"Ye Shall Be As Gods, Knowing Good And Evil"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 218

Context: According to the Hebraic story of creation, after the heavens and earth had been created and the living things of the earth were growing and abounding according to the laws of their nature, God created man and placed him in a garden called Eden. Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, in the bliss of Eden were allowed the fruit of every tree with the exception of one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which they were not to eat on the penalty of death. Satan, disguised as a serpent and intent upon disgracing God and leading mankind into sin and hence to death and destruction, approached the woman, who had not heard God's command concerning the tree of good and evil directly, in order to lead her into disobedience. When questioned by the serpent about the trees from which they could eat, Eve repeated the command of God, which she had perhaps heard from Adam. The serpent's unassuming question is his first major step toward Eve's psychological defeat. His second step is his reply to her answer:

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. . . 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.

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