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knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9
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digging
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Post: #1
knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

How many here have wondered about this tree?? I sure have...I've wondered and wondered about it. What did it really mean?? Why did he plant such a tree? All the traditional answers have never given me a feeling of truth. You know God testing them etc.

I believe I have touched on this subject in other threads but I just am seeing it more clearly now and want to share it.

I was always told the tree gave them knowledge, like facts on the topic of good and evil, separate from each other. Like good over here and evil over there. However when I look at myself I wonder IF we have eaten from this tree that gives knowledge of good and evil WHY does it seem so hard to clearly tell the difference between the two??? IF we have had our eyes so opened to good and evil why are we still so blind to tell them apart?? Sometimes we can't tell something was wrong until AFTER it's happened?

Well I offer here a brand new way of understanding what the tree of knowledge of good and evil might mean.....it's of course linked to what sin is....
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time??

When Eve took from the tree she said it was 'good for food'.....from her point of view she was seeing 'good' in taking of the fruit, but the evil came from the EFFECT of her actions. For example if we steal that might create a 'good' benefit for us but at the same *moment* a disadvatage for someone else. "good and evil" from ONE action.
So then is the tree of knowledge rather about the line, limit of how far 'good' goes before it becomes bad?

Eating can be so good until we cross the line and over eat.....then it becomes bad because it is causing harm.

To receive from God all that he has created to give us within his natural design is good I believe BUT when we take what can not be given from anyone or anything that becomes evil even though to the person gaining it might seem good to them....but the greater harm done out weights the 'good' perceived by the taker.

When I think about it I ask myself why do I sin???? Why do any of us sin??? Is it not that we think the thing, what ever it is, is good from our perspective at that moment of sinning??? So good and evil happening at the same time...


Digging

01-27-2011 04:04 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #2
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Quote:
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time


Interesting question there Digging. The concept of the two trees has become more and more vital for me in my studies, almost like a keystone in scripture. Ive really enjoyed meditating on their meaning, and how it applies to me personally.

1) if we look at this logically, tree of knowledge would be opposite of a tree of ignorance. Therefore ignorance=tree of life.

2) if ignorance = life, then what does the rest of scripture teach us we need to be ignorant of to either gain eternal life, or at least live a spiritual one? This seems like sin.

3) When we choose slavery to sin, then we believe that the solution is in earthly things. People, money, mans ideas, religion, family, government, pleasure, etc. It gets complicated if we equate sin with evil...but the two are not the same.

4) Back to your point, it does seem like one action could have good and bad consequences. But even more broadly, a lifestyle of sin does just not mean someone who fornicates and does drugs daily. It can be someone who loves their family or religion so much, and are so committed to them, that their relationship with God becomes secondary. However, family and religion are good things.

5) Religion was unnecessary for Adam before eating. He just lived spiritually. Knowledge of good and bad things put the burden on HIM now, things that he/we were not built to bear. When we are encouraged by Jesus and Paul to "let go" and "be meek" i believe it is all to train us to live spiritually, like Adam/we all were designed.

6) I personally believe that Jesus negated the effects of that tree on mankind as a whole, and we all now are making choices to live physically or spiritually..that each of us in effect has our own trees to eat from.


philia, COMankind

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01-27-2011 03:04 PM
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digging
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Post: #3
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Thank-you fro your reply CoMankind,

I want to focus on one point you were making which I believe carries huge weight in influencing our understanding which could be erroneous. The dominant teaching with this vs is that the tree was primarily a tree of knowledge, and good and bad was included in this knowledge. However I now believe they had free access to knowledge, but only of good.

Remember the full title of the tree is 'knowledge of good and evil' we are the ones separating or dividing the description of the tree up, but it is ONE description, we've been taught they had no knowledge of good, YET Eve did say BEFORE she ate, the tree was 'good' for food. Clearly she knew what 'good' was!

So what is my point??? This is very deep and a bit hard for me to explain what I'm thinking.

I think the tree is a symbol of the combination of good with evil. Like the exchanging of good for evil. How sin is created. We create evil through our actions in pursuing what we judge as good when we do not care or take into consideration the way our actions might affect everything else. Like with Adam and Eve, God had given them all the fruit from all trees as food, they could 'receive' all they needed from that arrangement, but they decided to 'take' something that was not given. All fruit was good for food, the only difference one was taken/stolen the other freely given, just because all was good for food did not automatically mean it was good to be used or eaten. What if it was the very last fruit of a special tree and they ate it? It's like they went outside the boundaries of the natural limits just like mankind is doing today. We are now taking/exploting everything from the earth/each other and we are killing ourselves and our planet. Just like Adam and Eve receiving the death sentence.

