Religion & Spirituality
Old Testament
Adam and Eve

If God created Eden to be a perfect place for His perfect people why did He put an evil tree and snake in it Did He set us up for failure on purpose or was this a oversight on his part?

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2016-09-29 19:10:12
2016-09-29 19:10:12

The Jewish Torah-perspective is that God tested them. The tree was a temptation since it would confer a new type of knowledge - the sensation of what it's like to waver between sin and godliness. God had foreknowledge of their actions, but He gave Adam and Chava (Eve) the ability to withstand sinning (see Genesis 4:7) if they would choose to. They had free will from the moment of their creation, even before they sinned. After the sin, their free-will continued to exist, but on a lower level.
When Adam and Eve hid, it wasn't so much of a sin. Rather, they were showing fear and respect for God's presence, since they now realized they were less worthy.

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2013-10-08 18:34:06
2013-10-08 18:34:06

The answer to this question is greatly affected by what religion the answerer is. Please see the following views:

JewishAnswer:

It wasn't an evil tree, it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The common interpretation is that God did intend for Adam and Chava (Eve) to eat from this tree. Why? Man was the only being in creation to have free will; and without knowledge of good and evil, man could not choose good over evil thereby bringing himself closer to God. Also, without having this knowledge of good and evil, the gift of free will would have been pointless. Furthermore, the "sin" that got Adam and Chava cast out of Eden wasn't eating the fruit, it was because they attempted to hide after the fact. This is a Jewish perspective.

As for the serpent, it was just a serpent. The Christian concept of Satan/devil does not exist in Judaism and the Tanach.

Christian AnswerAn evil tree.. not a tree at all or a fruit upon it. First it was in the "midst" of the garden because it was something that could not be avoided. If I wanted to place a tree in the garden that was taboo, as a loving God I would have put it in the far corner. Now, this is not a tree but a vehicle for the line "ye shall not eat of the tree", which means "you shall not partake of this thing". After Eve and Adam "ate" their eyes were opened and they knew they had sinned". They literally partook of sin and they knew they were naked and made aprons to cover their bodies.

This is a big area to cover all the bases.

I personally think it was poorly written and moses got better at writing later on the Pentateuch. Snake.... Hebrew word is nachash as the serpent known by its hiss, enchanter, wise one. The Bible does not say Satan here, although the bible has no problem mentioning Satan anywhere else. Satan means adversary, so to call someone Satan as Jesus did to peter, doesn't mean a red faced, trident bearing, horned evil guy, it means to be adverse to, or against. Because the bible does not say Satan i do not believe it was Satan. I do believe it was another member of the garden populace. Cain knew his wife in the land of Nod. Everybody got the boot. I perceive Adam to be the governor of eden or the leader, as per 'Gods chain of command'. If this is so, then the sin that happened via the hisser, enchanter was Eve's adulterous fornication with another male other than her begotten Adam. The bible says that Adam knew his wife in chapter 4:1. It doesnt say Adam knew his wife again like in all other parts of the bible. I suspect chapter 4 is the first time Adam knew his wife and begat Seth. not Cain or Able. Cain was from the serpent encounter and Able was God's "Multiplying THY conception" by 100%, twins. Abel a shepherd, Cain to till the cursed ground. God wanted God's lineage. Eve is mentioned for the last time in chapter 4:1 and she "boasts", I have gotten (created) a son from (like) the lord (created). She equalled her creation with Gods ability to create. In the garden she said "the serpent beguiled me and i did eat". matter of factly, just like that, you can almost hear the "so what of it" attitude. Bye, Bye Eve.. Sorry for the digression.

Now to answer your question of did God set us up for failure, I purport that no he didnt set us up but the potential for failure was always there, that is why the tree was in the midst of the garden because it would be encountered, although, god does say, "behold the man has become AS ONE OF US, knowing good and evil. If man was made in God's image it would not have been a full image if part of what is God was missing from the image, the ability to know good from evil. So I don't know exactly what to say about "setting us up" but God did have a plan in case it did. God was ready for it, after all God is a God of love and tender mercies toward all generations.

Christian AnswerTo answer the question:

Did he set us up for failure on purpose... the answer is 'no'.

Was this an oversight on his part?.. the answer, again, 'no'.

Firstly, we have to realise that the whole story of Adam and Eve is allegorical. This means that the likelhood of Adam (meaning 'mankind' in Hebrew) and Eve (meaning 'from man') being real people is remote, as it the possibility of the story of Eden as written in Genesis. This does not mean that the story is a fairy tale, as in essence it is real truth and tells the story of how mankind (Adam) turned away from God because of sin, and his own self importance and weakness (Eve). As the above answer says, the serpent was never mentioned as 'Satan' in the story, but the parallels are definitely there. So, in this story, we have the whole history of the rejection of God by humanity wrapped up in a wonderful tale of two people.

