Adam and Eve and the Pomegranate Tree
Daily Reading: (Genesis 3:6):
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
What kind of fruit did they eat? The apple is ingrained in the minds of many and often is people’s answer.
What if I told you that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate probably but wasn’t the apple but instead was a pomegranate revealed thousands of years later in the construction of God’s Temple? The Bible doesn’t mention what they ate, but it opens up a lot of different possibilities.
“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9a).
The reason we landed on apple instead of pomegranate over the history of Christianity happened in the Catholic church with a translation error in Latin. In the Vulgate—the Latin translation of the Bible— “the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” uses the Latin word mălum meaning evil. However, there is another Latin noun mālum which means apple. The two words are almost identical, they are spelled the same ,just with a different accent mark. Because of this, people years ago made the mistake that Adam and Eve ate from an apple tree.
It could have been an apple tree, it could have been a pomegranate or perhaps something else like a quince. Who knows for sure? But my greatest evidence for the pomegranate, stands on top of a pillar at the entrance that leads into the Holy of Holies. For this we must journey together to 1 Kings 7.
“King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.” Here is a recap of the bronze work Huram did: “The two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); the ten stands with their ten basins;the Sea and the Sea and the twelve bulls under it the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls. (1 Kings 7:13-14,41-45).
Huram made two life sized trees and Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because the pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds. The number corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments found in the Old Testament Torah (first 5 books of the Bible). So, the pillars are located where? Outside on the porch of the temple before you would enter into God’s Holy Temple. You are instantly reminded in the Old Testament that your sin has separated you from God’s holy presence. The pillars Jachin and Boaz with the pomegranates on them declared Jesus would become our righteousness, granting us access to God’s presence forever. Apart from Him, sin would keep us separated forever.
Hebrews 6:20 says: “Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek means my King is righteous. Jesus is our righteous King. He was able to enter in past the sign of righteousness (the pomegranates), since He fulfilled the Law’s requirements, and once inside, His blood, our sacrifice, cleanses us forever. And because Jesus will continue as our High Priest forever, we have an everlasting righteousness, because Jesus is our High Priest forever.
The Pomegranate on the pillars reminded the Jewish people that in the garden when God gave only one command, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17) we failed. Because there was only one fruit on the pillars and the message they communicated, I believe Adam and Eve ate a pomegranate that day.
There was another message about our righteousness written by the man who commissioned the building of God’s Temple with the pillars of pomegranates. The message of the pomegranate (all 613 commands fulfilled perfectly in Jesus) is that the blessings of Christ are perpetually on your life. The Bible says that “blessings are on the head of the righteous” (Proverbs 10:6), and you are righteous forever!