What was the “Forbidden Fruit” in the Garden of Eden?


Girl with a pomegranate – William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905)

A popular misconception is that the “forbidden fruit” was an apple, neither the Qur’an or the Bible substantiate this claim. As for what the fruit was, no one really knows but some popular candidates proposed by scholars are the pomegranate, fig, grape, citron, and even wheat. Ironically the latter, which isn’t even a fruit, may well have the strongest claim.

Why wheat? Eating the “forbidden fruit” was connected with a harder life, full of toil and tilling the ground. Learning to cultivate wheat was a crucial turning point in Human history, associated with a life of hard work, ploughing the ground, looking after crops, digging and maintaining irrigation channels etc.

Even after grain is harvested, it needs to be cleaned, preserved, ground into flour before finally being baked into bread, made into pasta etc. This involved a lot more work than picking fruit from a tree and requires a lot more knowledge, another feature associated with the forbidden fruit.

Whatever the fruit was, it’s impact on society, religion and culture remains with us. What do you think it was and why?

2 thoughts on “What was the “Forbidden Fruit” in the Garden of Eden?

  1. Wheat brought about civilization. Civilization defines what good and evil is. Wheat brought about the luxury of extra time to relax after the harvest. Time to relax and to wonder and question the metaphysical. Time to get into mischief and piss others off. Laws were made to make peace. Not everyone agreed on the laws, war ensued. A hunter gatherer has no time for these luxuries of war, politics, and philosophy. He must focus on his next meal and protecting his tribe etc. A pre-wheat society lived amongst the forests, plains etc. In the garden, gods garden. A man can have the heart of a lion or be meek like the lamb. They lived and lay together for survival. The lion lay with the lamb.

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