In today’s first reading, we continue the narrative from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 3 – the infamous encounter of Adam and Eve with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. We know the shape of the exchange that concludes: “But the serpent said to the woman: ‘You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.’” (Gen 3:4-5) And so, Adam and Eve partake of the fruit of the tree of good and evil – and they did not die… not immediately anyway. But evicted from the Garden, in the end they surely died.
It is true that God commanded them to not eat of the fruit of the one tree: “The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.” (Gen 2:16-17) But God also have them choices from among the many trees of the garden:
“Out of the ground the LORD God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:9)
The “tree of life” – why didn’t they choose that tree and what is it? With that I invite you to again enjoy the good work of the Bible Project on the Tree of Life.