“And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9)
In the midst of the garden, two unique trees were growing — one that provided life and one that rendered death. The tree of life — עץ חיים etz chayim in Hebrew — is understood to represent the Word of God. Alluding to this, Solomon said that wisdom is:
“A tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.” (Proverbs 3:18-19)
In most every synagogue this passage is quoted when referring to the Sefer Torah — the Book of the Law. In other words, it is understood that God’s Word is the source of wisdom and, thus, the authentic Tree of Life. In fact, the two spindles upon which the parchment is rolled are called “branches” and the parchment itself is referred to as the “leaves.”
We see then, that from the very beginning, the Word of God has always been mankind’s source of eternal life. Later Messiah would say to a group of religious men:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39)
And so we also see that the Tree of Life was always supposed to point us to the Living Word of God, the Messiah. He was there in the beginning; He is with us now and will be with us forevermore. We must dedicate ourselves to always partaking of this Tree and no other, that we might have eternal life.
Blessings and Shalom,