BIBLE: Genesis Chapter 3 – Headline “The Guardian of the Trees” [Symbolism of Trees]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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What should I learn from this chapter?

  • Why is it important to study symbolism? Jesus uses symbolism in harvesting seeds prolifically throughout scripture in His parables. If the reader doesn’t understand the symbolism, he cannot understand the parables.
  • Throughout scripture, Trees are symbolic of men and tribes.
    • A tall tree is a leader
    • A straight tree is a righteous man
    • A tree with long branches is an extended kingdom
    • If a tree has pitch/sap it is alive
      • Pitch/sap means “atonement”
    • A tree prospers by the water
      • Jesus is the living water. He is also the rain that comes down from heaven.
    • The stump of a tree is symbolic of death and a resurrection.
      • When a tree is cut down the stump regrows a branch, the beginning of a new tree. The stump is symbolic of a remnant or a tithe.
    • Wood is a tree that has been cut down. Its sap “bleeds” out.
    • Seeds are also symbolic of resurrections
      • Romans 9:29
        And as Isaiah said before: “Unless the Lord of Sabbath had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
      • John 12:24
        Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain (seed) of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

Genesis 3

The Temptation and Fall of Man

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning (crafty, manipulative) than any beast of the field which the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God (Elohiym) indeed said (Did He really really say?), ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
  • There are two trees mentioned in the Garden: The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  • The Tree of Life gives eternal life, the other tree takes eternal life.

