Tree of life in Genesis


#21

Would you want to live forever in the state of their human nature as it was after their (Adam & Eve’s) sin?

You are making the assumption that the fruit from the Tree of Life would CURE or UNDO their fallen nature/state. G3:22-24 does not say that is what would happen. Note carefully what it says:Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing 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” – Note what his sinful state consisted of — “become like one of us, knowing good and evil”. Adam had usurped God’s role – setting himself up as the determiner of what is good and what is evil. To “live forever” in that state would be disastrous.

I like St. Ambrose’s words concerning death:'Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning; He prescribed it as a remedy.'

liturgies.net/saints/allsouls/officeofreadings.htm
Liturgy of Hours for All Souls Day


#22

1.You are hinting that it was for their own good that they were kicked out from Eden preventing eating the fruit .But no such conclusion can be drawn from the verses which on the other hand clearly show that it was done as a punishment.
2.I did not say any thing about curing/undoing from the ‘fallen state’.Eating the fruit of the first tree made them liable to death.Eating the fruit of the tree of life will make them live for ever .This is true even if the first fruit was eaten .G3-22 clearly show this.
3.By eating the fruit Adam became capable of knowing good and evil and not as any ‘determiner’ of good and evil
4.Death was not part of nature,it is remedy etc: This is applicable only for humans? What about other creatures ?


#23

Hi, Joseie!
You are correct, Scriptures state just that… yet, you are incorrect in not integrating the events:

Tree of Life: Immortality
Adam: Dead (Spiritual Death)
1 + 1 = If he were to have had access to the Tree of Life at this point, Adam gains Eternal Damnation since he is dead Spiritually.

The point I was attempting to offer you is that Adam would have not gained Life but Eternal Existence as a sinful creature, since the wages of sin is death.

So you see, God had it right–He was not depriving Adam of Eternity with Him; He was preventing Adam from Eternity without God!

…I’m sure you will still rather hope that the “if” would win… but it is not necessary since God had already secured our Salvation (Eternal Life with God) even before the world was Created:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ: 4 [size=]As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world[/size], that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. 5 Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will: 6 Unto the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he hath graced us in his beloved son. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace, 8 Which hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 That he might make known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in him, 10 In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him. 11 In whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will.
12 That we may be unto the praise of his glory, we who before hoped Christ: 13 In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth, (the gospel of your salvation;) in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise, 14 Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Maran atha!

Angel


#24

I’m not hinting - I’m saying it was for their own good. It is God who cast them out lest they eat of it. God loves us, and He ONLY does what is for our good — our eternal good. To doubt that (which is what Adam and Eve did) is to doubt the goodness and trustworthiness of God. Adam did not trust that God would only do what was best for him.

2.I did not say any thing about curing/undoing from the 'fallen state.
.

You said in your opening post that the fruit was the “perfect antidote”; and in a later post that it was “exactly the antidote for the harmful effect”. What do you mean by “perfect antidote” if not something that cures or undoes the harm caused by eating the first fruit?

Eating the fruit of the first tree made them liable to death.Eating the fruit of the tree of life will make them live for ever .This is true even if the first fruit was eaten .G3-22 clearly show this

How can living forever, with their fallen state not undone or cured, be considered beneficial – an antidote, or something “gained” (post#20)

3.By eating the fruit Adam became capable of knowing good and evil and not as any ‘determiner’ of good and evil

By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam determined he knew better than God what the truth was concerning the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” – he knew better what was good and what was harmful for himself.

4.Death was not part of nature,it is remedy etc: This is applicable only for humans? What about other creatures ?

Other creatures didn’t sin. It’s another topic.


#25

Hi, Joseie!
…again, what Scriptures states does not limit what Scriptures tells us. The conclusion you draw are at fault since the removal from the Garden of Eden was not part of the punishment:

Punishment:

14 And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. 15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. 16 To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. 17 And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. 18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Genesis 3:14-19)

Exile:

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. (Genesis 3:22-24)

Once the punishment was met, the secondary effect that took place limited Adam’s and Eve’s overreach–something some parents refuse to do when their children have access to cars and insist on abusing alcohol and other drugs (…and the over use of texting).

Maran atha!

