Most English translations say something like:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat;
The Hebrew says:
ויצו יהוה אלהים על־האדם לאמר מכל עץ־הגן אכל תאכל
It seems that וַיְצַו֙ should be translated as "gave charge over" as in Adam was given responsibility to choose whatever he wanted to do. According to NAS Exhaustive Concordance, צָוָה means:
Word Origin: a prim. root
Definition: to lay charge (upon), give charge (to), command, order
NASB Translationç appoint (1), appointed (4), appoints (1), charge (5), charged (17), charging (1), command (56), commanded (332), commander (1), commanding (18), commands (6), commission (3), commissioned (4), commit (1), gave a command (1), gave them a charge (1), gave command (2), gave commandment (2), gave orders (2), give his charge (1), give you in commandment (1), give you charge (1), give orders (3), given (1), given a command (1), given it an order (1), given command (1), given commandment (1), giving (1), instructed (1), issued a command (2), laid (1), laid down (1), ordained (4), order (4), ordered (5), put (1), sent (1), set his in order (1), set your in order (2).
This would mean the charge to "not eat of" was actually a warning rather than a commandment.
"And Jehovah God layeth a charge on the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden eating thou dost eat;"
And the NLT goes even further to say:
But the LORD God warned him, "You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden--
According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the verb charge means:
to give a job or responsibility to (a person or group): to make (a person or group) responsible for something
This would mean Genesis 3:17 says:
And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree concerning which I put you in charge of, saying, eat not from, cursed is the ground for your sake (benefit)
וּלְאָדָ֣ם אָמַ֗ר כִּֽי־שָׁמַעְתָּ֮ לְקֹ֣ול אִשְׁתֶּךָ֒ וַתֹּ֙אכַל֙ מִן־הָעֵ֔ץ אֲשֶׁ֤ר צִוִּיתִ֙יךָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹ֥א תֹאכַ֖ל מִמֶּ֑נּוּ אֲרוּרָ֤ה הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּֽעֲבוּרֶ֔ךָ בְּעִצָּבֹון֙ תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֔נָּה כֹּ֖ל יְמֵ֥י חַיֶּֽיךָ
And Genesis 3:11 says:
And He said, Who said to you that naked you [are]? From the tree, concerning which I gave to you charge/responsibility that you should not eat, have you thereof eaten?
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מִ֚י הִגִּ֣יד לְךָ֔ כִּ֥י עֵירֹ֖ם אָ֑תָּה הֲמִן־הָעֵ֗ץ אֲשֶׁ֧ר צִוִּיתִ֛יךָ לְבִלְתִּ֥י אֲכָל־מִמֶּ֖נּוּ אָכָֽלְתָּ
There are several instances where צָוָה cannot possibly mean "command" because no command is given. In Deuteronomy, the exact same form is used:
"And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge (responsibility), and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee." Deuteronomy 31:23
וַיְצַ֞ו אֶת־יְהֹושֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וַיֹּאמֶר֮ חֲזַ֣ק וֶֽאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבִיא֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לָהֶ֑ם וְאָנֹכִ֖י אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה עִמָּֽךְ
Is it possible that צָוָה means "gave charge" in Genesis 2:16, 3:11, and 3:17?