Genesis 2:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:9, NIV: "The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:9, ESV: "And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:9, KJV: "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:9, NASB: "Out of the ground the LORD God caused every tree to grow that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:9, NLT: "The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground--trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 2:9, CSB: "The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

What does Genesis 2:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse described God planting a garden, somewhere to the east of the land occupied by Genesis' original readers. This region—not merely the garden itself—is referred to as "Eden." Here, that garden is described as a place where God caused to "spring up" a variety of beautiful trees bearing good fruit. According to this description, there were many different types of fruit-bearing trees in this location.

Two specific trees are mentioned by name as standing in the middle of the garden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We will soon learn that God had designed these two trees with special properties. Those who ate from the Tree of Life would live forever (Genesis 3:22). The function of this tree seems to be that immortality comes from continually eating from it. God did not prohibit Adam and Eve from eating its fruit at first, and they were not rendered permanently immortal by it.

On the other hand, those who ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would leave behind their blissful state of innocence. In later verses, God will forbid Adam from eating from this tree. The "knowledge" here is not necessarily intellectual, but that of experience. The fruit of this tree would not, in and of itself, impart information. However, it would cause mankind to experience both good and evil in ways not intended by God. Eating from this tree would make man aware of the existence of evil—which is opposition to God—by participating in it.

In verse 17, we will hear God instruct the man never to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In chapter 3, we will see the man break that command with disastrous results.