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The Root of Sin and Death...
Marc Chagall - Eve

Root of Sin and Death...

Further thoughts on Sefer Bereshit

by John J. Parsons
www.hebrew4christians.com

The very first commandment prohibiting eating from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil (עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע) contained all other Torah commandments by implication (Gen. 2:17). The commandments not to worship idols, not to curse God, not to steal, not to kill, not to commit adultery, not to covet, and to enforce justice all derive from this primary commandment given in the garden. After all, Adam lost awareness of God by focusing on himself (idolatry) and failed to express love and reverence for God (profanity); he took from the Tree what was forbidden (coveting/stealing) which led to his own death (killing) and his own inner promiscuity (adultery). He failed to be vigilant and exercise justice by removing the presence of the tempting snake... Notice how these implications form the basic categories of the Ten Commandments, as well as the 613 commandments given later at Sinai. Looked at the other way, all of the commandments of Torah were concentrated into this single prohibition, since had Adam refrained from eating, he likewise would have refrained from all the other sins derived from this first great transgression. Moreover, since the essence of Torah is to trust God (i.e., "the righteous shall live by his faith"), when Adam sinned, he lost faith and the exile began... The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is really the tree of the knowledge of sin and death.  Just as the law defined sin to reveal our lethal spiritual condition, so the Tree of Knowledge led to the consequence of death and the revelation of our need for healing and deliverance given by Yeshua. "The law of the Spirit of life sets you free in Yeshua the Messiah from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

The root of sin and death is found in the desire for "the knowledge of good and evil," that is, by seeking that which what defines sin, or that which is not God's will... It is the attempt to transcend God's authority for something beyond his sovereign good for us, and as such it denies reality and leads to exile and death. In this connection we note that the Hebrew phrase that warns of the dreadful consequence of eating from the Tree is mot tamut (מוֹת תָּמוּת), meaning "in dying you will die," which both implies the spiritual nature of death as separation from the divine life, but also the repeated experience of death – the ongoing knowledge of decay, dissolution, and loss...

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