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Wednesday, July 13 2011
The Forbidden Fruit
The term "forbidden fruit" is based upon the famous incident in which the first humans became sinners. The original command was given to the man alone, before the woman was created (although both of them were "adam"; the Hebrew word, pronounced aw-dawm, from which the name "Adam" originated, actually means humans, male and female - the reason that it is translated into English as "man" i.e. "1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27 KJV; see also Christ The Creator).
"2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 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.
"Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
The Biblical record does not specify the type of fruit (which is the primary clue that the problem didn't come from the kind of fruit), which has led to needless speculation for thousands of years. The most common guess, as originated by Europeans, is that it was an apple - hence also the origin of the term "Adam's apple" (i.e. the larynx in the throat of all humans, which is merely more prominent in males).
Others have guessed grapes, tomatoes, mushrooms, among many others, including an obscure (and Hebrew-language contradicting) Rabbinic tradition that it was wheat - all of which ignore the stated fact that the fruit was from a tree, not a vine, a garden plant or a grain. The actual Hebrew word, that is translated as "fruit" in those verses (whether referring to the fruit that they were allowed to eat, or to the fruit that was forbidden - it was the same word), is pronounced per-ee; it means fruit from a branch.
Those who believe that it was a fig tree have at least some Biblical basis for their suggestion. We know for certain that fig trees were there because immediately after they took the fruit (whether from a fig tree or not), they made coverings for themselves out of fig leaves.
"3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Genesis 3:6-7 KJV)
But eating figs, or any other edible fruit, is not in itself sinful ("1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good" Genesis 1:12 KJV). The other trees that they were allowed to eat from could very well have been the same species as the one tree that was off limits.
The key to the "forbidden fruit" was not the fruit; what made them sinners was their taking of something that was forbidden. It was a test that defined their being without sin - obeying the Command of the LORD gave them righteous character. For that reason, Satan didn't target the kind of fruit that it was; he persuaded the humans to do something that the LORD commanded them not to do, for their own good i.e. their own goodness.
"3:1 Now the serpent [see also Do You Want A Servant Or A Serpent?] was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Fact Finder: Is producing "bad fruit" also "forbidden fruit"?
This Day In History, July 13
1174: William I of Scotland, a leading rebel in the Revolt of 1173-1174, was captured at Alnwick by Henry II of England.
1260: The battle of Durbe; the Livonian Order was defeated by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
1410: Poland and Lithuania defeated the Teutonic Knights at Tannenberg.
1534: Ottoman forces captured Tabriz in Persia (known today as Iran).
1558: During the Valois Hapsburg War, the French under Marshal de Thermes were defeated by the Flemish and their allies, aided by the English fleet, at the Battle of Gravelines.
1573: During the Eighty Years' War: the Siege of Haarlem ended after 7 months (the area of New York City, earlier known as New Amsterdam, known as Harlem was named after Haarlem in the Netherlands by the Dutch when they were the colonial power in eastern North America).
1585: A group of 108 English pioneers, led by Sir Richard Grenville, arrived to establish a colony in the wilderness of what is today known as Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1621: Albert the Pious, cardinal, son of Holy Roman emperor Maximilian II, nephew of Philip II of Spain, died at age 62. He ruled the Spanish Netherlands jointly with his wife Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain. He managed to control only the 10 southern Catholic provinces (today Belgium and Luxembourg), while the 7 northern Protestant provinces (today the Netherlands) rebelled.
1643: During the English Civil War, the Parliamentarians were defeated by the Royalists under Prince Maurice at the Battle of Roundway Down.
1662: Charles II granted a charter to establish the Royal Society in London.
1837: Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to live in Buckingham Palace.
1854: The Battle of Guaymas in Mexico. General Jose Maria Yanez repelled a French invasion by Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon.
1863: The New York Draft Riots. Opponents of military conscription began 3 days of riots that became among the worst in U.S. history.
1878: The Ottoman Empire was further reduced with the signing of the Treaty of Berlin. The Caucasus was given to Russia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria. Romania became independent and the treaty also confirmed Britain's right to occupy Cyprus. Listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire; also, The European World Wars.
1882: The British destroyed forts built by the Arabi Pasha threatening the Suez Canal after three days of firing by battleships led by Sir Beauchamp Seymour in the Egyptian rebellion.
1892: A heat wave in New York City killed 260 people in 24 hours.
1919: The British airship R34 landed back in Norfolk after making the first-ever Atlantic aerial round-trip. It set out from Scotland to North America on July 2.
1943: The greatest tank battle in history ended with Russia's defeat of Germany at Kursk, south of Moscow. Almost 6,000 tanks took part, 2,900 were lost by Germany. There were at least 230,000 casualties in the battle.
1977: A massive power failure, attributed to budget shortfalls that limited required maintenance, caused a blackout throughout New York City. Looting and rioting immediately broke out, with police arresting at least 3,000 people.