Holy Bible: Genesis
Hebrew Mythology: the Garden of Eden
Holy Bible, Genesis, compiled c. 500 BC, Hebrew, Middle East.
'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.'
God created Adam and gave him a garden to live in. At its centre was an orchard amongst whose trees was the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. Around these trees was curled a snake. Adam was instructed that he could eat fruit from most of the trees but not to eat any fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
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.
Next, God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, to be a comfort to him at night. But the snake who lived in the orchard persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and she in turn persuaded Adam to eat some as well. When God saw them both feeling embarrassed in his company, he knew that they must have eaten fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and that it was now time for them to leave. The snake was vilified and man was given full authority over woman.
Like the Olympian god Zeus, the patriarchal Hebrew God has inherited an orchard that he is not certain he wants to have much to do with. He suspects that to eat its fruit is seen as a prelude to rebirth into the real world, so, when Adam and Eve eat the fruit, out into the real world they have to go.