555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

200. What Is Known Concerning the "Tree of Life"?

Gen. 29 and 3*22, 24 tells practically all that we know of the "tree of life," although a vast amount of speculative literature has appeared on the subject. Various references to the "tree of life" elsewhere in Scripture show that it was regarded as the means provided by divine wisdom as an antidote against disease and bodily decay. Access to it was conditioned upon our first parents obeying the injunction against eating the forbidden fruit of the "tree of knowledge," which was the test of obedience. Certain Hebrew writers have called the two trees "the trees of the lives," holding that the wondrous property of one in perpetuating physical life and conferring perennial health was in direct contrast with the other, the "tree of knowledge," which was sure to occasion bodily suffering and death. "The tree of life was, in short, a sacramental tree," writes one commentator, "by the eating of which man, in his state of innocence, kept himself in covenant with God."