In Gen 3:22 God says “He must not be allowed to eat of the tree of life and live forever”(paraphrased). What was the need for the tree of life originally? One of the penalties Adam suffered for disobeying God was losing eternal life? Did he have eternal life before eating the fruit? Had he not disobeyed, the tree seems to be unnecessary. In referring to the other people that would be punished 7 times over for harming Cain. Where did these people come from? Are there big gaps in time in the writing of Genesis? Thank you.
The Tree of Life contains things (we do not know what things) that cause the physical body not to age. Genesis 3:22-24 says, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and TAKE ALSO OF THE TREE OF LIFE, AND EAT, AND LIVE FOR EVER: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
The day that man sinned, he died spiritually. Genesis 2:16,17 says, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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.” Adam and Eve did not die physically that day, because God handed down physical punishments that would require time to fulfill. Adam, earning bread in the sweat of his face, and Eve bearing children. Genesis 3:16-19 says, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
In John chapter 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he should have understood that man needed to be born again. Nicodemus was supposed to know the Old Testament, and would have taught it to others. He should have known that Adam and Eve died spiritually the day that they sinned, and needed to be born again. John 3:1-12 says, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”
If man would have been allowed to continue eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned, then he would have been confined to a fallen body of flesh for ever and ever. When access to the Tree of Life was denied, then man’s physical body began to age, and would thus eventually die. Because these physical bodies die, then the Christian can look forward to a new glorified body. I Corinthians 15:42-50 says, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. THERE IS A NATURAL BODY, AND THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
In reference to other people in the days if Cain, they would have been his brothers and sisters. The Bible could not list everyone who was ever born, or it would have been volumes and volumes long. God had recorded what He wanted us to know, and what we need to know to serve Him in His perfect will. John 21:25 gives an example of this, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 20:30,31 says, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Have you been born again by repenting of your sin and placing your faith in Jesus Christ to save you?