Monday, January 1, 2024

Saying 19


Jesus said, ‘Whoever existed before he existed is favored. If you become my disciples and listen to my words, these stones will serve you. There are five trees in the garden for you, which do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death.’


The state of pre-existence may again relate to the primordial first man. This seems to be supported by the reference to the garden of Eden. The tradition of five trees in the garden—rather than the two named in Gen 2–3, a tree of life and a tree of knowledge of good and evil—is obscure, but comparable statements are found in Philo and 3 Baruch (each of which lists five types of trees).


Philo of Alexandria

Noah’s Work as a Planter 9.36 For they say that in the garden there were plants in no way like those which exist among us. But they speak of trees of life, trees of immortality, trees of knowledge and comprehension and understanding, and trees of the knowledge of good and evil.


8.51–52 ‘Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’ The Judeans said to him, ‘Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets. Yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.” ’

3 Baruch

Slavonic 4.7 And the angel said to me, ‘When God made the garden and commanded Michael to gather two hundred thousand three angels so that they could plant the garden, Michael planted the olive tree, and Gabriel the apple tree, Uriel the nut tree, Raphael the melon tree, and Satanael the vine tree.’

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