In Genesis 2, we are told that there were two named trees in the Garden of Eden--the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.

When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, this was a sin against God, since He had commanded them not to do so.

After this, God indicates that they should not be allowed to eat again from the Tree of Life, since doing so would allow them to live forever, presumably in a state of separation from God. Consequently, God placed an angel to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

So, what happened to these two trees--and the Garden itself for that matter? Did these trees eventually die as well, perhaps at the time of the flood?

Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9 NASB

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 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.” Genesis 2:15-17 NASB

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 NASB

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    I've always assumed they were destroyed in the flood. May 3, 2013 at 14:49
  • @AffableGeek Yeah, that seems logical. I guess I had wondered if the tree of life could not die, but that was before the fall.
    – Narnian
    May 3, 2013 at 14:50
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    One burnt down, the other was transplanted high on a hill in a walled city where it awaits the return of the True King.
    – Peter Turner
    May 3, 2013 at 16:21
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    Answered your own question. Bibilically, it was guarded by an Angel then there was a flood that covered "the whole earth under all the heavens" (unless your an old earth creationist, then it only covered Noah's part of the world) . Extrabibilcially it's the basis for the fountain of youth story, still buried by the flood, supposedly the fountain of youth springs from the garden of Eden, and supposedly it was in Florida, of all places. :)
    – 2tim424
    May 3, 2013 at 16:24
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    I assume you're asking for a YEC perspective, since many OECs, and all(?) theistic evolutionists would argue that neither tree ever literally existed.
    – Flimzy
    May 4, 2013 at 5:28

3 Answers 3


I assumed that everyone knows what happened to Torah, so here is the answer more simply put. This is the teaching of Judaism, but surely is important to Christianity. The Christian OT is taken from Judaism.

The tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, is a metaphor for the Torah in Judaism - which after all is where the Tree of Life comes from. In Torah, the Tree of Life is God's blueprint for his creation, and in Orthodox Judaism it existed prior to the creation. God is seen as the Architect working from His blueprint, Torah.

“And the LORD 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: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” Genesis 3:22, 23, KJV.

God gave Torah to Moses at Sinai. Torah has been handed down to the present day, and is in every synagogue (that can afford it.) And it is in the Christian OT (the Hebrew version, not the Greek, of course, since the Hebrews consider that to be in error.)

So, the tree of life is alive and well. I have a Jewish Book containing the five books of Moses (plus) and whose cover title is ETZ HAYIM which means Tree of Life.

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    This question assumes that the tree was an actual tree and not a metaphor. This is interesting, though, but does not really answer the question.
    – Narnian
    Jul 1, 2013 at 13:19
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    I think Narnian you are teasing us. But if not perhaps you have never been taught the allegorical nature of Gan Eden, so you are forgiven for thinking of the tree in a purely literal way. “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16
    – Waeshael
    Jul 1, 2013 at 13:50
  • Those comments on the letter and the spirit etc. are just a reminder for others. You obviously are well grounded in interpretation of scripture.
    – Waeshael
    Jul 1, 2013 at 13:53
  • Bounty given to celebrate day seven of the 2013 Advent.
    – user3961
    Dec 12, 2013 at 6:15

St. Thomas makes the only rational point that can answer this question.

the tree of life was corruptible, otherwise it could not be taken as food; since food is changed into the substance of the thing nourished.

So if the tree (either of them) were meant to fix its consumers bodies and give them natural immortality it has to drop its fruit and if it can drop its fruit, then it can drop its limbs and if it can.drop its limbs, it can drop its trunk and if it can drop its trunk, it can wither up and die.

If there was only one of each tree Adam and Eve seriously had very little hope of getting the same fruit out of its descendants. But, on a happier note there's really no reason to surmise that a portion of either trees' genetics hasn't been passed down through the centuries.

  • This doesn't answer the question. The question is asking if anything specific is known about the trees' existence after Genesis 3:24. Any anyways, some trees today are practically immortal - unless they get cut down or burnt or something else equally traumatic they'll just keep living, and they'll keep growing too.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 9, 2013 at 15:05

In the Book of Revelation chapter 22:1-3, John in a vision saw the Tree of Life “on either side of the river” that “flows from the throne of God”, in The New Jerusalem in Heaven.

Rev 22:1-3 NIV

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

It may be deduced that the tree was not destroyed in the Great Flood but was instead taken up to heaven and will return to the “earth made new” ie. The Restored Eden, when the Celestial City descends to earth at the return of Jesus Christ.

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    Not sure why this was getting downvoted. It’s citing a relevant Bible verse to back up its conclusion - though I suppose it’s equally possible that the original tree died and God just decided to make more.
    – nick012000
    Oct 5, 2019 at 0:43

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