WHAT IS THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT?
The Adam and Eve account of Genesis 3 is the first epic story of love, intrigue, betrayal, power and death in the bible. It is so well written and displayed such colour and effective use of figurative speech and of anthropomorphism that even today, many scholars are still baffled and at odds about its true meaning….if any.
By the way, have you ever wondered what was the forbidden fruit or if a snake can really talk? Can God really walk? Even more concerning, what is meant by being “made in god’s image?
To refresh the memory, let’s revisit the Genesis 3 story. See picture and note that Adam was with Eve when she ate the forbidden fruit so the idea of infidelity is a bit stretched.
“ At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” (Genesis3:7)
IS THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT A REAL FRUIT?
Naturally, to think the forbidden fruit is an actual fruit is logical. After all, the bible said so and many scholars and “Rabbinic commentators variously characterized the forbidden fruit as a fig, a pomegranate, a grape, an apricot, a citron, or even wheat. The importance and potency of these fruits can not be denied but none has been proven to have any real extra super natural power, that would give extra knowledge or result in death.
An apple a day keep the doctor away according to a popular proverb but reality is, there were no apples in bible time. Apple was also considered as the forbidden fruit simply because during translation, in Latin, the Hebrew word for evil is malus but in Latin, malus also means apple. ”
IS THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT SEX OR THE VAGINA?
This one is hilarious if not erotic and maybe sad. According to this line of reason, sex is the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve were told not to have sex as the day they do so they would die. However the devil seduced Eve, in front of Adam, and had sex with her. Eve then went and shared the joys of sex with her hubby, Adam.
Interestingly, the Serpent seed, dual seed or two-seedline controversial religious belief took it a bit further and claimed that the Eve/Serpent sexual intercourse resulted in the birth of Cain, hence Cain was illegitimate and a bastard if not a “jacket”. This is so despite Gen 4: 1And Adam had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man. ” she said.
These could be nice scenes in “Days of our Lives” or other soap opera but the reality is such philandering and adulterous behaviour would be appalling in the Genesis.
Also note that according to the bible, Adam was alone when the lord first forbade him to eat of the the fruit of knowledge of god and evil. Sex requires two people, at least and the forbidden fruit could be eaten by one person.
Most importantly, man was commanded to multiply. Its difficult to tell people to multiply and then forbid them to have sex. Genesis 1: 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.
Critical, is the fact that sex cannot be forbidden as it is instinctual and occurs as if natural and without teaching or model. Human beings were also made with sex organs that prompts them towards reproduction. Actually, maybe, the sole purpose for sex is to bring young ones as is obvious for all of creation with the exception of man and a few dolphin species. One can abstain from or restrict it, however
WOW. Man does sex for recreation (fun) and stop its original intention of procreation (reproduction) by using their intellect to develop birth control methods such as “safe period”, condoms, pills, etc. An instance when the intellect can be contrary to nature and evil.
THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT AS REASON AND OWN WILL?
So, if it is not a real fruit nor sex, what was the forbidden fruit. Basically, thoughts are fruits. Your thoughts can conjure, plant and bear seeds and images that are literally out of this word. Your thoughts can let you become inquisitive and seek knowledge. Of course as individuals, it is okay to have thoughts but some thoughts are best left ALONE. Your deep rational thoughts that seek to reason, discern and determine time, things and events contrary to truth are forbidden fruits.
This simple and maybe naive view is that the forbidden fruit is “reason, thinking and freewill”. We have the capacity of intellect but we should not use it to pursue our vain ways. We should enjoy all our thoughts and the earth but no bother with inventions and intentions. Just as how insects, birds, animals and fish enjoy nature without trying to manipulate it needlessly. This reliance on nature or god was also expected of man.
Here is a superb example of the Lord being upset at reason and self determination. Remeber the creation of the tower of babel:
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So reason and intellect without the Creator’s guidance is forbidden fruit and leads to death and confusion.
Another problem with reasoning is that sometimes the things that the mind perceives intellectually are not intelligent nor the “truth” or even necessarily in harmony with the natural design of nature.
This is so since man is intellectual but not intelligent. Intelligence is an individual’s ability to acquire skills and knowledge and apply them while intellect is the faculty of objectively understanding and reasoning abstract matters.
The amount of knowledge needed to make an intelligent and “good” decisions can only be done by an Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent being. Since man is far from being all knowing, all powerful and ever present, he is reduced to making intellectual decisions based on limited knowledge and eventually faulty reasoning. THIS IS DANGEROUS AND WILL RESULT IN DEATH.
In short, knowledge/reason is the tree of good and evil while wisdom is the tree of life. Although knowledge is good to have, wisdom which requires both understanding and knowledge is the greatest ideal and pursuit. The fruits of wisdom is better than the fruits of knowledge. One sustains while one kills. The problem is, one cannot gain wisdom without obedience and recognition of the order of life. Using time and effort to determine and getting knowledge about life is a waste (death) as without understanding there can be no wisdom.
THE SNAKE IS YOUR MOST SURREPTITIOUS THOUGHT?
The idea that a snake spoke to Eve can be appreciated bearing in mind in the bible a donkey also spoke. Num:22:28: And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
However, the bible uses figurative speech and anthropomorphism a lot. In this case it was both figurative and anthropomorphic. Your mind and thoughts are like subtle yet dangerous animals in your head. Eve did not see a snake but was simply thinking and reasoning with herself. This colourful expression underscore the fact that eve knew that she was wrong to disobey but justified in the possible favourable outcomes. In short, she wondered and even wandered away from “being subservient and restricted to nature’s way”.
Jesus puts this thought process neatly in Matthew 10: 16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves”.
MAN IN GODS” IMAGE
Philosophers and theologians have debated the exact meaning of the phrase for millennia. Many argued that being made in the Image of God does not mean that God possesses human-like features as God is a spirit. Rather that the statement is figurative language for God bestowing special honor unto humankind, which He did not confer unto the rest of Creation.
These include mind, will and emotion and consequently the ability to think, reason and free will.
Although it would feel special to think that the Creator has two arms, two eyes, two ears and a head, the reality is that animals also have the same features and they were made before mankind. According to the Bible and Science, man was the last of creation, hence man resembles monkey and monkey resembles god if we subscribe to the physical image scenario.
REASON AND INTELLECT ARE MAJOR KILLERS OF HUMAN BEINGS
No doubt, we could argue that if man did not use up his intellect and try to control nature to his benefit life might be worse on earth. Man’s intellect created most of the food we now eat and taken for granted such as rice, corn, wheat, carrots, banana. Similarly without man’s reasoning and intellect there would be no factories, and internet, and cars etc.
Despite these achievements, the day we begin determining our destiny we start to die. Today, chronic diseases are a major public health problem worldwide. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 61 per cent of all deaths — 35 million — and 49 per cent of the global burden of disease were attributable to chronic diseases due to life style. By 2030, the proportion of total global deaths due to chronic diseases is expected to increase to 70 per cent and the global burden of disease to 56 per cent. These deaths are simply because we use our intellect to reason and try to determine our life style.
Apart from life style diseases, many deaths are due to wars, ethnic cleansing, ill effects of technology, GMO related health problems. flooding, Electricity and gas related deaths etc. The reality is that hunger and poverty are a result of man’s reasoning and intellect. Religion was created by the Sumerians due to their reasoning and use of knowledge of the stars and astrology.
So that is the problem. A jealous omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent creator which made man in its image and likeness of intelligence and free will YET still insisted and required man to not use this free will and intellect for self determination, as the day man doeth such, man dies.