I love the History channel. They have a great way to look at Christian and Jewish beliefs in a way that takes a lot of the religion out of it. Several times you can see a slant, but it is still good to watch if you want to get a new perspective on these religions. I wish they would start doing episodes on other religions, such as Islam, but they are probably afraid of the fatwa that would follow. Oh well.
The last program I watched was over the Garden of Eden. Rather interesting place, as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all feel like human life began there when God created Adam. Several really interesting tidbits I would like to get into later, but what caught my imagination was the discussion on what fruit Adam and Eve ate that caused the fall. We know the disobedience caused the fall and not the fruit, but wouldn’t it be interesting to know what it was that they ate.
It was not the apple. I never thought it would be an apple, but the program was good to inform me where that concept originated from. When the Bible was translated in to Latin, the ford malus caused quite the stir. It seems the word is used for both apple and evil. From there, the symbol of the apple began to represent the forbidden fruit. Kind of a bum wrap for the apple, but I guess advertisers have sold them as sinfully good for awhile now so no reason to complain right.
So the theory that historians have is that it was probably the fig. Figs are the oldest know fruit and it was the fig leaf that Adam and Eve used to conceal their sin or nakedness, however you want to look at it. Interesting note, a professor taught that the fig leaf will turn clear once it has been plucked from the tree. Could see the meaning as sin can not truly be covered, but I have not been able to find proof of that so might just be an interesting story.
So Adam and Eve probably ate a fig. Have you ever noticed that it was the tree that determined what was bad and not the fruit? God said do not eat the fruit from that tree instead of do not eat this fruit. I just noticed that. Anyways to get back to my point, when I heard that it was most likely the fig, something was triggered.
The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. (Gen 3:6)
and along the way he saw a fig tree. But when he came to it, he found only leaves and no figs. So he told the tree, “You will never again grow any fruit!” Right then the fig tree dried up. (Mat 21:19)
From a distance Jesus saw a fig tree covered with leaves, and he went to see if there were any figs on the tree. But there were not any, because it wasn’t the season for figs. So Jesus said to the tree, “Never again will anyone eat fruit from this tree!” The disciples heard him say this. (Mar 11:13-14)
I will be the first to admit I might be reaching here, but I never understood why Jesus cursed the fig tree. If it was to prove an issue with faith, anything could have been used. I have heard that the tree representedIsraelbut I do not think God would break His covenant. I have heard that it represented the old system and that if one does not produce fruit they would be considered dead spiritually.
What if Jesus was condemning the tree of good and evil that provided the stumbling block for Adam and Eve? The fig tree could represent that the knowledge of good and evil does not produce any fruit but only leads to death. That faith in God is the only fruit that would nourish someone one. As I said I could be reaching, but the symbolism the Bible uses always fascinates me.