Two Trees of Eternal Significance

Two trees have had more ink spilled on their accounts than any other.  In Genesis 2:9, we see all kinds of trees: “And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground– trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”


Two trees singled out. 

A tale of two trees identified, hinting at the eternal difference they would make. 

Two trees in the middle of everything. 

Two trees of eternal significance, yet of the two trees, only one endures to the end of the Bible: the tree of life.

What are these two trees and why were they even there?  I’ve been assured by greater theological minds than mine that they weren’t put there as a test.  God isn’t frivolous, so they served some purpose and had value.  If that’s the case, then why (Genesis 2:16-17) was the tree of knowledge of good and evil (a merism like bookends for all things and an indication of self-discernment) forbidden? 

As we continue our look at Agricultural Imagery and Analogy in the Bible, I’d like to let these questions remain for a bit because imagery and analogy linger.  Life and Knowledge, the two named trees, were both at the middle and hint at relationship and importance.  

Food for thought:

  • Read the connection God outlines between blessed life and true knowledge (wisdom) on our side of Eden. 

Proverbs 2:2 “Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (NAS)

Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. 14 For its profit is better than the profit of silver, And its gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not depart from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul, And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely, And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear, Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught. (NAS).

  • In what ways does our culture challenge sound biblical judgment and godly discernment? 
  • Does all knowledge lead to life?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 15, 2018

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