Genesis 2:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

King James Bible
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Darby Bible Translation
And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; and the tree of life, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

World English Bible
Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Young's Literal Translation
and Jehovah God causeth to sprout from the ground every tree desirable for appearance, and good for food, and the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:9 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Every tree that is pleasant to the sight, etc. - If we take up these expressions literally, they may bear the following interpretation: the tree pleasant to the sight may mean every beautiful tree or plant which for shape, color, or fragrance, delights the senses, such as flowering shrubs, etc.

And good for food - All fruit-bearing trees, whether of the pulpy fruits, as apples, etc., or of the kernel or nut kind, such as dates, and nuts of different sorts, together with all esculent vegetables.

The tree of life - חיים chaiyim; of lives, or life-giving tree, every medicinal tree, herb, and plant, whose healing virtues are of great consequence to man in his present state, when through sin diseases of various kinds have seized on the human frame, and have commenced that process of dissolution which is to reduce the body to its primitive dust.

Yet by the use of these trees of life - those different vegetable medicines, the health of the body may be preserved for a time, and death kept at a distance. Though the exposition given here may be a general meaning for these general terms, yet it is likely that this tree of life which was placed in the midst of the garden was intended as an emblem of that life which man should ever live, provided he continued in obedience to his Maker. And probably the use of this tree was intended as the means of preserving the body of man in a state of continual vital energy, and an antidote against death. This seems strongly indicated from Genesis 3:22.

And the tree of knowledge of good and evil - Considering this also in a merely literal point of view, it may mean any tree or plant which possessed the property of increasing the knowledge of what was in nature, as the esculent vegetables had of increasing bodily vigor; and that there are some ailments which from their physical influence have a tendency to strengthen the understanding and invigorate the rational faculty more than others, has been supposed by the wisest and best of men; yet here much more seems intended, but what is very difficult to be ascertained. Some very eminent men have contended that the passage should be understood allegorically! and that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means simply that prudence, which is a mixture of knowledge, care, caution, and judgment, which was prescribed to regulate the whole of man's conduct. And it is certain that to know good and evil, in different parts of Scripture, means such knowledge and discretion as leads a man to understand what is fit and unfit, what is not proper to be done and what should be performed. But how could the acquisition of such a faculty be a sin? Or can we suppose that such a faculty could be wanting when man was in a state of perfection? To this it may be answered: The prohibition was intended to exercise this faculty in man that it should constantly teach him this moral lesson, that there were some things fit and others unfit to be done, and that in reference to this point the tree itself should be both a constant teacher and monitor. The eating of its fruit would not have increased this moral faculty, but the prohibition was intended to exercise the faculty he already possessed. There is certainly nothing unreasonable in this explanation, and viewed in this light the passage loses much of its obscurity. Vitringa, in his dissertation Deuteronomy arbore prudentiae in Paradiso, ejusque mysterio, strongly contends for this interpretation. See more on Genesis 3:6 (note).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ezekiel 31:8,9,16,18 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs...

tree of life.

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand...

Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and happy is every one that retains her.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.

Ezekiel 47:12 And by the river on the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade...

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

Revelation 2:7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life...

Revelation 22:2,14 In the middle of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve manner of fruits...

tree of knowledge.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

Genesis 3:3,22 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it...

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.

Isaiah 44:25 That frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

Isaiah 47:10 For you have trusted in your wickedness: you have said, None sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you...

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies.

Third Day. Holiness and Creation.
And God blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all the work which God created and made.'--Gen. ii. 3. In Genesis we have the Book of Beginnings. To its first three chapters we are specially indebted for a Divine light shining on the many questions to which human wisdom never could find an answer. In our search after Holiness, we are led thither too. In the whole book of Genesis the word Holy occurs but once. But that once in such a connection as to open
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Covenant of Works
Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16, 17: And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall.
Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall. [182] All Adam's posterity, or mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, as to the first Adam, or earthly man, is fallen, degenerated, and dead; deprived of the sensation or feeling of this inward testimony or seed of God; and is subject unto the power, nature, and seed of the serpent, which he soweth in men's hearts, while they abide in this natural and corrupted estate; from whence it comes, that not only their words and deeds, but all their imaginations, are
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity

Though Ye Know Him Not
"I have known cases of young ministers dissuaded from facing the missionary call by those who posed as friends of Foreign Missions, and yet presumed to argue: 'Your spiritual power and intellectual attainments are needed by the Church at home; they would be wasted in the Foreign Field.' 'Spiritual power wasted' in a land like India! Where is it so sorely needed as in a continent where Satan has constructed his strongest fortresses and displayed the choicest masterpieces of his skill? 'Intellectual
Amy Wilson-Carmichael—Things as They Are

Cross References
Revelation 2:7
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:2
down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:14
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

Genesis 3:22
And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

Genesis 3:24
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Proverbs 3:18
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Ezekiel 31:8
The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor could the junipers equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees compare with its branches-- no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty.

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