Next, let's look at the tree. If God sis not wish Adam and Eve to eat of this tree why put it there in the first place? God, however, is eternal and therefore exists outside the constraints of time. He can see the past and future. He would have known what was going to happen in the 'garden'. Therefore, he knew that the fall would take place. Was he setting us up for failure? No. We failed ourselves by turning away from God because of our own stupidity and not because of Satan (although he, no doubt, relishes in the fact). The simple fact is that unless that 'tree' was there, we would never know the difference between good and evil, and therefore we would never have the freewill to love God because we want to, and not because we are forced to as we don't know anything different. That love would be genuine; a forced love would not. The tree in the garden was not an oversight, nor a set-up for failure by a vindictive god. It was an act of love on God's part, to ensure that we, as his creation, were truly made in his image: as beings with a spiritual dimension, as beings with freewill, and beings with the capability to love freely and not out of instinct.

This great act of love, however, would necessitate evil and suffering coming into the world as a result of our knowledge of good and evil. It would mean that we could reject God (as many do) despite this great act of love. For those who accepted him, this giving of freewill would still mean that sin would form a barrier between God and us. However, as an eternal God, who sees the future as well as the past, who knew we would rebel and who knew we would have the freewill that would separate us from him through sin, he provided, at the beginning, a rescue plan for us in Jesus Christ, who would allow that sin to be no more, and the gulf between God and humanity healed, despite that gift of freewill and out rejection of him.

So, it wasn't a set us up for failure on purpose, or an oversight on his part... it was an act of love.

Christian Answer:Is it possible God knew we would fail before he even created us? The answer is yes! The book of Revelation speaks of "a lamb slain from the foundation of the world." A sacrifice of sorts, before there was a sinner? Additionally, when God made Adam he said it was "good," but he stops short of calling Adam "perfect." If Adam was "perfect" then Adam would not have sinned. If Adam were perfect he truly would be like God. Adam was not made as "God's equal," therefore, Adam was made lower than God. Being lower than God he was falible, and that showed in his actions. To answer the obvious follow up which is generally, "why would God do it in this manner," I have a stock answer. I personally believe, and you should prove everything on your own and draw your own conclusions, that God allowed us to fall so that we would appreciate and love where we are trying to get back to. In other words, God seeks a people who WANT to love him, not a people who were created with no choice. He wasn't seeking robotic appreciation, he was seeking true love with his creation.

Christian Answer GENESIS 2 :17 " But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Two points raise themselves for consideration:

Point One - evil is already known in the world.

Point Two - God does not say ' IF ' but ' WHEN' (to use modern wording). He knew they would eat from it.

Now, I'm no theologian but does point one not imply that earthly creation was already contaminated by evil, that it was either already 'fallen' or potentially so?

And, does not point 2 similarly imply that He knew that Adam and Eve were inevitably going to eat from that tree?

Yet, He had already pronounced His creation to be "very good" ( GENESIS 1:31) and had made Adam and Eve "in His own image" (GENESIS 1:27).

Also, in GENESIS 1: 29, God informs Adam and Eve that He has given them "...every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat".

The logical conclusions from these snippets of information are that the seed of the Fall was part of the good creation and that Adam and Eve's role in the unfolding story was to do what God could not do ( given that " ...in Him there is no darkness"1 John:5). It is man who must contain and overcome that evil...or at least the form of man perfected in Christ will overcome it. The 'consequences of the fall' therefore are defined in Genesis...death, work, suffering...only with the incarnation of God in man as Jesus Christ are the consequences for us made bearable and transcended.

This might seem all rather messy(!) but it seems that the fall of Lucifer ( leader of the Angelic Choir which sang the song of creation, which in effect sang the world into being) was a consequence itself of the discord he inserted into the song from love of his own beauty or from his own self awareness!

The fruit of the tree was self awareness in man, needed to overcome the effects of Lucifer's self awareness. Self awareness - the light of reason(?)- contains the darkness God did not and cannot contain. WE can remove that darkness with Christ's help. That is the only way to redeem creation!

Jewish answer:The Torah-perspective is that God tested them. He had foreknowledge of their actions, but He gave Adam and Chava (Eve) the ability to withstand sinning (see Genesis 4:7) if they would choose to. They had free will from the moment of their creation, even before they sinned. After the sin, their free-will continued to exist, but on a lower level.

When Adam and Eve hid, it wasn't so much of a sin. Rather, they were showing fear and respect for God's presence, since they now realized they were less worthy.

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