Beyond The Bible Series
Most readers of the Scriptures and church leaders are aware of the mentioning of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad in the Bible. There are different interpretations regarding the Tree of Life as well as the concept of the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad. Most of them are the ones that have passed from generation to generation. I found that the current Christian interpretation of it are quite vague and do not provide tangible reasoning. I want to expand on the ones I researched and the ones I personally concluded to be the actual implied meaning found not only in Genesis but throughout the bible to include Revelation.
First, there are translations of Genesis in the Bible that do not reflect the actual meaning. For example, the original Judaic but also Hebrew writings identify the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad. The Christian version has it as the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is a significant error because it misrepresented the vital meaning of God’s creation of both trees. The Tree of Knowledge of good and bad is named appropriately because it did represent the only possible action that could deprive man (Adam) from immortality. Second, the tree was not in the center of the Garden of Eden as so many believe it was. Only the Tree of Life remained in the center of the Garden (Genesis 2:9), even though the translation indicate as both being in the center of the garden the actual ancient version identifies the Tree of Life to be the one in the center of garden and the Tree of knowledge of good and bad at another location, somewhere along the outer edge of the garden away from the other trees (Genesis 2:16-17).
In Hebrew, “bad” is define as “ ra’ ” and in some cases the same word can also be use when describing a “malicious act “ as in the case of the incident between the Serpent and the Woman (Genesis 3:3-6). However, the usage of the word “evil” in the new translation deprived us of the valuable usage of the word “bad” in lieu of “evil”. First, the tree of knowledge was a created tree to be as a test of Adam and the Woman of “obedience to God”. Simply, that! Eating from it simply would be an act of disobedience. If the Tree of knowledge of good and bad would have been created by the Serpent, yes, then the word “evil” would have applied, but since the Serpent could not create, nor form or fashion any creature or thing that was good, it can only promote evil. The opposite of “good” is not “evil” but “bad”. The Serpent knew this all along. The Serpent was formed by God with inherited aspects of knowledge of not only what was bad, evil, and what was also “sinful.” Remember, neither Adam or the Woman had any knowledge of what was good or bad prior to the “temptation.” In fact, the Bible describes it clearly that all that the Woman saw about the tree of knowledge was “good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom.”(Genesis 3:6). There was never knowledge that the eating of a fruit from the tree would make a person sin but what actually was said was the person would “surely” die (Genesis 2:17). In fact, the punishment for Adam and the Woman by God was not because they had sinned but because they “disobeyed” His mandate. That is the truth of it. Many Bible scholars have wanted to balloon or at least to give the impression that a greater and more graved episode took place. In exaggerating the incident it would give more credibility to the translation and more realism. However, it is the Serpent that receives the greatest and most damaging curse to be as low as the dirt of the earth and be forever a subject of Adam’s descendants (Genesis 3:14).
So what was the tree of knowledge made of that it made it “good for eating and delight to the eyes”? Most people identify it as an “apple” tree, and it is often depicted in paintings by the renown painters as an “apple tree”, yet in the bible there is no mention of an apple tree to be the Tree of knowledge of good and bad except in Song of Songs (2:3, 8:5) and Joe 1:12, and neither of the verses identify their apple relating to the Tree of Knowledge. In fact, there is no reference at all in any of the documents found prior to the destruction of the Second Temple to indicate that the tree of knowledge was an apple tree. The only clue of what may have been is found in Genesis 3:7, whereas clearly states that once their eyes were opened, “and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.” Was the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad a fig tree? No one knows but the only fact about it up to this point in the Bible is that the Serpent had predicted the truth, “they enhanced knowledge” and with this new knowledge came “shame” and lost their childlike innocence.
It is not known what happened to the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad. We can only speculate, and I believe that it is still in existence in the risen Garden of Eden but it is engulfed in flames that do not consume it just as the burning bush Moses witnessed (Exodus 3:2). Was the burning bush Moses saw the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad? I believe it to be so by the words and action of Moses, “I must turn aside to look at this marvelous sight.” In addition, was not an angel within the blazing fire out of the bush? Did not God place an angel (cherubim) at the east of the Garden with a fiery ever-turning sword, not only to guard the Tree of Life but also the entrance to the garden? (Genesis 3:24). Food for thought!
