The Tree – Discussion

One day, I saw someone posted this question in a forum, “Why did God forbid Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? I think God is a tyrant who tries to control people by restricting their knowledge, just like some governments prefer covering up news to fool civilians.”

Some brothers and sisters provided the following answers:

1. God did give Adam knowledge and intelligence – otherwise he won’t be able to name the animals.
2. The knowledge about evil should be forbidden.
3. It is the disobedience rather than the fruit itself that caused spiritual death.

I looked up Genesis and read the original Hebrew texts. Something very interesting was discovered. There are two words being used in the Bible: “da-at” and “yo-dah”.

On one hand, God ALWAYS used “da-at”:
Genesis 2:9: The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground… In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of (da-at) of good and evil.
Genesis 2:17: “but you must not eat from the tree of (da-at) of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Genesis 3:22: And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, (da-at) good and evil. He must not be allowed to…”

On the other hand, the snake and people ALWAYS used “yo-dah”:
Genesis 3:5: “For God (yo-dah) that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, (yo-dah) good and evil.”
Genesis 3:7: Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they (yo-dah) they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Most scholars think that “da-at” and “yo-dah” are noun and verb of the same word. Therefore in the Bible they have been translated as “knowledge” and “know”. However, some people (e.g. Jeff Benner) suspect that they are actually two different words. After many days of thinking, I agree that these are two different words. Why?

We know that the snake (Satan) always tells lies. In Genesis 3:1, Satan told the first lies: Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”? But of course not. We know that this is a distorted version of what God really said. Therefore, logically speaking, Genesis 3:5 must also be a distorted version, otherwise it would become a contradiction if we compare Genesis 3:5 and Genesis 3:22. Satan said Adam and Eve would know good and evil, and then God agreed that they knew good and evil therefore should be expelled from Eden. No, it must be wrong. As we mentioned before, Satan always tells lies. For me, it becomes a strong proof that “yo-dah” and “da-at” should have different meanings.

The meaning of “yo-dah” is a very close relationship. For example:
Genesis 4:1: Adam (yo-dah) his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.

In Genesis 3:5, what Satan meant is: Why only come close to goodness? Why not trying to come close to evil as well? Try something new today! God also tried both good and evil (which is the lie!) Do you want to be like God?

This is a distorted version of what God really said. I believe that the word “da-at” means the authority to judge or define. What God really meant is: people should follow God’s definition of good and evil. When people start to invent their own definition of good and evil, they are leaving God.

Genesis 3:22: …The man has now become like one of us (i.e. God the Father) who makes definition to good and evil…

This interpretation makes sense. People always try to find loopholes in the Law that will enable them to excuse their immoral behavior and attitudes. They have written new interpretations of these laws, and defined exceptions to them.
Judges 21:25: In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
We saw crazy things happened in the Bible as well as in modern days (e.g. homosexual marriage, unfair taxation policy, etc.).

As a conclusion, the act of eating the forbidden fruit is not only disobedience but also denial of God’s definition of good and evil. And as we saw in history, our society became a mess when everyone tried to define what is right and wrong for their own benefits.

What do YOU think?



  1. Hi,

    I agree with a number of points made by Jim, Ian and davidchik.

    Jesus IS the tree of Life. Christians are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom 8:9).
    We are holy (Rom 11:16), sanctified (Heb 10:10), perfected (Heb 10:14) and cannot sin (1John 3:9) because of Christ in us.

    And yes, God does not like mixing opposites. Light v’s darkness. Works v’s grace (Rom 11:6). We see this also in Rev 3:15,16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth”

    I understand the tree of knowledge of good and evil as being the law of righteousness (10 commandments).
    And it is good, just and holy (Rom 7:12).

    But, in eating of this tree Adam/Eve were in rebellion against God. This act was seeking to establish their own righteousness by works of the law. And just as God warned that in the day they eat of this tree they would surely die, likewise we see any who seek to attain righteousness by works of the law also die.

    Israel sought to establish righteousness by works of the law and in doing so were not submitting to the righteousness of God (Rom 10:3). This is what Adam/Eve were doing. Not submitting to the righteousness of God.

  2. new creature says:

    That is very interesting about da-at and yo-dah and all.