– – – – –

Genesis 3:2-3 And the woman said to (answered) the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God (Elohiym) has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
  • The first commandment in scripture is “Do NOT eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.” All other fruit in the garden was a virtual buffet.
  • The fruit of the tree is in the seeds it produces.
    • The seed of the tree in the middle of the garden is the law.
    • The seed of the tree of life is a bounty of life. The tree of life is Jesus
Genesis 3:4-5 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God (Elohiym) knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God (Elohiym), knowing good and evil.”
  • Note: Satan already knew good and evil. As an “adversary” he uses the law to accuse men. But he can’t accuse unless the “law” is broken. On the other hand, at this point, he is accusing God of not being totally honest.
  • Compare the interest of God in your life and the interest of Satan in your life. Satan takes lives, God gave His Son, the eternal Tree of Life.
Genesis 3:6-7 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
  • What was Eve’s decision making process? Hmmm. It looks good. The serpent promises to open new dimensions of understanding. I’ll bet it tastes good. Mmmmm. Should I believe the serpent who promises something my senses want or should I trust God who said “no”? Ooooo. It DOES taste good! I want Adam to taste this.
  • Adam was cut down like a tree. He both failed and was “felled” by Satan. Like a wolf in a wolf pack, Satan went after the weaker vessel. Upon taking Eve down, Adam is open for the kill. Satan’s “method of operation” is to divide. He begins by breaking the bond between man and woman, then breaking the bond between God and man. His ultimate purpose is to break the bonds of the Godhead. He tempts Jesus in the wilderness to disobey the Father:
    • Luke 4:7-8
      Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
      And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
  • Imagine the possible reaction of Adam and Eve at that moment: They took a bite of the fruit and didn’t die. Nothing had changed. Not a leaf had stirred. Did God lie? Can God be trusted? Their understanding of reality became shaken and their concept of reality was uncertain. They ask each other, who should they listen to, the serpent or God? Who was the most credible? These are the same questions men ask today, in different forms. Those things which men don’t understand they will choose to reject. Then in their arrogance, they believe the lies. Believing themselves to be wise, they become as fools. Could it have been that a seismic, catastrophic earthquake shook the spiritual dimensions beginning in heaven and ending in hell, invisible to them? Regardless, day after day their bodies aged until finally, they are given over to death. God can indeed be trusted.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
  • The first LSD trip: “The Liberation of Spiritual Death”
  • The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil opens men eyes to evil. It is the Law – unnecessary for those who are innocent but fatally toxic to the rebellious, leading to death.
Genesis 3:7b and they knew that they were naked (vulnerable); and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
  • A covering is a protection. What do they need protection from?
    • Each other.
  • Note► The Fig Tree is the only known tree in the garden (except for the tree of life and the tree of good and evil)
  • The fig tree is symbolic of protection, and it is used to represent the nation of Israel. God’s intention was for Israel to be His example for humanity to understand that sin demands a law of justice! The law demands that something innocent must die for something guilty. Israel will be protected by God.
    • When the Jews are obedient to God they are covered. However; the fig leaves will be replaced by the skin of a lamb.
  • Figs from Fig Trees are symbolic of nourishment and health, even a restoration. The barren fig tree is an omen of desolation. Rotten figs symbolize physical, moral, and spiritual corruption.
  • See the parables of the Fig Tree: one which didn’t bear fruit, was cursed and died, the other which foretold the end of the age.
    • Matthew 21:18-20
      • Matthew 21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
    • Matthew 24: 32-35
      • Matthew 24:32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) walking in the garden in the cool (literally: Spirit) of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
  • ►The separation between God and man has begun. They distance themselves from God in shame.
  • ►Hiding themselves:
    • They hide from God whom they believe will hurt them for disobeying. They may believe the fig leaves give them camouflage and protection. Instead, God will give them His protection; The skin of a Lamb.
  • ►Genesis begins with man’s sin. Revelation begins with the “man of sin”.
    • I John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
    • II Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:10 So he (Adam) said, “I heard Your (God’s) voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Genesis 3:11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked (vulnerable)?
  • Adam believes a lie. They were not vulnerable – they were protected by God. The only thing that could hurt them was they, themselves.
  • Who shamed you Adam? Shame is rooted in the serpent and like a knife it will cut the umbilical cord of dignity between God and man.
Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
  • The tree in the middle of the garden, called the tree of good and evil, could also be called the tree that demands a law. When obedience is broken, the law is demanded; it is a tree that curses those who cannot stay in perfect obedience. Satan, therefore; is symbolic of the Tree of the Law. The Law is both perfectly good, and perfectly evil being a curse to men.
  • In contrast, the Tree of Life, bears the fruit of Grace and gives life to all who partake of it. Jesus, therefore; is the Tree of Life.
Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
  • In other words, Adam is saying: “It’s YOUR fault…YOU gave her to me.” Also … “It’s Eve’s fault! She gave me the fruit.”
  • Adam is accusing God and Eve. He has learned from the serpent how to accuse others in order to replace his shame.
  • Ever since the serpent came on the scene, words are being twisted. Truth however cannot be twisted or marred in any way. Lies must be invented but truth just is.
Genesis 3:13 And the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
  • “It’s the serpent’s fault!”
Genesis 3:14-15 So the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
  • Did snakes once have feet?
  • A beautifully preserved skull of a ‘Biblical Snake’ with hind legs was discovered in the desert in Argentina. Najash rionegrina is named after the legged biblical snake Nahash (Hebrew for snake in Genesis 3:14), in the Río Negro Province in Argentina, where the fossils were discovered. (It is determined not to be a lizard but an actual snake.)
    • Since there are no other fossils found, could it be the actual serpent Satan indwelt?
  • When Adam and Eve “fell” all creation fell with them. Now even the cattle and beasts are cursed.
    • Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
    • Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
    • Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
    • Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    • Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
15 And I (God) will put enmity (war) between you (Satan) and the woman (from the line of Eve all the way to Mary),
And between your (Satan’s) seed (descendants) and her (Eve’s) Seed
  • The seed from the tree of Satan will war with the seed of the tree of Eve.
He (Jesus, Eve’s descendant from the virgin Mary) shall bruise your (the serpent’s) head (a deadly blow), and you (the serpent) shall bruise His heel (non-deadly: vain attempt to kill).”
Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
Genesis 3:18-19 “Cursed is the ground for your sake (because of you);
In toil (hard work, sweat) you shall eat of it (from it) all the days of your life.
Genesis 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you
  • Thorns and thistles are not trees. They are curses that make the land desolate. They pierce their victims even as their fruit has a savory flavor to entice men to come and eat. They remind men of the day of sin when Eve and Adam ate of the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden.
Genesis 3:18 And you shall eat the herb of the field.
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face (stress) you shall eat bread (literally: bread/meat/food) till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust (red clay) you shall return.”
  • Gen 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Genesis 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed (covered) them.
  • The first death in scripture was for the skin of an animal. Perhaps a lamb since it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; a Lamb without spot or blemish.
    • Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
    • Daniel 7:9a “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool.
  • The words “white”, “wool” and “snow” all symbolize purity.
  • Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (plural),
Genesis 3:22 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”— 23 therefore the Lord (Yĕhovah) God (Elohiym) sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
  • The Garden of Eden was an earthly paradise.
    • Where is the Garden of Eden? Is it accessible today and is the Tree of Life still there?
      • In Ezekiel it is called the Garden of God.
      • Note, there were two trees in the Garden: the tree of good and evil and the tree of life.
      • Eden represents perfect rest (ease), just like the sabbath, the day of rest, the number seven, and the promised land (Israel) where another Lamb was killed, the Lamb of God, and where Jerusalem means the city of peace. During the millennium when Jesus rules on earth it will be a thousand years of ease and peace, just like Eden. Jewish sages say it will be the 7,000th year of man’s history. Read: What the Sabbath Means to Me.
      • Why did God put the tree of life and tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?
      • The tree of life is life giving. The tree of good and evil brought death. One is Grace, the other, Law. Law hates Grace because there is no justice. Grace hates Law because there is no mercy, they can only live together in the Garden of sinlessness, Eden. Both mercy and obedience are necessary for a society of eternal perfection. But once the tree of good and evil is indulged, obedience is broken and death ensues. Can the tree of Life (Grace) exist with Law? It cannot unless Justice is demanded. The Law demands death for the slightest infraction, and the life is in the blood. Therefore; something innocent must die for something guilty by the shedding of blood.
Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim (angels) 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 (vs the tree of good and evil).
  • Thoughts concerning Gen 3:24
    • Before Adam and Eve sinned they had eternal life. The cells in their body continually regenerated without the decay of age.
    • God could not allow them to live forever in this sinful condition.
    • Since God “drove” them out, they did not go willingly.
    • Since angels guarded the eastern entrance, there must have been only one entrance to the Tree of Life. Today the one and only entrance to the Tree of Life is through believing in the identity (name) of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus the Christ who died, was buried, and rose from the dead to cover the sins of men as a sacrificial sinless Lamb of God. The tree of Law (Good and Evil) is satisfied. When Jesus returns to earth at His second advent He will enter Jerusalem through the eastern gate. Perhaps returning men to the Garden of Eden. It is believed Jerusalem is the location of the original Garden of Eden. The “Eastern Gate” is the only way to God, it is through Jesus the Christ. There are no other ways. The Tree of Life is Jesus who satisfied the tree of Good and Evil, the Law.
    • Adam and Eve sinned before they had children because ALL men are born with innate sin. There are no sinless people.
    • Since Adam and Eve sinned before they had children then they must have eaten from the tree almost immediately following creation because they had perfect bodies and were in the prime of life with teeming hormones. Therefore; Cain was most likely born within the first year in a fallen state: See Timeline BC 3999 BC

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