The punishment and curse for the Serpent and its descendants reflect God’s anger toward the Serpent, He formed. Now, would it not make sense that the tree from which all of Adam and the Woman demise stemmed to be destroyed? Of course, it should have been destroyed; however I believe that it was set ablaze with a not consuming fire. It remains in the garden as a reminder of what denied humanity “immortality” (Genesis 3:22). As we die and pass through the light of immortality, we will have an opportunity to witness, not only the flaming Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, but as well witness the cherubim guarding it all until God decrees for the garden and the new city of Jerusalem to return to earth in the same splendor we witness after death. Why are we allowed to see this magnificent scene after death? So we can ascertain to obey God and His mandates upon our return to earth in our next life. It is the hope of the eternal soul and desires that each evolving life should make us more perfect and become worthy of the immortality Adam held. Until, we muster the good that entailed within the Tree of Knowledge and not subject ourselves only to the bad, life on earth will be a perpetual existence until spiritual consciousness overcomes fear, shame, and pride. Once, we recognize that we are the master over every being formed or made and rise to the awareness that an awesome creator “created us”, not that formed or made us but created man in His own image, and resolve not to follow in the steps the Serpent’s so called wisdom, we will continue perishing, rising, and returning again and again until fully conscious of our eternal purpose (Matthew 22:31:32).
So now, we end with the Tree of Life. What was the fruit of the Tree of Life? This concept has intrigued so many people but within the pages of the Bible we can find various clues. First, is the Tree of Life real or a myth? I can tell you based on my personal spiritual quest, it is real! And what is really surprising is that its essence is within reach of every human. We can see it and we can marvel at its meaning and purpose. It is not only one concept, or one description. To the contrary the representation of the Tree of Life was given to us by God Himself with various purposes and applications because He wanted for us not to admire it but to be universally recognized as the symbol of His supremacy over the universes to include the earth but also to be our beacon to a more spiritual life (1Corinthian 2:13).
The representation of the Tree of Life has been witness to man’s rise, demise, and fall. It has been worship, venerated, and also it has been desecrated and violated by unscrupulous unbelievers. Still, for some it has remains more than just a representation but a way of living. However before we can disclose what it is on our earth, let’s do a little biblical research. First, the Tree of Life is spoken about in Genesis. It is implied in verse 2:9, that the Tree of Life came from the ground as it would have been with other fruit trees. But in reality, the Tree of Life was “placed” by God in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). Many bible readers take the modern version that it came from the ground but the interpretation in the Judaic and Hebrew versions is that it was more than a physical tree, “…with the tree of life in the middle of the garden” (Genesis 2:9). To me, I look at the original Judaic version and conclude that the Tree of Life or best known as the Tree of Immortality existed prior to the physical trees mentioned in Genesis. If the Tree of Life gave eternal life, why it would have a need to grow from the ground? It does not make sense because its complete existence was eternal without the need of any physical form or nature.
Thus, the Tree of Life represented the Heavens on earth. It was already in existence at the time of the creation of the Garden of Eden, and equally would have been the Tree of knowledge of good and bad. Both were previous creation before man (Genesis 3:22). Just as God knew of the purpose of the Tree of Life and the Tree of knowledge of good and bad, so did the Serpent. All of these clearly depict the origin of both to be celestial and not of this earth. Thus, how is it that God spoke as it would be eatable and provider of immortality? Well, because the earthly Tree of Life derived from a greater tree, just as a botanist creates a new plant or a tree by manipulating various genetic aspects to create a tree that gave the same fruits as it would mirror the original genetic traits from the original tree it came from. This process is not so difficult or impossible. It is a common practice and in some cases it is called, “cloning.” Therefore, the availability of the Tree of Life could have come from the heavenly realms and a “shoot” so to speak of was introduced on earth to nourish the immortality of the created man and the Woman. At the same time, a negative version of immortality was also created as testimony of the greatness of God but also of His expectancy of the created man (Genesis 2:17, 3:22).
So how would we recognize the interpretation of the Tree of Life in our modern time since the original was taken up with the Garden of Eden and will not be made available until the new Jerusalem comes down from the heavens (Revelation 3:12). Let’s begin by what it was known during the time of Moses. It was called back then, the “Lamp of the Lord” and in many reclusive groups it still venerated as such. Its description is described in Exodus 25:31-33, “…there shall be three cups shaped like almond-blossoms, each with calyx and petals: a calyx, of one piece with it…” Yes, my dear readers the representation of the Tree of Life is the Judaic Menorah. Its creation at the request of God (Exodus 25:310) clearly denotes the importance of this item. It can only be that God wanted for man to have a visual of what once was made available to him and what awaits future generations the opportunity to finally become immortals as it was His wishes with Adam.
