By Donald P. Moss
To understand the effects of the fall, we must understand who Adam was before the fall and God's purpose for creating him. The work of God prior to Adam's fall will reveal the fundamental things God established as life's standards for His created man.
When God created the earth He formed it to be inhabited by a very unique life form, a freewill intellectual being capable of rational reasoning; judging between two or more points-of-view and choosing his life's direction. Freewill and rational reasoning faculties are the basic characteristics of God's created man before and after Adam's fall. The fall of Adam was due to his separation from God when he turned to his own will and rationally chose to consume the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Consuming the fruit means he believed he could disobey God and not die and when he did so he opened his inner being and took in the sin of disobedience. His standing with God changed as his experience made him a self-serving person. Adam and Eve's disobedience severed the spiritual life line to God, their breath of eternal life. Although they did not die instantly, they did die because they became mortals when they chose to go their own way.
To them the tree of knowledge appeared to be the same as all the other trees in the garden -
Genesis 2:9 (KJV) - And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food....
Genesis 3:6 (KJV) - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat............
Eve's desire to become wise energized her reasoning and she believed she would elevate her standing and she could surpass the limitation God placed on consuming this forbidden fruit. She believed she would be wiser and not die. Her sense of sight (all the trees appeared to be "pleasant to the sight, and good for food") began her process of reasoning to justify her desire to be wise like God. She failed to understand the issue at hand was obedience to God's command, not the tree or fruit itself.
This event was the first account of God's creation being ruled by the senses, rather than by the command of God. This is evidenced by looking at the Hebrew words in the following scripture, which immediately follows the scripture of their disobedience.
Genesis 3:7 (KJV) - And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked......
"Eyes" (Strong's Concordance - Hebrew Lexicon) OT:5869 -`ayin (ah'-yin); probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy, a fountain (as the eye of the landscape)
'Ayin is an analogy meaning the eye of a landscape. The eye of the landscape is the first thing one sees when looking at the landscape, as a fountain, a water fall or a spring. What does one see when looking at the landscape of his environment? What did Eve perceive when she viewed the center of the landscape of life? She saw herself at the center of the landscape of her life. She became self-serving so that she may gain wisdom.
"Open" (Strong's Concordance - Hebrew Lexicon) OT:6491 paqach (paw-kakh'); a primitive root; to open (the senses, especially the eyes); figuratively, to be observant.
Paqach is a root word that means to open the senses with an emphasis on the eyes. Adam and Eve's perception of their place in life changed due to the impact and influence of their sense consciousness. They saw themselves at the center of life with all things in life evolving around them. Prior to disobedience they saw God at the center of life with all things evolving around Him, including themselves. He was their creator.
"Naked" (Strong's Concordance - Hebrew Lexicon) OT:6191- `aram (aw-ram'); a primitive root; properly, to be (or make) bare; but used only in the derivative sense (through the idea perhaps of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense).
Of course they were naked prior to disobedience, but this is referring to spiritual nakedness. They lost their spiritual eternal life line with God due to their cunning behavior of seeking to be in control of their own destiny.
So, to properly perceive the tree of knowledge of good and evil we should see knowledge as determined by man's own reasoning and understanding of the reality of life. Knowledge based on his own intellectual reasoning and discoveries in his earthly environment. Of course, this is good information we can use to live through this dimension of life, but there is no eternal life in this storehouse of earthly knowledge.
Knowledge of eternal life is found only in one place, the Bible. The Bible is the only book that teaches us how to live a God centered life, rather than a self-centered life. The Bible opens our eyes to the reality of God. This is the Tree of Life that was also in the center of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were told they could freely eat from this tree, but their freewill and reasoning faculties (coupled with a natural sense of curiosity) was energized by the command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I am reminded of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:56 (NIV) - The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. The Bible is the most important book for us in this dimension of time, because it is by faith in the commands of God that we are introduced to eternal life in the Tree of Life.
Modern English vernacular speaks in words, not pictures. But, Hebrew words speak in pictures because of its cuneiform base. Therefore, when English speaking people read the Bible, by default, they will attempt to read it literally (word for word), as they would any other book. Thus, apart from studying the figurative and implied meanings (pictures) of the Hebrew language, understanding the Bible will be limited and the richness of hidden manna will never be known.
Primitive root words in today's Hebrew language is the language of God! This becomes apparent as one studies the Hebrew language and see cuneiform characters (letters) that form picture images for the expression of ideas. By combining letters the imagery of the original language expanded and formed word pictures with more specific meanings. Expansion of the language occurs by forming multiple child root characters, each branching from the same parent root character. Thus, the Hebrew language goes beyond literal meanings and ideas. For instance, God gave Moses specific instructions and a pattern for constructing the tabernacle in the wilderness. This pattern reveals a hidden picture or foreshadow of Messiah and His work of redemption and transformation of God's people to inherit eternal life. This picture cannot be seen by a literal interpretation of Hebrew words, but can be seen in the root words of the Hebrew language. For a deeper study of the tabernacle see Volume 7 - Christ in the Tabernacle. For an introduction to foreshadows see Foreshadows.
It is good to study the Hebrew root words in the Old Testament, including figurative and implied meanings, to form pictures (hidden manna) of Christ our Lord and the birth of the Body of Christ (church).