For those who are careful scripture readers like myself, let’s have a little fun. I was watching a livestream youtube video and a commenter in the chat window asked, “Why was there a tree of life if Adam and Eve were immortal?”
At first I didn’t quite understand the question, so I looked back at the text. As I read through Chapter 2 and 3 of Genesis, the question became clearer. Genesis 2:17 states, “17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” This is the first time in scripture that death is ever mentioned. If Adam eats from the tree of good and evil, he will die. But then don’t you necessarily have to presume if he never eats from the tree, he will never die?
Operating under that presumption, let us read Genesis 3:22. It states, “22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”. So if Adam and Eve were to have eaten from this tree of life, as Lord God states, they would have lived forever. But if they had not eaten from the tree of good and evil, would they have not already lived forever? And thus that’s why the commenter asked the question, “Why was there a tree of life if Adam and Eve were already immortal?”
As I understood the question, at the time and right now, I can only think of two possibilities. Possibility #1: In some form of reality understandable to God’s perception alone, not being bound by the constraints of time, Adam and Eve were both immortal and mortal at the same time. Possibility #2: The text never says they were immortal. In other words, the text never says they would never die. It only expresses they surely would if they ate from the tree.
What do you think from what you see in the text?
Peace to you all in Christ.