There is no indication that Adam (mankind) was not eating of the Life Tree. Perhaps daily during the “cool of the day”? Both Adam and Havah were permitted to eat of ANY tree in the garden except for the Knowledge Tree. If there was 2 main trees in the middle of the garden (does it say that?), one you could eat and one you couldn’t, how is it possible that they didn’t eat of it? If YHVH drew attention to them both over and above any others (at least that is what we read in scripture) I would certainly go check them out.
Yah says “in the day you eat of the Knowledge Tree you will die”, but they don’t actually die. I have heard people teach all around this. Is there another method of death? In a fantastic podcast, Mirimam Brand discusses how the Masoretes attempted to reconcile things and added some punctuation in this passage. The snake uses a classic “forked tongue” in saying “Undying one you will die“. The word “death“, (muwth) is simply repeated here, but in context clearly the serpent is attempting to get Havah (and therefore mankind) to eat this.
Is there also a concept that “Existing you are not Alive”?
Created for Death?
There are numerous animals and processes created in creation that have either a direct or indirect role in dealing with death, dead things, or in some way recycling. Predators, as well as scavengers exists and we believe Yahweh created everything. Perhaps predators are/were a distortion of the original creation, but the massive amount of microbiological, insects, small animals, birds and other living creatures cannot be accidental. Everything from a micro level to a macro in creation has a clear and inherent structure for recycling and conversion of matter and energy.
Is it possible death itself is designed into creation? That death in original context is the ending of the purely physical, whereas the death talked about in the Garden is talking about the disconnection from Yah?
Living Soul vs Existing Soul
We see in the creation story that Elohim breathed into Adamah the “neshamah“, and then “Adam” (which is all mankind) became a LIVING SOUL. All the previous animals appear to already have a soul (nephesh). But Adam experienced a totally different and unique (to the creation account so far) element. Now mankind (Adamah) was alive, whereas before, the status was different.
So if this “neshamah” is the difference, and Adam was already existing prior to the infusion of “the neshamah”, existence is not the same thing as “being alive”. Animals were existing, some possibly human like in form and function. But once Yah breathed the neshamah into a specific one, the bible begins the story and a separation occurs.
Regardless of the path creation took, the Life Tree could possibly be the element that would sustain that “Living Soul” breath. The breath was a spark, the fruit was the sustaining resource. One was the start, the other was the maintenance. One was involuntary, the other was the voluntary responsibility of mankind.
Would we then would say death is the removal or absence of the “neshamah”? Is it a return to the appetite driven, instinctual existence that animals have? When you combine that existence with the toolset and unique characteristics of humankind, you have a dominant species that will consume everything else including each other.
It is only after eating the Knowledge Tree fruit, that Elohim decides that Adam and Havah cannot be allowed to eat from the Life Tree. In fact, the Creator puts guards (watchers?) at the gates to the garden to ensure mankind is unable to access the Life Tree. Why? Yah says this stops Adam from coming into the garden and eating from it and existing in a state of being “like us” permanently. This doesn’t mean mankind would simply eat of it one time. There is no indication of this previously. Perhaps it was the accessibility to the Life Tree that would maintain mankind, and they would be stuck in some kind of negative consequence.
And this might actually be the death Yahweh is speaking about.
Is there simply a regenerative or restorative context to the Life Tree? Was eating Life fruit it a regular event, or a periodic event in response to specific actions?
If there is a regenerative process of the Life Tree it would totally make sense that death itself would result from not having access to the Life Tree. If mankind was allowed to eat from the Life Tree, was it the Life Tree that was keeping mankind alive forever?
- If the context for eating Life Fruit was daily, then this lends itself to the idea of “Daily Bread”, Manna, and other concepts later developed within scripture as a Wheel within a Wheel.
- If the context is Yah leading Adam (all mankind here) to the Tree of Life when they have “missed the mark”, it sets the stage for the idea of repentance.
If the neshamah and the Life Tree are connected, then another idea could be that progressively the living part of mankind is eroding. The ability to be regenerated is removed, and entropy increases. Disorder increases. Sin increases. The consequences of sin increase. Mankind stops being a living soul, and reverts back to simply existing, driven by instinct and desire, and unaware of the transcendent God relationship.
We do see this as the story unfolds. All the way to the account of Noah, mankind progressively lives shorter and shorter, and awful things become the norm. Yah states that it is no longer going to work, and mankind (and all living land animals and birds) will be wiped out.
Later in the prophecies we see that the leaves of the Life Tree provide healing for the Nations… the peoples, MANKIND. Access to the Life Tree is conditional to being allowed access into the restored reality spoken about in the Prophets. In the Apostolic writings we see the Life Tree in the middle of the “New Jerusalem”, and access is via 1 of 12 gates around the city.
Is it possible that the guardians of the gates are removed, and the access to the Life Tree is once again the sustaining force, even for the resurrected bodies talked about in the Prophets?
Tree of Life in Messiah
Messiah Yeshua talks about eating “from” or “of” Him. It is a symbol, but in context, the Tree of Life becomes many different expressions and symbols all resolving into Yah’s provision for healing, salvation from death, and restoration to YHVH.