Friday, 10 February 2017

The tale of two trees

It is interesting to note that in the book of Genesis, especially in the creation narrative, God mentions of two trees in the garden of Eden.  There is the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Both are in the middle of the garden. However, while informing Adam of his new residence, God forbids him from eating the fruit only of one tree: the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  He does not exclude the fruit of the tree of life from his menu.

Why would that be?  Is it because Adam already had life and therefore didn't need that?  But then that would mean that Adam didn't have knowledge.  Or is it that he did have some knowledge but not the one needed to distinguish good from evil?  But then it is exactly that 'ignorance' of distinguishing good from evil that did him in.  For if he knew that what the serpent was telling him was 'not good' then he would not have tried it.  In his innocence he listens to the serpent.  Even to say that he was ambitious - and therefore wanted to be equal to God - would not be right, because he did not have the knowledge of good and evil.  So why knowledge?

Most importantly why not the tree of life?  Or could there be a story about how a monkey tricked him into climbing the tree and gulping the fruit before Adam could eat it?  And Adam never got to eat of that tree before he was expelled from the garden?

Or that he did eat from the tree and nothing happened, because God did not forbid him from eating of that fruit?  But then why did God mention it, if it did not matter? God certainly did not speak of a tree of freedom in the middle of Eden - at least it is not mentioned in the Genesis.

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