When we put ourselves and what we want above the needs or wants of any other life including God = creation of sin.
I am seeing very much in this account in Genesis the embodiment of the formula he created so we as a higher life form can live in harmony on earth with all other living beings forever, both spiritually and biologically.

This is also linked so much with Christ, he taught us to humble ourselve to put the needs of others above our own, to serve the will of God above our own....this is what it's about.

The balance between our will and Gods will, the relationship between the two. When they took from that tree they put thier will above his, they created sin by turning something good into something evil....by taking something not given. They turned the ability to receiving from God into the act stealing from him. Good into evil, knowledge of both...

Digging

01-27-2011 09:58 PM
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COMankind
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Post: #4
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Digging,

I would say we are saying the same thing in two different ways.

The act of taking the fruit meant Adam felt that physical things were good (taking priority over spiritual things)

I disagree on the act of stealing. I dont think that in an of itself made it evil....that was not "Gods tree" that was not Gods knowledge in distinction to anything else...he possesses everything.

The act was more like betrayal to me. Adam wanted to be like God, he wasn't happy serving him. Adam wanted to have more, he wasn't satisfied. He felt the things God created could give him greater happiness than God himself.

If you wanted to test a child's eating habits, and you put a chocolate bar and an apple in front of them, and you tell them how bad the chocolate is.....and they take the chocolate. Are you concerned they didn't pay for it? That they want chocolate over the apple? Or that they ignored you?


philia, COMankind

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01-27-2011 10:38 PM
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Post: #5
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

I agree we are not disagreeing! Just that even though the vs's are few sooooo much happened and has lots of meaning!

I agree with the point you made with Adam putting phyical things above spiritual things, above his spiritual relationship with YHWH. Perhaps that is part of the lesson of the Garden the contrast between the spiritual and the phyical. One has limits the other is limitless, love, joy, goodness they can go on forever increasing, but the phycial world has limits in every way there is only so much air, water, trees, food, mineral etc, even the way our bodies work, we can only run for so long or stay up for so long before we tire out.
Perhaps this is what they could not see?? How to live spiritually within a phyical world with limits. Perhaps this is what Jesus was talking about when he said 'man does not live on bread alone, but on every word coming from God's mouth.'

When I said stealing I didn't mean direct stealing from God like it was his personal tree, but the act was like when someone steals, they are taking something they are not suppost to take.

You also hit on a very important point, the point of wanting more.....if there is not 'more' available........can we get more???
Is it mathematically possible to 'get more' well.....there are the negative numbers....= evil or sin in this case.

Sometimes we think God was 'testing' Adam, but rather perhaps he was simply telling him the plain simple truth and Adam did not trust what God said.

Here's another thought/question WHY did they die from eating of the tree??

Digging

01-28-2011 01:27 AM
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Post: #6
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

I just thought of another scriptural example of what I'm trying to say with the one act having both good and bad be the result.

When Jesus said of himself "I am the beginning and the end"
That can be viewed in two ways. 1st as in time, at one end the beginning of time and at the other end the end of time. Two points far apart or it can be understood that in the ONE act of great faith when he died TWO things happened the end of the curse and the new life in Christ. One act, two contrasting things happened, he caused a beginning and an end by that one action.

So with Adam and Eve hmmmm I wonder ......
It would seem something needs to have a 'contrast' to be clearly seen. ( thier eyes were not opened)
Everything we see, touch, feel and taste is based on the priniciple of contrast, everything even how we move and walk is based on opposite motion of our limbs. Soooooo then this tree of 'knowledge of good and bad' must be linked with the creation of a contrast. WHAT was being contrasted?

That is the question here I think.......

I'm thinking it must be the contrast between the phyical and the spiritual?? When they pitted the two against each other then thier eyes were opened because they could 'see' the contrast between listening to thier flesh over listening to Gods voice.
It's like they made the flesh become sin because they contrasted it against Gods spiritual voice.....the flesh only became sinful when contrasted/opposed against the spirit, the line was crossed and what was 'good' became bad....
Remember how YHWH said tha Adam 'because you have listened to the 'voice' of your wife' well before that Adam said of her 'bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh'....

man this is even deep for me! But there is definitally something here.

Digging

01-28-2011 04:13 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #7
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Thats a lot of points in there...digesting. :)

I'll say this:
- compare the account of Adam and Eve to Job. I personally believe that prior to Adam and Eve, an angel could have challenged God with "They serve you because thats all they know. If given the option, they would serve themselves" - now that's conjecture, but based on God's reaction to Satan's 'tainting' the evidence, it seems somewhat viable.

