Forbidden Fruit

August 24, 2022

The woman could see that the tree was beautiful, and the fruit looked so good to eat.

~ Genesis 3:6a ERV

When we lived in Hawaii, I was informed that the forbidden fruit in the Genesis 3 story was a mango, not an apple like I’d been led to believe as a young child in Sunday School. If you’ve ever eaten a perfectly ripe mango fresh off the tree, you will understand why the Hawaiian’s thought this. 

Other fruits identified with the forbidden fruit of Genesis include: a grape in some rabbinic traditions; a fig (since Adam and Eve covered their nakedness with fig leaves sewn together), a pomegranate (associated with wisdom in ancient Greek legends; a mushroom (depicted in a 13th century fresco in a French monastery as a psychoactive mushroom); a banana (according to Syrian and Egyptian legends); and a grapefruit (originally named the Forbidden Fruit in Barbados). It turns out that the apple motif emerged from art in the Middle Ages that portrayed said fruit as apples. That fits with the pictures in our old Family Bible.

Aside from magic mushrooms (which I’ve never consumed out of fear of psychosis) the other fruit are darned good. We know how the old story goes, that Adam was told by God that he could “eat the fruit of any tree in the Garden; but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat it you shall die.” The sneaky snake (as my youngest grandchildren call serpents) told the woman that “you will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will become like God.”

This time of the year, with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available here in Virginia, I’ve consumed delicious cantaloupes, tomatoes, watermelon, sweet corn and praise be to God for the peaches. Thankfully, none of them have made me become like God. To the contrary, they have made me aware of how amazing our Creator is. Creation is a good gift from an amazing God. The evil in our time is our disregard for the good creation. And for that, I am full of sorrow.

Help me, help us to do what is ours to do today, and everyday so that our grandchildren and great grandchildren will know how very good creation is. ~ Anne

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