Did God "create evil" when He created the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil?


Genesis 2:16 - 17

NKJV - 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Clarify (3) Share Report Asked May 11 2013 Mini Anonymous

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Stringio Colin Wong Supporter Founder, eBible.com
The tree of knowledge of good and evil is a key piece in God's design of humankind and our relationship to Him. In fact, it is the very fabric of contention that both binds us and separates us from Him. 

When God created us, he gave us free will. This "free will" is what enables us to choose to love and obey God, or hate and disobey Him. 

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is most likely just an ordinary tree. But unlike other trees, God placed it in the middle of the garden of Eden and explicitly told Adam and Eve not to eat of its fruit. 

The purpose? An instrument for which Adam and Eve could exercise their free will, to obey or disobey God. Without this, one might argue there was never truly "free will". 

Temptations exists all around us today. Temptations are also the very basis of what makes us good or evil. When we see a wallet on the floor, we have an opportunity to steal it, or return it to the owner. What we do with that temptation defines us. The owner of the wallet did not "create evil" by making it a temptation to us. We, by our choice and exercise of our free will, either create a loving act of kindness, or a selfish act of evil.

Therefor do not blame God for temptations that come in your life. Take responsibility for your actions and exercise the precious gift of free will that God designed in you.

May 13 2013 11 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Michael Milverton
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' - Isaiah 45:7 

The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. - Proverbs 16:4

June 06 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Anonymous
Put simply God created everything, John 1:3 Yes he created the tree of life and with it knowledge of good and evil (understanding), however, the question to a mature christian may be slightly complex. 

It stands to me to be not a question of anything particularly created but rather a manifestation of understanding of a concept that was already in existence and by implication from John 1:3 created by God. 

This means although created and true, evil only exists when you know what exactly it is (deception is one of its weapons) while good is clearly created and declared so by God,(Genesis 1:3-31) evil is only manifested after knowledge has come.

To be more abstract, if we consider light and darkness, the absence of light results in darkness. For example, visual appreciation is achieved through perception of light. In other words, without light you cannot see. Although Bartimaeus had his sight restored (Mark 10:46 NKJV) one cannot quite simply say when Jesus healed him he created light, although I acknowledge some may argue so.

To be clearer, I think we need to define evil first. In my opinion it is the absence of good. So what is good? It is the presence of what is expedient to human existence as defined by the moral standing and character of God evidenced in creation and mentioned as so by God in Genesis 1:3-31. Here clearly God reflects and judges that after an act of creation, its Good. Good is not only confined to this example, it is evidenced through the bible, I think here we get the introduction of what is good and how it was declared so. 

If one does not accept this perspective, perhaps if we think of defining disorder. Order is an arrangement of something, equally the concept of disorder becomes relevant or understandable only if we know what the order is meant to be. Otherwise disorder can be augured as a state of order. Thus you cannot necessarily talk of disorder without knowing the intended order. I propose that the true is the same with evil. Which in essence becomes following opposition or tempering with what is originally declared good by God and his instruction.

The tree of life must be more than an ordinary tree, because if it was just ordinary it would not need to be guarded by an angel and a sword as it is up to this day "...He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life'. (Genesis 3:24 NKJV). 

Prior to creation it appears that there is inference from the biblical text that there were Supernatural beings that were before humanity, 'Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."(Genesis 1:26 NKJV). 

Certainly amoung these supenatural beings that were before man perhaps not necessarily among the LET US referred to in the above verse but certainly in audience with God is Satan,'' 'Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them"(Job 1:6 NKJV).

 We know Satan is the father of evil and has a character of lying, stealing, killing and destroying which epitomises the absence of good and thus existence of evil.

Eating from the tree of life gave humanity the ability to know what is the character of God that is to say good and what is the Character of opposition to this or the absence of good i.e presence of evil.

 The bible is clear that eating again from the tree brings with it imortality 'then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Genesis 3:22 NKJV). By eating the fruit what was already there became manifest.

Thus knowing the essence of evil "...thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (evil) and the essence of good "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (good) (John 10:9 - 10:10 NKJV) helps in thinking through the concept.

 If you do not know what is good, you will not know what is evil. Thus it may be difficult to understand why evil was not necessarily created, but rather manifested. Water was everywhere on what we call earth but until it was arranged and orderered by God to introduce dryness it is difficult to talk about wetness.

If this is all not making sense, then it may be easier to go back to JohIn "...the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Including evil, tree of life, knowledge etc).

