Tree of life in Genesis


Of the two trees in the centre of Eden, it is seen that the tree of life did not play any significant role.It is not known whether poor Adam was told about or aware of the benefits of eating its fruit which is living forever. Even though there was no prohibition against eating its fruit it appears that Adam or Eve did not bother to taste it’s fruit but was concentrating on the other tree.The most interesting thing is that its fruit was the perfect antidote for the fruit of the other tree.(death for eating one fruit and living for ever for eating the other fruit !). Even after eating the fruit of the first tree, they could have rushed to the second tree. Does the whole incident give also a lesson that we should be aware about the gifts and benefits given to us by the God and should utilise them at the earliest.


Eating the fruit of the Tree of Life provides eternal life. There was no death yet, because Man had not sinned, and so there was no need yet for the tree to bear fruit.

After man sinned, then the Tree would bear its life giving fruit.

That tree was the cross, and the fruit of that tree was Jesus Christ. And, by the grace of God, we are offered the fruit of that tree to eat, every day, through the Eucharist, giving us eternal life.

Thank you for opening a thread leading to appropriate thoughts on this the feast of Corpus Christi!

Peace and all good!


Too allegorical and self contradictory ! Then what about G 3-22 which say that God don’t want them to eat it’s fruit(by this time it would have borne fruit according to you) ? Further the only reason to kick the out from Eden was fearing that they may try its fruit .


Perhaps, but you are looking at it to literally.

If Christ was the fruit, it was not borne until somewhere between the incarnation and ascension.


From the CCC:
**1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.**

I believe this teaching applied equally to Adam & Eve as it does to us today; they obviously had not bound their freedom to their Creator in Eden. In fact, Anselm taught that the reason for Adam’s sin was, as far as we can take it, simply that he *willed *to sin, an obvious misapplication and abuse of his will/freedom in any case.

In my opinion, the second tree, which seemed to be so cavalierly dismissed or ignored, was the very tree that our first parents and all humankind need; it represented the partaking of God from Whom all life flows and apart from Whom we can do nothing, to paraphrase John 15:5. And, echoing Neofight in this, Jesus is that very fruit, that bread of life Who was and is not only easily dismissed and ignored as well but was even hated, humiliated, tortured, and slain.

We’re here, exiled from Eden, to learn the “wrongness” of Adam’s choice, to learn why it’s vital for our freedom to bind “itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God”, to find out why Adam & Eve and ourselves, having the choice, must consciously opt to make the* right* choice, to eat from the Tree of Life, to partake of our Lord. Until then we all exist is a sort of neutral, undecided state.


I do not remember Genesis specifically stating that Adam and Eve were immortal. It is possible that the tree of life is what was sustaining their immortality. Furthermore, the other tree was known as the tree of knowledge of good and evil, indicating that they would understand life and death after eating the fruit.


Or indicating that they would known about heaven and hell.


Or, similarly, good and evil: that they would come to know both.


Perhaps the account refers to the incompatibility of eating from both trees, in the sense that living an unending life would only be appropriate for innocent, sinless beings.

Sinning by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil meant that Adam and Eve had to be expelled from the garden, prevented from gaining access to the tree of life.

Indeed in due time we would again be granted access through the cross-shaped Tree upon which Jesus died. Christ’s resurrection represents the first fruits of that restored, unending life in which the members of the Body of Christ (the church) will share.

But as Genesis 3:22-24 says, “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”— therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.”


Hi, Joseie!
(I try to stay away so that you do not think I’m hounding you… but…)

The premise seems ok… but there are errors:

“poor Adam” …well he just got the keys to most acclaimed Garden of Eden, and, on top, got full authority over all of creation (granted as a steward), and got the “flesh of my flesh” little woman to boot!

“awareness” …how many babies get to choose to their brand of anything, isn’t that one of the parent’s responsibility (to protect, serve, and guide to the best sources)? Would it not be proper to say that, at this junction, Adam and Eve couldn’t know one thing or another–pushing them into spiritual reality was not God’s Choice.

“perfect antidote for the fruit of the other tree” …actually, not! The fruit of the tree of knowledge did not bring death–it was sinning against God that brought death; consequently, they were removed from the opportunity to sin and profit from it by gaining Eternal Life in spite of his rejection of God’s Authority.

“at the earliest” …if by this you mean something to the effect of "let’s confess Jesus is our Lord, then we can do as we please (ie: Martin Luther also said that a man could commit fornication and murder 1,000 times a day and would not lose his justification.); then no. If you are intimating something like “we must seek God as early as possible in our lives so that this may expedite living in His Grace,” then a big AMEN!

Maran atha!



Hi, Joseie!
…not the only reason since they were told that their lives would no longer be “easy.”

The Garden of Eden would have provided an easy existence–at least from the aspects of food, shelter, and peace.

Maran atha!


  1. I purposely said ‘poor’ Adam because he appeared to be poor indeed in his knowledge about the effect of eating the the fruit of both the trees.
    2.They are supposed to be’ unaware’ of every thing,it is proper to say that they could not know ‘one thing or other’
    etc. is a bit difficult to agree.
    3."The fruit of the tree of knowledge did not bring death–it was sinning against God that brought death; "
    Absolutely unacceptable view pl.You are simply denying what is said in G2-17 .(Pl.don’t say that though what is written in G2-17 is clear ,what was meant was such and such!)
    4.Two trees planted close by.Fruit of one tree exactly the antidote for the harmful effect of the fruit of the other tree.What you are expected to do if the harmful fruit is eaten purposely or otherwise? Unless you are a fool or don’t know about the antidote effect of the fruit of the other tree, there is only one answer.
    Pl.parden me if the reply appear to be harsh.