- The restoration of the new heavens and new earth in Rev 21 brings a tent of God to mankind. I believe when Adam died, it was this tent that was removed for mankind, while Adam himself lost eternal life.


philia, COMankind

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01-28-2011 11:00 PM
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ablebodiedman
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Post: #8
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Satan told Eve that by eating of the tree of knowledge she would not die.


Is that not the same as saying that if she ate from the tree of knowledge she would live?


Now contemplate what this means:






2 Thessalonians 2:11
So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie



In Christ


abe


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01-29-2011 12:55 PM
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Interpretum
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Post: #9
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Hey Digging

digging Wrote:
I was always told the tree gave them knowledge, like facts on the topic of good and evil, separate from each other. Like good over here and evil over there.


I believe the tree literally existed.

I was going to say that I don't think the tree would have necessarily imparted knowledge to them by itself.

However, after they ate, "then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked" (Gen 3:7)

This is a strange insight. How did they not realize they were naked before? I can only conclude that the concept of "nakedness" hadn't occurred to them before... after all, none of the animals wore clothes!






However when I look at myself I wonder IF we have eaten from this tree that gives knowledge of good and evil WHY does it seem so hard to clearly tell the difference between the two??? IF we have had our eyes so opened to good and evil why are we still so blind to tell them apart?? Sometimes we can't tell something was wrong until AFTER it's happened?

Well I offer here a brand new way of understanding what the tree of knowledge of good and evil might mean.....it's of course linked to what sin is....
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time??

When Eve took from the tree she said it was 'good for food'.....from her point of view she was seeing 'good' in taking of the fruit, but the evil came from the EFFECT of her actions. For example if we steal that might create a 'good' benefit for us but at the same *moment* a disadvatage for someone else. "good and evil" from ONE action.
So then is the tree of knowledge rather about the line, limit of how far 'good' goes before it becomes bad?

Eating can be so good until we cross the line and over eat.....then it becomes bad because it is causing harm.

To receive from God all that he has created to give us within his natural design is good I believe BUT when we take what can not be given from anyone or anything that becomes evil even though to the person gaining it might seem good to them....but the greater harm done out weights the 'good' perceived by the taker.

When I think about it I ask myself why do I sin???? Why do any of us sin??? Is it not that we think the thing, what ever it is, is good from our perspective at that moment of sinning??? So good and evil happening at the same time...


Digging
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01-29-2011 08:18 PM
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Post: #10
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

I agree and also believe there was a real tree there. However I don't think the tree was poisoned or that the fruit gave the knowledge of good and evil directly like a potion, but rather their action of taking it against Gods will created evil because it was an evil action, which then created the contrast against good and thus the 'knowledge of good and evil'.

Remember we can't see in pure white or pure black, we can only see via contrast of the two. So thier eyes became opened because of this contrast they could now 'see' but what exactly??
clearly the had vision it's talking about something else.

Could they now see the difference between the spiritual and the physical?? Did they feel the separation?

Did they create the divid between the two when they sinned......

Digging

01-30-2011 05:34 AM
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ThinkingMan
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Post: #11
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Digging Wrote:
How many here have wondered about this tree?? I sure have...I've wondered and wondered about it. What did it really mean?? Why did he plant such a tree? All the traditional answers have never given me a feeling of truth. You know God testing them etc.

Hi Digging. I hear you loud and clear.

James 1:12-17 KJV Wrote:
1:12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 . Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.



Digging Wrote:
Well I offer here a brand new way of understanding what the tree of knowledge of good and evil might mean.....it's of course linked to what sin is....
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time??

Or out of the same opening?

Examples of good and evil coming from the same source:

When good and evil came out of the same tongue

James 3:7-12 KJV Wrote:
3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.



When good and evil came out of the same mother

Genesis 3:16 KJV Wrote:
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1John 3:12 KJV Wrote:
3:12 Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.


(Was/Is) it a literal tree? Then why did Jesus say what he said below?

Matthew 15:17-20 KJV Wrote:
15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.


What happens to "common sense" when it becomes less common?
01-30-2011 12:49 PM
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draka
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Post: #12
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

It's no secret that the questions regarding the two trees are a complete fascination to me. Not only in the fact that the trees find themselves presented in so many legends in so many ways, but also in the fact of what is the knowledge of good and evil?

I have heard it said that it offered us freewill, or true intelligence, or any number of other things. There is a thread called the Two Trees somewhere on the board, but my search screen is currently giving me funny errors. Might be interesting to check it out (as it was too long ago for me to remember everything about it).

