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When God created man, he created him with the fore knowledge that man would eat from the forbidden tree, and even with the knowledge that man would bring sin into the World; God created the tree in the midst of the garden. God also created the tree of life in the garden, and told man that of every tree of the garden he could freely eat except that when he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that he would surely die.

All scriptures are quoted from the King James translation:

Genesis 2:16 and 17

And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

I have often wondered why; if God has the knowledge of good and Evil, why having that knowledge is so abhorrent that it is a death sentence to man. God knew that man would choose to disobey him and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he also knew that man would do so before eating from the tree of life.

Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know 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 -

Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

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My personal opinion: You're taking an overly-literal interpretation of "knowledge of good and evil." There are different senses of "knowledge." To borrow an analogy from Sister Act, you can know that a doughnut is sweet without having tasted it. This is one sense of "knowledge." Once you have tasted a doughnut, you have another sense of knowledge. I believe Genesis is referring to the second sense of "knowledge of good and evil"--that is, an intimate, experiential knowledge. With this understanding, I think the reason God did not want that is obvious. –  Flimzy Mar 3 at 18:40
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@Flimzy Whatever interpretation of the knowledge of good and evil it is something God wanted man not to have, and having that knowledge is not the thing that it against God it is the disobedience by eating from the tree that angered God. It cannot be that having that knowledge is a sin since God has it. –  Bye Mar 3 at 19:01
    
Lots of answers and comments only two votes! –  Bye Mar 4 at 17:05
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6 Answers 6

Perhaps there is a difference between the eating of such evil knowledge and knowing of such evil knowledge.

If two con artists wish to steal the life's savings from the elderly, and one of the two con artists changes his ways and tries to inform the elderly of how they were about to be deceived by the other con artist, it would not be logical for a priest to then do everything he can to prevent the elderly from knowing how they could be deceived, and do so by preventing them from knowing of the evil knowledge of the con artists decetfulness.

A priest would not dive between the informer and the elderly.

Thus it would be the knowing and practicing of such evil knowledge that is of the wrong.

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Cecil

Another answer that derives from scripture is:

in Gen 2:!5 God says to Adam: .if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (TKGE), for when you eat from it you will certainly die".

Therefore: to eat the fruit of TKGE = to die (commonly accepted as separation from GOD).

AND answering the question,

God did not want man to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (whatever that means) because this would cause man to 'die' (physically and spiritually - as we know from NT scriptures) and cause a separation in the 'relationship' between man/God that could only be repaired by the promised son (seed of the woman) JESUS CHRIST.

Does that makes sense?

God Bless and Open our Understanding of His Word

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As an omniscient God, he knew before creation man would eat from TKGE. Although I disagree with the death being separation from God theory, even that rings hollow in that God already knew Jesus would have to come to rescue us from our sins. Unless God had some compelling reason, He could have saved a lot of heartache by just not creating, to begin with. –  Bye Mar 4 at 3:27
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You answered it yourself: because knowledge = death

Gen. 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The commandment here is actually more related to the matter not of a punishing death, but of a death that is caused by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

This is analogous to a mother saying to her children, "you may play with all things in the living room, but of that fire in the fireplace, you shall not touch of it: for in the day that you touch it you shall surely feel pain." The pain is not her punishment to her kids, rather, it's a direct cause of the child touching the fire.

When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, Sin was able to enter into man's flesh and cause man to die.

Rom. 5:12 Therefore just as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men because all have sinned—

Rom. 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to work out the good is not.

Rom. 7:20 But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.

Eph. 2:1 And you, being dead in your offenses and sins"

Note that the day that Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, they did not die physically, and the faculties of their soul were also active and therefore not dead either. Therefore through this process of elimination, we see that actually, what was deadened in that day was their spirit, which is used to contact and worship God

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

With man's primary way of contacting God gone, man became separated from God, and the result was man's further stages of fall, with the likes of Cain and Nimrod and finally culminating with the flood.

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Why did God not want man to have the knowledge of good and evil? The answer is Pride. The heart of Pride forgets God.

when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; (Deuteronomy 8:14 NKJV)

So since God hates Pride so much, he sent his son to teach us humility.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29 NKJV)

I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”(Hosea 5:15 NKJV)

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Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know 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 ...

Interpretation of what "Knowledge of good and evil" means must come from scripture itself (otherwise it becomes everyone's opinion):

Scripture suggests that To desire the "Knowledge of good and evil" is to desire EQUALITY with GOD, since in Gen 3:22 God says "man is become as one of us" 'because' man now knows - or has the knowledge - of good and evil.

To desire EQUALITY with GOD can also be seeing as desire to be in control of one's own life ("to dictate the rules") - which leads man (still today) into rebellion.

So, Why did God not want man to have the knowledge of good and evil?

Because God did not create man to be EQUAL to God!

A spin-off of this question is another question: Why would God create a rule in first place?

Because GOD IS THE RULER AND KING.

Setting up rules is part of His character ;-)

Gen 3:5 confirms this interpretation. The serpent says to Eve: “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

"you eat from it" = "knowing good and evil" = "be like God"

Sola Scriptura = Scripture explains scripture

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I cannot accept your answer since it conflicts with the fact that God knew before creation that man would fall, and also does not align with equality with God in that God's powers are so far superior to man's. Also how do you compare that To: Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. –  Bye Mar 3 at 23:17
    
This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. Remember that "I believe it means..." isn't an acceptable answer, since this site isn't about personal interpretation. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Mar 4 at 0:11
    
I did not say 'I believe', but "Scripture suggests" for it follows from what is being said in the TEXT, not in my belief. No need a 'pope' to validate it - Sola Scriptura (Latin "by Scripture alone") the Bible interprets itself. However, google R.C. Sproul, G. Goldsworthy, David Pawson. READ what the TEXT says: Gen 3:22 "the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil;" When God did say that? after man ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good & Evil. Why did God say that? because the consequence/result of knowing Good & Evil is to 'BECOME AS ONE OF US' = EQUALITY. make sense? –  user10238 Mar 4 at 0:52
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Cecil, not EQUALITY in ALL of GOD's powers and attributes, but in terms of being able to 'make the rules'. Sin is rebellion against God's Kingship (Ruling). When Man chooses to follow this path, man decided to live a life without God's ruling ... this reflects human nature "we don't need God". Does it make more sense for you now? –  user10238 Mar 4 at 2:43
    
God had already given man dominion over all the rest of creation so he already had that power. –  Bye Mar 4 at 14:09
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God gave us free will and the image of His likeness for fellowship, relationship and family... Not Independance... The Power to choose is the "The Tree Of Knowledge Of Good An Evil"... The love of the fellowship, relationship and family was to NOT eat of that tree... We love to have children... Even though they don't listen... We don't not have children for fear they won't listen... We burn for family, fellowship, relationship... So does Dad... No Doubt we were made in His image...

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Are you saying that God didn't want Adam and Eve to choose the Tree of knowledge of good and evil because they would then have the power to choose? –  curiousdannii Jun 4 at 0:20
    
My reason for down voting is that you answer implies limitations on God. As I read your answer it appears to deny God's omniscience. God knew before creating the first Atom exactly what would transpire ever second of every day from Creation to the return to his eternal kingdom, who would and who would not obey him. He knew every nuance of the human mind and character. He knew before creating that first Atom exactly what Adam and Eve would do. And I submit that he even know then what you would answer and what my reaction would be to it. –  Bye Jun 9 at 20:11
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