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Absurdity of Not Guarding the Forbidden Fruit

Why Wasn't the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Guarded?


In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we're told that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed by God personally in the middle of the Garden of Eden without so much as a fence, much less a guard. When Adam and Eve are kicked out of the Garden of Eden, though, God places guards outside to prevent anyone from eating from the Tree of Life.

We therefore know that God is willing and able to create barriers and/or to have guards to keep human beings away from something that he doesn't want them messing around with. So why didn't God put any sort of guard or protection on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the first place? If it was so important that humans not eat any fruit from this tree, why not do something to ensure that the fruit would be kept safe?


Guarding the Garden of Eden

Genesis 3:24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


Guarding & Protecting What's Important

Any time you have something very important that you don't even want disturbed, much less taken, don't you create some sort of protection for it? You may not go as far as hiring a guard with a flaming sword, but you might at least put up a fence, put it behind a locked door, or even just stick it in the back of a drawer somewhere.

One thing you definitely do not do it put it out in the middle of a high-traffic area, make it look visually appealing, then leave under the assumption that nothing untoward will happen — and that's basically what God did with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It's not as though God didn't understand the concept of guards because they were used to guard the Garden of Eden later.


Childproofing the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

If you've ever had children, you probably know about the need to childproof your home. Some people to go great lengths, but just about everyone at least does something to ensure that infants cannot access the most dangerous chemicals and cleaners. This is because infants don't know any better and can easily eat something they shouldn't.

Adam and Eve were very much akin to infants, lacking any knowledge of good and evil and therefore not knowing that it was wrong to disobey and eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet, for some reason, God didn't even bother to put basic childproof locks or fasteners around the tree.

It's absurd that nothing whatsoever was used to protect or guard the Tree of Knowledge early on. Had there been a guard, it's unlikely that Eve would have been able to eat any of the fruit and give any to Adam, thus eliminating all the problems later on. In fact, a guard could have warned Eve to simply not trust the snake, something that God for some reason never bothered doing.


Reconsidering the Purpose of the Tree and Fruit

Unless, of course, the whole point was precisely to leave the Tree of Knowledge in a prominent area in order to encourage Adam and Eve to eat from it and to precipitate all that followed. This, in turn, would make God personally responsible for what happened in an active rather than in a merely negligent capacity.

To return to the analogy of infants, putting dangerous chemicals behind childproof locks is responsible and appropriate. Not doing anything special to keep them away from kids is at least slightly negligent and is much more negligent if you happen to know that infants are crawling around, putting stuff in their mouths.

Setting the dangerous chemical out in the middle of a day care's play area is reckless (at best). Making the chemical look and smell appealing is horribly reckless. Doing so with the intention that infants will ingest the appealing chemicals will bring (attempted) murder charges.


Adam, Eve, and the Unguarded Tree

What do you think? Do you agree that it's absurd that God never used any sort of guard, fence, or lock to protect the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Or do you think that there is some way to read this story that makes it seem more sensible and reasonable? If so, your solution cannot add anything new that's not already in the biblical text and cannot leave out any details that the Bible provides.

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