then are to understand the purpose of what God
commanded, we first must have some insight into what
“the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”
represented, and why man was forbidden to eat of this
fruit only. To begin with, what, symbolically, did the
trees of the Garden represent? The Scriptures in this
case, and in many other instances, gives us the
answer—they represented knowledge. In the trees of the
Garden, God withheld nothing from man of which man would
ever be capable of understanding and using for his good.
Nothing was restrained from man upon which he could
build and create as the overseer of God’s world. The
Garden was, as it were, a great library of knowledge
from which man could partake and assimilate into his
life and world. Indeed, there are many similarities
between the Garden and libraries, and between trees and
books. (1) Books are made from the pulp which comes from
trees; and the pages of a book are many times called
leaves. (2) Books have covers and bindings to protect
the contents or pages. Trees have bark which protects
the inner life of the tree. (3) Books tell stories and
record history. The rings of a tree can record how old a
tree is, whether it was a rainy year or not, and whether
there were any catastrophes, like fires. (4) The leaves
of the tree, using sunlight, along with water and
minerals gathered by its roots from the earth, have the
ability to make food and to store it for future use.
Books contain knowledge and that knowledge is stored in
its pages. By reading books, man’s intellect is fed. By
the light shining into man’s mind through books,
by the living water of his communion with God’s
Spirit, and by assimilating what he sees in the world
around him, man himself can produce intellectual food.
This increase of knowledge is then stored back into
books for others to feed upon. (5) Trees also produce
fruit, “whose seed is in itself,” to reproduce
its kind upon the earth. From books, fruit is produced
in the life of man in the form of thoughts and ideas.
These ideas lead man to create or to do what he now sees
as something desirable, profitable, and honoring to God.
Therefore, the fruit of books is new ideas and
inventions. (6) Libraries, in which many books are
stored together, are like a garden. They are quiet
places where we go to rest and refresh ourselves, and to
gather intellectual food. (7) In a library we find books
on almost every conceivable subject. In the Garden of
Eden God provided man with the knowledge of every
concept that man could possibly use.
Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in
Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the
ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is
pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of
life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of
knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,
the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding
fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon
the earth: and it was so.
Psa 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding:
therefore I hate every false way.
105 Thy word is
a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Prov 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence,
and find out knowledge of
the Gospel, which is revealed in God’s Word, is
contained in a book. The Bible contains the knowledge of
God concerning salvation and other spiritual insights
that are for man’s benefit. Like trees which cast forth
their seeds, the seed of the gospel is spread throughout
the earth. Some of it lands on stony ground, or hard and
resistant hearts where the fowls—the devils—quickly
steal it. Other seed finds soft and accepting hearts
that have been plowed by God to receive the Gospel
message. When watered by the Spirit of God and warmed by
the sunshine of God’s grace, it springs forth into new
life. Newly sprouted roots now begin to extend into the
depths of God’s resources where they find the nutrients
for growth and the seed soon becomes a young tree—a
growing believer. As the tree matures it brings forth
fruit, becoming a planting of the Lord that is used to
spread forth the seed to others.
The 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which
ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men,
but as it is in
truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also
in you that believe.
Mark 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the
way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much
earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no
depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because
it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up,
and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit
that sprang up and increased; and brought forth,
some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,
whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world;
and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you,
since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God
Pet 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned
love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with
a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of
incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and
abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of
man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the
flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
And this is the word
which by the gospel is preached unto you.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let
him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that
believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was
not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet
Cor 4:6 For God,
who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath
shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the
faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
himself is referred to in terms of a tree. His mind is
like a great root system gathering intellectual food and
storing it for later use. Then, when that knowledge is
needed, it is brought forth to produce fruit in man’s
life. Also, as a tree takes in the nutrients in the soil
to grow, so man’s body has the ability to produce energy
by using the sugars and minerals in the food he eats. By
utilizing this energy in profitable ways he produces the
fruit of his labor which may be a physical, artistic, or
an intellectual work. A godly man is continually watered
by his union with the Living Word and produces spiritual
fruit that is profitable to himself as well as honoring
to God. Ungodly men are like trees that have no
nourishment, but are dead and dried, which have no
purpose but to be burned in the fire.
