Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 2, 2015

What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?

Eve offers Adam the Forbidden Fruit

Eve offers Adam the Forbidden Fruit
In this picture the Forbidden Fruit looks
similar to a hand grenade — it certainly
blew up all of creation.

Why is a man’s larynx called an
Adam’s apple?

The term originally came from the notion that the Forbidden Fruit of the Garden of Eden was an apple, and a piece stuck in Adam’s throat when he swallowed it.

Many people think Adam’s Forbidden Fruit was an apple, largely because the Forbidden Fruit appears as an apple in so many illustrations. Is this correct?

The World Book Encyclopedia says,
“Many people believe an apple was the fruit that, according to the Bible, Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden.”
(World Book Encyclopedia, 1990, vol 1, p 570)

Even Mark Twain, who should have known better, identified the Forbidden Fruit as an apple in his humorous Extracts from Adam’s Diary (1904). According to Twain, he translated the Extracts from Adam’s original hieroglyphics. While humorous, they often deviate from Scripture.
(See the BibleScienceGuy series Adam’s Diary.)

Was the Forbidden Fruit an apple?

Twain's Title Page

Mark Twain’s Title Page

The Forbidden Fruit could not have been an apple. Yahweh clearly specified the allowed food for man and beast:
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30 NASB)

The allowed food included “every plant yielding seed” and “every tree which has fruit yielding seed” and “every green plant.” Apple trees are green plants and apples are fruit with seeds, so they were permissible food. Therefore an apple could not have been the forbidden fruit.

Other suggestions for the Forbidden Fruit include pomegranate, citron, pear, and quince. But all these contain seeds, so these conjectures are wrong.

The pseudepigraphic Book of Enoch says the Forbidden Fruit “resembled grapes extremely fine and its fragrance extended to a considerable distance” (1 Enoch 31:4). This is picturesque, but the Book of Enoch is outside the canon of Scripture and does not carry the authority of God’s Word.

Michelangelo (1475–1564) depicted the Forbidden Fruit as a fig in his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Since Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves after they sinned (Genesis 3:7), some have suggested the Forbidden Fruit was a fig. But figs have seeds, so that’s out.

Scripture does not identify the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was probably more appealing than Eden’s most succulent peach, its most delicious grapes, or its most delectable pear. Eve was surely familiar with the fruit of Eden which undoubtedly far surpassed what we eat today. Yet the Forbidden Fruit was still “a delight to the eyes” for her (Genesis 3:6) and successfully tempted her. The Forbidden Fruit was surely a fruit that no longer exists.


If You Were in Eden…

Would you or I have done better than Adam and Eve when tempted by the Serpent in Eden?

If we were the ones in Eden, would we have eaten the Forbidden Fruit?

I believe the answer is YES. Every one of us would have eaten. Adam was the best possible representative to take the obedience test. He was created perfect directly by Yahweh Himself. Yet he failed. He chose disobedience.

Thank God that the Second Adam (Jesus of Nazareth), who was under far more duress and in much less favorable circumstances than the First Adam, did not fail. He chose obedience.

Like Adam, we humans fail to keep Yahweh’s law — on a daily basis.

Jesus’ instructions on how to pray are therefore so valuable:
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:13)
Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12)

Questions to Ponder
  1. Would you have eaten the Forbidden Fruit in Eden?
  2. What strategy have you found most successful for overcoming temptation?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the tenth of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?

Read the sequels:
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
37. Did Adam Like Steak?
38. Could Adam Read & Write?
39. Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
40. Adam & the Olympics
41. Adam and the Gospel
42. Adam and the Genesis Road

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday December 2, 2015 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

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