Bereshit


Genesis 2:15-17 reads:


The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying "Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.

And in Grabar:

Եւ առ Տէր Աստուած զմարդն զոր արար, եւ եդ զնա ի դրախտին փափկութեան գործել զնա եւ պահելԵւ պատուիրեաց Տէր Աստուած Ադամայ եւ ասէ. Յամենայն ծառոց որ է ի դրախտիդ` ուտելով կերիցեսԲայց ի ծառոյն գիտութեան բարւոյ եւ չարի` մի՛ ուտիցէք, զի յորում աւուր ուտիցէք ի նմանէ` մահու մեռանիցիք: 

These lines are footnoted in the Jewish Study Bible as follows:

Knowledge of good and bad may be a merismus, a figure of speech in which polar opposites denote a totality (like heaven and earth). But knowledge can have an experiential, not only an intellectual, sense in biblical Hebrew, and good and bad can mean either "weal and woe" or "moral good and moral evil." The forbidden tree offers an experience that is both pleasant and painful; it awakens those who partake of it to the higher knowledge and to the pain that both come with moral choice. 

If this interpretation is to be trusted, then according to the author of Genesis, the story of human society began when man was awakened to the consequences of moral choice.

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