We need your help. Please support the ministry work of Reasons for Hope*Jesus


Gen 2:17  “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Atheists claim this is an error in the Bible because Adam and Eve didn’t physically die when they ate the forbidden fruit.  However, because we know that there are no errors in God’s Word, there must be an explanation.

Some will claim that God only meant they would die spiritually, and it’s true Adam and Eve did die spiritually when their sin separated them from God.  But that is not a correct interpretation, because the Hebrew word for “die” indicates a physical death. Strong’s Dictionary defines “die”  in the Hebrew as:

muwth, mooth; a prim. root; to die (lit. or fig.); causat. to kill:–  at all,  crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer],  must needs, slay,  surely,  very suddenly,  in [no] wise.

The Hebrew word “muwth” is used 790 times in the Bible and is translated in the following ways:

Die, died, diest, dieth, dead, death, put to death—551
Slay, slew, slain—104; Kill, killeth, killed—33
Destroy, detroyers—2

Muwth = Death

It’s clear from the definition of the word, and the use of the word muwth, that Genesis 2:17 means total death. That includes both a spiritual and physical death.  We certainly understand that Adam and Eve died a spiritual death when they sinned, but we also know that they did not die physically at that time.  In fact, Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old and Adam lived a total of 930 years (Genesis 5:3-5).

The explanation for what might seem to be a contradiction in Genesis 2:17 is found in the original language words. In the Hebrew manuscripts the word “muwth” (translated “die”) is used twice.  Repetition is a common Hebraic literary device used to add emphasis.  If both Hebrew words were translated the verse would read:

Genesis 2:17  … for in the day that you eat of it you shall die die.

In English we use adjectives for emphasis, so our English Bibles translate “muwth muwth” as “surely die” (or “certainly die”) to provide emphasis on the word die.

The Geneva and Young’s Literal Translation more clearly communicate what this verse means by repeating a variation in the translation of the word “die.”

Genesis 2:17 (Geneva, 1587)  …for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death.

Genesis 2:17 (YLT, 1898)  …for in the day of thine eating of itdying thou dost die.’ 

“Shalt die the death” (Geneva) puts emphasis on the death being future, not immediate. The Young’s Literal Translation most clearly indicates the process of dying with the words, “dying thou dost die.”  Translations using “surely” or “certainly” for emphasis should not be interpreted to mean immediate death. Reading Genesis 2:17 without those adjectives indicates a future tense:  “thereof thou shalt… die.”

The Mercy and Grace of God

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they sinned and died a spiritual death. They also experienced the beginning of the physical dying process of their bodies. In the dying process, genetic mutations  began to occur and with each passing generation those mutations increased. While the death of the body was an irrevocable penalty for man’s sin, God, in His mercy, gave a command that would slow the increase of genetic mutations. Recorded in Leviticus 18 is God’s prohibition of sexual relations (marriage) between close relatives:

Leviticus 18:6  None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. 

God gave this prohibition to protect His people.  From that time to the time in which we live, there are laws that prohibit intermarriage between close relatives.

God is good and He is gracious! God could have killed Adam and Eve when they sinned, but instead in His mercy He gave them grace and promised a coming Rescuer (Genesis 3:15).  And throughout the ages, God has been protecting His people in more ways than we know.




Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

Thank you to all who contributed in 2020. Your generosity is a blessing and encouragement to us.  We did not meet expenses in 2020 and still need your help to continue our global outreach in 2021.  Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, we hope you will support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and. . .

Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.

to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.


***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.


The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2020

  1.  The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  3. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  4. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings? 
  5. How are the Shepherd’s Rod and Staff Different?
  6. What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
  7. What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
  8. Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
  9. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM? Psalm 22
  10. Is my TATTOO a sin?

This is not a Got Questions? article. But it's so popular it ranked among the top pages viewed:

More Popular Got Questions & Articles

Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM
If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Re-Baptized?
What Does it Mean to Be A CHILD OF GOD?
Which OT Book Did JESUS QUOTE Most Often?
How Did the Wise Men Know This Was the Messiah and KNOW TO FOLLOW HIS STAR?
What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
How long did JOB SUFFER?
Three Heavens? Where is the THIRD HEAVEN?
What are the “I Will ” STATEMENTS of Satan, God, and Jesus?
SIN, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION? How are they different?
Should we call HIM JESUS? Or Yahweh? Or Yeshua?
Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER?
Is There a Remez (HIDDEN MESSAGE ) in Revelation 7? Why is Dan Missing?
Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?

Something ALL Christians must know:  IVDARR

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace
  2. Christian Version of Leonard Cohen's HALLELUJAH
  3. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  4. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  8. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share
  9. TASTE AND SEE that the Lord is Good ~ Psalm 34
  10. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas


We need your help. Please support the ministry work of Reasons for Hope*Jesus
Reasons for Hope* Jesus


Yes, send me answers to interesting and challenging questions about Jesus and the Bible.  Help me get equipped and be encouraged so I am empowered to know, live, and share my faith.  <*}}}><


Get equipped with knowledge!

Be encouraged in hope!

Live empowered with love! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!