In Genesis 3:6, how could the woman see that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good when she hadn't yet had its fruit and she was therefore still ignorant about good and evil?

[Gen 3:6 KJV] (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.


2 Answers 2


In order to formulate a possible solution to this problem I would consider the closeness of the Hebrew word for "tree" (עֵץ) and that for "advice" (עֵצָה). When she accepted the piece of advice given by the snake and started looking at things accordingly, the woman had actually already eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...

  • Very cute, but unfounded linguistically and contextually. Not only is there no linguistic connection between עץ meaning tree and עצה meaning to advise, but also עצה, to advise, isn't even used in this passage. Similarly Genesis 2:23, אשה כי מאש לקחה זאת is folk etymology with no actual linguistic basis, but still fun and enjoyable.
    – user17080
    Nov 30, 2019 at 22:23

The Hebrew תרא, she saw, can mean she saw with her eyes, or that she understood (with her mind's eye) or that she was convinced, by the snake's argument.

The verse does not say explicitly what she saw. Apparently in Genesis 3:6 the meaning is that the woman was convinced by, i.e. saw the value in the implication of the snake's argument, that it would be good to be like God and to know the difference between good and evil, and so she ate the fruit and then gave to to her husband so that he should also understand the difference between good and evil that she would understand. There is no better verse than this in any literature that expresses the feminine desire to understand values and have a husband who shares that understanding. And that is why this verse is here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.