Tree of life's been on my mind

I have a hard time believing it was only a side note in Genesis .
A few points :

  1. Adam was not forbidden to eat from the Tree of Life until his expulsion from Eden
  2. The curse of mortality didn’t occur until Adam was booted out of the garden .
    3 .God specifically stated that Adam couldn’t be allowed further access to the Tree of life .

It never states if Adam had eaten of the Tree of Life at any point , yet the very name and the way in which God prevents it after Adam’s sin leads me to wonder about Adam’s immortality and how he gained it prior to being kicked out of the garden .

I’ve come to think that Adam’s ( and by extension ,our) limited mortality is directly related to not having access to the Tree of life .

Consider the : Tree of life , Breath of life , Waters of life , and Bread of life - how are these terms related ( if they are ) and what they mean toward eternal life .
The Tree of life is mentioned in Revelation , implied to be the cure for the curse . The Tree Apparently near the throne of God . Assumable that it is fed by the waters of life and the light of God .

I suspect that the classic " fall or curse brought upon mankind by Adam " is directly related to our
Denied access to the Tree of Life .

Any thoughts on this would be welcomed , even counters or criticism ,
Thank you .

1 Like

Which suggests this represents something not so easily obtained as reaching up and plucking a fruit. The fact is that the “Tree of Life” is mentioned many times in the Bible:
Proverbs 3:18 She (wisdom) is a tree of life.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, but lawlessness takes away life.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

So… it is wisdom, the fruit of righteousness, desire fulfilled, a gentle tongue, granted to those who conquer in the paradise of God, right to it given to those who wash their robes. I have concluded that all these are summed up as a relationship with God.

The Bible doesn’t say any such thing. It only says that access to the tree of life was denied as a result of the fall.

Mankind’s relationship with God was broken by the fall of Adam and Eve. The withdrawal of God from their lives meant they had to live completely according to the consequences of their own toil and choices.

1 Like

At root, the two trees are are edible vs inedible

Back in the days when our ancestors were foragers, they constantly had to beware which plant material was edible and which was poisonous

At some deep level, part of the message may reflect that ancient struggle – “Adam & Eve ate the wrong thing and got poisoned & sick” (so to speak)

1 Like

My Dad demonstrated that if something needs to be understood then the details are vital information to that process. In the electronics design industry we had a saying, " the devil is in the detail ", meaning: if you get one detail wrong the contraption will fail to work fully, if at all.
Whether ‘tree of life’ is symbolic or actual the relationships, intentions and principles are real.
And that appears, to me, to be the root issue.


sounds like a very good choice of words! :slight_smile:


Without verifiable context, we’re stuck. Parable, History or abbreviated Sumerian stories to fill vacant knowledge ? These seem to be our available options. LOL. I like the Revelation (parables?), the connection with tree of life for healing of the nations, which is close to the throne (loving heart?) of God.
This reminds me of my own quest to understand the actual/parable of the Father/son/Employer/employee relationship in Eden, where the problems started. Your thoughts ?

1 Like

The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden is the symbol for Jesus - the giver of life, the light of the world. Adam and Eve choose to follow the Three of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Satan) instead of remaining true to the King of Heaven - Jesus. Adam did not remain true to Jesus, did not eat from the Tree of Life. Their choice resulted in the second Fall.

Best Wishes, Shawn


“The Bible doesn’t say any such thing. It only says that access to the tree of life was denied as a result of the fall” …

But it does , it states

Genesis 2:17

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

Genesis 3 :
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.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Unless you are assuming conflict between genesis 2&3 …then you have to assume that expulsion from Eden was a death sentence / curse of mortality .
Further , Adam died In under 1000 years …
If one holds any validity to 2 Peter 3:8 , then Adam died in under a " day" …even by the most literal interpretation of God’s day .

1 Like

Let me preface by stating " according to the doctrine I follow " …:grin:
The OT is generally the fleshly version of the NT spirituality …
" The first Adam a living soul , the last Adam a quickening spirit " …

The water of life flows on the side of the tree of life in revelation 22…
I ASSUME it’s implying that it’s being fed by the water of life which flows from the throne of God .
Acts 2:30 says Christ would sit in the throne .
John 19:34 …out of Christ flowed blood and water …
To me , this implies direct relation from Christ to the tree of life .

