Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

The Tree of Life

“In my forty-five years of studying the Old

Testament I have learned that the Bible does

not waste words and time on redundancy.”

Chaim Bentorah ‘Word Study - He is my

refuge’

Why a Tree of Life?

This week I received a question from my friend Veronica, asking why I  "say Adam and Eve didn't eat of the Tree of life for several years, as God had said they could eat freely from any tree in the garden, but not from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil?" I'm sorry Veronica, but it is going to take a bit longer than just one week to answer your question, but I trust it will be worth the wait… A question I have frequently pondered is:  Why was there a Tree of Life in the first place? My thinking initially, was that this tree imparted immortality or longevity, but that was before I came to believe the validity of the Genesis account of Creation. If one holds to the Genesis account as truth, then it seems redundant to have a Tree of Life, when Adam and Eve already had eternal life. How do I know they had eternal life? Well, the Bible teaches that death only came as a result of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the knowledge of good and Evil. And when Adam and Eve ate this forbidden fruit, they were barred from eating from the Tree of life, so the Tree of Life was not an 'antidote' to death. One thing I have learnt about the Hebrew Old Testament is that there is no redundancy in the wording; there is a specific purpose for every Hebrew word that was written. Gen 2:9 tells us : “Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” All the trees were "pleasing to the sight and good for food."  Eve noted that the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil was "good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…,”  (Gen 3:6)  so all the trees had similar characteristics, and yet special mention is made of just two of them - and at the same time : “the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” I sense God is hinting at a shared significance; perhaps a contrast? Revelation 22:2 tells us that the Tree of Life is also in the New Jerusalem - in fact there seems to be more than one for they are on either side of the river. At this time we are not told of an accompanying tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why would there be a tree of life in the New Jerusalem? Do we not have eternal life through Jesus Christ? Revelation 2:7 says that those who overcome will be granted to eat of the tree of Life. Overcome what? In the context of Revelation 2:1-7, it would speak of their lack of devotion; the only thing God had against these people was that they had lost their first love. According to the NASB version of Revelation 22:14, only those who wash their robes may have the right to the Tree of life and may enter the gates into the city. How do they wash their robes? Revelation 7:14 tells us that they are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. The KJV and the Aramaic Bible interpret Revelation 22:14 as "those who do His commandments have the right to the tree of life..." So only those who are trusting in Jesus, who love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and who are living in obedience to His commands, are given the right to eat from this tree. But do these people not already have fullness of Life in Jesus? So why a Tree of Life? Some questions for you to ponder; we will continue next week...
As you touch or hover over each picture in the four small squares above, they will be magnified in the main square. This demonstrates what happens in our minds; what we focus on becomes enlarged in our minds, to the exclusion of other things. When we get to see a larger frame, and see how the smaller parts fit together, our understanding often shifts.
Prev Next
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

The Tree of Life

“In my forty-five years of studying

the Old Testament I have learned

that the Bible does not waste words

and time on redundancy.” Chaim

Bentorah ‘Word Study - He is my

refuge’

Why a Tree of Life?

This week I received a question from my friend Veronica, asking why I  "say Adam and Eve didn't eat of the Tree of life for several years, as God had said they could eat freely from any tree in the garden, but not from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil?" I'm sorry Veronica, but it is going to take a bit longer than just one week to answer your question, but I trust it will be worth the wait… A question I have frequently pondered is:  Why was there a Tree of Life in the first  place? My thinking initially, was that this tree imparted immortality or longevity, but that was before I came to believe the validity of the Genesis account of Creation. If one holds to the Genesis account as truth, then it seems redundant to have a Tree of Life, when Adam and Eve already had eternal life. How do I know they had eternal life? Well, the Bible teaches that death only came as a result of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the knowledge of good and Evil. And when Adam and Eve ate this forbidden fruit, they were barred  from eating from the Tree of life, so the Tree of Life was not an 'antidote' to death. One thing I have learnt about the Hebrew Old Testament is that there is no redundancy in the wording; there is a specific purpose for every Hebrew word that was written. Gen 2:9 tells us : “Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” All the trees were  "pleasing to the sight and good for food."  Eve noted that the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil was "good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…,”  (Gen 3:6)  so all the trees had similar characteristics, and yet special mention is made of just two of them - and at the same time : “the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” I sense God is hinting at a shared significance; perhaps a contrast? Revelation 22:2 tells us that the Tree of Life is also in the New Jerusalem - in fact there seems to be more than one for they are on either side of the river. At this time we are not told of an accompanying tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why would there be a tree of life in the New Jerusalem? Do we not have eternal life through Jesus Christ? Revelation 2:7 says that those who overcome will be granted to eat of the tree of Life. Overcome what? In the context of Revelation 2:1-7, it would speak of their lack of devotion; the only thing God had against these people was that they had lost their first love. According to the NASB version of Revelation 22:14, only those who wash their robes may have the right to the Tree of life and may enter the gates into the city. How do they wash their robes? Revelation 7:14 tells us that they are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. The KJV and the Aramaic Bible interpret Revelation 22:14 as "those who do His commandments have the right to the tree of life..." So only those who are trusting in Jesus, who love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and who are living in obedience to His commands, are given the right to eat from this tree. But do these people not already have fullness of Life in Jesus? So why a Tree of Life? Some questions for you to ponder; we will continue next week...
As you touch or hover over each picture in the four small squares above, they will be magnified in the main square. This demonstrates what happens in our minds; what we focus on becomes enlarged in our minds, to the exclusion of other things. When we get to see a larger frame, and see how the smaller parts fit together, our understanding often shifts.
Prev Next