2:9every tree . . . food. Life in the garden is represented as a banquet table.
tree of life. This tree represents life in its highest potency—eternal life. It is available only to those who reenter the garden through the Second Adam (3:22; Rev. 22:14). The New Testament counterpart of this tree’s life-giving fruit is found in partaking of the life-giving Christ (John 6:53–56).
tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Good and evil, a compound of opposites like heaven and earth (1:1), is a figure for potentially unlimited knowledge. It is a good tree (3:22), but man must not seize it. The illicit taking of this fruit involved the assertion of human autonomy, the attempt to know all apart from God. Man must live by faith in God’s word and not by a professed self-sufficiency of knowledge (Deut. 8:3; Ezek. 28:6, 15–17). The law makes wise the simple (Ps. 19:7–9).
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