My personal opinion is that it gave us conscience. The knowledge of the consequences of our actions, and the ability to fully understand that which is around us. There is a word for it in the Hebrew language, that understanding, but I do not recall it at the moment.

In every culture the trees will offer insight and/or life to the one eating of them, and always is there a guardian, be it angel, man or (surprisingly often) a dragon/serpentine being. Always is the power abused and always is man not longer allowed near it for one reason or another.


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01-30-2011 03:13 PM
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digging
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Post: #13
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Thank-you Draka and Thinkingman,

Draka I think I agree with a point you made about the 'conscience'
I was explaining it as the 'contrast' how we perceive, tell the difference between hot and cold, love and hate, etc.

thinkingMan,
Good scriptures I am thinking about them. 1st thing I do still think the tree was real, but was just a plain old tree, what they did came out of thier heart, like what Jesus was saying. Like when someone uses a tool/hammer to kill someone, the hammer becomes a weapon. What they did is created the knowledge of good and evil by thier actions, they turned that fruit into the weapon of death.

Last night after I had posted here I kept thinking about this and I have an illustration for what kind of place I think the Garden was.

In nature we have places that are the edges of changing environments. Like the edge of the ocean meeting the dry land, or when the forest edge meets the open prairies. The edge is NOT clearly marked. There is a range where the two are blended together. The Ocean waves lap onto the dry land and there is a band where you can go left or right, are you in the ocean or are you on dry land?? I now believe this is the way it was in the Garden of Eden, like heaven and earth blending together, the spiritual and the phyical. There was not a clear distinction between the two. Remember the point about their eyes being opened.
Before Eve ate the fruit it reads.

Gen 3:6 "When the woman *saw* that the tree was *good* for food, and that it was a delight to the *eyes*, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise,..."

Once again clearly they had phyical vision because she saw with her eyes the fruit. But what could they They NOT see? They had other eyes that were innocent, remember how they hide themselves when God came to walk in the garden.....he was spiritual they could now see they were different from him as phycial beings and felt naked. I see this as the separation occuring between the spiritual and the phyical. It's like they took two steps left, out of the water onto dry land out off the blending edge where the two met.

Like when little children play together of different skin colors yet they don't 'see' the color they just see thier friends.

Digging

01-30-2011 06:24 PM
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Little Light
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Post: #14
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

I am new to the group, and this topic caught my attention, in particular I enjoyed what you said:
[quote=Interpretum]


[quote=digging]


Well I offer here a brand new way of understanding what the tree of knowledge of good and evil might mean.....it's of course linked to what sin is....
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time??

When Eve took from the tree she said it was 'good for food'.....from her point of view she was seeing 'good' in taking of the fruit, but the evil came from the EFFECT of her actions. For example if we steal that might create a 'good' benefit for us but at the same *moment* a disadvatage for someone else. "good and evil" from ONE action.
So then is the tree of knowledge rather about the line, limit of how far 'good' goes before it becomes bad?

Eating can be so good until we cross the line and over eat.....then it becomes bad because it is causing harm.

To receive from God all that he has created to give us within his natural design is good I believe BUT when we take what can not be given from anyone or anything that becomes evil even though to the person gaining it might seem good to them....but the greater harm done out weights the 'good' perceived by the taker.


:thumbup:Thank you for your great insight!!!

01-31-2011 10:58 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #15
RE: knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:9

Welcome Little Light, great to have you!


Little Light Wrote:
I am new to the group, and this topic caught my attention, in particular I enjoyed what you said:
[quote=Interpretum]


[quote=digging]


Well I offer here a brand new way of understanding what the tree of knowledge of good and evil might mean.....it's of course linked to what sin is....
What if it is when BOTH good and evil occur at the SAME time??

When Eve took from the tree she said it was 'good for food'.....from her point of view she was seeing 'good' in taking of the fruit, but the evil came from the EFFECT of her actions. For example if we steal that might create a 'good' benefit for us but at the same *moment* a disadvatage for someone else. "good and evil" from ONE action.
So then is the tree of knowledge rather about the line, limit of how far 'good' goes before it becomes bad?

Eating can be so good until we cross the line and over eat.....then it becomes bad because it is causing harm.

To receive from God all that he has created to give us within his natural design is good I believe BUT when we take what can not be given from anyone or anything that becomes evil even though to the person gaining it might seem good to them....but the greater harm done out weights the 'good' perceived by the taker.


:thumbup:Thank you for your great insight!!!


philia, COMankind

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01-31-2011 07:14 PM
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