In Him was life (good), and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness (evil) and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:1 - 1:5 NKJV).

June 05 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Denise Mobley
Look at it this way. Compare these opposites: good and evil = light and dark = heat and cold. Dark is the absence of a source of light, cold is the absence of a source of heat, evil is the absence of the source of good. So actually evil has existed as long as God has, because He is the source of good. Remove that source of goodness and what remains is evil. Lucifer rebelled against God before the creation, so evil had to have existed before the creation.

June 05 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Robin Steele Disciple, Husband to 1, Father to 3, Friend and Pastor
If God 'created' evil it would have happened before the garden because lucifer was participating in evil before the world was created.

June 04 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Img 2312 Betty Nuckolls
God created everything. Nothing that is was not created by God. Satan is a creation of God's. 

God knew what Satan would do before He created him. God knew what Eve would choose, and that Adam would go along, yet he persisted and allowed it all to take place.

The evil of Satan was first, foolish pride. Foolish pride is still the creator of evil. 

Prior to eating of the tree, Adam and Even knew not that they were naked. It was upon eating from the tree that they recognized their bodies were naked, and they felt shame.

Why did shame come with the eating? Shame was another feeling that God had not automatically included with our initial creation. 

Shame only became a requirement once Adam and Eve's eyes were "opened." Without shame, they would not have the ability to discern good from evil. 

It seems that possibly, God had included in the original design these traits. They seem to have automatically engaged and were brought into life, based wholly on what man had done. 

Strength of character, and being in touch with our inner voice, are not automatically provided, but are given as spiritual gifts from God. These also, however, were triggered and now are necessary for us here in this life to successfully pass through it; completely because of Eve eating that fruit. 

Did self-will bring out what was inside us all along? (Since God made us in His image, He made us as He is, but is it possible that He wanted to protect us from fully becoming as He is, because He truly loves what He makes, so He hoped against all His knowledge and His wisdom that He could be wrong?)

Or was Satan, also being a creation of God Himself, created specifically as our example of what foolish pride looks like?

Satan having knowledge above mankind, was the first example given to us of the perils of rejecting the guidance and counsel of our loving Father.

I believe that God, knowing all things, created it all anyway. 

He, being God, knew what choices would be made. 

He also knew that to get to those children who would be the "good ones" throughout the generations, there would have to be the existence of the "bad ones" to strengthen those He loved.

Which is why we cannot ever rightly believe - that in and of ourselves - there is enough wisdom to judge any other living soul. 

I trust and believe that all things have been personally designed by the very hand of God for the good of those He loves.

God knew and created Satan, and He created him along with his foolishness. God knew before He created him that He would have to counter that creation. He understood fully that He had created Satan, so obviously, He understood that He had created sin. 

The only solution to the creation of sin, was the creation of a sacrifice to teach and understand forgiveness.

It wasn't us that created sin, so could it rightly be us that suffers for its creation?

I believe everything God creates is ultimately a study lab for His creations. 

Satan's behavior, his stubborn denial, and his complete refusal to repent or seek forgiveness - were all due to initially to HIS FOOLISH PRIDE. That, I believe, is the lesson God wants His kids to recognize and grasp.

The Garden, the fruit, our choices about good and evil...it all began with pride, and that is the very basis of everything that causes us harm.

Are you humble and wise enough to understand that you don't -and can't possibly - know everything?

Or are you full of foolish pride (like our example: Satan), believing that you have learned enough and carry enough wisdom to make right choices using your own mind and your thoughts alone, and do not need to be concerned about consulting with GOD?

God's creation of Good and evil was your question. I hope to have provided a complete answer herein.

August 30 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was not an ordinary tree. Its fruit actually did 'open the eyes' and made one 'wise.' Gen 3:1-7. We still have remnants of this effect from various plant sources which contain mind-altering drugs and have been used in different religions. Recently, scientists have discovered LSD, meth, etc. which can give similar results. The further humanity falls morally, the more we will come close to repeating the Fall. Yes, except for the righteous remnant, man can fall again to a certain extent, especially at the time of the Antichrist and False Prophet.

