Initial when the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is introduced not much is said about its details except its restrictions.

Genesis 2:16 NASB

16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Genesis 3:6 NASB

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

But later during the conversation between the serpent and Eve its finer details emerge.

Could it be that it was the first time that Eve saw the tree?

  • Is it the case that Eve actually 'saw' what she thought she saw ?. Or was she 'seeing' what the serpent wanted her to see. She was deceived, was she not ?
    – Nigel J
    Jun 10, 2019 at 12:53
  • Deceived yes,but was it the first time she saw the tree Jun 10, 2019 at 13:05
  • I would prefer the word 'perceived' as it is not a physical tree. It is the tree of knowledge of good and evil, a metaphysical thing. Eve was meditating on what the tree was when the serpent approached. And his suggestions interfered with her proper apprehension of what the tree was and that it was a different tree to the one in the midst of the garden - the Tree of Life.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 12, 2019 at 19:29
  • @NigelJ Genesis 2:9 says that God caused every tree to grow out of the ground including the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Do you not think these trees are literal but metaphysical only? Aug 1, 2022 at 2:13
  • 1
    @MikeBorden Noted and up-voted, Mike. See the two books Knowledge and Life and Light and Life where I cover the whole subject in detail. Downloads (PDF) are free of charge with no registration.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 1, 2022 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


What do we believe in Bible? We believe God is justice. For sure!

If you can find a punishment of sin in Bible that God hadn't given a previous warning, please leave a comment, and we take a look at it.

God will not punish or do anything against someone without given a previous warning. The warnings were given either by verbal from prophets, or by written law.

Romans 5:13 read

To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. (NIV)

Amos 3:7 read

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (NIV)

Now back to the question. If God did not identify which tree is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, could it be a justice for God to punish Adam and Eve?

  • How does this answer the question, "Was it the first time that Eve saw the tree?"? Jul 31, 2022 at 23:44
  • @ray - I'm answering the question by logical deduction. The direct answer is God had to have shown Adam and Eve which tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, otherwise God do not have the justice to punish Adam and Eve. You don't think God just showed them a photo, right? Aug 1, 2022 at 4:01
  • God could have said “If you see a tree with really big long leaves, and it has bunches of long bent yellow fruit, don't eat them!”. If they later encountered a banana tree, they'd recognize it without ever having seen it before. Aug 1, 2022 at 4:19
  • @ray - I don't believe God is a God of ambiguity. Just as Paul said God is not a God of disorder. His instruction is sharp and clear. So if you found anywhere God is ambiguous, please quote the example and let's discuss about it. Aug 1, 2022 at 15:03

If you wanted the short answer

  • She saw the tree earlier of Genesis 3:7 -> Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree ...
  • She saw the tree for the first time in Genesis 3:7 -> Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew

Depends how you look at it really.

What is she looking at?

It started when I perceived the translation as the snake talking, and when I thought the tree of knowledge and of life as real actual trees. Then I read this translation from Jeff A Benner The Torah: A Mechanical Translation. Anyways regardless of anyone else's opinion of his type of translating or teachings, he translated "good" as "function". This gave me remarkable insight, because regardless if good should translate as function or not, it got me thinking "What is good?", "What is function", "What does function teach me concerning good?"

Since I program on computers the term "function" perhaps made more influence on me compared with others, because programming uses functions. And to simplify this term let's consider it as how something is done. At the time there was this chatroom I was in that had this ongoing debate on faith vs. works. We can look at works as 'something done' and functionality as 'how it works'.

Both Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 speak of "the way that seems right". To give light we can see this as the "'functionality' that seems right, but can cause death". These two proverbs can stand as witnesses that the concept of 'functionality' within the concept of 'good' can help us realize the truth of this tree event because it shares the same fate as the tree event.

Basic Overview of Main Concepts Old Testament vs. New - Within this Concept
The causality of this "tree" event resulted sin. The causality of "faith" results in redemption.

Romans 14:23 NKJV

... for whatever is not from faith is sin.

The opposite of faith is doubt. Somehow this tree event caused doubt.

Defining Good
We label something as good when the comparison is made. The comparison happens between the functionality and the occurrence. When the occurrence matches the chosen 'way' it is good. If it doesn't match it receives the label error.

Defining Evil
Strong's Concordance Defines רֹעַ (ro) as "bad quality". Bad is defined as "low standard". Or for simplicity we can state that functionality is the standard, and through its not matching that it's bad. Even the word Error keeps within its self this root word.

God's Opinion on Creation Genesis 1:31 NKJV

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

God's opinion stays the same and he shows us with the flood event Genesis 6:5 NKJV.

5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

God Said it Was Good and He Is Right
Each time mankind sees error it challenges God's righteousness, "giving us the reason for the command in the first place". May the pessimist turn optimistic!

Additional Resources that Help Define This Tree Genesis 3:6 NKJV

... desirable to make one wise ...

Defining Wisdom
Wisdom we can define as comparing functionalities and choosing the way of 'efficiency' and 'effectiveness'.

When Solomon Prayed for Wisdom 1 Kings 3:9-10 NKJV

9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,

Eve's Doubt Genesis 3:1-2 Prefix-Root-Suffix Formatted

1 and the snake exposed itself from the beast of the field which Was formed by the Forces and he said, "Move Wife, since indeed the said forces stopped eating from every tree [in] the garden 2 and the wife said, "Move the snake from my fruit tree [in] the garden [and] we [will] eat."

His reasoning wasn't enough and she doubted thinking that the cause given through the command resulted from the snake instead of the word offered "the way that seems right". However Adam showed his hypocrisy when he ate of it, "Giving reason of doubt."

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