Advice for Life –the Hebrew Meaning of the Biblical Tree of Life

The Bible mentions by name TWO trees that were planted in the Garden of Eden:

“The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9)

The first tree is ‘the tree of life’ which appears in the original Hebrew as ‘Etz Ha-Cha’yim’ {עץ החיים} and the second is known in Hebrew as ‘Etz Ha-Da’at.’ {עץ הדעת}

The original Hebrew syntax of this verse suggests that the two trees are in fact opposites – or at least, one stands in contrast to the other.

In other words, from the Hebrew syntax of this verse, one can learn that man had to choose between living eternal life OR receiving the gift of knowledge. To live for all eternity and to possess the gift of knowledge does not
appear to be a contradiction at all – so why it is presented as a conflict between two opposite things?

Well, according to one very interesting interpretation, the perspective should be applied for ALL mankind – because with great positive knowledge (which can make our lives better) comes also negative destructive knowledge which can easily damage it.

When man chose ‘knowledge’ he ultimately ruined his chances for having eternal life because of what is attached to the ‘knowledge.’


Here is an interesting anecdote before we conclude this post. The original Hebrew word for ‘tree’ is ‘Etz’ {עץ} which is spelled and pronounced almost identically as the Hebrew word ‘Etzah’ {עצה} – which means ‘advice.’

When one reads this part in the original Hebrew, one cannot ignore the double meaning of the Hebrew word ‘Etz’ which sounds like both ‘tree’ and ‘advice.’ The ‘tree of life’ and ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ sounds also very much like ‘the advice of life’ and ‘the advice of knowledge of good and evil.’