Perhaps had God not specifically commanded Adam and Eve to refrain from eating the fruit, eating that very same fruit would have been OK. It’s not the fruit itself, but rather the matter of obeying, or not obeying, God’s command.


Hi, Joseie!

  1. Yet, it misses the point that when God thought that he should know, Adam would share in on God’s knowledge; however, as man does most of the times, man ran after the shinny, tasty-looking thing–coupled with being Eve that brought it to him… umm, quite a recipe for ignoring God!
  2. Exactly–the more that Adam should have awaited for God’s permission to sample the fruit!
  3. I concur with you that what is said in Scriptures is: you eat, you die; however, do you truly think that God would plant a tree so that we should die? There are indeed many things in nature that are poisonous–yet, science has been able to extract medicinal compounds from them… do you truly believe that God created these so that we should die? I love looking into Scriptures with a simple mind… I find that the Holy Spirit does take over to Guide me on the way. I do take liberties in expressing my views because I trust Him to bring me all the way Home–we all can find this simple way… yes, there was a warning about death; but, no, it was never specified that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil produced a poisonous fruit.
  4. Again, that is speculative; how many times have we met in nature that two integrated opposites come together (…and no, you cannot say man and woman since they are integrated but not opposites–rather, they are complementary)? Why would God Create a universe, furnish it with extreme care, bring forth His “master piece” ("…in our image and likeness…") only to trick him into poisoning himself–it would be as careless as “parents” who train their children to not fear weapons by instilling in them the passion for handling them and showing them off… its a wonder child-weapons fatalities are not as common as the cold.
    4.b. No frets! I must endure with patience since I am seeking to get you to change your views–though many people think its ok to slam dunk God (complaint and demand) I fully believe the opposite… I feel that we are becoming, consciously or unconsciously, calloused and discordant with God, so I fallow a threads to quench genuine search for Truth and to halt what I believe to be erroneous or capricious "soul searching. Your queries seem very genuine; but they cover a deeper meaning than you yourself may not even be aware… you are placing God as the antagonist and excusing the creature (humanity) for its shortcomings… it is as though you may be saying “God should know better…”

Maran atha!



My sincere thanks for the response which is indeed quite informative. I understand that even if there is a simple ,direct and easy to understand meaning for certain verses in the scriptures , there has to be a deeper meaning as otherwise confusion, doubts and problems are bound to arise.
Let me clarify that my intention was never to picture God as an antagonist or to justify humans errors. My O.P.was some out of box thoughts of an ordinary bible reading catholic,that’s all.


I doubt the Tree of Life in the garden would have acted as an antidote in their sinful state. The very fact that God did not want them to eat of it in after sinning implies that the consequences of such consumption would not have been for their good. Had they attempted to eat from it, God would probably have intervened to prevent it.


Are not your views contradictory to the scriptures? You say that in the sinful state the antidote effect would not have worked.But even in the sinful it would have perfectly worked is quite clear from G2:22-24 which say that they were kicked out from Eden and security was arranged around the tree only to prevent them from eating its fruit and living forever.( As I have been requesting to some others in this thread , pl.don’t argue that though the verses are clear ,what is meant is such and such ;do not go by the literal meaning etc.I know that such arguments are raised when the verses are found to be ‘comfortable’ against some set beliefs.)


Hi, joseie!
…that’s why we are here (Bible studies); it is wonderful to search Scriptures because, as you’ve said, we can always find deeper meanings… I’m never judgmental… I simply seek to offer my perspectives so that the simple element of Scriptures can also be witnessed. It is good to through things about… my concern is always to not become so free so as to make Scriptures mean anything (as one lady once warned that we should “not read the Old Testament’s Scriptures because it leads to witchcraft…”).

Please understand that I do not mean that Scriptures are simple; rather, that when we go to them in a simple state ( “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. St. Matthew 11:25) we allow the Holy Spirit to better Guide and Inspire us. When we study them with the complexities of a “rocket scientist” we may prove unyielding.

Keep searching, sister:

15 He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labour: for he shall find her sitting at his door. 16 To think therefore upon her, is perfect understanding: and he that watcheth for her, shall quickly be secure. 17 For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, and she sheweth herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meeteth them with all providence. 18 For the beginning of her is the most true desire of discipline. 19 And the care of discipline is love: and love is the keeping of her laws: and the keeping of her laws is the firm foundation of incorruption: 20 And incorruption bringeth near to God. 21 Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom. (Wisdom 6:15-21)

Maran atha!



Hi, Joseie!
I think you meant to quote Genesis 3:

22 And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. 23 And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. 24 And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

…well, not worked perfectly since they were in a state of sin… would that not mean that they would eternally be in their sinful state?

…which would necessitate even further analysis:

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man. 14 But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured. 15 Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death. (St. James 1:12-15)

…so it would follow that Adam would have gained nothing by eating of the Tree of Life since his existence would be eternal death–unless you’re qualifying the Tree of Life not as Eternal Life but as Redeemer… and if a Redeemer, than God’s Salvific Plan would have been foiled since an active sinner would have secured his own salvation.

Maran atha!



It is seen that in your attempt to just oppose my view which was at least in line with the literal meaning of the verses ,you are making some conclusions which not only are against the scriptures but also question God’s wisdom.How can you even imagine that Adam would have gained nothing by eating the fruit of the tree of life when God himself observe that he may now eat it and live for ever ? From the circumstances and the tone of the relevant verses nobody can deny the fact that Adam was kicked out from Eden as a punishment and to prevent eating the fruit.

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