I've been teaching 7th-grade boys this year at our Vacation Bible School. We're learning about the Garden of Eden and the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3. Here is a portion of the conversation this morning:
Me: Why do you think God said that Adam and Even could not take the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
7th grader: Somebody once said that God didn't want them to know right from wrong, but that can't be right.
Me: Why not?
7th: Because they would have to know right from wrong to know that eating from the tree would be evil and not eating it would be good.
Me: That's right. Good point. The TKGE was meant to give them something else. So why did he forbid them to take from the TKGE? Why couldn't they take the fruit and eat it.
7th: He wanted them to ask for it.
Me: Hmm. What do you mean?
7th: God wanted Adam to ask him for permission to eat from the tree. Then he could give the fruit to them. They weren't supposed to just take it for themselves.
Me: I think that's exactly right. And it fits with the meaning of the TKGE, with what God intended to give them when they asked for it.
7th: What was that?
(to be continued)