The Tree of Life in Genesis 3

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I cannot for the life of me find it….but somewhere recently a member made a comment about the “tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, asking about various interpretations of these “trees.”

    Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

    I believe that the “Tree of Life” is that presence of God from which Adam (and mankind) was separated in the Fall. So in terms of that “death” that entered as a result of Adam’s sin, I tend to look at it as physical death while I view this casting out (away from the “Tree of Life”) that brings eternal life as spiritual death. That is why, I believe, there will be a time we will eat of this tree freely.

    What other interpretations are out there?
     
  2. Rob_BW

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  3. JonC

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  4. percho

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    Did the tree of life actually grow out of the ground? John 6:53,54 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Is the Son of Man, Jesus the tree of life?

    Did the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually grow out of the ground? The verse before, out of the ground of verse 9, Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

    From my post 78 in thread
    Was sin in the world before the law was given?
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    In Gleanings In Genesis by Pink which if you do not have the book you can download the pdf and Chapter Three is called Two Trees. You and these other brethren ought to take a look and I'm sure you will find what you are looking for and whole lot more... I enjoyed the whole book and use him as a resource frequently... I guess you could say I'm in the Pink!... Brother Glen
     
  6. JonC

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    Percho…..thanks for responding. It was your post that I had lost. Thumbsup

    I thought it was a good topic, and wanted to respond but couldn't find it anywhere.
     
  7. JonC

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    http://www.biblebelievers.com/Pink/Gleanings_Genesis/genesis_03.htm
     
  8. tyndale1946

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  9. HankD

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    I believe it very well may have been a tree rooted in the earth, a very special tree from whence the fruit it bore contained the perfect food which suppressed the aging process and also contained a healing substance for any disease.

    HankD
     
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  10. Darrell C

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    I view this tree as having to be kept in the context in which it is found, which is temporal. In other words, sustaining life was likely in view, but, we don't impose an eternal perspective into it.

    So too with the Tree of Life seen in the Eternal State, it is hard to impose a quality to it that it imparts eternal life, because we, a believers, have already attained that through Christ.

    So however we interpret it, if we remove what is not possible, only that which is possible remains for us a viable interpretation.

    God bless.
     
  11. HankD

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    I agree , it was immortal life not eternal life (quite a difference IMO).

    But it is framed in what some people call an "open theology" (A heresy IMO - God is omniscient of course) scenario - God wanting to see what Adam and Eve would do - kind of a test which they failed concluding with God asking "what have you done?" and then banishing them from the garden. So, how much is allegory, how much is metaphor and/or reality?

    Why did God in His word come down to our level meeting us where we are in our limited knowledge?
    In reality and IMO it was immortal life from a real tree not eternal life, I believe that but can't prove it except to repeat God's words...

    Genesis 2:17 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.

    Jesus on the other hand offers better than immortality without a test...

    John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    A double negative involved "they shall never never perish" - allowed in Koine.

    HankD
     
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  12. Darrell C

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    Great statement.


    I take it as a literal event from which we can glean spiritual truth as well, which has application from a broader perspective of Redemption.

    As far as viewing it as God wanting to see what they would do, I cannot embrace such a view myself, because we then nullify His omniscience and foreknowledge.

    Here is a simple analogy that sums up the question "Why did God allow it to happen, why didn't He just make it so everything worked out:"

    It's like those who would like to have a dog. We have several choices when we decide to acquire one, we can go get a pup, rescue an adult, or even buy a working dog which has already been trained.

    If we look at the difference between the latter two, where certainly a relationship can be developed, and the relationship developed between a pup and a loving master, we cannot equate the two.

    There is a bond formed through that growth period that cannot be equaled to the latter two.

    My dog, well...his world literally revolves around my wife. There is a bond there that even I don't share.

    That is why God decided, rather than allowed, for mankind to go through this process. He could have made organic robots who obeyed explicitly, but, one of the characteristics we share with God is that of being a unique individual.

    God is One God, and truly there is no other. But, the same is also true of each of us, we are unique in ourselves, and God wants a relationship with us individually. He does not love all children as the same child, we don't even do that with our own children.


    Not sure we can attribute His Coming with meeting us at our level, in one respect, because He was rejected. It is not until He sends the Comforter that an understanding of what He has done and is doing became a matter of intimate relationship.

    But in general, I think the question is simple enough, and oft repeated: God loved the world.


    Christ uses the imagery of a Vine. Paul uses the imagery of a Tree.

    The basic thrust being a source of provision to which someone or something is attached. In the Old Testament, God brought a vine out of Egypt. This represents the creation of Israel which is the source of relationship with and to God. Christ states, "I am the True Vine...abide in Me." In other words, "I am the true source of provision," and this is relevant, not just to the temporal provision we see given in the Old Testament (food, drink, shelter, and ultimately a land that provided the basic necessities for life), but a further revelation of man's needs from an eternal perspective.

    Meaning, men did not understand the depths of their needs, which were eternal, rather than temporal.


    And I take a simple approach to that as well: Christ is the Source, the true provision for that which men needed, and this is accomplished in Reconciliation. We have eternal life because He that is Eternal Life indwells us. We are brought into a relationship not provided through Israel, the Covenant of Law, nor anything associated with that Covenant.

    Eternal Life is not a substance added to man's existence, a substance poured into a/the vessel, but Eternal Life is God Himself.

    More of a matter of us being placed into Eternal Life, which I what takes place when we are Baptized with the Holy Spirit, or, in other words, baptized into Christ.


    God bless.
     
  13. JonC

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    You have a good point, brother, that it is difficult to view the Tree of Life as imparting that life as we, as believers, have already attained that through Christ. My thoughts in reply is that having been justified and reconciled to God through the death of Christ, we shall be saved by His life (Jn. 5:8-11). There is a sense whereby our salvation is yet to come, and this is in that sense of the Resurrection, that we shall be saved by His life.
     
  14. Darrell C

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    The culmination of salvation is coming, which has application to that final act of redemption we have not experienced yet, which is the redemption of our bodies. But I think it safe to say that we can rest in the truth that we have eternal life at the time of salvation in Christ.

    A familiar verse:

    1 John 5:13

    King James Version (KJV)


    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


    So I don't look at this principle as violated when Scripture speaks of "the salvation to come," but hold that in a context of the progression of salvation: we are saved (from the penalty of sin, we are being saved (from the consequences of sin), and we will be saved (from the presence of sin).

    But if, as some do, we view eternal life in a concept of a substance which is poured into us, then it is no wonder that we might think this can be removed. But, if we understand that eternal life is a result of the "renewing of the Holy Ghost (Reconciliation)," we then would have to find where this process is said to be reversed, and that is not to be found.


    God bless.
     
  15. HankD

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    This statement by far makes the most sense to me.
    A "developed relationship" is far more valuable than one planted in our heads and hearts.
    Thanks Darrell.

    However, I don't know that we can EVER figure out God and His works (we only need to believe them) to our own sense of satisfaction. But it does give Him glory (see the Romans passage below).

    Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

    Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    HankD
     
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