Angel


#26

This is in response to the posts23,24&25 above(by jcrichton and Nita). Many points worth further discussion are there.Just confining to the main issue of the significance of the tree of life and missing its fruit by Adam on which this thread started, your strong view is that it was for better that they were prevented from eating its fruit and God did a favour to them in doing so.However, a harmonious reading of the earlier and subsequent verses does not give any such intention. Anyhow let it be as it is. What I strongly differ is the view about the ‘death’(the effect of eating the first fruit) and’living forever’(effect of second fruit).The following points arise in this regard.
1.The warning was about spiritual death only? or only physical death or both?
2.If it is spiritual death the other fruit’s effect would be spiritually living for ever ? We can’t give the spiritual meaning in one place and the physical meaning in other place.
3.If they did not require its fruit before the sin, and if it is of no use after the sin, what for the tree was put in the centre side by side of the other tree? Of course we can’t question God.Still there will be a purpose.Any clue? My doubt in the first post appears to be relevant here .That is they did not bother about this tree either due to ignorance about the effect of its fruit or due to not giving the due importance it required as God’s gift.


#27

I believe they were in a spiritual paradise, that it was a question about their spiritual life and spiritual death.

Only spiritual trees in a spiritual garden.


#28

Everything was spiritual ,nothing real? Adam,Eve, Eden,trees,serpent, eating the fruit,feeling naked,God clothing them ,kicking them out,all?Good imagination !


#29

To me the spiritual world is very real, God is spirit.


#30

Both.
PHYSICAL DEATH:
376 By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man’s life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called “original justice”.
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P1B.HTM#TE

1008 Death is a consequence of sin. the Church’s Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man’s sin. Even though man’s nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin. “Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned” is thus “the last enemy” of man left to be conquered
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P2I.HTM#61

SPIRITUAL DEATH:
403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the** “death of the soul**”. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P1C.HTM


#31

Thank you for showing the well reasoned and authoritive view in the matter because there are views that it was only spiritual death .Of course the death of other creatures will remain a mystery.If their physical constitution make them liable to aging and death in the normal course man also is so liable ,having similar constitution.But then it may indicate that he also would have died anyway even if he had not sinned which will mean that what God warned about was only spiritual death ,but then this goes against the official stand.(pl.note that there is already a separate, recent thread started by me in this regard titled "Original sin and death of other creatures’ )⅞


#32

Man, once created, exists forever. And yet he can “die forever”:
**1874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.

1056 Following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the “sad and lamentable reality of eternal death" (GCD 69), also called "hell.”**

They didn’t value the Tree of Life because they didn’t value God…yet. Presumably A & E had a change of heart since then-a conversion (we can’t know, of course)-and have turned back to their Creator from Whom all life flows. It’s all about man’s choice: moving towards God or away from God. Life or death, good or evil, heaven or hell, God or no God.


#33

Not according to Paragraph 1008 cited in post #30.
1008 …Even though man’s nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin.** “Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned”** is thus “the last enemy” of man left to be conquered

The bolded, underlined sentence above is a quote from Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes, Chapter 1, paragraph 18: Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and** firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned **will be vanquished, …
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html


#34

The Tree of Life could well have been beneficial to humans with a **pure, unstained nature **— but, have different undesirable effects in a marred, sinful nature.

I always get in trouble with analogies, but to give a sense of what I’m trying to communicate, I’m going to give it a try anyway. (PLEASE do not make it a direct equivalent.)
Consider allergies!! A person whose body functions perfectly can eat peanut butter and receive good benefits from it. But, if with time their body changes and no longer operates perfectly in regards to peanuts, eating peanut butter will have a detrimental effect. They are better off not eating peanut butter


#35

You mean and also your anology try to show that Adam should have tried the fruit of the disputed tree when he was in the pure state,that is before sinnig.Had he done so he would not have been adversely effected by his act of eating the fruit of the first tree .Also that after sinnig the fruit will have only an detrimental effect.
In my O .P ,I also indicated that he should have tried its fruit earlier (before sinning) .But for some unknown reason he did not.May be that he was not aware of its benefits. God also for some unknown reasons did not tell him about this evenwhile telling him about the harmful effect of the first tree . The fool Adam also did not appear to have enquired with God about the nearby tree(both trees being in the centre of Eden would have been very much noticeable ) .But then who are we to know God’s ways? We know only what he chooses us to understand.


#36

I’m only saying that the fruit would have been/was beneficial to him in his original sinless nature, but would not have been to his benefit after his sin. After his sin it was for his greater good to be prevented from eating it.

my O .P ,I also indicated that he should have tried its fruit earlier (before sinning) Had he done so he would not have been adversely effected by his act of eating the fruit of the first tree .Also that after sinnig the fruit will have only an detrimental effect.
In my O .P ,I also indicated that he should have tried its fruit earlier (before sinning) .But for some unknown reason he did not.

I don’t know whether or not he ate from the tree before he sinned. Scripture doesn’t tell us. Neither does it tell us how often it was meant to be eaten in the sinless state.
To my knowledge, there is no definitive Church teaching on those aspects of the Tree of Life. Most commentary on the Tree of Life that I’ve read focuses on it as a prefigurement

  1. of Jesus - His death for our salvation on a tree (cross) and
  2. of the Eucharist.
    And the two are sort of tied together.

Jesus in the Eucharist is the fruit of the New Testament “tree of life” that is to be eaten. We do not consume Him only once, but many times. He is a source of eternal life in us (John 6:51),provided we are not in a state of mortal sin. To consume the Eucharist when we are in a mortally sinful state results in further condemnation.

May be that he was not aware of its benefits. God also for some unknown reasons did not tell him about this evenwhile telling him about the harmful effect of the first tree . The fool Adam also did not appear to have enquired with God about the nearby tree(both trees being in the centre of Eden would have been very much noticeable ) .But then who are we to know God’s ways? We know only what he chooses us to understand.

Perhaps there was as yet no fruit on the tree - perhaps God desired Adam to undergo the test before it was the season for the Tree of Life to bear its fruit!

When I read Scripture, I start on the VERY FIRM foundation that God is good, loves us, and whatever He does is for the good of those involved. So, when there is something that seems to contradict those truths, I just start talking to God and asking Him “why would that be good for him/her/us”. Or “why would that be harmful for us”? etc. Searching to understand the goodness and love for us behind God’s decree.


#37

I probably should have added to the above that the very few commentary bits I’ve come across connect the fruit on the Tree of Life with physical immortality. And propose that eating it after he had sinned would have resulted in Adam living forever in a spiritual state of death.


#38

Hi, Joseie!

  1. The warning is about Spiritual death–there’s no inference of immortality when God Created the universe; yet, there are those who see physical death as part of that punishment. Still, how many of us have sinned since Adam? We do not automatically die due to sin or because we may be unrepentant. Sin does not kill physically. Yet, we are all sinner due to Adam’s Original Sin and due to our personal sins. Scriptures tells us that the wages of sin is death and that none can enter Heaven in a state of sin, ergo, Spiritual death.

2 Correct!–though not because of your surmise, the Tree of Life is that: Immortality ("…live forever."). However, it does not mean that if we were to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life our sins would be forgiven and we would be Reconciled to God.

  1. Your analysis is curt–it is not that the Tree of Life had no purpose; rather, it is that in a sinful state it has no benefit to man since eternity in damnation is eternity without God. Though Adam and Eve were mislead by Satan who took advantage of their simplicity (unawareness), once they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve did not automatically receive all of God’s Knowledge. They were still in their infancy… but they recognized that they were naked and hid from God… their path had begun.

I offer you this construct:

A) Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: human cognition.
B) Tree of Life: Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church (Holy Traditions [Oral and Written], Sacraments, and Doctrine).

While exercising human cognition man can determine what is good or evil (granted the deposit of Faith and awareness is infantile without the direction, through the Church, of the Holy Spirit).

Man sins: he gains Spiritual death.

The Church offers from the Tree of Life in the form of the Sacraments; in the particular case of sin: Confession–Reconciliation with God. Yet, if man refuses the Sacrament of Confession and takes from the Tree of Life, the Eucharist (the Blood and Flesh of Jesus Christ), he has gained nothing since in his unrighteous state Jesus’s Communion would be of no avail. Man would still be cast into hell due to his sinful state.

Maran atha!

Angel


#39

Hi, Joseie!
…sorry that I keep interjecting… we do not know that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had a harmful effect. God Commanded Adam not to it of its fruit. He warned that on eating of it Adam would die. God did not say: “the fruit is poisonous and it will kill you.” God stated that if he were to it of the fruit he would die. Adam ate. Adam died. Awareness, Knowledge, does not kill.

Maran atha!

Angel


#40

Those” includes the Church’s Magisterium. I’ll cite the Catechism paragraph 1008 again!
1008 Death is a consequence of sin. the Church’s Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man’s sin. Even though man’s nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin. “Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned” is thus “the last enemy” of man left to be conquered
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P2I.HTM#61

The death that was a consequence of Adam & Eve’s sin included both physical “bodily death” and spiritual death.
See posts 30 & 33 for more citations from the Catechism and from Gaudium et Spes.


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