Why was the tree of life forbidden?
Two trees in the garden of Eden
There were two very special trees in the Garden of Eden:
- The tree of life in the middle of the garden (Gen. 2: 9).
- The tree of the knowledge of good and bad, which Eve thought was in the middle of the garden (Genesis 3: 3).
What is the tree of the knowledge of good and bad about? A few points (according to 1.Mon 3):
- God forbade Adam (and Eve) to eat from it. God thereby asserted his claim and right as owner of the garden and creator of mankind. He threatened death as a punishment.
- The devil whispered to Eva: "If you eat from this tree, you will become like God, who can know good and bad."
- Eve allowed herself to be seduced by the devil and ate from the tree. Adam took the fruit from Eve's hand and ate it.
- The first human couple now had the knowledge of good and evil because they had become evil. But God has the knowledge of good and evil as He who is good. Satan did not explain this difference.
- Adam and Eve now heard an inner voice that said: “You don't do that.” So they now dressed to hide their nakedness. The guilty conscience also made her hide from God.
- Adam and Eve were now subject to death, as God had said. Death was only a matter of time.
- The first human couple is also confronted by God with various temporal punishments (hardship at work and having children).
The first human couple had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The consequences were dramatic and far-reaching. Now God is making sure that they do not eat from the tree of life. Some considerations about this tree too:
- The tree of life was a life giver. Had Adam and Eve eaten of it, they would have become immortal (Gen. 3:22). Apparently they never ate it.
- The tree of life was intended for food for those who were not subject to death. After the fall of man, Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to eat it.
- God did not pronounce a prohibition on looking at the tree, but acted: He drove man out of the garden of Eden and had angels guard the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).
- This drastic measure was necessary to ensure that Adam and Eve would not become immortal. For then the word of the Lord that they should die would have been nullified (cf. Gen. 2:17).
- But this measure also shows God's grace: He did not want man to have to live forever in his fallen state (Genesis 3:22). God had long provided in his plan to give faith a body of glory and enjoy the tree of life in the heavenly paradise to make possible (Rev 2,7; 22,2).
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