What kind of tree was it? Some say it was an apple, and some say it was a fig tree, but does it really matter? The outcome would have been the same if it was a pomegranate. The instant that Adam and Eve took a bite of its fruit, they knew they had sinned because they had disobeyed God, and from that time forward, they knew what evil was because they had experienced it. It wasn't the tree or the fruit of the tree that gave them this knowledge, it was their conscience.
One mystery remains. Eve took the first bite and then gave the fruit to Adam. It was only after Adam took a bite that they both knew they had sinned in verse 7. If Eve knew she had sinned at the time she took the first bite of the fruit, why did she give it to Adam? Why was it not the same for both? Regardless of the reason, both were equally guilty in God's eyes and were cast out of the garden.
Because they had disobeyed God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they found out what evil was and, because of the tree, they truly had "knowledge of good and evil".
For the book from which these thoughts were taken, visit: