Adam's Original Sin

Hello Present Truth Magazine,

Could you please explain why Adam and Eve's sin was so serious as to cause God to issue a death decree upon all of humanity? George M.

Dear George,

In the Garden of Eden only God as the Creator, Lawgiver, Judge, and King had the exclusive divine prerogative to "know" or "discern" between good and evil, right and wrong, sin and righteousness. Adam and Eve knew about good and evil because God had told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. But they, as created subjects of the King, were not free to determine what was right or wrong, good or evil. In taking this determination upon themselves they were setting themselves up in the place of God as the divine Lawgiver and Judge. The creature was usurping prerogatives which belonged only to the Creator.

After taking of the forbidden fruit, God said that now "man has become like God" in that man had taken upon himself the role of a judge of what is good or evil. This simple act of disobedience was in essence an act of high treason and rebellion against the office of the King, Lawgiver and Judge. Man had set himself up as judge in the place of the divine Judge/Lawgiver. Thus God the Judge decrees that Man can no longer be allowed to live forever as a "god" thinking that he can be the determiner of good and evil, right and wrong. The rebellious human family now had rejected the Lord as the supreme Judge and had determined to do what was right in its own eyes. Man had allied himself with God's supreme Enemy and had taken upon himself the role and prerogative which only God had the right to assume. Man had attempted to usurp the throne of God. Jesus Christ alone, as the Supreme Judge, has the right to "know good and evil".

The Hebrew noun da'ath and the Hebrew verb yada' are used as knowledge and to know respectively.

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:8-9 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception, wisdom) of good and evil .

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat 17 But of the tree of the knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception) of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:4, 5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing (Heb. verb yada' — to discern, perceive, distinguish, discriminate) good and evil .

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:22 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know (Heb. verb yada — to discern, perceive, distinguish) good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Verb yada' : 2 Samuel 19:35 35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern (Heb. yada' — to discriminate or distinguish between) between good and evil ? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?

Hebrew shama, byin , and yada used as synonyms:

2 Samuel 14:17 17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern (Heb. shama' — decide a legal matter as a judge) good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

1 Kings 3:6-11 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern (Heb. byin — to distinguish) between good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (Heb. shama' — to decide a judicial case as a judge "hears" a case) judgment ;

Very best regards,

Bill Diehl, Jr
P. S. Any suggestions or improvements regarding my translation of the Hebrew in this article would be welcomed.