But let’s not just look at the physical nature of the menorah but let’s be wise and go beyond the words that describe it. Let’s suppose that the value of it is not in the nature of what it signifies but let’s go beyond the commandment to keep lit always (Exodus 27:21). Since the lamp must be kept lit from morning to evening and in the presence of God in the Tabernacle it seems to indicate the importance to God. It makes sense for us to also view it with the same importance. In short, the Tree of Life was a tree whose fruits were almonds. This may surprise you but it should not. First, it was not only the fact that God requested for the lamp to have almonds shape bowls but also consider that the light (life) from it was created by the usage of olive oil. These are two significant items ordained by God for man to do. Second, the aspect of almonds on the “Lampstand” does not end just with the lamp being made to resemble almonds because to ensure that we could understand God’s motive we find that God provides us with another clue that almonds are the fruit of the Tree of Life. We can find this point when we read in the Bible about a squabble among the Israelite children in the wilderness relating to the leadership of Aaron and the guidance of Moses (The Judaic bible, Numbers 17:16-24). CAUTION: You may not have become aware of this but there is a substantial missing portion of a dialogue between God, Moses, and Korah and his rebellious band that defy Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership. The Christian bibles omit this passage and simply add a line about Aaron’s rod sprouted producing blossoms and borne almonds (Numbers 17:8). There are 9 verses that were omitted during the translation that gives to question why the scholars decided to omit them? I can tell you that such omissions reveal the discrepancy in understanding God’s purpose when it is important to understand why there was a squabble and what happened in the aftermath. However I can tell you that in some manner the squabble solidify that the “almond” factor herewith discussed is valid. To say that the Tree of Life in some manner produced almonds and eating of its fruits provided immortality may not be easy to swallow, but the Judaic Menorah does seem to reflect the possibility. This is bold but I am confident that the value of God aiming such a point about the almond shape lamp is indicative of something divine and holy. It is not important whether the only fruit was almonds or was one of many other fruits as described in other sections of the bible. What is important to be considered is that God pointed to us that almonds are a valuable indicator of something far above just being a nut. (Revelation 22:2). In fact, the Bible indicates existence of an original version either on earth or heaven which Moses witnessed while on the mountain talking to God. Even though, the verse seem to indicate that he was shown a pattern, I am incline to believe that Moses was shown an actual Menorah that accompanies God while on earth, “Note well, and follow the patterns for them that are being shown you on the mountain” (Judaic bible version, Exodus 25:40). It is my opinion that Moses became witness to God’s magnificent heavenly throne but in a smaller scale while on earth. Later, we observe that the Temple of the Wilderness mirrors what Moses saw while on the mountain with God (Exodus 25:40). Did Moses observe a real Tree of Life in its natural splendor? Or was a simple replica of a living tree in heaven? In either case, you will agree that the almonds seem to be a vital aspect of God’s agenda. Why would it be so? Because it does represent the “elixir” for immortality but also is the universal symbol of God’s dominion or were heaven can be found and where the eternal living Tree of Life actually resides (Job 37:22, Luke 13:29)
Therefore, to put all of this into somewhat of a chewable format, I can share with you that conducting some research to the nutritional value of almonds, dates, and pomegranates, all described in the bible as good food, I believe that the consummation of any almond derivative can prevent various illnesses and diseases. We know that olive oil is one of the best oils to consume. We are also are very much aware of the nutritional value of dates (nuts) and pomegranates in juice or its original form. It is possible that daily consumption of these items may prolong our lives as promised by God, at least to live until we are 120 years old (Genesis 6:3). This age stage is very illusive for mankind right now. Would it not be interesting to find out that these foods can element certain disease states and extend our lives but can also assist in keeping our memories rather than loose them as in dementia or Alzheimer?
Finally, the ability to believe in what I shared herewith remains with you. Remember what I have always said in all my previous articles, “we ignore the obvious and disregard the truth” and I am a strong believer that this statement holds much truth when considering what could be the secret to an extended life. I believe God gave us an answer millennia’s ago and we have placed a deaf ear to His life given gift. But do not be discouraged or disillusioned because humanity has been at this trend for as long as humanity has existed. Have courage, the Tree of Knowledge did provided the knowledge of good and bad but it did not take from us our divine gift of the intellect, thus let’s use it to become conscious of changing our eating habits and make an effort to conform to God’s original plan-to live until we are 120 years old. Shalom my dear readers!