Note : I’m oneness , so I don’t make a spiritual distinction between God and Christ …
It is my speculation that the " image of God " that Adam was created in is not the flesh of Adam , but his spirit - holy spirit of God In Adam.
When Adam BECAME a LIVING soul , a change .

Thus Adam is an OT shadow of / hint to the " creation " of Christ …Adam a son of God made of flesh , Christ the son/spirit of God sent in/ inhabiting the likeness of sinful flesh ( likeness of Adam).

Pardon if this seems choppy , I’m pressed for time and trying to make this as succinct as possible

The Bible does not say “the curse of mortality didn’t occur until Adam was booted out of the garden.” And nothing you quoted from the Bible comes anywhere close to this. Nothing says that they would would have lived forever if they had not sinned.

Incorrect! 2 Peter 3:8 says, “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

“With the Lord,” it says, not “with everyone,” so it make no sense whatsoever for God to give a warning to Adam and Eve about dying on the same day when it is only a single day by God’s own measure of time rather than theirs. A&E died a spiritual death on that day, just as Jesus says in Luke 9:60 “let the dead bury their own dead,” and as Paul says the resurrection is a bodily resurrection to a spiritual body not a physical body.

1 Like

So sayeth some, every human (believer?) has a Guardian Angel… perhaps representing some sort of “spiritual connection” with God in heaven?

Immediately upon disobeying, A&E’s “spiritual communion connection” and “Guardian Angels” were removed…

without Divine Guidance, they & theirs soon descended into fratricide, warfare, etc. ?

I disagree , I guess we simply will have to disagree on what it is stating …

You are the second person within a week or so to “come up with” this answer to the death of Adam. I congratulated the other on their ingenuity. Perhaps I was being generous.
Convention (orthodoxy) states that the “death” is not physical but Spiritual, as in when Christ said
“let the Dead bury their dead”
The problem is with trying to make the story literal. Or to claim that the words are actually spoken by God. If one approaches the story from a figurative or “Parable” understanding then such details become less significant.
The “God” of Genesis is very human in nature. Perhaps that might give some indication of how we are expected to understand it? God wandering around the Garden like the BFG. Being so incompetent as to “allow” man access to the tree(s) at all. And to clamp down like a ton of bricks on the first transgression that any “Policemen” or court of Law would see as having strong mitigation and leave God himself with some culpability. And as for the “Punishments”! Birthing pains? Weeds? and a prudish view of nakedness? Surely if God did not want us naked He would have given us better covering in creation. The whole thing is human in nature and theological in meaning. To dwell on the reality of supernatural trees would seem to be missing the point(s).

Or is this too radical?


Overall, the ‘Fall of Adam’ Genesis story reads as though none of the results of great parenting existed in Eden. It’s a naff promotion of ‘God-fearing’ loving family life. Thats why I think that, most likely, it’s a corruption of how humanity on earth really began.

The biblical scholars who annotated The Jewish Study Bible are very clear on the question of immortality in Genesis: “Neither the first nor the second account of creation portrays humankind as created immortal. Nor does the punishment of v. 19, which speaks of Adam’s returning to the ground from which he was taken, mean that he would have lived forever, had it not been for his disobedience. In the passage, the LORD, alarmed at the very real, God-like status that the man has suddenly attained, resolves to deny him the opportunity to make himself immortal and banishes him from the garden in which the tree of life was found.”

Before the choice made by Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, God permits them to eat from every tree in the garden, including the tree of life, which isn’t specifically prohibited in the way the tree of knowledge of good and bad is prohibited. But we never see Adam and Eve taking fruit from the tree of life. So maybe they never ate from it. Another possibility is that they ate freely and frequently from the tree of life but didn’t touch the other tree – the tree of knowledge. We don’t really know. What we do know is that it’s only when Adam and Eve betray God’s trust and take the knowledge of good and bad without God’s permission that God sends them out into the world to experience firsthand the responsibilities that come with the right to knowledge. It’s only after Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened that God raises a concern about the tree of life. It’s only after Adam and Eve reject the state of humbleness they’d been living in (not humility but rather respectful, loving, responsible humbleness) that God starts to worry about what they might do if they get their hands on the tree of life. Will they take even more rights for themselves without understanding the deep level of responsibility that comes with life, love, relationship, and Creation?

