Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Test

In his literary strategy, the narrator has God plant two trees and arrange a test—a test of obedience. God denies one tree to the humans. The reader may infer that the outcome of this test somehow decides the humans’ access to the other tree—the tree of life. It is then interesting to note that there is no sign that the man and the woman knew anything about the existence of a tree of life. And apparently they did not know that they were passing a test and that obedience to the commandment would be rewarded with the gift of eating from the tree of life.—Mettinger in The Eden Narrative, page 37 (italics his)

<idle musing>
Obedience for the sake of obedience. Not obedience for the sake of a reward. But, isn't that the only true kind of obedience? Obeying for the sake of a reward is just playing the game to get the reward, it isn't true obedience.
</idle musing>

1 comment:

Andy said...

Huh. It never occurred to me to wonder if they knew about the other tree or not.

Thing is, they were allowed to eat from any other tree in the garden... so presumably, they knew about the tree of life, too, or at least had access to it, whether they knew about it or not, although the tale indicates they never tasted that particular fruit.