Bible Question:

What did God mean when He told Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge?

Bible Answer:

Genesis 2:16-17 records God’s words to Adam.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NASB)

Tree of the Knowledge

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is found only in the book of Genesis (Gen. 2:9, 17; 3:22). It was a test of Adam and Eve’s obedience to God. It was a test of their faithfulness to Him. Did they believe God and want to obey Him? They did not obey. They were not faithful. They did not believe Him. They failed the test the moment they ate of the tree. That act of disobedience gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of evil. They knew the difference between good and evil after they ate of its fruit. Apparently, God gave this name to the tree because He knew Adam and Eve would disobey Him. They would bring sin into the world and they would understand good and evil. Adam and Eve had the “option” to choose holiness and they did not.

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is the other significant tree in the Garden of Eden.

And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (NASB) Genesis 2:9

This tree apparently gave eternal physical life to the one who ate from it.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever . . .” (NASB) Genesis 3:22

God did not want men and women who had rejected Him to be able to physically live forever. Can you imagine how evil the world would be?


Sin is darkness.

Sin does not serve well as a gardener of the soul. It landscapes the contour of the soul until all that is beautiful has been made ugly; until all that is high is made low; until all that is promising is wasted. Then life is like the desert – parched and barren. It is drained of purpose. It is bleached of happiness. Sin, is not wise, but wasteful. It is not a gate, but only a grave.

C. Neil Strait, quoted from Llyod Cory Quote Uniquote

But Jesus is light and life. We can live in the light but only when we believe in Him.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (NASB) John 1:4-5
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB) Romans 6:23

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