As @mitchellmckain says, the tree of life is about relationship with God. We always have access to it, but first we have to understand that knowledge by itself is NOT the key to experiencing the peace of God’s companionship in the Garden.

We can try with all our might to beat down the Garden doors, to use our Minds and our knowledge to defeat the Cherubim and claim all the rights that should accrue to us as gods on Planet Earth – including our perceived right to 3D biological immortality (just as the mythological half human/half divine beings of ancient pantheons once staked claim to physical life everlasting). But God is wise, and God knows our true life involves far more than physical longevity.

First the tree of life, then the tree of knowledge. This is the order which is implied in Genesis 2-3. Knowledge itself isn’t bad (otherwise it wouldn’t be in the Garden at all), but first you have to have the emotional, spiritual, and creative tools to use knowledge well – not in service to your own status, but in service to all Creation.

This can be a hard lesson to learn (as human history teaches us), but when we trust God and respect the order of learning shown to us over and over again by our beloved God (first the tree of life, then the tree of knowledge), we can do quite wondrous things to help till the soil (Gen 2:5).


I think you are reading more into the text that is explicitly stated.
It reads as if the Tree of life is either forgotten or ignored. The statement of God implies that Man has not already eaten from it. And, that the fruit of the tree of life is a one off , just like the tree of knowledge. Adam did not have to keep eating from the tree of knowledge so why would we think that he had to eat more than once from the tree of life to gain its properties? The story reads this way. There is no reason to make it anything else.


R.i.g.h.t… And Matthew 13:1-23 is just about proper planting and we shouldn’t read too much into that text either. If it sounds like a fairy tale or comic book with talking animals, magical fruit, a necromancer making golems of dust and bone, then just a children’s story it must be. We shouldn’t try to read so much meaning into any of it but just make a proper Walt Disney movie for children for entertainment only and leave it at that – with absolutely NOTHING to do with real life.

Or… we can read Jesus’ words in Matthew 13 and know we should pay no mind to those running from the truth, but instead try to get as much meaning as we can from the Bible because it is about real life.

1 Like

I am sorry but you are talking garbage. The truth of Genesis has nothing to do with the reality of the story, And You cannot compare the reality of Genesis to the explanation of a parable. The only comparison would be whether the sower had to exist for there to be any truth in the parable. The answer is no, and the same answer applies to Genesis 1-11. The truth is in the meaning, not the details or reality.


Sadly, Richard, you can’t have it both ways, though I’m sure (because I’ve seen the pattern so many times before) you’re armed and ready with multiple tiers of revelation to explain why you’re right about Genesis and others are wrong.

I don’t claim to have the only right way to interpret Genesis 2-3. In fact, I believe these verses are a bit like an onion (or maybe like the patiently grown wood of a tree), with many different layers that defy the Mind’s logic but speak directly to the Heart (as any good parable does). We hear what we need to hear, and then, when we’re ready for another layer of interpretation, we hear something new to help us in the difficult task of rebuilding our relationship with God.

There are probably few verses in the annals of human literature that have been more studied and more parsed and more written about than the two Creation tales that launch the Bible’s teachings. So you’ll forgive me if I find a certain irony in the certainty of your position, as Genesis 2-3 is a cautionary tale on what happens when human beings choose the fruit of certainty over the fruit of humbleness.

There is always a sower. The question is whether you want to till the soil of your own inner being to receive the seeds of God’s love, or whether you believe you have the right to betray the sower in favour of human certainty.

The Bible is pretty clear about the consequences of hubris.

1 Like

I am not sure what you think pride has to do with this. I have not even offered an, let alone my, explanation for the opening chapters of Genesis. All I have done is denounce the literal viewpoint.

Why do people always assume that comments are made from a purely personal view or understanding? Why must this view of mine have no backing? No support? Be just from my brain?

Who is the one showing arrogance? The one who insists on a specific interpretation? Or the one who demonstrates that one viewpoint is false?

There are so many heresies rooted in a literal view of early Genesis. If not completely heretical unhelpful and detrimental. And that includes Original Sin (IMHO).

Why else do you think I oppose it? Pride has nothing to do with it. You want to be considered my superior? Go ahead. There is Scripture for that viewpoint.