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the
counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of
sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his
law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers
of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he
doeth shall prosper.
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to
give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness; that they might be called trees of
righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he
might be glorified.
Eze 17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know
that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have
exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and
have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have
brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree,
have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree
to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.
Dan 4:20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew,
and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven,
and the sight thereof to all the earth;
21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much,
and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of
the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the
fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become
strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto
heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
Luke 3:9 And now
also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every
tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is
hewn down, and cast into the fire.
nation of Israel is also referred to as a tree planted
by the Lord. Symbolically, it was represented by two
different kinds of trees—the fig and the olive. The fig
tree represented the physical descendants of Abraham or
the nation of Israel. To them was committed the Old
Testament Law, the Covenants, and the Temple worship, as
well as being the nation through whom the Messiah would
come. They were nourished by God’s presence and
blessings, being planted in the Promised Land where they
were meant to grow, spread forth, and become mighty as
God’s chosen nation. They were intended to bear fruit in
bringing glory to God’s name by their association with
Him; but tragically, they only brought disgrace and
dishonor to His name. Metaphorically, when Jesus came to
the fig tree on His way to Jerusalem, He found no fruit
on the tree and pronounced an end to its usefulness—thus
signaling the end of the Old Testament Covenant and
God’s purposes through Israel. Prophetically however, at
the time of the Messiah’s return to the earth, the
nation will rise again and become a part of the end time
Psa 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers
have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the
times of old.
2 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand,
and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the
people, and cast them out.
3 For they got not the land in possession by their own
sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy
right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy
countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the
adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the
giving of the law, and the service of God, and the
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the
flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for
Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man
had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and
sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard,
Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this
fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone
this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after
that thou shalt cut it down.
Matt 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the
city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to
it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and
said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And
presently the fig tree withered away.
Luke 23:27 And there followed him a great company of
people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented
28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of
Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and
for your children.
29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they
shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that
never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall
on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
31 For if they
do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in
Luke 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the
fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of
your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise
ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that
the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Olive tree, on the other hand, represented spiritual
Israel or the true children of Abraham. They included
all the Old Testament saints as well all the Gentile
believers who would, through Christ, be grafted into
that tree. In the days of the Tribulation, there would
stand two Olive trees prophesying against the wickedness
of the earth and calling the nation of Israel back to
their God. Many believe that these are the return of
Moses and Elijah, who being Israelites, were also a part
of Spiritual Israel. Also, at the end of time, a remnant
of the physical descendents of Abraham would be turned
to Christ and be grafted back into the Olive tree. True
Israel has always had its roots planted in the heavenly
land of promise and been cared for and nourished by God
Himself. It is in this tree that the true people of God
are represented and will bear fruit, bringing glory and
honor and blessings to God.
Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none
effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are
they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh,
these are not the children of God: but the children of
the promise are counted for the seed.
9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will
I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Psa 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the
house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am
the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which
are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of
the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life
from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy:
and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and
thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among
them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of
the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou
boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off,
that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and
thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed
lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on
them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if
thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt
be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief,
shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which
is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature
into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which
be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be
ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your
that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the
fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And I will give power
unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a
thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two
candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Isa 24:13 When thus it shall be in the midst of the land
among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an
olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the
vintage is done
Zech 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I
will seek to destroy all the nations that come against
10 And I will
pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and
they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only
son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is
in bitterness for his firstborn.
last tree that we now mention before continuing on with
our subject is the Tree of Life. It was said to be in
the midst of the Garden—it took center stage, or the
prominent position of all the trees that were there. If
the trees represented knowledge, then we might deduce
that this tree represented the secrets to life itself.
While we are not talking about the eternal life of which
God alone possesses, and cannot be duplicated—His name
being, I AM THAT I AM, or He exists because He
exists—and there is no knowledge or understanding
that can explain why; we are suggesting that this tree
represented the knowledge of created life. It contained
the biology and mechanics of natural life as we know it,
and how this life is brought about and sustained.
Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow
every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for
food; the tree of life also in the midst of the
garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Exo 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come
unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them,
The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they
shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and
he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of
Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we
have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we
have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the
Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and
bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life,
which was with the Father, and was manifested unto
Bible even teaches that if man could have partaken of
this tree, he could have lived forever in his fallen
natural state. One can only imagine how wicked mankind
would have become had he learned to cheat death and
exist separated from God and all goodness. Hence, God
drove man from this wonderful garden and put an angel
with a flaming sword to keep man from re-entering this
place of complete knowledge. What we suggest that this
angel represented has been the scourge of the human race
since the fall—war and destruction, and mans inhumanity
to other men that constantly destroys any progress
toward discovering this knowledge. The history of the
human race has been of one great civilization after
another, where tremendous advancements had been reached
in the sciences even in the earliest ages. However, war
and destruction from within and without destroyed those
civilizations and much of the great strides that they
had made. Today we see how close man is coming to
discovering this knowledge. We now understand the
genetic structure, learning what individual genes
control, and have mapped the entire human genome. We
have learned to produce mechanical organs, how to use
transplanted organs, and we are looking into growing
replacement organs to extend life. Modern men have even
ventured into cloning whole animals, and it is only by
social restraint that they have not yet cloned a human
body. Medical advances have extended human life beyond
the three score and ten that was once the norm, and have
allowed men to live even into the nineties and hundreds.
Yet even with all these great strides, man is not being
drawn closer to God; but he is turning more and more to
humanism and false philosophies such as evolution to
explain the origin and purpose of life. However, again,
wars are once more at our doorstep. Civil disobedience,
rioting, civil war, terrorism, and nations rising
against nations, now threaten to destroy again the great
strides of mankind—keeping the way to the Tree of Life.
Gen 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
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.
Rev 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard
the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red:
and power was given to
him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and
that they should kill one another: and there was given
unto him a great sword.
However, all is not lost, but one day after man’s sin
and rebellion has been dealt with, God will create a new
heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
He will also create a new garden where God and man can
again walk together; and in that garden will again be
found the Tree of Life, which will be freely accessible
to redeemed man and be used for the “healing of the
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the
midst of the paradise of God.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either
side of the river, was there the tree of life,
which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her
fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were
for the healing of the nations.
Metaphorically, the Tree of Life still exists in this
present time for those who seek it. Through the Word of
God, answers about life can still be found. The wisdom
of God is available to all who search for it, and the
Bible can still lead us to a long and productive life if
we partake of its fruit. The Scriptures offer a treasure
store of advice on how one should live and how to
benefit the most from this life—physically, emotionally
and spiritually. Although it does not reveal the secrets
of eternal physical life, it does point the way to Him
who offers to give us His life, which is eternal. Jesus
is to those who lay hold upon Him, the Tree of Life. He
is “the root out of a dry ground” who gives life
to those who partake of Him.
Prov 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and
the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the
merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things
thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in
her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon
her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward
you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray
unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall
seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with
all your heart.
Prov 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart
keep my commandments:
2 For length of
days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the
stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the spirit of
wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and
might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender
plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no
form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is
no beauty that we should desire him.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from
heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for
ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh,
which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying,
How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 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.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath
eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,
dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by
the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not
as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that
eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
man was given a great resource upon which to build his
life, to manage, and to shape the world over which he
was made to have dominion. God gave to man all the
knowledge which He possessed, and which man could ever
have conceivably used. Therefore, the question might be
asked, why did God even plant the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil in the Garden, and then forbid man to
eat of it? One answer might be that neither man nor
Satan could accuse God of holding back from man any of
the treasures which were His. It is often said that
knowledge is power, but God was not using His superior
knowledge to control man, or to manipulate him, or to
lord it over him. Even this one tree, of which we
speak, was there for man to look upon and admire; and if
man would so choose to disobey, even to partake of its