Questions From Readers
The “good and evil” in the three texts seems to refer to the one thing. Adam and Eve knew something about evil before eating the fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. (Gen. 2:17) They knew it would be wrong for them to eat that fruit, and they knew that death was an evil to be shunned. To “be as gods, knowing good and evil” seems to mean more than just helpful knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. (Gen. 3:5) The word gods could mean just Jehovah God, since the Hebrew word here is Elohim and can mean either God (Jehovah) or gods. If it means gods, then it could refer to Jehovah God and his co-creator and only-begotten Son, the Logos. It was to that one that Jehovah said, at Genesis 3:22: “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”
To know “good and evil” as Jehovah and his only-begotten Son know it would seem to mean to know good and evil for yourself, that is, you make the decision of what is good and what is evil, you judge what is right and what is wrong. Adam and Eve were no longer theocratic, no longer looked to God as the Universal Sovereign over all creatures, no longer accepted him as the one to determine right and wrong. They were going to determine for themselves what they were going to do on the earth, and not let God be the Supreme Arbiter.
Hence to the more responsible man, the woman’s head, Jehovah said in substance: ‘All right, Adam, if you want to be non-theocratic you go your own way. Decide for yourself what is good and evil from your viewpoint. You have no place in the garden of Eden. This garden is for theocratic people who are subject to me. Now get out.’ This view of the matter harmonizes with the fact that God does not assign the committing of sin as the reason for ousting Adam from Eden, but says it was because “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” and therefore should have no opportunity to eat of the tree of life.
● What did Jesus mean by his words, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—F. M., Georgia.
Jesus spoke these words in fulfillment of Psalm 22:1, which was originally written relative to David. Not that David was forsaken for impalement on any torture stake, but he was forsaken to the fury of enemies because of his faithfulness to the Kingdom covenant. In all this David was a prophetic type of Christ. Jesus was forsaken to a disgraceful death, on an accursed tree, in order to test his integrity. By remaining faithful he triumphed in his integrity, as the rest of the Psalm shows. Other verses of Psalm 22 concerning David were fulfilled upon Jesus, further proving it was prophetic of the Greater David, Christ. Compare Psalm 22:1 with Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34; Psalm 22:7, 8 with Matthew 27:39, 43; Psalm 22:15 with John 19:28; Psalm 22:16 with Mark 15:25; and Psalm 22:18 with Matthew 27:35.
But the mere utterance of these prophetic words of Psalm 22:1 was not in itself sufficient for fulfillment of them. At the time Jesus uttered them on the torture stake they really had a background against which to be fulfilled. In this case God’s forsaking Jesus did not mean that God turned his back upon him as disapproved and condemned, but merely that God released him to the full fury of his enemies, even to the extent of allowing them to kill him. Thus God forsook or released Jesus over to his enemies, to be subject to the enemies to do whatsoever they wanted to do with him, not even shielding him from ignominious death.