The banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden is one of the most well known Biblical stories. As most believe, the reason why both Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden was because they disobeyed God and ate from the tree, and hence they committed sin, and as a result of this sin they were banished from the presence of God as sin cannot be in the presence of God.
Now is the above account actually biblical? That might sound strange, as this has become quite an established tradition, so one would assume this is actually straight from the Bible itself. Yet if anyone actually reads the entire story one will see that Adam and Eve were not banished because they sinned, but they were banished for another reason. Let us read the story piece by piece to get a clear picture:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
So the serpent began to tempt Eve to eat from the tree, and the serpent told Eve that once she eats from the tree her eyes shall be opened and she will become like God and will know good from evil, basically according to the serpent Eve will acquire knowledge by eating from this tree. The story goes on:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:6-12)
So eventually both Adam and Eve eat from the tree, disobeying what God had commanded them to do, and God finds out about it as well. Now the assumption that is then made is that as a result of this action, sin entered the garden, and what followed was their banishment from the garden. Yet as we read on we get the answer as to why God threw them out:
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east sideof the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:21-24)
So as one can read, the reason why God decided to banish Adam was because Adam now had the knowledge of good and bad, and that he should be prevented from eating from the tree of life, which was ANOTHER tree in the garden, and if Adam ate from this tree he would live forever. So God banished Adam from the Garden not because of sin, but to prevent him from eating from the tree of life! God event went as far as to place a flaming sword to guard the tree of life:
This is something many people often overlook, or are even ignorant about, that the Bible speaks of two trees, the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge:
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:8-9)
So we have two trees, the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, and not the tree of life. So God was now worried as they both gained knowledge, and that they would now go and eat from the tree of life gaining immortality, but God didn’t want that to happen and so he kicked them out of the garden. So there is absolutely nothing in this entire account saying they were banished because they disobeyed God, or that sin had entered heaven (a claim evangelicals love to make, claiming that sin had now entered heaven, and man needed redemption now).