Genesis 2:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:17 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After the preparation of the garden in Eden God placed the man there, to dress it and to keep it. ינּיחהוּ not merely expresses removal thither, but the fact that the man was placed there to lead a life of repose, not indeed in inactivity, but in fulfilment of the course assigned him, which was very different from the trouble and restlessness of the weary toil into which he was plunged by sin. In paradise he was to dress (colere) the garden; for the earth was meant to be tended and cultivated by man, so that without human culture, plants and even the different varieties of corn degenerate and grow wild. Cultivation therefore preserved (שׁמר to keep) the divine plantation, not merely from injury on the part of any evil power, either penetrating into, or already existing in the creation, but also from running wild through natural degeneracy. As nature was created for man, it was his vocation not only to ennoble it by his work, to make it subservient to himself, but also to raise it into the sphere of the spirit and further its glorification. This applied not merely to the soil beyond the limits of paradise, but to the garden itself, which, although the most perfect portion of the terrestrial creation, was nevertheless susceptible of development, and which was allotted to man, in order that by his care and culture he might make it into a transparent mirror of the glory of the Creator. - Here too the man was to commence his own spiritual development. To this end God had planted two trees in the midst of the garden of Eden; the one to train his spirit through the exercise of obedience to the word of God, the other to transform his earthly nature into the spiritual essence of eternal life. These trees received their names from their relation to man, that is to say, from the effect which the eating of their fruit was destined to produce upon human life and its development. The fruit of the tree of life conferred the power of eternal, immortal life; and the tree of knowledge was planted, to lead men to the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil was no mere experience of good and ill, but a moral element in that spiritual development, through which the man created in the image of God was to attain to the filling out of that nature, which had already been planned in the likeness of God. For not to know what good and evil are, is a sign of either the immaturity of infancy (Deuteronomy 1:39), or the imbecility of age (2 Samuel 19:35); whereas the power to distinguish good and evil is commended as the gift of a king (1 Kings 3:9) and the wisdom of angels (2 Samuel 14:17), and in the highest sense is ascribed to God Himself (Genesis 3:5, Genesis 3:22). Why then did God prohibit man from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, with the threat that, as soon as he ate thereof, he would surely die? (The inf. abs. before the finite verb intensifies the latter: vid., Ewald, 312a). Are we to regard the tree as poisonous, and suppose that some fatal property resided in the fruit? A supposition which so completely ignores the ethical nature of sin is neither warranted by the antithesis, nor by what is said in Genesis 3:22 of the tree of life, nor by the fact that the eating of the forbidden fruit was actually the cause of death. Even in the case of the tree of life, the power is not to be sought in the physical character of the fruit. No earthly fruit possesses the power to give immortality to the life which it helps to sustain. Life is not rooted in man's corporeal nature; it was in his spiritual nature that it had its origin, and from this it derives its stability and permanence also. It may, indeed, be brought to an end through the destruction of the body; but it cannot be exalted to perpetual duration, i.e., to immortality, through its preservation and sustenance. And this applies quite as much to the original nature of man, as to man after the fall. A body formed from earthly materials could not be essentially immortal: it would of necessity either be turned to earth, and fall into dust again, or be transformed by the spirit into the immortality of the soul. The power which transforms corporeality into immortality is spiritual in its nature, and could only be imparted to the earthly tree or its fruit through the word of God, through a special operation of the Spirit of God, an operation which we can only picture to ourselves as sacramental in its character, rendering earthly elements the receptacles and vehicles of celestial powers. God had given such a sacramental nature and significance to the two trees in the midst of the garden, that their fruit could and would produce supersensual, mental, and spiritual effects upon the nature of the first human pair. The tree of life was to impart the power of transformation into eternal life. The tree of knowledge was to lead man to the knowledge of good and evil; and, according to the divine intention, this was to be attained through his not eating of its fruit. This end was to be accomplished, not only by his discerning in the limit imposed by the prohibition the difference between that which accorded with the will of God and that which opposed it, but also by his coming eventually, through obedience to the prohibition, to recognise the fact that all that is opposed to the will of God is an evil to be avoided, and, through voluntary resistance to such evil, to the full development of the freedom of choice originally imparted to him into the actual freedom of a deliberate and self-conscious choice of good. By obedience to the divine will he would have attained to a godlike knowledge of good and evil, i.e., to one in accordance with his own likeness to God. He would have detected the evil in the approaching tempter; but instead of yielding to it, he would have resisted it, and thus have made good his own property acquired with consciousness and of his own free-will, and in this way by proper self-determination would gradually have advanced to the possession of the truest liberty. But as he failed to keep this divinely appointed way, and ate the forbidden fruit in opposition to the command of God, the power imparted by God to the fruit was manifested in a different way. He learned the difference between good and evil from his own guilty experience, and by receiving the evil into his own soul, fell a victim to the threatened death. Thus through his own fault the tree, which should have helped him to attain true freedom, brought nothing but the sham liberty of sin, and with it death, and that without any demoniacal power of destruction being conjured into the tree itself, or any fatal poison being hidden in its fruit.

Genesis 2:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

of the tree.

Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food...

Genesis 3:1-3,11,17,19 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said...

thou shalt surely die. Heb. dying thou shalt die. surely. ch.

Genesis 3:3,4,19 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...

Genesis 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live: and if you restore her not...

Numbers 26:65 For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them...

Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

1 Samuel 14:39,44 For, as the LORD lives, which saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die...

1 Samuel 20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the ground, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Why now send and fetch him to me...

1 Samuel 22:16 And the king said, You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you, and all your father's house.

1 Kings 2:37,42 For it shall be, that on the day you go out, and pass over the brook Kidron, you shall know for certain that you shall surely die...

Jeremiah 26:8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people...

Ezekiel 3:18-20 When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way...

Ezekiel 18:4,13,32 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die...

Ezekiel 33:8,14 When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way...

Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same...

Romans 5:12-21 Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned...

Romans 6:16,23 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death...

Romans 7:10-13 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be to death...

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

1 Corinthians 15:22,56 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive...

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written...

Ephesians 2:1-6 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...

Ephesians 5:14 Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him...

1 Timothy 5:6 But she that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not to death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not to death...

Revelation 2:11 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation 20:6,14 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power...

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters...

Cross References
Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--

Romans 5:17
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Timothy 5:6
but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.

James 1:15
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Genesis 3:2
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

Deuteronomy 30:15
"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

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