June 04 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Santos Garcia Striving as a Biblical Christian in "Advancing Christ's Kingdom" through the ministry of intercession.
"Free Will & Determinism"; A very involved and profoundly deep study that has been debated for centuries. Our spirits were dead in trespasses and sin- yet our carnal souls (and bodies for that matter) were very much alive; continually 'affected' by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Although no one can possibly come to Christ unless His Holy Spirit draws him or her- I for one DO believe that we CAN choose to obey, surrender all, and follow Christ, as an act of our personal will- in response to His Spirit. Truly, we are not robots, or else the Cross of Calvary would not have been necessary. Eve & Adam's Free Will decision to disobey YHVH brought the curse of death to mankind and His Creation (initiated by the original fallen one- Lucifer). The LORD Jesus Christ humbled Himself, became a Man not unlike you or me- and paid it all... so that by an act of our Free Will, we could choose to receive His Eternal Salvation. The simplicity of the Gospel has often been 'over-thought' by men. Paul was one of the great minds of human history with impeccable credentials, until he met the Risen One- and all he trusted in became as dung. Let's "study to show ourselves approved unto GOD, workers who need not be ashamed- rightly dividing the Word of Truth." 

The Book of Hebrews also confirms that we (Biblical Christians) are the 'spiritual seed' of Abraham through our LORD Jesus Christ. The entire Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 belongs to all true believers. Of course we must understand and respect the context of all Scripture; but what Rabbinical scholars call a 'remez' points to multiple patterns and cyclic fulfillments that are 'applied' and thereby repeated through all human history. Example- although it is obvious that no one but Christ ever kept the Ten Commandments, the truths contained in those directives 'bless' each of us when obeyed. Http://zionsgate.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/many-infallible-proofs/

June 04 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio James Evans
The fact that we have a choice is what's important, our will of choosing good over evil, happy or sad, God to devil, hamburger or carrot. Choice. What will you choose? We want to analyze everything to its core and have explanation of it so we understand, but it all leads up to choice. That is why sin can be forgiven...because no one but one person ever made every choice perfectly, Jesus Christ. He had choice and could of chosen to sin, but He chose to not sin so that we could see the true power he really had that is in us all and that we have the same choices. Jesus was perfection of choice and new how to avoid sin with a thought. He never hesitated nor stumbled over a decision. He gave us a way to be forgiven and guilt free of the wrong choices we have made. Choice is what we have and what we have in the end are the choices we've made in our lives which will determine our everlasting life in Heaven.

June 04 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

1389971820 Mpunga Steven
God is God and no one is beside him or no one can question him. Two trees which was in the middle of a Garden of Eden. The tree of life meaning Jesus and the tree of Knowledge of good and evil meaning the devil. The tree of knowledge was created with evil and we can't question Our God who are we to question Him? Tree of life was created with life in it. So God gave us free will to choose. Almighty says in Isaiah 45 ves 5-7.He says I create light (life) and I create darkness (evil) it the same God who do all this but we the people have problem with our desires we always go for something attraction just to fulfill our selfish desire.

April 24 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Justin Hale
God did create evil while creating all of the phenomena that serve to express His unchanging nature and personal attributes. 

Why though, isn't God "only good?"

Yes, scripture makes very clear that He is the only one who is genuinely good, (Luke 18:19). However, God is also a God of liberty, (2 Corinthians 3:17), which means that His nature requires there to be choice. Without having a choice, we are automatons, not humans "made in God's direct likeness." 

So evil is an expression of the "other option." However, you should note that in God's Garden paradise, evil is powerless and essentially a form of comic relief, a "talking snake" who says the opposite of what God says and supposedly offers something "more" than what the infinite Creator of the universe can offer. 

God also never actually chooses evil Himself, even though He makes infinitely more choices than we do. So He is the best example possible to us of what it means to be "good." 

While evil exists because it serves to express an important aspect of God's nature of liberty, that doesn't mean that we have to actually choose evil in order for our choice to be valid. By choosing evil in the Garden, we not only lost our sacred place there, but our comical "snake" has since transformed itself into a "Dragon" (Revelation 12:9, 20:2) that represents mankind's restless need for war and conflict, including the incendiary warfare technologies that now include WMD and the dreaded nuclear ICBM system that has the theoretical potential to destroy the entire world.


Choosing evil is obviously a very bad idea, but creating it wasn't. God is only good and He requires that the special creations which He made in His own likeness have a choice. This was worth the risk and will ultimately work out exactly the way He intended. 

How do we know?

God is an omniscient being who doesn't only see what is right in front of Him. He sees everything from beginning to end. God took a look at His creation after creating it all, (including the ultimate and final fate of evil), and called it all "very good." (Genesis 1:31).

August 31 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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