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Why the forbidden fruit?


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Such early Christian texts explain that the purpose of the plan was to “share in the benefits and see and understand things”; i.e. to gain wisdom. This is the very thing Adam and Eve sought to gain FROM the tree of wisdom.

If the gaining of wisdom WAS one of the things God wanted to share with man, then it was as much a Jewish doctrine as a Christian one. In fact, the dead sea scrolls celebrate God’s giving of knowledge and understanding (wisdom) to Adam :

…You have done wonders of old, and awesome deeds long ago. You fashioned Adam, our father, in the image of Your glory; You breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and filled him with understanding and knowledge. You set him to rule over the garden of Eden that you had planted…and to walk about in a glorious land…” (Dead Sea Scrolls - The words of the heavenly lights - 4Q504 - 506)

In explaining Adam’s assignment upon the earth, God says of the pre-eminent Adam :

...(as my) image he knows the word like (no) other....11 and on the earth I assigned him to be a second angel, honored and great and glorious. 12 And I assigned him to be a king, to reign on the earth, and to have my wisdom. “ (2nd Enoch 30:10-12)

God continues explaining to Enoch regarding Adam :

And there was nothing comparable to him on the earth, even among my creatures that exist.... I gave him his free will; and I pointed out to him the two ways –light and darkness. And I said to him, ‘this is good for you, but that is bad’.... “ (2nd Enoch 30:13-15)

The text continues on to explain reasons WHY God wanted to give Adam (and all of the rest of us) knowledge and wisdom :

...so that it might become plain who among his race loves me. 16 Whereas I have come to know his nature, he does not know his own nature. That is why ignorance is more lamentable than the sin such as it is in him to sin.” (2nd Enoch 30:15-17)

There was something even “more lamentable” about an eternal existence in moral ignorance and social unrest than a temporary and limited sin IF it contributed to mankind acquiring moral wisdom sufficient to live in eternal social joy and harmony. The texts also make clear that mankind had to understand moral law BEFORE mankind could understand EITHER moral reward OR moral punishment BASED on moral law. When the Prophet Baruch complains about apparent inconsistencies in reward and punishment in mortality, God explains the principle underlying this moral education. God tells Baruch :

... your judgment about the evils which befell those who sin is incorrect. ... ....listen and I shall speak to you; pay attention and I shall let my words be heard. It is true that man would not have understood my judgment if he had not received the law and if he were not instructed with understanding. But now, because he trespassed, having understanding, he will be punished because he has understanding. And with regard to the righteous ones,... this world is to them a struggle and an effort with much trouble. And that according which will come, a crown with great glory.” (The Apocalypse of Baruch 15:1 and 5-7)

If man was not educated regarding good and evils they do, they would not understand the rewards nor the punishments that follow moral actions nor would they have understood the ultimate justice of God’s judgment. Such knowledge and understanding of Good and Evil is not, itself, evil and wisdom to understand what actions are right and produce happiness as well as the wisdom to understand what actions are evil and produce unhappiness are part of an education that is necessary to prepare individuals to live in harmony in a social heaven.

It may be wondered, if they are thus preeminent on both sides, why do they descend to this world only to be taken thence at some future time? “This may be explained by way of a simile: A king has a son whom he sends to a village to be educated until he shall have been initiated into the ways of the palace. When the king is informed that his son is now come to maturity, the king, out of his love, sends the matron his mother to bring him back into the palace, and there the king rejoices with him every day..... (THE ZOHAR - A SEAL UPON YOUR HEART)

I like the early historical paradigm that explains this doctrine of moral education of spirits leaving heaven for earth for a short time, to become educated, only to return to heaven. I think the early historical doctrines and their models are more logical, more reasonable and more intuitive than the later Judeo-Christian models.



Terminal Optimist Judaism
When did the demons come into existence?

In theory, Day 6.

25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and all the creeping things of the ground according to their kind, and God saw that it was good.​


Well-Known Member
In theory, Day 6.

25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and all the creeping things of the ground according to their kind, and God saw that it was good.​
God made rebellious spirits on day 6 before making man?


aged ecumenical anthropologist
Keep in mind that this is not how I myself experience God. The God I know from my prayers is not petty. But this God of Genesis 3 does seem to be that way.
Same here as I do believe there's "Something" involved for certain reasons, but I simply cannot narrow it down any more than that.

So moving to the next question, what do we do with that? I mean, the story is supposed to teach us important truths.
Nothing is perfect, or so it appears, so the scriptures do reflect the cultural milieu there were composed in as they certainly don't reflect objectivity. Thus, to me, I'm more focused on the general drift of what they teach, which is also quite compatible with a general orientation as found in other faiths, such as love thy neighbor, even if we may not agree on other details.

Thus, I feel very compatible with going to your shul, a Buddhist or Hindu temple, to a mosque, etc, all of which I've been in, btw.


Terminal Optimist Judaism
God made rebellious spirits on day 6 before making man?
Not rebellious, but destructive, yes. That's the theory.

If they were rebellious, God's sign would be meaningless and would provide no protection.