Is a Tree, a Tree?

Thursday – April 19, 2007 – – – Is a Tree, a Tree?

Today I was asked my opinion on the difference between the term “tree of life” and tree of knowledge.” This person had often wondered the difference, if any. This made me think, ‘How interesting that one word would make such a difference to a person.’ But they do, don’t they? Life can be turned on upside down on one word. Therefore, a single word, our single word, can make all the difference.

Let me answer this person’s question  – – –

“Tree of life” verses “tree of knowledge;” is a tree, a tree?  

Genesis 2:9 is our first mention of these trees.

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

ü      Both trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge dwelt there together in the Garden of Eden. With God, man, woman, and the serpent aka Satan.

Genesis 2:16-17 the opportunity to obey is given.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

ü      God gave man a fairly simple directive to follow. Do not eat off of this tree – period! Man was pure, wholesome, and in its perfect form. Mankind knew nothing of sin, shame, evil, fear, or death. Knowledge of choice and the pull of that choice, between good and evil would destroy mankind’s wholesomeness. For the word “knowledge” used here in this text when examined in the Hebrew language means the following:

Knowledge= 1847 knowledge: — cunning, ignorantly, unawares (wittingly).  


Genesis 3:22,24 God has no choice but to take corrective action.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

ü      The knowledge of evil pierces God’s heart and ultimately made it necessary to pierce Jesus’ hands. God wanted better for His Children, mankind. God did man a favor by not allowing him to eat from the tree of life. Only imagine having to live forever with the weight of the knowledge and understanding of evil. The good may not be hard to live with but the knowledge of the evil is very difficult to live with. All one must do to realize and feel that is to watch the world news for several hours. When you comprehend the evil in this world and have that knowledge of the evil that people perpetrate on one another it is horrific. Looking at the word “life” used in the above text, in the Hebrew language, we can clearly see that for Adam to have eaten of the tree of life would have meant for him to live forever with that knowledge without redemption. The meaning of the word life is as follows:

Life=2416 from 2421; alive; hence, raw (flesh) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively:— + age, life (-time), live (-ly), living (creature, thing)2421 to live, whether literally or figuratively; cause to revive: — keep (leave, make) alive, × certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (× God) save (alive, life, lives), × surely, be whole.

You know what though? We can thank God for redemption through His Son, Jesus the Christ.  For you see the Tree of life is found in
Eden and in the New Jerusalem.
One day those who have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus will have an opportunity to eat from the “tree of life” and live forever, in eternity, in that intended wholesome state of perfection; which God always wanted for mankind. 

Revelation 2:7 Jesus Speaking

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the
Paradise of God.”

Life here in the Greek language means the following:

Life= 2222 from 2198; life (literally or figuratively):— life (-time) 2198 a primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively):— life (-time), (a-) live (-ly), quick. 


Yes, I would say a single word can have eternity of difference for many, many people.

Good or Evil

Love or Hate

Forgiveness or Bitterness

Peace or War

Trust or Fear

Truth or Lie

Kindness or Cruelty

Yes, a single word can turn your world upside-down, for that matter the world, and there is a difference between two trees!


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