What if Eve ate the forbidden fruit but Adam didn’t? Oh my! That would be a complicated family situation. Serious family drama. Imagine the nakedness situation. Eve would say she wants to go to the tailor, Adam would wonder why. He CAN’T get it. He has no consciousness of something called “nakedness.” Which would of course lead to money issues, Adam accusing Eve of wasting money. Why the need for clothes in the first place! Eve would of course label Adam a nudist. Going out together would prove tricky. Why won’t he just put on some clothes! And any time God showed up Eve would be uncomfortable. Sinful man has not been known to exhibit a desire to talk to a holy God. It began in the Garden. Consciousness of sin makes us run away from God.
It will get more complicated when the kids arrive. According to Romans 5:12, sin entered the world through Adam and death through sin. It follows therefore that the children will be genetically inoculated against sin and death since Adam didn’t eat the forbidden fruit. The children will not have a sin nature. Which will make them wonder about some of mum’s behavior.
The fact that sin was genetically transmitted through Adam raises another implication, albeit a troubling one. If Adam didn’t eat the fruit no other human would have the sin nature. Eve would then be the only person in the entire world with a sin nature. She’d be unique for all the wrong reasons. Everyone will steer clear of her of course. Some of her behavior will be considered unreasonable and erratic. They’ll probably declare her needful of psychiatric evaluation at some point. Even she will be under psychological pressure. Her psychological state would be considered requiring scrutiny.
Adam would definitely end up a widow, and a relatively early one at that. Death came through the fall. Eve would probably live into her 900s. (Cf. Genesis 9:9) But the notion of her death would be something Adam has to grapple with. He had a theoretical knowledge of death. God mentioned it at his induction. (Genesis 2:16-17) The reality of death would be a culture shock to him.
They should never have touched that tree. There are things in life best left untouched. The Bible didn’t say it was apple by the way. Couldn’t be. There’s no transformative power in apple. So that explanation about Adam’s apple can’t hold. The forbidden fruit wasn’t sex either. Adam wasn’t barred from sex. (Genesis 1:28, 4:1) But let’s dive a little bit deeper. Let’s do some dendrology. Dendrology is the study of trees.
There were all sorts of trees planted in the Garden but there were those two special trees. They were in a class of their own. The first was the Tree of Life, the second the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Both trees were spatially located at the center of the garden but the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would end up at the center of a controversy – the Eden Crisis. Note however that the Garden was not the totality of Eden, it was just a part of Eden. And the Garden wasn’t a front yard thing either. To give you some sense of the size a river flowed from Eden to water the Garden. From there it divided into four rivers – Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel (Tigris) and Euphrates. Using the modern coordinates of these rivers some have speculated Eden must have been located in either Iraq (Southern Mesopotamia) or the Persian Gulf. But archeologists can’t agree. The earth after all has altered significantly since prehistoric era. And then there was Noah’s flood. Perhaps the reason we can’t locate the Garden is because of the cherubim and the axial revolutionist flaming sword positioned at the Garden. (Genesis 3:24) That sword was some sort of firewall. It prevented access to the Tree of Life. Note that the cherubim had capacity to transform himself into a flame of fire too. (Hebrews 1:7) So there was a double firewall – one wall to guard entrance to the garden, the other to guard access to the Tree of Life. And for all we know the trees might have been transplanted! Let’s look at the Tree of Life. We tend to talk more about the other tree.
Much of the information about the Tree of Life is extra-Genesis. In the Book of Proverbs it is associated with wisdom (Proverb 3:18), righteousness (Proverb 11:30), hope and fulfillment of dreams (Proverb 13:12), as well as healing (Proverb 15:4). The Book of Revelation gives us its idiosyncratic characteristics. We know for example that it has twelve varieties of fruits! (Revelation 22:2) We also know it has economic and political properties. We’re told its leaves are for restoration of nations. (Revelation 22:2) It’s also a political patrimony. (Revelation 22:19, 2:7) And so we see the applications and macro dimensions of the Tree of Life. It foreshadowed the political evolution of Adam into a national community yet offers the citizens wisdom for living, hope and fulfillment of dreams, inalienable constitutional rights (righteousness) and health. This was no ordinary tree. Indeed outside the Garden the variety is only found in Heaven. (Revelation 22:2) But according to Revelation 22:14 it’s a righteous diet. Only the righteous can partake of it. Which is why it was okay for Adam to eat from the Tree of Life before the fall. But after the fall he needed assigned righteousness through the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) to partake of the Tree of Life. (Revelation 22:14-15) Salvation is thus the partaking of the Tree of Life. What Adam didn’t do we now do. (Cf. John 11:25-26). And the Tree of Life is also a portal to Heaven. (Revelation 22:14-15)
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was no ordinary horticultural totem either. Not much is written about it in Genesis but we can discern it from its effects on Adam and Eve and from God’s warning about it. The fruit of this tree was more or less a program. Contained code. The program code had the ability to alter consciousness and the indicator of altered state was false spiritual “enlightenment” – “the opening of eyes,” what we now call New Age. (Genesis 3:7) There’s nothing new about it. Man became afraid to face his Maker because of the consciousness of sin. (Genesis 3:9-10) We know the tree altered human behavior, created a complex. It turned man’s nature into a dualism. Man became defensive and accusatory at the same time. He was cognizant with both good and evil in equal measure, developed capacity to manipulate both. And so the same Adam that waxed lyrical at introduction to Eve and died for love threw her under the bus when trial came. Must have been a shock to Eve. She never said a word about it. This fruit made man capable of the noblest of virtues and the heinousness of evil in equal measure. Man became bipolarized. The psychological damage soon manifested. Cain in a fit of jealousy murdered his own brother and then implausibly demanded constitutional immunity from the consequences of criminal trial and judgment. That’s the equivalence of demanding sovereign protection not to pay the penalty for sin against the state. The tree also brought death to humanity – not just physical death, spiritual death as well. (Gen. 2:17) There is a time lapse between spiritual and physical deaths however, which means Adam was a walking spiritual cadaver.
We can thus better imagine what Adam’s family would be like if Adam didn’t partake of the fruit of Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. There can’t be harmony in that household. In a crisis Eve would throw Adam under the bus just as Adam threw her under the bus. When things don’t go well in that marriage Eve will put the blame on God, for making her set eyes on Adam. (Cf. Genesis 3:12) With opposing worldviews, psychological dramas, different realities, cultural differences, there’s no way the Adam marriage would have held together. The concept of marriage in the Garden of Eden was predicated on unity. It still is.
If you will like to give your life to Christ, please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen
If you have a What if…scenario you’ll like me to tackle email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week, What if Jesus had turned stone into bread?
© #Illuminare Leke Alder | email@example.com