Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 141

The Fall, May 9

Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Genesis 3:3.

Eve went from the side of her husband, viewing the beautiful things of nature in God’s creation, delighting her senses with the colors and fragrance of the flowers and the beauty of the trees and shrubs. She was thinking of the restrictions God had placed upon them in regard to the tree of knowledge. She was pleased with the beauties and bounties which the Lord had furnished for the gratification of every want. All these, said she, God has given us to enjoy....

Eve had wandered near the forbidden tree, and her curiosity was aroused to know how death could be concealed in the fruit of this fair tree. She was surprised to hear her queries taken up and repeated by a strange voice. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Eve was not aware that she had revealed her thoughts by conversing to herself aloud; therefore she was greatly astonished to hear her queries repeated by a serpent. She really thought the serpent had a knowledge of her thoughts and that he must be very wise.

She answered him, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” ...

Eve had overstated the words of God's command. He had said to Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” In Eve's controversy with the serpent, she added the clause, “Neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” ... This statement of Eve gave him advantage, and he plucked the fruit, and placed it in her hand, and used her own words, “He hath said, ‘If ye touch it, ye shall die.’ You see no harm comes to you from touching the fruit, neither will you receive any harm by eating it.” ... She ate the fruit, and realized no immediate harm. She then plucked the fruit for herself and for her husband....

Adam and Eve should have been perfectly satisfied with the knowledge of God in His created works, and by the instruction of the holy angels.... It was for their happiness to be ignorant of sin.—The Review and Herald, February 24, 1874.

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