    May I add this.
    There were two trees of special note. A Tree of Life which was overlooked by Adam and his wife – until too late. Then there was another Tree – of death. It’s name was called the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. This fruit of this tree was forbidden. It was totally opposite in every way to the Tree of Life.
    Note that the tree of Life was not called the Tree of Goodness. The Tree of Life was good – perfectly good, filled with goodness. It need not be labelled as such. Goodness of God leads to repentance which leads to life. It was perfectly named.
    All the fruit on this second tree was forbidden. It had one kind of fruit on it; each fruit on it was a mixture of good and evil.

    James says out of the same mouth you bless and you curse – Can a fountain bring forth sweet and bitter water at the same time. No. Neither should we bless and curse, he says.
    This is a mixture of good and evil. God hates it.

    The Israelites from time to time would worship God and worship demons (other gods). God rebuked them many times but they for the most part wouldn’t listen. They wanted to mix their religion – good and evil, which thing God hates.

    The Tree’s fruit (of K of G and E) brought forth death if taken and eaten. We are now reaping the rewards of our father Adam in the taking and eating of that fruit. But thanks be unto God who sent Jesus to bear the brunt of God’s wrath against us and set us free from the way of death and bring us into the Way of Life – Himself.

    God hates mixture as far as spiritual things go. And this concept is even expressed in the commands given to Israel about not mixing different crops in the same field (what we eat – represents the gospel), or not weaving two different kinds of material into the one garment (what we wear – represents the garment of righteousness). Neither the gospel nor righteousness of God should be mixed by us.
    God does not want His wisdom mixed with the wisdom of this world. He does not want His love mixed with sentiments or lusts of man.

    God told Israel that the Levites (preachers) were to distinguish between what was clean and unclean, and they were to teach the people the differences. God hates mixture.
    The forbidden Tree and its fruit was unclean. It had the power to deceive in its appearance (it must have looked very beautiful and incredibly desirable – a power all of its own), to deaden, steal, kill, destroy those who ate its fruit. But that is the nature of sin.

    The Garden would have had an immense acreage. Filled with all manner of lawfully pleasant things to enjoy. God is an abundant God, who supplies abundantly and extravagantly. And what is more the Garden had the real ability of supplying via the Tree of Life, everlasting life.

    God does not want us to mix truth with error, light with darkness, and so on. Here in the beginning we see this made perfectly clear – all in hindisght of course. Let us be pure before the Lord. Let us be zealous in love of God AS JESUS WAS for His Father’s house.

    • lookinforacity says:


      When God said to Adam.

      Gen 2:15-17
      15) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
      16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
      17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

      What then is it that gives you the impression, that “The Tree of Life” was overlooked?
      The only reason they were put out of the Garden was, they had gained “The Knowledge of Good and Evil”
      God then said to The Holy Spirit, and Jesus.

      Gen 3:22,23
      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 eat, and live for ever:
      23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

      From these two examples, Adam and Eve were not forbidden from eating from the Tree of Life, they were told by God they could freely eat of every tree of the garden, therefor we can assume they did just that, thereby eating from the Tree of Life.
      God had already breathed life into them, they were not as we are, until after the fall, there were no other people and they should have stayed in the garden and lived forever, but they ate the forbidden fruit and died, both Spiritually, and Physically.
      We therefore are born in the Physical, we are dead to the Spiritual, because of the sin of Adam, through Jesus we gain back that Spirituality, He has become our “Tree of Life” placing “US” back in the garden.

      We who are saved, are now, no longer reaping the rewards of our father Adam in the taking and eating of that forbidden fruit.
      We have died to the flesh, which our father Adam had become once he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree.
      We have become New Creatures, Dead to the flesh, yet living in the flesh, alive to the spirit, by the Holy Spirit, that we might walk in Righteousness before God, by Jesus Christ who died us that we might “NOW” be called the Children of God, thus making God our FATHER.

      The other thing is, the sin of eating the forbidden fruit, only brought death upon mankind.
      But because Adam listened to his wife, our lives outside of the garden, became arduous

      Gen 3:17-19
      17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
      18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
      19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

      And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

      I like the things you have said, about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

      Be Blessed

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